The raindrops hitting the window frame and the
Kansas song on repeat - ironically, "Dust in the Wind"- made a good background
to heavy drinking, Spike thought absently.
The room was dark; the faint
glow of the Christmas lights outside illuminated a tree, which looked abandoned
despite all the popcorn chains and unlit candles. On the fake mantelpiece hung
two ridiculously big, red stockings, filled with small and bigger gifts. He
hadn't had a Christmas stocking since he was ten and it seemed like a good idea
to do it; to create an illusion of a happy and untroubled future, even if the
gift he most wished for wasn't in there.
He took the bottle of Jim Beam
and poured himself a drink - nowadays he even used a tumbler - and not for the
first time cursed his existence as a vampire. Immortality lost its glamour after
losing one friend too many... 'poor, sweet Fred', he thought briefly. He couldn't even get drunk
properly, lacking a human constitution.
Staring at the amber liquid, he noticed the low
sounds of a Christmas carol - the neighbours sure loved the season, listening to
Christmas music all the time.
It didn't bother him earlier and now... He
didn't even have the energy to get upset about it.
The cell phone on the
table started to vibrate, showing "Red" on the display. He ignored the call, as
he had the previous days. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve - awaited this year with
excitement, the first one he felt he could truly enjoy in a long time.
Apparently, it wasn't meant to be.
He took a swig of the bourbon and
reached out to the memories, stashed away in the safest corner of his mind. How
he'd met Xander not long after becoming corporeal again at Wolfram & Hart.
How the flicker of joy in the brown eyes, followed by an unexpected hug, had
allowed him to believe Xander's apology. How hearing "thank you" from those lips
- something that had never occurred before - had made him feel like it was worth
burning up at the Hellmouth. How they'd become friends, spending more and more
time together, talking about anything and everything, as if they'd wanted to
make up for all the years of hatred and fighting.
"Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children
Their favourite time of the
The sounds from behind the wall to the next apartment got
louder, rousing him from his thoughts. 'The kids are watching Charlie Brown
again', he thought. And just like that, the dam and all the
defences he'd erected over the past two days broke and he started to cry,
heart-wrenching sobs making their way through his throat.
He stifled the
wail pushing its way through his throat and hurled the glass held in his hand at
the nearest wall, feeling a sick satisfaction at the shattering sound. Why
should anything be intact any more if his heart and mind were in
He took a few unneeded, but nevertheless calming breaths and,
eyes closed and hands shaking, he returned to his memories.
"date" - even if neither of them had the courage to call it by name.
first kiss... God, the meeting of warm, greedy lips he would never forget, even
if he lived forever. Not that he intended to, mind you.
After a few
awkward days and unsure glances, they finally spoke about what had happened;
feelings of anxiety replaced by relief and joy upon realising they both felt the
same attraction and hoped for something more. Eventually they "came out" to all
their friends - even if the Scoobies took a little more time to get used to the
idea than the LA-gang had - and gave themselves to the wonderful illusion of
finally finding the one person they were meant to be with.
It had lasted
a few months, until a rather trivial sickness resulted in a blood test that
destroyed their world. It seemed that the gathering of Slayers in Africa had
cost Xander more than a few pounds and sun-wrinkles.
Coming back to
reality, Spike didn't bother with a glass this time; only took a generous swig
of the alcohol straight from the bottle.
word, so small considering its power to destroy life.
They never found
out what it was.
Four months after finding the virus in Xander's blood
the signs of impending death were unmistakable. Spike cried, threatened, begged
- all to no avail. Xander's final decision was to die as a human.
'It wouldn't be right if I couldn't call Angel
"Deadboy" anymore', he'd said.
A bitter laugh escaped Spike's
lips. His boy, ever the comic relief.
Two days ago, Xander had finally
succumbed to the devastating illness. Spike would never forget the last glance
from the eyes that had shown him more love than anyone else in this forsaken
world and the final words: 'See you later, baby'.
Again, the memories threatened to overwhelm
He remembered their discussion about the circumstances and reasons
for his return from the dead, about his whereabouts in the time between
Sunnydale collapsing and Angel receiving the amulet that held Spike's essence.
He didn't remember much, which meant he didn't remember eternal torment,
Xander was very adamant about it, always saying that after saving
the world *twice*, having sacrificed his un-life the second time, he surely
would be redeemed. Spike really wanted to believe that. Not because he was
afraid of Hell - well, maybe a little, although he surely would die first before
admitting it - but primarily because he couldn't imagine *not* meeting Xander in
'Comes in handy now, all the disputing about souls
and do-gooders, even if at the time it had meant a distraction from celebrating
their relationship in the bedroom', he thought.
He looked out the window and saw the approaching
dawn. Meanwhile, the rain had stopped and the clouds cleared the sky. The cell
phone rang again, but he consistently ignored it. Instead, he straightened the
envelopes lying on the table, each one with a name on it: Buffy, Red, Dawn, even
Giles, and finally, Angel. He'd said everything he wanted to
There was nothing left.
Strangely, the only
thing he felt was relief. Somewhere from a long forgotten memory a song came to
him, one he'd often heard during World War II:
We'll meet again,
This lovely day has flown
The time has come to part
We'll kiss again, like this
Don't let the teardrops
With love that's true, I'll wait for
He'd laughed back then, thinking how na´ve
all the soldiers and their women were, hoping for a safe return from the front
line. Now he knew better, knew what the song really meant.
the items he'd previously prepared for this morning: a ring, a photo and a small
box, containing his most precious possession in this world - a handful of ashes.
Suddenly, he felt strangely excited, like back then when he was a tot waiting
for the Christmas morning. Somehow the feeling was even appropriate, seeing that
he regarded his next actions as the greatest gift he could receive.
he straightened his posture and walked out of the room, leaving the building and
welcoming the first sunrays he'd seen since the whole Gem of Amara
High above him, someone noticed every part of his being
start to relax upon feeling the vampire's pain stop and smiled shakily,
whispering, 'Welcome home, Spike'.
*Note: "Auf Wiedersehen" - German, meaning "see you
I received the song - "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" by
Vera Lynn - from my dear departed Andy.
interested, here more info about it and you
can download it here.