He sat very still on the bench, the moonlight bouncing off his unkempt
hair. The small blond sat beside him, speaking a soft, calm voice.
Dr. Dana Lavery watched the exchange for the third time this week,
the girl trying to coax the young man to leave with her. It always turned out
the same way, his eyes would turn wild and he would frantically
scramble away from her muttering something about not being deserving
of her. She really hadn't meant to eavesdrop but something about
these two tore at her heart. She found herself wanting to help this
sad young man. She could also tell the young woman's patience was
running thin although she always seemed to return to try again.
****

"I'm being good, aren't I? Quiet as a mouse...." He laughed softly,
although mice aren't always quiet are they? Running through the
house, up and down the bookcases." He turned to look at the girl
next to him, "But I'm being a good mouse?"

Buffy nodded at him, "Yes, Spike. You're quiet, you're a good little
mouse." Tears threatened to spill as she took his hand in hers, "Why,
don't you let me take you home with me? We can give you a nice warm
bath, wash your hair?" She moved one hand to push back an dirty,
unruly curl.

Spike jumped back as if her hand was made of fire, "No, no, mustn't
go with you, only hurt you, I always hurt the girl."

"You aren't hurting me now." She tried to keep hold of his hand but
he pulled it back.

"Don't deserve you." With that he ran away leaving Buffy to sit
alone on the bench. She realized last week that it did no good to chase him
when he got like this. She sat on the bench alone for several moments
before she started home.

***
The next evening the strange sad man sat alone on the bench as Dana jogged by. He
was still alone, the little blonde had not joined him yet. Dana
smiled as she passed him, he was unresponsive to the gesture. She
suddenly turned around and jogged back towards the bench, she
stopped in front of him. "Hello." She said in a kind voice.

Spike stared at her with uncertainty in his eyes, "You aren't Buffy."

"No, I'm not. Is Buffy your friend, the girl that meets you here?"
Dana asked him smiling a friendly smile.

He hesitantly nodded, "Yes, Buffy..." Tears filled his eyes,"You aren't
her." He repeated.

She cautiously sat down by him, "No, I'm not Buffy. I'm a doctor,
Doctor Lavery. I help people, people who are hurting like you are."

"Don't deserve help." Spike pulled the tattered jacket tighter
to his thin frame.

"Everyone deserves help. Won't you come with me, let me help you?"
Dana reached her hand out to him.

"Don't deserve Buffy's help." He shook his head furiously.

"I'm not Buffy, you can take my help. Please." She lay her hand
on his arm, "Please."

"You're not Buffy." Spike looked at the tall woman with the short
brown hair, her eyes were blue and full of kindness. Should he
take a chance? Buffy kept telling him he needed help, it might make
her happy? "I'll go."

"Okay, walk with me to my car and we'll drive to my clinic, we have
nice comfy rooms and you can take a bath and be warm and no one
will hurt you." Dana stood and smiled at him, "Come on."

Spike followed her to the car a few paces behind.

****

Buffy was a few minutes late meeting Spike in their usual place,
she was worried when he wasn't anywhere near thier bench. She
just happened to look up and see his familiar form following a
woman in a light blue jogging suit. "Spike." She called to him, but
he was getting in the car with the woman. She began to run down
the street following the car. Who was the woman and what was she
doing with Spike?

She ran to keep up with the car but lost sight of it around a corner.
She continued to run down the street hoping to catch sight of Spike.

***

"Okay, here we are." Dana spoke in a soothing voice, Spike had
seemed to be nervous on the trip over, playing with the frayed cuff
of his jacket.

"We're here." Spike repeated as Dana opened the door for him and
led him into the back door of the clinic.

He followed her into an exam room where she instructed him to sit
on an exam table. Pulling out her stethescope she opened Spike's
shirt slightly, "This may be cold, I want to check out your heart
and vitals." She moved to place the stethescope on his chest when
she was interrupted by a small blond blur.

***

Buffy spotted the car pulling into the parking lot of what looked
like a clinic. She ran faster as she watched Spike go into the
building. When she could read the sign it said in larger letters,
Sunnydale Psychiatric Clinic, Inpatient and Outpatiend Services offered.
Dr. Dana Lavery. She barged in the door that Spike had gone in.

"What are you doing to him?" Buffy's voice filled the room,
causing Spike to jump.

"Buffy?" He asked from the table.

"Yes, it's me. It's okay, Spike." She smiled at him and patted
his shoulder, then turning to Dana she repeated her question,"What
are you doing to him?"

"Miss, um.. Buffy? I just wanted to help your friend, Spike is it?"
Dana explained, "I'm not going to hurt him, I promise."

"I'm sorry I yelled, it's just that...Spike is special, not your
normal patient." Buffy explained as she went to help Spike down
from the table.

"Special in the fact that he doesn't breathe?" Dana asked before
Buffy could take Spike from the room.

Buffy turned around her eyes wide with shock, "You're mistaken,
of course he breathes."

"No, I watched carefully the entire trip, he doesn't breathe and
I bet there's no pulse either. He's not entirely human is he?"
Dana prodded.

"Dr. Lavery is it? I don't know what you're thinking but I think
it's best that I just get Spike out of here." Buffy took Spike's arm.

"Please let me try to help him, I know about special cases like
Spike. I practiced in LA, we had some trouble with some creatures
trying attacking our vulnerable patients. A man named Wesley helped
us with the problem and I learned a bit about things that go bump
in the night." Dana walked towards Spike, she put her hand on
his other arm and guided him to a chair.

Buffy let Dana put Spike in the chair but kept a close eye on him,
"So you know he's not human, and you still want to help him? Why?"

"I help people thats what I do. And he seems like a troubled soul."

"That would be one way to describe him." Buffy sighed as she sat
down next to Spike, "Do you really think you can help him?"

TBC