Rating Adult overall
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters in this story and make
no profit from them
Summary: Set in the early 1940's, Spike is a G-man sent on
a mission in the Applachian mountains to search for
and destroy illegal alcohol when he has an accident.
Xander is a moonshiner who takes him in.
Before sleeping Spike had laid sullenly while Xander sat there.
Exhausted from all the dramatics, he was ashamed and angry at
himself for his weakness.
Watching Xander come over to him, he waited to see what
punishment the mountain man would inflict on him for all his
He was shocked when Xander touched his face so gently.
He slapped the hand and turned his head in an attempt to try to
get some sort of grip on himself.
His body was so twisted with pain and agony he found it hard to
breath, and his emotions were off the scale.
Spike knew he had made everything worse by all the screaming
and the fit, but he just didn't seem to be able to stop.
He remembered the time a few months ago when he had tried
to get off the drunk. He had locked himself in his apartment
and thought he could ride it out.
He had caved in after just three days.
The pain and hallucinations were more than he could stand.
Stumbling out, he headed for a bar and stayed drunk for a week.
That's when he really gave up on life.
He knew he would never be able to stop drinking till he drank
himself to death.
Aware that this was the last chance for his job, he already knew
he would fail.
At this point he no longer cared.
The only reason he wanted to find a bootlegger now was to buy
a bottle and drink it dry.
Offering him some water and the pain powder shocked Spike.
Up to now he was sure Xander was taking great pleasure in
his situation, but the look in Xander's eyes confused him.
If he didn't know better, he would have sworn he read
After the water, Xander had said he was going out.
He had chores to do.
Spike wanted desperatly to beg him not to go.
To stay with him and, what?
Touch his forehead again?
Spike hated that he was so weak. So needy.
Knowing that tomorrow would be a hundred times worse, Spike
tried to calm himself down.
Forcing himself to relax, he straightened his body and
tried to focus his concentration.
The powder took just enough of an edge off the pain that he
could regain some composure.
A little corner of his mind wished Xander was there to see him.
He would be proud of Spike for controlling himself.
"Fuck you" he yelled one last time to the empty room,
though the heat had gone from the sentiment.
"I don't give a fuck what he thinks of me."
But he knew that wasn't true.
Relaxing his arms, neck, hands, and trying to ignore the annoying
prickling in his legs, Spike finally dozed off.
His last wakeful thought being,
'Wonder if he will still rub my back?'
Xander had been gone for some time. Part of him wished he
didn't have to return at all.
That was the part he was most ashamed of. After all, Beemish
is going through all of this because Xander's holier-than-thou
opinion was that he needed to get sober.
What right did he have to inflict that sort of pain on another man?
Standing on the front porch, Xander listened at the door.
No screams. No cursing.
Entering quietly he was relieved to see Spike had actually fallen asleep.
He stood and watched as Spike moaned and fussed.
Checking his forehead, Xander could see the sweat starting
to bead up.
Using a damp cloth he wiped Spikes face and spoke to him in
"Shhh. It will be alright. I'll take care of you.
You can do this, Spike. I know you can."
Spike's body relaxed and his sleep became more peaceful.
Xander watched for a few more minutes then went to his chair
by the fire, covered himself up, and dozed off.
Xander was dreaming.
He dreamt he was back in college and running on the campus.
He was with his friends, his team mates.
They were off to celebrate their last victory at an off campus,
off limits tavern.
He was laughing and life was easy.
Gradually he was falling behind and they were getting further and
further ahead of him
They called to him to catch up. "Xander. Xander!"
The calling was getting frantic.
His friends were out of sight now, but the calling continued.
"Xander!" Swimming up out of the depths of sleep, Xander
realized it was Spike.
Spike was calling him
Rushing to his side, he was dismayed by the slight man.
Spike was sweating profusly and shaking violently.
"I'm so fuckin' cold. Xander I'm cold and sick."
No sooner had Xander grabbed a bucket
than Spike turned his head to the side and vomited.
Having nearly nothing in his stomach, it was mostly water and bile.
The power of the retching causing a strain on his back.
Bringing the quilt from his chair, Xander threw it over Spike's
"Just hang on, Buddy. I know it's bad, but I have faith in you.
You can do this."
The sincerety and comfort in Xander's voice caused a whole new
flood of tears to fall.
No one had ever had faith in him before.
He knew he was going to feel so much worse
when he failed.
When he disapointed Xander.
But - maybe he could do it.
"Listen Spike. Don't get the wrong idea, but I'm gonna lay down
on the bed between you and the wall. Real easy we're gonna roll
you on to your side so if you throw up again it won't twist you up.
While you are on your side I'll start working thoses muscles
around your spine.
Might hurt a little, but it will help with the swelling. You o.k.
Spike was so much more than o.k. he had no words.
All he could do was nod.
Crawling up the bed Xander eased himself down slowly.
Placing one hand under Spike's shoulders, and the other under
his hips, Xander carefully rolled him to his left side.
Crying out, Spike grabbed fists full of the bed sheet.
"Sorry, Spike, sorry. O.k. you're there now. Just try to relax".
Still shivering, sweating, and dry heaving, Spike had to laugh.
Xander joined him and the feel of their body chuckling together
felt better to them both than either would admit.
Rubbing his hands together briskly to warm them, Xander placed
both his palms flat on the center of Spike's back.
Slowly and firmly he pressed and worked his hands up Spike's back bone.
He could feel the knotted muscles and massaged them in circles
with his thumbs.
Moaning at the wonderful feel, Spike allowed himself to give his
body over to the man behind him.
Smiling, Xander continued "Better?"
Just as Spike opened his mouth to answer, his stomach convulsed
again and he retched harder than before.
Whimpering, he leaned back against Xander's hands.
Sympathically he answered his own question
"I'll take that as a yes."
Spike smiled despite himself.