“Liar,” words spat with contempt, “Big liar, like all Americans,”
“You should get some sleep,” he says, not looking at the girl tied up in the back of his car – she was shivering, not fighting back, she feared being raped. He’d threatened her with it earlier, when she was struggling. It wasn’t true, was never true, but it served to stop her trying to escape. Fear was useful that way.
“Big strong American man – tells me he’ll help with my new power, then … you lie! Kelb!” screamed words now, she’s panicking, realizing that he won’t let her go. Xander ignores her, tries to recall when it was that his humanity died.
Reckons it died the moment Spike did.
This girl didn’t speak much English, didn’t fight back nearly as much as he’d anticipated. She seemed to be resigned to her kidnapping, giving up as soon as she realised her slayer abilities were neutralised by the orb in his car.
“Family?” she asked, halfway through the drive. Xander frowned, turned to look at her. She was pointing at one of the pictures he kept on his dashboard, faded and yellowed.
“Family,” he nodded, slight smile on his lips.
“Dead?” she asked bluntly - tact impossible in the face of a language barrier.
“Dead. Four months,” he said, glancing back at the photo. Spike stared back at him.
“I was visiting my grandmother, I don’t live here,” she whispered, hands shaking. Xander sighed, kept his eyes on the road. “I’m from England,” she said, pleading, tears rolling down her dark skin.
“Get some sleep,” he replied. Standard line, one of many to shut the girl up. He was growing a little infamous these days – the white man with the eye patch, kidnapping the strongest girls, never returning.
“He’s alive, you know,” she said suddenly, desperate now, tugging on the ropes around her wrists. “I see things. The blonde man – he’s alive. Safe, at his master’s side,”
Xander told her to get some sleep with his heart in his throat.
“Why the fuck did nobody tell me this?” and he’s shouting, screeching into his cell with yet another crying girl in the back.
“We didn’t know!” Willow was crying as well. Surrounded by hitching breaths, scratchy voices and more tears.
“Shut up,” he snapped at the girl in the back, throwing her a box of tissues. “Willow, where is he?” he asked, temper only just reigned, voice brittle.
“With Angel,” Willow replied softly. Xander shut his eyes, felt every part of him frozen. So it was true.
“Tell Spike I’m coming,” he said, stunned, terrified and happy all at once.
“Xander, how have you been? We’re worried about you. You’ve chang …” he hung up.
“Oh,” he whispered. He’d thought he was ready, thought he was used to the idea. Saw Spike’s face, Spike’s lips, all thought left him.
“Heard you were in Africa,” Spike said, eyes sweeping over him.
“Heard you were dead,” Xander shot back.
“Fair enough,” there was smile in his voice now. Xander watched his hand reach out of it’s own accord, touch Spike’s face uncertainly. “Missed you,” he said, blue eyes meeting brown, the world fell away.
“Lost myself out there,” Xander said.
“S’alright. I’ll find you,” words slipped into movement and they were kissing and Xander felt like he could breathe again.
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