The Clockwork Vampire


by Spirit


*


Spike looked at the reflection in the mirror, amazed that he had one, amazed that it wasn't
actually his. He thought he'd seen most of what the world had to offer, picking and choosing
what suited him. He didn't feel all that different, if he was honest. He could still smell and hear
with more than human perception, even if it did feel a bit cramped in this body. 

Aside from the obvious, his granddaughter hadn't retained many of his physical characteristics,
sharp cheek bones aside. His eye level was a few inches shorter than normal and there were a few
extra bits and pieces to deal with. When he got his own body back, he was going to introduce the
girl to the Wondabra, for a start. But on the whole, it wasn't such a bad body to be in, at least
whilst he figured out what to do.

He could see the suits watching him in the background, grinning as Spike examined his new
home. With a growl, the vampire turned, aware as he did it that the demon was still a part of him.

'How did you do it?'

Lindsey shrugged.

'Let's just say it wasn't easy. It isn't permanent yet, but if you'll hear us out, we can make it so.'

Spike snorted.

'Who are you, bloody Picard?'

'Now, Spike,' said Lilah, 'We've transferred your demon to a living body. Don't you want to think
of all the things you can do now?'

'Could start by kicking the shit out of you two.'

Lindsey pulled a scroll out of his inside pocket, still maintaining a nonchalant air.

'You could, but you're not THAT strong. You can still die, you know.'

'I don't know,' said Spike with a slightly sadistic grin, 'Why don't you start talking before I decide
to try it out, Pet.'

'In a living human body, you're no longer susceptible to sunlight. Religious implements no longer
have an affect. You've retained your strength, perception and stamina.'

'Stakes bounce off me now?'

'Actually, no,' said Lilah. 'You can still be killed by mortal methods and since humans tend to die
when they're staked.........'

Spike ran his tongue over his teeth.

'Blood?'

Lindsay shook his head.

'You don't need it. You can live on human food.'

'I'm mortal?'

'Immortal, we think,' said Lilah, 'you see, there's no precedent for this.'

'Lawyers making vampires more powerful? Thought you did that all the time, Love.'

Lindsey laughed and tapped the scroll on his hand.

'Spike, you're a very unusual vampire, anyway.'

'I know that. What do you pratts mean, though?'

Raising a perfectly arched eyebrow, Lilah gestured to the window.

'Most vampires take their family as a first meal. You didn't.'

'So?'

'So you're one of the few vampires with living descendants. One at least.'

Spike regarded his reflection, recognising the pissed off expression, pleased that it was still
visible. And Lilah didn't seem so confident now. He could smell.........the faintest traces of fear.

'The spell we used required "blood of my blood", so you see, this really is a rare event.'

'So you put my demon in her body, and sent hers.........where?'

Lindsay shrugged.

'You're technically a possessed human, with the bonus that the original soul is missing. We think
that her soul now occupies your old body. And without the demon, we believe.........'

Spike noticed the uncertainty in Lindsay's voice and he grinned.

'You don't fucking know what's happened, do you, mate?'

'We're not one hundred percent certain, no,' said Lilah. 'But it seems likely that without the magic,
all Angel's holding right now is a corpse.'

At the name of his lover, Spike winced, knowing how worried the vampire would be. And if his
corpse was beginning to rot away, or turn to dust.........

'And what if I say no, turn me back?'

'I don't think you want to do that, Spike. Right now, we don't think there's anything for you to go
back to.'

Spike nodded and looked back in the mirror, fascinated by seeing himself again, even if he wasn't
strictly.........himself.

'And why am I a bloody woman? Couldn't you have found some bloke to swap me with?'

'You're lucky you have any descendants at all, Spike, 'said Lindsey, confidently putting the scroll
back in his pocket. 'We had to work with what we had.'

He looked Spike up and down briefly before re-assuming his smug grin.

'Besides, I thought, given your relationship with Angel, gender was optional.'

