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Blood to Blood

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“Bloody hell,” Spike swore, dodging into the shade, away from the scorching light of day. The blanket he had pulled over him was smoking, and Spike couldn’t hurry into the Hyperion fast enough. Technically he didn’t need an invite, and that was just as well, as Spike knew that a minute later the hole burning through the blanket would have torn, exposing him to the harsh rays of sun.

 

As soon as he was inside however, he sagged to the floor, bracing himself against the wall as his body betrayed him, and his current state of weakness and starvation once more reared it’s head. Luckily the lobby seemed abandoned, so nobody was there to witness his current state.

 

Bloody hell, he thought again, leaning against the wall and letting out a long, unneeded sigh. He was just glad not to be a pile of dust. Closing his eyes, Spike grimaced at the situation he found himself in. Fucking Initiative. Bloody soldier boys, playing at being the slayer. Then again, even the slayer wouldn’t have done to him what they did. Couldn’t bite, couldn’t eat. Couldn’t even bloody fight! He was, dare he admit it, helpless. And he was damn hungry.

 

“Argh!” he yelled in frustration, banging a weak fist against the wall, barely denting it and hurting his hand. “Bugger,” he breathed, looking up in alarm as he heard footsteps approaching at the noise. Angel. Well, that or one of his humans, was getting nearer. And by the scent of things, it was human. His stomach let out a cry of protest.

 

Biting his lip in frustration, Spike used his arm to help propel him into a half-standing half-leaning position, bracing himself for the upcoming confrontation. He didn’t fancy being here, but it was the first place his mind went, when he finally escaped. Blood called to blood, after all. And even if Angel was all soulful now, he was still his Sire. He had to help, right?

 

“Um, hello. Oh my god, can I help you?” a mousy-haired girl with a Texan accent asked him, sounding concerned as she entered the room and saw him. Well, that definitely hadn’t been what he expected. And did he really look that bad? According to the girl's expression, he must have looked worse.

 

Spike stared at her, fascinated as she came closer. His mind was in a daze as he could hear her heartbeat, even now. Thuh-thump, thuh-thump, thuh-thump. Spike’s mouth watered as he eyed her neck, too starved to notice anything else as she slowly began backing away. “Wesley?!” The girl shouted out, a tremor of fear in her voice. Yeah, that's right, fear him. He was a vampire, she should be afraid.

 

Growling and forgetting everything, Spike changed into demon face and lunged, just as the Watcher rushed in with a cross in his hand. It was unneeded of course, for as soon as Spike tried to attack, he was grabbing at his head and howling.

 

“What the hell is going on in here?!” the unmistakable voice of his Sire yelled, sounding so much like Angelus in a rage that it nearly made Spike flinch. “Spike?” Angel breathed in surprise, as soon as he saw his wayward Childe.

 

“‘Lo,” he replied, receiving a frown from Angel. Spike didn’t know what he had expected when he came here, but the look of pure anger that Angelus was shooting his way made him think twice. Why had he thought this would be a good idea?

 

“What the hell are you doing here, Spike?” Angel hissed out, looking him over with contempt.

 

Inside his mind however, Angel was frowning. Spike looked like hell, and it made his demon uneasy. He didn’t look good, in fact he looked like nothing but skin, bones, and leather. He’d even allowed his roots to show, and even though the last time Angel saw Spike he’d been sticking hot pokers in his side - Angel still found himself concerned.

 

“He - he tried to attack me,” the girl, Fred, replied quietly in response to Angel’s question.

 

Well fuck, that definitely made Angelus mad. Bounding over to Spike, Angel grabbed him by his coat's collar, heaving him off the ground in a threatening position.

 

“I’ll say it again, Spike, what are you doing here?” Angel hissed, absentmindedly wondering why his childe wasn’t fighting back. Just like he wondered why he looked like he’d been starved for several months.

 

“No reason, in particular. Kinda just felt like pissin’ you off,” Spike slurred, pretending to be unfazed by the strong grip near his throat.

 

Angel wasn’t buying it however, and glared at Spike in suspicion. Why was Spike here? And if what Fred said about Spike attacking her was true, then why wasn’t she dead? A measly cross would have never stopped Spike before. Narrowing his eyes, Angel let go of his grip, letting Spike fall to the floor. When he tried to get up, stumbling to stand and nearly falling over again, Angel knew something was wrong.

 

“Why are you here, Spike? I’m not going to repeat myself again,” Angel whispered, folding his arms over his chest.

 

Gritting his teeth, Spike contemplated another quip, but a sudden bout of lightheadedness stopped him. The recent exertion had drained him, and Spike didn’t know how much longer he could keep this up.

 

“I need your help,” Spike confessed, hating himself for even uttering those words. Once again Spike cursed the Initiative for even putting him in this situation.

 

Eyes widening in surprise, Angel realized Spike must be in serious trouble, if he was coming to him. It wasn’t like the boy, admitting weakness. Angelus had beaten that out of him long ago.

 

“Why come to me?” Angel wondered softly, truly curious as to his answer.  

 

Spike glared however, still huddled on the floor, as his eyes wandered over to the still present Wesley and Fred. “This isn’t a free show, ya know,” Spike gritted out, annoyed at their blatant staring.

 

Sighing, Angel turned to them, knowing that Spike wouldn’t say anything else with them around. “Guys, could you maybe, you know?” Angel prodded, willing them to leave them be.

 

“Angel, are you sure you want us to go? It’s Spike -” Wesley began, but was interrupted,

 

“I can handle him. But I can’t deal with him with you guys hovering,” Angel pointed out, “Sorry. I’ll be fine, it’s okay,” he added, urging them to go.

 

Wesley eventually took Fred by the arm, sparing one last glance their way before heading out. Once they were gone, Angel turned back to spike.

 

“What’s wrong?” Angel asked, watching as Spike pulled himself up onto a nearby couch, hand inside his coat, probably clutching his stomach. His boy was clearly in pain, even if he was too proud to admit it, or try to show it.

 

“Nothing, you poof. I’m fine,” Spike growled out, annoyed and just wanting to rest.

 

“Look, I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s wrong,” Angel pointed out, already exasperated by Spike’s presence.

 

“Why’d you wanna help, anyway?” Spike murmured, so softly that if Angel wasn’t a vampire, his ears might have not picked it up.

 

It was a good question, too. Why did he find himself willing to help Spike? It wasn’t like he had any true obligation to him. He was Dru’s childe technically, even if Angelus had always played the role of Sire. There was no true Sire-bond between them, and by all rights Angel should just be throwing him out on the street after what Spike had done.

 

But he couldn’t. Even after everything, after all they had been through, Angel still found himself caring for Spike. He had always been his favorite, after all.

 

Also, he felt guilty. Guilty of his past sins, and what he had turned Will into. Spike was his responsibility. And Angel would be damned if he didn’t at least try to help.

 

“Get up, boy,” Angel sighed, watching as Spike eyed him warily. “Let me have a look at you,” Angel added. He needed to know the extent of his injuries, especially since Spike would never outright tell him.

 

Giving Angel another distrustful look, Spike finally relented and pulled himself up into a sitting position. As he tried to stand up however, Spike was hit with a wave of nausea, and crumpled to the ground in an unconscious heap.

 

Frowning, Angel rushed over to him, checking him over. Up close Spike looked even worse, face gaunt and pale. There were thin translucent scars marring his face and neck, and as Angel pulled aside his jacket he could see Spike’s ribs through his shirt. Eyes widening in horror, Angel lifted the black garment to reveal the bruised and battered flesh underneath. “My god, what happened to you, Will?” Angel breathed.

Chapter Text

Angel laid him out on the bed, after having taken off Spike’s jacket, shirt, and pants - leaving the other vampire bare. It didn’t mean anything sexual, even if seeing Spike like this again reared up a dark desire within him. Shaking his head, Angel berated himself. He just needed to check Spike’s wounds.

 

And there were many of them. Angel found the demon inside him growling at the extent of damage done to Spike’s body, at what had been done to his boy.

 

Spike’s entire chest was painted with bruises, one piled on top of the other in a gruesome canvas of blue, yellow, and green. Angel could make out several broken ribs, and there were also lacerations on Spike’s thighs. Turning him on his side, Angel found himself even more enraged when he saw what was clearly whip marks.

 

His childe had been beaten to a pulp, tortured and torn into until there was nothing but scars marking his entire body. Spike was a ghost of his former self, weakened and starved until he had decided to come to him for help. What could have done this to him? Who could have done this?! Angel growled, slipping into demon face unconsciously as he continued to stare at his childe’s body. Soul or not, Angel found himself wanting to find the culprits who did this. Angel would make them pay, and he could feel Angelus inside him agreeing venomously. Nobody touched his childer but him.

 

Closing his eyes, Angel felt a wave of guilt hit him, seeing his boy like this. It wasn’t anything new, although it had never been this severe - but knowing that he had seen his boy like this before, inflicted this kind of pain on Will before - it tore at him.

 

Angel had never thought much of it before, when he was Angelus. Beating his childe was a regular occurrence, as it was usually the most effective way to keep William in line. He had been a troublesome fledgling, and only a good beating, or in some cases a good fucking, could keep him in line.

 

It was 1882, and Angelus, Darla, William and Drusilla were establishing their ground in Wales.

 

“You two wait here,” Angelus ordered, stepping out of the carriage and helping Darla down.

 

Huffing, Will rested his head against the carriage window, hand entwined with Drusilla’s as she stared at Angelus longingly as he left, heading towards the large unoccupied mansion.

 

It had been only a few years since Will had been turned, and during those few years he hadn’t grown any more patient.

 

“Why’d we have to move, anyway? There was nothing wrong with England,” Will muttered, stepping out of the carriage as Angelus called after them, and helping Dru down. As they neared the large home, Will watched as Darla snapped the neck of a servant, handing the next one to Angelus.

 

“This is Will, invite Will in,” Angelus ordered the serving girl, and she did so with a trembling voice.

 

Stepping into the household, Angelus handed the girl off to him, instructing Will to have the girl invite the minions in, then dispose of her and meet them inside. After twenty minutes of minions coming in and out with their bags, Will snapped the poor girl's neck and headed inside.

 

It was a lovely and lavish place, and Darla had explained that the owners were gone for the summer, leaving it empty and for the taking. After the minions put all their things away, the four vampires began to settle in.

 

“Come here, boy,” Angelus growled, standing by the fire and looking angry.

 

Will shuffled his feet, feeling anxious as he obeyed Angelus’ order, and came closer.

 

“I told you, once we settled in again, you’d get a thrashing!” Angelus hissed, cuffing him on the ear. “We had a perfectly good territory set up in England, and you had to go and ruin it!” Angelus yelled, pulling Will up by his neck and throwing him across the room, as Darla watched on in amusement.

 

“Darling, I don’t want blood on our new carpets,” Darla muttered, standing up from where she had been lounging and staring at William dispassionately. “Take him to the cellar,” she ordered, then went back over to her chair and sat down, picking up her discarded book.

 

Obeying his sire, Angelus barked at Will to get up, then dragged him downstairs.

 

Bloody hell, he didn’t think Angelus would be this mad! He was always complaining that he wanted to get out of England, Will thought he’d be glad they had to move! But no, as always he was to blame for everything!

 

“Take off your shirt,” Angelus instructed him, rolling up his own sleeves as he shut the cellar door. The cellar was rather bare, with nothing but cobwebs and the occasional crate and spider occupying it. Therefore it gave Angelus plenty of room to give Will a proper beating.

 

Standing still as he was required, Will grit his teeth as Angelus took off his belt, glaring at the floor. He hadn’t even done anything wrong. So what if he had killed that couple, they were vampires! And how was he supposed to have known the man was the constable's son?!

 

As the sound of the belt whooshing came down, Will braced his shoulders to take the brunt of the blow. Leather stung as it hit his back, instantly cutting through his flesh and making a red welt.

 

“Did you honestly think you were being smart, boy? Disposing of their bodies in the woods like that?!” Angelus questioned, bringing down the belt again. “If you had been paying any attention to the local’s comings and goings, you would have known Prewett’s son took a route through the woods to work every day!” Angelus chastised, letting his arm come down a sixth time.

 

By the fiftieth stroke, Will found himself losing balance, his stance parting as he refrained from letting out a whimper. He didn’t know why he had to be punished like this, they got away, didn’t they? Will decided to voice his thoughts.

 

Suddenly the belt was tossed away, and Will found himself spun around by firm hands. Keeping his gaze towards the ground, Angelus’ hands took ahold of Will’s jaw, bringing his eyes up to meet his own.

 

“You’re such a fool, Will,” Angelus breathed, shaking his head in disappointment. Will bristled at that, glaring at Angelus defiantly.

 

“Am not,” he grunted.

 

“No, you are,” Angelus insisted, surprisingly not cuffing him for his remark. “Do you have any idea what would have happened, if we didn’t move?” Angelus asked, eyes peering at Will expectantly.

 

Will pursed his lips, racking his brain for the appropriate response. He didn’t quite feel like being lashed again now that Angelus had stopped, no matter how much he thought he didn’t deserve this. Eventually however, Will huffed, not finding a good reason for Angelus’  ire.

 

“I don’t know!” he yelled, hands clenching at his sides. “We’d have fought ‘em off,” Will insisted, frowning as Angelus did cuff him.

 

“Idiot boy, we’d have had the whole town after us!” Angelus replied. “You left a witness, they knew where we lived!” He hissed.

 

Will looked down at that, realizing his mistake but not wanting to admit it. His back stung, and he just wanted this to be over with. They were safe now, Will didn’t understand why Angelus was still so angry.

 

Sighing, Angelus let go of Will, stepping back and picking up his belt. “You need to learn when to walk away, Will,” Angelus breathed, putting his belt back through his pant loops. “I thought I taught you better than that, ” Angelus stated, walking up the stairs towards the door.

 

And somehow, hearing the disappointment in his Sire’s voice, Will felt even worse than if he had been beaten for another hour.

 

“Clean yourself up, then come to bed. Don’t wake Darla.” Angelus ordered, then went upstairs.

 

Opening his eyes, Angel winced at the memory. He’d been cruel then, even when he had cared more deeply than ever before. He’d been harsh and unyielding, punishing Will for things he didn’t understand or didn’t know. He’d been a horrible Sire. And yet still, Will had cared for him in turn.

 

No wonder Spike hated him.

 

Eyes downcast, Angel got a move on. There was no use dwelling on the past right now, when his childe needed him now in the present.

 

Going over to the bathroom, Angel put together a few wet cloths, and several bandages, before just deciding to grab the entire first aid kit and heading back to the room.

 

Spike was still lying there, out cold from exhaustion. Angel didn’t know why, but for some reason he half expected Spike to be gone, having left in the minute he’d been away.

 

Shaking his head, Angel sat down by the bed, and began dabbing away at Spike’s wounds. Soon the rags were soaked with grime and blood, and Angel realized Spike would probably need something to eat soon, if he was to heal.

 

That brought up another question though - why hadn’t Spike fed? Surely in the time after his escape from whoever did this to him, he could have found somebody to feed on? Not that Angel would allow that now, but it was concerning.

 

After dressing several of Spike’s more pressing wounds, Angel stood up and pressed the intercom button in his room.

 

“Wesley, can you get somebody to bring me some blood?” Angel asked, waiting for Wesley to get to the other com and reply.

 

“Of course, Angel. I’m assuming this is for Spike?” Wesley replied, seeming curious if not also a bit wary.

 

“Yeah,” Angel nodded, before realizing Wesley couldn’t see him. He never had really gotten the hang of the intercom system. “Also, um,” Angel began, not knowing how to phrase his next request.

 

“I’m guessing you want human blood?” Wesley replied, surprising Angel. Then again, Wesley had been a Watcher, so it shouldn’t have been so surprising that he knew what Spike needed.

 

“Yeah, if it isn’t much trouble.” Angel asked, feeling sheepish.

 

“Not at all. I’ll grab a few packets from the blood bank at the hospital. A nurse there owes me a favor,” Wesley replied, then let the intercom go silent.

 

Angel let out a silent sigh of relief. He was glad Wesley wasn’t putting up an argument against Spike, even though his voice did sound disapproving. Even if the others didn’t like it, he wasn’t getting rid of Spike. His childe needed him.


Spike didn’t wake up for three more days.

Chapter Text

Spike awoke with a grunt, feeling like hell as his eyes took in his surroundings blearily. The room was surprisingly empty, with no glimpse of Angel in sight. Spike frowned at that, feeling strange for some reason. It wasn't like he needed the bloody poof to babysit him.

 

Huffing, Spike attempted to sit up, before being softly pushed back by lightning quick hands. Suddenly, there he was, the Dark Avenger - standing over him with a mug of blood that read #1 Boss. Poofter.

 

“Spike, you're awake.” Angel breathed, feeling relieved at seeing Spike aware. The past few days had been stressful, and Angel had found himself impatient waiting for Spike to wake up. The blood bags has been fed to him via an IV, and nearly all of Spike’s external wounds had been healed. There were still several nasty scars that would need more time to heal, but right now Spike looked considerably better than when he had first arrived.

 

“Try not to move, you’re still not completely healed.” Angel informed him.

 

And he was right, Spike realized, after trying to move anyways. Groaning, his head hit the pillow, eyes scrunching together in pain. “Fuck.” Spike breathed. It felt like he’d been hit by a train.

 

After several minutes, Spike finally cracked open his eyes again. Angel was still there. He was sitting in a nearby chair, frowning deeply and looking straight at Spike, eyes glazed over as if he was somewhere else.

 

It made Spike uneasy, seeing Angel like that. He looked so dead, so defeated. Why? Did he get into a fight with the Fang Gang? After all, Spike doubted any of them were happy he was there.

 

“Well, I’ll be off now…” Spike decided uncertainly, fighting against the pain as he attempted to get up again. His clothes were by the foot of the bed, folded into a neat pile with his jacket sitting on top. Both garments seemed to have been washed, free of any blood and grime that was on them earlier.

 

“Wait, what? Why?” Angel asked, snapping out of his reverie.

 

“Well, Peaches, as much as I enjoy your hospitality - I’m better now.” Spike pointed out, wincing as he shrugged on his shirt. “Don’t want to stay in your hair any longer now, do I? Thought you’d be begging to get rid of me.” Spike drawled, a tone of resignation in his voice as he pointedly looked anywhere but at Angel.  

 

Right. Well, Spike was right. Right? Angel made a face, trying to sort out his thoughts. He should want Spike gone, now that he was doing better. Spike was a nuisance, and now that any immediate danger had passed, Angel could go right back to hating him.

 

It was what he should do. But he couldn’t.

 

“Wait.” Angel breathed, watching as Spike stopped by the doorway. “You don’t have to go, just yet.” Angel stated, scrambling for words that didn’t sound as cheesy as he felt at the moment. “I - I still want to know what happened to you.” Were the words that came out, sounding harsher than he meant them.

 

Spike glared at him, shrugging on his coat and putting his hand on the doorknob. “Piss off.” Spike murmured, then headed out.

 

Laying his face in his hands, Angel groaned. Why had he said that? Of course Spike wouldn’t want to share what had happened to him, his childe was too proud for his own good. Still, Angel was curious. And angry. Whoever did that to his boy would pay. And he’d help Spike whether he liked it or not.

 




Angel spent the next few days looking for leads. He had called Sunnydale and had a long talk with Giles, who insisted on letting them have Spike, while Angel adamantly refused. Things got rather heated from there, Giles threatening Angel that he’d tell Buffy where Spike was, and Angel making threats of his own. They eventually hung up, somehow coming to an agreement to not speak a word to anyone. Angel did manage to pry several pieces of information from Giles, however. Pieces of information that were quite useful.

 

Spike had been taken by a group called The Initiative.

 

And that was all Angel really knew. A name. But he’d be damned if he didn’t find out more soon. Nobody, nobody hurt a member of his family. When he had gotten so sentimental, he didn’t know.

 

Angel guessed he missed it, something he would never say out loud. He missed having his childe around. Will around. Much had changed, and nothing would ever be the same - but having Spike around him had a sort of calming effect. When he’d been unconscious at least. As soon as Spike’s mouth opened again, Angel felt a headache coming on. And yet still, after everything, Angel craved his presence again. Maybe he was going mad?

 

Or maybe he just missed having another vampire around. One that he knew, in all ways possible. Someone who understood the demon that still lived within him. Because, no matter how much good Angel did, he was still a demon. Soul or not, there was still a darkness inside him. Only now, it was harder to refrain from giving into it. He still craved, even yearned for certain things. The hunt, the kill. The taste of human blood. Only, now that he had a soul, Angel also had a conscience. A moral compass that reminded him such things were wrong and he was a horrible, evil, disgusting being for even thinking about them.

 

But Spike would understand. Spike knew him, almost as well as Angel knew Spike. They were family, and no matter how many centuries passed, or how many grievances came between them - they were blood.

 

This is something that the others would never understand. Wesley maybe had an inkling - but Fred, Gunn, Cordy? They didn’t get it. When they saw Spike, all they saw was an evil vampire. A demon that should be staked. But Angel, he saw William. A young poet with a heart full of love, taken cruelly from his mortal life, and twisted into a monster. And it had been his fault. No matter if Dru had been the one to turn him, Angelus had let him live. He should have staked him the moment he had the chance, but instead he had done something far worse….

 

“And I wonder... what possible catastrophe came crashing down from heaven and brought this dashing stranger to tears?” A woman's voice crooned, making William look up from his discarded papers.

 

“Nothing. I wish to be alone.” He muttered, disheartened from recent events.

 

“Oh, I see you. A man surrounded by fools who cannot see his strength, his vision, his glory.” She breathed, coming closer. “That and burning baby fish swimming all around your head.” She sang, making a strange motion towards her abdomen.

 

“That's quite close enough. I've heard tales of London pickpockets. You'll not be getting my purse, I tell you.” William cried, backing away.

 

“Don't need a purse.” She laughed, pointing to his heart, then his head in succession. “Your wealth lies here... and here. In the spirit and... imagination. You walk in worlds the others can't begin to imagine.” She breathed.

 

“Oh, yes! I mean, no. I mean... mother's expecting me.” William uttered, faltering at her closeness. They was something about her, something…

 

“I see what you want. Something glowing and glistening. Something... effulgent.” She continued, smiling up at him at his surprised reaction.

 

“Effulgent.” He breathed, amazed. How could she have known? This dark beauty, someone who understood.

 

As her fangs descended, William knew bliss, not knowing what was happening until it was too late, and he succumbed to darkness.

 

“What have you done now, Dru?” A strong Irish voice asked, it’s owner stepping out from the shadows.

 

“Daddy! Look, what I made!” Drusilla crowed, smiling as she wiped blood from her neck and mouth.

 

“Honestly Angelus, you lose track of her for one minute, as she’s turning a street urchin. I thought I taught you better!” Darla chastised, coming to stand by him and looking down at Will in disgust. “Just stake him and be done with it.” She ordered, turning away back towards the streets.

 

Angelus paused however, gazing down at the boy on the ground. He was beautiful, with strong prominent cheekbones, and a lean figure. Angelus found himself bending down, tracing the boys features with his finger. By all means, he should obey Darla. Not only was she his Sire, but any childe sired by Dru had to be insane. And yet….

 

“Can we keep him, Daddy?” Drusilla whispered next to him, looking worried at Angelus’ hovering.

 

Mulling it over, Angelus came to a decision. “We can keep him.” He replied, listening as Dru squealed in delight, his own eyes still transfixed on the boy. He was curious, after all. Such a fine specimen. And, if the boy did turn out to be insane, or dead weight - he could always stake him later.

 

Angel should have staked him then and there. It would have been a mercy, considering what had come after.

Chapter Text

1880 - England

 

“What the hell were you thinking, Angelus?!” A shrill voice cried, penetrating the room. They were back in their current residence, and Darla had just found the unconscious man upstairs. “No, don't reply - the fact is you weren't thinking!” Darla growled, bounding downstairs and storming over to a table. She then poured herself a cup of wine, before downing it. Arms suddenly wrapped around her torso, holding her tight as she brewed in her anger.

 

“Come on, Darla, give him a chance.” Angelus pleaded, nibbling on her ear as he tried to be endearing.

 

“No.” Darla disagreed, pulling away. “I will not have yet another blundering fledgling in this home, Angelus. Drusilla is in no state to raise a childe!” Darla hissed, spinning around to give her own childe a warning look.

 

Angelus frowned, sighing at her continued reaction. He didn't think Darla would get this angry.

 

Darla pursed her lips at his forlorn look, growing more irritated by the second. Especially when a mischievous twinkle entered Angelus’ eyes, as his wandering hands lifted her skirts, moving up her thighs.

 

“Angelus.” Darla growled, quickly finding her back pressed against the wall, as her childe crouched down, head disappearing under her skirts.

 

Angelus. ” She moaned, head tilting backwards as he used his tongue so well. Darla’s hands came down, fumbling with her hems as she grabbed a handful of his hair, gasping at his ministrations.

 

When Angelus finished, darting back out with a grin on his face, Darla relented. “Fine.” She chuckled, amused at the lengths to which her childe would go to get his way. “You can keep him.” She conceded. “But he's your responsibility.” She added, straightening her garment as Angelus stood up. “And if he proves more trouble than he's worth, I will not hesitate to stake him.” She finished.

 

Angelus nodded, understanding, and Darla hummed, retreating to her room with a book.

 

Watching his sire leave, Angelus grinned, eager to get back to the fledgling above. He would agree to take on the responsibility, and in fact found himself in a state of anticipation in doing so. Drusilla and Darla were good and all, but Angelus became excited at the prospect of having another male to share eternity with.

 

“And you shall be my white knight, dazzling and beautiful. And Daddy will show you all the bumps in the night, and how to paint a picture so pretty and red!” Drusilla’s voice sang, as Angelus made his way upstairs.

 

Opening the door a crack, Angelus watched as Dru piled dead flowers around the boy's body, taken from one of the vases she always forgot to water. Drusilla was humming as she laid them out, looking truly happy as she gazed down at him fondly.

 

As Angelus entered the room, Drusilla looked up, a huge grin on her face. “Daddy, when will he wake up?” She asked curiously, running a hand through the boy's golden locks.

 

“Soon, love.” Angelus replied, gazing down at the young man in appreciation. He had to admit, Drusilla had chosen a good looking human. Now that he was closer, Angelus traced the lines of the boy’s face with his eyes, drinking in the sculptured features and chiseled cheekbones. Angelus could cut himself on that jaw.

 

“Drusilla, it's time for bed.” Angelus suddenly piped, eliciting a whine from her.

 

“But Daddy, I want to be here when Willy awakens!” Dru moaned, earning a glare from her sire.

 

Willy still won't awake for another day, at least, childe. And it is past your bedtime.” Angelus scolded. Also, he wanted to be left alone with the boy.

 

Pouting, Drusilla let out a huff of displeasure, but obeyed and left the room.

 

Now alone with his new fledgling, Angelus eyed the boy hungrily. He couldn't wait until those eyes opened, and he could see exactly the kind of man Willy was. Reaching forward, Angelus caressed the boy’s face. He then began stripping the boy of his shirt, as strong hands traced every dent and crevice in that mouth-watering body. Angelus was tempted to just take the boy now, raw, bloody, and unconscious. But instead he waited. He wanted the boy to be awake when he ripped into him, wanted to watch as he screamed and moaned and pleaded for release. Yes, Angelus would wait.

 

And wait he did, taking all important matters to this room as he watched in anticipation. And on the second night the boy woke.

 


 

William woke with a start, blue eyes flashing open as he was encased with a strong sense of fear. Sitting up, William tried not to hyperventilate as he realized he didn't recognize his surroundings. In fact, he couldn't even remember how he had gotten here.

 

“So, you're awake.” Angelus purred, eyeing the terrified fledgling with curiosity.

 

Yelping, William pressed himself against the rest of the bed, taking in the man who spoke. “Who are you?” Will asked, trying to calm his breathing. It wouldn't do to act like a frightened maid. “I demand to know where you've taken me!” He ordered, looking braver than he felt.

 

Chuckling, Angelus stood up, walking over to the bed as the boy's eyes followed him. “My name is Angelus, and you are in my home.” He explained.

 

“Why?” William asked, untrusting eyes following the man wherever he went.

 

“Manners, boy. First off, what is your name?” Angelus demanded, curious as if Dru’s assumption was correct.

 

“William.” The boy replied quickly, looking surprised at his own willingness to part with such information. It was just his name, but still, this entire situation was confusing.

 

“William.” Angelus repeated, tasting the name on his lips. Beautiful. “What’s the last thing you remember, Will?” Angelus inquired.

 

Frowning, the boy racked his brain, searching for his memories. Will’s eyes then widened, remembering the woman. Had he been robbed? William had remembered passing out, for some reason. How embarrassing. This Angelus must have found him, and brought him to safety. And now here William was treating the man as if he were the enemy.

 

“I apologize.” William muttered, feeling sheepish. “I am most grateful that you found me, and brought me to your abode.” He confessed. “However, it’s late, and Mother must be worried. I really should be heading out.” William admitted, standing up and frowning as he realized he wasn’t wearing a shirt.

 

“He still wants his mother?” A woman’s voice pouted, coming into the room.

 

“Hush, Dru. He’s obviously still confused.” Angelus placated, wrapping an arm around her waist.

 

“You.” William breathed, eyes widening in confusion and lust. “But, if you’re here, then…” William spluttered, eyes darting between the woman and Angelus. “What is going on, here?!” He shouted, feeling thoroughly lost. “Did Brighton put you up to this?” William asked, getting angry. “Tell you to give me a scare, did he not? Well, I’ll tell you, I won’t be made a fool of!” He hissed, backing away towards the door.

 

“Leaving so soon?” Angelus asked, an amused lilt to his voice.

 

“He doesn’t have a shirt on, Daddy. He’ll catch a cold.” Drusilla muttered, burrowing into Angelus’ side.

 

“Don’t be silly, Dru, our kind don't catch colds.” Angelus reminded, stopping the boy from leaving with a firm hand.

 

“Let me go!” William shouted, trying to pull away as Angelus’ hand tightened it’s grip on his shoulder.

 

“Stop struggling, boy!” Angelus snapped, growing angry at the boys antics. Finally fed up, Angelus growled and shoved William back on the bed, using his supernatural strength and shifting into demon face as he did so.

 

Gasping, William stared up at him with startled eyes. “What are you?” He breathed.

 

“You mean, what are we. ” Angelus corrected, hoping to get somewhere now. The boy had transformed into demon face as well in his anger at being shoved, but apparently didn’t realize it yet.

 

“I don’t know what you mean, demon. But I, I demand an explanation!” William croaked, his senses apparently having left him. What had he gotten himself into?!

 

“And I’m trying to give one, Will, but you are proving most difficult.” Angelus drawled, rolling his eyes. Staking him was becoming more and more enticing.

 

“Silly boy, doesn’t realize how pretty his face is now. All bumps and lumps and rumblings in the tummy.” Drusilla crooned, looking down at him in amusement.

 

“Look, madam, I don’t quite understand what you mean. But please, I urge you to still get out while you can.” William breathed, suddenly worried for the beautiful maiden. Despite her strangeness, he felt a pull to her, a need to protect. He didn’t want the demon getting to her too.

 

Drusilla giggled however, walking over to William’s side and taking his hand. Entranced, William let her guide his hand to his face, his expression twisting into shock at what he felt there.

 

What was this? It didn’t make sense. William’s hands trailed against his forehead, feeling the ridges as he continued to explore. Gold eyes looked up at Angelus then, drinking in his own demonic features. Curious, William poked inside his mouth, feeling two identical fangs to the ones in Angelus’ maw.

 

“What, what did you do to me?” William breathed, looking up at the man in horror. He was one of them!

 

“I gave you new life, William. I’ve made you into a vampire.” Angelus explained, withholding the information that it had actually been Dru that turned him. If the boy couldn’t remember, it wasn’t his fault. And if William thought that Angelus was his sire, it would be easier to control him.  

