"Just what I wanted to do tonight! Walk around old moldy cemeteries all night!" Xander grumbled to himself.

"Stop whining brat." Spike growled kicking a rock. "You think I want to be here?"

"Hey at least you LIVE in an old moldy cemetery! You're used to it." Xander stuffed his hands deeper into the pockets of his jacket. "I can't believe she couldn't do this without US! She does it any other time."

Spike threw the cigarette to the side in anger. "What exactly is your problem? You've been whining all evening!"

"I had PLANS!" Xander yelled.

"Like I didn't?" Spike swung around in front of him. "You think I like being dragged out here and made to be at her beck and call anytime she gets a hair up her ass? Do you think I like to be threatened every time I turn around?"

"I don't know? Maybe you're kinky that way!" Xander told him lightly as he stepped around the angry vampire. Spike grabbed him by the collar of the jacket intending to continue the fight when suddenly the ground opened up under Xander's feet and they both plummeted down.

They could feel roots tearing at them as they fell and fell and fell down the hole until finally they hit bottom, Xander on top of Spike.

There was a stunned silence as they both were in shock. Finally Xander whispered, "What happened?"

It was only then that he realized that he was still on top of Spike. He tried to shift himself to the side but there just wasn't that much room. He stopped when he heard the groan.

"Spike? Are you okay?" Xander asked tentatively.

He moaned slightly before he took in a breath he didn't need and rasped out, "Yeah fine. Peachy keen."

"Look maybe I should uh move." Xander started trying to shift his weight around.

"No, you need to wiggle a bit to the--ah! Ah! Not that far right!" Spike cried out in pain.

"Where exactly are you hurt?" Xander asked trying to reach out with his hands.

It was pitch black around them. No light made its way down to them and he couldn't see anything. The total darkness was unnerving.

"Can you see anything?" Xander asked him.

"No. Nothing. No light to see," Spike told him in gasping breaths. "Even at night there's a little light. Nothing here."

Xander nodded to himself. "Look I'm going to um try to stand up okay?"

He wiggled his legs around till he felt earth between what he presumed was Spike's legs. He felt around them and felt only dirt and what felt like rocks. "How far down do you think we are?"

"Don't...know," he grunted.

"Sorry I uh can't see. Here how about I lift you up and you sorta..." Xander pulled up on Spike's arms. He flinched when he heard the blond vampire cry out in pain.

"Where are you hurt at?"

"Me legs. I think I broke them," Spike whispered.


Xander reached down further and grabbed more around Spike's waist. "Hold on."

He raised him up a little bit then slipped under him pulling him into his lap. Spike growled in pain.

Xander apologized. "Sorry. I won't move you any more."

Minutes ticked by. "Do you think they noticed we're gone yet?"

Spike didn't answer him. Xander reached out and touched him. "Hey you okay?"

"Look you're freaking me out. I can't tell if you're okay or not. You don't exactly do the involuntary breathing heart beating thing remember? You are going to have to tell me verbally if you're okay!" Xander told him irritated.

"I'm fine," Spike said through gritted teeth. He was still trying to control the pain that was flared by being moved.

"Cool." The minutes stretched by again.

Xander sighed. "So, do you come here often?"

A growl in the dark answered him.

"Hey it isn't MY fault that we're here. How was I supposed to know there was a hole in the ground? And such a DEEP hole!" Xander told him annoyed.

"It isn't a hole." Spike told him after a few minutes.

"What would you call it?"

"I think it's an old mine shaft. This area used to have a lot of mines." Spike said quietly.

"Mines? In a cemetery?" Xander asked incredulously.

"It wasn't always a cemetery you know. After the mines played out. It was useless land. Most of the town is over the old mines. A lot of the sewer system came from existing mine tunnels. This may have been one of the old shafts. Maybe the ground collapsed or something. It happens from time to time."

"That don't sound too good for us." Xander reached out with his hands touching as far out as he could. There was dirt all around them. It was powdery.

"This could uh be dangerous," Xander whispered.

Spike didn't answer.

"I don't uh want to be buried alive." Xander told him nervously. "I uh sorta had plans this evening that totally didn't involve being buried alive."

He felt his legs starting to go numb. "I need to move you just a little. My legs are going to sleep."

He heard the low rumble of a growl. "Look it's not my fault that you're a dead weight. I mean uh...so heavy."

He pulled the vampire up closer to his chest and re-arranged his legs. He felt the blood rush back to his feet. "AH!"

In his arms he felt Spike start to tremble. "Sorry."

He settled him back down on his lap. After a few minutes Spike sighed. "Stop apologizing. It isn't your fault about any of it. These damn things collapse all the time around here. Sometimes they go to bury someone and they take a break and when they come back the casket's gone. It ends up going directly into a mine. It's happened to a couple of vamps around here. I could hear them howl until..."

