Chapter Title: To break and bend in tandem
Overall rating: NC17
Chapter Rating: R
Disclaimer: I shatter them into little pieces... then get out with the superglue because they're just on loan.
Warnings: Abandon all hope ye who enter; this way lies pain.
Normally waking was a half-second moment, his mind only taking the time it took for his eyes to adjust before it was fully functional and focusing on his Holder. This time it came in fits and starts. He could see a pale ceiling, hear a low murmur that generally meant voices, and realised that he was lying on his back, covered by a throw rug.
Again muscle memory had him moving, rolling smoothly to his knees while he tried to quell the nausea and aching that seemed to be everywhere. He heard a now familiar curse, then a quiet humming, that seemed to get louder in reprimand. The steady sound of steps made him realise he wasn't looking and he forced his eyes up, trying hard to ignore his rolling stomach and faint head.
"It's always this! Boy doesn't even remember his own name, and it's breaking Dawn's heart. Tell him to stand in a corner and he does it, like a damn pup! 'Til he passes out, no less." Blue Eyes turned every couple of words to glare at him before running a sweep around the room.
Brown eyes appeared, digging into him and pulling out thoughts he desperately tried to forget while he focused on his Master.
"He's broken Dru, and I don't know how to fix him." There was a sadness in that sentence, a self-blame that made him uncomfortable.
A tutting sound from in front of him caught both his attention and his Holder's. "Oh no, no, silly backwards boy. You're trying to take apart a jigsaw before you've put it together. It's in his bones, a litany, a dirge running round and round his head telling him all sorts of pretty things. It's the blood. You're the sun, my Spike, and he's freezing. So cold he burns my eyes. But the pieces..."
Her voice trailed off and again those eyes burrowed into him, found secrets even he didn't know. "Oh the pieces are all there."
"Are you saying he's not..." His Holder trailed off but there was a hope in Blue Eyes that made him want to shy away.
"He broke himself on the cross, my sweet, but blood caught all the parts. Got glass shards in his eyes, he does. You just have to find a way to dig them out." Brown eyes turned from him to his Master, the face full of old-knowledge and child-like wonder.
"Dru, I don't know how to put him back together." That earned his Holder a snarl.
"Blood Spike. It's who we are, what makes us breathe, even when the air is acid to dead lungs. He'll always be in shades of grey now, but you... You must be his sun, and call his blood back home."
There seemed to be a hidden meaning to that, since his Holder's eyes widened slightly, flickering between him and the woman in front of him. "Whelp - Xander, is that... what you want?"
That little bit of who he was, that kept growing, turned in awe to the woman who knew, who understood that when you had nothing, even the pain was a relief, a mercy, "I only want what you wish for me, Master."
That earned him an angry growl, but he was almost to the point of welcoming the anger, since he already knew he'd failed in so many ways. However, it was the woman who spoke.
"Your impatience will bring down more than a house of cards. Speak to him with hands, my Spike. Show him how to breathe, before we all lose the sky." Seemingly satisfied the woman got up and walked out of the room with a pointed look at the desk in the middle of the room.
He looked to his Holder, who was currently pacing the length of the room and back again. Time was still a slightly fuzzy concept so when Blue Eyes turned to look at him it felt like seconds and hours later.
"I know where you are, Xander." The words were soft, almost comforting, but it was the leather flogger in a pale hand that had the muscles in his shoulders relaxing, sliding into acceptance and calm.