 

Angelus watched as William’s face contorted into disbelief, then horror, and then finally curiosity. William had subconsciously shifted back into his human face, whose lips were parted in a grin.

 

“Well, this is fabulous!” William breathed, standing up once more. Now that the shock and confusion had melted away, Will did notice how much different he felt. He felt stronger, more alive. And he could see without his glasses. “But, how is this even possible? I mean, vampires?” William asked, looking at Angelus with new eyes.

 

“Yes, vampires, William. It’s what we are. And I am your Sire.” Angelus explained, noting how Drusilla giggled but remained silent. “This is Drusilla, she is your sister. It will be your job to take care of her.” Angelus continued, having come to a decision while he’d been waiting for Will to wake up.

 

“Um, alright?” William replied, still sounding uncertain. “But, vampires!” He breathed. “I want to know everything, I - oh dear.” William winced, suddenly noticing the growing pain in his stomach. Wait, did that mean? No, it couldn’t. That was disgusting!

 

“All in due time, childe.” Angelus stated, feeling exasperated at William’s hyperactiveness. Angelus could already tell this childe was going to be a handful. “How to hunt, to feed. To quell that thirst you are feeling right now.” Angelus murmured, watching as the boy listened with rapt attention. “And you will obey me, boy. I am your maker, and therefore deserve your respect. In turn, I will teach you everything there is to know.” Angelus promised.

 

And so began William’s new life.

Chapter Text

Spike was back two days later. Angel found out when, after his morning shower, he came downstairs to find Spike heating up a mug of blood in the microwave. His mug of blood.

 

“Spike, you’re back.” Angel pointed out, drying his hair with a towel, and setting it on a chair.

 

“Yeh.” Spike grunted in reply, ignoring him as he drank from the mug greedily.

 

“Okay, well, why?” Angel asked, frowning as Spike continued to ignore him.

 

Eventually however, after Spike seemed to finish his drink, he turned to Angel with a scowl. “Well, are you gonna kick me out again?” Spike shot out.

 

“I didn’t - I mean I - no.” Angel faltered, surprised at Spike’s hostility. “And I said you could stay, Spike.” Angel added, not letting his childe twist the events.

 

“Whatever.” Spike replied, setting the mug in the sink, and heading to sit down on a couch in the lobby. Picking up the remote, Spike turned on the TV and began flicking through channels.

 

Shaking his head incredulously, Angel walked over to the couch, standing in front of Spike. “Seriously, why are you here? You were rather adamant on leaving two days ago.” Angel wondered, frowning as Spike waved him out of the way.

 

“Passions is on.” Spike said in way of explanation, growling when Angel blocked the TV. “Timmy’s finally out of the well, and I’m not missing the drama that’s going on next.” Spike continued, eyes glued to the screen as the aforementioned show came on.

 

Sighing, Angel realized that he’d never get Spike’s true motives from him, and headed back upstairs to get changed.

 

When Angel came back downstairs again, he was surprised to hear the sound of laughter coming from the break room. Peeking his head inside the door, Angel’s eyes widened as he saw Spike and Fred sitting in front of the TV, apparently discussing what had just happened.

 

“But no, see, I don’t think that Chad even realizes Simone has feeling for him.” Fred explained, smiling at whatever Spike said in return.

 

“It’s bollocks.” He continued. “He obviously knows, and is playing them both. Bloody smart he is. But I still think he should choose Whitney.” Spike confessed.

 

“Well, I see that you two are getting along…” Angel trailed off uncertainly, still a bit weirded out at seeing Spike being so civil with a human.

 

“Oh, Angel, I didn’t realize you were there!” Fred squeaked in surprise, turning around to smile at him. “And yeah, Spike was just explaining to me what was going on.” She explained.

 

“It’s a good show, pet, you should watch the first season.” Spike lamented.

 

Shaking his head in disbelief, Angel went to the kitchen to grab breakfast. He felt a headache coming on, and Spike wasn’t telling him the truth. Not that Angel expected him to, of course. But still, Angel wondered why Spike came back.

 

Several hours later Angel was fed with a book in his hand, helping Wesley research a new demon threat. The office was quiet as they both read, but there was an unspoken air of awkwardness filling the room.

 

“Angel -” Wesley began, only to be interrupted.

 

“Wesley, look, I get that you aren’t that happy that Spike’s here, but - “ Angel started.

 

“But what? Angel, Spike is a soulless vampire. Having him here puts the whole team in danger.” Wesley protested, finally saying what had been on everybody’s mind since Spike arrived. “I don’t understand how you can allow this. We should call Buffy, and hand him over to her.” Wesley decided.

 

“No.” Angel replied, voice firm. “He’s my childe, Wesley. He, he hasn’t hurt anybody.” Angel tried to explain, tried to get Wesley to understand.

 

“He tried attacking Fred the first day.” Wesley rebutted, raising an eyebrow.

 

“Well, yeah. But he was hurt. And she didn’t get hurt.” Angel pointed out. “And anyways, they seem to be getting along now, aren’t they?” Angel asked, voice weak as he tried to defend his childe being there.

 

Sighing, Wesley rubbed at the bridge of his nose, setting his book down. “Why are you allowing this to continue, Angel? Spike has healed, he has no reason to be here.” Wesley stated.

 

Angel didn’t know how to respond to that however, as he couldn’t exactly tell Wes his reasons for wanting Spike to stay. He couldn’t tell him what he truly felt, that in fact he was conflicted about the whole thing. That a part of him wanted to kick Spike out on his bleached ass, and yet another part of him wanted desperately to fuck that ass. He couldn’t tell Wes that he wanted to have Spike around, because Angel still wasn’t sure if that was true. Spike was his childe, his,  and he’d been away from him too long - but at the same time, he was a danger to them all.

 

“I’ll keep him in line.” Angel promised, settling on that much. “And we’re not calling Buffy. I already called Giles earlier, when he first arrived.” Angel explained.

 

Wesley frowned, not liking the situation but not saying anything else. If Angel said he could control his grandchilde, then he’d believe him. But he’d be keeping a personal eye on William the Bloody, and if the vampire caused any trouble he’d have no problem staking him himself.

 

Back in the lobby, Spike had finished watching all of his programs, and Fred had gone to her room to do...whatever she did around here. Spike found that he enjoyed the presence of the girl, and had already apologized for trying to attack her before. She had told him it was fine, and that it wasn’t the first time something like that had happened. Spike didn’t fully believe that she forgave him for the incident, but was glad that she wasn’t at least trying to do him in. She was a good girl, and Spike was glad he got to talk to her.

 

Wandering around the place, Spike found his thoughts drifting to Angel. Why he’d returned, he truly didn’t know. He could have easily fended for himself now, even if he couldn’t technically feed from the real thing. He knew of several butcher shops that would have catered to him, and he could have found himself a place to stay. He was a Master vampire, he didn’t need his sire anymore. And yet, here he was.

 

Spike tried to tell himself it didn’t mean anything, that it was simply nicer here than some random crypt. That he didn’t want to go back to Sunnyhell, and after all, annoying Angel was a great hobby. He tried to tell himself this, and he even almost believed it. Except, whenever he spotted his sire, his chest ached - and Spike hated himself for that.

 

He hated feeling so bloody helpless, so lost and confused. Why was Angel even tolerating him? Sure, he had been hurt before, but he was better now - physically at least. Why did Angel not kick him out? He’d be within his rights if he did, and Spike couldn’t exactly blame him. Last time Spike saw Angel, he’d been bloody torturing the guy for the location of the Gem of Amara. But now, now it was like that had never happened. It wasn’t exactly like he and Angel talked, after all. He was just there, and Angel permitted it. Angel practically decided to ignore his presence altogether, even if he claimed he didn’t mind being there. Wanker.

 

Spike hated him. He hated feeling this way, he hated being ignored. He’d been ignored for the past decade or so, with no sign of his sire in sight. Angel had abandoned him, and Spike resented him for it. So why did he still feel the need to be close to him? Why couldn’t he just go away? He didn’t need his sire anymore. He didn’t.

Chapter Text

It had been a week, and Spike and Angel had avoided each other like the plague. Unbeknownst to Spike, Angel had still been looking into who had hurt his boy. It had taken the better part of a week, but he had finally gotten somewhere. At first, it hadn’t been that hard, figuring out what The Initiative was. Soldier boys, who had decided from higher ups that they were now in the business of killing demons. Only thing was, they didn’t just kill them. Angel had found out they also experimented on them, and it boiled his blood thinking of the things that had been done to his childe.

 

Angel had taken action, and had looked into where he could find them. Sunnydale, of course, had been the place they had established their base. That was problematic. It made sense, positioning themselves so close to the Hellmouth - but Buffy was also there. And, after some more investigating, Angel found out that Buffy was dating one of the soldiers.

 

Angel didn’t know how he felt about that, as despite their differences, Angel still cared about Buffy in his own way. He didn’t want to see her hurt, and it made him wary about her choices in partners. Did she even know what this Riley had been up to? If she did, well, Angel wouldn’t let her live it down. Despite everything that had happened between them, Angel would always choose his family over others. But for now, he would give her the benefit of the doubt.

 

But this still left the problem of actually being able to do something about it. With Buffy in Sunnydale, and dating one of the soldiers, Angel couldn’t exactly waltz in there and exact his revenge. Also, he didn’t know who was to blame. The Initiative was a group, with several dozens of soldiers within their ranks, along with the bosses. Angel couldn’t just kill them all, he wanted to know who exactly was responsible for the state he had found his childe in. After that, well… he didn’t know. His soul was telling him to let it go, that whoever did this would receive their dues later in life - karma. But his demon demanded retribution, revenge for the harm that was done to his boy. An eye for an eye. After all, whoever tortured his boy clearly took pleasure in it, and someone like that wasn’t exactly good, by Angelus’ standards and Angel’s. They deserved to die.

 

“Angel I’m ba-ack!” A voice sang, and Angel looked up from where he was brooding to see Cordelia Chase enter the hotel, several shopping bags in hand.

 

“I just want to say, thank you soo much!” Cordy smiled, bounding over to him and hugging him tight, shopping bags hitting the ground. “I needed that vacation. Badly.” She groaned, laughing at his surprised expression.

 

“Cordy, you’re back.” Angel mimicked, dumbstruck by her presence.

 

“Well, yeah, I only have two weeks saved up in vacation days, Angel. And it’s been two weeks.” She pointed out, pulling back and looking at him strangely. “Are you okay? I gotta say, I’m kinda disappointed - kinda expected a welcome back party or something.” She confessed, looking around the empty hotel lobby.

 

“Well, we’ve been kind of...preoccupied.” Angel replied, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly.

 

“With what?” Cordy asked, raising an eyebrow at the otherwise silent hotel. The silence, however, was quickly broken as Spike came sauntering into the room, heading towards the small kitchen.

 

“Spike!” Cordelia screeched, dropping her remaining bag and fumbling through her purse, reaching for a stake.

 

Spike looked up at the commotion, looking surprised to see her, then holding out his hands in a placating gesture as she rushed towards him, stake in hand.

 

“Whoa!” He yelled, dodging out of the way of her attack. “Angel!” He bellowed, eyes wide as he continued to fend off her attempts at a good dusting.

 

“Cordelia, stop it!” Angel ordered, watching as Cordy obeyed, looking between the two of them warily.

 

“What?! It’s Spike. Don’t you realize Spike’s here?!” Cordelia squeaked, eyeing the glaring vampire, but lowering the stake.

 

“Of course he knows I’m here, you idiotic bimbo. Do you really think I’d be standing here if the big poof hadn’t invited me?” Spike snapped back, dodging another lunge from Cordelia. “Or maybe , he just doesn’t care about you enough to inform you. Lemme guess, Peaches didn’t write once, huh?” Spike taunted, laughing at Cordelia’s ire.

 

Spike.”   Angel growled, warning him to back off. Spike scoffed, shaking his head with a scowl on his face, and left the room.

 

“Wanker.” He muttered as he left, stomping upstairs and slamming his door.

 

Downstairs Angel was fuming, angry at both himself and his childe for the events that just transpired. On one hand, it was Angel’s fault for forgetting that Cordy was coming back today. On another, Spike had no right to talk to her like that.

 

Explaining things to Cordelia took a while, and a lot of yelling transpired between both parties. Cordelia, of course, reminded him what Spike had done, and asked him if he was insane. Once Angel explained the situation some more, she narrowed her eyes but otherwise seemed to accept things.

 

“I swear mister, if I find out you’re Angelus again…” She trailed off, glaring at him over her sunglasses.

 

“I’m not, I swear. And it’s just temporary.” Angel promised. It was temporary, right? He didn’t even know. He didn’t want it to be, did he?

 

“Whatever. I’m going to my room.” Cordelia decided, gathering up her bags and heading upstairs.

 

Once she was gone, Angel palmed his face, frustrated at what had just happened. Glaring at the ceiling, Angel went upstairs to confront his wayward childe.

 

“What the hell was that?!” Angel demanded, barging into Spike’s room.

 

Spike growled at the intrusion, quickly jumping up from where he’d been lounging on the bed, and sending a glare Angel’s way.

 

“What the hell was that? ” Spike repeated, “What the hell were you doing?! You just stood there!” Spike roared.

 

“I knew you could handle yourself.” Angel defended, a tic in his jaw forming at Spike’s instance they he’d done nothing wrong.

 

“That’s besides the point! She could have staked me, and you just stood there!” Spike yelled, knowing he was being unreasonable, but not caring.

 

Angel closed his eyes, taking a deep breath as he tried to control his growing temper. Spike noticed this, as suddenly the blonde became wary of the other vampire, and stopped talking.

 

“Why are you here, Spike?” Angel grit out, “And I don’t want any more excuses. I’ve about had it up to here with you, boy.” Angel hissed. Spike had done nothing but watch tv, steal his food and blood, and whine and annoy him since he’d arrived. What Angel might have thought was endearing once, was now driving him towards the edge. The only thing keeping Angel from turning Spike out was the fact that he knew there was something Spike wasn’t telling him.

 

Spike meanwhile paused, his cocky demeanor falling away as he regarded his sire uncertainly. Spike could tell that Angel was at the end of his rope, and while a part of him didn’t care, he also knew when to stop and get serious. In the old days, he’d already be at the mercy of Angelus’ belt, but Angel was different territory. At least, he had thought so. Right now it looked like Angel was five minutes away from lashing him.

 

“Look, I don’t really fancy telling you all of my woes, mate -” Spike began, then stilled as Angel snarled in warning.

 

Bracing himself, Spike finally gave in, looking at the floor as he grit his teeth. “I can’t feed.” Spike muttered, barely intelligible.

 

“Speak up, boy.” Angel cautioned.

 

“I can’t feed, okay!” Spike repeated, raising his voice. “Those soldier boys, they did something to me! I can’t feed, I can’t even fucking fight! Whenever I try to harm a human, I get a bloody piercing pain in me head!” Spike divulged, feeling the fight leave him as he sagged onto the bed. “I'm not even a real fucking vampire anymore.” Spike whispered.

 

Angel however was shocked at his childe’s confession. Spike couldn't feed, or defend himself? While a part of Angel was glad that his humans were no longer in danger, a larger part of him was both shell-shocked and enraged. A vampire that couldn't feed, well, it was unheard of. Even Angel could feed on humans if he wished, but he chose not to do so. Knowing that his boy was basically defenseless against his enemies ignited a fire within him, and he felt a surge of cool resolution. The ones who did this were going to pay, and it wouldn't be pretty.

 

This anger must have shown clearly on Angel’s face, as Spike suddenly became very nervous.

 

“Look, Angel -” Spike began, unconsciously backing away as his sire stormed closer. What happened next surprised Spike however, as instead of hitting him, Angel engulfed him with two strong arms, pressing Spike’s face close to his chest.

 

“Mine.” Angel growled, having gone into demon face at Spike’s revelation.

 

Spike didn't know how to react to this, Angel’s declaration or the entire situation really. Right here, in his sire’s arms, Spike wanted nothing more than to relax into the embrace and forget everything. But he couldn't. Pulling away, Spike shook his head.

 

“No.” Spike decided, voice deadpan. “No.” He repeated, shaking his head and backing away, ignoring the look on his sire’s face at his actions. “I don’t know what you’re playing at Angel, but you don’t get to do that anymore. You don’t get to comfort me. You don’t get to pretend to care, you wanker.” Spike informed, feeling his own rage build up.

 

How dare he? How dare he act like, like he cared? After all of this time, it didn’t make sense. Spike wouldn’t believe it.  

 

“God, you’re such an ass!” Spike declared, hands clutching into fists as he ranted. “You, and your sodding soul - trying to make up for everything you’ve done, anything that makes you feel bad. Well guess what, Angel? Not everythings about you!” Spike shouted. “And I’m not yours. Not anymore.” Spike jeered.

 

“Will -” Angel began, hurt at his childe’s anger at his actions. He hadn’t been pretending, but of course Spike didn’t believe him.

 

“No!” Spike interrupted, eyes alight with fury. “You don’t get to call me that anymore!” He choked out, emotions running high. And suddenly it was all too much. Angel, Buffy, The Initiative. The torture and pain - Angelus. His sire, but not his sire. Not anymore now, was he? Spike was tired, tired of all the lying, tired of all the hurt. Why had he come here? Why had he -

 

“Childe.” Angel whispered desperately, watching the emotions play on William’s face.

 

Looking up at the title, Spike’s eyes widened. No. No, he wouldn’t be fooled. Not again.

 

“You’re not my Sire.” Spike spit out, then darted out the room, the hotel, and towards the streets of LA.

Chapter Text

Spike wandered into the LA night, leather whipping behind him as he ran. Running from Angel, from his thoughts, from his uncertainties. He just wanted to run away from it all. It was too damn confusing, and Spike couldn’t make sense of the chaotic thoughts swimming rampant through his mind.

 

Angel didn’t care. He never did. Not when when he was Angelus, and not now that he had a soul. He had left him before, why should Spike expect anything less now?

 

“Mine.”

 

What kind of game was Angel playing at? He hated him, and Spike hated Angel in turn. He was mad for even going to LA. What had he expected, anyways? That he’d come back, and everything would be better between them? That the past few decades would be forgotten, that Angel would somehow not have a soul and care about him? It was ridiculous. A child’s hope.

 

“Childe.”

 

Spike hated him, he really did. The only reason Angel had taken him in was to relieve his own guilt, Spike knew it deep down. Angel viewed Spike as one of his mistakes, and helping him get back on his feet was some sort of twisted atonement for the brooding vampire - after all, what else could it be?

 

Growling, Spike kicked over a trashcan, moving through the alleyways and heading in no clear direction. Eventually, however, he found himself at a bar. And ten minutes later, he was positively pissed.

 

“But ya see, you don’t get it.” Spike whined, cradling his sixth bottle of beer. “He was everythin ta me. I fucking worhsipped him.” Spike slurred, spilling his current woes to a drunkard next to him. Not that Spike was doing any better himself, but that was the problem with vampires and drinks - Spike had to drink a lot to even feel anything.

 

Will. ” Spike snorted, frowning as he took another sip. “He has no right, ya know? To call me that?” He pouted, tears pricking at his eyes. He quickly wiped them away, however, angry at feeling them.

 

“Damn him.” Spike cursed. “Damn him, and damn his soul and his bloody goody-two shoes mission.” He spat. Damn him to hell.

 

Spike spent the next few minutes staring at the wall.

 

“I’d have followed him, ya know? If he had asked.” He confessed, breaking the silence. “But no, decided ta have nothin to do with us, did he? Decided he was too good for his family now.” He stated bitterly. He then sighed, resting his forehead on the counter. “Things used to be different, tho. Good, even.” He admitted. God, how he wished he could just go back in time.

 




1880 - England

 

William had been eager to please. Curious and excited, he drank in Angelus’ stories greedily. Of course, they weren’t just stories, Angelus had reminded him. They were lessons, and rules, and things that every fledge should know. William, of course, agreed with everything.

 

He took to his new life with gusto, and obeyed Angelus like he had been told. He saw no reason not to, after all. Angelus was like a god - a dark god, who Will couldn’t help but adore. He had never been attracted to men before, but it was as if Angelus had William under his thrall. Will couldn’t resist him, and found he didn’t want to.

 

“What are we doing down here, Sire?” William asked curiously, addressing Angelus by the proper term. They were currently in the lower ends of town, where the more seedy folk tended to wander.

 

“We’re hunting, Will.” Angelus replied lowly, scanning the streets for their prey. “It’s time you fed, and for the next few years you are to only hunt while I am present, understood?” Angelus asked, eyes zeroing in on two streetwalkers. They weren’t that pretty, but had curvaceous features and large bosoms that likely appealed to many a man. They giggled as they spotted the two, sauntering over as they batted their lashes.

 

“Fancy a go, boys?” The blond one purred, eyeing Angelus appreciatively, as her darker haired friend grabbed a hold of Will’s arm.

 

Smiling, Angelus nodded, escorting them down the street and away from prying eyes. Will however was frowning, finding the entire situation repulsive. Both woman stank, and William wasn’t very fond of the way the blond one was eyeing his sire.

 

Glaring at Will’s somber approach, Angelus hooked his arm around the brunette’s waist as well. “Excuse my companion, he isn’t used to such beauty.” He drawled.

 

“Ah, yer to kind, aren’t ya sweets?” The blonde giggled, gasping as she was pushed against an alley wall. William watched with lustful eyes as Angelus attacked her neck, kissing and sucking with his human mouth as he made the whore moan wantonly.

 

Turning to his own prize, William found himself at a loss at what to do. When he’d been a mortal, he hadn’t been with many women, admittedly. And even though Will realized he was a vampire now, he still felt uncertain on how to proceed. However, as Angelus bit into his girl, snarling as he tore out her throat - Will grinned and lunged in turn.

 

William cupped a hand over the brunette’s mouth as he bit in, a thrill running through him as her blood rushed into his mouth. It was like nothing he had ever experienced before ; hot and heavy, with a distinct copper taste that for some reason didn’t seem revolting. It was ambrosia, and he loved it.  It gave him a rush, as she struggled against him, trying to escape. And as he gulped down mouthful after mouthful of her life blood, Will found himself growing hard.

 

Looking up from his own meal, Angelus watched with lustful eyes as his fledgling took his first victim, draining her dry with an enthusiasm matched only by him.

 

Will then paused, looking up at Angelus’ scrutiny. He smiled however, fangs gleaming as he saw the satisfaction in his sire’s eyes.

 

At Will’s cocky grin, Angelus lost it. Dropping his own victim he strode over to Will in two steps, pushing aside the dead woman and capturing those perfect lips with his own. William barely had time to complain or process what was happening, as Angelus forced his tongue inside his mouth, tasting the blood that rested there as he growled in want.

 

As his sire kissed him, bruising his lips with his own, William felt himself melting into the embrace. Gasping, William groaned as he was pushed against the wall, taking the place of the dead whore as Angelus began to ravish him.

 

“Mine.” Angelus growled, hands traveling downwards as he cupped his childe, taking his cock in his hands and stroking. Angelus was delighted at the sounds William made, driving him further as he made his childe come for him. As William let out a cry at his release, Angelus bit down, claiming the boy's neck for himself, and replacing Dru’s marks with his own.

 




The Present

 

Rubbing at his neck, Spike smiled at the ghost of the memory. It was the first time Angelus had claimed him, had wanted him. And Spike had loved every moment of it, from then and onwards. The fucking, both gentle and savage. The hunt, which he had always shared with his family. He even grew to miss the pain, as generally pleasure followed it. Angelus had twisted and molded the poet into a killer, had ripped away every shred of his innocence, and yet Spike still loved him for it.

 

He must've gone mad long ago. It was sick, the things Angelus had done to him. He had tortured him, both physically and mentally. He had never been gentle, except maybe a handful of times, instead taking pleasure in William’s pain as he tore into him and raped his body, every bloody night.

 

And still, Spike yearned for him. Yeah, a number had definitely been done on him. But it was different, for demons he supposed. They walked in the dark, embraced it willingly. It was twisted, yeah, but it hadn't felt wrong. Instead, it had felt all too right. He missed it. He missed him.

 

With that thought, Spike took another drink.

Chapter Text

“Hey, sweetcakes, you know this isn’t a hotel, right?” A voice asked, rousing Spike out of his slumber.

 

Spike had apparently fallen asleep, head resting on the bar countertop, and drink cradled in his hand.

 

“Wha time is it?” Spike slurred, eyes blinking open wearily.

 

“Nearly five am, precious. You’ve been passed out here for several hours.” The voice replied, sounding concerned.

 

Looking up from the counter, Spike noticed the green demon who had woken him up. He had on a sharp pink suit, and seemed to have taken over the bar.

 

“Looks to me like you've got something on your mind, blondie. I'm The Host, and you are?” The Host asked.

 

“Spike.” He divulged, rubbing at his face. If he had been passed out for nearly three hours, it explained the crick in his neck.

 

“‘The Host’ doesn't sound like your birth name though.” Spike remarked, finally taking in his surroundings for the first time.

 

Apparently he had wandered into a demon bar, as Spike noticed several different species wandering about now. It was strange, seeing a Grollog demon eating fries by himself, and sipping a bloody sundae. Not as strange as the Fyarl demon at the mic though, singing Barry Manilow.

 

“Ha! I could say the same for yourself, sugar. But I guess you can call me Lorne. What’s on your mind?” Lorne inquired.

 

Spike frowned however, weighing the pro’s and con’s of spilling his beans. On one hand he was sober now, and didn’t particularly feel like sharing. On another, it was eating him up on the inside.

 

“Look, hun, you don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to.” Lorne added, taking away the pressure.

 

“But, might I suggest taking a stand at the mic? First-time singers get a free meal.” Lorne coaxed, grinning broadly.

 

“I don’t sing.” Spike refused. Five minutes later however, Spike was up there singing a rendition of Come as you are .

 

“Now give me my wings.” Spike huffed, sitting back down on his stool.

 

A minute later Lorne was back, barbeque wings in hand, and looking over Spike curiously.

 

“What?” Spike grunted, taking a bite out of his food.

 

“Sounds to me like you're conflicted, hot stuff.” Lorne replied, fiddling with a napkin as he raised a brow.

 

“Yeah, so what?” Spike sighed, getting annoyed at the nosy demon.

 

“Hey, I don't mean to pry,” Lorne apologized, “But see, I'm an empath demon. I read your aura when you sang, and it looks to me like you could use some advice.” He admitted.

 

“Yeh? What kind of advice could you offer?” Spike scoffed, ripping the chicken apart with his fingers.

 

“My problems aren't exactly black and white, mate. They're complicated.” Spike pointed out.

 

“Try me.” Lorne suggested.

 

And Spike didn't know why, but he did. Maybe it was the fact that the guy had already read him, or that he had an open and friendly attitude - or maybe he was just tired of bottling everything inside, and it was easier to unload on a stranger instead of Angel. Also, what else was he gonna do for several hours, till the sun went down?

 

“Alright, fine. But I'm gonna need a second batch of these.” Spike demanded, pushing his empty tray forward. Once the wings were in front of him, he began.

 

“See, thing is, I hate him - I really do. But I also love the bastard. He's like a drug, it's not healthy, and yet I keep coming back for more. It's like I'm addicted to the pain, mate, addicted to him. Only thing is, it's a different kind of pain now. An internal one.” Spike explained.

 

“He’s not the same guy.” Spike sighed, turning over a wing and examining it thoughtfully.

 

“But, I dunno if I really want him to be. I just, I just wish he’d acknowledge me, ya know? I don’t want to be nothin’ but his bleedin mistake. I want - I don’t know what I want, really.  I guess, I guess I just want my Sire back.” Spike whispered.

 

“And I don’t care if that means Angelus or Angel - I really don’t.” He confessed.

 

“Sounds to me like you should tell him this yourself,” Lorne piped up. “Does he know how you feel?” Lorne wondered.

 

Spike laughed at that, shaking his head. “Hell no.” He chuckled.

 

“And I can’t exactly tell him. Angelus would just laugh. Anyways, he has a soul now - long story - things just aren’t the same. They can’t go back to bein’ the same.” Spike lamented.

 

“And it’s not as if I want things to be the same, either. In fact, I’d rather it not. Angelus was a bloody bastard, he was. But, he wasn’t always like that. He used to care. Or at least I thought he did.” Spike mused.

 

“I just wished he’d look at me. Not as a mistake, but as me. ” Spike breathed.

 

“Not as something to atone for, or someone he did wrong to. Not a past mistake to be fixed. There’s nothing to be fixed.” Spike insisted.

 

“But he doesn’t bloody realize that, and it infuriates me. I just - I just want to grab ‘im, and shake ‘im, until that small brain of his gets the memo.” Spike continued, clenching his fists.

 

“I just want him to look at me.” Spike pleaded.

 

“My thoughts? Tell him exactly what you told me,” Lorne advised, speaking again before Spike could interrupt.

 

“After all, from what you’ve told me, this Angel isn’t Angelus. What harm could there be in trying, cupcake? In fact, maybe you just might resolve things.” Lorne suggested, grabbing Spike’s tray and going to the back to refill it.

 


 

 

Angel couldn’t figure out what he did wrong. He had been angry, yes, but not at Spike. Didn’t his childe realize that? In fact, he’d tried to comfort him. Wasn’t that what he was supposed to do? Groaning, Angel kicked at a nearby chair, watching as it fell over with a crash.

 

He didn't know what he was supposed to do! If he was Angelus, he would have beat Spike to a pulp, until the boy finally regained his senses and talked him. But he wasn't Angelus, and right now Spike needed comfort, not pain.

 

“Angel, is everything okay?” Cordy asked, coming into the room and frowning at the discarded chair.

 

“Yes. No. I don't know.” Angel sighed, bending down to pick up the chair and sit in it.

 

“Is it Spike?” She wondered, no malice but only concern for him in her tone.

 

Sighing, Angel nodded. Looking up at Cordelia, he wondered if he should tell her what was going on. Maybe she'd understand?

 

“Cordy, can I tell you something? Without you judging me?” Angel asked, hopeful that she'd just listen.

 

“Of course, Angel! I'm all ears. No judgment from me.” She promised, sitting down across from him.

 

Telling himself it would be okay, Angel began.

 

“Spike wasn't always like this. Mean, tough, all rough edges and snarky words. He was different - when I met him. He went by William then. Will to me. And he was perfect. Sweet, caring, and overbrimming with love. William always loved too much, cared too much. Sometimes I think he was more human than us all.” Angel breathed.

 

“I didn't much care though, I thought it was amusing. And what did it matter, a fledge should adore their elders, look up to them in awe.” He continued, not bothering to differentiate between himself and Angelus.

 

“I didn't love him, I didn't love any of them - not at first. I cared about them, yes. They shared my blood, they were a part of me. But I didn't love, I couldn't. Will could, though. And I guess maybe I could too, because in time I did start feeling something for him. It was twisted, what I felt, not natural. I hated feeling that way, and so I punished him for it.” Angel confessed, voice barely above a whisper.

 

“It made me feel weak, the emotions William evoked. Feelings that not even my own sire, Darla, could elicit from me. Will was different, so eager to please, to follow me around and obey me. It shattered him when he did something wrong, or didn't understand something. Will was pure, and innocent - I took joy squashing that out of him.” Angel breathed.

 

Meanwhile, Cordelia listened silently, eyes wide in horror.

 

“It was my way of showing I cared, funnily enough. I was possessive, cruel. I beat him, marked him as my own. Claimed every inch of him, in every way possible. He was mine, and I made sure he knew it. I even played with Will’s obsession over Drusilla. Took her in front of him, made her scream - and all the while she would still beg for me, preferred me over Will. I could see that it pained him, but I didn't care. He needed to know, know that he was mine and mine alone. Drusilla could share him, but in the end he belonged to me.” Angel murmured.

