Liliaeth (liliaeth) wrote,

Fic: Devil's Bargain (1/1)

Title: Devil's Bargain
Author: Lore
Rating: PG15
Summary: Spike didn't pay his bill to the Order of Taraka, now they've come to collect
Pairing: kinda S/A, but nothing beyond what you'd see on the show

"Lone wolf, yeah, that's me." Spike grabbed his bag, throwing in two of the three identical shirts he owned and that one pair of leather pants that Harmony had somehow convinced him to buy back in Sunnydale. Why was that again? He smirked, oh yeah....

He barely looked up as he left the motel. He’d barely even been in there while he was in LA, to busy tracking Angel. The sun had just gone down and there was still some smoldering heat left hanging in the air. He headed for his car when he felt that someone was following him. He threw a quick look over his shoulder - nothing - yet something felt like it had hooked up with his spine and died there, holding on in a tight grip of solidified stone. He changed to his true face, trying to listen, to pinpoint whatever it was. Something was crawling towards him.

He increased his pace, unsure. He liked a good fight, but only when he picked it. He could feel something on his leg. He tried to push it off, but more of the beasts showed up; stinging.

Spike pushed up against the wall, desperate to crush them. It didn't work. The creatures continued creeping all over his face, into his mouth. He fought to keep his lips closed, lashing out desperately to get rid of them. A shadow fell over him; he noticed it too late to block. The bastard hit him, knocking him down. The vampire tried to roll out of the way but the bugs wouldn't let him, their weight kept forcing him down. Then the critters transformed into a woman, swarmy toilet lady type, who knocked him out before he could get away.


To think that his day had started out so well; his blood had come out of the microwave at just the right temperature, Wesley was off on a case of his own, he'd woken up to the soothing tones of Barry Manilow instead of some annoying as hell traffic reporter. The souled vampire grabbed his blood, while he ignored the drawing he'd made of Penn right before Kate had staked them both. Ignoring the persevering memory of his boy’s death as he sat down to enjoy his meal. Everything was perfect; he had only one case later in the day, and there was a hockey game on that evening. It was almost like the universe was actually smiling on him for a change.

But his complacency was shattered when he actually looked at his mail; bills, adverts, some folder on home renovation that seemed interesting, and one letter. Cordy probably hadn't even recognized the seal.

Taraka, the order of.

They weren't first in line of the people he expected to get mail from. Hell, they weren't even in the line. The mark of the Order of Taraka on the letterhead was itself shocking enough to keep him from opening it.

He spent some time staring at the innocent-looking piece of paper before Cordelia finally grabbed it from the desk. He glared at her over it.

“What? Were you planning to have us die from curiosity over here?” She shook her head in disgust at his lack of response.
"Honored Lord Angelus,
Eldest of the line of Aurelius,
We, the Order of Taraka greet thee."

Cordy glared at him,
“What the hell?” She was expecting an answer, if he had any, he’d have given it. In the end he just shrugged.

"We have in our possession a property that might awaken your interest. It will be sold within the month, but as the Order has always honored its good relationship with the Order of Aurelius, we wish to grant you, as the master of the line, first right of purchase."

Angel tried to make a grab for the letter, but Cordelia held it just out of his reach.

"Oh how nice, a bunch of murderers and cutthroats wants to give you a bargain. Isn't that sweet?" She said in she said in voice practically dripping of saccharine. She still sucked as an actress. Angel caught a scent on the paper. He wasn't sure at first, but he grabbed the letter from Cordy's hands and sniffed it. He'd been right. He grabbed his coat, caught the address and went off. There was no way in hell, that Spike would ever be able to pay him back for this, damn that sick twisted good for nothing welsher. Why did he always end up paying the brats bills?


Spike stood frozen in the doorway. He was about ready to start screaming, but he couldn't even open his mouth. Not since Angel had told him to shut up as soon as he’d seen him. He got an order to come in and did just that. He pushed back his shoulders, not like he was scared. Oh, who was he kidding, he was terrified.

