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POV: Shifts Perspective
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and especially the Spanderverse series. WARNING ALERT: While I usually don’t feel the need to include warnings, this story contains disturbing images of injuries sustained during torture. There will also be guy on guy romance (which should be obvious by the Spanderverse moniker), if you find that squicksome. I don’t intend to include such a warning on every story from now on so just assume Gay Content applies.
Notes: Story number eighteen in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Coming Together”. Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.
People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.
Thanks to the authors of Fanfiction, wherever you may post. It’s probable that I’ve read at least one of your stories somewhere. I apologize for recycling concepts inadvertently from the plentitude of stories I’ve read.
Songs of Pain and Comfort
Ch 8 – Embracing Spike
Xander struggled with Spike’s weight and the tarp that covered them, threatening to blow off in the stiff breeze and leaving Spike in even more serious trouble than he was already in. When it wasn’t threatening to take off on them, it was trying to blind him by falling over his eyes, or trip him up by wrapping around his feet.
Finally, he managed to man-handle Spike into the apartment lobby and he divested them of the heavy and bulky black vinyl. Letting it sit for whoever wanted it on the cheap lobby tile, he heaved Spike into the ‘Handicapped Only’ elevator for the ride upstairs.
While in the elevator, he ran his eyes over the vampire in his arms, being held up with help from the wall. He looked bad; blood was dried over nearly every surface of exposed skin and his T-shirt was still sporting fresh circles of red wetness. His skin was pale, even for Spike, and had an almost translucent quality to it; like it had grown so thin, it was becoming see-through. Finally, his attention was diverted again to moving the injured vampire when the elevator let them out several doors from his apartment.
Is he gonna make it, he wanted to know.
We need to get him blood, Xan. Cow and pig isn’t going to cut it. If he were human, he’d be in serious danger of coma and brain damage with this amount of loss, Commando responded.
Those pants legs first, guys, Hyena added. That leg is being squeezed like a rat in a python’s grip. I hope vampires don’t get gangrene.
As Xander fumbled with the keys to get the door open while not dropping Spike, he managed to come around a little.
“Buffy? Buffy is out, Xan, we can’t leave her,” he mumbled.
“Shh-shh, it’s alright Spike, we got her out. She’s fine,” he soothed.
“Wh-where are we? Where’s Glory, gotta get away before she catches me!”
“Spike! Stop struggling! You’re safe, it’s okay. We’re in my apartment. Just relax, let me help you to the bedroom.”
As the other members of the gang slammed noisily into the Magic Box, Anya and Dawn rushed out of their hiding places. Screaming savagely, they waved various implements from the shop at the group.
“Anya? And Dawn!? What the hell are you two doing here,” Buffy asked. She’d left them at her house where they were supposed to stay put.
“Your house has no decent weapons,” Anya complained.
“And we thought, better to be where the magical doo-dads were,” Dawn added. “If I have to fight for my life, I wanted something a little more powerful than a butter knife.”
“And you thought throwing Sandlewood incense would help,” Giles asked, exhaustion and amusement vying for dominance.
“Incense,” Dawn asked and turned to Anya. “You told me this was ‘Ratareth scales’!”
“Well, that was supposed to be what it was,” she complained. “
“Never mind that now,” Buffy waved away the coming argument. “This stupid robot weighs a ton. Help us get it downstairs with the other crap. I can’t believe you guys didn’t just leave it behind.”
“Xander said Spike wouldn’t leave without it,”
“Oh. Well, could someone call Xander’s apartment and check on them? Ask him if Spike can answer any questions. We need to know if Glory is hunting right now for Dawnie. In the meantime, Giles, I’m taking your car over there.”
“Y-you will be careful, won’t you? It was rather expensive to buy.”
“Okay, for the last time… that accident while you were smooching my mother wasn’t my fault. I’m a good driver.”
“Speaking from someone in the passenger seat on the way here, I’d have to disagree,” Giles said with a small smile. “However, you’re right about finding out how much Spike revealed.”
