"Hi, Spike," Willow greeted as Spike entered the library. She did a double-take and grinned. "I think someone is happy to get his cast off."
"You have no bloody idea, Red," Spike replied, an echoing smile on his face. He pulled her off her chair and waltzed her around the room, making her laugh.
"Oh, hello, Spike," Giles said as he came out of the office to see what Willow was laughing about. He arched a brow at the vampire's antics, then nodded with understanding. "Ah, the cast is gone. Though why a-a-a vampire had one, I have yet to comprehend."
"Blame the Slayer," Spike said, spinning Willow out and back into his arms. "It's her fault."
"Sure, she's the one who told you to do what you did to break it," Willow said.
Spike dipped her and scowled. "Did she tell you what happened?"
"No," Willow replied. "No matter how much I prodded or chocolate I bribed her with. Your fiancee is on tough nut to crack."
"Good," he replied, straightening them both. He spun her out of his arms towards Giles. Willow turned and smiled at the older man, pulling Giles into her arms to continue dancing, as Spike hopped up on the library table and lit up a cigarette. He was waiting for Billy, per their usual arrangement . On Wednesdays, the teen would meet Spike at the library and they would walk to class together, though normally with Buffy, too.
He looked up at Giles and Willow dancing together like adolescents. Watching the two lovers gave him a happy feeling in his heart, one that he never thought he'd have caused by the Slayer's friends. Not that he'd ever thought he'd be in love with the Slayer herself, let alone be engaged to marry her the coming summer.
"Spike, you know you're not suppose to smoke in here," Willow chastised. "In fact, you're not supposed to smoke at all. Naughty vampire."
Spike shrugged. "She's not here and if I don't get to smoke at least one fag in celebration of getting that bloody cast off, I may as well stake myself."
"Be that as it may," Giles said, spinning the redhead under his arm and around his back. "Try not to ash anyplace. These books a-are rather delicate and the information within, priceless."
"And he said all that while dancing," Willow gushed. "Isn't he wonderful?" Spike snorted and Giles blushed, as Willow asked, "Where is Buffy, anyway?"
"Joyce wanted to talk to her," Spike answered. "Probably something to do with the wedding, like how she wants the friggin' napkins folded."
"Your father is coming for dinner on Friday night," Joyce announced as she put her earrings in. She looked at her daughter in the mirror. "It's officially ‘that time,' Buffy."
Buffy thumped her head back on the bathroom door. "And things were going so well, too," the Slayer said.
"Now honey, you knew this was coming. The wedding is getting closer by the day..."
"It's not for another nine months!"
"...And your father wants to meet Spike and his family," Joyce continued without pause. She primped her hair, then gestured Buffy to proceed her out of the bathroom.
"But Mom," Buffy whined as she headed down the stairs. "Spike and Dad are not going to get along. You know how he gets."
"I'm sure Spike will behave himself," Joyce said.
"I was talking about Dad," Buffy said wryly. Joyce shook her head and grabbed her purse, then headed for the kitchen. "Can't we wait until after the wedding for them to meet?"
"No, we cannot," Joyce replied. "Both you and Spike will be here Friday night promptly at eight."
"I know! How about we invite everyone and make it a-"
"Fine," Buffy sighed as she slid onto a stool. "Time for a subject change. Where are you going all gussied up?"
"Art auction in Danver," Joyce replied.
"All alone?" Buffy said with an arched brow. "That outfit does not a dateless woman make."
Joyce stared at her daughter a moment. "You know that made absolutely no sense to me," she said. "And I'm not going alone."
"Really? Did you snag a hottie and not tell me?" Buffy asked with a wink. There was a knock on the kitchen door and the Slayer grinned. "Ooh, someone's date is using the back door," she said as she went over and opened it. Her mouth dropped open when she saw who it was.
"Angel, hello," Joyce greeted as she picked up her purse.
"Hello, Joyce, Buffy," Angel said from the doorway. He gave Buffy a puzzled look at her expression. "Are you all set?"
"All set," Joyce replied, heading for the door. Buffy suddenly stepped in her path.
"Mom," she hissed. "Your date is Angel? You can't have a date with Angel! I had sex with Angel! This is wrong on so many levels."
Joyce shook her head and gave Angel a ‘what are you going to do' look over Buffy's head. "Sweetheart, we're going as friends. That's what we are."
"Can I still say ‘nyagh'?" Buffy asked, looking back over her shoulder at Angel, then at her Mom again.
