Title: Wayward Souls
Summary: Instead of taking Drusilla and leaving at the end of 'Becoming pt. 2' Spike stays to help Buffy and ends up having his unlife changed forever.
A/N: Big thanks as always to beta arina_summer
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Angel moaned as he stirred slowly back into awareness. He felt a stinging pain in his back—nothing new there. He was quite used to pain by now. He also felt the weight of chains on his wrists and ankles. Angel resigned himself to believe that he had just imagined that he’d been set free. Some kind of cruel dream, or perhaps another form of torture, making him see what he wanted to see–the way he’d had Drusilla do to Rupert Giles.
se names sparked a recognition in his mind. He had forgotten about names and people, everything that had to do with humanity, what seemed like centuries ago.
While he was in Hell there had only ever been one face he could ever recall. Just one name.
Even his own name escaped him at times. But not hers.
But more of them began flashing through his mind now: Darla, Willow, Cordelia, Jenny, Xander, Joyce...
Their’s and so many other faces blurred behind his eyelids. Then one appeared more prominently than the others...
“Sp-pike,” he grunted through gritted teeth. He hadn’t uttered a word in longer than he could remember and it showed in the way he struggled to get this one out.
“Well, ‘ello, ‘ello,” the familiar voice of his grandchilde replied. “I was beginning to think I choked you too long–caused brain damage or something.” He snorted. “Not that that would make a hell of lotta difference in your case.”
Slowly, Angel opened his eyes and squinted at the other vampire sitting across from him in a backwards turned chair–chair there was another word he’d forgotten. He remembered fighting with Spike in the woods, but that simple memory didn’t tell Angel any better whether he was still in hell or not.
“Well, well, well,” Spike went on. “This is sure a change, innit? You being the one tied up.” Spike sucked in his cheeks as he considered his bound sire before him. “Lucky for you, I’m not much in the revenge game anymore, or I might be taking advantage of our current situation to enact some on you.”
“Wh-” Angel gritted his teeth in frustration together as he fought to gain control over his speech. “Where are we?”
Spike swept his arms out. “Home sweet home. Don’t you recognise it?”
Angel lifted his head up higher with effort and scanned the room with slanted eyes.
“The mansion?” he answered just a tad uncertain after a moment.
“Ding, ding, ding,” Spike dryly replied. “We have a winner.”
“What happened?” Angel demanded, his voice still hoarse but getting stronger. “Where’s Buffy?”
“The cemetery I’d imagine,” Spike said.
Angel’s eyes flashed with panic.
Spike rolled his eyes. “Slaying vampires, you git. She’s fine. I just talked to her.”
“You...talked? To Buffy?” Angel was clearly suspicious of Spike’s claim.
“Yeah, me an’ the Slayer are old mates now,” Spike told him smugly.
“You’re lying,” Angel spat, seething.
“Oh, am I?” Spike countered, pushing back from the chair and striding over to Angel. He bent down and leaned in towards the other vampire. “Go on, then, give us a good whiff.”
Angel lifted his head and breathed in through his nose. There under the scent of his grandchilde and Angel’s own his own distinct smell, was the unmistakable aroma of Buffy.
Angel jerked his face back like he’d been burned.
“That doesn’t prove anything,” Angel grumbled. “Just that you’ve been near her, not that you’re friends. Buffy would never be friends with you!”
“Oh wouldn’t she just?” Spike said, tauntingly. “Look at me peaches, really look, I’m not the man I was before.”
Angel turned his head back and looked into his granchilde’s familiar glacial eyes. He looked deep in their depths and saw it. He had noticed the discrepancy earlier, but he hadn’t been able to quite figure out what it meant. He was well aware of the answer now.
“How...?” Angel’s voice was no more than an awed whisper.
“Same as you,” Spike said, rising to stand. “Well, not exactly the same. Willow worked the Gypsy mojo that the teacher lady you killed had cooked up to restore your soul. Only she didn’t do it exactly according to the rules, mucked it up a bit, used the plural or some such. So instead of just giving you your soul...”
