Title: The End Of The Beginning
Title: When white looks grey
Pairing: Xander/Spike (eventually)
Overall Rating: NC17
Chapter Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I promise to put them back all shiny and new like.
AN: I was planning on keeping it a little longer between the last post and this one, but since it's already written... hell with it.
If it wasn't such a serious subject Xander would have laughed out loud at the look of complete shock on the blonde's face. As it was there were a hundred different emotions running through him; nervousness, apprehension, even fear. What he couldn't find was his never-ending supply of humour, it seemed to have dried up in the face of the jaded hope on Spike's face.
"Pull the other one whelp, we've done this song and dance one too many times." Xander could see the blonde was hurt, thinking a joke was being made at his chipped expense.
He didn't realize just how much damage he'd done until the blonde walked off, not strutted, just walked, like it was too much work to pretend to be the Big Bag any more.
"EMP!" He blurted out, watching Spike turn around slowly, the look on his face screaming; "what're you on about now, numbskull?"
"You've been trying to think up ways to get rid of the chip, right? Get it out of your head for good. But you can't because it's hardwired into your brain. So I thought, why not just… turn it off? I mean, an EMP will scramble the thing's programming so bad Willow says the chances are it'll pretty much just be a dead shell. Well… not dead since it'll still be on, but the EMP will screw with any programming so bad that it'd be like turning on a computer with nothing on it, no programming to run. So it just sits there but it can't zap you, because all the little zeroes and ones that tell it to aren't in the right order anymore!" He sucked in air, almost panting as he finished his rant, hoping Spike would understand what he meant. It'd made much more sense when Willow had explained it.
Blue eyes had narrowed so much they were only just slits while they studied him intently. Shifting from foot to foot Xander tried not to let his nervousness get the best of him. He jumped when the sound of a lighter striking echoed around the room and watched the tip of a cigarette flare.
"What's the catch?" The voice wasn't accepting - not yet - just suspicious.
"Well… Willow says if the EMP works the chip'll pretty much burn out. But, y'know, burn out in the literal sense. We have to figure out exactly where it is in your head to see what would happen to your brain if it works and it fries. Then there'll be the whole putting you back together thing. Not literally! Just… getting the bits that fried when the chip burnt out to regenerate. And Willow says we need to figure out exactly how strong the pulse needs to be, if it's too strong it'll do more damage than it has to." Again he couldn't stop the babble from gushing out of his mouth like a waterfall, but Spike still looked suspicious.
"I could set up the spare room here, board over the windows, blackout curtains over that just in case. It shouldn't be hard to get an IV and everything set up. Then once the chip's deactivated all we need to do is hook you up to it and let the blood work it's magic until you're back to being the original bleached wonder." Those eyes were still narrowed, but less so now.
Still, that honeyed voice was heavy with suspicion, "Still didn't answer the real question mate, what's the catch? What's in it for you, Harris?"
And wasn't that the hardest and easiest question of them all. He didn't bother with a joke this time, didn't say any of the quips that hovered on the tip of his tongue, just looked at the vampire in front of him and told him a reasoning they could both accept.
"It will make Dawn happy, and keep her safe."