Humanitis


by Saber ShadowKitten




Part One




Spike turned onto his side and froze. Slowly, he reached beneath the covers and put his hand on the sheets. They were extremely wet. Frowning, he tried to remember if he had an erotic dream about Buffy again or not as he brought his hand near his nose and sniffed. It smelled like ammonia.

The wetness he was laying in was starting to make him uncomfortable, so he threw back the covers and stood. Stalking to the bathroom to take a shower, he flicked on the light, then bent to open the cabinet to retrieve a towel. As he straightened, he saw someone standing behind him in the mirror.

With a yelp, he spun, lashing out with his fist to connect with the person's face. But his fist connected with air. "Whoever the hell is in here better show yourself!" Spike yelled, grabbing the door and pulling it away from the wall to surprise the person behind it. No one. He yanked back the shower curtain. No one.

He growled...or at least tried to. It came out sounding more like a child saying ‘grr.' He bent and picked up the towel he had dropped, and when he straightened he saw the person in the mirror again. This time, he only turned his head. He saw no one.

Looking back at the mirror, he noticed that the person had a towel in his hand. The same blue one he held in his own. Spike's eyes widened as he slowly raised his hand up and saw the person in the mirror do the same thing. "Holy shit," he swore softly as he extended his hand to the mirror. When he touched it, the mirror image hand was against his own.

Spike was seeing his reflection.

He dropped the towel again, using his other hand to touch his cheek and watch as his reflection did the same. A grin formed on his face and he started to study his reflection with a critical eye. "So this is what you look like," he said to the mirror image. "The last time I saw you, you had brown hair."

He let his eyes travel down his body, standing on his toes to see as much as he could. "Not bad, mate," he told his reflection. "You kept your girlish figure quite nicely." He grinned, then leaned closer to the mirror. "I forgot I had blue eyes," he said. Those blue eyes widened when the mirror by his mouth fogged up, then disappeared.

He froze again, watching as the surface fogged over and over in a pattern by his mouth. He brought his hand up and put it over his mouth, then felt something startling. Hot air coming out of his nose, warming the side of his finger. "Bugger, I'm breathing," he said in amazement as he stepped back and looked at his chest. Sure enough, it expanded and contracted in syncopation with the warm air against his hand.

Spike quickly slapped his hand to the side of his neck, his fingers searching for the cardioid artery, the source from which vampires drank blood on humans. It was pulsing steadily. "No," he said, this time in horror. He turned, forgetting about the shower and raced out of the bathroom. He threw on his clothes in record time, grabbed his duster and car keys, then ran out of the bedroom.

Two hours later, he hit the Welcome to Sunnydale sign.

With a gnawing feeling around his middle which he couldn't understand, he pulled up to the curb and shut off the car. He got out, stalked to the kitchen door and pounded on it. He saw Joyce look up from where she was sitting, startled by the loud noise, then frowned when she saw him.

"Spike," Joyce said as she opened the door, being careful to stay out of reach. Willow and Buffy had performed the invitation-revoking spell that would keep the blond vampire out. "What are you doing here?"

"I need to see the bloody Slayer," Spike answered. "I know she's the one who did this."

"Did what?" Joyce asked.

"Ouch!" Spike said in response, pushing the heels of his hands against his forehead when he felt an excruciating, sharp pain suddenly form.

Joyce felt her maternal instinct swell. "What's wrong?"

"It hurts," he replied. "My bleedin' head is hurting. It feels as though someone shoved a spike in my brain."

"You have a headache?" Joyce said with amazement. "I thought vampires didn't get headaches."

"That's just it," Spike said. "I think the Slayer turned me into a bloody human!"

She gave him a look of amazement. "Why do you think that?"

"Because I'm breathing, have a pulse and saw myself in a mirror," he answered, rubbing his hand across his forehead. "Also, all sorts of strange things are happening that I don't remember feeling. And can you make this bloody pain stop!"

Joyce let go of the door and went over to the cabinet for the aspirin. She turned when she heard the door shut, then dropped the bottle when she saw Spike standing in the kitchen.

"What?" Spike snapped when he saw her face.

"I think you're right," Joyce answered. "If you were a vampire, you wouldn't have been able to come in."

"I've been here before," he pointed out.

"But Buffy and Willow cast a spell so you couldn't come back in unless invited," she said.

Spike's shoulders slumped, defeated. "Great. Just bloody fucking wonderful. I'm human."