"Say whatever you like, dear," Joyce said. "But we need to go." She gently pushed Buffy aside and smiled as she walked out the door. "By the way, Angel. What are your plans for Friday night?"
"Not much," Angel replied. "A little lurking, maybe some slaying...," he trailed off with a grin. Buffy stood in the doorway staring after them as they headed for the car, still wigged out.
"Good. You're coming to dinner at eight as Spike's...whatever. Hank is coming up to meet him and his family," Joyce told him as she climbed into the car.
"Do you think that's wise?" he asked before shutting the car door and going around to the other side. After he got behind the wheel, he continued sarcastically, "You know how much Spike loves me."
"But you are, technically, the only family he has left," she pointed out as he started the engine.
"I also am, technically, his father," Angel replied. He gestured with his head towards the still open kitchen door with a grin. "I doubt Hank will believe I'm forty years older than him, even though that's what I am, give or take a few years. But I'll be there."
"Want to give her a ‘wiggins'?" Joyce asked devilishly.
"Joyce, have I ever told you that you could put a vampire to shame?" Angel asked as he leaned over to make it look to Buffy like he was kissing her mother.
"I do try," she answered. The two shared a laugh that only good friends could share.
"Hey, dude," Billy greeted, his hands shoved in the pockets of his short, black leather jacket. His brown hair flopped over one blue eye as he took in the people in the library. "And dudette and Giles."
"Hi Billy," Willow replied cheerfully as Giles echoed the greeting. She gave the Watcher a swat on the behind as he retreated back into his office. "How was school today?"
"Same old nothing," Billy said, flopping into a chair. He looked up at Spike and gestured with his head to the vampire's cigarette. "Can I bum one?"
"No," Spike answered firmly, stabbing the half-smoked cigarette on the bottom of his shoe. "You will not touch them. These things will kill you."
"Right. And they won't kill you?" Billy scoffed in typical teenage fashion.
Willow let out an unladylike snort before she waved her and returned to the laptop on the other side of the table. "Don't mind me, I just..." She looked up into Spike' glare and giggled. "Sorry, my bad. You're right, Billy. The cigarettes can kill," giggle, "Spike, too."
"Laugh it up, Willow," Spike grumbled.
"Ok," she replied with another giggle.
Spike sighed dramatically and looked over at Billy. "So, kid, ready to go?"
"Yeah," Billy said, standing. "But don't call me kid, old guy." Willow started laughing again and Spike sighed before he and Billy left.
"Where's your woman tonight?" Billy asked as they exited the high school and headed towards the community college. "She wise up and ditch you for someone better?"
Spike smacked the back of the teen's head. "No, she did not," he said. "She had to talk with her mum about something."
"Probably trying to convince her not to marry you," Billy joked with a playful exchange of punches with the vampire. "By the way, nice to see you know how to walk."
"Cute, mate," Spike scowled, returning the boy's play. "Real bloody cute."
"So, Spikey, what's on tonight's lame male-bonding schedule?"
"I was thinking I'd tie you up and show you the many uses of a lobster fork in torturing a bloke," Spike answered.
"Coolness," Billy replied, shoving his hands into his pockets. They turned the corner outside of Shadyhill Cemetery, and the teen hopped up on the curb to walk. "Ya know, you never told me what's up with you hangin' with the librarian. Or why you call him ‘Watcher.' I know Willow and Giles are gettin' it on," he said, accompanied by a rude hand gesture. "But you and your chica, no clue."
"The Slay-Buffy is Willow's best friend and like you said, the redhead is shag-er, has relations with Giles," Spike replied. "I'm with Buffy, therefore, those two are my friends, too."
"Dude, you are so full of it," Billy stated.
Spike went to respond when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. He grabbed Billy's arm and held a finger to his lips as he scanned the area around them. Normally, with the Slayer present, the trio encountered none of Spike's undead brethren. He had hoped they wouldn't see any vampires, either, but it didn't look like it was to be the blond vampire's lucky night. "Bloody hell."
"What?" Billy whispered, trying to discern what Spike saw.
"And I don't have a bleedin' stake on me," Spike muttered to himself as he quickly counted the number of vampires converging on the two of them. "Bugger."
"Spike, what is it?" Billy repeated, his voice growing strained with panic.
"Billy, listen to me carefully," Spike said, putting himself between the teen and the coming vampires. "When I say go, run as fast as you bloody well can through the cemetery. And don't stop. I'll be right behind you."
"Just do it," Spike growled, dropping into a fighting stance. "Now! Go!"
