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Chapter 5

The scream came about an hour after Angel had begun to read his book. He went swiftly into the next room and, this time, without hesitation, woke the sweating man. Billy sat up and ran his fingers through his hair, disoriented, but clearly relieved to be woken.

'Bad one?'

Billy shrugged. 'Not particularly. Weird one. Stupid song in it that shouldn't have been scary, but… was….'

'Go back to sleep.'

He nodded and slid back under the covers. Angel gathered every ounce of his self-control and rose from the warm, Will-smelling bed.

Another six chapters, and a heart-wrenching moan made Angel rise and return to the room. Once more, he woke the man, and this time, there were trails of tears on his cheeks. When he opened his eyes, he stared at Angel for a moment then swallowed deeply. 'There was a girl- blond, very pretty, and I loved her.'

Angel looked down at his nails and said quickly, 'You don't have to tell me if you think NOT telling me would help….'

'But she hit me.' He put a hand to his cheekbone and then drew it away wonderingly. 'She was so bloody strong! She kept hitting me, and she broke my face. God, it hurt so much!'

Angel was staring at him, and when Billy caught the look, he said nervously, 'What?'

'Why was she hitting you?'

'I don't know. But I was telling myself I deserved it, but I don't think I did! Did I?'

Angel sighed and sat more comfortably on the bed. 'It's possible that, somehow, Spike's memories are being… transmitted to you.'

'Spike's memories.'


'A dead man's memories.'


'A dead man I know nothing about is suddenly sending….'

'No. Other people might be sending them.'

Billy tipped his head back and leant against the headboard, watching Angel thoughtfully. 'I think that's the biggest crock of shit I've ever been told.'

'You don't know….'

'No. I'm not listening to anything you tell me. I don't believe you, and I don't think you believe that either. In fact, I'm pretty damn sure you know exactly what is going on here, but you're treating me like a fucking child for some reason and not telling me. But, Angel, unless Spike was a VERY old man when you knew him, then I KNOW that these aren't his memories.'

Angel hit himself mentally for attempting something so basically stupid and said casually, 'How is that?'

'Well, sometimes the people I torture are wearing wigs and driving around in carriages!'


'Leave me alone, please. I can't… everyone is lying to me.'

'I'm sorry.'

'Just go.'

Angel stood up, but before he could move away from the bed, Billy said softly, 'What was Spike like? I have this picture of him now- from the bits and pieces you've told me….'

Angel sighed and sat down again, running his fingers through his hair. 'What do you think he was like?'

Billy sat up, and Angel averted his eyes from the naked chest. 'Well, he was kinda stupid looking, I guess- like me.'

'Stupid looking?'

'Well… you know.'

'Not really.'

'Short. Non-descript.'

Angel sighed. 'And?'

'He had great taste in music. He had a real sense of humour, I think. I think he liked pissing you off a lot- ya, he got a real kick out of that. But it was never… malicious…. When he finally tortured you, it was like something had broken in him- you'd broken something in him, and it was out of character. I knew it was as I was hurting you - knew this wasn't me, what I wanted to do - but I kept on doing it anyway. I was sorta trapped in other people's expectations of me- like the girl. She saw me one way, but I wasn't like that anymore. And the music, it brought out something that wasn't me, and I didn't realise how much that wasn't me until I saw it- like a mirror. And I had you running like a thread through my whole life.'

Angel had listened to all this with a neutral expression on his face that was so frozen in place by the time Billy had finished, that he almost felt his face crack as he spoke. 'You identify with him too much.'


'You slip into speaking as him. It's unhealthy, Billy.' He rose and went back to his own room, his veneer of neutrality only slipping once he was safely inside with his back firmly to the wall. Wesley's suppositions echoed in his mind. Was this about Spike, or him? Was this all an elaborate plot to see him unanchored from his soul once more? He felt a slight shift in the tide, felt the anchor dragging along the ocean bed and Angelus stir with interest. He had run like a thread through Spike's unlife. Even seeing through a glass as darkly as the man did, he had sensed the bond that would always connect him to Spike.