"Spike, don't swear," Joyce scolded, retrieving the pill bottle and getting out two aspirin.

"Yes, mum," he said with an exaggerated sigh, then chuckled as she shook her head at him.

"Do you know how to take these?" she asked, filling a glass of water from the tap.

"No," Spike replied, accepting the two little pills and the glass from her.

"Whatever you do, don't chew them," Joyce instructed. "Just put them in your mouth and drink the water. They should be washed down with it."

He nodded, popped the pills in his mouth and began to drink. A disgusting taste was filling his mouth and he spit whatever was making it back into the glass. He made a face, then licked the back of his hand to try and get rid of the taste. "That was bloody awful," he said.

Joyce looked at the glass in his hand and saw two slowly dissolving pills in it. "I guess we have to do this the old fashioned way," she said, taking the glass from him.

"Do what?" Spike asked.

"You didn't get the pills down," she replied, dumping the glass in the sink. "Your headache won't go away unless you do." She took out two more aspirin and a spoon, then went to the refrigerator.

"How am I suppose to get them down if they taste that bad?" Spike said.

"Like this," Joyce said, crushing the aspirin, then mixing it into a spoonful of grape jelly. She walked back over to him. "Open wide."

Spike rolled his eyes, then took the spoon from her and swallowed the jelly. It was grainy, but it went down. "Thanks," he said, handing back the spoon.

"You're welcome," Joyce replied. She looked down at his stomach when she heard a loud growl. "I think someone is hungry."

"Is that what that means?" Spike said. "It's been doing that for the past half hour."

"Do you feel a sort of emptiness or gnawing in your stomach?"

"Oh," he said, his face reflecting the realization of what was happening to him. "Yeah. So this means that I eat, right? But what?"

"I'll fix you something, don't worry," Joyce told him. "Why don't you take a seat and I'll page Buffy."

Spike rubbed his forehead again as he sank down onto the stool. "Thanks."

Twenty minutes later, his headache was gone, his stomach was full and he was really enjoying the cup of hot cocoa Joyce had made for him. "You know, this tastes even better than the last time you made me some," he told the Slayer's mother.

"Maybe your tastebuds have changed, too," Joyce said. She heard the front door open. "Buffy's here."

"Hey, mom. What's the big surpri-" Buffy stopped suddenly as she came into the kitchen. "Spike!" She practically leapt across the room and had him pinned to the counter, just as she did the last time she found him in her kitchen, stake pressed to his chest.

"Buffy!" Joyce shouted at the same time Spike yelled, "Slayer!"

Joyce grabbed her daughter's arm. "Buffy, no. He's not a vampire."

"What?" Buffy looked over at her mom, not changing her position. "Of course he is, mom. And I can't believe you invited him back in."

"But I didn't," Joyce said. "He walked in on his own."

"Slayer, for bloody sake, let me up!" Spike snapped as he felt a sharp pain in his back. "This hurts!"

"Good," Buffy snapped back.

"Buffy Summers, let him up this instant!" Joyce yelled at her daughter. Surprised at her mom's tone, Buffy did as told but kept her eye on Spike, the stake ready.

Spike winced as he stood upright, rubbing his back. "Bloody hell, Slayer. I never knew how strong you really were."

"What are you talking about, Spike?" Buffy asked, her patience thin.

"I've turned into a bleedin' human, that's what," Spike told her. "And I know it has to be your fault."

Buffy snorted. "That's a good one. A vampire turning into a human. Pull the other one, why don't you."

He grabbed her hand and smacked it against his chest. "Does a vampire do this?" Spike asked.

Buffy's eyes widened when she felt the rise and fall of his chest and his heart beating. She moved her hand up to his neck, just as he did earlier, and felt the strong pulse of his artery, the warmth of his skin. "Oh my god, you're human."

"Really?" Spike said sarcastically. "I hadn't noticed."

"I have to call Giles," she said, removing her hand. Then she put it back on his chest. "This is really wiggy."

Spike looked down at her hand and smiled. It felt so nice to have her touch him, especially since they weren't fighting. "That it is, pet."

"I have some work to do, so I'll leave you two alone," Joyce said. "Spike, you can stay here tonight, if you'd like."

"Thank you, Joyce," Spike replied. "And thanks for that delicious supper."

Joyce smiled at him, said goodnight and went upstairs. Buffy rolled her eyes at Spike, then turned and grabbed the phone, dialing Giles' home number. Once done, she leaned against the wall and stared at him. He started shifting on his feet. "What's wrong?"