Billy's eyes were wide with fright as he turned and ran as told. Spike snarled a warning at the rapidly surrounding vampires, then took off after the boy. They ran through the gravestones, the blond vampire keeping one eye on their pursuers, and swearing every few steps.
Spike's newly healed leg was starting to ache and, despite Billy being young and full of fear, the vampires were catching up to them. Mentally, the blond vampire pictured the cemetery they were in and the location of the nearest possible exits and hiding places. Picking an upcoming one, he pulled in front of Billy and steered him towards a raised manhole.
Without pause, Spike wrenched off the cover and gestured with his head at the opening. "Get down," he said, ignoring the teen's startled look at the demonstration of strength.
Billy climbed over the lip and went down the ladder into the dark. He pulled out a lighter when he got to the ground and flicked it on, then stepped away from the opening.
Spike pulled his only small bottle of Holy Water out of his duster pocket and yanked the cap with his teeth. With a painful growl as the water splashed him, he poured it over the top of the cover, the quickly climbed down the hold. He pulled it into place, his hands smoking, then jumped the rest of the way to the bottom of the sewer. His leg almost went out from under him and he hissed in pain.
"Man, your hands are smokin'," Billy pointed out as he raised the lighter to see his friend and mentor. When he saw Spike's face, he paled and his hand started to shake, making the light cast flickering shadows over the vampire's ridged features.
Spike forced his face back into its handsome planes as he bent and shoved his hands in the few inches of water they were standing in. "The Holy Water should hold them off of this entrance, but there are others," he said through clenched teeth, pain shooting through his hands and up his leg.
"Dude, Spike, wh-what the fuck happened to your face?" Billy asked, backing away. He stumbled slightly and almost fell.
"Billy, we don't have time for chit-chat," Spike said, shaking the excess water from his hands. "We need to get the bloody hell out of here."
"No," Billy said, trying to be brave. "Not until you tell me what you are."
Spike's growl echoed off the stone walls, then he sighed. "Fine, you want to know, I'll tell you. I'm a vampire. Now, shall we?" He didn't think the teen's eyes could get any bigger, but they did.
"No way," Billy said. "No fucking way."
"Yes, fucking way," Spike replied. "I'm a two hundred year old, blood-sucking, creature of the bleedin' night who's trying to save your friggin' human arse, now come on." He grabbed Billy's arm and started to drag the boy down the sewer.
"Dude, I still can't believe you're a vampire," Billy said several fast-paced minutes later. He'd known Spike for months, knew that he had friends and seemed to really care about him, so the fear was easily pushed away and replaced with typical teenaged fascination. "I mean, shouldn't I be dead?"
"I ate already," Spike said, then mentally slapped himself. "I don't feed off humans anymore. The Slayer won't let me."
"So, does that mean you're like that 12 Monkeys guy in Interview With A Vampire or are you more like Gary Oldman in Dracula?" Billy asked.
Spike put a burned hand to his forehead and rubbed it. "I'm getting another one of those bleedin' headaches," he grumbled. With a shake of his head, he looked down the different passageways at the junction they had arrived at. "Let's get us back to somewhere relatively safe for you before we play Twenty Questions, ok?"
"Geez, man, I was just asking," Billy said. "I never met a real, live vampire before."
"And you won't, because vampires are undead," Spike said, giving the boy a cheeky grin at his own joke. Billy rolled his eyes. "Come on, I'll answer your questions as we go."
The teen visibly brightened, falling into step beside Spike. "Deal. Now, how do you drink blood...?"
"Where's that cutie boyfriend of yours?" Jill, Buffy's partner for the Adolescent Practicum class, asked as the mid-term evaluations got under way.
"I don't know," Buffy replied, looking around the classroom with a frown. "Billy's not here, either."
"Maybe they ditched," Jill suggested. "I know Billy spends more time out of class than in it."
"Maybe," the Slayer said.
"No, I cannot fly," Spike said, as he and Billy continued to slosh through the sewers. They'd gone to surface once, but Spike quickly changed his mind when he saw where they were. Spike wasn't sure why his feet led them in the direction of the old factory, which was definitely not a good place to be accompanied by a human teen.
"Then what cool powers do you have, man?" Billy asked.
"Enhanced strength and healing, I never get sick and live indefinitely," Spike replied.
"Dude, that's boring," Billy said. "No one would want to be a vampire with that bum deal."
"You don't really get a choice in the matter, mate," Spike told him. "It's foisted onto you by a friggin' tosser because you ran into him."
