Author's Note: The other stories were being betaed but one beta quit and the other is on a temporary leave. This story is unbetaed. If anyone would like to offer to beta it, I would greatly appreciate it otherwise just enjoy. It's a short story to hold you guys over since the other stories are on hold.

Chapter 1: Rescue Mission

Buffy rolled over on the ground holding her stomach. She hadn't been hurt like this for over 2 years. She groaned as she noticed the vampire still wasn't dead. She managed to get up just as the vampire lunged for her. She struggled under it, trying to arrange her feet to kick him but was failing as he wasn't budging even with her kicks and was shocked at how much pain shot through her system. She was sick and weak and during the battle, she felt her strength slipping fast.

She was already weaken before the battle as she couldn't resist stopping by Spike for some good old fashion sex knowing Spike couldn't get sick and that he would make her feel really good. He had offered her a chance to sleep off her sickness but she had refused and ran out. Now she was fighting with a vampire she shouldn't be fighting alone. She screamed as she tried to gain strength and barely managed to lift the vampire up just as he had sunk his teeth in. She groaned feeling her skin rip as she rolled over trying to avoid the vampire.

The other three were chanting for the vampire to finish the job. She was on a normal routine patrol heading back to her house when she had run into a vampire gang. It had ten members and now all that was left were four but this one was strong. She kicked him into the air and managed to barely roll over before he landed next to her pulling her back under him. She screamed again in pain that racked through her stabbed stomach as she felt his claws ripping at her clothing and her neck as he lowered his mouth back down to reach her neck again. She kicked him up feeling the tear of his teeth rip her neck leaving behind deep gashes and she felt him knock her in the head as her lost thoughts before she lost consciousness was that she shouldn't have driven Spike away earlier.

*}-'--, --'--, --'--, -{*

Spike was walking through the cemetery pissed off. Buffy pulled her usual disappearing act right after their sex adventures yet again. They had barely finished when she was grabbing her clothes and taking off running. He offered to patrol with her but she refused and Spike being the worried vampire he was, had followed her anyway.

In the first cemetery she called him an idiot and told him he should go find someone else to follow. He had frowned and knew it was because she had a cold and wasn't feeling well. Even realizing that she really didn't mean it didn't make the pain any less when she turned around and slugged him a good one. She told him to back off and he had listened not knowing what else to do.

His thoughts stopped as he heard a scream pierce the air. It sounded really far away but he knew right away it was Buffy. If she was screaming something was really wrong. He took off running in the direction as he smelt her blood. Panic filled him as he picked up the pace jumping over gravestones in an effort to get there faster. He followed her blood and heard another scream and the smell of her blood was overpowering.

He began to feel a sense of dread overcome him and regretted allowing his pride to make him leave her side tonight. He knew she wasn't feeling good and wouldn't be top notch if some nasty decided to take a chunk out of her. He ran as fast as he could to see a vampire standing over his slayer punching her in the face. He spared a glance at the three vampires behind him and lunged at the one standing over Buffy before he did any more damage to her. The smell of her blood was overwhelming which only made him vamp out overwhelm with anger.

The other three vampires stood and watched as Spike punched the vampire before kneeling next to him punching him again and again saying, "No one touches my slayer. You hear me? No one touches my slayer!"

He punched him until the vampire's face was barely recognizable. Then he put a hand on the vampire's throat and leaned over to the unconscious Buffy and pulled the stake from her waist where he knew it would be and slammed it hard into the vampire's chest.

He then stood up quickly dusting one of the trio and kicking the other two down in one blow. One tried to scamper away but Spike threw the stake at him hitting his heart from behind leaving Spike with one last vampire left.

The vampire struggled under him saying, "Please Spike don't kill me. I know who you are and I won't even touch the slayer again. We didn't know she was yours. There's no mark on her and you had never bitten her or anything to tell us."

Spike eyed the lower vampire and decided he would send a message through him. "I'm going to let you go but with the agreement that you will spread the word not to mess with Buffy. Understand?" The vampire nodded his head and Spike let go of his chest allowing the vampire to run away. He then turned around picking up Buffy's favorite stake and tucked it into his duster as he noticed Buffy was really in bad shape.

Spike removed his duster knowing he would probably regret the action and carefully wrapped Buffy in his trusty duster and carried her in the direction of his crypt.

