Author's Notes: This is a Crossover story between Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It takes place during the 7th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, directly after the episode 'Beneath You'. And during the 4th season of Angel, directly after the episode 'Ground State'. It's what I think should have happened to Spike instead of letting him go even more insane in the school basement.
I have to say thanks to Raven, Nelson, and Anica because I've enjoyed their stories, and they probably helped put the idea into my head. This is NOT a series, it is a stand-alone story, but it was getting so long I separated it into two chapters. Written February 2006.
This idea came about during the 5th season of Angel when Illyria is talking to Spike about Angel and says, "He cannot suffer intimates and will eventually turn against them."
Then Spike says, "Guess I don't have to worry about that, 'cause Angel and me have never been intimate. Except that one... "
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, and I am not making any money from these stories.
Warning: Disciplinary spanking of an adult by a mentor - dubious consent. No actual slash, but slashy comments. Graphic descriptions of murder and rape.

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That Once Part 1

Spike could feel his flesh burning. He could smell it too. It hurt, but that was what he wanted. If it hurt enough, he could maybe forget for a while. Then he heard her behind him. She said quietly, "No you can't rest. You have to stop. Spike, stop."

He took a deep breath of the smell of cooked skin, and then slowly took himself off the large cross. He stood with his back to her, hoping she would leave. They were both quiet for a long time not knowing what to say to the other. Finally Buffy said, "You can't go back to the basement Spike. You can stay with me."


Spike flinched away from her even though she hadn't even tried to touch him. He put more distance between them and turned to face her when he said, "Can't do that. That's the entire problem though isn't it? Can't stay with you, can't leave you. Can't love you and hurt you. Can't hurt you and love you."

Spike started muttering that phrase to himself over and over again, and Buffy said, "Spike….. Spike!"

He stopped talking and looked over at her. Buffy said, "You can't go back to the basement. You're hearing voices down there, and it's making you crazy."

Spike nodded his head thoughtfully and said, "Crazy. Yes. See things down there. See things everywhere. See you but not you, and Glory, and Warren. And my Dru too. She'd laugh if she saw. She'd sing me a song. No…not right. She'd say I was filthy with a soul now. But she said I was before too cause of you."

Buffy was getting over the shock of realizing that Spike had a soul now that she had had a few minutes to process it. She knew something big had happened to him after he left town, because when he came back he was living in the school basement and talking to himself. But she hadn't found out what that something was until a few minutes ago. He had his soul back. Spike had been trying to hide his insanity. He was trying to be 'himself' again and help them fight evil, but he hadn't been able to hide his pain for more than a few hours. Buffy tried to come up with a plan, but was still at a loss if he didn't want to come home with her. Then Spike looked beside him at the empty air and said, "You said Angel's soul was filthy and disgusting. I didn't realize then, but you knew didn't you pet? Knew what it made him feel."

Buffy thought about it for a second and got out her cell phone. She had Angel on her speed dial even though she almost never talked to him anymore. She called his number, and he answered. She said, "Angel?"

He said with surprise, "Buffy?"

Spike still looking at the air said, "Back to the basement?"

Buffy said, "Yeah. I need some help."


"It's Spike."

Angel sighed and said, "What has he done?"

"He….he got his soul back."

The line was silent, and then Spike was standing right in front of Buffy with a dangerous look of sanity on his face when he said, "Who are you talking to?"

Buffy sounded like she was pleading with him when she said, "He can help you Spike."

Spike glared at her and said, "You had no right."

Buffy looked at the massive burn marks all over his chest and abdomen and pointed to his chest when she said, "That gives me the right."

Spike looked down at himself and made a gut-wrenching yell as he turned and ran out of the church. Buffy yelled, "Spike wait!"

She sighed and said to the phone, "Did you get all that?"

"His soul? How?"

"I'm not sure. He said something about winning it back. Since getting back to Sunnydale a couple of weeks ago he's been living in the school basement going insane. He's talking to himself all the time. He's been cutting himself trying to get his heart out, and tonight he burned himself on a big cross."

Angel was quiet for a few seconds and then he said, "Well, I don't mean to sound heartless, but you have to kind of expect him to be insane for a while. I was pretty much insane for almost a hundred years after I got mine back."

Buffy snapped, "Well I don't have a hundred years to wait for him to get better! I need his help with whatever big nasty is coming next. And I can't just sit back and let him hurt himself."

Angel rolled his eyes, "What do you want me to do exactly?"

"Help him. You should know better then anyone else what he's going through, so drive over here and help him."

"Buffy, I don't see why you think this is my problem. I don't even like Spike. And I have my hands full here in LA."

"It's your problem, because if it weren't for you he wouldn't even be a vampire."

Angel cringed at that one. Buffy still knew how to push his buttons. He decided to push back. "Don't you think it's time you solved a problem on your own instead of leaning on me, or Giles, or Spike, or whatever that other guy's name was that you dated."

Buffy almost hung up on him. She said in a very quiet voice, "All you had to do was say no."

She hung up and then muttered, "Like you don't remember Riley's name."

Buffy thought about Spike and decided she would go talk to Xander to see what he thought about the situation. She wished Willow was back from her training with Giles in England, because she knew Willow would be more objective about Spike then Xander was. But Xander would have to do.

Angel looked at the dead phone and said, "Crap."

Now he felt like a complete jerk. He hung up and sighed. He told himself that he did have problems of his own in LA. His son was out there on the streets, and he had to keep a distant eye on him to make sure he was okay. But the more he thought about that, the more he realized it was his own fault that the boy was out there instead of in the hotel. Then he thought about Spike. He remembered what it was like right after he had gotten his soul. He shook his head wondering how Spike was handling it.

Fred showed up in his office doorway and said, "Charles and I are going to get something for dinner. You need us to pick up some blood for you?"

Angel gave her a smile and said, "No thanks."

Fred nodded and left. Angel got up and walked around the lobby of the empty hotel. Right now it was just him, Fred and Gunn. Wesley was out doing his own thing. Connor was out on the streets. Lorne was in Las Vegas singing. And Cordelia was in a higher plane of existence. Angel knew they hadn't had that much business lately and he really could drop everything and go to Sunnydale if he wanted to. But he didn't want to.

Angel sat down on the round couch, and thought about Spike. Hearing that Spike had a soul again was almost too strange for Angel to comprehend. It made him think of the beginning. Back when Spike, then William, had just been changed. Angel smiled and thought, 'He was so in love with Dru, and she had so much fun with him.'

Angel lost the smile when he thought about what he, as Angelus, had done. William had looked up to Angelus, and Angelus had soaked it up at first. But the more Angelus knew William the more he thought he was a pansy. William loved poetry of all things, and he took his love for Dru more seriously then Angelus thought he should. Angelus took care of that by sleeping with Dru and letting William find out about it. He steadily worked on changing William until they were brothers in destruction, violence, and evil. And Dru helped, even if she didn't always know it, because Angelus had control over her, which meant he had some control over William. A decade after he was turned, William was William the Bloody, and he reveled in the hunt and the kill.

Angel sighed and muttered, "I guess Buffy's right. I owe him, and really I am the only one who knows……"

Angel shuddered as he remembered the years of living off rats in the sewers trying to forget his past. He did understand why Spike was hurting himself, and why he wasn't quite sane. Angel also knew that his relationship with Spike over the past several years wasn't very good, and even if he did understand why, it didn't make things any easier now. They had hurt each other on purpose more then once, and fought almost every time they saw one another. If Angel was going to help Spike now after all these years, they would have to spend some time building back some kind of trust.

Angel stood up and slowly walked over to the phone. He didn't know quite why he had decided to do it, but he also knew he couldn't say no. He couldn't ever turn his back on Buffy, and even if he didn't like to admit it, he couldn't turn his back on Spike with a soul either. He dialed Wesley. He said, "I need a favor Wes."

An hour later Gunn and Fred came home. As soon as he heard them Angel stepped out of his office holding a duffel bag. Fred said, "Are we going somewhere?"

Angel said, "I need to go help a friend in Sunnydale. I'm gonna be gone for about a week, maybe two."

Fred sounded a little lost as she said, "Oh." She was thinking that they had just found Angel after three months, and now he was going off again.

Gunn put an arm around her shoulders and said, "Helping out Buffy?"

"Kind of. I know you guys had to hold down the fort all summer by yourselves, so I know you can handle things for a couple of weeks."

Gunn nodded and said, "Sure. No problem."

Angel looked down at the floor and then looked a little embarrassed as he said, "Um….could you maybe…..check on Connor once every couple of days. I mean I know I kicked him out, but I've been……looking after him and making sure he's not getting hurt. And I know he's stayed at one of the shelters you used to work at, and I thought you could ask around."

Gunn nodded and said, "Okay. I don't trust him, but I'll make sure he's out there, and if I don't hear about him, I'll go look for him and see for myself."

Fred said, "What if he comes home?"

Angel shrugged and said, "I don't know…..use your best judgment."

Fred nodded and Angel said, "I need to get going. It's a long drive, and it's been dark for a few hours already."

Fred went and gave Angel a small hug and said, "Be careful and come home soon."

Gunn shook hands with Angel and pulled him into a one arm hug as he said, "See you when you get home."

Angel said, "I'll have my cell phone, but I'll probably leave it off most of the time. I'll check my messages at least once a day though in case there's an emergency."

Angel went out to his car and tossed the duffel bag in the back. He was at Wesley's apartment in no time. Wesley opened the door and handed Angel a manila envelope. Angel opened it and checked the contents. There was a small map and a key. Angel said, "You're sure it's what I'm looking for?"

Wesley nodded. "The cabin is miles away from any other people, but it still has running water and electricity. And because the man who owns it was worried about the window's getting broken with no one there to keep an eye on the place, he had them boarded up, so the sun shouldn't be much of a problem."

