Title: Late to the Party
Everything seems to come later here. Heís not sure if itís the fact that the day lasts so long or just that heís certain he should have done this years ago. Either way, he feels late to the party.
Spike runs a finger down Xanderís arm, he loves the way the air here makes the boy sticky to the touch. He laughs to himself, Xander doesnít get the joke because Spikeís not said a word. His lover is hardly a boy now is he? Battle scarred, leaner now that the final vestiges of boyhood have been cast aside. Spike tries to remember the boy he knew decades ago, the memory is not forthcoming. He thinks maybe thatís not such a bad thing. Revisiting youthful friendships isnít something he enjoys doing.
Itís easier to forget they knew each other at all in their former lives. Easier to pretend that he was never a vampire, never considered feeding from the man laying beside him now. He laughs again, takes Xanderís hand in a gesture more possessive than tender. No, he doesnít see any of the boy now, just longish hair, slight bleaching from the African sun leaving a golden hue on once brown locks. The humidity in the air presses loose curls against his neck. Spike wants to taste the moisture that lingers in every laugh line. Itís funny to see the first hints of crowís feet around those eyes, odd to think of them aging, hard to picture Xander looking older than himself.
Sometimes when he sleeps the heavy weight of Xanderís leg wrapping around him gives Spike a panic. He has thoughts of suffocating and he wakes expecting to find himself buried in an alley full of dead bodies, dead beasts, dead friends. For a century and a half heís sure he never forgot how to breathe, now he struggles to remember.
The temptation to save the day when the humans canít is still there. He hates those days. This body, steadily growing weaker no matter how many weights he lifts, miles he runs, swords he brings down. He thinks he might be forty now. He decides thatís a good age to be, he likes the thought of being a year younger than Xander. Heís even a year younger than her now. Wherever she is. He doesnít ask, Xander doesnít say. He knows sheís alive, thatís enough for now.
Thereís a look of sadness on Xanderís face, like maybe he is the seer after all, reading his thoughts. That canít be it, Spike decides, if he were the seer, Xander would know thereís no regret there now. There was regret, and pain, about a lot of things, but in his own way Spike is happy to be here. He kisses under sweaty curls, laughs at the cross Xander wears around his neck. So many years, he thinks.
The bed is surrounded by thick layers of mosquito netting, the lanterns casting a sort of orange glow throughout the room, shadows play on the walls giving the room a crowded feel. His every move is echoed on the walls now. Arching back, bending head, fingers entwined. Spike listens carefully, expecting to hear their moans echoed into the Savannah night, but the sounds here are only theirs. The sadness is gone from Xanderís face now. He whispers quietly at first, words of encouragement, little pained sounds as Spike grips him too hard, reminders that they are only human. Spike laughs again and watches as his shadow self mimics the movement, shoulders shaking as he leans down and kisses the still figure below him.
This time Xander gets the joke, shares in the laugh as he kisses back, arms slipping around Spikeís waist and tracing over each muscle. Fingers trail over the evidence of their hearty diet, soft skin, no bones showing here now. Spike likes the feel of it, is glad for the extra weight, glad his invitation wasnít lost in the mail. Glad he made the party, even if it was a little later than expected.