Inside Out


by Vixen







Spike was drunk.

He sat in a dark corner of the damp, gloomy crypt, watching a large spider scuttle round his muddy boots.

"Hello ssshpider," he growled. "Has ya come to play with me?"

He tried to pick it up; he tried to squash it with his boot, but it was more co-ordinated than he was, and scurried away into a crack in the floor.

"Well good fuckin' bye ta you too mate." He slugged down some more Jack Daniels but found the bottle was empty.

"Shomwans drunk all me friggin' whiskey", he whined, chucking the bottle aimlessly. It smashed against the side of the tomb he called his bed.

He felt in his pocket, pulling out a crumpled cigarette box, flicked the top and shook its contents onto the floor. Only nothing fell out. Poking in it with his fingers, he muttered, " 'n' shomeones smoked all me bleedin' ciggys swell".

He tossed the packet after the bottle, but it didn't make the satisfying crash of the last. "Phaa." He scowled, and with a deep sigh, lay back against the stone wall, eyes unfocussing on the ceiling.

It was light now outside, the cold light of early dawn. Spike knew there were at least ten hours before it would grow dark. He hadn't fed. It was so pathetic, he didn't want to think about it. The gnawing pain of bloodlust was there deep in his empty belly, and it wouldn't go away. Even if he drank ten bottles of Jack Daniels, it would still be there.

Why was he so hungry and so damn drunk? Whose fault was that? Adam, the big prick who thought he was 'Tony Robins'. His fault. All his bloody fault.

"Oh Spike, I know how you're suffering, trapped like an animal, unable to actualise the urges within.I will make you whole again, make you savage."

Promises, bloody promises.

Spike's head swam. Somehow, his eyes were watering. He rubbed at them, and his head swam more, so he lay back again and shivered.

Adam, the man of many parts. They had made a deal. Spike would split the Slayer from her stupid friends so Adam could kill her. Then Adam would provide the 'chipectomy' he craved. But now the bastard Adam was dust. The Initiative destroyed and deleted. And he, 'William the Bloody', still had the implant in his head.

No food, no fight, no freedom for the demon inside, and no soddin' hope left.

"Ah hell, not forever. Not for bloody ever." He cursed out loud.

A cold tear found its way down his whiskey-warmed cheek, and the demon inside him howled.

x x x x x x x

Well it couldn't go on this way could it? It had to end somewhere, and, reasoned Spike as he knocked on Giles' door, it might as well be here.

They were all inside, and their faces as they saw him, said it all.

"Oh look, its the toothless wonder." Xander stood and shoved him backwards by the shoulder. "What have you come crawling back for?"

Spike bit his tongue and hissed at the boy, this was never going to be easy.

"Don't remember inviting you here, we thought Adam was your new buddy?"

"You and he were going to kill us all just yesterday if I remember," added Giles. "Have you conveniently forgotten?"

"And you said all that mean stuff about Tara and Me," moaned Willow.

"So just why are you back here Spike?" asked Buffy with a sigh.

"I want you to stake me."

"What was that?" said Giles. "I think I must be going deaf in my old age."

"I want you to bloody stake me!" shouted Spike. "You know, shove a pointy stick through me heart. Its what you always wanted, an' now it's what I want too, ok?" He glared at Buffy; he had their attention now anyway.

"Is this a joke? 'Cos if it is Spike - "

"What?" he sighed. "No. I'm the joke, so just get on with it can't you?" He spread his arms out, closed his eyes and waited.

"Right, ok then," she said, "but it's the first time I've been asked."

"Eww Buffy no!" cried Willow, stepping between them.

"Yes Buffy yes," said Xander, pushing Willow aside.

"Wait, wait, wait!" intervened the Watcher. "This isn't how it happens. We can't do this; it's not the right way."

"Er, Giles, Vampire, Slayer, Stake," introduced Xander. "Now you 'do' all remember what to do don't you, this is not just my bad dream?"

"Giles?" Buffy questioned, stake in hand, waiting to follow through. "He's asked for it." "Yeah, more times than I can remember," added Xander.

"But why?" questioned Giles. "Why are you asking this, Spike? If it's a joke, it's pretty final."

Spike opened his eyes and glowered at him, then suddenly dropped to his knees, head in hands and groaned.

"Oh come on, that's pathetic," jeered Xander.

"Yeah I bloody know don't I," snivelled Spike. "I'm hungry an' I can't bite anything cause of this bloody chip, an' Adam said if I helped him he'd get it taken out, an' now I'm buggered for bloody good, so go to hell an' let me get staked."

"You believed Adam?" said Giles in amazement.

"I didn't have anything else, did I?"

"Well that's not true," Willow protested. "You had us."

"An' spend my life chained up in the watcher's bath, or stuck in sad boy's stinking basement."

"You can fight demons, and that helped us too," she added hopefully.

"And how safe does that make me with my own kind do you think?" Spike growled. "Oh no, you don't ever think about that do you? And you can't begin to understand how I really feel. The vampire who can't bloody bite, and can't bloody fight. It's just a joke to you. But you can't feel the demon burning away inside me. Burning with anger an' frustration. Twisting my guts up till I can't stand it anymore. And it's screaming inside my head, day and night. Screaming to be set free. An' how ever hard I try, I can't make it shut up an' bloody go away. I can't cope with it anymore, I don't know how, just don't know what to do. I'm not bloody Angel!" The tirade came to an end with an abrupt sob.

