a fic last posted in 2004 - Crazy Eights.
I have deleted the original eleven chapters from my memories, as they have been shredded and
mended by my two marvelous betas - Twinkles, who is also responsible for my brand new banner,
and stalwartsandall, who have gone through my work with a red scythe.
If all goes according to plan, I'll post a chapter a day until it's complete.
Read on, my friends. Hope you enjoy, safe in the knowledge this is not a WIP.
‘Bored, bored, bored.’ The phrase thumped through her restless mind, in time with the swinging of her arms as she walked. Turning into Restfield cemetery – his cemetery – the Slayer realized what had been niggling at her for hours – Spike wasn’t with her. Had he offered to meet her for patrol tonight? He often did these days. Unsure, she headed towards his crypt, to see what was up.
She was in sight of his crypt when she tripped, her foot hitting something soft and squishy. It resembled a large pile of dark, wet rags. As she bent down to investigate, the coppery smell overwhelmed her… blood. Lots and lots of blood, and relatively fresh at that.
Wishing she had a large stick to prod the pile of rags with, Buffy gingerly reached out to remove the topmost piece of bloody cloth from the pile. What she saw made her turn her head and her stomach roil.
Spike’s platinum hair was almost unrecognizable, completely saturated with congealing blood. His left cheekbone had been crushed and he’d been gagged with what looked to be his own red silk button-down. His arms had been tied behind his back with sufficient force to dislocate both shoulders, and his right leg was twisted at an unnatural angle.
Buffy removed the gag and gently pulled up his sodden t-shirt, running her fingertips gently over the vampire’s bruised and mangled torso, from his chest to his pelvis. Nauseous, she ascertained that at least three of his ribs had been broken and he’d been stabbed several times for good measure.
As her hands fluttered nervously over his belt, Buffy felt a cold knot of fear form in her belly. She had no issue performing a perfunctory exam of Spike’s lower anatomy, but she was hesitant to expose the unconscious and bloodied vampire further in the unprotected open space of the graveyard. A quick glance at the lightening sky added a sense of urgency to her movements.
“I’m sorry, so sorry,” she whispered over and over again as she hoisted his broken body over her shoulder in a fireman’s carry. She practically sprinted towards his crypt, grateful for his unconscious state; the pain from his broken ribs and limbs would have been devastating.
She edged her way into the crypt, careful not to jostle Spike anymore than she had to. Knowing there was no way to get them both down to his bed on the lower level, she made do with the stone sarcophagus.
Grabbing blankets and pillows from the battered sofa, she arranged them as best she could with her one available arm, and then gently deposited the vampire in the middle of the nest of the bedding. Mindful of his injured right leg, she straightened the limb out and took stock. He’d not made a sound since she tripped over him in the graveyard. Skin mottled with bruises, flowering against the almost translucent white, Spike looked well and truly dead.
Despite the fear still coiling in her belly, she knew what had to be done. She had to assess the damage to the rest of his body. Taking a deep breath, she unbuckled his belt, and opened the buttons of his fly. Gently reaching under the comatose vampire, she managed to ease his jeans down to his knees. Swiftly tugging off his boots, she removed the jeans altogether.
What she saw did nothing to assuage the roiling mess in her stomach. Dark bruises marred the skin covering each of the vampire’s delicate hipbones. Peeriing closer, she could discern the shape of individual fingers in the bruising. His groin, penis and sac were covered in bloody welts, indicative of a whipping of some sort. Gently rocking his body to one side, Buffy found similar welts over his entire back, worsening in intensity towards his buttocks. The oozing blood was suggestive of intimate damage.
She knew she had to get him cleaned up – and fed.
There was no bathroom to speak of, but Spike had jury-rigged a running shower. The Slayer got to work: grabbing a bowl of warm water and a stack of towels, and rummaging around the crypt until she found Spike’s first aid kit. Lots of fresh bandages and gauze, some needles and thread – it wasn’t pretty, but aided by vampire healing, it would suffice.
