TITLE: "All the While" (1/1)
AUTHOR: Marie-Claude Danis
EMAIL: mc@verticalcrawl.com
SITE: (closed for redesign)
FEEDBACK: Would be delightful!
DISTRIB: My site, list archives, or just ask.
RATING: PG (character death)
PAIRING: Spike/Xander
NOTE: Alex just said this to me: "Hey, you're the Canadian. You have all that sap up there that you have to do something with." So there.
SUMMARY: Sometimes it doesn't have to be painful.

* * *

He makes me smile.

Sometimes it's really just that simple: he makes me smile. I turn around and he's there, the same as he's always been, all black and peroxide and snarl and young. And he loves me, that's not something we question anymore. Not something that needs to be proven. His devotion to me throughout my life has never faltered. And he doesn't make it hard to love him. He always says how quickly the years went by, that to him I'm still the nineteen year old boy he feel in love with. And I believe him.

Sometimes I just hold him and wonder at his complete loyalty, and the strength of his love. How he just watched me grow old without flinching, how today he holds my hand, waiting for me to die, his eyes more loving than they ever were. His thumb softly caresses the top of my hand, feeling the brittle bones, the weak pulse.

He's taken me away to die, away from the hospital, the cancer wards, the useless fretting. He knows I just want him, his calm and his love, to see me to the end. He knows when I'm cold, he knows when I just want to sleep, he knows when I want him to talk. He knows that just lying next to me is the best thing he could do now. He doesn't think it's weird, and it never occurred to him to transfer his affection to someone young, someone new, someone else. He's the long haul kinda guy, he says, and he makes me smile.

Tonight we're out on the deck overlooking the ravine and the mountains, and we don't sit together on the bench like we usually do. He sits me in the long chair with a blanket and sits next to me, his back to the scenery, his eyes on me. His hand slips over mine and his fingers curl around it, loving and protective, but most of all comforting. We don't say anything; we don't need to. This is the end, the last stop, our epilogue. It feels good to reach this point, and to reach it together.

I look at him, at his calm face, all blue eyes and cheekbones. His hand squeezes mine reassuringly and I peer over his shoulder at the mountains, the twilight, the impressive nature.



He smoothes the blanket over me, and brushes a grey curl out of my eyes, his voice calm but strangled. "Sleep."

I nod one last time and close my eyes on the world, and on a full life. And it's easy.

Thank you, William. For loving me until the end.