Made for fun, not for profit. The Buffyverse belongs to Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon, I just like to play there.

A/N: Anyone patient enough to have stuck with me this far deserves a cookie or some other kind of show of gratitude. I actually wrote this chapter waaay back in 2012. I hadn't written chapter three yet when I wrote this part, so until now it's been held hostage by the continuity gremlins. However, now it can roam free on the internet. Yay!


"Although the world is full of suffering,

It is also full of overcoming it."

~ Hellen Keller


12– Going Bump In The Night


Well, this wasn't awkward at all.

"So," Sam fiddled with part of his sleeve, nervously chewing on her upper lip. "What happens when you try to bite someone? I mean, with what the soldiers did to you and everything."

Spike blinked at her in mild surprise, the mind-numbing commercial for Sham-Wow momentarily forgotten. He cocked his head slightly, narrowing his eyes at her. "You really want to know?"

She locked eyes with him briefly, then dropped her gaze to the coffee table. "Yeah. I mean, I'm curious about how it could possibly stop you from feeding…" She trailed off, seeming unsure of what to say next. He didn't offer any response, and after a few moments of silence she seemed to give up on getting an explanation of how it worked, so she turned her attention back to the tv.

The show they had been watching, a rerun of some episode of All In The Family had come back from commercial, and she tried to follow what Archie Bunker was saying. Something about Jewish food, and how it never looks like the raw products it was made from. Spike saw her glancing over at him every so often, probably hoping for a belated response to her question or wondering if the subject had been permanently dropped, but her attention didn't stay divided for long.

After a few minutes her entire focus was on the tv, so when Spike growled and jumped on top of her it took her completely by surprise.

"Spike, what are you-"

She caught a glimpse of his gameface as he fumbled with her bathrobe, pulling it aside so he'd have a clear shot at her neck, and then he dove in. Barely a second later he jumped off of her like a scalded cat, yowled in pain and rolled to the side, pressing his head into the upholstery.

Spike mumbled some indistinct profanity to the cushions and bit back a groan. The pain was much worse now than it had been when he'd failed to attack Willow in the dorms. Then, it had just been a searing, agonizing jolt which lanced through his head and left him with a lingering headache, but now the pain seemed to reach out and savage his whole body, sending his muscles into jerky spasms, forcing his mind to go blank, and reducing him to a pitiful, self-loathing lump. It was debilitating, blinding him temporarily and making him see small shimmering spots once his vision did return. He could barely manage to think straight through the haze of agony, but part of his mind was still cogent enough to wonder why the bursts of pain were affecting him so much more badly now than they had before.

As his mind slowly began to clear, he realized this was because, quite simply, he hadn't been feeding. When he'd been captured by the commandos, he'd been at full strength after months of good feeding, and he had broken out about a week later. From the time he got out until he threw himself on the mercy of the Scoobies, he'd been on the run and unable to feed, and that had been perhaps the longest, and hungriest, two weeks of his whole unlife. Once he started staying with Giles, the Scoobies kept him on starvation rations, just barely giving him enough blood to keep him from wasting away, and that had been another interminable two days. Even with the extra blood Sam had given him that evening, he hadn't fed nearly enough to regain his full strength. To do that, he would have to drain several people in the course of one night, and since that wasn't likely to happen, his strength would have to accumulate slowly.

He gradually became aware of a soft voice speaking to him and a pair of hands gently touching him. At first he couldn't tell what she was saying, but then something cool was pressed to his forehead which quickly made the pounding in his skull abate.

"Shhh. Easy, sweetheart. Try to relax. Just take it easy."

"Easier said than done, luv." He grimaced. The sound of his own voice was loud to his ears, and it was only then that he realized she must have been whispering to him.

He opened his eyes but couldn't see much of anything beyond the colorful star-bursts which had formed behind his closed eyelids. From what he could tell, the apartment seemed a bit darker than it had been a few minutes earlier. The table lamp in the living room area had been shut off, as well as the light in the kitchen, and the only light he could see was the glow from the telly and a streetlamp outside one of the windows. Despite the relative darkness, it was still much too bright for the combination of a hellish migraine and his cat-like night vision. His eyes squeezed shut again and he made a low sound of displeasure through his clenched teeth, letting out an unnecessary breath, along with a murmured "bloody hell."