Angel nodded and said, "Thanks."

Wesley shut the door as Angel walked back to his car. Angel started the drive to Sunnydale thinking about his son, but soon was thinking about Spike and what he was going to do to help him. He thought about calling Buffy to let her know he was coming, but decided against it. He always enjoyed the look on her face when he surprised her.

Buffy knocked on Xander's apartment door. Xander said, "Hey Buffy. I was just about to go to bed."

He opened the door wider as he talked, and she stepped in. Buffy said, "Spike has his soul back."


"I followed him."

"You followed him after he stabbed that guy."

Buffy crossed her arms feeling defensive already, "That guy was a huge worm a few seconds before Spike stabbed him, and he was trying to protect all of us. Did you see the look on his face after he realized he had hurt a person? It was killing him."

"How can you still be defending him after….everything?"

"Because he has a soul now, and that changes everything."

"Does it change the fact that he tried to rape you? Does it change the fact that he's killed thousands of people? Does it change the fact that he tired to kill you more than once?"

Buffy glared at Xander and said, "Why is it you seem to conveniently forget about all the times he's helped us and saved our lives when I try to be a little sympathetic towards him?"

Xander sighed. He didn't like it when they fought, and without Willow there, it was harder. He said, "Why are we talking about him anyway?"

"He has his soul back, and that basement is bad for him. It's making him more insane. We need to find a place for him to stay."

Xander was incredulous, "What?!! Why? Why is this our problem? Let him rot in the basement!"

Buffy sounded hurt and disappointed, "Xander, how can you have no compassion for him. He has his soul back. That means that all those years of murdering are coming back to haunt him. Maybe because you don't kill things repeatedly the way I do, you can't understand. But it doesn't matter. It's your problem, because it's my problem. I asked him to stay with me but…."

"No! He can't stay with you."

"Well at least the two of you are in agreement about something."

Xander didn't know what to say to that. Buffy said, "Who else do we know? Giles doesn't live here anymore. Willow was staying with me before she….you know. Anya is out, because, well, she's worse then him now getting her vengeance on, and that leaves you."

"What do you mean that leaves me? He can't stay with me!"

Buffy said, "Fine. Thanks for being open minded. I'll see you tomorrow."

Buffy walked out the door, and slammed it on her way out. Xander stood there staring at the door. Before Buffy had arrived Xander was thinking about earlier that night. He was thinking about the look. The look that had passed between himself and Spike. When the whole group was together the girl had asked, "Who here hasn't slept together?" Xander and Spike had looked at each other. Xander didn't know why Spike had been looking at him, and he sure as hell didn't know what had provoked him to look at Spike, but there it was. And now he couldn't forget about it, even though he was trying hard. He thought, 'And now she wants Spike to live here with me? No way! So not going to happen. That would be…..awful.'

Xander looked around at his apartment and opened the door to the large walk in closet that was off the living room and started measuring things in his mind. He thought, 'No windows is good. A bed would fit.'

Xander stopped when he realized what he was doing and muttered, "Shit."

He walked out and slammed the door. He turned on the TV and decided to fall asleep on the couch watching something mindless.

Angel arrived in town two hours before sunrise. He parked his car at Buffy's house, and got out to walk around town for a little while before waking her up. He ended up at the crypt Spike used to call home, but could tell it hadn't been used in a while. He thought about going over to the school, but he knew the sun would be up soon, and he needed some sleep before dealing with Spike. He wandered back to Buffy's house, and when it was fifteen minutes before sunrise, he used the key that was under the mat to open the door and let himself in. He waited by the front door for the next half an hour until he heard Buffy's alarm clock go off. As soon as he knew she was awake he knocked loudly on the inside of the front door and then called out, "Hello. Anyone home?"

He could hear Buffy upstairs frantically changing and muttering about her hair. He smiled at the thought that he could still do that to her, even if it could never go any further than that. Four minutes later Buffy came down the stairs. She stared at him as she walked, and when she got to the bottom of the stairs she said with disbelief, "You came?"

He resisted the urge to brush the stray hair out of her eyes by looking away and saying, "Yeah, well, I didn't have anything else going on right now."

Buffy said with sincerity, "Thank you."

Angel shrugged and got serious himself, "You were right. It is my responsibility."

"No, it's not, I was just saying that because….I thought you would be the best one to help him. I guess that means I'm still leaning on you."

"Sorry about that. I was just….being mean."

There was a long silence until Dawn showed up at the top of the stairs. Dawn said, "Angel?"

He looked up and smiled, "Hi Dawn."

She ran down and gave him a hug. She asked, "What are you doing here?"

Buffy said, "He's here to help Spike."

Dawn gave a sneer and said, "Don't bother. He's not worth it."

Angel just looked surprised, and Buffy said, "Why don't you take a shower and get ready for school while I get Angel settled for the day."

Dawn went back upstairs and Angel said, "What was that about?"

Buffy didn't really want to go into details and said, "Nothing. So I assume you want to stay here for the day, and then talk to Spike tonight?"

Angel nodded. Buffy continued, "Make yourself at home. I don't have any blood in the fridge. Do you want me to pick some up on the way home tonight?"

"No that's okay, I just ate."

Buffy nodded. "Okay, well I'm going to go get ready for work."

"Where are you working now?"

"At the school as a guidance counselor….how strange is that?"

Angel chuckled and Buffy turned to get ready. As she was walking away Angel said, "Oh, and if you see Spike today, don't tell him I'm here. He might try to run before I can talk to him."


Angel spent most of the day sleeping in the basement on the cot. He was well rested when Buffy arrived home. Xander had picked up Buffy and Dawn from school, and when they got home the four of them sat around reminiscing for an hour waiting for the sun to go down. As soon as it was down Angel said, "Well, I guess it's time for me to go get him."

Buffy said, "Do you want to bring him over here to talk to him? I don't think the basement is the best place to have a coherent conversation with him."

Angel said, "No, this is going to take more then one conversation. I'm going to take him with me for at least a week and maybe two."

Buffy looked a little confused and said, "Oh."

Angel said, "Buffy, this isn't going to be pretty, and it's defiantly not going to be easy. I need to be alone with him for a few days to see if I can even help. If I'm not able to help him after two weeks, I'm going to have to get back to LA anyway, and it will be up to you how you want to handle things from there."

Buffy nodded and said, "Thanks again for trying at least."

"You're welcome. Now when I get back, he's going to need a place to stay. Being in the basement right on top of the Hell mouth isn't a good place for him to stay. He needs to be around people. He will be able to recuperate faster if he is with someone who cares."

Buffy looked away and Dawn said, "I won't stay in the house with him."

Xander said, "He can stay with me."

Everyone looked at him. He said defensively, "Well it's better than having him stay here, and who else do we know?"

Buffy put a hand over Xander's and said, "Thanks."

Xander said, "I'll make the closet into a small bedroom for him. It will be ready in a week."

Angel having never really gotten along with Xander all that well, was surprised at how much he had matured in the past few years. He said, "That would be great. Thank you."

Xander shrugged and said, "At least we won't have to see him for a week."

Dawn said, "Don't you mean smell him?"

Xander laughed and said, "That too."

Angel said with a little anger, "None of you can understand what he's going through. Maybe you shouldn't judge."

Angel himself didn't know where that had come from. He shook his head in the shocked silence of the room and said, "I'm going. I'll see you in a week or so."

Angel let himself out. He stopped at the butcher shop first and bought a trunk full of pig's blood. When that was in the back with some bags of ice he drove to the school. He parked, snuck in, and followed Buffy's instructions to get under the school.

Angel saw Spike before Spike saw him. He was struck with memories of himself when he had first gotten his soul back. He was pretty sure he had looked quite similar. Dirty, unkempt, smelling of rat, and ranting to himself. Angel took an unnecessary deep breath and said quietly, "Spike."

Spike was listening to Buffy. She was telling him that he was weak, and that he was pathetic. He was hunched down into a small dark corner of a room and nodding at appropriate times in the conversation. Spike heard his name and spun his head around. His eyes got a little wider and he said, "First Dru, and now Angelus? Are you here, or are you….." Spike pointed to his head and continued, "…here."

Before Angel could answer Spike heard Buffy on the other side of him say, "He's not real. I am. Don't listen to a thing he says. I need you Spike. I need you to be on my side and help me. You still love me don't you Spike?"

Spike knew Angelus was talking too, but ignored him and focused on Buffy. He nodded, "Of course I love you. You know I do. I always will. I'll do anything you tell me."

Angel watched Spike talk to the air beside him. He had asked Spike what he was doing, but he didn't think Spike had heard him. Angel could tell that Buffy was right about the basement. Angel may have been insane with guilt when he got his soul back, and he may have talked to himself, but he had never not known if someone was really in the room or not. Angel started walking towards Spike and talked as he went, "Spike, I need to talk to you for a few minutes, can you hear me?"

Spike heard Angelus coming at him, and at the same time he heard Buffy say, "Fight him off. He's evil, and you need to help me fight evil."

Spike looked confused for a second, and then turned to attack Angelus.

Angel went to put a hand on Spikes shoulder, and was caught off guard when Spike suddenly stood, vamped out, and tried to bite him on the face. Angel snapped his head back to avoid the bite, and shoved Spike back against the wall. Angel yelled, "What the hell do you think you're doing?!"

Spike wasn't thinking. He was just doing. He attacked again. Angel was ready this time, and grabbed Spikes wrist. He quickly twisted it and shoved Spike's arm behind his back, and slammed Spike's chest into the wall. Angel stood behind Spike and said, "Calm down, and tell me what you're doing."

