It's going to be broke up in two parts yay the joys of LJ.
TITLE: Truth or Consequences
AUTHORS: Pet and Salustra
SUMMARY: An answer to GhostForge’s Anniversary Challenge #4, which starts: When Angel is poisoned; only blood from his Lineage can cure him...
TITLE: Truth or Consequences
AUTHORS: Pet and Salustra
SUMMARY: An answer to GhostForge’s Anniversary Challenge #4, which starts: When Angel is poisoned; only blood from his Lineage can cure him...
DISCLAIMER: We don’t own any of these characters; they belong to Joss and ME. We really wish we could borrow Spike and Angel for a little while though.
FEEDBACK: Yes please.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Thank you to GhostForge for the wonderfully inspirational challenges. This one got us, the schmoop chicks, to actually do some angst.
Angel stops at Harmony's desk and taps it. "Blood in a mug, hand it over...meeting to attend."
Harmony hands Angel his usual morning mug of blood. "Here you go, boss!" She chirps.
Angel rolls his eyes and walks to his office and into the conference room. He throws the files on the desk and looks at everyone. "So what do we have?"
Fred chirps, "I've just been running tests nothing real exciting."
Angel nods and picks up his mug looking at everyone else.
Wes nods. "Some pesky small cults are popping up that might prove to be troublesome, but we're doing more research on them. Not enough information to move yet."
Angel nods again and takes a few gulps of his blood, but before he sets the mug back down it slips from his fingers onto the table, and his vision starts to blur, his equilibrium falling off. "Oh this isn't good."
They all look at him concerned. "Angel, are you okay?" Wes asks. "What's wrong?"
Angel opens his mouth to speak but nothing comes out. His eyes blur totally, and before he can even lift a finger his body collapses to the floor, his eyes open but far away.
Fred jumps up and screams, "ANGEL!"
Spike jumps up. "Back off. Taking him to medical." He picks up Angel in a firefighter’s carry with a groan. "Someone open that door!"
Wes moves quickly to open the door and Spike moves out. He gets him to medical and the doctors take him.
A short while later a doctor comes out and speaks to the assembled gang. "He's conscious now. Some type of poison. We've replaced his entire blood supply and it's helping some, but it's in the tissues. Some sort of magical poison. If you could find the original poison, it would help."
Wes looks up. "The blood! He was drinking right before..." and gets up, heading up to the office.
Fred wrings her hands, her voice soft as she babbles, tears barely restraining, "You said he was awake? Is he talking? Can he move? Can we see him?"
Spike moves over to put his arm around Fred. "Yeah, Doc. What she said."
The doctor nods. "Certainly. But don't strain him."
The assembled gang pours in where Angel is propped up in a hospital bed.
Angel waves weakly with one hand his other scratching the back of his neck. "Hey."
Fred lets a few tears fall now she runs to the bed throwing her arms around his neck. "My handsome man...oh god Angel I was so scared...I'm still so scared."
Angel smiles softly and pats her back as much as he can in this position Fred’s body and the wires and tubes limiting his movement. “Hey, still right here."
Fred sniffles and hiccups, nodding but doesn't let go of Angel.
Spike looks over. "Good to see you awake. Damn but you're heavy to carry."
Angel looks at Spike and simply nods. "I blame it on the bulk." He keeps rubbing Fred’s back, looking at her. Feeling a bit embarrassed about all this; he speaks to Spike again. "Thanks for bringing me up quick though."
Spike shrugs. "No problem, mate. Consider it payback for giving me the second car after I dumped the first one in the drink." He smiles.
Lorne speaks up, "How you feeling, Angelcakes? You had us all pretty worried there."
Angel looks at Fred again almost afraid to give any negative response as she hugs him, but he takes an unneeded breath, then talks. "My eyesight comes and goes---not as fast as when it happened but in small gradual bouts. There isn't any pain just my muscles, eyes, and everything. But they don't know the extent of the poison and since it's in my muscles they think pain will start as they well..." Angel trails off and looks at Fred again, telling the guys without words he didn't want to continue with her here.
Spike speaks up. "Hey, Fred? Maybe you should go find Wes and help him with the poison. You know, you being science girl and all."
Fred lets go of Angel, covering her mouth. "Oh, oh yeah...I mean yeah...I'll go help Wes. I didn't think, sorry, sorry. I'll help you I will I swear." Fred jumps up and rushes out.
Angel smiles then looks at Lorne and Spike. He tries to cross his hands over his chest, but the wires pull, so he just lets them fall and says without emotion, as if it's nothing, "As they deteriorate. The doctor says it's highly probable."
Lorne looks down and says nothing.
