by Saber ShadowKitten
Sequel to: Darkest Hour, by Maayan

It wasn't about him.

It took Spike four weeks to realize that fact. Four weeks of begging and pleading with his Sire. Four weeks of cajoling and yelling and screaming, of hitting and fucking and biting, of crying and holding and wishing. Four weeks of preventing his Sire's death when, as Cordelia had predicted, the dark-haired vampire said he was ready to work again and went out to purposely get himself killed. Four weeks of trying to convince his Sire to forgive him, to need him again, to love him back.

It wasn't until Spike was putting Angel to bed one night, after another fight which his Sire wanted to lose, that he realized it wasn't about him. It wasn't about getting Angel's forgiveness or his anger or his love. It wasn't about his Sire understanding why Spike did what he did or even about eliciting any sort of response from the dark-haired vampire.

It was about his Sire.

It was about Angel and his feelings. It was about Angel and his search for redemption. It was about Angel and his learning his self-worth. It was about Angel being whole again.

And it was Angel's diary that provided the answer as to how Spike could help the dark-haired vampire.

Spike had found the diary in the night-stand drawer. He'd started to read it, purely for the entertainment value, while Angel was asleep. It was just like his poof of a Sire to keep a "woe-is-me" diary.

It wasn't until Spike was halfway through it that he began to truly understand his ensouled Sire. He had been almost finished with it the night he realized that it wasn't about him -- it was about Angel. And, on that same night, he used the information in the diary to formulate a plan to fix that which he destroyed.

"You dare to come before us?" the female Oracle said, anger flashing in her eyes.

"Tell us, evil being, why we should not smite you down instantly," the male Oracle demanded.

Spike held his Sire's hand tightly despite the non-reciprocation. He wanted to scoff at the threat, but he bit his tongue. It wasn't about him.

"I need you to fix Angel," Spike said.

"You need?" the female said. "We do not care about what it is you need."

"Fine, he needs you to fix him," Spike amended, trying to keep the growl from his voice.

The male Oracle looked Angel over from head to toe. "He does not wish to be 'fixed.' He wishes to become ash."

"Which is a shame, for he was a good warrior," the female added. "His death is mourned by the light."

"Don't dismiss him like that!" Spike snapped. "He's not dead!"

The female Oracle went to speak but the male held up his hand, halting her, a thoughtful look on his face. "Evil one, why is it that you care that this warrior be saved?" he asked.

Spike reigned in his temper and answered, "Because he's my Sire."

"So, you wish him to be saved for your own selfish reasons," the female said. "For love or for need or for forgiveness, is that not correct?"

"No, it's not," Spike replied immediately. The Oracles exchanged skeptical looks and the blond vampire forced himself not to snarl. Anger was not going to help Angel.

"It's not about me," Spike ground out between his clenched teeth. "It has nothing to do with me."

"Then why is it that you are here?" the female asked pointedly.

"Because it's my bloody fault!" Spike exclaimed. "I did this to him. I'm the one who broke him. He did nothing to deserve this!"

Spike closed his eyes and took a purposeful breath to try and calm himself before continuing. "Angel deserves to be whole, not like he is now. I'm asking you to make him better -- for him, not for me."

He opened his eyes and met the Oracles' stoic gazes. "I'll do anything to make him whole again. I'll tell the Slayer what I did. I'll go away and never bother him or those he loves again. I'll fight for the good side. I'll let you give me a soul. Anything."

"Would you die for him?"

Spike hesitated. Would he die for his Sire? Would he willingly cease to exist if it would fix Angel? Would he give up any chance to ever repair things with the man he'd wanted forever with?

If it meant that his Sire would be whole again to make his own way in the world, there was only one way Spike wanted to answer.


"You hesitated," the male said. "That is wise of you. It means that you are serious about your decision and will act when the time comes."

"Does this mean you'll help him?" Spike held his metaphorical breath, trying not to hope.


"But as you once told me, we cannot undo what has been done," the female Oracle said to the male, clearly displeased.

"And as you once responded, what is not yet done can be avoided," the male countered. He looked to Spike. "Your love for this warrior transcends the evil which resides within you. Go now and prove that love."

Spike nodded, turned, pulled Angel with him back through the gateway...

... and stepped back in time.

The blond vampire gasped from the shadows in which he was standing. He was no longer holding his Sire's hand. Instead, Angel was several dozen feet away from him, near the opposite side of the aboriginal exhibit in the museum. Riley, whole and unhurt, was squaring off against the dark-haired vampire.

Spike saw Angel reach for an iron-tipped wooden spear one of the mannequins was holding and he sprang forward out of the shadows. In an instant, he knew that he'd been given a chance to stop the destructive events from unfolding. This was the very beginning of the fight. His Sire was still unbroken.