"Yeah," she continued to pet him, running her fingers back through his hair and gently tracing circles on his scalp with her fingertips. He wasn't sure when she had started doing that, but it felt lovely on his sore head and he hoped she would keep doing it. "That's one doozy of a headache, mister."

Sam's voice was low and soothing, and coupled with the petting, it helped him to feel slightly less shitty.

"Yeah. Aren't I the lucky one?"

She gave a breathy laugh and followed it up with more whispering. "You have gotten a raw deal, but I have to admit that I'm a little relieved. Even with... I mean, it makes me feel safer. Don't really want to be on the menu, if you know what I mean."

He gave a wry smile, quirking one eyebrow. "At least you're honest about it." The petting gradually slowed, then stopped altogether, and he looked up at her questioningly. "Luv?"

She held up a bottle, shaking it gently so he could hear the slight rattling of its contents. "I found some percocet in Giles' medicine cabinet. It's definitely strong enough to take care of the pain, and it'll help you sleep, too."

"Oh." He blinked at her, noticing the water glass which had appeared on the coffee table at some point. Spike shifted his gaze back to her, hoping that she would start touching him again. He'd underestimated how much her petting had helped to alleviate the pain, and without it he was starting to have difficulty concentrating and keeping his eyes open. Besides, it had felt nice, being touched like that in a non-sexual context, especially since, unlike the kissing earlier, she wasn't getting anything tangible out of this. It wasn't just the physical contact, but the fact that she actually cared enough to try to help him feel better was... nice. Probably not the smartest thing for her to do, but nice all the same.

"D'you really think that'll work?"

She smiled, glancing down to the bottle she was holding. "The dentist prescribed this stuff for me when my wisdom teeth were removed. I remember getting home in the afternoon, taking the pills, and then nothing until midnight." Sam opened it and shook three round white pills into her palm, then held them out to him and looked back up with a crooked grin after closing the bottle. "That whole week is one big blur, so yeah, I think it'll help. Certainly can't hurt."

A soft *ding* sounded from the kitchen, possibly the microwave had finished heating something, but even that little sound felt like an ice-pick driving into Spike's head. He squeezed his eyes shut, realizing belatedly that for some reason no sound was coming from the telly. He opened one eye to glance over at the screen, and large green letters spelling out 'MUTE' in the upper right corner of the picture answered his curiosity. It occurred to him that not only had Sam turned off the lights for his benefit, but she had muted the telly, too. The only real sounds in the apartment were Sam's breathing and heartbeat, along with fainter versions of the same sounds coming from Giles' room upstairs. The quiet seemed to make his head hurt less, and he was surprised, but grateful, that she was making so much of an effort to help him.

"Got that right, luv. Feels like my bloody head's gonna explode." Spike carefully shifted position, trying to get more upright so he could take the pills. He ended up leaning heavily against the arm of the couch, the hard wood biting painfully into his ribs as he rested most of his weight against it.

She noticed him grimace and closed her hand around the pills, holding on to them while she grabbed an overstuffed throw pillow from the nearby easy chair with her other hand. "Here, let me..."

He levered himself up with one arm, letting her put the cushion between himself and the carved arm of the couch. When she withdrew her arm he settled back into place and relaxed. That one little pillow seemed to do the trick.

"Is that better?"

Spike nodded, letting his eyes drop shut and willing the room to stop spinning. It was bloody intolerable that such a little bit of movement could make his head throb so damn much. "When I get rid of this bleedin' chip, I'm gonna have a one-vamp G.I. Joe buffet. Kill 'em all, I will. Suck 'em dry an' use their bones to smash those bloody scientists' heads in."

"I really do get you being angry at those guys, but," he heard Sam shift uncomfortably, "can you not plan it aloud? At least, not when I'm within earshot?"

He flashed her an evil grin, which became a grimace and then his face softened as he nodded. "You got it, pet. 'S long as those pills of yours work."

She put the pills in his hand and held out the glass of water to him, smiling crookedly. "I can live with that. Besides," She watched him pop the pills into his mouth then take a swig of the water. He kept drinking until the glass was empty, and only then did he hand it back to her. "I gave you triple the normal dose. This stuff will knock you out. By the time you wake up, the pain should be long gone."

"So," he leaned back again, trying to get comfortable. He lay down at almost full stretch on the couch and adjusted the pillow beneath his head, wincing slightly when bolts of pain shot through his scalp in protest of the movement. "How long till this stuff starts to work?"

