| Spike Angel Fiction Index
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Wesley looked up from his newspaper as Angel came slowly down the stairs. 'Good morning.'
Angel nodded and went into the kitchen.
Wesley watched his back thoughtfully then went back to the foreign news.
Angel came out, drinking from a mug, and sat opposite him. He picked up the sports' section and began to read it with great concentration.
Angel didn't reply.
'You look pale- even for you.'
'I was shot.'
'Ah. Are you…?'
They went back to reading, until Angel said with deceptive nonchalance, 'I think there's something wrong with Will.'
Angel looked up, frowned, then pointedly corrected himself. 'Billy.'
Wesley lifted an eyebrow. 'You spoke to Cordelia before she left?'
'Left? Left where?'
'Well, here. I mean, left for Mexico, apparently. She met someone at the party the other night. I didn't catch the whole message, but I got the impression he was a pilot. She said she was doing a pilot in Mexico.'
'So… you were telling me about Billy?'
'I… saw him last night. How does a mind wipe work? I mean… it's not working. It's… leaking. Into his dreams.'
Wesley pursed his lips, tented his hands under his chin and regarded the lowered head thoughtfully. He refrained from commenting on the fact that Angel appeared to have been with Billy while he slept and said carefully, 'Billy works for the Cambridge Associated Press.'
Angel looked up, frowning.
'Their L.A. branch are represented by Wolfram and Hart.'
Angel leant back in his chair. 'Coincidence?'
'Possibly. Possibly not. It is entirely possible that Spike did not in fact undergo Shanshu, but that he's a pawn in some Wolfram and Hart game.'
'And that far from being rewarded by being made human, by having his personality stolen from him, he's being taken out of the game, so to speak- removing the champion.'
'In which case, your anonymous letter could in fact be the Powers That Be trying to restore the balance- doing something that might help restore his memory. Turn the leak into the flood, as it were.'
'Or, of course, he could very well be benefiting from Shanshu - new life, new, improved personality - but Wolfram and Hart have muscled in on that and, somehow, are breaking down the barriers that contain his memory- to bring the Big Bad back into the game.'
'In which case, again, the Powers could be using you- this time to watch over
the new human and keep his memories at bay.'
'Or, of course, you could be being used by Wolfram and Hart to destroy his Shanshu and cause the fragile barrier between him and his hideous memories of being Spike to break down and destroy his new life altogether.'
'Best of all, I think I like the theory that this isn't about Spike at all- that's
it's all about you: making you the key player, affecting your tenuous hold on
your soul somehow. It's fascinating, isn't it? All the permutations possible….'
Angel gave him a long look, stood up and walked into his office, shutting the door very pointedly behind him.
Wesley tapped his fingers against his chin, glanced up to the bedrooms, then went back to his study of the news from home.
Angel whiled the day away doing almost nothing. He was still in some discomfort from the bullet wounds, but not so much that he couldn't have worked if he'd felt like it. He just didn't feel like it. Wesley's words struck a deep chord in the reasoning part of his brain that had shut down almost entirely the previous night.
Halfway through the afternoon, the telephone rang, and he had a premonition who it was before he answered. He let it ring too long - almost long enough for the caller to give up - before he snatched it up.
Angel pursed his lips and went back to the study of his nails. 'Yeah.'
'How are you?'
'Not at death's door then as you should be?'
'Uh huh. So…?'
Almost any other man would have filled the small, embarrassing pause. Angel, however, kept quiet.
'You've got my keys.' The next comment had a slight edge to the tone, as if Billy was getting tired of talking to himself. 'My clothes too, and I need to get yours back to you…. Bloody hell! Look, can you come over tonight? Kinda bring my stuff back and get…. Angel? Are you actually still there?'
'I don't think….'
'You think too much.'
The tables effectively turned on him, Angel could think of no ready excuse why he should not stop by. He said curtly, 'Seven.'
'Don't forget the….'
Angel clicked the voice off and stared at the handset. He felt the forces conspiring against him, but whether this was for the good of the universe, or for some devious plot by his enemies, he couldn't decide.
Ignoring Wesley, he jogged up to his bedroom and collected the hitherto neglected clothes. They were still heavily stained by his blood, and he held them in his hand, remembering how the man had leant over him, cursing, trying in vain to save his life. He fished out the keys and then took the clothes, with some of his, to the wash. He hesitated before pushing them into the machine.
