Deeper Wounds

Spike realises Xander has deeper wounds than anyone could guess.

R for nasty issues (abuse) and some bad language. If you watch the show you'll be fine.

Spike/Xander - friendship and a little implied slash.

I don't not own any of the characters in this fanfic, they are all creations of Joss Whedon and UPN/Sky One/BBC and any other channel that shows BtVS.

If you would like to use any of my fanfics on other websites, please do, just email me to let me know at spikerox@yahoo.co.uk

Please review, but no flames- all they do is put authors off writing anymore fics.

~~~~~

*SLAM*

Spike woke with a jump. Of course, it was manly jump. Vampires aren't surprised or scared by loud noises. No sir.

"Geez, Harris, some of us are trying to sleep here."

"Fuck off, Spike." Xander limped over to his sofa bed and collapsed face down on it, hissing in pain.

Spike sat up from his easy chair. There was something wrong with the boy. He wasn't his usual cocky self. The way he'd staggered into the basement, the slur in his voice, it was different.

"And what nasty thing got a piece of you?"

"I thought I told you to fuck off?!" The brunette snapped looking up at the vampire.

Spike couldn't help but wince at Xander's face. Well, not his actual face, that was normally quite nice to look at; but the injuries, the wounds that laced the boy's face. His bottom lip was split open, dried blood plastered his chin, his right eye was so swollen it was closed up and there was a deep gash cutting just above his left eye. Spike guessed that these weren't the worst of his cuts and bruises.

Whatever had done this was bad news.

"What was it then?" Spike asked. "I gather the Slayer doesn't know about this as she hasn't licked your wounds clean -"

"Shut up or your new home will be a dustpan!" Xander tried to stand up to look more intimidating to the shorter man... vampire.

Spike ignored the comment, all the Scoobies were too full of empty threats to take seriously anymore.

"Just offering my pummelling services. Demon? Vampire? Name it and where and I'm there... well, soon as the suns down anyway."

Just then, a thought flickered across Spike's mind. What kind of demon attacked in the middle of the afternoon? No vampire's that was for sure and even demons weren't stupid to run round beating things up in bright sunlight. The wounds weren't even from the night before, they were too fresh. Too fresh to even have been given the other side of town.

"Is there something up there?" Spike signalled towards the rest of the house. "Did it get in the house?"

Xander chuckled slightly which after he realised was a big mistake; it was too much movement and his bruised torso couldn't cope with it. Pain shuddered through his body causing him to groan and cough.

"I don't think you're in the position to find anything funny, mate." Spike came over and sat down on the floor so his face was level with Xander's.

"Since when did you care?" Xander replied with a sneer.

"Since something, which I can permanently damage, nearly stopped you from coming home tonight." Spike growled.

Xander nodded, he really wasn't in the mood anymore for fighting and that's where a sarcastic comment would take him. He knew the vampire was telling the truth anyway, a few more blows and he wouldn't have made it back down here.

"So are you gonna tell me what it was or am I going to have to go running to your little friends?" The blond asked.

Xander squeezed his good eye shut in pain; but not the kind that could be taken away by time and morphine. He was going to have to tell his unwanted houseguest. Better him know that the others. They wouldn't understand. He wouldn't either, but Spike hopefully wouldn't be so clingy afterwards.

A loud thud came from upstairs followed by some shouting and more thuds. The other Harris' were having one of their daily fights complete with smashed ornaments and annoyed neighbours.

Xander jumped and winced slightly at the noise. Too many memories came up and flooded his brain.

Spike looked up at the swinging lampshade and back down to the hurt boy on the bed. A far too familiar thought crossed his mind; a shadow of an eerie past. He took a few unnecessary breaths before speaking.

"It was them, wasn't it?"

Xander held his breath for as long as he could. He knew that as soon as he let it out then he'd let out years of secrets and hurts, years of lies and covering up. Eventually had had to choose between breathing and talking. The back of his mind was telling him to keep the breathe in and end it all. The sensible part of him, which was usually ignored and only came out in signs of danger, took the better of him and released the stale air.

"Yes," he managed to whisper. His eyes started to fill with tears which he wouldn't let fall. He wouldn't let himself cry in front of the bleached vampire. "Yes."

Spike nodded and closed his eyes in attempt to stop his eyes from copying. *Dammit, boy, you're gonna make me cry now! * Spike thought.

"I'm sorry, I -" He started but the teenager cut him off.

"Don't! Don't say you're sorry!" Xander yelled, letting go of the force holding the tears in place. The salty droplets poured down, each staining the already messed up face. "Why do you think I didn't tell? I don't want to be pitied!" He tried to stand up but his legs wouldn't co-operate.

"I don't pity you," Spike stated solemnly. "I was apologising for being such a arsehole."

"You shouldn't apologising for being yourself," Xander shrugged. Spike glared at him but let the comment slide.

There was an awkward silence for a few minutes.

"Since when... if you don't mind me asking," Spike asked, sitting on the bed.

Xander didn't say anything. Spike already knew too much.

"You need ice," Spike said suddenly, standing up and dashing over to the freezer. If the boy didn't want to talk about it then he wasn't going to force.

"Always," Xander said mournfully.

Spike stopped filling the plastic bag with ice and came back over to the injured boy.

"Always?"

"Well, as long as I can remember anyway... I was three... four years old... maybe always..."

Both of them jumped when another loud bang echoed through the ceiling. Xander noticed a far too familiar look in the vampire's eyes.

"You too?"

"What?" Spike snapped.

"Your parents... they did it too, right?"

Spike nodded slowly. "But that was a long time ago, pet. An' it was normal in those days."

There was another long pause. Guy's in general are not good at talking about feelings, but these two were the worst.

"Here." Spike placed the temporarily forgotten ice pack onto Xander's eye. He winced slightly at the newly applied pressure. But the ice felt good, it numbed the pain; or at least most of it.

"Do your friends know?" Spike asked but Xander laughed. "That would be a no."

"They'd be all clingy and would want to phone the police," Xander shrugged.

"And you don't want that because it would be worse after," Spike finished.

"Got it in one." Xander coughed, blood splattered down his top, dribbling down from his chin.

"That's it, Harris, you are going straight up the hospital!" Spike hooked one of the boy's arms round him neck and picked him legs up under the knees with the other. Xander didn't try to protest; he knew the vampire was right. Spike paused once they got to the top of the stairs. "Um... it's daylight out side."

Xander nodded sleepily before slipping into unconsciousness. Spike swore loudly before opening the door that linked the basement to rest of the house and ran. Just as he was about to fly out the front door when he grabbed hold of the lounge curtains. He swung the thick, old-fashioned curtain over his head as he stepped outside.

The warm afternoon sun still burnt Spike slightly through the thick material but it wasn't nearly as bad as what would have happened if he had gone out with out any protection at all. He somehow managed to make it all the way to his car parked in the next street without being severely burnt or noticed too much. He lay Xander out along the back seat and slammed the accelerator to the floor.

