Authors: 2writers4spike aka mabel_marsters & dawnofme
Warning: Mentions of Spike with others.
Betas: seapealsh & slaymesoftly. Thank you so much!
Anticipation: a: a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action b: the act of looking forward ; especially : pleasurable expectation
Summary: Having no idea how it happened, Spike finds himself back in 1977, reeling from a newly acquired soul and more guilt than most could handle. After dodging Drusilla, his main focus is getting back to his own time and back to Buffy in Sunnydale so that he can atone for all he's done. That is, until he sees the newly born slayer in 1981 and goes off in a new direction. Can he stop the events that brought misery to Buffy's life, or will he be forced to watch destiny destroy the woman he loves all over again?
Disclaimer: We own no part of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel the Series. We write this purely for fun and not financial gain. No infringement of copyright intended.
banner by dawnofme
Volkov pushed the covers back on the bed as he swung his legs to the floor and stood up. He shoved his feet into the tartan slippers that he’d left next to the rug when he’d gotten into bed earlier, walked quietly to the window, pulled back the curtain and peered out into the darkness beyond. Looking to the east, he saw to his dismay that the sky was beginning to brighten with the coming dawn.
Spike! Where are you?
“Honey? What are you doing?”
Volkov glanced over his shoulder. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“What, like you didn’t mean to wake me the last five times you’ve done it?”
Volkov turned and walked back to the bed. He sat on the edge and ran his fingers down his girlfriend’s face, before dropping a kiss on her brow.
“I’m sorry, Noreen. It’s just that I’m really worried about Spike.”
Noreen pushed herself up until she was sitting with her back against the headboard. “Baby, he’s a vampire. I’m sure he can take care of himself. I mean, he’s what? A century old?”
“Not quite,” replied Volkov. “But it’s almost dawn, and he’s still not home.”
Noreen grinned. “He’s probably just gotten lucky and forgotten the time. He’ll be holed up for the day and back at dusk, I’m sure.”
“I wish I could believe that. He’s never stayed out after dawn before.” Volkov sighed. “Something’s wrong. I’m sure that it is. He told me that he was going to patrol and be back around two. What if he’s hurt?”
Volkov nodded. “Yes, he patrols the area and makes sure that demons aren’t causing any trouble.”
Noreen scowled. She’d met Spike several times since she had started dating Volkov but didn’t know him all that well. “I’m a demon! Does he make sure that I don’t cause trouble when I’m here?”
“I don’t think so, Noreen,” chuckled Volkov. “It’s only the demon breeds that prey on others that he’s worried about. Lister demons don’t come into it. He’s shared my house for years - you know that.” He took hold of her hand and gave it a squeeze.
She pulled her hand away. “You’re only a quarter Lister. I’m all Lister demon!”
“Oh, Noreen. Trust me, Spike has no problem with you. He’s just sort of taken it on himself to keep innocents safe in his part of town. He likes you.”
Noreen glanced up at Volkov. “He does?”
Volkov leaned forwards and kissed his girlfriend’s lips. “Sure he does. He says that you’re good for me.”
“He’s not wrong.” She smiled, adding, “So you really think that something’s wrong?” when she saw Volkov glance once more at the window.
“It’s just not like him.”
Noreen threw back the bedclothes and got out of bed. “What are you waiting for?” she asked as she began to dress.
“Huh? What are you doing?”
“What’s it look like? You’re not going to be happy until you know that he’s okay, so instead of staying here and worrying, we’re going to look for him.”
Volkov grinned. “I love you!”
Noreen batted her eyes at him. “And you can show me just how much you love me when we find Spike safe and sound.” She glanced at the bed.
“Oh, baby. I will, I will.” Volkov pulled her into a hug and kissed her soundly.
“Come on then. The sooner we find him the sooner we can get back to bed.”
Volkov and Noreen followed the usual route of Spike’s patrol. Volkov had joined the vampire on his rounds a couple of times, but he had proved useless if they came across any trouble and Spike had asked him not to come with him anymore. Volkov hoped that Spike still followed the same route.
With the sky getting ever lighter, Volkov was beginning to think that maybe Noreen had been right after all and that Spike was snuggled up with some female somewhere, when he spotted something.
“Oh, God! Don’t let it be him.” Even as he spoke Volkov knew that he’d found Spike.
Volkov raced into the alley. He’d seen a lump halfway down that looked suspiciously like the black leather duster that Spike never went anywhere without. Noreen ran after him.
“Spike!” Volkov knelt beside him. The vampire was lying on his side with his legs curled up to his stomach and one arm bent at an impossible angle. But his face… Volkov reached out to touch it.
“Don’t!” yelled Noreen, slapping his hand away before he could touch Spike.
“What are you doing?” He glared at her.
“The stuff on his face – it’s toxic.”
Volkov’s eyes widened and he glanced back at Spike. The vampire’s face was encrusted in a foul smelling, lumpy substance. “W-what is it?”
Noreen glanced at the sky. “We haven’t got time now. The sun is almost up.”
