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. Written July 2006. I believe the song lyrics are by Will Young.
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. Somewhat graphic slash. Graphic descriptions of children being murdered and tortured.

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That Once Part 2

The next evening Angel woke up first. He looked at his grandchilde who was still lying on top of him for the most part. He thought about Spike for a while and wondered if he was doing the right thing. When he had first gotten his soul back, he had wanted punishment and forgiveness for his sins, and he thought that was what Spike would want too. But as he lay there and thought about the things that had bothered Spike the most over the past two days he wondered if maybe he was wrong. Spike had been most upset about hurting his mother and Buffy. Angel thought, 'Maybe what Spike really needs is to know that he's still worthy of love. He hurt the one person who loved him the most in his younger years, and then he hurt the person he loves the most right now.'

Angel's thinking was interrupted when he heard Spike say, "Brooding?"

Angel hadn't realized Spike was awake and smiled down at the top of the bleached blond head that was resting on his chest. He said, "What if I am?"

Spike lifted his head and looked at Angel. He said, "Not good for your forehead mate. It'll give you wrinkles."

Spike rolled away and lay on his back on the other side of the bed. He said, "Want to tell me about it?"

Angel rolled to his side and propped his head on one elbow. He said, "Nope."

Spike looked over at him and raised one eyebrow. "So it's about me then?"

Angel smiled and said, "The world doesn't revolve around you Spike. I have plenty of other things to think about."

"First off you're wrong, the world does revolve around me, and second if it's not about me, then tell me about it."

Angel laughed and said, "Go take a shower Spike."

Spike sat up and said with irritation, "I see how it is. I'm supposed to pour my heart out to you, while you get to keep your silence and your dignity. Fine."

Angel could tell Spike was truly upset about the fact that Angel wasn't sharing, so as Spike started to get up and walk away Angel said, "Wait. I'll tell you."

Spike looked at Angel for a few seconds to see if he was serious or not, and then sat back down to listen.

Angel lay down on his back again and thought about the things that were going on in his life right now. He started talking about Darla's pregnancy, and about how baby Connor had been taken from him. He told Spike about Connor coming back and already hating him. He told him about his three months in the ocean, and about kicking Connor out.

When he was done, the room became silent. He just lay there for a while wondering what Spike was thinking about the story. A few minutes later Spike said, "I don't understand."

Angel looked over at Spike. "What?"

"You're forcing me to stay here with you so you can punish me for my past sins, but you kicked Connor out?"

Angel sighed and said, "It's not the same Spike."

"I'm sure it's hard for you to see, because you're too close to the situation, but there are plenty of similarities. When we're done here, you go home, find your son, and work it out."

Angel looked sad and said, "I don't know if there is a way to work it out. He hates me, and he's so angry at everyone and everything."

Spike reached out and punched Angel on the shoulder, but didn't use much force. He said, "Stop being slow witted. If you want to work it out bad enough, then make up your mind about it, and make it happen."

Angel gave Spike a slight smile; "Maybe you're right. Thanks for the advice. I'll think about it."

Spike smiled and felt kind of good about himself for the first time in a long time. Angel said, "Enough of my problems, and enough lying around in bed. Go take a shower."

Spike nodded and got out of bed. He collected his clothes and went into the bathroom. While Angel was waiting for him, he thought about Spike, and what to do with him the rest of the week.

When Spike was out of the shower Angel told him to warm up some blood for the two of them while he took a shower. Soon they were both sitting at the kitchen table sipping their blood. Angel thought about it for a few seconds and said, "Let me see your ass."

Spike choked on his blood and said, "What?"

"I want to see the damage."

Spike glared and said, "Sod off." Then he muttered to himself, "Twisted wanker."

Angel said in a warning tone, "Spike…."

"No! It's one thing to take my pants off for you to thrash me, but I'm not taking them off so you can get some kind of thrill."

Angel glared. "Thrill? Not likely. I don't see what the problem is. I've seen you naked thousands of times. But if you're not willing to let me see any other way, I'm sure I could arrange another trip over my knee right about now."

Spike looked over at Angel not quite sure if he should call his bluff or not. Angel gave him a 'look', and Spike decided to believe what Angel said. He slowly stood and turned his back to Angel as he undid his jeans. He lowered his pants just enough to show his butt for a few seconds, and then pulled them back up and fastened them. He sat down again and refused to look at Angel.

Angel said, "We're taking the day off from punishment. You've got some bruises still, but it should be gone by tomorrow."

Spike shook his head, "You're just gonna give me more, so why worry about it?"

"You're gonna do what I say whether you want to or not, so why question it?"

Spike had nothing to say to that. Angel said, "Is there anything you'd like to do today?"

Spike had to think about it. Eventually he said, "Drink myself into a stupor?"

Angel smiled at him as he shook his head no. Then Angel said, "Do you want to go hunt something?"

"I like to kill demons as much as the next guy, but I thought we had already decided there weren't any in this town."

"We could take the car. It's only about an hour to a decent sized city."

Spike looked unsure. "Really?"

Angel nodded. Spike smiled and said, "Sounds good."

Angel got his jacket and car keys. Soon they were on the road. A few minutes into the trip Angel said, "Tell me about Buffy."

"What about her?"

"Anything. Tell me all the things you love about her."

Spike shook his head. "Why? Can't we just enjoy the ride without bringing up emotional rubbish?"

"Talk or we head back to the cabin."

Spike put his booted foot up on Angel's dash knowing it would irritate him and said, "Fine how about I tell you the story of the first time we slept together. I'm sure it will be highly enlightening for you."

Angel noticed the boot on the dash, and knew between that and Spike's comment that he was being baited. But Angel wasn't going to let himself take the bait. "Go ahead. Tell me in detail if it makes you happy. As long as you're talking about Buffy anything goes."

Spike was slightly confused by Angel's lack of response, but pretended he wasn't and started the story. But when he was starting to describe their kissing he trailed off, and didn't want to tell the rest of the story. A few seconds later Angel said, "If you don't want to tell that story, then pick another."

Spike picked a more neutral story of fighting demons with her until they were close to town.

It didn't take long, and soon they had parked and walked into the bar. Angel went in first. He scanned the place. There were two vampires at a table minding their own business, and there was one demon at the bar. The bar tender looked human which surprised Angel. He also looked somewhat friendly and smiled at Angel and Spike as he said, "What'll it be guys?"

Spike and Angel exchanged a glance. Angel walked up and sat at the bar as he said, "Two beers. Whatever you have on tap."

"You sure? I have some fresh A positive."

"Beer will be fine thanks."

The bartender nodded and started to get the beer. Spike sat down next to Angel at the bar. Angel looked over at the demon next to him. He had a slightly blue tint to his skin with bright green eyes. The demon gave a friendly nod and Angel returned it feeling more and more like something was wrong with this place.

The bartender brought the beer, and Angel paid him. The bartender said, "You two new to town or just passing through?"

Angel said, "Just passing through."

The demon beside him said, "Good idea."

The bartender scowled at the demon and said, "Lemikus, that's no way to talk to strangers. What would Granny think?"

Lemikus looked a little nervous and said, "I didn't mean anything by it. Maybe I… I think I just had too much to drink."

"Maybe you should go sleep it off."

Lemikus nodded and got up to leave. He turned around and said, "You're not gonna tell her are you Steve? You know I'm loyal."

Steve seemed to be thinking it over and said, "I'll think about it."

Lemikus nodded and left. Spike smirked and said, "Granny?"

Steve smiled and said, "Don't let the name fool you. She's named Granny because she's been around a long time and sired many. She's promised to sire me in six months."

Angel said with disbelief, "You want to become a vampire?"

Steve still smiling and seemingly sincere said, "Of course. Who wouldn't want eternal life, heightened strength, heightened speed, and heightened senses?"

Spike shook his head and muttered, "Anyone with a brain."

Steve frowned at Spike. Angel trying to get Steve to understand why it wasn't a good idea said, "But you lose your soul in the process."

Steve shrugged. "No big loss. I don't think it makes that much difference anyway."

Angel didn't know what to say to that kind of ignorance. Spike looked at Angel and said, "Can we kill him just for being stupid?"

Angel ignored Spike and said, "So how long has Granny been around, and how many has she Sired?"

Steve's eyes lit up as he started to talk about the vampire he obviously was in awe of. "She's been a vampire for over fifty years. Can you imagine not aging a day for fifty years?!"

Spike gave a sarcastic, "Boggles the mind."

Angel turned and gave Spike a warning glance to keep his mouth shut while he was trying to get information out of Steve. Angel said, "That's impressive. How many has she Sired?"

"At least four every year for fifty years, so over two hundred."

Angel was very surprised at that. Most vampires only Sired a few times in their lives. Once every five to ten years was more normal. It wasn't a good idea to make very many, because it would deplete the local food source, and it would be much more likely for average people to become aware of vampires and try to kill them.

Spike said, "You sure about that?"

"Absolutely. I've met many of them."

Angel shook his head thinking he was being played. He said, "Do you try and sell this crap to all your patrons? No way would so many vampires all stay in the same area."

Steve got visibly upset. "Maybe Lemikus was right. It's a good thing you guys are just passing through.

The two vampires that had been minding their own business were suddenly standing behind Angel and Spike. One of them said, "These guys bothering you Steve?"

Angel and Spike thought it was beyond strange that vampires were protecting a human, even if he was a bartender. Steve shook his head and said, "It's okay Shane. Thanks though."

Shane nodded and him and his companion went back to their table. Steve said, "Drink up and be on your way guys."

Angel could tell they were no longer welcome. He and Spike gulped down their beers and got out. Once they were on the sidewalk Spike said, "Only fifty and she's Sired over 200? That's insanity."

Angel nodded in agreement. "I hate to disappoint Steve, but I think we need to put an end to Granny's siring days."

Angel sniffed the air and said, "Let's see if Lemikus knows where we might find her."

It took them an hour to track him, but eventually they were standing in front of an apartment door. Angel knocked. A few seconds later Lemikus answered the door looking sleepy and disheveled. Lemikus said, "What are you two doing here? Are you spies for her? Because I didn't mean anything by what I said at the bar. Honestly I didn't."

Angel said, "We have no connection with Granny. In fact we want to stop her. It's not good for any one vampire to sire so many. It's bad for everyone, humans, vampires, and other demons. We're looking for information on her. Could we come in for a few minutes?"

Lemikus thought about it for a few seconds. Then he opened his door wider and said, "Okay, come in. Spies or not, nothing I say is gonna get you close to her."

Angel and Spike went in and sat on the couch. Lemikus asked, "What do you want to know?"

"Tell us everything you know about her, especially where we might find her."

Lemikus took a deep breath and said, "I don't know Granny's real name. I've only been around for twenty years, and she had been known as Granny for a long time before that. She started calling herself that the day her first childe sired someone. I think she'd only been a vampire for about three years at that time."

Spike interrupted, "Do her progeny sire as often as she does?"

"No. She's the only vampire I know of who does it so often."

Angel said, "The guy at the bar, Steve, said she had sired over two hundred, and that he'd met a bunch of them. How is that even possible."

Lemikus sat down in an easy chair and sighed. "Oh it's possible. Granny's smart. She sires someone every three months or so, but she finds humans that actually want to be changed, and then uses that to her advantage. She has at least fifty of her vampires out on scouting missions all over the world at all times. They find humans who want to be changed in various cities and bring them back here to meet her. Then she makes them wait at least a year before changing them. During that time they have to hold down a job and give her thirty percent of their pay. They also have to 'donate' blood at least twice a week to whichever vampire found them during that year."

Angel thought about it and said, "That's really smart. No wonder she can keep so many of her children close to her. They aren't drawing attention to themselves, because they aren't killing anyone."

Lemikus nodded. "That's right. Any of her children that don't have a human to feed off of get sent away until they find one and bring them back, so if they do kill it's out of town. There are at least sixty people here in town waiting to be turned. The problem is the more she turns, the more she has to turn, and the quicker she has to do it. Now she probably turns about one a month, and the waiting list is long, but the vampires who found the humans don't want them to be turned, because then they lose their meal ticket and have to go looking for another. Steve has been waiting for over a year, and has six more months to wait. His sponsor was there in the bar tonight. When Steve closes up tonight Shane will feed on him until he's almost passed out. Then he'll come back and do it again four days later. But in return Steve gets protection and the promise of eternal life, not to mention a community to belong to. They all have parties and meet together at least once a month with the humans and vampires mingling."

Spike shook his head, "That's just wrong. How can Granny keep so many soulless vampires in line? Why don't they just go on a killing spree?"

"Because she's a vindictive little bitch, and anyone who crosses her gets killed publicly, and not quickly. She made one guy last for about a week. That was gruesome, and I'm not a squeamish guy. But for those that are loyal, she is the sweetest little girl you've ever met. And she lets her children feed from her often."

Angel asked, "Little girl?"

Lemikus nodded, "She was eleven when she was turned."

Angel and Spike exchanged a look. Angel said, "She has a strong bond with them not only because she lets them feed off her, but also because she tastes different then normal. She has the usual sire childe bond, but then she also has the advantage of tasting like a child to them."

