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New Chapter Of The Body - Awakening

My gods, the muse was a bear. Took forever to get this short little chapter out. willa_writes had to help me beat it into submission, it was so rough. But now, it's offered to you, all tamed and ready. Please, let me know what you think.

You can find the fic in it's entirety Here.


The Body – Chapter 5 - Awakening

After Dawn moved out, Spike found himself desolate. His ‘Bit had been his touchstone, the one person he could turn to when he needed a break from the constant care he lavished on Buffy. The one being he could actually help fix – or so he’d thought. With her gone, so too went the laughter, and another little piece of Joyce’s family was gone from Revello Drive. All he had left to hold on to was the firm belief that Buffy would come back. To him.

Becky showed up sporadically. She’d give Spike a hand with the housekeeping, do a little food shopping for things she knew he liked, and cooked the occasional meal. When she came by after dark, Spike took advantage of her generosity and went off on vicious patrols, often coming back covered in blood and dust. Becky never asked any questions.

Sue Norris continued her Sunday visits. Besides Becky, the good doctor was pretty much the only other human contact Spike had outside Buffy, and he grabbed onto her company with both hands. Generous to a fault, each week she brought a cooler filled with nearly outdated blood from the hospital, and all of Buffy’s medical necessities, including adult diapers. Sue had argued a catheter’s merits to make things simpler, but he refused. After her examinations, the doctor could hardly disagree… Buffy didn't know what a bed sore or a rash was. Her skin was smooth and blemish free as a fresh peach.

Buffy’s condition was assessed weekly by Dr. Norris: blood drawn, muscle tone tested, and brainwaves recorded… every bit of it taken back to the hospital for analysis. Yet after seven months, outside of a marked improvement in her physical appearance, Buffy Summers’ general condition remained unchanged.

“I have to tell you, Spike,” said Dr. Norris, after the latest examination, “I’m really impressed with the level and quality of care you’re providing.” She hesitated. “If you don’t mind my asking, what were you before you were turned?”

“Human, for one,” Spike quipped, unable to stop himself. The wisecrack earned him a sharp rap to the back of his head.

“Smart ass.”

With a waggle of his eyebrows and a grin that quickly faded, Spike grew serious. “Sorry, pet. Been a while since I’ve had a good chuckle. In answer to your question, I had a couple of years of doctors’ trainin’ at London Hospital before runnin’ into m’bloody end.”

Hearing that, Sue wasn’t overly surprised, considering the skill he’d demonstrated. He seemed to have a natural affinity for caring for the injured, both spiritually and physically.

“Would you mind answering another question for me?” she asked. “For someone whose basic instincts were to tend and heal, how is it that you ended up so… so…”

“Survival, luv,” Spike said grimly. “Plain and simple. In the beginning, anyway. Between Drusilla, Angelus, and Darla, they made sure the last of William Bennett’s kindly impulses were buried under their ‘lessons’.”

Sue reached out, gently gripping the vampire’s shoulder. “It’s all right, you know. I wasn’t judging your actions. Frankly, I’m surprised you managed to survive their ‘tutelage’ to become the compassionate being you are today.”

Spike ducked his head; a shy little smile gracing his lips. “I was a good man, once.”

“And you are a good man, now,” Sue corrected. “Which leads me to ask one final question. I know you’re convinced as to the outcome of Buffy’s coma, and I’ll support you as long as you believe she’ll wake up… but I have to ask if you’ve given any thought as to when enough might be enough. Is there any point where you see yourself deciding to end this vigil?”

A quick ‘never’ almost popped out, but Spike couldn’t force the word past his lips. Was there a point where he’d be willing to concede defeat and just let her rest in peace? Looking up at his friend, he answered as honestly as he could. “Dunno, pet. I just know it’s not time to give up yet.”

Sue nodded and gathered her things. She blew him a kiss as she walked out the door.

***

Dr. Norris’ words shook Spike more than he cared to think about. Would he ever finally decide that Buffy had been through enough, and wasn’t coming back? If so, how long would it take before he gave up on her recovery?

No… no. It was unthinkable. He wouldn’t give up on her. Ever.

So, given his stubborn nature, he did the one thing a betting man could have staked his life on:

Spike intensified his care.

He began to use a loofah during Buffy’s bath, rubbing vigorously enough to pinken her skin and hopefully awaken the nerve endings. He gave her full body massages several times a day; from the crown of her head to the tips of her toes. There wasn’t a centimeter of Buffy that didn’t receive his loving attentions.

