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Fresh from the beta'd eyes of willa_writes, Chapter 8 - Perchance to Dream.

Crossposted to sickchicks and my regular journal.

Hell Is In the Details – Chapter 8 - Perchance to Dream

Not bound.


So afraid to hope.

Best to just not be…there.


Gunn walked into the room, carrying a tray with several mugs of warmed blood, a spoon and a straw. “Didn’t know what kind of shape he’d be in, so thought I’d play boy scout and be prepared. How’s our boy doin’?”

Lorne eased the vampire back onto the bed. “There are just no words. If I were human? My skin tone would still be as gorgeously green as it is right now. What they did to him… they should be ripped apart.”

“I’m all for a little ass-kickin’. But we’d better try getting’ some blood into him before it coagulates. And did I ever tell you how much I wish I didn’t know about heating blood to 98.6?” Gunn shuddered, handing over the first mug and the spoon.

Lorne tucked a towel around Spike’s neck and shoulders, pretty sure that feeding was going to be anything but simple. With his arm under the vampire’s neck for support, the green-skinned demon lifted a blood laden spoon to Spike’s pale lips.

Which remained closed.

A second and third try fared no better.

“Maybe you just need to get him started, dude. How about a nice fingerful of blood – see if he rouses?”

Lorne gave him his best ‘you’re insane?’ look. “Sure, I’ll stick my blood soaked digit into the mouth of a starving vamp. If he comes to he’ll make me a Lorne-ka-bob.”

But in the end, he resorted to that very tactic. Coating his finger with the rapidly cooling blood, Lorne ran it gently over Spike’s lips, trying to coax his mouth open. He kept his touch gentle, remembering the damage he’d seen earlier. For his efforts, he received a small twitch, barely registering against his slick finger.

Trying once more with a fresh fingerful of blood, the demon increased the pressure against Spike’s lips, gaining entry as his mouth opened, lips forming a small oval.

“You wanna tell me again why you think this is such a good idea? I feel like I’m putting my hand into the lion’s mouth, and saying ‘come and get it, kitty – finger food, free of charge.’”

Gunn shook his head. “Man, he’s gotta feed. Try again, maybe rubbing some on his gums.”

“If I lose any fingers, bucko – you’re turning the pages in my Sunday paper. Once more into the fray, and then we can probably kiss these mugs goodbye.” Lorne made a face. “This stuff goes lumpy so fast”

His one last attempt at finger feeding provoked a violent reaction. Rubbing his blood soaked finger against the vampire’s gums and tongue stimulated a swallowing reflex. Spike reared up, knocking Lorne halfway to the floor, and loosed an ungodly sound.

“What the fuck is that noise?” Gunn looked around for the source of the terrible creaking sound that now filled the room.

A look of horror crossed Lorne’s face, as he realized that sound was coming from Spike. Shit, he must have hit another injured spot. Sorry, doll-face. Let me look and see what’s causing you such trauma.”

Motioning Gunn to help immobilize the vampire’s thrashing head, Lorne gently re-opened Spike’s mouth for a closer look. As he’d noted before, there were raw scrapes on the insides of his cheeks, upper palate and tongue, as far as he could see. But what caught his eye this time were the two spaces where Spike’s incisors should have been.

Lorne’s breath caught. “Gods and monsters – no wonder he’s hurting. Look at this!” Pointing out the empty spaces, he noticed the beginnings of sharp points making their way past the surface of the gumline.

“You tellin’ me all this caterwauling’s due to teething pains?”

“We’re talking oral fixations to the nth degree here – can you imagine how sensitive the fangs must be to a vamp? No wonder he’s kicking up such a ruckus. Be a love and get me an icepack from the freezer? One of those soft gel thingies. In the meantime, I’m gonna try and bypass those teeth and get the blood straight into his throat.”

Gunn grimaced, exiting the room quickly. It had to be done, yeah – but didn’t make it any easier to watch.

