Someday you'll need to stand tall again (emella) wrote,
Someday you'll need to stand tall again


Title: Crying
Author: Emella
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Xander/Spike, Xander/Anya
Summary: Sometimes Xander cries.
Timeline: Post Chosen. Spoilers for seasons 5-7
Notes: I wrote this at 5:30 in the am, BEFORE going to bed, so I’m thinking it might not be the best. I hope it’s ok. I hope it makes sense. Let me know if it sucks. Please? :D
Notes 2: One Shot.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything but some of the plot.


Sometimes Xander cried.

He did it at the oddest times. He had been standing in the produce section of the grocery store, a week after his last battle, shopping for fruit and had started crying. He must have looked crazy. A guy with an eye patch holding a bunch of grapes and crying.

The tears slid down his face in silence. He had lost the eye, but his eye still teared up and even though he was uncomfortable he just stood there.

Anya had loved grapes. She ate them almost every day. Sometimes for breakfast, with some toast or a bagel. Sometimes he would watch her make her lunch in the mornings, a ham sandwich, cheese-itz, and some grapes. She didn’t usually have them for dinner; but once in a while she snacked on them.

Xander didn’t like grapes. When he was 9 Jesse had convinced him they were shark eyeballs, the purple ones anyway. Xander still didn’t eat them after he found out they weren’t.

He had bought them once before, out of habit. After they had split and she had moved out of his apartment. He got home to his empty, lonely apartment and was unpacking the groceries when he noticed he had bought them. He had cried then too. But not for Anya, or the grapes.

Two weeks had gone by after the hell mouth had closed and he had cried rivers for Anya. He had stopped two days ago. The tears wouldn’t come anymore.

So now, he sat in a bar at LAX next to Giles waiting for a flight out. All the potentials-turned-slayers had been sent off, the last one leaving yesterday morning, heading for Canada.

They were all at the airport now. Giles and he were in the bar, drinking, watching a baseball game on the bar TV.

Faith and Wood had flown to Cleveland an hour before, to set up shop on the next hell mouth.

Buffy and Dawn were asleep by the gate, waiting for their flight to Spain, to meet up with their dad. They didn’t have to be anywhere for a while, so they were heading away from the pressures of life.

Willow was reading a thick psychology book, trying not to fall asleep. Kennedy lay next to her, head on Willow’s Shoulder, text messaging on her cell phone. They were headed to Peru, A shaman there had some wisdom Willow wanted to siphon.

Andrew was sitting nervously a few feet away, wringing his hands in anticipation of the flight. He was heading to England with Giles and he was going on his first ever flight. As it turns out a lot of Sunnydale kids didn’t leave California. Out of all of there group, Willow was the only one to leave, once when she was 7 to go to Disney world, and again last year to England.

Xander was headed to New York, after his company had shut down his boss had pulled him aside and recommended he talk to a guy he knew about an interview. A big-wig in NYC that wanted someone to oversee the building of a small office complex. Xander got the job and was heading off to start his life.

When he turned to say something to Giles he nearly choked. Spike was standing twenty feet away, his back to them talking to a man at a small table. When the guy in the Leather coat turned though, Xander was disappointed to see someone completely different.

What were the chances he would have bleached hair and a long duster too? And when the man to Xander’s left lit up a familiar smelling cigarette, Xander tried not to cry.

He quietly headed for the restroom and tried not to let anyone see him on the way. He slumped against the inside of the stall and swallowed, trying to push back the sadness, forming like a rock in his stomach.

He had been missing Spike for two years. It had been long before he had gotten his soul. Though he did miss the banter and quick wit they had used to battled back and forth. He also missed the games of pool at the Bronze and the soccer matches on TV. He missed the curses and name-callings, the booze and smirks. He missed breathing in cigarette smoke and leather.

But most of all he missed Spike’s smile. That little one he got after Xander said something genuinely amusing. Or that laugh he made when Xander fell on his ass hilariously during patrol.

He missed how Spike always tasted of nicotine, cinnamon, and something metallic that made him uniquely Spike. He missed the hurried kisses in the training room at the magic box, the clumsy groping they did after patrols.

He missed his lover.

The summer when Buffy was gone things were rough. Anya had been hospitalized with problems in her legs and Dawn was a wreck. Giles had sunk into a heavy depression, drinking his troubles away. Willow was grieving for Buffy harder than anyone. That’s how she dealt with things, cried and yelled and then got back to normal. It wasn’t a drawn out process like with everyone else. Tara was concentrating on her and Dawn.

Xander, on the other hand, didn’t heal so easily. He hadn’t really cried, except at the funeral. He had gone to work, made sure everything was cared for, made sure everyone was cared for. Four and a half weeks after she died he was at a bar downtown, trying to get drunk. There were only three bars besides Willy’s and the bronze. Two of which were dodgy, one was a biker bar, and the other a gay bar. Xander went for the third option, the bar middle aged dad’s went to and drank too much so they didn’t have to face their families.

Three beers, two shots, and a glass of whiskey later, Spike stumbled in. He’d glanced around and then settled next to Xander and they drowned their sorrows together. Xander told Spike about Anya, and then Spike told Xander about all the demons coming to town.

When Spike began to talk about Buffy Xander didn’t cringe or object. And later when Xander collapsed into sobs and tears at having to hold everything in, Spike had kissed him and told him it would be ok.

They had stood in an alley beside the bar and kissed and cried. Solace and comfort. They didn’t talk about it after. Two days later Xander showed up at Spike’s crypt and they took comfort in each other’s bodies, it shouldn’t be called pleasure if your best friend just died.

Time and time again they found themselves drawn to each other and they pretended it didn’t happen. Xander was engaged to Anya on the outside and Spike was grieving Buffy. Nearly three months they were together, in secret, in corners, hidden away from prying eyes.

When they brought Buffy back it was different. Spike was too upset and had insisted that when Xander lost someone he loved like that, he’d know how it felt to be him, and he would wish he could bring them back. But Xander wouldn’t be able to, he couldn’t just play god and Spike was angry that Xander didn’t tell him. Was angry that he had healed and Xander had dug up the pain again, dug up the tears. They fought, and weren’t together again.

So when Xander started to cry in the men’s room at LAX he knew what Spike had felt. He knew why they hadn’t been together. Why he could cry for Anya and dwell on her, but he didn’t stop until now to grieve for Spike. Why he could admit Anya was gone.

Because Xander wasn’t in love with Anya when she died.

He’d told himself it was because he was afraid, to grow up, to be like his father. That was why he couldn’t marry her. But it wasn’t, it was because he couldn’t face the fact that he was in love with someone else. He couldn’t face the fact that he was in love with Spike.

Now Spike was gone, and Xander would never be able to tell him he was right, that it did hurt when you lost someone you were in love with. That it hurt to have to say goodbye to someone you loved more than you knew. That it hurt, and nothing could change that.

Sometimes you couldn’t bring people back. Sometimes you didn’t want to.

Sometimes all you could do was cry.




Sequel is here.
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