by Gypsy Gray
Dawn came and went, and still Xander couldn't sleep. Spike knew his lover well enough to leave the younger man in peace, but the bed they were sharing was so empty without him. Spike discovered that he could no longer sleep without his mate beside him.
"I'm alright. Just thinking things over."
"Thinking about the watcher."
"Yes. After it happened, after he hurt me, for awhile I wanted to die. Then I wanted him to die. But through all of it, I knew if he just said he was sorry I'd forgive him. How fucking pathetic is that?"
The vampire rose from the bed and moved to kneel on the floor in front of his lover's chair. Putting his hands on the warlock knees, Spike waited until they were looking in each other's eyes.
"You were hurt and lonely, and he used that. That's not pathetic, that's cruel. And that you have a heart capable of forgiving those you care for is an amazing thing. The Xander Giles hurt was a frightened, abused, young boy, who was desperate for someone to care about him. You're not him anymore. You are one of the strongest, bravest, most beautiful men I've ever known."
"So Xander Harris really is dead."
"No luv, he just grew up. You were always apart of him. He'd never have survived here otherwise. But now you know that what those fools out there say doesn't mean dick. You know you're strong, and you know that I love you. I will never hurt you or leave you. And Wes and Oz love you too. And we all need you. We're you're family Xander. We take care of each other. You have us now, you don't need any of them."
"I know that. The truth is I was afraid. I thought seeing Giles again might stir things up. And when he apologized...."
"You're still in love with him."
"No. The thing is I didn't feel anything. I thought I'd be less angry after he said he was sorry, but I'm not. What difference does it make if he apologizes now. He still did what he did. He still hurt me and used me. Saying "I'm sorry" doesn't fix anything. My entire life was changed by what he did to me. And what's really wild is, while I'm still pissed off at him, I can't wish it never happened. Cause if it hadn't....I wouldn't have you. And you're worth anything I have to go through. Because of all this I have you for my mate and Wes and Oz for my family. If Giles hadn't fucked up my life, it wouldn't be as good as it is now."
"Well, don't expect me to thank him. Tell you what Kitten, I won't rip his heart out and eat it before he dies. That sound fair to you?"
"Good. Now come to bed. I need a snuggle."
Xander's laughter was one of Spike's favorite sounds. It was always a good thing when he could make his mate laugh. The warlock didn't do it anywhere near often enough. The lover's did indeed spend the rest of the day snuggling. It was, after all, the second best thing to do in bed. The first could wait for sunset when they knew the Scooby-gang was awake to be weirded out. It was so much fun watching Buffy the prude and her morality club squirm. Now if they could just keep Oz from staking Angel.