"I don't know," Spike replied, grabbing his crotch. Buffy arched a brow when he did that. "There's some sort of pressure and almost like a burning."

"I think you have to go to the...Giles? We have a situation that's beyond strange. You need to grab Wesley, because we're going to need the books for this one," she said into the phone. "I'll be at the library in about twenty minutes or so...No, you'll have to see it to believe it. Bye."

Hanging up, Buffy looked at the uncomfortable Spike. "As I was saying, I think you have to go to the bathroom."

"What?" Spike asked.

"Take a leak? Use the john? Drain your lizard?"

Spike felt his face heat up. "How do I do that?"

"Spike, you're blushing!" Buffy blurted in surprise. He glared at her and she giggled. "Don't you remember?

"No, now will you tell me how to do that."

"Um, I don't know, I'm not a guy."

"Well, get a guy over here then!" Spike snapped.

"Ok, ok, take a pill," she said. "Now, who should I call? Xander?"

"No, not that whelp," he told her. "Anyone but that bloody wanker."

"Well, I only know five males - Giles, Wesley, Xander, Oz and Angel. And I don't think Angel can help you with this problem, Giles is off finding the weenie. I guess that leaves Oz," she said, picking up the phone again. "Luckily, he's over at Willow's, so he can get here in a short time...Wills? Hey, can you and Oz come over here, like now? It's an emergency...You'll see when you get here. Ok, bye."

Spike gave her a pained look. "Now what?"

"You hold it," Buffy answered. "Cross your legs or something."

A few minutes later, the doorbell rang and Buffy hurried to answer it. "Good, you're here," she said, grabbing Oz's arm and pulling him into the house. "You need to show Spike how to go to the bathroom."

"Spike?" Willow asked, confused. "Our Spike?"

"That's the one," Buffy replied, practically dragging the werewolf to the kitchen where Spike was sitting on the stool, hunched over uncomfortably. "Spike, this is Oz."

"Hey, man," Oz said. "Come on, I'll show you what you need to do."

Willow and Buffy watched as the two males left the kitchen, then Buffy started to giggle. "Doesn't anything phase your boyfriend?"

"Not really," Willow answered. "Now, tell me why Spike needs to go to the bathroom before I start to wig."

"He's human," Buffy replied.

Willow's eyes widened. "As in living and breathing and heart beating and eating people food instead of eating people human?"

"Kinda freaky, huh?"

"On a scale of one to ten, I'd say a hundred," Willow replied. "We have to see Giles."

"Already called him," Buffy said. "He and the dork are meeting us at the library as soon as Spike's done peeing."

Willow giggled. "That sounds so silly. Spike peeing."

"Doesn't it?" Buffy said. The two men returned to the kitchen, Spike looking very relieved causing the girls to start giggling again.

"Oh, shut up," Spike said to Buffy.

"Sorry," she apologized. "It's just so...Hellmouthy."

"Can we go see your Watcher now and make this stop?" Spike whined.

"We're going," Buffy said. "Just let me go tell my mom."

Willow stared at Spike curiously as Buffy left the room. "Can I...?"

"Why the bloody hell not," Spike sighed. "Go ahead, ducks."

The red head reached her hand out and laid it carefully on his chest as Buffy did earlier. "Wow," she said when she felt his heart beat and breathing. "Does it feel weird?"

"Your hand or my heart beat?" Spike teased. Oz chuckled. "Not as strange as being hungry or having to use the pisser."

Willow blushed. "Um...all of the above."

"Just wait until you get to experience the joys of taking a...doing number two," Oz stopped his crude language after seeing Willow's face become even more red. "I recommend bringing plenty of reading material."

Spike rubbed a hand over his face. "This is too bloody much."

"Are we all set?" Buffy asked, coming back into the kitchen.

"I think I need to kill something," Spike muttered as the four headed out towards Oz's van.

"Try it and you'll find yourself on the receiving end of my sta-...crap," Buffy said. "You're human. I can't do that to you."

"Faith can," Willow said snidely under her breath. Oz gave her a look and she smiled sweetly.

"But I can beat you up," Buffy concluded brightly.

"I'd like to see you try," Spike said.

Buffy grabbed him by the neck and lifted him off the ground easily, slamming him against the side of the van. He struggled against her, trying to break her grip, but found he couldn't. He kicked out at her, but it barely hurt. "What's wrong, Spike?"

