Another day is going by
I’m thinking about you all the time
But you’re out there
And I’m here waiting
And I wrote this letter
In my head, because so many things were left unsaid
But now you’re gone, and I can’t think straight
I’d do anything
Just to hold you in my arms
Try to make you laugh
Somehow I can’t put you in the past
I’d do anything just to fall asleep with you
Will you remember me?
Because I know I won’t forget you
~ Lyrics by Simple Plan
The rest of him wasn’t in very good shape, either. His mouth was bone-dry, and his limbs had the coordination of an elephant in a tutu. His stomach was weak with hunger. Worst of all his ailments, however, was that he was completely, utterly sober.
He had taken the rest of his Vicadin that morning, he remembered. He had drifted in limbo for a few hours, not thinking about Xander, not thinking about pain. Not hurting. He had slowly slipped off to sleep, and slept heavily, his dead body trying to clear the toxins he’d put in it through the past week. Now, though, his body was clean, his mind was clear, and he hurt. He stood, shaking his head to try and ward off the residual hangover, knowing it was useless. He could feel that it was dusk, and by the time he got to a sewer exit, it would be dark enough for him to go and steal some more money, get some more alcohol, blood, and Vicadin, which was all he wanted right now. He wanted the sweet nothingness that the drug and the alcohol offered him, and he wanted it fast.
If he waited too long, he’d go insane, thinking of Xander. Xander’s tears, Xander’s pain, Xander’s sweet, gentle smile, his warm skin, his generous heart, his…Spike stopped himself before he could start to cry. Spike just wanted to see Xander. He just wanted to taste his lips again, feel his skin, make things right. Spike just wanted to be with Xander, to go back…He just wanted to get to the surface, get money, and get what he wanted.
Xander didn’t react when Julia entered. She came with a small bottle, and smiled a greeting at Cordelia. It was time for her daily session with Xander, though she knew at this point she wasn’t doing much good. Xander needed a breakthrough, but he wasn’t willing to work for one. She knew it was because Spike had left. Spike’s leaving had affected all of them. Even Marge was depressed, missing Spike’s visits, where they would play cards, and she would tell him stories of her children, her late husband, her grandparents.
Xander was the most affected, of course. He had barely moved since Spike’s departure. Julia knew it was time to take the next step, and had come prepared with a bottle of Valium, which she had prescribed for Xander. She didn’t want to take the chance and prescribe Thorazine, knowing that the drug would only keep Xander practically unconscious. She knew that with the constant vigilance of his friends…his family, he wasn’t a danger to himself or others, and so the more potent drug was unnecessary. The Valium, she felt, was.
“Hi, Julia,” Cordelia greeted her with a sad smile.
“Good afternoon, Cordelia. How’s Xander feeling today?” Julia directed the question at no one in particular, hoping Xander would answer for himself. After a short pause, Cordelia sighed sadly and responded.
“Xander’s fine. He’s feeling pretty lazy today, again, but he’s fine.” There was a slight bite in Cordelia’s voice, as though she were annoyed with Xander’s choice to lay immobile. Julia couldn’t blame her for her reaction, because it was indeed Xander’s choice not to get up. The depression was a major factor, but Xander wasn’t even attempting to come back from it. Julia shared a supportive glance with Cordelia as the brunette stood, leaving Julia alone in the room with Xander.
“Good afternoon, Xander. How are you feeling?” There was no response, nor did Julia expect one. In the weeks since Xander’s suicide attempt, these hour long sessions had become a one-way conversation. All Julia could do was talk, and hope Xander listened to her words, and thought about them. Somehow, though, she couldn’t help but think that Xander thought of nothing but Spike.
Spike handed the shady-looking dealer his cash, and the man grinned with feral glee before handing over the rather large cache of large white ovals. Spike had robbed twice as many demons this time, killing all of them, and winding up with a large sum of money. He had bought the chicken’s blood first, drank it cold and headed into a liquor store. He bought several bottles of Mad Dog, because it was so cheap, and filled his duster pockets with small bottles of potent, expensive liquors. Next, he had come here, and bought the Vicadin. He had paid for 30 of the pills, and he suspected that would be enough for now. The dealer had given him a discount because of the large amount he had purchased, and Spike turned on one heel without a word, heading on his way. He wasn’t going to stay in L.A. anymore. He was leaving the country.
