Ch 29: Found
Byron’s hands fluttered helplessly above Spike’s broken body. The local vamp had tried calling for help with little success. There were few beneath the Circus on the nights of the full moon. Most of the vampires were out working tonight to make up for the number of weres that were lunarly handicapped. If some of the humans had heard him it was doubtful that they would have been able to follow the echoes of his voice back through the maze of tunnels to find them.
“Just pick me up already,” Spike muttered tiredly, throat too strained from screaming his body’s agony while locked in the visions to speak any louder.
“A stretcher would-“
“Don’t you dare leave me here alone.”
“I’d be right back.”
“No. Just pick me up, damn it.”
“It’s going to hurt...”
“A lot.” Spike just glared. He couldn’t quite suppress the pained groan as Byron picked him up. Byron winced. “I can’t fly, but I can levitate a bit. So this is going to be a bit bumpy but not as bad as if I had to walk.” Spike nodded and allowed his eyes to drift shut, trusting his childhood friend to watch over him, as he let the pain wash through him.
Spike came to as he was settled on a padded table in one of the human lounges. There were only a handful of humans present. They hovered, either wanting to help or gawking as if they were at the site of a horrific car crash.
“How much blood do you think he’ll need?” one of the humans ventured.
“Plenty,” another stated, “go get the others.” Two of the humans left, one headed for the kitchen and the other for the other lounge.
“I can’t snare you.” Spike spoke just barely loud enough for the humans to hear.
“We’ve heard, but Byron can,” one of them offered.
“I’m not sure I can hold you through the bite of another vampire.”
“Take the initial bite.” Byron shot a surprised look at Spike. That was a fairly intimate act among vampires, to share a bite. More intimate then a kiss, though that might only hold true among the vampires of this world. Spike was simply thinking that was a neat way around JC’s no biting the locals rule while still getting the blood fresh from the source.
The exterior door to the back of the Circus had just closed behind Xander and Asher when another vampire flowed out of the shadows, to Xander’s eyes at least. Xander glanced at the stairs and the entrance to the Circus floor, double checking the layout that he remembered. Either there was another door leading somewhere or this particular vampire was way too fond of the spooky entrances.
“Master.” The unknown vampire inclined his head towards Jean Claude’s Second, ignoring the mortal. Xander rolled his eyes and contemplated what an easy target the new guy had just made himself. “All is well on the floor, but there has been report of Spike being injured.”
Xander started for the stairs but paused to listen when Asher asked how badly. Very bad. Xander nearly took a headlong plunge two steps in, having forgotten that the stairs weren’t carved for humans. Barely saved by Asher’s grip on the back of the floral print shirt, the vampire quickly brought an arm around the mortal before any of the buttons could give way.
“Let me go,” Xander said in a panicked gasp. He had tried to take the next step as soon as he had his balance back only to realize that Asher was still hanging on to him.
“You almost fell down the stairs, mon ami.”
“I’ll be more careful. Let me go.” Asher sighed not believing the distracted reply in the least. He simply scooped up the worried young man and flew them to the bottom. He let Xander struggle out of his arms and followed the human’s panicked flight.
Xander paused a few yards into the beginning of the underground warren the vampire called home. He turned back and was relieved to find the vampire a few steps behind him.
“Where would they put him?”
“In one of the human lounges so that they can feed him, most likely. This way.”
Byron caught the fleeting fond expression on Spike’s face as his human burst into the room. He let his wistful little hope from earlier fade, and wondered yet again when his old friend would claim the mortal. Xander stopped just short of touching.
“You’re okay,” very relieved and quickly revised at the quirked eyebrow, “sorta okay. What happened? The vampire at the top of the stairs didn’t know. I thought there weren’t that many people who could take you in a fight here? Let alone do this kind of damage. Who did you piss off?” frowned. “Do I need to watch my back too?”
Spike kept himself from snorting at the mini babble, knowing the agony that his ribs would cause him. The platinum blonde wondered if Xander’s reason for babbling held true in this situation, and if it did what the boy was hiding.
“Spike? Is your jaw broken or something? Moan twice for yes.”
“Can’t get a word in edgewise, can I? Nobody here did this to me, was the bleeding PTBs. Sent me two series of visions all in a row. No recovery time.” He grouched out the next bit, “petty tyrant bastards.”
“How bad was it?” Spike stared incredulously at the whelp, he knew the boy could be thick occasionally but this took the cake. Xander rolled his eyes. “Physically, much with the ouchies, I got that. I meant, how bad were the visions?”
“Oh, that. Bad.”
By then Asher had finished surveying Spike’s obvious injuries. Several of the injuries would need to be set by a skilled doctor, which they had obviously realized since they hadn’t fed Spike enough to heal over the injuries. “When will Dr. Lillian be arriving?”
“Tonight is the full moon,” Byron stated confused as to why Asher would be asking. “I would assume soon after sunrise.”
“She is on call for Circus emergencies tonight, is she not?” Nods answered him. “That means the Rodere is meeting in one of the connected caverns.” Blank looks and surprise greeted Asher’s pronouncement. “I will send someone to fetch her,” he stated as he left, knowing full well that they were more likely to speak freely without one of the ‘bosses’ present. He would of course get a full report from his renfield later.