Buffy put down the stake, and reached out to stroke the shoulder of the vampire.

He just stared at the floor, wishing it would open up and swallow him. Never, in all his years had 'William the Bloody', cried for sympathy. The shame was unbearable.

"Giles," whispered Willow, "what can we do, we can't leave him like this?"

The Watcher had removed his glasses and rubbed at his forehead as he thought. "Even if we could find a surgeon capable of removing the chip, we'd just release a ruthless killer," he whispered back.

"So bloody stake me!" came the reply.

"I think Spike told us the answer," said Buffy. They all looked at her, confused.

"He's stuck with the implant, and he must learn how to deal with the demon to survive. He needs someone to teach him how; someone strong who understands. He needs Angel."

"Give me the stake, I'll do it me self." Spike grabbed, but Buffy had her foot on it and shoved him aside so he landed face first on Giles' sofa.

"Chain him back in the bath before he does himself harm," sighed Buffy, "I'll call Angel."

x x x x x x x

"I can't believe you said yes," nagged Cordelia,"and after everything he did to you the last time he was here, what are you thinking of?"

"If it makes you feel any better, I can't believe I said yes either," sighed Angel, "but Buffy said he's got an implant in his head that stops him harming humans, so he can't feed or hurt them, and that's a weird story to invent just to get him off her patch. She could just stake him."

"So why bring him to you?" added Wesley.

"Because I'm his Sire, so I'm sort of responsible for him."

"What?" said Cordelia and Wesley together.

But Angel just bit his bottom lip and looked reticent.

x x x x x x x

There were some things in his 'unlife' that Angel had come to expect. When his prodigal childe was deposited in the office that evening by Giles and Xander, Angel had expected a fight. He'd expected vile offensive abuse, some spitting and some ranting, the usual Spikey stuff, but he didn't get it.

The sullen, submissive creature sitting on his sofa was, quite frankly, a shock.

Angel squatted down in front of him, face to face, but Spike wouldn't even meet his eyes.

"Spike," he said quietly, "what have they done to you?"

The blonde vampire let out a small sarcastic laugh, and pursed his lips, but closed his eyes and turned his head away sharply.

Angel didn't need any words though. He could feel his childe's hunger - a searing pain engulfing them both. He took an unnecessary breath, stood up and went to the fridge for blood.

He came back and offered Spike a warmed mugfull.

"Drink," he commanded, "now."

Watching him drink ravenously, he felt the anger of the demon inside him raging that his childe had been shackled and starved. He pushed it back. Keep calm and stick with the facts, he reasoned to himself.

"This 'thing' in you head, how long ago did they do it to you?" he asked.

Spike glanced up at him, but quickly looked back down.

"Weeks, a month, I dunno, don't count th' bloody days," he mumbled. "Just wanted to forget about it, wanted it to go away"

"And it gives you a pain in the head if you try to bite?"

The reply came like a low hiss, "A bloody bad pain. An' if I hurt 'em at all, it's like a bloody knife in me head." A long silence followed, eventually he sniffed, staring at the bottom of the empty mug.

Needing more time to think, Angel took the mug and went to make some more.

Returning, he handed him the refill.

"So you can't fight at all, not even in self defence?"

Not looking up, Spike grabbed at the mug, drank it down in one, wiped his mouth and sniffed again. "Can hit demons," he muttered to the floor, "just demons."

Angel tried to take it all in. Buffy had told him about the initiative, their experiments, their cruelty and their demise. But where did that leave Spike, if he couldn't defend himself? There was no way he'd stay out of trouble.

He looked at the blond vampire, hunched and sullen on the sofa. The curve of his neck where the short bleached blonde hair tapered off. His pouting mouth, lithe body, pale skin, and those eyes; cast down now, confused, ashamed, angry.

"That's not fair," Angel said at last.

"Too right it's not fair mate." The blue eyes suddenly met his, full of rage. "Hey, an' if you'd given me that bloody gem none of this would have happened." He rose up, at last ready to fight.

"That was different." Angel closed in. "The gem was evil."

"Evil? An' you say this isn't? I've no soddin' choice now have I?"

He lept at Angel shoving him to the floor. Suddenly he was kicking and punching wildly.

But Angel could cope with this. Bigger and stronger, he hit back hard, and soon had Spike pinned down beneath him.

"That's more like it," he grinned.

Another shock. The blue eyes that met his just filled with tears, and tried to look away.

x x x x x x

This is the end, thought Spike, as painful emotions swept out of him like waves. Great sobs erupted from his chest, making him shudder and gasp under the weight of his sire. He closed his eyes and waited for the final blow.

He wasn't ready to be kissed.

Suddenly soft lips touched his face kissing and licking away the coppery, red tears. He couldn't bare the gentleness, it stung inside. But he hadn't the strength to fight it either, so he just let go, and his world came crashing down around him. Angel's strong arms held him securely as he cried. Like a warm human breath on his ear, he could sense the deep, growling voice of 'his sire', soothing him.

"It's alright, we'll make it alright. They won't destroy you, I won't let them. You're mine!"

