Fandom: Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
Character(s): Spike, Buffy, Angel (with a guest appearance by Willow and Xander because they got bored)
Prompt: After Spike is badly injured, Buffy and Angel team up to help him. Angel is nice to Spike.
Word Count: 1742
Author's Notes: This has no real place in the canon for this story. You won't be able to watch the DVDs and find the exact place this belongs. It just is. That is the way of fanfics sometimes. This has its own special place on the borders of reality where fanfic lives.
Summary: Spike hovers at the brink of consciousness, surrounded by his... friends?
He looks pale… but I suppose he’s always been a bit white around the gills. Oh wait. He's a vampire, not a fish. Well, they're sort of the same thing. And those gashes on the side of his neck do make him look very fish-like. Like a barracuda.
Xander, be nice.
What? I'm being nice. Buffy, will you tell Willow I'm being nice?
Any change, Willow? Has he woken up at all?
No. We aren’t getting response from him. I’m worried, Buffy. He’ll need to feed soon.
Spike didn’t need the reminder that his body was beginning to crave sustenance. He could feel the longing turning to pain, rising up inside until he knew he would explode from the sensation. But his body was not his to command at the moment. He’d wanted to sit up and offer up a snappy retort to Xander or a sarcastic bit of comfort for Willow but it was impossible. Do this his mind told his body but it wasn’t listening. Or it couldn’t. He didn’t like contemplating that alternative.
For hours or days, he wasn’t sure, he drifted along on the cusp of awareness. Sometimes there was a stone cold silence pressing in on him but most often there was the inane conversations of the Scoobies. It seemed that not even a death bed vigil could shut them up. The words swirled around him, a swaddling of bits and pieces phrases that meant little to him but comforted him nonetheless. If they could irritate him, that meant there was still some fight left in him.
Not much fight, though. He felt the vitality draining from him as each moment passed by. It was comforting to know that at least things would end quietly and with little pain. He wasn’t a big fan of pain. Never had been. There was always too much pain. Too much.
I wish you had called sooner.
I didn’t exactly have your number, Angel. It’s not something one looks up in the phone book. Maybe they could put it under the heading “Guys Who Have Left Me. Page 4.”
You know it’s not like it.
I know. Just… let’s not dwell on it right now. I’m tired of thinking about it. The real question is whether or not you think you can fix him.
He’s not a doll, Buffy. I can’t just sew on an arm and paint him a brand new face.
Sure you can. Fix him. Make Spike the way he was instead of all… coma-y. It scares me when he just lays there like he’s broken.
It wasn’t pleasant to be thought of as broken. That implied that he might be tossed aside for a newer model, one without the patina worn away along the edges. A shiny vampire without all the issues that Spike has hidden deep inside. He’d rather that Buffy didn’t know about all those issues even though she keeps ferreting them out, like a dog randomly digging in the garden and finding perfectly good bones strewn about for just anyone to find.
It’s her fault, he decides. This is all because Buffy wanted him to be something better than what he was. Everyone else liked the Spike they saw everyday, no matter that he was sarcastic and rude and not nearly as good looking as he once was. Being pale wasn’t a good look for him. But he made up for it in swagger. The accent didn’t hurt, either.
He needs to feed.
I know that, Buffy. I’m well aware of what he needs. First I need to wake him up. It’s not going to work to just pour the blood down his throat. Most likely, that’ll just choke him and we’ll be worse off than we are now.
Do something! I can’t just sit here and watch him die.
Buffy… he’s already dead. You remember that part, right? That’s he’s dead? We’ve got plenty of time before this becomes irreversible. I just don’t want to make it any worse than it is.
How can it be worse? He won’t wake up.
Don’t shake him like a rag doll. You’re going to break him.
But he was already broken. She’d said so herself. He had to admit that Angel had a point. Every part of him ached as she yanked at his arm, pushing and pulling at him in her frustration. At first it was nice to feel something after the endless drifting but the twinge began to escalate into a white-hot throbbing.
He was on fire. If he opened his eyes, he knew he’d see the reality of orange flames licking over his exposed skin. It was a relief, really, but this kind of inferno could set everything around him on fire. If Buffy didn’t let go of him, she was bound to get caught in his burning pyre. His last act of humanity would be a warning.