 

“And he did - belong to me. And I never let him forget it. If he disobeyed, I'd whip him. If he mouthed me, I'd flog him. I was ruthless in my punishments, using anything to control him. Pain, sex, pleasure. Even if he ran, it didn't matter. He'd always return.” Angel confessed.

 

“And then I was cursed. I regret so much, Cordy, but there is nothing more I regret than what I did to Will. I pushed him too far, put him through too much. In the end, I think I broke him. And I couldn't deal with my sins, with what I had done, couldn't look them in the eyes - so I left.” Angel concluded.

 

“And now, my boy is here again, and I don't know what to do. Spike needs me, Cordy. Those soldiers, they did something to him. More than he's telling me, I can tell. But I don't know how to act, how to - to make him not hate me . ” Angel admitted.

 

“I don't know how to show him how sorry I am. Because, no matter what Spike has done in the past, I've hurt him a thousand times worse.” Angel confided.

 

Still reeling from Angel’s confession, Cordelia slowly stood up, going over to Angel and placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.

 

“That's not you anymore, though.” She acknowledged, sitting in his lap, and cradled his head in her arms.

 

“It doesn't matter, Cordy. It doesn't matter that I have a soul, or that what I did eats me up inside. It doesn't matter that I want to drop to my knees, and beg his forgiveness. Because he'll never give it. Why would he? I was his tormentor for so long. None of it matters, Cordy. None of it.” Angel croaked, heart breaking as he buried his head in Cordelia’s shoulder. It didn't matter that he still loved him.

Chapter Text

“You could write him a card?” Fred suggested, lounging on the couch with the rest of the gang.

 

“Or you could buy him that new racing game that just came out. Don't think I don't know who stole my PS4.” Gunn pointed out.

 

“Guys, I don't exactly think a card or a game says ‘sorry’ well enough.” Angel sighed, resting his head on the back of the couch.

 

This was frustrating, and the others just didn't get it. He had only told Cordy the full truth and reasons for Spike’s hatred, condensing the reasons to the others.

 

There really wasn't any way Angel could apologize. What he had done, a simple apology couldn't fix.

 

“I mean, I kinda feel bad now, knowing the truth. That one time I slugged him, and he didn't hit back so I called him a pansy? Man I was a dick.” Gunn realized.

 

“You could give him flowers?” Fred suggested, eliciting a groan from Angel. This was useless.

 

“Guys, I know you're just trying to help, but I don't think Spike would appreciate any of that stuff.” Angel admitted.

 

“I mean, what am I supposed to say? Hi, sorry for torturing you for decades, I bought you some daisies?!” Angel yelled, exasperated.

 

“Why daisies?” Cordy wondered, speaking up for the first time since they gathered. She’d seemed distant ever since she and Angel talked, and it worried the vampire with a soul.

 

Several minutes passed in silence as everyone sat there, trying to think of a way to cheer the two vampires up. The others all agreed something needed to be done, because Angel had been moody and sulking around the place ever since Spike walked out, and didn't return. Besides Cordelia, all they knew was that something was done to Spike, making him unable to feed or fight. Angel said he had reacted the wrong way, and also summarized- without going into detail - how Angelus had basically tormented Spike most of his unlife.

 

They had all taken it pretty well, but then again they didn’t know the full situation. Angel appreciated them trying to help, but it wasn’t as if a simple card or box of chocolates was going to fix everything. It was messy, and complicated, and Angel wished it would all just go away.

 

Sensing Angel’s discomfort, Cordelia sighed, looking at the rest of them. “Hey, guys, think you could leave us alone for a bit?” She asked.

 

She realized it probably hadn’t been the best idea, getting them all together. Angel was in a precarious place right now, and although the others meant well, they didn’t know the full extent of Angel’s guilt. In fact, Cordy was still struggling with what he had told her. She had kept quiet, as she had promised she wouldn’t be all judgmental, and Angel had needed her support. It still horrified her however, what Angelus had done. And because of that, Cordy found herself unconsciously thinking of him differently. So much so, in fact, that she had started pulling away.

 

She knew it wasn’t right, treating Angel differently after confiding in her. But still, it was a big thing. She wanted to believe that Angel didn’t do those things, and it pained her to hear those words come out of his mouth. But she also knew that no matter what he did in the past, he was  different now. He had a soul. She had to believe he wasn’t the same person, and she could see the remorse in his eyes when he had told her what he had done. Cordy got it, but she didn’t know if she still fully understood. It would take her time to wrap her head around it all.

 

“Thanks, Cordy.” Angel sighed, rubbing his face as the others cleared the room.

 

“Yeah.” Cordelia breathed, pursing her lips.

 

The silence in the room was deafening, and Angel could tell something was wrong.

 

“Do you hate me?” He asked softly, eyes firmly on the ground. He could tell that his confession had shocked, and maybe even disgusted Cordy - only she had been too kind to mention anything right then and there.

 

Sighing, Cordelia shook her head. She then stood up and began to pace, trying to collect her thoughts.

 

“No, I don’t hate you, Angel.” Cordelia admitted. “But what you told me, well, it’s not exactly normal. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. I didn’t know Spike back then, I didn’t know you. You didn’t have a soul. You were evil, you did evil things. But still, it’s a lot to process. And I want to be supportive of you, and tell you that everything is going to be alright - but I don’t think it will.” She confessed.

 

“Look,” Cordelia continued, “I don’t think now's the best time to talk about it.” She pointed out. Right now, Angel didn’t need anymore guilt added on to him, and Cordy didn’t know if she’d be able to get through a conversation without tearing him apart at the moment. It was best to wait.

 

“But my advice? Just talk to him.” Cordy shrugged, face stoic as she tried to reign in her own thoughts and emotions.

 

She left then, leaving Angel alone with his thoughts, and hating himself more than ever. He would take her advice though, even if it might be hard to get Spike to just listen to him. Even if he didn’t think he’d ever be able to find the right words. He’d try to talk.

 

Twenty minutes later Angel found himself in the lobby, waiting and standing awkwardly with a bushel of daisies in his hand. After two minutes of fidgeting, Angel realized he didn’t even know when Spike would be back, if ever.

 

“This is stupid.” He muttered, throwing the flowers in a nearby trash can.

 

“What’s stupid, Peaches?” Spike drawled, as he sauntered into the hotel.

 

“Nothing!” Angel replied, voice an octave higher as he kicked the trash can out of sight. “You’re back.” Angel pointed out the obvious.

 

“Well, yeh, wasn’t gonna miss my program now, was I?” Spike remarked, making up an excuse for being there. Spike knew they needed to talk, but it wasn’t exactly an easy topic to approach. He had wandered around for a few hours, after the sun set, but eventually realized he couldn’t put off this talk forever. Also, he had been brooding. That was Angel’s thing, not his. Therefore he had reluctantly headed back, just time to see Angel throw away some flowers. It raised an eyebrow, but he didn’t say anything.

 

“Look, Spike, I just wanted to say -” Angel began, before being interrupted by Spike.

 

“Save it, Angel. I overreacted.” Spike admitted, looking anywhere but at Angel as he said this. It took a lot for Spike to say that, but he realized that if this conversation was going to be civil, he had to drop the bravado.

 

Angel realized this as well, seeing how serious Spike was to actually admit fault. He wouldn’t leave it at that of course, as he thought Spike had every right to walk away like he did.

 

“We should talk.” Angel settled on, moving to his office and ushering Spike to follow him.

 

They both sat there, looking rather awkward as neither man looked at each other. Spike was fiddling with a small marble totem pole, and Angel was trying to figure out what to say. It was unlike either man to actually sit down and discuss their feelings, but both had been given advice they decided to take.

 

“So how’s Fred?” Spike piped up, putting the totem back.

 

“Good, she’s good.” Angel responded, twiddling his thumbs. “She missed you last night. She’s taken a liking to you, you know.” Angel added, remembering how Fred had waited for Spike to watch Passions together, but he hadn’t returned.

 

Spike hummed, nodding as he put his hands in his lap, tapping some unknown rhythm on his knee. Several more minutes of silence passed, and it started to seem like neither one of them would bring up what was on both of their minds.

 

“I’m sorry.” Angel finally choked out, looking at Spike.

 

Spike scoffed at that, shaking his head as his jaw ticked. “Sorry?” He repeated. “Sorry for what, Angel? It seems like that’s your default setting this days. ‘I’m sorry’.” Spike mimicked, making a face.

 

“I’m sorry for how I treated you, William. For what I did to you.” Angel replied sadly.

 

Spike stood up at that however, infuriated. It made Angel both wary and confused, as the other vampire paced the room angrily. What had he done now?

 

“Oh, so that’s what you’re sorry for?” Spike spit out, disgusted. Of course it would be, why else would he be apologizing?

 

“Yes, it is. What else do you want me to say, Spike?!” Angel asked, thoroughly vexed.

 

Spike just made a noise of disgust, turning towards the wall before finally twirling to face Angel, finger pointed at him in accusation.

 

“You just don’t get it, do you?!” Spike asked, emotions running rampant. “There’s nothing to be sorry for! At least, not concerning all that!” Spike yelled.

 

“What?! I beat you, tortured you. I fucking raped you, Will!” Angel yelled back.

 

Spike laughed at that however, shaking his head. “You’re so stupid! I don’t care about any of that! We’re demons Angel! It’s what we do! I’m not some mortal, who's been scarred for life! All those things, it just was. Any punishment you doled out, I know I deserved! I never held it against you! In fact, I secretly thanked you for it! You made me tougher, Angelus, you made me who I am! Besides, us vampires heal quickly.” Spike pointed out.

 

“And honestly, do you think any time you took me to bed, that I didn’t want it?!” Spike asked, truly curious. “Angelus, I bloody worshipped you! I loved all of it, all of it! Rough, hard, bloody - there’s nothing you did to me that I didn’t crave!” Spike panted, turning away from Angel as tears pricked his eyes.

 

“That’s not why I’m angry at you.” Spike whispered, eyes closed.

 

Angel was shocked at Spike’s confession, his own emotions swirling in a cloud of astonishment, relief, and just a small bit of satisfaction. He was happy that Will didn’t hate him for those things, even if Angel still couldn’t accept it.

 

“Why are you angry, then?” Angel wondered, dreading the answer.

 

Spike turned back to him, letting his tears flow free. “You left me.” He choked out. “With no word, nothing, you left. I needed you Angelus. I was still young, still lost. You were my sire, and all I wanted was to please you. But after you got your soul, you abandoned us all. Anything I did from that point, I did for you. To make you proud. But no matter what I did, you kept pulling away. I didn’t know why at first, I thought I was just doing things wrong. I thought you hated me. Not even killing a slayer did anything to garner your attentions. You look at me in disgust, and I didn’t know why. ” Spike whispered.

 

“And then you just left altogether. Didn’t bother to stick around, or say goodbye. Darla was a nightmare after that, and Dru wouldn’t stop moaning. You left us alone, Angel. I had to step up, take charge of things. Drusilla was my responsibility, and I took care of her for years to come, after Darla left as well. But even then, she still would have preferred you. I was happy with her, I was. But still, I wished you were there.” Spike confessed.

 

“I didn’t know.” Angel admitted softly, heart clenching at his boy’s admission.

 

“Of course you didn’t.” Spike spat. “You didn’t care. You just thought about yourself, didn’t you? Didn’t give a damn about the aftermath.” Spike grit out.

 

It was too much, and Spike cursed that demon for his advice. Why did he believe talking would help? Looking up at Angel, Spike found himself afraid. He was afraid what would happen now, after putting everything out in the open. In fact, Spike realized he didn’t want to know how Angel would react. He didn’t want to face the same rejection again, the rejection Spike knew would always inevitably come. Angel didn’t want him a hundred years ago, and Angelus didn’t want him when he’d been de-souled back in Sunnydale. Angel would never want him, so why would Angel respond differently now? Before Angel could respond, Spike left.

Chapter Text

“God dammit !” Spike swore, kicking a wall as he stormed through an empty alley. Why did he even bother? Why did he even fucking bother?! It was ridiculous, thinking that anything would change. That just because he actually put his feelings out there for once, that Angel would change. It was useless, and god he felt stupid.

 

Making his way through L.A, Spike asked himself what was the point of it all. Angel obviously wasn’t Angelus, no matter how much he yearned for him to be. He was the big poof, defanged and soulful. Damn those gypsies. It was the soul that was the problem, the soul that started all of this. If Angelus had never gotten a soul, things would have never changed. He wouldn’t have left, wouldn’t have abandoned them.

 

It made him angry, thinking about it. How a group of humans could cause so much pain, destroy such magnificence. Curse such a powerful demon, and reduce him to a state of living on the streets, and feeding off rats. It reminded Spike of the first time he’d realized his sire was different, was wrong. And yet still, he had tried to help him.

 

1977 - New York

 

Spike felt euphoric. He just had the second most thrilling fight of his unlife, against slayer number two. Good, she was. A real fighter. He could have danced all night with her, but eventually he came out on top. Quite literally, too. Spike grinned as he remembered the feeling, kneeling over the broad as he snapped her neck. Best feeling in the world, that. And he finally had another slayer under his belt. God, he couldn’t wait to get home and tell Dru.

 

Walking down the street, Spike admired his new coat as it billowed in the wind. He felt on top of the world, the blood of Nikki Wood still fresh on his tongue. It was as good as the first time, sweet and sticky and hot. It had been a real treat, biting into her - revelling as her hot blood flowed into his mouth, and into his veins. He felt like he was drowning in bliss, and on an all time high. Slayer’s blood was like a drug, and he wanted to rush home to celebrate.

 

As he rounded a corner however, he felt it. A tingling on his skin, a sort of sixth sense alerting one when another vampire was nearby. Spike frowned, good mood dampened as he sniffed, trying to catch wind of this unknown’s scent. What Spike found however, made him freeze.

 

“Angelus?” Spike asked uncertainly, ducking into an alleyway. Last time he’d seen his sire, they’d been on a WWII submarine, and he’d parted ways with Spike once they got to ground. It had stung, being dismissed like that, but Spike didn’t object. He’d hated been stuck underwater, and was eager to get back to Dru.

 

Now however, Spike approached cautiously as he noted the huddled figure on the ground. It was Angelus, alright, Spike could tell from the smell. But if he hadn’t known his sire’s scent by heart, the small and dirty figure could have been mistaken for a bum. Angelus was covered in grime, clothes ripped and hair long and matted with dirt and other nasty stuff. It shocked Spike, seeing his sire like this.

 

“Angelus, it’s me.” Spike murmured, his former ecstatic state disappearing as he saw the state of his sire. “Who did this to you?” Spike wondered, kneeling before the crouched figure, who was curled into a ball and clutching his head. “Sire? Please, tell me.” He pleaded. He hated seeing Angelus like this, it was just bad and wrong. He’d kill whoever reduced his sire to this. After all, what else could have happened? It must have been a demon, or a witch. It worried Spike, as Angelus wasn’t acting at all like himself. In fact, Spike didn’t know if he even realized Spike was there.

 

“I didn’t mean to, I’m so sorry. So sorry.” Angel whispered, repeating a mantra he’d been uttering for some time. “I damned him, I did. But it was there, it was there. He was already dead, what did it matter?” Angel reasoned, clawing at his long locks. “But no. No, no, no. Wrong, it was wrong. You’re wrong. I’m wrong. We’re all wrong.” He panted, eyes squeezed shut as he tried to make the memory go away.

 

“Angelus?” Spike repeated, confused by what he was saying. “Sire?” Spike tried, biting his lip. Angelus was acting like Dru did, whenever she entered into one of her fits. He was acting...mad. “Come on, ‘Gelus, let’s get you away from here.” Spike sighed, reaching out to help his Sire.

 

As soon as Spike’s hand came into contact with his shoulder, however, Angelus froze up.

 

“Sire?” Spike asked, hopeful that he’d returned to his senses.

 

“Will.” Angel breathed, eyes wide as he looked up, and into the face of his greatest sin.

 

“Yeah, it’s me. You okay, mate? You look like shit.” Spike pointed out.

 

“No.” Angel groaned, shaking his head. He closed his eyes once more, tearing at his hair as he tried to make Will go away. He couldn’t be here right now, he just couldn’t. It was the soul, the goddamn soul making him relive all his guilt. “Go away!” Angel yelled, willing the apparition to leave.

 

Spike stepped back as if he’d been struck, brows furrowing in hurt at the shouted words. He didn’t leave, though. It stung, the rejection, but obviously Angelus was just going through something right now.

 

“You’re not yourself, mate. How ‘bout you come to my place, get ya cleaned up? I know Dru would be happy to see you.” Spike offered, even if he was reluctant to share his dark princess. Angelus looked like he could use a hand, and that in and of itself worried Spike. “Look, I know you might be down in the dumps right now, but guess what, mate? I just killed my second slayer!” Spike informed, thinking such information might cheer the other vampire up.

 

At these words however Angel lost it, gasping in horror as his eyes flashed open. No, he did this. This was his fault. It was all his fault. He made Will, and therefore his deaths were on Angel as well. He’d only realized it now.  

 

LEAVE! ” Angel screamed, desperate for a reprieve from this guilt, from this pain. Just go away. Leave him alone.

 

And Spike did just that, tired of trying to help someone who obviously didn’t want, or need him. The rational part of Spike’s brain realized that Angelus was probably just too proud to accept his help, to be seen like that. Spike didn’t very much care anymore, though. He knew when he wasn’t wanted, and it wasn’t as if whatever Angelus was going through would kill him. He’d live to see another day, the jealous git. Fuck him if he couldn’t accept his help.

 

Growling, Spike stormed towards his current residence, his once exuberant mood turned foul.




Lighting a smoke, Spike took a long drag, shaking off the memory. He hadn’t known it then, but Angel was brooding because of the soul. Tormented by his sins, or some shit like that. It had infuriated Spike, that confrontation. First time he’d seen Angel in several years, and even then the bloody git didn’t want anything to do with him. Ruined the occasion, it did. Even if he’d gone home and shagged Dru senseless, letting out his rage as he made her scream in ecstasy - it wasn’t the same. That damned soul always seemed to ruin everything.

 

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Spike.” A voice drawled behind him, making Spike swirl around.

 

“You owe me ten kittens, vampire!” The Hobrath demon sneered, it’s rotting teeth peering out from it’s puke-colored face. Hobrath demons were ugly things, with scabby skin and stick-like figures. Still, despite their skinny limbs, they were strong, and had long claws to make up for any other lacking features.

 

Bloody hell , Spike thought. Seriously, he didn’t even remember this guy. Cursing the damned chip in his head, Spike started to look for a way out of this.

 

“Look, um, mate. I’m pretty sure you’ve got the wrong guy here.” Spike reasoned, crushing his cigarette as he looked for an escape route. If things turned physical, then every demon would realize he couldn’t defend himself.

 

“There’s no weaseling your way out of this one, Spike! My minions tracked you all the way here to LA!” The Hobrath demon yelled, raising a giant clawed arm and swinging.

 

Fuck. Spike ducked, barely missing the claw as the Hograth demon began to attack again. Spike dodged, watching as the demon yelled in outrage as his arm got stuck in the wall. However, with a giant tug the Hograth demon pulled free, loosing some bricks along with his arm. Spike watched with wide eyes as the demon’s choice of weapon came towards him again, and Spike realized he was backed into a corner. Bracing himself, Spike raised his own arm in defense, his natural fighting instincts taking over as he caught the demon’s arm, and twisted.

 

A cry of pain pierced the air, and at first Spike thought it was him - until he realized he didn’t feel anything from the chip. Frowning, Spike stood there, rooted to the ground in shock. The chip hadn’t backfired on him! He could fight! Grinning ear to ear, Spike didn’t even care when the demon’s forehead made contact with his own, breaking open his flesh and leaving a nasty cut. Instead, Spike laughed, shaking off the blow and charging forward.

 

Five minutes later, Spike was standing over the decapitated demon, face bloody and a smile from ear to ear. That had felt good, and Spike had needed to get his energy out. He had so much pent up anger inside him, and beating up things had always relieved him of it in the past. Now, if only he could find another target to practice on.

 


 

Angel was stunned. He hadn’t realized his boy’s true source of pain, and now that he knew, he felt like the most idiotic person in the world. Of course Will hated him for leaving. William, sweet William, who had always felt more than any of them combined. Who had always been more human, right from the very beginning. Will, who could take a beating and laugh all the while, but when it came to affairs of the heart - such as Drusilla - was a sucker for love. Will, who had always looked up to Angelus, and was heartbroken whenever he expressed disappointment. Of course those physical things didn’t matter to him, it was the emotional impact that broke Spike.

 

He was starting to think he could never do anything right.

 

Will had needed him, so many times, and he hadn’t been there. Not in the way that his boy had needed. Angel had been blinded, dissuaded from going to his childer because of the soul. He had thought that it would be better if he just left, that it would be better if he wasn’t around. Angel now realized that wasn’t the case, and that he had royally screwed up, as Cordelia would probably put it.

 

Angel did wonder, however, if he would have been able to stay. Even if he didn’t kill, hunt, or maim - could he have not left? The answer came to him almost immediately - no. At least, not with Darla around. He had already tried that route once, after all. She had been disgusted by his actions, his facade. His refusal to feed on the innocent. She had even gone so far to offer him a baby, but he couldn’t do it - he had saved the child and fled once more, never to return. Angel couldn’t live the lie.

 

But now everything was different. Darla was dead, Dru wasn’t around - it was just William. Just Will, who would do anything to please him, anything to get his praise. Spike, who was now chipped, and couldn’t hurt his human friends even if he wanted to. Not that Angel expected he would, even if he didn’t have that device in his head - William would never do anything against his wishes, after all. Not purposely, at least.

 

Angel realized that maybe, just maybe, he could try to do right this time. Will could stay, and Angel would do his best to be the sire Will deserved. To be there for him, even if he didn’t need him. Angel realized that Spike was by all rights a Master Vampire of his own now, and didn’t technically need him anymore. But if Will’s earlier confession was any indicator, his boy still wanted him. At least, Angel hoped so.

 

Angel hoped that things could be fixed, that Angel could try to start over again. He hoped their relationship wasn’t damaged beyond repair.

Chapter Text

By the time Spike returned, it was nearly daybreak. He’d also gone through over ten bottles of Jager, and participated in no less than six different brawls. Stumbling into the Hyperion, Spike staggered across the room, and towards the couch, a bottle clutched in his bloody hand.

 

Laying down, Spike let out a sigh, closing bruised eyes as he tried to ignore the pounding ache in his head. He was exhausted, and rightly so. After finding out he could hit demons, Spike had gone on a jovial jaunt through LA, picking fights with any sort of nasties he could find. He’d been tempted once to go after a nice plump human girl, just to make sure it wasn’t only demons he could harm now, and not the chip malfunctioning entirely - but realized that if he killed someone that Angel would never take him back.

 

“Spike?” Angel whispered, walking into the room.

 

“Mm, think about him and he shall appear.” Spike muttered, groaning as he turned onto his side, hugging the bottle of liquor to his chest.

 

“Spike, what happened to you?” Angel asked, concerned as he noticed Spike’s appearance. His coat was dirty, and his pants were ripped. Not to mention the blood that caked his hair and skin, and the nasty bruise that seemed to swell his left eye shut. Angel was afraid that he’d been attacked again, with no way to defend himself.

 

“Found out somethin’ interesting, I did.” Spike drawled in response, turning over and into a sitting position, his good eye cracked open to glare at Angel.

 

“God, I hate you.” Spike muttered, not caring as the alcohol loosed his tongue.

 

“Yeah, I think you’ve established that already.” Angel sighed, realizing how drunk Spike must be at the moment.

 

“No, no I don’t think I ‘ave!” Spike slurred, standing up on uneven feet, and pointing at Angel, bottle in hand.

 

“Cause see, I despise you. You’re an ass, you know that? The Great Big Poof, saver of humanity and defender of puppies and virgins and shit.” Spike giggled, staggering as he took another drink.

 

Pursing his lips, Angel reigned in his anger, annoyed at how Spike was acting. “Come on, Spike, let’s get you to bed.” Angel suggested softly, coming closer to help him.

 

Spike pulled away however, frowning deeply. “Hey, no! Ya don’t get ta do that! Don't know why you’d want ta. Not that I don’t want ta, I kinda want ta…” Spike trailed off, brain foggy as Angel put an arm around him.

 

“Spike, you’re drunk.” Angel pointed out, astonished at Will’s drunken confession. Spike would still be willing to sleep with him? That hadn’t been what Angel meant, by going to bed, of course. But obviously Spike didn’t realize that.

 

“Well no shit , Sherlock!” Spike boomed, suddenly pulling away from Angel roughly. He then glared at the other vampire, anger boiling in his veins as Angel just stood there. Suddenly, Spike had a strong urge to punch him.

 

Realizing that he now could, Spike took a swing, socking the poof right in the nose.

 

Angel reeled back at the blow, shocked as he cupped his bloody nose in his hand. Spike had hit him. Had hit him. Angel didn’t know what this meant, but as Spike rained down blow after blow, he didn’t quite care as to the how, but the why . And the why was apparent by the pain in Spike’s eyes, so bracing himself, Angel didn’t fight back as his childe let out his anger.

 

“I hate you!” Spike shrieked, fists colliding with Angel’s jaw. “I bloody loathe you Angelus! I do, I really do!” Spike yelled, voice wavering as tears pricked at his eyes.

 

“Fight me, you bloody bastard!” Spike demanded, shoving an unresponsive Angel onto the floor. “ Fight me !” He screamed desperately, as he began kicking Angel over and over.

 

“Coward!” Spike shouted, bending over and forcing Angel onto his feet. “You’re a fucking coward, Angelus!” Spike taunted, willing Angel to hit back.

 

He was just sick of it, sick of it all. He just wanted it to stop! It hurt, this constant pain in his heart, and he was just so tired. He didn’t want to feel this way anymore, didn’t want to feel. Why did he have to fucking feel? It was too much, and Spike felt like he’d been through hell. The pain of rejection, knowing he wasn’t wanted. It stung, more than anything. He felt like his heart had been taken out of his chest, and broken over and over again - shattered into a million pieces, until nothing was left of it. Of him. And yet still, somehow he managed to feel more pain, every single damned time Angel looked at him.

 

Suddenly Spike just felt tired, the fight leaving him as he turned away, melting into the couch as he sat down, cradling his face in his hands as he sobbed.

 

Picking himself up, Angel made his way over to the couch, sitting down next to Spike in silence, listening as his childe cried.

 

“Why did you stay, Spike?” Angel sighed, cradling his bloody nose. “If you really hate me so much, why didn’t you leave? Get away from here as soon as you were better? Why did you come back?” Angel wondered, ignoring the pain in his body, even as every one of his joints screamed in protest.

 

Shaking his head, Spike wished Angel would just go away. Reluctantly however, he replied. After all, he didn’t have the energy to keep pushing him away. It just wasn’t worth it.

 

“Because, you’re my sire .” Spike breathed, the love and reverence he conveyed in that one word shocking Angel.

 

Angel didn’t realize how much that meant to Spike. Of course, it was how it should be. A vampire should feel nothing but adoration, respect, and an undying loyalty to the one that made them. But if that was why Spike was acting this way, why he refused to leave Angel’s side - well, it pained him. Angel realized that Spike was still held up on a lie, that he didn’t know the truth - and that maybe this lie was causing him more pain.

 

“No, I’m not, Will. Dru is. I only made you believe I was your sire, so you would obey me. And it worked.” Angel confessed, eyes downcast. It was time Spike knew the truth.

 

Spike’s reaction wasn’t what Angel expected however, and Angel froze as Spike laughed.

 

“You don’t think I didn’t bloody know that?!” Spike asked, still laughing deliriously. He was both physically and emotionally drained, and Spike continued to giggle until Angel gave him an incredulous look.

 

“Bloody hell, Angel.” Spike said, taking in a shuddering breath as he calmed himself down. Suddenly, he felt stone sober. “I’ve always known Dru turned me, always. ” Spike admitted, shaking his head. “But it doesn’t matter, you know why?” He asked, staring at him with piercing eyes. “Dru may have turned me, but you're my sire. You're my sire, Angel. And you left me.” Spike breathed, his words turning cold and lifeless as he finished, looking at the ground in resignation. He just wanted it to be over.

 

Angel felt numb, heart clenching at Will’s confession. And it was Will who was talking to him right now, not the tough and sometimes annoying facade of Spike, that Angel had grown to hate. In fact, Angel realized that Spike had always been a mask, a shield meant to push people away.  It was William that came to Angel, William that asked for his help. And it was William who needed him, who had always needed him, no matter how many years passed. It was William who stayed, and still considered Angel his sire.

 

Angel missed Will.

 

Heart heavy, Angel ignored his bruised rib as he scooted closer to Will, engulfing him in his arms, and holding him tight. “I won't leave you again.” Angel vowed, softly, reverently, and with as much conviction as he could muster. As William sagged in his arms, Angel made his decision. He would never leave his boy again.

Chapter Text

Spike fell asleep in his arms, which was a testament to how truly tired he must have been. Cradling his childe, Angel carefully picked Will up, ignoring his own body's aches as he went upstairs, and set Will on his bed.

 

Next, Angel quickly went downstairs, warming up some blood. Usually he would have never consumed human blood, but it was necessary if he wanted to heal quicker. Also, Wesley had assured him that he had gotten the blood from the blood bank, where it had been given by willing donors.

 

After downing three mugs, Angel still felt sore but exponentially better than before. Going back upstairs, Angel started to work on helping his childe. Taking off the long leather jacket, he placed it on a nearby chair, then frowned at what he saw was hidden underneath. Spike’s shirt was ripped in several places, as if slashed by long claws, and he was still bleeding underneath. Removing the shirt, Angel could see that the previously healed skin was marred with several bruises once more.

 

“What did you get yourself into, childe?” Angel sighed, combing his fingers through Will’s hair fondly.

 

Going to the bathroom, Angel grabbed a damp cloth, then returned to the room to clean Spike up. He made quick work of taking off the rest of his clothes, carefully so as to not wake him. Seeing his childe like that however, bloody and bare, made his mouth water. Maybe it was simply the recent taste of human blood, or the hopeful ending to the conversation earlier, or maybe even that it just been so long - but Angel found himself dropping the rag, and crawling towards Spike on the bed.

 

Tentatively reaching forward, Angel traced the bruises on his childe’s chest, soft fingers mapping out a canvas he had once known so well. Angel hated seeing the scars there, several so deep and bad that they still hadn’t healed, despite their ability to heal quickly. It angered him, and Angel found himself paying extra care to those spots of flesh, brushing over them tenderly.

 

After a few seconds, the scent of his childe’s blood was driving him insane. Making sure that Spike was deep asleep, Angel then bent down, and tentatively licked away a trail of blood, his own saliva healing the wound instantly.

 

It wasn’t as strange as it looked, as Angel continued his ministrations, lapping up the blood and cleaning his childe. It was a natural thing for vampires, and something that Angel had once done before, although seeing as how it was a rather erotic experience, sex had usually followed.

 

It was something that hadn’t been on Angel’s mind at first, but was now springing forth as he found himself growing hard.

 

Freezing, Angel pulled back. It was too soon, he realized, and he didn’t want to push his boundaries just yet. Spike undoubtedly wasn’t ready for this, even if Angel had promised to never leave again.

 

Sighing, Angel pulled away, disheartened as he reached for the rag. A pale hand shot out grabbing his own before he could pick it up.

 

“Don’t stop.” Spike pleaded, uncertain eyes meeting Angel’s own.

 

“You’re awake.” Angel pointed out, hand still out as if he’d been caught stealing something.

 

“Well, yeh, who could sleep through something like that?” Spike scoffed, a fond look on his face. It was also mixed with uncertainty, reservation, but also lust.

 

“Are you sure?” Angel asked, not wanting to push Spike too far too soon.

 

Spike just nodded however, closing his eyes and sighing as Angel resumed licking his wounds. Angel’s rough tongue painted across his skin, swirling and sucking, and soon no blood was left, and yet he still continued.