You're mine. Spike couldn't believe he was hearing those words. It took him back a hundred years, and he clung to Angel and felt himself falling.

Both vampires were drowning in the physical contact. Long neglected senses wakened to their need. A low growl was throbbing through them as they lay, bodies pressed together, mouth exploring mouth.

The growl was hypnotic, a primal call, a mantra from the depths of time, surfacing to calm the younger vampire's grief. But if the pain in his chest lessened, the aching arousal between his thighs grew. Instinct had taken over and he knew exactly what he wanted. He ground his hips forwards. "Fuck me Angel." he whispered.

"W-what!" Angel pulled back and stared at him, shocked for a moment. His dark eyes searching the pleading blue ones.

Spike reached up wildly grabbing at his shoulders with strong cold hands.

"Now!"

Angel lent forwards shrugging free. He grasped the black t-shirt and ripped it over the broad shoulders and blonde head. For a second their eyes met again - golden. His child's muscular chest was damp with sweat as Angel forced him to the floor. Fiercely the dark vampire started to kiss and lick his way down.

"Oh yesss," Spike hissed as Angel's exploring tongue reached his belt, his erection so hard that the tip of his throbbing cock was just beneath. He bucked his hips up, and Angel's long fingers undid him and pulled his jeans back, setting him free.

Angel blew gently on the tip. "My beautiful childe," he whispered, touching the length with one cold finger.

"Angel. Oh fuck. Now," begged Spike thrusting upwards, and he groaned and growled as the dark vampire took the hard length into his cool wet mouth, and started to suck.

This was heaven. This was ecstasy. This was more than he could bear. The hated tears filled his eyes again, as he climaxed quickly, his cold semen flooding into his sire's throat. Only now did he realise just how lonely he had been. Why did the ones he cared for always leave him? Why? Hard enough to be undead, unbearable alone. He groaned and looked on as his dark master licked his lips and sat up, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

"More," he pleaded tearfully, "don't stop now, you bastard."

"I'm not Angelus, I don't want to hurt you," Angel met his eyes with concern.

"Just do it," Spike hissed back in desperation, grabbing at Angel's belt and pulling it loose.

It worked, his sire rolled him again, holding him still with one hand, while he licked the fingers of the other. He eased the wet fingers between the gripping ring of muscle and into his childe's firm ass. The blonde vampire wimpered but pushed hard up against him, still shivering with emotion. His own erection was throbbing for release, Angel twisted his fingers, pulled them free, and spitting on them, he led his member home.

He wanted to be gentle. His balls an aching knot, he tried desperately to hold back, but the sensation as he pushed inside was too intense. Pulling the supple, sweating, body up close and holding tight, he let out a long groan and Spike groaned with him, pushing back.

Oh Christ, how he'd missed this.

Suddenly the demon Angelus broke free to retake what was his. Angel was lost completely to desire. Spike's painful cries just drove him wild. He held him down, forcing, thrusting, possesing. The demon's seed, rising fast to claim dominion.

"Mine!" Angel roared, as the orgasm engulfed him, firing off his load with great spasms, deep inside his childe. "Always!"

Time stood still. Two vampire demons howled and writhed together. Then fell exhausted.

x x x x x x x

Angel woke to find himself lying on the cold floor holding onto Spike who was still fast asleep with the dead. "This was not part of the plan," he thought, "If I had a plan at all. And it could have been a disaster, but it's not. I'm still me. I think."

He certainly didn't feel the rage of Angelus. He cautiously touched the peroxide hair and pondered, "I feel worried and guilty and - oh well, that's good I guess." He let out a long sigh of relief. He didn't feel any regret, and somehow he still had his soul intact.

Noises of the lift moving brought him to reality with a jolt.

"Spike, wake up!" He urged, shaking the sleeping vampire. "Someone's coming down from the office."

"What? Bloody hell!" Spike woke with a start, completely disorientated.

Pulling him to his feet, Angel held him steady for a second. "It's all right," he whispered as the blue eyes met his questioningly. "Someone's in the lift, probably Wesley or Cordelia. Do up your pants and come into the kitchen. Quickly."

"Yer what?" Spike was dishevelled, but compliant. Fixing his jeans, he staggered after Angel and sat down heavily at the kitchen table head in hands. Angel noted his exhaustion; it was obvious the effect of the implant had compromised his vampire strength, both mentally and physically.

Loading more blood into the microwave, Angel quickly adjusted his clothes and grabbed the coffee jar as Wesley and Cordelia appeared.

"Ah Angel, we've got a client, a Mr Delman. He's in the office upstairs," said Wesley edging round the kitchen table away from the half naked blonde vampire.

Cordelia was staring at him from the doorway but he didn't look up.

"Is everything ok?" ventured Wesley, indicating Spike with his eyes nervously.

Angel felt uneasy, and tried to think of the right reply as the microwave pinged. He opened the door, glad of the distraction.

"And don't say we have to turn away clients now 'he's' here," added Cordy dryly, "some of us need to earn a living."

"No," Angel replied a little loudly. "We'll just carry on as usual. Give me the details. What does he want?"

