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Here ya go - the latest chapter of Hell Is In the Details - I Am My Brother's Keeper.

Cross posted to sickchicks and my regular journal.

I feel the need to post a "Do Not Eat Before You Read This Chapter" notice. Spike's been missing for a year, used and abused. Lorne checks out the damage. So very not pretty, people.

And credit where credit is due - if willa_writes weren't as sick as if not moreso than I am, this chapter wouldn't be quite what it is. The woman has a way with words, and has brought me to new depths.

Hell Is In the Details – Chapter 7 – I Am My Brother’s Keeper

The trip back to Lorne’s was made in utter silence. They’d found Spike, which was totally unexpected. In principal, they had known it was a rescue mission, but were expecting to come away with the knowledge that he’d been dust for months. Now that they had the actual vampire in question seat belted in the back of the car, his head resting in Lorne’s lap, the question became: “What next?”

Gunn gripped the steering wheel tightly. “Are you sure you want to do this, man? Take him home with you?”

Of course he wasn’t sure. What did he know about the care and feeding of vampires? “What would you have me do, friend? There’s only one person who could properly take care of him, and he’s the very person we have to keep him away from.”

“You’ve got one seriously messed up bloodsucker on your hands." Gunn shook his head. “All right, I’ll amend that to we’ve got one seriously messed up bloodsucker on our hands. In for a penny, in for a pound, right?”

Lorne laid his hand on his confidant’s shoulder. “Thanks, cookie. This is going to be hard enough with both of us involved. First things first, we need to get this cutie pie all tucked up in bed and out of sight. Do you think you can make a blood run?”

“Yeah, no problem.” Gunn rubbed his chin in thought. “Have to make sure to hit a blood bank that doesn’t deliver to Wolfram & Hart. Wouldn’t be the smartest move to use the office account to have blood delivered elsewhere. Avoiding suspicion is of paramount importance.”

The green-skinned demon brushed his hand gently over Spike’s pale forehead, smoothing tendrils of hair away from his face.

“You poor bastard,” he murmured. “No matter what you might have done to set off the boss…” Lorne sighed. There were no words to justify what Angel had done.


Gunn brought the car to a full stop in the driveway. “I’m gonna have to get this car fumigated, man – our boy is a bit ripe for socializing right now.”

Gathering Spike up in his arms, Lorne exited the car. “Yeah, it’s become increasingly obvious that I need to get him washed up. It’s as good a time as any to check out his injuries.”

He shifted the unconscious vampire in his arms, making sure he had a solid grip. “I’ve gotta go, doll – the lure of the bath awaits. See you soon with that blood?”

Gunn offered a short salute. “You got it – a cooler full of yummy human goodness for the vampire of the day.”

As the car pulled down the driveway, Lorne turned, opened his door and carried Spike up to the guestroom. Gently placing him on the bed, he went into the adjoining bathroom and filled the tub with hot water, knowing it would cool a bit before Spike was ready.

Not knowing if the vampire would hear or take comfort in anything he said, Lorne spoke in a soft, soothing voice. It eased his own nerves, anyway.

“Looks like personal hygiene wasn’t their utmost priority, sport – I’ve got a nice bathtub full of warm water for you. Hopefully getting rid of the crud will help you rest easier.

From the smells and the red stains seeping through they blanket they'd wrapped Spike in, Lorne could tell this wasn't going to be easy. His poor stomach, what it had already been through during one night already... still, couldn't be a patch on what the vampire had to have suffered. Was still suffering, if his faint twitches and soft moans even while unconscious were anything to go by.

You can do this, Lorney-boy. Just open the blanket.

Gently as he could, he unwrapped the edges of the rough material and peeled them away from Spike's naked frame. The smell of blood and come, both old and new, hit him afresh. He fought not to stumble back, but he desperately wished he had some menthol to smear under his nose. Spike was filthy.

Not only dirty, for all of Pret's talk about a hose-down, but badly hurt, too. Lorne's green fingers probed gently at him, starting from the neck and working his way down. Some things squeaked - fractured bones? – and some had a too-soft feel to them, like rotten fruit.

He hesitated before unwrapping the part of the blanket that covered Spike's crotch. Knowing Pret, it would be worst of all here.

With a deep breath, he uncovered the damage.