He watched the door open slowly, and Billy stood in the doorway, dressed only in pyjama bottoms. He looked cold and miserable. Angel shook his head. 'Go away.'

Billy looked hurt. 'Why?'

Angel blinked, watching the man hug himself protectively, and said raggedly, 'Because if you don't, I'll do this….' He strode across the small space separating them and took Billy's arms, pushing him back to the wall. He bend his head to taste the mouth, closing his eyes to seek out the faint trace of nicotine that must surely be there on this man's breath. He closed his eyes to feel the flick of the man's tongue and the warmth of his mouth. He closed his eyes so he could enjoy the tingle of desire that ran down his spine, drawing out fluid, stiffening him. He turned the soft, warm, pliant figure face to the wall and slid his hands down the back of his pyjamas. Slowly, exquisite anticipation making him salivate, Angel moved his hands around the slim body until he touched wiry curls and warmth that made him hiss slightly.

Billy dropped his head to his chest, watching the pale hands moving inside his trousers. He murmured something that neither of them understood or needed to hear. When the trousers were pushed off his waist to cascade slowly to the floor, he tipped his head back onto Angel's shoulder.

Angel pulled the man back by his hips, though, pushing his back forward, tipping him and positioning him.

It was something he had told himself he would never see again. For his sanity, he had given up on this particular desire. He dragged out the moment, therefore, when he parted Billy's cheeks. He stalled and teased himself by not looking. He grazed his eyes so slowly down the rest of the body, that when he reached that dark indentation in the flawless flesh, his hiss of pleasure was so intense that the man moaned softly in appreciation of being so admired.

Angel released himself but then let go, allowing his erection to find its own reward. It bobbed high, hard, wet and raw looking, seeking the place where it needed to embed. It had been seeking this hole for over a hundred years, never satisfied by the substitutes it had been offered.

He kept his arms wrapped around the slim waist, his hands tangled and warm in the dark curls, nudging the hard root they found there, and let his cock push against the dark puckering.

Suddenly, Billy tensed, and he twisted his head around to glance at Angel awkwardly over his shoulder. 'Err…. Kinda, maybe….'

Angel refused to hear the interjection and murmured soothing nothings into the hot shoulder. He tipped his hips forward, groaning as he began to enter.

Billy flung his arms back, breaking Angel's hold. 'What the fuck is this?'

Angel's face darkened.

Billy looked down, paled slightly at what he saw sticking out of Angel's pants but said pointedly, 'Condom?'

Angel's face relaxed. 'Turn around. We don't need them.'

'Yeah. Like I'm gonna do that- not!'

Suddenly seeing a hideous trap in front of him that caught him whichever way he turned, Angel tried a small smile, but he could see from the man's wary expression that it hadn't worked. 'Turn around.'

'Fuck off!'

Blindly, silencing the roar in his head, heart, body, and brain that it was wrong, he caught at the man's arm and spun him around, pressing him into the wall once more.

He stabbed forward, desperate to be inside him again, desperate to come home to something he had needed for so long- to the thing that would make him whole and happy again. He underestimated the man's terror: fear of blood more fearful at that moment than fear of him.

Billy slammed his head back, catching Angel's nose with the solid part of his skull. When Angel staggered back, Billy whirled and spun-kicked him directly in his low, heavy balls. Angel paled noticeably, went slightly beyond pale to a sickly shade of green, and fell ungracefully to his knees. Retching, he put his forehead down to the floor.

Billy yanked up his pyjamas and, shaking badly, pointed an accusative finger at Angel. 'You tried to….'

Angel lifted his face.

Billy's words cut off as if someone had snatched them out of the air.

He took in a huge gasp of air that didn't seem to help him much, for he opened his mouth to scream, but nothing came out.

Angel shook his head, sloughing off his demon face and rose far more gracefully back to his feet. He held out his hand, trying to placate. 'Billy….'

