Cross posted to sickchicks and my regular journal.
Hell Is In the Details – Chapter 10 – Come What May
“Welcome back, sweet thing. Did you really think I’d let something as accommodating as you go without a real fight? C’mon now – open up those eyes and remember who you belong to.”
Spike awoke in a panic, a guttural scream bursting forth from his very soul. He couldn’t move – he was held down and restrained! He struggled weakly, giving up as he slowly sank back towards the oblivion he’d occupied forever.
Lorne was near panicking, himself. He could feel Spike slipping away, as his muscles went lax within his arms. He’d yelled at and shaken the panicky vampire – anything to get Spike to focus on the here and now. Nothing helped. Instinct took over, and Lorne soothed him as one would a frightened infant. He pressed a kiss to Spike’s forehead. Another to his temple, all the while stroking his long green fingers gently through the vampire’s hair and along his neck and shoulders.
Just a little sound, half conscious and thready… but it went straight to the empath’s cock, settling into a slow tingle low down in his belly. Caught up in that sound and the moment, Lorne continued placing gentle kisses… on Spike’s cheekbones, eyelids, the tip of his nose, and ended with a soft glide against his lips.
Realization set in, and Lorne started to pull away, horrified at his own actions.
Spike’s arms snaked around the retreating man’s neck, holding him close – returning the gentle pressure with his own mouth, soft and steady – slowly opening to run the tip of his tongue against the seam of the other man’s lips.
One more closed mouth kiss, and Spike pulled away, whispering a heart-felt thank you against his lips.
Lorne was stunned – and deeply ashamed. He couldn’t look directly at Spike, and turned away, rubbing his hand over his face. “Look… don’t. Just – what the hell are you thanking me for? I took advantage of you, after all you’ve been through, and –”
“Oh pet, don’t go there.” Spike’s voice was weak, but steadier than before. “You gave me comfort. First I’ve had in… I can’t remember. What day is it? I don’t even know how long I was gone for.”
Unable to turn back and look the vampire in the eyes, Lorne murmured, “It’s the end of May, Spike.”
“Huh. Just a few weeks, then. Feels like longer.”
“May, 2005.” The empath stared at the floor, bracing for Spike’s reaction. He wasn’t disappointed, or surprised.
“Bloody hell. You tellin’ me I lost an entire year of my unlife? I’ll be fucked… oh. Oh!” He groaned, grabbing at his hair in distress. “It’s real then – what happened. Not just a nightmare?”
Lorne looked crestfallen. “Spike, I swear… if any of us had known – if we’d had an inkling of what had been done – of where you were…”
“Here, now, I told you to stop that.” Spike startled Lorne by shushing him with a gentle finger on his lips. “S’not your fault, mate. You trust who you trust, an’ you had a history with the bloody tosser. He’s got sides nobody but me an’ Dru ever saw, and you should be real grateful for that.
“Problem is, he was actin’ off, last I recall. More over the top-like than I can remember. Still a bit fuzzy on the particulars, an’ m’not in the mood to talk about it all if that’s all right with you?”
Lorne dared a careful look back at the vampire, feeling the hand of friendship that was bring extended. “So not a problem, my friend,” he said slowly. “Listen, if you’re up to it, what say we have a chat about other things over a nice mug of blood for you and a latte for me? I seem to remember you asking for someone before you fell asleep last night, and it bears discussing. I’ll just go and… uh… yeah.”
The empath beat a hasty retreat, clearly still rattled by what had happened. While he was gone, it took Spike a moment to recall just what Lorne was talking about.
Balls. And a fun time’s to be had by all.
Lorne returned with their respective drinks, along with a platter of assorted cookies. “I don’t suppose you…”
Grabbing a chocolate chip cookie, Spike dunked it into his mug of blood and bit into it with obvious relish. “S’pose I do at that, Lorne… is it? I love to eat, mate. ”
Lorne shook his head. “You’re not at all what I expected, Spike. From what I’ve seen, I’d say you’re pretty unique amongst vampires. Certainly have a hell of a will to survive.”
“Just bloody stubborn, pet. ~Might as well grab the bull by the bloody horns.~If I’m to go out at someone’s hands, it’s going to be at the Slayer’s. That’s Buffy. We got enough history to have that as a promise. I need to go – she takes me out.”
Lorne blinked. “Whoa there, buckaroo. Are you telling me you want Buffy to come and kill you? After all this you’re just gonna lay down and die – dust?”
“Not hardly – dunno what the chit’s gonna do when she finds out I’m still unliving. Last she saw I was falling to dust in the bottom of Sunnyhell. Just need to give her the option. ‘Course, I’d rather she be happy to see me, but with her… you just never know how she’s gonna react. Amongst our lot, comin’ back from the dead’s not overly novel.”
Spike drained the last of his blood and placed the mug on the nightstand with a thunk. “As for the ‘unique amongst vampires’ bit you’ve pegged me with, I’d say rare, instead. After all, there are two souled vampires in the world, as much as I’d like to dust the bastard, myself.”
Lorne was shocked at what he’d just heard. “Okay – I think I need some explanations here. The information about the battle in Sunnydale was never clear-cut. Angel’s been very secretive about a lot of things from what I’m hearing, specifically your role in it all. Not to mention your relationship with Buffy, and he’s never said a word about you having a soul.”
As if he were trying to visibly hold himself together, Spike wrapped his arms around his body. “Don’t know how to make sense of it all, mate, but I’ll be simple as I can: Had some bad issues, went to Africa and survived the Trials, asked for my soul back. Buffy an’me? Mortal enemies, very reluctant allies, lots of twists in the middle and we ended up battlin’ the First together. Angel’s little trinket burned me from my soul out, wiping out the Uber Vamps and sucking down the town into the Hellmouth. Gone now, ‘cept for me being back and all.”
“Huh!” was all Lorne managed to say.
“So, my life’s a right mess here. What’s the chance of findin’ the Slayer for me, mate? Seem to recall some sort of party bein’ thrown for her?”
~Criminies – how to explain this without letting on about Angel and Buffy’s plans~ “You’re in luck, kiddo. Turns out I’ve been asked to escort the little lady around town this Friday – two days from now. The boss is stuck at meetings all day, and doesn’t want the little lady to be bored. I do believe a meeting can be arranged.”
Spike ran his hand through his hair, a look of disgust gracing his features. “You think we can do something about this mop? Right now I’m bettin’ I’m real glad I don’t reflect. An’ clothes. Don’t know how I’m gonna…”
“Never you mind, Spike. I’ll arrange for one of my contacts to come in and fix you up any way you like, and I’ll provide a beginning wardrobe of your choice. You can always pay me back when you get back on your feet. I’m not hurting for moolah, believe me.”
The look on Spike’s face caused the empath to pause. “What’s the matter, kid? You look like you lost your best friend.”
“S’not really important,” he sighed. “It’s just…the one piece of clothing that ever meant anything to me is gone.”
Lorne grinned. This he could make better. “I’ll be back in a flash, Spike. I think I’ve got something to bring the smile back to that pretty face.”
When he returned moments later, the duster held out in front of him, he knew he’d done at least one thing right. Spike saw the beloved leather coat held out in the green hands that had comforted him, and Spike… Spike wept.