Angel scowled as he tried to work out the information. “Were you the only other vampire affected?” he asked after a moment.
Spike’s jaw tensed, the muscles in his face twitching.. “No. There was one other ‘living’ vampire there at the time that got cursed too. Dru did as well.”
Angel’s head snapped up.
“Drusilla?” He looked around the room. “Where is she?”
Spike coughed through a twinge in his chest. “She didn’t, er, adjust too well to the soul havin’. The guilt was too much for her. She...”
Angel slumped, his eyelids dropping closed. He felt remorse for the loss of Drusilla; her death was his fault. She’d always be his greatest regret. Now even more so.
Spike could see the pain on Angel’s face. The guilt.
Good, he thought. The wanker should feel bad for what he did to Dru.
Spike set his jaw hard. A niggling feeling in the back of his mind wouldn’t go away as he looked at the other vampire’s grief-stricken expression. Something was making Spike want to relieve Angel’s sorrow.
He was really getting tired of this bloody conscience.
Spike sighed and reluctantly said, “She seemed to be at peace with it all. You know, just before she...” He waved his hand back toward the window where Drusilla had immolated herself. “She seemed...happy almost. Like her mind was finally clear. She was free,” he finished quietly, looking down and pretending to inspect his fingernails.
Angel looked up at Spike bewilderedly. Was Spike trying to comfort him? Angel had the suspicion that if he were sent back to Hell at this moment, it would be freezing there.
Angel tried to push pass the uncanny thought of Spike being kind to him and just accepted his words about Drusilla being at peace.
“Good,” Angel remarked. “That’s good. I’m glad. She deserved peace.”
“Bloody right she did,” Spike replied, bitterness colouring his tone. His anger at Angel was overpowering his sympathy. “After what she’d been through–what you put her through–”
“You’re right,” Angel conceded.
Spike’s head snapped back up in surprise. Angel was admitting that Spike was right? Angel was admitting that he himself was wrong? Spike figured they must be having a snowball fight in Hell right now.
Spike cleared his throat and shook off the shock.
“Right. Well, I woulda likely followed Dru into the light had it not been for that Slayer–she saved my worthless unlife. She’s one hell of a girl, that one.”
Angel narrowed his eyes at the reverent expression Spike wore as he Spike he spoke about Buffy. Angel knew that look. Spike used to look at Drusilla in a similar way, but not quite the same. Something about this look was more...pure. It didn’t hold that twisted reverence Spike had had for the woman who had made him a vampire. But all the same, Angel didn’t like it.
“Yeah,” he said. “I know.”
Spike blinked and was brought back to the present and out of the little fantasy world he always found himself in when thinking of Buffy. He looked down at Angel and returned the scathing look his sire was giving him.
“Watch who you’re givin’ the dirty looks to, gramps,” Spike warned. “If you’re not nice, I might not give you your din din.”
As if on cue, Angel’s stomach rumbled at the mention of food.
Spike rolled his eyes and turned away.
“Although, I can’t fathom how you can still be hungry after the way you scarfed down Bugs and his buddies,” Spike remarked as he bent over and picked up the mug he had filled with blood. After returning to the mansion, Spike had discovered that two of the Styrofoam soup containers had been spared from Angel’s ravenous rampage of the fridge earlier. “And I’m also not sure I should be sharing what little’s left of my supply after you got into it–without permission,” he added pointedly. “Guess you have that soul to thank for my hospitality.”
“Hospitality,” Angel scoffed. “Do you usually keep your guests shackled to the wall?”
One corner of Spike’s mouth lifted. “As a matter fact... and just who did I learn that from in the first place?”
Angel’s face turned sour and he looked away.
Spike rolled his eyes again and blew out a breath.
“Here,” he said, shoving the mug in Angel’s face. “Don’t choke on it–wait, on second thought, go ahead.”
Angel sneered before parting his lips and putting his mouth to the rim of the cup. His expression quickly smoothed out into one of serenity as the blood hit his tongue. He gulped it down greedily, and leaned forward, not able to drink fast enough.