Billy turned and stumbled out of the door, running blindly down the stairs. Angel started to follow, sure he could catch him, but realised his erection was still bobbing out of the front of his pants. He snatched viciously at his zipper, caught some hair in the teeth and winced, not able to zip it up any further. Cursing obscenely, he ripped his pants off, dragged on some others, and began to give the human chase. How far could the man go in pyjamas, bare-chest and bare-foot?

Some considerable way, it seemed; Angel rounded the corner from the hotel to see Billy pile into a cab and gesture frantically at the driver as they sped off into the dark.

Angel howled. He neither knew, nor cared whether the howl was from fury or despair. All he could feel was the sense that something that had been so wrong had been about to be very right, but that he'd destroyed their chance at happiness this time, as effectively as he had one hundred years ago.

Angel tore back into the hotel and dressed properly, fetching his keys and driving over to the man's apartment. He had a pretty good idea that he wouldn't return here, but he wanted to eliminate the possibility anyway. When he'd watched for an hour or so, he drifted aimlessly around some of the places he'd previously followed him, but dressed as he'd been, he hardly expected to see him.

Despondently, he made his way back. As he entered the lobby, he tipped his head back in disbelief. He could sense his recent presence. He tore up the stairs.

The man's room was empty, the bag gone.

Angel stared incredulously at the emptiness. He could not believe that he'd been so stupid not to expect Spike to be this clever.

He turned and ran down the steps and out into the night once more.

He hammered on the familiar door and sensed the familiar presence behind it. Wesley seemed to sense who it was, too, and opened up with a theatrical wave of his arm. He wrapped his robe tighter around his bare chest and went to pour them both a drink. 'It's three in the morning, Angel; so, this had better be good- or bad, depending on your point of view.'

'He saw me in demon face.'

'Oh. That is bad.' Wesley handed him the drink and they sat on the couch. He studied the dark profile and decided not to ask what had brought on this latest twist. 'I'm guessing you didn't have a chance to explain….'

'Yeah, like I'm hearing that explanation. Been here, done this before, ya know?'

'Hmm, I would think you have once or twice. Oh dear. I think this might be the thing that tips him over the edge.'

Angel glanced at him. 'Full recovery of memory?'

'It could be.'


'I got the impression that's what you wanted.'

'Not like this! Controlled, gentle….'

'Quite. You looked for him?'

'Yeah. He doubled back, got his clothes and effectively disappeared into the city.'

Wesley was very glad he'd not asked exactly how the unfortunate incident had happened. 'Well, we're back with our original plan then. You need to have that little chat with Lilah.'


'By the whole way this thing has been handled, I can't help but think she's in the thick of it…. Where are you going?'

Angel gave him a puzzled look. 'To see the Bitch?'

'It's three in the morning, and you can't get in! What good will it do now? Go tomorrow when…. Angel! Angel!'

Wesley resisted the urge to follow the vampire down the hallway and cursed inwardly at the stupidity of such a visit at such an hour.

Angel jogged up the stairs to Lilah's floor, his mind almost in neutral, waiting for the next time that something had to be thought about. He needed not to think, to have some peace inside his head, so let it coast in neutral as he climbed.

Being mindless almost gave him away, for as he rounded the corner, he saw the woman leaving her apartment. Just in time, he slid back into the cover of the stairwell and waited until he heard her enter the elevator. After that, following her was easy, and he sat some way back in the city traffic, his mind now in anything but neutral.

She pulled into the parking lot of a seedy looking motel and climbed out. Angel waited until she went into a room, and then parked up out of sight and followed her. Just before he entered, he hesitated, the thought that she might be meeting a lover crossing his mind. With a small smirk of pleasure at the thought of disturbing her, he kicked open the door and went in.

She was arguing with Billy.

They both turned as the door crashed open.

Billy grabbed her and held her behind him protectively, a move Angel hardly had time to admire before the man hissed venomously, 'He's not what he seems, Lilah. He's a monster!'

She chuckled and disentangled herself from his hold. 'I've been saying that for years, but no one listens.'