Spike nodded in agreement and said, "And they all get fed off their own humans regularly. She makes new children so often that she has at least ten fledglings at a time, and they are the most loyal. Smart girl. Let's kill her."

Angel turned to Lemikus and said, "Where can we find her?"

"She lives in the biggest mansion in town. She's quite well off with all the humans around paying her thirty percent of their wages. The place is full of vampires. She is never alone. There will be at least fifty of them in the house at one time, and she has at lest twenty humans who guard the house during the day. Which they do for free by the way, and believe me they are ruthless in their loyalty to her. She owns the land around the mansion, and it is all enclosed by a tall electric fence."

Angel looked at Spike and said, "Looks like a job for another time. We don't have the resources to do this now."

Lemikus said, "If you want to meet her, I know for a fact she's having a party tonight. That's why Steve's place was so empty. There will be over a hundred vampires and humans in the mansion tonight. And she will be the center of attention. She doesn't mind meeting vampires that she didn't sire as long as they make it clear they are just passing through and have come to pay their respects, especially if they bring her a gift. She thinks quite highly of herself."

Spike said, "Let's go meet her, and get a general feel for what is going on there, and then you and your team can come back and kill her in a few weeks."

Angel looked at the time and said, "Okay, I suppose it would be alright."

He turned to Lemikus and asked, "What kind of gift would she like?"

Lemikus said, "She loves video games and has the newest game system out there, but I think she has every game ever made. Every month when she has a party her progeny bring her gifts. She likes jewelry, and has an extensive collection of diamond necklaces. I wish I could think of something original, but I can't."

Spike said, "How about a kitten or a puppy?"

Angel nodded at Spike's line of thinking. He said, "Granny probably is a lot like Dru in many ways." He turned to Lemikus and said, "Has anyone ever given her a kitten?"

Lemikus shook his head. "Not that I know of."

"Does she have any animals?"


Angel said, "Could backfire, she might hate them."

"Or it could get us noticed and in her good graces."

"Okay let's give it a try."

Angel and Spike stood, and Angel shook hands with Lemikus thanking him for the information. Very soon Angel had broken into a local pet store and stolen a kitten. They made it to the main entrance and were stopped by three large vampire guards. Angel gave them a story about having heard of Granny and wanting to pay their respects. They believed it, searched them, and then let them in. But they also were followed into the house by two guards who were waiting for them at the front door.

Angel and Spike arrived in the mansion and saw many humans and vampires talking and visiting. They noticed most of the humans had fresh bite marks somewhere on them, and even saw some letting the vampires feed there at the party. They asked about seeing Granny, but they were informed that only a few select got to be in the ballroom with her at a time, and they would have to wait. They waited for a few hours, and Angel was getting worried about the time.

While Angel was lost in his own thoughts, Spike saw a guy standing against the wall smoking. He wandered over to the guy and said, "Got an extra?"

The guy got out his pack of cigarettes and handed it to Spike. Spike said, "Thanks." and took one. He gave the pack back and got out his own lighter to light it. He took a few steps to the side and then leaned against the wall also. Before he was halfway done with his cigarette, another man walked over and leaned against the wall next to Spike. Spike looked over. The human was in his late twenties and appeared to work out. He had dark black hair and light tan skin. He looked at Spike while Spike was looking at him. The man smiled and said, "Hi. I don't think I've seen you here before, are you new?"

Spike had seen the look this man was giving him more then once. Spike smiled to himself thinking about what he might have done with the guy a couple of years ago. Spike took a drag off his cigarette and said, "Yeah, I'm new. How about you? Come here often?"

The man smiled even bigger and said, "This is my first time here too."

He held out his hand and said, "I'm Jason."

Spike shook hands and said, "Nice to meet you Jason. Name's Spike."



Jason thought about that for a second and said, "Odd name…."

Then Jason looked down at Spike's pants and continued, "…..unless it's supposed to be descriptive of something."

Spike smirked and said, "Well that's for me to know and you to find out."

Angel realized he had been lost in thought for a few seconds and that Spike wasn't next to him anymore. He looked around and saw him standing by the wall talking to someone. He overheard a few lines of conversation and realized the man next to Spike was flirting with him, and Spike was flirting back. He didn't stop to think about it, he just walked over to them and barked out, "What are you doing?"

Spike could tell Angel was fairly upset, but had no clue why. He said cautiously, "Smoking and talking?"

Angel realized he was being an ass for no reason, and then had to ask himself why he was being an ass. He glared at Spike even though he was mostly irritated with himself and said, "Stay close and don't wander off."

Spike glared back and said, "Wander off? I was five feet away from you."

Angel didn't say anything. He crossed his arms, and leaned against the wall next to Spike. Spike turned to see that Jason had disappeared. He looked back at Angel and tried to figure out what that had been about.

Angel thought, 'What is my problem? It's like I was jealous or something….. Was I jealous? Jealous because he's my childe and I'm responsible for his well being right now, or because of something more?'

His thoughts were interrupted when a vampire finally came over to them and said, "You can go in now."

Spike and Angel were ushered into the ballroom of the house, where there was a table with various kinds of blood and alcohol for everyone, along with some food for the humans. There was music playing and some people and vampires were dancing. Angel saw her first, and found the whole thing very surreal. She was tiny and had obviously been changed before puberty. She had dark brown hair that was wavy and came down to the center of her back. She had brown eyes and pale skin. She was wearing a turquoise colored dress and was laughing and smiling as different people danced with her, some of them picking her up to dance her around the room.

Angel turned to see Spike's reaction. He looked at Angel and said, "Creepy!"

Angel turned back to see that Granny was now glaring at Spike, and was pushing at the woman vampire that was holding her to put her down. As soon as her feet touched the ground she walked purposefully over towards Angel and Spike. As she walked, the people around her got out of her way. As soon as she was in front of Angel and Spike she looked up expectantly at the guards who had followed them. Both Angel and Spike were kicked in the back of their knees simultaneously, and fell to their knees in front of Granny.

Granny smiled with malice and said, "I'm sorry sir, maybe I didn't hear you correctly. Did you just call me creepy?"

Spike thought fast and said, "Not exactly. I did say creepy, but only because I find it unusual how much you look like my sire, or at least how I think she would have looked as a child."

Angel held out a white box tied with a pink bow and said, "We brought you a gift."

Granny grinned and clapped her hands before taking the gift. She tore it open and found the kitten inside. She picked up the kitten carefully and said, "Awww, look at how sweet it is."

She held the kitten close and pet it. She smiled at Angel and said, "I like you, you may stand."

She turned to Spike and said, "Since your friend here gave me a pretty little kitten, I won't have you beaten. But I don't believe you, and I don't want to ever lay eyes on you again." She turned to the guard and said, "Keep him by the front door until his friend comes to collect him. If he tries to get away, you may hurt him as much as you like."

The guard bowed and said, "Thank you Granny."

Spike said, "Now see here you little…Hey!"

Angel quickly whacked the back of Spike's head and said fiercely, "Mind your manners childe. Show some respect."

Spike glared at Angel, but after a few seconds to think about it realized this was the wrong time to be challenging Granny. He hated it, but he looked down and said, "I'm very sorry if I offended you."

Granny smiled at Angel and waved the guard off who started to pull Spike away. Angel smiled back at her and said, "It's very nice to meet you Granny."

She gave her kitten a kiss and said, "It's nice to meet you too. Come talk to me."

She took Angel's hand in hers and pulled him towards some chairs that were against the wall. Angel noticed they were followed closely by six guards. They got to the chairs and Angel sat down. Then to his shock she climbed up in his lap and put an arm around his neck. She got comfortable and said, "Tell me how you found out about me, and why you came to see me."

Angel looked down at her and understood immediately why the humans would be loyal to her as well. He was there to find a way to kill her, and he already doubted his ability to do that, because she seemed so sweet and looked so small and helpless. He said, "I just arrived in town today, and heard about you from a bartender named Steve. He had lots of nice things to say about you, and I wanted to see you for myself. I heard from a demon named Lemikus that you liked gifts, so I brought you one."

"What is your relation to the icky vampire who thinks I'm creepy."

"He is my grandchilde, and he is really quite young and impulsive. I'm very sorry if he upset you."

Granny gave him a sad little smile and said, "He's not the first to think I'm creepy. Do you think I'm creepy?"

Angel lied, "No."

She sighed, "Yes you do, but thanks for not saying so. How long have you been a vampire?"

"A long time."

She glared at him. "Are you patronizing me?"

Angel noticed the six vamps that had surrounded him were tensing up at that statement. He said, "Not at all. I'm over two hundred and fifty years old…. Older if you include my time in hell."

She sat up straight and took her arm off his neck. She looked at him intently and said, "Really?"

He nodded. She said, "You're the oldest vampire I've ever met. Can I taste you?"

Angel leaned back a little and said, "What?!"

"I'll let you taste me if I can taste you."

Angel shook his head thinking she was three times creepier now. He said, "I just met you, and you don't even know my name. Not to mention you're a kid. No, you can't taste me."

Granny pouted and said, "Fine….."

She looked at her followers and less then a second later Angel was being held down by all six of them. He found it difficult to fight because she was still on his lap and he didn't want to hurt her. Even though he knew she was a vampire, it was hard to see past the little girl face. She took care of that by showing him her vampire face while he was being restrained. She said, "Except I will anyway."

She leaned down and bit his neck. Angel felt the little teeth go into him and felt her sucking and drinking his blood. He found the whole thing very disturbing. She only drank a little bit and then stopped. She went back to her human face and said, "Pretty good. Better then most I think."

She leaned up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. She said, "Thank you for the kitty."

She climbed off his lap and took the hand of one of her followers. She told the ones restraining Angel, "Keep him there until I say he can go."

She walked away talking with one of her children about her new kitten, and immediately sent some vampires and some people out to get the kitten food and supplies. Angel stayed restrained in his chair and watched her. Everyone there seemed to adore her, and they were all more then willing to do her bidding. Then a few minutes later she held out her wrist to one of her followers and said, "Want to taste me mixed with the old vampire Felix?"

He nodded, got down on his knees and said, "Thank you for picking me Granny."

She let him drink from her. He only had a little bit, but Angel could tell he was on an immediate high and probably would be all night. She let two others drink from her before she got out a Hello Kitty Band-Aid and put it over her wrist. Then she turned back to Angel and told her followers to let him go. He stood up, and she said, "You may leave. Take your grandchilde and don't come back or I'll have to have you killed."

Angel nodded and slowly headed towards the front to collect Spike and get the hell out of there while they still could.

Spike was standing by the front door getting more and more angry about being tossed out of the main room, and about the guard standing right by him almost daring him to make a move. One of the human females came by and said, "Hi there sweetie, I haven't seen you here before."

Spike could tell she was slightly intoxicated, and had two bite marks on her arm already. He said, "Just passing through pet. Not one of the regulars."

She frowned and said, "Bummer."

The guard looked her up and down and said, "You're Sarah's human aren't you?"

She nodded. He said, "Go find her. You've got no business with this one that will end well. Granny doesn't like him. He called her creepy."

She glared at Spike. "Creepy? You called that sweet little girl creepy?"

Spike snapped and said, "Sweet?! She's about as sweet as a lemon! She's a cold hearted merciless killer! Open your eyes."

The woman had a hand over her mouth aghast at Spike's words. The vampire next to Spike smiled down at him and said, "I believe you just gave me permission to hurt you."

Spike took a step back and said, "I didn't try to get away."

The vampire looked over at the woman and said, "I saw him try to run, how about you?"

The woman glared at Spike and said, "Yep. He almost got away but you tackled him."

Spike took another step back. The vampire advanced on him, and Spike instead of running stood his ground. Spike may have been smaller, but he'd been around much longer, and been in more fights. The vampire tried to punch Spike in the face, but Spike ducked out of the way. As Spike was ducking, he stuck his boot in between the vampire's legs and tripped him. As the vampire went down Spike reached for the nearest chair and smashed it against the wall. He was left with two legs of the chair in his hands, and he quickly plunged one into the vampire's chest. The vampire dusted, and the woman screamed at the top of her lungs. Spike looked at her and said, "Shut up!"

He saw many vampires advancing on him at the same time.

Angel made it almost to the front when he heard a woman scream. He ran towards the sound and saw about ten large vampires circling around Spike. Angel muttered, "Shit."

He jumped in the air and sailed over a few people to land right beside Spike. Spike said, "About time. Have a nice chat with the wee one?"

Angel and Spike got back to back while looking at their opponents. Angel said, "Can't I leave you alone for five minutes without you getting into some kind of mess?"

Spike scoffed, "Not likely." And handed Angel one of the chair legs to use as a stake.

Angel nodded and gave a long suffering, "Right."

As if on cue, both Angel and Spike attacked the vampires in front of them at the same time.

A few seconds later there were six vampires dead and four wounded. There was screaming and crying all around. Angel grabbed Spike's arm and said, "RUN."

The two ran as fast as they could, but found there were vampires waiting for them at the front gate. They ran the other direction across the grounds.

They got to the fence on the other side, but it looked almost too high to jump, even with vampire power. Angel looked at the fence, and looked back at the other vampires advancing on them. Angel turned to Spike and said, "Get a running start and use my back to jump over the fence."