Angel sat down, but Spike had no choice but to keep standing, part of the obedience spell that the slave handlers had cased on him when he’d been captured. The slave handlers at the Order had given him exact rules of behavior right before he was sold. And unless his 'master' told him otherwise, he couldn't go against a single one of those. Not being allowed to sit without permission when his master was in the room was just one of them. And the bugger of it all - the wankers had sold him to Angel.

Maggotbitch had nearly cackled in glee when he'd woken up in a cage. Damn bug-uglies hadn't finished the job he’d hired them for, how was he to know that he was supposed to pay, even if the bleeding bastards couldn't get at Slutty when she was practically delivered in their laps? Not to mention that sodding wheelchair, let's never even think of forgetting the wheelchair.

He started moving and realized Angel must have ordered something. He didn't even have a clue what he'd been told to do until he stood stock still in front of Angel, slowly turning around to give his sire a good look.

Angel smirked and tore open Spike’s shirt. Spike's protests died behind his closed lips.

"You know Spike, I might actually start liking this deal, it's like a dream come true for me… it really is."

Spike shivered. It was about all he was able to do, and only because Angel hadn't bothered to tell him he couldn't.

"You, quiet, obedient, quiet.… Let’s not forget quiet. It might actually be worth the money I paid for you just to get you to shut up. Keep it up and I might actually feed you."

The words set off a trigger and Spike realized he couldn't even move his tongue anymore. He wanted to beg for mercy, for a quick death but Angel was already turning away from him.

"Now sit down."

Spike found himself kneeling down where he stood. Angel was glaring at him, staring, not saying a word. Spike hoped the bastard wouldn't tell him to kill himself. He wasn't sure whether he could resist it, he was even less sure whether he'd want to. Angel went back to the kitchen. He stayed there for a while. Spike could hear scratching of fingernails on stone. He wanted to follow, to see what his bastard of a sire was doing. But of course, Angel hadn't given him an order to do so.

Angel finally came back with a set of chains and a cup of blood. He placed the steaming cup on the coffee table and moved over Spike. Spike looked up. At least he could do that much. Angel grabbed one of his wrists and slammed a cuff on it, then repeated the same to the other. Spike kept waiting for him to do something more but that's where Angel stopped. He just looked at him, with something that sickeningly reminded him of pity. “Thank God that the poofter never pitied him for anything.” Was all he could think. Spike accepted the cup from his hands. He couldn't even start drinking it. Yet another reason to kill those bastards.

"Well drink up, you don't have all day."

Spike instantly took the chance and poured it in. He hadn't had a drop of warm, non-rattish blood in weeks.

Angel grabbed him up by the chin as soon as he was finished, staring at him. He just hung there, dropping down when Angel let go. Angel dragged him by the chain to a radiator at the side of the room, hooking him to it.

"Stay." His voice seemed to chafe, harsh, angry.

Normally Spike would have loved to tear himself loose as soon as Angel turned his back. Or better yet, show him how silly these chains were. But, now all he could do was to stand there. It wasn't until Angel left the room that he managed to sit down, his hands tied above his head. He couldn't even kick the fucking wall.


Angel had to force himself out of the room so as not to thrash the vampire he'd left behind in his living room. He wasn't sure whether to make the idiot pay for what he'd let that amateur torturer do to him a few months ago, or to tear him up for letting those bastards of the Order destroy him like this. He kicked the side of the lift. It shook under the force he put into it.

Wes and Cordy were upstairs. Thank God he'd taken the sewers with Spike; at least they didn't know, yet. Cordy seemed just about ready to put him through an interrogation and Angel desperately tried to avoid it. How the fucking hell was he supposed to explain to them why he hadn't staked Spike as soon as he got his hands on him? How could he even try to explain how impossible that would be? Even now, especially now. Spike pissed him off, he always had. Hell, the bastard only recently had him tortured. So why couldn't he just use the opportunity and get rid of him.