"Bitter much?" Billy commented.
Spike stopped walking and leaned against a pipe. He lit up a cigarette and took a deep drag before answering. "Honesty, and don't tell Buffy this, I'm glad Angelus turned me," he said. "My human life was shit, pardon my bloody French. Out on my own since I was twelve, stealin' what I could, killing when I had to or I when I just bleedin' felt like it. I was not a nice chap."
He took another drag on the cigarette, then continued. "After I literally ran into Angel, everything changed. I went from being alone to having a father, a lover, a teacher and a somewhat-friend all in one bloke."
"Angel? You mean that big dude that comes by the library every once in a while to talk to Giles and Willow?" Billy asked. Spike nodded. "Wow. He's a vampire, too?"
"He's my sire, the bloody poofwad," Spike said with a hint of genuine affection. Once he'd realized Angel wouldn't try to take Buffy away from him, they got along much better. "Gotta love that souled wanker."
"But I thought you said vampires don't have sou-" Billy went to lean against the opposite wall as he spoke, but his words were suddenly cut off as he disappeared through it.
Spike blinked in shock, then dropped the cigarette and stepped across the sewer. "Billy?" he called as he reached out to touch the wall. "Can you hea-"
The blond vampire's sentence was left dangling as he got pulled through the wall, as well.
It was raining. It was night. It was definitely not the sewer.
Spike looked around at the dirty buildings and rough, trash-strewn street, the rain running down the back of his neck. Shouting could be heard from the old, decrepit, apartment-type dwelling directly in front of him. Billy stood next to him, his expression a mixture of awe and confusion. "I don't think we're in Kansas any more, Toto," the teen said, brushing his dark hair back off his forehead.
"Bloody Hellmouth," Spike muttered, having had immediately searched for whatever they had fallen through, but found nothing. The shouting coming from the open, second floor window increased in volume, and sounds of breaking glass could be heard.
"So, are we gonna stand all night here in the rain?" Billy asked.
"No," the blond vampire scowled. "We're going to go into that flat and kill the wankers who are makin' all that noise, then figure out where the bloody hell we are."
"Sounds good to me," the teen replied. "Well, not the killing part. Can we skip that, dude?"
Instead of answering, Spike watched as someone was forcibly pushed out the open window to the street below. The sound of a human body hitting the wet ground with a loud slap made both Billy and Spike wince, as a man yelled out of the window, "And don't come back, you good-for- nothing, bloody little prick!"
The window slammed shut as a small boy pushed himself slowly to his feet. The dark-haired lad raised his head towards the shut window, then he turned to face them, blood streaming down the side of his face from a large cut over his left eyebrow. The boy's pain-filled blue eyes met Spike's, then without a word, he limped away into the raining night.
"Ouch, that had to smart," Billy commented with a low whistle. "Wonder if he broke anything."
"He did. His right leg," Spike said in a eerily flat voice. "He's going to go around behind the Waverly's building and tie a board to the side of his leg with wire he'll find in the rubbish."
"Woah, dude, how do you know that? Does being a vampire make you psychic?" Billy asked.
"No," Spike answered quietly, looking down at the young teen at his side. "I know he's going to do that because that was me."
"Hey Giles," Buffy said into the phone later that night. "You haven't seen Spike or Billy, have you?"
"Not since earlier this evening," Giles replied over the line. "Why? Is there a-a problem?"
"I don't know," Buffy answered. "Neither of them were in class, but that's not abnormal for them. Maybe I'm just worrying because Mom went out with Angel."
"Joyce went out with Angel, you say?" Giles repeated.
"Yeah, maxi-uck," she replied.
"They must have gone to the auction in Danver," her Watcher said more to himself than her. "I wonder if they'll remember about those matched halberds..."
"Giles, stop, reverse, replay," Buffy commanded. "You know my Mom and Angel were, like, doing things together outside of dinner at my house? And you didn't tell me?"
"Well, they are friends. I w-would suppose they do things together quite often."
"Nyagh!" Buffy shuddered. "I'm going to go and wash my ears out, because I so did not want to hear that."
"Tell me again how that could be you?" Billy asked awhile later. They were sitting in a pub at a far corner table, the teen having just finished a meal of biscuits and runny gravy.
Spike raised his beer mug and downed a large swallow before answering. "Sunnyhell is built on a Hellmouth, which means all sorts of weird things happen there. I bet you fell through a time portal or some bloody thing like that."
"And that guy who threw the kid...,er, you, out of the window? Who was that?"