Spike gave a hmph and kept staring at the mirror, meeting the lawyer's gaze easily, refusing to
look away. The moment Lindsey blinked, Spike struck backwards with his fist, catching his chin
and knocking him to the floor. He nodded and turned to Lilah.

'I think I may want to renegotiate my terms, Pet. Or shall we try for a double knockout?'


*


Angel sat on the edge of the sofa, phone in one hand, book of possession open in the other.

He watched as Megan walked impatiently up and down the room, the stride easily Spike's own,
the attitude almost as clearly not. He'd been sharing a room with her for twenty minutes now and
she was driving him crazy. How is it possible for them both to share a blunt, arrogant
temperament and (currently) the same body, when one of them drove him mad with lust, and the
other.........didn't?

'Well I don't know, Angel,' said Wesley, his voice still weary from a lack of sleep. 'I've never
heard of vampire soul swapping.'

There was a pause, and Angel could practically hear the Watcher following the thought through
on the other end of the line.

'He doesn't have a soul to swap, does he?'

'No,' said Angel hurriedly, 'look Wesley, I know it's late, but this really is important.'

'I know that. I'm just trying to think.'

Megan glared at him and Angel shook his head - they didn't have an answer yet.

'Angel?'

The vampire turned his attention back to the phone.

'Yeah? What?'

'Perhaps it's some kind of possession? I mean, you said Miss McGill was being held by Wolfram
and Hart.........'

'Bastards!'

Angel glared back at Megan, wondering when she picked up such good hearing.

'.........And they have access to goodness knows how many spells.'

'Yeah, I know.'

'So maybe if we can do some form of exorcism? Work a twist into it so that we can restore
Megan back to her body and Spike back to his?'

Angel nodded.

'Can you do that?'

There was another pause, and Angel heard Doyle struggling into his clothes in the background.
They were sharing a bed now? When would he learn to listen to Spike about romance?

'Ask him when he can do it?' 

He looked at Megan as she sat down next to him on the sofa. There was an odd intensity about
her. Maybe it was just his imagination, or maybe she and Spike were more alike than he gave
them credit for. But he got the impression that neither would stop until they'd got what they
wanted.

He was really glad he wasn't it.


< Megan, why are you in Spike's body? >

< What kind of dumb question is that? Like I would know! >

< ......... >

< You should get some clothes on. >

< Yeah, I mean, I can guess what you two boys were up to, and Hell, I'm so glad this didn't
happen ten minutes earlier. Uck! >

< You've got a problem with Spike and me? >

< No.........Look, Angel, you're cute and all. But you're still way too dead for me, okay? >


Oh yeah, it was okay, in fact, it was very okay. He couldn't take on another member of that
family. He didn't even want to think about it.

'Stop brooding and ask him!'

And he really wanted Spike back, now.

'Wesley,' he urged, 'The spell?'

'Hmm? Well I'm not sure. There are some books I'd need to see, first.'

'Fine,' said Angel, relaxing as Megan got up and started pacing again. 'Come round and look at
them. You've still got the key, right?'

'Doyle's got it,' said Wesley. 'Why? Where are you going?'

'I'm going to find Spike.'

He tried not to wince as he heard Megan open the fridge door and exclaim loudly how much she
was going to kill Spike's undead ass when she got her body back. Drinking blood was far far too
icky.

'And I may just commit murder if I stay here.'

'Ah,' said Wesley, 'I take it she's not taking this very calmly?'

Angel shrugged.

'She's like Spike.........with P.M.T.'

He could almost hear the ex-watcher wince.

'Fine, you go find Spike, but be careful, Angel. They've gone to a lot of trouble to do this and I
can't see them letting him go easily.'

'Yeah I know. I'll be careful.'

'Good. Oh, and Angel?'

'Yeah?'

He closed his eyes as he heard Wesley smile.

'Bring him home.'


