Xander took out a sheet of paper, wrote "Regrets" in big, bold words across the top and drew a line underneath. His life was full of regrets, mostly regrets other people had about him.
Number one: his father regretted drinking away the money for an abortion.
Two, his mother regretted not figuring out that whole clothes hanger thing till it was too late.
Three, his father regretted not figuring out a punch to the stomach was as good as an abortion and cost less. That was how their second child went away.
Four, both of his parents regretted not sending him on a paper route sooner. Kids were doing it at ten these days and they'd waited until he was thirteen. Would have saved them three years of paying for clothes from the Salvation Army had they known.
Five, when he was drunk Xander's father regretted holding back. He could have been rid of the kid a lot sooner instead of waiting until Xander was old enough to live on his own.
Six, Spike regretted not figuring it out sooner. He'd known Xander almost a full year before he realized that not all of his bruises were caused by patrolling.
Seven, Buffy, Giles, Willow, Tara, Angel, Oz, Cordelia. Each of them regretted not noticing before Spike did. They'd known him for so long and never paid attention. In the end it was Spike, the only one held outside of their little group, a part of the team but not a friend, who got Xander to admit what was going on.
Eight, this one was the first of Xander's. He regretted not seeing that there were people that cared.
Nine, Xander regretted not figuring out that he could have left at any time. Giles had offered first, as had Joyce, but in the end he'd moved into Spike's crypt. Actually, the vampire had insisted. He'd put up quite a fuss when Xander tried to argue but it had been as inexorable as rain falling from the sky. It was going to happen sooner or later so might as well make it sooner and drop all the fuss.
Ten, Spike regretted waiting two bloody years before he made a move, all the time doubting that Xander liked him back.
Eleven, Xander regretted waiting two years before he jumped Spike, shoved them both on the bed and told Spike to 'fuck me, already, or I'm leaving'. So Spike had and that was two years wasted when they could have been having mad-passionate monkey sex. Or something like that.
Xander looked up with a smile, leaning back into the chest hovering behind his chair. "Just writing a few things down."
Spike glanced at the list and Xander let him. The vampire opened his mouth to say something, a frown creasing his features. Xander stopped it with a kiss. "It's part of a spell," he explained. Spike shot him a worried look. Magic never had gone over too well with him after the whole power-happy Willow thing but Xander smiled softly as he amended his statement. "Kinda. Not really a spell. It's one of those girly 'ooo, look I'm a witch, here's a fake love spell' kind of things Willow found on the internet. She thought it might make me feel better… about things."
The look on the vampire's face said that Spike didn't quite believe him but was willing to go along with it. "Wot's the paper do?"
Xander's smile widened and he nuzzled into the cold neck above him. "You write down all the regrets you have on the piece of paper, fold it up, and then burn it over a candle. The online thingy said to use a white candle but Willow said it doesn't really matter what color the candle is as long as it means good things to me."
"'It means good things'?" Spike looked skeptical.
Leaning up, Xander kissed Spike softly. "She means as long as I like the color."
"Ah, right. You done?" Spike waved a hand at the list.
Xander read through it once. "Yeah, pretty much."
"Good. Then let's make with the burning so we can make with the shagging, eh, luv?"
That brought a laugh and Xander smiled, folding the piece of paper carefully. "I'd like that, Spike. I'd like that."