He tried to push a mug of blood toward Spike inconspicuously, while he made some coffee. The blonde's hands closed round it, but he didn't look up.

x x x x x x x

A small neon sign flickered above the door of the 'Rabid Fox' night-club. Loud pulses of house music issued from the single open door where a large blackish Naro demon was keeping charge. A loose unruly mob hug around outside.

"Warm bloody beer," Spike muttered from his side as he followed Angel towards their destination, " n' drugs."

"Keep quiet won't you," Angel warned him. He knew Spike would be a liability, but as the others insisted the only way he'd stay behind was in chains, he'd gone against his better judgement and brought him along. There was so much that needed to be said between them. Yet since their union the night before, their eyes had hardly met. The presence of Cordelia and Wesley had driven Spike into a sullen silence, and all day the atmosphere in the office had been tainted with an air of mutual distrust.

God, if the humans had any idea about what had happened - Angel didn't want to dwell on that.

The Naro glared down from his full seven feet as they approached. "You Vampires don't come in Fridays," he informed them blocking their path with a giant six fingered hand. "Vampires Saturdays only, rack off."

"We've come to see Wymark, about business," said Angel. "We're attorneys, he'll see us," he held up the Woolfram and Heart ID.

The Naro Demon curled his lip, showing a silver tooth, "Wait," he spat, nodding to one of the humans at the door, who disappeared for a long minute before returning and indicating to Angel to go in. Spike followed. "Not you!" the demon hand came between the vampires, and Spike hissed angrily as he was forced back.

Angel glanced back at him, his lip curled, and his eyes saying, wait and don't cause any trouble. It was too late for him to back out.

Spike hovered at a distance from the door, kicking at a can in the gutter. He sized up the Naro Demon. He'd beaten one up before, but it hadn't been easy. They had size and brute force to their advantage, but they were slow witted an' they weren't agile. Now 'William the Bloody' was damn agile, an' now he had fed for a day he was feelin' more like his old self again. Yeah, he could take him out, no trouble. His eyes narrowed, with his train of thought. He watched as the demon jeered with some women round the door. Showing off the silver tooth with every smirk on his stupid face.

That's why he didn't see the group of punks come round the corner and shove him out of their path.

He hit the ground. "Oy you stupid fuckers," he seethed, jumping up. "Watch where ya bloody goin'." It was an instant reaction, but not a clever one.

The first fist hit him above the left eye; it stung like metal. He lunged back and instantly pain tore through his head as the implant reacted. He stumbled and then felt his ribs crack as he was kicked back down. A stinging kick to the head followed.

x x x x x

T.G Wymark was waiting for Angel in a small room, away from noise and stale air of the club. He eyed him with suspicion but didn't question the Wolfram and Hart I.D.

"As I said Mr Wymark, my client, Mr Delman has proof of some of your illegal dealings here, and has evidence deposited with our firm. Now we can use that evidence against you in court, or you can drop your threats to him, leave him in peace and we'll let the matter rest. I'll need your assurance on that of course. Think it over."

Wymark chewed the end of a cocktail stick and stared unwaveringly at Angel.

"Huh, Carl Delman's a waste of space, seems ta me the world 'd be a finer place without him, but I don't want no trouble"

"Good, so you leave him alone, and no legal steps will be taken against you."

Angel wanted to wrap this up and be on his way.

Wymark scowled, "Show Mr McDonald out," he sneered, "An' tell Delman from me, if he shows his face here again he's dead meat."

Angel took that as a "yes", the law firm's work was known here, but Lindsey McDonald's face, thankfully, was not. It wasn't an alias he was proud of using, but it had done the trick. Back on the sidewalk again his next thought was Spike. He did not have to look far, walking straight into the flashing lights of LAPD patrol car. A loud struggle was underway as two cops tried to push a swearing and familiar figure, blood streaming down his face, into the vehicle.

x x x x x x

By the time they got back to Angel investigations, it was starting to grow light.

Spike was back slumped head in hands at the kitchen table. Angel looked down at his childe and sighed heavily. Noticing the finger nails, broken and bloody against the blonde hair.

"Why the hell didn't you just go back to the car? You set foot on the streets of LA, and within minutes you start a fight."

"Didn't start it." Spike protested.

"Were you trying to get beaten to dust? 'Cos you almost succeeded"

"What do you bloody care. Yeah maybe I was," he sniffed back, still not looking up.

Angel sighed again, the microwave beeped and he brought the mugs and put them on the table. "Let me check you over, where did they kick you?" he asked squatting down and reaching to touch Spikes ribs cautiously.

Spike recoiled in pain and hissed. "Just leave me alone."

"Ok then," Angel stood up, "but get a shower." He grabbed a towel off a pile of clean laundry and flung it at him, picking up his own drink. "I'm going to bed."

x x x x x x x

He hadn't slept for long. He focused on the clock, and read seven forty-two, but something had woken him, something was wrong.

Sitting up in the darkened room, there was no presence nearby, just the sound of the shower running in the bathroom. He shook his head, and went to lay back down.

It was then that he heard the choking.

The bathroom was full of steam, but no blonde vampire.

Angel crossed to the shower and grabbed for the taps through the scalding water.

As he turned them off he noticed the blood dripping from the side of the bath. His eyes followed a trail of it across the room. Slumped back to the wall behind the door was Spike. He was naked, his head back and blood dripping form the corners of his mouth.

