Title: Cigarettes and Ice Cream Bars
Author: Becka
Pairing: Xander + Spike.

Warnings: Angst. Xander-POV.

Disclaimer: Buffy, the Vampire Slayer does not belong to Becka; characters are used without permission for a non-profit purpose. No infringement is intended.


Xander's sick.

In every sense of the word. Physically, emotionally, mentally, whatever.

He knows this. Understands it. Thinks about it and accepts it.

He's caught something nasty. Nasty, like smoking a cigarette and taking a bite out of a Turkey Hill ice cream bar - nasty taste, worse aftertaste. It's probably a virus, some little parasite that decided he'd be the perfect host for a bit.

Host. He's been that before. For a hyena. For a soldier. And now for an army of little fucking germs wearing army helmets and wielding AK-47s, ones that make him sneeze and cough up phlegm and bile and all kinds of gross stuff. Ew.

Right now he's dressed in black sweatpants. No socks, no shoes, no shirt.

He's shivering. He knows it's probably cold. Doesn't feel it, though.

Walks over to his desk, picks up a pack of cigarettes and lights one. Takes a long, lazy drag on it. Ashes on the floor. Filthy habits. But he's the only one here, so who cares?

Pads over to the fridge. Takes an ice cream bar out of the ice box, unwraps the top, takes a big bite. It tastes awful. Stale smoke and Turkey Hill. He doesn't care, does it anyway. Takes another puff on his smoke just to be contrary.

He's feels nauseous. Maybe it's the taste. Maybe it's the virus. Wants to run to the bathroom and worship the porcelain god for a bit.

Grabs a beer instead.

Yeungling. It's a good brew, the best actually. Only made in Pennsylvania. He's in Sunnydale, California. So what's it doing in his fridge? Well, never let it be said his father wasn't a man of fine taste when it came to the alcohol. As for how he got it? Who knows? Xander surely didn't.

And he didn't care. Beer was beer. It was supposed to taste like shit. The point was to drink enough of it that you didn't taste it anymore.

But this brew wasn't shit. It tastes good. Even with the cigarettes and the ice cream.

So he chugs it, smokes his Marlboro Menthol 100s and eats some more ice cream. Why? He doesn't know. He feels like it. As good a reason as any, he guesses.

Finishes the snack, licks his fingers. Wishes it were something else. Something blonde and beautiful and manly in that clean-cut, angular sort of way. Something snarky and British. Something that would lick him back.

But it's just ice cream. Ice cream that tastes like cigarette smoke.

And that makes him angry.

He doesn't care that he's gay. Yay. He's gay. And he rhymes! Man of many talents. Right.

He doesn't care that he's gay. He _likes_ to take it up the ass. So what? His life, his choice. He's come to accept this. And if it makes him "sick," so be it. He knows he's sick. He's been sick since he was born.

He gets like this sometimes. Angry. Red hot, hot blooded, bloody fucking pissed off. Pissed off because he _knows_ he's being stupid.

Goes back to thinking about Spike.

Spike. William the Bloody. Fucking right.

And right who he'd like to be bloody well fucking.

He can't though. Too many hang-ups. Too much drama. Too much... everything.

So he daydreams. So he speculates. So his mind feeds him images of naked-Spike holding a cigarette and an ice cream bar, and he wishes that he had some fucking _guts_ because he thinks he could be happy.

The bitchy cheerleader didn't make him happy. Cordy was eye-candy, forbidden fruit, and he had her in every single closet in Sunnydale High. He fucked her, she used him, and she didn't make him happy.

The slutty slayer didn't make him happy. Faith was the bad girl, the once in a lifetime, "Go get 'em, tiger," and he had her, just once, in a shitty motel with her mouth on his shoulder to stifle her screams. He still had the scar, but she didn't make him happy.

The ex-vengeance demon didn't make him happy. Anya was stability, the marrying type. She wanted orgasms and loved their interlocking parts, and he loved their interlocking parts, because sex was sex. He tried to love her, but she didn't make him happy.

He was betting on the slim chance that a snarky vampire might.

But Spike was just... unattainable. On a whole different level, and maybe it's just the beer talking, but somehow Xander _knows_ the blonde's worth more than he could ever be. He's cool and snarky, vicious and delicious, and how can a fucking _zeppo_ compete?

Half of it's wanting Spike.

Half of it's wanting to _be_ Spike.

And maybe it's love.

But it leaves a stale taste in his mouth.

So he drinks more beer and eats more ice cream and smokes his menthols and tries to wash it all away.