Spike’s agonized cries settled into small whimpers. He was unable or unwilling to close his mouth, due to either pain or ~shudders~ conditioning. Taking advantage of the situation, Lorne tipped a spoonful of blood towards the back of his tongue, gently stroking the vampire’s throat to encourage swallowing.


Blood. Human blood?

He’d been reduced to pig and chicken for so long, it was ambrosial.

But blood meant healing, which led to more pain.

If only he could refuse.

But he couldn’t.

And so he swallowed.


“Come on, Spike,” Lorne encouraged. “There’s a clever vampire. The more blood we get into your system, the sooner you’ll be back with us. I’m sure you have a lovely tale to tell, crumpet. Gunn and I want to hear everything. Find out just how such a thing happened.” He managed to trickle four or five more spoonfuls down the vampire’s throat before the blood was too congealed to slide off the spoon.

Gunn reappeared with the ice pack, and Lorne gestured for silence. He’d eased Spike back onto the bed, and noticed the lack of tension in his torso and face.

“Some progress, it seems, cookie,” he quietly said. “What do you see when you look at him?”

Looking closely, Gunn focused in on the vampire’s chest. “Damn, is he actually breathing? I don’t remember Angel ever…”

Shit, shit, shit! At the mention of the elder vampire’s name, Lorne noticed the tension return tenfold to Spike’s body. Ah gods, no – don’t let him…”and then…

Spike vamped out, roaring first in anger, then agonizing pain as the newly erupted teeth lengthened into fangs, tearing at the tender gums.

With no thoughts to his own safety, Gunn leapt onto the bed, grabbing the gamefaced vampire by the shoulders. “Shit, Lorne… this isn’t what I signed on for – I’m not real happy to have this guy’s bloody fangs two inches from my neck. What the hell can we do?”

Awkwardly patting Spike’s back Gunn tried to be reassuring. “It’s okay, man. You’re safe here. I promise, nothin’s gonna hurt you again – got your back, for sure.”

Lorne joined them on the bed, trying to soothe the agitated vampire with a gentle massage of his temples. “Come on, mi amigo. I know you’re scared and you have every right to be. Gunn and I are here to help. We’ll hold you and talk to you and prove that you can trust us. Just open your eyes, sugar – and see for yourself.”


Fangs must mean true face – but true face meant pain and no fangs.

And still, soothing words and gentle touches.

Two different? He’s done two before.

Never pleasant.

Safe? How he wishes.

Dare he hope? Can he trust?

He relaxes slightly, true face receding – fangs retracting.

To sleep, perchance to dream…


They heard it first – the subtle shifting of bone that signified the return of Spike’s human mask – and felt the vampire’s body relax. When Gunn shifted him in his arms, it was obvious that Spike had fallen asleep once more.

“I swear, man – never gonna utter the boss’ name in his presence again.” Gunn left the bed, pacing back and forth as his nerves began to unwind, shaking the tension out of his limbs. “Only good thing is that a reaction like that means he’s still in there. He can hear and understand us, but he’s probably afraid to act. Reminds me of a puppy who’s been kicked one too many times – wary as hell.”

Before the green-skinned demon could answer, Gunn’s cell phone began to vibrate. Checking out the LED display, he gulped – Wolfram & Hart.

“Charles Gunn here. How can… oh, Harmony. What can I do for you?”

Lorne’s red eyes narrowed with dislike and the slightest bit of fear, worried that they were being called to task for not being at work.

The vampiress heaved a put upon sigh. “Bossy’s called a party for this evening, and attendance is mandatory. Little Miss Slayer freak is here, and I think he’s got an announcement to make. I know he wants to introduce her to everyone, and I don’t know why I have to be the one to do this but everyone’s too busy, and you and Lorne haven’t been here today and do you know where he is?”

Gunn laughed. “Slow down there, girl. It never hurts to pause between sentences. We had an incident last night. Seems as if one of Lorne’s boyfriends is sick, and he asked for my help in getting him to the doctor.” A quick glance towards the bed confirmed that Lorne was happy with the excuse.

“Yeah, he’s gonna have to keep a bedside vigil for a few weeks. I’m sure he’ll call in, or show up tomorrow to straighten things out all proper.”