*



The doors were open. Spike could see the brightness in the foyer, fatal to vampires, apparently harmless to him. It didn't actually make him feel any better, and he grudgingly stepped forward, waiting for the intense heat to kick in. He could remember the pain, the feeling that your bones were on fire, the knowledge that within seconds you were going to be vampire en flambé. He could remember all of that, but he couldn't feel it. The sun reached his hand, and aside from its reflective warmth, nothing changed. He stood there a moment, basking in the daylight, his problematic present unimportant. He'd searched for the Gem of Amara so long, not only for its protective powers, but to feel this again - innocent warmth on his cold frame. Humanity sucked in so many different ways, and he had long been of the opinion that vampires had it better, but this was the one thing they had that Spike wanted. And he had to give it back. * Wesley scrambled into the lift, a heap of books in his arms, his tired brain refusing to wake up properly. Why couldn't fits of the supernatural happen during daylight hours? Why did they always have to happen when he was in the middle of something, be it either sleep or that other, rather intriguing activity he was getting to know. Doyle closed the gate behind them, looking as though he hadn't slept in days. He shot Wesley a grin and the ex-watcher thought he could sense tension - the normally relaxed Irishman was worried, and they both knew why. He knew how much telling Cordelia about them had worried Doyle. He'd watched him putting it off, worried not only that she wouldn't accept it, but that he would hurt her, something he wasn't entirely prepared to do. But Doyle had made the choice, coming into Wesley's arms with a nervous but eager desire. They'd taken things day by day, each choice a step further down the road to what they both ultimately wanted - companionship and desire. Love hadn't been spoken of, not because it didn't exist between them, but because it still felt too new, a barely realised vision that might break. Waking up each morning with another body in his bed was a pleasure that Wesley hadn't realised he wanted. He could stretch out, his feet dangling off the end of Doyle's annoyingly short mattress, and within minutes he could feel the Irishman against him, face pressed into his chest, arms wrapped tightly round his waist. He was half amused, half envious of Doyle's effortlessness adaptation to sharing his bed. It wasn't something he'd done many times, the last occasion spent with Megan, her starfish spread making it difficult to snuggle up to. And although there were other, more obvious things, Doyle's closeness was one of the traits he treasured most. And in the proximity of his ex-lover, it was something he had to make the half-demon realise. 'Lost in thought there, Wes?' Wesley pushed his glasses up his nose and nodded. 'I'm not sure I can reverse this. I'm not exactly sure what's happened. If we could get hold of the original spell, I might have a better chance.' Doyle smiled and slipped his hand to Wesley's neck, thumb stroking along his jaw line. 'You'll do all right. You always do.' Wesley sighed. 'I wish you were right. Angel's gone goodness knows where to find him, and Megan.........' Doyle flinched and pulled back a little, and again Wesley felt the tension rise. 'I'm going to tell her,' he said quietly. 'I know.' The Irishman looked up at him and scratched the back of his neck. 'I know. I just.........' Wesley stroked Doyle's arm with his free hand. 'It's you I want. No one else.' Colour rose in his lover's cheeks and Wesley wondered if he was pushing it too far. God only knew how they got anywhere when any hint of romance reduced one of them to an embarrassed state. It was usually him though, and it was generally because he was convinced he'd done something stupid, or completely inappropriate. Doyle kept telling him that they were both playing it by ear, but Wesley had built his life on rules, and this territory was both irrational and out of his control. And he loved it, even if it did make him feel ridiculous for asking questions. 'Wes, man. You're red again.' 'I am?' The Irishman grinned and opened the elevator doors. 'Yeah. Beetroot.' Wesley shifted the books into both hands and tried to calm down. 'I was just.........er.........' Doyle pulled the books off him and put them on the floor, sliding his arms up and wrapping them round Wesley's neck. 