Spike purses his lips and nods. Then he says, "Don't you worry, Percy and Science Girl will figure it out. It's what they do. And then we'll fix it."
Angel just nods and starts to fiddle with the blankets.
Lorne speaks up. "I guess we should let you rest, my Prince. The doc said not to strain you. Come on, Spike."
Spike nods and looks at Angel. "Be down later, mate. Bring you one of your books or something."
The two of them head back into the corridor.
Angel closes his eyes and whispers. "Prince...prince of lies...that’s who I am. Now the lord brings his punishment upon me. Never a Shanshu." He threads his fingers in the blankets rubbing them back and forth as he starts to sing softly. "Over in Killarney...many years ago, my mother sang a song to me. In tones so sweet and low. Just a simple little ditty, In her good old Irish way, And I’d give the world if she could sing that song to me this day. Toora loora loora, toora loora li, Toora loora loora, hush now, don't you cry! Toora loora loora, toora loora li, Toora loora loora, that's an Irish lullaby."
Lorne stops in the hallway as they leave and turns to Spike. "Heard him sing...Spike. He's scared. Nevertheless, he's ready to die. Not good."
Spike shakes his head. "Definitely not good. Doesn't sound like Angel. Something must be really wrong."
Lorne nods. "I agree. The big guy usually doesn't give up this easy."
Spike growls. "Must be something else going on here. I hope they come up with something on that poison soon."
"You and me both, kitten. Until then, though, all we can do is wait."
The two of them head on together, talking as they go.
Meanwhile, in the lab...
Fred holds a vial and smiles at Wesley. "We need to try this one now...I know...I know I was close-- that last one almost gave me a clue I swear it. You mixed up everything like I asked right?"
"Exactly as you instructed, Fred. The magical tests should be back soon as well. I have the whole staff working on it." Wesley says.
Fred puts the vial’s contents into little slots and watches yet again the colors change to a negative color and not a positive one. She slumps onto her stool and takes her glasses off, distressed.
A woman comes in then and hands a file to Wesley. "The test results," she says, and walks back out again. Wesley looks them over and sighs. "Fred. No more tests. We have the answer. Everyone needs to meet down in Angel's room. Gunn should be back as well. Call everyone, would you? I'll see you down there."
A short while later everyone is assembled in Angel's room. Wesley sits down on a chair next to Angel. "We have the results. We know what it is, and how to cure it."
Angel who looks a bit paler than before but still sitting up, nods. "Well then, lets hear it."
Wes nods. "It's a nasty little piece known as Ichor of Draughir. It's a specific poison used on vampires, ingested, in the blood. It's slow and degenerative. But it *can* be cured.” Wes sighs. "That's the good news. The bad news is that it requires Lineage blood to do it."
Spike shrugs. "How is that bad news? I'm of the line. Hook me up and let's go."
Wes shakes his head. "No. It has to be close---sire or childe only. Your blood won't do it."
Angel looks down nodding. "Yeah, your blood won't do it. So, that means Drusilla then. Rest of my childer are dead."
Gunn nods. "We already starting a search for her, Angel. We'll get her here I promise. I'm already drilling the staff and the blood suppliers to figure out how you got the spiked blood to begin with. I'll flush them out."
Fred smiles and walks forward, taking Angel’s hand, rubbing it. "See, Angel? You'll be better in no time, good as new."
"Good as new. So you looking for her and scaring the staff. Drill Harmony already?"
Gunn grins. "Saving her for me."
Angel smiles a small smile at that.
Wesley nods. "Until then, the doctors will keep up with the complete blood changes every 12 hours. It will slow the degenerative process. In addition, I'll work on some elixirs to help with the other effects. We'll beat this."
Spike nods. "Definitely. It's what we do."
Lorne smiles. "So keep your spirits up, Angelcakes. You need any dancing girls or anything sent down to keep you busy?"
"No thanks not much for girls...I mean dancing girls...I'm good...maybe a book though and a stereo tired of the whir of machines." *Angel says*
Spike produces a book from his duster. "Well the book I have. Brought you the one that was on your nightstand. I'll get your stereo down here next. And all your Barry Manilow CDs." He grins.
Angel grabs the book and rolls his eyes, he knows Spike is having fun at his expense but Barry saved him more times, then he could count from staking himself, so Spike could mock. "Thanks...don't go out of your way though."
Fred sits and looks at Angel's face. "You’re so pale...maybe more blood...would more blood help that?"
"It all gets flushed anyway, Fred. I'm all right okay---no pain or anything yet." Angel says.
Fred nods, quieting, and looks at her hand holding Angel’s.