“We’d better get him home,” said Volkov.
“Take your coat off and wrap it around his face – you don’t want that stuff to touch you.”
Volkov stared up at Noreen and then glanced back at Spike. If the stuff was that bad, what effect would it have had on the vampire? He did as he was told and shrugged out of his coat before rolling Spike up in it so that it held his arms to his sides and covered his face. Volkov grunted as he lifted Spike up onto his shoulder.
He began to retrace his steps but Noreen stopped him. “We can’t take him home. We need help. There’s a doctor just a few blocks away – we’ll go there.”
“A doctor? But –”
“A demon doctor, honey,” said Noreen. She looked up. “We need to hurry.”
Volkov was panting for breath when they finally made it to the doctor’s. He didn’t know what he expected a demon doctor’s office to look like but it certainly wasn’t this very ordinary house. He raised an eyebrow at Noreen who smiled at him reassuringly and pushed the doorbell.
After what seemed like an age, they heard a shuffling noise and a light came on in the hallway. Volkov hitched Spike’s inert body a little higher on his shoulder and wished the doctor would hurry up.
As the door began to open, Noreen quickly whispered. “He’s…er…well, he’s quite demony.”
Volkov’s words trailed off as the door opened fully and he got his first glimpse of the doctor. He tried not to goggle at him but was sure that he’d failed.
The demon nodded at him and then smiled broadly when he saw Noreen.
“Noreen! How are you? How are your folks? It’s been a while.” The demon spoke with an Eastern European accent.
“I’m very well, Dr. Edgar, but I have a friend who’s in trouble.” She inclined her head towards Volkov and Spike. “I think he’s been attacked by an Avilas demon.”
Dr. Edgar looked at her sharply, his red eyes narrowed. “And he’s still alive?”
“He’s a vampire,” said Volkov, feeling a little uneasy at standing on the porch with an unconscious vampire on his shoulder as his girlfriend chatted amiably with what, to all intents and purposes looked like a five-foot tall, light green lizard that walked on two legs and was dressed in a dark red satin robe.
“Even so…remarkable.” Dr. Edgar stepped to the side and waved his left arm. “Bring him in. The second room on the right.”
Volkov stepped past him and carried Spike into the room he’d indicated. There was a narrow examination table in the center and Volkov gently laid Spike down on it. The little doctor walked to a cupboard on the back wall and Volkov stifled a gasp as he saw the reason that he’d heard the doc approach the door. He had a long thick tail that dragged along the floor as he walked. Volkov heard a snort beside him and turned to see Noreen stifling a giggle with her hand over her mouth. She leant towards him and kissed his cheek.
“Your face is a picture,” she whispered in his ear.
Before he could reply, Dr. Edgar gave them both a pair of thick latex gloves. “Put those on and help me get the coat off so I can take a good look.”
Volkov was fascinated to see that the doctor’s hands were more or less human in appearance. Together they gently pulled the coat free and rolled Spike so that he was on his back.
“Oh, my,” said Dr. Edgar as he peered closely at Spike’s face. He tutted a couple of times and then asked Noreen to turn on the light over the table. She did and the vile looking substance was brilliantly illuminated.
“Oh, crap,” muttered Volkov.
The substance covered Spike’s face from his hairline to half way down the bridge of his nose. His right ear was entirely covered with it whereas his left was relatively unscathed.
“What is it?” asked Volkov, his face paling as a wave of nausea hit him.
“Avilas saliva,” said the doctor succinctly. “Terrible stuff. They spit it out when they are threatened in any way and it sets rock hard. Even vampires are not immune to its effects. I’m surprised that your friend here hasn’t dusted.” He pointed to Spike’s nose and chin. “I think the only reason that he survived is that it covered only half the face. Maybe he ducked and only half the dose hit him.”
“Will he be all right, Dr. Edgar?” asked Noreen.
The little demon glanced up at her. The expression on his green face was grave. “The honest answer to that, my dear, is I don’t know. Removing the saliva is difficult and will take me some time. The arm will be a simple mend. The fracture isn’t a difficult one to set.”
“Can we help?” asked Noreen.
“By all means.” The doctor smiled at her. “Firstly, we need to soak the saliva to make it more pliable. In the cupboard near the door, you’ll find some swabs. Can you soak them in warm water and lay them on his face, please?”
A dismayed Volkov watched Noreen go to the cupboard. He felt decidedly unwell and had hoped they would have been able just to sit and wait somewhere.
“Um…what can I do?” he asked reluctantly.
Dr. Edgar chuckled. “I think you had better go to sit down for a while; you’re beginning to sway.”
“What? No, I’ll be fine,” spluttered Volkov, his face regaining a little color as he flushed with embarrassment
“Son, what’s your name?” asked Dr. Edgar.
“Well, Volkov. If you faint in here you will be no help at all, will you? Don’t be embarrassed about it. Go and sit down. The lounge is the room directly across from this. We’ll let you know how your friend is when we have finished.”
“Spike,” said Volkov quietly.