Angel rushed to him dropping down and grabbing him by the shoulders. "Hey," he snarled in panic, "come on Spike, speak to me." His head was limp and his eyes unfocused, tinged with yellow.

"Come on Spike," Angel urged, "I'm here. Look at me."

His eyes rolled towards Angel, seeming to focus for a second. Then he started choking again, struggling out of Angel's grasp and throwing up violently over the floor.

"Christ," gasped Angel, as he watched the heaving body in front of him. He reached to grab him again, and this time got hold from behind, one arm round his waist the other round his shoulders.

There was a strong smell of whiskey in the blood Spike was vomiting up.

Eventually the retching stopped and he was left gasping and shaking. Angel pulled his exhausted body back against his own. Spike rolled his head back on Angel's shoulder with a low groan. "Awwwh ssshit."

"Its ok" Angel sighed, stroking his shoulders.

"Awwwh shit me head hurrrts, cut it off will ya."

"I know it hurts, but it'll be alright."

"Na it won't. It won't stop bloody hurting."

Angel spotted the empty whiskey bottle by the door. "Did you drink all that whiskey? God, there were a two whole bottles in the cupboard. You didn't drink the lot did you?"

"Wanted to stop me head hurting," he sobbed.

"Ok, but it hasn't worked has it?"

"Awww shit, Angel," he leant forward again head in hands, "for fucks sake stop it hurting."

Angel knelt up and gently pushed the hands away turning his childe's head towards him. His eyes were half closed in pain, still yellow. A purple bruise covered the side of his head following a deep blood crusted scar into the hair line.

"Awwwch. Don't touch it," he groaned.

"It feels bad now, but it'll heal soon, let's get you into the bath."

"I can't."

Angel pulled him upright, trying to steady him and avoid the bloody mess on the floor at the same time. "Come on," he hissed, trying to stay calm.

"No." Spike protested, struggling and throwing up again. Angel staggered with him to the bath and sat him down on the edge with his head over the basin. He rinsed his hands and drying them, put the towel across Spike's shoulders.

"I can't soddin' see you."

"I'm right here." He touched the sweat soaked hair cautiously stroking downwards to the pale neck and hunched shoulders.

"No! Me eyes won't focus. Can't see anything right. Sod it, they hurt."

Angel growled, shaking his head in disbelief. Then hauled him up and half carried him to the bed. The sick vampire fell heavily onto it, groaning.

"It'll pass Spike. They kicked you in the head and it's messed you up, but you're a vampire, it won't last. You'll heal soon enough," Angel reassured him.

"Not healing," Spike wept, "not healing. Hurting!"

x x x x x x x

Angel woke with a stiff neck. Cordelia was standing over him talking.

" - so I decided to come and see what was going on. Why did you leave the phone off Angel? I've been trying to get hold of you since nine thirty."

"Had a long night," he replied.

"On the couch?" She frowned down at him. "And where's Spike?" She looked quickly around. "I don't like it when I can't see him."

Angel sat up. "He's on the bed. He got into a fight."

"Surprise me!"

"He got beaten up, and when we got back he threw up all over the bathroom."

"Oh what? That's gross! You have cleaned it up?"

"I cleaned it."

"God, why don't you just send him away somewhere?"

"Cordelia," Angel sighed, "what was it you wanted?"

"That Carl Delmans been hanging round the office all day. He wanted to know how you got on with Wymark."

"It's sorted. Tell him he won't have any more trouble, but he'd better leave town."

"Can't you tell him?"

"No Cordelia. Just get Wesley to see him off the premises won't you? I need some space here."

"Just so long as you sort 'him' out," she replied, glancing towards the bedroom.

x x x x x x x

Spike was lying on his front, head beneath the pillow. The bruising on his ribs had faded. Angel ran his hand along the cool body - just to check. He carefully moved the pillow to check his 'problem childe's' face as well, and was reassured to see that the ugly gash from the night before had cleared away too.

"How the hell am I going to keep you out of trouble?" he thought aloud.

Just at that moment Spike rolled onto his back and groaned.

"You awake?"

"No. Leave me alone."

"Come on, Spike, it's time to get up. You're all healed, so don't go playing for sympathy, not after last night's performance." He chucked the pillow back at his face.

"Awwwch, don't do that."

"Come on then, get up. You can make yourself useful and strip the bed. This is your mess. I've got work to do."

He tried to sit up, "Awwwch. Bloody hell, where are you, Angel?" he whined. "Sod it, I can't see you."

Angel was halfway to the door. "What?" he snarled impatiently.

"Shit, it still hurts an' I can't see right!"

"Look, if you're going to stay here Spike, you'll have to pull your weight. I haven't time for playing games, now get up."

"I can't, I can't bloody see!" There was panic in his voice.

"What?" Angel came back and sat on the bed roughly turning his childe's face towards him."

"Awwwch don't," Spike hissed, trying to pull away. Angel gripped him tightly, alarmed at the strange, bloodshot, yellow eyes that stared back blindly. It wasn't his vampire face, the brows and teeth were human enough.

But it was certainly no joke either.

Suddenly Angel understood that something was really wrong.

"Oh shit it hurts." The blonde vampire pushed him away weakly, then put his head in his hands, rocking and groaning. "It's the bloody thing in me head innit."