"Can't," he gasped. "Breathe."

Buffy let him go and he started taking in big gulps of air as Willow and Oz climbed in the van. "Now you know how it feels to be a victim," she said in a low voice, then climbed in after opening the side door.

"Bloody fucking hell," Spike swore, rubbing his throat. He climbed in behind her and shut the door. The trip to the high school was made in silence.



Part Two




"Hello, Buffy," Wesley said as the four entered the library. "Now, what's the big emergency?"

Buffy ignored him. "Giles!"

Giles came out of the office where he had sequestered himself to avoid throttling the Watcher. He stopped suddenly when he saw the peroxide blond standing uncomfortably next to the Slayer. "I take it he is the, er...situation."

"Roots and all," Buffy answered, coming fully into the room. She threw herself into a chair and started fiddling with a stake.

"Thanks bunches, Slayer," Spike said. "You really know how to sweet talk a guy."

"Is there no one who knows you are not the Slayer?" Wesley asked Buffy.

"Um...I don't think Larry knows," Buffy said. "But I could be wrong."

"It is important that the identity of the Slayer be kept secret to-to-to protect her and-and her Watcher," Wesley said.

"Um, can we get on with my problem sometime tonight?" Spike interrupted.

"I am sorry, but I am trying to have a word with my Slayer, if you don't mind," Wesley said.

Spike frowned. "I thought you were her Watcher," he said to Giles.

"Things...change," Giles replied.

"Tell me about it," Spike said. He pulled a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it, then started coughing when he inhaled. Buffy snickered.

"Smoking's bad for humans anyway," Willow pointed out as he crushed out the cigarette. "Makes your lungs all black and icky, gives you emphysema. And cancer. It can kill you. But you're already dead. Oh wait, you're not."

"Plus, the chicks don't dig it," Oz added.

"I think I may be missing something here," Giles said.

"Spike here's got a case of humanitis," Buffy said.

"I beg your pardon?" Giles said, removing his glasses.

"He's human," Willow told him. "Oz had to show him how to go to the bathroom and everything."

Spike groaned and dropped his head in his hands. "I think that headache is coming back."

"My word," Giles replied. "Are you certain?"

"No, I go to the Slayer's house every day for a little slap and tickle," Spike said sarcastically.

"What?!" Wesley asked, looking back and forth between Spike and Buffy.

"Oh yeah, mate, she's a great shag," Spike said, giving Wesley a wink. "All that strength and fire. Makes me feel all tingly."

"Spike," Buffy warned.

"And she's quite the little screamer," he continued. "I bet you'd fancy a little roll with her. But you don't look man enough to handle a Slayer. I've done two ya know."

Spike suddenly found himself clutching his stomach on the floor, a pissed off blond standing above him. "Did that hurt?" Buffy asked sweetly. "If not, I can do it again."

"Buffy, would you please explain," Wesley requested. He looked over at Willow and Oz who were both snickering at the peroxide blond's predicament.

"Buffy, if Spike is-is indeed...er, human," Giles said. "Your normal methods of dealing with him should not be-be utilized."

"But it's so much fun," Buffy said with a pout. She crouched down next to Spike. "I thought you liked it when I was violent, baby."

"Ha ha," Spike said, pushing himself to a sitting position.

Buffy shook her head, stood and held out her hand. He just stared at it. "I don't bite...hard." Spike accepted her hand and was pulled to his feet.

"Buffy, I reiterate, would you please explain what is going on?" Wesley asked.

"Spike, this is Wesley, my new Watcher," Buffy said. "Wesley, this is Spike. You've probably read about him. If not, check in the index under ‘Bloody, William the."

Wesley's eyes widened at her reference as Spike looked at Buffy for more explanation. "How did this wanker get to be your Watcher?"

"Not by my choice," Buffy replied as Wesley started to flip through old Watcher's Diaries and Giles began handing out books for researching. "I got put through this stupid test thingy, but Giles was the one who failed and he got fired. Hence, I got Bravely Brave Sir Wesley."

"Do I detect a bit of sarcasm, pet?" Spike asked, taking a book from Giles.

"He's not...that...bad," she dragged out. "Well, he's no Giles. He wouldn't have lasted thirty seconds with Angel..us."

"How is my bastard sire?"

"Why don't you ask him yourself?" Buffy told him. "Seeing as how he just walked up behind you."

Spike whirled around and came face to face with Angel. "Bloody hell! I didn't even hear you."