He turned incredulously, then snapped his head back as if realising he'd lost sight of the enemy.

Angel frowned. 'Sit down and shut up, Billy. I'll deal with you later. I want to talk to Lilah.'

'Who the fuck are you to tell me to…?'

'I'm the guy who'll knock you unconscious and prop you up in a fucking chair if you don't do as I say. And… I think you know now that I can….'

Lilah looked between them, amused. 'Did your little secret slip out, Angel? Oh! Tell me something else didn't… slip out?'

Angel ignored her, still staring at Billy. The man sat, reluctantly, and Angel turned to the woman. 'Outside.'

They got outside to the parking lot, but before Angel could frame his first question, he saw the door to the room open. He stormed back over, only to see Lilah heading for her car. Slamming the door in Billy's face, he caught the woman and manhandled her back into the room, leaning on the door, preventing them leaving. She smirked. 'Can't talk now, can we?'

Angel's eyebrow flicked up slightly. 'Maybe it's time he knew.'

She frowned. 'I don't think….'

'I don't care what you think, Lilah. Talk.'

'As if I'm going to tell you squat.'

'Do you know what I think?' Angel came provocatively away from the door, the woman's face registering her annoyance at the knowledge that she was effectively powerless, the man watching with interest as he saw a possible escape route opening up. 'I think that you are way out of your depth here. I don't think you're engineering this; I think you've screwed up badly and that you're covering so the Senior Partners don't get to hear about this latest little Lilah Morgan fuck up.' He saw by her look of bravado that he wasn't far off the mark. 'So, talk. Is this Spike's Shanshu?'


'No memory?'

'Not exactly.' She perched on the edge of the bed and rummaged in her bag for a cigarette, smirking at Angel's tense stance. 'The amulet was meant for you, Angel. We gave it to you, not to Spike. It didn't fit him so well. When Shanshu happened, it didn't propel him into human form properly. He came out like this….' She waved dismissively at the man.

Billy stood up, painful expressions flitting over his face. With a sigh, Angel went over to him and said softly, 'I know what you think of me now, Billy, but think with your heart, not your head on this one. I am still what I was to you twenty-four hours ago. Sit down, be patient, and I will explain this all to you.'

Billy put a hand up as if to ward off a blow, which didn't come, gave Angel a bitter, hate-filled look, but sat down again.

'I would have had my memories if I'd used the amulet?'

'Of course.'

'What's your involvement in this?'

'Shanshu suited us as well as you- for different reasons, of course. It was to take you out as a major player. But Spike being taken out was useful, too. I was told to verify that Shanshu had worked and report back. That the memories were totally lost was an interesting turn up. That the memories were returning was even better.'


'Oh, come on, Angel. What's guaranteed to keep you out of the equation?'

'World peace?'

She shook her head. 'Quaint idea, but… no. Your children. You were obsessive with them when you made them; you've been obsessive with them every time you've come into contact since. Whatever happens between you and Spike now, it'll distract you and take you away from the mission.'

'Perhaps this is my mission- what I'm meant to do.'

'Well, yeah, we thought about that. Bonus for you then. We'll move onto the next Angel-project.'

'Probably without you, if you screw this one up.'

She shrugged. 'I signed on the dotted line, Angel, and we're not talking about ink- or blood, come to that, but, jeez, that's a story I keep for friends.'

Angel turned to the man and said softly, clearly still speaking to Lilah, 'Where are Spike's memories coming from?'

She took a long drag of her cigarette. 'That's the best part of all. From the damn amulet. I told you: he was split. This part of him is here; all the rest - the memories, the Spike-personality, the demon, I guess - got trapped in the amulet.'

Angel pulled her to her feet, keeping something that exploded inside him veiled. 'You have the amulet?'

'Hardly. We're looking for it.'

'Where?' He shook her.

She pushed him off. 'You can kill me, and I still can't tell you. We have no idea where it is.'

Angel looked into her eyes, swore, then began to pace again. 'Where have you looked?'

She shrugged.