If he washed the blood out, was he destroying some talisman for Spike that the Powers had devised to set him free? If he left it, would a slowly ticking time bomb from Wolfram and Hart explode, destroying them all with the destruction of Billy's mind block?
He felt he was acting blindly, possibly causing harm with every move he made.
Angel was not entirely blinkered to the fact that he had his own agenda on Billy, too. He wasn't sure what that was yet; nevertheless, he knew it existed. He frowned, staring down at the man's clothes, and felt an uncharacteristic surge of sympathy for this innocent who seemed to be a pawn in everyone's game, where once he had been so strong, so invulnerable.
With a curse, Angel flung the jeans into the washer. He would do what seemed right at the time and take the consequences later.
If he dressed more carefully than he would have done, if he went to the man's apartment at the appointed time with a more friendly manner than he had been planning to, he did not consciously put this change of heart down to that rare surge of sympathy he'd felt for him.
Angel rang the bell, then hung his head, staring at his feet, wondering which lie he should produce to ease over the strange way he'd behaved the previous night. He'd thought up a couple: blood loss was his favourite at the moment, invoking, as it did, brave overcoming of pain. Billy answered the door, Angel looked up to begin the lie.
'Freaking hell! What have you done?'
'Do you like it?' Billy's question began amused but ended slightly wavering as he saw Angel's furious face. 'I thought you'd like it.'
Angel regarded the blond hair with something akin to horror. Whereas Billy had looked like Spike, but human and slightly… smaller… now he was Spike! That the man had obviously had a professional job done, and the hair was soft and wavy with some natural, tussled darker strands, bizarrely only added to the Spike recreation. It was Spike just out of bed; it was Spike after a shower; it was Spike after…. Angel shook his head and turned away. 'I can't do this.'
Billy came out into the hallway. 'Hey. I'm sorry. I thought… I was trying…. You said he was blond. You said you missed him, so I thought….'
Angel turned, incredulous. 'I don't MISS him. I didn't say I missed him! I hated him!'
He watched Billy's face crumple and felt such a strange stab of emotion in his heart that he softened his tone and said more evenly, 'I told you; it's complicated. We were complicated.'
'You didn't like him. Jeez. I thought… with the CD an' all that you….'
'I liked him well enough once, Billy. I'm sorry. It was a shock, after all….'
Billy ran his fingers through his hair and then gestured nervously behind him. 'Do you want to take this inside, maybe? English reticence and dislike of neighbours knowing one's business is REALLY freaking me out now.'
Angel smiled faintly, nodded and took the invitation for what it was.
Billy went immediately to the drinks and poured them both one.
When he turned, Angel was staring at his hair once more, but this time the look was more perplexed than angry.
Billy pouted. 'I just wanted….'
'He did it to annoy me- because he knew I'd hate it.'
'Oh. And did you?'
Angel looked down and toed the carpet for a moment. 'No. I liked it. But I couldn't tell him, and he knew that, and that gave him the power anyway.'
'Okay. You said complex; I'm saying weird.'
At that, Angel smiled faintly and looked up, holding out his hand for the drink. 'Yeah. We were that.'
'But you liked him once? What changed?'
'Oh. Couldn't you still find something in common, something that…?'
'He stopped liking me. That's how he changed.'
'Stop asking questions.'
'If you tell me, I won't have to ask.'
Angel suddenly laughed, and Billy grinned in response. Angel froze, the drink halfway to his lips, the whole new persona seeming to unsettle him considerably. He put the drink down on a table and said, as much to himself as to his host, 'I can't do this with you. I have to go.'
'You owe me.'
'What! Why? It was all so long ago, Spike. We could have….' He stared at the man's shocked face, and when Billy turned and went blindly into the kitchen, he tipped his head back and cursed at the fates in general, and lawyers in particular.
He followed the man and found him hunched and tense, gripping one of the counters. The place was a tip, quite unlike the neat, orderly living room, and Angel looked around distastefully.
'I cooked for us. I don't think I've ever cooked before. It's not as easy as it looked on the show.'
Angel pursed his lips. 'It's just as well I don't eat much.'
Billy pushed off the counter and turned to face Angel. Suddenly, he snatched up his drink, downed it in one, and then turned back. 'What happened last night?' The Dutch courage allowed him to speak, but it didn't stop his hands shaking slightly.
Angel didn't look away. 'I'd just been shot four times; I wasn't….'
