Categories > TV > Angel1 Reviews
Post-NFA, Spike and Illyria the only survivors. He's ambushed and badly injured, she helps him the only way she knows how. One-shot, part of the ColdComfortVerse.
Author: babies stole my dingo (agilebrit)
Rating: PG-13 for violence, language, and blood
Length: Short story (a little over 2200 words)
Disclaimer: Joss is the genius behind these characters; I am but a lowly follower. I make no money from any of this, so please don't sue me.
Written for: It's all about me this time, baby.
Notes: Shameless Spillyria H/C. About two months post-NFA, and completely self-indulgent. You've been warned.
"Right, then. Put the girl down and step away from her," Spike said.
Wide, terrified eyes looked at him from under dark brown bangs. "Help me," the young woman mouthed. The demon's taloned hands gripped her arms, and her feet dangled a several inches above the filthy asphalt of the alley. A wide grin wreathed toothy jaws as the demon took in the sight of the girl's erstwhile rescuer.
"I knew all I would have to do to find you was...this," it said, shaking her a little and making her whimper.
Spike stepped forward, fists clenched. "You found what you were looking for. Leave the girl out of it."
The demon made as if to put her down, then snatched her forward, ripped out her throat, and tossed her aside. She didn't even have a chance to scream. It faced off with Spike, who drew a sword from a scabbard hidden under his duster.
"Now, see, that was quite rude. I can't let you live after you've done something like that."
"Where is your companion?" it asked, advancing on him.
"Dunno. I think you've got enough to be concerned about just with me at this point in--"
The demon pounced. Spike had time jerk backwards and think, Oh, hell, the thing is fast, before a two-inch claw sliced a diagonal cut across his face, starting above his left eyebrow, traversing the bridge of his nose, and ending under his right eye. Quicker than thought, its other arm swiped across his torso, sending a fiery shock of pain through his whole body and leaving four deep and terrible slices between his ribs. But he didn't have time to think at all when, a microsecond later, it produced a third arm from somewhere, holding a club, and bludgeoned his head with a sidearm swing. He rolled across the alley and fetched up against the brick wall, unconscious and bleeding.
The demon faded back into the shadows...waiting.
Illyria paced around the tiny, cheap motel room. Sunrise was almost upon this new city, and Spike had not yet returned from whatever errand he had gone out on. After the battle behind the Hyperion, which had left Gunn a bloodless corpse and Angel a blowing puff of dust, she and Spike had stayed on the move, one step ahead - sometimes - of the assassins of the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart. The vagaries of this world still puzzled and vexed her, and Spike usually took her with him on a nightly patrol so they could "blow off steam." Tonight he had gone out on his own, promising he would not be long. "Not a patrol, pet, just getting the lay of the land," he had assured her.
That had been hours ago. He should have come back to her by now. An errant thought from the shell bubbled up through her consciousness. "Screw this." Not content to wait any longer, she opened the door and strode out of the room into the heat of the July night.
He had gone...this way. Tracking him without analyzing how, she stalked down the street. He had turned a corner here/, gone through the doorway of /that establishment, come out again, and continued on. Ragged humans skittered out of her way to avoid being stepped on as she continued her single-minded quest.
She was drawing closer to him. The scent of blood - Spike's blood! - jerked her head sideways as she stopped by the entrance to an alley. Her gaze swept it, taking in the dead girl, coming to rest on her half-breed, lying in a crumpled heap next to the wall in a huge pool of blood.
She focused her attention on Spike as she knelt beside him, so she didn't notice the assassin until it leaped upon her, clawing and clubbing at her with its three arms. She swatted it aside almost contemptuously, then realized with sudden rage that this creature was responsible for the condition of her pet. She could smell his blood on its claws.
Five minutes later, it was scattered in pieces around the alley. The Wolf, Ram, and Hart would have to do better than that if they wished to harm her, she thought, kneeling next to Spike once more. She rolled him over onto his back, noting his injuries with some concern. His face was a mask of blood, and his shirt, never much protection, was shredded, along with the flesh beneath. She felt an irrational urge to start throwing demon parts around the alley again, but that would do Spike no good.
Sunrise was quite near now. She would take him back to their room and minister to him there. Scooping him up in her arms, cradling him like a child, she carried him the few blocks to the motel and let herself into the small space they were calling their own.
Spike hadn't moved at all the entire walk back. He was impossibly light. Had he lost all his blood? What happened to a half-breed who lost all his blood? Should she save what she could? Where would she get more? Kicking the door shut behind her, she took him into the bathroom and placed him carefully in the tub. He had cautioned her in the past about getting blood on bedding that didn't belong to them. His consideration made no sense to her, but she honored it.
His head lolled bonelessly against the porcelain, leaving a streak of red behind. She should...do something. She snatched a washcloth from the rack above the sink and wet it under a stream of warm water. Perching on the side of the tub, she bathed his face. "Do not leave me alone in this world, Spike. That would displease me greatly." She sat back and examined his visage critically. The cut no longer bled, but she did not know if that was bad or good.
She discarded the reddened cloth and retrieved another. Removing his duster and tearing the remains of his shirt from his unresponsive torso, she scrubbed at the slices across his ribs. He still didn't move, even when she deliberately pressed too hard, attempting to elicit a reaction, a pained grunt, /anything/. And got nothing.
Growing more agitated, she leaped to her feet, running restless hands through her hair. He needed food, that much was plain. Food to a vampire was blood. They didn't have any; he had been going to get some when he left. She had no idea how to go about that, as currency was still a mystery to her - and she was loathe to leave him alone in any case.