He glanced at Billy, and saw the man was pale and badly shaken. 'Get out.'

He looked up, startled, and Angel said very gently, 'Not you. Lilah, crawl back to your sewer.' As she reached the door, without turning around to look at her, he said in a low voice, 'Don't cross my path on this hunt.'

She pursed her lips, nodded, and slipped out of the door.

Angel sat on the bed. 'I'm a vampire, Billy. I was born a long time ago in Ireland, and I was turned by another vampire- my sire, Darla. I was a demon - evil - but then I was given my soul back, and since then, I've tried to make up for the harm I caused when I was soulless.' Angel repressed a smile at the thought of crossing his fingers behind his back for all his omissions to this tale. 'Some time after I was turned, I met a man called William, and I made him into a vampire, too. To be my companion, my friend, my lover. For a while, we were inseparable, but then….'

'He became Spike.'

Angel nodded, pleased that the man was interacting with him once more. 'Yes. Spike. Spike was evil, too, but never like me… he was always more human than me. And he wanted his soul back, too, and he fought for it, and he died saving the world. I was supposed to do that, and I was supposed to be like… you.'

'Human again.'



Angel waited for something more sensible to be offered.

'I'm… Spike.'

'Parts of him.'

'Are you going to try and find this thing that has the other parts in it?'




'Why? What are you going to do with it if you find it?'

Angel stood up and turned to the door. 'We need to go.'

He felt a hand on his arm, the grip painful. 'What are you going to do with the rest of me when you find it?'

Angel looked down at the familiar fingers. 'Honestly? I don't know.'

Billy let go and ran the fingers through his hair. 'Stay away from me.'

Angel took a step back. 'No, you're coming with me. I can't let you….'

'You have no say in what I do! Mind the way.'

'No, you're coming with me.'

'You can't keep me a prisoner!'

Angel winced. 'Hardly. But… actually, I can.'

He took hold of the man's arm and marched him to the car. 'Get in.'


'Get in.'

'No.' Billy was put in. It wasn't easy to hold him in and drive, and Angel felt absurdly glad that it was early in the morning and there were no witnesses to the unseemly struggle.

Once they began driving, the man settled down to the inevitability that he couldn't get out and seemed to shrink into his seat, as if resigned to his fate.

After a few minutes, Angel glanced over and then frowned deeply when he saw the deep, bone rattling shakes from the slim form next to him. He cursed and pulled over, then shed his coat and put it around Billy's shoulders. Billy seemed insensible to the kindness and, reasoning it was best to get him back into the hotel and safety, Angel pulled back out into the traffic.

'My parents didn't exist. But they didn't die either.'

Angel kept his eyes ahead and said softly, 'You had parents once, just like everyone, Will, but they weren't the ones you remember, no.'

'What were they like?'

Thinking this a topic best left for another time, Angel only murmured, 'Your mother adored you,' then added to distract him, 'you had a childhood just like everyone else.'

'What does sire mean?'

Angel gritted his teeth and wondered if there were any topics he could talk about safely. 'You turn someone else into a vampire.'


'Look, let's leave this….'

'No, I want to know.'

'It's blood, Billy. You pass it on, and it contains the demon.'

The man was silent for a moment then said with a bitter laugh, 'Told you that you should have worn a condom. Tell me about him: Spike.'

'He was a lot like you described.'

'You said he was evil.'

'We both were. We're demons, Spike. Will. Billy. Jesus.'

Billy huddled into Angel's coat further. 'You're still a….'

'You know that I am. You saw it. But I have a soul now, just like you.'

'And Spike did.'

'Yes. At the end, he did.'

'Why didn't you go to him and force him love you again?'

'What?' Angel cursed as a car came suddenly to a halt in front of him and tried to pass off his exclamation as annoyance at the driver.

'Well, you said he was good, and noble, and brave, and….'

'No, I didn't…!' Angel took the note of petulance out of his voice and murmured, 'He wanted everyone to think that.'

Billy turned in his seat slightly. 'You think he was lying?'

