Title: The End Of The Beginning
Title: What blind voices see
Pairing: Xander/Spike (eventually)
Overall Rating: NC17
Chapter Rating: PG13
Beta: shakatany the fierce
Disclaimer: If they were mine do you seriously think I'd be writing about them rather than playing with them?
AN: Finally got my tattoo designed. Thought you guys would like to know lol. Here we go;
This time Xander didn't remember the walk back, didn't remember anything at all except waking the next morning. Coming up from sleep was an odd feeling; a comforting coldness wrapped around him on one side and an equally reassuring warmth pressed against him on the other. Slowly his brain came online enough to recognise the sounds floating around him as words. He lay still for a moment, just listening.
"He's going to be ok, right Spike?" The question was filled with a childish hope that broke his heart.
"Whelp spent a long time pretending to be ok Nibblet, it's taken him this long to admit he isn't." Silence stretched for a moment "He'll get there. Takes time though, yeah?"
There was a sense of movement from the heated side of him and he realised dimly that it was Dawn nodding. Opening his eyes he blinked at the muted light of the bedside lamp.
"Hey Dawnie." His voice was barely a croak and he flinched in pain, feeling the tickle-slide down his throat that told him he'd torn something.
"Xander! You're awake! Oh, I didn't wake you did I?" Her response was so earnest and full of life he couldn't help the little smile that tilted the corners of his lips.
Shaking his head he got his hands on either side of himself and heaved, pushing his body into a vaguely upright position. Giving Spike a slight nod of thanks when a glass of water appeared in front of him he looked ruefully at his own fingers as they shook around the cup. Taking a careful sip of the slightly cool water he let out a breath of air when the liquid calmed the fire in his throat.
He watched as Dawn fussed with the blankets, obviously unsure of herself and where she fit in with this new, slightly broken Xander. Holding the glass out to the vampire on his left, he held his right arm away from his body and watched as the teen, who suddenly seemed even smaller than she really was, cuddle into his side.
Listening to his may-as-well-be-daughter/sister told him about the current antics at school he didn't realise he'd fallen asleep again until he woke up to the sound of a knock on the front door. Looking around he noticed that Dawn was still cuddled into his side, but Spike was conspicuous in his absence. Listening to the muted voices from downstairs he frowned, sliding out of bed.
Padding downstairs he cocked his head at the humanoid demon standing in his living room with an old fashioned doctor's bag in hand. Looking to Spike for an explanation he tried to ignore the fact that the vampire was shirtless and barefoot.
"Ripped something in your throat, whelp. Bill here's going to check you out." The blond explained.
As he watched the demon - Bill (and wasn't that an amusing name for a demon?) - set down his bag and spindly fingers opened the clasp. Eyeing both demons in the living room with a slight sense of trepidation, he backed up automatically when Bill walked towards him. Flinching slightly at the feel of cold fingers wrapping around his forearms, he looked over his shoulder into calm blue eyes.
"He's not going to bite, Harris, just needs to check out your throat. Now open up." The words were gruff and gentle at the same time.
Opening his mouth he aah'd and hmm'd as requested, wincing slightly when the required cough abused his sore throat. He watched curiously as the demon pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled on it before handing it to Spike.
"He's certainly done some damage, I'd say three days no talking and week of bed rest, especially if he works on a construction site. His body needs time to recover." Xander frowned as the instructions were said to the vampire.
He felt like pointing out that he was right here, thank you, but the knowledge of just how much it would hurt to say the words out loud kept him silent, if glaring. Sitting down on the couch he watched Dawn trudge down the stairs, obviously still more asleep than awake. She took in the scene with barely a flicker of concern for the unknown demon standing in her living room before shuffling into the kitchen, obviously confident that if it needed killing neither man would be chatting with it. Briefly he wondered if the teen was a little jaded before smiling and shaking his head at life on the Hellmouth.
Learning to function without the use of his voice wasn't as hard as he thought it would be, once he got Spike to call and explain things to his boss. If anything Xander found it easier. He didn't need to come up with endless deliberately tactless remarks; he could just sit in silence and watch the world. Communication with Dawn wasn't strained either, they had an easy way of talking that didn't require words that had started long before his doctor-imposed silence, which helped when she decided that as long as he couldn’t talk, it would only be fair if she didn’t either.
Listening to her come in the door he gave her a smile as she dropped heavily onto the couch with a grimace. He tilted his head at the door and nodded slightly with a curious expression; how was school?
She responded with the universal "bored teenager" look that left him grinning in remembrance of his own boredom. The brunet man flicked his eyes towards the kitchen and raised his eyebrows; hungry?
Dawn shook her head and nudged her backpack before making a resigned expression; nah, got homework to do.
Xander hesitated for a moment, thinking, before deciding that she really was family and she wouldn't think him odd for asking. Giving her his best puppy eyes he flicked his gaze from her backpack to the coffee table and back to her face; can you do it out here?
Rolling her eyes good-naturedly the teen set her bag on the floor and began pulling out her books, moving over to sit next to him. Noticing a small name scrawled in the margin of her book Xander gave her a small nudge and nodded to it. Noticing her blush he felt his eyebrows disappear under his hairline, Dawn was like Spike in many ways; shameless in love and glorious in hate.
Her shrug said more than the words they didn't bother with could; he doesn't notice me. I really like him. Why doesn't he notice me? I know it's silly, but I can't help it. Stupid boys.
Taking her pen he drew a small stick figure with a sword trying to behead the name and smiled at her giggle. Settling with his head on her shoulder he watched as she tried to puzzle over algebra. Twisting his head at a soft sound from the stairs he watched Spike plod down the stairs, his hair ruffled.
Lifting his eyebrows slightly Xander didn't stop the amused expression from crossing his face; make yourself at home.
A familiar smirk was his response before the blond turned into the kitchen; don't mind if I do, whelp.
Shaking his head the mute man answered the quizzical look of the small girl sitting beside him with a rueful but happy expression; my life is so strange sometimes.
The pain of laughing when she nodded emphatically was worth it.