Cold anger raged in Angel. Fury for those humans who had taken his childe and put the implant in his head, and fury for those that had kicked and beaten his childe when he couldn't defend himself. He wanted to howl, and torture, and murder. However much his soul told him it would do no good. He wanted to torture them and make them pay.

Cruelty was not just the preserve of demons. Humankind could take it to a new level. Not just the demon's fight to survive. This was beyond nature, this was cruelty just for fascination's sake, and to hell with the consequences. He closed his eyes tightly for a moment, fighting to keep control, and smelt the blood as his nails dug into his own fists.

"Angel. Help me." groaned Spike.

x x x x x x

While Angelus raged inside him, Angel knew he had to turn his anger into action. Sitting watching his childe suffer was unbearable.

"Angel?" Spike cried out, blindly reaching for him.

"It's alright. I've got you. I'm here." He tried to sound calm and reassuring.

Moving carefully behind him on the bed, he encircled him with his larger body and pressed his face into the blonde hair. "I'm here."

He closed his eyes and inhaled the scent of his childe, sweaty and tinged with fear. Just as it had been the night he'd taken the human, "William's" life. He remembered how he'd held him close in his arms that night, never letting go. Holding on till William awoke as a vampire, cold and perfect in the arms of Angelus.

"It's exploding in me head. The pain won't stop. Oh shit, make it stop Angel."

In a hundred and twenty seven years, he'd never seen Spike panic.

Angel tried to hold the blonde head steady against his shoulder. "Try to keep still, you'll make it worse. Let me think."

"No. Can't. It hurts. For fuck's sake Angel, get them to take it out."

"I wish I could," Angel groaned in despair, "but how can I get anyone to help? I can't just call a doctor; you're already dead."

"Yeah an' you fixed that for me - Sire!" He cried through the pain, and fought free, falling off the side of the bed and stumbling blindly forwards sending a table and chair crashing in his path before hitting the wall. Angel caught him as he fell to his knees sobbing.

"Spike, please," he pleaded as he lifted the blonde head up. "I'll think of something, I promise you I will." But the unseeing eyes just dripped red tears.

Angel pulled him into his arms and reared up, his Vampire features surfacing with an unearthly wail.

- just as Wesley and Cordelia raced in.

x x x x x x x

"What the hell's going on?" Wesley stopped in his tracks as he saw the wailing vampire. "Oh my God you're Angelus!"

"No!" Angel hissed."I'm alright. It's Spike. Look what they've done to him." He shuddered and fought to regain his human face.

They stepped back in confusion.

"What's going on, Angel?" repeated Wesley, as he pushed Cordelia behind him protectively.

"The implant. The chip in his head, its gone wrong. It's destroying him from the inside out. For pity's sake look at him. Please help me. Just look at him."

They both peered over at the sightless vampire shivering in his arms.

"Yeew God," muttered Cordelia.

"Is he conscious?" asked Wesley.

"Barely."

"He's in a lot of pain?"

"Yes."

"Well, I'm sorry, Angel." Wesley shook his head thoughtfully. "If it's the implant in his head causing it, there's really nothing anyone can do," he sighed, "except put him out of his misery. You'll have to stake him."

"No. Never!" The dark vampire quivered with possesive anger.

"But it's not fair to keep him suffering is it? You wouldn't do that to an animal."

"He's not an animal, he's my - "

"He's a killer, Angel. Just another evil vampire. End it now, so we can all sleep safely.

Come on just do it!" insisted Cordelia, not moving forwards but offering him the wooden stake she'd been holding behind her back.

"I can't kill him." The dark vampire choked out the words, " I - I love him!"

"Oooh God owwwch!" Cordelia instantly put her hands to her head, moaning.

Wesley thought it was a bit of an over reaction.

But it wasn't.

It was a vision.

x x x x x x

"How did I ever get involved with all this?" groaned Cordelia, as she tried to stand.

"What did you see?" Angel and Wesley asked together.

"Please." She indicated for them to wait a moment. Wesley picked up the fallen chair and helped her onto it. She nodded towards Spike who was slumped in Angel's arms. "It was about him." She frowned and recalled. "Down by the sea in a cave, there was a grey haired woman beckoning to me. Old, she must be a witch. She wants you to bring Spike to her, Angel. Go underground to the sea. She heard your demon calling, and she wants to help. She wants to cure Spike. And yes, I think she must be completely insane."

"Was that in the vision? That she's insane?" asked Wesley.

"No, I just added that", sighed Cordelia.

x x x x x x

The underground passages all eventually led down to the sea. They made slow progress. Blind and groaning Spike clung tightly to Angel in desperation. Angel tried to support him and to find the way. The salty sea air grew stronger, and the light grew brighter. It must be midday thought Angel. There's no way we can go any further now. He pulled Spike down onto the rocky floor with him and held him close. He should have brought Wesley along. He could have gone down on the beach and looked for caves. Now they were stuck.

The ground was cold and wet. He felt his childe shiver against him. Reaching under the black t-shirt he tried to pull him closer. He ran his thumbs over taught nipples and upwards through the soft hair of his armpits. Then slid his hands around and up to the back of Spike's neck, pulling him close and surrendering into the contact.

"Love you," he whispered as he held on in the darkness."I'm so sorry."