Angel sighed. 'No. He just pissed me off.'

'So? When you knew he was good, why didn't you try to make a go of it with him?'


'… complicated. What a surprise.' Billy pulled his knees up to his chin and plunged into silent contemplation of all he had heard, and Angel drove on, glad that the initial shock was over.

When they pulled into the hotel, Angel ran his fingers through his hair wearily and then said in a low voice, 'I could demonstrate how useless any attempts to leave here would be- if you want me to. I'd like to think you won't need that demonstration.'

'What would you do, Angel? Kill me? Cus, I've been thinking; you've done that before, haven't you?'

'William. Yes.'

'You can't keep me a prisoner.'

'I don't want to have to. I want you to agree to stay with me until we decide what to do for the best. Wesley will be here in the morning; I'm not a wicked ogre in a fairy tale.'

Billy climbed out of the car. 'And I'm not a fucking princess. I'll stay until I've decided what I'm going to do, but don't talk to me or… anything else.'

Angel climbed out too and muttered, 'Yeah. Like I'm gonna try that again.'

'What? Are you blaming ME for that?'

'I thought you didn't want to talk to me.'

Clenching his jaw and storming up the stairs, Billy shouted over his shoulder, 'Fetch my bloody bag.'

Angel dropped his head to his chest, wondering, just for a moment, whether persevering for a relationship with Spike wouldn't have been easier than this.

He carried the bag up into Billy's room. The man was pacing, his face dark, his body tense. Angel put the bag onto the end of the bed and said softly, 'You should get to sleep. This has all been…. Yeah. Going.' Getting the loud and clear message that the man wasn't talking to him, he shrugged, but added gently, 'Will you be okay?'

Billy gritted his teeth and rummaged angrily in his bag.

'Maybe you won't dream tonight. Maybe this will have released something that's making them so painful.'

He felt a stab of pity for the man at the quick, hopeful look he instantly suppressed and then went thoughtfully into his own room.

Not even attempting sleep, Angel sat with his book, listening for sounds next door.

He wasn't entirely surprised - disappointed, but not surprised - when he heard the unmistakable sounds of human terror. He went swiftly into the room, climbed on the bed and pulled the man into his arms, holding his hands firmly so he could no longer rake deep, painful trails down his chest and arms.

Angel clenched his jaw. This was getting worse, and he had no idea whether what he was doing was helping, or making the situation worse.

Billy gradually returned from an almost catatonic state and jerked to wakefulness. Angel felt as if his dead heart was breaking as he watched the obvious dilemma facing the man: wanting the comfort and security of having him there, hating him and wanting him gone.

He held Billy a little tighter. 'I get that you hate me. We don't need to talk.'

It took a long time before the tense body relaxed, until the heart stopped beating wildly. Angel offered no more comfort than the strength of his arms and the size of his presence in the bed, but it seemed to be enough, for eventually the human fell into a deep, and apparently dream-free sleep.

Angel spent the time while the man slept staring at his blond hair. One cheekbone was just visible as the man's face tipped into the pillow in sleep, long eyelashes framing the prominent ridge.

He had not thought that something so apparently insignificant could hold his attention for such a long time.

It was incredibly warm in the bed. The man was hot, and his heat transmitted itself to Angel. The space they occupied indented, and the sheets grew damp with their shared warmth: a small hollow of comfort. Billy was wearing only a pair of thin, cotton pyjamas, and his slim, angular body was hard beneath Angel's hands.

He felt himself stiffen and seek the man's body. He let his cock rise, sure the man was asleep. With the slightest movement, he could imagine that he thrust gently into the supine human, murmured encouragement the only sound in the room. For the first time in well over a hundred years, Angel was back in the bed of the man who had wanted him more than his life, who had sacrificed that life to be with him for eternity. He pushed against the warmth, his balls heavy, aching. The man continued to sleep deeply, so that when Angel came, and the slightest gasp and tightening of his arms betrayed his orgasm, the human knew nothing and continued in his restful, dream-free sleep.

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