"Sire, no!" Spike yelled as he flew across the room. His eyes were focused on the spear as Angel started to jab it forward and he reached Riley just as the boy was going to block.

With a vicious growl, Spike grabbed the back of Riley's jacket and flung him away. Spike's head exploded in pain, making him unable to block, and the iron tip of the spear smoothly entered his chest, right at heart level.

Spike sucked in a huge gasp of air when he felt the searing pain in his heart. Angel was staring at him with a shocked expression on his face, his mouth slack and his soul-filled eyes huge. The dark-haired vampire froze, the wooden shaft of the spear tight in his grip, as Spike began to slide forward, further impaling himself on the weapon.

"Not Adam," Spike rasped, knowing that any second the wood portion would reach his heart. "Riley. Buffy's boyfriend."

Grey spots danced in front of his eyes, blurring his sight. His limbs felt heavy and his lips felt numb. The pain in the center of his chest was near unbearable, but he needed to make sure that Angel understood what he was saying before he gave into the calling darkness. He needed to made sure Angel stayed whole.

"Sahr." Blood bubbled up in Spike's throat, making his words garbled. "Naah Ahdahm. Raahlllleeee..."

Spike blinked once and his Sire came into perfect focus for barely an instant, but in that instant he was able to see that Angel understood.

Then, everything flashed bright white and he felt the pain no more.


"This is verdigris, not seafoam green," Cordelia said authoritatively.

"The green of grease?" Angel questioned.


"Verdigris. It means 'the green of grease,'" Angel said.

"What? I'm wearing the color of grease?" Cordelia shrilled.

"But a good shade of grease," Angel placated. He sighed as Cordelia stomped out of the room.

Spike cracked his eyes open, not believing he could hear. Or see. Or feel... really, really shitty.

"Hey, look who's decided to rejoin the land of the unliving," Angel said quietly.

Spike looked out of the corner of his eye and saw his Sire sitting beside him. A calloused thumb brushed against his cheek and he found himself moving his head towards the touch.

"How do you feel?" Angel asked.

"Awful," Spike croaked, his mouth dry as dust. A gentle smile appeared on Angel's face and something inside Spike twisted. Angel was smiling.

"Just wait, it'll probably feel worse," Angel said. "It took about five minutes for me to remember." He leaned closer, turning his hand to cup Spike's cheek. "But I'm here for you."

Spike frowned in confusion. "What do you mean?" he asked roughly.

"You have your soul, Spike," Angel said softly.

"Wh-wh-wh-" Spike couldn't even stutter the full question out.

"The Powers That Be told Cordelia, who whined about it for hours to me," Angel explained. He shook his head slightly and sighed. "I will never understand her."

Spike pushed himself up on his elbows then groaned. "Fuck."

"Don't move," Angel said, reaching out to push him gently back down. "There's a nice little hole in your chest that needs to heal, remember?"

"You mean... it really happened?" Spike asked in a dumbfounded tone.

"I'm sorry," Angel apologized, guilt etching across his features. "I should have been able to stop in time. If it wasn't for you, though, Riley might have been... not too happy."

"Well, bugger all," Spike whispered, his gaze focusing up on the ceiling. Pain chose that time to radiate from his chest. He started to laugh and groan at the same time.

When he stopped, he found Angel looking at him with one dark brow arched, his expression clearly indicating he thought it was time to call the men in the white coats. A genuine smile blossomed across Spike's face and he reached out, grabbed his Sire's hand and clasped it tightly. "I hate you, you soddin' poof."

Angel frowned at him. "Uh, okay."

An image skittered across Spike's mind and it wasn't a pleasant one. A strange, uncomfortable ball formed in his stomach as a second joined the first. "Er, Angel, does guilt make you feel like you're going to heave?"

"Sometimes," Angel replied.

"Right." Spike closed his eyes for a moment and saw gruesome pictures behind his lids that increased the size of the knot in his stomach. He quickly reopened his eyes and looked at his Sire. "Angel, I want you to remember something for me before I turn into a cry-wussy like you."

Angel's lips twitched, but he didn't smile. "And what's that?"

"No matter what anyone says or does to you, they're not worth breaking over," Spike told him. "Even if it's Buffy or... or me."

Spike winced as sounds began to add to the memories trickling to the foreground in his mind. This was really going to suck, he thought.

"I'm here, Spike," Angel said, turning his hand to entwine his fingers with Spike's. "I'm here."

Spike focused on his Sire's concerned face and blinked away the tears forming in his eyes - tears not formed from the guilt starting to slam into him, but from seeing the wholeness and feelings reflected in Angel's eyes. And Spike would gladly take death or pain or his soul a million times over to always keep it like that.

Because it wasn't about him.

It was about his Sire.