10 - I'm Here
Disclaimer: The characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and Fox studios. This story is not meant to infringe upon anyone's rights, only to entertain.
Chapter 10 - I'm Here
Her gaze focusing on his chest and she could see the subtle rise and fall of his breathing. Cautiously, she placed her left hand against his heart, trying desperately to feel his pulse. Spike smiled and placed his hand over hers. “I can hear it,” he said chuckling but he fell silent as he saw Buffy frown. “If this body is still alive, then where is Collin? What did you do Spike?”
Spike couldn’t help but get a little irritated. After all, she just had him spill his heart out and this is what he gets … “I didn’t do anything!”
Buffy glared back at him. “Not a good enough answer.” She then moved her gaze towards the rip in his shirt. She grimaced once her fingers touched the now stiff fabric as she peeled it slowly from his body, trying to look for the wound. Spike winched as he felt the crusting fabric pull away from the wound. Her face contorted at what she saw. His muscles were still exposed but there was evidence of some sort of healing.
Spike shrugged his shoulders slightly as Buffy continued to examine his wound. He was just as confused as her as to why he was here but he didn’t really want to question it. After being away from her for so long, the mere fact that he could finally see her again and touch her made everything else unimportant.
“You still haven’t really answered my question.”
Collin… the bloke who’s body he apparently is inhabiting right now. This body was alive but he felt no different. He looked past her shoulder at the side mirror of one of the vehicles. He could see himself … brown locks and blue eyes stared right back at him. He looked like what he did half a century ago. He ran his fingers through his hair trying to see if the reflection would do the same. Fascinated, he started poking his cheeks then waving his hand about. He could sense Buffy was losing patience but he shrugged it off. He had a body… one that didn’t seem to be affected by a vampire’s curse yet he knew he had the same strength since he was able to fight against the lot of them just a few hours ago. He couldn’t help grinning as his thoughts wandered on the different things he could possibly do.
Buffy huffed in frustration, “Spike.. SPIKE!”
“What?!” Spike said then his tone changed seeing her frown. “Alright …” He recalled having a dream not too long ago… but he thought it was nothing more than him talking to himself… perhaps it wasn’t a dream at all. Could he have been talking to Collin then? He tried to concentrate on the name and found something inside him that answered.
As Spike was about to speak, the door creaked opened and a sleepy Emily stepped through the doorway. Spike stepped back, trying to hide in the shadows.
“Collin?”, Emily said as she rubbed her eyes trying to get them to focus.
Spike moved forward just enough to signal to Buffy that he didn’t want to be found. She looked at him funny, wondering why it seemed like he was so afraid of the fledgling slayer.
“What are you still doing up?”, Buffy found her voice as she moved forward to usher her out of the garage. “Let’s get you back to bed…” Their voices soon faded as the door closed behind Buffy.
“Really funny!” He said to no one in particular. He was sure this must have been punishment for seeking out two slayers and killing them. Now he was in the company of two. One he loved more than his own existence, and the other he felt obliged to protect. He didn’t quite understand why he felt the need to hide from the fledgling. His clothes were crusted in blood and though he didn’t like the sticky feeling, he didn’t really mind it so much. He had missed that smell, not having had neither smell nor taste for years. But something inside him told him to hide, to keep his bloody appearance from the teenager.
It was Collin… who else could it have been? With a sigh, Spike just shook his head. He had denied his human emotions for more than a century. But with his soul he found William again and it took a lot of drinking, cussing, weeping and bloody fighting to come to some kind of understanding with his soul. Now, he had another human with him. He was a different creature from William – more aggressive, rebellious, impatient and there was something else but Collin was trying to hide it from him.
Spike made his way from the garage to his room, faintly hearing Buffy’s soothing voice from what appeared to be Emily’s room. As he stepped through the doorway he thought it strange that even though he hadn’t seen this room before, he had thought of it as his. Shrugging the strange feeling off he tried to think what led him here. It was about the other Slayer and Buffy was with her. Remembering what had happened just moments ago, he had a feeling that none of Buffy’s words would help calm the young slayer down and with a sigh, he reluctantly closed the door and rummaged through clothes to find something to change into.
He did the best he could to wash away the blood that had painted his torso. As he wrung the red tainted rag over the sink, his eyes focused on the reddish liquid and his stomach grumbled. He needed to feed but he then caught sight of his breath fogging the mirror in front of him and he wondered if this body even needed blood. His mind resounded with craving for the sweet metallic fluid. Taking a deep breath, he slowly brought his thoughts to the present. He rummaged through the medicine cabinet for some gauze and tape to dress his wound. He took a large piece of gauze bandage and ripped the tape with fingers and teeth, pressing the bandage gingerly in place. He slipped on the clothes he picked out and stared at himself in the mirror and marveled at how he looked. But the brown hair was bothering him since it seem to soften his features. Now he remembered why he changed it to blond so many years ago.
Satisfied with how he looked, he headed straight for Emily’s room. He was glad to see Buffy was still there. He was hoping to spend some more time with her after he took care of business.
Emily looked to see who was at the door and her face lit up seeing her brother. “Collin! I was so worried. Buffy said you got just a little hurt but that you were okay.. but then I was still so worried that I wanted to see you.. but she said you were resting.. and then…”
“Okay … okay… calm down now. As you can see I’m alright.” He said smiling. Buffy looked at him and smiled, seeing that he had at least cleaned himself up. She moved from the bed giving Spike room to sit down. He gently placed a hand on Emily’s forehead, running his fingers lovingly through her hair.
“I saw you fall.. then the blood.. then I”
“Shhh… it’s over now. I was just acting anyway. Besides, you know it’s nothing a little spell can’t fix. Now you get some sleep.”
Emily reached out to take the hand that was on her head and placed it by her cheek. She closed her eyes and leaned into it, a quiet smile on her face. “Don’t leave me Collin.”
“I’m here”, he whispered but Spike wasn’t sure who said it.
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