For The Love Of Spike
Chapter 11

"Oh, you think you can fight me, do you?"  Angelus sneered at Katherine, then shrugged. "Fine.  Here we go!"

Out of nowhere came a backhanded slap, spinning Katherine's head to the side.  She blinked once, saw his fist coming in her peripheral vision, and dropped to the floor was throwing her weight off of her feet and catching herself on her side with both her hands beneath her.  Quickly, while Angelus stumbled slightly, his weight thrown off, she hooked a foot around his leg and sent him to the ground as well.  Up in the blink of an eye, Angelus growled, then said with a grin, morphing into his game face, "So, we like to play rough, huh?  Is that how Spike likes it?"

Katherine's features hardened, and she stared at Angelus with a look she knew could melt steel.  "Keep Spike out of this," she said, very quietly, before launching a foot at his head.  He caught her foot easily and tried to throw her, but she anticipated and threw herself backward into a handstand, wrenching her foot from Angelus' grasp and cartwheeling back onto her feet.  With a roar she jumped into a snap kick, catching Angelus cleanly in the jaw and making him stagger.  Katherine looked around quickly as Angelus stood shaking his head, dazed for the moment.  She spotted, on her vanity table, a cuticle stick.  Even though it was small and very slender, it was still wood and would do the job.

Again Katherine launched herself at Angelus, this time effectively slamming him into the wall.  As he stood there, still dazed, Katherine quickly shifted to the right and grabbed the small piece of wood from her vanity table.  But right as her arm reared back for the blow, a sudden, fiery pain seized her entire body.  Katherine's breath expelled in a whoosh, and she fell to her knees.  Dimly, she heard Angelus laughing and the barking of the dog.  A pair of high-heeled shoes stepped into her field of vision, and Drusilla bent down and plucked the stick from Katherine's limp hand.

"Is that all?" Katherine heard as the pain subsided.  She climbed shakily to her feet to face Angelus and Drusilla, both smiling at her in a way that made her feel like dinner.

Katherine looked between the two of them.  "Wha..." she swallowed, and her throat clicked.  Her mouth was completely dry.  "What did you do?"

Angelus assumed a look of surprise, turning down the corners of his mouth.  "I didn't do anything," he said innocently.  Drusilla shrugged.

"Then wha-ah!"  Again, Katherine lost her breath as the same pain gripped her.  This time, though, she couldn't keep a hold on consciousness.

Katherine fell to the ground without a sound.

Angelus bent to look into Katherine's face.  He turned his head slowly to look at Drusilla.

"Well, baby," he started with a half-smile, "It looks like this is our lucky day."

Five jostled minutes after the ambulance left The Woodside, it came to a sudden halt at the emergency entrance of Sunnydale General.  Giles and Buffy quickly climbed out the back, then walked into the entrance to avoid being seen.  Once within, the pair waited inconspicuously in a doorway.  As the M.T.'s rushed by with the gurney, they quickly followed.  The M.T.'s stopped by a nurses desk, explaining what they knew of Spike's condition to a resident doctor.  The gurney was wheeled off in another direction, the doctor barking orders to surrounding nurses.  Giles rushed up to the nurses' desk, Buffy close behind.

"Excuse me, but that man that just came in here - he's my brother, and this is his daughter.  Can you tell me what's wrong?"  The nurse explained that the doctors weren't sure, and that they were trying to get his heart rate back to a normal level along with his breathing.  But if they would be so kind to wait...Giles nodded and turned toward a waiting area.  Buffy sat next to him and immediately hissed, "We have to get him out of here!  They're going to find out that Spike DOESN'T breathe or have a heart rate, and they'll pronounce him dead!  Maybe he just needs blood or something."  Giles nodded, staring off into space, obviously hard at thought.

"The only solution," he said, coming to a conclusion and looking into Buffy's eyes, "is to convince the doctor's that I know what's wrong with him, and then get him out of here.  You see, vampires DO breathe and have heart rates, but the two are at such extremely low levels a doctor would pronounce him to be in a coma.  Perhaps I..."

"Whatever!  Let's just find you a uniform!"  Buffy seized his hand, and they took off to search for the staff locker room.

Ten minutes later, with quite a bit of luck and a surgical mask, Giles pushed through the doors of an examining room and said loudly, "Well, gentlemen, what have we here?"

One doctor, shining a penlight into Spike's eyes, answered him.  "Irregular, slow heart beat, very slow breathing, and not responding to stimulus.  Do you know this patient?"

Giles hurried over to stand behind the man and nodded.  "He has a rare form of anemia.  The best thing to do is get him some, ah, fluid."

The doctor glanced at him, took a breath as if to speak, then turned back to Spike's still form.  "All right.  Do you know his type?"  Giles shook his head.  The man called to a nurse for one liter of Type O blood and turned back to Giles.

"I hope you know what you're doing," he said quietly, and stripped off his surgical gloves.

"So do I," Giles murmured under his breath, and stepped up to the examining table.  A nurse hooked up an IV as the remaining people filed out of the room.

Angelus and Drusilla shoved Katherine's limp form into the back seat of his car and climbed into the front.  Miss Sunshine scampered up into Drusilla's lap from the passenger-side floor to accept pets while the two talked.

"What's wrong with her, Angel?"  Drusilla asked in between kisses deposited on Miss Sunshine's white fur as he pulled from the back parking lot of the Bronze.

"I don't know.  That idiot Spike must not have taught her how to feed."  Angelus laughed until he saw the look on Drusilla's face, then apologized.

"Is she weak, like I was?"  Angelus shrugged.  "So what's wrong with her?"

"I don't KNOW, DAMMIT!" Angelus suddenly shouted.  Miss Sunshine yelped and cowered while Drusilla growled at Angelus.

"Don' me," she said, staring at him unblinkingly.

"Well, Dru," Angelus said almost pleasantly as he braked for a red light.  "What do you expect when you're bugging the HELL out of me?!"  Angelus spun the wheel, pulling out into the intersection and cutting off an oncoming car.  With a blare of horns and an inch of space to spare, Angelus sped away.  Drusilla sat impassively, comforting the quivering dog, and watched him warily out of the corner of her eye.  He acted completely normal, turning his head quickly at an angle to the right, as if to loosen up his neck, and clicked on the radio.

Buffy and Giles were in an elevator with Spike's gurney, on the way up to the ICU, when Spike awoke.

He moaned quietly, his brow furrowed in a frown, and shifted his shoulders underneath the sheet.  Buffy stood next to him as Giles watched over her shoulder.

"Spike!" Buffy whispered quietly.  "Are you feeling okay?"

There was no response until the three got off the elevator and wheeled toward the nurses' station.  While Giles handed the man there some forms, Spike moaned again, still quiet, but slightly louder.  His eyelids flickered.

They wheeled him into his assigned room and drew the curtain closed, then bent over him on either side.  With a count of three they lifted him onto his bed.  Giles pushed the gurney back to the nurses' station while Buffy watched Spike closely for any more signs of consciousness.

He blinked slowly, once, and then again.  Buffy leaned over and put a hand on his shoulder.

"Spike," she said quietly, "You're in the hospital.  You were found collapsed in your room at The Woodside.  How are you feeling?"

Spike turned his head slowly and focused on her face.  "Slayer," he whispered hoarsely. "Why didn't you let me..."  He swallowed with a pained expression, his throat obviously dry. "Why didn't you let me die?"

Buffy held a water glass with a straw for him to drink out of.  After he had taken a sip, she leaned back into her chair.   "Because, as weird as this is for me to say it, we need your help."

 Chapter 12

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