She set about her task with the air of someone who’d spent far too much time around battlefield injuries. Placing a towel under Spike’s head to catch the excess, Buffy poured warm liquid through the injured vampire’s bloody hair, gently sluicing away the blood and gore, and trying to assess the damage to his skull. She’d found a nasty gash – probably the one responsible for all the blood in the first place. While the wound still oozed, it was well on its way to closing with no intervention necessary.
Running a clean towel lightly over his face, skimming the shattered cheekbone and torn lips, Buffy felt tears begin to form. Seeing his familiar face so damaged broke her heart. Spike was a pain in the ass, but she couldn’t imagine what he’d done to deserve a beating this severe. She also didn’t like thinking about who or what could possibly have overpowered him – more than likely a whole bunch of someones or somethings. A whole bunch of someones or somethings who clearly delighted in causing pain.
She knew his dislocated shoulders needed to be popped back into place, but they would have to wait until his ribs had healed enough for him to sit up on his own. Taking care not to jostle his torso more than necessary, Buffy grabbed the scissors from the first aid kit and cut away the remains of his bloodies black t-shirt.
There was so much bruising, he looked like he was wearing a tie-dyed shirt. A few soft swipes of the towel revealed three deep stab wounds that required stitching. With a shaky hand, the nervous Slayer stitched the wounds closed, with nary a peep nor twitch from the patient.
“Saved the best - worst for last,” she mumbled. Replacing the cooled water in the bowl with warm, she swiftly washed his genitals, wincing at the still-oozing welts. She rolled Spike gently onto his side and wiped down his back. Gently prising his cheeks apart, she delicately cleansed the damage there. The bleeding had stopped, which she took as a good sign.
“If someone had told me a week ago that I would be playing Nurse Buffy and to an injured vampire at that, I’d have laughed in their face.” She shook her head in disbelief. “If you’d told me that I’d be playing Nurse Buffy, I’d have smacked you across your smirky face.”
Her eyes meandered over his damaged flesh. “Now, I just wish you’d open your stupid blue eyes and say something about my hands finally being on your ass.”
Sighing, she resettled the immobile vampire on his back and tucked the comforter around him. It wouldn’t do much for warmth, but it would be a soft barrier between him and the rest of the world.
She headed to Spike’s fridge. He’d clearly lost a lot of of blood and he wouldn’t heal unless he was fed. Finding a handful of containers, she placed two in the microwave that her mother had gifted him for last Christmas and pushed the button marked with red nail polish to read: ‘Blood.’
She found a straw – and not bothering with a mug – brought the containers over to the sarcophagus. Settling in behind Spike and cradling his head against her chest, she raised the container to his face.
“C’mon, Spike. Wakey wakey! Chow time. Lots of nummy blood to make you grow big and strong,” she cajoled, to no effect. Dipping her finger into the viscous fluid, she swiped it gently against his lips and tried again. “Please, Spike. You’ve got to snap out of it. If you don’t eat, you won’t heal. You’ve got to get better, and tell me what happened. I think I really need to put the hurt on whatever did this to you.”
Just as she was about to give up, she felt his lips twitch slightly. Encouraged, she re-dipped her finger into the blood and tried again. No doubt about it, this time he swiped his tongue around her finger, swallowing the blood. Coating the end of the straw in the blood, she placed it against the vampire’s lips. He suckled the life-giving fluid noisily and groaned in disappointment when the container was emptied.
“You want more, ya big glutton?” Buffy teased. Taking his grunt for an affirmative, she placed the straw in the second container and held it for him. He finished that container in record time and settled back into his nest of blankets, the effort to feed apparently taking all of strength.
“That’s all right, Spike,” she murmured. “You sleep and feel better. We’ll talk when you wake up.”
Suddenly overcome with exhaustion now that the immediate crisis was over, Buffy settled herself on the sarcophagus to watch the now peacefully sleeping vampire.
Hoping to hear your thoughts, comments, criticism if necessary (be kind, I bruise easily).