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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 and Pain and Comfort
Ch 10 – Caring
Xan rushed to the bedroom as soon as he got in. Checking in on Spike found the vampire dozing and twitching. He went to the kitchen next and unloaded the packets of blood into the refrigerator, holding onto the one labeled B.S.
After pouring as much as would fit into a coffee mug, he popped it into the microwave. It was all so familiar from the times when Spike was staying with him in the basement. He couldn’t even recall why he’d started warming the stuff for him in the first place. Spike had known already how to use a microwave and Xander had had one plugged in downstairs. Somehow though, the vampire had gotten him to do the dirty work and then bring it to him. He smiled at the memory; they couldn’t stand each other then. In fact, he still wasn’t real clear on why he’d never staked the ‘blond menace’, anyway. Probably because Buffy had insisted she needed information from him or something.
The microwave dinged, bringing him off of memory lane. Making sure that the remaining blood wasn’t going to spill all over out of its bag he grabbed a dish rag, a bowl of lukewarm water and the mug. Balancing everything, he returned to the bed and sat down next to Spike’s form. He looked like shit. Beat up, puffy, discolored shit. Xander reached out with just a small bit of guilt and shook him awake.
Spike reacted by trying to sit up suddenly, while morphing into his fang-face. Instead he howled in pain as his features returned to human and he grabbed at his face.
“Sorry, Spike… I didn’t mean to startle you, but you need to eat.”
“The game face hurts,” Spike mumbled. He still sounded mostly asleep.
“You don’t need the fangs, Blondie. I’ve got a mug for you. Sorry, no straws.”
“Hmm,” he grunted as he accepted the mug. Spike tilted it to his lips and at first sipped, then turned to gulping. He was just over halfway through the mug when his eye popped open in shock, his red mouth open.
“This is human,” Spike pointed out. “It’s… Slayer?”
“Yeah, two pints of primo-Buffy on tap. You didn’t look like pig blood was going to do a hell of a lot of good, Spike. We all donated a pint, well, except Buffy. Like I said, we’ve got two pints of her super-blood for you. Even Dawn insisted on chipping in. Now, eat up. I’ve got to grab the sewing kit and bandages and get to work on those wounds. We’ll need to strip you out of those clothes, Spike. They’re a lost cause, but I’ve got sweat pants that should be a lot more comfortable. We’ll still need to split a pant’s leg for your swelling.”
As Xander babbled about the battle in the penthouse lobby and Spike drank a little more slowly, he began rinsing all of the caked and sticky blood from Spike’s torso. He was extra careful around the torn nipple and the open hole in his abdomen, patting at it as best he could without causing more bleeding.
“I don’t think I can manage back to the crypt on my own.”
“Not a problem; you’re not going back to the crypt. Not for several days, anyway. You’ll sleep here and I’ll take the couch.”
“I can’t put you out like that,” he insisted.
“Spike, not only can you, but the decision’s already been made. Don’t argue. You done? Good, I’ll pour you another mug and you can eat while I’m getting the rest of the gear to patch you up.”
“I don’t understand why Buffy… why you guys would….”
“It’s not that complicated, Spike. The Scooby Gang takes care of its own, you know?”
Spike mulled this over for a minute. As Xander watched the gears turn, he grinned.
“Yes, you undead moron; in case you haven’t gotten it yet, you’re family now. You belong to us Spike, and just as importantly, we belong to you, too.”
He turned away then to heat another mug full of healing Slayer blood. His mind was already racing on the suturing to come. He was nervous he wouldn’t be able to do it, that it would be too icky and he’d embarrass himself by getting sick. Commando was a constant reassuring presence, however, quietly trying to calm his nerves.
When he returned and handed Spike his second mug, the vampire’s hand grabbed Xander’s. “Xan, this… this means a lot. I want you to know that I get how important this is. You guys, helping me after some of the stuff I’ve done.”
“Hey, we help Angel and he tried to destroy the world among other, more painful things. I believe in you and I think Buffy does, too. Of course, she’s still going to kick your ass for the Buffybot.”
“That, yeah, not one of my shining moments.”
There were some awkward moments as Spike hitched up his hips while Xander struggled with his too tight jeans. Too relieve some tension, Xander quipped at Spike’s fashion sense, equating it to being a gigolo.
“You could stand to wear your clothes a bit tighter,” Spike replied good-naturedly. “Show off that package some, and your ass isn’t too bad either. You just keep it all buried under yards of denim.”
“Ugh. Please, the last thing that anyone in Sunnydale needs is the added horror of me trying to dress sexy,” Xander responded with a laugh.
Any comment of Spike’s was cut off by his hiss of pain. Finally the ordeal was over and the bloody and cut up black jeans were replaced with baggy and cut up light gray sweatpants. Next, Xander began sewing the skin around Spike’s nipple as the vampire talked him through it. Apparently, this wasn’t the only experience he had had with needing a little minor medical treatment. Once this was completed, which took nearly an entire hour he packed the hole in Spike’s middle which still hadn’t completely stopped bleeding.
Spike lay back, exhausted, but no longer starving. Xander sat next to him, looking down the bed at the swollen ruin of the leg. His eyes ran across the pale chest and the deep grooves there, but they were knitting up nicely on their own.