"Why are you here at all?" Angel asked in a low voice.

"That's it, I quit," Spike said, turning back to Buffy. "Whatever it is you've cast on me, uncast it or get rid of it or whatever you do with it. Just make it go away." He then tucked the book under his arm and stormed out of the library.

"I think he needs to switch to decaf," Willow commented from her seat on the stairs next to Oz.

"He has a reason to freak," Oz said. "I know I did when I found I was a werewolf."

"You freaked? I didn't know you freaked," she replied.

"I've been told my freaking isn't too different than my not freaking," he told her.

"I take it I missed something," Angel said.

"According to-to Spike, he has somehow become human," Giles informed him, taking another book off the pile and handing it to the vampire.

"I'd better go find him before he manages to get hurt and god I cannot believe I just said that like I was worried about Spike," Buffy said. She shook her head and left.



Part Three




"Spike, are you in here?" Buffy called into the cafeteria.

"Leave me alone."

Buffy walked into the room, searching for the source of the voice. She saw him sitting in the corner by the window, feet up on the radiator. "What's up?" she asked, sliding onto a table next to him.

"Do you need to get your hearing checked? I thought I told you to leave me alone," Spike said in a depressed voice.

"Hey, what's with the frown?"

"Slayer, I'm a bloody human, what do you think the frown is for?"

Buffy sighed. "It can't be that bad. I mean, think of the pos. You can eat normal food, go out in the sun, not kill people."

"What if I liked killing people?" Spike said.

"Then we'll get you a new hobby," she answered. "How about...fishing?" He gave her a look. "Or not."

"Listen, this is a tad bloody strange for me," he said. "I went to bed this morning a vampire and woke up in a wet bed with a reflection."

"A wet bed?" Buffy asked. "Why would you wake up in a wet...oh."

"Oh what?" Spike asked. "If you have a theory, please fill me in. I couldn't figure it out."

"Trust me, you don't want to know," she replied. She slid off the table. "Well, I'm gonna go back to the library. You coming?"

"I think I'll stay here," Spike answered. "Too much togetherness is not good for the complexion."

Buffy laughed lightly. "You know where I'll be. But uh, don't leave. Human, vampire, dead human."

Spike watched her walk out of the room, then turned back to the window and sighed. "For a minute there, I actually though she cared."


*****



"Ok, this is getting ridiculous," Buffy said, slamming yet another book shut. "There is nothing about a vampire ever turned back into a human."

"Nothing on spells that can do that, either," Willow said. "At least, that I found so far."

"I've never heard of such thing,"Angel added. "If so, rest assured I'd be first in line." He gave Buffy a sad smile.

"Speaking of vampires turned human," Oz said. "We haven't seen ours in awhile."

"That makes him sound like a pet," Willow giggled. "A pet Spike. Kinda like a pet rock, only blonder."

"Hey guys," Faith said as she came into the library. She looked at Buffy. "Tag, you're it."

"Swell," she sighed. "I guess I'm off to slay."

"I think we should call it a night," Giles said. "It is getting rather late."

"Wait a moment, Buffy," Wesley said. "I shall be joining you."

Buffy looked over at Angel and rolled her eyes. "Joy. I guess I'd better go find Spike again," she said.

"I'll do it,"Angel told her.

"Thanks," she replied. "Oz, you might want to give him any last minute ‘male' advice before dropping him back at my house."

"Will do," Oz said.

"Are you ready, Buffy?" Wesley asked, standing near the door.

"I'm ready. ‘Night, Giles," Buffy said.

"Goodnight," Giles replied.

Buffy and Wesley separated from the group with a wave and Angel told Oz and Willow he'd met them at the van. Walking through the school, the vampire extended his senses, searching for the telltale heartbeat that normally led to the prey. Now, it was leading him to another vampire. Life on the Hellmouth was so strange.

"Spike?" Angel queried, entering the auditorium. Soft piano music wafted up from the orchestra pit.

"Imagination is funny, it makes a cloudy day sunny. Makes a bee think of honey, just like I think of you," Spike sang quietly along as he played, the only illumination coming from the small light attached to the page holder. "Imagination is crazy, your whole perspective gets hazy. Starts you asking a daisy what to do."

Angel silently made his way down the aisle and stood at the edge of the pit, watching him. "Have you ever felt a gentle touch and then a kiss, then and then...you find it's only your imagination again. Oh well."

