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Spike Nightingale

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Xander sniffed wetly and then sneezed loudly. He barely manage to fumble for the Kleenex in time. The force of it shook his body and he groaned. Moving was bad. Moving made everything hurt a thousand times more.

He almost wished it was some demonic version of the flu. At least that way, all it would take to get better would be the right ingredients and a bit of chanting. Though with his luck the cure wouldn’t work and he’d break out in polka dots or something. He was in the middle of another sneeze when Spike stuck his head through the doorway and then sidled inside. He was holding something behind his back.

Xander groaned again. He wasn’t up for a round of my insults are better than your insults. “Wad you doing here, Snike?” Coughing, he blew his nose again and stuffed the Kleenex into a plastic bag hanging off the knob of his bedside table. At the rate he was going, he could take out shares in the Kleenex company.

“Brought you something, didn’t I?” Spike was sullen. Almost like he didn’t even want to be there.

“Wad?” Xander wondered if maybe his ears were plugged more than he thought. Spike? Bringing him stuff? He had a flash of ‘beware of vampires bearing gifts’ and giggled. Definitely too much cough medicine.

Spike edged closer and brought what he was hiding out from behind his back. It was one of those mesh bags of fruit, oranges specifically.

Xander blinked, and then sneezed three times in a row. “Ow. Ow. Ow.” Struggling a moment, he managed to sit up and then sat staring at Spike. “Um. Thanks?”

Rolling his eyes, Spike elaborated. “For yur cold, moron. Suppose ta be good for ya, innit?”

Xander continued to stare. Maybe this was all a drug induced hallucination. There couldn’t be any way that the self proclaimed Big Bad would be standing in his bedroom proffering fruits of the citrus variety. “I’m dreaming, right?”

Spike sighed heavily and turned away, muttering about ingrates. He disappeared through the doorway and a few minutes later Xander was slightly worried to hear cupboard doors banging and loud swearing coming from what he figured was the kitchen. Hopefully Spike wasn’t looking for something to kill him with. Though, the way he felt, he might just lie quietly and let him get on with it.

Sometime later, Spike came back with a tray. A tray that Xander didn’t even know he’d had. On it was a pitcher of what he guessed was orange juice and a glass. There was also a bowl full of orange slices.

Xander looked from the tray to Spike and back again. Ooookay. Since when did Spike turn into someone’s mother. Not his of course because his mother never gave a fuck when he was sick.

Spike came closer with the tray and Xander made an effort to clear a space on the top of his bedside table so that there was some place to put it. He watched as Spike poured him a glass of juice and held it out. He reached for it shakily and blushed when Spike gripped his hand and helped him wrap it around the glass. He brought his other hand up and clamped it around the glass as well. Better to be safe.

Raising the glass, he took a sip and almost choked on his swallow when he felt a cold hand on his forehead. It was all he could do not to lean into the touch.

“Yer got a fever.”

Huh. So that’s why Spike’s touch felt like an air-conditioned breeze. Xander nearly whimpered when Spike wandered away, taking his lovely cold hand with him. When he came back, he held out his hand. A couple of pills sat on his palm. Xander eyed them suspiciously.

Spike shook his hand. “Go on then. Take ‘em yer twit. If I was gonna kill yuh, wouldn’t be death by pills, would it?”

Hesitantly Xander took the pills and swallowed them with a swig of juice. His thanks were a little more sure this time. He even shifted over a bit, so that there was more room on the edge of the bed, not that he was asking Spike to stay or anything. Spike wavered and then sat down. Pulling a deck of cards out of one of his duster’s pockets, he began to deal two hands.

Xander still wasn’t sure he wasn’t just dreaming the whole thing up, though why he’d place Spike in the position of nursemaid, he didn’t know, but what the hell, he was bored and a bit lonely and at least Spike was company.

Putting down his half filled glass, he picked up his set of cards, and looked them over. He was just about to ask what they were playing when Spike said, “Do you have any twos?”

“Uh yeah,” he managed to get out, handing the required card over. Trying to suppress his giggling had induced a short coughing spasm. Who would have thought Deadboy Jr played Go Fish? Spike glared a bit as if reading his mind before tossing down a card.

They played a few hands before Xander felt himself nodding off. Man he was pathetic. Couldn’t even stay awake for more than a half an hour at a time. He watched as Spike gathered the cards up and stuffed them back in his pocket. He almost jumped out of his skin when Spike touched his shoulder, making him settle back into the bed and following it up by pulling the covers up to his chin.

Blinking up at Spike, he asked the question that had been on his mind ever since Spike showed up. “Woo died and mad you Florence Nightingale?”

Spike snorted. “Surprised yer even know who she is, pet.”

Xander kept staring, wondering if Spike would even bother answering.

Muttering under his breath about being an idiot, Spike finally said. “Miss my snarky Xan don’t I? Bored I am, hanging out wid those brainless ponces.”

Xander was absolutely sure he was hallucinating/dreaming/living in parallel dimension when Spike leaned down and kissed his forehead.

“Get better quick, luv. Before I kill someone just for the entertainment value.”

With that, he was gone.