She would not admit to any emotion so base as fear, but the idea of Spike abandoning her in death was...unsettling. Events in her life had been unsettling enough lately, and she did not like the sensation. Her vampire needed sustenance. She would go get him some. The desk clerk--
No. That would upset him. The human vermin of this dimension, he felt, warranted his regard. What then? A memory niggled at the back of her brain...
Hamilton. Hamilton had beaten her until she was unconscious, making the blood flow from this body. Wesley, when she first arrived, had shattered a battleaxe on her skull, but in the shell's weakened state, the skin was more easily broken, the life fluids more easily drawn forth.
Her chin came up. She would do this for him. Her fist smashed her reflection in the mirror, sending shards flying across the room. She picked up one of the larger pieces and sat back down on the edge of the tub. She tried to get a response one last time, roughly shaking his shoulder. "Spike?"
Nothing. Again. Still.
Very well. She barely felt it when she slashed the glass across her wrist. At first she was afraid--no, not afraid, she told herself fiercely, never that--that he wouldn't drink. But he did, although several tense seconds passed before he began.
She watched him as he swallowed her blood down. Nothing changed, at first, and a thrill of /Not fear/, she thought, /uncertainty/, shot through her. Perhaps her blood was of the wrong kind, not mammalian enough. She almost pulled away, wondering if she was doing him more harm than good, when he moaned.
She allowed her eyes to close momentarily in relief. He would not be leaving her, not this time. She pressed her wrist more firmly against his lips, and he sucked harder, drawing her essence into him. Her free hand snaked around and held his head, stroking his hair, and she murmured nonsense to him.
Oh, ow, sodding bloody hell, where am I, god, this is ambrosia, where'd Smurfette score something so good? His thoughts were confused as he swam to a surface he'd wondered, right before he'd conked out, if he'd ever see again. He realized with a start that he was drinking from living flesh, and sought frantically to disengage, but an iron hand held him where he was. Weak, so weak, can't hardly move. What the... He'd told Illyria once before that she had no scent, but she'd developed one during the time they'd been together. The smell of burnt cinnamon toast filled his nostrils and--
His eyes snapped open. Was she doing what he thought she was doing? Bloody buggering hell, yes, she was. He tried to shake his head, but she wasn't having any. "Drink," she commanded.
He shouldn't; it was wrong, somehow. But she wished it, and his muscles were rubber, and it was /good/. Otter was nothing compared to the blood of a goddess. He surrendered, leaning into the hand that fondled his hair. Strength returned to him gradually as the life-giving (in a manner of speaking) fluid trickled down his throat. Sated, he slowed and stopped, giving her wrist a little kiss as he did.
She sat back. "You are well?"
"Yeah, Blue, I'm all right. I wouldn't have asked you to--"
"You had no need to ask. We are companions. I would not lose another." Her blue eyes slid away from his. "I meant no offense; I know the sharing of blood between half-breeds is not undertaken lightly..."
He choked out a laugh. "Offense? You may have saved my unlife, pet. Can't take offense at that."
"That assassin will not bother us again." She bared her teeth slightly. "The injuries it inflicted upon you I repaid, many times over."
"That's my girl." He ran his hand through his hair, and it came out sticky with his own blood. He grimaced. "Let me get a shower, yeah? You did a good job on most of me," he said, glancing down at his chest, "but the hair needs a good shampoo." He frowned at his jeans. "These are probably a total loss too."
"Very well." She rose and walked to the door, turning before she left. "Spike? I am glad you did not die."
One side of his mouth twitched. "Me too."
She stretched out on the bed, leaning against the headboard and aiming the remote at the television. She stopped flipping through channels when she hit on a show where a lioness was leaping upon a wildebeest. Illyria could identify with that.
Spike came out of the bathroom a few minutes later, rubbing one towel through his hair and wearing another around his waist. The cuts across his chest and face had healed to angry red scars, and experience told her that even those would fade after a time. "That's better, then," he said, rummaging through the bag that served as a carry-all for weapons and clothing. He came out with a fresh pair of jeans and returned to the bathroom.
She eyed him critically when he walked back in. "You are healed, but you should rest now."
He sat against the headboard of the other bed and lit a cigarette. Nodding at the television, he avoided her statement. "Watching Animal Planet again?"
"The lions please me. They are full of strength, grace, and beauty." A sense of confusion overcame her for a moment. "Not unlike you."
He'd been inhaling smoke when she said that, and he gagged and had a violent coughing fit. "Bloody hell, Smurfette, don't do that to me."
"My eye delights in your form. Am I not permitted to say this? Your conventions are contradictory and perplexing." She huffed out an exasperated sigh.
Smiling a little, he stubbed out his cigarette, scooted over, and patted the comforter next to him. "Come here, luv." Hesitantly, stiffly, she sat on his bed, not facing him. He rubbed circles on her back. "Relax, Leery. Tell me something. Does the thought of being left alone here scare you?"
"I fear nothing," she snapped, rounding on him. "Such presumption--"
He put his fingers on her lips. "Sh, sh, sh." She would have punished him for his interruption, and raised her fist to do so, but lowered it when she saw his cheeky grin. "It's not a weakness to be afraid." He pulled her wrist, and, wonderingly, she allowed herself to be drawn down into a cuddle next to him, her head resting on his still-bare chest, his arm wrapped around her shoulders. It was...nice. Yes. Nice.
The lions on the television screen were now licking each other clean after their kill. She would have to do this with her vampire more often, she decided.
Without him almost dying first, next time.