"I'm not sure," Angel says over the sound of the running shower. "I think she said on Tuesday."
"Well, you better find out," I tell him, rinsing the soap from my hair. "I haven't seen Metallica
live since the 80's. They're going to be doing a lot of the old ones -- Ride the Lightning, Master
of Puppets, and whatnot. And that Kid Rock bloke is openin' for 'em. Cor, that'd be the bloody
"I'll see what I can find when I'm out tonight," he says.
I'd really like to go to that concert. Tickets shouldn't be a problem, even though I heard on the
radio that its sold out already. I've got my Sire wrapped around my little finger. I just give him
my hurt puppy look, and quicker than you can say "Angel's a moron," he gives me what I want.
Of course, I don't take advantage of the situation.
It's been good around here for the past two months. I haven't had too many nightmares where I
wake up in a cold sweat, panting as if I'd run a bloody marathon. A whole flock of people came
into the agency upstairs and I didn't bolt in panic. In fact, I even joked around with a few of
them. I still can't go out by myself without feeling as though I'm being watched, but it doesn't
have to be my Sire that I'm with. I can get around with just Doyle or Cordelia.
Guess this means I'm finally starting to heal.
Which is why I want to go to this concert. It's going to be the shit.
"Maybe we can get backstage," I say, turning to grab the bar of soap off the shower caddy.
"Though it'd probably be harder now that we can't just drain a few security guards. Well, I
can't. You could..."
I left the sentence dangling, waiting for Angel to scoff or make some comment. When he didn't,
I frown. "Angel?" I call.
My frown deepening, I set the bar of soap down and rinse off my hands. All the muscles in my
body begin to tense up. In the pit of my stomach a ball of fear is starting to grow. I raise my
hand to grasp the edge of the shower curtain and see that it's shaking.
I said I was healing, didn't say I was there quite yet.
I ease the curtain back slightly and peek out. My Sire isn't standing where he always stands.
He's not leaning back against the small sink, arms folded across his chest, one ankle crossed over
He's not there.
Panic burns from my feet up through my body until I'm fully engulfed by the feeling. Angel
wouldn't leave the bathroom while I'm in the shower. He knows that I'm not able to take one
alone. I'm still a soddin' pansy when it comes to taking off my clothes. He knows that.
"Angel?" I say quietly, my voice laced with fear. I see that the bathroom door is open a crack.
He left. The effin' bastard left. The pillock left me alone! That bloody fucking arsehole!
I turn off the shower and grab the towel over the rod. Wrapping it around my waist, I step out of
the tub and snatch my shirt off the closed lid of the toilet. I dress with quick jerks, my anger at
my Sire overriding my fear of being alone and naked. Once I get my socks on, I yank the
bathroom door open and storm out into the bedroom, ready to give Angel a piece of my fist.
But the sound of fighting stops my headlong rush.
I admit it, I'm panicked again. Okay, more than panicked. I'm freaked. My throat has closed
up, my non-beating heart is doing its rendition of a bongo drum, my hands are all clammy, and
whatever blood I have in my body is rushing in my ears.
My Sire growled and grunted in pain. I could hear it clearly from where I am standing near the
bathroom door. Something glass broke, followed by the crash of what had to be a table
upending. I want to run. I want to cover my ears and pretend there wasn't a fight going on in the
Instead, I step cautiously forward and peek around the opening to the bedroom out into the other
Angel is getting his arse kicked. Some bloke dressed in fatigues and a ski-mask is whopping my
Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, fuck, fuck.
I can literally feel the blood running from my face. I'm paralyzed, rooted to the floor as Angel
gets tossed around the room. I start to hyperventilate despite my not needing to breathe. I suck
in harsh, wheezing gasps of air through my mouth, unable to tear my eyes from the fight.
Or more specifically the git in the fatigues and ski-mask.
It's my worst soddin' nightmare come true. The bloke has to be here for me. Eleven months,
twelve days and six hours when I got in the shower ago, three military-types captured me a few
blocks away from the Slayer's dorm two days after Buffy inadvertently helped me to escape.
January 28, 2000, the Slayer rescued me and sent me here. Now, nine month's later, they found
The bloke is here to take me back. Back to the laboratory. Back to the experiments. Back to the
unending nights and days of excruciating pain and horror. Back to wanting to die.
I can't go back.
I won't be able to survive if I go back.
My feet propel me across the room and, before I even know what I'm doing, I'm throwing
myself at the guy, sending us both crashing to the floor. I raise up on my knees, straddling him,
grab the front of his shirt and punch him as hard as I can.
The pain that sears through my head is unbelievable. I yelp and press the heel of my palm to my
forehead, trying to get it to stop. The guy is living, of that I'm now more than bloody positive.
He throws me off of him easily. I hit my bare arm on one of the support columns, scraping it on
the brick. I shove myself to me feet as soon as I can, and see my Sire slam the bloke with a
punishing side-kick right in the center of his chest. He goes flying back into the wall, shattering a
framed picture with his head.
Angel presses his attack, but the guy counters. I could tell the sod was trained to fight, even
against vampires. My Sire is flipped down onto the floor and the guy stomps down on Angel's
armpit while keeping a tight grip on his wrist. Angel snarls in pain and I react immediately,
despite knowing that it's going to hurt like a dry buggerin'.
I dart across the floor as I link my fingers together. Running up right behind the bloke, I raise my
hands and bash him on the back of the neck. He drops Angel's arm as I cry out in pain again.