“Ah ah ah,” Spike said, pulling back the mug. “Take it easy there, this has to last you until sundown when I can go out and get more.”
Angel glared at Spike and licked his lips. He took steady breaths, trying to rein in his bloodlust. But he couldn’t keep his hunger under control. He felt like he hadn’t properly fed in centuries.
Spike clucked his tongue and let out a sigh. He couldn’t stand the way Angel was staring longingly at the mug. “Sod it. Fine.” He put the cup to Angel’s mouth again. “But, I don’t wanna hear any grumblin’ about being hungry from you later, yeah
Angel nodded enthusiastically and started drinking again, attempting to go slow at first, but quickly giving
it up. It didn’t take long for him to drain the mug. After it was empty, Angel rolled his tongue along the inside of the cup, licking up whatever remainders he could get.
Suddenly, the cup was jerked away from Angel’s lips again. The vampire raised his head to scowl at Spike, but Angel’s expression shifted into confusion when he saw the tension in his childe’s stance. Angel’s brow furrowed. He opened his mouth to ask what the matter was, but before any words could make it out, he already knew the answer.
“Spike!” A woman’s voice called out from another room.
That voice flooded Angel’s heart with just intense emotion, it felt liable to burst. “Buffy,” Angel whispered, his voice hoarse again.
Spike’s attention jolted back to his sire at the sound of Angel’s voice. He looked down at Angel–whose face was filled with longing, his eyes looking like a lost puppy–and frowned. “Keep quiet,” Spike hissed. “Buffy can’t see you like this,” he added.
Angel made no sign of understanding
, or even having heard Spike, he just continued to stare in the direction from which Buffy’s scent was coming.
“Oi!” Spike crouched down, getting in Angel’s face. “If the Slayer sees you like this it’ll kill her. Got it? So keep your yap shut.”
Angel glared at Spike. He wasn’t convinced his childe wanted to keep Buffy from seeing him for the sake of her own well-being, but, nonetheless, Spike did have a point. Though
, Angel hadn’t seen his own reflection in over two centuries, judging by the way he felt, he’d guess that he looked a lot worse for wear than he had the last time Buffy saw him. He didn’t want her to see him until he felt more like himself again–though he doubted that would be any time soon.
Feeling resigned, Angel just nodded.
Spike blew out a relieved breath. He had been expecting the other vampire to put up more of a fight, to argue about wanting to see Buffy. Angel must really be in bad shape to give up so easily.
“Well...good,” Spike said. “Just don’t make any noise. I’ll try to get her to leave as quick as I can.” With that, he stood up and started for the foyer. Spike had just turned the corner when he nearly collided with the petite blond.
Buffy stopped short of having her face crash into Spike’s chest. She imagined it would have been a painful thing to hit, given how rock solid the vampire’s physique was. Buffy chided herself for the tawdry tangent she was about to let herself go on.
“Hey, there!” she chirped, a bit too brightly.
“Hey yourself,” Spike replied. He stepped around Buffy and began moving towards the main room and away from Angel. As he had wanted her to do, Buffy followed him. “Er, what brings you by here this time of day? Shouldn’t you be in school?”
“Uh, usually, yeah I would be. But today’s a half-day; there’s a teacher’s meeting,” she explained.
Spike nodded, his eyes flicking down the hall–apparently, the action hadn’t been as circumspect as he’d wanted, as Buffy cast a glance back over her shoulder.
“So,” Spike said loudly, clapping his hands together to draw her attention back to him. “What’re you gonna do with your furlough, then? Surely you’ve got something better planned than spending your day off in this musty old place with the likes of me?”
Buffy shrugged. “I don’t know, I kind of like this musty old place. It grows on you. A lot of things do, things you wouldn’t expect.”
The look Buffy gave him–the shy flick of her eyes to his face then back down to her feet–just about broke Spike. She was talking about him, obviously; he had grown on her. She liked him. She wanted to spend time with him. On any other day, Spike would be overjoyed, as all he ever wanted to do was spend time with her. If he had things his way, he and Buffy would spend every moment together for the rest of eternity. But, unfortunately, Spike rarely had things his way anymore. Every moment Buffy stayed here, she would come closer to stumbling upon her ex chained up in the backroom–and wouldn’t that just go miles in destroying Spike’s new good reputation?