Slowly, never dropping Angel's gaze, Billy came toward him and, one by one, began to undo the buttons on his shirt. Angel kept the gaze, even this close, but then seemed unable to resist the temptation of looking down, watching mesmerised as the strangely elegant fingers parted the silk. Billy opened the shirt and still not looking down, ran the tips of his fingers like a blind man over the smooth skin. 'I'm thinking blood loss isn't going to work as an explanation, Angel.'
'Would the fact that I confused you with someone else do instead?'
'Then let me confuse you again.' He lifted his face to Angel's and kissed him- as a man does: intent, forceful, taking no prisoners, dictating where the kiss will lead.
Angel responded to the kiss with a fire in his belly and loins that he had not
felt for nearly one hundred and twenty years, and there was no confusion now-
this was Will. He slammed them back against the counter, but then it was Spike
under his hands, Spike being punished for not wanting him.
He felt as light-headed as he did through blood loss and realised, with an internal
moan of desire, that his blood was leaving his head, that it was
rushing to his cock, stiffening him, making a new contact with the man. He swelled
and stretched toward the warm body, rubbing wetly against him.
He felt hands exploring him, and it made him moan out loud. He put a hand around to Will's backside and squeezed, hard, the feel of the modern fabric of his jeans confusing him for a moment.
Billy had known he'd won when the man had followed him into the kitchen. He'd sensed his interest, his confusion, and had gone for the jugular: the direct question- what happened between us? As if he didn't know, as if that hardness pressing into him as the man had nuzzled and licked him last night wasn't obvious. Now, he had him. He kissed hard, felt urgently around, sensed what the man wanted, didn't wince when he was bruised from the edge of the counter, didn't claw him and try to come up for air when the man's mouth took him to forever and back. When they eventually parted, he said in a rough, husky voice, 'You'll stay now, won't you?'
Angel pulled away, sensing the man's need for air, tying to remember that it wasn't
Spike under his hands. He wanted it to be, so he could laugh and crow: see, you
did want me after all- this is want, Spike; this is
need. Then had come the strange question; the man not who he'd thought he was-
not playing the same game he was. He frowned. Stay. Would he stay? Suddenly, Angel
caught Billy around the jaw and held his face to the side a little, studying the
profile. Distinctly, he said, 'You just want me to take your fear away.'
Billy tried to shake his head, annoyed that he'd been so transparent. 'No. It's not that; I only meant….'
'Maybe I'll just fuck you and go.' Angelus rumbled beneath his all-encompassing imprisonment and laughed at Angel's uncharacteristic suggestion.
Billy took hold of Angel's wrist and tried to tear him away. 'Fuck off!'
Angel let his hand drop to his side. 'No, Spike, you fuck off. Again.'
With that, he spun on his heel and left, and it was only as he reached the street that he realised he had still not returned the man's keys. He shrugged his shoulders angrily and, feeling like walking, ignored his car, striding toward the hotel.
He sensed the man before he heard him, panting, running to catch up. 'Fucking slow down!'
He stopped, not wanting a scene, hunching his shoulders into his clothes.
Billy skidded to a halt at Angel's unexpected stop and put his hands on his thighs, bending, catching his breath. Angel could hear the breathing and smell his blood as it flushed the surface of his skin. The sweet, enticing scent of his fresh sweat made the vampire salivate, and he began to walk slowly away, more to distract himself than to escape his pursuer.
'I'm sorry.' Billy jogged to close the gap between them. 'Shit. Is this going to be one of these conversations where I talk to myself all night?'
Angel pushed his hands deep into his pockets and stared at his shoes as he walked.
'Look, you don't want me either. I know that. You want this fucking Will - whoever
he is - or Spike- who you can't have cus he's dead. So, I don't want you; you
don't want me. But… I kinda thought…. Bloody hell! I have no idea what I thought
'You thought fucking me was a small price to pay for having someone there- having someone actually stay until the morning.'
'Oh. Okay. Yeah.'
Angel saw his confusion and added no less icily, 'I watched them leaving. Night after night. I kinda thought impotent, ya know?'
'Not in your lifetime.'
'Okay, it was a shit plan. I admit it.'
Angel suddenly stopped, and Billy had to turn and walk a few paces back, so sudden had been the change in pace. 'No one just decides to…. It's not something you do on a damn whim! Different woman every night then… ah! I know! I'll fuck the guy who's been stalking me for a change'
'So, you admit it! Stalker!'
