All Your Scars
Gentle alabaster fingertips ghosted across silvery white lines, tracing ancient, evil patterns forever marring warm, bronzed skin. Gentle bronze fingers mirrored the pattern on cool, alabaster skin, sketching from memory the shapes that had long defied physical detection. But the same marks were on bronze skin, being traced by alabaster fingers, and bronze fingers knew the characters intimately.
“Strange, isn’t it?” A honey-warm voice cut through the quiet whisper of skin against skin.
A deeper, accented voice filled the gap. “What’s strange?”
“That my scars are still there. Yours aren’t.”
A sudden flash of memory, a stark, white bathroom, a gray robe, a pair of shackles, cruel laughter from a blonde or two, and Spike smiled grimly.
“My scars are there.”
“I mean, there’s one here,” Xander replied, fingertips brushing the Y-shaped scar on his lover’s left eyebrow. “But it’s the only one I can see.”
Spike lifted his hand from Xander’s chest, from the silver hieroglyphics on his skin, to run his fingernails against the thin black strap of leather. Xander’s face tensed, and Spike’s hand brushed down, to a rounded cheek. “We’ve all got scars, love.”
“Yeah. But you’re never-gonna-die-guy. Your scars don’t hang around.”
“They do. You just don’t get to see them.”
“Your skin…it’s smooth. Perfect.” Xander’s fingers caressed the ridges of Spike’s developed abdomen, and Spike’s skin goose-pimpled in their wake. “Not me. I’ve got battle scars.”
“Caleb,” Spike said, brushing his fingernails against the black leather eyepatch again. His fingers trailed up to Xander’s hairline. Sudden flash of a microscope smashing down, held in his own white hand, and Spike outlined the paler line there. “Me.” Fingers back down, not dwelling on the implications that he had given Xander a scar or two, knowing from the sadness in Xander’s eye that he had no particular desire to dwell there, either. Xander’s chest, Spike’s fingers back in their original setting. “Demon-lady.” Over to Xander’s left arm, and the fact that almost all of Xander’s asymmetrical scars were on the left side of his body filtered through Spike’s brain. He traced the tiny incision-scar there. “This?”
“Broken arm. Troll-God.”
Pale fingers ghosting down. Appendix scar, a little pinker than the other scars. Down his body, a strange scar on his left hip that Spike had noticed before but never asked about. “This?”
Spike knew that didn’t make any sense, but he knew what Xander was saying anyway. Less-than-sober, not-perfect parents, and Xander didn’t really remember how the scar had happened, couldn’t place the times his parents had maybe or maybe not hit him, but always, always knew what he’d told other people when they’d asked about the injuries. Spike kissed the silvery line and moved to hands, several small scars, and he raised a questioning eyebrow.
“Work. Being a slayer-groupie.”
Down further, to a knee cap with a long, white line, and Spike traced it back and forth a few times before raising his eyes. “This?”
“Fell off my bike.”
“Really?” Did you really fall off your bike, or is this another doorknob injury? Spike wanted to ask. He couldn’t ask, couldn’t admit that when he thought of Xander’s childhood injuries he always had to force himself not to wonder if they hadn’t come about with a raised fist or a broken bottle. Always had to force himself to pretend that the wondering didn’t bother him.
“Really.” And just like that, a twisted image of an angry father, breath like whiskey and eyes like fire, wielding a tire iron at his 6-year-old was replaced with a 6-year-old Xander, cruising down the street, squealing with laughter until he looked away from his path and slid across pavement. Willow’s mom bandaging him up and kissing it better, because as optimistic as Spike could be, he couldn’t see Jessica Harris kissing Xander’s boo-boos.
Sharp white line across the top of Xander’s right foot, and Spike smiled because this one, single scar was on the right. “This?”
“Dropped a box on it. When we were moving Buffy back into Joyce’s, when Joyce was sick.”
