Pairing: Spike/Xander Rating: PG13 Genres: Pre-Slash, Hurt/Comfort Warnings: none Summary: Xander gets hit with venomous slime, and has quite an unusual reaction. Spoilers: None Word Count: 1357 words Disclaimer: Don't own 'em - not making any money off 'em. Dern it. Prompt Notes: Inspiration for this fic taken from tamingthemuse prompt #378: Loop Notes: Thanks to ozsaur, for pointing me in the right direction for this one.
“I can’t do it, Spike. My feet keep falling me down.”
Spike sighed and settled Harris onto a stair-step. “You can rest for a minute, but then we’re going up the stairs, even if I have to carry you.”
Xander leaned back, so he could look up at Spike as he spoke, and somehow managed to lose his balance while sitting.
He slid down several steps to the landing, flowing practically bonelessly over the stairs until his ass couldn’t get any lower, his head propped on a higher stair. It had to be uncomfortable, but he didn’t seem to notice.
Wasn’t surprising. He’d gotten a good-sized dose of venom from the Galfabule demon. It hadn’t broken the skin, so he’d be fine in the morning, but in the meantime, he’d be loopy as hell until the venom wore off. At least he’d waited to collapse until he’d gotten inside the apartment building; it was harder for someone to sneak up on them there, so Spike could relax some of his usual vigilance, despite the late hour. Although to think of it, with any of the Slayer’s little companions around, the chances were always higher than normal that something odd would happen.
He hunted through his pockets until he came up with a pack of smokes, and lit up. It was a cool night out tonight, and the warmth of the cigarette heated him from the inside out.
He’d probably be best served by throwing old Loopy here over his shoulder, and toting him up the rest of the stairs. Spike had been inside his flat, so he didn’t need to worry about getting an invite. If he was lucky, there might even be a bag or two of blood in the freezer. There had been the last time he’d shown up. Time before as well, if he remembered correctly.
He got the idea Harris was lonely in that big apartment, now that his Demon Girl had let her ex-boss talk her into taking up her old job, again. Harris had been devastated, of course, but he was beginning to come around. It was early yet for him to start dating again, but Harris wouldn’t stay single long. He wasn’t the type. Spike guessed he should take advantage of the free beer and blood, not to mention the occasional kip in the guest room, while he could. Sooner or later there’d be another chit in Harris’ life, and old Spike would get the boot, along with a hearty “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
“Spike, Spike, Spike, Spike, Spike, Spi…”
“Bleeding hell, Loopy, what’s wrong with you now?”
“Can I tell you a secret, Spike?” He crooked his finger to draw Spike down closer to him.
Spike rolled his eyes. This had better be good. He went down on one knee, getting close enough for Harris to feel comfortable stage whispering to him.
Harris’ eyes were wide and innocent as he carefully pronounced his words. “I think I’m high.”
Spike barked out a sharp laugh.
Loopy waved his hands back and forth in front of his face, in an effort to keep Spike quiet. “Shhhh….don’t tell anybody. It’s a secret.”
“Not too much of a secret, mate. Why do you think I’m escorting you home?”
“But Spike, I don’t remember getting high.” He gasped as some thought managed to force its way through that clogged up highway he called a brain. “Did you get me high, Spike? Why’d you do that?”
Spike took another drag off his ciggy. “No Loopy, it wasn’t me. Do you remember patrol tonight? We were out looking for the Galfabule, the big guy with the white scales and the big, nasty claws dripping venom. Remember him?”
“I remember! The golfball demon. The one with the claws and the poison slime. I hit him with my axe, and he knocked me for a loop.” Harris gasped. “I got golfball slime on my face! I’m gonna die!”
He’d managed to half sit up, so Spike pulled him up against the wall, and into a sitting position. Then Spike turned around and sat on the steps above him.
“If you were going to die, Loopy, you’d have done it already. He didn’t claw you, didn’t even scratch you. You’re gonna be just fine.”
“I am? You’re sure I’ll be fine?”
When he looked at Spike like that, all innocence and big eyes, it made Spike’s dead heart clench. All that brown hair, and dark eyes – he reminded Spike of Drusilla when she was at her neediest. But this one? Harris didn’t need anybody. He’d grown into a man who could take care of himself, unless he was full of Galfabule slime, and that was a rare exception. Best Spike keep that in mind.
He finished off his fag, and crushed it under his heel. “Come on, Harris, let’s get you inside your flat, eh?”
It wasn’t easy to get him on his feet, but finally, Spike had Loopy in a fireman’s carry, and he laughed all the way up the stairs at the squeal he’d earned when he’d tipped Harris up onto his shoulder. It was awkward, considering the fact that Harris had a bulkier frame and an inch or two of height on Spike, but being a vampire had its advantages, and this was one of them.
Getting the keys out of his pockets had been an exercise in hilarity. Who the hell would have thought he was ticklish in exactly those spots. But eventually, he got Harris inside and propped up on one side of the couch, fumbling awkwardly with the remote. Spike left him there, and explored the refrigerator, pulling out two beers, and a bag of blood out of the freezer. He’d save the second bag for when he woke.
Armed with beer and warm blood, he wandered back over to the couch, and sat down, kicking his boots off and propping his feet up on the coffee table. Harris beamed at him broadly as he handed over a beer, and they sat back for a night of bad horror movies, and good company. Harris always had a good, sharp wit, and maybe he thought a fraction slower with the venom in his system, but his lines were just as hilarious. When he laughed, he put his whole body into it, hiccupping into his beer, and wiping his teary eyes with the back of his hand, while Spike snickered as much at him as at the TV.
Spike awoke disoriented, his senses telling him it was less than an hour to sunrise. He had no idea how Harris’ head had landed in his lap, but Spike felt oddly unwilling to move it and wake him. He glanced over at the windows, checking to see if the shades were drawn tight, satisfied with what he saw. He knew from prior experience that although some light leaked in at the top, it illuminated the ceiling, but never reached any lower. He stuffed a pillow behind his head, and scrunched down, flicking off the TV, and settling into his spot.
Harris muttered something in his sleep, and Spike found himself stroking his hand though Harris’ hair, the way he had with Dru, when she awoke from a bad dream. He was taken by surprise when Harris’ eyes popped open, and caught Spike with one hand in his hair. Spike froze, sure that there would be some caustic remark, or at least a strange look, but Harris just sighed, and closed his eyes again.
“You’re staying here with me, Spike?” he mumbled. “I want you here with me.”
“All right. I’ll stay.” As if he had plans for going anywhere until the sun set. “Don’t worry, Xander, I’m not going anywhere.”
Xander smiled, and sighed, and nudged his head against the hand Spike hadn’t moved since he’d opened his eyes. Spike got the hint, and started running his fingers though his hair, again. He put his other hand on Xander’s chest, feeling the steady beat that thrummed through Spike’s senses, until Xander’s heartbeat lulled him back to sleep.