Disclaimer: Not mine (except OC Mary), just playing with them.

Spike felt a warmth at his side and over his hand. It felt nice.

But the rest of his body was stiff from the cold air and he groaned as he struggled to move closer to that warmth that he felt.

Because there was only one person who would offer him that warmth from her body and he needed to protect it.

Because he swore to protect her.

And he never went back on a promise.

He covered the Slayer with his coat and pulled her close, settling her chest to chest with his arm thrown over her before blacking out, the last of his strength fading.

"-care what they say! Mary isn't going!" Daddy was yelling.

"Dean! Mary needs this, you know that!" Mommy yelled back.

It's been like this since the party ended. Probably even before it ended because the man with blonde hair had stuck around after Daddy passed her off to Mommy to take to the party. Mary had kept her eyes on the man with the white hair, who she knew wasn't a man at all but a vampire and Daddy the whole time before she was drawn in with the games, friends and family. When she thought to look for him, he was gone and Daddy was back at the party with his fake smile.

So she faked smiled too when she felt like crying.

"I don't trust them. They could be lying about everything. They could be demons for all I know!"

"How? How could you know? Mary can't sleep a full night and she spends her days alone-"

Mary flinched, pulling her legs closer to her chest as she and Ben sat upstairs, just out of sight of their parents listening to them fight. They've never fought like this before and it was scary. Ben put an arm around Mary, giving her a hug before she got up and ran to her room, slamming the door.

Mary grabbed her pillow and screamed into it, falling to the ground. This wasn't supposed to happen. She felt like this was all her fault and she couldn't stand it. She wanted to run but running away never solved problems; it just made more but she couldn't stay here.

So she opened her window and climbed out to the roof. She carefully walked over to the edge and jumped for the limb of the tree that grew close. She had seen Ben do this a few times when he went out late at night or came home early in the morning. When she reached the ground she ran to the garage and slipped through the door, all the while missing the man in black who stood in the shadows, listening to the fight in the house.

With a sigh, he followed after the girl.

Spike groaned in pain, taking in a unneeded breathe as around him his crew carried him to the ship. He blinked his eyes open, wincing at the faint light from the rising sun stabbed his eyes. He croaked out a question.

"Where's Mary?"

"Being taken care of Sire." answered Rory, formerly known at Bug 12 and currently in charge of the ship while Spike is out fighting.

"Good." Spike says before he passes out.

Spike followed the girl into the garage and stopped when he entered. It wasn't very big, just big enough to hold the sheet covered car and all the tools that laid on the long table that took up one wall and other junk people tended to collect. Over the smell of gas, oil, dust and cut grass, he followed the scent of the girl to the car.

"-wish you were here. You always know what to do." he could hear her talking under the sheet and he wondered if she had grabbed a cell before she escape her house. "I missed you at the party too. If you were there, maybe it would have been better. You could have stopped that-vampire from talkin' to Daddy. He's so mad right now. He and Mommy are fightin' and I know its my fault."

Spike scratched his head, wishing that the witch had sent someone else to take care of this instead of him before tapping on the glass. There was a sound, like rustling followed by the sound of the window being lowered. He reached down to grab some of the fabric and lifted it to see Mary with a sharp knife pointed at him.

"Whoa there bit." he commented, holding one hand up to ward her off.

"What do you want Spike?" she asked, her eyes red and puffy from crying. She had a brown leather coat draped over her shoulders, swallowing her small frame. It made her look more like the child that she was and he hated that he had to come all this way just to change her world.

"You know who I am?" Spike asked surprised. Mary nodded and tapped a finger to her temple. "Ah right...the memories." He flipped the cover over the car so he could talk with his hands free. "I just wanted to talk. See how you're holding up? Offer you a shoulder to lean on? Lend you my ears?"

"Like you care..." Mary kept the knife up as she scooted back into the car, her hazel green eyes fixed on him.

"I do luv. More than anything right now, I care..."

Spike came to in his room. It was quiet, only the thrumming of the engines and the hum of the bugs as they skittered about doing their daily chores. He winced as he pushed himself up to a sitting position, grabbing his head as a throbbing skull piercing pain hit him. He growled out a curse, catching the attention of one of the bugs as it was walking by.