"My father," Spike replied emotionlessly.
"Oh," Billy said, his eyes dropping down to the drink in front of him. It was a local beer, like Spike's drink, but he hadn't touched it after the first tentative taste. "That's harsh."
"Right. Harsh," the blond vampire said sarcastically, taking another draught of the dark alcohol.
"You were a pipsqueak," Billy told him, trying to change the mood. "Not that you're much better now, shorty."
"I was friggin' twelve years old," Spike scowled. "And I'm not short."
"Spike, I'm only 15 and I'm the same height as you," Billy said.
"Sod off," he said, a grin forming for the teen. Billy grinned back, then frowned. "What's wrong, mate?"
"I just realized that we missed the mid-term evaluations," Billy replied. "Damn, I needed to be there for that. You needed to be there for that so I can stay out of Juvy."
"Sorry," Spike apologized. "I'll think up a good excuse for whenever we get back."
"How are we going to get back, anyway?" Billy asked. "Find another hole in the wall?"
The following night, they did just that.
It was raining again when Spike and Billy stumbled onto the street. The night before had passed quickly in the pub with Spike telling the teen about Slayers, vampires and other Hellmouth beasts, and, when it got close to sunup, they took a room above the establishment for the day.
Spike had taken the teen to the restroom only moments before, leaned back against the wall to wait and slipped right through it. Billy soon appeared at his side. They were at a mouth to an alley, the smell of rotting garbage wafting out towards the duo. Several men staggered around in the streets, drunk and equally foul-smelling.
"Oh man, this is gross," Billy said, covering his face with his hand.
"This is London," Spike shrugged, then frowned, looking around at the buildings. "Well, I think it's still London."
His supposition was correct when he saw a young, skinny boy the age of fourteen emerge from the alley and size up the people on the street with a predator's gleam. His brown hair was long and wild, the water from the rain making it hang in strands around his sharp face. His keen blue eyes landed shortly on Spike before moving on.
"That kid looks familiar," Billy said in a low voice.
"He should," Spike answered. "That's me again."
"Boy, you sure do get around," the teen commented. "Wait a sec, you look older."
Spike swallowed as he watched the human that had been himself pick a target. "Let's go," he said. "I don't want you to see this."
"See what?" Billy asked. Spike turned to go, but it was too late. Billy gasped as he watched the boy swiftly walk up behind a man and slit his throat without pause. As the man gurgled, the boy yanked the man's overcoat off his body, then turned and disappeared back down the alley before the now-dead man hit the ground. "You...you...you killed that man!"
"Pipe down," Spike snapped. He grabbed Billy by the arm and led him away from the scene.
"Why did you do that, Spike?" Billy said angrily.
Spike stopped and glared at Billy. "I wanted the coat," he answered in a low tone. "It brought me enough money to get a pint and a shag. The next night, I slit another bloke's throat, then another and another, always for the same reasons. Money for a pint and a whore."
Billy had paled and was staring at Spike with an indescribable expression. "But didn't you know it was wrong?"
"Why should that have mattered?" Spike shrugged, taking a step back from the teen. "At this point in my sordid past, I'd already been raped over a hundred bloody times until I learned to use a knife; I'd been living on the streets for two years, eatin' out of people's rubbish bins and drinkin' the friggin' drain water; and I'd finally learned the easiest ways to kill a chap to get some coin for the pubs and brothels."
Billy didn't know what to say, so he turned and walked quickly down the street. Spike swore fluently and caught up with him. "Listen, I'm sorry you had to witness that. I'd tell you I was bloody sorry I did it, but I'm not. I was morally dead by then, with life only being a survival game. I got worse as I got older," he confessed. "Much worse."
"Tell me," Billy said in a strained voice.
"Are you su-"
"TELL ME!" the teen shouted, his own blue eyes blazing with hurt and anger. He'd thought Spike was the coolest Big Brother he'd ever had, and the vampire was the first one he'd ever respected and listened to, but now his opinion was rapidly changing.
Spike nodded and led him down the street to a specific alley. There was less garbage in it, and it was located between two run-down buildings hosting a boarded-up tavern and tobacco shop. When they were halfway down, near a rickety drainpipe that ran up the building, he stopped and pointed to the wall. Then he then started telling Billy things he had never told anyone.
"Each one of those marks I made with my knife," Spike started, staring at the multitude of crooked lines on the bricks. "This was my alley. My safe spot. I lived here for nine years, never taking a real flat or renting a room, even when the money got better." He pointed to a crudely built, metal lean-to. "That was my home. Since it rained all the bloody time, I needed to have somewhat of a shelter to keep me dry at night. For some reason, I never stayed at the brothels or pubs where it was dry. Always came back here."