Remembering his time spent with Dru after Prague, Spike would sit by the headboard with Buffy pulled up flush against his naked chest – flesh against flesh – and brush her hair for hours at a time. Her scalp was always flushed when he’d finished. That pleased him enough to provoke a smile. Stimulation; that was the name of the game.

Whenever the radio or television weren’t on, Spike would talk to Buffy. Didn’t matter what he was doing, he would describe it in detail.

“Took the vacuum to your rug, Slayer. Your mum would have a fit if I let the dust bunnies breed all wild-like.”

“Gonna set up your bath now, pet. Nice and warm with some of that honey-almond bath stuff you fancy. A little frou-frou for me, but I’ll cope.”

“Here now, wake up and see reason. Aren’t you a little old to be wearing nappies, luv? Not that I don’t admire the view, but I’d love to see you in a nice pair of skintight black leather trousers.”

“C’mon, Buffy. Wake up for me,” he’d urge. “Just a little punch in the nose for old Spike. I’m beginning to think you don’t love me anymore.”

Hour after hour, the litany would go on until even Spike became sick of the sound of his own voice. When that happened, he’d turned on the stereo as loud as he could tolerate it and go about the business of straightening up the Slayer’s room.

One night, listening to a woman with a voice like a wounded angel, he actually began to listen to the words after the first few lines:

“… All I wanted to say was 'I love you and I'm not afraid'
Can you hear me?
Can you feel me in your arms?

Holding my last breath
Safe inside myself
Are all my thoughts of you
Sweet raptured light it ends here tonight

I'll miss the winter
A world of fragile things
Look for me in the white forest
Hiding in a hollow tree (come find me)
I know you hear me
I can taste it in your tears

Holding my last breath
Safe inside myself
Are all my thoughts of you
Sweet raptured light it ends here tonight

Closing your eyes to disappear
You pray your dreams will leave you here
But still you wake and know the truth
No one's there

Say goodnight
Don't be afraid
Calling me, calling me as you fade to black

(Say goodnight...)
Holding my last breath
Safe inside myself
Are all my thoughts of you
Sweet raptured light it ends here tonight


As if under a spell, Spike found himself drawn to Buffy. He sat beside her and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. Then he pulled back, half expecting – hoping – for her to awaken with a fluttering of her eyelashes.

Nothing.

He shook his head, calling himself all kinds of fool for believing in fairytale endings. “Sorry, sweetling. Was so sure that… I’d hoped that… doesn’t matter, luv. I’m not going anywhere.”

Following the pattern he’d developed since Dawn left the house, Spike slipped off his clothes, and crawled into bed behind Buffy. He gently turned her on her side, rubbing her shoulder and nuzzling into the nape of her neck as he drifted off to sleep.

***

In the middle of night, Spike was awoken by the oddest sensation: warm air, wafting across his face. Moving back slowly so as not to jar Buffy, he moved her arm…

And opened his eyes to the prettiest sight he’d seen in eight months: Buffy’s hazel eyes, looking right back at him.

ETA: The song lyrics are from My Last Breath, by Evanescence.

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Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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tabaqui
Aug. 22nd, 2004 06:50 pm (UTC)
Ahhhhh!! The romantic kiss wakes the sleeper!
:)
*bounce*
Neat!
You're such a soppy old thing.
*hugs you*
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 11:37 am (UTC)
Prince Charming, after all, eh? And yeah... I'm as soppy as a piece of white bread in a bowl full of gravy.

Glad you liked, pet.
(no subject) - tabaqui - Aug. 23rd, 2004 11:53 am (UTC) - Expand
poetlover
Aug. 22nd, 2004 06:57 pm (UTC)
::squee:: She's awake. ::happy dance:: Now, if she understands what he's done, even better.

