FANDOM: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
GENRE : Slash
PROMPT: 080. Warmth.
WORD COUNT: 1174 words.
SUMMARY: Spike is near death and found by old friends
WARNINGS: None. Pre-slash.
NOTES: X-Posted to lover100. Set Post Chosen and NFA. Beta credit goes to kimalis
DISCLAIMER: You recognize them? I don’t own them.
“You didn't think this was normal, did you?” Xander asked, lightly running his hand over Spike's forehead. “He's ice cold.” He quickly pulled his hand back, unable to fully handle the cold skin. Noticing Dawn's confused look, he continued. “Vampires are room temperature unless they've fed recently. The colder he is, the more likely it is that he hasn't fed in a while.”
“Xander, I found him in an alley. I just concentrated on getting him back here as soon as I realized who it was. As far as I was concerned, he died in Sunnydale,” Dawn remarked. “I had to stop Amara from staking him.” She shook her head. “It's been ten years. I didn't know he was alive.”
Xander closed his eyes and bowed his head. “I did. Andrew can't keep his mouth shut. LA disappeared off the map by the time I went to check it out,” he replied, beginning to pace the room. “What do we do?”
“Don't know. Normally, we just stake and don't exactly concentrate on rehabilitation,” Dawn said. “Maybe try getting some blood in him? I could send Amara.”
Xander tried to take everything in. As soon as he had realized who Dawn had brought home, he had just jumped into caregiver mode. Now he had to try and absorb everything.
Where had Spike come from? Had he had had anything to do with Los Angeles' mysterious disappearance?
“I don't know if he could swallow it.” Xander closed his eyes. “Do you have the knife I gave you for your birthday?”
Dawn hesitated before nodding. “Xander, I don't think you should feed him,” she said. “It's not a good idea.”
“You've been a watcher far too long, Dawnie.” Xander glowered at her. “Ten years ago, you would have jumped at the chance to save him.” He held his hand out. “I can't let him die.” Dawn reluctantly handed him the knife.
“This is a really bad idea. You should just let me send Amara to get pig blood.” Dawn cringed, watching Xander unfold the blade. “You're going to do it, aren't you? God, Xander, why do you have to be so stupid about this?”
“He'll be dead by the time she gets back. We lost him once. Can you please relax?” He bit his lip, preparing to cut across his wrist.
“My watcher's training says-”
Xander cut her off. “You'd rather watch him die than let me feed him? This is Spike. In case you've forgotten, he's almost died saving you several times.” He ran the blade over his wrist, making a long shallow cut. “Will you please help me?” He winced. “I can't feed him and hold his mouth open at the same time.” Amara, a recently called slayer, walked in.
“What is going on?” she asked. Then, she backed up, aghast. “Are you feeding that vampire?”
Dawn held her hands up. “There is a perfectly good explanation for this.” She glared at Xander and gestured for him to jump in.
“This is Spike. He died and came back. He's the reason Dawn's alive right now.” He knew he was exaggerating a little bit but he had learned to never trust a slayer when it came to vampires. “Dawn, hold his mouth open!” He held his uncut hand beneath his cut hand to catch the dripping blood. Dawn tilted Spike's head back.
“Dawn, you aren't going to help him, are you?” Amara asked, still horrified. “Vampires should be killed.” Dawn gently pried Spike's lips apart. “I'll have to tell Mr. Giles.” Xander jerked around, spattering blood on the wall.
“Be sure to tell him who we're feeding. As obnoxious as he was, Spike was the only vampire that Giles respected.” Xander gently tilted his bleeding wrist, aiming the blood for Spike's mouth.
Xander had never held so much animosity towards one of his slayers. He knew Amara meant well but couldn't believe she would actually run to Giles and tattle on them. They had been at this a lot longer than her. She should at least trust them.
Lightly, he rubbed Spike's throat, silently urging him to swallow. When Spike somehow managed to get the first mouthful down, Xander gave him another.
“Xander, I just had a thought. He hasn't fed recently. You'll never be able to safely give him enough to keep alive. I can send Amara or make some calls but I don't know if I can get here in time.” Dawn wandered off, taking Amara with her.
Xander continued to feed Spike until he started to get woozy. He pulled back, deciding to wait for Dawn. It took every ounce of strength to resist the urge to give more blood.
Dawn came in, holding a bowl, a glass and a needle-free syringe. She handed Xander the glass.
“What is it?” he asked cautiously.
“Orange juice. We lucked out. The first place I called was able to rush a delivery over to us,” Dawn said, slowly filling the syringe with blood from the bowl.
“What are you doing?” Xander asked, slowly sipping the juice.
“Feeding him the best way I know how,” she replied. “You should do something about your wrist. Do you want Amara to bandage it?”
