Personal Attention by Jaesha

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: After Spike Giles' wife leaves him for another man he falls into despair. Will Buffy be able to save him before he destroys himself?

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Chapter 1: When I'm Down

Chapter Notes: Okay, this one’s a little rough.


It had been a month since Dru and Spike’s horrible break-up. Dru had surprised Buffy by keeping her on a whole two weeks after that night, but had ended up letting her go after all.

Just as well, though, since Buffy didn’t think she could have handled staying with Dru after what she had done. To each his own and all, but she had taken entirely too much glee in watching Spike suffer and it made Buffy sick.

In those two weeks, Dru had done a number of despicable things that Buffy had unfortunately been witness to. When the court clerk had gone to the house to serve Spike the divorce papers, Dru insisted that Buffy drive her over so they could watch ‘the show’. Even then, Buffy could tell he was a broken man.

And that was before Dru had started calling him.

A shudder went through her at that. It was all a fucking game to that woman and Buffy wondered why she hadn’t noticed her true nature much sooner. The signs had all been there, but she had just turned a blind eye to it all.

Buffy pulled her green Camry into the gas station and situated herself next to one of the pumps.

Today, she was going to retrieve the things she had left at the Rayne-Giles residence and to return her keys. She had tried to give them to Dru when she’d been fired, but had been told that since it was no longer Dru’s house, she really didn’t give a damn what Buffy did with the keys.

Bitch, Buffy thought as she got out of the car and went into the convenience store.

Making her way to the beverage coolers, she grabbed a bottle of water and walked to the counter to make her purchases.

“I need twenty on pump three, too,” she told the clerk.

Glancing down at the magazine racks she was assaulted with the image of Dru and Spike splashed all over the tabloids and some of the more reputable entertainment magazines. Headlines ranged from ‘Split!’ to ‘The Secret Life of Spike Giles: How His Secret Boyfriend Ruined His Marriage’.

Okay, that one was ridiculous. She didn’t think she’d met any man as heterosexual as Spike Giles not to mention the fact that he had been completely faithful to Drusilla through their entire marriage.

She handed the clerk some money and left to pump her gas.

With the exception of the day his divorce papers had been served, she hadn’t seen Spike. Even the night the split had happened, he’d already left by the time she had gone to look for him. From all of the news, nobody else had seen him either.

The thoughts that entered her mind had her heart racing a little. If no one had seen him, it was quite possible that something terrible had happened to him or worse, that he’d done something to himself.

She supposed she would find out as soon as she got to LA whether or not he was still among the land of the living.

Putting her car in gear, she sped off towards the highway and flipped the stereo on.

“-and that was the new Dingoes Ate My Baby single, ‘Burn’. A little news on the Dingoes, they have apparently cancelled ten dates from their Devil Sees Red Tour due to Spike Giles’ personal issues. As you all-” CLICK!

It seemed that all anyone could talk about these days was Spike, Dru, and the train wreck that had become their lives. Of course, that wasn’t exactly true of Drusilla. She seemed to be having the time of her life because of this whole thing.

She had been on every talk show flaunting her new boy toy and spouting lies about why she divorced Spike. Everything from brutal beatings and his adulterous behavior to his secret ‘gay lifestyle’. It was disgusting to watch her trying to destroy him piece by piece.

Guns N’ Roses’ Patience came on the radio and she sighed deeply. Nobody seemed to care that the whole circus was spinning entirely out of control. The media ate up every single lie and truth, twisting them together into some ugly piece of Modern art that was washed in red.

In her time with Dru, she had come to realize quite a few truths about the media and the entertainment business. It was completely true that the lot of them believed that any publicity was good publicity. It was also completely true that pain sells. People eat up others’ misery in a sad attempt to make their own lives less empty.

And where there’s misery, there’s money and there was nothing in the world the media or entertainment business loved more than cold hard cash.

Noting that the highway sign ahead of her said 104 miles to Los Angeles, she shifted into high gear and sped along down the road.


******


Pulling up to the gate, Buffy quickly punched in the code to open the tall, black wrought iron gate. As the gate squeaked open she eased her car up the drive.

She stopped at the top of the driveway and got out. Everything looked okay, the gardeners were still keeping the outside appearance up and the house hadn’t been torched. So far so good, she figured.

For a minute she wondered if she should ring the bell. She had the key, but it wasn’t Drusilla’s house anymore and she felt like she might be intruding on Spike’s personal space.

After several rings of the doorbell, nobody answered. It was possible Spike wasn’t even home and she didn’t think he would mind if she just popped in for a minute to gather what belongs she had left.