 

Angel continued to explore, being careful to avoid his bruises as his mouth and lips joined in, caressing the pale skin underneath him that he’d missed so much. Angel remapped every muscle, groove, and curve of Spike, moving lower and lower as he continued his explorations.

 

Angel paused as his head was level with Spike’s crotch, hard and heavy as his own was. Eyes flicking upwards, Angel considered what he was about to do next, before finally throwing caution to the wind and taking Will in his mouth.

Spike gasped, eyes flying open as Angel licked along his length, then began to suck and bob eagerly. Angelus had never done this for him before, and it felt like heaven, having his sire’s mouth on him. Spike then realized this was an apology, and a promise all in one. Angel had meant what he said when he promised he’d never leave, and Spike relaxed as Angel continued to push him to his breaking point.

 

Spike reached down, grabbing a handful of Angel’s hair as he continued unraveling him, but paused before thrusting forward like he so desperately wanted to do. This was nice, Angel paying him this sort of attention - but it also felt wrong.

 

“Stop.” Spike gasped, hating himself for even uttering those words.

 

Angel did just that, releasing Spike from his mouth, and looking up at him in confusion. Had Will changed his mind?

 

Instead of pulling away however, Angel watched as a soft grin bloomed on William’s face, and he sat up, reaching for Angel’s belt.

 

“You’re wearing too many clothes, sire.” Spike pointed out, reversing their positions as Spike worked to free Angel of all of his garments. Once Angel, too, was naked, Spike frowned.

 

“I really did a number on you.” Spike whispered ruefully, looking over the bruises he had made. They were healing, due to the blood Angel had drank earlier, but they were still visible.

 

Spike then did what Angel had done for him, tongue tracing a path downwards until Angel’s bulging erection was eye-level with Spike’s face. Licking his lips, Spike smiled. This was how it was supposed to be. As much as Spike had enjoyed that surprising blowjob from his sire, it was the younger that should be in this position, not the other way around.

 

Lowering his head, Spike moaned as he once again reacquainted himself with his sire’s cock, forgetting everything as Spike knew nothing but the taste and smell of Angel again.

 

“Will.” Angel groaned, bucking involuntarily as his hands grasped at Spike’s bleached locks.

 

Grinning, Spike continued to suck and lick, bobbing up and down and stroking Angel’s length. He knew what Angel wanted to do, and encouraged it with the motions of his tongue.

 

Unable to resist himself any longer, Angel tangled his fingers in Spike’s hair, thrusting into his hot mouth. Angel’s head tilted back as he continued to thrust, in and out, first soft then faster and harder.

 

Spike continued to smile all the while, relishing the feeling of Angel’s cock deep in his throat, until finally his sire came with a shout.

 

Pulling away, Spike swallowed the dead seed, licking his lips and laying down. A few seconds later Angel’s hand found it’s way to his own straining member, tugging and stroking until Spike came as well, and they both lay spent beside each other.

 

Neither said anything for quite some time, both content to just lay there and bask in the other’s company. It had been much too long, for the both of them. And Angel found himself quite content, in fact he might have been truly happy if not for the uncertainty of the future. He wished it would all just melt away, and that the past could stay buried. Angel wanted nothing more than to remain in this moment forever, and forget about the world outside.

 

Spike felt the same, happy as he burrowed into his sire’s side. He didn’t want to care about anything right now, wanted forget about his anger, and let his walls down. He’d had them up for so long, and quite frankly he was exhausted. This, this right now, it was good. Spike didn’t want to ruin it by talking.

 

But, of course, Spike had never been able to go long without talking his whole life (and unlife).

 

“Were you holding flowers when I first came in?” Spike wondered, lips quirking up at the memory of Angel throwing them in the trash, as if he’d hoped nobody would see.

 

Groaning, Angel laughed, rubbing at his face. “Yeah. Daises, actually.” He replied.

 

“Daisies, huh?” Spike murmured, cracking a grin at the relevance of that.

 

“You remember?” Angel asked, surprised.

 

“How could I forget?” Spike laughed.

 




1888 - Dublin, Ireland

 

“It’s so ugly. ” Drusilla remarked, making a face at the flower presented to her.

 

“What? No it’s not.” Will objected, bringing up the daisy to his eye, as if inspecting it. “It’s pretty. I thought you’d like it.” He pointed out, frowning at the look of disgust on Drusilla’s face.

 

“Come on, Will, it’s bright and an eyesore. I think our Dru would much prefer a rose.” Angelus crowed, producing such flower and placing it behind Dru’s ear.

 

Drusilla giggled as Angelus’ arms wrapped around her waist, and he pulled her flush against him.

 

Darla was away, visiting her precious Master, and Angelus found himself alone with his two favorite childer.

 

“Come now, William, don’t pout!” Angelus laughed, nuzzling Drusilla’s neck before pulling away, and walking over to his boy.

 

Angelus then plucked the daisy from Will’s hand, turning it over curiously. Personally, Angelus didn’t much care for flowers, but secretly thought the daisy was quite beautiful.

 

Setting the flower aside, Angelus noted the put out look on his boy’s face, and decided that wouldn’t do. They were on vacation, after all, and Darla wasn’t around - he’d thought Will would be ecstatic at that thought.

 

Capturing that pout with his lips, Angelus growled as Drusilla giggled behind them, crooning as Will eagerly kissed him back. Suddenly Angelus had a strong urge to take them both to bed at once, something Darla had never allowed him to do while she was there.

 

Pushing Will against the wall, Angelus ushered Dru to come towards them. William paused at that, however, uncertain. Angelus realized his childe’s reluctance, nibbling Will’s ear as he began to  undress the boy.

 

“Trust me, childe. You’ll want to be a part of this.” Angelus panted, removing his own belt. “I know how you feel about Dru, but just imagine how delighted she’ll be with both of us there. You want to make her happy, don’t you?” Angelus prodded.

 

Suddenly Will found himself anticipating this, and quite eager to participate. Soon all of them were unclothed, foregoing the bedroom and writhing on the living room carpet.

 

Dru was panting as Angelus crouched over her, filling her deep and making her moan. Will was behind her, laying on the ground as his own cock filled her ass, as both he and Angelus made a steady rhythm together, pumping in and out of her greedily.

 

Drusilla was screaming by now, clawing at the carpet as Angelus thrust into her roughly, and her only relief was William’s soft and gentle motions as he filled her, which quickly turned savage as Drusilla urged him onward.

 

Will cupped her heaving breasts, squeezing and twisting her nipples, as Angelus ducked down and claimed her right breast for his own, licking and biting as he continued to drive into her.

 

By now the room was filled with the sounds of Drusilla’s desperate screams, as both men grunted as she writhed below and on top of them, begging them to go even faster, to fill her harder, to make her bleed.

 

By the time they finished, Angelus and Will unloading inside of her, they were all a panting mess. Angelus had gone into demon face, biting Dru’s neck the moment he had found release, and draining her as she moaned, pawing at her own bosom as William pulled himself out from under her.

 

Will didn’t even care at that moment, as Angelus licked her wound closed, then began to pleasure her with his tongue. He didn’t care that he normally hated it when Angelus touched her, when anyone made her moan beside him. In fact, William found himself the happiest he’d been in years. Having his dark princess and sire both, it was unlike anything he could have imagined.

 

Suddenly Will found Angelus’ mouth on his own, the taste of Drusilla’s blood and wetness on his tongue, as Angelus pried Will’s mouth open and claimed it for himself.

 

Five minutes later Angelus was inside of him, filling him up as Dru watched on in joy. Angelus grunted as he pounded into Will, loving how his boy made such delectable noises as he filled him deep.

 

When he was done, Angelus lay panting on the ground, Will beside him. “You know, I think I actually like daisies.” Angelus confessed, eliciting a laugh from Will.

 


 

Smiling at the memory, Spike closed his eyes, and fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Soft fingers traced patterns on Spike’s skin, lazily drawing out different shapes as Angel waited for Spike to wake up.

 

Spike was already awake, however. Lying still, Spike basked in the presence of his sire. A part of him wished that this moment would last forever, but realistically he knew that the world still existed outside of this room.

 

It scared him, that thought. That perhaps this had been a mistake, and as soon as Angel realized that, everything would return to as it was before. That his promise of staying wasn’t real, that it had all been nothing but a dream, and soon they’d have to return to reality.

 

“What are you thinking about?” Angel wondered, interrupting Spike’s thoughts.

 

Opening his eyes, Spike sighed. “Nothing.” He whispered. It was stupid, after all. Right? But suddenly, Spike didn’t know if his fears were so irrational after all. Angelus had promised to always be there before, and yet he had still left.

 

“You’re really staying?” Spike asked, staring up at the ceiling. He didn’t want to see Angel’s face, didn’t want to see the sudden guilt as Angel realized what he’d promised, before recanting it all.

 

“I’m staying, Will.” Angel replied, hand squeezing Spike’s hip in reassurance. “I’m not leaving you again. I made a mistake before, in abandoning you. I thought I was doing what was best. I realize that now that might not be the case though.” Angel admitted.

 

“It wasn’t.” Spike assured, still uncertain of Angel’s words. He wanted to believe him, but it just seemed too good to be true. Angel always left in the end. But for now, Spike was content in allowing himself to believe the lie.

 

Angel continued to map Spike’s chest, both vampires laying in silence as they enjoyed each others company, both less than eager to join the world outside.

 

Angel frowned as he continued though, his fingers brushing over old wounds and scars. It had been nagging him for awhile now, what had happened to his childe, and Angel found himself wanting to know the whole story.

 

“What happened to you, Will?” Angel asked, brushing over a thin white scar that was in the shape of a hole.

 

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Spike whispered, shutting his eyes tightly. "And I keep telling you, it's Spike." He reminded, heart not in the retort. 

 

“Please.” Angel begged.

 

Angel never begged. With this in mind,  Spike decided that there was no point in hiding it anymore, and complied.

 


 

Sunnydale - One month ago

 

Spike watched as the slayer made her patrol, dusting vamps and making quips.

 

“Watch your mouth, little girl. You should know better than to tempt the Fates that way. ‘Cause the Big Bad is back, and this time it’s…arrrgh!” Spike yelled, eyes widening as he felt electricity course through his body, and he knew no more.

 

When Spike woke up, he couldn’t tell how much time had passed. He felt like shit though. Groaning, Spike slowly opened his eyes, blinking as a sudden harsh light bombarded his senses.

 

“What the hell?” Spike murmured, blinking rapidly as his eyes scanned his surroundings. He was in a small cell, by the look of things. Bright white tiles lined the floor and walls, and one of the walls was transparent.

 

Standing up, Spike realized just how weak he felt. How long had he been here? It felt like he hadn’t fed in three days.

 

Walking over to the wall of plexiglass, Spike reached out, intent on getting a better look at where he'd been taken. As soon as his hand touched the wall, however, a surge of electricity shocked him back.

 

“What the hell.” He repeated softly, as a sudden fear gripped him. Where was he?

 

The sound of a horn interrupted his thoughts, and Spike looked up as a bag of blood dropped from a hatch in the ceiling. Ignoring the rational part of his brain, Spike picked the bag up, his hunger fueling him as he began to bite in.

 

“Don't drink it. It's drugged.” A voice warned, coming from the cell beside his.

 

Pausing, Spike lowered the bag, spitting out what blood had landed in his mouth.

 

“Uh-huh. And who are you, mate?” Spike asked his mysterious informant.

 

A eerie laugh followed, as the other was somehow apparently amused. “I'm a rat. I'm a lab rat - like the others. They're gonna kill us, you know?” He whispered.

 

“And how are ‘they’ going to do that?” Spike frowned.

 

“They starve you. And when you're ready to bite your own arm, they shoot out one of those packets. You drink, and the next thing you know - you're gone. That's when they do the experiments.” Lab Rat explained, voice shaking in fear.

 

Moving around, Spike ran his hands along the white tiles, looking for any weakness. He didn't find any.

 

“And ‘they’ are....the government? Nazis? A major cosmetics company?” Spike quipped, brain going through the possibilities of who could do this.

 

“Who cares? All I know is, one minute I'm running from the Slayer, and the next thing, I'm here…” Rat trailed off.

 

Anger gripped Spike at those words, boiling over as he kicked the wall in rage.

 

“The Slayer. I knew it. I knew it! ” He roared. But of course , who else would this be?!

 

“She took apart my crew and drove me straight to these guys.” Rat divulged.

 

“She set me up, too!” Spike growled, fist slamming into the plexiglass wall, emitting a shower of sparks.

 

“I always worried what would happen if the bitch got some funding. She wised up a bit. Fine. I'll take her apart - I don't care how brilliant she is.” Spike vowed, glaring at his prison walls in revulsion. He'd show her, he'd find a way out of here - then she'd be sorry.

 

Pacing the small room, Spike tried to think of a plan, but his anger kept getting in the way. He was going to obliterate that bitch! Who did she think she was?! Well, the Slayer, yeah - but he ate slayers for breakfast.

 

This slayer had proved more difficult than the others he’d faced though. She had family, friends, and stupid hair. She was an enigma, but one Spike had decided to solve, and ultimately undo. He’d had enough of her meddling, and foiling his plans. The Gem of Amara had been the last straw.

 

“I’m gonna kill that bitch.” He growled, glaring at the see-through wall. “I’m gonna tear her apart! Gut her, and use her intestines to strangle her!” Spike vowed venomously. First, he had to get out of here though.

 

Five minutes later and Spike had gotten nowhere. Cursing under his breath, Spike punched the wall again, ignoring the spray of electricity.

 

“Hey!” He yelled. “I demand to speak with someone in charge!” He ordered.

 

“Yelling’s useless, you know.” Rat piped up, sounding thoroughly depressed.

 

“Yeah, well you got any other bright ideas?” Spike shot back, nostrils flaring.

 

“No. But nothing helps. Fighting just makes it worse. My advice? Accept your fate. We’re gonna be here till we die, anyway.” Rat muttered.

 

“Yeah, not in me nature, mate. And I’m not going down without a fight.” Spike replied.

 

An hour later, Spike was reevaluating that thought. There was no way out. Not physically, at least. The walls were impenetrable, and no amount of fists and brute strength would make them budge. Sitting down, Spike felt stumped. How the bloody hell was he going to get out of this?

 

Hours passed, maybe even days, and Spike could feel his resolve breaking. He was just so damn hungry . How long were they planning on keeping him in here?! It was driving him insane.

 

Spike found himself imagining scenarios to pass the time, little fantasies that involved finally doing Buffy in. He could torture her, drive her insane as he picked off her pesky family and friends. Murder the whole Scooby Gang, before finally coming for Buffy herself. It would be amusing, at least.

 

Let’s see, he’d kill the sidekick - Harris - rather quickly. Boy wasn’t even worth his time. For the others though, some sort of imagination should be involved. Maybe he’d turn the witch, she was cute and interesting enough. Oh, and then force Harris to stake her - before killing him. Yes, that was good. And, maybe, at the very end - he would save the Watcher for last. As he finally subdued the slayer, draining her of her life as he watched on. Cause that was what watchers did, right?

 

Spike laughed at that thought, frowning afterwards as he rested his head against the wall. God, that just reminded him of Dru. She’d been so beautiful, that time she’d tortured the old man. Using her charms and magic to make him see what she wanted. Fantastic, that. Of course, he’d been in a wheelchair at the time, and couldn’t show her the proper affection afterwards. Didn’t mean Angelus didn’t.

 

Fucking Angelus. And fucking Dru. Why’d she leave him? If she hadn’t left, he’d have never come back to Sunnyhell in the first place!

 

Groaning, Spike realized he felt numb. Surely a vampire wasn’t supposed to go this long without eating? Not to mention despite being undead, and able to go without sleep for quite some time - they still needed it. Spike felt his eyes closing against his will, stomach clenching in pain as he passed out………

 

 

He woke up to that damn horn.

 

Eyeing the bag of blood, Spike found himself reaching towards it. He stopped himself however, at the last moment, refusing to give in………

 

 

Maybe he should dye his hair red. He’d never had it red before, and was curious to know what he’d look like ginger. Find a photographer, make him take his photo. He’d probably look rather dashing as a ginger. Would probably need to style it differently though………

 

 

“It tore me apart, seeing her like that.” Spike confessed, a day later. “She was going on and on, moaning about a bright light, something that would consume Angel. Course, I had no idea what she meant at the time. Angelus was fine, and it was only years later that the event actually happened.” Spike mused.

 

“I still don’t believe you knew the Scourge of Europe.” Rat protested, voice weak from starvation.

 

“Believe it, mate.” Spike sighed, picking at a thread on his shirt.

 

 

The next day they took Rat, and Spike was left alone………

 

 

It became a routine. Loud horn, latch opens, blood drops, and Spike ignores it. Only, for the routine to work, Spike needed to stick to it. To continue to refuse the blood. It was getting harder……

 

Spike wished Dru was here…….

 

 

Spike saw them bring Rat back, stuff him into the cell beside him. He didn’t have any hands……

 

 

They didn’t talk to each other after that.

 

“Ninety-five bottles of beer on the wall, ninety-five bottles of beer…” Spike sang, moving his feet to the beat………

 

He’d tried to fight it, he really did. But the moment the bag dropped for the umpteenth time, Spike was fighting a losing battle. Spike didn’t know where the bags went when he fell asleep, but he didn’t want this one to join them.

 

Spike’s hand shot out, grabbing ahold of the blood and weighing it almost reverently. The crimson liquid inside taunted him, mocking him with it’s delicious scent. He was just so bloody hungry. Ignoring the warning bells his head was giving off, Spike vamped out, and bit into the bag greedily.

 

As the blood rushed into his mouth, Spike wondered what he had been afraid of. It was hot, and delicious, and by god Spike didn’t even care that it wasn’t human. And then it was gone, and Spike dropped the bag as he suddenly felt dizzy.

 

Maybe he had drank it too fast, or maybe…no. Spike tried to fight through the fog that was clouding his mind, realizing that he had been drugged. He wouldn’t let them, he wouldn’t…

 

He’d passed out. Only for a minute or so, but when he woke up again two men were fastening him onto a gurney.

 

“No.” Spike moaned, trying to lift his arms. “No!” He shouted, using all of his strength to break free, as one of the men in lab coats tried to quickly fasten the last restraint. He was too late though, as Spike used his free arm to throw him back - still strong despite his current state. He felt like the world was spinning, but still he continued to fight back, tugging at the band restraining his other arm.

 

“Code blue, code blue!” The other lab coat yelled, pulling out a tazer and shooting it at Spike.

 

Spike yelped in pain as electricity coursed through him, snarling as large hands tried to hold him down. They were strong, why were they so strong?!

 

“Slayer.” Spike hissed, vision blurry as he tried to break free.

 

“Hold him still!” A voice ordered, as another man gasped as footsteps sounded down the hall.

 

“What’s going on here?” A woman’s voice asked.

 

“Nothing, Professor Walsh.” The man holding him replied, jamming a needle into Spike’s neck.

 

“I’m gonna kill you...slayer...I’mma kill you…” Spike slurred, slowly losing mobility.

 

“Bring him to my lab.” The woman ordered, before Spike lost consciousness completely.

 


 

“Set him in there.” Walsh demanded, making a note on her clipboard.

 

The men transporting the vampire complied, double checking that Hostile 17 was unconscious before undoing the restraints, and lifting him up. They then moved the body onto a large metal table, fastening straps around the subject’s arms, legs, and torso. Another strap held down his neck, while another was placed over his forehead, securing him in place.

 

“Don’t forget the gag, I don’t want him waking up and biting anyone.” Walsh commented, as a metal device was placed inside the vampire's mouth.

 

“You’re unlike the others, aren’t you?” Walsh mused, moving the overhead light so it shone down on the subject. “Stronger. I reckon you’ve lived longer than most of them.” She continued, putting on her gloves.

 

Going over to a nearby table, Walsh pushed a button on a recorder. “This is Professor Maggie Walsh, I am with Hostile 17 and proceeding with the third - and hopefully successful - implantation of my new modification chip.” She announced, before turning to the doctor beside her. “You may proceed.” She told him, watching as the man drilled a minuscule hole into the vampire’s head.

 

When the vampire woke up, Walsh was watching behind a one-way mirror. She and a handful of other scientists were eager to find out the results, as past attempts had resulted in the subject either going brain dead, or waking up insane.

 

Walsh observed as blue eyes snapped open, and the vampire tried to struggle against his bonds. They held, of course, like they were supposed to.

 

“Send in the test.” Walsh commanded, watching as the armed doctor entered the room.

 

Back on the table, Spike was close to hyperventilating. He knew he didn’t need to breathe - but waking up strapped to a table, with a metal gag forcing your best set of weapons closed, wasn’t exactly calming.

 

His head was killing him, and the light above shone right into his eyes, nearly blinding him. A second later, however, the light was removed.

 

Blinking, Spike watched as the doctor moved the lamp, then began to undo his restraints. Was he dull? Laughing inside, Spike felt almost giddy as the straps on his arms were undone, and he was freed.

 

Bloody idiot, Spike thought, before his arm darted out towards the man’s throat.

 

Pain. White, hot, and searing. Spots danced across his vision as his hand retreated and clasped his head, and Spike yelled through the gag.

 

What the bloody hell was that?! Confused and groggy, Spike attempted to attack again, but was assaulted with the same pain as before.

 

“Implantation is a success.” The doctor announced, replacing the restraints on Spike’s arm.

 

“Perfect. We can proceed to Phase Two.” Walsh replied through the intercom.

 

As a needle poked the side of his neck, Spike knew one thing - fear.

 

A voice woke him up.

 

“Proceeding to the first test, Hostile 17, healing factor.” Walsh reported, once more talking into her recorder.

 

Spike glared, staring down the woman who seemed to be in charge. Well, she wasn’t the slayer, he knew that much. Just a bunch of scientists in lab coats, from what his restrained vision could see. Fuck.

 

Who were these people? A group of mortals, playing doctor with a bunch of demons? He’d heard of this before, had even witnessed it a bit. The Nazi’s had tried something similar, but from what Spike heard, things turned grisly for them. In the end, the demons had escaped, and the whole lot was slaughtered.

 

Guess he just had to wait for the right opportunity, then strike. He wasn’t gonna just give up, like Rat had suggested. He was Spike, William the Bloody, and the Slayer of Slayer’s. Like hell he’d let a bunch of human scientists stop him.

 

Spike braced himself as one of the lab coats loomed over him, a large scalpel in his hand.

 

They could do their tests, go through with their experiments. But in the end, he’d get the drop on them. He was one-hundred and twenty-six years old, and they were ants. He’d kill them all when the moment presented itself.

 

Do your worst, he thought, making a decision. Even as the scalpel tore through his flesh, cutting through muscle and making him bleed - he stuck with his resolve. He wouldn’t scream, wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. After all, he’d been through much worse than this.

 

At least, that’s what he thought.

 

Hours later, Spike’s torso was a pattern of cuts and incisions. The lab coats seemed to be measuring how long it took him to heal, judging by the breaks in between. At first they had started slow, barely breaking the flesh and watching as his skin healed itself. Then it got worse, as their cuts became deeper, more shallow. Soon nerves were severed, and the breaks were longer. It took more time to heal damaged nerves. Still, he hadn’t screamed.

 

“Healing rate is decreasing with progress, Hostile 17 is losing more blood, which is likely the reason for delayed healing.” That sodding woman noted, talking into her little device. “Result : vampires need blood to heal, a decrease in blood equals a reduction in healing time.” Walsh concluded.

 

Yeah, well she was right about that , Spike thought. Come closer so I can rectify that problem.

 

She didn’t, of course. And Spike found himself wanting to scream in frustration. He couldn’t fight back, he couldn’t even bloody talk!

 

“Which brings us to step two.” Walsh continued. “How high is a vampire's pain threshold?” She wondered, writing down notes from the previous experiment. She then set down the recorder, turning it off and removing her gloves. She hadn’t even lifted a finger, and yet still she acted as if she’d conducted the entire experiment herself.

 

“I’m going to grab lunch. You may either join me, or start early. I expect progress when I return if you choose the latter.” Walsh instructed, heading out through some unseen door.

 

“Now we’re all alone.” The doctor above him crooned, giving Spike a sadistic grin.

 

Spike could only glare in response, as once more he felt the cool metal of a knife on his skin.

 

The Doctor was good, Spike had to give him that. Knew his way around a knife rather well. While the proclaimed Professor Walsh took a detached and clinical approach to his torture, the faceless masked Doctor seemed to receive pleasure from it.

 

“I hope she takes a long lunch.” The Doctor confessed, slicing a long cut down Spike’s torso. He was using a jagged knife now, that made uneven, deep cuts, and left a trail of oozing blood in it’s wake.

 

Spike didn’t even realize there was any blood left in him, so much had been spilled already. He felt faint, and dizzy. Blood was life, after all, for vampires more than anything. It’s what they strived off of, always wanting more, needing more. A vampire with a blood deficiency wasn’t a pretty sight, and Spike was certain he was paler than death by now.  

 

Suddenly The Doctor put down the knife, growing bored, and picked up a vial of some clear liquid. Spike’s vision was still obscured, strapped down as he was -  but as the bottle was poured over him, the contents soon became clear.

 

Spike screamed then, as the holy water hit his open sores. Eyes wide, Spike fought desperately against his restraints as his flesh sizzled and burned, boiling his blood and charring his flesh.

 

“Interesting.” The voice of Walsh noted, coming back into the room. She went over to the table, examining the newly created wounds curiously. “Continue.” She ordered, turning the recorder back on.

 

The Doctor did just that, pouring the contents of the bottle all over the subject's body, and watching as it writhed and moaned. It was fascinating, watching the holy water do it’s job.

 

Walsh was curious as if there was a scientific reason behind the reaction, or if it was purely mystical. Walsh didn’t much believe in magic, although it was one of the superstitions regarding vampires. However, since learning of demons her viewpoints had widened broadly.

 

The Doctor next poured the water in the subject’s eyes, and both he and Walsh watched as the liquid attacked the orbs, feeding off them as Hostile 17 screamed through it’s gag.

 

“Is it blind?” Walsh asked, pointing a light in the subject’s eyes after a few minutes. Noting the result on her clipboard, Walsh wrote down the time, curious how long it would take for the vampire's sight to heal. She then waved the doctor to continue, taking more notes along the way.

 

In the end, it turned out a vampires pain threshold - or at least this vampires - was quite high. The Doctor moved onto crosses from there, although both tormentors quickly grew bored, realizing that it had nearly the same effect as the holy water.

 

After that, The Doctor decided to use more barbaric tactics. A drill was brought out, and holes were driven into the subject’s feet, hands, and kneecaps. Still, the vampire seemed to retain consciousness, it's desperate and blood curdling screams piercing the air.

 

Spike, meanwhile, was in hell. He just wanted it to stop. He had thought he could handle it, could withstand the torture. And at first, it had been easy. Knives were simple, easy to ignore. Even when it cut into his muscle, and he’d lost a lot of blood - even then had he been able to withstand the pain.

 

Once they took away his eyesight however, it all went downhill. Vampires relied on their senses, their heightened abilities - to hunt, track, and basically just get around. It had always been a given, knowing your enemy. Being able to see them, to calculate and deduct your surroundings, so you’d have a better advantage. Before, Spike had been calm, knowing who his suppressors were. Knowing what was coming, what was being done. Knowing that if he was given the chance, he could see it, and escape. But now, now he knew nothing. Everything was dark, and that scared him to his core.

 

All he knew was pain. Knives, needles, pressure, blood. Scalpels, drills, holy water, electricity. Glass, fire (carefully contained, of course), blunt instruments. The list went on. It never stopped, and Spike was ready to pass out.

 

When they decided to shatter his hand, he finally did. Oblivion was heaven compared to this.

 

“Hm, well, it lasted longer than the others.” Walsh remarked, writing down the results of the pain experiment. “We'll resume tomorrow. Before you take it back, I want tissue samples.” She decided, packing up her files and leaving.

 

After retrieving said samples, Hostile 17 was then escorted back to his cell, released from his bonds and dumped inside unceremoniously.

 

When Spike woke up, he felt numb. The pain was still there, ever present and mocking. But inside, he felt cold. He was going to die here. Rat had been right, had always been right. There was no point anymore.

 

Even if he wanted to fight, he couldn’t. He was weak, he was starved. He couldn’t even bloody see. Spike knew his vision would return, or at least he hoped it would. Never exactly been in the position before, had he? Never had a bath in holy water, either.

 

Letting out a choked sob, Spike contemplated death. Anything would be better than this, and he was already in hell. Angelus had never been this cruel, this sadistic, and the man had bloody driven Dru insane!

 

Just give him a stake already.

 

Time passed, he didn’t know how much, but he could feel his wounds heal. He could see now - light at least. It hurt. His bones ached, and his skin screamed. His hand was a bloody mess still, his fingers healing crooked. Spike realized he’d have to break it again if he wanted it to heal properly. But honestly, he didn’t care. What did it matter, after all?

 

They came when he could see again, and most of his major injuries had been healed. He didn’t have the strength to fight back.

 

As they strapped him down, Spike didn’t even realize that there were less restraints than before, or that the gag had been taken away completely. All he knew was that whatever they decided to do this time, it couldn’t be worse than anything he’d already been through.

 

He was wrong.

 

“Good afternoon, Professor Walsh.” The Doctor greeted the woman, both humans ignoring the subject on the slab.

 

“Good afternoon, Greg.” She replied, setting down her things and shrugging on her lab coat.

 

“How are things up above?” Greg asked, a running joke between the hermits who always stayed here, rarely bothering to go outside.

 

“Mm, uneventful.” Walsh answered, not one for small-talk as she got her notes ready, and pressed the button on the recorder.

 

“This is Professor Maggie Walsh, with Hostile 17. The time is 1735 hours. Proceeding today with phase three, after the subject has shown an extraordinary resistance to physical methods.” Walsh spoke, giving a nod to The Doctor.

 

Spike watched warily as The Doctor moved about, seeing no obvious weapons in sight. What were they playing at?

 

“Did you send that tissue sample to the lab?” Walsh asked, as The Doctor filled a syringe.

 

“Last night.” The Doctor nodded, inserting the needle into the subject's neck.

 

Spike hissed at the intrusion, expecting pain, but surprised to note there was none.

 

“Good. I want to see the analysis as soon as it’s available.” Walsh continued, walking over to the subject and tightening his restraints.

 

Suddenly alarms blared overhead, sirens wailing as lights flashed up above. Both the Doctor and the Professor looked at each other in alarm, darting to the door.

 

“Code red, code red!” A voice yelled over the intercom, as people scrambled left and right.

 

What the hell was going on? Spike groaned, trying to twist his head so he could see better. Demons were running amok, causing chaos as there seemed to be some sort of breach.

 

Good for them. He should start moving now, probably. Instead, Spike closed his eyes, exhausted. Maybe one of the vampires would suck Walsh dry. A bloke could hope.

 

“Spike, wake up!” A voice shouted above him, as suddenly someone was slapping his face.

 

Cracking open his eyes, Spike felt dumbstruck as he saw the Slayer standing above him, the scoobies surrounding her.

 

“What the hell?” He groaned, blinking his eyes as if she’d suddenly disappear.

 

“Spike, we’ve got to get out of here. Now.” She insisted, undoing his bonds.

 

Frowning, Spike sat up, not believing his current luck. Why the hell was she helping him anyways? He asked exactly that.

 

“I don’t have time for your questions, Spike.” Buffy snapped. “Now, tell us how we get out of here.” Buffy demanded.

 

Bitch. Frowning, Spike realized that he was their escape plan. Oh well, as long as he left with them, he didn’t have any qualms leading them out of there. At least he’d be free. Only, he then realized that he had no idea where there was. He’d never been conscious when escorted to the lab, and he had no idea how to get out.

 

As if being able to read his thoughts, Buffy made a disgusted noise. “You’re useless, Spike.” She spat. “Why did I ever think you’d be able to help?” She wondered, as the other scoobies laughed at her words.

