Spike sat beside the hospital bed on an uncomfortable chair reserved for visitors, his forehead resting on the mattress. He felt as though this week would never end.
He tumbled heavily to the ground, the demon racing towards him. Fuck, but the thing moved fast. He'd been battling it for what seemed like hours and his strength was all but gone. He struggled to rise as it moved nearer.
From the corner of his eye he saw a blur and suddenly Xander was there, punching at the demon's side, trying to distract it from the exhausted vampire.
The demon turned and Spike could swear there was a smile on its tusked face. With an effortless swipe of its leathery paw it swept the human away. Xander flew twenty feet in the air and Spike heard a sickening crack as his head connected with a gravestone. Driven by fear and fury, he rose and plunged his dagger deep into the creature's brain.
The calloused hand he was holding moved slightly and he raised his head hopefully. "Xan? Can you hear me, love?"
"What d'you mean you don't hate me? 'Course you hate me. That's a thingummy ... a given. You all hate me."
"I can't speak for everyone else, Spike, but not only don't I hate you but ..." Xander blushed. "I like you."
Spike's eyebrows travelled north. "Let me get this straight. You like me. As in like me?"
He could've lit a cigarette from the heat radiating from Xander's face.
Spike straightened and a leer decorated his face. "Then what are we waiting for? You've got a nice comfy king-size bed in that apartment of yours with our names on it."
The figure on the narrow hospital bed groaned. Unshed tears stung Spike's eyes. Crying wouldn't help. He'd found that out the hard way.
"You're a moron."
"You're a prat."
"If you had half a brain you'd be dangerous."
"If you had half a brain I'd be bloody surprised."
"God, I'm horny."
"God, I'm ..." Spike did a double take. "Are we through fighting now, pet? 'Cause if we are I'd like to get right to the make-up sex, if it's all the same to you."
Xander grinned. "Oh yeah, I could live with that."
Spike brushed dark, silky strands away from Xander's forehead then started when his eyelids began to flicker. "Doctor! Nurse! Anyone!"
"Say that again."
"I love you."
"I. Love. You."
"No, Spike, I will not say it again. Not right now, anyway. You heard me the first time. So?"
Xander rolled his eyes.
"Tell me how you feel!"
Time to stop torturing his boy. "I love you too."
"He seems to be fine, Mr ..." the doctor consulted her notes, "Mr Bartholomew. There's no sign of brain damage and his physical injuries have healed. He'll need careful nursing but you should be able to take him home tomorrow if he continues to make good progress." She smiled and left the room.
Xander smiled wearily. "Spike." The softly-spoken word was a caress.
Spike smiled. "We've got a lot of anniversaries to celebrate -- first time we kissed, first time we fucked, first time you told me you love me -- but this'll be the one I'll remember best. The day you came back to me."
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