“She doesn't have to. I've got it,” Xander replied, wincing. He accepted a clean dishcloth from Amara. He tightly wrapped it around his wrist. “I just need to stop the bleeding.” He tightened the cloth once more before tying it. Silently, he watched Dawn feed Spike. “Is he taking it?”
Dawn nodded. “He is, just takes a little coaxing. Where's Amara?” she asked, suddenly realizing the girl wasn't standing with them.
Xander stood up, deciding to take a look. He found her on her cellphone, frantically talking.
“He was feeding him! His own blood!”
Who could she be talking to? Who could she have possibly called?
“Amara, who is that?” he asked.
“Mr. Giles.” She pressed the phone into his palm. “He wants to talk to you.”
Xander put the phone to his ear. “Hello?”
“Xander-precisely what is going on? I'm very busy.”
“Dawn managed to find Spike-”
“Found Spike? Are you sure it's him?”
“Well, he's not blond anymore but it's him. He has the scar on his eyebrow. He's unconscious. We're trying to feed him. I've given him as much as I can safely spare but Dawn's feeding him pig's blood with a syringe.”
“Is it cold or warm?”
“I don't know. Why?”
“Warm blood is better for trying to revive an unconscious vampire. Don't give him too much at once. Just give him small amounts every few hours. I'll call back soon.” Giles hung up.
Xander wandered back into the bedroom. He watched as Dawn set the bowl and syringe aside.
“I don't want to give him anymore,” she explained. “Where was Amara?”
“On the phone with Giles, tattling on us,” he spat. “He told me what to do though. Feed him small amounts of warm blood.” He lightly ran his hand over Spike's forehead. He was still cold to the touch but he had warmed up a little bit. “He's getting there. Do you want to go talk to Amara about reporting us?” He gripped Spike's hand.
There had been a time when Xander had been attracted to Spike. He hadn't acted on it but it had definitely been there.
Xander wasn't sure why he had been so attracted to Spike. He thought it had been more personality than anything else. Not that Spike wasn't good looking but there was something else about him that Xander couldn't quite put his finger on.
“God, Spike, you need to wake up,” Xander whispered. “Don't leave.”
Every three hours, Xander heated up a small bowl of blood and fed Spike by syringe. He wasn't sure if the feeding was making a difference but Spike's body temperature was slowly raising.
“Any change?” Giles asked when he called for an update.
“Still unconscious but he's getting warmer.”
“That's a good sign. Although, he may never wake up.”
“Never wake up?”
“We don't know where he's been or what's been done to him.”
“But a comatose vampire?”
“Spike's never been a normal vampire, has he?”
“Keep doing what you're doing. If he doesn't change-”
“Don't even go there.”
“Mercy is sometimes best.”
“I'm going to give him a fighting chance. I'll call you back. I need to feed him again.” Xander hung up but what he saw in the bedroom surprised him.
Amara was sitting on the bed, holding the bowl and syringe.
Xander watched in silent awe as she fed him. He couldn't help wondering what had brought about her change of heart.
“Dawn explained just how much he meant to The Council and you,” Amara said, gently rubbing Spike's throat. “Will he wake up?”
“We aren't sure,” Xander replied honestly. “We hope he does though.”
Amara checked her watch. “Can you please draw the blinds? The sun's coming up soon.” She watched Xander do what he was asked. “How's your wrist?”
“It hurts,” he mumbled, lightly fingering the cloth. “It was worth it though.” He picked up Spike's hand and rubbed it between his own. He laughed when he noticed the way Amara looked at him. “Checking his temperature. Giles thinks he'll wake up when it gets high enough. There's no logical reason why he shouldn't be waking up.”
Sometimes, Xander wondered what life would be like if he had followed his attraction. Would life have been different? Would Spike have survived the first time? Could he really worry about the what-ifs?
“You could get some sleep while I watch him,” Amara suggested.
Xander shook his head. He couldn't sleep now.
Amara left the room, promising to come back if Xander needed her.
“Spike, you've got to wake up,” Xander softly pleaded. “I don't want to lose you again.”
By the time Andrew had told about Spike being alive, it was too late. Los Angeles had mysteriously vanished. Xander had no idea what had happened and he had wondered ever since then.
“I know I didn't treat you like I should have but you've got to know I always cared.” Maybe words would bring him back. “What is going on in that head of yours?”
Gently, Xander ran his hand over Spike's forehead. It felt warm .
His skin was warm.
“Please wake up.” A single tear formed in Xander's eye.
Slowly, he pulled back, noticing a pair of brilliant blue eyes staring up at him.
“Spike?” His voice trembled.
“Hello, Harris. Where am I?”