 

“Come on guys, let’s figure this out by ourselves.” Buffy decided, pulling out a stake.

 

Before he had time to react, Buffy’s arm shot forward, and Spike watched as the stake drove itself into his heart.

 

“Argh!” Spike yelled, eyes shooting open, as he woke up strapped to the metal table once more.

 

“What?” He breathed, hyperventilating despite his need for air.

 

“Poor William, so lost, so afraid.” A voice crooned next to him, and suddenly he realized fingers were tracing his torso fondly.

 

“Dru?” Spike asked, voice wondrous at the possibility of her being here. Had she been captured too? And what the hell was that dream about?

 

“Yes, my sweet boy, it’s me.” Drusilla replied, face coming into view. She was laying on a table next to him, that had been pressed together with his. She wasn’t strapped down however - not that Spike processed that -  and was sprawled on the surface seductively, wearing a sheer white nightgown.

 

“Dru, what, what are you doing here?!” Spike wondered, alarmed at her presence. They couldn’t have her, they couldn’t!

 

“I’m here to help you, silly.” She giggled, running her fingers through his curls.

 

“Dru, you need to get out. Leave before they see you.” Spike warned in a harsh whisper, eyes darting towards the electric door.

 

“Please, luv.” He begged, as Dru simply continued to laugh, purring as she snuggled into his side.

 

She wouldn’t leave, god, why wouldn’t she leave? Didn’t she realize the danger she was in?! He couldn’t allow them to do her what was done to him. He wouldn’t.

 

“Dru, listen to me.” Spike demanded, voice hard.

 

Dru looked up at his tone, frowning as she removed her fingers and whimpered.

 

“But I don’t want to.” She protested, pouting and turning away at the stern look on his face.

 

“Dru, get out of here. That’s an order. You don’t want to make me angry, do you? ‘Cause I’m getting really angry, Dru.” Spike warned, using any method he could to make her leave.

Drusilla huffed, sitting up and turning back towards him. “Fine.” She conceded, hopping off of the table. She then went over to him and began undoing his restraints.

 

“I’m not leaving you.” She stated, as if he was going to protest.

 

“I didn’t expect that you would, luv.” Spike sighed, realizing that he should have known better, and that Dru would never leave without him. God, he loved her.

 

“Why are you here, Dru?” Spike suddenly wondered, body protesting as he sat up.

 

Drusilla looked away at his question, however, becoming fascinated by a piece of lint on her gown.

 

“Dru?” He repeated. Last time he’d seen her she’d run off with a fungus demon. It had broken his heart, but Spike always knew deep down she’d return to him. They were made for each other, after all. And now here she was. He only wondered what had changed her mind.

 

“Daddy.” Dru replied, looking toward the door.

 

At first Spike was confused, wondering why Angel would urge her to come see him. But then Spike realized Dru wasn’t answering his question, but rather greeting the person by the door.

 

“Angelus?” Spike asked, wondering how much blood he had lost.

 

“Daddy!” Dru cried again, running over to Angelus and burrowing into his open arms.

 

“Hello, William.” Angelus acknowledged.

 

“What are you doing here?” Spike inquired, pushing down the sudden rush of hope inside him. Sire. His sire was here.

 

“We’ve come to rescue you, William.” Angelus replied, a soft smile on his face.

 

“I don’t need rescuing, not some bloody damsel.” Spike objected, but there was no venom in his voice. He was just happy to see them, both of them.

 

“Ah, shut up, Will. Come here.” Angelus demanded, tone playful as Spike stood up, and walked towards them both.

 

He felt like he was in a dream, a surprisingly good dream. Angelus was here, he was really here. But why? Why now, after everything? Had he lost his soul again? Did he wish to be reunited with them both? Spike felt wary about that, as last time Angelus had appeared, things didn’t go well.

 

“You’re not going to flog me for helping Buffy, are you?” Spike asked warily, ignoring the pain in his body as Angelus laughed and pulled him close.

 

“Of course not, m’boy.” Angelus replied. “Last time my soul was taken, my demon had been repressed for decades. I wasn’t thinking straight, Will. I wanted to end the world, for christ’s sake. But now it’s different. I’ve come for you, Will. For you both.” Angelus confessed.

 

Spike frowned however, eying Angelus cautiously. It wasn’t like the other to admit fault. But then again, Spike didn’t really care. It was all he wanted to hear, after all. Angelus wasn’t in his right mind before, but now he was back. And he wanted him. He didn’t even care to ask how he’d lost his soul again.

 

Grinning, William felt lighter than he had in years. He didn’t care about the lab coats, as they were far from his mind at the moment. Right now there was only his sire - Angelus - looking at him in adoration.

 

“How about we get out of here, boy? Hm?” Angelus suggested, turning towards the door as it suddenly opened.

 

On the other side stood Walsh, crossbow in hand.

 

“No!” Spike yelled, realizing what was about to happen.

 

Moving forward, Will intended to take the hit, but he was too late. He watched as the arrow pierced his sire’s heart, turning him to dust as the ear piercing scream of Dru filled the air. Spike was screaming as well, as the next arrow hit Dru, and she joined Angelus on the floor.

 

NO! He cried, dropping to his knees. Why? Why here, why now? After everything, it was as if the moment things went right, the cosmos had to fuck it up for him.

 

William didn’t even notice or care as the next arrow left its perch, whizzing through the air and striking him. He was dead already, turning to ash was just a finality.  

 


 

“Who do you think Angelus is?” The Doctor asked, watching as the drugged subject thrashed in his bonds, snippet’s of speech melting through as he hallucinated.

 

“Another vampire. This Drusilla as well. It doesn’t matter, though. We’ll find them too.” Walsh announced, marking the names down. She’d send them to their research division, along with the recording. Hopefully something could be found from this. Hostile 17 had been a great test subject so far, better than the others, most likely due to his longevity. If this Angelus and Dru were anything like him, she’d have even more perfect lab rats on her hands.

 


 

When the drug wore off, Spike was a sobbing mess. He didn’t care that he was showing his weakness to his tormentors, tears streaming down his face. He just didn’t care. He’d had enough of it, he couldn’t handle anymore. The physical pain was one thing, but psychological torture was another level entirely.

 

They could tear at his body, take it apart piece by piece, but his mind was his own. How dare they defile it? His memories, his thoughts - they had no right rummaging through them, and twisting his hopes to fit their sick little experiments. No right at playing god, at giving him what he wanted, before ripping it all away.

 

Fuck them. Fuck them all.

 

Another needle pricked at his neck, and the pain returned.

 

This time, Spike felt like he was on fire. Burning from the inside, as his organs were liquified and bones turned to ash. It was all in his head, of course - psychological torture did seem to be their tool of the day. But still, it felt all too real.

 

His mind was a mess by now, scrambled and fractured. As the fire raged, Spike found he couldn’t think straight. Couldn’t think. It was agony, pure unfiltered hell running through his veins and making him it’s bitch.

 

Then suddenly it all stopped, after what seemed like hours of burning to a crisp. Another needle broke his skin, and the fire was replaced by a cool, numbing liquid.

 

It was a relief, the cool to the hot. Cold and calming, Spike found himself closing his eyes as the pain went away. This was nice.

 

It didn’t last, however, as the comfortable temperature kept decreasing, getting colder and colder the longer it was there. Soon it felt like he was encased in ice, shards of it stabbing his flesh and freezing his blood solid. He screamed.

 

“Interesting.” Walsh muttered, taking another note. “What was that?” She wondered.

 

“Liquid nitrogen.” The Doctor replied, watching as the subject began to convulse on the table.

 

By the time they were finished with their tests for the day, Hostile 17 was nearly comatose. Walsh had been surprised that was even possible, but as the reactions from the subject dwindled, she realized the vampire must have closed in on himself.

 

“The subject will need an extra day to heal, Professor, if you want to continue to phase four.” The Doctor informed her, not liking that fact at all. The Doctor enjoyed watching the animal squirm, but there were other test subjects. Other specimens. And they didn’t want to find out if it was possible to kill a vampire without staking it, just yet.

 

“Fine. Give it some blood, too. I want it healed by Tuesday.” Walsh instructed, looking over her clipboard and dismissing the other.

 

They’d done all the tests she’d wanted, now it was time to harvest. Hostile 17 would need to be in peak condition however, if she was to use his parts for her special project. He was a prime candidate, even if he was on a bit of the thin side. Hostile 17 had proven to be resilient, and strong. That was exactly what Walsh wanted.

 

As Walsh left, The Doctor followed her instructions. It had been a simple task, cleaning up the subject as best as possible, and feeding it blood through an IV. Just enough to help the healing process, mind, but not enough that it would regain full strength.

 

After The Doctor finished, he had the muscle escort the subject back to it’s cell. If Walsh was reading for harvesting, that meant The Doctor was done with her experiments. He was disappointed that he wouldn’t be seeing Hostile 17 again. The vampire had been fun to play with.

 


 

William was comfortable. He was sitting in front of a fire, with Dru resting her head in his lap. It was quiet here, calm. He was happy.

 

“You know, you can’t stay here forever.” Dru murmured, her words clear and void of her usual insanity.

 

William sighed at that, continuing to run his fingers through her long dark hair. He knew she was right, it didn’t mean he liked it though. It was nice here, and he was free of pain.

 

“Why can’t I stay?” Will asked sadly, gazing into the crackling flames. He didn’t want to go, didn’t want to face reality.

 

“The world needs you, my White Knight. You have a purpose you know not of, but it’s important.” She replied, looking up at him and taking his hand.

 

William snorted at that, shaking his head. “Purpose. Yeh right. What sort of purpose could I have? We’re vampires, luv. The only purpose we have is death.” He informed her.

 

Drusilla sat up at that, giving him a stern look as she blocked the view of the fire.

 

“My poor boy.” She whispered. “So alone, so lost.” She observed.

 

“Am not.” Will objected, turning away.

 

Soft hands stopped him, clutching his chin and turning him to face her.  

 

“Oh, but you are. You don’t have to be, though. You can fix it.” She explained, her hand running down his chest, until it stopped over his unbeating heart.

 

“You’ve always felt so much. Loved too much.” She mused, resting her head against his heart.

 

“And yet everyone abandoned you.” She pointed out sadly, lifting her face and nuzzling his neck.

 

“Yeah, they did.” Spike agreed, heart heavy. It was his biggest weakness, the part of him that wouldn’t let go of humanity. He’d always been a bleedin’ poet, and no matter how much he tried to hide it, or squash it out of him - it always remained. He really was love's bitch.

 

“What can I do though? It just is, luv. No use crying over the past.” Spike sighed.

 

“Oh, but there is so much to do, my William. But first, you have to wake up.” Dru pleaded, sitting up and staring him in the eyes.

 

“You can’t stop fighting, my Spike. You can’t give up.” She insisted. “You can’t let those nasty humans get the better of you. You must win, and fight, and chop them into little bits.” She sang, sounding more like her old self.

 

“You can’t stay here.” She concluded, standing up, and letting go of his hand.

 

“Don’t leave.” Will begged, still firmly planted on the soft carpet.

 

“I have to, Sweet William. And you must too.” Drusilla replied, hand reaching towards the cabin door.

 

“Goodbye, my Spike. Give them hell.” She whispered, before disappearing into the night.

 

Will sat there, contemplating what she said. He felt better now, after seeing her. Even though he knew somehow that she wasn’t real, he still felt comforted. Only problem was, he felt too comfortable here.

 

There was pain outside these fabricated walls. A hurt and despair that he didn’t want to face. He’d come here to get away from it, to protect himself, and yet still Dru expected him to leave.

 

She’d said there was more for him than this, more than the experiments and the suffering. Will wanted to believe her, but he didn’t know if he could. After all, what could be waiting for him besides more suffering?

 

“Get up, Will.” A deep voice commanded, that was tinted with an Irish accent.

 

“Angelus?” Spike questioned, not believing his eyes. Why was he here? Dru he could understand, she’d always been there for him - but Angel had a soul now. Why would he care?

 

“Stop thinking so much, Will. This isn't real, remember?” Angelus reminded.

 

Right. Well, why had his subconscious mind decided on summoning the poof then? Judging by his clothes and hair, not to mention the excessive amount of gel - this was most definitely Angel in front of him, not Angelus.

 

“So what, you here to tell me to go, too?” Spike wondered, raising an eyebrow.

 

“Yup.” Angel nodded.

 

“Well, it’s not going to work. Dru already tried.” Spike muttered, laying down and staring at the log ceiling. Funny, how he felt serene while surrounded by wood.

 

“You have a destiny, Spike. Whether you want to believe it or not.” Angel replied.

 

Spike snorted at that, rolling his eyes. “A destiny, huh? Nah, don’t think so mate. That’s your thing.” Spike pointed out. Bloody self righteous bastard, couldn’t he leave him alone? This was his dream .

 

“I’m not leaving.” Angel replied, as if reading his mind. Bloody hell, he probably could actually. Stupid dream logic.

 

“Go away.” Spike demanded, raising his voice.

 

Suddenly two strong arms were lifting him up, forcing Spike to look him in the face.

 

“I’m not leaving.” Angel repeated, expression soft and concerned.

 

“You always do, why should I expect anything less this time around? I turn around, then when I turn back you’ll be gone in a puff of smoke.” Spike said sullenly, turning towards the window. “Just gotta want it bad enough.” He murmured to himself, then turned back around.

 

Angel was still there.

 

“Bloody hell, do I have to wake up just to get rid of you?” Spike groaned.

 

“That would be a good idea, probably.” Angel admitted, an infuriating smile on his face.

 

Glaring, Spike snarled as he went over to the window, looking out. It was dark. Too dark, with not a star in sight. Suddenly, Spike realized he wasn’t looking outside, but into the void of his mind. He was slipping, falling deeper into nothingness as his brain yearned to shut down.

 

“Have you ever heard of a brain dead vampire, Will?” Angel whispered behind him.

 

No, he hadn’t, he didn’t particularly want to find out either.

 

“Wake up, Will.” Angel urged.

 

Looking into the black, William found he was afraid. He didn’t want to die, not anymore. Not now that it was staring him in the face. 

 

He woke up.

 

Eyes blinking awake, Spike was surprised to find that he’d been fed blood. He could feel it, coursing through his veins and healing his body. He was still weak, but he was no longer helpless. He didn’t want to die anymore, he’d realized that much. There was a whole world out there that Spike still wished to explore.

 

Besides, he wasn’t sure they had onion rings in hell.

 

Closing his eyes, Spike feigned sleep once more. He wasn’t sure what his dream had meant, if it even was a dream. But it did make him realize there were things worth fighting for. Dru was a testament of that, a reminder. She’d made him realize that he was better than this, reminded him of their time together. He was stronger than some nerds in white coats, and he’d be damned if they were the ones that got the best of him. He was through being their chew toy.

 

And so he waited, playing the role of the vampire who had abandoned all hope. And when they came, he was ready.

 

As they opened the cell, and loaded him onto the gurney, his eyes snapped open.

 

“Sorry, can’t stay. Gotta go see a girl.” Spike drawled, thinking of Dru as he mustered up his remaining strength.

 


 

The Present

 

“I escaped then.” Spike whispered, as he finished recounting the events.

 

“Wandered for a bit, after realizing I didn't even know where Dru was.” He confessed. “Figured out I couldn't eat as well as fight. Contemplated the fact that that bitch was still screwing with me, even after I'd escaped.” Spike laughed, voice shaky.

 

“I didn't know what to do.” Spike croaked, squeezing his eyes shut. Remembering was painful, he just wanted to forget.

 

“I thought of going to the Slayer, quickly scrapped that idea though.” Spike admitted.

 

“What made you decide to come to me?” Angel asked softly, strong hands squeezing Spike’s shoulder in comfort.

 

“Blood, I guess.” Spike said. “Figured if I couldn't find Dru, you were the next logical person. Then again, I wasn't thinking straight by then.” Spike sighed, turning away from Angel.

 

Spike had refrained from looking at the other vampire throughout his story, not wanting to see what Angel thought. But now, he didn't have a choice. He'd have to face him, sooner or later. Have to face the disgust, and horror. Have to face Angel turning him away.

 

He was broken, he'd known it for awhile now. His shiny armor having been stripped away, to reveal the vulnerable poet underneath. It still haunted him, what had happened. And William didn't know if the memories would ever go away.  

 

“I'm glad you came to me, Spike.” Angel confessed, the opposite of what he'd expected.

 

Brushing away tears, Spike leaned closer into his sire’s arms.

 

“You can call me Will.” Spike replied. He found he really didn't mind.

Chapter Text

Angel was furious, horrified, and conflicted. After Will’s recollection, he had fallen asleep again. Or, at least, his boy had wanted Angel to think he was asleep. He had respected his wishes, and let the matter drop for now. But inside, he was raging.

 

How dare they? He was struck speechless at the account of events, as Will recalled them with vivid detail. How could a handful of humans cause so much damage, so much pain? He wanted to destroy them all. What Will had said, what he had confessed had happened to him - it was unthought of. Even Angelus, when he’d been soulless and pure evil, had never done anything like that to his boy.

 

When Will had been speaking, Angel had tried to reign in his anger - not wanting to frighten him. He knew his boy would take his reaction the wrong way, and believe Angel was angry with him. It was the exact opposite however, as the demon inside of him yearned to tear out this Professor’s throat.

 

He could see how much it had hurt his boy, how deep the scars ran. Even if Will tried to put on an air of bravado, the mask of the tough and unshakable Spike - Angel knew better. He knew his boy was still hurting, even now.

 

Angel didn’t take kindly to those who hurt his family.

 

Being a vampire was unique, in the fact that blood meant everything. Blood was their life, their fuel, their desire. Blood was also what made them family, when one vampire turned another, and gave that precious blood away. Blood had bonded Angel to Darla, and his blood had then bonded Drusilla to them. When Drusilla sired William, he became a part of Angelus’ small family.

 

Blood had been everything, once upon a time. But then he was cursed, and he had forgotten what it meant, what it signified. He had been too consumed with his guilt, and the horror of what he had done, to care about anything else. He considered himself a monster, and hated the demon inside him. He’d pushed it away.

 

But maybe he shouldn’t. If the last few years had taught him anything, it was that he needed his demon to survive. A trip to hell had clarified that. His demon was a part of him, just like his soul was.

 

A soul that was keeping the demon from enacting revenge. From righting the wrong that had been done to one of his own.

 

But why? Why should he feel guilty for going after the ones that hurt his boy? As far as Angel was concerned, Walsh wasn’t any more human than he was. What she had done, it was pure evil. All in the name of science.

 

And it wasn’t just Will she’d done this to, but countless others as well. She was as bad as the demons he normally got rid of, and the very same demons she’d done her experiments on. The only difference was that some of the demons she tortured had hearts.

 

She didn’t deserve to live.

 

And soul or not, Angel couldn’t just stand by and do nothing. Something had to be done, and if he had to do it so be it. Angel didn’t think he’d lose much sleep over her death.

 

The day passed by, and neither vampire spoke of the events of last night. Not the sex, not the Initiative, not even the promises that had been made. However, all of it was on their minds, refusing to let them think about anything else.

 

Spike didn’t know how to act anymore when Angel was around, always avoiding him whenever he entered the room. Spike wondered if he’d made a mistake in telling Angel, in divulging what had really happened to him.

 

He was afraid of what Angel thought of him, now that all had been revealed. They hadn’t had a conversation since then, and even though his sire had promised to never leave - Spike didn’t know if that promise still held.

 

He wasn’t an invalid, and he was afraid to see the pity in Angel’s eyes, or worse - disgust. Yes, he was broken. Yes, he still couldn’t feed. He was barely even a vampire anymore, but still, Spike refused to let that define him. He wasn’t his scars, and he wouldn’t let them control him. He was stronger than that.

 

“Hey Spike, wanna do my nails? I have black nail polish!” Cordelia announced, interrupting his thoughts and standing there with said polish and a smile.

 

Giving her a grin, he nodded. He needed to re-do his own anyways.

 

“Why are you and Angel so sulky all of a sudden?” Cordy asked, applying the polish to his fingers.

 

“It’s complicated, luv.” Spike sighed, looking at a painting on the wall.

 

“Does it have to do with the conversation you two had?” She wondered, sparing extra attention to his pinky as she said this.

 

“Might be. How’d you know we talked?” Spike replied, eyes narrowing.

 

“I just let him know that it might be a good idea.” Cordy shrugged, dipping the brush back in the bottle. “Blow.” She instructed.

 

“Yeah, well, sort of. It’s not a bad thing though. At least I hope not.” Spike murmured. And it was true, before he’d revealed what had happened to him, things had been going well. Well, as well as it could for them.

 

Cordy hummed at that, mind whirling over Spike’s response. She still didn’t get what happened really - didn’t understand it - but if Spike said things weren’t bad between him and Angel anymore, then she’d accept that. After all, if Spike was willing to forgive Angel, then the situation probably wasn’t as bad as Angel made it out to be.

 

“Don’t worry your head over it, pet.” Spike reassured, grabbing the polish and starting on her nails.

 

Downstairs Angel was on the phone, privately talking to some of his contacts in his office. He’d made his decision, and it was time to act. Angel didn't think he’d be able to rest until this was taken care of, and he had a feeling Spike wouldn’t either.

 

“Really? Alright, thanks.” Angel murmured, hanging up the phone.

 

Apparently Walsh taught at UC Sunnydale in her downtime, and had lately been staying there overtime. It was the perfect opportunity to get her alone.

 

Angel had also inquired about the doctor Spike had mentioned, unfortunately Spike had only gotten his first name, and there were too many Greg’s in the world to pinpoint the culprit. For now, Walsh would have to do.

 

“What are you planning?” Wesley asked, stepping into his office.

 

“What? Nothing.” Angel replied, covering up a floorplan of the college.

 

Sighing, Wesley put down the books in his hands, taking off his glasses as he gave Angel a stern look.

 

“Angel, I’ve known you long enough to know when you’re up to something. Is this something we should all be concerned about?” Wesley wondered.

 

“No. It’s just, well, it’s nothing Wesley, really.” Angel repeated, standing up and heading towards the door.

 

“Don’t do something you’ll regret, Angel.” Wesley whispered behind him, as Angel’s hand paused on the doorknob.   

 

“There are some things you can’t come back from.” Wesley continued, before picking up his books and leaving out the open door.

 

Shutting the door, Angel went back to his desk, frowning. Did Wesley know? It sounded like he did, but then again how could he?

 

He was right though, and his warning made Angel rethink his plan. He couldn’t kill her. No matter how much she deserved it, no matter how much he hated her - he couldn’t add another death to his belt. She was human, even if she didn’t act like it. She was human and therefore Angel knew that he’d be wrought with guilt, even if he tried to convince himself otherwise.

 

Angel couldn’t kill her.

 

His fingers brushed over a nearby spell book, and another plan came to mind.

 


 

“I’m going out.” Angel announced, shrugging on his jacket, and walking past the rest of the group.

 

Spike watched him head towards the door warily, afraid he wasn’t going to come back. Wesley however had a knowing look on his face, frowning but never taking his eyes off his book. He knew Angel would make the right choice.

 


 

The school was dark, pitch black minus a few flickering lights. It was well past campus hours, and only a few teachers remained in their offices, working overtime.

 

His footsteps echoed as he walked, shoes hitting the tiled floor as he made his way to his destination. He didn’t care to be quiet, not right now. Any passersby would only mistake the sound of his shoes as another professor.

 

Turning a corner, the vampire narrowed his eyes, readying himself for what was about to come. It had to be done, it was why he was here. That woman couldn’t go unpunished. She had harmed what was his, had dared to lay fingers on his boy. In turn, his fingers would make marks of his own.

 

“Hello Professor.” Angel greeted, stepping into her office. It was a public domain, and therefore the laws of an invite didn't apply here.

 

Walsh stopped what she was doing, pushing aside the graded papers as she looked up.

 

“Can I help you?” She asked, wary of this late-night visitor.

 

“Oh man, I hope so!” Angel replied, giddy with excitement as he stepped closer.

 

“What do you want?” She asked, standing up and slowly moving towards her cabinet, where she had an emergency button installed.

 

“Oh, nothing much.” Angel drawled, smiling as he blocked off her intended target. “Actually, I just came here to talk about a mutual friend of ours.” Angel informed, voice going down an octave at the word ‘talk’.

 

“You remember my William, right? Strong features, handsome, has dyed his hair a horrendous color of peroxide?” Angel listed, backing Walsh into a corner as he continued moving towards her.

 

“I’m afraid not.” Walsh replied, eyes darting to her desk where she kept a gun.

 

“Don’t bother.” Angel snapped, pushing her onto a chair in the corner of the room, and looming over her.

 

“You might know him by another name. Does Hostile 17 ring any bells?” Angel hissed in question, a hand on either side of the chair, caging her in.

 

Walsh’s eyes widened at this, as realization dawned upon her.

 

“Ah. You must be Angel.” Walsh observed, having done her research as soon as the subject said the name. A vampire with a soul.

 

“Well, more or less.” Angelus grinned, fingers wandering as he stroked her neck.

 

“You won’t hurt me.” Walsh stated bluntly, eyes hard as steel as she looked up at him.

 

“Oh, and why do you seem so certain of that?” He asked, face shifting as he went into demon face.

 

“You have a soul.” Walsh pointed out, voice shaky.

 

“Now, now, Professor. We both know that doesn’t mean anything.” He whispered, leaning in towards her ear.

 

“You have a soul, and you still managed to torture my boy. Use him like a lab rat, until he couldn’t take it anymore.” Angelus hissed lowly, rattling the chair as his mouth neared her throat. He could smell her fear, see the sweat on her neck as she realized what was going to happen.

 

“But you’re wrong.” He whispered, fangs inches from her neck. “ Dead wrong.” He chuckled, pulling back.

 

“You see, you’re right about one thing. Angel does have a soul.” He admitted, going over to the cabinet she’d been eying, and pulling the emergency button out, wires and all. On his way back he also took out the gun, bending it in two.

 

“And his soul couldn’t live with the guilt of killing you, although personally, I think that’s just ridiculous.” Angelus laughed.

 

“But he knew, as well as I did, that you couldn’t be allowed to walk free. Not after what you did.” Angelus growled, hand darting out and grabbing Walsh’s throat, pinning her to the wall.

 

“So he did a spell. It doesn’t last long, sadly, but it’s going to do the job. You see, Angel’s taking a little nap right now. Nice and snug and cozy in the back of his mind. Meanwhile, I’ve been given the reigns.” Angelus grinned.

 

“And the best part? Angel won’t even remember this. Won’t have to know all of the dark, grisly, evil things I’m going to do to you. Because I’m going to make you scream. Make you beg. You touched what was mine, and you’re going to pay.” He hissed.

 

“Angel knew I’d get the job done, and he was right. And you were wrong.” Angelus breathed, watching as Walsh’s eyes widened in horror.

 

Smiling broadly, Angelus then backhanded her, knocking her out cold. He couldn’t very well enact his revenge here, after all.




Walsh woke up to darkness. She was strapped tightly to a chair, bound by cords of rope on her ankles, wrists, and torso. She was also gagged.

 

“Now, we only have a few hours together, but I can assure you I’ll make it worth my time.” Angelus drawled, turning on an overhead light.

 

Blinking, Walsh could make out they were in a basement of some sort. It was cold, with dusty concrete on all sides. Old, apparently forgotten boxes - as well as moth eaten furniture, were piled throughout the room. She couldn’t see a door.

 

“As you can probably see, I don’t have any of the fancy tools you’re probably used to using.” Angelus drawled, walking towards her. His long sleeved shirt was rolled up, revealing bulging muscles underneath. But, as he said, he held no visible weapons.

 

“Thing is, I don’t need them.” Angelus confessed softly, standing over her. Bringing his hand back, he let his wrist fly, striking her in the face.

 

Blood poured freely from her nose now, running down her face in a stream of red. Still, her eyes stared defiantly back at him.

 

“Think you’re tough, hm? Well, we’ll see.” Angelus murmured, dragging another chair in front of her, before flipping it around and sitting on it. His arms rested on the back as he observed her, eyes dancing over her every feature.

 

“Do you know what happens, when a vampire of Aurelius is harmed?” Angelus asked, voice soft. “The others in the family can feel it.” Angelus breathed. “Angel, of course, had blocked out his demon. He probably felt like something was wrong, but couldn’t quite pinpoint it. I, however, knew all too well what was happening. My boy was being hurt. And yet, I couldn’t do anything.” Angelus growled.

 

“But now I can.” He stated, the dark look in his eyes turning bright. “Right now, I can do anything. I could run off, leave you alone. I could feed, torture innocents, and have a merry time while doing so.” Angelus chuckled, his expression one of longing as he stared off into space.

 

“But I’m not going to do that. You know why? Because you’ve made me very angry.” Angelus hissed darkly.

 

“How could a human ; a frail, sweating, disgusting creature like you - cause such pain to my boy?” Angelus wondered, standing up and kicking over the chair.

 

“I heard everything he said, everything he told me. I might have just been an observer, but I know what you did.” Angelus breathed. “You tortured him. Ripped him apart, over and over again. Made him bleed, made him scream - you probably even made him beg. But you don’t care, right? People like us don’t care who we hurt.” Angelus noted, ignoring as Walsh made a sound of protest - probably at being compared to him.

 

“Oh, but you don’t. It’s all in the name of science, right? We’re just animals to you!” Angelus pointed out, laughing as she snarled.

 

“But guess what, old woman, I care.” Angelus confessed. “Not about the others, the rest of your experiments - I couldn’t give a shit about them. No, I care about my boy. William. Sweet, pure William.” Angelus told her.

 

“He’s always been my favorite, you know? A troublesome fledgling, for sure, but still. He had a sharp tongue, never knew when to shut his mouth. I secretly enjoyed it though, and I did find other uses for it as well.” Angelus chuckled.

 

“Always eager to please, to gain my approval. And you know what? I am proud of him. I’m proud of what he’s done, what he’s accomplished. I taught him well. I’m just disappointed I’ll never be able to tell him.” Angelus sighed, pacing in front of his victim.

 

“He’s even more beautiful than I could imagine. He killed two slayers, you know? How I wish I could have been there. To see the fight, the blood, the moment those bitches met their end - by my boy.” Angelus grinned.

 

“But I couldn’t. And instead I have to watch, day after day, as my soulful half keeps fucking things up.” Angelus growled, years of pent up rage rising to the surface, as he turned towards Walsh once more.

 

“And now he’s defenseless. He can’t feed, can’t fight back against vile beings like you. You violated him, turned him against his nature. You twisted my boy inside out, and now I’ll do the same to you.” Angelus vowed.

 

As he stalked towards her - face changing to reveal yellow eyes and glinting fangs - he thought of one thing. That hopefully his boy would find peace, and that Angel would make things right. That Angel would learn to embrace the darkness, because it was what Will needed right now. His boy needed his sire, and Angel was the only one who could provide that. But for now, it was his turn to right things.

 

For the next six hours, Angelus painted the room in blood, until finally the dying screams of Maggie Walsh drowned out all else.

 


 

As Angel lay down in bed later, he felt cold. He thought he wouldn’t remember what happened - the spell had made it out to be that way - but he did. He remembered it all. What Angelus felt, what he thought. Angelus was him - minus the moral code - and Angel had experienced it all. Every punch, every bruise, every bone he broke, every scream. And yet, strangely enough, Angel couldn’t find it in himself to care.

Chapter Text

Angel felt like a monster. Not because of what he had done, no. He didn’t particularly care about the blood, the death, the cracking of bones and mutilation of Walsh’s body. No, he felt like a monster because he knew he should feel something - anything. But he didn’t. Instead, he felt numb to it all.

 

What had happened to him? He had been there, he had witnessed it all, and yet he felt nothing. Logically Angel knew it was Angelus who had done the deed, had made Walsh scream, as he literally twisted her inside out - before watching her bleed to death. And yet, Angel felt like he’d done nothing wrong. He didn’t even feel disgusted by the methods Angelus had used. It felt like justice.