Angel leaned down so his back was parallel to the ground. Spike shook his head. "What about you."

Angel yelled, "You damn well better obey me!!"

Spike looked back and saw six vampires were almost on them. He took a few steps back and got a running start. He jumped to Angel's back with both feet, and then used that as a springboard to jump over the electric fence with no trouble. He turned to see Angel. Angel stood and ran along side the fence to see if any point was lower, or the ground was higher somewhere. Spike followed along on the other side of the fence. Angel made it to the corner of the fence and said, "Damn."

He knew there was no heading back, because he saw vampires coming for him from both sides. He ran and jumped as hard as he could. He almost made it, but his feet caught the top of the fence, and the fence electrocuted him as he fell down on the other side, head first. Spike yelled out, "No!"

He ran to Angel's side and saw that he was passed out. Some of the vampires on the other side of the fence laughed and one said, "He'll be out for hours."

Another yelled out, "Go around! We've got one knocked out!"

Spike lifted Angel and put him over his shoulder in a fireman's hold. He took off at a dead run. Some of the vampires yelled in frustration, not expecting Spike to help Angel. Spike panicked and ran the opposite direction of the car. He wasn't sure where to hide, since Granny had people all over the city that were with her. He eventually found a manhole and went down the sewers to hide. Once they were alone, he put Angel down. He said, "Angel?"

He patted his face a few times and said, "Sire? Can you hear me?"

Angel groaned and said, "William?"

Spike smiled at that. He said, "That's right. I need you to wake up for me now. We're in danger."

Angel put a hand to his head. He looked around and said, "Sewers?"

Spike nodded. "That's right. Remember Granny and her minions?"

Angel groaned and gave a nod. He said, "I hit the fence, didn't I?"

Spike said, "Yes. Can you get up and move? They're coming for us, and there are a lot more of them then there are us."

Angel struggled to get up and Spike noticed his neck. He said, "The bitch bit you?"

Angel was sitting now. "Creepy doesn't even begin to describe it."

Spike helped Angel stand. He said, "Come on, we need to find a place to hide."

Angel was starting to feel more like himself again and as they started walking he said, "Where's my car?"

"Back in the street next to her house."


Spike still had the chair leg stake in his hand, and as they walked along the sewers he looked for another weapon. A few minutes later he stooped down and picked up a small waterlogged branch. He broke the end off and handed it to Angel. "Just in case they find us."

From behind him they heard footsteps. Angel and Spike hurried along, and before they got very far, they ran into some vampires coming in the other direction. Both of them realized they were cornered. There were twenty vampires on one side and thirty on the other. Angel looked over at Spike and realized they very well might not make it out of this situation alive. It wouldn't be the first time they had beaten the odds if they won, but it was unlikely. Angel and Spike were back to back again.

Angel also realized he would regret not having the chance to get to know this new Spike with a soul. He said, "Hey Spike?"


"If we don't make it out of here tonight, I want you to know that I really like the new you. Your soul shines through your eyes and makes you beautiful."

Spike looked behind him towards Angel and said, "What kind of girly crap is that? Can't you see we're about to be beaten to a pulp here?!"

Angel chuckled. "Sorry. Let's kick some ass, and then talk."

They heard Granny's voice yell out, "Try to capture them without killing them! I want to make their deaths last."

That announcement probably saved their lives, even though that hadn't been Granny's intention. Angel and Spike fought hard, and within five minutes thirty of the vampires were dead, and some were starting to back away. Angel saw one vampire pleading with Granny to go with him back to the mansion, but she wasn't having it. Angel doubled his efforts and killed five more vampires quickly and ran up to Granny's side. The vampire that was next to her fought Angel with everything he had, but it wasn't enough. As soon as he was dusted Granny started to cry and said, "You killed all my beautiful children. I'll get you back. I'll find out where you live, and I'll…."

Angel staked her. She looked down at the hole in her chest with shock, and then dusted. Angel muttered, "Sorry kid."

Two vampires attacked him from the back, and now that Granny was gone, they were fighting to kill not to capture.

Angel turned and saw that Spike was on the ground getting kicked in the stomach. He quickly counted five more vampires left, and within ten seconds they were all dusted.

As the vampire dust settled to the floor, Angel and Spike locked eyes. Spike grinned first, but was closely followed by Angel's smile. Angel held out his hand and pulled Spike up from the floor. Angel looked at Spike's smile and noted that Spike's soul really was shining through his eyes, and found himself rushing with emotions. He was filled with adrenaline from the fight, and he was filled with joy at the realization that they had fought a hard battle and won it together. The thought of Spike flirting with that man at the mansion went through Angel's mind. He took a step forward and pulled Spike's body towards his. He leaned down and kissed Spike on the mouth. Spike was too surprised to move at first, but as he felt Angel's tongue on his lips he responded by opening his mouth, and kissing back. The kiss was passionate, and Spike wrapped his arms around Angel's torso. Angel reached down and cupped Spike's ass with his right hand, and pushed Spike's groin into his.

As Spike felt the hand on his butt he came to his senses and his mind screamed at him, "Angel is doing this!!!"

Spike let go and put his right hand on Angel's chest. He pushed him back far enough that their lips parted, but Angel didn't let go of his butt. Spike looked up at Angel confused and whispered, "What are you doing?"

Angel looked down at Spike with lust and said, "Don't be daft Will, you know what I'm doing."

Spike gasped at the tone and the name. He shook his head slightly. "But…. But….I mean, I know I've called you a pouf more then once, not to mention a nancy, and a pansy, but…. I didn't really believe it. I never thought you were gay. Hell, I never even thought you were bi."

Angel gave Spike a little grin. Over the years Angel had seen Spike with other women when Drusilla wasn't around, but he had also seen Spike with just as many other men. Angel said, "I've never thought of myself that way either, but maybe I am when I'm with you."

Angel leaned down and nuzzled Spike's neck liking the way it felt. Spike groaned at the feelings and said, "But…that doesn't make sense."

Angel nipped at Spike's neck, and then stood up straight. He looked into Spike's eyes and said, "It doesn't have to. All I know is that I want you. It doesn't matter that you're male, it just matters that you're the person I've known for over a hundred and fifty years, and that you're mine tonight."

Spike had always thought Angel was sexy, but he had never tried to be anything but friends because he thought Angel was only interested in women. But at those words he stood up straighter and reached his mouth up for another kiss. The kiss lasted for quite a while, and their hands roamed over each other's bodies. When they finally broke apart they were both hard.

Spike started to undo Angel's shirt, but Angel put a hand up and stopped him. Spike looked up ready to be rejected. Angel said, "Not here and not now. It smells, I'm covered in vampire dust, and it's close to daytime. We need to find the car and get back to the cabin."

Spike reached his hand down and put a hand on Angel's groin as he said, "I don't think you really want to wait."

Angel rolled his eyes, "No I don't want to wait, but there could be more of Granny's minions coming, and I think we sh…!"

Spike had his hand in Angel's pants and had wrapped it tightly around Angel's dick. Spike gave Angel what he hopped was an innocent smile and said, "I think we should fix this first, and then have another round when we get home."

As Spike was talking he had used his free hand to unzip Angel's pants, and before Angel could reply Spike dropped to his knees and took him in his mouth. Angel was caught off guard and had to put a hand up on the side of the sewer to steady himself while Spike went to work on getting him off. Angel had trouble forming a coherent thought. It didn't take long, and right before he came, Angel said with some awe in his voice, "Jesus Will."

As soon as he was done, Spike stood up and wiped a sleeve across his mouth. He looked in Angel's face and said with a smirk, "I like that. You should call me 'Jesus Will' from now on."

Angel couldn't stop himself from laughing as he reached down, tucked himself in, and zipped up his pants. He said, "I'll make a note of it."

Angel looked at Spike and noticed that he looked quite pleased with himself. Angel gave him a quick kiss and gave him a sincere, "Thank you."

Then he grabbed Spike's upper arm, turned him to the side and gave him a light swat and said, "But I told you not here and not now. If we fry it's your fault. Now get a move on we need to hurry."

Angel let Spike go and started walking towards the sewer entrance. Spike followed with a smirk on his face and said, "It was worth it, even if we fry."

Angel rolled his eyes and went up the ladder and moved the manhole cover. They climbed out and looked around for more of Granny's minions. They headed towards the mansion and Angel said, "We need to sneak back to the car."

"What about Granny?"

"I killed her."

"What about her followers?"

"They'll fight amongst themselves and the whole thing will deteriorate. None of them know who we are, so I think we'll be safe as soon as we get to the car. In a month or so I'll come back to town with the crew and make sure none of her children have tried to follow in her path."

They had a surprisingly easy time getting to Angel's car. Most of the vampires were out looking for them, and not expecting them to come back so close to the mansion. Very soon Angel was doing eighty on the freeway trying to beat the sun back to the cabin.

When Spike first got into the car he was quite happy with himself. They had fought a huge battle unscathed, and Angel had noticed him in a sexual way for the first time in their extensive relationship. But once they got to the freeway Spike realized the car was still quiet, and he began to have some doubts. He darted a couple of glances over at Angel and wondered why he was being so quiet. Angel wasn't making him talk about anything, which seemed odd after the past few days. Although talking about Buffy at this point could be somewhat awkward. As the silence lingered the hard on that Spike had had went away, and Spike thought for sure that Angel was regretting his actions. Angel and Darla often had sex right after a battle or some kind of mass killing spree, and Spike knew that was Angel's normal reaction to an adrenaline rush. Fifteen minutes into the car ride, Spike had convinced himself that he had forced his attentions on Angel when he knew Angel would be weak, and that Angel now hated himself for letting Spike touch him.

Angel kept looking at the sky and could feel the eminent rise of the sun. He felt like driving faster, but his car just didn't go much faster, and if they got pulled over by the police, they would surely be too late. He was too worried about making it to the cabin in time to deal with any kind of small talk, and since Spike had said he would prefer to have a drive with no talking, Angel left it at that. He was too busy berating himself for not keeping Spike safe from the sun to pay attention to Spike's mood shift.

It took them a little over half an hour to get back to the cabin, which was about half the time it had taken them to get to the town in the first place. And for the last five minutes of the drive, Angel had to hold his coat up on the driver's side window to keep the rising sun off him.

They pulled up to the cabin and the tires spun in the gravel as they came to a quick stop. Angel reached into the floor of the back seat and tossed a blanket to Spike. He said, "Cover up. I'll go first and unlock the door. You come as soon as you see the door is open."

Spike unfolded the blanket and held it over his head so the sun wouldn't hit him, but he could still see the door. Angel got the key ready, and put his coat up over his head. He made a dash for the front door, and he could see the smoke rising off him, and the heat was almost unbearable as he unlocked the door. He made it into the cabin and turned to watch Spike. Spike held the blanket over him and ran to the cabin. He made it without incident. Angel shut the door behind them and sighed with relief as he leaned against the closed door.

Spike folded up the blanket and put it by the front door so it could go back in the car the next night. Angel folded his jacket and put it by the front door also. Spike wandered over to the fireplace and stared at, it even though it was empty, not sure what else to do, and feeling more awkward as each moment passed.

Angel looked down at himself. He was filthy. He went over to his duffel bag and got out some clean clothes. He looked over at Spike and said, "Warm up some blood for both of us while I take a quick shower."

Spike nodded glad to have a job to do. As soon as he heard the water for the shower start and he knew Angel couldn't hear him, he muttered, "Right. Wouldn't want my smell on you any longer then necessary."

Spike got out the blood and warmed it up. He poured it into two mugs and gulped his down. He washed the pan and his mug and put them away. He paced around the kitchen feeling bad and wanting to get away so he didn't have to face Angel.

Very soon Angel came out of the bathroom in a pair of sweats and nothing else. Spike couldn't help but look him up and down now that he had started to think of Angel in that way. Angel saw Spike looking, and Spike quickly looked away. Angel thought that maybe Spike was angry with him for almost getting them caught out in the sun. Angel frowned slightly and looked down. Spike looked over at Angel and saw the frown and thought Angel must surly be trying to think of a way to let him down easy. Angel walked over and gulped down his blood. He set the mug in the sink and then turned to face Spike while leaning against the counter.

Angel and Spike made eye contact and in unison they said, "I'm sorry."

Angel said, "What?"

And at the same time Spike said, "Why?"

Angel gave Spike a crooked smile and said, "You first."

Spike shook his head. "You go ahead."

Angel sighed and said, "I'm sorry I didn't get us back on time. Here you are counting on me to help you get through your emotional trauma, and I can't even keep you safe from the encroaching sun. I should have thought about it and gotten us a hotel room instead of trying to get us back here. It won't happen again."

Spike was truly surprised. "I honestly hadn't even thought about it. Getting caught out when the sun is rising happens to the best of us once in a while."

Spike looked away ashamed and said, "And it was my fault anyway."

"No it wasn't. While you can be very persuasive, I have made it clear more then once that I'm in charge right now, so it was my responsibility to get us back."

Getting no response, Angel said, "Your turn."

Spike mumbled, "I'm sorry if…..that I gave you unwanted attention. I didn't mean to push myself on you or anything."

Angel looked confused for a few seconds, and then said, "Did you have a little black out or something Spike? I was the one coming on to you."