The vampire cleared his throat and licked his lips. “Come on, Slayer, you hardly ever get to have any time off. You should be out in the sun enjoying your freedom. What’re your mates up to, Red and the cheerleader?”
“Um,” Buffy began, ducking her head and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “They’re going to the mall actually. To pick out their Homecoming gowns.”
An’ why aren’t you tagging along and getting yours too?” Spike prodded.
“Well, you generally don’t need a dress for the Homecoming dance when you’re not going to Homecoming,” Buffy replied. “I don’t have a date. So...” She finished with a shrug.
Spike couldn’t help the twinge of happiness at this news, but it quarreled with pity; it was clear to him that Buffy wanted to go to the dance. “Er, what about Scooter? Why aren’t you going with him?”
Buffy shrugged again. “He didn’t ask me. Neither did anyone else. I’m not exactly Sunnydale High’s most eligible bachelorette.”
Spike scoffed. “I have a bit of trouble believing that one, pet.”
“No trust me, it’s true,” she insisted. “Most guys aren’t exactly eager to ask a girl out when by reputation it’s likely that he’ll end up in traction.”
Spike chuckled. “Don’t know ‘bout that, love. There are some guys out there that prefer it a bit rough.”
Buffy’s brows rose. “Some guys? Is there anyone in particular you had in mind?”
Spike grinned wickedly in response. A slight blush crept into the Slayer’s cheeks that only made Spike’s smile broaden–until he realised that he was flirting when he was supposed to be trying to get her to leave. His smile dropped and he sniffed.
“I don’t see why you need a date anyway,” he said, quickly changing the tone. “You don’t need some soppy schoolboy falling all over you to have a good time. I mean, you always seem to be havin’ fun at the Bronze with just your friends. Why should this dance be any different? I say you should go.”
“Um... I guess you’re right,” Buffy said. “I could go on my own.”
“Absolutely. Why don’t you go on and catch up with your friends and get a knockout dress that will make all the other girls jealous and have those foolish high school boys eating their hearts out.”
“Okay.” Buffy smiled. “I will.”
“So, um, do you want to hang out later?” Buffy asked. “Faith can handle patrolling on her own tonight. I could come back and show you my dress?”
God, she’s killing me, Spike thought. He couldn’t believe that he was actually going to pass up the chance to see her all dolled up in a fancy dress. She would look beautiful, no doubt. Was it possible for her to look anything but?
Spike scratched the back of his neck. “Actually, uh...tonight’s not so good. I’ve got other plans.”
“Other plans?” Buffy asked, trying not to sound too incredulous. But honestly, what other plans could he have?
“Yeah. A demon friend of mine an’ me are gonna have a drink over at Willy’s,” he told her.
“You’re going to have drinks with a demon?”
Spike smirked at the judgment in Buffy’s voice. “Don’t worry, love, he’s a good demon,” Spike assured.
“They have those?” This time Buffy made no attempt to hide her disbelief.
Spike chuckled. “Well, he doesn’t harm humans at any rate. His diet is strictly feline.”
Buffy made a face at that. “Oh. Well, have fun.”
“Yeah. You too.”
“Buffy,” Spike called out just as she turned away.
She looked back to him. “Yeah?”
“Huh?” Buffy asked, face scrunched in confusion.
“Your dress,” Spike elaborated. “You should get a pink one. It brings out the green in your eyes and...well, you look good in pink.” The last part came out mumbled as Spike shoved his hands in his pocket and looked down at his boot, scuffing the tip on the floor. He flicked his eyes back up to Buffy and saw she was wearing that shy smile of hers that made his insides melt.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” she said. “Bye, Spike.”
“See ya, pet.”
As Angel listened to the friendly conversation that filtered in from the other room taking place between the woman he loved and the childe he loathed, one thought stood clear in his mind: he must definitely still be in Hell.