Spike swayed as his fingers ran over the keys, eyes closed. "Imagination is silly, you go around willy-nilly. For example, I go around wanting you. Yet I can't imagine that you want me, too." Behind his eyes, he pictured the tiny, blond Slayer. Smiling at him, touching him, kissing him. "Have you ever felt a gentle touch, then a kiss, then and then...you find it's only your imagination again. Oh well."

Angel looked at Spike thoughtfully. Something about the way he was singing, as if he were singing to someone in particular. And that someone was definitely not Drusilla. "Imagination is silly, you go around willy-nilly. For example, I go around wanting you. Yes I do. And I can't imagine that you want me, too."

Spike paused and sighed. "Yes, I can't imagine that you want me, too." The final light chord faded out into silence as he sat there, the image of the woman that had been haunting him since he left Sunnydale for the second time in his mind. He had made it as far as Los Angeles before he'd given up on the kidding himself about his feelings for Drusilla.

"Spike," Angel said quietly, not wanting to startle him.

"How long have you been here?" Spike asked, opening his eyes and looking up at the vampire.

"Long enough," he answered. "Who were you singing to?"

Spike shrugged. "It's just a song."

"Right," Angel replied. "And I'm just a vampire."

"Did you want something, besides to annoy me?"

"Time to go," he said. "Oz and Willow are waiting."

"What about Buffy?" Spike asked as he shut off the light, then walked out of the orchestra pit.

"Patrol," he answered as they headed up the aisle.

"And you didn't go with her?"

"She can take care of herself," Angel replied.

"I know that," Spike snapped. "But still, she can always use someone to watch her back."

Angel looked at him. "Since when are you worried about Buffy's well being?"

"Me? Yeah, right," he scoffed, lying between his teeth. "I just want to get back to my cute, lovable, demon self and I need her to do it."

"Right," Angel said. "If you say so, Spike."

"What are you implying?"

Angel stopped and grabbed his arm just outside the doors to the school. "I think you want her for a lot more than changing you back to your worthless self."

"And I think you've read one too many bloody sappy books," Spike retorted. "Listen, you ugly sod, I wouldn't have even come back here if this didn't happen. Do you think I want to be human?"

"Spike, for some whatever reason you've been given a second chance at being human," Angel snarled, grabbing him by the lapels. "I'd give anything, and I mean anything," he shook him for emphasis. "To have that opportunity. Don't piss it away."

Spike grabbed his arms and tried to pry him off, to no avail. "Damn it, let go of me."

Angel shoved him slightly as he let go, and the peroxide blond stumbled backwards. He hit a low plant liner, falling to the ground and smacking his head against the wall. "Great," Angel said under his breath.

He bent to help Spike up, but he got slapped away. He barely felt it. "Get. The bloody hell. Away. From. Me," Spike ground out. Angel backed away and he pushed himself to his feet, hand clamped on the back of his head. Glaring at the vampire, he walked unsteadily down the stairs to where Oz's van was waiting.

"Buffy is not going to be happy," Angel sighed, then walked to the van as well. "I'm going to go," he told the three from the open side door.

"See ya," Oz said with a nod.

"Bye, Angel," Willow said.

"Pillock," Spike said under his breath.

Angel shook his head, then closed the door to the van. He watched as it drove off, hands in the pockets of his coat. He had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach and didn't like it. Not one bit.



Part Four




Spike closed the kitchen door to the Summers' residence behind him and leaned back against it, eyes squeezed tightly shut. His head was pounding, the pain radiating from the large bump on the back of his head. "Bloody fucking hell," he swore once again, pushing himself from the door and over to the cabinet where he'd seen Joyce put the aspirin.

He found the white bottle and turned the cap. All it did was make a clicking noise, not opening. He kept turning, getting more and more angry, making his head hurt worse. "Damn it!" he said loudly, turning to throw the bottle against the wall. At the last minute, he dropped it into the sink, grabbing the edge and leaning back, head towards the floor.

"Make it stop," he begged no one in particular. He felt a tightening sensation in his throat, then his eyes filled up with water. Tears began to fall, mixed with gasping sobs. The only time he'd ever cried before was when Drusilla had left him, and he only did it after he was exceedingly drunk. But this was different, felt different.

He didn't know how long he was there crying. When the tears finally stopped, his head was pounding even more, he couldn't breathe through his nose, but for some reason he felt much better. He picked up the pill bottle, got out a spoon and the jelly, then made his way upstairs to Buffy's room.