“It looks like the other wounds on your chest are going to be fine without me. That leg, though? Spike, I don’t know what to do about it. Do you think ice would help?”
“Just leave it, luv. It’ll do its thing and be fine in no time. I could do with one more cuppa before I sack out though. But before you get up and get it for me, there’s something I need to say about the robot.”
“Spike, come on. I don’t want the details; I’m pretty sure I get the gist.”
“It’s not what you think. I have a feeling I’m going to be repeating that a lot. I screwed up, Xan, but I haven’t been… uh, using the robot, except to talk mostly. And practice fighting; that’s it.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Xander said. “The important thing is we got you out of Glory’s clutches and you’re back with us… with me.”
Spike thought about that as Xander was busy in the kitchen. He wanted to tell Xander what he’d discovered about himself, now that the impulse to focus on the Slayer wasn’t pushing his actions. He wanted to tell him about hanging in Glory’s web, about the dream he’d had, and mostly about what he thought he might be feeling. He sighed in frustration and exhaustion. He really did need to sleep, and so did Xan, by the bags under his eyes.
When he returned, Spike accepted the refilled mug. This wasn’t Slayer-blood, but he didn’t know which one it was.
“No, I think this one is
“Oh, thank god. Do me a favor? I know the bit wants to help, and we’ll tell her different, but could you dump hers out. I don’t think I could stand to know I’ve drunk from my ‘Bit.”
“Not very vampiry of you,” Xan said giving Spike’s hand a squeeze.
“I’m not feeling very vampire-like right now, anyway. Feel a lot more like a punching bag that’s been over used.”
“You’ll heal, won’t you?”
“Sure, I will. That’s what we do. Don’t sweat it, Xan. I just need to sleep after I get done with this.”
Xander’s brown eyes caught Spike’s blue one and both seemed held in place. Inside his head, Hyena was telling him his moment had come. She was pressing on him to go for it, while Commando was ‘holding his breath’ in anticipation, wondering if Xan would do it.
“I’ll leave you to rest then,” Xan said quietly. Without really giving it any conscious thought he leaned down. Spike seemed to lean up fractionally to meet him. He briefly and gently, out of deference for Spike’s swollen mouth, kissed him.
For a heartbeat neither moved or said anything. Then Xander was standing, “Get some sleep, Spike. We’re sure to need your strength.”
After Xander had left and closed the bedroom door behind him, Spike laid sipping his blood and staring at the door.
Xander had kissed him. Xander Harris had kissed William ‘Spike’ Schellden!
He blinked in surprise; not only at Xander but at how… excited he was by the fact. Xander had kissed him and it had been… comfortable. It’d felt like they’d been working toward the moment forever and it was… nice.
Of course, then the doubt began to surface. Xander was homophobic. Not ragingly so, it was true. Spike didn’t see him as the sort who’d hang around outside of bars with a baseball bat or anything, but still, it was there in him. How was he going to react to their kiss (our first kiss!) when it hit him?
Oh, my God! What the hell was I thinking? What in the hell made me do that? This is all your fault, Hyena! Spike is going to completely flip out. You just couldn’t keep my lips to themselves could you? No, you just had to push and now what? You’ve completely destroyed the delicate friendship that Spike and I had! He’s hurt and weak and needs help and you took advantage to lay one on him; what the hell is wrong with you?!
Across town, the Magic Box stood with only a single occupant. The sun was still shining brightly, though it was low in the sky. Main street was buzzing with activity, but Anya had the lights turned off and the ‘Closed’ sign in the window.
Everyone else had left already. They were all exhausted by their all night search for Spike and his dramatic rescue, including her. But she’d wanted to clear up some things so that she could open the shop tomorrow with a fresh financial slate. All of her paperwork was now finished and she’d even managed to answer three emailed queries and submitted an online order for more newts’ eyes.
Yawning hugely, she looked around the shop. Everything was cleaned up from earlier and she sighed. She was trying to come up with a reason not to go home yet. The thought of watching Xander making goo-goo eyes at Spike was hard to bear, but she was going to have to go back sometime. And it was her apartment, too. She had a right to be there just as much as Xander did. Maybe she’d find a wounded hunk and bring him home for a little nursemaiding… see if Xander liked that!
Glancing out onto the street, she realized she didn’t want to deal with the people milling about. With a nod of her head, she headed for the alley door that exited from Buffy’s work out room. Normally, of course, taking a stroll into the alley would be suicidal, but since the sun was out, she figured it should be perfectly safe.
Anya struggled with the key in the deadbolt to lock the door behind her. Muttering curses at the reluctant bolt, she smelled the scent of jasmine behind her.
A moment later and Anya screamed at the top of her lungs. On the street, no one heard her muffled cries through the hard hand that had covered her mouth.
End Chapter 10
BTVS seasons 1-4.
Spanderverse: After 314
BTVS: Real Me
Spanderverse: Confusion of Three
The Risks of Glory
Hunting Our Needs
The Family We Choose
Feints and Counter-Feints
BTVS: The Body
Songs of Pain and Comfort