This chapter started out so sad, but it ended on a happy note. Thank you. I'm sure there's a little more angst ahead, given how her friends feel about Spike, but his devotion has been wonderful to read.
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 12:05 pm (UTC)
Angst? Moi? Erm... could be. So happy you've been enjoying Spike's determination. Even Angel said it... he never gives up. **smooches**
nephthys43
Aug. 22nd, 2004 07:21 pm (UTC)
yea!!! can't wait for the next chapter
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 12:06 pm (UTC)
Happy that you're enjoying the fic, pet.
annabuffy
Aug. 22nd, 2004 07:34 pm (UTC)
Yes! Glad Buffy finally woke up. Now, when she hears from Spike that all of her so called "friends" abandoned her and are still mean to Spike she will tell them to F**k off and go off into the moonlight happily with Spike.
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 12:08 pm (UTC)
All in due time, my pretty. All in due time. Now... someone has to bake our Ms. Summers a gooey cheesecake! STAT! **grins**
denny_dc
Aug. 22nd, 2004 07:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was so pretty...I'm a few inches away from being the big cry baby that I am. Another good chapter. Thank you!
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC)
Hands you a box of Kleenex, baby. I'm pleased that my scribblings move you. Hope they continue to do so. **hugs you**
tgray
Aug. 22nd, 2004 07:36 pm (UTC)
AAWWW!! Okay, I thought I was evil. I'm nothing compared to the evilness of you! *Well, Dale says I'm not evil, just a tease... lol* What's she gonna say? Did she know what was happening? Please???
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 12:18 pm (UTC)
This one was for you, Teresa. Evil you say? Love it!!! Gonna take a teensy break from this if I can and do some non-angsty kiddie stuff... unless the muse decides to kidnap me.

And hopefully I won't have to dig it out with a spoon this time, sentence by agonizing sentence. Glad it was worthwhile, tho. **smooches you**
slackerace
Aug. 22nd, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC)
Okay, she's awake. But, that doesn't mean she is going to immediately embrace Spike. I have a feeling you are gonna bring on even more angst!

spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 12:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I sorta doubt it's all gonna be touchy feely at the moment. And with the Scoobs possibly back in the picture? It's not gonna be pretty, for sure. Hope you hang in there with me.
red_sunflower
Aug. 22nd, 2004 08:24 pm (UTC)
She woke up! Squeeee!! =). I know your muse was going to be nice to us.
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 12:31 pm (UTC)
My muse loves us - sometimes, tho, she has a funny way of showing it. **feeds her chocolates and hopes for the best**

greenstone_j
Aug. 22nd, 2004 09:42 pm (UTC)
Oh! Yah, she's awake, but I'm fretting about what she remembers...and a big YAH for Spike for being so patient
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 12:33 pm (UTC)
Our Spike has nothing but patience when something catches his interest. How else do you explain a hundred years of Drusilla? As for what Buffy remembers? We'll see, pet. We'll see.
ex_bloodshed662
Aug. 22nd, 2004 11:13 pm (UTC)
Ok, all I have to say is, please don't let your muse take a vacation again! I'll forgive it the last one, but well, this was cruel!

And believe me, I KNOW how it is when you have to practically rip words out of your brain to put on the computer screen. So not fun. But please *begs* update this soon!

If you're reading any of my fics, I'll make you a trade. I'll update ANY fic you want, if you update this quickly!! That's fair, right?
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 01:18 pm (UTC)
Allowing my muse vacation time certainly isn't voluntary on my part. However, I think I might just let her help me with another fic before I plunge back into this one. It won't be for long, no matter what. I wanna see how it ends.

And you're more than fair - but no bribery required. Thanks, pet.
meli1_77
Aug. 23rd, 2004 02:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, she's awake. I'm looking forward to Buffy's reaction to waking in Spike's arms.
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 01:26 pm (UTC)
Hee! Me, too. I wonder how eight months of being in a coma is going to affect the girl. My goodness, I could have gone to med school trying to figure this out. Oh well, I'll be as realistic as I wanna be. **grins**
schehrezade_1
Aug. 23rd, 2004 03:39 am (UTC)
She's awake!!!!!! And with a kiss - lets hope Buffy doesn't bop him on the nose for snuggling nekkid with her. Oh boy she is not gonna be pleased with the Scoobies!!!
I loved this chapter - brilliant stuff!!
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 01:28 pm (UTC)
Had to go with the whole Prince Charming thing. It's all this Spike love I have in me. Yeah, I do believe there's some Scooby angst to come. Glad you're enjoying.
(Deleted comment)
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 01:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Yeah! a new chapter!
Glad you liked the song choice - the words were rather appropriate, I thought. The real kudos go to willa_writes for finding them for me in the first place. Credit where credit is due.

Thanks for following my story so far... hope you like what comes next.
karbear57
Aug. 23rd, 2004 06:07 am (UTC)
Oh, you naughty girl, leaving us like that. I await more of your precious story with baited breath.
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 01:48 pm (UTC)
It's wonderful to see the interest in my little angsty words. I hope to live up to your faith in the continuing saga that is Buffy and Spike. **huggles you**
caliente_uk
Aug. 23rd, 2004 06:10 am (UTC)
Wonderful chapter! I love this story. Can't wait for more! :)
spikes_heart
Aug. 23rd, 2004 01:49 pm (UTC)
You made me smile, pet. Hope to have more soon.
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