There's been a couple questions of where this takes places in the series. It's supposed to be in season 7, only I'm not doing any of the First stuff or anything. Xander and Anya are together, Spike has his soul, Tara is dead, ect. I am not rewriting season 7, that's just the setting I chose. I hope that clears it up and little. Enjoy!

Chapter 1

The Fever

It had been a normal day in the Summers house. Buffy, Willow, & Dawn making breakfast, Dawn going to school, Xander coming into visit, Anya following not long after so she could watch old, lame horror movies on TV since she didn't have TV in her apartment that Xander and her shared. Giles would stop in during the day to make sure everything was OK, followed by Dawn coming home from school. Eventually, they'd all end up in the living room together to talk or watch a movie. Usually, when the sun set, Buffy went patrolling. Spike usually stayed in his basement during all of this. Sometimes he'd join Buffy on her patrol through the cemetery. This was on of those particular nights.

"I'll be back in a little while," Buffy said.

"Don't worry, we'll hold down fort here," Xander promised.

"Yeah, we won't let Xander blow the house up," Anya teased.

"Hey!" Xander looked up at her from his spot on the floor, offended.

"Go ahead, Buffy. We'll be fine," Willow assured Buffy as Anya & Xander began to argue.

"OK." Buffy went out the door in front of Spike, who closed the door behind them.

"So...nice...sunset," Spike said, trying to find something to talk about as he looked at the colorful sky.

"Doesn't it bother you?" Buffy asked, looking up at Spike as they headed toward the cemetery.

"No. It makes my skin twitch a little, though. A little uncomfortable, actually," Spike replied.

"Oh," Buffy looked down at the ground.

They crossed the street, & right when they stepped onto the grass of the cemetery two vampires appeared a little ways in front of them.

"It's as if they knew we were coming," Spike remarked.

"I'm sure they did. I'll take him, you get him," Buffy commanded, pointing at the vampires in turn.

The vampires ran up to them and Buffy punched one twice, gave it a kick, pulled out her stake, and dusted the vamp.

Spike had his vamp layed out flat on the ground. Buffy tossed him the stake & he dusted the vamp with ease.

"Well, that was easy," Buffy commented.

"Yeah, not the fierce little kitties they usually are," Spike sarcastically said. Buffy laughed at this.

"Spike, what do you mean by 'fierce little kitties'?" she questioned, smiling.

"Well, most vampires you meet in a cemetery have just risen, you know? So, that means they're just like little kitties, but stronger and meaner. Not a lion, yet. Not like me," Spike explained.

"I see," Buffy said, "I don't really get it, but I see."

"Yeah, I don't really get it, either. I just kinda made it up." Buffy and Spike walked on, still smiling.

Suddenly, Buffy stopped where she was, a look of worry on her face.

"Buffy, what is it?" Spike stopped a few feet in front of her and looked back. His cheerful face had turned to concern.

Buffy just stood there.

"Buffy?" Spike said louder, "What's wrong?"

"I...I don't know. I jus--I just feel--" Buffy fell to the ground.

"Buffy!" Spike rushed to her side and helped her up. "Are you OK?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, I guess. I don't what happened."

"We need to get you home. There's obviously something wrong with you." Spike tried to lead her in that direction, but Buffy stopped him.

"I'm fine. Let's go." She walked on, and Spike reluctantly followed her.

"Buffy, I really think that you should go home and lie down. You're going to get yourself killed!"

"Spike, " Buffy turned around and looked at him, annoyed, "every time I fight a vampire or a demon or anything else I could die. If I die then I'm only doing my job." Buffy turned and kept walking.

"I know that, but you have a hell of a lot better chance of dying now because you're not at your full strength. This is insane--"

"Spike!" Buffy stopped and turned around to face him again. "If you'd like to try and stop me and take me home, go ahead. Try. You probably can, right? I mean, I'm not at my full strength." Spike made no move. "That's what I thought." Buffy turned on her heal and stormed off.

Spike just stood where he was, watching Buffy walk away and not knowing what to do.

Then, a vampire came up silently behind Spike and jumped him and they fell to the ground. Buffy thought she heard something and turned around to see Spike & another vampire fighting. She rushed over and just as the vampire kicked Spike to the ground, Buffy kicked it. The vampire punched her back and knocked her to the ground.

"Buffy!" Spike was back on his feet. As he was going to help Buffy, another vampire appeared and distracted him.

Buffy, still on the ground, grabbed the vamp's leg and pulled it out from under it, making the vamp join her on the ground. Buffy got up and was about to stake the vamp as that same feeling that had made her faint earlier returned. The vampire got to it's feet and punched Buffy, making her fall back into a tombstone. Buffy tried to stand back up, but the vampire just knocked her back down.

Spike, having just dusted his own vampire, starting running towards Buffy and tossed her the stake. Buffy managed to stand up and, as the vampire was coming to bite her, she dusted him. Buffy then dropped the stake and fell to the ground and Spike rushed over to her.
"Buffy? Can you hear me? Buffy!" Spike shook her, but she did not respond. She was unconscious.

Spike picked her up and carried her to the hospital.

Willow, Giles, Dawn, Anya, & Xander rushed to the hospital right after getting a call from Spike that Buffy was there.

"What's wrong with her?" Giles asked Spike as the gang walked into the waiting room.

"She has a fever from something. Working too much, I think," Spike mumbled.

"Well, that covers Buffy 100 percent," Xander said.

"Good thing you went with her. She could still be out there, otherwise," Dawn told Spike.

"Yeah, that's me. Big hero guy."

"I just had a talk with the nurse and we can come get Buffy tomorrow. She just needs some rest. She said they'll call us when Buffy's ready," Willow said, re-joining with the group.

"That's good. Can we leave now? I'm missing the beginning of Frankinbride." Anya said, unconcerned and everyone stared at her. "What?"

"We're all going home. I believe we all need some rest," Giles said. " Buffy'll be fine here until tomorrow. Spike are you coming with us?"

"No, I'll stay here."

"OK, people, let's go! If we hurry I won't miss the part where they bring Frankinbride to life!" Anya said as the group made their way to the door of the hospital. "It is the best part, you know."

"I'm sure it is, honey," Xander replied, and they left the hospital.

After pacing around in the waiting room awhile, Spike decided to go check on Buffy. When he opened the door to her room Buffy looked up at him. "Hi, Spike." She looked back down at the floor.

"Hey...uh, how are you?" Spike asked as he stepped into the room and closed the door softly behind him.

"Better, I guess," Buffy said. After a short pause, she added, "This is kind of like the time when Angel didn't have his soul and I got the flu and had to stay in the hospital."

"Oh, yeah. Not the best time of my life, either. Angel just couldn't keep away from Dru."

Buffy looked at Spike with an eyebrow raised.

"Not that I care anymore!" Spike added as-a-matter-of-factly. "Not since she left me for that chaos demon."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," Buffy said saracastically, looking back at the window. "Why don't you go home, Spike. I'll be OK by myself."

"I know. I just can't leave. I know you hate hearing this, Buffy, but whether you like it or not, I care about you. I can't rest until you're out of this bloody torture building and home safe."

Buffy looked back at him & smiled. "Thank you."

Spike smiled back.


Just to warn everyone, this is one of my longest chapters. I'm not into writing long chapters. I've always liked shorter chapters just like I like short scenes in movies. I'm just weird that way!

-A.A. Julson