Monday Night - 11:45 p.m.
Xander woke up to the sound of a crash, an all too familiar sound these days. Spike had arrived after another drunken night at Willy’s, and it was now time for Xander to comfort him because Buffy didn’t love him. Time to be the nice guy again. Time to have his heart ripped out again as he heard the man he loved talk about how much he wanted the Slayer, how it had felt when she pinned him against the walls enthralling him with her prowling, harsh desire to feel something. Hear how Spike would take that again even if it wasn‘t the love he wanted - take anything if only Buffy would touch him again.
Xander wanted to howl with anguish - but he was a glutton for punishment. Holding Spike as he cried drunken tears, lightly caressing his hair, and when Spike passed out into the sleep of the dead in the morning, he was able to hold him, smell Spike’s unique scent, and pretend for one second that it was him. Spike loved Xander.
Of course, then the alarm would go off, and Xander would have to get up and go to work. Tear himself from his dream and curse himself again for being so weak.
I am so weak, Xander shouted to himself. I was Dracula’s butt monkey. I was bait for Angel. I was a punching bag for my parents. I am the one without a backbone - it’s my fault they hurt me, my fault they can’t love me. Me. I wish that - see haven’t I learned anything. Why am I always so stupid? Never learnt like everyone else. Can’t help with research. Can’t help with fighting. I am just a joke. Just a joke.
“SsXand . . . ner!” Spike’s voice caused Xander’s heart to jump. “Di . . did . . I scare ya, Sander? I think I did. Ol’ Spikey’s still, still got it!
Spike laughed drunkenly.
“Yeah, you tell her Xanner - Spikey’s still got it. Don’t I still have it?” He whined drunkenly.
Xander forced himself from his cocoon of blankets. He walked into the living room and saw Spike framed by the dull light of the living room lamps. He was a contrast in light in shadows. White hair gleaming, light casting his body’s contour into the shadows. Day and night, light and dark - Spike.
And Xander? Always focusing on his pain. Looking in the window, reaching his hand out, and never grasping the prize. Wouldn’t take any risks. Caught up in his guilt, too afraid to reach out.
Xander was tired of being a coward. No more. No more.
Xander looked into that beloved face, saw the pain, felt it reflected, and knew he had to make a change. Had to stop the cycle. He couldn’t keep torturing himself. Couldn’t keep his feeling a secret. Forced himself to go to Spike. He reached his hands out, stopped, and moved back.
Spike. Please. Stop doing this to yourself. Buffy, she’s not . . . ” Xander paused.