Spike didn't struggle long. His face turned back to normal. He craned his neck around and tried to see behind him. He said, "Angel?"

Angel didn't let go. He said, "That's right, not Angelus, Angel."

Spike looked back at the wall and said, "Oh."

Before Angel could decide what to ask Spike first, Spike said, "What the bloody hell are you doing here?"

Angel smirked at that, and let Spike go. He stepped back and said, "Buffy called me and said you got your soul back. I came to help."

Spike slowly turned around. He looked at Angel, and said, "Help?"

Angel thought Spike looked haunted. Angel nodded and said, "Come on, we need to get you out of here, it's making you insane."

Spike watched as Angel turned and walked a few steps away. Angel didn't hear Spike following, so he turned around again. Spike shook his head. "Can't live with the Slayer. It'll be worse then this."

Angel nodded. "I'm not taking you to her. I'm going to take you out of town for a week, so you and I can talk about things, and get your head together."


Angel said, "Talk and walk at the same time."

Angel started walking and Spike started to follow. Angel said, "What do you mean why?"

"Why help me?"

Angel said, "Because I can."

"Not much of a reason mate."

"I've got fresh pigs blood in my car. If you get in and come with me, I'll give you a pint."

Spike considered this while they made their way out of the basement. They walked to Angel's car and Spike said, "I don't need your help you know. I'm doing fine on my own."

Angel opened the trunk and got out a container of blood. He shut the trunk and opened the passenger door. He said, "Get in and drink this. Your breath smells like rat, and I don't want to smell it for the next two hours."

Spike took the blood and stooped to get in the car. Then he stood back up and said, "Two hours? Now look here Angel, if you want to talk for a while, fine. Catch up on old times and all, but let's just go to the local bar."
Angel growled with impatience and said, "Get in."

Spike rolled his eyes. He said, "Just for tonight then."

Spike got in and Angel shut the door. Soon Angel was driving out of town and Spike was drinking his blood. A few minutes into the drive Angel said, "You're seeing people that aren't really there."

Spike was done with his blood and put the empty container on the floor. He felt better then he had in a while. He said, "Seems that way."

"You remember what I was like when I got my soul back?"

Spike thought about it for a few seconds. He remembered what he had thought at the time, "You were pathetic."

"I was living off rats in the sewers and trying to block out the memories of what I had done. But I never saw people that weren't really there. That isn't your soul Spike, that's the Hellmouth."

Spike looked out the window and said, "Where are we going?'

"I have a cabin set up. You and I are going to spend the next week or two together."

Spike looked over at Angel and said, "And you think I'm insane? Do you really believe we can spend a week together without trying to kill one another?"

Angel smiled, shrugged and said, "Let's find out."

Spike looked at Angel for a few seconds and then slowly smiled and even gave a small laugh. He said, "I never would have guessed you to be the optimist."

Angel shook his head still smiling and said, "I'm not. I just don't think we'll have much of a problem once you understand I'm calling the shots until we get back."

Spike lost his smile and said, "Now wait just a minute….."

Angel interrupted, "No. I am in charge, period. You will do what I say for the next week. If you want to challenge me, go ahead. See how far that gets you."

Spike was so angry he didn't know what to say. When he had first been turned, he had followed Angelus' instructions, but that had changed a long time ago when Angelus had become Angel. Spike thought about it, and knew that in a fair fight Angel would win. Always had, and probably always would. Angel was bigger, older, and his grandsire. Spike decided his best option for getting out of the situation would be his mouth. He said, "Buffy needs me. I can't just leave her for a week."

"Buffy needs you sane. You're not helpful to her like this. Hopefully after a week with me you'll be more sane."

Spike couldn't be civil anymore. "You're worse then Angelus! Did God talk to you direct and put you in charge of everyone you come in contact with? I didn't ask for your help, and I bloody well don't need it! You can take your week in the woods and shove it up your arse!"

Spike didn't wait for a response. He quickly opened the passenger side door, and jumped. He came into contact with the pavement hard and rolled a few times. They were on a highway, but it was late, and there were only a few cars passing by at a time. Spike heard cars honking and some screeching tires. He heard Angel's car screeching to a stop on the side of the freeway, and Spike got up to run in the other direction. A few cars had stopped and one guy was getting out to help. But when he saw Spike get up and start running after jumping out of a vehicle that was going sixty miles an hour, he got back in his car and locked the doors.

Spike ran as fast as he could, but half a mile down the freeway he heard someone running behind him. He darted a glance behind him, and sure enough, Angel was running full force trying to catch him. Panic shot through Spike, and he doubled his efforts. It didn't help. He could hear that Angel was getting closer, and eventually he was tackled. They fell to the ground, and Spike tried everything he could to get out of Angel's grip. But Angel was on top of him, and Spike was face down on the blacktop. Angel said, "Stop it! You're making this much harder then it has to be!"

Spike continued to thrash around. Angel growled and heard a car stopping. Angel knew he didn't want any people getting involved with their situation. He had to act fast, and he had to prove his dominance. He situated himself so that he was fully on top of Spike and vamped out. He bit Spike's neck and started to drink. Spike felt it, and was shocked into lying completely still. A few seconds later a man said, "Are you guys okay? You can borrow my cell phone if….."

Angel looked up at him while still in vamp face, and with blood dripping from his teeth. The man stopped talking and got back in his car as quickly as he could. Angel heard the tires burning out as his concentration went back to Spike's neck. He licked the wound once and whispered in Spike's ear a disgusted; "You taste like rat."

Angel felt Spike shiver. Angel went back to his normal face and said, "I'm going to let you up, and you are going to go back to the car, sit down, and take a nap until we get to the cabin. If you do anything other then that, I am going to knock you out and you'll still end up at the cabin. Do you understand me?"

Spike gave a quick nod, not understanding how the man he knew as Angel could have bit him and drank from him like that. He was in a daze and a little light headed, but when Angel got up off him, Spike got up too. Angel gave him a slight shove towards the car, and followed behind him. While they walked Spike thought, 'He bit me! He's never bitten me before. I've seen him bite Dru and Darla before but that was during sex……'

Spike darted a confused glance behind him. Angel gave him a steady look. Spike turned his head back to the direction he was headed and thought, 'Nope. Not a sex thing…..'

Then it hit him. Spike thought, 'Penn. How could I have forgotten that?'

Spike felt himself getting flushed as he realized getting bitten was Angel's answer to his challenge of authority. It was putting him in his place, the same way Angelus had put Penn in his place one day after he had challenged Angelus' authority. Spike thought, 'Well that and beating him until he couldn't stand.'

Spike gulped when he thought about what else Angelus had done. For the next few months he had treated Penn as a fledgling again even though he hadn't been a fledgling for a long time. Spike darted another look back and Angel still looked determined. Spike thought, 'But Angel's not Angelus…..he wouldn't.'

They were at the car, and Spike waited for Angel to unlock it before getting in. He got in and sat. Once Angel got in he said, "Put your seatbelt on."

Spike knew this was to keep him from a repeat performance more then it was to keep him safe if there was an accident. Spike sighed and put it on. Angel said, "Now go to sleep little childe."

Spike glared at him and said, "I'm not your childe, and I'm not some fledgling! Bugger off."

Angel cocked his head to one side and said with calm, "Did you not understand what just happened? Do you need me to spell it out to you?"

Spike got red. "I know what you think you're doing, but you're not my sire. You can't bite me and tell me I'm some fledgling again. It doesn't work that way."

Angel gave Spike a very unfriendly smile and said, "You think so? Is this another challenge then?"

Spike thought for half a second and then backed down. He shook his head no and said, "I…. I think I'm tired."

Angel nodded and said, "Good answer."

Angel started the car up, and pulled back into traffic. Spike curled up around the seatbelt and tried to make himself comfortable resting his head on the back of the seat and the window. He sat there in an uncomfortable position for about two minutes thinking about Angelus and what he had done with Penn. Then he heard Angel. "You're not sleeping, and you're not comfortable. Lay down with your head on my lap."

Spike stayed where he was and said, "No way in hell."

Angel smacked the back of Spike's head hard. Spike instantly sat up and rubbed his head. "Bloody Hell Angel! How am I supposed to sleep with a sodding headache?"

Angel said with calm authority, "If you don't lay down like I told you to, we'll pull over and you'll have more then a headache to try and sleep through."

Spike looked down at Angel's thighs dubiously. He looked at Angel who seemed wholly unaffected by it all. No smile of malice. No look of pity. Just Angel looking impassive and driving. Angel said, "Now Spike."

Spike cringed at the thought of close contact with anyone, but especially Angel. He slowly lowered himself down, and stiffly put his head down on Angel's right thigh. He situated the rest of his body to be laying on the seat. A few long seconds later, Spike felt Angel's hand on his head. Spike tensed even more. Angel started to rub the spot he had hit, and then used his fingers to rub out the tension on Spike's neck and eventually moved to his shoulders.

Spike didn't understand this at all. Angel was acting so differently then usual it was shocking and confusing. Spike was drained emotionally and physically, and soon couldn't stop himself from falling asleep.

Angel felt it when Spike fell asleep. He kept his hand on Spike's head for a while to make sure he stayed asleep. Angel thought about what he was doing. He shook his head and thought, 'Is this really something I want to take on? Too late to turn back now I guess. He's mine to deal with, like it or not.'

Angel spent the drive thinking about Spike and what it was going to take to get him back to some kind of normal.

When they arrived at the cabin Angel had to work at waking Spike up. Spike looked groggy and said, "Wha?"

Angel said, "Get up long enough to get in the cabin."

Spike quickly remembered where he was and sat up. He gave Angel a wide eyed look. Angel gave him a genuine smile and said, "Get the blood out of the trunk and into the refrigerator."