Angel squeezes her hand. "Hey...it's okay, Fred. We'll find Dru and then cure me before you even know it."
Spike nods. " 'Course we will."
Wes clears his throat. "Perhaps we'd better all clear out and let Angel rest. I'm sure we all have work to get back to."
Fred looks up, wipes the tiny tears forming, and smiles bravely as she strokes Angel’s cheek. "My hero, my shining white knight who rode in a gallant horse and saved me. We’re going to make you better."
"Of course you will. Now go on go back to work-- don't worry about me."
Fred nods and hugs Angel, getting up and leaving, looking back once more before she disappears.
Angel looks at the others. "If you can't find Drusilla you make Fred go on vacation or an away assignment understand? Can't let her see me die."
Gunn steps forward. "Okay, bossman, but no dying on my watch. I will find her no one here is letting you die. You’re a Champion. This isn't your death."
Wes shakes his head. "No it isn't. We'll find her." He gets up and motions to everyone to follow him outside. When they get down the hallway, he stops them.
"This could be a long process. Wolfram and Hart were watching Drusilla until a few months ago. She somehow slipped surveillance and hasn't been seen since. So finding her could be tricky. Can't let him brood on this. Someone needs to keep him company. Keep him distracted."
Spike raises his hand. "Me. Not like I have an actual job, unlike you sods."
Lorne speaks up. "No offense, Spike, but you piss him off at least half the time."
Wesley smiles a half-smile. "Actually, Spike, I happen to think you're an excellent choice because you irritate him. You'll keep him busy and keep him from thinking too much. Start pointless debates. Anything."
Spike nods. "Got it. First gotta go get his stereo, though. Poof does love his Manilow."
Angel fiddles with the wires and tubes. He doesn't understand medicine. He supposes it has to do with not needing it ever. A benefit of being an undead being that never aged or got sick. But, for some reason now something as simple as, poison held his very unlife in the balance. It was ironic and very poetic. He looks at his book and he can smell the residual smells of Spike on it from the time he held it. He rubs the cover and berates himself. Why didn't you just say...be out of here in five minutes probably if you did? He knows why. He didn't for the same reason he never has. He can't let it be known, but even at this point all the reasons why all blend and he can't remember the first excuse from the latest so he just closes the box that holds his many secrets and opens his book. They'll find Drusilla or he'll die-- he can't risk anything else.
A short while later Spike barges in with a large box and starts setting up a compact stereo system. "Glad you bought the tiny stuff. Electronics are so good nowadays. Remember those massive old consoles that were like furniture? Things took up a lot of room, and were heavy as hell. Not like these dinky little things."
Angel keeps reading. He makes a singular noise of disinterest and he turns another page.
Spike snorts. "Yeah, thought you'd be grateful. See you're a bastard even in a hospital bed. At least you're 'aving to wear one of those horrible gowns that has your big arse 'anging out it."
"Oh, I'm sorry. Thank you. Would you like a hug too?" Angel says sarcastically. "And don't make fun of me in this frock. I told them I had no problem being naked-- even told them I was the damn CEO and I should be allowed privileges like not being humiliated. They thought different. And my ass isn't hanging out." Angel says with a huff.
"Yeah…right. I'm a skinny little thing and my ass was 'anging out. So…yours has to be. You might try the naked thing. It’d certainly cut down on visitors or might get you more. You never know."
Angel looks up from his book, his face already annoyed. "You just love calling me a fat big bastard don't you? I can't help it you’re under-nourished since like forever and leave my ability to attract or scare away visitors out of this. I know I'm a sex god thank you." Angel silences then and coughs going back to his book.
" 'ave it your way, then." Spike finishes assembling the stereo system and pops in a Barry Manilow CD, his live album, and sits down at a table, pulling out a deck of cards, starting to play solitaire.
For the next hour many pages flip with no actual reading of words being done and quiet singing along to Barry, Angel looks up at Spike and makes his voice sound put-upon. "Is there a reason you’re here?"
Spike looks up. "Yeah. I'm your designated nursemaid. Everyone else has jobs so I got the short straw."
Angel snorts. "Well, here, let me save you the trouble. I'm two hundred and seventy-seven years old I don't need a nursemaid and I definitely don't need you. So go on and go do your thing. Drink, whore, or be a total worthless ass...you know the usual Spike thing you do. No need to watch over the Peachy Wanker or whatever the fuck you call me nowadays."
Spike chuckles. "No good. More afraid of Wes right now than I am of you, and he threatened me unless I made myself useful. So, you're stuck with me. Besides, someone has to change out your CD’s and bring you new books and so forth." Spike goes back to his cards.