One easy answer, Spike was well... family. The kind of family that you'd rather keep away from the world; so that no one ever finds out you're related to them. But still family, blood. Hate it or not, Spike was his responsibility and he had a duty to make sure that the little pest was kept safe, at least till he got rid of the orders conditioning. He could always stake the limy piece of scum afterwards.

Cordy was filing her nails when he came in, he muttered something about a case, but she didn't seem to get it, tried to stop him even. He told her everything was ok, but of course she wouldn't listen. She wanted to know what he'd gotten from the Order; what had been so important earlier. But the more he said it was nothing, the more she wanted to know. In the end he had to give up and show her.

She stood in the elevator with him, pretending to be all business, but Cordy had never been any good at acting, that still hadn't changed. Her eyes went wide open when she saw Spike, the younger vampire got up on his feet the second he came in. Was that because he wanted to, or because he had no choice but to do so? Damn, he really had to find out how far this conditioning went.

Cordy jumped behind Angel.

"It's safe." he tried to say, but she kept shrieking.

"Spike sit." It was horrifying how fast the vampire followed his orders. It was even more stunning when he was hit in the face by one of Cordy's fists. He tried to stop her, but she hit him again and tried to get to the elevator.

Why couldn't he just let her?

"You're evil again, aren't you?"

"I am not." he said indignantly

"Are too, you were planning to feed me to him, you bastard, you'd better get out of here mister, before I stake your ass." he placed a finger on her lips.

"I am not evil. Why do people always think I'm evil?"
Spike didn't even snicker, even though there seemed to be a bit of a gleam in his eyes. He almost wished that Spike did snicker. It'd be more normal than this silence.
"Spike's harmless."

"Since when? Did you forget what he had that guy do to you?"

"Since right after that. The order of Taraka did something to him. He can't disobey orders. And right now, he's ordered not to harm anyone."

"Say what?"

"Spike pissed them off; refused to pay for the assassins they sent after Buffy, so they repossessed him. Turned him into a slave."

Cordy grinned.
"Get up." She said to Spike.

Spike obeyed.

"Lift your leg, your right leg." But even as he did so, his eyes begged to Angel for mercy.

Angel didn't give a damn, he had to convince Cordy that Spike was safe.

"Put your left hand on top of your head and your right hand on your nose."


“What? I was just trying something."

Spike still stood there, frozen like a statue, one leg up, and one hand on his head, the other on his nose, his eyes signaling his anger. They were all he had left and Angel couldn't bring himself to take even that away. At least it meant that Spike was still there. Part of him did think that the boy deserved this, to be brought down a peg or two.
"Can you look after him? I have to go get stuff."

She didn't let him continue, suddenly turning to him.
"What happened to, I don't know, just staking him?"

"He's helpless."

She rolled her eyes but nodded at him. Angel finally left, leaving her with Spike. He could barely even look at the other vampire. And the demon inside of him liked this too much, raged too much against his chains in his desire to see what other little tricks he could get Spike to perform.


Couldn't they just kill him? Please? It'd be more merciful than this was. He was a vampire, supposed to eat little morsels like her, not be at their beck and call like some servant. Since she'd come in, she'd first ordered him in one position after the other, each one more humiliating than the one before. She'd finally found the key of his chains and had told him to make her a cup of coffee, correct that, a cappuccino, double latté, as if he even know what that was. She finally came after him and told him what to do, growing more comfortable with every passing second.

And that while she was supposed to be trembling in fear of him.
Oh god how he'd fallen.

After he was done and she was sipping her drink, he just stood there. He couldn't even get back to the corner that Angel had left him in. He felt almost painfully naked when she stared at him, his shirt was still open, not that it made much of a difference considering that it was a see through shirt to begin with, but at least it would have given him the illusion of decency.