Returning his gaze to the marks on the wall, the rain falling down around them, he continued. "The first time I killed someone, it had been in self-defense. The second time, it had been because of a fight. The third time, it was because I wanted to. After that, it became a habit. Get up, pick a mark, kill him or her, steal his or her things, pawn it, then drink and fuck until dawn. Then I'd come crawlin' back here to sleep.
Spike closed his eyes for a moment before going on in a detached voice. "The first time I raped a chit, I was sixteen. She couldn't have been much older. I didn't do it because I was randy, I did it because she gave me a dirty look. The times following had been about power, not pleasure. Sometimes I'd kill them, sometimes I'd cut their pretty faces up, being sure to blind them, and send them running home to mum. By the time I was twenty, I had a name for myself. It was in all the papers. William the Bloody. Rapist, murderer, thief. I was to be shot on sight. Trouble was, no one knew what I looked like, except for those blinded cows..."
Billy listened in horror. He could not believe what he was hearing, but knew it was the painful truth. "I was running from the police one night, having killed one of their own in an unlucky fight, and I ran into Angelus. I would have plunged one of my knives into him..." He kicked at a small pile of sharpened blades under the lean-to. "Only the one I had been carrying was still embedded in the copper's ear back at the pub. He dragged me into an alley and turned me into a vampire," Spike said, then let out a hollow chuckle. "It was this very alley he did it, too, the pillock."
Spike was silent for several minutes and Billy reached out to touch the marks on the wall. He was pulled right through it and found himself alone in the same alley, now looking at a wall covered in crooked lines. The area was huge, stretching up as tall as he was and as wide as the dumpster that resided behind Sunnydale High School. While he was staring at the marks, Spike came through the wall. "There's so many," the teen said in a harsh voice.
"I know," Spike replied without emotion. They heard a sound at the end of the alley and saw a tall, dark-haired man dragging a smaller man their way. No words were said as the two witnessed the human Spike being drained by Angelus, then force-fed the vampire's blood.
"Spike's still missing," Buffy said in a worried voice on Friday afternoon. Her father was due to be arriving in a few hours, and Billy and the blond vampire were both nowhere to be found. She, Giles, Willow and the rest of the Scooby Gang were sitting in the Summers' living room as Joyce prepared refreshments. "How about Billy?"
"Not in school," Giles replied. "I took the-the liberty of phoning his home and his mother has not seen him."
"I checked with his social worker, and she hasn't seen him either," Willow said. "But I made sure that she didn't get the wrong idea and think he's skipped out or whatever, so he doesn't get into trouble."
"Cordy and I covered the parks and half the cemeteries today," Xander said. "We didn't find any bodies or suspicious piles of dust."
"Amy and I found a spent bottle of Holy Water in Shadyhill by a manhole cover," Oz said. He shrugged and added, "But it could have been from any of us."
"And I checked the hospitals," Joyce added as she exited the kitchen with a tray of drinks. "No one matching either Billy or Spike's descriptions have been brought in."
"I didn't find anyone at the morgues, either," Buffy said, then let out a small scream. "Aargh! Where are they?!"
Spike and Billy were sitting under the metal lean-to out of the rain. The sun was hiding behind dark clouds, keeping the vampire relatively safe. Although at that particular time, he really didn't care. Not that he would ever want to end his unlife, because he couldn't bear to hurt Buffy in that manner.
Billy sighed and stretched out his legs, leaning back against the brick wall. The teen had been silently thinking since he saw the brown, scraggly-haired Spike being turned into a vampire by Angel. And that had been the least shocking part of their not-so-excellent adventure. But he couldn't keep silent any longer. "Spike, what happened next?"
Spike turned his head and looked at his young companion. "What do you mean?"
"Well, I know about your human life, what about your vampire one?" Billy asked. "Might as well get it all out in the open now, man. You said something earlier about how Angel changed everything..."
The blond vampire's depressed mood did not stop the smile that crossed his face. "Yeah, that he did," Spike replied. Despite the fact that he and his sire had a love-hate relationship, with more hate than anything once Drusilla came on the scene, the early memories of his times with Angelus were some of the best he had. "I guess I'll start once I gained control of my human mask. That was about three months or so after I'd been turned. Before that, I mostly hunted and stayed around the house Angel and Darla had."