 

It was late, or early technically - he should be asleep, and yet the complete wrongness of the situation wouldn’t go away. He was afraid of what he was becoming, where he was heading.

 

“There are some things you can’t come back from.” Wesley murmured, before picking up his books and leaving the room.

 

Angel was afraid Wesley had been right. That he had crossed a line from which there was no return.

 

He was disgusted with himself, for not feeling, not having any remorse. It may have been Angelus that tortured Walsh, but Angel allowed it to happen. And he didn’t care. He still didn’t care. And that worried him more than anything else.

 

Sighing, Angel closed his eyes, forcing himself to try to sleep. He’d have to tell Will what happened when he woke up. He only hoped that the actions Angel had taken were for the better, and that his boy would be able to find some semblance of peace now that Walsh was gone.

 

That afternoon Angel, Spike, and the rest of the gang were gathered in the lobby, all discussing a vision Cordelia just had.

 

“God, it was horrible.” Cordy breathed, sitting down as she tried to calm down. The visions were getting worse every time, and she didn’t know what to do anymore. She couldn’t tell the others, that was for sure - they’d only worry.

 

“There was a girl, several girls really. Anyways, they were all sitting in a circle, chanting and stuff. They couldn’t be more than ten, all of them.” Cordy whispered, still stunned by what she had saw. “And there was a little boy in the middle of the circle, and his head… they had chopped it off, guys. There was so much blood.” Cordy choked out, closing her eyes as if doing so would erase the vision.

 

“There was a clock in the room, broken recently, but I think the time was right. It happens in a few hours. The room they were in, it was just a regular room. A townhouse, I think? Redwood Drive - there’s mail.” Cordelia relayed, remembering the layout of the room. It had looked like it had been ransacked, the small cozy home torn apart.

 

“We should get going then.” Gunn decided, standing up and heading towards the weapons cabinet.

 

“Yes, we should. First, we need to know what we’re dealing with. We can’t exactly go barging in, and kill a group of little girls - no matter how deranged they might be. Cordy, could you tell if they were possessed? Or if they were actually demons?” Wesley asked, rushing over to a pile of books.

 

“Um, not really. They all looked pretty normal to me. Besides all the chanting and blood, that is.” Cordy drawled, feeling sick.

 

“Right, well, we’ll figure it out when we get there. Wes, you can bring a book on exorcism if you need to.” Angel decided.

 

As the others talked, Spike was thinking about what he should do. He hadn’t been much use around here, and it was starting to get boring, sitting in the hotel day in and day out - doing nothing but watching telly and annoying the others. He needed to get out, and his nightly poker games weren’t helping much.

 

Standing up, Spike made a decision, and grabbed an axe from the weapons stash.

 

“What are you doing?” Angel asked, watching as Spike hefted the axe from one hand to the other, testing out how it felt.

 

“What does it look like I’m doing? Gonna help you sorry lot, aren’t I?” Spike replied, raising an eyebrow, and daring Angel to refuse his help.

 

Angel didn’t say anything, instead nodding and turning back to Wes. After further discussion, they all headed out, the sun having gone down an hour ago. He didn’t know how he felt about Spike deciding to go with him, but he knew his boy could handle himself. If he wanted to help, so be it. Hopefully it was a sign Spike was feeling better, and wanted to get out more. Angel doubted Spike was doing it out of the goodness of his heart, he probably just wanted to beat things up - but, it was all the same. And Angel still needed to tell him about Walsh.

 

As they got to the house, the group quickly realized that the little girls were in fact demons in human guise. That made things easier as Angel swept the little boy (who was still thankfully alive) to safety, as Spike, Gunn, and Wesley fought off the little she-demons.

 

An hour later they were all headed back to the hotel, the boy in the company of his aunt (his parents had been killed by the demon children, as that was apparently their house, and the demons had used it for their ritual).

 

“I have never seen that species of demon before.” Gunn piped up in the car, shaking demon goo off of his jacket. Once weapons started chopping, the little girls had quickly shown their true forms - eyes turning red, as their skin boiled and claws emerged. Beheading them turned out to be the only way to kill them, and once they did so the demons sprayed purple blood upon decapitation.

 

“Harpies. Young ones. While I’ve only ever seen pictures of grown harpies, I’ve read that their children can be quite vicious.” Wesley recalled, as they all headed back into the hotel.

 

Spike headed off to his room, once the others assured Fred and Cordelia that everything had been taken care of. Angel, meanwhile, watched him go upstairs, weighing whether he should go after him. He needed to tell Spike what he had done, and he couldn’t keep putting it off. He wanted to tell him right away of course, even if he was a little nervous about his boy’s reaction - but the demon situation had gotten in the way. Making his decision, Angel headed upstairs.

 

Spike shrugged off his jacket once he shut the door, flopping onto the bed and closing his eyes. These last few days had been trying on him, and Spike wasn’t certain about anything anymore. Angel had barely spoken a word to him, ever since he’d told the story. It worried him, and Spike was starting to think that - yeah - it had all been a mistake.

 

He was foolish, for thinking it could be anything else. That Angel would actually keep his promise. Or, then again, saying that he’d stay never actually included paying Spike attention. Maybe Angel thought it was easier, staying away from him. He could relieve his guilt by keeping Spike around, but never actually have to interact with him. Bastard.

 

But then again, if that was the case, then why bother? Why bother to keep up the pretense, why bother to care? If Angel didn’t want anything to do with him, why did he continue to pretend? Spike still didn’t know what the previous day had meant, before he had told all. When Angel’s tongue was on his own, and their bodies meshed together.

 

Was it just sex? Nothing more than a convenience, with two people taking pleasure where they could find it? Did it mean nothing? It had been too long for both of them, and he knew that he missed Angel’s body. Was that all it had been for Angel? Spike hoped not. It had meant much more to him, after all. It had meant comfort, familiarity, solace. But maybe it wasn’t the same for Angel.

 

Just then there was a knock on his door, and Spike sat up as the familiar scent of his sire came to him through the door. Spike was really starting to contemplate whether some magic made Angel appear whenever he thought of him.

 

“Come in.” Spike called out, not knowing why Angel was there, but wanting to find out. He needed answers, and it was about time they talked. Even if Spike was afraid about what the outcome would be.

 

Angel entered, an unreadable expression on his face as he looked around, taking in the new decorations Spike had put up.

 

“Looks nice.” Angel commented, noting the new black and red decor. The walls had also been re-done, although Angel had no idea when Spike had had the time to do this.

 

“Well, the old wallpaper made me want to throw up.” Spike drawled, feet swinging off the bed as he stood up.

 

“I get it, the decorating in here was rather lacking. I re-did my room not long ago too.” Angel chuckled, hands in his pockets.

 

“Why are you here, Angel? I doubt you came up here to talk about interior decorating.” Spike pointed out.

 

“I did something.” Angel stated, getting right to the point. “Something that has me conflicted, but it had to be done.” Angel confessed.

 

“Alright, and what did you do?” Spike wondered, warily watching as Angel sat down on the bed, gesturing for Spike to sit next to him. He did, turning to Angel expectantly.

 

“I made sure Walsh could never hurt you again.” Angel whispered, a fierce look of protectiveness in his eyes.

 

Spike froze at that, frowning at what that entailed. Did he mean? But no, he couldn’t, he had a sodding soul. He must have meant something else. After all, it wasn’t like Angel would ever harm a human for him. Would he?

 

“What do you mean?” Spike murmured, still frozen to the spot as he waited for Angel’s answer.

 

“I mean I took care of her, Will. She’ll never harm you, or anyone else again.” Angel clarified, voice low.

 

“You killed her.” Spike asked bluntly, leaving no room for confusion.

 

“I killed her.” Angel nodded, looking into Spike’s eyes. He wanted to know he did the right thing, and as he saw the relief flood through his boy, he knew he did.

 

“But, your soul. Are you alright?” Spike asked after several minutes, as always thinking of his sire first. Sure, he was relieved. Overjoyed, in fact. That bitch deserved whatever happened to her, and Spike felt a little better knowing that she wasn’t in this world anymore, and couldn’t get to him again. But he also knew what it meant for Angel, and he didn’t want to see his sire in distress.

 

Angel laughed however, a low, humourless sound as he nodded his head. “I’m fine.” He confessed softly, hating himself.

 

Frowning, Spike tentatively placed a hand on Angel’s shoulder. “Then what’s eating at you?” Spike asked, knowing something was wrong.

 

“It doesn't matter, Will. This is about you, not me.” Angel sighed.

 

“No, tell me.” Spike demanded softly, wanting to help.

 

Angel gritted his teeth, more angry at himself than anything. “Fine.” He conceded, proceeding to tell Spike about his inner turmoil. About how he had tortured Walsh, the spell, how he remembered everything. About how he felt nothing, nothing at all at committing such an act. How he was worried that because he felt nothing, that Angelus was taking over again. That maybe a soul didn’t mean anything after all, if he could allow something like that to happen, and actually enjoy it.

 

When Angel was finished, he looked up at Will, expecting to see joy on his face. Spike had always wanted Angelus back, after all. He should be glad that he had done such a thing, glad that Angel had found that dark part of himself. Glad that Angel was wondering if he should just give up, and give in.

 

“You’re an idiot.” Spike said instead.

 

“What?” Angel replied, incredulous.

 

“I said, you’re an idiot.” Spike repeated, laughing a little.

 

“Angel, not even a saint would feel bad for killing Walsh. She was an evil bitch, who tortured and experimented without any care. The things she did, well, I should know. It’s nothing to be guilty over.” Spike explained.

 

“And sure, maybe going all Angelus had an effect on you, but it’s nothing to worry about. You’re you, Angel, soul and all. You’re - as much as I loathe to admit it at times - a good bloke. You care about people, and you help them. You saved a little stinking human earlier today. Angelus would have never done that.” Spike pointed out.

 

Spike knew that it was rather ironic, what he was saying, but it was true. As much as he wished Angelus could be back, he wasn’t.

 

It was Angel before him, soul and all. Angel who had taken him back, had cared for him. Angel who had gone out and exacted revenge, on his behalf. It was Angel who had done all of those things, and more. Angel who had done things that Angelus would have never cared to do. It was Angel who promised to never leave. Spike was starting to realize that Angel was still his sire, soul or not.

 

“Really, sometimes you can be so thick. ” Spike continued, grinning as Angel growled.

 

“It’s true. Angel, you’ve got to stop brooding over these things. I know we’re vampires, but you’re gonna getting little wrinklies if you keep worrying so much. Just live life, mate. You’re atoning, you are. You’re doing good and saving puppies and all that shit. You’re saving lives. There’s no reason for you to keep beating yourself up.” Spike told him.

 

Frowning, Angel stared at his wayward childe. This definitely wasn’t what he had expected. Then again, it wasn’t as if Spike was wrong. Not about the thick part, he was not thick. But Angel forgot how insightful Will could be sometimes. And he was right.

 

Angel wasn’t him - wasn’t Angelus - and he didn’t want to be him. Those days were over, and even if things had been good between him and Will when he was Angelus, he had done so many things he wasn’t proud of. He had been evil, a true monster then. Angel still lived with the guilt of what he had done.

 

No, he was Angel. He helped people. He had a group of humans, of friends, that helped him too. He was different, he strived to be different now. To make up for the things he’d done, to try to do some good. Angel knew it would never wipe away the sins he’d committed, but he had to try. And he’d never stop trying.

 

Angel had always thought that he couldn’t have both. Both the darkness inside him, his family, the ability to give in to his demonic urges. That he couldn’t have that, and also the life he’d made for himself right now. He’d always thought it could only be one or the other, and in the end he had decided to let his family go. He’d severed ties with his blood, as much as it hurt - because he knew he couldn’t be with them, and do good at the same time.

 

Now, however, Angel was beginning to realize it might be possible to have both. With Will, at least. Dru and Darla were out of the question, and yet, his boy always seemed to come back to him, no matter what. Angel wasn’t going to squander this opportunity again.

 

“You’re right.” Angel admitted out loud.

 

“I am?” Spike replied, shocked. “I mean, I am.” He agreed, giving his sire a smug look.

 

“Now will you stop brooding, so we can get back to normal?” Spike asked.

 

Angel laughed at that, but nodded. That did bring up another question though. “What is normal for us? Everything's different now, Will, you know that.” Angel pointed out.

 

Sighing, Spike pursed his lips, leaning back on the pillows. He was hoping to never have this conversation, and just wing things. But Spike knew they needed to figure out where things stood between them. Especially now that all those pesky moral dilemmas were out of the way.

 

“I don’t know.” Spike admitted softly, fiddling with the bedsheets. “Can’t it just be this?” He wondered, not wanting to think on it.

 

He didn’t want to make things any more complicated, things were already complicated enough. Even though talking would be a good idea, Spike felt like words would be too much right now. Spike knew what he felt, and what he wanted. He wanted his sire, and if he could have that, he didn’t care about anything else. All of the rest could wait.

 

“And what is this?” Angel asked, putting the question out there.

 

“I don’t know, Angel.” Spike repeated, sighing as he sat up again, placing a pillow on his lap. “You, me. It isn’t that complicated.” Spike spat out, frustrated. Why’d they have to bloody discuss this anyway? They weren’t teenagers, shy and uncertain about where they stood. They were vampires, with a history of blood, sex, and violence. Then again, Angel had never been able to get the simplest of things into that thick head of his.

 

“It sort of is, Will. I don’t know what you want.” Angel confessed.

 

“I want you. ” Spike grit out, “I mean, I want you to stay.” Spike added. “That’s all I want, Angel. I don’t care about anything else. The future is unknown, but that’s okay. We don’t need to bloody plan everything out.” Spike noted. “But as long as I’m with you, I’ll be okay. That’s all I want, sire.” Spike confessed softly.

 

Although suddenly Spike felt foolish, childish in his revelation. After all, how could Angel feel the same? Sure, Angel had promised to stay, but since when had his promises meant anything? Angel probably would be glad to get rid of him, he always had hated Spike. The last few years had proved that according to Angel, Spike had been nothing but a thorn in his side. He was a reminder of the past, a past Angel probably just wanted to forget. But still, Spike hoped.

 

“Is that what you want?” Spike asked, dreading the answer.

 

“Of course that’s what I want, Will. I told you I’m staying.” Angel replied, shocked that Spike still didn’t think he was telling the truth.

 

“Then why won’t you sleep with me again?” Spike asked bluntly, a hint of a whine in his voice.

 

Angel spluttered at that, amazed at how fast his childe’s mind could go to sex. Then again, William had always been a sensual creature.

 

“Was it a mistake, what we did before? Do you regret it?” Spike wondered. “It wasn’t too soon, if that’s what you’re wondering. I wanted it, Angel. I still want it. Want you.” Spike blurted out, words running together as he talked quickly.

 

Angel was hurt that Spike would think that he didn’t want to be with him. It was the exact opposite, and Angel wished nothing more than to touch him again. There was only one problem.

 

“I can’t.” Angel choked out, standing up.

 

“Well why not?” Spike yelled, getting angry. Was sex with him truly something repulsive now?

 

“Because of the curse, Will.” Angel replied. “I can’t be with you, because knowing that you’re here, you’re not leaving, that you’re real and solid and safe in my arms. That you’re back… Before, I had been too preoccupied with the unknown, what would come next. But now, now that anythings possible - I can’t risk it.” Angel admitted.

 

Spike was stunned at that, and he couldn’t believe what Angel said. Angel was afraid of losing his soul, of achieving perfect happiness if he slept with him again? He didn’t know what to say.

 

“Well, we could talk to a gypsy, or witch, about making the thing permanent?” Spike suggested, trying to find a loophole. He still didn’t believe Angel would lose his soul if they slept together again, it was ridiculous after all. Like his sire would reach perfect happiness just by that. Then again, Spike was rather skilled.

 

“Or, how ‘bout this? I can call you names while you’re in me, pounding me into the mattress!” Spike offered cheerfully.

 

“You’re being ridiculous, Spike.” Angel scoffed. Although, the idea of going to a witch wasn’t a bad idea. Neither was pounding him into the mattress.

 

“No, you’re being ridiculous Angel.” Spike shot back. “Do you really think we can both be around each other, without eventually ending up in bed? It’s stupid to think otherwise. We’re vamps, Angel. Blood and violence come hand in hand with sex for us. We’re creatures of pleasure, do you really think you can withhold that from yourself?” Spike asked, raising an eyebrow suggestively.

 

Spike then stood up, walking slowly toward Angel, as he leaned in close to his neck, lips a breaths touch away. “Do you really want to?” Spike whispered, hands trailing lower.

 

Angel’s closed his eyes as Spike’s hands trailed over him, breathing in the scent of his childe. He really shouldn't, it wasn't a good idea.

 

Spike. ” Angel growled, as the other vampires hand curled around his cock.

 

“Come on, Sire. You know you want it. Want me.” Spike teased, smirking against Angel’s neck, as his hand continued to stroke.

 

And Angel did, he really did. It wasn’t smart, but then again right now he didn’t feel like being rational. Letting out a low growl, Angel gave in, and pushed Spike onto the bed.

 

Undoing his jeans, Angel watched with hooded eyes as Spike undid his own, grinning up at him with a smug look on his face.

 

“You’re a bastard.” Angel said, no malice in his voice as he crawled onto the bed, undressed.

 

“Yeah, but you like it.” Spike drawled, as Angel clashed his lips against his smirk.

 

Their lips fought for dominance, although in the end Angel won, claiming Spike’s mouth with his tongue. The kiss lasted longer than normal, as both men took their time reacquainting themselves with the other.

 

When Angel finally pulled away, Spike turned over, presenting his delectable ass.

 

“Come on, peaches. Whatcha waiting for?” Spike laughed, wiggling his hips.

 

“Shut up.” Angel snapped, before lunging forward, and grabbing Spike’s hips in a bruising grip. Taking his cock in his hands, Angel then aligned himself with Spike’s opening.

 

Spike let out a gasp of pain, as Angel thrusted into him, raw and hard, as he began moving in and out at a steadily increasing pace.

 

“Is that the - ugh - best you can do? You’ve - oh - really lost your touch!” Spike taunted, stifling a moan into the pillow, as pain mixed with pleasure, and his fingers intertwined with the bedsheet.

 

Angel really wished he’d shut up, and he expressed his annoyance by giving a harsh thrust that elicited a small whimper from Will. He then began to do exactly what Spike had suggested earlier, pounding him into the mattress with reckless abandon. All the while Spike talked, laughed, and gasped - goading him on as Angel let out his frustrations.

 

When Angel was finished, he pulled out, rolling over to lay on his back. A grin painted his face as he got William off, and he felt quite content. He might not have reached perfect happiness tonight, as Spike’s taunts had actually worked - but he was damn near close.

Chapter Text

Insults became a common part of their foreplay now. And while in hindsight it might have seemed laughable, it did it’s job. After all, Angel couldn’t exactly achieve perfect happiness when Spike insisted on annoying him to death in bed. Then again, Angel always made sure to show his displeasure - with his hands, his cock, and even his mouth.

 

This happened frequently now, as both vampires settled into a routine. In the afternoon they were both part of Angel Investigations - Spike now having taken an active role in the group. To the others they retained a certain level of hostility towards each other, and if anyone who didn’t know better looked in, they would think they were back to their usual hatred of each other. At night however, it was a different story - a very different story if you asked Cordelia, who accidently walked in on them one night.

 

“Oh my god. My eyes, my eyes. ” Cordelia had shrieked, quickly covering her face as she walked back out the door. “Spike, I’m going to borrow your bleach, mmkay?” Cordelia had yelled, although secretly she was giddy that the two seemed to have worked things out. Also, seeing the both of them naked in bed? Bonus much?

 

After that incident, it felt like a new normal had been reached. Wake up, fight, bicker, then fuck. All thoughts of the past and future were unspoken, ignored as they decided to live in the here and now. Walsh felt like a hundred years away, and Spike and Angel interacted like old times. Well, almost - there was an obvious lack of hunting, blood, and torture. But that was for the best.

 

“Did you see the way it’s head cracked open?!” Spike giggled, entering the hotel with the others in tow. They had just finished fighting a group of Vel’aska demons, and they were all covered in yellow goo.

 

“Like an egg!” Angel agreed, laughing along, until he noticed Cordelia’s raised brow. “Um, which wasn’t that funny.” Angel added.

 

“Nuh-uh. Do you know how hard it is to get demon blood out of your hair? I’m gonna have to shower, like, six times!” Cordelia protested, making a disgusted noise and heading straight upstairs. As soon as she was out of sight, Angel and Spike cracked up once more.

 

“You guys are mental.” Gunn noted, shaking his head and going to his own room.

 

“Yes, well, I figure we could all do with a bit of cleaning up.” Wesley pointed out, frowning down at his slime-covered glasses and sighing heavily.

 

Once everyone had showered several times, racking up a huge water bill, they all gathered in the rec room for some down time.

 

“Oi, don’t hog the biscuits!” Spike protested, grabbing the box of cookies from Gunn.

 

“Hey!” Gunn shouted, glaring at Spike as the vampire started downing them.

 

“You don’t even need to eat, give them back.” Gunn demanded, as Fred flipped through the channels on the tv, and Cordelia got several board games out.

 

“Just because your royal broodiness over here denies himself food, doesn’t mean I do. Like hell I’m gonna give up eating chocolate.” Spike replied, popping another thin mint into his mouth.

 

“Angel!” Gunn yelled, turning to the other vampire, as if he’d do something about Spike.

 

“Don’t look at me.” Angel told him, helping Cordy set up the Monopoly game. It wasn’t often that the group had the time to just relax, and have fun. It was a nice change from the constant demon fighting, and they tried to make the best of it.

 

Gunn huffed, but let it go as he picked out the top hat from the game box.

 

“Woah, woah, woah. Excuse me, mister. I always play the top hat.” Cordelia chastised, plucking the piece out of his hand.

 

Spike rolled his eyes at that, moving over to the couch and plopping down, cookies in hand.

 

“What’s on, Mouse?” Spike asked Fred, as the others argued over the game behind them.

 

“Um, CSI, Top Model, Supernatural - but it's mostly reruns.” Fred informed him, as they finally settled on a show.

 

Three episodes of Top Model, two fights regarding the game, and one stolen watch later, the humans in the group all found themselves rather tired.

 

“I’m going to bed.” Cordelia yawned, stretching and standing up. Fred was already passed out on the couch, where Gunn gently picked her up.

 

“I’ll put her to bed.” Gunn told them, leaving the room along with Cordelia.

 

“Are you both sure you haven’t seen my watch?” Wesley asked the vampires. At their negative responses, Wesley sighed and retired to bed.

 

“Want to get out of here, grab a drink?” Spike asked Angel, standing up and fastening a gold watch onto his wrist.

“Spike, that’s not yours.” Angel reprimanded, getting up and shrugging on his jacket. A drink sounded good right about now.

 

“So what? I like it.” Spike retorted, heading out the door and into the night air.

 

“It was Wesley’s father’s, or so he told me. Didn’t you listen to him moan when he was looking for it? You should give it back.” Angel told him, heading for the car.

 

“Hmmm, let me think about it. No.” Spike replied, hopping into the car.

 

Sliding into the convertible, Angel had to physically push Spike out of the drivers seat.

 

“You’re not ruining my car.” Angel said, starting the engine and driving towards Caritas.

 

“I’ll have you know, I’m a perfectly good driver!” Spike protested, resting his feet on the dash.

 

“Oh really? Need I remind you of the time you drove our carriage into a lake?” Angel said, laughing as he turned the corner.

 

“Those were horses, not a car. There’s a difference you know!” Spike pouted, trying to defend himself.

 

“If you say so.” Angel replied, parking the car and stepping out.

 

“It’s true! Besides, it’s not my bloody fault we were being chased! As far as I recall, you were the one who couldn’t hold his bloody liquor!” Spike pointed out, slamming the car door and heading inside.

 

“Angel, Spike!” Lorne greeted them, coming over to the two as soon as he spotted them.

 

“Oh, my heart’s all a flutter. I take it you two made up, then?” Lorne hoped, a large smile on his face.

 

“Yeh. Wait, you know Angel?” Spike asked, remembering the conversation he’d had with the demon. During his confession the other had made no indication he’d known who he was talking about.

 

“I do, lemon drop. Long story. But I thought it was best to not mention it at the time, sorry if I should have said something. But, it seems as if everything's worked out!” Lorne noted happily, before excusing himself as he was called away.

 

“For better or worse.” Angel muttered, still peeved about his car.

 

“Please, you love me.” Spike teased, sitting down on a stool and ordering their drinks and food.

 

“And if you have any weetabix back there, mind mixing that into the blood and liquor?” Spike requested, raising an eyebrow at Angel’s look of disgust.

 

“What? It gives it texture.” Spike shrugged.

 

“You’re a strange creature, Spike.” Angel said fondly, taking a sip of his beer as their drinks were brought out.

 

“What happened to calling me Will?” Spike wondered, picking at his fries. It wasn’t as if he minded, but he was curious.

 

“Ah, that. I’ve made a decision.” Angel replied, a mischievous grin on his face.

 

“And what’s that?” Spike asked.

 

“You see, I’ve come to the realization that you’re not my Will.” Angel began, but before feelings could be hurt, he continued, “My Will would never dye his hair such a horrendous color.” Angel noted.

 

“So the only explanation is that you’re some bleached demon, whose impersonated my boy. By all rights, I should stake you.” Angel mused.

 

Spike snorted at that, rolling his eyes. “Go ahead and try, Captain Forehead. I’m not changing it back.” Spike replied, knowing that was what Angel was getting at.

 

Sighing, Angel took another drink. “What can I say? I had to try.” Angel reasoned. “You should at least let it curl. Your hair looks good curled.” Angel pointed out.

 

“I look like a bloody cherub when I do that. No way.” Spike protested, shouting as Angel ruffled his hair.

 

“Oi, not the hair, you great ponce!” Spike cried, narrowing his eyes once Angel stopped, and his hair was positively messy. Bleached strands of hair now stuck up from every end, the gel giving way to a bunch of messy if not muted curls.

 

“I hate you.” Spike growled, feeling his hair.

 

“If you say so.” Angel laughed, repeating his earlier words.

 

“Look at you two, acting all domestic.” Lorne said, wandering over to them and sitting down.

 

“We’re not domestic.” Angel protested, at the same time Spike said, “I’m not some bloody housewife.”

 

“Alright, alright. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, kids. I’m just saying, you two are a far cry happier than I’ve ever seen you before. And that’s saying something for you, Angel Cakes.” Lorne commented.

 

And they were. Happy, that was. Angel didn’t even realize the sudden change in his mood lately, although everyone else had.

 

“Yeah, I guess I am.” Angel conceded, taking another drink.

 

Spike snickered at that, wiggling his eyebrows. “I’m flattered. Didn’t realize I was such a mood lifter.” Spike drawled, although he knew very damn well why Angel was so happy.

 

“You still annoy me to death, though.” Angel pointed out, as if that made everything okay.

 

“Full time job. It’s not easy being this lovable, handsome, and annoying at the same time.” Spike said, tone quite serious as he took another swig.

 

“If you say so.” Angel remarked, smiling into his drink.

 

“Actually, Lorne, I was wondering if you could do me a favor?” Angel asked, addressing the demon who was looking at them with a knowing grin.

 

“Of course, sugar. Whatever you need. As long as it doesn’t involve tabasco sauce and a hot tub - long story.” Lorne said, chuckling as he waved his hand.

 

“Well, um, I was wondering if you by chance know of any covens? That might be able to, ah, make my soul permanent?” Angel wondered, trying to not give away the reason why.

 

“Wanna get rid of that little ‘perfect happiness’ clause? I gotcha, hun.” Lorne replied, giving Angel and Spike a wink.

 

“I can try to ask around, but fair warning - as far as I’m aware, that soul stuff is old magic. It might take me awhile to track down anyone with the mojo to do something like that.” Lorne explained with a frown.

 

“Of course, yeah. Just, whatever you can do.” Angel conceded, burying his face in his drink, as Spike refrained from rolling his eyes.  

 

Several hours later they decided to leave, as they didn’t want to be caught out near sunrise, and neither one of them fancied using the sewers - not when they had a car.

 

“Sodding hell, that was horrible. ” Spike exclaimed, doubling over laughing, as they headed outside.

 

“Hey! The others say they like my singing!” Angel protested, frowning as he fumbled for the keys.

 

“Well, they were lying mate. You suck.” Spike divulged, turning the corner into the parking lot. “That was royally, hugely, painfully bad.” Spike snickered, not looking where he was going.

 

“Will, watch out!” Angel yelled, obviously not in time, as Spike went flying through the air.

 

Hitting the wall, Spike groaned as he slid to the ground, disoriented as he stood back up, only to duck immediately as a large claw hit the area his head was once in.

 

“Bloody hell.” Spike breathed, dodging another attempt. “What did we ever do to you, mate?!” Spike yelled, throwing a punch of his own.

 

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to call him ‘mate’, Spike - not when he’s attempting to kill us!” Angel shouted, grabbing an axe from the trunk, and throwing it to Spike, who caught it mid-air.

 

“Well guess what, I’m not really thinking about formalities right now!” Spike said, grunting as the demon landed a blow to his abdomen.

 

Spike then retaliated with a well-aimed kick, as Angel came behind it and attempted to bury his own axe in the demon’s back. That didn’t seem to do much more than anger it, however, as the green humanoid body-builder simply growled, before prying the weapon from it’s back.

 

“Not good.” Angel noted, before ducking as his own axe flew through the air, nearly beheading him.

 

“Okay, we need a plan. This guy is obviously immune to sharp weapons.” Angel pointed out, hiding behind a dumpster with Spike, as the demon spun around, looking for them.

 

“Obviously.” Spike hissed, peeking his head out. The large demon was currently rifling through the weapons in the trunk, as if he’d find Spike or Angel in there as well.

 

“Well, he doesn’t seem to have a good sense of his surroundings. Didn’t even notice us ducking behind here, did he?” Spike pointed out.

 

“We could use that to our advantage?” Angel suggested, noting where Spike was going with this.

 

“Yeh. Come at him from the side? Then, maybe you can hit him in the knees, while I jump on his back? Figure there’s some wire in the car, can use that to decapitate him?” Spike suggested.

 

“Yeah, only problem, we can’t get to the car, Spike.” Angel reminded him, wincing at the sound of glass breaking. Not my car, he thought with a whine.

 

“Well what’s your great plan?!” Spike retorted, raising his voice and alerting the demon to where they were.

 

“Great going, dunderhead.” Angel growled, jumping out from behind the dumpster. He then made a run for the demon, which was a good four feet taller than him, sliding onto the ground as he attempted to tackle it’s legs. Angel’s attack didn’t do much more than irritate the demon however, but it did succeed in making it step away from the car.

 

As Angel continued to distract it, Spike rummaged through the trunk, ignoring all the broken weapons as his hands searched for the metal coil.

 

“Spike, hurry up!” Angel yelled, hissing as a large claw made contact with his chest, ripping his shirt open and breaking skin.

 

“Got it!” Spike shouted, grinning as he held up the wire. On second thought, he really shouldn’t have announced his finding - as the demon then swirled around, wiping the grin off Spike’s face as it bounded towards him.

 

“Shit.” Spike muttered, eyes wide as the demon let out a roar, claws swiping down towards him.

 

“Hey, green rage monster! Over here!” Angel shouted, throwing a large hunk of wood at the demon.

 

The demon paused his attack, and seemed to be torn between the two of them now, uncertain of which vampire it should go after.

 

Pulling out another piece of debris from the dumpster, Angel hefted the pole up, throwing it like a javelin and watching as it pierced the demon's abdomen.  

 

Letting out an ear piercing shriek, the demon then turned its full attention towards Angel, as two large spikes sprouted from its arms.

 

Spike went back to work as Angel distracted the Hulk-wannabe, looking for an opening. The demon was rather tall, so Spike had to find a vantage point. As Spike climbed on top of the car, hefting himself onto the roof, Angel continued to battle below.