The bastards had at least left him his usual jeans. It was all they'd left him of his clothes. The bitch had taken pleasure in telling him she'd be bidding on his coat for the in house auction later that week. She'd also said she'd bid for him if his sire didn't come to get him, that he didn't have a clue what it was to truly be fucked. He'd never been happier in his life to see the poofter's face.

He wondered though, how long would it take the old ponce to tell him to just bend over and grab his legs? He'd almost expected it to happen as soon as they got here. But then, this was Angel, not Angelus. Not that it made much of a difference otherwise.

"Hey, stop looking at me you freak."

Spike instantly turned his eyes away from her and to the ground.

"You really can't refuse an order, can you?"

And this hadn't been clear to her before because...?

She hurried to the bathroom and came out with a fresh toothbrush, a bucket and a bottle of floorsoap.
"I always wanted to see someone clean the floor with one of those. Now get at it."

Spike felt his dignity die one more bit as he took the brush and the bucket and started working. It didn't help of course that she kept walking through his work. She was busy of course, had to do crosswords and call her friends.

God this was disgusting. He quickly wiped away a tear before she could see it.


Angel didn't get home for hours, by the time he did, he froze in the door. Spike was bowed over the floor, his ass in the air, aimed at him, moving slowly while the younger vampire seemed focused on something on the floor.

"Spike." The vampire froze, turned towards him, never moving off of his knees.

"Get me a cognac, I'm sure you can still find it."

He stared after him in something that hinged between revulsion and fascination. Spike didn't move any different from how he normally did. A bit less cocky, but other than that, he was just Spike... just the same boy he'd tried to break over and over again, and had never succeeded in doing so.

Angel took off his coat and placed it over the chair before sitting down on it. He was looking through a set of files when he finally looked up. It startled him to see Spike sitting there, on his knees, staring up at him with a glass of cognac in his hands, ready to offer it. He threw down the files, unable to stay in the same room. He wasn't sure how much longer he could resist Spike like this.


His hands tied to his feet behind his back, stretched out to grab them before they were bound together with rope. William cried a little as he heard his dark goddess cry out in pain, in agony, in pleasure. To be forced to listen to that... monster as he used her, perverted his perfect lady and be unable to stop it. It was killing him, as surely as the monster would do to him if he dared move an inch from where he was sitting. Another scream, begging. He twitched. Drusilla - no.

Please let her be all right, please let her be...

More- his name. He couldn't stop himself and ripped apart the ropes to get free; jumping up and forcing himself against the door. "Drusilla!"

Another shove, the door fell open and there was his Dru, sitting on the bed, laughing when she saw him fall in, door and all. Both of them were fully dressed and he stared at them, shrinking as Dru failed to stop her giggles and Angelus just smirked. He realized it then. Just a game; not Dru needing him; but her playing one of her precious daddy's games. He almost left; the monster grabbed him before he could.


Angel winced when he noticed Spike's sudden awakening as soon as he entered the room. The boy was still kneeling on the floor, holding the glass between his legs and lifting it up again the moment he arrived. He'd forgotten to put the boy to bed, or to even lock him to the wall. And inside him Angelus cheered. Not at the boy’s pain, but at the guilt that Angel was once again going to put himself through for forgetting. A small drop on the floor as proof of the boy spilling as he’d dozed off.


Spike got up and followed him, stepped into the car without a word. The silence was killing him. It was unnatural. It wasn't until they reached the mall that he realized he could have ordered Spike to talk. He was almost glad he hadn't, remembering what the auctioneer had told him about Spike being trained for conversation. Spike would hate him forever if he made him talk like that.

And why should he care if Spike hated him?

Angel decided to ignore the demon's voice. The thing laughing at his denial while Spike followed him with the obedience of a well trained dog, or more accurately, like the slave he'd been turned into. He decided to be kind and chose the kind of clothes that Spike would buy for himself. Nothing Armani, not the leather trousers, not the plaid shirt. Simple black on black, justifying it as having to look at Spike, and the blond was too small to fit in his clothes.