She shrugged, putting the pill bottle and empty glass next to where she was sitting on the coffee table. "Usually about half an hour. Maybe faster, with your vamp metabolism."

Spike made a disgusted sound, closing his eyes and letting his face settle into a relaxed expression. "Fat lot of good that is. An' just what am I supposed to do until then?"

The microwave 'ding'-ed again and Sam glanced over to the kitchen then back to him, a faint smile on her face as she shrugged. "I heated you up some blood. Having something to eat might help."

He gave a tiny nod of assent, one corner of his mouth jerking up into a faint smile at the thoughtfulness of the gesture. He really hadn't expected any of the Scoobies to treat him with such consideration. Of course, Sam wasn't exactly a Scooby and she didn't seem to play by their rules... at least, if the snogging was anything to go by. Part of him was still suspicious of how affectionate she was towards him and wondered if she had an ulterior motive, but the larger part of him was enjoying being looked after, and it told the first part to sod off. "Could do. The rations Giles has me on aren't near enough to feed a vamp, 'specially not one who's been starving for almost three weeks."

She briefly touched her fingers to his hair again, playing them through the stiff curls. After trying to break up some of the gelled clumps, she gently lay the forgotten ice pack back on his forehead. "Well then, I'd better bring your snack over here. Lets see if we can't fill you up."

He heard her get up, but his eyes didn't open until she gave his arm a fond pat. Spike watched with a bemused expression while she walked towards the kitchen in the dark, trying not to bump into any of Giles' furniture. He thought, not for the first time, that having poor night vision was definitely a handicap. However, this was one of the very few times that he felt anything other than amusement at the sight of a bumbling human trying to make her way in the dark.

She reached the kitchen without too much trouble and put the tumbler and pill bottle next to each other on the counter. There was almost no light in the kitchen; the soft glow from the tv didn't reach nearly that far, and the streetlight outside only illuminated the area of Giles' little work space just inside the front door. She wedged open the fridge door with her foot, using light from inside the fridge to guide her movements, and found a tray in one of the cupboards underneath the counter which looked out into the main room. She nudged the refrigerator door with her knee, stopping it from closing, and opened the microwave door. The little microwave display panel changed from saying 'DONE' to displaying the time, which happened to be 3:20 in the morning. She made a sour face at the time display, then loaded four coffee mugs full of blood onto the tray which she had found. Sam picked up the tray and then, seeming to reconsider, put it down again. She flicked on the light over Giles' sink, then reclaimed the tray and, using the sink light to guide her, headed back into the living room.

Spike watched her progress, more than a little worried that she wouldn't be able to see well enough to negotiate her way through the living room furniture without accidentally overturning any of the mugs. However, she made it all the way back without tripping over or walking into anything, and he smiled when she reclaimed her seat on the coffee table.

"So," she grinned at him. "D'you think four mugs is enough to tide you over until morning?"

He smirked back, reaching up to adjust the ice pack. "Should be enough." His stomach rumbled loudly, and Sam had to suppress a laugh. Spike aimed a playful glare at her, sitting up once more and leaning against the couch arm as he made a 'gimme' gesture with one hand. "Awright, awright, just give it here."

She handed him one of the mugs, trying to ignore the smell of the heated blood when she was passing it over.

Spike was blissfully unaware of her discomfort as he downed half of the first mug in one gulp. He grimaced at the lingering taste. "The spices help a bit, but it's still off."

She nodded. "I'll do a more thorough spice trial, maybe tomorrow or Sunday, and we can see what helps." She sighed. "Cooking with ingredients that I can't taste-test is always a pain."

Spike finished off the first mug with a shrug. "I'm free to play food tester whenever, pet. 'S not like you have a hell of a lot to work with, though. Pig ain't the tastiest, but I'll take what I can get when it comes to food."

She pursed her lips, taking the empty mug from him but hesitating before giving him the next filled one. "I didn't have to do this, y'know. Heating these up for you."

He blinked at her in confusion, thrown off by the sudden change in her attitude. "What?"

Sam shook her head, putting the full mug back on the tray. "I happen to know, for a fact, mind you, that saying 'thank you' isn't fatal to vampires."

He narrowed his eyes at her. "Are you serious?"

She gave a helpless shrug, coupled with a mildly defensive nod. "Well, yeah. A little gratitude, or at least politeness would be nice."