*}-'--, --'--, --'--, -{*

Spike slammed open the door of his crypt after having to fight off and dust two other vampires who had gotten a whiff of slayer blood and tried to join in on the feast they thought Spike was having. He had hated putting Buffy down in order to dust them but knew it was what he had to do. He entered the crypt feeling her barely breathing in his arms. For a brief moment, Spike was tempted to take his slayer to the hospital but he really wanted to see the damage before he put her through that. There would be questions that he didn't have the answer to and he knew how much she hated hospitals ever since her mum died so he really didn't want her to have to go through that again.

He laid her down on the bed pulling over an extra blanket so he didn't get too much blood on the bed and slowly removed her clothing that were pretty much ripped off her anyway. He grimaced as he saw the hole in her stomach and knew that had to be caused by her own stake. He ran to his makeshift bathroom that he had rigged up when Buffy had started coming over a lot, and grabbed some bandages she had left behind and the tape, returning to her side.

He used the bandages adding pressure to the wound and closed his eyes hoping it would stop. The bandages were soaked with blood but the wound itself seemed to be healing. He was so thankful she had slayer healing power as he leaned down and before he could stop himself, licked the wound clean and sealed it. He closed his eyes allowing the blood to make his head soar before he shook his head not allowing himself the pleasure while Buffy lay on his bed possibly dying. He quickly checked the other wounds and noticed she had bumped her head at some point during her struggle and had a slight cut there but it was already sealing up nicely so he did nothing for it.

Then he noticed she had bruises over her body and a few cuts that had been bleeding but now stopped. He sighed in relief until he noticed the vampire had managed to take a few chunks out of her neck. He could have cried as he carefully licked the gashes sealing them. That vampire was definitely not careful with his actions and Spike shuddered knowing how careful he would have been with such a rare gift. He leaned down carefully picking her up and carried her over to the makeshift shower. He removed his clothes knowing he would have to climb in with her and removed her boots and socks as well as his lifting her into under the chilled water.

She shivered and opened her eyes whispering, "Spike?"

Spike nodded whispering, "I got you. Don't move too much. I just need to get the scent of blood off you. It's driving me crazy."

She tried to smile but couldn't and found herself shivering in his arms as his hands moved over her with the washcloth she had left here for her use. She smelled the scent of vanilla as she felt her being pulled onto Spike's lap and gently washed clean. It was the first time a shower with Spike had ever been nonsexual.

She sniffled as she shivered again and he said, "Easy luv, I'll get you warmed up."

She nodded gratefully as she wrapped her arms around his neck as he stood up carrying her over to the bed. She felt him dry her off with a fluffy towel and smiled knowing he had bought that for her after she insisted on taking showers here before their sex because she had smelt like her work place. Spike had never complained but she knew she stank. Even the vampires she killed had complained on days she hadn't stopped by Spike's to clean up and have sex before heading out.

She sighed as she felt her whole body continue to shiver. She didn't know if it was because she was really cold, too hurt or because she had a fever. Spike returned to her side ready to pull a shirt of his over her head and she shook his head.

He sighed and tossed it aside whispering, "Get under the covers, Buffy. You're burning up with a fever."

Buffy tried but her eyesight was so blurry so she felt herself being lifted up into his arms as he pulled the blanket over both of them. Just as he was about to release her, she shook her head violently whispering, "Stay and just hold me. I don't feel good Spike."

Spike kissed her forehead a bit scared at how hot she felt. Sure she always had felt hot towards him but this was burning up as her little body felt it was on fire. She shivered a little more and Spike laid down on the bed pulling her into his arms so she was resting her hot head on his cool chest.

Buffy whispered softly, "Your body feels cool against mine. It's nice."

Spike chuckled saying, "Vampire remember?"

For a moment, Buffy said nothing and then he heard in the quietest, weakest tone he had ever heard from her, "Read another poem to me?"

Spike shrugged not wanting to deny her anything when she was so sick. She had only let him read some to her once. She had a bad day and was looking for release and of course as always, had run to Spike for that release. She had come in when he was writing a poem in his journal and he had admitted to writing poetry and keeping it in a journal. She had asked to borrow it but he had shook his head not wanting it out of his sight. He had lived centuries with teasing and couldn't bear it from her as well.

He nodded and reached over her and pulling the journal containing his poetry off the stand that he never bothered to lock up around her knowing she wouldn't snoop without his permission. She was good like that. He opened it up to the middle where his poetry was about Buffy and began to recite to her. She snuggled closer for once not fussing as one of his arms went around her and she fell asleep to the sound of his voice helping her to relax.