"I know that's how you get after a battle, and I took advantage of that."

Angel shook his head and thought about the things Spike had gone through recently with the attempted rape, and with having his soul back. Angel walked over to Spike and put both his hands on the sides of Spike's face. He leaned down and gave him a long kiss. Once he felt Spike starting to respond Angel said, "If either one of us is taking advantage of the other, I'm taking advantage of you. You're emotionally vulnerable right now, and eager to please. But believe me when I say that you didn't do anything that I didn't want to have happen."

Spike looked up into Angel's eyes and wanted to believe him. Angel knew how to convince him. Angel let go of Spike's face, put his own wrist into his mouth, vamped out, and bit himself. Then he held his wrist out to Spike. Angel didn't think Spike's eyes could get any wider. Spike looked from the wrist to Angel and back again. Spike had a fleeting thought of asking Angel if he was sure, but the scent of Angel's blood was heavy in the air and he couldn't stop himself. Spike vamped out also, grabbed Angel's wrist, and brought it to his mouth. Angel let him drink for a few seconds before he said, "Enough."

Spike reluctantly let go and licked the wound a couple of times before letting it drop. Spike could feel Angel's blood running through him. It made him feel powerful and blissful all at the same time. At this moment he knew he was stronger then Angel. Spike just closed his eyes and stood still for a few minutes feeling good. Angel changed back to his human face and waited until Spike opened his eyes.

Angel smiled and took Spike's hand in his. He led Spike to the bathroom and started to strip him. Spike was docile but still vamped. Angel turned on the shower and let the water get warm. He said, "Let's get the sewer smell off you."

Spike stepped into the shower and stood under the warm water, but made no move to clean himself. Angel took off his sweats and got in the shower with Spike. He got the shampoo and washed Spikes hair for him. Then he got the soap and washed Spike's body quickly but thoroughly. He made sure they were both rinsed and then got out. He dried off and then died off Spike. Spike finally went back to his human face and felt a little more normal.

Spike realized he had been in a kind of daze and put a hand on Angel's arm. He looked into his eyes and said sincerely, "Thank you Sire."

Angel gave him a kiss on the forehead. "You're welcome my Childe."

Angel leaned down and put his mouth by Spike's ear. He said in a low tone, "I want you in the middle of the bed and naked, now."

Spike felt his lust come back full force with those words and swallowed involuntarily. Angel looked down and smiled. Angel leaned down and picked Spike up with one hand under his knees and the other behind his back. Spike put an arm around Angel's shoulders and thought about how many times he had seen Angel do this same move with Darla. Then Angel was kissing him as he carried him to the bedroom, and Spike stopped making comparisons.

An hour later Angel and Spike lay side by side on the bed breathing hard and satisfied. Spike looked over and said, "Any regrets?"

Angel thought for a second and said, "Yeah, I'm sorry I didn't do it sooner."

Spike smiled at that. Angel said, "The sun's been up for a while now, we need to get some sleep."

Spike rolled over closer to Angel and snuggled up next to him without being asked. Angel wrapped an arm around him and kissed him on the head before falling asleep.

The next evening Spike woke up hearing an odd noise. He cracked one eye open, and found the bed beside him was empty. He listened to the noise for a second, realized it was Angel singing in the shower, and thought about putting the pillow over his head to drown it out. But then he listened to the words, and found it somehow endearing. Angel sang:

If you're down and confused,
And you don't remember who you're talking to.
Concentration slips away,
'cos your baby is so far away.

And there's a rose in a fisted glove,
And the eagle flies with the dove,
And if you can't be with the one you love honey,
Love the one your with.

Spike remembered the song from the radio years ago. He wasn't surprised that Angel knew the words, since he had always liked the kind of music that Spike thought was crap. But now the song seemed appropriate to their current situation, and Spike got a soft smile on his face. There was no denying they both loved Buffy, and always would. But it was nice to know there was room to have affection for each other when she wasn't around. Spike heard the water go off, and he rolled over to maybe sleep a little bit more before facing the night.

As Angel was drying off and putting his clothes on, he thought about what he had planed for the day. He had committed to giving Spike two more punishments, and even if he didn't feel like doing it, he knew he had to go through with it. He thought Spike was making great progress, and he wanted to keep it that way. He knew the two spankings he had already given Spike had helped him, and he thought the fact that Spike was able to be intimate with him the night before was a good sign that Spike was continuing on the path to sanity.

A few minutes later Angel went into the bedroom and crawled onto the bed with Spike. Spike turned over to see him and pouted when he saw Angel was fully dressed. Angel gave him a little kiss and said, "What's the lower lip for?"

"You're wearing too much."

Angel gave Spike one more kiss that lingered a little longer then the last one. Then he stood up and said, "Sorry Spike, I'd like to just climb back into bed and forget why we're here, but I don't think that would be entirely fair to you or to Buffy."
Spike sighed and looked up at the ceiling. He said, "Really? Because I think forgetting why we're here sounds like a perfect plan."

Angel sighed too, not wanting to bring up what he had planned for the day, but believing it would help both Spike and Buffy in the long run. "You're all healed up, so today I'm going to punish you for torture, and I want to make sure we have a clear separation of what we did last night, and what I'm going to do to you today, so no more kissing for now."

Spike looked back at Angel and said, "I'm feeling a lot better then when you first brought me here. Maybe we could just skip the punishment and spend the next two nights in bed."

Angel nodded and appeared to be thinking about it and then said, "I'll be right back."

Spike was quite pleased that Angel seemed to be thinking about not doing the next two spankings. But the good feelings went away as soon as he saw Angel come back holding the notebook he had written his sins on. Angel handed it to him and said, "You read me three pages from here, and then tell me you don't want to go through with the rest of the punishment. If you can do that, then I'll consider you cured and take you home to Buffy."

Spike scanned the first page to see what was there. He didn't have to read any of it out loud to know he couldn't do it. He believed he still deserved punishment for the things he had written down, and he doubted that would change even after this week. He had just been able to push those thoughts aside for a little while when Angel was distracting him. He muttered, "Bollix." as he handed the notebook back to Angel.

Angel took the notebook, knowing what Spike had decided. "Go take a shower if you want one, or just get dressed if you don't. I'm going to warm up some blood for us."

Angel turned and walked out, giving Spike a few minutes to himself. Spike curled up on his side not wanting to get out of bed, and not wanting to face the night. He didn't want to remember the things he had done over the years, even if it was in order to be punished for them. He closed his eyes and tried to fall back to sleep.

Five minutes later Angel came in and said, "Lying in bed all night isn't an option. Get up, or I'll get you up."

Spike muttered, "Arsehole."

Angel tried not to be hurt by that, which was hard after the previous night. He walked towards the bed purposefully, and when Spike heard Angel coming he sat up and said, "Okay, okay I'm up."

Angel paused, gave Spike a warning look, and then went back into the kitchen.

Spike got up and took a shower. He stayed in until the water ran cold trying to avoid the upcoming discussion.

Angel was waiting for him at the kitchen table when he finally came out. Angel said, "You're blood was warm a little while ago. It's probably cold now."

Spike picked up his mug and started to take it to the stove to heat it up again, but Angel said, "No."

"No what?"

"I understand that you want to avoid me right now, but it's kind of pissing me off, so you can drink it cold."

Spike rolled his eyes and gave Angel an exaggerated, "Yes Sire."

Angel closed his eyes for a second and counted in his head. He was beginning to hate this night. He knew Spike was nervous and worried about what was going to happen, and that those fears were driving his current attitude, but after being so close the night before, Angel found it hard to deal with.

Spike drank it quickly not really enjoying it, and then put his cup in the sink. Angel stood up, took his belt off, and doubled it over holding the buckle and the other end in his right hand. Spike turned around and saw what Angel was doing, and backed up until his butt was against the counter. Spike shook his head, "Now?"

Angel nodded grimly. Spike looked down at the floor for a second trying to collect himself. He straightened his shoulders and looked back at Angel and said, "Okay."

Angel was kind of proud of Spike for getting it together and facing it. He moved a chair out of the way and said, "Over the table please."

Spike walked over to the table, and undid his jeans along the way without being asked. Once he got there, he pushed the jeans down to his knees and bent over the table. Angel said, "Put both your hands behind your back."

Spike looked over the back of his shoulder to see Angel's face. Angel had a very serious and unhappy expression on his face. Spike lay his face down on the table, and put both his hands behind his back and said, "It's gonna be so bad you need to hold me down?"

Angel held both of Spike's wrists in his left hand and held them in the center of Spike's back. "Yes."

Angel brought the belt down hard. Spike wasn't expecting it to be so bad at first, and his whole body jerked in response, and he let out an involuntary grunt of pain. Angel didn't say anything more; he just whipped Spike hard and fast for the next few seconds.

Spike had problems believing that the man who had been touching him so gently a few hours ago was now doing this to him. When they had first gotten to the cabin this was the kind of thing Spike had been expecting Angel to do, and at the time he had been somewhat prepared for that. But now that he believed Angel was doing it because he actually cared about him, and not just to please Buffy, he found it harder to take. And the surprise of it being immediately harsh instead of building up like his other punishments had didn't help.

Spike's body struggled against the restraint and a couple of seconds into it, he couldn't think of anything besides the pain. The whole thing lasted less then a minute, but Spike was yelling loudly before it was done.

Angel had been counting, and had given Spike fifty before he stopped. He had committed himself to fifty before it had started, because he knew he was going to have a hard time carrying the punishment out. Angel looked down at Spike's ass and saw a couple of welts and some bruising. Angel could tell the damage to Spike's butt wasn't any worse then the damage caused by the other two spankings, but he knew it probably felt worse to Spike because he hadn't built up to it.

Angel noticed the yelling had stopped, but he saw Spike's shoulders starting to shake, and he knew Spike was crying quietly. Angel closed his eyes for a second and thought, 'I spent a hundred years in hell, and I still feel like I deserve punishment for my past. You won't be doing right by him if you don't make him suffer for it now. Then maybe he won't spend the next fifty years hating himself.'

Angel knew that as Angelus he had done much worse to Spike more then once, but he still found it difficult to hurt Spike now. Angel let go of Spike's wrists, and ordered, "Get up and fix your pants."

Angel put his belt back on while Spike slowly got up and wiped a sleeve over his face. Spike reached down and tried to pull up his jeans without actually touching his butt. Once the clothes were in place, Spike put his hands back and held his butt rather then rubbing it, because it was too sore to rub. Angel said, "Stay right there."

Spike tried to collect himself and stop crying while Angel was getting things, but he found it hard to do since Angel wasn't giving him a hug or telling him he was forgiven yet.

Angel went and got the notebook that had Spike's past sins, and then got some blank paper and a pen. He put it down on the table and said, "Come sit down."

Spike looked over at Angel as if he had asked him to jump into the air and fly, and said, "No fucking way."

Angel walked over and put a hand on Spike's shoulder. He said, "How many people did you torture over the years?"

Spike couldn't keep eye contact. "I'm not sure. Hundreds."

"And do you really think what I just did was enough to cover that?"

Spike was in a lot of pain and true or not he said, "Yes I do."

Angel said, "Too bad, because I don't. Go sit down."

Spike glared at Angel with hate for a second, but as Angel kept eye contact Spike eventually had to look away unsure of his first answer. He said, "Could it be on the couch at least?"


Spike looked over at the harmless looking wooden chair, and gave his butt an experimental rub. It wasn't promising. As he was thinking about how much it was going to hurt to sit down, Angel said in a threatening voice, "Sit down now, or I'll spank you again and then put you in the chair myself."

Spike walked over to the chair and sat down right away. He almost stood back up when his butt touched the chair, but forced himself to sit all the way down with a loud groan of pain.

Angel opened the notebook Spike had already written in and pointed to the words as he talked to Spike, "When I first had you write these things down, I told you not to go into detail and just to write them down, and you did just fine with that. But today I want you to pick out three times that you tortured people, and write each instance down in detail."

"All while I'm sitting?"


Spike felt more tears spilling over his cheeks at that. He said, "I thought you said the last punishment was going to be the worst one…."

Angel couldn't stand the sad look that Spike was giving him. Angel went over and put a hand on Spike's shoulder when he said, "I'm sorry if it seems harsh to you Will. Believe me when I say I'm finding no pleasure in this. I'm doing it because it will help you heal."

Spike could tell Angel was sincere. He gave a small nod of understanding, wiped at his face again and started looking through his notes to find the first instance to write about. Angel patted his shoulder and sat down in the next chair over. As Spike was looking at his papers, he leaned forward so that most of the pressure from sitting was on his lower thighs.

Angel said quietly, "Sit on your butt Spike. It's supposed to hurt. It's not exactly an eye for an eye, but I do think you deserve to be in pain while you write about the pain you caused others."

Spike did as he was told without comment, feeling very sorry for himself. He went through the notebook a couple of times trying to pick one to write about. He didn't really want to go into detail about any of them. But eventually he did pick one, his sore butt helping him to choose quickly. And after the first two paragraphs he was almost grateful for the pain he was in. It helped him to focus on writing it all out without jabbing the pen into his hand or his stomach from self-loathing.