His stomach flipped over at the first incredulous look, and he fought not to be sick for the second time that day. Damage? More like near-destruction. All of it Pret's work, or at his permission. A human couldn't survive something like that and stay a man.

A leather ring, at least two sizes two small, trapped Spike's engorged cock so tightly that it bit into the skin. Dick and balls both were nearly black with pooled blood, skin nearly splitting underneath a layer of demon saliva and who knew what else. The edges of an ugly, homemade piercing were ragged around the end of a rough-and-ready Prince Albert that looked no better than a bent nail shoved through the tip of his cock. A chain – looked like bicycle chain, and way too short – leading from the PA to a heavy looking ring stabbed through his navel and lower belly kept the painful organ bent up at a sharp angle. Both stank of raw flesh, constantly pulled at and kept open, never left to heal.

"Oh, gods," Lorne murmured, terrified to touch the mess. "That's got to come off you right now."

Only... what would happen when it did? Would he come so hard he woke screaming with the pain of it? Would the wounds flutter and pulse open, without giving him any relief at all? Maybe he should wait for Gunn.

No – no. Gunn didn't need to see this. Bad enough he had to himself. Let Spike keep some of his pride, anyhow.

There was a pair of metal shears and some good strong scissors in a drawer nearby, he knew. He'd just have to pray that he could snip those bonds loose and give Spike relief from what had to be unbearable pain without him waking up to experience it.

Had to do it. He couldn't take those near-silent moans and grimaces anymore.

His shaking hands reached for the instruments. "Okay, bubbeleh," he whispered. "Let's get you free."

At the first touch of Lorne’s hand on the vampire’s damaged genitalia, Spike arched his back completely off the bed – body taut in its agony, mouth wide open in a silent scream. Even there, in the soft pink tissues of his mouth, the damage was terrible.

“So sorry, peach-pie.” He had to restrain his own sobs. Between being compassionate and empathic, he was overwhelmed by the damage perpetrated on Spike’s person. “I know it’s beyond painful for you, but it can’t be helped. This stuff has got to come off before you lose what the good lord blessed you with.”

Steeling himself to the task at hand, the green-skin demon shakily proceeded to cut through the cock ring – afraid to peel it off without taking skin with it. The penis twitched once or twice, and an odd mixture of blood and come oozed out of the slit, around the piercing, as if it had been contained so long, that the mixture had coagulated.

Shit Not able to make it to his feet, Lorne lost the battle with his stomach for the second time, turning his rug into another casualty.

Empty as he was ever going to be, he returned to the piercings, cutting through them as quickly and as carefully as he could, removing the jagged pieces of metal. More of that coagulated mess oozed sluggishly from the open wounds.

He wished Gunn would get back with the blood. Spike needed it, and fast.

Once again, he gathered the writhing vampire in his arms, and settled him gently into the warmth of the bath, on a folded towel he’d placed to cushion his broken body, and to keep him from slipping under the water.

It must have been soothing, as Spike stopped thrashing about and relaxed.

Lorne knelt by the tub, washcloth and antiseptic bath gel in hand. He made a perfunctory job of cleansing Spike’s delicate skin, not wanting to open any half healed wounds, or aggravate the fresh ones. He placed one arm under the vampire’s neck, and with his free hand, pulled the towel down to the other end of the tub, so he could wash his hair.

“Definitely more than a one bath job, my friend, but this will have to do for now.”

In a reverse of his previous actions, Spike was returned to a semi reclining position in the tub. Lorne turned to face the prospect of removing the cock ring, loathe to cause any more pain, when the offending piece of leather floated to the surface of the bathwater.

“One less agony for you, at least,” he murmured.

He lifted the now much fresher body out of the tub, and onto the soft towels he’d placed on the floor in advance. To his relief ~and the vampire’s~ Spike’s penis was only semi-erect, and much less angry looking. Bruised and abraded, yes, but no longer in danger of the skin splitting.

“Almost done, muffin. I promise rest is just moments away.” He gently towel dried the vampire’s body and hair, and brought him back to bed.

Damn, spoke too soon. Returning to the bed with a magenta silk bathrobe, Lorne noticed a small puddle of blood pooling between Spike’s legs. Cursing himself for being three times a fool, he wondered how he could possibly have forgotten to check for damage… there.

