Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters and storylines are copyright Joss Whedon and company. Prison Break and all related characters and storylines are copyright Paul Scheuring and company.Author Notes:
This was written before I'd seen season three, but I knew about the escape from spoilers. As such, as far as this series is concerned, Alex never joined Whistler and Gretchen after the breakout. And it will mostly ignore season four, unless they provide me with something I think will be good for the series.
Post-season five of "Angel: the Series". Doesn't comply with the comics. LA is no longer demon-infested. The Scoobies know about Spike return to the world of the living.
Alex paces up and down the bathroom. Five steps from the toilet to the sink, turn, five steps back. Over and over and over again. He’s opened the window already, the little window that lets in a cool breeze but doesn’t open enough to let him out and that was why he was here, of course, locked in this tiny bathroom and pacing up and down and good god, wasn’t that damned vampire ever going to get back?!
He mutters under his breath. It’s too much like being back at Sona, trapped in a cell, unable to get out until someone else let him. But this is worse because the cells in Sona had actually been larger than this bathroom and he swears it’s getting smaller every time he turns.
He grabs the door handle, twisting it and banging a fist against the wood but it doesn’t shift. It feels like he’s been in there hours. Maybe he has. The vampire never said how long he’d be gone.
He tries to change his thought pattern. It could be worse right? Spike and the Willow girl could have handed him over to the police that night less than a week ago. But they hadn’t. They’d kept him locked in this apartment ever since because he’d saved the girl, the slayer.
He still doesn’t know why they called her that. He supposes it doesn’t matter but he feels they could at least give him an explanation after he saved the girl’s life. Whilst the vampire and the witch fought off other vampires and a demon or two, Alex had been the one watching the little girl, no more than eight or nine – barely older than Cameron – watching and wondering. He’d seen her run, terrified of the situation around her, not watching where she went as she fled. Alex was the one that followed her and scooped her up out of the way of the oncoming vehicle.
And that’s why he was stuck in this bathroom instead of stuck in a jail cell and maybe it would actually be better because jail cells were bigger than this, and at least he’d have more room to pace instead of the measly three steps he can take before turning and three more steps, and turning and stumbling backwards because he has to get away from him
“No ... no, no, no, no, no ...” he mutters, refusing to look up at the bloodied, crazy eyed face. It wasn’t real. He was dead, dead and gone. He wasn’t here.
But he is and he’s close and muttering, murmuring in his ear, whispering words of hate and guilt and fury and regret.
He won’t. He stands there, staring, taunting, haunting. Alex turns, presses his forehead against the cold tiles, feeling the sweat on his forehead cool and for a moment the words quiet and almost die but it isn’t enough, it never is enough. The words get louder, more vicious, resonating in his ears, in his mind.
He pushes away, stepping into the only available space – the shower. He pushes the door shut and holds it closed with trembling hands. But the voices don’t stop and the crazy eyes stare at him through the glass. He turns away, pressing his hand to his head, an angry and terrified whine escaping his throat. His eyes catch sight of the taps and he remembers the cool tiles. He turns on the water and switches the temperature to freezing.
He flinches when the water hits him, sinking to his knees, head pulled down. The trembling is accompanied by shivering and he wraps his arms around himself but doesn’t stop the water because the water has stopped the voices and that’s all that matters.
And just when he thinks it’s safe, they start again, the voices whispering at him, mocking him, sneering at him. Another whine works its way up his throat and he squeezes his eyes shut and presses his hands over his ears. But it doesn’t stop the sounds reaching his mind, penetrating him like bullets, like the bullets he put in Oscar Shales and David Apolskis and Aldo Burrows. They tease him, calling his name over and over and over.
“Shut up! Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!” he screams.
There’s a hand on his shoulder and he jerks away, banging his head on the wall. He twists and looks up, blinking away the water in his eyes. It slows and stops and he looks. For just a second he sees that bloodied face again but it’s not because the hair is blonde and pristinely combed and the eyes are blue not brown and there is no blood.
“Alex, calm down, it’s me, it’s Spike.”
