AN: Just a little piece of Shanshu fluff. I like to think that Shanshued vampires become human, but retain most of their vampire strengths. I really don't see the PTB rewarding their Champion(s) by taking away the things that make them such strong warriors. Plus, it's quite a PTB thing to do. Reward them, but make it so they have no excuse to give up the war.


The first night he's human is filled with tests. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How much vampire is left in him? CAT scans, MRIs, heart monitoring, blood tests and a plethora of other medical things go along with tests for reflexes, hearing, smell and strength. Weaknesses are gauged by opening a window at daybreak, pressing a cross to his arm, and cutting his finger to see how fast it heals.

She watches and waits, and when the Council physiology experts leave the room, she holds his hand.

The second night he's human, they're alone in their apartment and he drifts into an uneasy sleep. She sits next to him in their bed, her eyes wide open. Seventeen times he startles awake, breathing hard and clutching his chest. Seventeen times, she waits until he stops gasping, and rubs his back until he slips under again.

The eighteenth time, he wakes with a shout and she has to say his name over and over until he realizes he isn't clawing his way out of a grave. The eighteenth time, she curls herself around him, and he wraps her hand in his and settles them both on top of his heart. The steady pounding lulls them both to sleep.

There is no nineteenth time.


The third and fourth nights he's human, he spends stretched across the bed while she feeds him aspirin and rubs aloe into his skin. First she reminds him that just because it can't kill him anymore, the sun can still hurt like hell and maybe it's not such a good idea to fall asleep shirtless on the balcony. Then she peppers every inch of burned skin with kisses and whispers that the sun lit up his hair like a halo. He chuckles, and she feels it reverberate through him from where she's straddled across his legs.

She's pretty sure this would count as foreplay, if he wasn't blistered and occasionally moaning in agony.


The fifth night he's human, he puts his hand through their bathroom mirror. So before she can rub aloe on his back, she has to help remove shards of glass from his fist with her eyebrow tweezers. He apologizes at least a dozen times. The mirror was steamed up, the movement from the corner of his eye surprised him, and he swears it won't happen again. She rolls her eyes, kisses his fist, and they decide to wait a while to replace the mirror.


The sixth night he's human confirms the theories about his healing abilities. The cuts from the glass didn't even scar and his sunburn is completely gone. But he ends up spending the night bent over the toilet because he drank half a pint of blood in one gulp, out of habit. She spends it going through their refrigerator and freezer, removing all things containing red and white cells.

The seventh night he's human, she kisses him with purpose. His skin tastes like sweat and sunscreen and it shouldn't be nearly as intoxicating as it is. They fight off all their covers, because they both have body temperatures now and she's certain she's going to go up in flames. It's strange and new, and incredible to feel him above and below and inside her, warm and pulsing and so very alive. Twice they have to stop and just hold onto each other for a little while, because his heart is racing faster than he's used to, and as he kisses her mouth and her neck and her breasts, she assures him that it's normal and guys in his kind of shape don't have heart attacks.

Later, when he's on the edge and she's clinging to him tighter than she probably should be now that he has to breathe, he buries his face in her neck and whispers that she's the first person to feel his heartbeat during sex. The moment his meaning sinks in, she gasps and comes harder than she has in years.


The eighth night Spike's human, Buffy stops counting.