The phone in the apartment rang on until the machine picked it up. In the bedroom, Xander stood over Spike with a pair of large scissors. He’d cut away the pant’s leg and immediately the whole extremity had swollen to twice its usual circumference. He wasn’t sure what he could do about it and Commando chose now to reveal that a Medic’s degree wasn’t in his arsenal of ‘soldier skills’, he could help out a bit, but combat treatment wasn’t his specialty.
Xander put that injury aside for the moment and began to cut away Spike’s shirt. The vampire grunted and hissed once when the material pulled away from his skin over his chest. He was attempting to morph, but the action was retarded by the deformity of his face. A moment later and he’d lapsed into a semi-conscious, but still state.
Xan hissed himself when he’d seen the damage to Spike’s torso. Clear liquid was leaking from Spike’s nipple, the entire area around it a large open wound. With a bit of effort it appeared they’d be able to remove the whole thing. He felt a wave of nausea, but Commando ordered him harshly to swallow it back.
We need sutures, Commando said.
What did that bitch do to him, Hyena whimpered/growled.
Alright, Commando continued, we’ll need some human blood for him. The sutures and some compress bandages. That hole in his gut needs to be packed and bandaged. His face… well, there’s not much we can do about it. We’ll find out from Giles if ice will help the swelling, but we’ll need to wait before we can see if there’s been damage to his eye. It looks like his nose is full of blood, but I don’t see any fresh. That weeping wound over his chest has me worried, as well as the paperiness of his skin. I hope you can sew, Xan.
“We can get that stuff from the Magic Box, except the blood. But I have an idea about that. I’m afraid to leave him though.”
We can’t help him just standing here, Hyena opined.
As Xander dithered over what to do next, there came a knock at the front door. He quickly crossed the apartment toward whoever had come visiting.
Careful! It could be Glory, Hyena warned.
“If it was, guys, she’d have already knocked it down.”
Her minions, Commando thought.
As a second series of knocks sounded, Xander detoured to the kitchen and grabbed a butcher’s knife. When he opened the door, all three of the personalities breathed a sigh of relief to see Buffy… or the robot? She was dressed in Buffybot’s dress and jacket, but the worry in her face seemed all human.
“Hey, Xan. I need to see him,” she said as she barreled in.
“He’s not very coherent, Buffy,” Xan sighed with irritation. “Can’t this wait until I’ve got him stabilized?”
“No. And you know why. I’m sorry Xander and I don’t want to be a bitch, but this is Dawn we’re talking about. I need to know if her secret’s blown or not. If it is… well, then the Hellmouth isn’t shielding her secret anymore and I’ve got to make a run for it.”
“Just go easy, huh? I’ve got to get to the Magic Box for supplies. Buffy… if he said anything….”
“I know. I saw him and I can’t blame him if he cracked, but I have to know either way. I won’t hurt him, Xander. You have my word as your best friend, okay?”
Once Xander left, Buffy took a deep breath and approached the bedroom doorway. She looked in to see Spike tossing and turning restlessly, muttering to himself that Glory was going to get him. It took a lot to suppress a few tears welling in her eyes. He was so hurt; so brutalized but there wasn’t any choice for her.
She approached the bed and tried to stir him but when he opened an eye, the only one that could open, he didn’t seem to register her presence. With hesitancy, she reached out and squeezed the abused kneecap, causing a shout of pain from him. But when he looked at her again, he seemed more ‘there’. She somehow managed to smile beamingly, even though inside she felt a little sick.
“Hello, Spike! I wasn’t sure I could find you. And here you are, covered in sexy wounds,” she said, hoping she sounded appropriately cheery and blank at once.
“Robot? Thought you’d been blasted back at Glory’s.”
“My automated systems took some time to re-route my circuitry. I am glad that you are safe now, Spike!”
“Safe? Yeah, right, I’m feeling real safe right now. How’d you manage to track me down? I’m surprised the Scoobies didn’t destroy you on the way out of the penthouse’s lobby.”
