Bloodties and Buffy belong to Tanya Huff and Joss Whendon, not me.
Please note there are hints of a slash-like nature here. Nothing explicit and nothing graphic. You can ignore it if you so choose.
Also not that I am taking liberties with the ending of the Final Battle. I know it didn't happen like in the show but for the purpose of this fic it did.
“Hey, mind if I sit here?” There were plenty of seats open in the bar- it was still early after all. But something was telling Tony to sit next to the only guy at the counter.
The man looked up and stared at Tony. The man had shaggy dark brown hair and a single piercing brown eye. The other was covered by a black eye patch. “No. Go ahead.”
After a moment of sitting there, waiting for the demonic barkeep to move down the counter toward them, Tony decided to attempt to strike up a conversation. “You look pretty down… Wanna talk about it?”
“Not really. Just some personal stuff.”
“Looks like it goes deeper than that.”
“Huh?” The guy was actually pretty cute if that clueless expression was anything to go by, Tony decided.
“Looks to me like you’ve had someone rip your heart out of your chest, tear it to a million shreds that were dropped on the ground and crushed beneath the person’s boot heels.”
“What’s it to you?” The man snorted before calling down to the barkeep, “Yo! Clem! Gim’me another!”
Clem shook his head but came towards the two anyway. When he got closer he told the man, “No, Xander. That’s your third one tonight.” The man, Xander, just glared at him until he relented. “Alright, but no driving after this. I got a couch in the back room.”
“Can’t drive anyways, Clem. No depth perception.” Xander stated, amused, while gesturing towards his eye.
“Yeah, I know. Here. Hey Tony, What’ll it be?” Clem asked as he got the drink prepared.
“Commin’ right up.” Clem moved down the bar to speak to another customer and fix Tony’s drink.
Tony waited until he was out of a human’s hearing range before turning back to Xander. “I got this friend, see? Guy by the name of Henry Fiztroy.”
“The comic book artist?”
“He prefers to call them graphic novels, but yeah. Anyways, the guy’s been around the block a few times.” Tony paused in his tale to thank the barkeep who had returned with the beer bottle and glass. “Bout two years ago, he met this detective. A private eye by the name of Vicky Nelson. He helped her out on a few cases, the ones where she went in over her head, and eventually fell in love. Then she got hurt, she got hurt bad. Saved her life but only got a year with her in return. She left a few months ago to go back to Toronto with her old partner and he’s been in a funk ever since. Looks a lot like you do.”
“Vampire?” Xander questioned.
“Yeah, but not your normal, run-of-the-mill kind. He dies every day, has two sets of fangs, and he was born nobility. What about you? How’d you end up here?”
“There was this guy. Short, blond, smart, funny, a rebel to the bone. He had a wit so sharp, you wouldn’t have to use a whetstone. He lived with me for a while. Fought next to me every night while we hunted.”
“What was his name?”
“Sp- William. You hear about Sunnydale?”
“That city in California that fell into a sinkhole? Who hasn’t”
“It wasn’t a sinkhole. Sunnydale was located on top of a Hellmouth. I grew up there. We had more graveyards than churches and I can almost guarantee that more than half were empty.” Xander’s voice softened and his eyes grew distant as he lost himself in the memory. “The Hellmouth was going to open and we had to stop it. So all of us went down to the seal and waited. When the fight started… we lost so many. Wills did her mojo and shut the thing but by then the foundation had stated to crumble. We ran for the exits and William was right behind me. And then… he wasn’t. I turned around and ran back to him. A beam had fallen, impaled him right through the chest and pinned him to the ground. It missed his heart by inches and I think that’s why we couldn’t just pull it out and keep going. H-he told me to leave him there. I didn’t want to but Buffy grabbed my arm and pulled me all the way out to the bus we had salvaged.”
“Wow. I’m sorry man.”
“Don’t be. I got out and he didn’t. It’s what he would have wanted.” Xander said without any emotion.
Clem leaned on the counter and looked at Xander, a sad expression on his face. “For all that he was a vampire, Spike was a good man. Loyal, protective, and he played a mean game of kitten poker.”
The last comment got a grin and small laugh from Xander. “Yeah. He always used to bring them home and let them go. He never ate them- said they were too cute.”
“Wait. I though you said his name was William?” Tony asked.
“William the Bloody, also known as Spike, Slayer of Slayers. They were the same person.” Clem said as Xander slumped to the counter top.
Tony looked at the man, passed out from the amount of alcohol it took to lock out the loss and made a snap decision. “Get someone to help me with him. He can stay on Henry’s couch. I have a feeling Henry’s gonna want to meet him anyways.”
And yes, that is Clem who used to babysit Dawn.