A delivery guy walks in. "Uhhh, someone here order pizza?"
Spike smiles. "That would be me. Beer there, too?"
"Yeah, a six pack." "Great, bill it to this room. Give yourself a whopping big tip too." "Thanks!" The delivery guy sits down the pizza and leaves before Angel can say a word.
Angel's eyes flash and he growls. "Well wasn't that cute? I stopped buying you shit ages ago. Plan to pay me back while I sit here dying? No, why would you? Maybe you would like to cut off the machines and watch me dust instead."
Spike chuckles. "What a terrible person you think I am. Want some pizza, maybe a beer? Doc said it was okay. I asked."
"As far as I know, maybe you did this to me. Some divine sick game so you could pull up a seat, then watch my friends think you’re just playing innocent. So no, keep your piss water and your food. I also still act like a vampire where you act like some genetic crossbreed fuck-up. Which reminds me-- when they find Drusilla, I'll have to torture her for making you to begin with. My life would’ve been ever so less complicated."
Spike laughs aloud. "Yeah, right. Mr. Broody-atoning-fuck never-has-any-fun? *You* act more like a vampire? At least I enjoy what pleasures I can. You seemed determined to torment yourself. Might as well wear burlap and beat yourself with a scourge like some medieval monk."
Angel snarls picks up his book to his face so he can't see Spike, and he mutters. "You’re the only thing that torments me. I'm fucking doomed to never be rid myself of you. Pain in my apparently big, fat arse."
Spike chuckles. "Other way around, mate. Never been in *your* arse." He waggles his eyebrows.
Angel lowers the book slowly, his eyes blank. "Don't remind me." He goes to pick the book back up and a sharp quick bolt of pain hits his side. The book drops as Angel grabs his side hissing.
Spike moves and catches the book before it hits the floor. His eyes meet Angel's. "Pain started already?"
"Maybe I've just been sitting up too long," Angel offers as a way to avoid the unavoidable admission that indeed the pain associated with his deterioration was beginning.
"Yeah. Probably. I'll put on that jazz album of Barry's you like so much and dim the lights then."
Angel just nods and lies down carefully, holding his side. He pulls the covers up and moves to his side, getting as comfortable as he can.
Spike moves around the room getting things quiet and comfortable. The soothing strains of Barry start up, and then Angel can smell a familiar odor of jasmine.
Angel closes his eyes and smiles a little, then hisses softly as another small shoot goes to his side. He whispers, trying to ignore it, "Good smells, nice music...feeling like I'm being lulled into a false security."
"You are. I'm planning on buggering you later and this is foreplay. Tosspot. Just enjoy it, okay? Relax a bit and we can fight later."
Angel laughs softly he opens his eyes a bit to peer at Spike. "That wasn't a fight-- that was me glorifying in your almost scary likeness to my own style of lulling people into false securities." Angel laughs again then yawns and hisses. He rubs his face into the pillow, then exhales needlessly as he falls into sleep, too exhausted to do much else.
Spike settles down. He can tell Angel is asleep. He eats the pizza and drinks the beer, mechanically. Nothing else to do. He's worried...worried about the wanker, though wild horses couldn't drag out of him how much he was worried. He does smile, a bit, as he inhales a whiff of jasmine. He was glad he remembered how Angel always liked the odor of night-blooming jasmine. He remembers Angel coming to comfort him while he was recuperating after Dana cut off his hands. Even listening to the Sex Pistols with him. Damn the man anyway. He's allowed to take care of people but no one can take care of him. Eventually he lies down on the cot in the room and drifts off to sleep himself.
The night goes and morning passes into afternoon and Fred walks in softly, sitting on the edge of the cot, nudging Spike’s leg, whispering. "Spike. Spike, wake up."
Spike sits up. "Wha?" He shouts, eyes bleary. "I was just resting my eyes!"
Fred giggles and covers her mouth, peering at Angel to be sure he was still sleeping, then turns back to Spike, her voice still soft and low. "It's okay, Spike. The nurses’ desk said Angel and you have been asleep a while. I just want to know how he was doing and give you the latest news."
"He's fine," lies Spike. "So what's the latest?"
Fred smiles and starts to babble softly clearly a bit distressed over her news, but glad to hear this bit of comfort. "Oh, good, good, good. Well the news isn't spiffy but since he is still good then I don't have to worry so much. Gunn he said no go yet...and Wes he widened the search but we can't spare as many searchers because most of them went out last month for a big dig. Gunn's angry said he didn't.” Fred makes air quotes, “ ‘Sign no darn form for no darn dig and he was gonna darn well break some darn hands.' But, he didn't say darn. But lesser people but we’re trying really hard to find her."