Spike looked around the room thoughtfully as he set the items in his hands down on the night stand. The last time he'd been up here, he'd only gotten a brief look while retrieving the spellbook for Willow. It seemed like so long ago. Shedding his duster and his favorite red shirt, he began to curiously pick things up, studying each item before returning it to its spot. He adored the pictures, the little stuffed pig and cow on the bed, the mixture of makeup and slaying supplies scattered across the desk.

He glanced at the alarm clock, wondering when Buffy would be back from patrol. He really needed that aspirin. His head felt like it was going to explode. Picking up a book, he propped up the pillows on the bed, then settled against them to wait.

After a few minutes of reading, he did something really strange. His mouth opened uncontrollably and he inhaled deeply. He couldn't stop whatever was happening and it made him feel sleepy. Blinking several times, he wiped his nose with the Kleenex he'd found, then went back to the book.


*****



Buffy climbed through the window silently, then froze before a smile crossed her face. On her bed was a sound asleep Spike, breathing heavily through his mouth, book held loosely in his hands on his lap. She finished coming into the room and walked over to the side of the bed, gently taking the book from him and setting it aside. She saw the aspirin, jelly and spoon on the night stand and her smile grew wider. She hadn't taken pills that way since she was a kid.

Grabbing some pajamas, the Slayer went into the bathroom to clean up and change, mentally calculating how long it's been since they'd left the school. While she'd been out on patrol, she'd done a lot of thinking about her woe-be-gone guest, effectively blocking out Wesley's droning on and on about whatever he'd been droning on and on about.

Just like a child, Spike had no idea on how to control his body, or what certain things his body did meant. After two hundred years of not having to do anything with it, she understood why he wouldn't remember how to go to the bathroom, or what normal hunger felt like, or a headache. If he really got sick, he'd probably act in typical male fashion, but it could probably be worse. And if he got hurt, he wouldn't heal as rapidly as a vampire. He could actually be killed quite easily.

She stopped by the linen closet on her way to her room, digging out extra blankets. Returning to her room, she snatched a pillow he wasn't using and made a bed on the floor for herself. Then, she carefully removed Spike's Doc Martens, pulled one end of the comforter over him, set the alarm for two hours later and put it on the floor within easy reach, then went to sleep.

Buffy felt as though she'd just closed her eyes when the alarm went off. Disoriented, she slapped her hand on it and looked around. *Why am I on the...oh, yeah,* she thought, sitting up. She blinked sleepily and yawned, then stood, looking down at the bed. Spike had turned on his side in his sleep, one hand curled into a fist by his face. "Spike," she said quietly, sitting next to him on the edge of the bed, rubbing his shoulder to wake him.

"Just kill the wanker," Spike muttered.

She giggled. "Spike, wake up," she tried again, still rubbing his shoulder like her mother did when she was younger.

Spike pried his heavy eyes open, trying to focus on the person calling his name. When he saw Buffy, he smiled. His tired brain didn't grasp the fact that he was waking up, he thought he was still asleep and dreaming. He loved having dreams about her. "What is it, luv?"

"You should probably go to the bathroom," Buffy told him. "I figure you don't want to wake up in a wet bed again."

"Why would I want to go to the bathroom?" Spike asked, confused at his dream girl. "Unless you fancy taking a shower with me. I got that scented stuff you like."

"What?" It was Buffy's turn to be confused. "Spike, what are you talking about?"

"That stuff that makes you smell like vanilla," he explained, his eyes drifting shut again. "We used it up the other night taking that bubble bath."

"We did?" she asked. *Bubble bath? Ok, something strange is happening in the state of Spikemark,* she thought.

"I used the last bit on your toes, luv, remember?" Spike said. "You said it tickled."

*Maybe he thinks I'm Drusilla,* Buffy thought. "Spike, you really need to wake up." Suddenly, she felt an arm snake around her waist and pull her down next to him, her back to his chest. She felt him nuzzle her hair. "Spike!" she squeaked.

"I'm sleepy, pet. You should be, too," he mumbled into her hair. "I love you, Buffy."

Buffy's eyes grew huge at his sleep-filled words. She heard his breathing grow even and knew he was totally out of it again. Frozen in place, she repeated over and over in her head what he had said. *Me? Spike loves me? How can he love me, I'm his mortal enemy? Oh no, my life is not too strange.*

She had to admit, however, that his arm felt nice around her stomach, the steady rise and fall of his chest against her back comforting. With a small groan at the absurdity of the situation, she pushed herself upright and shook Spike, saying his name sharply. "Spike, wake up."

