I kinda ditched my class "Fable, Fairy Tale and Fantasy" to write this. Y'ever get that into something? Anyway... I'm thinking about making the next chapter start a week after this one. It would mean moving fully into the SG:1 world and out of Sunnydale. It would also mean skipping details about Xander and how the girls react to his leaving and, you know, that stuff. If you care either way, let me know, okay? Have a good day!
When Spike came downstairs after finding Xander a comfortable resting place he expected to find Giles waiting for him. Instead, he didn't see the other man at all. Frowning, Spike followed the sound of Giles' heartbeat.
“What the hell are you doing?” Spike asked. Giles was tearing apart the drawers of his desk and the nearby cabinets.
“Looking for something,” Giles replied without turning around.
Spike rolled his eyes. “Obviously. Need help?”
Giles thought a little bit more and then pulled out a pad of paper and a pen. “Why don't you call that boy in Colorado? The sooner you call, the sooner he will find a place for you to stay.”
“Thanks, mate,” Spike said. He took the paper and pen from Giles and started to walk away.
“It's in the kitchenette,” the other man called to him.
“I woulda found it, Rupert,” Spike growled. Then he seemed to remember that there was this new truce thing going on where they were actually partners, not just unwilling occupants of the same room. “Thanks,” he added hastily.
Spike sat down at the table in the kitchenette and looked at the phone. He couldn't remember ever actually calling Daniel. When was the last time they spoke? One of Daniel's Air Force buddies managed to track him down, he knew. Oh, right, he'd sent the kid a birthday card that year because he and Dru had a stable place in South America at the time.
Daniel knew that Spike and Dru were considerably less than fond of organized religion; maybe that is why they weren't invited to the wedding. Daniel never explained. But he did call Spike when his wife and her brother were kidnapped. Oh, gods, Spike was furious! Daniel had a shitty enough life without losing his only family after only, what was it, a year with them!
Spike remembered how he spent hours talking to the younger man. First they talked about the 'oh I miss her so much' and the 'I don't know what I'll do.' Then Daniel mentioned his friends in the Air Force were helping him look for Sha're [What a lovely name
Spike refused to acknowledge thinking to himself.]. Spike then asked where they had been living-it sounded like Egypt or somewhere near there-and Daniel spent hours telling him all about how wonderful Sha're and her family are.
Spike thought. I never mentioned the Air Force bit to Rupert.
Contrary to popular belief, Spike really did pay attention to everything going on around him. He was well aware of the growing dislike and lack of trust that the Scoobies held for the government. Call first, talk to Rupert next,
Spike decided. It seemed silly to him but he knew how passionate and emotional this close-knit group could be.
One trait that been extremely valuable to Spike throughout his entire un-life was his nearly photographic memory. It wasn't perfect, true, but it was better than most people could ever hope for. Spike called on that powerful memory now to dial Daniel's number.
After the third ring someone picked up. “Daniel's,” a strange voice barked into the phone.
Spike wasn't quite sure how to respond but he was damn sure it wasn't his Daniel that answered. “I'm looking for Daniel Jackson,” he said. “Could you put him on?”
There was some rustling of the sort that generally indicates someone putting his hand over the speaker part of the phone. Yeah, 'cause it works so well
Spike thought. From the other end of the line he could hear the strange voice calling for Daniel. No, it didn't know who was on the line. Spike sighed. It seemed like the boy had company.
“Uhm, this is Daniel Jackson?”
“Don't sound so sure about that, boy,” Spike teased.
“SPIKE!” Daniel yelled in the vampire's extremely sensitive ear. “God, Spike, how are you! I haven't heard your voice in what, two years?”
“Sounds about right, love,” Spike replied. He took a deep breath. “You know I'd never call you for a favor if it wasn't important, right?”
Daniel's voice automatically changed. “Are you okay, Spike? Is Dru okay?”
Behind Daniel's voice Spike could hear what sounded like three other people talking. A woman kept begging a man she called 'sir' to not interrupt Daniel's conversation. The third voice kept asking about his name-Spike-as if it was the most fascinating nickname ever. Apparently the woman lost her battle against 'sir' because the next thing Spike heard was Daniel saying something like “Whoa, Jack, careful! What are you doing? I'm on the phone!”
Then someone else, presumably Jack, demanded, “Who the hell do you know named Spike?”
The vampire couldn't help but laugh out loud and Daniel's answer. “Spike, Jack, I know Spike.”
“You still there, love?” Spike asked. He wasn't entirely sure if this Jack person had grabbed Daniel to get his attention or if he'd taken the other man away from the phone.
Spike smirked at the glare he could hear Daniel giving the other man on his end of the line. “Yes, Spike, I'm still here. I'm sorry about that. Jack doesn't know how to act in civilized company.”
This, of course, caused an indignant cry of, “Hey, who you callin' civilized?” from somewhere on Daniel's side.
“Love,” Spike started, “this seems like a bad time.”
“No! No, no! This isn't a bad time, Spike.” Again with the virtually audible glare. “I just have some friends over.”