"Ah my vampires!"

Angel squinted into the torch light and saw a tall, denim clad woman standing over them. Her hair was straight and grey, framing an older but still beautiful face. She reached out long warm fingers and stroked his shoulder.

"Ah the dark Angel, your soul weighs heavily in your heart doesn't it, the search for forgiveness eh!"

She gently took his arm, pulling him to his feet. Handing him the torch, she turned to catch the blonde vampire as he fell forwards. She held his head carefully and gazed at his unseeing eyes.

"And this is ' William the Bloody', the vampire mankind has taken its revenge on. I know all about you, hostile 17. And all about the Initiative. Too much I'm afraid," she sighed, looking into Angel's eyes.

"My name is Gillian Walsh. I'm a scientist. My sister Maggi worked for the Initiative. She's dead now, and I carry the burden of her guilt. I want to help you."

Gillian lead the way through the dark to the cave she called home. They carried Spike between them. He was heavily unconscious.

"Here we are; 'cold comfort farm' I'm afraid," she announced, as they arrived at a dimly lit cave.

"You're in hiding?" asked Angel, as they lay Spike on a mattress in the corner.

She folded a blanket as a pillow. "Yep, 'fraid so, the government don't like my dealings with their 'hostiles', it goes against the scientific grain. Can you help me turn him over?"

"But you know about the implant?"

"I'm sad to say I helped to design it. Before I realised what we were dealing with wasn't a clear cut issue. I couldn't handle their lack of ethics. I made a stand or two against them and was asked to resign. Right; now hold him still."

She held a meter of some sort to his head. "Hmmm yes, it's malfunctioning alright."

Spike groaned loudly.

"You have to understand," she continued, "it wasn't made to be removed. If the initiative had an implant malfunction like this, they would have just destroyed the host. These things never got beyond experimental."

"So you can't remove it?"

"Its likely he'll turn to dust, do you want to risk that?"

"No!"

"Ok, but I think I can sort it." She gently rubbed her hand along his shoulders. "Has he had a blow to the head lately?"

"He was in a fight," explained Angel "Beaten up by humans. He couldn't fight back because of the implant. It doesn't give him a chance, he can't defend himself."

"Yes, I can see that's wrong."

"So what can you do?"

"I'm going to switch it off." She brought a box with leads and attached them to Spike's head, then spent some time silently programming it.

"Ok then, let's try." There was a quick beep and she took it all away.

"Is that it?" Angel couldn't believe it could be so simple.

"Should be; wait and see." She looked expectantly at the vampire on the bed. He didn't move.

"Spike?" questioned Angel, touching his back. The blonde vampire shifted, cautiously turning over. Then slowly sat up shaking his head.

"Better?"

"I - I can see ya." he said in surprise, "but my eyes are bloody sore."

Angel looked into his eyes, they were slowly turning blue again.

"And your head?"

"Mmmh still aches - less though."

"Stop shaking it then," Angel laughed with relief.

"But I ain't half hungry." The blue eyes fell on Gillian. She stared back defiantly.

"Can I bite you?"

"You could try. But It'll probably still hurt a while yet, so better you didn't, and remember, Angel wouldn't be impressed."

x x x x x x

It was growing dark. Angel was standing at the water's edge watching the waves and brooding. Spike sat back on the stone wall and watched him, rubbing his eyes and enjoying the fact that he could see. He looked at the passers by, sizing them up. When the darkness fell completely he knew it would be easy to separate one from the crowd, and drink his fill of that hot human blood. Wow he was happy.

"Spike." Angel walked back up the beach towards him, "I think it would best if you left this country altogether. I'll phone Buffy and let her know you're cured. They won't want you back in Sunnydale either."

"What?" gasped Spike, "I thought I was staying with you!"

"There was a reason for that, wasn't there. You couldn't kill; I could live with that, but I can't accommodate a murderer. Now you're a complete vampire again, it's my duty in the world to stake you. But I can never kill you, and you know why. So you'll have to go. It's the only way."

Angel's dark brooding eyes met his. He was serious.

For once William the Bloody was left speechless.

Angel reached out and lightly touched his face, the dark brown eyes full of grief. Suddenly, instinctively, he grabbed Spike and kissed him deeply.

And Spike kissed back, tasting his sire, claiming his mouth possessively, never wanting it to end. He wrapped his legs round Angel's strong body and pulled him close.

"No." Angel suddenly broke away from him, "You must see it can never work between us now. Go away Spike. Far away. Make your own childer and love them. Do whatever you want to be happy. - But don't let me know about it," he added, forcing a grin that somehow didn't reach to his eyes. Then he turned and walked quickly off down the beach and into the darkness, not looking back.

x x x x x x

Spike was drunk again. He sat in the dark alleyway and swigged from his bottle of Whiskey.

Something was annoying him.

He reached in the pocket of his black duster, found the ciggys and lit one up.

He wasn't hungry now. The last few days had been a rampage of blood letting through the waifs and strays of LA. He felt fat on O Neg, and that was fine.

He'd had some great fights. Particularly the one where he'd kicked the ass of the large Naro demon, who was now missing from his night job on the door of the 'Rabid Fox'. Wow that had been good. More effort than killing soddin' humans, but a great bit of violence.