Spike smiles at Fred. She was really the sweetest person he had ever met in his unlife, and one of the few who ever believed in him. "I wouldn't expect any less, sunshine. Do me a favor?"
Fred smiles. "Of course Spike---what is it?"
"When you see Wes ask him to drop by here, okay? Wanna see how he's coming on those elixirs."
Fred nods. "No problem. I will. I'm going to see him here soon to let him know I dropped by to tell you the news. I'll tell him then." Fred hugs Spike and stands. She looks at Angel. "He looks so peaceful and still." Then she looks back at Spike. "Take care of him." She leaves to go talk to Wes.
Spike nods. He always does when he sleeps. Lost the human habit of breathing before I even knew him. I still have it, though. It irritates him no end.
Spike cleans up, putting in a classical CD, something soft, as he putters around the room, humming softly with it. He remembers going to see it in concert with Angelus, in 1889. The girls were gone. He smiles at the memory.
Angel opens his eyes slowly and he whispers tiredly, "Have I been sucked into the past?"
"The wonders of the bloody digital age. Nice to see you still remember, though. It *was* a lovely concert." Spike plops down in a chair next to Angel.
Angel sits up with a groan, slowly. "Contrary to popular belief, I'm just old and not senile. I remember everything. I just choose to ignore or deny most of it."
Spike lifts an eyebrow. "Yeah. Speaking as the number one target of most of that, I'm familiar. So, what ya wanna do today?"
Angel rubs his eyes and goes for broke. "Move to New Orleans and die in peace without you, wires or tales of my seedy past."
"So sorry. I can order some Cajun food if you want though. Or we can act out that time in the Bourbon Street brothel."
Angel groans and looks up at Spike. "I said away from my seedy tales Wil...Spike. So how long have I been out anyway?"
Spike looks over at the clock. "About 12 hours. Long enough to have all your blood replaced."
Angel cracks his neck. "That’s probably why I don't feel so bad. Any news about my wayward Childe?"
"Nope. I have every available searcher on it, but no news. Fred dropped by to tell me. I asked Wes to come down...maybe he's got some elixirs ready for the pain."
Angel shakes his head. "Don't want his mojo potions thanks…that’s the kind of thing that got me into this mess. Potions, elixirs, poison. This isn't Romeo and Juliet. I'm a vampire not a romantic. Just kill me for fuck sake---don't play with me first. It’s undignified being stuck in this bed---two hundred and seventy-seven years and nothing has really touched me short of a soul that was a good thing. This is what will kill me. Have to say I'm a little bitter."
"Stubborn berk. You sure as hell made me use his nasty potions when I was stuck in the hospital bed. Ought a feed 'em to you when you sleep. It'd serve you right." Spike sighs. "And fuck, yeah, you're bitter. Good for you---life sucks. Feel free to vent. It'll do you good."
Angel glares at Spike and he starts to tug on his wires, pulling them free and starts on the tubes. "You know what? Go to hell, Spike! I don't need your bullshit and I don't need this fucking room. If I die I die-- I don't fucking care. But I'm tired of listening to you and smelling sterile shit, so I'm going to *my* room to dust and be done with it."
Spike climbs onto the bed, eyes flashing. "Hell no you don't. Fucker. Bloody bastard. Not gonna fucking give up on *my* watch." He straddles Angel as frantic nurses and doctors rush in. "Do I have to fucking hold you down?"
Angel punches Spike once hard in the face, then goes to punch him again and it's weaker as clear signs of fatigue show on his face, and he screams in outrage. The nurses grab his arms, the doctor shoots him in the arm with a sedative and Angel’s eyes glaze, and he falls limply back to the bed. The nurses start to re-wire and re-attach all the tubing.
Spike pants unnecessarily and climbs carefully off the bed. He sits, rubbing his jaw. Angel was weakening fast. *Very* fast. Unless he missed his guess, they didn't have as much time as Wes seemed to think.
Wes came down later. He looks over at the sleeping Angel. He nods, sighing. "I heard." He hands over a bottle to Spike. "Three drops in water whenever there's pain."
Spike nods. "There's pain and he's getting weaker--- really weak. Pull out all the stops, Wesley. He doesn't have all that bloody long."
Wesley purses his lips. "Yes. I suspected as much. I'll try. We'll all try." He sighs again and leaves.
Spike watches quietly over Angel as he sleeps.
A few hours later Fred comes back with a vase of flowers jasmine, roses, and daisies---her own personal touch. She smiles at Spike, then places the flowers next to Angel’s bed, and sits on the edge, stroking his cheek. Her face is tired and sad but she has the sweetest smile upon her face as she gazes at Angel. She starts to sing softly, "A lovely twinkling message is in the stars that shine, Give me your tomorrow and I will give you mine. The stars all nod their heads, and the moon has closed his eyes, To a lullaby of love's design."