'It's okay. I kinda like that I get you flustered.' Unable to resist, Wesley bent his head, touching Doyle's lips briefly with his own. 'You do more than that.' He paused and tried to stifle a chuckle. 'What?' 'Nothing. I just thought I'd better stop before I say something that embarrasses us both.' 'Like what?' 'Bloody Hell! Could you two get any closer?' They turned to see "Spike" standing in the corner of the room, vodka bottle in one hand, leather bound tome in the other. Without pulling away from Doyle, Wesley huffed and nodded to the anomaly. 'Megan.........it's been a while.' 'Yeah,' she said, sitting awkwardly on the edge of the sofa. 'And wow, I mean, things really seem to have changed.' She waved the vodka bottle at the Irishman. 'Hey Doyle.' 'Megan.' She gestured to the book she was reading. 'I don't suppose you've come up with anything really good since Angel phoned. Cause as far as I can tell, I'm technically fucked here, and being dead isn't all its cracked up to be.' Wesley wondered if he'd wandered into some edition of the Twilight Zone. Here was a girl he'd actually cared about, someone he'd even contemplated a future with. Here she was, wearing a vampire's body, drinking vodka and reading one of Angel's texts, whilst he was smooching Doyle in the elevator. And she didn't seem even slightly distracted. 'So.........what? You're going to stand there all day with loverboy, or are you actually going to come and help?' Doyle bent to pick the books up. 'Are you sure this isn't Spike?' 'Positive,' said Wesley. 'Spike prefers whiskey.' * The tunnels seemed to have gained an extra slime coating since he'd last been down here. Angel moved forward purposefully. Since he'd moved here, he'd gained a reasonable knowledge of where the tunnels led, remembering the exact positioning of certain buildings. The Wolfram and Hart offices were one of the more difficult places to access, as they were acutely aware of the nature of their enemies. It wasn't quite a fortress - there were ways in - but you knew as soon as you'd entered the building that your presence was a red blip on a monitor somewhere. He hadn't really come with a big plan of attack. He'd been in such a hurry to leave the apartment that he hadn't brought the kind of weapons that might be useful. The only thing he really had was SID, the axe, and a couple of stakes. Great idea Angel, bring the things that can kill you as well. Spike would laugh his ass off if he knew you were bringing those things along. The stakes might have been a bad idea, although with Wolfram and Hart you never knew - there was at least a chance that they might play vampires against one another - but SID was a really bad idea. Spike's axe, the one thing he'd chosen from Angel's arsenal. Big enough to cleave a human in two, heavy enough to cause damage to demons, clumsy enough to stick in the door. And that was the point, wasn't it, SID wasn't named after the obvious, no matter how many times Spike had claimed. After one particularly hot session in the bathroom, Angel had found the axe and caved the letters in its handle, telling the pissed off vampire that he'd named it 'Sticks In Doors', watching as Spike growled in annoyance. But they'd shagged their way through that problem, biting and cleaving to one another as the days wore on. It was never going to be perfect, never going to be something without fault. But Angel had his taste of Heaven and he wouldn't give it up for anyone, least of all a set of lawyers whose very existence set his fangs on edge. He'd charged off originally with two thoughts - get away from Megan; get Spike back. Walking in this dank place had driven him to think things out; anything to take his mind away from the squalor. Why had they done this? Why would seemingly rational, (if amoral) humans take Spike's demon and put it in his descendant? And, more importantly, what price were they asking to turn him back? God, he thought as he reached the next junction, why couldn't they just phone and tell me? That would be the human, the normal thing to do, wouldn't it? Hi, we've kidnapped your lover and we want X before we give him back. Have a nice night. He shook his head and moved on, unconsciously keeping his hands away from the walls. They didn't seem as slime streaked here, but Angel wasn't really paying too much attention - he was still trying to figure out what they wanted. He'd gathered that Wolfram and Hart had been Faith's employers. Tired of offering Angel a compromise, they'd decided to take more affirmative action. They had tried to keep it amicable, in