"Sire. You are awake? Would you like something to eat?" the bug asked as it walked into his room. Spike nodded, instantly regretting it as the room blurred. "Yes, Sire, right away."

It turned and walked out of the room as Spike flopped back on the bed, promising himself that he was just going to close his eyes to keep the room from spinning.

Spike watched Mary, the first Slayer called since Buffy destroyed the Seed of Magic, fight like the warrior she was. She was a natural, jumping and turning, kicking and punching like she had fought against vampires her whole life. Mary had been a Slayer now for a year and she had the dreams and memories for almost two years.

She was 13 years old now and she had left home. Maybe not for the final time but these trips out on her own to fight against vampires, demons and monsters had now become a part of her life. One part that her father had clearly hated with a passion.

Fights in the household had risen between father and daughter, between mother and father and sister and brother since he had gone to Kansas. The only thing they didn't fight about were the twins who the whole family seemed to love more than anything. Spike could remember clearly when Mary had come running at him with the largest grin on her face as she told him that the twins first words were "Mary".

Nothing could take her off that cloud nine. Not stopping a blood thirsty cult from ending the world, or a serial monster attacking women in Portland Oregon, or even finding out that her favorite instructor at Slayer HQ absolutely hated the angel because he had taken her Dad's body as a vessel.

"Spike come on! Don't let me take this whole bunch by myself!" Mary yelled as she flipped over one vampire to stake another in the chest.

"Why not?" he asked from his seat atop of a headstone. "Looks to me you're doin' fine. They're only fledges after all."

"You white haired jerk!" she yelled, kicking a vampire over a tombstone as hard as she could before turning her full attention to the other, her stake held tightly in her hand. "Fine! But if something happens to me, you know who will be pissed all to hell at you!" She kicked the vampire attacking with the heel of her boot to his chin before launching herself at him.

Spike didn't worry.

Mary could take on the last two vampires. He had faith in her skills because after all, she had learned from the best...him. He lit up another cigarette, looking up at the sky when he heard a crunch and looked over to see Mary laying on the ground, bleeding from the head. The vampire she had kicked over had earlier somehow tore free a stone angel from one of the headstones and smashed her over the head when she was fighting the other one.

He quickly jumped in and put an end to the two vampires, making sure that they died painfully. He started towards the fallen Slayer. "Mary!"

A flutter of wings startled him and he turned to the man with the dark hair and tan overcoat. His blue eyes were burning bright and furious as he turned away from Spike to check on Mary. He put two fingers against her forehead and she woke with a soft gasp.


"Sire?" Spike looked up to see that the bug from earlier had indeed went and grabbed some blood for him. Spike sat up and grabbed for the packets, draining one after another quickly. Not a minute later, the headache was gone and he felt better. At least now the room wasn't spinning. "Anything else Sire?"

"Take me to Mary."

Spike found the Slayer laying in the medical wing where they usually kept the grubs. Since it wasn't that time yet, it was clean and bare though it smelled a bit. Something he knew Mary would complain about as soon as she woke up. If she woke up...

"What's all this Doc?" he asked the bug that was running medical, fingering the clear tubes that ran to Mary. Though it wasn't exactly official, this bug was a quick learner in human biology and it was usually the one that treated Spike or Mary when the need arose. The name came as a way to know its station and as a joke.

"Well Sire, " Doc replied as it tended to Mary. "Those are to supply her body with much needed liquid nutrients. Much like you, she has been out for quite awhile."

"A while? Exactly how long was I out for?" Spike asked as he dropped IV drips.

"Well we had waited for the suggested 24 hours to continue our repairs on the ship after you left before we began our search for you and the Slayer. The area you were in was quite large and since our sensors did not work, per the electrical interferences, we had to move on foot." Doc explained, lifting Mary's limp wrist up and checked her pulse. "It took us 4 hours to find you. The weather was quite cold."

"How long?"

"You have been unconscious for an entire two weeks Sire."