Spike knew he couldn’t be on the same half of the earth as Xander and not go insane with wanting him back. He had to get as far away as he could, or he wouldn’t be able to stay away. Above all else, he knew he had to stay away.
Spike wasn’t sure where he was going, other than that he was going to Europe. He thought he might visit home. He hadn’t been to England in years.
Spike popped one of the pills in his mouth, washing it down with a hefty swig of vodka from one of the smaller bottles he had shoplifted. He continued to walk and drink. When his head and heart were feeling lighter, he smiled. Yes, he might just go home to England.
“You need to make sure the pills are never, ever left alone with him,” Julia instructed her captive audience. The bottle of Valium was sitting in the middle of the kitchen table. Buffy was upstairs keeping Xander company, but the rest of the group was listening to Julia carefully.
“If it’s so dangerous, why are you even giving it to him?” Gunn asked. Wesley placed a hand on his arm to quiet his lover.
“Xander’s depression is very deep. Taken properly, the Valium will do a great deal to help him. If Xander were to misuse the medication, however, he’ll most likely be able to do what he couldn’t do by jumping off the roof.” Julia’s harsh words widened several eyes in the room, but she had made her point. The medication was to be carefully monitored.
“How is he doing, Julia?” Angel asked quietly.
“He’s…he’s not improving, which isn’t a good sign. Granted, he’s not really getting any worse, which is a good sign. Basically, for now, it’s touch and go.”
“Will he be okay?” Willow asked fearfully, Tara’s hand crushed within her nervous grip.
“I honestly don’t know,” Julia answered truthfully, wishing she could tell the redhead what she so desperately needed to hear.
Spike stepped off the boat. He had been traveling for days. He’d stowed away on a freighter, subsisting on rats and pilfered alcohol through the trip. His first thought was to find more alcohol. He went into a liquor store, put several bottles in the pockets of his duster, and left, breaking into a run when he heard the clerk shout after him. He ran for blocks, his speed and agility still present, though muddled by the damage he had already done with alcohol and drugs.
When he stopped, he was shaking. He had run out of Vicadin several days before, and he was craving the oblivion now. He strode through the streets, downing one of the bottles he had stolen as he searched for a place where he could buy more. Finally he came upon a dealer, and scared the man into giving up several of the pills by snarling through his game face. He downed three of them, drinking vodka to wash them down, and continued walking.
He spent the next few days in a drunken stupor, not bothering to eat, existing for the drugs and alcohol he had stolen. He had one bottle left when he began walking, looking for another liquor store and another drug dealer to hit up for more.
He walked for hours, until he spotted the man. He hadn’t really expected to run into him, and the sight was a slight shock. The alcohol and Vicadin brought a little courage into his step, and he followed the man to a small duplex.
The man entered with a key, and Spike loitered for an hour or so, drinking more of the vodka. By the time he weaved his way up to the blue door, he was more than a little drunk. The drugs pumped through his system, making his vision blur and his feet unsteady. He lumbered ungracefully up the steps, and stood at the door for a few moments. He laid his head on the cool door, rolling his forehead against the wood. He smiled slightly at the rough feel of it, and tried to raise his hand to knock. It wouldn’t lift, however, so he brought his foot back and kicked out with his Doc, connecting solidly. He repeated the motion twice more, then waited, his head still resting on the door.
The door swung open, and Spike was left leaning against the invisible barrier keeping him from entering.
“Spike…” said the man, his grey eyes revealing shock, and Spike knew he was the last person in the world this man expected to see. “Come in,” the man finally said.
“Hi, Rupes,” Spike slurred drunkenly. He promptly lost consciousness, his body falling straight forward through the threshold, his face landing soundly on the carpet in the foyer of the little flat.
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Next Chapter - "Somewhat Damaged"