Spike faced him, stopping his movement with the shirt still half over his head, leaving a clear target of naked flesh.

"Pull that down." Spike did. "God Will..." He wanted to take him in his arms and remove that helpless look in the boy’s eyes, but knew he couldn't, not when Spike couldn't push him away. He turned, ordering Spike to follow. The sound of footsteps in his track tore through his guts.


Angel was gone again, leaving him with the bitch. God he hated her. He hated that smug little look on her face, the way she treated him like pond slime, while ordering him from one side of the room to the other. Do the dishes, make me coffee and wipe my lily white ass while you're at it. If it wasn't for the damn magic on him he'd rip her throat out in a heartbeat. It's just that he - well he couldn't.

She was on the phone again, spent more time on the damn thing than she spent doing anything else.

"Get me some hot water for my tea Spike."

He found himself getting up and heading for the kitchen. The kettle was already on. One of the few things her highness had had to do for herself before he and Angel got back home. There was an oven glove lying on the counter. He tried to take a step towards it, but his legs wouldn't change their path.

No, please god no, listen damn it, listen, I need those gloves. It's hot, please, please... But his feet kept moving. His hands went for the kettle, the metal handhold, burning, wanting to scream, but he'd been told to stay quiet. His scream roared inside. On the outside, the only thing worth watching was the blistering wounds on his hands as he kept holding the kettle bringing it over to the phone. And Cordelia barely noticing him as he came in carrying the pot.

Please tell me to put it down, please, but she didn't, barely noticed him and his hands were killing him.

No no no noooooooooooooooo

He was still standing still when Angel tore the kettle away from him, throwing it against the wall and grabbing his hands. It hurt sire, hurt, please make it end, it hurts. Angel dragged him along to the sink, forced him to keep his hands under the water and Princess was staring at them in shock, only now realizing what had happened. Angel grabbed his head and brought it to his neck.


Spike sank in his fangs, tasting the blood, wanting for Angel to keep holding him, to be able to stay in the safety of his sire’s arms. His hands still hurt.


"What the hell's wrong with you. Those oven mitts are there for a reason. Just give me one good reason why you didn't just use them?"
Stupid boy, damn idiot, couldn't he ever...

"I couldn't."

"What?" Angel couldn't believe he was hearing Spike's voice again.

"I bl... I couldn't ..." then Spike seemed to try to stop himself before uttering "master" His eyes cringed under the effort of saying the word.
"I wasn't ordered to use the glove."

And Angel's mouth fell open as he realized what that meant. Spike couldn't even protect himself from unwanted harm, he couldn't even save himself. Angel couldn't help himself, grabbing his Will and holding him tight, hoping to comfort him. His glare on Cordelia the entire time as her face showed her fear, she thought he was furious, damn right he was.

"I'm sorry." she was shaking now. "I didn't think bleach for brains would go get it with his bare hands. I mean, how stupid do you have to be to grab a pot hot from the fire without even a towel for protection."

"Not stupid Cordelia, it's not stupid when your trapped, locked inside your own head, unable to refuse, unable to say or do anything, other than to do exactly what you're told. Literally."

"Oh god."

Oh god indeed.

And why was Spike still drinking?


Things were a bit better after that, his hands had stung for hours, taking more than their time before healing. It probably would have taken him days to heal, if it hadn't been for Angel's blood. Spike wasn't sure how to feel about his sire. Furious, terrified, happy, ... He should be humiliated, sitting at Angel's feet as he was, instead the feel of his sire's leg against his head gave him the comfort that he sorely needed. Angel's hand brushed through his hair at odd intervals and he knew without a doubt that he was safe, that as long as Angel was here, his sire would protect him. A soft rumble played in the air and it took him a while to realize that it was coming from his own lips, purring. Purring for gods sake. He was a vampire, evil, soulless, sitting at his sire's feet and purring like a fledgling after a good feed. And it was him doing it. Not Angel telling him to relax, not the Tarakans playing with his head, him, all him. He'd never been so happy to make a fool of himself in his life.

