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Fooling Yourself

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Spike wanted to hate it. Hate everything about it. He didn’t want to be that again.

But every time the boy turned that smile on him, every time he came home from work with his face full of awe and joy at seeing the vampire, every stolen touch at Scooby meetings, and every time Xander asked if he could tell the others about them, Spike fell a little harder and fought a little less.

---

The book was his undoing. Xander had come home late, a package protectively under his arm. Wordlessly, he handed the paper covered bundle to his vampire before vanishing into the bathroom for his nightly shower.

Spike carefully opened the package, gasping at what he saw. A beautiful, burgundy leather bound writing journal and matching old fashioned fountain pen both with the letters W and S imprinted on them in fine script, the letters seeming to flow into each other, locked together like some abecedarian Gordian knot.

Spike sat stunned, caressing the pages of the book. He didn’t notice Xander return from his shower, or the boy coming up behind him, but the soft hesitant almost fearful words burnt straight to his core.

“You like it?”

“Xan, pet, how could I not?”

Xander ran his warm rough hand over the vampire’s cheek. Spike instantly nuzzled the much loved flesh.

“Why?” The vampire asked after a moment.

Xander shrugged, “Thought you might… I don’t know, have stuff you wanted to write down, you know keep track of.”

His perfect blue eyes filled with tears, “How’d I wind up with you?”

“You stole my heart.”

---

It was the middle of the night, and Spike was sitting at his desk, the dusky light sharpening his fine features as his head bent over his journal, pen moving feverishly across the page. He seldom wrote when Xander was home, and if he did he waited for his lover to fall asleep. Part of him, a part he’d thought long dead, wanted nothing so much as to share his feelings with the young man, share his words, yet that same part of him feared it equally as much.

Then Xander got sick, not injured on patrol or at work, but sick- burning, delusional, terrifyingly sick. The kind of sick that had a 130 year old demon in exigent panic. Every minute of every day, Spike sat with his love, reading to him from the precious journal; letting him hear the words he’d been too afraid to share when his boy was well and would remember. On the fourth day, Xander’s fever broke. On the fifth, he opened his eyes and his first words, “Read it again,” almost shattered the vampire’s heart.

Tonight, in their apartment, in front of a warm and roaring fire, Spike sat, journal and pen in hand, and his love, his Xander, lulling against him, his dark head in his lap.

He hadn’t wanted to be that person. He’d fought it tooth and nail. And he wondered just how much he would have missed if he’d won.