Xander asked very quietly. "Until what?"

"Until they finally starved to their second death."

"You're just trying to uh...scare me aren't you? Just playing with my head for your own twisted amusement?" Xander asked hopefully.

"You think I'm going to make up something that...bothers me...as well as you?" Spike asked him. His voice had underlying pain.

Xander swallowed his next question and strained his ears to try and hear above. "Maybe we should uh...yell or something?"

"The Slayer was far ahead of us. She was chasing something. Who knows how far ahead she is now? I doubt she could hear us."

Xander started to fidget underneath the other man. He stopped abruptly as he felt the other man start to tremble. "Sorry...again."

"Is that a torch in your pocket or are you just happy to..." Spike asked him interrupting more apologies.

"A torch? You mean big flame-y thing?" Xander asked confused.
"No torch as in with batteries," Spike asked him patting around the other man's coat.

"Oh...OH! Flashlight!" Xander shifted the vampire forward to reach in his pocket.

Spike hissed in pain.

"Sorry." He flipped the switch and a beam of light cut through the darkness.
He waved it around their small space. He could see the old wooden beams around him. "Yep it used to be a mine."

It had apparently collapsed at some point as well. They were wedged at what may have been the bottom of the old shaft. He looked up the shaft. "Uh is that...?"

"A skeleton? Yep. Most likely came out of an old casket. Don't worry, the dead can't hurt you."

Xander gave him a dirty look.

"Okay USUALLY the dead can't hurt you. Unless it starts to move around don't worry about it." Spike rolled his eyes.

Xander angled the flashlight down to look at Spike's legs. They were definitely broken. Turned at unnatural angles he could see the bone of one of them. Blood pooled around his legs soaking his dark pants. Xander had originally thought that maybe it was water, his stomach turned as he realized what it really was. "Oh God that looks bad."

Spike closed his eyes. "No shit."

Xander held the light back up to the opening. "That is a hell of a long way down."

Spike didn't answer.

"Think anyone can see the light if I wave it up there?"
Spike shrugged vaguely. "Perhaps, I don't know."

"You think that if the sun comes up it will shine down here?" Xander asked suddenly.

"I don't know," Spike answered in a breathy tone.

Xander faced him. "You really are...bothered...by this aren't you?"

Spike flinched as Xander moved a little.

"I am so sorry I'm sorry I'll stop moving. I will. At least I will really really try," he babbled.

"Stop bloody apologizing!" Spike growled.

"Sorry!" Xander bit his lip. "Look I don't know what else to say."

Spike didn't say anything.

"Want to talk about anything?" Xander asked playing with the flashlight.

Spike glared.

"I really am sorry that I keep moving." Xander told him ignoring the glare. "I've always had a problem with sitting still. My old doctor said I was ADHD. You know attention deficit hyperactive disorder. Maybe he had a point. You know? I mean I didn't go to college because really I just couldn't get into the whole school thing. It was boring really. I mean come on! Sitting there and listening to someone talk about the same thing we just had to read about? I mean it was bad enough that I had to force myself to read the crap but then a teacher stands up there and has to tell me AGAIN? It's amazing that I can sit still long enough to do the research thing."

"Does this ADHD thing make you run at the mouth?" Spike asked.

"That would be a big yes." Xander nodded. "I can usually control it. It's worse when I'm nervous."

"Would it help if I gagged you?" Spike asked.

"Probably not. It never did with dad." Xander smiled.

"Bloody hell," Spike muttered.

Xander smirked until he noticed that Spike had begun to tremble again. He cleared his throat. "Are you uh cold?"

Spike grunted.

Xander pulled his light around and looked at Spike closer. "You don't look too good."

He was a bit gray and his lips were tinged blue. Xander flicked his light back down to Spike's ruined legs. "How...how much blood do you think you lost?"

Spike grunted again and shook his head.

"You're going into shock aren't you? Do vampires go into shock? I bet you are!" Xander started to panic slightly.

He pulled his light up and shined it back up the shaft. "HEY HEY UP THERE! CAN YOU HEAR ME?"

Spike flinched. "Can you not yell in me bloody ear?"

"Sorry." He craned his neck up and continued to yell.

He yelled for a long time till he became hoarse. Finally he sighed and pulled the light back down between them. He felt his breath rush out as he saw Spike. The blond vampire looked the same color as dust and he seemed to be having trouble focusing his eyes.

Xander shook his shoulder. "Hey don't leave!"

"Not...not going anywhere. No where to go. Can't walk to go," Spike told him vaguely. His voice had a far away quality to it.

Xander nodded still not appeased.

