|cozzybob (cozzybob) wrote in cozzybabbles,|
@ 2008-08-27 20:07:00
|Entry tags:||buffy the vampire slayer, spander, spike, xander|
[BTVS/ATS] Blue Moon
Warning: um... nightmares, some cuddling, little angst. Some sniffles. Oh and use of the f-word.
Note: For the “blue” challenge at NS. Takes place sometime around “Hush.”
Summary: Xander wakes up while Spike is having a nightmare, and he decides to do something about it.
It was the tiny sounds of distress that woke him. Beyond the occasional swearing of his parents fucking overhead, the toss of glass bottles and the water heater flaring to life, the little whimpers that Spike made in the throes of a nightmare startled him awake as much as any scream would've. Xander turned over in the bed and glanced dumbly at his captive tied down in the hideous orange chair. With his walls of impetuous annoyance torn down, Spike was pale and drawn, skin stretched to their limits over hard bone, and bruised half-moons under his eyes that betrayed the vampire's starved condition--the Scoobies purposefully only feeding him in careful amounts to keep him weak, dependent to their mercies. Spike still tired easily, underneath all that bluster, and Xander never really considered it cruelty until this moment. Giles quietly insisted that it would do the Evil Dead no harm to keep him tied to them, it was in fact to everyone's benefit. But in the dark of night while Xander glanced at Spike suffering this way, he couldn't help a dose of sympathy, in spite of all the hatred he'd let fester over the years. Starvation of all types was not a new concept to Xander Harris. He did not wish the experience on anyone.
If he weren't half-awake, Xander might have remembered to be joyous over the evil bloodsucker's misery, it served Spike right for all the misery he'd inflicted on the human populace. The fact that humanity was finally getting back at him was only poetic justice in Xander's humble opinions... even if it was almost painful to see the Master vamp brought so low. But Xander was, in fact, half awake, and the only thing that really came to mind while Spike continued to squirm miserably in his orange chair was that the suffering needed to stop. If Spike stopped whimpering so pathetically, the sounds wouldn't pull so hard on Xander's heart strings, and Xander, blissed once again with silence, could happily return to his slumber.
So it was with a groan of impatience that Xander slid out of bed and stumbled to Spike's side. The vampire was quivering very slightly in the chair, like a taught wire plucked by cruel hands. Spike's knees twitched in their binds as he kept trying to curl himself into the nightmare, the soft sounds that vibrated from his throat growing even more distressed as he slowly realized he wasn't able to move.
Xander gentle grasped the vampire's shoulder. “Spike. Wake up.”
For once, supernatural instinct wasn't enough to jolt Spike out of his dreams, too deep into the horror. Xander noted Spike's continued struggle in the binds and shook harder.
“Spike, wake up, you're having a nightmare.”
This time there was the flutter of frightened blue eyes under heavy lashes, but the nightmare gripped tightly and Spike was pulled under again. He muttered incoherently, shoving against Xander's hand and shaking his head in hoarse denial. Something about a scalpel.
With a grumbling sigh, Xander began to loosen the bindings. It wasn't like Spike could actually hurt him, right? Wondering then why he'd bothered to tie Spike down in the first place, Xander pulled at the knots and they slowly gave away, the ropes sliding like nylon snakes down Spike's trembling body. Some part of Xander fully expected Spike to flee once he was freed, but instead Spike merely curled into a tight, miserable ball in the chair, his right hand scratching at the base of his skull where Xander had no doubt the chip was installed.
For a moment, Xander watched him draw blood there in fascinated horror. A part of Xander wondered what it would be like to be tied down against your mercy, cold eyes staring down at you in a detached, bug-like fashion while a scalpel quietly cuts a hole in your head, a tiny silicon chip installed at the base of your brain-stem. For the first time, Xander wondered if Spike had been awake for it. If they'd bothered to use painkillers, if they'd explained at all what exactly they were doing to his brain, or if they'd simply ignored all the pleas as if they hadn't been spoken, perhaps even finding the vampire's distress even amusing. Maybe they wrote down on a clipboard and noted that interestingly enough, vampires do feel pain, as well as fear, and they can be brought to beg with the right incentive--they can be house-trained. It reminded Xander of hooking a worm or kicking a dog or tossing a cat at the nearest wall... they feel pain after all. It sickened him, the level of ignorance the human race could be capable of.
Or maybe Spike had simply woken up, feeling the dull pain at the back of his skull, unaware that anything had happened. Maybe he'd escaped and gone about his business, having no knowledge of the mental rape he'd gone through until it was too late. Which would be worse? At least with the former, Spike could remember their faces, and he clearly aware of what was going on. At least with the former, there were specific targets to wish dismemberment. With the latter, Spike had no one. He had nothing. There was no memory to fear, only the stark knowledge that something had been done while you slept. Someone had been squirming their dirty little fingers in your brain.
Xander heard a particularly loud curse from upstairs, followed by his mother's sharp cry, and he frowned. He stared at Spike picking away at the skin at the base of his skull, smelling the hard iron taste of cold, dead blood.
He put his hand over Spike's scratching fingers, and tried to be gentle. “Spike,” he said, pulling the fingers away. “It's Xander. You're in the HOC; Hideous Orange Chair. Remember? Scooby gang, protection?”
At the final world. Spike jolted as if he'd been shocked. His eyes slid open, wide and vulnerable, before he recovered. “Prote... Harris?”
Xander's hand on Spike's tightened for reasons he couldn't explain. “You were having a nightmare,” he said, not letting go.
“If you wanted us to hold hands, I should freshen up first.” But as Xander moved to let go at the scathing tone, Spike held on tighter.
Xander sighed. “That chair looks really uncomfortable,” he said, even while a distant part of his brain kept screaming why he even cared.
Spike lifted a brow, head tilted. He reached to touch the scratch marks at the base of his skull, but then paused there, confusion settling like a storm over his face.
Xander tugged the vampire's hand again and nodded back at the bed. “Jump in. M'tired.”
“Spike, it's late and I have to work early tomorrow. Get in the fucking bed, okay?”
Spike's eyes lowered half-mast, and Xander could tell he was utterly exhausted, and not just because he'd been sleeping. Spike was life-tired, and it was the bone-weary exhaustion that made Spike nod without much protest and crawl out of the chair.
Spike slid into the bed almost blindly, and huddled into the sheets. Xander climbed in the other side and watched him for a moment.
The vampire's eyes fluttered open again, the blue piercing him in the darkness. A little fear, but mostly guarded insecurity. “You're being nice,” Spike said.
“I know. It's a blue moon.”
With a sigh, Xander rolled closer and draped a heavy arm over Spike's too-thin waist. There was a tense silence, and then Spike sighed, just letting it happen.
“Shut up and sleep, Spike. No more nightmares, okay?”
There wasn't any response. Spike was breathing softly, his head tucked close to Xander's shoulder. His eyes were closed with a weary hesitance, as if afraid that if he opened them, his brief respite would be another bad dream. Xander pulled him closer without comment, and neither dreamed again that night.