Spike listens and then comes over, putting his arm around Fred. "That was bloody beautiful Fred. Too bad he's already asleep."
Fred settles her face in Spike’s chest and she starts to sob out, "I know...I sang it just in case I can't sing it to him ever again."
"Shhh...shhh…don't cry, sunshine. Aww...please don't cry. There's still time." Spike strokes her hair and gently cradles her against him.
Fred sniffles, hiccups, and pulls back to look at Spike. "I overheard Gunn and Wesley talking. Everybody always tries to protect me. Why did he try to leave here when he knows he's sick? Why does Angel want to die?"
Spike shakes his head. "Dunno, sweet girl. Not like 'im at all. 'E’s normally a fighter. Maybe it's some side effect of the poison or something."
Fred sniffles again and looks back at Angel, whispering, "I think he's sad and lonely. Sometimes at night, he will just sit in his office and he seems so far away---in a memory from his past. He doesn't tell us much about him. I mean Wesley has the Watchers diaries. But, Angel told Wesley those books were ridiculous atrocities of bullshit. Pardon my French." Fred smiles at the memory and looks at Spike.
"Can you tell me some things about him? I mean you’re part of his family aren't you? The what was it Aurelion, Aureles...darn what was it?"
"Aurelius line. Yeah." Spike sits down and pats his lap for Fred to climb on. "Sit down and Uncle Spike will tell you naughty bedtime stories. ‘ Cause the Watchers missed as much as they caught, and got a lot of what they saw wrong."
Fred sits on Spike’s lap meekly and properly, seems excited, and starts to babble. "Ready...this is awesome. I know Angel's faces, guilty faces, bored faces, happy faces, broody faces, angry faces...but no Angel stories."
"Okay…big bad secret. No telling-- especially Angel-- that I told you this stuff. But...back when I was William and he was Angelus...we were lovers."
Fred’s eyes widen. She gasps but claps her hand over her mouth and mutters between her fingers, "Really?"
"Yeah…since we had to hide it from Darla, we were pretty discreet. Plus...Victorian age, Victorian watchers. Unless they had seen us, actually shagging the fact that we were lovers would never have occurred to them. He really was a terrible perv, seducing a sweet innocent boy like I was then. Never even slept with a *woman* before Drusilla."
Fred look back at Angel full of wonder and says in awe, "Angel was a pervert?" Then she looks back at Spike giggles and says again, "Angel was a pervert. Did you I mean did you…like…like…?" She trails off unable to say it.
Spike sighs happily. "Yes I did...once he got around to convincing me into doing it. I took some convincing. I may have been a vampire but I was stubborn in letting go of mortal morals."
"Wow...I mean...wow Spike. But, why...why do you two fight so much now then? If you two were so close...well close enough to be lovers, what happened?" Fred asks.
"He left, Sunshine. When he got his soul he up and left without a word of explanation. All I knew is that the man who was my sun, moon, and stars abandoned me. By the time we met again, I hated him. I don't hate him now but... it'll never be the same…too much between us. Besides, I remind him of the bad old days, and he hates that."
Fred sighs sadly and hugs Spike. "That’s so sad Spike." She pulls back, climbs off Spike’s lap and leans over, kissing Angel's forehead, and then she walks back to Spike, rubbing his hand. "But I understand something now."
Spike looks up at her. "What's that, sweet girl?"
Fred touches Spike’s heart with her other hand. "People who love each other fight like that when they have lost their ways. See they never stop loving, Spike, they just get lost and need to find their way back." Fred drops her hands and smiles sadly. "He stares off into space at his desk because he is lost and needs to find his way home. So, I understand. Goodnight Spike. Take care of him." Fred blows a kiss then walks out.
Spike coughs after she leaves, wiping at his eyes. "Not crying, damn it. Got something in my eye." He shakes his head. "She reads too many romance novels."
Angel opens his eyes and they are bloodshot. His faces is haggard looking now that it is moving and not still, and his voice is cracked. "Who?"
"Fred." Spike says, trying not to let the concern show in his face. "She brought you flowers. And you missed a really nice lullaby."
Angel coughs and looks over, smiling weakly. "I love that girl. She's lucky I have a soul I swear. She would’ve been turned and made into my childe the second I saw her otherwise." Angel coughs again.
Spike smiles back. "Yeah, you did always know quality. Percy, now...he'd make a scary vamp."