 

Angel was having trouble evading every blow now, since whenever the demon lashed out, it’s newly summoned arm-spikes nearly skewered him. Still, Angel managed to hold his own, as he continued to use whatever makeshift weapons he found lying around.

 

“Hurry up, Spike!” Angel prodded, hitting the ground before a spike could collide with his head. His next maneuver wasn’t as lucky, though, as Angel rolled over - dodging the incoming blow - the demon's arm spike connected with his shoulder.

 

Before Angel could cry out in pain, Spike was dropping from the roof, and onto the demons back. He then secured the magically enhanced wire around the demon's neck, using his superior strength as he pulled back, severing the demon's head from it’s body.  

 

“Angel?” Spike called out, pushing himself out from under the fallen demon. As Spike stood up, he saw the other on the ground, curled in on himself and convulsing.

 

“Sire!” Spike yelled, worry washing over his features as he ran over to him, kneeling down.

 

Angel was writhing on the ground, hand pawing at the wound the spike had created. A large bloody hole marred the area of flesh, oozing some sort of purple substance.

 

“Sire, don’t worry, I’m gonna get you help.” Spike promised, “Everything's gonna be okay. It’s just a flesh wound.” He reassured, picking Angel up, and carrying him towards the bashed up car. Placing him in the back, Spike then hopped into the front seat, hot wiring the car after a quick and fruitless search for the keys.

 

“I’m gonna get you help.” Spike repeated, pressing his foot to the petal, and driving away.

 

When he got back to the Hyperion, Spike was in a state of panic. Angel had passed out on the way there, and no amount of noise would wake him. Spike even tried slapping him, but to no avail. Not to mention, Angel’s usually invisible veins were a nasty purple color.

 

Wesley! ” Spike bellowed, taking off his jacket and shirt, as he tore the shirt up and used it to bind Angel’s wound.

 

Wesley - as well as Gunn, Cordelia, and Fred - all came running at Spike’s shout.

 

“What happened?!” Cordelia shrieked, eyes wide as she watched Spike move Angel to a couch.

 

“Demon. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, he won’t wake up!” Spike informed them, a touch of hysteria in his voice.

 

“He looks like he’s been poisoned.” Wesley noted, going over to Angel and taking in his appearance.

 

“Is that my watch?” Wesley asked absentmindedly, noting the gold time teller on Spike’s bare arm.

 

“What? No. What’s wrong with Angel?!” Spike demanded, glaring at the former watcher.

 

“I’m not quite certain. Fred, can you get me the stack of books on my dresser, by the potted plant?” Wesley asked, as Fred nodded and quickly ran off.

 

“What did the demon look like, Spike?” Wesley inquired, inspecting the prominent purple veins that now ran all throughout Angel’s body, marring his flesh like a dark purple bruise.

 

“Green. Humanoid. Well, except for the large claws, and bulging muscles. It was tall, and sprouted two bone-like spikes from its arms. That’s what pierced him.” Spike informed Wesley, biting his lip.

 

“Ah, yes, thank you Fred.” Wesley said, grabbing the books from the girl. With Spike’s description, he discarded two of them, until he was left with only one.

 

“Alright, this fits your description. Apparently what you encountered was a Glarghk Guhl Marashmas’mik Demon.” Wesley explained, tongue trying and failing to pronounce it correctly.

 

“This demon is a distant relative of the Glarghk Guhl Kashmas’nik Demon, and is known to be quite aggressive for no apparent reason. Glarghk Guhl Marashmas’mik demon’s - unlike their cousins - cause their victim to fall into a magical coma, where the victim experiences vivid hallucinations until they eventually succumb to the poison, and go brain dead.” Wesley finished, a smile on his lips.

 

“Magical coma?! Brain dead? Why the hell do you look so chipper, Percy?!” Spike yelled, eyes darting to Angel’s unconscious form.

 

“Because, there’s an antidote. And I have all of the ingredients, well, beside the last one.” Wesley informed them.

 

“Which is?” Cordelia pressed.

 

“The blood of the Glarghk Guhl Marashmas’mik that penatrated Angel. Should be easy enough to go back, and...oh dear.” Wesley trailed off, eyes scanning the page.

 

“Oh dear? What do you mean ‘Oh dear’?” Cordelia chimed, mimicking Spike’s thoughts.

 

“You didn’t by chance, kill the demon, did you?” Wesley asked Spike.

 

“Of course I killed it, you blubbering idiot! Why?!” Spike snapped.

 

“It says here that for the antidote, fresh blood is needed. Once you kill the demon, the blood becomes useless.” Wesley recited, watching as horror and panic flashed across Spike’s face.

 

“So. What you’re saying is, Angel’s stuck in a magical coma, with no way out - hallucinating who knows what, until he eventually goes brain dead?” Spike repeated, voice deadly calm.

 

“Basically, yes. Unless, oh - unless we can find the demon's mate. Glarghk demons share their blood, quite like vampires, whenever they find someone to bond with. The Glarghk Guhl Marashmas’mik’s mate can help him.” Wesley announced, a spark of hope flaring.

 

“Yeh. If this demon even has a mate. What happens if it doesn’t?” Spike asked, expression grave as his fingers intertwined with Angel’s.

 

“Then I’m afraid Angel’s doomed.” Wesley replied, closing the book with a snap.

Chapter Text

Spike refused to leave Angel, insisting on staying by his side, as the others made a few calls and searched the area. He wasn’t leaving his sire, not when he was in such a perilous position.

 

Spike didn’t think he’d ever been truly worried until now, looking down at Angel’s sickly complexion.

 

Generally nothing could kill vampires, except a handful of things. Stake to the heart, sunlight, a beheading would usually do the trick too. All of those would result in a permanent, dusty end. This was something completely new though, and it frightened Spike. After all, a fate worse than death awaited his sire, if the others couldn’t find a cure in time.

 

“You’re gonna wake up soon, ya hear me? Wes, Gunn, even Cordelia and Fred are out scouting for a cure. I’d be with them, but like hell I’m leaving you right now.” Spike explained, running his fingers through Angel’s sweat soaked hair.

 

Spike had moved Angel to their bedroom after the others left, undressing him and settling Angel under the covers. By now Angel was completely comatose, with only the occasional shudder to indicate there was more than just a corpse lying before him.

 

Angel’s skin was still white as bone, and the purple veins had become more prominent by now. It was scary, seeing his sire like this, and Spike found himself reduced to a fledgling again, hoping his sire would wake up.

 

They’d been through too much together, seen and experienced so much - Will didn’t know what he’d do, if suddenly Angel was no longer a part of his unlife. Angelus had always been a constant in Spike’s long years of immortality. Sometimes present, sometimes absent, but always there. He had to make it through this, he just had to.

 

London, England, 1880

 

He moved like quicksilver, fluid and beautiful. Every punch, every swing, was perfectly calculated, making it look like a dance.

 

William watched as his sire fought off the demon that had attacked them, using his skill and agility to finally behead the menace, fangs bared in a grin.

 

“That was brilliant!” William exclaimed, eyes wide in wonder, as Angelus came trotting towards him.

 

“Ach, ‘twas nothin’. The demon was an eejit to think it could jump us.” Angelus explained, waving the matter off.

 

“No, really! That was astounding! Can you teach me to fight like that?” William asked, nearly pleading.

 

Smirking at the boy’s expression, Angelus gave in and nodded.

 

“Aye, Willy. I could take you under my wing. If you’re willing to learn under it.” Angelus decided, resting a hand on the fledge’s shoulder.

 

William perked up at that, as they walked back home. Angelus was a marvel, he really was. Watching him fight, it was like watching a master at work. Every move was precise, and Angelus never faltered - always coming out the victor. Bloody amazing.

 

When they got back to the mansion, stepping inside the house, Angelus attacked without warning, throwing a punch at William’s abdomen.

 

“Ow!” Will shouted, grabbing his torso in pain.

 

“You need be prepared, Will, always. Your lessons’ll be starting now!” Angelus explained, a mischievous glint in his eye.  

 

Frown turning into a smirk, William then raised his fists in front of him. This would be fun.

 

The two exchanged blows, dodging and ducking as one tried to gain the advantage over the other. It soon became apparent however, that Will had much to learn. A third of the way into the fight, William became angered, as he still hadn’t connected a single blow. Using that anger to his advantage, Angelus watched as William’s attacks became erratic and fueled by emotion, before finally bringing him to his knees - arms twisted behind his back, and Angelus’ boot on his shoulder.

 

“You know, you look awfully pretty in this position, Will.” Angelus taunted, laughing as the boy growled.

 

Shaking his head, Angelus let go, watching as his boy got back to his feet, incensed.

 

“You can’t let your feelings dictate your fighting, boy. Think of that as rule number one.” Angelus said, walking over to the fireplace, and grabbing one of the pokers.

 

“Anger makes you weak, vulnerable to attacks, as your mind isn’t thinking.” Angelus explained, tossing the poker from one hand to the other, before throwing it to William, who caught it to Angelus’ delight.

 

“In a fight, you need to be able to calculate your opponent's next move, anticipate what to expect. It helps to know how your enemy thinks, so you can retaliate accordingly.” Angelus continued, picking up the other poker, and swinging it in front of him, testing the feel of it.

 

Will listened eagerly, watching as Angelus tested the weapon. Analyze, got it.

 

Angelus attacked then, swinging the poker high and bringing it down. He grinned as William blocked the move almost immediately, bringing his own poker up to stop the attack.

 

“Good, good.” Angelus purred, then attacked again. William seemed to hold his own for a minute or so, but Angelus could tell the minute Will began to think too much, leaving himself open to the brunt of Angelus’ weapon.

 

Will let out a choked sound as the poker collided with his back, knocking him onto the ground.

 

Angelus then came over to him, kicking away William’s weapon, and resting a boot on his chest.

 

“Have you guessed what you did wrong?” Angelus asked him.

 

“No! I did what you said, I analyzed your every move, and weighed how I should respond! And still, you beat me. Sire.” William pouted, disappointed in himself.

 

Sighing, Angelus removed his boot, helping the lad up. “What you did wrong there, boyo, was you thought too much.” Angelus told him, watching as confusion marred that beautiful face. “You have to find a balance, Will. Too much thinking can get you killed.”

 

“But -” William spluttered, getting angry again. “But, you told me to think. Now you don’t want me to?!” Will asked incredulously, adding a quick ‘Sire’ at Angelus’ peeved look.

 

“I’m not asking you to shut off your brain, boy. Only reign all those cogs in. Too much thinking leaves you open and defenseless, not enough thinking can get you killed quick. You need to rely on your instincts. Trust in your gut.” Angelus told him.

 

William bristled at that, picking up the poker. What the bloody hell did trusting your gut mean, anyway? Thinking that maybe he could catch Angelus by surprise, Will then charged forward, swinging the poker like a bat.

 

He was on his back again in a second flat. “Bugger.” Will sighed.

 

Standing over him, Angelus frowned. “Maybe we should start with the basics.”

 

The next hour was spent well, as Angelus taught him proper fighting stances , how to block an attack, and how to throw a punch without breaking anything. By the time dawn was approaching, Will had managed to get in several good blows, although he was nowhere near being a match for Angelus.

 

It was frustrating, not being able to get the hang of fighting right away. But eventually Will managed it, and he found he quite liked it too. It was exhilarating, the rush one felt amidst a good brawl. Fist and fangs, punches flying. The adrenaline was like a drug, sensational and unlike anything else.

 

Under Angelus’ tutelage, Will found that he was rather good, once he got the hang of things. It wasn’t all peaches and pears, as by the second night of lessons, Angelus got fed up and gave him a good beating. Punishment than became common whenever he couldn’t get the hang of things right away, although Angelus soon realized that a more positive approach worked best.

 

This applied to everything from there on out, not just fighting. If William forgot certain rules, he’d be flogged. When he couldn’t manage to learn German within two weeks, (Angelus had managed it in a week), he was forced to stand on hot stones. And when all other punishments failed, Angelus found a good fucking could work to encourage his boy to do better.

 

Angelus’ methods were harsh, but they truly helped William in the end. The beatings made him stronger, tougher. And while most of Angelus’ punishments might be considered cruel and unusual, William grew to know them as a learning tool. Vampires healed fast, after all. And Will knew his sire was only trying to help him become his very best. And he did. While William might have hated him at the time of said punishments, he always thanked him after. Well, not out loud. But still, William knew Angelus only did what he did to make him stronger.

 

Well, that and he was a sadistic bastard. Closing his eyes at the memories, Spike felt weary. It was twisted, their relationship, there was no doubt about it. It was by no means normal, and a lot of their history was based on blood and pain. Only thing was, Spike had grown to love the pain. Sometimes, Spike wondered if he wasn't a little bit of a masochist. And after all, they were demons. Nothing would ever be normal between them.

 

Even now, with Angel being all soulful, nothing would be normal. The days of punishments, torture, and hunting might be behind them - but some things remained the same. They would still bicker, and fight. They’d still screw each others brains out, and annoy each other to death. They’d still love each other.

 

Love. Was it love, what they had? Spike knew he loved Angel, that was for certain. There was a bond between them, that ran deeper than any scar, any wound that they’d inflicted. It was a bond of blood, of companionship, of two beings who had seen too much, and lived too long. It was a bond that Spike felt with every fiber in his being, a connection, a pull that lasted throughout the centuries. Because despite all of the bad, there had also been good.

 

It had been six weeks since William had been turned, and unlife had never been better. Sure, there were a few bumps in the road, but overall Will had taken to his rebirth with gusto.

 

His bloodlust had been insatiable at first, but that was the norm with fledglings. After the first week, Will’s hunger had decreased marginally. After watching Angelus’ skill for the hunt, however, and his love of bloodshed, Will soon found himself wanting to please his sire, and tried to take to the hunt with as much gumption as the elder.

 

“Such a happy day, all white and pretty.” Drusilla murmured, eyes darting towards a small church, hidden away at the edge of town.

 

The four of them were prowling the streets of London, conversing with each other as they looked for their prey. And it seemed as if they had just found it.

 

“Ah, how lovely. We should stop by, congratulate them.” Darla agreed, a smirk on her lips, as she watched a small handful of people enter the church.

 

It was only noon, but dark rain clouds painted the sky, showing no sign of leaving.

 

William felt excited at the prospect of crashing the wedding, as surely it would make an excellent feast. There was only one problem, however.

 

“But it’s a church.” William pointed out, frowning at the obvious.

 

“Yes, it’s a church, Will. What of it?” Angelus inquired, raising a brow.

 

“Well, can we even step foot in such a holy place? I expect we’d be blasted out.” Will confessed, quite wary of venturing any further.

 

Laughing at his childe’s foolishness, Angelus wrapped an arm around his shoulder playfully. “You have a lot to learn, Will. But worry not, God will not smite us down if we enter.” Angelus informed him, still chuckling.

 

“Silly Willy.” Drusilla added, giggling into his side, making Will feel cross as Angelus ushered them forward.

 

“Come, let us enter. Simply follow my lead.” Angelus instructed, walking towards the door, where people freely flowed in. It was an open affair, therefore four more guests didn’t raise any brows.

 

“Are you here for the groom or the bride?” An elderly man asked them, shaking both of the men’s hands.

 

“The bride.” Angelus replied, not missing a beat. “She’s a distant cousin of ours, we travelled all the way from New Orleans to witness the happy affair.” Angelus explained.

 

“Oh how lovely! I’m sure Lady Marguerite will be most delighted to know you’re here.” The man replied. “Excuse my manners, I am John Vlamos, the groom's father.” Mr. Vlamos added, smiling at them both.

 

“I am Angelus Beaumont, and this is my brother, William.” Angelus replied. “And this is my lovely wife, Darla. And our sister, Drusilla.” Angelus introduced.  “I would appreciate it if you didn’t tell her we were here, just yet. It’s supposed to be a surprise.” Angelus added with a wink.

 

“Oh, but of course. Of course. Enjoy the ceremony. Hopefully we can talk after? I have always loved hearing stories of New Orleans, such a rich and fascinating place. Pity about the Spaniards though. Gentlemen, ladies.” Vlamos murmured, hurrying off to greet another guest.

 

As the rest of the guests filled in, the four of them took a seat in the very back, by the door. It wasn’t a large turnout, but a good ten people were there, including the soon to be married couple and the priest.

 

“Wait for my cue.” Angelus whispered, as the groom took his place and the organ started.

 

The bride appeared in the doorway then, a beautiful sight in flowing white. It was apparent to a well trained eye the woman wasn’t well off, as no fancy jewels or rich fabrics adorned her body. But still, she looked stunning in her gown. A tight corset fitted her waist, with a bustling lace skirt trailing behind her. Her bodice was detailed with beautiful flowers, and it was apparent that a lot of work was put into this dress, most likely by her mother. Long sleeves and white gloves adorned her arms and hands, which clutched a bouquet of tulips. Last but not least was the veil, white and made of sheer lace, covering her face and neck.

 

She walked down the aisle with grace, as Angelus slowly and discreetly stood up, shutting the chapel doors behind her, and slid the wooden bar into place.

 

Up at the front of the aisle, the groom beamed as his soon to be wife walked onward, and stood beside him. The priest then raised his hand, motioning for silence as he lifted the Holy Bible, and began the ceremony.

 

Will grew antsy as the ceremony continued, fidgeting in his seat as the bride and groom exchanged their vows. He wanted to eat someone.

 

“Shh, patience, my blossom, soon white roses will be painted red.” Drusilla whispered, clutching his hand in reassurance.

 

Halfway through the ceremony, Angelus must have noticed his childe’s boredom, as he chuckled and nodded to Darla. He then stood up, grabbing the attention of the room as he sauntered down the aisle.

 

“Pardon the interruption, but I have an important announcement to make!” Angelus boomed, bewildering the humans as he danced down the aisle, and jumped onto the platform.

 

“Ex- excuse me s- sir, but you are com-completely out of l-l-line!” The groom stuttered, glaring at the unexpected intrusion.

 

William watched in fascination as Angelus commanded the room, chuckling at the groom’s attempt at courage, before turning to the bride.

 

“You really want to marry this poor lad? He can’t even string together a sentence! How truly pathetic.” Angelus sneered, before grabbing the groom roughly by his lapels.

 

“In fact, I object! ” Angelus roared, snapping the groom's neck in a flash. In the second it took the the guests to register what had happened, Angelus shifted into demon face, lifting the bride’s veil, and planting a large kiss on her lips. Then the screams began.

 

Taking the cue, William jumped up, a large grin on his face as he, Dru, and Darla blocked the exit. The guests had all stood up after the shock washed away, scrambling to get away. They ran to the door, but they soon found themselves trapped. Realizing such, they all ran in different directions.  It was chaos, and he loved it.

 

“Where’d you think you’re going, pretty dove? Don’t you want to play?” Drusilla asked, pouting as she cornered a small girl, who held a basket of flowers.

 

William was occupied himself, as he danced around the benches, chasing a young, terrified woman. Every move she made, he followed, terrifying her to her bones.

 

“P-please.” She sobbed, falling down on the steps, as her eyes darted wildly to the prone form of the groom.

 

“Please what? Ya know, I can’t very well read your mind, you twit.” Will taunted, fangs bared as he loomed over her. In the distance he could hear the priest chanting, giving him a headache, but right now he was focused on his prey.

 

“Please let me go.” She whimpered, closing her eyes.

 

“Let me think. No.” Will quickly decided, before lunging for her throat.

 

“Honestly, cease thy rantings!” He heard Darla groan, looking up from his meal, as the blonde snuck up behind the chanting priest, and stuck her fist through his chest. As the priest fell to the ground, his heart in Darla’s hands, Will grinned and went back to his meal.

 

Angelus was having his merry way with the bride, as Drusilla effectively blocked the only door. Her hands and lips were painted red with anyone who dared come near her, dancing to a tune only she could hear. Darla was now feeding from the priest, and William grinned as he finished with his meal, and stood.

 

This was perfect. The scent of blood filled the church, mixing with their screams as the demons ravaged the place. Angelus had finished with the bride, moving onto her father as he taunted him cruelly.

 

He was a bloody wonder, he was. As William watched Angelus tear the father of the bride’s arm off, he couldn’t help but admire him. He was so strong, so powerful. He was everything a vampire should be, and everything William aspired to be one day.

 

William couldn’t even imagine the things that Angelus did, as he watched the other vampire beat the man to death, with his own severed arm. He was a bloody marvel, he truly was. Creative, cruel, enchanting. William found himself growing hard as Angelus tore into the father's neck, drinking his fill as he deposited him upon his daughter's corpse.

 

Fuck it all, he loved that man. His sire. Angelus was his mentor, his master, his god. William couldn’t think of anyone more perfect, not even Drusilla. Sure, his dark beauty was his entire world. But Angelus was his moon, sky, and stars.

 

Angelus looked up then, grinning at Will’s observing and lust-filled gaze. Grabbing a cowering woman, Angelus then dragged her towards him, licking the blood off his lips.

 

“How ‘bout we share this one?” Angelus suggested, voice heavy with blood and want. William obliged gladly.

 

The scent of death filled the church as soon all their screams dwindled down, replaced with either silence, prayers, or whimpering. The four had had their fun, effectively painting every inch of the floor crimson. The corpses of the wedding guests covered the room, with their necks torn out, or their entrails decorating their bodies. William felt like he wouldn’t need to feed again for a month, that was how satisfied he was. Truly, weddings weren’t that bad.

 

Spike smiled at the memory, remembering the events fondly. He missed those days of bloodshed, where morals weren’t thought of, and they could enjoy themselves. Feeding on the innocent, hearing their screams - it was like ambrosia.

 

Sighing, Spike looked back down at Angel, the memory fading away. It could never be like that again. Not that he minded, half of the fun of those things revolved around his sire being there. He’d been magnificent to watch, Angelus. A true monster. A monster he couldn’t help but love.

 

Angelus had been everything to him, and Angel was the same. He might brood more, and there was a clear lack of sadism - but he was still his sire. He still looked up to him, he still worshipped him. And damn it, he still loved him.

 

Because despite everything between them - despite the pain, and the heartache - William still craved his presence. It was stupid, and irrational, but wasn’t that what love was? It wasn’t brains, it was blood. Blood screaming inside you to work it’s will.

 

What Spike felt for Angel, it transcended rational thought. And as much as Spike hated him at times, the passion was undeniable. In the end, it would always be them. They were a constant in each other's unlives. Although at times they might part, they always found each other again.

 

“Wake up, you stupid git.” William whispered, running his fingers through Angel’s hair, and cupping his face in his hand.

 

“I love you.” William, Spike - he didn’t even know anymore - confessed. He loved him, every bit of him loved Angel. So he had to wake up.

 

Chapter Text

Dark lashes fluttered open, as bewildered eyes took in their surroundings. He was in a small room, lit only by a flickering lamp. Angel recognized where he was, but it made no sense. It was his room, the room he occupied when he was a mortal man.

 

“What the -” Angel groaned, surprised to note his Irish brogue was present.

 

“Ay. You’re awake, then?” A girl’s voice piped next to him, and Angel felt himself freeze as he looked in her direction.

 

“Kathy.” He breathed, shellshocked.

 

“Don’t be cross, Liam, please. I know you don’t like me in your room, but mother told me to come get you.” Kathy, his little sister, explained excitedly.

 

This was wrong. This was all wrong. What, where was he? It had to be a dream, this. Sitting up in his bed, Angel pulled the covers off, bare feet hitting the wood floor. Ignoring the girl’s confused look, Angel went over to his dresser, staggering as he felt lightheaded.

 

“What’s going on?” He whispered, clutching his head as he noticed the pounding ache in his temple.

 

“You were in the bottle again, silly. Don’t you remember? Honestly, father is right you know. It’s the devil’s drink.” Kathy muttered, rolling her eyes.

 

“Anyhow, now you’ve woken, you might want to get dressed. We have guests!” Kathy announced, standing up from the chair she’d been sitting on, and skipping towards the door.  

 

Watching her leave from the corner of his eye, Angel felt a wave of guilt hit him. Kathy, his little sister. It was surreal, seeing her like this. Young and doe-eyed, so innocent and naive. She had always seen the bright side to every situation, and had undying faith in her older brother. Despite his many flaws, she only saw the good in him, and loved him with all her heart.

 

Liam had felt the same, as she was the only one he had truly cared about in his family. She was a pillar during dark times, always there for him with a comforting smile. And he had killed her.

 

“This is all wrong.” Angel murmured, shaking his head. He couldn’t be here, she couldn’t be here.

 

Slipping to the ground, Angel’s back rested against his dresser, as his eyes stared at the wall before him. Kathy had been right, he felt drunk. He was disoriented, and all of this felt like a dream. After all, that’s what it had to be, right? A dream. There was no other explanation. But then why did everything feel so real?

 

Running his hands over the ground, Angel watched in fascination as dirt collected on his hand. Brown, against pale white. Only, a tan line marred his wrist, where his shirtsleeve met his hand.

 

Pulling up the sleeve, Angel inspected the line with wonder. Darker, tanned flesh painted his hand, and Angel found himself staring at the appendage as if it would bite him. The simple phenomenon of a tan escaped him, as such a thing had been impossible for so long.

 

Looking to his left, Angel then spotted a discarded flagon, it’s contents having long ago been consumed. Picking it up tenderly, as if it would disappear as soon as his fingers came in contact, Angel held it before him.

 

Two dark eyes stared back at him, the flagon reflecting in their orbs. It was him. Dark, long brown hair framed his face, falling to his neck with a slight wave. His face was twisted in confusion, brows furrowed together, as a crease appeared between them.

 

Shaky fingers reached upward, watching the reflection as they touched his lips, and traced his nose. This was him.

 

He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen what he looked like - truly looked like, that is. Photos were good and all, but they could never really capture Angel in a flattering light. But this, his reflection - he couldn’t believe his eyes.

 

The flagon dropped with a clatter, hitting the ground.

 

“Honestly, Liam, get dressed!” Kathy chastised, peeking her head back in the room. “Father is getting angry, I wouldn’t keep everyone waiting!” She scolded, before ducking back out.

 

Father. The title barely registered with Angel as he stood up, mechanically obeying his sister's words, as he fumbled to change out of his nightclothes.

 

He felt a strange sense of vertigo as he left his room, garbed in his old clothes. Everything around him was so familiar, felt so real. The walls were solid, the ground under his boots - even the smells were there, reminding him of a time long past.

 

“There he is, my son, Liam.” Liam’s father, Henry, introduced him as he stepped out. Henry gave him an apprehensive look at his current state, disheveled and clearly hungover. Henry only hoped the boy wouldn’t screw this up.

 

“Liam, this is Mr. Pratt, and his sister. They’re a family owned business, and have a proposition for us.” Henry explained, smiling up at the man and woman.

 

“William, please. William Pratt. And this is my sister, Drusilla. Forgive my wife, she’ll be here in a moment, probably just annoying the coachman.” The man, who was oh so familiar to Angel, chuckled.

 

“William.” Angel breathed, taking in the others appearance. He was dressed in 17th century clothes, wore spectacles, and his hair was curled and a light brown. All in all, he looked positively human.

 

Darting forward, Angel forgot everyone else, as his hands clamped down on his boy’s shoulder, making sure he was solid.

 

“You’re human.” Angel whispered, incredulous as he felt a heartbeat through that chest. He didn’t even notice the splutter of his father behind him, or that William was looking at him strangely. He didn’t care about any of it, because William was alive.

 

Warm, bright, and full of life. William, his sweet William, so pure and innocent. This wasn’t Spike before him, this man wasn’t all hard edges, smoke, and leather.  Here stood the poet, the young victorian man, who wore his heart on his sleeve. Here was William when he was first turned, still so young, so naive. So beautiful. It was no wonder Drusilla wanted to make that beauty last forever.

 

“Brother, perhaps we should come back later.” Drusilla suggested, sounding quite sane as she eyed Liam warily.

 

Henry was looking at him with rage in his eyes, and only at Drusilla’s comment did Angel pull back, thoroughly confused.

 

“This is wrong. This is all wrong.” He muttered for the umpteenth time, shaking his head.

 

He wanted to believe it, he really did - but it didn’t make any sense. His William was alive. Drusilla was alive, looking healthy and sound of mind. Guilt clawed at him for what he had done to her, and although he had spent hours upon hours crying over the sins he committed against Drusilla, seeing her like this brought it all back.

 

“Perhaps we should.” William agreed, looking at Angel with a hint of concern.

 

“No, really, there’s no need for that. Liam’s just been in the bottle, you know how that can be. Liam, perhaps you should go to your room?” Henry suggested, glaring at him furiously. The man was fuming inside, nervous and afraid that it had been a mistake, bringing the boy out here. These were important people, that could possibly help their family with their financial situation, and he wouldn’t allow the boy to squander this opportunity.

 

Exchanging a glance with his ‘sister’, William nodded, smiling tersely. “Perhaps we could move to another room, to talk?” William offered, as the door opened and a woman came inside, looking flustered.

 

“I apologize profusely, darling. The coachman held me up, incompetent fool.” The woman ranted, putting on a smile as soon as she saw the others.

 

Laughing nervously at her antics, William pulled her close. “Excuse my wife, she’s a fiery spirit. Darla, this is Henry, and his wife Elizabeth. And their daughter, Kathy, and son, Liam.” William introduced.

 

Angel was frozen to the spot however, as a fierce protectiveness and rage overcome him, at seeing Darla so close to his boy. Once upon a time, he might have bowed upon gazing at her beauty. But now he knew her for what she truly was, a demon and a manipulative harpy.

 

“Get away from him.” Angel hissed. He wouldn’t allow her to sink her claws into his boy, not like she had had with him. He wouldn’t let her corrupt him, turn him. He wouldn’t let anyone hurt William, ever again. The only reason he hadn’t reacted the same way towards Drusilla, was because he knew she would never hurt him, intentionally at least. Darla was another matter.

 

“I’m sorry?” Darla chuckled, smiling wickedly as she wrapped a hand around Will’s arm. Her face shifted then, revealing her true form, before going back to it’s human mask.  Angel growled, charging forward and grabbing her roughly by her shoulders.

 

“I said, get away from him!” Angel yelled, punctuating his words with a shake.

 

“Now see here!” William cried, pushing him away from his ‘wife’, and glaring at him furiously, as if he didn’t see her change.

 

“You don’t want to be near her, she’s bad news. Please, Will, stay away. She’ll kill you.” Angel pleaded, looking into eyes that were so blue. She was a demon, why couldn’t they see that? He couldn’t bear to make the same mistake twice. He had to protect him.

 

“I think it’s time we left. Mr. O’Connor, I’ll be in touch.” William announced, clearly having no intention of returning, as he and the two women quickly left the small home.

 

As the sounds of the carriage leaving filtered into the home, Henry ushered his wife and daughter away, before turning to his son.

 

“How dare you.” Henry whispered, a silent fury radiating from him. “How dare you, boy?!” He yelled.

 

“She’s a demon! They’re both in danger!” Angel shouted back instinctively. Did they not see her change?!

 

“The only demon I see here, is you!” His father growled, grabbing him by the ear and hurling him into his room. He then picked up the discarded flagon, a sip of ale still sitting inside.

 

“You’re drunk, boy, that’s what you are! There are no demons!” Henry hissed, grabbing the front of his shirt. He then shook the flagon in front of his face, expression twisted in fury, before throwing it across the room.

 

“Do you know what you just did?! Those people could have helped us out of our money troubles!” Henry boomed, seconds away from strangling the boy in front of him, who looked as dazed and confused as ever.  

 

He’d failed. Angel didn’t understand it, it still didn’t make any sense - but he knew he failed. He’d allowed his boy to leave, to leave with her. He’d allowed him out of his sight, had failed to protect him from Darla. She’d turn him now, or feed from him. She’d rip away that beauty, and tear out that beautiful soul. She’d harden him, like he had. She’d corrupt him.