Spike frowned. Daniel had always been a rather solitary individual; interrupting his time with his friends didn't seem nice. Or right. “Listen, this is important but I guess I can call back in the morning.”
Daniel jumped in, talking over Spike's previous sentence. “Spike, no! I'm sorry; Jack's sorry. They can behave for a few minutes or a few hours. My friends live here! You don't.”
Spike figured that whatever he may believe, Daniel was indeed a big boy. “Well,” he started, “I need a place to live and possibly a job in construction or carpentry. One of my mates and I need to leave.”
“That sounds ominous,” Daniel commented. “Are you in trouble or something?”
Spike sputtered a dignified, “Wha, me?” Why would he be in… oh, right, Daniel knew about that time a priest led a crowd with torches after him and Dru. In America, no less!
“Are you in trouble with the law? Or is it more of Dru's 'yummy friends stopped behaving for Mummy' kind of trouble?”
Apparently this was too much for the voice named Jack to take. He bellowed, “Spike's a criminal! Daniel, I order you not to help him!”
“Shut up, Jack!” Daniel yelled in a sing-song tone.
“No, not that kind of trouble,” Spike assured the younger man. “I'm not the one in trouble. Xander is.”
“Xander?” Daniel asked.
“Listen, love, can you help me find an apartment or not? And the job's for Xander.”
“I'm sorry, Spike. Yeah, I can find a place for you guys. One place, right? Like room mates?”
Spike sighed. “Yeah, room mates. I'm not letting Droopy out of my sight.”
Daniel felt himself starting to ask what was droopy but caught himself just in time. Spike was an incredibly private man to begin with and he hated relying on anyone else.
“He has experience,” Spike continued. “Not a lot, but enough that you should be able to get an interview at least. Oh! Xander's near your age I think, just shy of twenty or twenty-one. But he did have that bartending gig…” Spike trailed off in thought.
“Spike, I'm a bit older than twenty,” Daniel said in a 'well, duh!' voice. “Married, remember?” he added.
“They really do grow up fast,” Spike muttered. “Anyway,” he continued in a louder voice, “you can help me?”
“Of course, Spike! I'd never turn you away!” Daniel proclaimed. “I think there's an apartment in my building for rent, unless you'd rather not live so close-“
Spike cut him off. “Is there room for two grown men? Also, I don't like windows facing east. The death of me, they are.”
“Uhm, I don't know about the windows,” Daniel said. “You still prefer the dark, I take it?” Daniel waited until he heard Spike's 'mhmm' before continuing. “This is a strange time to move but I'll see what I can do. You gonna need to stay here for a bit?”
“We're leaving as soon as Xander recovers. Been living in his parent's basement.”
Daniel found himself growing concerned. “Is your friend ill? I can make sure to find a place by the hospital…”
“That's probably a good idea. No, whelp's not sick.” Spike realized what he said and snorted. “Not … not physically sick. He's been through some really bad times lately…” It was not Spike's place to tell anyone that Xander tried to off himself. That's an intimate secret that was not Spike's to tell. “Whelp's a bit accident prone,” Spike added.
“Okay. How long do you think you'll be?”
“A friend is putting us up for now. I want Xander away from here as soon as he is able. That'll take a week, maybe two, I think. He lost a lot of blood.” Spike sighed. “Listen, love,” he started, “I didn't realize how hard this would be for me. How about you email me any more questions you have?”
Daniel laughed. “You have email? Spike and Dru of the 'electricity is not for use in the home' have an email account?”
Spike ground his teeth together. “Dru's not with us,” he ground out.
“Oh, god!” Daniel cried. “Is she okay?” Dru had always been very kind… if a bit touchy-feely…with Daniel when he was younger.
“She's fine last I knew. Left me for a slime demon.” As soon as he said it Spike wondered if Daniel was going to comment on the 'demon' part.
“Spike, I'm so sorry,” Daniel said.
Apparently not. “Pity party later, love. You, Xander and I will have plenty of pity to share later. How's about you give me your email?”
Daniel smacked his forehead. He didn't mean to hurt Spike; he would never intentionally hurt the man who gave him so much in life. “Uhm, yeah. I'm DJackson at USAF dot gov. That's, uhm, g-o-v,” Daniel spelled.
Spike raised an eyebrow. “I didn't know you were still with the Air Force,” he said. “You can reach me at Giles' account. I think it's Owner at 'the magic box' dot net.”
“Okay Spike, I'll start looking tomorrow and email … who is Giles?”
“The friend we're staying with til the whelp's better,” Spike said. “Bloke's more scared of computers than Dru but has this little red-headed tart to do it all for him.”
“That's, ah, interesting,” Daniel said. “Listen, tell Xander that I hope he's feeling better soon and that I can probably relate if he needs someone to talk to. Sometimes it's easier when you don't know the person…” Daniel trailed off. “And, and you hang in there too. Don't forget I know you, Spike. I can tell something's hurting you.”
“Bollocks!” the vampire replied. “You know me better than to assume a little human suffering would get to me!”
“Uh-huh,” Daniel humored his friend. “Let me know by phone when you leave to come here, okay?”