"Bloody wheelchair is hard to move sometimes. I hate it," Spike told him in a toneless voice.

"Wheelchair?" Xander asked confused.

"I hate this bloody wheelchair," Spike told him faintly.

"Uh you aren't in a wheelchair you are in my lap. And let me tell you...you need to go on some sort of diet," Xander told him nervously.

"Hurts. Hurts so much. He likes to re-open the wounds sometimes." Spike's head bowed down as his eyes began to close.

"Hey! Hey now. I don't think it's safe for you to sleep. I can't remember," Xander tried to give him a little shake.

"So tired." Spike whispered.

"NO! No you don't. No dead undead vamps are allowed in this mine shaft!" He waved a finger at him and pulled him up closer.

"He's going to take her away from me. The only thing I have have. Alone. I hate being alone." Spike's voice quavered slightly.

"Oh boy this isn't good." Xander told himself. "Spike? Spike! You need to wake up."

"I need her. I need to take care of her. She's my responsibility." Spike clutched desperately at Xander's jacket. His trembling became more pronounced.

Xander shouldered off his jacket and wrapped it around Spike. "Spike. She left. She's fine. You're the one I'm worried about right now."

Spike's eyes focused and unfocused for a few seconds trying to find his face. "You...worry about...me?"

"Uh...sorta. It would be totally ew if you died on my lap." Xander told him rubbing the blonde's arms.

Spike burrowed under Xander's chin knocking his head up a little with enough force to click his teeth together.


Spike didn't hear him as he started to fall asleep.

"No, no you can't fall asleep. What...what were your plans earlier? Come on talk to me here." Xander shook him again.

"Gonna, gonna drink a toast to her. She left me on this d-d-day. Anniversary." He sighed. "She was my world."

"Planet loopy?"

He heard the faint growl. "Okay not funny I know. But hey man you can't wrap your entire life around ONE person especially when that person don't want you back."

"She was my Sire. Angel, he taught me but she turned me. When she got worse over the years it was MY responsibility to take care of her." Spike told him.

"Kinda like taking care of a senile parent huh?" Xander asked.

"Kind of but not exactly. I loved her so much." Spike was getting weaker. "She was mine."

"You have to move on," Xander told him.

"I think I'm going to," Spike told him softly as his eyes slipped close.

Xander shook him hard. "I didn't mean like this! WAKE UP...you you...asshole!"

Spike didn't respond as Xander shook him harder. "You JERK, you ass, you bastard, you...you...you WANKER! WAKE UP!"

A bleary eye opened slowly. "Wha?"

"You have to stay awake! Do you understand me?" Xander asked him slowly looking him directly in the face.

He juggled the flashlight around and he pulled the weakened vampire into a closer embrace.

"Hey, hey you can't fade out on me. You still have to kill us all remember? You have to get the chip out and go all grr on us and..." Xander took a deep breath. "Would blood help?"

Spike became heavier in his arms. Xander wedged the flashlight between his side and the dirt wall. "Hey you? Hey?"

He lifted Spike's chin. The light threw shadows upon Spike's face making his face gaunter.

He patted down his jacket still wrapped around the still form and then moved it to the side and then checked Spike's duster. He found nothing that would help. "Damn it!"

He turned his face up and screamed up the shaft. "HEEEEEELP!"

He turned back to Spike and felt his heart twist.

"It's not fair," he murmured.

He stroked the face in front of him. "How can someone who is such a pain in the ass look like...an angel?"

"Spike? Please don't die...again. I don't want you to die," Xander told him pulling him back closer to him.

He knew logically that Spike wasn't gone yet but the still form still managed to cause his heart to twist in grief. He held for all intents and purposes a corpse in his arms. "Please Spike. I don't want to be alone. I don't want to die alone down here. I'm tired of being alone for everything. You can't die till I do! Do you HEAR ME! I said I don't want you to die yet!"

He started to shake the blond vampire hard. "Wake up wake up wake up wake up!"

"Please don't leave me alone," he finally whispered against the blond hair.

"My great plans..." he said bitterly. "The same as yours. Get drunk and feel self pity over being left."

"I'll make you a deal?" Xander said hopefully to the still form that was turning grayer and grayer. Becoming dust slowly. "I won't leave if you won't."

"Not that I could leave really. But I mean it. Stay. I'll be yours if you'll be mine? Then we don't have to be alone anymore. Deal?" he whispered into an ear that didn't seem to hear him.

He started to rock them both. "I can't find anything to cut myself with. I would give you my blood if I could."

If it was possible the body in his arms was beginning to grow colder. Xander closed his eyes and bit at his lip trying not to cry. "I hate you," he whispered.

He flinched as he felt his teeth cut into his lip. He absentmindedly licked at his lip. Until he realized what it was he tasted.

