Disclaimer: Joss is God. The characters are his. I'm merely having fun with them.
Notes: Same night after "Hell's Bells"
"No! Now bugger off."
Xander stopped filling his plastic, yellowed ice bucket at the motel's ice machine, listening to the conversation. He recognized the voice immediately.
"At least walk me home? My roommate thinks you're kinda cute too."
"Sod off, bint."
"You know, you're not a very nice guy."
"I told you I was evil, baby."
Xander sighed and turned around just in time to see Spike duck a beer bottle.
"Hey! Watch the leather! That was half-full!"
"Go to hell!"
Xander watched as Spike's date stormed off, turning around only to give Spike the finger. He responded by grabbing his crotch.
"Thanks, Spike. That's just the image I want right now," Xander said. Spike looked at him in surprise.
"Harris? What are you doing here? God! You didn't bring demon-girl here, did you?"
"No! No, of course not. Though, apparently, it's not too good for your date," Xander quipped.
Spike looked around, absorbing the ambience of the motel's sickly, flickering fluorescent lights and host of broken and boarded up room windows. "Don't know if I'd say that," he said with a grin. "Got running water?"
"Yeah, but no air-conditioning."
"Well, it's a toss up then." Xander chuckled weakly at that.
"Come on, Spike. I've got beer in my room and the sudden desire for company," Xander said. And off Spike's look, "Not that kind of company!"
Spike chuckled. "Probably came to the wrong place then, whelp. Paying per hour are you?"
"I got the all night rate."
"Good for you. Now, where's my sodd'n beer."
"I just...I just didn't want to hurt her, man. Ya know?" Xander said, as they sat and talked around a case of beer, now half-empty.
"Yeah. I know. Had a bint myself once. Said it was kill'n her just being with me," Spike said, suddenly finding the whelp's company half-tolerable. Maybe it's the beer, he thought.
"Yeah! That's what I don't want, you know? Anya...I love Anya, but she doesn't know me, not really. Not where I come from. I mean, you saw right? Anya's family's got nothing on mine, man."
"I didn't socialize much. Not after your Aunt what's-her-name started giving me the eye," Spike replied.
"No--like she wanted me and bucket of marmalade at the same time," Spike shuddered.
"Aunt Bernice! Yeah, she's got a thing for blondes. She didn't drop her purse in front of you, did she?"
"Yeah, but thankfully--evil. Didn't pick it up for her."
"That evil thing comes in handy," Xander commented.
"Right handy," Spike agreed. Then he paused, remembering Buffy. "Sometimes not."
"I know. I'm not exactly Joe Good right now either," Xander sighed.
"So, what? You and demon-girl call it quits? For good, I mean?" Spike asked, curious.
"No...we..we haven't discussed anything. I just...couldn't marry her," Xander said glumly.
Spike thought about that for a moment. He never thought of Buffy as much of the marrying type, being a Slayer and all. The only person he had married was Dru. Of course they were both drunk at the time, and had killed the minister afterwards, so technically...
"It's just," Xander continued. "I don't know what to do. I love her...I really do. But, just the thought that I might hurt her..."
"Bit late for that, mate. Don't you think?" Spike said, rolling his eyes.
"What do you mean?"
"You really are a stupid git, you know that dog-boy? Woman of your dreams- wants to be with you, begs to be with you--and you leave her at the altar. You don't think she's hurt'n now?"
"Better now than forever," Xander replied softly.
"Oh, that easy is it? Look...bloody hell... You might not get this, Harris, but I'm gonna make you hear it. You can't help but hurt her. You think me and B..bint, that bint I mentioned--you think I could split, leave town and not hurt her more than anything? You think it stops at some ceremony? You'll always hurt each other. She's a part of you now." Spike paused to let his words sink in, and to grab another beer.
"You think that everything is doomed ahead of time just because of where you come from?" Spike continued. "Hell, if I thought that... Well I don't think that. Never will either. My father was a bigger bastard than yours, I wager. And here I am--evil, yeah--but still better than that pillock."
"You had a crappy father too?" Xander asked.
"Makes yours look like the bleed'n pope," Spike grinned. Xander laughed.
Spike looked at Xander thoughtfully. "The past is done, Harris. Gone. Can't undo it. Can't change it. You wallow in it and you'll never get what you want," Spike said softly.
"What if...what if you don't know what you want?" Xander replied, visibly shaken.
"Can't help you there, dog-boy. I know what I want."
"Oh? Is that why your date hucked a beer at your head? That's what you want?" Spike didn't answer right away, letting the silence take the edge off the question.
"Just because you want something doesn't mean you can have it. Especially if you muck things up by..." Spike broke off, a sad note creeping into his voice. "I didn't want that bint. I wanted...I want the other, um...bint."
"I think you should stop calling Buffy a 'bint' or I'm gonna pop you one," Xander said, wryly. Spike's eyes widened in surprise.
"Hey man, you'd have to be blind not to see it," Xander grinned. Spike laughed, remembering his interrupted invisible sex romp with Buffy.
"Buffy know you know?" Spike asked, wondering whether this was forward progress.
They both sat a few minutes in uncomfortable silence, sipping their beers.
"So...you want to see what's on the telly?" Spike asked.
"Sure. I think I saw Apocalypse Now on earlier."
"Great flick. Lots of blood. Makes me hungry."
"You're sick, Spike."
"I'm a vampire."
"Sorry about the whole..uh...non-wedding thing."