"What?" Spike said, eyes coming open to glare at the person shaking him. When he saw Buffy this time, he sighed. "I take it my being a bloody human wasn't a nightmare."

"Sorry, but no," Buffy told him.

He frowned as he took in her sleep tousled appearance. "When did you get home? I was waiting for you to open that bleedin' bottle for me."

"A couple of hours ago," she replied. "You fell asleep on the bed."

"Oh," Spike said, his face heating up. "Sorry."

"‘S-ok," Buffy said. "Do you still need the aspirin?"

"No," he answered, raising his hand to touch the back of his head. He winced at the pain when he pressed on the lump, but he had no headache.

Buffy saw him wince and frowned. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," he said. She raised a brow skeptically and he sighed again. "I hit it on a wall."

"Ouch," Buffy responded. She reached over and turned on the light. "Let me see."

Spike squinted when the light burned his eyes. "Hey, what's wrong with my eyes?"

"Huh? Oh, that's your eyes protecting themselves until the iris adjusts to the change in light," Buffy explained. "I actually paid attention in science that day."

"When will it stop? This doesn't feel good," he whined.

"In a minute," she replied, moving his head to look at it. She gently ran her fingers over the back of his head. He hissed the same time she found a very large lump. "You whacked yourself pretty good."

"No kidding, Slayer," Spike said sarcastically, his eyes now open normally. "Stop poking on it, you're only making it hurt worse."

"It should go away by tomorrow," she told him. "It'll be tender, though, for a day or so."

"Bloody marvelous," he said under his breath. Then he did that strange thing again, his mouth opening wide and inhaling deeply. "Will you tell me," he said with the action. "What the hell is happening?"

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked, the yawn passing to her.

"That. What you just did," Spike said.

"I yawned," she replied.

"Oh," he said. "Why?"

"Because I'm tired," she explained. "When you yawn, your body is telling you to shut up and go to sleep."

"Then why aren't you shutting up and going to sleep?" Spike asked, grin on his face.

"Two reasons - one, some big galoot is in my bed," Buffy replied. "And two, you should hit the head. I don't want to have to change my sheets in the morning. That would just be eew."

Spike frowned in confusion. "Why do you want me to hit you on the head?"

"Ugh!" Buffy threw up her hands and stood. "You're two hundred years old! You should have heard all these euphemisms already." She looked back to see him now sitting on the edge of the bed, eyeing her. "Just go to the bathroom, ok?"

"But I don't have to," he replied.

"Do it anyway," she said through clenched teeth. "Or I'll ship you over to the mansion and Angel can babysit you."

Spike stood. "I didn't bloody ask to be a human and I can take care of myself," he snapped. "I don't need a bloody babysitter."

Buffy sighed, not in a fighting mood and knowing that he was angry with the situation, not at her. "Listen, I only wanted to prevent you being embarrassed. Your human...ness is new, so you don't know how to control it yet. I'll have to figure out how you to teach you to sleep through the night without wetting the bed. Now, will you please not argue and just go to the bathroom so we can go back to sleep?"

"Why would I wet the...bloody hell," he finished the sentence by closing his eyes. When he opened them again, his face was extremely red. "Thank you, Slayer. I'll just...uh...go."

Buffy watched as he hurried out of the bedroom. "Only I would end up in my bedroom with a vampire who hated me turned human who loves me," she muttered as she unmade the bed. She reset the alarm and put it back on the night stand, then climbed in. Spike returned, still red faced, and looked anywhere but at her. "Your turn to sleep on the floor."

"Right," he said.

She waited until he was settled, then switched off the light. "Hey, you know what we didn't ask you?"

"What's that, pet?"

"Did you get your soul, too?"

Spike frowned. "I don't know. What does it feel like to have a soul?"

"Do you care if you kill anyone?" Buffy asked. "Would you feel guilty if you did?"

"No," he replied.

"Then you didn't get that back," she said. "You're the same annoying Spike, just with a living body instead of a dead one."

"Undead."

"Whatever. Go to sleep."

"Yes, dear."

"Spike?"

"Hmm?"

"Shut up."

Spike chuckled and closed his eyes. "Goodnight, Slayer."

"Goodnight, human."

"Slayer?"

"Hmm?"

"Shut up."

Continued 1