Word Count: 647
Prompt: 22 (slash100)/ 30 (fanfic100) DEATH
WARNING: Please pay attention to the prompt!
Notes: This is NOT what I planned to write for this prompt, but apparently Spike and Xander had another idea. I don't normally post my drabbles to my webpage, but this one is good enough that I thought it was worth it.

Rage Against the Dying of the Light


"Oh, no, Xander. Please no!" Spike cradled Xander, ignoring the blood running down his face.

Xander coughed weakly, hand coming up to trace the blade embedded in his gut. "Hey, Spike."

Spike lifted his head. "Yes, luv?"

"Did we kill 'im?"

Spike looked over at the body of the latest big bad, and then at Buffy and Willow, both of whom were crying. "We killed him good, pet. Just - just hold on, yeah?" Then he yelled at the girls. "Did one of you call for a bloody ambulance?"

Willow jumped, startled, but she pulled out a phone and that's all Spike cared about. Buffy knelt down next to Spike. "Hey, Xander. You did real good."

Xander chuckled roughly. "No, I didn't, but thanks for saying so." His eyes grew unfocused and the light that Spike knew and loved so much faded.

"Xander! Don't you dare! I'll - I'll ruin your tapes! Drink blood out of your mug! Don't you dare die on me!" Spike cradled Xander gently, in direct opposition the harshness of his words.

Willow joined the small circle. "An ambulance is on its way." She rested her hands over Spike's. "He'll get through this. He has to."

Spike didn't say anything, just nodded and squeezed Xander a little tighter. He fought down the sob struggling to break free from his throat. He'd seen enough mortal wounds over the years to know that this was one, but it was possible for a miracle. That's all he had and he clung to it tightly.

The ambulance pulled up in a blaze of lights and sirens, and Spike reluctantly surrendered his lover to the paramedics. The language that they used was unfamiliar, but the word that Spike locked on to was pulse.

Xander still had a pulse. With that, he sat down on the ground with a thump. Maybe god would give him what he needed so badly.

"Do any of you want to ride with him?"

Spike wanted - oh, how he wanted - but he didn't think he could handle watching and not able to do anything, so he waved Willow on and started walking.

By the time he and Buffy got to the hospital, Xander was already in surgery. Willow sat in the waiting room, pale and shaking.

"Wills?" asked Buffy.

"He stopped breathing on the way here. The ambulance guys don't think he's going to make it."

Spike stood frozen for a long moment, then spun and punched the wall. It had always been a given that Xander was going to die before him, but he should have had years before he had to contemplate losing him.

Neither Willow nor Buffy moved to interfere as Spike punched the wall and then again. The fourth time, one of the nurses came out. "Sir, please stop. You're not going to help your friend if you hurt yourself."

Spike wanted to ignore her, but he could hear Xander's voice mocking him in his head. So, he obediently stopped and sat down next to Willow. She immediately leaned her head against his shoulder and sniffled like a little girl. Not knowing what else to do, he patted her back awkwardly.

He lost track of how long they sat like that. The squeak of the ER doctor's tennis shoes brought him shooting to his feet, his heart in his throat.

One look was all it took.

As the doctor muttered meaningless platitudes, Spike jittered and fidgeted. Finally, he broke in and asked, "Can I see 'im?"

"Of course." As the doctor led his way back to the bed containing his broken lover, Spike swallowed his grief. Time for that later, in private.

Xander looked small and pale, and Spike found himself listening hard for the familiar sound of his heart.

A sound he'd never hear again and would hear in his dreams for the rest of his life.

The End

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