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


Title: Punching
Author: Emella
Rating: PG-15 ish
Pairing: Spike/Xander. Mentions S/Dru, S/A(lus), S/B, S/Anya
Warnings: Mentions attempted rape.
Summary: Sometimes Spike gets punched. Sequel to 'Crying'
Timeline: Post Buffy. Post Angel ‘Origin’
Disclaimer: I own nothing but some of the plot.
Notes: I hate all of the people who made me write this. *grin* I wrote ‘Crying’ this morning before bed, and then I woke up, and when I saw all the reviews I started in on a sequel. It’s been about 12 hours. I’m a review slut, so what can I say, I’ll do anything for reviews.
Notes 2: This was really hard to write because I’m really happy with how Crying turned out, I re-read it and I like it, but it was meant to be a one-shot. ’Crying’ wasn’t meant to have a sequel. This is a warning, I’m really afraid I will screw it up, this sequel, so if you like ‘Crying’ take heed. I hope I did it justice. Punching will not have a sequel. Sorry.

Thanks for all the reviews and inspiration. Please please leave me feedback. Thanks!


Sometimes Spike got punched.

Once, in the 1920’s, he was in Greece and a Shacew demon punched him so hard he was unconscious for two days.

Dru had been frantic, thinking he was dead. Sometimes she didn’t remember that he wasn’t human. Sometimes she wished he was.

About three years after she had turned him, they got into a horrible fight and she had said she wished he was still mortal, that’s who she’d wanted with her.

After a week of staying in Angelus’ rooms and getting fucked through the mattress, he finally confronted her. She had rolled her eyes and said that the stars were playing tricks on him, that she never meant what she’d said. Every once in a while, though, he would catch a look on her face, or she would say something, and he would remember what she had said.

It had been 9 months since the hell mouth had closed and he was still waiting to get punched. It couldn’t be this easy, to come back from death, even being incorporeal. To just magically not be on the short road to hell.

He was standing by Harmony’s desk, waiting for a meeting with the great poof, some scheduled thing that they all had to deal with. The smurf was standing next to him, observing things in the way she did that made people stare.

After she had become not-evil they had sort of become buds, training partners. In the sense that he tried not to let her beat the crap out of him; Always a woman’s punching bag.

Wesley came around the corner looking disheveled and weary, it had been hard on him, losing Fred. He was still somewhat in denial of her death, searching every which way he knew how to get her back. Maybe he would, Spike would like that.

Spike checked his watch and faintly heard the elevators ding as Lorne came marching over to them from the opposite direction. He started telling Wesley about a new client, some famous bint with a demon parasite.

Spike felt something on the back of his neck, a niggling, like someone watching you, and he turned. His eyes searched across the small lobby before they met a familiar chocolate brown gaze. His stomach clenched and he tried not to seem surprised.

Xander Harris was walking towards him.

Before he could say anything, before he could register Wesley’s call of ‘Xander?’ or that Lorne had gone silent and was frowning, staring, Xander reeled back and cocked spike right across the face. The punch was hard on his chin, sending him to the floor.

Spike usually tried not to think about Xander. Tried not to think about why he hadn’t told anyone he was back. Why he couldn’t tell Buffy, or Dawn, or Willow. He had left Sunnydale behind, literally and figuratively.

Except for one thing.

When they had brought Buffy back he was upset. He had been in love with her and you couldn’t take that away from someone and then give it back whenever you pleased. You couldn’t play god.

They had both grieved together, finding solace as well as something else. For three months they fought evil, avoided real life, and shagged like bunnies.

It was more than that though. They had been friends for a while; friends that bantered and mock-hated, so when he’d kissed Xander in that alley, making them both crumble, he wasn’t surprised to feel other things. Disbelief, worry, happiness, relief.

For three months they found dark corners, small out of the way niches, and spent a lot of time in his crypt. Sometimes they didn’t shag at all, sometimes they just lay together in bed, remembering Buffy, or thinking about the future. It was nice.

When they brought her back, he was angry. Angry because he thought Xander understood and that he knew better. He didn’t even tell Spike, and that had hurt the worst. They had spent so much time, Spike comforting Xander, and Xander unknowingly comforting Spike in return. Just him being there had helped. He had grieved and moved on, he didn’t feel the same way, about Buffy, about anything.

So they drifted apart, Spike angry, and Xander mad that Spike was mad. He rediscovered his love for Buffy, or at least that’s what he’d thought, and she’d used him. He had been devastated and pissed off when they had broken up, if you could call it that. He took comfort in Anya, and Xander had been mad, Spike couldn’t blame him.