Then I'm yelling out in pain as the guy spins and drives his fist right up under my ribs. The
fucker is wearing spiked knuckles, and the sharp points cut easily into me. I slam my arm down
onto his wrist, sending more pain through my head. His other fist comes up before I can block,
and I soon find out the bloody bastard is wearing the same type of spiked knuckles on his other
The spikes rip across the skin on my jaw as my head flings to the right upon impact. Black spots
dance before my eyes and I stumble back away from him. I trip over the fallen table that I had
heard crashing earlier, and I end up on my arse on the floor.
The bastard leaps at me, sending us skidding back on the hardwood flooring a few meters. I can
see his eyes now. They're black and beady and full of anger and hate. He punches me again,
ripping more of my face with the spiked knuckles.
Then he pulls one of those plunger syringes that they give soldiers to jump-start their hearts from
out nowhere and raises it above my chest.
"ANGEL!" I yell. If I was human, I'd be pissing in my trousers. I go to grab his wrist and he
backfists me across the other side of my face, which has long since morphed into my true
features. I growl in pain, my hands still trying to grasp his arm to stop the fucker from shoving
that thing into me.
And then I hear a roar that chills me to the bone. My Sire appears behind the pillock, his golden
eyes glowing with rage. He grabs the bastard's head in both of his hands as the bloke looks back
and twists it savagely. I hear the pop when the military guy's neck breaks, and I expect Angel to
just let go of the now-dead git.
Instead, he yanks the prick off of me and throws him halfway across the room. My Sire lets out
this primitive snarl that I've never heard before and I swear on all things evil he pounced like a
big bloody wild cat does on its prey. The violence is unexpected, and it completely shocks me.
I stare at him from where I'm still laying, my eyes huge, as he rips the spiked knuckles off the
dead bloke, slides them over his own fingers and punches right through the git's chest. I hear this
sickening slurping sound and my stomach turns in horror as my Sire rips the guy's no-longer-beating heart out. Blood runs down his hand and wrist as he brings it up to his mouth and sinks
his fangs into the organ, draining the remainder of blood inside of it.
Holy fucking shit.
Holy bloody fucking shit.
My Sire just...
Oh fuck. I'm starting to hyperventilate again. Great big wheezing gasps of air I struggle to take
into my closed-up windpipe. I can't stop. My Sire just...
Angel turns his head and looks right at me with his gold eyes.
I turn over and scramble forward on my hands and knees as I try to get to my feet to run. I can't
see anything because fucking tears are blurring my vision. My wheezing is loud in my ears,
blocking my ability to hear if he's coming after me. Coming after me.
Oh fuck, what if he's coming after me? Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fu-
Angel grabs me around the waist and hauls me up to my feet. "No," I choke out between
wheezes, fighting against him.
"Spike, stop," he growls.
No, I can't stop. If I stop, he'll kill me. I have to get out of here. I have to warn them. I have to
tell Buffy that Angel lost his soul again.
Oh god, his soul. He lost his soul. He bloody fucking killed that guy, that human, and ate his
fucking heart. He's going to kill me. He's going to kill me. He's going to kill me.
"STOP!" Angel yells, his arms squeezing me brutally. He sinks down to the floor, bringing me
with him, and yanks me to him so my back is pressed to his chest, my legs out in front of me.
This is it. He's going to sink his soddin' fangs into my neck and drain me. I'm the biggest
bloody nancyboy in the whole fucking world because all I can do is hyperventilate and cry
instead of fight. Blood and tears and snot are running down my face as I wheeze and sob. My
death is going to be the most humiliating experience of my long-
"Shh. Shh. It's okay, Will. I got you. You're safe. Shh. I got you, my Childe. I'm here.
I hear Angel's voice near my ear as he holds me tight against him. I realize we're rocking slightly
-- forward and back, forward and back, forward and back, forward and back. He's not draining
me. He's not even lisping through his fangs. His voice is low and smooth and calm as he
continues to speak to me.
"It's okay, my sweet Will. He's dead. He can't hurt you. Shh. Shh. I'm here. Shh, my
beautiful boy, shh..."
And under it all I could hear a faint rumbling deep in his chest. It slowly starts to sooth me, and
after a few minutes, I'm able to stop gasping for unneeded breath.
"I'm here, Will. I'm here. Shh. I've got you. Shh. He can't hurt you. You're safe. You're
safe, my beautiful Will. Shh..."
"Angel?" I manage to squeak out now that I can speak again.
"Yes, it's just me," he says softly. "No one can hurt you. You're safe now."
"Y-y-y-you k-killed 'im," I stammer.
"Are y-you," I swallow past the lump of fear in my throat, "g-going to k-k-k-kill me?"
"What? Of course not," he says with surprise in his voice.
"B-but-but-but," I stammer again. "You k-killed 'im."
He turns me in his arms so I'm half sitting in his lap, one of my legs over his. It's easy for him to
do it, considering I'm a blubbery soddin' mess. His normal brown eyes find mine and I see him
frown. Then he looks apologetic.
"Oh no, Will, I still have my soul," he tells me, tightening his arms slightly. "I'm sorry, my
Childe. I didn't mean to scare you."
He didn't mean to scare me? He didn't mean to scare me?!
"You stupid bloody pillock!" I half-exclaim, half-sob. More tears overwhelm me quickly as my
world tilts on its axis. My soul-filled poof of a Sire just killed a bloody human, and he doesn't
even sound remorseful about it.
This can't be happening. This can't be real. It can't, it can't, it can't.
"Hey, hey, hey," he says quietly. "It's okay, Will. Everything's okay."
"No it isn't," I snap at him, my voice sounding funny because of all the snot in my nose and my
tears. "You killed 'im!"
"I had to," Angel tells me, starting to rock me back and forth again. "He would have killed you."