Chapter Five

"Morphine"

The penthouse was dark and silent. For a minute, Angel was almost worried. Spike still was asleep? It was 9pm. His spidey-sense should be tingling. Sighing heavily, he took off his blazer and draped it over one of the couches near by. He was about to sit down when he heard a low moan coming from across the room.

He looked up and squinted through the darkness. Even with vampire vision, it was still inky black. He took a deep breathe and pushed it back out through his lips. It sighed and died away in the silence. Angel stepped forward so that he was well within view of his over-sized bed.

Spike was lying completely still, exactly where Angel had laid him hours ago. The only indication that he had moved was the rumpled sheets beside him. Angel sensed that he was awake. But only just barely.

He took measured steps toward the bed, careful not to frighten Spike. This emotion thing has got to stop, Angel thought helplessly. His legs suddenly began taking him places he wasn't telling them to go.

Spike's face was illuminated by the moonlight shining through the blinds. It lit up one side of his face so that Angel could see the sharp angle of his cheekbone. There was nothing sexual about Spike right now. He wasn't cocky, or rude or...hell, even close to Spike at all. And Angel felt a sudden stab of guilt run through him. There was definitely something wrong in the world if Spike looked so helpless.

Spike moaned unconsciously, shifting his legs beneath the sheets. Angel took another step closer, noticing the bandages around Spike's hands as if for the first time. He stared down at the starch white clothe covering the wounds around his arms. Another stab of guilt. Helping the helpless... Angel thought sadly, rubbing his hands over his face again. He was just so tired...Tired of Wolfram & Hart, tired of making the hard decisions. Tired of just being there. He couldn't count how many times he wished things were simpler. And now he wished more than anything that he knew what the hell to do with Spike. In a few weeks, he would be alright. He would be rude, and selfish and moronic. But right now? Right now things were complicated. And Angel was tired...

Closing his eyes, he began to turn away. But, when he heard the sounds of movement again, he took another step toward Spike instead.

"I's not right..." Spike mumbled, brow knit in...concentration? Confusion? He was still drenched in sweat. Still tossing with dreams. Angel knew about dreams. He had far too many. Most of them were nightmares.

With fleeting thoughts racing through his head, Angel reached out his hand gently and placed it on the young vampire's forehead, feeling the heat and sweat warm his palm. Spike shifted, murmuring about ghosts and demons. After a brief inner struggle, Spike opened his eyes. The blue shone like sapphire in the slits of moonlight.

It took him a moment to realize who was there, but when he did, he squinted and flinched away from Angel's hand.

"Angel?"

"Yeah..." Angel quickly withdrew his hand and shoved it deep into his pocket, trying so hard not to look at Spike. But it was hard. It was so hard because Spike sighed in pain and sank back down into the bed.

"You git..." he sighed, shifting in obvious pain.

"What?" Angel asked, looking at his childe through the moonlight. Spike shook his head and furrowed his brow.

"This was your idea." he moaned, closing his eyes again. Suddenly, it hit Angel, full force. The drugs. The morphine wore off. Hours ago.

He had taken a supply with him when he left the hospital wing earlier. He was no pro at administering it, but he took it anyway. It was better than watching him struggle with nurses. Spike might hate him, but Angel was the only thing Spike knew right now. Angel decided that maybe Spike would trust him. Even if it was only for a moment.

With one last look at the keening vampire, Angel quickly retrieved a vile of the clear liquid and filled a syringe. He had only done this once before. To Drusilla. But he hated to think of that time. It was the time of Angelus. A time not worth mentioning at all...

When Angel returned to the bed, Spike was wide awake, trying, in vain, to sit up slightly.

"Hey...don't, Spike." Angel set the syringe down on the bedside table and reached out to help him. Spike suddenly recoiled, cracking his head on the headboard painfully. But he didn't flinch from the pain. He just furrowed his brow at Angel and took a deep breathe.

"What are you doin'?" Spike asked, looking at Angel's hands and then back at his face. Angel rolled his eyes slightly and reached out again. This time, Spike let him gently take him by the sides and shift him back into a sitting position. Spike's look of confusion and worry was enough to make Angel want to run away.

"I'm not gonna to hurt you." Angel reassured him. Although, he really wasn't sure if it was going to do any good.

"Heard that one before." Spike mumbled, glancing at the bedside table. He cocked an eyebrow slightly. Angel followed his gaze and sighed.

"I promise."

And in one swift motion, he lifted the syringe, tested it and curled back Spike's sleeve slightly. The needle bit into his arm, but Angel was sure he couldn't feel it.

"Wha's with the change a heart?" Spike asked as Angel withdrew the needle and stood up. Angel reached the door before turning back to answer him.

"Get some sleep Spike." he said softly, preparing to close the sliding dividers.

Spike shifted again.

"Thought you hated me?"

Angel turned his head to see the vampire's arms limp at his sides, pain still etched into his face. The sweat was still beaded on his face and soaked into the sheets. Angel felt that pang of guilt again.

"I do." Angel lied, moving the divider and enjoying the 'thump' it made as it closed.