"He's purring. Angel, did you know vampires purred?"
Spike almost stopped, but Angel's hand touched his hair again and the rumble continued

"It most definitely is an odd phenomenon, I'd read about it in watcher diaries, but it's rare for humans to be witness to it."
And there was Percy, stick in the mud, born in tweed and always looking at him like some kind of specimen in a lab test. Spike sat still on his knees, supported by Angel's leg. Spike knew the watcher had asked Angel if they could give him over to the watchers for further research. It was rare that the watchers had a cooperative lab rat to work with. Angel hadn't even considered the offer, said he wasn't interested before Percy was even finished talking.

The bint brought Angel his coffee. Not that Angel was stupid enough to touch it. Spike had seen the stuff. He'd tasted tar less disgusting. But she was being all soft and sorry this, sorry that. She'd even gotten the bandages he was wearing on his hands now and had helped Angel in putting them on. Spike guessed she'd feel just as bad if Angel's goldfish had died. If Angel had had any fish. His stomach was hurting as his need to laugh was thwarted by the programming.

Angel's leg hit his back as Angel jumped up and grabbed the girl before she fell. She was shaking, pain showing in her eyes.
"Vampires, dozens of them, they're attacking a rave."
Spike could have drooled at the thought, though the idea of taking more than five minions for one of those was overkill. The more of them you took, the more of the blood you had to share. Not to mention, people usually noticed your attack earlier and half the fun was in killing as many of the drugged out, stoned as hell partygoers as you could before they noticed, the music stopped or someone started screaming.

"Spike, stay with Cordy, take care of her, do what she tells you to. Wes you're with me."
Spike was already kneeling at Cordy's feet with a glass of aspirin by the time that Angel had grabbed his axe and left the room. Him, the bird, one room, and no Angel in sight. Admit it, this was one of the definitions of hell, wasn’t it?


Angel froze as he opened the door, he'd expected to see Spike doing one or the other chore for Cordelia, one of her tricks to get him to reveal what the hell he was up to. He doubted that she believed that Spike’s condition was real. Even now. Cordy held one hell of a grudge and he couldn't really mind since it was his body that Spike had had punctured the last time.

The room was quiet. No Cordy in sight. But most of all - no Spike. Where the hell, for a moment he considered it, the thought that Cordelia had been right, that Spike had been playing a big game of make belief to catch him off guard, he batted it away just as quickly.

"Cordy, Spike?"

No response

Down the elevator, down to his flat, and wishing to scream. Spike was covered in burns, his face, his hair, ... Cordy was wetting his skin, trying to soothe Spike’s wounds and crying for him. She didn't even notice him coming in.

"What happened." He'd never been as cold to her as he was now. What had she done, again. He wanted to grab Spike, but he didn't dare touch his skin.

"I didn't mean to. I'm so sorry, so sorry." She was crying, he didn't give a damn.

"I was just on the phone, talking to Aura and he was sitting there. He brought me my coffee, my cosmo and I was just thinking of letting him do my nails afterwards. For a guy, he's got pretty good nails."


It was like she didn't even hear him.
"I told Aura about the help and she asked if he was good looking and I said, I said, ... I said that he'd be cute if he spent some more time in the sun. That he really ought to do that, get some sun... It was just a joke Angel, I didn't even aim it at him, I wasn't even talking to him."

She was crying.

"When I looked up, he was already up, heading for the door and I didn't, I didn't realize until...He walked out and I ran after him, the sun was just coming up. I tried to get him in on time but he couldn't hear me over the sound of a helicopter flying over. He was burning when I dragged him in."

Only then did Angel notice the burns on her own hands. He didn't care.

"He'd have killed himself, ..." Sobbing.

Angel stood there; unmoving; looking down on the bed, his bed and his child in the middle of it. Too freaked out by the pain even in sleep, even the boys conditioning couldn’t stop him from curling in on himself. Angel made a decision there and then; every single member of the Order of Taraka would die.