Angel got out, and got his bag from the back seat. He got the key that Wesley had given him and unlocked the front door. He turned on the light, and was happy to see that the electricity was working, and that the place was in good condition. No people or animals had broken in even though it hadn't been occupied in a while.

It was a large cabin with the living room and kitchen both in one big area. There was a fireplace with a couch in front of it, and an easy chair off to one side. There was a coffee table in front of the couch, and an end table between the couch and easy chair. There were some bookshelves with books against one wall, and a couple of pictures and two closed doors on the other wall. A large woven rug covered the hardwood floors. Then in the kitchen area there was a modern looking stove, sink, and refrigerator, along with a large table and some chairs that would comfortably sit four people. There was also a set of stairs going up to an open loft.

Angel set his bag down on the floor, and looked at the paper Wesley had given him. He went and turned on the refrigerator. Then he found the water heater under the stairs and turned it up. He looked over at the fireplace and saw that there was enough wood beside it to make a fire. He heard Spike behind him. Spike had his hands full of buckets of pig blood. Angel went to start a fire while Spike put the blood in the humming refrigerator, and went out for more. Spike was done unloading the car about the same time Angel was ready to light the fire. Spike closed the door, and Angel said, "Look outside and tell me if there's any firewood stacked up by the house."

Spike went out, and came back with an armful. He put it in the bin beside the fireplace and said, "One whole side of the cabin has firewood stacked higher then me."

Angel nodded and they both watched the fire until it was burning fully and wouldn't easily go out. Angel turned to Spike and said, "You've been seeing people who aren't there."

Spike nodded once. Angel said, "If you see anyone besides me here you tell me immediately. We're alone here, so if someone else shows up, that means it's someone or something messing with your mind, and I'm not gonna let that happen while you're under my care."

Spike bristled at the 'under my care' part. He shook his head and scoffed, "How arrogant of you to think you could stop it from happening."

Angel grabbed Spikes upper arm and gave him a shake. He said, "I will stop it. You have to try and believe that, or we won't be getting anywhere. Give me your word that you will tell me the second you see anyone else here besides me."

Spike was surprised at Angel's immediate response to his comment, and just nodded. "Okay."

Angel pulled Spike close so they were nose to nose and said, "Not 'okay' little childe. Give me your word."

Spike didn't want to be intimidated by Angel, but found that he was anyway. He mumbled, "I give you my word."

Angel let him go and said, "Good. Sit."

Angel pointed to the couch, and Spike sat down. Angel dug into his duffel bag and pulled out a notepad and a pen. He handed them to Spike and then sat on the coffee table so they were eye to eye. Angel said, "Now you have a project."

Spike gave an unenthusiastic, "Cheers."

"Write down all the bad things you've done that are roaming around in your head and making you feel like you can't get focused on the present."

Spike gave him an incredulous look. Angel said, "I don't mean for you to describe it in detail, just jot them down. For example, you could write 'Killed two Slayers.' If that's something that has been eating at you. If not, then don't write it down. Do you understand what I'm asking you to do?"

Spike shook his head and said, "But that will take all night!"

Angel growled and said, "Was that my question?!"

Spike slowly shook his head no. Angel said again, "Do you understand the project?"

Spike nodded and looked at the paper. Angel said, "No nodding. Say yes sire or no sire."

Spike glared at Angel and spat out, "You're not my sire!"

Before Spike knew what was happening he was over Angel's lap. He had dropped the paper and pen, and was flailing to get up. Angel had him in an iron grip around the waist, and Angel's hand started to come down hard and fast on the upturned bottom. Spike struggled and said, "What the hell Angel?!!"

Angel just continued to spank him without comment. Spike writhed around trying to find a way out of the humiliating position and yelled, "You fucking wanker! You're not my sire, and I won't call you sire! Let me up! I won't do your little project, and as a matter of fact, I won't BE your little project!"

Angel kept spanking and ignored the outburst. After about three minutes of loud ranting and name calling, Spike ran out of things to say, and he lay still wanting Angel to get done now that it was starting to hurt more then he liked. Angel said conversationally, "You're right Spike, I'm not your sire. What relation am I to you?"

Spike stubbornly kept his mouth shut, not wanting to acknowledge the ties between them. Angel kept up a steady rain of hard blows. After a few minutes Angel said, "It's not a difficult question is it Spike?"

"You know who you are!"

"Yes, but you don't seem to. That's why we're going over it."

Spike hated everything about his current situation. He hated Angel, he hated his soul, he hated not being able to control his emotions, he hated his guilt, and he hated being treated like a fledgling. He yelled out, "I hate you!"

Angel said, "That's fine, but it doesn't change anything. I'll stop this when you tell me what our relationship is."

Spike slumped down over Angel's lap and said quietly, "You're my ponce of a grandsire, and I hate you."

Angel nodded to himself and said, "And in general what do fledgling vampires call their grandsires if they live long enough to see them?"

Spike capitulated, "Grandsire…….or Sire"

Angel stopped spanking and said, "Good. Now I'm going to set you down, and we'll try this again."

Angel picked Spike up off his lap and set him down on the couch. Spike groaned a little as he sat on his sore butt, but he remained seated. Angel picked up the paper and pen and handed them to Spike. Spike took them and Angel said, "Do you understand the project?"

Spike looked away and said, "Yes sire."

Angel stood and kissed Spike's forehead on his way. He said, "Good childe."

Spike glared at Angel's back while Angel went to check out the rest of the cabin. Spike kept his eyes on Angel and thought about what had just happened. Angel had never spanked him before. Beaten him yes, spanked him no. He had seen Angel spank Dru a few times, but again that had been more of a sex thing, and Spike was very sure that was not the case here. But then Spike shook his head and thought to himself it was the difference between Angel and Angelus. When Angelus was treating Penn as a fledgling, and even when Penn really was a fledgling Angelus would whip him, punch him, or slap him for the slightest mistake. And Spike himself had received the same treatment. But somehow Spike couldn't see Angel doing that. Spike shifted around on the couch willing his healing to go a little faster.

Angel went to look through the cabin. He opened the first closed door to find a bathroom. It had a shelf unit with some mismatched towels, an oversized shower and tub along with the usual toilet and sink. He left the door open, and went to the next door. It was a bedroom with a queen-sized bed, and a dresser. He left that door open also, and walked past Spike to go look upstairs. As he passed Spike he said without looking at him, "I don't hear writing."

Spike glared even harder at Angel, shifted around on the couch again to try and get comfortable, and then looked at the blank paper in front of him. He wrote 'killed two slayers.' Even thought that really wasn't one of the things he was obsessing about. But it did get him started, and soon he had forgotten about his pain and was deep in thought.

Angel saw there were two twin beds upstairs, along with some built in shelving on the wall. He went back down, and got some blood out of the refrigerator. He got out a pan and warmed it up on the stove. Once it was warm he got out two mugs, and poured some in each. He took a mug over to Spike and handed it over with a curt, "Drink this."

Angel sipped on his, and got a book out of his duffel bag. He took it to the easy chair and sat down to read. Time passed and every once in a while, Angel would put some more wood on the fire. Angel went out to refill the bin twice over the next few hours before Spike looked up at him and said, "I'm out of paper."

Angel nodded and held out his hand for the notebook. Spike looked down at his words, and didn't want Angel to read them. He looked at the fire and thought about tossing it in. Angel said, "You'll just have to write it all over again if you do."

Spike gave Angel a sad look and handed it over. Angel took it, but didn't read it. He said, "Is this most of it? Did you get down everything that is really haunting you right now? Is this all the big issues"

Spike gave a thought to his attempted rape of Buffy, which he hadn't written down, but was bothering him and said, "That's all the big stuff."

Angel nodded and said, "Okay. Go in the bathroom and get in the shower. You stink."

Spike looked down at himself. He was fairly unkempt, and he knew he did smell. Angel stood up and went to his bag. He got out some clothes, and some shampoo and soap. He handed them to Spike and said, "Wash the clothes you're wearing as best you can in the tub after you wash yourself, and then hang them up to dry."

Spike gave him a nod, and Angel sat down to read. Half an hour later they were both done. Angel could feel the sun coming up, and looked at the two windows to make sure the boards that were over them weren't letting in any sun. Spike came out of the bathroom looking clean and smelling much better. Angel got up to check the bedroom window. There was a little sun coming though the boards, so he got a towel to put over the window. He went back to the living room, and saw Spike staring into the fire. Angel put on some more blood to cook. He said, "Come sit at the table Spike."

Spike got up and sat at the table as requested. A few minutes later Angel handed him another mug of blood. He drank one himself, and then got out a fresh notebook. He sat down and started to look over Spike's pages, and then wrote some things down on the other notebook. Spike finished his blood and waited. Half an hour later Angel was done. He handed Spike the new notebook and said, "I've made some categories. Look it over and see if you think it's correct."

Spike took Angel's notebook. There were four categories: Murder, Torture, Rape, and Children. Spike looked things over, and when he got to the category on Children he couldn't keep looking.

Spike looked up at Angel with desperation and said, "How can it look worse like this? I thought writing them down one at a time looked bad, but this…. This is the work of a monster."

Spike said in all honesty, "Angel I….. I think you should stake me."

Angel shook his head no. Spike pushed the paper away from him as if it were poison, and refused to look at it. Angel said, "This was the work of a monster. A monster I helped to make. A monster I encouraged. But the thing we need to keep clear here is that YOU are not that monster. You have his memories, but you are not him."

"But it was me! I remember doing it. I remember how good it felt to do those things."

"So let's go find a human and see if you could do it now."

"You know I can't."

"Exactly. That's how I know it wasn't you. YOU couldn't do those things."

"But I still feel guilty for them."