“Oh, they were busy with fleeing. And I found you by checking for you. Are you ready to ravish me now?”
She saw Spike grimace and thought she might have seen embarrassment. It was hard to tell what was going on when his face was so distorted by swelling and bruising.
“We talked about this, damn it. No more ravishing, no more cuddling, and no more kissing. I shouldn’t have had you built in the first place. Where’s Xander, I remember he was here…,” he groaned and grabbed his knee before hissing with pain. “Damn, but Buffy was right. The godling can hit like a Mack truck on steroids.”
“I saw Xander leave a while ago. That’s why I knew I could visit you, Spike. Tell me, why did you let Glory put all these wounds on you?”
“Don’t think I’d say I ‘let’ her, but there wasn’t much to do. She wants Dawn’s secret; I couldn’t let her have it.”
“Oh! I know that Dawn is the Key, I can go tell her,” Buffy said as she made to turn.
“No! NO!” Spike was nearly panicked and Buffy heart cracked a little to see the pain that suddenly raced over his face. Whether it was emotional or physical, she wasn’t sure, but it felt genuine to her.
“Glory never finds out. Never, ever for as long as you exist, you bucket of wires. You got that?”
“I don’t understand, Spike. If it will save you from further confrontations….”
“…I don’t matter,” Spike interrupted. “Only Dawn matters; I took an oath that she’d stay safe. I couldn’t help Joyce, but by Hell’s fire, I will keep her safe.”
Buffy wasn’t able to go on with the charade. A tear slipped down her cheek while Spike’s eyes were again closed. He was lying awkwardly in a half-sitting position against some bunched up pillows and was shifting around trying to find a more comfortable position.
She approached closer to the mattress and sat down. Wrapping strong arms around him, she lifted him into her and reached around behind to straighten and stack the pillows before leaning him back gently. When she looked into his eyes, she saw his surprised realization.
“Thank you, Spike. Thank you for what you did for Dawn,” she leaned over and kissed him briefly. “I won’t forget it.”
As Buffy returned to her feet and went to leave she stopped herself at the door’s edge. “Xander will be back soon with medical gear. We’ll look after you while you heal.”
“Buffy, about the robot….”
“The robot is gone, Spike,” she said harshly. “The robot was a violation of me. It was sick and it was obscene.”
“I didn’t… I wasn’t using it for what you think. I mean, I was, at the beginning. But I’d stopped; I just talked to her… bein’ alone all day in the crypt. It was just nice to have ‘you’ to talk to. I swear to you, that’s all I’ve been doin’.”
Buffy sighed and then turned to look him in the eye. “I believe you. But whatever you thought you were doing, Spike, it wasn’t real. But what you did to keep Dawnie safe, that’s real. Your friendships with Xander… and with the rest of us, that’s real too. Don’t forget that.”
“I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I… I need to get something off my chest, battered as it is. I think it’s not just friendship with Xander, Buffy. I don’t know what to do; you know me, love’s bitch and all. But I think I might be in love with him.”
“Yeah. Didn’t realize it, of course. Not ‘til I was hanging from Glory’s ceiling. I’m really fucking things up, here, ain’t I?”
“Please promise me,” Spike continued, “You won’t tell him? I need some time to think things through and decide what I’m going to do.”
“Spike,” Buffy sighed.
Xander wants Spike; Spike wants Xander and I’m the only one that knows about both. I’m starting to wonder if there’s a Slayer prophecy that says all my friends turn gay.
“I know it’s a grand mess,” Spike was saying during her thoughts. “I don’t know how to make a little mess,” he snorted.
“I won’t say anything about it. I don’t want to get in between whatever is going on with you two, but Spike, you need to talk to him. I mean, really.”
“I’ll think about it,” Spike tried to nod before he realized it made the room spin uncomfortably. “Maybe after we defeat Glory’s skanky ass, yeah?”
“I gotta get back to Dawn. Xan will be here soon,” Buffy said as she turned to leave again. “Rest, Spike. You took care of her, now it’s our turn to take care of you.”
End Chapter 8