Angel laughs, but those only sends him into a mad coughing fit that sends blood splattering out of his mouth. He sits up and covers his mouth to stop anymore coming out. He gestures for a tissue.
Spike brings him over a tissue and watches as he coughs out the blood. "Better call the docs to up your blood input."
Angel shakes his head and says weakly. "Just give it up Spike. I'm going to die. Drusilla isn't here and that’s it. Let it go. I'm ready."
Spike shakes his head angrily. "You taught me how to fight and I've never seen you give up before. Why now?"
Angel wipes his mouth angrily and tries to yell but it only comes out in a strained low hum. "Because there is *no* *other* choice Spike. Now fucking get out and leave me alone...please and let me have this in peace."
“Hell no. If you're gonna dust I intend to be here til the fucking bitter end. Damn it. Not gonna let you give up. The solution could come walking through that door in five minutes. You don't know it's hopeless. Neither do I."
Angel throws his tissue at the wall and screams but his voice cuts out. He starts to take shaky and unneeded breaths. When he calms, he says in a tone not heard in a very long time, "Will, get the fuck out now."
"Already said…no fucking way." Spike says.
Angel, with the last bits of strength he can muster, grabs Spike’s collar and wrenches him forward to spit in his face angrily. "You will do as I say, boy. I am your sire---my word is law."
Spike raises an eyebrow. "No. Drusilla is my Sire." Then he looks in Angel's face, and realization crosses his own face. "Isn't she?"
Angel realizes what he just said. He pushes Spike away, which causes another cough fit, and he tries to pulls the wires out again, his actions becoming hysterical.
Spike straddles him again, holding his arms down. "Don't you dare! You bloody wanker! What did you mean?"
Angel wheezes out, not looking at Spike, actually paying a great deal to make sure he doesn't look at Spike, "Nothing, ass. I'm dying and apparently going stark fucking crazy. Woo hoo! Get off. I'm not dying in this room with you and your delusions of grandeur." Angel coughs again and tries to pull his arms free.
Spike shakes his head. "No. No. No. You couldn't even fucking look at me. SON OF A BITCH! I'm your fucking childe! Been sitting here watching you die and you could've stopped it at anytime just by saying three fucking words! Why? Was I not good enough? You ashamed of me? What the bloody fucking buggering hell is going on?!"
Angel finally pulls his arms away. He closes his eyes, his jaw ticking. When he speaks, it's softly and with regret. "I just never found the right way or right time to say it, Will."
"Not bloody good enough. Let me sit here...watching you die...fuck..." His eyes tear up. "Not good enough. Rather die than admit it. You must really hate me. Fuck if I'd give a bloody drop to heal you, since evidently I'm barely good enough to spit on."
Angel opens his eyes and says coolly, but his voice wavers, "Then get the fuck out and leave me alone to die like *I* deserve William. You don't know anything...not a fucking thing understand?" Angel starts to shake and his voice starts reverting to his brogue. "So dinna presume to tell me how I feel or what I did or how it all came ta pass because ye don't know anything. Let me die then I deserve it and that’s what I've been trying ta say but NO. William has ta be stubborn and not listen like usual."
"Yeah. You'd like that---'cause it would prove you right about me. About all the things, you've said. How I'm useless and stupid. How you are ashamed you ever had anything to do with me. Fuck, you can barely even stand to look at me most days. Probably only let me stay around here *this* long 'cause you felt guilty. Fuck you. Not gonna let you win." He walks over and presses the emergency button on the wall. "Get Wesley, Fred, Gunn, and Lorne down here. Tell them I can cure him."
Angel roars, his gameface struggling to come to the fore, and he spits out, tears coming to his eyes, "You dinna have any right, Will! My choice---do ye understand? Just let me die, you little spiteful son of a bitch. It's your revenge boy-- why don't you take it? Just fucking take it, Will, please--PLEASE!!"
Spike looks over. "You don't understand revenge. Hell, dying is the easy way out for you. Can't let you have it. Besides, I'm gonna get the fucking truth out of you. And you have to live long enough to give it to me."
Angel struggles against his wires giving it all he can-- then his body gives out and he just turns on his side, curling into a ball.
Fred runs in, then sees Angel, and looks at Spike. "What did your message mean Spike. You said you were Angel's grand-childe didn't you?"
Wes piles in shortly behind her. Spike looks at Wes. "I'm his Childe. Just found out, no time to explain. How do I cure him?"
Wes nods. "Need to get your blood into his veins." He steps outside and comes back with a large hypodermic. "Directly would be best. Hold out your arm."