 

But no, he wouldn’t allow it to happen. Not by her hands. He had the chance to stop it this time around, and he’d be damned if he didn’t. He’d follow them, yes. He’d stop it. Everything might not make sense right now, but Angel knew one thing - he wouldn’t let his boy die. Not again.

 

“Are you even listening to me, boy?!” Henry roared, grabbing him by his shirt, and attempting to shake him.

 

Angel looked up then, snapped out of his thoughts at his father’s rage. He didn’t quite know how he felt, looking into the face of the man he had despised for so long. The man who had driven him to drink, to get away, to sleep with every whore in town. But then again, had his father really been the only one at fault? For so long, Liam had blamed him for everything in his life. He’d thought he was a disappointment, even after he did everything asked of him. He’d hated him because of their situation, because they were poor. He had hated him for so much.

 

“I’m listening.” Angel replied, his attention fully on the other man now. He still felt the hatred inside him, the revulsion towards the man in front of him. But he also knew better. He knew that Liam had been at fault, just as much as his father had.

 

“Then listen to this, boy - you’ve ruined everything! Why, oh why did God curse me with you as a child?! You come in here drunk off your gourd, as always, so why did I expect anything else?!” Henry moaned, letting go of Angel’s shirt, and sitting down, head in his hands.

 

Realizing what he had done, at least in his father’s eyes - Angel felt weary. He always had been ruining things, hadn’t he? At the time, he didn’t care. Liam thought his actions were justified. He’d also done it out of spite, just to get a rise out of the old man. He’d made his life a living hell. And then he’d killed him. He’d killed them all.

 

“I’m sorry.” Angel whispered, voice choked with so much regret, that Henry looked up - surprised at the emotion in those two words.

 

“But are you really?” Henry asked, rage having turned into a cool resignation. Despite the genuine regret in his son’s voice, he’d heard these words before. Too many times.

 

“I can’t believe a word you say, boy.” Henry sighed, rubbing his face. “Just leave. Just go, Liam. I don’t want to see your face.” Henry demanded.

 

Hurt at his father’s words, Angel was conflicted. It was maddening, hearing those words from his father’s lips. He wanted to show him he was genuine, wanted to prove himself. But he was also angry, as all the resentment he felt for the other man resurfaced. Of course he wouldn’t believe him. He never did.

 

Turning towards the door, Angel left, greeting the cold night air. He had other things to worry about right now.

 

This world might not make sense, but it was real. In fact, it felt more real than anything else in his strange and crazy existence. Who knew, maybe he’d been transported back in time. A time where somehow, both his old family and new coexisted together. Where William and Drusilla were human, and Darla was fooling them all. Either way, he’d been given a second chance. And he wasn’t about to waste it.

 

Walking down the dirt road the carriage would have taken, Angel paused. He felt warm. It was summer, and despite the night sky above, a gentle warm breeze painted the air. Closing his eyes, Angel breathed in the night air. Actually breathed , as he smiled softly. He’d been cold for so long, he’d forgotten how pleasing the warmth could be.

 

So caught up in seeing William again, and the confusion of even being here - Angel hadn’t stopped to revel in his current state. His reflection was one thing, but this? This was wonderful.

 

He wished could bask in these feelings for hours, wished he could listen to his heartbeat, as he touched his chest. He wished this could last, but he knew there were more pressing matters at stake now - so he started to move.

 

The center of the village wasn’t far from his home, and Angel still remembered where all the roads led. As he walked on, nearing the forest - he could hear the sound of hoofbeats.

 

He ran now, trying to catch up with the carriage. He ran as if everything depended on him getting there in time, and it did. Finally, he caught up to them. They were at a crossroads, and he could see the side of the carriage, though he was several feet away. Darla looked out from the window at him, then, taunting him with her cruel smile.

 

“Darling boy, only you see. But soon, it won’t matter.” She laughed, as Angel read her lips. The carriage started again.

 

No. He ran, for miles and hours, through the woods. Branches whipped by him, as his boots hit dirt, clearing a path in his mad dash. He lost the carriage several times, and soon the sound of hoofbeats ceased entirely.

 

Stopping by a nearby river, he dropped to his knees, tired. He wasn’t used to this, he wasn’t used to the ache in his bones, and the fire in his muscles. He wasn’t used to running at a human’s pace, not after so long of having supernatural speed.

 

And it cost him. He’d not been able to keep up, and now Darla was doing who knew what with his boy.

 

“No!” Angel yelled, slamming his fists into the dirt beneath him. He wasn’t fast enough. He hadn’t been fast enough. Why couldn’t he be fast enough?! Looking up from the ground, Angel stared at the moon above him, it’s light bathing his tear soaked face.

 

He couldn’t save him. He couldn’t save her. It was fruitless, it was torture. He’d never be able to make up for his mistakes. He’d killed, and he’d slaughtered, and he’d made the act into a game. He’d committed so many sins, and Angel wondered if he wasn’t dead, if he wasn’t in hell. Doomed to live out his mistakes, to see his families whole and well, only to lose them in the end.

 

A laugh shook him from his reverie.

 

Averting his gaze from the sky above, Angel’s eyes widened as he spotted the source of the sound. There, on the edge of a lake, was a small cottage. Strange, he didn’t notice it there before.

 

Standing up, Angel slowly made his way towards the sound of laughter. A warm light radiated from the cabin, an otherwise warm glow against the contrast of the cold woods.

 

Nearing closer, Angel’s heart soared as he could see figures through the window. William. He was there, laughing at something Drusilla was saying. A fire crackled in the hearth, and the three of them seemed to be setting the table. It was a strange and homey sight, and Angel felt his heart ache. They looked so happy.

 

Only, as he neared closer, several things happened at once. The sound of a plate shattering echoed through the air, as Drusilla turned towards him, eyes wide. Angel knew she had always had the visions, so it didn’t surprise him that she was having one now. The look of pure horror on her face, however, made his legs rush forward.

 

Looking up from the table, Darla stared at him through the window, lips stretching into a grin as Drusilla screamed, and collapsed on the floor.

 

Angel threw open the door, as Darla shifted into demon face, William unaware as she bent over his neck.

 

He felt like he was in slow motion, as he tried to force his way inside, but was unable to. An invisible barrier barred him from entering, and Angel watched as Darla’s fangs descended, burrowing into William’s neck.

 

Will! ” He screamed, watching in horror.

 

“Let me in! I’m human, I’m human!” Angel cried desperately, wanting to help his boy. He was human, he didn’t understand - why couldn’t he get in?!

 

You'll never be human , his mind hissed. You may walk and talk like a man, but you'll never be one. You're evil, it's in your nature. You can't help anyone.

 

No. “No!” Angel screamed, pounding his fists against the invisible barrier. Drusilla was giggling on the floor now, staring up at the ceiling with blank eyes.

 

“Dead. We’re all dead.” She babbled, a mad grin on her face.

 

Angle continued to try to force his way through, watching with horror-struck eyes as Darla fed from his boy. Suddenly the image before him flickered, and it was Drusilla feeding from Will, eyes knowing as she stared straight at him. In the next second the image flickered again, like a bad picture, as it was Angelus in Dru’s place.

 

“No.” Angel sobbed, clawing at the barrier. “No, please, no.” He begged his counterpart. Will was human now, don’t take that from him. He couldn’t take that from him.

 

As soon as he came, Angelus’ image was replaced with Darla’s once more. She looked up at him then, never breaking eye contact as she sucked the boy’s life from his body. William was pale, eyes wide and unseeing as he stared forward, shock written across his face. Angel’s screams pierced the air as he tried to get in, had to get in, he had to save him.

 

And then it was over. Darla let go, having drank her fill, and William dropped to the floor - dead.

 

Drusilla’s sobs mixed with Angel’s, as he slumped to the ground, defeated. He’d failed him. He’d always fail him.

 

Chapter Text

There were five stages of grief, this Spike knew. He’d been dwelling in denial for hours now, basically swimming in it ever since Angel had been injured. After all, it was all going to be okay. He had to keep reassuring himself that. Angel couldn’t die from this, he just couldn’t. He was Angel, the Dark Avenger. Angelus, The Scourge of Europe. He was his sire. He was strong, and he’d get through this. The Fang Gang would find the cure, get the blood of the demon’s mate or whatever, and then he’d feed it to Angel and they’d continue on. Spike would tease him, get his knickers in a bunch, and then they’d make up. Angel wasn’t going to die.

 

Spike found himself strangely optimistic of the situation. It was going to be all right. It had to be. Only, four more hours passed, and still they hadn’t returned.

 

He was angry. No, he was beyond angry right now. He was livid. What was taking them so bloody damn long?! Did it really take over four hours to find one demon? Sure, it was LA, but still. It was like they were deliberately taking their time!

 

Growling, Spike looked down at the unconscious Angel, and suddenly his anger was directed elsewhere.

 

How dare he do this to him? How dare he take him back, make him feel, make him love him all over again, just to get into a stupid situation like this? It wasn’t fair. None of this was. His whole life and unlife was nothing more more a sick joke, with pain and heartache at every twist and turn. It was as if someone up there couldn’t stand letting him be happy, couldn’t leave him alone. Instead, his life was nothing more than some game to a greater being, something to be fucked up over and over again, all while laughing. Well, fuck them.

 

“And fuck you.” Spike choked out, glaring at Angel’s prone form. Tears pricked his eyes, as Spike wished he could just go back to hating him. If he hated him, maybe seeing his sire like this wouldn’t hurt so much.

 

Resting his head against Angel’s chest, Spike let the tears flow freely. This was his fault. If he hadn’t been so reckless, maybe he could have prevented this. It was his fault he wasn’t paying attention to Angel, didn’t block the attack on his sire. It should be him on this bed, clinging onto sanity, not Angel.

 

Spike already knew what it was like, having your thoughts taken from you. Having your mind be a foreign place, as they twisted it and mixed it up. It should be him, going through this, not Angel. He knew what it was like, to be taken apart. And he wouldn’t wish that on Angel no matter what.

 

He could feel it sometimes, when he slept. A niggling in the back of his mind, reminding him of the visions he’d been forced to have. As if some strange entity sill occupied his mind, hiding in wait, for the perfect moment to attack.

 

The chip was a constant reminder of his abuse. As much as Spike tried to forget, it was always there, a constant note of what had happened to him. He hated it. He hated them. He hated it all. And he hated seeing Angel there, lying prone as his mind was raped, showing him who knew what. He hated that he couldn't help.

 


 

“No, no, I said turn right !” Wesley shouted, as Gunn took the left intersection.

 

They’d been driving for several hours how, following pointless leads whenever they got a phone call. Wesley had called Lorne the moment they left the hotel, asking him to get the word out that they were looking for a Glarghk Guhl Marashmas’mik demon. Since then, they’d gotten no less than fifteen calls, all which seemed to lead them nowhere. Wesley was starting to think they were only getting prank calls. It was a demon bar, after all.

 

“Well you’re facing the back, when you say ‘right’ I assume my right, not yours!” Gunn yelled in defense, jerking the steering wheel and making a u-turn.

 

“Guys, this is getting us nowhere!” Cordelia cried out, grunting as her seatbelt dug into her at the sharp turn.

 

“She’s right. M-maybe we should try something else?” Fred suggested meekly, hugging a book to her chest.

 

“And what do you suggest?! We’re running out of time!” Wesley snapped, apologizing once he realized what he’d done. He was getting frustrated, was all.

 

“Can’t you confer with any of your books? Where do these demons usually hole up?” Gunn asked, pulling into an empty parking lot. They needed to regroup, and fast.

 

“I suppose we should look near garbage dumps. Glarghk Guhl Marashmas’mik demon’s thrive on stench, apparently.” Fred announced, conferring with the book in her hand.

 

“What?! And you’re saying you didn’t know that already?” Cordelia yelled, glaring at Wesley.

 

“I- I probably did. I’m not thinking rationally!” Wesley explained, flustered.

 

“We’ve spent the last five hours, ” Cordelia shrieked, looking at her watch, “following useless leads from evil demons, who seem to be hell bent on leading us on a wild goose chase. And now I found out we could have narrowed down the search from a book?!” Cordelia yelled.

 

“Well, in my defense, the demon Angel and Spike fought was near Caritas. Naturally my first thought was to confer with the residents there. I didn’t realize the demon had strayed so far from it’s natural habitat!” Wesley snapped back.

 

“Guys, shut up!” Gunn yelled, turning around and glaring at them. “LA is full of dumps, so we better start checking those. Wesley, tell me you at least brought the ingredients for the antidote?” Gunn asked.

 

“But of course!” Wesley spluttered, still in a staring match with Cordelia.

 

“Good, then let’s find this demon, before Angel runs out of time.” Gunn said, foot hitting the pedal.

 


 

“I promise to stop annoying you so much. And, oh! I’ll give you your Manilow records back. Yeah, I was the one that took them. You have horrible taste in music, mate.” Spike noted.

 

“Actually, the best I can do is not burn them. If I have to listen to you sing along to ‘Mandy’ one more time, I swear I’m gonna lose it. If you want ‘em, you’re just gonna have to wake up.” Spike reasoned, looking to Angel for a reaction. When there wasn’t one, he sighed.

 

It was silly, and he realized what he was doing, but he couldn’t help it. It was his fault Angel was in this situation in the first place. If Spike could do anything, anything to help, he would.

 

“He doesn’t deserve this.” Spike whispered, staring up at the ceiling.

 

It wasn’t fair, what was happening to his sire. Spike knew he’d been trying to make up for the sins of his past, trying to repent. And yet still, the universe decided it wasn’t enough. Give a vampire a soul, have him spend years saving people, and still you end up with bubkis. Spike wondered what was the point of it all. God still hated them.

 

God, hah. Was there even a God? It was something he had pondered on, in the early years. Hadn’t revisited the thought since. But now, now he wondered. After all, there was clearly a hell. And demons, plenty of those. That meant the devil must exist, right? And, therefore, a God.

 

Fuck God. What had He ever done for them? He’d damned them the moment they were made. As far as Spike was concerned, God could bugger off. Still, Spike didn’t fancy thinking of the other place.

 

Living as long as they had, immortality started to feel like a given. No need to think about life after undeath, as long as you were competent enough to not get yourself dusted. The long years ahead, an eternity before you. It all seemed trivial now, without someone to share it with.

 

“Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me ; The carriage held but just ourselves and Immortality.” Spike recited, almost subconsciously, as he traced Angel’s unnaturally pale face.

 

After all, what was immortality, but the passing of years? Of memories, emotions, moments. Moments so fleeting, so empty, if not for someone to share it with? He’d had Dru for so long, his dark princess, always by his side. But now she was gone, and Angel was nearly so as well.

 

Immortality in death. At least, that's what he believed the poem to be about. Is that what faced his sire? William didn’t think so, after all, they were demons. If there was an afterlife, there would only be hell. For him, at least. Will had no idea where Angel would go, now that he had a soul.

 

Would God take him back? Or had everything the poof done been for nothing? Spike found he didn’t want to know.

 

“Don’t leave me, you great sod.” Spike choked out, angrily wiping away tears. He was such a nancy. Still, too emotional. Still a bleeding poet, who couldn’t help but recite poetry to help pass the time, and forget his pain. Bloody help that did. Not.

 

The hour hand on the clock ticked by, and Spike was starting to lose hope.

 


 

“Gunn!” Cordelia shrieked, throwing him the axe. She watched as he caught it, swinging it in front of him to ward of the Glarghk Guhl Marashmas’mik demon’s mate.

 

They’d finally found the demon, after hours of searching. It had taken over one of LA’s largests dumps, making its nest within the large area of garbage.

 

“Hey, ugly! Yeah, I’m talking to you, Mister Never heard of a toothbrush!” Cordelia yelled, trying - along with Gunn - to distract the demon.

 

“Did your wife kiss you with that mouth? Cause let me tell you something, you smell bad. Like, ten week old garbage bad!” Cordelia said, trying to get a rile out of it, as Wesley snuck up behind the demon, a fortified syringe in his hand.

 

“Actually, Cordelia, a Glarghk Guhl demon would take that as a compliment!” Fred shouted from the car.

 

“Oh? Oh. Did I say bad? I meant rad. ” Cordelia corrected herself, chuckling nervously, “Cause honey, lemme tell ya, you smell great. Is that daffodils I detect? I’ve got to know where you bought your perfume, cause it smells delightful!”

 

Yelling at the insult, Cordelia yelped as a claw barely missed her face. Taking the opportunity, Wesley dove in, jamming the large needle into the demon’s side, and drawing it’s blood.

 

“Got it!” Wesley cried out triumphantly, ducking as the demon took a swing at him.

 

“Now, I suggest we run!” Wes yelled, as they all hopped into the car, and sped away, the demon roaring behind them.

 


 

Spike was in the middle of another trip down memory lane, when suddenly Angel jolted next to him.

 

“Sire?” Spike asked hopefully, eyes lighting up at the movement. The feeling of hope quickly died however, as Angel began convulsing wildly on the bed.

 

“Sire!” Spike yelled, watching in horror as Angel’s mouth began to foam, and a purple substance streamed out of his mouth.

 

“Move!” Wesley’s voice demanded, as the others barged into the room, looking like they’d just been dragged back from hell.

 

Sitting up, Spike quickly made way for Wesley, who rushed to Angel’s side, a cup of yellow liquid in his hands.

 

“Get him onto his side.” Wesley ordered, as Gunn and Spike quickly obeyed, letting the rest of the sick trickle onto the bed sheet.

 

Once Angel seemed to stop foaming at the mouth, Wesley quickly forced the antidote into his mouth, tilting his head back to make him swallow.

 

The next minute was spent in suspense, as everyone waited with bated breath for something to happen.

 

“Come on.” Spike muttered, eyes glued to Angel.

 

The convulsions stopped, and Angel slumped back onto the bed, seemingly still as stone. Seconds later however his eyes snapped open, wild and frantic as they searched for something, until they settled on Spike.

 

“Will.” Angel gasped, hand darting out to grab the front of Spike’s shirt. Angel’s face was twisted in grief, tears pricking his eyes as he gazed at the other man.

 

“William. I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry.” Angel choked out, sobbing as he tried to bury his head in Spike’s chest. Spike had leant forward, obliging him as he cradled Angel’s head in his arms.

 

“Perhaps we should go.” Wesley suggested softly, heart clenching at the way Angel had looked at Spike. He’d gazed upon him as if he had just died.

 

As the others left quietly, Spike continued to comfort his sire, whispering reassurances that he was okay, and that everything would be alright.

 

“Shh, you’re back. You’re back.” Spike repeated, crawling onto the bed, and laying Angel’s head in his lap.

 

“It’s all my fault. I couldn't protect you. I let you die.” Angel cried, in a state of shock.

 

Spike didn't know what his sire had witnessed while he was in the magical coma, but he realized it must have been bad, for Angel to be reacting the way he was.

 

“Please forgive me. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Angel sobbed, looking up pleadingly into his boy’s eyes.

 

“I forgive you, Angel.” Spike whispered, running his fingers through his sire’s hair. It was strange, seeing his sire so vulnerable. It wasn’t right, and felt just wrong. Angel was supposed to be the strong one. The one who could get past anything. He wasn't weak, like Will was.

 

Minutes, or maybe even hours passed, as Angel laid there in Will’s arms. There was a mutual silence between them, as they took comfort in each other's embrace. Spike had helped Angel into a sitting position, and was now hugging Angel’s face to his chest.

 

“Do you want to talk about it?” Will asked, breaking the silence after several hours.

 

Sighing, Angel nodded, pulling away. He was still weak, deathly so, as he tried and failed to position himself in a sitting position.

 

“Here, let me.” Spike murmured, propping several pillows behind Angel’s head.

 

“Do you ever regret it all? The death, the blood, all spilt at your hand?” Angel asked softly.

 

At Spike’s raised brow, Angel let out a weak laugh. Of course not. Spike didn’t have a soul.

 

“What about me? Or, Dru, I suppose. Do you regret her turning you? What was taken from you?” Angel wondered, the visions he had endured still fresh in his mind.

 

Spike was stumped at the question, however. It wasn't just Angel’s casual way of mentioning Dru was his sire, but the fact that he’d never really thought about it. He’d always taken to being a vampire with zest, an excitement and joy overcoming him since the moment he realized what he was. He’d never thought about the things taken from him, as he had been given the world. Delivered from a mediocre life, and thrust into a new one full of wonder.

 

“No.” Spike confessed softly. There were few things he missed, after all. “Do you?” Spike wondered.

 

Angel practically radiated relief at those words, glad that he hadn't helped doom Will to an eternity of misery. The visions he had seen had worried him, and although he would always feel guilt for not stopping Drusilla, for taking away Will’s chance at a human life, he felt better now at his boy’s reassurance.

 

“What did you see, Angel?” Spike asked, realizing that this must have to do with what Angel hallucinated.

 

“My family.” Angel whispered, eyes far away as he stared at the wall.

 

“It was so strange, seeing them again. I haven’t thought about them for so long.” Angel confessed.

 

He tried not to think about them, as it was too painful. Even when he first got his soul, Angel always tried to steer clear of his mortal past. And after all, there were countless other sins to brood about. A thousand deaths at his hands. More, even. But even his soul knew his family had been a forbidden subject.

 

“I killed them. My father. My mother. Kathy.” Angel whispered, numb and the very thought of what he had done.

 

“I killed them all. And, I didn’t even care. Why didn’t I care? Sure, my father could be a right bastard. But my mother? My sister? They didn’t deserve that fate. Hell, not even my father did. And I slaughtered them.” Angel choked out.

 

“I staked my mother.” Spike confessed.

 

Not even Angelus knew that fact, as it had been done in secret. William had gone to her, after escaping the mansion with Dru the third night. He had been angry with Angelus, angry that he wouldn’t allow him to see his family. Just because he was a vampire, didn’t mean he couldn’t see his mother one last time. Right?

 

“She was sick, you see. So I turned her. Though I was saving her, ya know? Dru showed me how. But it wasn’t her that came back.” Spike confessed, frowning deeply.

 

“I get now that I wasn’t strong enough to make a potential fledge, that my blood could only create a minion. But I didn’t know any of that then. I thought it would be her, waking up. Not just the demon that had taken over her body. Anyways, she came onto me. So I staked her.” Spike murmured.

 

“Did you feel remorse?” Angel inquired softly.

 

“Yeah. Broke my heart in fact. Haven’t thought much on it since, though.” Spike admitted. It was a topic he didn’t like to think about.

 

“That’s more than I felt.” Angel whispered, closing his eyes.

 

“Well, you were a different person then. You’ve had a hundred plus years since. You’ve changed.” Spike said, trying to alleviate Angel’s grief.

 

Angel had to admit that Spike was right. He wasn’t Liam anymore. Liam had been a selfish, lazy, and arrogant man. And while Angelus might have been the same the first decade or so, even he had eventually evolved. Yes, he was still selfish and arrogant - but Angelus had found a drive, whereas Liam never had. Angelus had ambition, where Liam had none.

 

No, Angel wasn’t the same man he’d been when he was human. He’d learned much over the years, even more so since regaining his soul.

 

“Maybe.” Angel conceded.

 

“You aren’t. Dammit, Angel, stop brooding. Can’t you just allow yourself to realize you made mistakes, and get over it?” Spike pressed, not seeing the big deal. Yes, he killed his family, boo hoo - but almost all vamps did. It was like a graduating ritual, or some shit, as Angelus had once told him.

 

“No, I can’t just get over it. You don’t get it Spike, I should feel guilty for all the things I’ve done!” Angel shot back, frustrated at the boy.

 

“But you don’t have to keep beating yourself up over it! You’re repenting, Angel. You’re a white hat now, doing good. Shouldn’t that make things better?” Spike asked.

 

“You don’t get it, Spike. You don’t have a soul.” Angel growled, feeling weary. Sometimes he wished Spike wasn’t so naturally frustrating. The boy really didn’t know how to keep his mouth shut at times.

 

“I think I get it more than you do. You’ve done evil shit, I get that. You feel bad. You’ve killed, and you’ve raped. You’ve tortured countless of people, all who have lost their lives because of you. You were a monster. I knew Angelus, Angel, you were a right bastard, you were.” Spike said.

 

“I’m sure that their faces wake you up night after night, due to how many there were. And I get why you brood, I get why you mope about night after night. You’ve done awful things. But guess what, Angel? You’ve also done good. So much good, ever since you got your bleedin’ soul. You’ve helped people. Saved lives. Given people hope, and all of that fuzzy good crap. And you still do that. You know what you’ve done, and you’re trying to make up for it. Even some people with souls don’t do that much. I should know. Having a soul doesn’t make someone good, Angel. You can be evil to your core, and still have one. It’s what you decide to do, your actions, that define who you are.” Spike continued.

 

“What I don’t get is why you can’t allow yourself to be happy, even for just a second. You can have your brooding sessions, you can repent all you like - but you can’t go about your unlife constantly depressed. That’s no way to live, Angel. You’ve got to stop beating yourself up at times, and allow yourself to realize all of the good you’ve done. Otherwise, you’re going to waste away. You’ll go down an unpretty road, I can see it, and wonder what’s the point of it all. The point of existing. And I don’t want that to happen, sire.” Spike whispered.

 

“I may be soulless, but I’m not stupid. You, however, need to get your head out of your arse.” Spike finished, ending with a tasteless remark, as sharing how he felt so bluntly was making him uncomfortable.

 

Angel, meanwhile, was struck speechless by his boy’s heated words. Sometimes he forgot how insightful Spike could be, how observant and intelligent. Spike had done a lot to remake himself over the years, fighting to reach the standard Angelus had set long ago. He had made a name for himself, had hidden away behind leather, smoke, and bravado. He had done a lot to conform to Angelus’ image of a perfect killer. But right now, Angel was reminded that that wasn’t who Spike truly was.

 

He was the poet, the victorian gentleman, the passionate man who wore his heart on his sleeve. He was the fledge that always strived for approval, and had always felt too much. He was the wise bookworm, who craved knowledge before all else. Spike was all of this, and more now. And it made Angel feel like a fool for not realizing it before.

 

Although Angel believed he would never be rid of all the guilt, all the pain he’d both inflicted and endured - Spike had a point. He couldn’t keep on like this.

 

Angel couldn’t count the number of times he’d contemplated suicide. When the idea of the sun just seemed too good to pass up, when the thought of being dust was preferable to hell on Earth. When he’d been so depressed, deep in the throes of his memories, that the call of a final death beckoned.

 

He was punishing himself, he knew it. He believed he didn’t deserve happiness, didn’t deserve love because of all he had done. He still felt that way, and in fact probably always would. But Spike was right in that it wasn’t healthy. If he kept going on like this, one day he might not head inside before sunrise. So maybe he could allow himself a sliver of joy, moments of warmth to fill his otherwise cold existence.

 

He’d been depressed for so long, playing the role of a hero to dampen the gnawing guilt. And there was so much guilt. It wasn’t just the many deaths, but the deeds he had done as Angelus that haunted him. It was a combination of things that anchored him down, refused to let him enjoy the world. And while he might never be truly happy, Spike was right in that he shouldn’t keep torturing himself.

 

“When did you become so wise?” Angel wondered, feeling a strong urge to kiss him.

 

“I’ve always been intelligent. Just chose to hide it, didn’t I? Isn’t my fault if your walnut-sized brain couldn’t pick it up.” Spike replied.

 

Angel did kiss him then, if not just to shut him up. He was weak still, and it took all his strength to lift his head, and crash his lips against Spike’s.

 

Melting into the embrace, Spike closed his eyes, revelling in the feeling of his sire’s lips against his own. Spike frowned however, pulling away as Angel let out a hiss, after trying to move into a more comfortable position.

 

“You’re still weak.” Spike pointed out softly, noticing the sickly pallor of Angel’s face. Making a decision, Spike craned his neck, offering it to his sire.

 

“Drink, you need it.” Spike coaxed, as Angel stared at the offered neck uncertainly.

 

“Please, sire. You need it. I don’t mind.” Spike whispered.

 

“The last time I did this, though…” Angel trailed off, remembering the last time he’d fed from his boy. It was a sacred thing, the sharing of blood, and yet Angelus had never treated it as so. The blood of a master vampire was almost as good as the blood of a slayer. It was rich, delectable, and strong. It was like a drug, a drug that Angelus had stolen with abandon over and over again.

 

“I thought you going to die.” Spike replied, voice numb as he stared at Angel. “I thought you were a goner, Angel. I thought I had lost you. And it was my fault. My fault that the demon got to you in the first place. The least I can do is help you heal faster.” Spike reasoned, offering his neck again, making a shallow cut with his fingernail.

 

Pausing minutely, Angel finally gave in, as the smell of the blood of Aurelius was too good to pass up.

 

Spike sighed as Angel bit in, taking a strange comfort as Angel fed from him. It was the most intimate action one vampire could share with another, even more so than even sex. It meant trust, when given away properly. And Spike did more than trust him, he loved him.

 

As Angel continued to feed, his hands wandered, removing Spike’s clothing as the garments joined Angel’s on the floor.

 

“Don’t leave me again.” Spike gasped, as Angel’s hand stroked his member. “I can’t, I can’t bear it. You made a promise, Angel. Don’t go and almost die again.” Spike pleaded, capturing Angel’s blood tinted lips with his own.

 

“I promise.” Angel vowed, stronger now with Spike’s blood in his veins, as he reached for the lube in his dresser. He wanted this to pleasant, for the both of them.

 

Spike stopped his own ministrations at those words, pulling back as his expression twisted in doubt.

 

“You keep saying that though. How can I believe you? I want to, I really do. I want it more than anything, and yet you always leave in the end. Always.” Spike choked out.

 

Angel’s soul ached, staring into his childe’s eyes. Blue iris’ filled with such pain, and fragile hope. Suddenly, Angel knew what he had to do. He could give Will everything he wanted, everything that they wanted. Angel had made a promise, one he intended to keep until the world crumbled away. He wouldn’t leave, wouldn’t fail him again. He loved his boy, and he wanted to show that love, for once in his unlife.

 

“Then let me renew our bond, childe. Let me do what should have been done in the first place.” Angel whispered, watching as his boy’s eyes widened in shock.

 

“Do you mean?” Spike asked, uncertain if Angel was being serious or not. What he was offering, it was beyond anything he could ever wish for.

 

“Be mine, Will. And let me be yours.” Angel begged, cradling William’s face in his hand.

 

“Yes. God, yes.” Spike breathed, smiling broadly, as he looked up at Angel, having switched positions.

 

It wasn’t a claim Angel was suggesting, but something much deeper and meaningful. It was a renewal of the bond he and Dru shared, something beyond words that happened when she had sired him. A bond that lasted an eternity, and meant companionship and undying love. And while Spike had always considered Angelus his sire, they had never shared what he and Dru had. It had pained Will, for so many years, that he couldn’t share such a coveted connection with the man he considered his sire. Instead, such a connection had been dulled by a woman who couldn’t fully understand it.  But now Angel was offering to renew that bond, and officially make them sire and childe.

 

It was everything he could have hoped for, everything he had yearned. And knowing that Angel wanted it as well, wanted to confess such an act of love, made Spike’s heart burst with joy. All of the pain and heartache he had endured these last few months meant nothing. Walsh, The Initiative, it all felt a thousand years away, as finally, everything felt right.

 

It was the ending of an era of hatred, of being apart, of being uncertain about how they felt. Now, everything was out in the open. Everything was known. It was the beginning of yet another chapter in eternity. The beginning of them, the way it should have been from the very start. And as their bodies meshed together, and their fangs embedded in each other’s necks, the world melted away.

 

It was just them, now and forever, as in this single moment both sire and childe were happy. Not perfectly happy, though hopefully some day that would be possible. Some day their pains would wash away for good, and their worries would be specks of dust in the wind. Some day the nightmares they endured might plague them less, and their many demons would be calm. But for now, they were happy as they could be. They were together, reunited at last. Hearts filled with love, and promises of forever. And that was all that mattered.