Alex stares at him and then nods numbly and lets the vampire pull him up. He’s still shivering and Spike throws a towel around his shoulders and leads him into the bedroom. Alex grabs the towel, pulls it tight around him, still staring straight ahead.
Spike fetches the night clothes he’s been lending the man and places them on the bed. He hesitantly approaches Alex and begins to tug the soaking jacket from his shoulders. It takes a few moments for Alex to realise and slowly he begins to co-operate and when the jacket is on the floor he murmurs, “I’m fine.”
Spike steps away and clears his throat nervously, turning away and leaving the bedroom. He goes to the kitchen and pulls a mug from the cupboard which now has more food in it than it did a week ago when he only kept a few snacks for visitors. He puts three heaps of cocoa powder in the mug and adds some milk while the kettle boils, stirring it absently as he thinks over the scene he came home to. The kettle whistles and he pours water into the mug, stirring it all together before returning to the bedroom.
He knocks slightly and pushes the door open. Alex has his back to him and he sees an ugly scar on his left shoulder before the shirt is dropped down over it and Alex turns to him. He stares at the floor, arms crossed protectively over his chest, jaws clenched tightly together. Spike didn’t need to be a vampire to read the embarrassment radiating from the man. He hands over the mug and indicates for Alex to sit down. He does so cautiously. He sips at the drink and Spike see’s him relax just a little bit as the warmth floods through him. For a moment Spike wishes he could feel that warmth.
“I was crazy for a while,” he says quietly. Alex looks up, surprised. Spike smiles slightly, nods. “Yeah. Years ago now. But for a while I was pretty crazy. I did a lot of bad things and they all sorta hit me at once.”
Alex looks away but not before Spike see’s the flash of recognition in his eyes.
“I kept seeing things, hearing things. People I’d hurt ... people I’d killed ... they haunted me. They’d remind me of all the bad things I’d done to them, of all the pain I caused them.”
He looks at Alex. He’s surprised to see a few tears trailing down his cheeks.
“I couldn’t get away from it, from them. It didn’t help that I was living off rats at the time. They’re not entirely healthy, y’know.”
He can’t help but grin slightly at the look of disgust that crosses Alex’s face. He sits beside the man and looks at him. Alex lifts his eyes briefly to meets Spike’s but looks away again.
“I got through it though. I got past all that. I’m not crazy anymore, haven’t been for a long time. And won’t be again, I hope.”
Alex drinks again. His hands are shaky and Spike debates taking the mug from him but doesn’t.
“You can too, y’know,” Spike tells him quietly. Alex’s jaw clenches and his hands tighten, making the shakes worse. Spike grabs the man’s hands and holds them still. The hot liquid stops threatening to spill and Alex stares at the cold, pale hands that cover his own.
“How?” he whispers. “How’d you do it?”
Spike looks him in the face, trailing his eyes over the face and then down his neck and arms to the bared elbows with their tiny needle marks, the track marks showing the only way Alex knew how to fight his ghosts.
“I had help,” Spike tells him. He watches the emotions flicker across Alex’s face – surprise, disgust, confusion, realisation. He slowly lifts his eyes and Spike see’s them flicker over his own bared elbows before reaching his face. They stare at each other. Spike watches the internal battle rage across Alex’s eyes and knows before he does the decision he’ll come to.
The man pulls his hands away, lifts the mug to his mouth and drains the rest of the drink. He stands, goes to the door, pauses.
“I haven’t got anyone to help me,” he whispers and steps out before Spike can see the tears in his eyes, tears of anger and self-hatred because he can remember a time when he did have someone to help him. But he pushed them away and now they’re gone and he’ll never see them again.
He puts the empty mug in the sink and presses the base of his hands into his eyes because he won’t let the tears fall. He takes a shaky breath and pulls them away, turning. Spike is in the doorway of the bedroom, watching him in silence. He doesn’t look at him as he takes the pile of blankets and pillow from the corner they’re stored in and sets up the sofa to sleep on, curling up out of sight of those piercing eyes. He’s glad for the return of the warmth that had begun to fade as soon as the drink was finished.
Spike switches off the light and mutters a quiet goodnight before retreating to his bedroom. Alex stares into the darkness, thinking he’ll never have another good night until he dies.