Angel said, "Yes."

Spike looked over at Angel and said, "What now?"

Angel sighed and said, "Before I start with that, I want you to know that I could beat you bloody every day for a month, and these things will still wake you up screaming in the middle of the night. There is no escape from these memories, and there is no immediate relief from the guilt. I'm going to do what I can to help, but the only thing that will really work, is time and good deeds. The more things you do to help others, the more those memories replace the bad ones. But it still won't ever go away. And really it shouldn't."

Spike looked down at the table and nodded his acceptance. Angel said, "I'm going to spank you once a day for each category, and then when we're done, we'll see if it helped you at all."

Spike shook his head. "You're joking right?"


Spike picked up the notebook he had written in and shoved it at Angel's face. He said, "You're going to give me a child's punishment for these evil things, and that's somehow supposed to make it all better?!"

"No, I just told you nothing will make it all better. But I do hope it will smash down the guilt well enough that you can function and help Buffy. And trust me when I say it won't be a child's punishment that I'm going to give you."

Spike shook his head. "You're off your rocker Angel."

The room was silent for a few seconds and then Angel said, "Spike?"

Spike looked over at him. Angel was looking at him intently. Angel said, "You know my list is far longer then yours right?"

Spike gave him a slight nod. Angel said, "You know I've had a soul much longer then you."

Spike nodded again. Angel almost sounded desperate when he said, "Then believe me when I tell you this will help. I'm trying to help you not only because I helped make you who you were, but also because I understand, and it's an awful thing to go through alone. I'm gonna give you a choice now. Put all our family ties aside, and our past history aside if you can, and think about it. If you want me to get back in the car and drive you back to Sunnydale I will. But I promise you; you'll be better off if you choose to stay. This is the only time I'm giving you a choice."

Spike thought about it. He looked down at his list and back up at Angel. He looked towards the door. The school basement didn't sound like a place he wanted to go back to, and Angel's words were convincing and gave him hope. Spike said quietly, "Sunnydale's dull anyway."

Angel put a hand on Spike's arm and squeezed it for a second. He let go and said, "It's late and I'm tired. We'll get the first one over with right now, and then go to bed."

Spike looked a little worried and said, "Right now?"

Angel stood up and took off his belt. He said, "On the one hand killing people is what vampires are born to do. On the food chain they are below us, but you and I killed people for sport, as well as for food. Killing is wrong. You and I both know it. There is nothing I can do to you that will make up for all the killing you've done. I want you to give me two or three examples. Who are the two people you feel the guiltiest about killing? Then you can keep them in mind while I spank you."

Spike stayed in his seat. He looked over his notebook. He looked at Angel and said, "I suppose the two slayers should be at the top of the list, but they really aren't. They were in the business of fighting evil, and another took their place the instant I killed them."

Angel said, "I don't want it to be the ones you think you should feel guilty about. Rational or not, I want to know who you do feel guilty about."

"My mum. That worm man two nights ago. The twin babies in France."

Angel nodded, knowing who Spike was referring to in each instance. Angel pulled his chair away from the table and stood beside it. He said, "Come here."

Spike looked at his notebook one more time and then nodded as he stood and walked over to Angel. Angel said, "Drop your pants and bend over the back of the chair."

Spike was wearing the sweats that Angel had given him before he got in the shower, along with a tee shirt. The sweats were too big anyway, and were practically falling down just from getting up to walk. Spike didn't make eye contact with Angel, but did walk around to the back of the chair and push the sweats down off his butt. The sweats fell all the way down and Spike leaned down and put his hands flat on the seat of the chair. Angel said, "I would grab the sides of the seat if I were you. It will help you stay in place."

Spike looked slightly back and to the side where Angel was standing and said with irritation, "Yeah we'll I'm not you, thank all that's holy, and don't give me advice on how to take a beating. I've taken more then one from you, so just do what you're gonna do."

Angel put a hand on Spike's lower back and said, "No. You never have taken a beating from me, and you never will. You'll know the difference soon enough."

Angel looked at Spike's ass and could tell the effects from the spanking earlier that day were all gone. He raised the belt and brought it down with a loud 'thwack'.

Spike rolled his eyes at Angel's words and then remained completely still and silent for the first ten licks. Then Angel said, "Tell me something nice about your mom."

Spike was trying not to let the continuing smacks shake his composure, but the question threw him. He said, "What?"

"Don't even pretend that you weren't a huge mama's boy Spike. I know you too well. Tell me something nice about your mother. Something she did for you that made you happy."

Spike could think of hundreds of things. But all he said was, "Why?"

"Because you killed her, and I want you to remember why that should eat at you."

Spike felt the tears start. He hadn't planned to cry, and while the pain Angel was causing was unpleasant, Spike could deal with it. He couldn't deal with the thoughts of his mother while Angel was spanking him. A few seconds later Spike said, "Whenever I'd get caned at school she'd give me some kind of treat. I knew most of my mates would get it again at home when they got caned at school, but Mum would give me pudding or make a pie, or give me some money to go buy sweets."

Spikes voice went to a whisper when he said, "She'd tell me she loved me no matter what, and that those teachers just didn't see me for who I really was."

Angel nodded knowing it was harsh, but at the same time wanting to get it out in the open so Spike could face it. Angel said, "And then you killed her almost immediately after being turned yourself."

Spike nodded and then broke down and cried in earnest with loud sobs. Angel put more force behind the blows and started spanking even faster then he had been. Spike's butt and upper thighs were already a deep red color, but Angel kept going. A few minutes later Angel heard Spike whisper, "I'm sorry."

Angel gave Spike six more very hard licks, which caused welts. Spike yelled out at each one, and did end up grabbing the sides of the chair seat to keep himself in place. When Angel was done he took his hand off Spike's back and put his belt back around his waist. Spike stayed where he was and cried. Angel put a hand on Spike's shoulder and gently gave it a pull. Spike stood up slowly and wiped at his face only to have more tears appear. Angel said quietly, "Fix your pants and follow me."

Spike painfully reached down to the floor and pulled the sweats back up over his aching backside. He looked to see Angel headed for the bedroom. Spike followed. Angel sat down on one side of the bed with his back up against the headboard. Spike hovered in the doorway still crying but trying to stop. Angel said, "Come over here, lay on your side, and put your head on my lap again."

Spike shook his head once not wanting to. Angel growled, "Do as you're told my childe, or we can go back out and I'll spank you again."

Spike shook his head harder and his crying got harder. He walked to the bed and got in the position Angel had told him to take, on his side with his head in Angel's lap, and with his back to Angel. Spike curled up a little so that his legs were on the bed, and tried not to rub his throbbing backside as he stared at Angel's lower legs and shoes.

Angel started rubbing Spike's back in a soothing way and said quietly, "You loved your mom, and she loved you. Dru told me about you and your mom. You were a soulless vampire, and the reason you killed your mom was because you still loved her. I killed my whole family because I hated them. You turned your mom into a vampire so that she could be with you forever. You were just too young to know that turning her would make her different. I don't really even think you should have been punished for it, but you wrote it down five separate times in your notes."

Spike was surprised, "I did?"

"You did. I hope you can let some of that guilt go now. You've been punished for it, and for what it's worth I forgive you. You need to forgive yourself too."

Spike mumbled, "What about that guy and the babies?"

Angel nodded, "Buffy told me about the worm guy. What if you hadn't been there, and he hadn't gotten turned back into a human? What if he had killed his ex-girlfriend or what if he had killed someone else like Buffy? I don't think you should be punished for that one either. The twins in France…. That was evil, and you deserve more punishment than I can give you for that. But then I do too. Even if you save a hundred babies from some terrible fate, it can't erase or make up for what you and I did to those girls. You just have to live with that guilt, and try not to let it suck you so far down that you can't function."

Spike cried quietly and nodded his head accepting that statement. A few minutes later Angel yawned. He patted Spike's head and said, "Sit up."

Spike did and tried not to show how much it hurt. Angel kicked off his shoes, and lay down on the bed. He said, "Lay down and get some sleep Spike."

Spike looked around the room and said, "Um… here?"

Angel closed his eyes and said, "Yes."

Spike lay face down on the other side of the bed as far away from Angel as possible and tried to stop crying. Angel said, "No not over there, right here."

Spike looked over at Angel and saw that he was pointing at the bed right next to him. Angel kept his eyes closed and said, "Put your head on my shoulder and fall asleep while I hold you."

Spike immediately got up on his elbows and shook his head no as he said, "No."

Angel opened one eye and said, "Yes."

Spike tried again to wipe his tears away as he said, "Why?"

Angel opened both eyes and propped his head up on his hand with his elbow on the bed. He said, "I don't have to explain the whys to my grandchilde. He does what I tell him or he suffers the consequences of disobedience. But because you've had a hard few months, I'll tell you. It's because you need to allow someone to comfort you. Your soul needs it, probably even more then it needs the punishment to expel the guilt. You will never seek comfort on your own, so I'm forcing it on you until it seems normal, and then maybe you will be able to seek it on your own once you become accustom to having it."

Spike didn't like that. He didn't feel he deserved any comfort. Angel lay back down, put his arm down flat up by the pillows so that he could wrap that arm around Spike when he put his head on Angel's shoulder. Angel closed his eyes and said, "Come here and lay down. I won't ask nice again."

Spike forced himself to scoot closer to Angel, but made sure the only part of him that touched Angel was his head on Angel's shoulder. It was uncomfortable, but he figured as soon as Angel was asleep, he would go back to his side of the bed, or maybe even the couch. Spike expected Angel's arm to wrap around him, but instead he felt Angel's hand connect hard with his already very sore behind. Spike yelped and moved to get out of the way of Angel's hand, which ended up putting Spike right up along side Angel. Angel then wrapped his arm around Spike's waist and rested his hand on Spike's hip. Angel said, "That was for making me explain, and for still not doing what you know I was telling you to do. Now get comfortable, snuggle up, and Go. To. Sleep."

