30 years in the future - Angel's mansion on Crawford Street

SMASH! "Give it up Xander," Spike said wearily. "It's almost dawn and you're running out of places to go mate." Spike tore down the last of the wood covering the windows of the old mansion. The entire main floor would now be open to the coming day. Spike stood very still and stretched his senses and felt for the presence of his "brother". There he was, Xander was one floor above in Spike's old bedroom. Spike smiled bitterly, how fitting, reminds him of how it all started.

After Buffy's death, Xander had decided that life really was too short to not figure out exactly what you wanted from it. He surprised Spike in his bed at the crypt and blurted out a rather confused declaration of desire.

Xander had then followed up with an enthusiastic and endearingly clumsy attempt at seduction. Spike had been nonplussed, but being a demon took quick advantage of the situation. What followed were several hours of unbridled passion. Spike was delighted. They had ended up in the aftermath whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears, promising
forever and making plans, and as often as Spike has seen how life can rise up and bite you in the arse, he let himself be seduced by Xander's starry-eyed dreams.

They were going to be the Ozzie and Harriet of Sunnydale. With Anya's help, Xander was going to put aside enough money to open his own construction company. Spike was going to help at the magic shop, ordering and researching. They were just going to be your basic all-American couple, Hellmouth style. Xander joked that as soon as they got Dawn off to college they should think about having kids of their own. Spike just laughed at him and said maybe they should try keeping a few plants alive first.

And for a few short months, all their hopes and dreams seemed to come true. They moved in together, had dinner at the witches' place every Sunday, called Giles once a month with an update, and invested their money with Anya. They argued with Dawn about homework and curfews and watched with trepidation her growing interest in boys. They were talking about
buying house.

Then Drusilla came back to Sunnydale.

Spike had sensed her presence as soon as he awoke at sundown. He immediately called the construction site where Xander worked. He hadn't been fast enough. His next call had been to the witches. There was no answer. He found out later it was because Willow was at the hospital with Tara who'd been injured by a hit and run driver. He'd gotten a hold of Anya, explaining and telling her to go pick up Dawn at her friend's house and then he'd gone out hunting. He'd already known he was too late to save Xander. In the following weeks he lost the rest of the Scoobies, one by one, even Giles hadn't been safe. He figured out later that Dru hadn't planned this all herself: the ingenuity and Machiavellian scheming involved showed Darla's cruel hand, but by that point, it hadn't mattered.

Spike brought himself back to the present. This is where it's going to end; justice for Dawn, vengeance for Anya, Tara and Giles, his promise kept to Willow and for Xander and him, for them, there would finally be peace. Spike climbed the stairs, carefully. Xander had shown an incredible amount of wisdom and cunning for a fledgling. Or course, Spike had always known Xander would be no ordinary vampire and Dru was insane but she wasn't stupid. She knew Spike as well as he knew her.

Their game of cat and mouse had taken them all over the world. For thirty years he'd always arrived just that tiny bit too late, sometimes missing them by as little as an hour. That was the problem with trying to catch a clairvoyant, he mused, always one step ahead. However, the balance of power had now shifted permanently. Dru was dead by his hand and he finally had Xander cornered.

"C'mon out luv," he called, stopping at the top of the stairs. "Let's finish it." Xander stepped out into the hallway and Spike tried to swallow past the lump in his throat. Xander was even more beautiful then he'd been the last time Spike saw him. All that awkward boyishness had been transformed to feral grace. His hair was longer, falling around his face in unruly waves. And his eyes Spike laughed despairingly, oh now he knew that they really were windows to the soul, for they were deeper and darker, drawing him into - nothing.

If any confirmation was needed, he had it now; his Xander was well and truly gone.

Xander leaned against the wall and smirked at him. "Hello lover. You look like hell. Dusting Mommy not sit well with you?" Xander stepped closer. "My Spike, you've been a bad doggy" Xander said sounding eerily like Dru.

Spike stood very still as Xander took another step closer reaching out a hand to twist it in the lapel of his duster then suddenly backhanding him across the face. Spike stumbled slightly but kept his balance and grabbing Xander by the throat, slammed him against the wall.

"You and I have never been lovers," Spike snarled.

Xander's eyes dilated, his tongue darting out to lick his lips. "We could be, now that Mommy's gone, we could be anything you want, do anything you want. We could hunt
together and make the Hellmouth ours. We can rule this town. C'mon Spike," Xander breathed, "There's no one who could stop us. You know you want to and it isn't like you can't and don't kill humans. You got rid of those men we sent after you in Cairo neatly enough. What happened, chip finally malfunction?" Xander slipped his hands inside Spike's duster, caressing his hips and pulling them to him as he pushed his own hips forward.

He felt Xander's arousal pressing against him. Spike's hand slipped from Xander's neck. Xander turned his head, reaching his hand up to catch Spike's hand, bringing the palm to his mouth for a kiss. As Spike stared down at Xander's bent head, he felt his eyes fill with tears, memories of Xander kissing his palm just like this in affection, for washing the dishes or taking out the garbage or as Xander used to say, "just for being you." Xander pressed himself harder against Spike.

"Like you said, it's almost dawn, time for bed, yes?" Xander nipped hard at his ear, drawing
blood then darting his tongue out to soothe the bite. Spike swallowed his tears and held Xander closer, whispering in his ear. "No, the chip didn't malfunction. Willow disabled it with a spell. She wasn't quite dead when I found her. You should always make sure of a kill, child.

 The deal was that I kill you and I agreed. You really shouldn't have done that to Dawnie."
Xander tried to jerk back as the thin blade of wood entered his heart and he exploded into dust. "I'm sorry, pet, I should have taken better care of you."

Spike turned and slid down the wall to sit next to the ashes. He could hear the songbirds in the garden outside greeting the dawn and watched as the sunlight began to fill the downstairs, glinting off the chandelier in the entryway. "Pretty," he thought, pulling a small electronic box from the inside pocket of his coat. He flipped up the switch, arming the device. "Love you pet, wherever you are; love you forever," he whispered pressing the switch.

The resulting explosion took out the entire mansion. The official cause was listed as a gas leak. A week later a package arrived at the offices of Angel Investigations addressed to the Owner, Liam, no last name. It contained a cracked porcelain doll and an engagement ring inscribed simply, "Spike loves Xander forever."