"Human mask?" Billy said, with a questioning glance.
Spike gestured to his face. "What you see is not the demon's face," he answered. Billy nodded. "Once I was in control, Angel took notice of me as someone other than just another worthless minion. Couldn't tell you why, though," he added with a shrug. "My sire then became interested in teaching me what he knew. He'd take me with him wherever he bloody went, showing me a whole new world."
"Isn't that a song?" the teen said with a wry grin.
"Funny, kid," Spike replied with a shake of his head. "To go on, my sire became what I figure a real father should have been like -- guiding me, instructing me, keeping me in line," he said with a grin. "I always was one to go against the bleedin' crowd, which infuriated Angel at times."
Tilting his head back, the blond vampire closed his eyes and pictured Angelus' pleased smirk when Spike did something his sire was proud of. "We were very close, but I still knew my place. It helped that Darla, who was Angel's sire, was around to keep him satisfied in the bedroom, if you catch my meaning."
"I know about the birds and the bees, dude," Billy said.
"Well, you don't know about vampires," Spike replied. "Vampires use sex not just for pleasure, but for control. Usually it's a power play." He opened his eyes and looked over at the teen. "And all vampires are bisexual," he said frankly. "Some shag anything that's not nailed down...er, that's not true. Nailing someone onto a wall or table first can be a lot of fun."
"Man, that's sick," the dark-haired teen said.
Spike chuckled. "Not if you're a vampire," he said. "But I didn't do that until long after Angel and I became lovers."
"You and Angel? Two guys?" Billy made a face. "Isn't that weird?"
"No," Spike answered truthfully. "It was...different. Still good, though. And since my sire took a shine to me, I got to do more with him than just having sex used for controlling me, which wasn't that often, anyway. Somehow he had figured out dominating me had the opposite effect of what was suppose to happen."
"Because of what happened when you were a kid, right?" he surmised.
"Exactly. I was pretty much left alone sexually by Angelus until more than ten years after I'd been with him. We had some bloody fun times...," he trailed off with a impish grin, then shook away the memories. "After he'd turned that sort of attention on me, though, we developed more of a friendship than continuing the father/childe relationship. Especially once Darla left us. Then I became Number One to his Picard."
Billy laughed. "I can't picture Angel bald. He always has perfect hair when he came to the library."
Spike joined in the laughter. "You should have seen it when it was long. Came down past his shoulders. Looked like Yanni, he did. He even had this mustache for awhile," he said, then bragged, "I got him to shave the stupid thing off, though. You would have thought he'd lost a limb when he did it. I think there may be a drawing somewhere in one of Drusilla's trunks in the mansion of him with it. Maybe I'll go dig it up and make some flyers."
"I'll help pass them out," Billy offered, his opinion of the vampire changing back. He knew what it was like not to have a father and live in a bad neighborhood, and it sounded like Spike had gotten a second chance. The teen was all for second chances -- Spike was his own. To be fair, Billy had to return the favor by giving the blond another chance, as well.
"The wanker will probably kill us, but it sure would be a bleedin' hoot," the blond vampire said. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes again. "Cor, sometimes I miss the way things were before Drusilla came, not as much now that I got the Slayer, but I did have a grand time with the poof."
"You've told me about Drusilla before," the teen said. "She was your girlfriend, right?"
"She was my everything," Spike sighed. "For almost a hundred years."
"Woah. Talk about your long-term relationships," Billy whistled. "Do they even make a card that goes up to that anniversary?"
Spike chuckled. "Doubt it, mate. Besides, Dru wouldn't have wanted a card unless it was made out of human skin and written in blood."
"Raise your hand if you can say barf?" Billy grimaced.
"Any word?" Angel asked when he entered the Summers' residence after sunset.
"No," Joyce replied quietly, shutting the kitchen door behind him. "Buffy's really upset."
"I'd imagine so," he said. "Is Hank still coming?"
"Yes," she answered, returning to her cooking. "He should be here in about half an hour. I should send everyone home, but..."
"I know," Angel replied, and gently squeezed her shoulders from behind. "I'm going to go say hello, then I'll come back and help you, ok?"
"Thanks," Joyce smiled at him. He returned the smile, then went into the other room.
"That's too bad about Drusilla," Billy commented after Spike finished talking.
"Yeah," Spike agreed, a melancholy note to his voice. "But I have the Slayer now filling up my unbeating heart, so it doesn't hurt that much. Plus, I get to rub in that fact that I have her and Angel doesn't. Makes us sorta even. I kinda like him again, too, the pillock."