"Oh yeah" he hissed as he flung the now empty bottle against the wall to crash.

He was back. Yeah, William the 'Bloody Animal', was off the leash, it was official.

Great!

He inhaled deeply on the cigarette.

So why was he still in LA?

x x x x x x

Gillian Walsh nearly lept out of her skin when she turned to find Spike rummaging through the cookie tin in her cavey seaside hideaway.

She guessed her number might be up.

"Got any chocolate chip cookies?" he asked. "And put th' kettle on. Wanna bit of a chat."

x x x x x x

It had been a busy few weeks. Angel had thrown himself into his work with Angel Investigations, and kept his mind on paying his staff and paying for his sins. Burning the candle at both ends didn't leave him in a very good humour when he returned home in the early hours facing a long and lonely day's sleep.

He threw down the briefcase and coat, crossed the dark room and flung himself back onto the large empty bed.

Suddenly he was pinned down. A strong body on top of his holding him fast, his arms held tightly above his head.

"What?" he went to protest, but a cold mouth covered his. A mouth with fangs, biting down into his tongue drawing blood, greedily sucking it away.

He knew the taste and he knew the scent of the body above, and God, how he wanted it, no questions.

"Oh yesss!" was all he could gasp when the mouth left his, to lick and gnaw at his neck . He didn't fight when the hands let go his arms to tear at his shirt and undo his belt, savagely pulling away clothes till he lay there naked and throbbing, gasping unneeded air .

"Yesss!" The cold mouth had closed over his throbbing length, licking and sucking. Cold hands grasping and scratching along his stomach and thighs. He thrust upwards snarling, already close to coming.

But then the mouth pulled away.

Before he could cry out, the body crushed into his again, trapping his legs and pulling his ass apart as a hard length thrust mercilessly into him. He yelled in pain as it thrust again and again. Then he roared, as the pain turned into burning pleasure. Tense fingers gripped into his sides as the pounding increased and the body pinning him shuddered and cried out loud, "Ah, bloody hell. Angel"

He exploded into the sound.

xxxxxx

For some time he just lay there stunned in the darkness. He had tried to grab Spike, but his childe had pulled away and staggered off into the kitchen.

Eventually he sat up and grabbed a black bathrobe from the bedside chair. Pulling it on he went to find him.

"Microwave's on," said Spike casually, he was sitting naked at the kitchen table.The green light of the microwave casting a lurid glow.

"Look, what the hell are you doing here? And why are you sitting in the dark?"

"I'm a vampire, I like the bloody dark."

The microwave pinged. "Have a drink."

Angel put the two mugs on the table and snapped on the light, "Spike, what are you doing here, I thought I said - "

"You wanted me to leave the country?"

"Yes."

Spike looked up and met his eyes. "Got somethin' to show ya. Gotta letter." He pushed a white envelope across the table, biting his bottom lip. "From mother."

"What?"

"Oh you never met Adam did you? I forgot. He was a bit of a monster too, like me I suppose." He sniffed. "Called Maggi Walsh his mother."

"Stop blabbing Spike."

"Well read the soddin' letter then."

Angel tore it open and read.

'----He's the strangest vampire I've ever met. For some reason he wanted me to switch it back on. I've set it so he can't kill, and that means he won't be able to fight humans again, so you'll have to watch his back and keep him out of trouble. I am still amazed that he's asked me to do this. We had a long chat, he loves to talk, and reading between the lines, I had to conclude that he's rather lonely.' Regards,

Gillian Walsh.

Spike was talking. "You're starin' at me, don't ya know it's rude to stare?" He jumped up and grabbed the letter away, replacing it with his blue eyes right up close.

"You made her switch the implant back on? Why, Spike? You had your freedom." He searched for the truth in those blue eyes.

"Well murdering and stuff isn't what it used to be, peaches. To be honest I was bored."

"You're never honest."

"That's why I got 'er to write the soddin' letter. Knew you'd never believe me."

The blue eyes looked away.

"Don't joke with me Spike." Angel grabbed his chin and forced him to meet his eyes again. "No feed, no fight, why have you done this? You were free to go."

"I'll go now if that's what you want," Spike hissed, pulling away.

"No." Angel pulled him back. "It's just such an incredible thing to do. I want to understand what's going on inside that head of yours."

The blonde vampire bit his lip and glared at the floor, "It's bloody obvious innit?"

"No."

Suddenly he was shouting. "Sod you, do I have to spell it out? Why didn't you just kill me when you had the chance? You say that you love me, then you tell me to sod off. You do my head in, that's what! I bloody 'hate' being alone. I know you hate it too, but at least I'm man enough to admit it. An' I did the implant thing so you'd let me stay."

He hesitated for a moment, then yelled " 'Cos I bloody love you. Alright?"

Angel knew if he didn't act quickly something big was going to get broken.

x x x x x x

It was dark and it was quiet.

Only a vampire could hear the distant sound of traffic outside in the daytime streets of LA.

Angel wasn't listening though.

He lay between the cool sheets, naked and entangled with his sleeping childe. Pressing his face against the short bleached hair, he kissed the back of his neck and held him closer.

It felt so good not to be alone.

He sighed.

There were some things in his 'unlife' Angel had come to expect.

This was not one of them.

x x x x x x



End

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