Spike does and Wes draws out blood and injects it into Angel, directly into the jugular. He repeats it twice more. Then he goes over to the emergency buzzer. "Bring down ten units of human blood, freshest, any type, preferably warmed." He looks at Spike. "To be on the safe side we need to give him as much as possible. So we'll have you drink and then keep drawing and keep giving it to him, all right?"
Spike nods. "Yeah. Whatever." His voice is flat and hard.
Angel starts laughing weakly, then a low and disturbing laugh, walking that fine-tuned line that borders hysteria and complete madness.
Fred moves close to Angel and kneels so she can look at him. She notices teardrops falling and she whispers in concern, "Angel, Angel what’s the matter? Please talk to me."
Angel whispers, "'Tis not my name lass."
Fred reaches out and strokes Angel’s hair. "What’s your name, Angel? Tell me."
Angel laughs again and hiccups. "I'm the Prince of lies, lassie." Then he starts laughing again and he buries his face in the blankets.
Fred looks desperately up at Wes.
Wes takes Fred's hand. "He's very weak and sick and in pain, Fred. He'll feel better after he's cured and had some real rest."
Spike wants to say something spiteful, but holds himself back, seeing Fred's face. Instead, he just looks over at Wes, as the blood is wheeled in. "Let's get on with it, then." Spike drinks the warm human blood as Wesley keeps drawing and administering Spike's blood to Angel. It takes a while to do and Lorne and Gunn both wander in while it is happening. They have the situation explained to them and watch silently along with Fred. Finally it is done and Spike walks over to the cot and collapses, exhausted, falling asleep. The others try to talk to Angel but he just lies there.
Finally, Wes says, "C'mon, let's let him rest. Probably needs time to heal." He herds everyone out, leaving a sleeping Spike in the room alone with Angel.
Angel just lies there, staring at the same spot he has been since he stopped laughing. He can't do anything else. He feels Spike’s blood roaring inside him. His childe’s blood. The childe that didn't even know he was his childe until today. Just as he predicted hated him more when he found out. Angel can't blame him—hell, Angel can't even argue. Angel wanted to die. Angel still wants to die. He thought when the truth came out it would be as if a weight lifted but it hasn't lifted it has only piled ten times the weight. He is bowed down by too many emotions to count, let alone sort. He moves finally rolling to sitting. His body zings, ebbs, and burns with a fire that shouldn't have been used for the first time again in this way. He sighs and closes his eyes and starts to pull the unneeded wires and tubes from his body until all that is left are tiny rivulets of his cured blood running down his arms. He stands on automatic and looks as the sunsets and he feels sick somehow that he is here to see another pass in this steel monolith. He walks over, grabs his clothes, and slips them on---his movements robotic and without emotion. He moves to the cot and looks down at Spike, his eyes stormy, then they fade out as he turns and leaves the room. He will sleep in his own bed, let his mind close down until, as he knows will happen, Spike will find him and demand the answers he as Angelus should’ve provided so long ago. About how William happened to become part of the Clan Aurelius.
Several hours later Spike wakes up alone. He sighs. Couldn't really expect him to stick around for the Inquisition, could ya now? He gets up and prowls through the building. It doesn't take him long to discover that Angel went to the penthouse. He stops in Angel's office, taking off his duster. "Don't want you in the line of fire," he says to it. "You stay safe now." Then he steps into the elevator and goes up. He steps out, able to smell and sense Angel more sharply than ever. Must be the blood transfer. He thinks. He walks into the bedroom where Angel lies sleeping, and he sits down to watch until he wakes. He sees that handsome face that used to be the world to him and he cries, softly, as he waits for him to wake.
No more than an hour after, Angel opens his eyes slowly and says neutrally before they even focus, knowing he is there, "Hello, William."
Spike's eyes are still red but his tears are long since dried. "Hello, sire."
Angel, who now sees Spike totally, nods slightly as if he expected this. He throws the covers aside to reveal his naked form. However, he is not trying to impress. "Good, bitter then-- I can do bitter." He gets up and walks to the dresser where he takes out a pair of cotton pajama pants and slides them on. He turns back to Spike and gestures to the living room. "This way for the answers you seek."
Spike gets up and stalks quietly into the living room, pacing around as he waits for Angel to come in.
Angel walks out a minute later carrying a few boxes all with covers and all neat and clean. He sets them down and looks at Spike. "We'll need these later. Are you hungry?"
Despite himself, Spike is touched by Angel's thoughtfulness. "Yeah, a little. Took it out of me, the whole having blood drained biz," he says in a soft tone.
Angel nods walks to the kitchenette, getting out a blood container, pouring some into a mug and setting the mug in the microwave, saying softly, "Well, you could’ve avoided that, but you apparently felt otherwise."