He wondered though, when Xander went through his little speech, whether the words were directed more at Anya or at himself. All of the things, he’d said fitting perfectly between them, like a horrible puzzle, all the pieces falling into place.

So he went to Buffy, because he couldn’t think about Xander. Couldn’t think about everything they had done, everything they had been through. He was in love with Buffy, he told himself again and again, he was in love with her and she just stomped all over his heart. He took it out on her, tried to make her love him.

That night he’d had an epiphany of sorts. It wasn’t the fact that he’d tried to rape her, that wasn’t what made him want the soul. It wasn’t that he’d tried to make her love him. It was the fact that he wasn’t trying to make her love him.

He was trying to make himself love Buffy.

He was mortified at what he’d done. He’d tried to rape her. Tried to tell himself that it was Buffy he wanted. He’d peeled out on his motorcycle, looking to get away. From that place. From his feelings. He would go and get a soul. Make him good, and right, get the soul for Buffy, so he could love her. Be in love with her.

So that he wouldn’t be in love with Xander Harris.

He got the soul, and his lovely parting gift of grief as well. He could remember everyone he had killed, tortured, used. It made him see things, see himself. It made him understand, understand that the soul hadn’t helped, that he couldn’t do anything now. Now he wasn’t just in love with Xander. He was in bone-crunching, soul-burning, heart-agonizing love.

He was drawn to Xander body and soul.

They didn’t talk, drifted away from one another. Even when they shared an apartment. Xander had avoided him, and he had avoided his feelings.

When Xander lost his eye, Spike cried. Alone, in private. Xander had beautiful eyes, lovely wide, deep chocolate eyes that he could have looked into for hours. They stayed apart, and Spike continued to play on Buffy, tried to make himself be in love with her. Not her sidekick.

He’d died three weeks later.

He’d saved the world. Fallen to ash and later been awoken and made a ghost. He hadn’t told anyone on the outside. Everyone at Wolfram & Hart knew not to say anything, especially not to Buffy. That’s what he wanted them to think. After being brought back he faced up to the fact that he wouldn’t love Buffy. He was doomed to stay in love with Xander bloody Harris.

When Andrew had shown up, he was worried his cover was blown, he didn’t think he could face any of them. But Andrew didn’t tell, and he was relieved. Or at least, he‘d tried to keep that wriggling feeling in his gut from being anything other than relief.

So after he was punched in the face, he made a vow to hunt down and kill Andrew. He got up, and realized that Illyria had thrown Xander halfway across the room.

Then Xander stood and just stared at him. Spike didn’t know what to think, and neither of them heard the others approaching, questioning them.

A hand landed on Spike’s shoulder and he turned to see Angel looking down at him. The way a father might look at a son. Probing his thoughts. He then knew, that Angel knew, who he was in love with; thinking about all the time.

Angel dropped his hand and nodded toward his office, signaling for the two of them to use it to talk. Xander entered first and stood nervously by the windows. His back was clenched in anger.

Spike shut the door and stepped into the room. They were quiet for a minute and then Xander spoke. His voice small and sad.

“You were right you know.” He didn’t turn, just stayed facing away. “What you said, when we brought Buffy back. You were right. It does hurt to lose someone you’re in love with.”

Spike swallowed nervously and then remembered Angel telling him Anya had died in the battle. “I’m sorry about Anya.”

Harris laughed, a bit bitterly, and turned around. There were tears shining in his eye. “I wasn‘t in love with Anya.”

There it was all on the table. Xander’d laid his feelings bare. Spike stared at him across the room. He clenched his jaw and admitted; “I wasn’t in love with Buffy.”

The room felt huge, monstrous and wide. They stared into each other’s eyes, and Spike felt something in him click into place. They both knew in that moment, what the other was saying; what he wasn’t saying.

They’d spent nearly three years apart. Hating each other, avoiding each other, getting tangled in other things, other peoples lives. They were both afraid, of what they felt, what they wanted.

Spike saw everything in the space of a minute, Xander was scared and angry and slightly vulnerable. They had so much to get through, all of their feelings, the crap they’d put each other through. Why Spike had stayed away, why Xander’d ignored him.

There was so much they needed to do to get back on the road to normal. Explanations and apologies, so much stood between them.

So when Spike came forward and kissed Xander, their lips burning together, locking and fitting perfectly they both knew that there would be problems, bumps and bruises, but for now they didn’t need anything else.

Sometimes all you did was cry.

Sometimes you were punched.

Sometimes you were kissed and your life became complete.



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