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Gifts Chapter 3
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Chapter 3: Outside

The next few days were almost surreal for Xander. After making sure Spike had eaten, the two men had talked for a little longer and then Xander left, heading straight back to Angel’s office. He had informed the Vampire in no uncertain terms that as a human, Spike was no longer under his control and Xander and Spike would be coming and going as they pleased. He had then gone back to his hotel and called Giles, filling the man in on the ‘developments’ and started making arrangements for more permanent housing for himself here in L.A.

 

The next day, upon his return to Wolfram and Hart, Xander was treated to exactly what it was Spike meant by being ‘haunted by his victims’. Xander entered the apartment to find Spike hunched in a corner, eyes wide and unseeing, desperately trying to fend off an attacker only he could see.  Spike didn’t recognize Xander at all, and worst, for Xander at least, were the tears streaming down Spike’s face as he begged forgiveness from whomever it was tormenting him.  Xander felt sick to his stomach to see the once-proud Vampire reduced to crying at ghosts.  Xander had finally just overpowered Spike, easy to do in his weakened state, bundled the blonde into the bathroom and dumped him under a cold shower.  Spike had sputtered back to consciousness and fixed Xander with an indignant stare.  Xander had left the pissed off man to dry off and change, and when Spike joined him in the living room for pizza and movies; they hadn’t mentioned the episode at all.  When Spike fell asleep halfway into the first movie, Xander just threw a blanket over him and let him sleep, figuring it was the first time in a while that Spike had slept at all.

 

The next couple of days had been spent just hanging out and talking with Spike, making sure he ate at least one meal a day and trying to convince him to leave the building. It was several days before Xander could convince Spike to leave. 

 

Xander remembered that moment with a smile. They had stood at the entrance to a courtyard inside the Wolfram and Hart complex. The courtyard was brick paved and sunny, studded with small leafy trees and benches, but surrounded by buildings on all sides, quiet and private. Spike was nervous and Xander relaxed. It was a typically sunny and hot L.A. day, and Xander just stood there in the courtyard while Spike ventured into the sunlight for the first time in over a century and a half.  The beautiful smile on Spike’s face as he sat in the sunlight brought tears to Xander’s eyes. Of course, later on they were tears of laughter when, after barely two hours in the sun, Spike came in with a sunburn on his nose.

 

So now, a week later, they had progressed to being out among people. They stood at the entryway to Wolfram and Hart, with Xander waiting patiently and Spike eyeing the crowded sidewalks anxiously.  They were walking to a nearby café that Xander had chosen for its laid-back atmosphere and outside seating. Xander had something important to ask Spike, and he wasn’t sure how the blonde would react to it.

 

After several minutes of nervous fidgeting from Spike, Xander finally just grabbed Spike’s hand in his and stepped out onto the sidewalk. Once they were in the crowd, Spike didn’t have any choice but to move with the flow of people. As they walked, Spike seemed to calm down and begin to take in his surroundings, but Xander figured the ex-Vampire was still nervous. The fact that Spike kept a firm hold on Xander’s hand was a pretty good clue. They finally reached the café and Xander led them inside, asking the waitress for an outside table. Once they were seated and food had been ordered, Xander relaxed back in his seat and eyed Spike. He was still very gaunt looking, and the circles under his eyes hadn’t improved at all. “Spike, haven’t you been sleeping lately?”

 

Spike shrugged, “I told you before, I don’t sleep much ‘cuz of the voices.”

 

“That might explain why every time I bring a movie over, you fall asleep within the first thirty minutes.  And here I thought I was just making bad movie choices.”

 

Spike kept his eyes on the table. “The, um, the voices aren’t really loud when you’re around.”

 

Xander wasn’t sure he heard the other man correctly. “What do you mean?”

 

“I mean, that when we hang out, the voices shut the hell up for a bit, and the only time I can really sleep is when they quiet down.”

 

That shocked Xander a bit, but it gave him the perfect opening for his big question. “Spike, look, this may sound weird, but I have something I wanted to ask you.”

 

“Sure mate.”

 

Now it was Xander’s turn to fidget. “The council needs me here in L.A. for a while, so they got me an apartment. It’s too big for just me, really. It’s got two bedrooms and lots of space, anyway, I really don’t think being at that law firm is good for you, and seeing how we’ve lived together before and we’re friends now, I wondered if you wanted to move in with me?”

 

Spike looked a little stunned as he tried to translate the onrush of Xander babble. Finally he blinked at Xander in confusion. “Let me get this straight. You think we’re friends? You want us to live together?”

 

Xander nodded.

 

“And this isn’t some sort of ‘keep an eye on the insane Vampire’ council plot?”

 

Xander shook his head, “Nope, Giles doesn’t even know I’m asking you. He suggested I turn the second room into a library and research room.”

 

Spike laughed, “Yeah, like that would happen. You having a research room?”

 

“That’s what I told him!”

 

The men shared a smile.  “So, you really think we’re friends, then?”

 

Xander grinned at the blonde, “Yup. Wanna be roomies too?”

 

Spike nodded. “Sure mate, that’d be great.  Anything to not have peaches barging into my room every day, accusing me of something or other.”

 

The food arrived and they began to eat. About halfway through the meal Spike put down his fork and looked seriously at Xander. “So, Harris, if we’re friends then, can I ask you something?”

 

“Um, sure Spike, what?”

 

Spike took a deep breath.  “I was wondering, since I’m human now, it just feels kinda weird to go by Spike. I mean it feels like I’m pretending to be something I’m not.” He gestured to his clothing, a pair of blue jeans and a dark gray tee-shirt. “I’m trying to make a new start of it, clothes in colors other than black, not bleaching my hair…I think that looking in the mirror and seeing Spike the Vampire would be too much of a reminder of what I lost by becoming human, not that Vampire’s have reflections, but I do, now, so anyway, I guess what I’m asking is, wouldyoucallmeWillinstead?”

 

“Wow, good babble there. Looks like Willow and I rubbed off on you.”  Xander smiled reassuringly at Spike, now Will. “Will it is then. What’s the matter, was William too poncy?”

Will laughed, “Definitely too poncy.”

Chapter 4

Gifts Main Page

Chapter 2

 

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