He bit into his lip again this time on purpose harder. It wasn't easy because it wasn't in his nature to purposely hurt himself. He had to force himself not to stop. The light of the flashlight was becoming weaker. He shook it briefly before putting it back and shaking his head. In minutes he would no longer even have the comfort of the light.

He swallowed the panic that thought brought on. Instead he brought the vampire up closer to him. "In for a penny in for a pound." He whispered to himself remembering his grandmother's favorite saying.

He closed his eyes as he placed his mouth upon Spike's. He swallowed hard as he caught the taste of ash on his tongue. (No please don't let it be too late)

He pushed Spike's lips open with his own and stroked his hair. Please wake up.

The shaking started again as Spike moved slightly under his hands. He pulled back for a second long enough to bit down on his lip again making it bleed more. He pushed his mouth back against Spike's and met little resistance. One of Spike's hands grasped the collar of his shirt as he started to suck on the human's lip.

He broke apart for air and met the blue eyes that still held their pain in them. "I only...I only bought you a little time didn't I?" Xander asked sadly.

The light dimmed more. He felt his panic rise again. Every time the light dimmed a little more he felt that much closer to losing the battle to save the vampire.

Spike laid his head upon the mortal's shoulder unable to speak.

Xander wrapped his arms around him tightly stroking at the bleached out hair. "Don't go. Not yet please."

Spike sighed as he fought to keep his eyes open. The smell of ash was in the air as Xander buried his face in the vampire's neck. As the flashlight's battery finally went dead Xander pulled him in for one last kiss.
Imagine his surprise when a light quickly came on, from the top of the hole.
"Xander? Spike?"

The voice was in shock. Buffy and Giles faces were at the top of the hole. Buffy looked like she had just been told that she going to have to go to law school. Giles looked extremely concerned.

"Are, are you...two alright?" he asked tentatively.

Xander closed his mouth as he realized he was gaping. "Giles? Buffy? Quick
get us out of here! He's hurt bad!"

"It's almost morning." He looked behind him and called out to someone
unseen. "Get the tarp."

A few minutes later Willow looked over the side of the hole. "Are you

She looked very worried as she pulled back out of the hole and went to help with the rope. He could hear Buffy talking to her in low tones and when Willow leaned back out over the hole to dangle the rope her face reflected a little bit of shock.

He tied the rope around his waist and pulled Spike to his chest letting his broken legs dangle down. A moan told him that Spike was still with him. As they pulled them up closer to the top his heart jumped, as suddenly it was completely dark again. But he reined in his fear as he realized that it was the tarp. They put a tarp over the hole to block out the coming day light. He kept the vampire under the tarp and gently wrapped him up as they hit the top of the shaft.

"We have to get him blood. He's about to die his last death," Xander told them quickly as he carried the wrapped vampire to the car. He tried not to jostle him too much but he hurried as fast as he could.

At Giles house they discovered that there would be a problem getting him to drink the blood that would heal him. Xander grabbed a sports bottle much to the ex-librarian's dismay and put the blood in it. He held it inside the vampire's mouth and moved it around.

"Gee would you like a baby bottle?" Buffy asked faintly still not looking too thrilled but a little understanding haunted her eyes.

"If you know where one is..." Xander told her distractedly. He was getting frantic as he started stroking his hair and talking in his ear. "Come on you gotta eat. Yummy blood here. Eat up. Or I'm going to...I'm going to feed it to another vampire. I'll uh feed it to Angel! I'll feed your blood to Angel and..."

Spike growled low in his throat.

"Well eat then and he won't get it!" Xander told him shoving the bottle further in his mouth.

He only began to relax as he heard the sucking sound and saw the mouth clamp down around it. "Finally."

"So no baby bottle?" Buffy asked with a vague smile.

"Aw he looks cute. Like a giant baby," Willow said looking in.

Spike growled a little louder and opened his eyes up a little to glare at her.

"Oh yeah he'll be okay." Buffy smiled.

"Indeed." Giles said coughing into his hand. "Color has already begun to return to his uh skin. His legs should heal rapidly now that they are set."
Giles set down another bag of blood and quickly left the room.

As Spike finished the next bag Xander stood up. "I'll uh leave you alone. To rest ya know."

Spike looked at him carefully. "No."


"Not part of the deal luv. Remember. You won't leave if I won't. I didn't leave." Spike told him in all seriousness before pulling Xander down onto the bed.

Xander opened and closed his mouth trying to figure out what to say. Spike smiled and pulled him close. "Remember. You're mine now. A deal is a deal."

Xander took a deep breath and let it out shakily. "Then you're mine too."

As they sealed the deal with a kiss they didn't hear Willow close the door softly with a quiet giggle.

The End

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