She entered the house and was immediately hit with the pungent smell of cigarettes and liquor. That was not a good sign.

“Mr. Giles?” She called out, poking her head into the living room.

As she made her way up the stairs to the office, she continued to call out his name until she was sure that he was, in fact, not in the house.

The office had been her primary workspace and she did most of her administrative stuff there. Dru was nothing if not a perfectionist and sometimes Buffy would spend all day at her desk calling around for specific flowers to decorate her bedroom among other things. It was a stupid way for her to spend her paid hours, but hey, if the boss lady wanted her to sit on her butt and call around for black orchids all day, who was she to complain?

She found a box and started packing her things. A mouse pad with little pink pigs on it, her Far Side desk calendar, a picture of Dawnie…

Dawnie. How was she going to pay for her little sister’s college tuition now? She had been giving it a lot of thought since she’d be unceremoniously kicked to the curb and hadn’t come up with any solutions. Unless she found another person to be a personal assistant to, she didn’t think there would be a job out there that would pay enough to cover Dawn’s expenses.

Bad thoughts for another day, she supposed. It was depressing enough to be in this house, she didn’t need to add to her misery by worrying about something that she couldn’t fix right that second.

Picking up the box, she left the office and made her way down the hall. As she was walking down the stairs though, she heard a noise coming from the direction of the master bedroom.

“Mr. Giles?”

She wandered towards the bedroom and cracked open the door. “Mr. Giles?”

From her position, she could see one alabaster arm poking out from beside the huge canopy bed that sat in the middle of the room. She pushed her way through the door and rushed over to it, dropping her box when she saw him.

“Mr. Giles! Oh, god, Spike!”

He was lying face down on the white carpet; his platinum blond hair stained an ugly grey as it stuck out in clumps on his head. His skin was a sickly pale yellowish tone. Half naked, a filthy white tank top being the only thing covering him, and hidden partially under the bed, his body was sprawled out on the floor. A mostly empty bottle of Jack Daniels lie a foot or so away.

“Spike?” She dropped to her knees and began the morbid task of checking his pulse.

Taking further account of his predicament she realized that he was laying in a pool of vomit and blood which she could only assume was his own. She picked up one limp wrist and she was greeted with a strong pulse. A sigh of relief went through her and she started trying to wake him.

A hand on his shoulder, she began to shake him. “Spike? C’mon, wake up.”

He moaned and Buffy doubled her efforts to bring him to consciousness. Grabbing his far arm, she pulled to roll him over. His dim blue eyes were cracked open slightly, but he didn’t seem to see her.

She slapped his cheek lightly. “Spike, wake up!”

“Huh?” He managed to get out.

Figuring he was coherent enough, she made the attempt to push him upright. “Up you go, Spikey.”

As out of it as Spike was, he was making a effort to comply with her wishes by straining upward until they had both managed to get him sitting up.

“We need to get you to the bathroom so I can wash you up. You’re bleeding from somewhere, but I can’t tell from this mess,” she told him, praying he would be cooperative.

“Blood. Life.” He moaned out as she placed her hands under his arms and tugged up.

Lifting with her knees, she got him halfway up then he pushed up with his legs and that got him the rest of the way. She put his arm around her shoulders and held onto his waist tightly.

“We’re going to the bathroom, okay?”

They shuffled along at a snail’s pace to the master bathroom that thankfully was only a few feet away. Once inside she placed him in the bathtub, stripping him of the tank top, and started filling it with warm water.

Standing back, she looked him over. “Well, finally, I get to say I’ve seen the famous Spike Giles in the buff. I’ll be the envy of all the girls back home.”

His grim expression didn’t change. Apparently, he wasn’t in a very humorous mood.

She went to the linen cupboard and pulled out fresh towels and washcloths. Kneeling next to the tub, she soaked a washcloth in the now-dirty water and began the arduous task of cleaning him up.

After a few minutes she managed to located where he was bleeding from, a medium sized cut on the palm of his hand. It looked like he had broken something glass in it, small shards catching the light of the overhead fixture. That would definitely need more attention than her modest first aid training would be able to provide.

His bleach blond hair had started growing out, dark brown roots sprouting out from his scalp. How long had he been holed up in this house trying to drink himself to death? He hadn’t looked that bad when she’d seen him last and that was three weeks prior so sometime between then and now he had taken a total nosedive into self-destruction.

When she had brought the cloth up to wipe vomit off of his sharply angled cheekbone, he started becoming more coherent. His eyes fluttered open and his breathing deepened.

Blinking at her, he said, “Betty?”

She chuckled a little. “Close enough.”

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