Help Me

by Invisible Sun

Disclaimer: Joss and Co. own them. Unfortunately, I do not.

Spoilers: Major 'Sleeper' spoilers

Keywords: angst, S/B(kinda)

Rating: PG

Summary: Post-'Sleeper' Buffy takes Spike home. Basically, a tie-in from the basement scene to Buffy's house.

**********

Buffy looked at Spike's grief-stricken face. "Help me. Please, help me."

Buffy felt her heart break at the sound of his voice. He wasn't supposed to be weak, vulnerable, like his voice was now. He wasn't supposed to be the one that needed help.

But he did. And she found herself unable to say 'no,' not when he was looking at her with those eyes. Those desperate eyes.

"I'll help you," she said.

Spike felt a huge rush of relief flow through at her words. Tears of that relief fell slowly. But they were quickly replaced with those of grief and guilt as he, once again, recalled the actions he was forced into by the force. That damned force that's been haunting him ever since he received his soul.

Ashamed of his showcase of weakness, Spike covered his face with his hands, trying to hide. He couldn't let her see him like this, even though he knew it was too late. She had already seen the tears.

He was surprised when he felt someone wrap their arms around him. He dropped to his hands to look.

Buffy.

It was Buffy. Or was it, he questioned himself. He'd been fooled before. Many times. Another game the mysterious being liked to play.

He stiffened in her arms.

"Are you real?" he whispered hoarsely, his voiced filled with tears.

Buffy looked at him, surprised, "W-what?"

He turned to face her," Are you? Are you real? It's not *it*, is it? It isn't it having fun?"

She shook her head fervently while making a silent oath to herself to kill this thing that's been haunting him. "I'm real, Spike."

He nodded shakedly and leaned into her grasp. She ran her hands across his arms and back, anywhere, trying to soothe him. It did. She felt him relax and soon his shoulders stopped shaking with his sobs. Once she figured he was calm enough, Buffy spoke again, "Spike, baby, we need to get out of here. WE need to get you home."

He nodded, ignoring her sudden endearment for him. Slowly, he rose to his feet, with her along side him. He stumbled slightly and Buffy reached out to steady him. He mutely thanked her.

He followed her up the stairs and out the house to her SUV. Buffy watched him as they got him her car. He wouldn't look at her; he trained his eyes on any and everything else that wasn't her.

Quietly, she started the engine and pulled away from the dreaded house. As she was driving, Buffy cast a few glances at the vampire. HE was looking out the window, and was unmoving, save for his slight shaking.

Can vampires go into shock, she wondered at she studied him.

It didn't take long for them to reach 1630 Revello Drive. When she cut the engine, Spike, suddenly returning from whatever world he drifted off to, turned to her, a questioning look on his face.

"You're staying here," she said.

He opened his mouth to protest.

"I mean it. You don't need to be alone in this."

She knew he wanted to continue to argue but he relented, nodding his head. The two exited the vehicle and entered her house.

Buffy sighed loudly when she noticed everyone was present. Great, she thought. Looking at Spike, Buffy noticed his shaking intensified.

"Buffy?" Dawn asked warily as she watched the vampire, trying to figure out what he was doing there.

Xander and the others also stepped forward.

"What's going on?" Willow asked.

"Did Spike turn out to be an evil, blood-sucking killer?" Anya asked with her usually tactless manner.

Buffy's eyes darted to Spike, trying to judge his reaction. She knew it would affect him. And it clearly did. As if his shaking couldn't get any worse, it did. His eyes instantly filled with tears and he began to mumble under his breath, "Don't want to remember. They're making me remember. Make it so I'll forget again."

Concerned, Willow looked at Buffy, "What's wrong with him?"

Buffy sighed, "Could you guys go in the other room for a moment? I'll deal with him."

They all nodded wordlessly and she carefully led Spike to the sofa.

"You're shaking like a leaf," she said, then grabbed the blanket off the chair behind her. She draped it across his shoulders. Running a hand through his hair, she asked, "Are you okay?"

He shook his head, "They made me remember. Why can't I just forget it?"

She didn't know how to answer him.

"I never wanted to hurt anyone, Buffy. I just wanted to make you happy. But I can't even do that. All I'm good for is pain and destruction."

She shook her head, "Spike, that's not true."

"Isn't it? This soul has done more harm than good. At least when I was soulless, I wasn't murdering people."

"You couldn't control this."

"Couldn't I? Couldn't I have been able to resist...whatever it is that's doing this to me?"

"Spike, this thing, whatever it is, went after you when you were, and still are, going through a very difficult and vulnerable time. You wouldn't have been able to fight it even if you tried."

"I'm tired of being weak. I just want to be strong again. It's been so long since I've been strong."

"It'll take time. But, Spike, I promise you'll get there. And I'll help."

"Thank you."

"For what?" Buffy asked.

"For everything you've done tonight. Despite the things I've done."

She leaned forward and kissed his forehead, "You're welcome." She stood to her feet. "Now, I guess it's time to face the cavalry," she motioned to her friends in the dining room.

He nodded and she headed for the kitchen, steeling herself for whatever argument she knew would come. He knew in his heart that he would make it through this. All it took was a little time. Time he was willing to spend. As long as she was there to help him.

The End