About an hour later he was done. He pushed the notebook over to Angel. Angel set the book he had been reading aside and said, "You can get up, the punishment's over."

Spike just sat there feeling miserable and wanting to hurt himself more. Angel said more sharply, "Stand up."

Spike reluctantly stood, but then just starred off into space. Angel said, "Build us a fire while I read this."

Angel didn't really want or need a fire, but he wanted to give Spike a job to do. Angel started to read, and Spike went out to get some more firewood. Spike moved as if on auto pilot, and couldn't tear his mind away from the things he had done in the past. Soon Spike had the fire going, and Angel wasn't done reading. Angel looked around and wondered what else he could have Spike do. Eventually he said, "Go make the bed, and then look for some cleaning supplies and clean the bathroom."

Spike didn't even question this, and went to do as he was told. When Angel was done reading, he went to the bathroom and found Spike cleaning the mirror. Angel cleared his throat, and Spike turned to see him. Angel said, "Finish that, and then come out for a walk with me."

Spike gave a nod and finished what he was doing. Angel poked at the fire, and put up the grate to make sure none of it would spill out and catch things on fire while they were gone. When Angel saw that Spike was done in the bathroom he headed for the front door and said, "Come on."

Angel locked the door behind them and headed off into the wilderness with Spike following beside him. As they were walking Angel tried to decide what the best approach would be. A few minutes into the walk he said, "Over the years you've tried and tried to emulate me, but you never could do it right."

Spike was startled out of his thoughts and said, "What kind of rubbish is that?"

"Your sire was a nut job. My nut job to be exact, but a nut job just the same. I was the one who taught you most of what you needed to know to get by, because Dru was incapable. I was the one you were looking at to try and please."

Spike scoffed, "For the first month maybe."

Angel just shook his head and said, "Be quiet. You don't have to admit it, I know it's true. Torture was something I excelled at. I can tell after half an hour with someone what will be the most damaging to them, and then I can use that against them to break them. Over the years you tried and tried to be good at it, but you never really were."

Spike had mixed feelings about that. He didn't exactly want to be good at torturing people, but he felt somewhat insulted just the same. He said, "I'm not that bad at it."

Angel said, "Did you forget that I know first hand how bad you are at it?"

Spike looked confused for a second and then blushed when he remembered he had tortured Angel a few years ago to try and get the ring of Amara from him. Spike said, "Oh that."

Angel smiled. "You couldn't even do most of the torturing yourself, you hired it out."

"I could have! I just….. thought he'd be better at it."

Angel shook his head, "And that's what I'm talking about. Not only did you not do most of it yourself, but you also went about it all wrong. You should know me well enough to know what would break me."

Spike thought about it for a few minutes and then said, "I really thought the hot pokers would do the trick."

Angel shook his head. "Physically hurting me just pisses me off. The best way to get to me is through others."

Spike thought about that for a second and wondered why he had never thought of it before. "I should have captured one of your friends or team members and hurt them in front of you."

Angel nodded. "I probably would have given you the ring before you even got to hit someone."

Angel paused a second and then couldn't help saying, "Not that it would have done you any good, because I would have hunted you down and taken it back."

Spike chuckled and said, "So you can't even loose when the fight is hypothetical?"

Angel blushed at that, because he knew Spike was right. Angel did need to win, and when he didn't win, he needed to keep trying until he did win. Angel didn't answer and instead said, "The second one you wrote about, the Earl, that one was just to impress me."

Spike said, "Was not!"

Angel rolled his eyes, "Oh brother, it was only a few months after you were turned, and you used every technique I had taught you. Then you made sure I came by to see what you had done. In fact, that's one of the only times I can remember you torturing someone by yourself."

Spike shrugged, "Okay, so maybe I was proving to you that I could do it."

"The other two incidents you wrote about were more of a group effort, with your part in it not being all that big. The first one was mostly Dru, and the last one was mostly me. I'm not saying that you hold no blame for these things, and I'm not saying you shouldn't feel guilty for your part. What I'm saying is that you should try to look at them realistically, and realize that if someone else had turned you, it's very likely that you never would have tortured anyone at all. You got caught up in the excitement of what was going on around you and tried to be a part of it, but even as a vampire without a soul, you didn't enjoy purposely hurting people."

Spike thought about that for a few minutes while they walked in silence. The moon was mostly full and it was bright out. They walked into a clearing, and Angel saw a fallen tree in the middle of a grassy area. He went over and sat in the grass leaning his back against the log. He looked up at Spike and said, "Lay down on your side and rest your head on my lap."

Spike sighed, irritated that Angel kept telling him what to do, but then did lie down. Angel put his hand on Spike's head and started playing with the short blond hair. Angel asked, "Are you thinking about what I said?"



"I hadn't thought about myself as that much of a follower. But what you said makes a lot of sense. I did get caught up in what everyone else was doing. I didn't have a problem torturing people, but I was just joining in with what the group was doing. If I were alone or if I was deciding what we were going to do for the night, I'd be much more inclined to drink and play poker, or watch the telly."

"That's true. So do you feel as though you've suffered enough for this now?"

Spike thought about it, enjoying the feeling of Angel petting his head, and tried to be honest with his answer. "I feel it was enough right now, but I'm still in pain. I don't know if I'll feel the same in a few days."

Angel nodded, "I think you're gonna be just fine. I'm amazed at how much better adjusted you are compared to what I was like when it happened to me."

Spike sat up with a wince and looked at Angel. "But the circumstances were so different. The three main people you associated with at the time you got your soul back were soulless vampires. All the people I associate with right now have souls and are basically good. We hated you for being good, and tried to make you keep doing evil things to stay with us. Buffy and her friends have been getting me to do good deeds for a long time now, so it doesn't seem all that different to continue with it. It was a lot harder for you, and I'm sorry I was a part of that."

Angel gave him a smile and pulled him over to sit in his lap. Spike was a little startled at first, but didn't mind it once he got settled. Angel made sure Spike's butt was resting between his thighs so there was no pressure on it, and then he wrapped both his arms around Spike's upper body. Angel leaned over and kissed him gently. Spike responded quickly, eager to have a distraction from both the pain, and from the memories. Clothes slowly came off, and were spread out on the ground for them to lie on top of.

A long while later they lay side by side, nude in the grass, breathing hard. Angel was lying on his back, and Spike was lying beside him on his stomach. Angel said, "That was really good for me. How was it for you?"


Angel smiled. He said, "Wanna head back to the cabin?"

Spike rolled onto his side and looked at Angel. He said, "Not yet. It's so nice out here, could we just stay here for a little while?"

"Sure. It is nice out here. The moon is beautiful tonight."

Spike looked up for a second and then looked back at Angel. He said, "The moon makes you look beautiful."

Angel laughed and said, "Beautiful?"

Spike kissed him once and said, "Yes."

They stayed there talking quietly for a while and then Angel said, "Tell me about some of the good things you did with Buffy and the others even though you didn't have a soul."

Spike started talking, and found he had a good time telling Angel about all the things he had done with the Scooby gang. After a while Angel said, "We really should head back now."

Spike nodded and they both got their clothes on. They headed back to the cabin. Once they got there Angel built up the fire and Spike warmed up some blood. They sat on the couch in front of the fire and enjoyed a little bit of quiet time. They could both feel it when the sun started to come up. Angel said, "Show me your ass."

Spike rolled his eyes, but stood up to comply. Angel said, "The bruises have mostly healed. They should be gone in the morning."

Spike pulled his pants back up and said, "I suppose that means you plan to do the last spanking tomorrow."

"Yeah, I think so."

Spike sat back down on the couch and said, "And what then?"

"Then we'll see how you're doing."

Angel stood up and said, "Let's go to bed."

Spike fell asleep fairly quickly, but Angel stayed awake long into the day and thought about what he was going to do with Spike. He had thought about it off and on over the past few nights, but he still wasn't sure what the right approach was. Kids made things different. It was harder to forget and forgive incidents involving kids. There was nothing Angel could do that would redeem Spike for the things he had done to kids over the years. Unfortunately Dru loved kids, and Spike had helped capture and eat hundreds.

Angel didn't think a harsher punishment was really the answer. First off he was pretty sure he couldn't force himself to do a harsher punishment then the one he had just done, but also he didn't actually believe it would help Spike in any way. He eventually closed his eyes and tried to sleep.

The next morning Spike woke up first. He rolled over and looked at Angel's face while he was sleeping. As Spike was looking at him, Angel woke up. Spike smiled at him, and Angel smiled back. Spike leaned down and gave Angel a kiss, and Angel kissed back. A few seconds into it Angel pushed Spike back and said, "Sorry, no more for now."

Spike sighed and lay back down with his head on the pillow. He looked up at the ceiling and said, "Gonna do it now and get it over with for the day?"

"I've been thinking about this one for a long time. I don't know if I should even try to punish you for killing kids."

The room was silent for a few seconds and then Angel said, "I know I've said it before, but try to keep in mind that humans are below us on the food chain, and eating humans is what we are meant to do. You could compare a vampire eating a child to a human eating veal."

Spike sounded incredulous and said; "It's not the same."

Angel nodded. "I know. But it's not so different that they can't compare. I also know that it doesn't matter what I do or say, you're going to torture yourself with these thoughts and images forever. I know I still do."

Spike nodded. Angel sighed hating it already and said, "So today we're going to do something different."

Angel sat up and put his back against the headboard. He scooted to the middle of the bed, pulled the sheets up to cover up his lower half, and said, "Over my lap."

Spike felt his stomach churning at that. He was nervous, and a little bit worried, wondering what Angel had planned. He crawled out of the covers and lay himself over Angel's legs, feeling somehow more vulnerable since he was naked.

Angel put one hand on Spike's back and said, "Tell me about the last child you killed."

Spike had to think about it for a few minutes. Then he said, "It was four years ago. Dru and I were just walking down a street, and suddenly Dru stopped and stared at a little girl who was walking by with her father. The girl had on a black dress and Dru went on and on about how the girl was already prepared for her funeral. The father had seen Dru staring, but just continued on his way. Dru wanted the girl, and…… well you know Dru when she wants something, if she doesn't get it she'll pout and pout. We went around, and confronted the girl and man a few blocks away. We pulled them into an ally, and I ate the man while Dru held her hand over the girl's mouth to muffle her screams. Once the father was dead, Dru leaned down and started talking to the girl, telling her how pretty she would be in her coffin, and promising not to ruin her dress. Dru bit the girl in the back of the neck so that her front would still be pretty. She drank most of her blood, but when the girl was mostly drained, she let me have the last of it. She usually did that. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe she thought it would help convince me to get more children."

Angel said, "Okay you keep that girl in mind for the next few minutes. Think about her mother having to hear that her daughter was killed."

Spike gave a nod and Angel raised his hand and brought it down on Spike's behind. Angel wasn't using his full strength. It was hard enough to sting, but not to bruise. Angel spanked with the same force and tempo for about five minutes, before he felt Spike start to shift around over his lap to try and get away from his hand. He stopped and looked down at Spike's butt. It was bright red, but nothing else.

Spike lay there waiting for it to start up again, but nothing happened. Spike looked over his shoulder wondering what Angel was going to do. Angel looked down at him and said, "Were you thinking about the girl?"

Spike nodded. Angel said, "Okay then we're done for now."

Angel let go of Spike, but Spike stayed where he was. Spike just shook his head and said, "It wasn't near enough."

Angel looked over at the clock. It read 8:13pm. He said, "It was enough for now, because we're not done with the punishment. I'm going to spank you once every two hours until morning. You can tell me about a different child each time."

Spike was horrified with this news and shook his head no. Angel said, "I'll be using my hand, and you'll be over my lap for each one. I won't spank you any harder or longer then I just did, but I know your healing isn't going to catch up with my spanking, so by the end of the day you'll be suffering."

Spike did the math in his head and said, "But that will be….. five spankings!"

Angel rubbed a hand on Spike's back and said, "I plan on six. Go take a shower while I warm us up some blood."

Spike shoved Angel's hand away and got up off the bed. He walked quickly into the bathroom and turned on the shower so that Angel wouldn't be able to hear him cry.

Angel sighed. He knew it was harsh, but he had thought about it a long time and decided this was the best solution. Having Spike over his lap, and using his hand seemed to be a more personal punishment, and he hoped would show Spike that he still loved him even though he was going to punish him multiple times in one day. He got up and got dressed. He warmed up some blood and drank it while waiting for Spike.

Spike got his crying under control fairly quickly and it soon turned into anger. He washed off and got out of the shower. He got dressed, and went out to go convince Angel that he needed to change his mind about the punishment.

Angel saw Spike and handed him a mug full of warm blood and said, "Drink."

Spike gulped it down and then forcefully put his cup down on the counter. He said, "See here Angel, you need to rethink your sentencing. I'm not going to stand by and let you beat me again and again in one day. It's bad enough that I'm letting you do it once a day, but six times in one day is too much."

"I'm not changing my mind about it, and I'm not listening to you piss and moan about it all day. It can be more then six in one day if you're going to be argumentative."

Spike shook his head and said, "You wouldn't!"

Angel took a step towards Spike and said, "Oh yes I would, and I will. You be an obedient and well mannered childe today, because I'm not putting up with anything less."

