“Leave him be, Jonas,” an impatient voice commanded. “He’ll adjust.”
“Adjust?” Jonas asked without turning away from the courtyard, unable to look away from the pitiful creature staring off into nothingness. “But it’s been…” Weeks. Months. Years. “… a long time. All he does is sit there, huddled in on himself.”
“Jonas.” The tone was low, warning.
“He’s not like the others.” Humans, he didn’t say. “He has to reconcile what he once was with what he’s become.”
The wings at Jonas’ back rippled with suppressed emotion, and it took a concerted effort to force himself to relax, make his wings lie flat against his back once again. He sighed, cast one final look at the former vampire, then walked off.
Spike had no concept of time, of anything really. One minute he’d been fighting alongside Angel and the others. The next, he’d been here, wherever here was – devoid of clothes and with an unnatural weight at his back.
He thought he should be cold, exposed as he was, and it was like something in his head triggered a response. There was a soft whoosh, and a brief fluttering, then he was enfolded in a blanket of white feathers. His hand reached out, awed, ran lightly over the gossamer surface, unable to believe what touch, and some inborn sense were telling him.
The chuckle came out of nowhere, shocking him. Angel. Angel… Laughter quickly gave way to heart-wrenching sobs as images of his sire, Angel, flashed before his eyes. How in an instant Angel went from being larger than life to dust mixing with the rain to fall at his feet there in the alley. He remembered screaming Angel’s name, taking a step forward, then a sharp pain in his back. A second before recognition dawned on his face, his eyes closed and he just… gave up.
Welcomed the nothingness that resulted in his dusting.
His tears eventually dried, but he didn’t move from his spot. People – angels, like him – came and went, trying to coax him out of his self-imposed confinement. He ignored them all, his mind trapped in the past – him and Angelus together.
“He’s still there?”
Jonas turned away from the courtyard and nodded at Sebastian. “Yes.”
“We may have to rethink things…”
“About time,” Jonas muttered under his breath. He’d been to Earth and back several times, and each time he returned, his first stop was always the courtyard. The same thing always greeted him: William – Spike as he was called before – huddled beside one of the huge stone structures in the courtyard, wings wrapped tightly around him. “What are you going to do?”
Spike blinked and slowly became aware of the rain beating down on his head. He looked up and knew instinctively that it was daylight even though dark clouds covered the sky. He’d been moved somehow; his surroundings weren’t what he remembered them being.
He rose awkwardly to his feet, and if it weren’t for the wings that fluttered slightly at his back, he would have surely fallen back to the ground, his legs unable to support his weight from lack of use.
Spinning in a circle, Spike took in his surroundings. The yard was small, well tended. Whoever owned the house must have spent hours making everything look just so. It didn’t, however, offer him a clue as to just where in the hell he was. Frustrated, he glided towards the house, hoping he’d have better luck.
The first room he came to was the kitchen. It was vacant, so he moved down to the next set of windows. He peered inside and froze. His hand lifted, reached out to the person within.
Spike flew through the door, screaming his sire’s name. He fell to his knees, arms going around Angel’s waist in a bastardized attempt at a hug, unable to believe that his sire was still alive.
“I saw you die,” Spike sobbed, head resting wearily on Angel’s lap. Too overcome to realize that Angel was still beneath him, offering no sign that he’d even heard what Spike had said.
The last thing he heard before sleep claimed him was Angel agonizingly whispering his name.
When Spike awoke, he was alone. He rose quickly, feeling oddly refreshed. A quick glance down at his body revealed that he wore not a stitch of clothing. He frowned, concentrating. T-shirt, jeans, and boots instantly materialized. He did it again and his wings stretched out to their full span, flapped a few times to work out the kinks, then resettled against his back.
Angel had to be around somewhere, and Spike walked out of the room, calling his sire’s name.
He found him upstairs in a bedroom, staring out the window at the yard below.
“Angel… what—?” he began, only to cut himself off. He walked into the room and laid a hand on Angel’s arm. It was hard, tangible beneath his fingertips, yet Angel showed no signs that he either heard or felt his presence.
It hit him then what it meant. What he was.
He fell to his knees, his shoulders shaking as he sobbed soundlessly, where he remained long after Angel was gone.
“It didn’t work.”
“I can see that, Jonas.”
The two angels stood in the doorway, staring at the former vampire huddled beneath the window of Angel’s room.
“I really thought that this would work,” Sebastian commented, more to himself than his companion.
“Maybe he’s just not meant to be one of us.”
“No, the Powers were quite adamant. Spike was… is a champion. He’s perfectly suited to being a guardian angel.”
“Then give him Angel.”
“Angel has his own reward.”
“The Shanshu?” Jonas scoffed. “But he signed that away.”
“Which is why it was given to him. A selfless sacrifice.”
“One that he didn’t expect to have happen. He didn’t want it, I’m telling you.”
“Yes, well, he has been a disappointment, I must say. I thought he would be happy. But, he sits here day after day, doing nothing.”
“So change it. It’s in your power to do so.”
“Make him one of us?”
Jonas barely refrained from rolling his eyes. “Either that, or release Spike. He helps no one like this.”
Spike registered the hand on his arm, but didn’t pay it any mind, figuring it was the angels come to bring him home. Whatever home was.
“Spike? Spike? It’s me.”
Angel nearly wept at the anguish on Spike’s face.
“Yes… it’s me.” Angel smiled, his first genuine smile in he didn’t know how long. “Wings are gonna take some getting used to.”
“Wings are gonna…” Spike whispered. His hand lifted, scared too much to hope. That this was a dream his mind had created. “Angel?” Then louder once his fingers encountered flesh and he watch his sire’s eyes close. “Angel!”
He launched himself at Angel. Felt strong arms go around his back and hold him close.
“Angel…” he murmured, laying his head against his sire’s chest.
“I’m here. Never gonna let you go again.”
“Promise?” Spike asked, not daring to hope.
Neither noticed Jonas nudge Sebastian in the ribs before they backed out of the doorway and pulled the door closed.