“Angel’s going to be all pissy about it when his Entertainment guy doesn’t show up,” Harmony warned, “but I’ll do what I can. I’ll see you tonight at eight, sharp – in the second floor conference room.”

Gunn slipped the phone back into his pocket. “Sorry about that, man. I couldn’t think of anything else, and you’ve got your hands full of vampire. He doin’ any better?”

“Seems to be relaxing into a real sleep, poor thing. He’s not as twitchy, and he’s not moaning as much.” He snuck a quick peek under the robe. “That er… uh… it’s not quite so… angry as it was before. I doubt it was the teensy bit of blood he took – maybe it’s just the rest.”

Gunn shivered. “Don’t tell me. Never tell me. If I get plastered and ask – even if I won’t remember in the morning… I just don’t want to know. Oh, Harmony said that tonight’s party is to introduce everyone to Buffy on a personal level – some sort of announcement in the works. I’ll just make your apologies. I really don’t want to be there, but it would look suspicious if we’re both out.”

“Thanks, my man. I don’t think I could stand to be in the same room as you know who this evening, plus I really don’t want to leave Spike in this state. If he woke alone and in a strange place, there’s no telling what he’d do. And I want to try and get him to eat some more.”

“Sounds like a plan. Catch you later, dude. Good luck with Blondie.” One last look behind him at the pair, and Gunn closed the door behind him as he left.

Turning his attention back to the vampire, Lorne ran his fingertips over the pronounced cheekbones, marveling at how much better he looked in such a short timespan. “Alright, cookie – I’ll let you rest for a bit. We’ll try some more blood in a couple of hours. I’ll be reading in the rocking chair if you need me.”


He must be crazy – hearing things.

Buffy? Can’t be her.

She left – They all left.

She doesn’t know.

She won’t come for him.

Too much to ask for, this time.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 16th, 2004 10:47 pm (UTC)
This was freakin fantastic. Loved Gunn and Lorne's voice (again), and Spike's thoughts are just so touching. I'm loving this story -- even with those early "rough" scenes for Spike. But please...promise me...someone in this story will kick Angel's ass -- I mean an ass kicking that man nor beast could ever imagine.
Apr. 17th, 2004 12:22 am (UTC)
(*creeps back into reading the story with fingers over her eyes*)

Whew... glad the torture is over. Really. Yay for Lorne and Gunn!!

*Perks up hopefully* Can Buffy find out and make Angel pay for what he has done?????? Pretty please....

Oh, and is it totally sick that if she does I will enjoy every word you write without squicking?
Apr. 17th, 2004 12:38 am (UTC)
i dont think it will be sick b/c ill right along side you enjoying it.
Apr. 17th, 2004 05:01 am (UTC)
Not sick at all. When the person deserves it , it is never sick to enjoy it. And it will be especially delicious if it's coming from Buffy.
Apr. 17th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC)
But please...promise me...someone in this story will kick Angel's ass -- I mean an ass kicking that man nor beast could ever imagine.

I promise with all my soul and good intentions - one serious kicking of Angel's ass.
Apr. 17th, 2004 06:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about...some Angel ass kicking (fav ep of Season Five, "Destiny." It was too good.)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 17th, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 17th, 2004 03:44 pm (UTC)
I'm having a very difficult time with the B/A relationship part as well. Especially being such a Spike defender. All for the telling of the story, tough. And at least it's not all blood and peaches. With the info she has at hand, she's trying to force this to work.
Apr. 18th, 2004 05:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love this. I'm so glad Spike heard that Buffy is coming. Let him have a little hope, something to give him strength to recover, come back out of it. Poor Spike.
Apr. 18th, 2004 08:02 pm (UTC)
Poor thing just doesn't believe. I think maybe we should clap our hands and make him believe.
Apr. 19th, 2004 04:15 pm (UTC)

Love your icon.
Apr. 19th, 2004 11:00 pm (UTC)
This beautiful icon is brought to you by the lovely essene. I <3 her!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )