Betaed by the lovely elizabuffy, may she get all the naked Spander she ever wanted. ::grin:: And a bit of Anya too!

Author’s Note: Charity fic (via fandom_charity) written for readseverything. The bunnies, they led me to Cole Porter.

Author’s Note the Second: Kinda inspired by Cole Porter’s song, Easy to Love, yet another great love song in my own humble opinion.






Easy to Love


by
Nash





Easy to Love

I know too well that I'm just wasting precious time
In thinking such a thing could be
That you could ever care for me
I'm sure you hate to hear
That I adore you, dear
But grant me
Just the same
I'm not entirely to blame
For love
You'd be so easy to love
So easy to idolize
All others above
So swell, to awaken with
So sweet to sit down to eggs and bacon with
We'd be so grand at the game
So carefree together
That it does seem a shame
That you can't see
Your future with me
'Cause you'd be oh, so easy to love
You'd be so easy to love
So easy to idolize
All others above
So worth the yearning for
So swell to keep every homefire burning for
Oh how we’d sing how we’d fly
In a cottage for two or even three, four or five
So try to see
Your future with me
Cause you’d be oh, so easy to love

When the smoke cleared from Buffy’s fall, the survivors stood around her body, staring down, some in disbelief that their hero would fall so suddenly, others already drowning in grief.

Xander just felt numb.

He knew he was supposed to feel sad and maybe even scared, but he couldn’t feel anything other than this all-encompassing lack of sensation. The sun was beginning to warm his nape before he reacted at all. When his brain finally computed the fact that the sun was rising, he turned to look for Spike, who was crouched next to Buffy. She looks so peaceful doesn’t she? his inner voice asked as the rest of him realised that if they didn’t get Spike inside soon, he’d burn. The little voice asked him why should he care; Spike was nothing but a monster, and Buffy was dead. She was dead and he loved her and he had been beaten to a bloody pulp for her and Dawn. Xander couldn’t just let it go like that.

He grabbed the vampire’s arm and started dragging him to the car...or at least he tried to drag him, because Spike was using all of his supernatural strength to stay near the body.

“Spike, get in the car, the sun’s rising, you’ll die.”

No reply. The vampire just stared at Buffy, tears coursing down his cheeks.

“Spike! You can’t do this to her. You promised, she told me you did. You promised to take care of Dawn, so get in the fucking car.”

Spike turned to look at Dawn, then nodded sharply and followed Xander to the car.

After that first step, Spike somehow turned into Xander’s pet project. By the time the numbness went away, giving way to bone-crushing pain, Xander had made himself responsible for Spike. He worked through his grief by helping Spike work through his, forcing the vampire to stay strong enough to care for Dawn. At the beginning that meant practically force-feeding him blood and babbling on and on about how Dawn needed him to be the same as he ever was, big and bad and scared of nothing.

After Spike pulled himself together enough to deal with day-to-day survival, Xander pushed the vampire to patrol, nagged until he got out of the crypt and went to play kitten poker and generally tried to make him get out and make a nuisance of himself like he used to.

When Anya asked why he was investing so much time and effort in Spike’s well being, Xander rationalised his behaviour by pointing out that this way he was respecting Buffy’s wishes. The girls were too busy trying to prop each other up to deal with the vampire; Buffy wanted Spike to be there for Dawn and he would be, even if Xander had to be his babysitter.

He then proceeded to rationalize it further by explaining that Spike was giving him something to focus on, something he could actually do to make things better and that was something Xander needed to get through this.

Anya grudgingly accepted his excuses and tried to act the part of the supportive girlfriend as best as she could. She installed a special container for Spike’s blood in the fridge to keep it at the perfect temp of 98.6, she didn’t complain when Xander ordered soccer matches on the television and coaxed Spike to come over and watch. She didn’t even nag when Spike would get drunk and spend the day in their apartment, depriving her of orgasms as Xander was too worried about vamp hearing to do anything while Spike was there.

That was why it came as such a shock to Xander when she left two months after Glory was defeated. He could never think of the day as the day Buffy died. It would only make it harder to count time if he did, so in Xander’s head, that day was the day Glory was defeated. It made things easier to bear. So yeah, two months to the day and he came home to find Anya’s things gone and a note saying that she loved him but she couldn’t deal with this anymore.

I love you Xander, you know I do.
But there are so many other people in your heart and your life that you can never find time for me.
You invest so much of yourself in others that there’s nothing left to come home to.
The irony is, that’s why I fell in love with you in the first place.
I’m sorry.
-Anya


To Xander’s shock and shame, he didn’t miss her all that much. Spike and the girls wrapped themselves around him like a huge security blanket. Anya had been right, he mused after another day with his girls. In the month after her departure he’d rarely had a moment alone. Between work, his girls, and Spike, practically every moment of the day was full.

Over and above all that was Willow’s plan to bring Buffy back. At first, Xander refused to believe that Buffy would be anywhere but heaven. She’d given too much of herself to the good fight to go anywhere else. But Willow seemed so sure and Buffy had gone through the portal that was leading to a hell dimension. What if she was right and Buffy was stuck in hell? He went along with Willow’s plan and kept things quiet from Spike, no matter how much time they spent together because the blond wouldn’t let them go through with it. Spike was notoriously distrustful of magic and he would do anything in his power to stop them using it.

He refused to even contemplate why the thought of Buffy coming back to them carried with it some bitterness instead of being pure joy. He didn’t even realise that he was spending more and more time with Spike, until Dawn pointed it out to him. He laughed off her comments, trying not to think of it as him trying to get as much of Spike’s time as he could before he lost it for good.

It wasn’t until Buffy had come back and he’d seen the spark of joy and love in Spike’s eyes that he allowed himself to think about it. Buffy was back, Spike was happy and Xander felt like someone had pounded his heart in with Olaf’s hammer. You can’t lie to yourself when your heart has a dent in it the size of Texas, he thought. That was why he was standing in front of Spike’s crypt, trying to work up the courage to go inside. He’d finally decided to come clean, no matter the cost. He had to get this out of his system so that he could move on with his life.

Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door and walked in.

“Hey, pet. Come to make sure I’m eating again?” Spike asked, grinning at him from his position in front of the television. “Grab a seat, there’s a good movie on tonight. Better yet, grab a beer first.”

“Spike? There’s a couple of things I wanna say. Please...please just stay quiet ‘till I’m done cause I really wanna say this and I don’t think I can do it if you interrupt, okay?”

“Erm...sure, pet. Go on then.” Spike replied, looking curiously at him.

Stupid vampire why did he have to look so cute, sitting there looking at him…it was really all Spike’s fault that Xander was in this situation. If the stupid vampire hadn’t been so easy to fall for...

“Look Spike, I know this is just a waste of time and you’re probably gonna laugh or be all offended but it’s not like it’s all my fault!” Xander took a moment to glare at Spike, pointing at him accusingly before he resumed his rant. “Walking around with the pretty blue eyes and the compact, muscled thing you got going. I mean what do you expect?! And to top all that off you have to go and be all funny and fun to hang around with. It’s not easy to hate the guy who lets you win at pool just to make you feel better, you know.”

As Xander warmed to his theme, he started pacing and gesturing wildly, ignoring the shocked look that had come over Spike. “And as if that wasn’t enough, when you let go of all the snark and sarcasm you go and become all sweet and interesting and I get all these images of how much fun we’d be together and how patrols would go so much more quickly if I could kiss you a tiny little bit. Is it my fault your lips are all pouty? No, it is not! And one other thing! When you’re sleeping over at someone’s house? It is impolite to make them think of how great it would be to wake up next to you and have breakfast together every day. You’d have your blood and I would have cereal and you’d probably nag at me about eating something other than pure sugar and I’d ewww at the blood.”

He stopped a moment, taking a deep breath and closing his eyes, unable to say what he needed to say and still look at Spike. “So you see? It’s not like I did it on purpose. You’re just so easy to love. And I know you can’t see it like I do, but you could maybe try?”

Xander opened his eyes and looked at Spike. He took in the sad eyes and the worried look and he knew that the blond wouldn’t even think of how good they could be together.

“But see, you won’t even try to think about that. So yeah, it’s a shame that you can’t see what I see. It’d just be nice if you could see it too, you know?” He asked, a small part of him still hoping that Spike would at least want the possibility of them being together.

“Xander...I’m sorry.”

It shouldn’t feel like a punch in the gut. He’d come in here knowing that Spike wanted Buffy, prepared for rejection. So why did it still hurt so badly? He wondered as he turned and left the crypt. It really shouldn’t hurt so much when you were expecting it.

Xander spent the next few weeks avoiding Spike. He skipped Scooby meetings, went to see the girls in broad daylight and made sure he was in his flat, alone and miserable, by the time the sun had set. He was sure Spike wouldn’t go to any great lengths to see him now that he had his Buffy back. As long as he was home before sunset, he’d be fine.

He tried to be angry at the blond, he even tried going back to hating him, but every time he was near achieving any negative emotion, he’d get a flash of Spike laughing with him or helping Dawn with her homework and he wouldn’t be able to hold on to the hate or anger. Self-loathing, though, he was good at. What the hell had he been thinking going to tell Spike how he felt! He knew Spike loved Buffy, he’d seen him refuse to leave her side after she’d come back! Of all the hare-brained schemes he’d ever come up with...this was the absolute worst.

The only person who had cottoned on to the reason for his lack of spirits was Dawn. She’d tried to talk to him about it quite a few times, but he cut her off every single time until she finally gave up on him. Good. He didn’t want to talk about this; it would only remind him that things couldn’t change. Spike loved Buffy. There was nothing he could do to change that. A couple of more weeks of self-pity and then he should be able to talk to Spike without wanting the Hellmouth to open and swallow him whole. Then things would go back to being perfect. He and Spike would be friends and he’d get to watch his friend run after his other friend like a lovesick puppy.

Just. Fucking. Perfect.

Xander was getting ready for another bout of general all-purpose sulking when the doorbell rang. He tried to ignore it; he so wasn’t in the mood for visitors right now, but the ringing turned into banging. If he wanted his door to remain standing he’d have to get the stupid door.

Sighing deeply at the unfairness of life dumping visitors on him when he least wanted them, Xander opened the door, ready to tell Buffy, because who else would bang with enough force to make the hinges shudder, to go away.

“So, pet, Dawn and I had a little chat.”

Wrong blond.

“Dawn and I are going to have a little chat, too. Go away Spike, I’ll talk to you in two weeks.” Xander stated firmly and tried to close the door.

“No, I don’t think so.” Spike said and somehow managed to push Xander back, come inside and close the door in one single move.

“One of these days you’re gonna teach me how to do that.” Xander muttered, frowning and trying to figure out what had happened.

“Got me thinking, she did. Said I should try and see the future with you, like you described.”

Xander groaned and closed his eyes. A pity-visit. Just what he needed.

“Odd thing is, once I started trying, I couldn’t stop. The more I thought, the better it seemed. Was thinking I could try and see if it could really work out that way. Thing is pet, you’re fairly easy to love, yourself.”

Xander blinked, trying to make sense of the words. It sounded like Spike wanted…him? He was easy to love. Him. He grinned at Spike.

“Me?” He felt compelled to ask.

“You.” Spike confirmed leaning forward for a kiss.







The End








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