Bad boys hurt, bad boys got pain. Disobey, pain, attack, worse pain, try to run, agonizing...

"Please master, I'm sorry."
It was one of the few sentences that his trainer had allowed him free use off, at least as long as no one ordered him to stay quiet. He used it now, begging forgiveness. Pain screamed from every pore of his body, not an inch left untouched.
"Please master."

He had to get off the bed, on his knees. please master, I'll listen, please please, begging, please...

Angel pushed him back under the covers and he fell still, trying not to move, waiting for orders.

God the pain, hurt, pain, it wouldn't end.

Angel's hands on him, rubbing in some kind of salve, turning him over gently, it still bloody hurt. Please master, Angel didn't stop, but the pain lessened a bit under his hands.
Please master I'm sorry.

Left behind on the bed as Angel stormed out, staring at his sires back.


Angel's fists hit the punching bag, hitting, kicking, letting out his rage. Wishing it was the bastards that broke his boy.

"Let's play a little game of make believe" he'd said, before ordering Dru to his room. William had stopped fighting him over it. Such a shame, lost his fire far too quickly. Ah well, one last game wouldn't hurt. And hey, Dru would stop whining over her little knight as soon as he gave her a new doll. Whispering in her ear, telling her what to say. He didn't feel like actually having sex, Dru seemed to love the game.

Angelus wondered what the boy was thinking in there, chained up, forced to do nothing but listen, told that he'd stake him if he dared move. He chuckled, oops, forgot, he was gonna stake him anyway. Then he made Dru scream, call for her boy. It actually surprised him when William burst through the door, ready to protect his lady fair.

The look of agony on his face as he realized he'd been played was breathtaking. Shoulders slouched, realizing his disobedience had been over nothing. Still defying him. That's when it happened, when he decided to keep this newest addition to the household.

Nothing more fun than to break in a wild horse and this one ... was going to be the best he'd ever had.

The punching bag cracked, sand flowing. He fell to his knees. Not crying. Never crying. And inside Angelus screamed for vengeance alongside him.


Cordelia was doing his nails, she'd told him to sit down at the table and asked him to tell her which bottle he liked best. She'd already done his hair, asking him for the right kind of bleach and oh so careful to make sure it hurt him as little as possible. She kept talking to him, even when inside he was almost begging for her to shut up. She kept going on, asking him for opinions, but in such a way that he couldn't respond. And then she'd repeat her questions so he had to respond.

Like she was trying to confirm to herself that he was there.

Angel had made sure to tell him not to walk in the sunlight, endanger himself in any way, or allow harm to come to himself. It at least seemed to work since when the cheerleader asked him to get some coffee, he was able to take it safely. The way things had changed, they were a bit better. Spike still missed Angel when he left. Things with the cheerleader had improved, but to her he was still like a pet. Like a cat, to be coddled and taken care of, but not a person. She'd tolerate him cause he was safe and that was all there was to it.

God he fucking well had to admit it to himself, he'd missed his sire. Not the madman that showed up in Sunnydale, the real Angelus. The one that would never be insane enough to try and take out the entire world. The one that would kick him and fuck him and hurt him like hell, but that in the end would give a damn whether he was dust or not.

And away from the slayer, this Angel was the closest he'd ever come to his real sire. He still wanted to scream, to kick over the bint's desk and tear her carefully carded files into a million little pieces, but she was his sire’s pet and he'd protect her as long as Angel wanted him to. So he curled at her feet and let her play with him while wishing he could just put his claws in that perfect white skin and play mousie with her fear.

"He's too quiet."
The watcher gave Angel an odd look.
"I'm serious Wes, it's not like Spike to be all compliant and obedient, it just doesn't feel right."

"Then why don't you tell him to act normal?" Cordelia looked up for a moment as she said so. "You know, order him to act like himself again."