“Alright. Thanks, love. This really means a lot. Don't go falling down any more staircases or running into doors or corners of buildings or-“
Daniel cut his friend off. “You know that doesn't happen to me anymore,” he said quietly, referring to the excuses he used to give for his various self and peer inflicted injuries. “Bye, Spike.”
“Bye, love,” Spike said and hung up. Well that didn't go quite like I expected,
Spike thought. Still, this is good. Probably the best thing for me AND the whelp.
Spike went back into the living room and found Giles waiting for him. “Should I go check on Xander?” he asked.
“I just came from watching him sleep,” Giles said. “I also put a bell near where his hand was resting on the bed. I shutter to think what could happen if Xander needed something and hurt himself more trying to get it.”
“I told Daniel he could email you with any questions he has to help him find a place for us and a job interview for the whelp,” Spike said. After a second he added, “Thanks for looking out for him, Rupert.”
Giles nodded his head wearily. “You too, Spike. He would have died tonight. I don't know how to word how thankful to you I am.” Giles looked at the vampire and observed his slouched, exhausted position-a mirror of his own-and wondered. “How are you going to proceed with your feelings towards the boy?” he asked.
Spike shook his head in response. “He loves Anya. Even if he doesn't see how gross the relationship they have is, I think he truly loves her. He'll prob'ly mourn her loss when we leave.”
“Oh, dear,” Giles said. “I hadn't thought of that.”
“Yeah,” Spike said. “And you know Red and the slayer will chase after us no matter what you tell them. Assuming we manage to keep it under wraps until we can leave.”
“I'll take care of the girls, Spike. You focus on Xander. He needs you most.” Giles gave Spike one of those parental answer-me-now looks. “Are you going to just ignore how you feel and let it turn into hatred?” he demanded.
Spike wasn't sure how to answer so he went for honesty. “Xander would never accept me as a lover and you know that. He hates vampires more than the slayer. But what I plan on doing, Rupert, is just taking care of him slowly. If he shows interest in a relationship, or men, for fuck's sake, I might let him know I'm interested. Otherwise I'll pour all that energy into taking care of him.”
Giles smiled. “That sounds good, Spike. You're being mature about this, more mature than I would have credited you for until tonight.” He saw Spike open his mouth to talk and continued hastily, “You were right about being far older than the kids, and you were right that it was wrong of me to treat you like one of them. It's just the precedent Angel set.”
“The great poof,” Spike responded. “You should get some sleep. Human bodies need it.”
“What will you do?” Giles asked.
“First I'll heat up this blood,” Spike responded, pointing to the mug of blood on the coffee table. “Then I'll get all my stuff-I have less than Xander-and bring it here. If there's enough darkness left I'll get his stuff too. We'll be set to live out of here for until we leave.”
“That's a great idea,” Giles complimented the vampire. “Would you also do something for me?”
Spike eyed the man wearily. “Depends,” he said.
“My medical supplies are not entirely adequate for caring for Xander in this state. If you would be so kind as to run to the hospital and get silk and needles in a few different sizes, and some painkillers and topical anesthetics…” Giles trailed off.
Spike tossed the pad of paper and pen he was holding across the room to the other man. “Write down everything you want,” he said. “But make sure to mark what things are necessary and what things would just be nice to have. I'll go tonight.” Spike then picked up his mug of clod blood and went into the kitchenette to heat it up. How the hell are we going to pull this off?
Oh, right! “Rupert!” Spike called, poking his head around the corner to look at his companion. “Daniel's employed by the USAF. Will that be a problem?”
For a few seconds Giles seemed confused. Spike could see when Giles understood the question. “Well,” Giles said, “The Initiative was… Army, wasn't it? Or marines.”
“Yeah,” Spike added.
Giles continued, “I don't think it matters but I know the kids don't trust the government at all right now. Wait, you said he works for the Air Force?”
Spike nodded. “He isn't Air Force himself. I think they call that, er, civilian consultants.”
“Okay then,” Giles said, relieved. “I'm sure Xander will feel safe enough staying with him then.”
“Right,” Spike said. “I know Daniel's got Air Force friends but, Colorado Springs! There's a base right there.”
“You know,” Giles said thoughtfully, “we were involved with that whole Initiative fiasco but most of the demon world was not. If they don't know better they'd steer clear of the town just in case.”
Spike shook his head. “I don't think that's true but I do know that the area is known for having 'real' demons-it's not overly vampire friendly. We make it too hard for them to fit in and have normal lives.”
Giles eyes shined with worry. “Will you be in danger?”
“Only if I attack someone and word gets out. Like a demonic black list, sorta.” Spike saw Giles wasn't entirely reassured so he said, “Xander and I won't need to patrol. And if I get out and meet some locals before they find out about me I'll bet there's demons looking for a good sparing partner. That'll keep my demon quiet.”
“Very well,” Giles said. “It sounds like the perfect place for Xander right now. Just be careful. The next few months will not be easy for either of you.”
“I know,” Spike said sadly. “Thanks.”