Spike scowled at her, in full-on Big Bad mode. "Vampire, pet. We don't do 'nice'."

"You did earlier tonight. You were plenty nice to me during dinner, and in the study, too." She raised one eyebrow at him challengingly. "Seems to me like you've got some of the basics down already, but I'm guessing you still need a crash course in dealing with humans without being able to resort to violence. At least humans who aren't me."

He winced and then shut his eyes briefly while she spoke, effectively ruining the tough guy posturing he'd been aiming for. When she seemed to notice that he was still in pain, she relented slightly. The next time she spoke, her voice was low and gentle. "If you want to keep me on your side, this is what you need to do."

He gave her a smoldering glare, and then forced a smile. "Thanks for bringin' me the blood." He sounded as insincere as possible, but she didn't seem to care. Apparently, saying the words was enough. He didn't have to actually mean any of it. Good to know.

She handed over the second mug with a triumphant smirk. "You're welcome. And since I only insist on one 'thank you' per favor, now you're all set."

He downed the blood in one long pull, inwardly shaking his head at how demanding this girl was. He had been feeling grateful about how she was looking after him, but the way she almost demanded thanks from him had really annoyed him and made a good deal of the gratitude evaporate. He loathed being told what to do, and since he already felt like crap because of his headache, his temper was even shorter than usual. He looked up from the mug to find that she was giving him yet more unsolicited advice.

"Plus, if you behave yourself, Giles won't be able to make a strong case for keeping you chained up. I mean, if there's no real reason to restrain you, he'll probably let you have the run of the apartment."

Spike snorted and then winced, putting down the empty. "Pet, if you think you're gonna house-train ol' Spike, you've got another thing coming."

Sam moved forward a bit to hand him the third mug, sighing at the same time. "I wouldn't dream of house-training you. Trying to get you to go on the newspapers would be a nightmare…" She withdrew her hand, deadpan expression slipping away as she swapped out the empty mug for a full one. "I'm just trying to give you some options. If you want to stay chained or tied up the whole time you're here, that's your call, but if you'd rather have free rein, you'll need to follow some basic rules. I'm not gonna spend the next few weeks sneaking around unchaining you when Giles' back is turned. This has to be above board, and I'll help as much as I can, but you're really the only one who can change his mind about this."

He cocked his head, realizing something. She wasn't telling him what to do. Not as such, anyway. She was giving him choices, treating him as though he was her peer and not like something vile which she had scraped off the bottom of her shoe. Spike blinked. She treated him with respect. That by itself was enough of a reason to listen to her. "What kind of rules?"

She gave a pleased smile and started ticking things off with her fingers. "Don't steal anything from Giles or cause any major-league property damage. Basic politeness would be good, but you don't need to grovel or kow-tow to anybody. Just a 'please' or 'thank you' every once in a while should be enough. Matter of fact, the gang will probably be so shocked by you being polite that it'll serve as free entertainment."

Spike smirked a tiny bit at the truth of what she was saying. "Anythin' else?"

She smiled, shaking her head. "Nope."

He gave his head a tiny shake, then drank down the blood. That sounded reasonable enough, and she hadn't said anything about not raiding the Watcher's cupboards for snacks. He was handing back the third empty mug when he noticed something printed on its side. "Oh, you've gotta be kiddin' be. Would'ja look at this?"

He held out the mug to her, but in the semi-dark she couldn't discern what was written on it. "What does it say?"

Spike rolled his eyes. "Bleedin' thing says 'Kiss the Librarian'."

Sam chuckled, swapping the empty for the last full mug. "I didn't really look at them when I was picking them out. Just took the two from earlier out of the drying rack and grabbed two more from the shelf." She looked into the empty mug, giving it a tentative sniff and then screwing up her face in an expression of distaste. "I'm gonna have to wash these things out pronto."

Spike was less than halfway into his last mug, and he estimated that between the blood she and Giles had heated up for him that day and what he was polishing off now, he'd already had nearly seven pints of blood. When he was hunting, he usually drank all he could from someone, but since he almost always hunted women, he tended to get no more than seven or eight pints per victim. If there was still about half a pint left, this meal would actually be enough. In fact, a meal this size four times each day would amount to a larger daily volume of blood than he was used to, since he didn't usually feed every night. He tried to do some quick figuring, wanting to work out how long it would take him to make up for the three weeks he'd been running on nothing, also taking into account the fact that he was still healing, but the effort made his head pound. He briefly considered asking Sam to help with the maths, but dismissed the idea almost immediately. Even with how much she was helping him, he had a feeling that calculations like that would make her uncomfortable. Instead, he finished off the last of the blood and tried to focus on the last thing she had said. Something about needing to wash out the cups...

