I've been searching deep down in my soul
Words that I'm hearing are starting to get old
Looks like I'm starting all over again
The last three years were just pretend and I say
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to everything I thought I knew
You were the one I love
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
~ Lyrics by Michelle Branch
“Oh, shit…” Gunn muttered. Wesley placed a comforting hand on his lover’s shoulder, and Gunn sent him a grateful look.
“We haven’t heard back from Cordy yet,” Angel told them. “We don’t…we don’t know anything.”
“Which hospital have they taken him to?” Wesley asked, stepping forward.
“I don’t know…you’ll have to call Cordy. She’s got her cell.”
Gunn moved to the lobby phone immediately, punching in Cordelia’s phone number. Wesley moved further toward the office, peering in at Spike, who had begun pacing across the floor.
“How is he?” Wesley asked, nodding his head in the direction of the office.
“He got pretty banged up. He broke Xander’s fall… He should be fine, though. I gave him some of my blood.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Wesley replied softly, his eyes boring into Angel’s. Angel looked down.
“He’s…he wants to go to the hospital.”
“He’s at Memorial. Let’s go,” Gunn said, hanging the phone up and storming toward the doors. Wesley started to follow.
“We need…” Angel started.
“Blankets. In the truck. For now, it’s still dark, we can make it there,” Gunn said, not slowing his stride at all. Spike ran from the office to follow, hearing the exchange from the office.
Angel and Wesley went out after, and the four men got into Gunn’s truck, heading for Memorial Hospital. Spike didn’t say a word.
It was three in the morning, and Cordelia was pacing the waiting room of the Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. From her cell phone, she had called Buffy, who said that she, Willow, Tara and Dawn would be coming from Sunnydale immediately. Now, Cordelia was just waiting.
When Angel, Wesley, Gunn and Spike charged through the doors, she turned to them with teary eyes, and was swept into an embrace by Wesley. Angel had an arm on Spike’s, holding him back when all the blonde wanted to do was rush in and see his boy.
“What do we know?” Angel asked Cordelia, sending a pointed look in Spike’s direction.
“Not much, yet,” Cordelia replied sadly. “I’m just waiting for the doctor to come out and…”
As if on cue, a short, fat, balding man stepped out of a set of double doors, glancing around the waiting room.
“I’m looking for the family of Alexander Harris?”
Spike burst forward, Angel unable to hold him back, and stood nose to nose with the friendly looking doctor. “How is he?” Spike was unable to keep the fear from putting a tremble in his voice, or his eyes from visibly pleading with the doctor for Xander to be all right.
“He’s not good…” the doctor started, and Spike let out a keening wail, his legs immediately giving out underneath him. Angel shot forward and caught him before he hit the ground. Cordelia’s eyes filled with tears, and Gunn and Wesley’s hands linked in support of one another.
“Will he live?” Wesley asked bravely, though his voice trembled slightly. Spike’s keening was abruptly cut off, his eyes ticking up, giving the doctor his full, most concentrated attention.
“He should,” the doctor said. The response was meant to be reassuring, but Spike wasn’t reassured.
“Can I see him?” he asked, surprisingly polite. Angel’s hands on his shoulders turned more comforting than supportive.
“Are you family?”
“This is Alexander’s boyfriend, Spike.”
“His family better not fucking come,” Spike growled, the venom in his voice causing the doctor to take a hasty step back. “You didn’t notify them, did you?!” Spike snarled, accusing eyes drilling into the doctor’s face.
“We hadn’t yet, no.”
“Don’t,” Angel said, his own voice holding a warning the doctor was not willing to challenge.
“Can I see him now?” Spike asked, more impatient this time than polite.
“If you’ll follow me,” the doctor replied reluctantly. Angel squeezed Spike’s arm, and Spike followed the doctor through the doors, and down a corridor. “Now, I’m going to need you to remember that Xander’s been through a lot. Nothing’s broken, although there is some worrisome swelling in the brain. However, we don’t believe that the trauma will cause brain damage, or any permanent consequences. Considering what happened, I’m very shocked at what good shape he’s in.”
