a relieved sigh, Xander pulled up to Giles' apartment. He gathered up his lover
and hurried Spike inside. Giles was waiting at the door and thankfully had already
pulled all the blinds. Xander glanced up to see Willow and Tara already there. Xander gently set his lover on the couch and pulled the blankets off of Spike's face.
Willow and Tara made gasps of concern when presented with the pale, clammy Vampire.
smiled weakly at the Witches, "Hey Red, Ducks. How's it going?"
sat down next to Spike and rubbed his hand reassuringly, "Don't worry Spike, we'll figure this out."
Tara and Giles gathered spell ingredients and discussed possible causes of Spike's sudden illness, but Xander only had eyes
for Spike. "Are you comfortable? Do
you need anything?"
Xander tried to sound calm but his nervousness must have shown through, because Spike began
stroking his hand along Xander's arm and sighed. "I'm fine luv, really. Just a little dizzy and weak, s'all. The
Witches will figure it out and have me right in no time."
positioned himself on one end of the couch and pulled Spike's upper body into his lap.
He stroked one hand through the blonde hair and tried not to panic. It
wouldn't do for him to be more freaked out than his lover; he wasn't the one who was sick, after all.
by worry, Xander finally noticed that Willow was asking them questions. "Hmm? Sorry
Wills, missed that last one."
redhead shot him a gentle smile, forgiving him his inattention. "I was just asking if you two had run across anything weird
while patrolling?" Xander and Spike both shook their heads.
walked up next to Willow, carrying a large book, "Well, thanks to Xander, we know what a demon illness looks like, so we should
probably start there."
took a seat at the table and started leafing through the book, while Willow and Tara started chanting softly.
was just about to ask Spike something that had been bothering him all morning when the front door flew open and Buffy and
Dawn tumbled through, arms laden with shopping bags.
this had better be good. I'll have you know we were in a shopping groove..."
slightly annoyed voice trailed off as she spied the two men on the couch. "Wow
Spike, you look like death warmed over."
rolled his eyes and Spike made a face, "Ha, ha Slayer, very funny."
looked up from where she had been setting down her bags and seemed to see the Vampire for the first time. "Oh Spike! Are you okay?"
little brunette threw herself at the couch, wrapping her arms around the startled Vampire. "Are you gonna be okay? What can I do? Do you need blood? You can have Buffy's."
gingerly lifted the babbling girl off his tender stomach and shook her gently. "I'll
be fine nibblet. Just feeling a little under the weather. The witches will fix me right up." He quirked an eyebrow at
Dawn, "Shouldn't you ask your sister before you go offering up her blood to strange Vampires?"
snorted, "She's got plenty. Plus. it's Slayer blood, so it'd be extra potent
and you'd only need a little. Besides, you're not strange Vampires, you're family."
smiled at his shocked looking lover as the Vampire pulled the teenager into a fierce hug. "Thanks Dawn."
flopped down into a chair, eyeing the trio on the couch. She looked a little
miffed at having her blood offered up by her sister without her consent. "So,
what's going on? How can we help?"
sick. Like flu kinda sick, 'cept Vampires don't get the flu. Willow and Tara are doing some sort of spell, and Giles thinks it might be a demon flu, like I had that
time." Xander explained.
Watcher in question wandered over and dropped a book into the lap of his scowling Slayer. "You can help by researching. Look for anything relating to Vampires and illness."
blonde slayer scowled. "Isn't there anything I can slay?"
snorted, "If this keeps on much longer, I might ask you to dust me. Don't think
I can take much more of this yakking and fainting and such."
looked a little too excited at the thought of having to dust Spike and Xander wrapped his arms protectively around his mate.
"Mine." He growled at the petite Slayer.
rolled her eyes, not the least bit threatened by his protective display, and started leafing through the book Giles had dropped
looked around from where she was sitting, still being hugged by Spike. "What
can I do?"
glanced up from his text. "Sorry Dawn.
Would you kindly make some tea? I believe that there is some chamomile
in the cupboard, which might help settle Spike's stomach."
bounced eagerly into the kitchen, glad to be allowed to help. Soon she came back
with a steaming mug of yellow colored tea. Spike eyed the cup warily, but took
a sip when Dawn pouted at him. He swallowed then made a horrible face. "Yak! What is this crap?"
pouted more, "It's chamomile tea. It'll help your stomach. Drink it."
laughed at his lover's obvious reluctance. "Spike, you drink blood! How bad can a little tea be?"
the cup was thrust at him, Xander obligingly took a sip, then pulled back in horror. "Oh gross! You're right, don't drink it."
however, Dawn's pout won out and Spike finished off the mug of bitter tasting yellow tea.
hours later, Giles and Buffy had come up blank, and while Willow and Tara had ruled out that it was not a demon flu,
curse or spell, they still didn't know what was wrong with Spike.
was holding a glowering Spike in his arms and trying not to freak out, while Giles paced the short length of his living room.
Willow was going down a list of possible spells to try, with Tara, Buffy and Dawn considering and vetoing each one in turn,
when suddenly Giles stopped and slapped himself on the forehead. "Of course! Why didn't I think of it before?"
group stared at the watcher as he fished around in his wallet and pulled out a card, then quickly made a phone call.
Giles hung up the phone, the questions started, with Spike's voice somehow rising above the rest, "Oi, Rupes! What was that about? Who exactly did you call?"
flopped down in a chair, looking relieved. "I called a friend. I believe she can help us."
looked around the group, "Um Giles? Aren't all of us here? Who do you know besides us?"