a twisted, inherently violent sort of way. And they'd frequently kept within the loopholes of the law, carving their own space in the management of the supernatural. Mainly he'd ignored them, taking a stand only when they were immediately in his way. Since Spike had arrived, that had taken a back seat - he was still a warrior in the good fight, but it wasn't his first priority. Brooding and penance were all well and good, but if you didn't have something to look forward to, nothing was learned. He stumbled slightly, his vision hampered by the greenish glow of the tunnels. This wasn't something natural, it had a tang of magic, and Angel looked around for an entrance. No one else would go to this much trouble to keep their building protected from demons. At least, in this city - there weren't that many people who even believed in such things. Locating the metal frame beneath his fingers, Angel pulled at the door, finding it too easy to open. He wasn't sure if it was more or less worrying that he could enter easily. That they weren't concerned he'd entered bothered him. That anything else could enter was higher up the list. What was he going to have to fight through before he found Spike? Vampires? Demons? Or much worse - the lawyers themselves. * Spike sat on the corner of the bench, opening up the map they'd given him and snorting at the red circles they'd sketched on it. Find the Slayer - kill her and you can keep the body. Not that he was buying any of it, really. He didn't trust humans when they were actually trying to be nice, ones with distinctly ulterior motives, not at all. Besides which, he wasn't all that sure he wanted to keep the body. And that bothered him. A year ago, maybe even less, if someone had offered him this deal - his demon within a living body, adept at violence and without vampiric fallibility - he would have taken it. At least, he thought he would have taken it. The chance for power like this was so rare, he'd have to be a fool to turn it down. And yet that was exactly what he was considering - taking the mantle and giving it back. Urgh. God, it had to be from hanging around with Angel so much. Anyone who was that keen on giving up the things he loved the most had to rub off on the people around him.
Spike was self-centred, violent and passionate. Most of that hadn't changed, but when it came to Angel, he kept being hit by love and some mellow kind of concern. Huh, if this was the way he acted, he might as well be human. A tall man came into view, looking him over, noticing the map, obviously weighing up whether he was worth approaching. Spike glared at him and with a cursory smile, the would-be flirt walked away, searching for someone less surly. The ex-vampire shrugged and turned his attention back to the map, trying to work out where Faith was staying. Wolfram and Hart insisted she was destroyed before they'd make his new circumstances permanent, and he was to do so without Angel's assistance. He guessed they were worried that the vampire would change his mind and they'd have to report yet another failure to their bosses. Not telling Angel.........For once that had actually made sense to him. He wanted to know whether he was making the right decision before seeing his lover. It wasn't entirely because of his new shape, after all, the shagging could still work, although from a new (and not necessarily better) angle. Given some persuasion, he was sure Angel would come around to the idea - he just wasn't sure he wanted him to. Humanity's a reasonable place to hide out - it's just not my happy home. Seeking out Faith was a different matter. They'd known, he and Angel, that at some point they would have to deal with the Slayer. He'd saved her life, or rather, he hadn't killed her for reasons which had nothing to do with her welfare. Spike had been given an opportunity, a chance to prove to Angel what was more important, and he'd taken it. She'd lived, and she'd escaped, once more on the loose and probably looking for revenge on the vampires who'd nearly killed her. Wesley wouldn't escape that lightly either, given that he'd shot the girl. Actually, full credit to the ex-watcher - there was hope for him yet. It was all about loyalty, and so far, none of them, not even the runt had passed the bowl. They'd taken their lumps, protected each other, protected him.........and nothing was stronger than family. Except maybe, the grossness of owning their body for a while. He huffed to himself and looked at the pattern of Faith's attacks, the