"Bugger." Spike cursed, pinching the bridge of his nose. The others would be wondering about Mary around now and with no contact between them and his ship, they were probably thinking she was dead after seeing the wreckage they had made at the Devil's Gate.

If they searched the place, and he knew they would thoroughly, with no sign of Mary, it wouldn't be too far fetched to come up with her dying there. God, he could already picture them calling up Papa Winchester and telling him the bad news. "Did you contact the Council about us?"

"Yes, I believe Acting Captain Rory contacted them about five hours ago to update them about your condition." Doc replied.

"Great. Perfect." Spike groaned though it was far from perfect. Or great. He needed to get a hold of the angel. "I need to find a phone."

He brushed Mary's hair out of her face, sliding a thumb over her lips to feel her breathe over the pad before he went out to find a phone.

Spike watched her sleep in the backseat of the sleek black car, her head pillowed by his leather coat and snuggled under a large leather brown coat with her knees drawn up to fit. She was growing like crazy and was still getting used to all the changes her body was going through this summer of her 15th year. It required more training to get her aim up to par and shifting her balance around to get back to where she was before everything went to hell.

This was one of those rare peaceful nights where she could sleep in and not worry about the mission or her life in general.

It was nice.

They were parked out in the middle of nowhere, just him, her and the stars.

Oh and the angel.

The other man, if he could call him that, was standing in a distance, stiff as a board with his hands tucked in the pockets of his overcoat and staring up at the stars, listening to the chatter. Angel chatter, he said when Mary asked why he stood away like that alone, to hear how my brothers and sisters were doing up in Heaven while I'm was gone.

Mary always pushed Spike to get to know the man, angel but that deep primal instinct that Spike followed always pushed to fight or run, to dominate or submit to the other more powerful member of their group. She didn't understand that demons and angels couldn't be friends with each other. It was against their very nature.

But then again, he couldn't understand how he could have fallen for the young girl so fast. His undead heart still beat for the One True Slayer but for now, his every undrawn breathe was for the girl who cried, laughed, fought, bitched and lied and spoke truthfully about what she saw was unfair.

She was rapidly becoming his whole world and everyone knew it. The angel had watched him every second they were together, his blue eyes fixed on their interactions and though it drove Spike crazy at first, he accepted it. The angel was closely involved with Mary as well, maybe more so since he knew Mary since birth. He had warned Spike, very early on and once more when Spike realized what was happening to him in a deep, low growly voice.

"Hurt her and I shall throw you into the deepest darkest pit of Hell myself."

He took another draw of the cigarette. Mary would never let him smoke in the car. She didn't care he smoked, but if he ruined the interior because of his habit she would shove a stake so far up his ass he would feel it in his throat and the look in her eyes when she said it made him believe it.

Mary loved that car more than she loved him. A sore point for him but one he didn't mind. After all he had years...years to watch her grow, years to teach her, years to show her just how much she means to him.

For now, he was just glad to be called her friend.

"Come on you great feathered poofter...pick up the bloody phone for once..." Spike growled as he held the cell phone to his ear, listening to it ring on the other end. "Come on!"

"Hello?" a gruff voice answered.

"About time you big bird! Do you know how long I've been tryin' to reach you?" Spike growled into the phone.

"This is the first time you've called me."

"Yeah well you shoulda answered on the first ring." Spike heard the other man, angel sigh on the other end. "Listen, I'm calling you because we stopped the world from ending."

"Yes. I have seen the battle site. You destroyed 12 acres of forest land and sent most of the demons back through the Devil's Gate. We are taking care of the ones that had escaped."

"Bastard!" Spike said good naturally. "Listen, this isn't time for a friendly chat. Mary needs you."

"Where are you?" The voice got dark fast and Spike was glad he was on the phone instead of face to face though he knew that soon it would be a moot point.

"On my ship. Over the Rocky Mountains heading towards Boulder Colorado-"

A whoosh of air and the flutter of wings followed by the startled shrieks from the bugs announced the arrival of the angel. Spike grinned as the bugs quickly abandoned their posts to cower from the angel. They were naturally skittish around feathered creatures.

"Castiel, welcome aboard."

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