It should have ruined the mood, should have brought them both down, but they’d both survived too much of the hellmouth, seen too much, lost too much, and they both knew that you didn’t lose things if you lived, if you kept them close to your heart and held them there, and went on with your life, living each day like your last. Because every day of the past 8 years could have been Xander’s last. Many of them almost were.
Spike’s hands gently kneading muscle up Xander’s calves, thighs, waist, biceps, till his mouth is close enough to chastely kiss Xander. Xander sighed into the kiss, smiling gently up at Spike.
“Love you, Xan. You an’ all your scars.”
“What are yours?”
Dru gone, hating him, Angelus gone, cast out and casting out, white bathroom, Cecily laughing at him, Xander…
And he can’t tell Xander all of that. That his scars are inside, deep jabs in his heart, long slices in his gut, that some of them come from the Scooby Gang, some from Xander himself. Fangless. Useless. Impotent.
That the only scars on the outside… the scar on his eyebrow, silver and harsh, and a few faint traces of paler skin on his back, almost indiscernible unless you looked too closely, close enough to see large patches where skin was split open, marred and bled, from whatever Angelus had handy, really, the first few years in England.
He never was much for rules.
“Where you can’t see ‘em.”
“And you don’t have to tell me?” Xander guessed, wisdom in his eye that surpassed every other 23-year-old Spike had ever known. Xander was the one who saw things. Caleb had gotten it right. Tried to hurt him with it, but Xander didn’t see with his eyes. He saw with his heart. That was why he saw everything.
“You gonna tell me all your inner scars?”
Spike could see in his eye the monologue of those scars coming back to haunt him. Buffy rejecting him, being the one to pick up doughnuts, not going to college, Anya. And those were only the ones that he knew about. He didn’t know the other ones, hidden under the surface, wrapped tightly in a box labeled “Things We Do Not Talk About”.
Another kiss, this time less chaste, because Spike knew if he didn’t get this show on the road he’d be chasing scars all night, and be morose all day, thinking about the scars and his soul and how if it weren’t for the soul he wouldn’t have this lovely boy in bed with him, chasing scars.
And apparently Xander was willing to let the conversation float to the ground, perhaps to be picked up in bits and pieces on other nights, filling in the blank spaces they’d both left, because he was kissing back, sipping at Spike’s lips lovingly, and letting his hands roam over Spike’s back, unknowingly tracing the physical scars marring Spike’s skin, the ones Xander had never mentioned, and Spike couldn’t tell if he’d looked close enough to see them or not.
Gentle kisses progressed, and soon their hunger grew into heavy passion, until they were both moaning as Xander’s slick fingers stretched Spike’s entrance, Spike writhing on top of him, cocks rubbing together deliciously. Scars were forgotten, lost in the haze of lust, and Spike moaned when he finally sunk down, pressing Xander inside of him, filling the empty void that those scars left, and he marveled at the fact that only Xander seemed able to fill those scars, when Xander was inside him, and he wondered if it was like that for Xander, when Spike was inside him. Then he didn’t wonder anymore because he was slowly riding, taking Xander into him again and again, hot friction and slick stretching.
Fingers linked, and pressed against Xander’s chest, so that Spike’s fingers danced with his movements, tracing the ancient markings there involuntarily, fingering the pale scars.
And then Xander was thrusting up to meet him, cock pounding into him, jerking within him, coating him inside, filling in his scars like putty in the cracks of a foundation, and Spike’s own cock was spurting, covering Xander’s chest, covering and filling in the scars that lay there.
Spike was panting, resting his forehead on Xander’s, as they stared deeply into one another, spent and shocked, emotions brimming and nearly unbearable.
“I love you, Spike,” Xander whispered, and suddenly Spike could feel those scars re-emerging, like they hadn’t been filled, spackled, sanded away. Because Xander couldn’t…couldn’t know, everything in him, everything he felt and thought, and couldn’t love him unless he knew. Couldn’t really love him.
“You and your scars.”
And just like that, they were filled in again, warm and soft. Loved.
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