red circles seeming to spiral around an area. That kind of activity he could understand - she was closing in round her lair - keeping everything close to home until she was fully recovered. Okay fine, he knew where she was, all he had to do was go to her. He'd never get another chance like this, and if he gave up this power, he was damned if he didn't do something useful with it first. Something nice and bloody. * 'I can't find anything!' Wesley raised an eyebrow as Cordelia clicked her way through yet another blank page in 'Spells and Trans-possessions'. That such a website existed was surprising, although Wesley suspected there were plenty of stranger URLs that existed. Cordelia was growing increasingly angry that she couldn't just type in a question and find an instant answer. 'God, why don't they just give me the answer?' 'Maybe they don't have it,' suggested Doyle, 'You ever thought that these people are hacks, Princess.' 'No. You ever thought that these people might know more than you?' 'Frequently.' 'Well in that case.........oh.........okay.' She turned her back on him and tapped on the edge of promising screen browsers. Something had to come up trumps. Xander sat down next to Doyle, easing himself lightly into the seat, trying not to jar anything. Since he'd returned from hospital, Cordelia had taken him in again, refusing to let the man who, 'Saved my life!' sleep on Angel's sofa. Wesley didn't think the boy had actually gone that far, and he suspected there was a certain amount of martyrdom about the whole thing. But Xander wasn't doing any harm and Wesley suspected it could do Cordelia some good to act as carer. Even if it seemed strange that he and Xander had almost been rivals once. Doyle looked up and winked at him, passing him a mug of coffee and an indecent thought. Well at least I know what I want, thought Wesley, Xander doesn't have that yet, he only knows what he doesn't want. He smiled, sipping the coffee and wondering how Cordelia had managed to improve it. It must be a miracle. Maybe she's been taking courses or something. Hmm, maybe we should look this up after she's done - spontaneous coffee improvements. Perhaps it was something in the water. 'Wes? Found anything yet?' He turned to the familiar frame in the doorway, holding the very familiar personality. He just wasn't all that keen on seeing the two together. He sensed Doyle tense and wondered how to demonstrate that she wasn't a threat. With an uncomfortable stretch, he put his arm round the half-demon's shoulders, wondering if he was just making himself look protective and stupid. But he saw the warmth in Doyle's smile, and realised he'd gladly turn clown if the Irishman would look that way again. 'Wes?' 'Hmm, oh, sorry, Megan. No, we haven't really managed to find anything.' 'Crap.' She slouched into the chair next to him, holding out a book. 'This one mentions something about a scroll.' 'That's helpful,' said Xander, receiving a glare from everyone. 'What? I'm just saying it's helpful.' Cordelia passed him her mug. 'Go on styleboy. Go make coffee.' 'What happened to the "you just sit down, I'll do everything" policy?' 'It just expired,' said Cordelia with a helpful nudge in the way of the coffee machine. 'Go on, make yourself useful.' Xander struggled to his feet. 'Oh yeah, I've made advances haven't I? From bait in Sunnydale to tea-boy in LA. I'm such a high flyer.' 'Coffee, Xander. Unless the English are staging afternoon drinkies?' Wesley shook his head and Megan waved the vodka. 'Okay, I'll go make the coffee.........again.' He walked off in the direction of the machine whilst Doyle turned to Wesley. 'I knew it wasn't because of magic.' 'Yes,' said Wesley, 'Who'd have thought Xander's talents lay in the refreshment area.' Megan looked at them both and frowned, before shrugging and opening the book. 'Look, here. It's supposed be part of a prophesy from the Aberjian texts. It mentions the dead living again.' Wesley followed the passage, a shiver settling round his back. 'Five are without breath. Yet they live. Five are without time. Yet they live. Five are without soul. Yet they live. Five are without sun.........' 'Let me guess,' said Doyle, 'They live, right?' Wesley nodded. 'Yes.........it goes on from there, references to vampires as part of a ritual to restore something.' 'To put Spike in my body?' Wesley shook his head. 'It's very specific - five, I mean. I don't think this is the same spell.' Megan growled and leaned back, before sitting up again. 'I growled, didn't I?' They nodded. 