Spike's entire face turned red with anger as he tried to keep in all the nasty things he wanted to say to Angel. They faced off for a few seconds, and then Angel gave Spike a little nod of acknowledgement for his efforts. Angel said, "Go pick out a book, and I'll read to you in between spankings."

Spike huffed and walked over to the wall to look at the books on the shelf. He stood there staring at them, not really seeing them, and thinking about what was going to happen to him that day. A few minutes later Angel stepped up bedside Spike and said, "I saw some Tom Clancy books."

Spike looked through the books and picked the first Tom Clancy his eyes fell on. He handed Angel 'The Hunt for Red October'. Angel said, "Do we really want a book about submarines?"

Spike thought about that for a second and said, "Right."

He took it out of Angel's hand, put it back on the shelf, and looked for another. He pulled out 'Patriot Games', and handed that to Angel instead. Angel took it and said, "I liked the movie. Haven't read the book yet."

Spike didn't care in the least and just went to sit on the couch. Then he shifted around until most of the pressure for sitting was on his hip. Angel sat down on the other end of the couch and started reading. Time went by and Spike found himself getting caught up in the book even though he hadn't intended to. After the first few chapters Angel looked at his watch and said, "It's time."

Spike gave him a sad look. Angel put the book down and went into the kitchen. He pulled one of the kitchen chairs over to the living room area, and set it down in a spot that was away from all the other furniture. He sat down in it and said, "Come here."

Spike dragged his feet over to Angel's side. Angel just waited, and a few seconds later Spike undid his pants and shoved them down to his knees. Angel took Spike's hand and gently pulled him over his lap. Spike shifted around and got as comfortable as possible, which wasn't very comfortable at all.

Angel looked at Spike's butt. It wasn't red anymore, but there were faint areas that were pink, and he was sure that it was more tender then usual. Angel said, "Tell me about the first child you killed."

Spike growled, "How am I supposed to remember that?"

Angel shook his head and said, "Are you honestly telling me you don't remember? I know I remember my first one very well, but then it was my sister, so if you tell me you honestly can't remember it then I'll pick something else."

Spike had both his hands on the floor, and the toes of his boots were touching on the floor on the other side. At Angel's comments his whole body slumped so that his head was almost touching the floor on the other side. He said, "It was a few months after I was turned. Dru had gone off with Darla to hunt, and you were drinking and whoring at the local pub, and had told me to piss off. I wandered the streets hungry for a while, but I hadn't really hunted by myself before, and I was nervous about getting caught. We always had plenty of money and nice clothes, so I went down to the slums and wandered about waiting for a pickpocket. A few minutes later a boy bumped into me, and pilfered my pocket watch. I grabbed his arm and shouted 'Thief!' You should have seen the look on the poor kid's face. He was terrified. But everyone around us just turned away once I had yelled. I pulled him into an ally, while he pleaded with me to just let him go. He was terrified of being put into a workhouse. I leaned down and said, 'You'll never have to go to a workhouse again.'"

Angel waited a few seconds, and then when Spike didn't say anything else Angel said, "Then what?"

Spike's voice was thick with emotion as he continued. "The kid couldn't have been more then ten. He looked at me with this… hope in his eyes, like maybe I was going to keep him or something. I changed face and the boy didn't even scream. His look of hope turned to acceptance. Like it was what he had expected out of life. I ate him quickly, and he didn't say a word as his life was drained away. He tasted really good and I…..I went out to look for another."

Spike felt the tears slipping down his face as he said, "I ate four more that night. All the same story. Only one of them even tried to fight me."

Angel said, "Keep thinking about them until I'm done."

Angel raised his hand and started the second spanking. Spike's body jumped at the first swat, but then he settled into it. Spike cried quietly through the whole thing. By the time Angel was done, Spike's legs were kicking involuntarily, and his butt was a darker red then the last time. Angel let him lay there and cry while Angel rubbed his back.

Once the crying was tapering off Angel put a hand on Spike's arm to help him stand up. Spike stood and fixed his pants. Angel stood as well and took Spike's hand. He led Spike to the couch, and said, "Lie down."

Angel sat and Spike put his head in Angel's lap without being asked, wanting the comfort. Angel pet his hair and rubbed his back. Angel said, "It's a shame we were turned in a time when it was so easy to get to children. We never could have gotten a hold of so many in this day and age."

Spike wiped at his eyes and said, "Yeah we could, we would just have to live in someplace like Africa or India. There are still plenty of places in the world where there are too many unwanted kids and no one would notice if some went missing. You forget I've been soulless for a lot longer then you, and I've had to cater to Dru's whims."

"I suppose you're right."

"We blew so much money back then like it was nothing while thousands starved. We could have done so much good with that money. I could have kept that kid for a few years, and gotten him a better start in life."

"No Spike, you couldn't have. You didn't have a soul. Even if you'd tried something like that, one of us would have gotten hungry one night and eaten him. And the reason we had so much money to blow was because we stole the money off the people we murdered. It's not like it was money we earned."

Spike nodded at that, knowing it was true. Angel picked up the book and started on the next chapter, and Spike let his mind get caught up in the story again.

Two hours later Angel put the book down, and said, "Time again."

Spike shook his head, "Can't be time already."

Angel patted Spikes back and said, "Come on."

Angel went back over to the kitchen chair that he had left out from the last time and sat down. Spike slowly got up, and walked over to Angel. He said, "I hate you."

Angel nodded and said, "I understand. Drop your pants."

Spike undid his pants and said, "I might as well just leave them off."

"It's fine with me if that's what you want to do. In fact by the end of the night I'm sure it will be too painful to want keep them on."

Spike shoved his pants down and lay himself over Angel's lap. Before Angel could say anything, Spike said, "Could you just do it without talking about it first?"

"No. Tell me about one that you didn't just eat. Did you ever torture any kids?"

"You know I have."

"I don't mean as part of our little group. I can't think of any time that you were the instigator of that, or even when you did more then stand by and watch. Did you ever do it yourself, or maybe with Dru where you played a bigger part in it?"

Spike thought about it for a few minutes. While Spike thought, Angel examined Spike's butt. It was a much lighter red then it had been an hour ago, but it was definitely a red color, and not a pink. Spike said, "Not really. Nothing I would call straight torture like the kind of stuff you, Dru, and Darla did."

"Then tell me about one that you helped out with."

Spike thought about it. "It was shortly after you had gotten a soul back and left us. Dru was very upset and even angry about it. She missed you terribly. One night we were walking the streets, and she saw a boy who was doing a little juggling act on a corner. She hissed at him 'Gypsy!' I was really tired of her moping, so I told her to knock it off, and get over it. I told her you weren't coming back and didn't love her anymore, and that she should just be happy with me. She had a little fit right there in the street crying that 'her daddy' did love her, and that I could never give her what you did. I tried kissing her, but she pushed me away. I slapped her and she cried even louder saying even that wasn't as good as you."

"I was incensed. I grabbed her upper arm, gave her a shake, and asked her what I needed to do to prove to her that I could be as good as you. She blathered on about punishing the Gypsies for what they had done to you. She turned back to see the boy who had been juggling but he wasn't there anymore. She said, 'I will punish him!'"

"The boy had packed up and taken off the second he had heard Dru start ranting. She grabbed onto me and begged me to hunt the boy down and bring him back to our rooms at the inn. I sent her home, and then tracked the boy. I caught up with him just as he was about to go into his house. I grabbed him, knocked him out, and carried him home to Dru. She made him suffer for two days before finally finishing him off. I had trouble sleeping through his screams and whimpers and I found that annoying, so I encouraged her to finish him off faster then she might have otherwise."

Angel asked, "How old was the boy? What did he look like?"

"He was about twelve. He had dark black hair, green eyes, and olive tan skin."

"What did he look like when Dru was done with him?"

Spike shook his head, not wanting to have to describe it out loud. Angel said, "You keep that image in your mind while I spank you."

Spike gave a barely perceptible nod, and Angel started spanking. Spike's body started twitching at the first smack, and this time he couldn't settle into it. His body kept twitching, and his legs started kicking a few seconds into the spanking. Angel heard Spike trying to hold in his sounds of pain. Angel said, "You could have killed that boy and put him out of his misery. If you hadn't gone after him, Dru probably wouldn't have gotten to him in time to capture him."

Spike broke down crying at those words, and Angel moved the swats down to Spike's upper thighs, which hadn't been touched as of yet. Spike yelled out, and put his hand back to cover up his thighs. Angel caught his hand and held it in the air out of the way. Spike tried to yank his arm out of Angel's grasp, but couldn't. Angel didn't stop until Spike's thighs were bright red all over and Spike was crying hard. When Angel was finally done he let go of Spike's arm. Spike put his hand back on the floor and lay still while he cried. A few minutes later Angel patted Spike's back and said, "Up now."

Spike wiped at his face with the sleeve of his shirt, and stood up. Angel stood too and pointed at Spike's pants when he said, "Are you gonna take them off or pull them up?"

Spike looked down at his jeans. He squatted down and unlaced his boots. He took them off and then the pants as well. He left them in a pile on the floor and walked over to the couch to lay down on his stomach. Angel leaned down and picked up the jeans and folded them. He picked up the boots as well, and put them all in the bedroom next to his duffel bag. He walked back out and sat on the couch. He picked up the book, but before he could start reading Spike said, "We've only done three, and I feel like I've been crying all night."

"I'm sorry."

Spike thought about it and shook his head. "I know you're trying to help, it's just hard to keep that in mind while you're hurting me."

Angel leaned down and kissed Spike on the top of his head. Angel said, "Do you want to hear more of the book now?"

Spike gave a little nod. The book distracted Spike, and he was able to escape his thoughts for a little while.

A couple of hours later when Angel put the book down again, Spike pleaded, "One more chapter first?"

Angel shook his head no. Spike was still lying on his stomach next to him, so Angel leaned over and lifted Spike up and put him over his lap. Spike's legs and chest were resting on the couch. Angel pulled Spike up tight against his torso and said, "Give me your arm."

Spike put his right arm behind his back, and Angel grabbed the wrist to hold it at the small of Spike's back. Spike's butt was a bright red, and his thighs were pink. Angel said, "Are there any incidents that keep popping up in your head?"


"Tell me about one."

"It's stupid."

"Tell me anyway."

"It was after you were gone, and Dru was home pouting about something or other. Darla had gone to hunt by herself, and I was out walking. There was this girl…. She was maybe eight. She was blind and begging for change on the street. It was winter, and she was barefoot. I doubt she had a family, she probably lived on the streets. I don't know what it was about her…. Maybe I was just lonely since Dru was mooning over you. I told the girl to come with me, and I would feed her some dinner. We went into a restaurant and I bought her dinner. Then I took her shopping…. bought her some warm clothes and shoes. She was so grateful. She kept kissing my hand. I took her to a different inn then the one I was staying at with Dru, and ordered us a room. I ordered a bath and got her clean. Then I put her in her new clothes and put her in bed. She fell asleep still thanking me and telling me she would be forever in my debt. Once she was quiet I stared at her for hours. Then in the middle of the day while she was sleeping I bit her neck and ate her. I kept my hand over her mouth to muffle her screams."

Spike trailed off, and then a few seconds later said, "Why would I do that Angel? It makes no sense. Why waste the money and time if I was just going to eat her? And why does it bother me, when I when I treated her pretty well up to the end?"

Angel patted Spike's lower thigh and said, "I don't know. I wish I had an answer for you, but I just don't. Did she tell you her name?"

"Mary. She had blond hair once it was washed."

"Then this one is for Mary." Angel gripped Spike's wrist a little more tightly and started the spanking. Spike groaned at the first couple, and found himself squirming and kicking within a couple of seconds.

When Angel was about half way done Spike started whispering, "I'm sorry." in between his crying. Angel made sure to cover every inch of Spike's butt and thighs a few times before stopping. When he was done Spike's butt was a dark painful looking red, and his thighs were bright red.

Angel let go of Spike's wrist and gave him some time to calm down. Angel said, "All done for now. How are you doing?"

Spike pushed himself up to standing and said, "I don't want to do this anymore Angel."

"Yeah, I don't either, but we're going to. I'm going to warm us up some more blood, and then I can either read you some more of the book or we can have a fire and just have some quiet."

Spike shook his head and said, "I just want to stop thinking about them. I could handle the pain if you'd stop making me remember them."

Angel shook his head no and said, "Remembering them is the point of the pain. No more complaining unless you want more right now."

Spike shook his head quickly.

Angel said, "Then I'm gonna warm up the blood now, and you're going to drink it quietly."

Spike glared at Angel and had a hard time holding his tongue. Angel went into the kitchen, and Spike paced around the living room thinking. Spike started off thinking about the two spankings he still had coming. He knew how sore he was already, and he felt very sorry for himself. Then he started thinking about all the kids he had killed over the years. He decided he didn't want to think about them anymore, and dreaded Angel making him relive those moments.

Soon Angel brought over a large mug of blood for Spike. Spike took it and drank it down. Then Angel went and got him another. Spike drank it too; knowing it would help his healing. Pig's blood wouldn't help nearly as much as human blood would, but it was better then nothing. Once Angel and Spike were both done with their blood, Angel said, "Do you want me to make us a fire?"