"What's the rush?"

She smirked. "The rush is that Giles will hit the roof if his Earl Grey has an O pos aftertaste." She stood up, touching his shoulder before taking the mug from him and putting it on the tray with the others. Sam headed for the kitchen, switched on the florescent under-cabinet light over the sink and squirted dish liquid into the mugs before putting them into the sink. She turned on the hot water, rinsing them out thoroughly before scrubbing at them with a sponge. Once the water overflowing their rims was clear, both of blood and soap suds, she set them on the drying rack.

She stepped into the hall, marginally closer to the living room area, and asked in a stage whisper, "Do you want anything while I'm in here?"

Spike shrugged. His belly was full… ish, and with food in him his head wasn't hurting nearly as much. He had gone back to lying down on the couch, and was waiting for the pills to start working. The only things which seemed to be missing were sex, smokes and booze. He'd run out of fags while he was on the run, and he was fairly certain that sex with Sam wasn't on the menu. At least, not just yet. She kept touching him, had kissed him vigorously in the study and told him in no uncertain terms that she liked him before falling asleep in his arms, but she had also made a point of saying that she wasn't easy and that they were going faster than she was used to. The long and short of it was, she wasn't ready yet, and much as he would have liked a good shag, he didn't want to mess things up by trying to force the issue. Even if he didn't actually want her to think well of him, he'd much rather have an enthusiastic partner than one who needed to be coerced. Besides, with the damned chip in his head and Giles just upstairs, any efforts to force her would not only be short-lived, but bloody stupid. Naturally, that left only one thing.

"Giles have any hooch around here? I know he keeps a bottle of brandy on the bookshelf…"

"The Napoleon brandy? I think he has some other stuff, too." Sam nodded, glancing over at Giles' breakfast bar. Near the side was a small tray, and on it a few bottles containing various kinds of alcohol. She walked towards them, pulled the tray closer and picked up the bottles one at a time, holding them in the light cast by the solitary bulb over the stove to get a better look at them. Two of them had dark golden-brown liquid inside, and the other was clear.

"He's got a couple bottles of dark booze here, they're probably scotch or cognac, and there's another bottle of what I'm guessing is gin, knowing him. Naturally, none of 'em have labels."

Spike sat up just enough to see what she was doing. Her pretty face was scrunched up; eyes squinting in the low light and brow furrowed as she tried to puzzle out what was in the various bottles. He smiled slightly. She looked good like that. Maybe not conventionally beautiful, considering how her features were twisted around, but the curiosity and intelligence in her expression definitely appealed to him. He covered the mushy thoughts with a sardonic quip. "No, 'cause labels would only be helpful."

Sam removed the cover from each bottle as she examined it and gave the contents a sniff. She poured a few drops from the first bottle into its cap, tasted the liquid and pulled a face. "Uhg. Yeah, that's scotch alright."

Spike chuckled at her reaction to the beverage. "Don't drink much, pet?"

She replaced the cover on that bottle, flashing him a smile. "Hey, gimme wine or vodka any day of the week. I drink other stuff, sometimes, but I mainly like fruity drinks. Daquiris, Pina Coladas, screwdrivers, that kind of thing. That's about it." Sam picked up the next bottle, squinting at the golden-brown liquid inside it. "Knowing Giles, this is probably cognac."

"Nevermind, love. The brandy'll do me just fine."

She gave a dramatic, annoyed sigh. "Good thing I looked at all the other stuff," Sam smiled at him, letting him know that the annoyance was all show, and put the bottle back on its tray with the others. "Now, don't get used to this."

Spike had lain down again, resting his head on one of the pillows and closing his eyes. "Used to what, pet?"

He heard a soft, derisive snort come from the kitchen, and footsteps trailing off of hardwood and onto linoleum. The soft scrape of wood against wood, followed by the clinking sound of glasses, let him know that she had opened one of the cabinets and was getting him a glass.

"Being waited on hand an foot."