'Focus here, maybe?' Angel began to walk again. 'You have no idea what you're getting yourself into.'
'I was kinda hoping you'd do the getting into, and I'd just lie there and think of England.'
Angel gave him an incredulous look, and Billy shrugged with a slight smile of apology. Suddenly he frowned and said more seriously, 'I don't know why it didn't freak me out when I thought of it. I don't know why I don't care. I don't know why I kissed you as easily - or as dispassionately - as I kiss the Bots.'
'Oh, the Bots. It's what I call them- the nameless progression through my bed.'
'And it wasn't dispassionate. Trust me on that.'
'Yeah, well, I wanted you to stay.'
'What is this, Billy? You're treating yourself like some fucking whore to get a little company for the night?'
Billy caught at his arm and stopped him. 'Don't you fucking dare criticise me or my lifestyle. I didn't choose to have these nightmares. Jesus, Angel, sometimes…. Last night, it was an old couple. They were so frail. They had a dog, just like them, frail and elderly. Harmless. I killed it first by….'
'You don't have to tell me, Will. I know. I have the same dreams. I'd tell you that I gave them to you, but you'd not understand.'
'So, please, Angel. I don't understand anything. Any of this. I don't understand why I'm not who you want me to be, but please… don't let me be alone tonight.'
Angel bowed his head, staring at the ground, deep in thought. He looked up and took a deep breath. 'Stay in the hotel. If you need me, I'll come.'
'Don't. Don't call me that, if I'm not to be him for you.'
Suddenly, Angel laughed faintly. 'I'll call you Spike, then. Seems more appropriate tonight somehow. He once told me to piss off and fuck my mother, I seem to recall. You're reminding me of him more and more.'
'Spare bedroom. If you dream….'
'When I dream….'
'Maybe some of this will stop the memories tonight.'
Billy narrowed his eyes at Angel but let the slip go without comment. He was quiet and thoughtful for some time, and Angel didn't attempt to recover from his error.
Finally, Billy broke his silence. 'I don't have a toothbrush. I hate that. You've gotta look after your teeth.'
Angel gave him a small sideward look. 'I have new ones. I'm feeling generous.'
Billy pushed his hands deep into his jacket. 'For the… overnighters? You have Bots, too? Yeah, course you do.'
'Okay. Let's agree that this is not an Angel-shares-his-love-life session.'
'Cus, I'm thinking….'
'Don't. Don't think.'
'They're for Cordelia or Wesley if they stay over.'
'Oh. He doesn't like me, does he?'
'He didn't like Spike.'
'So, I'm condemned for looking like a dead man he didn't like?'
'It's more complex than that.'
'Colour me surprised.'
'How much contact do you have with Wolfram and Hart?'
'Huh and what?'
'I know who they are! Jeez, we were talking about your love life, and then….'
'No, we weren't. How much?'
'Well, some, I guess. Lots of the timewasters are from them.'
'Emails. It's what I do. Email-flunky here.'
'Do you ever meet in person?'
'Well, sure. Meetings. Who doesn't do meetings?'
'Who? In particular?'
'Just answer the damn question the first time of asking, will you?'
'Sir. Yes, Sir. Lilah Morgan, Sir.'
'You know her?'
'She's a great lawyer. Great fuck, too. Woops… she's not your…?'
Angel stopped and regarded Billy, his gaze clearly unsettling the man. 'Lilah Morgan slept with you?'
'Uh huh. Look, sorry, Angel, if you're close… I mean… it was nothing….'
'Did she stay?'
'Answer the fucking question.'
'No. She didn't. She listened for a while; she got a real kick out of that, I'm thinking, then she left.'
'Did she say anything? Did you tell her anything about the dreams?'
'Well, in my kind of I'm-fucking-wetting-myself-and-spilling-my-guts telling, yeah.'
'Think very carefully. Did she seem the least bit surprised, or was she just confirming something she already knew?'
Billy blinked, tipping his head a little to one side. 'She seemed pleased, as if she'd won a case.'
Angel continued to walk, and then totally surprising himself, he put an arm over Billy's shoulder lightly. 'You'll be with me tonight. She can't…. You'll be safe at the Hyperion.'
Billy let his hand brush against Angel's thigh as they walked along, and after a moment said in a low voice, 'I think I'd feel safe wherever you were.'
To Chapter 4
| Spike Angel Fiction Index