Spike didn't care at all. He said, "Sure."

Once the fire was burning, Angel picked up the book and started reading some more. Spike stayed up and paced around the living room the whole time, but did get somewhat distracted by the book while staring at the fire.

Well before he was ready for it, Angel put his book down and moved over to the kitchen chair that was still in the living room. He said, "Come on, let's get number five over with."

Spike shook his head. "Could we talk about the reasons for this spanking while I'm still standing?"

Angel thought for a second and then said, "No. I think you'll be more focused with your ass up in the air waiting for punishment. And…. I…. Well you probably won't see it this way, but I find comfort in having the physical contact with you. I want to be able to touch you while you tell me about the bad stuff. I don't want you to feel alone."

Spike walked over and let Angel pull him down over his lap. Angel said, "Tell me about another one that keeps popping up in your thoughts."

Spike thought about it for a little longer then usual and Angel said, "No don't try to come up with another one, tell me whatever came to your mind first."

Spike sighed. "There was this slave. She was maybe fourteen. Pretty little thing. Dru had met a woman while she was having a dress made, and we were invited to dinner the next evening. All night during dinner this woman and her husband and their six children were just awful to their slaves. Dru thought this was quite funny, and egged them on all during the first course. Then when the main course came, Dru looked at me and we both changed face. We slaughtered the lot of them, but not the slaves. Usually Dru liked to leave the slaves so they would get blamed for killing their masters. Better then any suspicion landing on us."

"But that one slave, the youngest girl… she kept giving me these looks. It was like she was terrified of me all night long before she knew what I was. When Dru and I were done eating the family, we drank some of their wine, and then turned to leave, letting the slaves try to make a run for it if they wanted. But on the way out I heard someone trying to breathe as quietly as possible. I looked around, and found the slave hiding in the closet. She screamed when she saw me. I turned to Dru and told her I'd meet her back at home. She looked back and forth between the girl and me a couple of times, and then said she was going to check the house for money, jewelry, and dolls. She wandered off, and I put my hand out for the girl. She didn't take it. She was shaking all over and I pulled her out of the closet by force. I asked her why she was afraid of me, and she said it was because I was the devil and I was going to try and take her soul to hell."

"I smiled at her and said she was already there as I changed face. She screamed and tried to get away. I picked her up and carried her to one of the bedrooms. In the room, I ripped her clothes off her, tossed her on the bed, and raped her, all while still in my vampire face. She screamed and cried about having the devil's baby and going to hell. I don't know why I was so excited by her. Maybe it was because she looked at me as powerful which was something you and Dru never really did. I changed back to my human face while I was lying on top of her. She was still screaming so I slapped her hard enough to almost knock her out. While she was dazed I gave her a few kisses and told her she was beautiful. I told her she was better then her masters and that she should run and find freedom. I told her if she didn't run I'd come back to her, and make sure she would carry my child. Then I left her there. I found Dru playing with some toy horses in the girl's bedroom, and told her it was time to go home. On the way home, Dru turned to me and said, 'She'll be dead by daybreak. Lynched for killing her masters. My poor puppy's lost his pet.'"

Spike stopped talking, and noticed he was very aware of his butt being naked and waiting for punishment, just like Angel had known he would be. Angel said, "Was Dru right, or was she just playing with you because she was jealous?"

"It was true. The next day they hung her body in the town square as an example to any other slaves that might try something like that."

Angel nodded and started spanking. Spike was startled with the first swat, and yelled out with both surprise and pain. Angel shoved Spike forward a little so that his legs came up off the floor, and Spike had to use his hands to keep his head from touching the ground. Angel spanked him with the same force and for the same amount of time as the others, but since Spike was already sore it seemed to him like it was much harder. Spike was thrashing around trying to get away from the pain, and Angel had to hold him tight around the waist to keep him over his lap. Spike yelled out, "Please Angel! Please stop!"

Angel said calmly, "Did you stop when that girl asked you to?"

Spike shook his head and made incoherent noises of pain and regret. By the time Angel was done Spike was crying hard. He had some bruising on his butt, and his thighs were a deep dark red. Angel flipped him over so that Spike was sitting in his lap, and pulled him into a hug. Spike hugged him back and rested his head on Angel's neck. They stayed that way for a long time while Spike cried.

When Spike was quieting down Angel said, "Only one more, and we'll be all done."

Spike shook his head no, not wanting to even think about another one. Angel said, "We've almost finished the book. Let's see how it ends."

Spike clung tighter to Angel, not wanting to get up. Angel understood and picked Spike up. He carried him over to the couch, and sat down so that Spike was still in his lap. Angel picked up the book that was on the edge of the couch, and kept one arm around Spike's back while he read.

Half an hour later Spike's need to get the pressure off his butt won out over his need for comfort, and he scooted off Angel's lap. He lay down on his side, curled up with his knees by his chest, and put his head in Angel's lap. Angel kept reading, and put a hand on Spike's head.

Angel finished the book, and put it down. He asked, "What did you think?"

"I wouldn't say my concentration has been the best, but I thought it was a good story."

Angel looked at his watch and said, "We still have about an hour before the last one. Did you want me to build the fire back up, it's almost dead."

Spike shook his head, which was still on Angel's thigh. Spike whispered, "Could you just do it now please. I hate waiting and knowing its coming. I just want it over."

Angel thought about it for a second and then said gently, "Okay Will."

Angel scooted himself out from under Spike's head and stood up. He put his hand out to help Spike up. Spike put his hand in Angel's and Angel led him over to the chair. Spike put himself over Angel's lap as soon as Angel was sitting down. Angel winced in sympathy when he saw Spike's butt. The bruising hadn't healed much at all. Angel said, "Okay Spike, this is the last one. You know they've all been for things you've done to children over the years, and I've told you that even all the punishment you've had today won't keep you from thinking about them forever, and hating yourself for what you've done. So you think about it, and tell me what this last one should be. Take your time."

Spike didn't have to. He immediately said, "The twin babies in France."

Angel sighed. He had hoped Spike wouldn't bring that up again, but he knew there was a good chance he would. Spike had written it a couple of times in his notebook the first time Angel had made him write things down. Then Spike had brought them up when Angel had punished him for killing people in general. At that time he had told Spike he couldn't punish him for that one, but now that he had brought it up again, Angel knew Spike needed him to do it. Angel also knew he was going to feel like a huge hypocrite when this one was over. But he tried to keep in mind that this was for Spike, and his feelings could just get pushed aside. Angel said, "Tell me about it."

Spike said, "You were in a bad mood that night. I don't remember what Darla had done, but I remember the two of you yelling at each other, and Darla running off with Drusilla for the night. You grabbed me and told me to come with you. I had trouble keeping up, because you were walking the streets so fast. People took one look at your face and they got out of your way, even though you were in human face. I don't know what was going through your mind, or why we ended up at that lady's house. You must have known her from somewhere before, because she invited us in and looked happy to see you. She was obviously well off. The second we got in the door you ate her. You told me to stand by the door and eat anyone who tried to escape. It was a large family with servants, and I killed five people while you killed the other twelve."

"Then you came over to get me and we searched the house room by room. Then we found those baby girls asleep in their crib. They were about a year old. I bent down to eat one of them and you whacked the back of my head and told me twins were special. You picked one of them up and handed her to me, and then picked up the other one yourself. Then you……"

Spike trailed off and Angel took pity on him. Angel felt bile rise in the back of his throat as he said, "I ordered you to do exactly what I did, and together we dismembered them."

Spike's whole body was tense, and he gave a slight nod. Angel swallowed and got his own memories out of his head. He looked down at Spike and said, "If you hadn't followed my orders, I would have beaten you, or maybe even killed you with the mood I was in."

The room was quiet for a minute and then Spike said, "Doesn't matter. 'I was following orders' doesn't hold up for atrocities committed in war time either. I didn't like it, even then, and maybe if I had fought you…. I could have just eaten them quickly."

Angel shook his head no, and said, "If you had tried, I would have fought you and won. Then I still would have killed them both just as I had originally planned. And if I had known you were upset by the whole thing, I would have made them last for weeks while torturing them. You may not have been pure evil William, but you know I was."

Spike whispered, "Doesn't matter. I still did it."

Angel nodded in understanding and started the spanking. Spike yelled out in pain and started to squirm immediately. Angel held him down. Very soon into the spanking Spike couldn't stop himself from trying to cover his butt with his hand. Angel grabbed the hand and tucked it under Spike's stomach when he wrapped his arm back around Spike's waist. Spike cried and eventually screamed, but didn't ask Angel to stop. Angel didn't stop until he heard the screaming, even though it meant he had to spank Spike longer then he had the times before. He didn't know if any of it would help Spike in the long run or not, but he hoped with everything he had that he had that it would.

When Angel finally stopped, Spike's entire butt and thighs were various shades of blue and purple. Angel felt tears on his own face, which he quickly wiped away. He gave Spike a few seconds to register that the spanking was over, and then again flipped Spike over so he was 'sitting' on his lap making sure that Spike's butt wasn't actually touching anything, and was instead resting between Angel's thighs. They sat that way a long time.

When Angel thought Spike was calm enough to hear him he said, "I wish I could make the memories go away for you. I wish you didn't have to remember the atrocities you committed as a demon. I wish I didn't have to remember what I did either. But the thing you have to keep in mind is that you're not that monster anymore. You didn't do those things, he did. Are you hearing me?"

Spike nodded once. Angel took on a tone that he knew Spike would remember and obey and said, "Sometimes you are going to hate yourself, and there will be times you will want to kill yourself, but no matter how bad the temptation gets you will not do it. You are sentenced to live out eternity trying to make up for what you did, even though it will never be enough. Do you understand me?"

Spike nodded again, and Angel said, "Then we're done with this, and while I can't exactly say I forgive any of us for what we did, I do understand you and even love you anyway."

Spike wrapped his arms around Angel's torso and within a few minutes cried himself to sleep. Angel stayed where he was for a few minutes, until he was sure Spike wouldn't wake up, and then he carried him into the bedroom. He lay Spike on his side, and Spike rolled to his stomach with a groan. Angel didn't pull the sheet up over him, knowing Spike wouldn't get cold, and would rather not have even that on his butt.

Angel looked at him for a few seconds to make sure he was going to stay asleep, and then walked out the bedroom, and out the front door. Angel broke into a run, and made sure he was at least a mile away from the cabin before he slowed down. He eventually stopped, and as he stood there staring off into the distance he started to cry. He looked around and found a decent sized tree, and started pounding his fists against it in a rage, while the memories of things he himself had done in the past went through his mind, along with the fresh memories of what he had just done. He didn't stop until his fists were bloody and the tree was close to falling over.

Eventually he sank down into the pine needles and cried. A few minutes later he could feel the sun start to rise. He had a hard time finding the willpower to make himself head back to the cabin. But thoughts of Spike, Buffy, Connor, and the rest of his friends made him get up. He started to walk, but soon felt the sun start to peek through the trees and ran back to the cabin. He was smoking slightly as he made it through the door, and closed it.

He stood there with his back against the door and told himself to calm down, because in a little while Spike would be waking up in pain, and he would need him to be strong. Angel walked into the bathroom, and started the shower. He undressed and climbed in. He washed all over, and when he got out he checked out the damage to his knuckles. He dried off, walked into the kitchen, and drank some blood cold from out of the refrigerator.

Then he went into the bedroom, took a look at Spike to make sure he was still doing okay, and climbed into bed under the covers beside him. An hour later Angel was almost asleep when Spike woke up and muttered, "Hurts all over."

Angel used his teeth to open his wrist, held it in front of Spike's mouth, and said, "Drink."

Spike took it and drank without question. He drank quite a bit before Angel pulled it away. And while Spike didn't feel anything close to blissful when he was done, he did feel a lot better, and was able to go back to sleep without excessive pain.

The next evening Angel woke up first. He got dressed, and warmed up some blood. He drank two cups himself, and then took a mug of blood into Spike. He looked at Spike's butt before waking him up. There was still a little bruising, but not much, and it would be gone by the end of the night. Angel sat on the edge of the bed and said, "Spike?"

Spike opened an eye and groaned. Angel held the mug in front of Spike and said, "Here's some blood."

Spike took the mug with one hand, and balanced his upper body on his elbow with the other. He drank the blood, and handed it back to Angel. Spike gave Angel an almost confused look for a second, and then looked behind him to see as much of his butt as he could. Spike said, "So I didn't dream that? You let me drink from you again?"

Angel nodded and said, "Punishment's all done. You'll be healed up by the end of the night, and tomorrow night you go home to Buffy."

Spike perked up when he heard that the punishment was over. He thought about it for a second and said, "Not that I'm complaining, but why are we staying here another night if you think I'm ready to go back?"

Angel looked away for a second and muttered, "Selfish reasons."

Spike looked at Angel and could tell he was blushing slightly. Spike smiled and said, "I'm glad."

Angel returned Spike's smile and said, "Get up, get showered, and get dressed."

Spike raised an eyebrow and said, "Is that an order? Because it seems to me if the punishment is over......"

Angel shrugged, "I can't stop barking orders, it's who I am. But you feel free to ignore them now if you want to."