'This is really not good.' 'Can't catch you out,' said Cordelia brightly, 'I mean, you're really not having a good day, what with being in a dead body, Angel out there after Spike, probably using your old body to do some unspeakable vampire sex thing. Oh and on top of that, your ex-boyfriend's gay now.' She paused, catching Doyle and Wesley's stunned expressions. 'I wasn't supposed to say that, was I?' 'You've never let tact bother you before,' said Xander, coming back in with the coffee. 'No.........and you've never been bothered by style, ever.' 'Harsh,' he said sitting down and grinning at her. 'I might think you didn't like me.' 'You might think.........interesting.' Ignoring the bickering, Doyle turned to Wesley and gestured to the bathroom. 'Why don't you two have a moment.' Wesley nodded and watched as he left, unable to help gazing at the tight ass. When the door closed, he turned back to Megan, following as she went into the back office. Shutting out the obvious attention of Cordelia and Xander, Wesley wondered how to put this. 'I did mean to tell you.' She offered him a lazy grin. 'You mean if I didn't pick up on the snogging in the elevator. You know, if I couldn't spot that, you were going to point it out?' 'More subtly that that, I hope.' 'Full on sex?' 'Not quite, no.' She shrugged. 'Look, you're a free man, Wes. It's not like I expected you to stay celibate or anything.' He smiled awkwardly, half relieved that she was taking it so well, slightly disappointed that she didn't seem in the least bit jealous. 'I cared about you a great deal.' 'I know,' she said, 'And I cared about you. It was nice.' 'I sense a but coming.' She laughed. 'Nah, not a but. Besides, the only butt you watch these days belongs to the Irish guy.' He flushed and she stepped forward to hug him. It would have been a lovely end, but for one thing. One rather prominent thing. 'Oh fuck! Sorry, Wes.' 'It's okay. I mean, I understand, you can't control it.' 'Yeah, I'm understanding that. You just seemed so cute and I got a bit carried away.' 'Not to worry.........it's quite a compliment, really.' She chuckled - Spike's chuckle. 'No need to return it, though.' 'Hmm? Oh.........ah.........' He pulled away and sat uncomfortably on the desk, wondering why men were cursed with so little control over what excited them. It wasn't as though he wanted Megan anymore. And it certainly wasn't because she was wearing the vampire's body.........was it? He'd thought long and hard about what had drawn him to Doyle - twinkly eyes, seductive accent, generous soul, the way he kissed.........All of that was true, and all of it important. Doyle was the one person he felt completely comfortable with, the one he needed when he woke in the dark, the body he longed for. He was the one, but he hadn't been the only man Wesley had been attracted to. He'd denied it, tried to be the man his father expected, but he could only repress something so long. He didn't want Doyle to be female, he wanted the man, with everything that came with that. He just wasn't interested in women, and he didn't really think he ever had been. 'Okay,' said Megan, 'This is too long a silence. Can I take it your in some kind of self revelation thing?' Wesley nodded slowly. 'I thought it was just him.' 'That you were just attracted to him?' He nodded. 'And it's guys in general that do it for you?' He took his glasses off and wiped his eyes. 'Not every man, no.' 'Ditto on that.' She sat next to him on the table and patted him on the shoulder. 'Okay, I might be way off the mark here, but I'm kind of getting the feeling that you only wanted me because I was like him.' 'That's not.........' 'True? You sure about that, Wes?' Wesley put his glasses back on and stood up. 'If you're asking me if I have ever been attracted to Spike.........well that's ridiculous.' 'So ridiculous that you got a hard on when I hugged you in his body?' He paused, unsure if he really wanted to admit this, unsure if he wanted to admit it to himself. But he trusted her, and she hadn't lied to him, yet. Besides, he didn't have anything to lose. 'I think I may have been attracted to.........him, but he's not who I want.' 'No?' 'I love Doyle.' She smiled. 'Yeah, I know. And I'm happy for you.' He nodded. 'Thank you. It means a lot to me.' 'Good.' He picked up yet another tome, hoping it would hold the answer. 'I'm sure you'll find the right man, someday.' She snorted and opened the office door. 'I'll settle for not having the body of one.'

Continued

1