Porcelain hit the floor in a crash as Angel let his cup slip.

"Order him, I ... it can't be that simple, can it?"

"Well yeah, just make sure you leave in a command of him not hurting us, but..."

He didn't let her finish, grabbing her in a hug.

"Cordelia you're a genius."

"Of course I am."

"Spike stand up." Spike dared to hope, hell, he could live with a no hurting the help command, anything, really anything was better than this...
"I order you to..."clearly looking for the right phrasing. "to only obey orders if you want to obey them, no if you choose to obey them. To have free will in your actions as well as your thoughts and to be yourself again."

Spike stood still.


Spike couldn't help staring at his hands, bringing them up in his line of sight, looking up at Angel and hugging his bastard of a sire in a long stream of thank you's. He had to jump to move, running around in circles and simply screaming out in happiness, with the stupidest grin ever. Angel was looking at his silliness with a smile on his face, not noticing how both Cordelia and Wesley were slowly backing off. But Spike did see it, did smell it. Where they stupid? He'd never harm his sire's pets. Angelus had taught him that lesson more than plenty after he'd killed one of his sire's favorite dogs over a century ago.

But Wesley was already grabbing for a cross out of his vest while moving to the weapons cabinet and Cordelia was trying to hide behind a desk.


Spike was taking over the couch, exploring it as if he'd never seen it before. And Angel almost licked his lips watching him. There was something to be said about helpless innocence, but this... this was the William that he'd kept alive for twenty years just to play with him.

"Angel are you insane." Oh yes, Cordelia, he was supposed to be listening to her wasn't he? God he got it already, Spike dangerous, he should have put in some control over the vampire, to keep him from hurting anyone. He knows that. Thing is, there was no way in hell that he could have brought himself to actually do it. How much better would he be than the bastards who brainwashed Spike to begin with, if he just let something like that slip in?

"Are you Angelus again?"

Spike started chuckling; they all threw his boy a glare.
"Course not you dozy bint." Spike sat up a bit, pointing his fingers. "One, he's not wearing leather, two you're all still alive and three, he's actually listening to you rant on instead of tearing your tongue out."

Angel just shook his head and sat down.
"Cordy, I'm not going to let Spike hurt you. I promise. But what you're saying, taking his free will like that, it's wrong. It'd be like putting him in a leash, it'd be as bad as what the order did to him. I'd kill him before I'd let that happen...again."

Angel wondered if he imagined the look of gratitude in Spike's eyes.

"I don't care." Cordy stood there defiant, her hands on her hips. “He's a killer Angel. And I'm not staying around for a second longer while he's here, and neither is Wes."


"It's your choice Angel; him or us. But I am not sitting around, waiting for your kid to tear our throats out."


"I'm sorry."
Angel was going to say it and Spike really didn't want to hear it. Could he put his hands on his ears and pretend he wasn't listening.

"I'd better be off then, shouldn't I."
Take the initiative, don't let him know it's tearing you apart.
"Got people to kill, Tarakans to flay."

And Angel stood there in silence. Watching him as he grabbed his stuff, the stuff that Angel had bought him. He was close to tears because of that silence, wanting for Angel to order him to leave. It'd almost be easier; he might be able to hate the bastard again if he did.

"There's no other choice Spike. I can't let you kill people."

"For what it's worth Angel, I would have given up killing for you."

"No you wouldn't."

"The hell I wouldn't... I could be nice and white hat. If you just gave me a chance."

Angel shook his head, still not believing it. Well he'd prove it, wouldn't he. Let his sire see exactly how much he could ‘not’ kill Angel's poor hapless humans. He'd show him.

"Leave town Spike, the next time I see you, you're dead."

"I..." I can live without killing, is what he wanted to say. Instead he went out the door and left. A tear fell down as soon as he was on his own. He quickly wiped it of. The only reminder of his presence was a dent in the wall before he headed off.

He'd show Angel. And then the damn bastard would feel sorry that he ever doubted him.

the end


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