“His name is Spike,” repeated Volkov. “T-Take good care of him.” He blinked rapidly as he turned and walked to the door.
“I love you,” whispered Noreen as he passed and he smiled weakly at her, then walked out and closed the door.
The doctor and Noreen got to work on Spike’s face. The swabs were placed over the affected area and after several minutes had passed, they were able to begin to prise the softened saliva coating away from Spike’s skin.
As more and more of Spike’s face was revealed Noreen was beginning to wish that she’d joined her boyfriend in the lounge. The skin was burnt and blistered by the acidic matter. Dr. Edgar worked diligently, the tip of his thin forked tongue stuck out between his lips intermittently as he concentrated.
“I just hope that he had time to close his eyes before the stuff hit him,” said the doctor as he began to work on the material over his eyes.
“What if he didn’t?” asked Noreen.
The doctor simply shook his head and Noreen didn’t dare press for an answer. But she got it soon enough when the last of the Avilas demon’s saliva was removed. Spike’s eyes had been open, and it was plain to see that the eyes themselves had been badly damaged.
“Oh, no,” whispered Noreen when she saw them. “Will he…”
The doctor shook his head. “The damage is too severe to even hope that he will be able to see. But vampires can heal what other demons can’t, so there is hope that maybe one day he will see again.”
Noreen opened her mouth but closed it without saying a word. What could she say? She watched as the doctor smoothed some cream over the affected areas and gently pushed Spike’s swollen eyelids closed, before wrapping them and his right ear with bandages. He then carefully realigned the fractured right arm before encasing it in a plaster cast.
“Can you go and get Volkov, my dear? We’ll get Spike into the infirmary. He’ll be more comfortable there when he wakes up.”
“S-so he will wake up, Dr. Edgar?”
“Eventually, he will. He hasn’t dusted, so he will now begin to heal.”
Noreen bit her lip as she walked to get Volkov; she knew how close he was to Spike. She tapped at the door as she went into the lounge. Volkov started and spun around in his chair to face her.
“He’s still with us, yes.”
The tone of her voice made his heart miss a beat.
Noreen crossed the room to sit on the arm of his chair. She took his hand in hers. “I’m sorry, baby. Spike’s blind.”
Volkov stood up. “No! He can’t be. I mean, vampires can’t be blind – they’re immortal – they heal!”
Noreen got up from the chair arm. “Dr. Edgar thinks that maybe one day he’ll be able to see again, but his eyes were very badly damaged.” Noreen shuddered when she thought of what she’d seen. She knew that if the toxin had stayed in contact much longer then his eyes would have been totally lost. “The doctor needs us to help him move Spike into his infirmary.”
Volkov swallowed hard. For someone who was technically dead, Spike was so full of life. It didn’t seem fair that Spike had been injured like this. He was trying to protect humans while other demons were out to harm them.
“Okay,” he said. He clutched Noreen’s hand as they returned to the consulting room where Spike was waiting.
Spike showed no signs of regaining consciousness as they took him to a room that housed three beds, none of which were currently occupied. Dr. Edgar indicated that they should place Spike on the bed in the corner.
“There is never direct sunlight on that bed,” he explained.
By the time that Spike was settled comfortably on the bed, now naked apart from a hospital gown, Volkov was beginning to wilt. He had had very little sleep and it was starting to catch up with him.
“There is a small bedroom that you may use if you want to rest a while,” offered Dr. Edgar.
Volkov glanced at Noreen, who nodded. “Thank you; we’d appreciate it,” he replied.
Leaving the doctor to tend to his patient, Noreen and Volkov lay in each other’s arms on the bed, willing sleep to come but sure that it would remain elusive.
“So, how do you know Dr. Edgar? And what is he?”
Noreen stiffened slightly. She loved Volkov dearly but his lack of demon blood worried her sometimes. He was more human than Lister demon and seemed almost unaware of most of the demon world around him.
“He’s a freaking good doctor, that’s what he is.”
Volkov dropped a kiss on her neck and, despite her annoyance, a thrill of pleasure ran through her.
“I’m sorry, honey. It’s just that I haven’t seen what you have. My folks steered me away from the demon community. I didn’t mean it as an insult. It’s ju—”
Noreen kissed him.
“I know what you mean. I’m sorry for getting tetchy; it’s been a long night.” She kissed him again. “He’s an old family friend. He’s a Drazil. They are healers. As you’ve guessed they have to keep a fairly low profile.” She grinned at Volkov. “Even cosmetics can’t make them able to go out in the day like you or I can. Dr. Edgar doesn’t mind though; when he hasn’t got any patients to attend to he grows orchids. He practically lives in the big glasshouse in the garden.”
“But he just opened the door – we could have been human.”
“There are two doorbells. The smaller one, farthest away from the door lets him know that it is someone who has been before, because it’s hard to spot unless you’re told about it. So he knew that whoever it was, it would be a demon.”
Volkov decided that it was time that he kissed her back and so pressed his lips to hers and sought comfort from her as he tried to push the anxiety about Spike to the back of his mind – at least for a little while.