The doctor ushered Spike to a closed, door, and opened it to reveal Xander, lying on the single bed, with a nurse hovering over him. Spike rushed in, his face falling at Xander’s pallor, the deep, near-black bruises marring the normally beautiful skin. Spike wanted to rage, to weep, to scream, but all he could do was stare at the mess his lover had become in less than an hour.
The doctor saw the shock and pain on the blonde’s face, and nodded gently. “He looks worse than he is, really. There’s no internal damage, and the swelling in his brain isn’t nearly as bad as it could be. The next few hours will be the key, however. How he responds to different stimuli, and when he wakes up, could be…”
“When he wakes up?” Spike interrupted, his voice merely a croak.
“He’s not really sleeping. He’s unconscious. But as I said, he should wake up in the next few hours, and that will help us to determine the extent of the damage to his brain functions.”
“He won’t be…”
“I can’t say exactly how he’s going to be when he wakes up. His injuries are extensive, but mostly superficial. For now, I can’t give you any definite answers until he wakes up and we’re able to test him more conclusively. I’m sorry.” The doctor gave Spike a gentle, sad smile, and moved out the door, beckoning the nurse with him. Spike was left alone in the room, only the sounds of Xander’s heartbeat and the heart monitor beside him.
Spike wiped at his eyes tiredly. He crept closer to the bed, for some reason trying to be quiet. He knew noise wouldn’t wake Xander, but he was compelled to be as silent as he could be. Spike slid a chair to the bedside, sitting down and staring at Xander’s battered face.
Spike was confused. He wondered if he should be speaking, the way actors did in cheesy dramatic movies, or if this should be a quiet moment of reflection. He didn’t know if he should feel relieved that Xander was alive, or saddened by his current state.
Mostly, however, he was angry. He was angry at himself, for not getting to the roof quickly enough to stop Xander. For not doing a proper job of breaking Xander’s fall, for not helping Xander when something had obviously upset him enough to make him step off a fucking roof in the middle of the night. More than that, he was angry at Xander.
Things had been fine as they’d drifted off to sleep. They’d talked, they’d been comfortable, they’d fallen asleep in one another’s arms. Whatever had happen to change the sense of comfort and safety that Xander had felt before he’d fallen asleep, Spike was angry that Xander hadn’t woken him up. Xander should have told his lover that something was wrong. He should have discussed the problem, whatever it was. Xander had been fighting so hard, and doing so well, and in the blink of an eye he’d given up all his progress, tried to give up his life, and Spike didn’t know why.
Everything they’d worked so hard for…and it wasn’t just Xander who had been working. Spike had been working, too, to try and help Xander, but if Xander didn’t want his help, wasn’t going to take it, was going to throw it all away on a whim, then Spike couldn’t deal with that. He wouldn’t deal with that.
Spike stood. If this was the way Xander was going to deal when things got rough, then the entirety of their relationship had been a sham. They had promised, from the beginning, that they would always work together to fix things in their relationship. Spike had thought, being naïve in the ways of Xander-love, that the sentiment had been made in truth. He’d thought they were working against adversity together. But they were a team divided, apparently, if Xander was going to try to kill himself any time Spike wasn’t looking.
Spike not only refused to live, to be, with someone who lied to him, but he knew he couldn’t live with the fear that something of this magnitude was going to happen again. Not knowing if Xander was going to jump off a roof or suck on a shotgun every time he turned his head the other way would destroy him. He couldn’t, wouldn’t live trying to keep Xander alive if Xander didn’t want to live. Spike had worked so hard, tried so much, to hold onto Xander. He had fought invisible demons to keep Xander by his side. If Xander wouldn’t fight with him, then Spike refused to fight at all. He loved Xander with all his heart, but if this was how their relationship was going to turn out, then Spike wanted no part of it.
A tear rolled down his face, and he leaned down to kiss Xander gently. He wouldn’t leave yet. He would say his piece to Xander properly, when he woke up. He wouldn’t leave without telling Xander he was leaving, saying goodbye, and kissing him one last time. He would leave crying, but he would leave.
Back to Mercy
Next Chapter - "Do What You Have To Do"