Spike didn't exactly like the full body contact, but wasn't about to move away either. He did try to get comfortable, and tried to imagine it was Dru he was snuggled with but it didn't work. He eventually reached his hand back to rub at his bottom for a while. He mumbled, "Can't sleep with my bum feeling like this."

Angel didn't answer, but leaned down and kissed the top of Spike's head. Then he used his free hand to take the hand Spike was rubbing his butt with and took it away. He put Spike's hand over his own chest, and held it in place with his hand on top if Spike's.

With Spike mostly pinned against him, Angel lay and waited for Spike to fall asleep before allowing himself to fall asleep too.

Spike woke up as the sun was setting. He opened his eyes and remembered where he was and who he was with. Then he amended that to who he was on. He picked his head up off Angel's chest and looked up at Angel. Angel was awake and watching him. Angel gave him a smile and said, "How are you feeling?"

Spike rolled over onto his back and away from Angel. He stretched and then said, "My arse still hurts because it isn't healed all the way and probably won't be done healing before you muck it up again. But aside from that…. I feel good. Don't think I've slept through the day without interruption for…. Well not since I got my soul back."

Angel stretched also and said, "Good."

Angel stood and said, "Go see if your clothes are dry, and if they are, put them on. Then you can warm us up some blood while I take a shower."

Spike nodded and left the bedroom. Half an hour later they were both dressed and done with their blood.

Angel took both their cups and washed them. Then he said, "Let's go for a walk."

Spike raised one eyebrow and said, "Is that some kind of metaphor for I'm gonna take you outside and beat your arse?"

Angel smiled a little and said, "No. There's a town about ten miles down the road. I thought we could go have a drink or two at the local bar."

Spike was up and at the door waiting as soon as Angel said 'drink'. Angel got his jacket and put it on. When he got to the door he looked at Spike and said, "Two drinks. No more."

Spike rolled his eyes and said, "And just like that…" he put up his hand and snapped his fingers "….he sucks the fun right out of the evening."

Angel put a hand on the doorknob and said, "We could just stay here and make another list if you'd rather."

Spike shook his head and looked away from Angel. Angel opened the door and said, "I'm not in the mood for disrespect Spike, so watch yourself."

To Angel's surprise Spike walked out the door and said quietly, "Yes sire."

Angel shut the door behind them and locked it. He turned and saw Spike standing at the passenger side door of Angel's car. Angel walked past him and said, "Come on."

Spike looked at Angel's retreating back and then back at the car. He called out to Angel, "So you were serious about the walking part?"

Angel kept walking, and Spike took one last look at the car before muttering, "'Course he was."

Spike started to follow. Once they were walking side by side Angel said, "Tell me how you got your soul back."

For the next two and a half hours Angel kept Spike talking. Spike talked about getting his soul back, he talked about his love for Buffy getting in the way even when he didn't have a soul. He talked about Dru and Harmony. He talked about the basement and seeing people who weren't there. But mostly he talked about past sins. He would taper off now and then, almost too ashamed to keep going, but Angel would keep asking questions until Spike spilled the whole story.

By the time they got to the town, Spike was ready for a bottle of whisky. Angel and Spike went into the first bar they found. They both ordered drinks, and when Spike ordered a double Angel said, "That should count as two, but I'll let it go."

Spike rolled his eyes while Angel wasn't looking and muttered, "How generous of you."

Angel let the comment go too. He saw a pool table and said, "Wanna play?"

Spike saw Angel indicate the pool table with a nod, and said, "You're on."

For the next hour they played pool, and Spike tried to make his two drinks last. When they were done Angel said, "Ready to go?"

Spike said, "How about one for the road?"


Angel paid the tab while Spike glared at his back. The left the bar and Angel said, "Let's check out the town. See if anything goes bump in the night."

Spike shrugged and followed Angel. He said, "You know as well as I do most demons don't stay in small towns. Way too easy to get noticed."

Angel ignored him and started walking down the length of the town. The wandered for a while in silence, and eventually after finding nothing of interest headed back towards the cabin. They passed some farmland as they were walking, and they both heard a distant scream at the same time. Angel looked over at Spike who gave a nod, and they both ran in the direction the scream had come from.

They both arrived on the scene at the same time. There was a shiny new bright red truck parked on the side of a small dirt road. There were sounds of a scuffle coming from the flatbed of the truck. Angel got to the side of the truck and saw two teenagers. There was a girl lying down with a boy on top of her holding her down. The girl's shirt was ripped at the collar, and she was yelling and actively fighting the boy who was actively trying to get her pants off. The boy was well built, and looked like a football player with a letterman's jacket on. Angel said in a chilling voice, "If you know what's good for you…."

While Angel was talking, Spike jumped into the back of the truck, picked the boy up off the girl, and held him in the air. The boy was yelling in fear, and Spike tossed the boy through the air. The boy landed with a hard thud a few feet away, and Spike held his head while yelling in pain for a second. Then he jumped down off the truck and went towards the boy.

The girl sat up and adjusted her clothing as quickly as she could. Angel looked at her carefully. He couldn't smell any blood, and they had obviously stopped the rape before it had happened. He said, "Are you okay?"

The girl slowly shook her head no and started to cry. Angel was about to ask her where she lived when he heard Spike. Angel turned to see that Spike had sat down on the boy's stomach, and Angel watched Spike punch the boy in the face with full force. Spike screamed in pain, and held his head for a few seconds. Then Spike raised his fist to hit the boy again, and Angel ran to stop him before he killed the boy. Angel grabbed Spike around the chest, and hauled him up and off the boy. Angel yelled at Spike, "Stop it! You're going to kill him!"

Spike struggled to get back at the boy and said, "He was gonna rape her!"

Angel kept a tight grip on Spike and said, "But we stopped him. He doesn't deserve to die for it, but even if he did, it's not up to you to decide if he lives or dies."

Spike stilled in Angel's grip. Angel let him go and gave him a shove towards the girl. He said, "Go see to the girl."

Angel knelt down and looked at the boy. He wasn't moving. Angel could see and hear the breathing and heartbeat. He monitored it for a few seconds to make sure it was close to normal. Angel went back to the girl. Spike was standing next to the truck looking at the girl every once in a while, but not saying anything. Angel said quietly, "We need to get the both of you to the hospital."

The girl looked frazzled, but slowly gave a nod and said, "Okay. Thank you…."

Angel said, "Why don't you get in the truck, and I'm gonna get the boy into the back here. We'll drive you both back to town."

The girl got up and walked unsteadily to the cab. Spike stood doing nothing and feeling anger and self loathing while thinking of Buffy. Angel went back to the boy and picked him up while trying to be careful of his neck. Angel put the boy in the back and said, "Get in and make sure he doesn't roll around too much."

Spike got in the back, and Angel got in the cab to drive. Soon they were in front of the hospital's E/R entrance. Angel looked at the quietly crying girl and said, "My friend and I don't really want any involvement with the local law. Will you be okay to go in by yourself?"

The girl nodded and got out of the car. Angel said, "Could you let them know about…" Angel tilted his head towards the back of the truck to indicate the boy.

The girl nodded again and went into the main entrance still somewhat shell shocked. Angel left the keys in the ignition and jumped out. He called to Spike, "Come on."

Spike jumped out and followed Angel. They walked away at a fast pace, and soon were back on the main road headed to the cabin.

Once they were out of the main town, Angel said with some humor, "I guess the car would have been nice, I'm tired of walking now."

Spike gave no reaction. Angel said, "Okay, Spike. Tell me what has you so upset."

Spike said with irritation, "Seems obvious to me."

Angel shook his head. "Sorry Spike, but I just don't buy it. There has to be something else. This may have triggered it, but this isn't what you're upset about. There are plenty of rapes on your list, so which ones are you thinking about?"

Spike's mind screamed 'Buffy!' but his mouth said, "None in particular."

Angel said, "Don't lie, it pisses me off. There isn't much point to it either. I know most of the stuff you did, and even helped you to do it. So tell me which one."

Spike looked away and said, "I can't."

Angel got irritated. "You can and you will. You won't learn to cope with the guilt if you don't tell me."

Spike thought about it for a few seconds and came up with, "That kid in China. She couldn't have been more then twelve."

Angel nodded and said, "I remember. You killed her quickly after you were done."

They walked in silence for a while and then Angel said, "Tell me the story from your point of view in detail."

Spike seemed distracted and said, "What?"

"Tell me the story in detail."

"What story?"

"About the girl in China."

"Oh… right. We were raiding her village, and I found her hiding under the bed after Dru had eaten her folks. I took her on the bed while she screamed and then I ate her."

Angel waited a few seconds and then said, "That's it?"

"Lay off Angel. I don't feel like talking."

A few seconds later Angel said, "You're lying."

Spike tossed his hands in the air and said, "Well then why don't you tell me what I'm thinking about, since you obviously know everything!"

Angel reached over and whacked the back of Spike's head. Spike said, "Hey!"

Angel said, "I am still not in the mood for disrespect. Now tell me the truth!"

Spike rubbed at his head and looked down at the ground. He said, "I'll tell you at the cabin."

Angel nodded and said; "Okay, but you'd better be honest. In fact just stick with a general rule of no lying for the rest of the week. It will make things easier. You got it?"

"Yeah." Spike thought to himself that he'd have to come up with a pretty good lie, because he really didn't want to bring Buffy into any of this at all.

They got to the cabin, and Angel said, "Make us some blood while I make a fire."