"Oh?" He quirked up one eyebrow but didn't bother to shift position on the couch. "And why is that?"

There was the whispering scrape of the brandy being opened, and a quiet splash as it was poured. Her footsteps came towards the couch again, drifting along with a breathy laugh. She hesitated at the edge of the carpet, as though unsure of where to perch, and then reclaimed her seat on the coffee table.

"I'm only doing this because you need looking after at the moment. As soon as you're steady on your feet, you'll need to do this kind of stuff for yourself."

"Thanks, pet." His voice was heavy with sarcasm, but stung pride aside, he found himself enjoying being looked after, or at least the way that she went about it. He held out one hand for the brandy. She had put three fingers of it in a tumbler and served it neat, as though it were scotch. He leaned up on one elbow and took a swallow of the liquor.

It burned pleasantly as it went down and he closed his eyes, savoring the sensation. A truly evil thought occurred to him and he slowly opened his eyes again to smirk at her, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively and tipping his head towards her. "So, just how much are you willing to do for me while I'm... indisposed?"

Sam looked away, blushing very slightly and biting her lip. Part of him regretted the innuendo. What they had - or were starting to have, at least if she wasn't playing him - was special, and he didn't want to cheapen it, so he was almost glad when she didn't take his quip seriously. "Now, none of that, William." She recovered her composure quickly, lifting one of her feet and giving his leg a playful nudge with it. "You get one refill, and then I'm heading upstairs."

Spike smiled at her, nodding with mock solemnity, and lay back, closing his eyes for a moment. One moment became two, then three, and then Sam was sitting in a darkened room with what seemed to be a dozing vampire. The tumbler started tipping in his hand, and Sam grabbed it from him before it could spill.

"Spike," she called his name in a whisper and tapped his shoulder. No reaction. She shrugged, sighing a little. "The pills are working, I guess."

"Yeeeah," he gave a lax smirk and opened his eyes, blinking as he tried to make her come back into focus. His brow furrowed in evident confusion. "How much brandy did I have?"

She held up the glass for him to see. "Just a few swallows. Strong painkiller and booze." Sam laughed to herself, leaning towards him and patting his knee. "You're going nighty-night."

He glowered up at her, wanting to finish his drink and annoyed by the baby talk primarily because it reminded him of Harmony. "Give it here." He held out his hand for the glass. She obligingly returned it to him, her frown not really registering in his drowsy mind, and he polished off the brandy, fumbling the empty glass back into her hand with his eyes mostly closed.

She stared at him thoughtfully, then looked at the empty glass and shook her head. "How about we put a rain check on that refill? I doubt you'll be awake long enough to enjoy a second glass."

He shrugged one shoulder. The gesture was thick with apathy. "Seems like. Those pills of yours really did the trick."

Sam had been putting the glass down, and after he spoke she made a pleased sound. "No more pain?"

"All fixed up." One corner of his mouth quirked up and he chuckled to himself. "I'll have the brandy tomorrow. Ol' Rupes'll just love that."

She rolled her eyes in the darkness, apparently forgetting that he could see her perfectly well. "Yeah. Try not to bait him too much? I don't want to spend my whole vacation playing referee."

"If you like, pet. If you like," he half murmured, settling in to sleep.

Sam looked at him for a little while, and then she grabbed the wool blanket which they had cuddled under together earlier and draped it over him. He shifted a bit, his face pulling into a confused expression when he felt the blanket being hitched up to cover his chest.

Spike took a quick glance down at the blanket then and looked up at her questioningly. "Pet?"

"Just want to make sure you'll be comfy enough out here to get some sleep." She smiled at him fondly and touched his arm through the slightly fuzzy material. "Is there anything you need?"

Although the percocet and brandy combo had muddled him pretty badly, he was fairly certain that the chemicals in his system had nothing to do with how confused he was just then. He still wasn't used to being looked after, not like this, anyway, and he wasn't sure how to react to it. "I… uh… thanks. There isn't anything I… I think I'll be okay."

"Glad to hear it, sweetie, and you're welcome." Sam's smile widened as she picked up the empty tumbler and headed to the kitchen. "Sweet dreams, Spike."

He closed his eyes, drowsily hitching the blanket up to cover his shoulders. "You too, pet."

Spike fell asleep breathing in the mixture of his own and Sam's scents from the blanket she had covered him with, and listening to the sound of footsteps trailing upstairs.

TBC