Title: Sweet Pain

Author: Hope

Disclaimer: Joss owns, I just borrow.

Rating: R (for self-mutilation)

Summary: Spike's picked up a disturbing habit within the past few months and when Buffy finds out.......

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~

//You're not part of my life.....// Buffy sighed, kicking at a small clump of dirt on the ground. Had she really sounded that cold hearted? As much as she hated to admit it, she felt bad for what she had said to the vampire. Ducking to avoid an overhanging tree branch, she groaned. Her feet had carried her to *his* cemetary. Habit, she guessed. She always came to him when she was troubled, only this time the trouble was over him.

*****

//The bitch. Not part of her life my arse....// The vampire winced, drawing the blade across his wrist with a shaky hand. The hand holding the blade was covered in blood as well, flowing down from gashes on his arm. //Why do you drive me to this......// Another silent tear fell from his watery eyes, watching small blobs of the red liquid rise to the sirface of his skin. Sure it hurt, but not as much as what she did to him.

That was pain.

Clenching his eyes shut, he dug the blade deeper, concentrating on the burning sensation traveling through his arm instead of the pain in his chest. Opening his red eyes slowly, he surveyed the damage he had done this time. Cocking his head to the side, he sniffled, tracing his figer along one of the jagged cuts.

*****

//So, here I am.....// Buffy stared at the door of his crypt, unsure whether to knock or just go in. She stood their, concentrating on the soft lines on the wooden door. //You need to apologize....// She couldn't beleive she was goingto do this, to tell him she was sorry. Shaking her head and sighing, she pushed the door open. She owed it to him.

Swallowing hard as she entered, she squinted in the darkness. Nothing. He wasn't here. She walked solemnly over to his couch, running her finger over the rim of a bottle of vodka on a table nearby. Her heavy eyes shifted to the ground, catching the soft glow of candlelight from the hole in the ground. He was downstairs. She shuffled over to the lower level entrace, hesitant to go down. Gathering her thoughts, she dropped down, landing with a soft thud on the ground.

"Spike, I..." She stopped, staring at the blonde. He sat on the edge of his bed, his white shirt and black pants covered in blood. Her eyes focused on the blade in his hand. She felt a lump rise in her thraot, "Oh God, Spike, what are you doing?"

His puffy red eyes focused on hers, wavering slightly. He swallowed down the lump in his throat, flippinghis legs over the bed and turning his back to her. "Go away...." His voice came out in a raspy whisper.

Buffy was shocked. How could he do something like this? Why? She stood for awhile, watching the back of his head. He jumped slightly when he small hand grasped his shoulder. "Spike?" He didn't even look at her, his eyes focused on the ground. She glanced around, spotting a first aid kit on a nearby table. His eyes finally fell on her when she released his shoulder, walking back towards the ladder and disapearing to the upper level of his crypt. He watched where she had disapeared, unable to look away. He jerked his head back around when he saw her returning. "Spike?." Still nothing. She sat down next to him quietly, setting the bowl of water and first aid items down next to her.

"........"

She sighed, grabbing the bloodied blade gently from his shaking fingers and tossing it to the ground. Dipping a small towel into the water, she pulled his arm out, wiping away the blood. He didn't say a word as she cleaned his self-inflicted wounds. When she was satisfied that his arms were cleaned up, she traced her fingers over some of the scars on his pale skin. Why hadn't she notcied them before? Her name, Dawn's name, crosses, x's, and other random markings covered his skin, barely visable on his pale arm. She swallowed as they began to bleed again, quickly grabbing the gauze she had brought. She wrapped his arms tightly, making sure the bandages wouldn't come off. When she finsished, he pulled his arms protectively back into his lap.

"S'matter slayer? 'fraid you'll loose your love toy?" He asked coldly, still avoiding her gaze.

She stood slowly, standing in front of the trembling vampire. She pulled his face up to look at her, staring into his pained eyes. He had been crying, quite a bit by the looks of it. Wiping a stray tear from his face, she whispered softly. "No Spike, I'm afraid I'll lose my best friend....." She removed her small hand from his face, giving his shoulder one last squeeze before walking to the ladder and climbing up. "Goodnight, Spike." Her voice floated down softly, wavering slightly. "I'll see you tomorrow." He swallowed hard, standing and kicking the blade on the floor into the wall.......