They both went to work, and a few minutes later they were both full and sitting on the couch. Angel said, "Okay times up. Tell me which rape is getting to you."

Spike hadn't come up with any good lies, and thought he could just tell the story without letting on who the story was about. "It's not so much a rape as an attempt."

Angel waited and when there was no more forthcoming information he said, "Tell me about it."

"It was in the bathroom. She had on a bathrobe, and she smelled so good. We were bickering, and I wanted her so bad. It had been so long, and she knew how I felt about her. I… I thought if she would just let me start, she would see that it was what she wanted too…. But it wasn't. She fought me. Then when I had stopped she looked at me with hate, and I knew. I knew she would never love me back, could never love me back."

Spike had been looking into the fireplace while he talked, and Angel had gotten more and more tense after the words started, not wanting to believe it was what he suspected. Then Spike looked at Angel and said, "She'll never love me the way she loves you. Even now that I have a soul."

Angel whispered, "Buffy?"

Spike looked back at the fire and didn't answer. Angel knew that meant yes. He felt anger pulsing through him and got up. He walked to the front door of the cabin and called out the word, "Stay." before walking out and shutting it behind him. Spike looked into the fire and hated himself.

Angel thought he had been tired of walking, but now decided a walk was just what he needed to clear his head. He didn't go to the main road, but walked out towards the wilderness. He kept getting images of Buffy hurt and vulnerable. And then he had images of Buffy and Spike having sex, which just made him angrier, even though he knew that was due to jealousy. But as he was walking, those images eventually changed. He remembered Buffy fighting both Spike and himself and winning. He smiled a little imagining her in full Slayer mode kicking ass. And the more he walked the more he thought about that. Suddenly he stopped and looked up at the sky. He realized daylight would be coming in the next hour or so. He headed back for the cabin and tried to decide what he was going to say to Spike about the whole thing.

He thought, 'Spike is obviously eating himself alive with the guilt. But I can't punish him for it if I'm angry about it….. Am I angry about it? No…. Not anymore. Buffy can hold her own. She doesn't need me to protect her anymore, but Spike does.'

By the time Angel got close to the cabin he had a plan. He stopped at a tree along the way and cut off a small branch to help him execute it.

Angel walked in the door and shut it behind him. He saw Spike standing by the couch looking scared and small.

Spike saw the switch in Angel's hand, and was thrown back into a memory that was so powerful, he almost couldn't keep standing.

Angelus and William had just arrived home, full of the local pub's occupants. Angelus opened the door to their suite and called out, "Darla love, we're back. How did you both fair?"

There was no answer. William called out, "Dru? Drusilla luv, are you home?"

Angelus flopped down into an armchair and said, "Odd for them to be out longer then us."

William looked around and said, "Do you think they're all right?"

Angelus rolled his eyes. He thought William was very annoying when he worried about Drusilla. Angelus said, "I'm sure they're fine. Maybe they found a child to play with."

William frowned and didn't see how Angelus could be so unconcerned. William went into the bedroom he was sharing with Dru to get his pen and paper. He looked through some of his poems but found he couldn't write knowing his Dru was out there somewhere when the dawn was coming soon. He picked up a book instead.

An hour later he heard Angelus yell "Vile Woman!"

William tossed his book on the bed and ran out into the main living area. He saw Angelus standing by the desk holding a piece of paper. William said, "Is something wrong?"

Angelus spun around and William took a step back at the anger in Angelus' eyes. Angelus held the paper up and said, "They're gone!"

William felt a little sick to his stomach wondering what had happened to Dru. He said, "Gone?"

Angelus muttered more to himself then to William, "Scheming little witch! Running home to that ugly bat with my creation. Probably going to take the credit for her too."

William said, "Can I see the letter?"

Angelus crumpled it and threw it at him. Angelus stalked over to the cupboard where they kept the liquor and got out a bottle of whisky. William picked up the crumpled letter and smoothed it out on the desk so he could read it.

Dearest Angelus and William,

Drusilla and I have gone to visit with The Master for a fortnight or more. We will return to you as soon as possible. If you are unable to remain at the inn, leave word of your whereabouts with the barmaid Prudence.

All our love,

William read it over twice not quite believing they were gone. He looked over at Angelus who had drained half a bottle of the whisky already. William didn't quite understand what Angelus was angry about. He said, "Darla has gone to see her sire before. Why are you angry about it?"

"Because she took Drusilla!"

William looked confused. "So?"

Angelus growled in frustration and said, "Don't you see? Darla is putting on airs. She will claim that she helped to create Dru to make the Master proud. She might even try to say she is Dru's sire."

"Oh." William still didn't see what was so upsetting.

"I created Dru. She is mine!"

William got a little upset at that, but kept quiet. Angelus could tell William still didn't understand. Angelus said, "The Master won't want Dru to come home you know."

"What? Why?"

"Are you really that blind William. Dru sees things. She could see things even before I turned her. That is useful to whomever is in control of her."

William knew his Dru saw the future, and could predict things. But he hadn't really thought of someone using that to their advantage before. William didn't like it. He said, "Drusilla won't stay. She'll miss us."

Angelus did think that was true. Dru wouldn't stay away from either one of them for very long, but by then the damage would be done. It wasn't that Angelus cared what the Master thought, it was that he didn't like anyone else taking credit for his creation. Angelus sucked down some more whisky and said, "Leave me."

William started walking back to the room he had been sharing with Dru. But then he had a thought. He turned and said, "Why didn't they take me?"

Angelus started to chuckle at the thought, and soon was laughing so hard he had to hold his stomach. After a few minutes of William stewing and Angelus laughing, Angelus was able to get out, "You? Why would they take you?"

"Dru is special, but she created me, because she saw something in me. Something special."

Angelus almost spewed the whisky in his mouth. He choked on it a little, and then laughed for a long time again. Finally he stood up and put a hand on William's shoulder. He looked into William's eyes and said, "You are her puppy William. Nothing more, and nothing less. You are her plaything, her rag doll to cuddle at night. You are about as special as the mud on my shoes."

William was hurt and slightly shook his head no. Angelus took another swig and headed for his room. William couldn't think of anything to say at first. Then just as Angelus was about to close his bedroom door William said, "You're wrong."

Angelus felt a smile cross his face. A challenge would be just the thing to improve his mood. He turned and said, "Do tell young William."

William bristled, "I have just begun. I am destined to do great things. I have learned from you and for that I thank you, but in the end I shall surpass you. You are known as the scourge of Europe, but in time I will be known as….. As William the Bloody."

William was pleased with himself for coming up with a name so quickly. Angelus nodded as if considering this. Then he said, "How far do you think you would get in this reign of terror without Drusilla?"

William scoffed, "Drusilla will never leave me."

Angelus' smile turned hard. "She will if I tell her too."

William glared, "She'll leave you if I tell her to."

Angelus couldn't abide talk like that. Even if Darla was his sire, Angelus was the unquestioned leader of their group. Angelus walked casually up to William and said, "You are mistaken, and I don't like your tone. Grovel at my feet and apologize, and I may show you leniency."

William puffed out his chest as much as possible and said, "I will not."

Angelus set his whisky down on a table, and quickly walked out the door of their suit. William slowly deflated and couldn't believe he had won the argument. He stood there thinking about it, and a second later he started to seriously worry that maybe he hadn't won. A few seconds later Angelus was back with a large switch. William paled. He had been caned in school a few times, and it was not an experience he wanted to repeat even if he did heal quickly now. Angelus gave him a large smile filled with malice and said, "This night is improving every minute."

William turned to run. He wasn't sure where there was to run, since Angelus was at the front door, but he wasn't going to let himself get whipped without a fight. Angelus was on him before he got two steps away. Before William knew exactly what was happening, Angelus had him sprawled face down on the wooden floor. Angelus stood above William, and put his booted foot on the back of William's neck to keep him in place.

Angelus brought the switch down on William's back without preamble. For a few minutes the only sounds in the room were the swishing sound of the switch through the air, and the cracking sound of it hitting William's white shirt. Angelus found it hard to hold back, but knew if he used his full strength, the switch would break.

Soon William broke down and started to cry out and apologize. Angelus ignored this and kept going. Not long after, the apologies ceased and the only thing left was screaming. Angelus saw a spot of dark red appear in the middle of William's white shirt. Angelus smiled and inhaled deeply. As always, the smell of blood made him want more, so he doubled his efforts. He continued to beat William until the entire back of his shirt was covered in crisscrossed lines of blood that were slowly spreading and meshing together. By this point, William was close to passed out, and his throat was raw from screaming.

Angelus accidentally broke the switch on William's back. He stopped and sighed with satisfaction. He had gotten a good work out wiping William and figured he was about finished even if the switch hadn't broken. Angelus was breathing hard as he took his foot off William's neck. He tossed the piece of switch that was still in his hand away. He sat down on the floor next to William and looked at his handy work. A few seconds later a thought struck him and he started to laugh.

When he was able to speak again, Angelus said, "William."

William just lay there breathing. Angelus grabbed a handful of William's hair and said, "William!"

William groaned. Angelus leaned down and whispered in William's ear, "Now I'll call you William the Bloody."

Angelus dropped William's head back to the floor with a thunk and laughed again at his own joke. Angelus got up, found his whisky and finished the bottle. He walked into his room and flopped on the bed, tired and ready to sleep through the day.

Five minutes later Angelus found he couldn't sleep. He kept hearing William whimpering out in the other room. He got up and shut his door, and tried to sleep again, but he could still hear it. He growled and got up again. He walked out to William and looked at him there on the floor. Angelus knelt down and picked William up. William groaned and then screamed again at the movement. Angelus carried William to William's bed and lay him down on his front. Angelus looked closely at William's face, and for the first time could see what Drusilla saw in him. Angelus thought William was beautiful now that he had broken him, especially with the smell of blood in the air.

