Man! challenge in a can Man!






I'm frightened when I see blood in my puke but I don't have time to study it, my abb's spasm again, jetting what little is left in my guts into the bowl of Buffy toilet along with another load of blood.

Panting, I rest my head against the cool porcelain, too out of breath to move. My belly feels like its been pounded by a 300 pound guy with brass knuckles. It hurts so bad.

I am afraid.

Afraid to move, afraid to look into the bowl, afraid to breathe even, incase I have another belly wrenching spasm or pass out her in her bathroom. I make my breathing even out through sheer will power, taking slow, deep breaths and hoping to hell that's the last of it for tonight.

Gradually my vision clears, tunnel expanding into full stereoscopic as my blood gasses return to normal. Can't let myself hyperventilate like a hysterical schoolgirl. Come ON Reily, you're a grown man. Trained, hardened, you can take this.

I use my hands on the toilets bowl to lift myself up, becoming aware that my knees are hurting from kneeling on the hard tiles. It's nothing to the ache in my guts. More blood this time then before, bile and pieces of scummy film that I suspect might be parts my stomach lining.

Its getting worse, I know that. The first time I thought I had an ulcer or something. I don't, it's just the muscles tearing up my insides as they go out of control. I'm pretty sure that's all it is.

I don't want to think about what will happen if I rupture a vein or artery in my stomach. I saw a man bleed out like that once, vomiting out an endless stream of blood until he collapsed.

It's not an image I can take now, so I try to suppress the memory, pushing myself to my feet. The giddiness makes me swoon, I think that's worse then the vomiting, feeling my knees turn to jelly and hearing my heart thumping away like a kettle drum. I hate the feeling of weakness the nausea brings with it.

The pounding in my ears is subsiding now as I walk unsteadily to the sink, running the cold tap and scooping water in the palm of my hand into my mouth. I slosh it around in my mouth, spitting and trying to rinse the sourness away. Splashing water on my face I study my reflection in the mirror, pale as a ghost, my left eye red with blood where one of the vessels has ruptured.

I wonder what my blood pressure is right now, and I am afraid. It scares the hell out of just thinking about it.

It's the super charging that's doing this to me. Doesn't take much working out, the Initiative's little gift to their best boy. Everything has a price. The human body isn't built to take the strain that mines under, it's starting to tell on me. In the beginning, when I had the first adverse affects I could tell myself that I was adjusting, getting used to my new metabolic rate.

I can't tell myself that anymore, I know it's a lie. The super charging is killing me, will kill me unless I can learn to adapt. Maybe Being a lab rat wasn't such a good idea, but, heck-its done. Its saved my life a few times out on patrol with Buffy, there's no way I could hope to compete with her Slayer strength and speed without it.

No way I could be strong enough for her.

Colours slowly returning to my skin, and I think I can walk again without falling flat on my face. I pull myself upright, taking in one great breath and holding it for a moment before I slowly exhale. It still hurts, God, it hurts so bad and I'm so afraid that I'll just drop down dead one of these days....But I can walk.

Buffy's voice makes me jerk, she's calling for me to hurry up. She wants to get this patrol done so she can watch a late night movie. Its all planed out, kill the bad guys, a run on Pizza hut then home for the film. We're a couple, watching movies and eating pizza's one of the things we should be doing, and there's no way that I'm going to let a little vomiting stop that.

I fumble in my jacket for the phial, snapping it open and dropping two of the little tablets into my hand. I hesitate for a moment before shaking a third out. I shouldn't have these- military grade pain killers. One should send me all drowsy and dumb. The super charging again-it takes three just to take the edge off the pain.

I throw my head back, gulping the pills and swallowing. They taste foul but its better then the burning bile that's always threatening to force its way up past the base of my throat these days.

I am afraid.

I'm afraid of dying, afraid that one of my dizzy spells will hit me in the middle of a fight. Afraid that I'll let them down, Buffy, the scoobie...afraid of what the super charging's doing to me every minute that its inside me.

The pills kick in quickly, making me feel numb and wooden, my head hollow and my face disconnected from the rest of me. I can cope. It's just a mater of will power, that's all. I'll adjust to my body's new pace, if it doesn't kill me first.

Buffy's calling again and I'm surprised at how even my voice is as I tell her I'll be right out. I reach out, flushing the toilet and checking for tell tale spots of blood before I walk to the door and open it, smiling at her.

She smiles back, not noticing the slight shake in my hands of the minute tremble in my voice. My heart expands, the feeling swamping out the pounding in my ears.

She's so beautiful, graceful and strong and fast. I'll never be enough for her without the enhancements, and I know it. The entrance fee, if you like.

You see, I'm afraid of what's happening to me. Deathly afraid.

But I'm more afraid of losing her.

Riley. Scared. Painkillers.

Man! challenge in a can Man!