~~~

Xander awoke to the sounds of beeping and the strong smell of disinfectant, the smell and sounds of hospital.

He blinked his eyes open slowly, surprised to not to see Willow, Buffy and Giles huddled round his bed but Spike.

"Finally," the vampire sighed. "Do you know how bloody hard it's been to convince your friends that you had gone out of town for a week!"

Xander struggled to understand what Spike was saying. "You didn't tell them I was here?"

"Course I didn't," he replied proudly. "That would lead to too many awkward questions for you when you woke up."

"How long was I out for this time?"

*This time? * thought Spike, making a mental note that the boy had been beaten to unconsciousness before. "Two days, doctor's were getting worried. Speaking of, I should probably let someone know you're ok."

Spike left the room. About thirty seconds later, a doctor came in to check over Xander stats. "Glad you decided to join us, Mr. Harris," he joked.

"Did Spike find you?" Xander asked, thinking how amazingly quick the vampire had managed to find a doctor.

"Spike? Oh, your friend. No he didn't, this is the first time he's left your side since he brought you in, mind you." The doctor leant over and checked the last of the bleeping machines. "My, my, you were hurt bad. What happened?"

Xander gulped. "I got mugged," he lied.

The doctor nodded, "that's exactly what your friend told us."

Xander made a mental note to thank Spike for lying to the doctors for him and making up a plausible reason why he'd had the shit beaten out of him.

"Well, I'm proud to announce that the worst of your injuries have nearly healed," the doctor said. "You still need to take it easy for a few weeks, you had a little internal bleeding and a broken rib that we've managed to fix pretty quickly. The bruises will fade and you'll need to come back in about a week to have various stitches taken out."

"So I can go home?" Xander asked, just checking he'd understood properly.

"As long as you have someone who can look after you for the first few days then yes."

Xander nodded and the doctor left the room just as Spike came back in.

"Looks like you found yourself a quack before I did," Spike smirked as he took his seat next to the bed.

"Thank you," Xander said sincerely.

"For what?"

Xander rolled his eyes. "For everything; for getting me here, not telling my friends, not telling the doctors and for staying with me."

Spike shrugged. He wasn't quite sure what to say. He'd never expected a thank you from the boy, it had just been a second nature to help him. Almost felt like he was helping the boy to try and make his own past easier.

"They said I can go home later if..."

"I'll take care of you," Spike sighed mockingly. "Soon as the sunsets we'll get you organised. I think Sunnydale is the only hospital that has most of its wards at basement level."

Xander laughed and was surprised by both how it didn't hurt him and how it made him feel slightly better

"But when I get you home," Spike continued. "We have too talk and no matter what I'm am gonna help you find a new place to live."

"But..."

"No buts!" Spike argued. "You can't keep doing this."

"What did you do?" Xander asked.

"What?"

"When your parents... how did you make it... stop..."

Spike sighed; the boy wasn't going to like this. "I went out, got completely pissed and met Druscilla and Angelus in a back alley. You can probably guess what happened them."

Xander winced. He definitely didn't want to end up like that. Eventually he agreed. "Ok, first thing tomorrow I'll look for a new place."

Spike grinned triumphantly. "I'll go sort out your forms."

The End.