Spike's smile turned mischievous as he said, "Then I think I'm going back to sleep for a few more hours."

Angel smiled back and said, "Then I'll take the car to town myself, and you can walk there after you wake up."

Spike pouted as he stood up and said, "You don't play fair."

"What a shock. You've got fifteen minutes before I leave."

Angel got up and walked out to the living room saying, "Some whisky and pool sounds pretty good right about now."

Spike hurried into the bathroom and got himself ready. Angel cleaned up the mugs, and waited. Soon Spike was dressed and ready to go, and they both got in Angel's car.

Angel was starting to back up when Spike put a hand on his wrist. Angel turned to Spike to see what the problem was, but Spike was looking at Angel's knuckles. Spike said, "What happened?"

Angel gently pulled his wrist away and said, "I…. It's nothing."

Spike looked Angel in the eyes and said, "I'm sorry."

"What for?"

Spike sat back and looked out the window. "For making you relive it too."

Angel leaned over and kissed Spike's cheek. He started backing up and said, "If it actually helped you, then it was worth it."

Spike turned back to Angel and said, "It helped more then you can know."

Angel smiled, leaned over, put an arm around Spike's waist, and pulled him close so they were sitting side by side. Angel then put his arm around Spike's shoulders and said, "Good."

Spike lay his head on Angel's shoulder and stayed there until they got into town. They went to the same bar they had been to the second night they had spent at the cabin. They ordered some drinks, played lots of pool, and watched some bad sports on the bar's tiny TV set. They found themselves laughing a lot and telling each other stories of things that had happened to each of them over the past few years.

Angel stopped after three drinks since he knew he would be driving home, but Spike drank steadily until Angel whispered to him, "I was hoping for a little more then watching you pass out and carrying you to bed tonight."

Spike put his drink down and said, "One more game, and then we go back."

Angel nodded and racked the balls, while Spike ordered a coffee. The ride back to the cabin was spent in comfortable silence, with Spike snuggled up next to Angel.

As soon as they walked into the cabin, Spike started to kiss Angel, and started tugging at his clothes. Angel almost forgot to close the cabin door before pulling Spike with him to the bedroom.

The next evening Spike woke up with Angel laying half on him. Spike closed his eyes again to savor the moment, and help himself remember it for later. A few minutes later Angel woke up and picked his head up off Spike's chest. He looked at Spike who was lying there smiling. Angel lay his head back down and closed his eyes too. They lay like that for about fifteen minutes neither one wanting to admit to being awake since they knew that meant they had to head for home. But eventually Angel thought about Buffy, and knew he was being selfish. He sighed and picked his head back up. "Spike?"


"We need to get going."

Spike opened his eyes and said, "I suppose you're right."

Angel crawled up so that he was on top of Spike and kissed him. Spike kissed him back, and when they broke apart Spike tried not to sound desperate when he said, "One more time before we go?"

Angel said, "Yes." in a voice full of lust. Angel leaned down and used his regular teeth to bite Spike on the right side of his upper chest. Spike looked down at Angel's head slightly confused at what he was doing it for. Angel bit hard enough to leave a mark, but not to break the skin. He let go and licked the spot once. Then he looked up at Spike and said, "Mine."

Spike could tell Angel was serious, so he leaned over, bit Angel's left shoulder, and said, "Mine." back.

An hour later the car was packed, the cabin was cleaned up, and they were on the road back to Sunnydale. The car was silent for a long time, but as they got close to Sunnydale Angel said, "We can't tell her."

"I agree. It stays between us."


Spike looked over at Angel and waited. Angel tried to put all his feelings and thoughts into words, but he didn't know how to start. Eventually he said, "We both have separate lives right now."

"Yes we do."

"But maybe fifty or sixty years down the road….. Who knows."

Spike thought about that and said, "I like that thought."

The car was silent for a while, and then Angel said, "Buffy has my cell phone number. If you start seeing people that aren't there or if you are starting to feel like hurting yourself again, you give me a call."

"What if I just want to talk?"

Angel darted a glance over at Spike and saw him smiling. Angel nodded and said, "Yeah, that would be good too."

The car was quiet again, and then Spike said, "Don't take it personal if I call you names in front of people once we get there."

Angel laughed and said; "I never do Spike. I think it would feel strange not to be called a ponce, or peaches, or maybe even a git. It's part of your charm. You should really meet Lorne sometime."

Angel thought about it and said, "Don't you take it personal if I'm short tempered and bossy with you in front of people."

"Are you ever any other way?"

Angel gave a dry, "Ha. Ha."

They pulled up to Buffy's house and Angel parked. They sat there for a few minutes, and Angel put his hand over Spike's and gave it a squeeze. Spike squeezed back and let go. They both got out of the car and walked up to the front door. It opened before either one of them could knock. Dawn saw Angel and went to get a hug. Angel hugged her back and said, "Hey Dawn, what are you doing up?"

She gave him a 'don't be stupid' look and said, "It's Saturday."

Angel nodded and said, "Oh, right."

Dawn glared over at Spike and said, "What are you doing here?"

Before Spike had left he hadn't been in any shape to deal with Dawn, but now he gave her a glare and said, "Why are you so angry with me Little Bit?"

"I know….. I know what you tried to do to my sister."

Angel was about to say something, but Spike beat him to it. "I see. I understand why that makes you mad, but that was me before I had a soul. Things are different now, and I hope that in time you can see the new me for who I am. But I think after all the things I've done for you, and all the times I've saved not only your life, but your sister's as well, the least you can do is be civil. Now go fetch your sister for me."

Dawn was speechless and after a few seconds turned and walked towards the living room yelling, "Buffy!"

Angel gave Spike a smile and nod of approval, and they both walked in. They heard Buffy's voice from the kitchen, "Be patient, the popcorn is almost done."

Angel looked into the living room and saw Xander sitting on the couch looking at him and Spike. They waved at each other, and Dawn sat down on the couch next to Xander. Xander yelled to Buffy, "Angel and Spike are back."

They heard something clatter onto the kitchen floor, and Buffy said, "Damn."

A few seconds later Buffy came out and looked back and forth between Angel and Spike. She said, "Um…. Hi?"

Angel said, "Spike is….."

As Angel was searching for a word Spike said, "Fully recovered."

"Well, I don't know that I'd go that far, but he's certainly better then he was."

Buffy looked closely at Spike, and thought he did look better. She nodded and said, "Good."

Angel turned to Xander and said, "Do you have that room ready?"

Xander stood and nodded. "Sure you want to head over and take a look?"

"Yeah." Angel turned to Buffy and said, "You coming too?"


Spike said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! What room?"

Angel looked over at Spike and realized he had forgotten to tell him about that. He didn't think it was going to go over very well. He said, "Xander has renovated a closet in his apartment to be a bedroom for you."

Spike shook his head and said, "No way I'm staying with Xander!"

Angel raised his voice and said, "Spike!"

Spike glared at him. Angel said, "You're not staying in the basement, you're not staying with Buffy, Giles and Willow are in England, and you're not staying alone. That leaves Xander. He has been nice enough to offer you a place to stay, and you can be gracious."

"And you can shove his offer up your pompous arse."

Xander said, "Fine with me if he doesn't want to stay."

Buffy muttered, "Fully recovered all right."

Angel crossed his arms and glared at Spike. Spike crossed his arms and glared back. Buffy stepped in between them and looked at Spike. She said, "Spike."

He looked down at her. She gave him a pleading look and said, "I need you to stay sane and help me. Please stay at Xander's?"

Spike completely forgot Angel was even in the room when looking into Buffy's eyes, especially when she was giving him her full attention. He nodded and said softly, "Alright pet. I'll do it for you."

She gave him a small smile, which was more then she had given him since he had his soul back, and it went straight to his heart like a needle. She turned to Dawn and said, "Do you want to come?"

Dawn shook her head. "I'm gonna eat all the popcorn and finish the movie."

Buffy nodded. She looked at Xander and said, "Why don't you drive Spike to your place, and you can go over any house rules."

Then she turned to Angel and said, "Will you drive me over?"

"Of course."

Spike said, "Why can't we all just go in…."

He trailed off as Buffy followed Angel out the door. Xander patted Spike's shoulder and said in a teasing voice, "Sucks to be second choice."

Spike punched Xander hard in the upper arm, and then yelled in pain and held his head. Xander held his arm for a second and said, "If I've got a bruise I'm gonna stake you in the middle of the night. Jerk."

Xander headed out to his car and Spike followed.

On the way to Xander's apartment Buffy said, "Thank you for helping me Angel. I know you didn't have to."

"No, I did have to, and really when it's all said and done, I'm glad I did it."

She smiled at him and said, "Is there anything I should know about him? Anything that is triggering him?"

Angel shook his head. "He didn't see any dead people other then me the entire time we were away. I think that's something about the Hellmouth maybe. I think the only thing you should know is that he is a lot more vulnerable then he lets on, and you could hurt him easily. Also give him my cell phone number, so he can call me if he is having problems again."

"Didn't you give it to him?"

Angel looked out the window and mumbled, "I don't know what it is."

Buffy said, "What? I didn't hear you."

Angel sighed and turned back to Buffy. "I don't know the number. I can hardly even work it."

Buffy put her hand out, and he gave it to her. She fiddled with it for a few seconds, and then held it up to him and said, "See this button here? Push that and it tells you your number."

He looked at it and said, "Okay, thanks."

She gave it back and their hands touched. The touch lingered, and Buffy whispered, "I miss you."

Angel let go and looked out the window again as he said, "I miss you too."

Xander's apartment wasn't very far away, and they were already there. Angel pulled up to the curb, and they both got out. They stood outside and waited for Xander to pull up. It was a cold night, and Buffy was shivering. Angel took his coat off and put it around her. She smiled up at him and said, "Thanks."

They looked at each other for a few seconds and then kissed.

Spike couldn't believe the list of 'house rules' that Xander was rattling off on the drive. "Don't eat my food, and while you're at it don't eat me either. If you need to keep some blood in the fridge, you can only have it on the bottom shelf, because if that stuff leaks I don't want it to ruin any other food. You can't have any of my beer under ANY circumstances. If you buy beer and leave it in the fridge, be sure to put your name on it, and I won't drink it. Don't touch my remote. If you want to put a TV in your room go ahead, but don't touch mine, or my VCR for that matter. Don't go in my room. Just stay out of there completely. You can use the bathroom of course, but please clean up after yourself. I clean it every weekend right now, but since you're moving in, we will take turns and you can clean it every other weekend. I go to work early, so I need my sleep. I'll be giving you a key, but if you're going to be going out all night doing vampire stuff, then you need to be quiet about coming and going so you don't wake me up. You can do whatever you want in your room, but when you move out, and believe me you will eventually be moving out, I will be checking it to make sure it's all in the same condition it's in today. I think that covers the basics. I let you know if anything else comes up."

Spike sat there with his mouth half open for a second and then said, "Please God tell me we're almost there."

Xander pulled up to his apartment, and Spike got out as quick as he could, wanting to get away. But as he stepped out of the car he saw Angel and Buffy kissing. He growled low in his throat, and Buffy and Angel jumped apart. Buffy knew that Spike would be upset seeing her kissing Angel. She expected Spike to be glaring at Angel and ready to fight him when she turned around, but to her surprise he was looking at her with anger.

Spike wasn't sure who the growl was for, he just knew he didn't like what he saw. It didn't make a lot of sense, but he was jealous of both of them, wanting to keep them both for himself but separate. Once Buffy looked at him, Spike turned his glare onto Angel. That seemed more right and he kept glaring.

Angel sighed knowing Spike was angry and confused. Angel said, "Let's go in."

Xander showed them the apartment, and reiterated some of the important rules. Spike looked around and thought it was pretty nice. They had moved some of his stuff from his crypt into the small room. He nodded and said, "Place looks good. I'll stay."

Xander said again, "Temporarily."

Spike picked up his pack of cigarettes that were on the nightstand, and Xander said, "No smoking in the apartment!"

Spike rolled his eyes and said, "Fine."

He took one and walked towards the door to go back outside. Once he was out Angel turned to Xander and said, "Thank you for doing this Xander."

Xander shrugged. Angel looked between Buffy and Xander and said, "I know it's hard to understand, but Spike is a totally different person now that he has a soul. He is going to need things to do. Spike's sanity will be much more likely to stick around if you two let him help you out with fighting evil as much as possible."

Buffy nodded and said, "I'll try."

Angel looked at his watch and said, "I need to go now, or I'll never make it back to LA before sunrise."

Buffy walked over and kissed his cheek before saying, "Bye."

He gave her a nod and then walked out the door, missing her before he even got outside. He saw Spike smoking while leaning against the building. Spike said, "Heading home?"


"Don't forget what I said about Connor."

"I won't. Don't forget what I said about calling me."

"I won't."

Angel walked to his car and called out, "Be good Spike."

Spike called back, "Ponce."

Angel smiled as he got into his car and headed for home. Spike almost felt like crying as he watched him go. Then Buffy was there beside him with a hand on his arm. He looked down at her and she said, "Come on up, and we'll fill you in on what's been going on this week. I'll even make Xander give you a beer."

Spike smiled at her and followed her back into the apartment.

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