Angelus leaned down and smoothed the hair away from William's face. Angelus said, "Here now, enough of this blubbering."

Angelus used his own teeth to bite the inside of his wrist. Then he held it to William's mouth. William turned away from it. Angelus said, "Don't be daft Will. You know you'll heal better with it."

Angelus went to the other side and offered his wrist again. This time William reluctantly accepted and started drinking. Angelus took to petting William's head while he watched him drink. A few minutes later Angelus took his wrist away, and William lay back down on the pillow. William felt a little better and was able to form a coherent thought after this. He decided he hated Angelus, and when Dru came home William planned to leave with her.

Angelus smiled down at William and said, "You really are quite pretty Will. Don't question my authority again, and we'll get along just fine. And maybe if you actually listen to me, and try to learn from me, someday I'll call you William the Bloody for real."

Angelus got up and went to his own room to sleep.

Over the next two days William spent most of his time in bed healing. Angelus brought him a person to eat each night, to encourage the healing process. Neither one spoke of what had happened, but William could tell that while Angelus didn't feel any remorse for what he had done, Angelus did seem to have more of a fondness for him. Angelus was more brotherly towards William than he had been before, and William after healing changed his mind about leaving.

Angel saw Spike falter and look off into the distance for a few seconds. Angel said, "What is it?"

Spike started shaking from the memory and said, "You're going to whip me again?"

Angel thought about that for a second not quite understanding what Spike was talking about. Then the memory clicked in his head and he looked down at the switch in his hand. He walked over to set it on the couch and then pulled Spike into a hug. He said, "No. I'll never whip you like that. Angelus might if he ever gets loose again, but I won't."

Angel continued to hold Spike until the shaking stopped. Spike just stood there trying to reassure himself that Angel was not the bastard that Angelus had been. Once Angel felt Spike was calmer, and the shaking was gone he said quietly, "But that doesn't mean I won't spank you with it."

Spike stiffened in Angel's hold. Angel held Spike at arm's length and said, "You were so ashamed of this that you didn't even put it on the list or tell me about it the first day. How many times a day are you thinking about it?"

Spike looked away and shrugged. Angel said, "How often Spike?"

"Don't know."

Angel started to pull him towards the kitchen table with one hand on Spike's left arm. He said, "Yes you do know, you just don't want to tell me."

Angel pulled Spike right up to the table and said, "Drop your pants."

Spike looked at Angel, but Angel had let go of him, and gone to retrieve the switch. Spike stood still and watched, wanting it all to be a dream, but at the same time not moving to get away. Angel turned back to Spike and saw that he was not complying with his directions and gave him a glare. Angel said sharply, "William!"

Spike jumped at the name and the tone. He undid his jeans without thinking much about it. But before he pushed them down he looked at Angel and said, "Every five minutes or more."

Angel gave him a silent nod and said, "So let's take care of it."

Spike looked at the switch and shook his head no. He hadn't really realized until that moment how much the thought of a switch bothered him. He had been caned more then once in school, and had hated it, but the only experience he had with a switch was when Angelus had beaten him. He said, "Not with that….please."

Angel put a hand on Spike's shoulder and said, "The list you gave me was full of evil monstrous things. But this is the thing that occupies most of you thoughts. And while I don't condone what you did, Buffy is stronger then both of us. You must have known even then that you couldn't succeed. She obviously didn't hate you enough to stake you for it, because you're standing here talking to me. So the thing that is really eating at you is that you hurt the person you love, and lost her trust. And because you're ashamed of what you did, and can't stop thinking about it, I'm going to treat this as your most serious offence, even if I don't think it was much of an offence at all. So I am going to switch you. Now drop your pants and bend over the table."

Spike felt a tear spill down his face. He looked away, shoved his jeans down to his knees and leaned down to put his hands flat on the table. Angel looked at the naked butt in front of him. It was still a little pink from the night before with three smallish bruises that hadn't completely healed yet, but would be healed by the next morning. Angel said, "Bend down further. Put your elbows on the table."

Spike did. Angel put a hand on the middle of Spike's back both to keep him in place, and to keep some kind of physical contact with him to let him know he wasn't alone. Angel took aim and brought the switch down with very little force. Spike didn't move or make a noise at the impact. A faint pink line showed up where Angel had struck. Angel decided that was about right to start with, and proceeded to cover Spike's entire butt with little pink lines. By the time he was half way done Spike wasn't able to hold completely still, but did a good job of trying.

Angel paused when Spike's butt was completely pink and said, "You should have written this down the first night."

Angel started up again with just a little more force, but this time was striking skin that had already been hit once. Spike jerked a little and groaned. Angel continued spanking and asked, "Why didn't you write this down?"

Spike tried hard to stay in place, but it was harder now. He said, "I don't know."

Angel said, "Yes you do. Tell me."

Spike gave a frustrated growl and said, "You know why!"

"Tell me anyway."

Spike was silent for a few seconds while Angel continued to switch him. Spike whispered, "Because I'm ashamed of it, and….. and because I know you love her too."

Angel hadn't expected this last part. He paused for a second and said, "Why does it matter that I love her too?"

Spike swore in his head and snipped, "It doesn't. Maybe if you'd stop thrashing me long enough to let me answer your questions I wouldn't be blubbering nonsense!"

Angel shook his head and brought the switch down hard for the first time. Spike wasn't expecting it to be so painful, and yelled out. Angel put more pressure on Spike's back to make sure Spike stayed down. Angel said, "What did I say about lying?"

Spike yelled, "I'm not bloody lying!"

Angel could see the raised whitish line that the switch had just made in the middle of Spike's ass. He aimed and made another one just under the first. Spike yelled even louder and Angel said, "Yes you are, so stop it."

Spike made a half hearted attempt to get up, but Angel pushed him back down. Angel said again, "Why does it matter that I love her too?"

Spike sighed, swallowed what was left of his pride, and said quietly, "I thought you'd kill me or leave me here."

Angel was surprised at first, but then when he thought about it, he understood. He rubbed his hand on Spike's back in a soothing circle a few times and said, "I'm not going to give up on you Spike, no matter what you've done."

Angel couldn't hear it, but could smell Spike's tears coming back in force. Angel went back to switching Spike without much force behind the blows and avoided the two raised lines. Spike grunted out small noises of pain, and tried not to squirm too much. Angel said, "You didn't tell me about it, because you were ashamed of what you had done, but wasn't that what the list was for? To tell me about all the things you were ashamed of doing?"

Spike whispered, "Yeah."

"Are there anymore big things that are eating at you that you haven't told me about?"


Angel stopped again and said, "Are you sure Spike, because this here is you chance to confess. If I find out you were lying again you will be a very unhappy little childe."

Spike felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up at that statement. It sounded just like Angelus. Spike knew it was Angel, but that didn't stop the slight shiver that went though his body at the tone. He said, "I swear. There's nothing else."

Angel said, "Okay I believe you. We're almost done here, but before you get up, I'm going to give you eight more, and they're going to be hard."

Spike shook his head no, but didn't move. Angel said, "Two for not putting it on the list in the first place, and six for trying to rape Buffy. When I'm done, you will have paid for what you did. Do you understand me?"

Spike gave a nod. Angel said, "Stay in place."

Angel gave Spike the last eight without talking. He waited a few seconds in between blows for Spike to stop yelling and to settle down enough to stay in position. Once he had given him the last one, he tossed the switch in the general direction of the fireplace and started to rub Spike's back waiting for him to calm down.

Spike was in a lot of pain, but at the same time he didn't know if it was enough. He wanted to stop thinking about what he had done. He wanted forgiveness, but he didn't think that he deserved it. He stayed where he was and cried.

Angel rubbed Spike's back and said quietly, "All done Will. Forgiven. Come get a hug."

Spike stood and hissed at the pain movement caused. Angel waited while Spike fixed his pants and then Angel pulled him into a tight hug. Spike hesitantly hugged him back.

While Angel held Spike he said, "It will get better Spike. I promise you it will. It won't always hurt so bad just to be awake and remember."

Spike said between sniffs, "How can you forgive me? You love her."

Angel nodded and said, "I can forgive you because you didn't have a soul at the time. And yes I love her, I always will, but you love her too. And I know how I feel about the things I did to her as Angelus, so I understand how you feel about what you did. I can forgive you, because I know for a fact that you hate yourself for it."

Spike continued to cry and held Angel a little tighter. Once the tears had slowed Angel said, "The sun will be up soon. Time for bed."

Spike let go and wiped at his face. Angel headed for the bedroom and Spike followed. Angel dug into his duffel back and pulled out a pair of boxers. He tossed them to Spike who caught them. Spike looked at them confused for a second. Angel said, "They'll be more comfortable then your jeans, and I know you haven't owned any underwear since that incident with Dru."

Angel stripped down to his boxers and climbed into the bed under the covers. He looked over at Spike who was standing in the same place. Angel said, "If I have to undress you myself it's going to involve swatting."

Spike shook his head once, as if to wake himself up, and then started to take his clothes off too. He stripped down to nothing before putting on the boxers, and then climbed into the other side of the bed. Angel said, "Same as last night."

Spike sighed and said, "I'll sleep just fine on my side."

Angel said, "I doubt it. Come over here."

Spike gave in and scooted over to Angel's side. Spike put his head on Angel's chest and got comfortable. Angel wrapped an arm around him and said, "Good boy. Now sleep."

As Spike lay there he felt Angel rubbing his back and arm in comfort. He fell asleep almost immediately, and Angel let himself fall asleep soon after.

Here is some 'not safe for work' artwork inspried by this story from my good friend Jenna.

Chapter 2

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