Watcher looked annoyed. "I do have a social life outside of this group, you know."
shook her head, "No, actually we didn't know."
looked exasperated but refused to answer any more questions. Twenty minutes later
there was a knock at the door.
quickly got up to answer it. He opened the door and ushered a woman inside. The group eyed the newcomer suspiciously. She
was very plain looking: not too tall, not too short. Medium brown hair, glasses,
pale. She was dressed in a nondescript suit jacket and skirt, and carried a black
bag with her.
presented the woman to them with a smile and made the introductions. "Everyone,
this is Dr. Graves. She's a specialist in demon illnesses."
woman smiled warmly at the shocked group, her smile changing her face from plain to friendly and engaging. "It's so nice to meet you all."
sized up the newcomer. "Where did you find her?"
Graves made shushing motions at the stuttering Watcher and answered Buffy, "I moved to town a few months ago to set up
practice. I've come into the Magic Box several times for supplies or books. Giles and I have talked about my practice. That's
how he knew to call me."
nodded, accepting the explanation, though Buffy still looked suspicious. He knew
Giles wouldn't let anyone near him or Spike unless he trusted them. In a show
of good faith, Xander stood up and shook the doctor's hand. He quickly returned
to the couch though, this time taking a seat on the arm next to Spike's head.
smiled wanly. "A demon doctor, huh? Just
when you thought Sunnyhell had everything."
brushed his lips across Spike's clammy forehead, as Giles led the doctor over to the couch.
"This is Spike. The Vampire I told you about on the phone."
Graves smiled and came over to kneel beside the Vampire. "Spike,
it's nice to meet you. Why don't you tell me what's been going on?"
a voice still shaky and weak, Spike related the past week of dizzy spells and nausea.
doctor listened and nodded, "Have you recently come across any ancient relics, tombs, any curses?"
and Xander both shook their heads.
are the symptoms worse?"
thought about it for a minute. "They hit me randomly throughout the day, but
it's definitely worst when I first wake up."
Doctor nodded and pulled the blanket back, "I'm going to do a physical examination now, is that okay?"
nodded and tried to relax as the doctor began poking and prodding. He still had
the occasional flashbacks to his time as lab rat for the Initiative and it made him uncomfortable. Xander must have sensed his fear, because he began stroking Spike's hair and murmuring softly. Spike tried to relax, but then hissed in pain as the doctor prodded his stomach. "Oi! That hurts!"
doctor just raised an eyebrow, "Is it a sharp pain, a dull ache, tender?"
shrugged, "It's just sore. Any wonder? I've been barfing for days."
doctor sighed and stood up. "Giles, could you possibly help me prepare a scrying
Watcher motioned for the Witches to help him, and the three headed into the kitchen.
looked confused, "What do you need a scrying spell for?"
smiled at the worried brunette, "Do you see an x-ray machine anywhere nearby?"
looked at the doctor thoughtfully, "Do Vampires x-ray? I mean, they don't photograph
doctor shook her head seriously, "They actually don't show up on any kind of film and that includes x-rays, there are other
demons that don't work well with medical equipment as well. Most physicians in
my line of work are well versed in small amounts of magic, enough to take the place of medical technology, but unfortunately
magic is not where my talents lie."
doctor moved over to the table where Giles had set up a large black bowl and Willow and Tara were filling it with water.
ignored the preparations; he bent over Spike and captured his lover's lips in a gentle kiss.
"How ya doin?"
smiled weakly, "Just peachy. Give me a mo' and we'll head over to Willy's and
trounce some demons."
allowed himself a small laugh before meeting the fearful blue eyes with his serious ones.
"Do you think this is because of?" He almost couldn't say it; the thought was too horrible, but he had too, he'd
been thinking it all day. "Because of me, my blood?"
shook his head vehemently, "No luv, don't think that. Sure, your taste changed
a little, after, but not much, the blood just became stronger, more virile. I've
been around enough to know what bad blood tastes like, and your's aint it."
Graves voice floated over from the table, where she and the Witches were staring intently into the bowl. "Now Spike, please lie still and try not to move."
settled bonelessly onto the couch, his tight grip on Xander's hand belying his calm appearance.
Witches chanted and Giles sprinkled something into the bowl. Dr. Graves leaned
over the bowl and murmured something into it. Xander glanced over at them nervously,
just in time to see Willow make a face. "What? What is it?"
waved aside Xander's fears, "Don't worry Xan, nothings wrong, I just didn't realize how gross internal organs are."
managed to drag up the energy to look offended. "Oi! I'll have you know my organs are lovely, thank you very much."
giggled and Buffy did a passing imitation of the famous Watcher eye roll.
doctor didn't glance up at the verbal byplay, her eyes remaining fixed on the bowl and whatever it was showing her. The rest of the room fell quiet, and Xander could feel the tension in the air. He rubbed Spike's hand unconsciously and then practically fell off the arm of the couch when the doctor
gave a sharp, triumphant laugh. All eyes turned to the grinning woman, who was
shaking her head and laughing to herself. Giles was the first to break the silence.
what exactly have you found?"
raised an eyebrow at the realization that the proper Watcher was on a first name basis with the woman, but ignored the twinge
of curiosity in favor of finding out what was wrong with his lover. "Yeah Doc,
Graves turned towards the pair on the couch and smiled, "Don't worry, Spike will be fine."
room visibly relaxed and the Vampire eyed the doctor questioningly, "So what's wrong with me?"
woman had a smile so big Xander was sure her face would split in two.
I believe that congratulations are in order."
occupants of the room looked at her in confusion. "Why?" Willow ventured.
"Because," and now the doctor's grin got even larger, "Spike's pregnant."