"But how?" Billy asked. "As a father or a friend or..., just don't say lover. That's still gross."
Spike thought about the boy's question for a moment. "I'd have to say as a father. That was the best part of our long, boring, literally bloody history...to me, anyway. He became the father I had always wanted, but didn't think I'd ever have."
"You should tell him," Billy said. "I know I would because I'd give anything to have a dad like that. I don't even know who my old man is."
"Well, mate, sappy as it sounds, you got me," Spike told him. "That is, after all you've seen and heard, you still want me as a chum."
Billy shrugged. "Sure, why not. It's not like other dudes can say they have a real, live vampire for a friend." He shot Spike a grin. "Sorry. Real, undead vampire."
They both started to laugh, but suddenly found themselves falling backwards into a dark sewer.
"Well, dude?" Billy asked as he looked up at the vampire.
Spike grinned down at him. "Looks like good old Sunnyhell to me," he replied, then climbed up out of the sewer.
Billy followed and breathed in the fresh, night air. "Aah, the smell of pollution. Much better than that stink of London. And it's not raining."
"Come on, kid. We're only a block away from the Slayer's house," Spike said. "I'll con Joyce into giving you an' me lifts home."
"Sounds cool to me, old guy," the teen answered as they started up the street. "But I doubt your woman is gonna want to kiss you smelling like you do."
"Are you telling me I stink?" the blond vampire asked.
"Worse than the cafe on onion loaf day," Billy said.
They continued their banter until they approached the kitchen door to Buffy's house. Spike spotted the Slayer through the window and grinned. He opened the door and said, "Wilma, I'm home!"
"Spike!" Buffy exclaimed, launching herself at the vampire. "Where were you? What happened? I've been so scared! Why do you reek?"
"Told ya," Billy said, entered the house around the couple.
"We had a bit of a Hellmouth event," Spike told her as he held her close. "Nothing to exciting, right Billy?"
"Right," Billy replied with a wink.
"Well, don't do it again," Buffy scolded, her heart pounding in relief. Her eyes widened when she remembered the others in the house. "Oh god! Everyone's here and you stink!"
"I love you, too, Slayer," Spike said as she stepped away from him. "Did you say everyone? Including Angel?"
"Yes! Everyone!" Buffy cried. "This is so not the first impression I wanted you to make."
Spike gave her a funny look, then shrugged and yelled, "Hey Angelus, get your 250 year-old arse in here!"
"Spike!" Buffy exclaimed, rushing forward to clamp a hand over his mouth. "What are you doing?"
Angel entered the kitchen, followed closely by Joyce. "Spike, where the hell were you?" Angel asked, as Buffy panicked and started babbling to her mother. The dark-haired vampire walked right up to Spike. "We were out looking for you and Billy for the past two and a half days."
Instead of answering, Spike gave the taller vampire a brief, hard hug. Buffy and Joyce both stared at the blond vampire, and Billy just grinned. None of them noticed Hank appear in the kitchen doorway, empty glass of wine in hand.
"What was that for?" Angel asked as Spike stepped back less than a moment later, confusion etched on his face.
"You're the best father a mate could ever have," Spike told him honestly, his eyes reflecting the seriousness of his statement. "I just wanted you to know that in my moment of being a bloody nancyboy."
"I...I don't know what to say," Angel replied, clearly stunned. Especially since it was when he was soul-less that he acted in a fatherly capacity. Then suddenly he knew exactly what to say to Spike. "Yes I do. Annoying or not, you are my favorite childe. You always have been and you always will be. And I am very proud of the man you became despite the demon inside you."
Spike's smile was large and genuine as he looked up at the vampire who had changed his life for the better. "Now, all we need is a song and dance number, and we'll have a hit musical on our hands."
Angel laughed. "Only if you wear those tights I heard about...," he trailed off with a grin, then abruptly sniffed the air. Grin still in place, he said, "William, me lad, you're smellin' a bit ripe, don't'cha know?"
"Angel, your accent is terrible," Joyce piped up from behind them. "I think you've been in the States for a hundred years too long."
Angel turned as he said, "Maybe I'll take a trip home, scare a few people in Galaway. They'll think the ghost of Angelus O'Brien has come to-" The dark-haired vampire cut off when he saw Hank standing in the doorway, a confused frown on his face. "Hello, Hank. May I get you something?"
Joyce and Buffy both cringed, and Spike groaned softly when he recognized the name.
What a hell of a time to meet his future father-in-law.