Aftereffects


by Saber ShadowKitten
Nightdreams Alternative 26





Spike stared once again at the picture in his hand. Sketched on the back of some sort of form, it was suppose to be him.

Hairless.

With a line of slashes running around his skull.

Dad...no, Angel, had added "Love you, chrome-dome" in the bottom corner, along with his signature. However, he was still reeling from what he looked like to be irked by it.

"Hello, Spike, I'm Meg Foster," a woman in multi-colored scrubs, as Spike had learned they were called, entered the room. "I'm Dr. Walters' post-neurosurgery therapist."

"Um, hello," Spike greeted warily. He set the picture on the small table beside the bed. He had practically ordered Buffy to go out on patrol with Angel a short while before, so he was alone for the moment.

Meg picked up the chart at the end of the bed and opened it. "Alright, Spike. My job is to find out what, if any, post-surgery therapy you're going to require."

"That's Easter," Spike said. "None."

"Well, if that's the case, you have nothing to worry about," Meg said with a smile. "Now, I've been told about your...special circumstances by the doctor, so you needn't lie to cover that fact." She paused and looked down at the chart. "Let's get the basics done first. Just answer my questions. Your name?"

"Spike."

"Do you know where you are?"

"In the infirmary."

"Do you know what day it is?"

Spike thought about it a moment, then shrugged. "Don't know."

"How about the year?"

"Er..." He paused. "No."

"Ok. Can you tell me what color this is?" She took a flat card out of her pocket and held it up.

Spike stared at the card, a frown forming between his brows. "Red?"

"Yes. And this color?" Meg asked, flipping the card over.

He looked at it for several moments, then shook his head. "I have no bloody clue."

"That's ok," she said. She put the card back into her pocket. "Now, will you count to ten for me, please?"

Spike arched his brow, but began counting. "One, two, three, f-five...er..., seven, six, eight, nine, ten."

"Very good. What did you have to eat yesterday?"

"Drugged claret," he answered. "Knocked me out right good, it did."

"What's the name of the blond-haired girl who sits in here with you?" Meg asked.

"Little Buffy," Spike replied quickly. His lips quirked up at the thought of her.

"And the dark-haired gentleman who is your guardian?"

"Dad." He shook his head. "Bloody hell, I meant Angel. His name is Angel."

"That's alright," Meg said. "He told me you know him by both." She closed the chart and hung it back on the end of the bed, then stuck her pen in her pocket. She walked around to the side of the bed. "Now I need to check you physically."

Spike smirked. "Sounds korky."

Meg shook her head, smiling, as she took his left hand. "Squeeze my hand." He squeezed. She repeated the request with his other hand. "Alright, let's sit you up and swing your legs over the edge."

He nodded, and with a lot of assistance, pulled himself into a sitting position. He looked down at his pale legs sticking out from under the ugly, he didn't know what the fuck the color was, gown. Chicken legs, he thought. He had chicken legs. Pale skinny little chicken legs. How snazzy.

Meg took out one of the small hammers he'd seen on the telly and hit him just below the knee. His foot shot forward and he grinned. "So that's how that works."

"That's how it works," Meg said. She repeated the action on the other leg and he chuckled. She put the hammer in her pocket. "Can you move your right foot for me?"

Spike tried...and tried...and tried again. He couldn't move it. "What the bloody fuck?"

"Why don't you try the left one?" Meg prompted.

"Bloody fuckin' 'ell!" Spike cursed. "Why can't I move my fuckin' feets!?"

"It's ok, Spike," Meg said quickly. She squatted down in front of him and placed her palm on the bottom of his foot. "Can you feel this?"

"Yes," he grumbled angrily.

"Try and push against my palm," she instructed.

Spike moved his foot against her hand and he slumped his shoulders in relief. He was able to do it again with his other foot. "Why the soddin' fuck couldn't I do it before?" he asked as she straightened.

"Let me do a few more tests, first, ok?" Meg said. He sighed and nodded. "Can you straighten your right leg?"

After a futile attempt with his right leg, he tried to move his left leg without prompting. Neither budged and inch. He glared at Meg. "Talk me what is wrong," he growled.

"In simple terms, your brain isn't communicating with the muscles in your legs or feet," Meg explained. "When I put my hand under your foot, your brain could associate the feeling with which muscles were in that area, that was why you were able to push on it. Although, you used your whole leg by shifting your hips to do it, rather than just moving your ankle. Sometimes this occurs after neurological surgery."

"That's bloody terrific," he said sarcastically.

Meg moved to the free-standing closet in the corner of the private room. She opened the door and took out a pair of sweatpants, then returned to the bed. "There's one more test I'm going to have to administer, due to the results of this last one."

"Joy," Spike grumbled. She held up the sweats and he rolled his eyes and nodded. He was being dressed like a doll once again and he hated it. At least Meg didn't natter on like Dru had.

She left the room for a moment and when she returned, he held up his hands. "Oh no, you're not getting me into that bloody claptrap. Forget it."

Meg positioned the wheelchair next to the bed. "Would you like to wait until Angel returns?"

Spike thought about it for approximately two seconds. "You win," he muttered, sliding down into the chair with her help much Easter than sitting up had been. Probably because of all the practice he'd had, he thought bitterly.

He kept his head down and his arms folded across his chest. He didn't want anyone to see him like this. Too many not cheery memories. He realized he actually remembered those not cheery memories, but that did nothing to improve his mood.

"We're here," Meg announced.

Spike raised his head and looked around. The room was large and filled with equipment he didn't recognize. They were alone, which was just fine with him. Meg wheeled him over to a set of poles that were equal in height to each other. There was a mat under them in yet another color he couldn't name. That was starting to really razz him off.

"Ok, Spike," Meg said. "We're going to see if you can walk. Now, you're going to be weak, which is why we're here."

He listened to her instructions, then he grabbed hold of the bars and she helped him to stand. He was immediately taken back to all those days he forced himself to walk after his injury. His legs were weak, but he could stand without collapsing to the floor.

But he couldn't walk.

Oh, he tried. He really did. But his legs refused to cooperate. He said go, they said no. He ended up dragging himself a short distance by his hands on the bars before he gave up. His loud snarl echoed in the room and he felt his face shift. Squeezing his eyes shut, he reigned in his anger over the situation. When he was able to put the human mask back into place, he opened his eyes and maneuvered himself back into the wheelchair.

"Take me back," Spike told Meg in a low, even tone. He was glad she didn't say a word. She only pushed him back to his room and left after she'd helped him back into the bed.

The wheelchair was left sitting next to the door, a silent, metal object that taunted him for the rest of the night.



End













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