“Go.” The word was a whisper, all he could manage, but it was enough. She dropped his arm as if she’d finally realized the danger she was in. By now she was in the hall… through the front door… down the street… gone.
Did he just say no or go?
I heard dough. Maybe he wants pizza? I could call and order some. Anyone have any money?
Get out, Xander.
But he might have said-
Get out before I decide to make you Spike’s meal.
Buff, are you going to let him talk to me like that?
Yes. Yes, I am. While I can’t be sure of what exactly he said, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have said dough. He’s never had a hankering for extra pepperoni. He has expressed an interest in that pulse on your neck so I’d do what Angel said and get out.
Fine. But you can’t have a piece.
I’m leaving. Geesh, some people can’t take a joke.
He would have laughed if he could make his neck muscles unclench. Well, it would have been more like a smirk accompanied by a short burst of sound. Watching Xander floundering around like an idiot was always entertaining.
It was concerning that all his muscles seemed to be pulled tight, nearing a snapping point that he was afraid would explode his body into small pieces. Buffy wouldn’t appreciate that sort of fallout in her house. It would be a bear to clean.
A spasm sent him straining off the bed. It hurt… hurt… hurt….
I don’t know. I think I like the moving more than this not moving. At least his screaming gave us an indication he was alive. Okay, not alive. Bad word choice but I can’t think of anything else. It’s hard to imagine a gray area where there isn’t dead or alive. This is making my head hurt.
His body is healing now. This is a good not moving now that he’s fed. Is there another packet of blood in the fridge?
Yep. I think there’s some B positive, too, if you need any.
You remembered it's my favorite.
Oh, shut up.
They were like a pair of birds, continually pecking away at each other even as they snuggled in the same nest. It was nauseating. Or perhaps that was his body still dealing with the trauma it had just gone though. “Shove off, will you? Some people are trying to recuperate here.”
Buffy smiled down at him, her hair falling into her face. There were worry lines still etched into her forehead that he didn’t remember. Even so, her grin was brilliant. “Look at those baby blues. Finally decided to wake up from your nap?”
“I was having such a nice dream until you two started up your ever-loving bickering.”
It was hard to ignore the second person in the room but Spike had gotten used to simply forgetting Angel was around. It was a mutual sort of inattention but it sure beat the beatings otherwise. Over the years, he and Angel had had their share of run-ins and he wasn't prepared for one now. And if he was expecting a "thanks for coming to save me yet again"... well, he'd have to wait a couple of lifetimes for that.
"How are you feeling? Is there any residual tenderness in your jaw or throat?" Angel leaned over in his eye line, not giving him the opportunity to imagine him away. There was an odd light in his eyes. It was as if he... cared what Spike's answer would be. If he was able to get out of bed and leave the room, Spike would have done it just to get away from this blatant goodwill. "I'm afraid we had to force the blood down you. Has anyone told you that you make a horrible patient?"
"Once or twice. Never liked doctors."
Rather than dealing with the questions and unsettling glances, Spike closed his eyes. Maybe if he closed his eyes and pretended to fall asleep, things would go back to normal. Buffy would roll her eyes, shooting back pithy comments to anything and everything he said without really listening. And Angel... Angel wouldn't be here. He'd be off being broody in the big city without a care for Sunnydale or the Hellmouth. It was a nice dream.
Or maybe... maybe this was the dream. All he had to do was open his eyes and this would all be gone, back to whatever part of his subconscious this sick dream had risen from. He just had to open his....
"Going to try awake again?" Buffy asked, beaming down at him. It was scary how happy she was that he was getting better. For a vampire slayer, she seemed almost euphoric that he wasn't a pile of dust.
"Sod off." His insult brought the house down, both of them laughing enough that Buffy started hiccuping and Angel wiped tears from his eyes.
"Same old Spike. You're always good for a laugh." Angel straightened the blankets, still letting out a little laugh now and then as if Spike was working on a stand-up comedy routine that would bring down the house.
This time he forced his eyes shut, tightening already protesting muscles. "Pinch me," he pleaded. "Someone just pinch me."
Both of them complied with equal gusto, twin nips of the skin of his arm. Nothing felt different. With a sigh, he opened his eyes. He would just have to deal with the fact that he was, indeed, in hell.