“It just doesn’t end for you, does it, Spike?” He sighed, and gently eased the vampire over on his side. Gingerly spreading his cheeks apart, he saw that the swollen opening trickled a slow but steady ooze of dark, thickened blood.

With a delicate touch Lorne probed around the abused pucker, searching for what, he wasn’t exactly sure. Tender touches, not meant to intrude ensured that there was nothing foreign lodged inside causing the bleeding. Wrapping the silk robe around Spike’s body, all he could do was hope time and fresh blood would be sufficient to heal the wounded creature in his arms.

Holding Spike close to his chest, Lorne managed to ease a fresh towel under the vampire’s body to absorb the newly spilled blood. He wrapped both arms around the spare back, softly rocking and crooning nonsense words of reassurance and safety.

And the unexpected happened, just as Lorne heard Gunn pull up. Spike’s lips moved against the crook of his neck – no sound, just soft movement, and Lorne was grateful that the blood has arrived.


Warmth. It had been so long he almost didn’t recognize the sensation for what it was.

Kind words.

Strong arms.

He knew what was coming.


Kind words and strong arms meant agonizing pain.

He curled back in on himself and waited for it.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 15th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC)
Damn, yes, I'm still reading, and thank you for saving him. But damn, again, another rough chapter, and yes, you warned me, but...

Bless Lorne and Gunn (you write both of them really well -- they sound so right!). Keep this coming...I'm so wanting to know why Angel did this and I so want to know how Spike will retaliate. Vengeance is mine sayst...et al.
Apr. 15th, 2004 04:51 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you stuck by with this chapter - yes, indeed - rough as blazes. But he's safe. And that counts for something.

I'm so happy you like the characterizations of Gunn and Lorne. And as for why Angel did what he did? Start with chapter 5 and reread it. More will be coming. As for Spike? We'll see.
Apr. 15th, 2004 04:58 pm (UTC)

As others have said your Lorne voice is great and the story is developing wonderfully!

Lorne the perfect 'person' to aid Spike on his rocky pathe to recovery.
Apr. 15th, 2004 05:13 pm (UTC)
I'm proud of Lorne - he's doing a terrific job with Spike. Glad you made it trough the chapter.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 15th, 2004 05:18 pm (UTC)
Glad I can move you - hopefully not so much nausea in the forseeable future. And I do cry - believe me... it's not easy.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 15th, 2004 05:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah **wipes brow**
Apr. 15th, 2004 05:56 pm (UTC)

But he's safe now. And Lorne and Gunn know what a gigantic bastard Angel is now!

Can't wait to see what else you've got cooking!
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:05 pm (UTC)
Two people now know - we'll see what happens. Keep up with me, baby.
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that Spike has Lorne to take care of him.

And I'm still so in love with the care you take with the characters voices. You do such wonderful work.
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:11 pm (UTC)
The writing is almost secondary to the character voices for me - so I appreciate that you find them passable. **smooches you** Lorne's got a heart as big as all outdoors, even if he sits on it! **grins**

Apr. 15th, 2004 06:22 pm (UTC)
Hey there. I just jumped into your fic with this chapter (what does it say about me that I couldn't resist the Spike rescue scene) and will definitely be following it. Poor Spike. Now I'm really curious about the earlier parts -- is it easier to read them in your LJ or on a website? Thanks for giving me a new WIP to look forward to!
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:26 pm (UTC)
THIS is the chapter you chose to start reading with? Dayum, girl! You can find it all in order in my memories section, or Here.

I hope you like the entire story. Lots of stuff to come and lots of stuff you missed.
Apr. 15th, 2004 10:53 pm (UTC)
My- what vivid Imagery.

It is painful, but it's more tolerable because the cusing of pain (to Spike , anyway ) is over and the healing can begin. It will be painful as any healing but Spike's a survivor. He'll get better and be able to get justice for himself( maybe with that chainsaw that Angel wanted to use on Giles.

It makes sense about strong arms and kind words meaning pain. I have no doubt that there are many rapists who have that as there MO . That way in thier mind thier mind they are with a lover that wants them not a victim.
Apr. 16th, 2004 12:16 am (UTC)
You have it exactly right - he's coming off a year of torment - and not going to heal without hurting... but...! Now he has to re-associate kindness with feeling better. He just needs to surface somewhat. Poor baby.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )