Richie set down his bags while searching his pockets for the keys. He'd tried ringing the bell, but the old man still hadn't opened. Just as he was about ready to slip the key in, the door opened and he almost fell in. Spike's arm held him before he came close to hitting the ground and Richie thanked him for the help. He bowed down to take his bags, but Spike was ahead of him and carried them to the kitchen.
Richie shrugged it off and moved to the living room. Methos sat in a fully spread out sprawl on the couch, the remote right by his hand, a pillow on the floor at his feet. He was dressed in a sweater and jeans and Richie wondered what had been keeping him so busy before. It couldn't really be the TV show he'd been watching?
Spike came out of the kitchen. He was dressed in a shirt too tight to ever have belonged to Methos. Dressed all in white, except for the black studded collar still on his neck. Richie shrugged it off and fell down on the armchair. He tried not to look at Spike who leaned over as he placed the bucket of taco's and a mug on the table before slowly crouching down on the pillow. Methos took one of the taco's , holding one of them to the vampire's lips, Spike's tongue slipped past it, licking it before his mouth touched out and his teeth bit in.
Methos calmly bit into his own, before taking another taco and dripping it into the mug that the vampire had placed on the table as well. Richie's hunger rushed away as soon as he realized exactly what kind of red liquid that the vampire was using as dip sauce.
Don't look at the vampire, don't... Richie cleared his throat uncomfortably. "I met an interesting girl at the Taco Bell."
"Oh, blond, brunette or other?" Methos changed the channel to some kind of history show. The vampire growled softly, but soon started purring as Methos hand slowly moved to brush through his curls. Baring his neck as Methos fingers slid down, slipping over the pale skin.
He liked girls, girls, hear that, girls. "Auburn, actually. She was incredible. I saw her munch down on ten crunchy tacos in less time than it took me to open the bag and grab one of my own."
"Nice, nothing better than a woman who knows how to eat." Spike's legs opened wide as he leaned back against Methos' legs. Richie tried not to look at him. It was hard to ignore.
And to think that only two weeks ago, Methos had wanted to kill the vampire. Now... Who knows what happened between them.
"Angel. We will find him."
He refused Wesley's comfort. His nerves were screaming, there was a cold emptiness where his connection to Spike had used to be and it was driving him insane. Even when Spike had been dead that connection had lain there as a scar that never stopped hurting. Now it was erased out of existence and it screamed at him like a howling abyss.
This was why sires would sooner kill their get than allow them to be lost to others. The sense of loss was crippling.
Who knows what that monster was doing. He slid into the seat of his car, Wes sliding down next to him. Methos could be holding him down, chained up to his convenience.
Spike had always been pretty in chains, it's one of the few memories him and Angelus agreed on. Spike chained, bruised, his cheeks bright red as he'd slammed them with Drusilla's brush. He remembered this one time when he'd found the boy laid back on top of a mountain of corpses, servant girls, the butler, the entire bloody pantry, killed in one burst of wild abandon. And why? Cause William had gotten bored.
Angelus had grabbed him then, turned him around, crushing his victims under them as he fucked the boy into their dead flesh.
William hadn't stopped laughing through it all, a bright cheerful laughter, demanding for more. He'd turned him around, fucking his mouth, just to get him to shut up. And Spike had stared at him with such devotion...
He'd made sure the boy hadn't been able to sit down for days.
Angel twisted the steering wheel, slamming it to the right to avoid running into the car in front of them. The damn bastard stopped to turn left with no warning, none that he'd seen at least. The car stood there, frozen, before he started again.
Wesley was screaming at him to stop but he didn't care.
He'd carved his name in the boy's thigh, sucking up his blood as it gushed out. Spike was screaming out his name as he came.
Wesley tried to grab the wheel but Angel pushed him off, he'd seen that truck, he had.
A whip lashing his boy's backside. Red stripes that were healing way too fast till he dipped the whip into holy water. Pushing it between the boy's lips as he begged for mercy, hearing the sissing and kissing the burns away, biting the boy's tongue when he responded.
Wes was aiming his gun at him, telling him to stop. But he wouldn't, wouldn't... The metal back of the gun his his head, he flinched, it hit him a second time and a third, till his head fell down and the last thing he saw was Wesley crawling over him to get the wheel and the brakes...
Fred froze in her captor's grip. He was huge, had short hair and was dressed in clothes she could only identify as expensive. The dark-haired man had her slender upper arm encircled with one hand, gripping firmly while making a conscious effort not to hurt her as he dragged her up the stairs.
Someone was waiting at the door and Fred once again came face to face with Richie. Her face turned a red blush till she realized that he was holding a broadsword. Before he'd seemed nice, almost innocent; now... ready to fight; he was terrifying. He didn't go at ease till he saw the both of them and he was staring at her, surprised, in shock to see her here, like this...She squeaked, trying to make herself look as small, harmless and helpless as possible. Making them underestimate her and think they didn't have to worry about her. Richie confronted her captor, somewhat weary in his approach.
The dark man stood there silently, almost hesitant to deal with Richie... Richie who...
"Richie help me. I was minding my own business when this big ape grabbed me and oh my God! Spike!"
She managed to pull loose and darted past Richie into the apartment.
Spike was on the floor at the couch, petted by the man on it. He barely glanced at her, a hint of recognition before he turned away, stunned, but silent. She knelt beside him. "You okay? What happened! We've been so worried. What's with the collar, and who the hell are these guys?"
She kept babbling, staring at the collar on his neck, the intricate runes covering it were probably what kept him under control.
Richie blinked several times.
"You know eachother?"
The tall man grabbed her arm and pulled her back. She tried to kick and fight, but he wouldn't let her go even as he glowered towards the man on the couch.
"Damn it Methos. What the hell have you been doing?"
Somehow Fred hadn't expected the demon to look this... human.
The dark-haired kidnapper, Methos stood up, pushing Spike to the floor. Oddly enough Spike let him.
"So you're Methos..." Fred murmured to herself. "I thought you'd be... taller."
"And who are you, exactly?" The ancient demanded, giving her a withering glare.
She gave one more kick to her captor's leg, before standing up as tall as possible.
"I'm Winifred Burkle." She raised her hand almost in a manner of habit.
"What have you done with Spike?"
Richie scratched the back of his head. "She's that girl I told you about." He said quietly.
"How do you know this... monster?" Methos' voice was low and even; the tone sent a chill upon her spine.
Spike wasn't that at all, he was...
"Monster?" The tall guy let her go. "Methos... what have you done?"
A face off went on between the two men, Fred felt herself fade away in a discussion between the two. Wondering if she should just let them at it and grab Spike to safety with her.
"Spike get your chains from my room."
Fred expected the vampire to protest, to say something, anything...
He didn't even hesitate. Still silent, it was starting to scare her. She could only watch with horror at the bowed down shoulders, the instant obedience...
She rushed after the blond and touched his shoulder.
"C'mon, Spike, talk to me!"
But Spike didn't even meet her eyes, he turned to Methos instead.
The hatchet-nosed freak merely cocked an eyebrow.
"Spike, the chains, now."
A short command and Spike was moving again, ignoring her. She could see a short look in his eyes before he turned away. He wanted to talk to her, but couldn't. Something in Fred's head snapped, and an almost animal noise emerged from her throat. The next thing she knew, her knuckles were sore. The guy Richie called Mac held her again. Methos stared up at her from the ground. He was holding one cheek and looking startled by her nerve. Richie and Mac pulled her back, holding her in a solid grip while Methos got up from the floor.
A single tear dropped down from Spike's cheeks. A loose curl fell down over his eyes as he sat in the dark, face to the wall. His arms were chained over his head, his feet locked in restraints, deep red cuts lined his perfect skin.
Booted feet stirred the blood-red rose petals blanketing the floor, and a glossy black whip broke the silence with a sound like a gun shot. After a few moments, there was the clanking of well-oiled machinery as the section of floor under Spike's kneeling body lifted, pushing him up and spreading his legs. Spike let out a beautiful moan as his genitals were ground down into the top corner by his weight, and he arched his back like a breaking wave falling over the front.
The monster grabbed his hair, pulling his back up, stretching his spine to breaking point.
Tearing into him without warning.
"Come for me, come for your master."
The door kicked open and the dark man broke free, staring back at the intruder. Angel stood in the door, large and menacing, dressed in a long black coat that fluttered along his legs as he stared down at the monster that had taken his boy. His anger raged in his eyes and his fists clenched around his sword as he stared down at what the monster had done to his boy.
"You!" The leather-clad male growled, spinning around, the whip still in hand. "How much does it take to get rid of you?!"
He prowled towards Angel, lips peeled back from his teeth in a snarl. Angel faced him silently, his presence a soothing strength for his get.
One wiry arm drew back with the whip and lashed out at the slave's apparent rescuer.
Angel grabbed the whip in one hand, punching the monster in the face with the other.
He yowled and fell back.
Angel lifted his sword, taking the monster's head, watching as it rolled away from the body.
He turned to Spike, watching his boy's naked form stretched out for pleasure. He touched Spike's calves, licking the blood of the wounds, hearing Spike moan under his touch. Goosebumps forming under his skin. So beautiful.
"Please Angel. I need you. Please take me."
Angel prepared him, using blood and spit as he opened Spike up.
His boy, his beautiful boy, a study in ivory marked with ruby lines, arched and moaned as Angel pushed into him, beckoning him without words to fulfill and satiate a need that welled from the depths of his recently-regained soul.
"Daddy's here now. Daddy's here."
Spike moaned, his skin writhing under his grandsire's fingertips.
And if his moans turned to pleading Angel just held on to him, comforting him like a sire should.
"No no no no no no no no no..."
Spike came under him, screaming as he did so. Opening up his neck for full possession. Angel bit down, staring at the master's head, it stared back at him. Eyes he hadn't looked at in so long. His own.
Angel was still screaming as he woke up.
Spike returned, holding a set of chains. He placed it down on the table, waiting, his hands behind his back, his feet stretched apart. Methos slowly got up from the ground, inspecting the chains in front of him. Duncan let go of the girl, leaving her in Richie's hands. The Scott was furious, ready to tear him apart. Methos tried to ignore him.
He moved on to Spike.
"Does anyone know where you are?" Methos demanded as he went over to start clipping the manacles onto Spike's wrists and ankles. The little minx set her jaw; refusing to talk. Methos' eyes were on her again, trying to see how serious she was. She didn't flinch. He wondered how a kid like her had ended up getting to know a vampire. What kind of game had the blond been playing to get her on his side? He turned away from her and moved over to the cabinet, opening the shelves and pulling out one of the wooden paddles. Duncan was still waiting for answers, Methos was sure his patience wouldn't last much longer. The kid froze like a deer in headlights, staring at him in fear as he held up the paddle, testing it on his hand. Duncan's mouth opened wide, ready to protest as he stepped in front of her.
He lifted it up.
It came down on Spike's ass, hard.
She winced in shock screaming 'no'.
"Who knows you're here?"
He started to lift the paddle again. Spike stayed in position, his clothes somewhat protecting him from the impact. Methos wondered how sore he still was from the previous beating. Three hits this time, one on his back, one on his ass, a third against his spine, the vampire flinched back with every hit. Desperate to stay in place. His mouth opened, ready to scream. The silence was deadening..
"Methos, what the HELL!"
Richie let go of Fred's arm, starting towards him, as if he were the monster here
"He can take it."
What were three short hits to a vampire?
Someone grabbed his hand before he could hit Spike again. Duncan and him faced off in a confrontation of will. He looked at the Scott, demanding him, asking him for his support...Then Richie was there as well, dragging him back, away from the vampire. Methos fought to break free, Spike stayed in place, obeying his master's last command. Methos wondered if he should reward him for that or not.
"Have you gone insane?" Duncan stared at him, the paddle in his hands now. "Methos, what's wrong with you?"
The Scotsman was probably convinced by now that he'd taken a dark quickening, but he hadn't. He just had to deal with a situation that neither of the two boy scouts could possibly understand.
"He's not human Mac"
The girl darted forward and tried to pull Spike clear of the confrontation between him and MacLeod. Methos glared at her, but MacLeod wouldn't let go. Spike grabbed for the collar on his neck, shaking in pain. He hesitated for a second, considering he might allow the vampire to move.
But the girl had already knelt down next to him.
"Sh, sh-sh-sh, it's okay, I'll get that off of you." She acted as if she was talking to a frightened wolf pup.
Spike flinched away, falling down. Electric currents running through him, originating from the collar. Methos was starting to wonder how strong the damn thing was. All he'd known was that the thing would keep the vampire under control... But how far did it take that order of keeping him under control?
Wesley stared at him dead cold as he woke up. Gunn was waiting outside of the car, dressed in Armani. It still looked wrong to see him like that. "We managed to track Fred's cell up to this side of town, the psychics are still looking for a definite fix."
Angel nodded, grabbing his head and the blood trickling down from his scalp. Lorne quickly threw him an icepack. He held it against his head without a further word. Wesley was looking at a map, holding a phone while he marked possible locations. Angel ignored them, lifting his nose to the air, if Spike was near, he'd find him. No matter under what rock that bastard was keeping him.
Gunn answered his phone, giving off a last instruction. Lorne still stared at him.
"Angel we can't find them, Spike or that Methos guy, if you don't calm down."
Angel just searched the air once more, finally finding what he'd been looking for. He didn't wait for the others to follow him.
The closer she got to him, the more Spike's convulsions worsened. Fred quickly took a step back.
"Get that thing off of him!" She screamed in that stop-a-mob tone she rarely used. Nightmares coursed through her head, five years of Pylea, five years of constant fear and trembling, five years of being nothing but a slave and now this monster wanted to do that to her friend. She wouldn't let him. A cold strength coursed through her and no sane man would have refused her.
Methos on the other hand faced her point blank, even though the taller guy was held his arms behind his back, he still refused to show any sign of giving in.
"No." Was all he'd say.
Again, the animal noise emerged from her throat, but Richie grabbed her before she could reach the bastard again. He tried to soothe her, telling her they wouldn't let him harm Spike.
"Get that off of him."
Methos just laughed her in the face, madly so.
"Just wait till Angel gets here, you... you horrible man. He'll make you stop laughing."
Sometimes working for one of the scariest vampires in the world had it's advantages. Sometimes... not today.
A cold silence filled the room following her pronouncement.
"Who's Angel?" Richie asked as Methos tensed up.
Before she could answer the dark man let go of Methos.
"Um, well, not really..." Mac seemed to relax. "... he changed his name over a hundred years ago."
"What the hell are you doing working for a psychopath like Angelus?" A moment earlier the dark guy had been at her side, now he seemed to indignant at even the thought of anyone working with Angel.
"Says the guy working for one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse."
Richie snorted at her scorn. She still didn't know at which side he'd be. Part of her hoped it'd be hers.
Methos ignored their squabbling and got up to Spike. Touching his head almost gently as he lifted the vampire's face.
"What's Angelus to you?"
It was then that Fred got to understand Spike's silence as he had to struggle for the next word.
"Sire" He sounded hoarse, in pain.
Methos let go of him, looking out the window, his back turned on the others, Spike still down at his feet.
Fred stuck her tongue out at Mac. The big guy just rolled his eyes. continuing a tirade that he'd started before but that she hadn't bothered to listen to.
"I don't work for Methos and he hasn't been one of the Horsemen for... well years."
"Well Angel hasn't been Angelus for well over a year either. He has a soul now." She snapped back.
None of them seemed to expect that. Hell, it didn't even seem like either Mac or Richie had a clue about the very meaning of that statement.
"Angel's one of the good guys now." She tried one last time.
"I'll believe that when I see it," A Scottish accent appeared, hidden under a near growl.
"Your 'good guy'" Fred didn't like the emphasis he put there, "beat up a friend of ours. Beating up a mortal for information.. Joe's just a defenseless old man and that 'good man' beat him within an inch of his life. What's good about that?"
"Joe?" Richie's face was wrenched in terror. Fred could almost believe that these were just regular people, with friends and family, like her own group.
"He'll be ok, Thank God that Sharon managed to call the hospital before I even got there."
Fred felt almost inclined to comfort him, to apologize, but then she stared at Spike, at the paddle on the table, the chains on his hands, the collar on his neck.
"He wouldn't..." she faced him. "Not unless it was the only way to find out where Spike had gone."
Fred glared defiantly up at Mac, daring him to argue. Daring to find any good in what had been done to Spike.
Methos didn't seem to be listening to either of them. He just stood there, his back to them, seemingly staring at the vampire.
He turned around, facing them.
"The last time I heard of him Holtz was on his trail. I didn't think it was a good time to be in Europe."
Fred shivered violently at the bad memories that the name Holtz conjured up in her brain. Attacking her and Charles, attacking them all, staking Darla in front of Angel.
Spike's pained voice rang almost pleading, for what Fred wasn't sure. Methos turned to him, taking the vampire's hand and helping him up.
Just a bit more, a bit...Angel froze as the trail split up. He noticed a sledgehammer left behind on a truck and picked it up. Now where...He lifted his head again, choosing direction and running after it. A car nearly drove over him, he jumped up on the roof, and moved on. His boy was waiting.
Methos had only packed some clothes when he left, he'd hired people to get the rest of his stuff when he'd relocated. All he'd taken were his clothes, his sword and the vampire. And Richie who'd gone along after one of Duncan's hints to the same.
The young woman was tied to a chair, a gag in her mouth to keep her from screaming for the neighbors. Duncan just kept going over the image of the vampire's face twisting to that of a demon. Methos had said it was his true face.
He still didn't quite believe it.
Vampires, real... Methos said they were monsters, the true creatures of the night, living only for the kill, to cause destruction. And after his struggle with Ahriman how could he not believe. He'd grown up in more superstitious times and yet as he grew up as an immortal, seeing the world, he'd believed that's all they had been. Only to have more and more of them proven real.
The vampire had looked like a young man, terrified of it's master, terrified to disobey. Duncan had stared at his fear, remembering all too well what it had felt like to get a beating. Yet what Methos had done earlier was just so cold blooded. Methos had told him it was necessary. He'd explained his every action, making it clear to him that this was the only way to keep a vampire around and domesticate it. It still felt wrong, no matter how you put it. And yet despite that, he'd let Methos run off with the trembling man, vampire. He'd let him take him outside, and sat there, watching the girl.
Because it had been Methos doing it. Methos who...
He got up to the girl, taking the gag out between her lips. She started cussing at him and he let her, taking place in the chair next to her. She finally stopped, looking at his smile. She worked for Angelus, that alone should be enough to keep her here, safe from her master, who was also a vampire. Duncan knew enough about Angelus to believe it.
"You can't let him do it."
It was the first non insult she said.
He opened up a deck of cards, staring at it, laying it out. King, queen and the fool.
"You can't let him take Spike."
"Richie will protect your... friend."
A friend who'd turn on her if Methos was to be believed. Methos thought the vampire had been playing on her insecurities, getting her to believe he could be trusted, just for the fun of seeing the betrayal in her eyes when he did kill her. Methos was the one who knew about vampires. Was it wrong to believe the ancient? He'd heard of Angelus, he'd seen the scraps left over from a town that had Angelus and his ... family, passing through. It was almost a comfort to know that Angelus wasn't human... or immortal.
"And you don't think it's wrong. Keeping a sentient being as a slave, treating them like a pet. Against their will."
His heart cringed at every word, knowing full well he agreed with every syllable. But Methos ...
"Why do you like him? He's a killer right?"
As Methos had told her the vampire would make her believe.
"Spike's not like that. He hasn't been like that for a while now. He's changed."
"And you think vampires can change like that."
He remembered Methos telling him about the people he'd butchered, almost high on the sheer memory of it. And at the same time burdened with a thousand regrets. Methos had changed, but he had a soul, something Methos said, vampires didn't have.
"Spike did. He's a good guy."
Black ace, he put it up. Placing a ten under the fool.
"He saved my life." Duncan looked at her, wondering how sincere she was.
"He saved all our lives. He's a champion, a hero. He died not even a year ago, giving his unlife to save every single human being on the planet from an overwhelming army of super vampires."
"He didn't look... dead to me."
"They brought him back, he was ashes, and then he wasn't. He spent those first few months as a ghost, haunting Angel. It wasn't until a few months ago that he got his body back. He spent the past two months on the streets saving the innocent, defending the helpless."
She looked at him with utter sincerity. Believing every word she said, and for some reason, so did he.
"He gave his life to save the world and this is how you repay him?"
Never say never say never.
William fell on the bed, his hands crushed under him, tied on his back. His sire sat on top of him. Angelus hard crotch crushing down on his chest. The older vampire arched closer, slowly unbuttoning William's shirt. William looked away as Angelus tongue licked over every piece of skin he uncovered. He closed his eyes, desperate to imagine that it was Drusilla on top of him. Angelus wet tongue reached his neck, his legs held down between his sire's thighs.
Spike sat in the back of the car, next to the trunks. The master was driving while Richie called to the airport. Spike clutched on to a blanket that his master had given him; just in case. He leaned back against the glass, staring out in the night air. Watching the world pass by unaffected by his presence. Richie turned over the seat to look at him. Spike bowed down his head. His muscles relaxed when he stopped thinking. A gentle warmth poured out of the collar as he gazed up at the Master.
William screamed through his gag as Angelus removed his shirt, it clung over the ropes. Angelus mouth stopped over one of his nipples, biting it. William gasped for air. He stared away at Drusilla who stood naked in the corner. Her back was torn open, red welts showing on her pale white skin. She'd been a bad girl tonight and wasn't allowed to watch with the dollies. William tried to crawl away, but his legs were bound together.
Angelus propped a pillow under his ass. William bucked, trying to kick him off. But it wouldn't do.
"Who am I?"
Master pulled to the left. Spike struggled to stay up. Richie screamed, telling him to stop, but the Master didn't listen. Spike sat up, staring at the man in the middle of the road.
Angelus grabbed William's cock through his pants, William moaned, embarrassed to show even that little a reaction. Angelus pulled it out of his pants, it was disgusting, he hated this... oh god it felt so good. And he gasped for air as his sire's took his cock in one quick turn.
"So you don't want...this." Angelus lifted William's legs, removing his pants. "Or this..." He grabbed William's legs pulling them up. Tucking the pillow farther under him.
William tried to let go, to imagine anyplace, anytime but this. Angelus slapped his face, pulling him back into reality.
"Who am I boy?"
William moaned as Angelus fingers brushed over his ass, touching, reaching inside of him. Stretching muscles that shouldn't be touched by any hands but his own. He felt like losing everything inside of him. It hurt, every time again, it hurt. It wasn't normal, couldn't be. And yet it felt so good.
So full, so...
"Sire. You're my sire. Master, please please..."
And only then Angelus would enter him, again and again, till he felt like breaking. Tearing him apart, so full, so...
Angelus stood on the road. Spike stared as his new master steered the car ever faster towards him. Angelus was holding something, grabbing.
He jumped up at the very last second, landing on the hood, the sledgehammer in his hands crashing through the windshield. The master turned, fighting to get him off. But his fist came crushing through the glass.
Spike flinched back as they crashed against a wall, crushing him down, it hurt. Richie's face fell down, blood dripping from his lips. The master was stuck behind the steering wheel and Angelus stood there staring at him. The collar broke out in shocks worse than ever. Pain blinding his mind to anything but his master's voice, till even that left him behind as he headed for darkness...
Gunn saw Fred come out of the building, running down the outer stairs. Forced to pull back as Wesley was the one to take her in his arms and comfort her. So hard to accept that he'd really lost her.
"Methos left with him. Where's Angel?"
Yes where was Angel? Playing drama queen as the peroxide pest had once said? He hated to admit it, but he had missed the blonds presence at the office the past few weeks. Spike was refreshingly young for a vampire. He had a sense of fun, knew about music, even if his taste was stuck in the seventies and quite frankly... he was a friend.
God his life had taken strange turns, working with vampires, spending time with them off the slaying field. What had happened to black and white? Was it him that was wrong, that this was normal now?
He brushed it off, staring at the man following in Fred's tracks.
"Who the hell is he?"
"A friend, now come on, we have to find Spike."
"Angel's already after them. I think he caught a scent."
The ' friend' stared at him and Gunn wanted to ask him what his problem was. What? He didn't like to deal with a brother? Then Gunn noticed that Lorne was coming up to them.
"Holy mother of God." The stranger crossed himself, staring at the Pylean.
"What? You've never seen a green man before?"
The pain was blindingly endless. Methos stretched his arms, desperate to get to a knife, a weapon, anything. He could taste blood on his tongue and had trouble breathing, crushed by the seatbelt that had barely kept him alive before and was now forcing him into his car seat. Stretching tighter as he moved. He finally got to something sharp and cut through the belt. He gasped for air, his ribs continued healing under his skin and they itched.
He got up, crawling out through the broken car glass. his foot was stuck. It stung, it felt like there was a single part of his body left unbruised. He crawled to the backseat. Noticing Spike who was lying there. The vampire was starting to wake up. Methos touched his face and removed his shackles, making it easier for him to get out when he woke up. He grabbed his sword and dragged it out from under the seat before leaving the car. Richie was still dead.
He fell down on his knees, holding on to his sword, fighting not to fall over. He gazed down at the cross formed by the hilt. When he finally managed to lift his face he stared back into the eyes of the devil. Two burning lumps of coal. The monster stood in front of him. He was bigger and broader than MacLeod, not quite Silas' size. He'd never met this thing, but he'd read enough to know what he was dealing with. He got up from his knees, using his sword as support.
Vampire to immortal.
Angelus, the scourge of Europe himself.
Methos lifted his sword in salute, ready for the fight of several lifetimes. Ready to survive.
The vampire stood silent, watching him, measuring him up. Methos could see the fatal mistake in those eyes, mere instants before the vampire attacked. The monster underestimated him. Thinking that because he was injured and human, that he wouldn't stand a chance. He twisted out of the way, his sword hitting against the steel of the vampire's hammer. The vampire was faster and stronger, but Methos knew what he was doing. Allowing the beast to get just close enough to strike back. He pulled a knife out of his coat and stabbed it in the vampire's hand, forcing him to drop the hammer. He knew he'd barely bought himself a second of shock to act.
He turned his sword, the hilt forming the symbol of the cross, a weapon to push in his opponent's face. The symbol started burning and he grabbed a stake, readying himself to drive it in the vampire's chest.
The world was upside down, dancing the foxtrot on his brain while all he wanted to do was open his eyes. He wasn't sure what was up or down. His head stung and he wished he could just cut it off to stop the drums from beating his eyes. He noticed his shackles were on the bottom of the car and he crawled out through the front window. Richie was dead. Spike gently touched his head. The poor kid had been nice to him, kind master. And now he was dead. Spike wasn't sure if he should feel guilt. He hated the guilt, it hurt worse than the collar.
The master stood in the middle of the road, facing Angel. Angel attacked and Methos ducked out of the way before lashing back. It took mere seconds for the tide of the fight to change. There was no beauty in this battle, just brute strength and brutal efficiency.
His master against his sire.
Angel had stood there, every fiber of his being demanding Spike, demanding what... he didn't know. And for the first time in over a century, that demand didn't call to him to drop everything he had going for him and obey. It was as if he'd lost an arm, and merely the ghost of it's stump was left behind. He no longer belonged to this man, this creature that had once been the center of his existence. The stinging never stopped.
Spike knew Angel was stronger, he was faster. He should have won. The collar forced him to get ever closer to the fight, Demanding through every nerve in his body that he'd do something. That he'd protect the master.
Sire, master... His neck burned for every wasted second of standing here and allowing his master to be hurt. Only the lack of a command to aid saved him from worse.
Who to fight, who to defend, the choice was easily made as the stake headed to his sire's chest.
When Angel stared at him, still alive, he no longer cared about the ...
They came upon the battlefield. Methos was about to kill Angelus. Duncan knew he'd never manage to get there in time, and his heart felt like shattering. Then the blond vampire jumped on top of Methos. His face was twisted in pain, his limbs were shaking, twisting, disturbingly so, yet he held on to Methos, keeping him away from the bigger vampire.
Duncan could see Methos staring at the vampire. There was a strange sense of disbelief in his eyes, a sense of loss. Duncan wondered how hard it would be to get him to make sense, and realized... it was already done. He hesitated there and then as he could see the vampire struggle one last second before being overcome by a seizure and falling to the ground. The other vampire, Angelus, ran up to him. He knelt down at the younger man's side, staying there even as the blond flinched at his touch. Tears fled the blonds eyes and Duncan forced himself to look away from the scene between them.
He stared at the car. Richie was still in it. The boy had died, blood all over his chest, but there didn't seem to be anything that wouldn't heal on its own. He pulled his former student free and carried the body to the road, giving his former student a more comfortable place to revive, using his coat as a makeshift pillow under Richie's head.
Methos stood behind him and Duncan refused to acknowledge this. He wasn't sure if he even wanted to face the old man right now. Angelus' entourage ran up to the vampire and his burden. Fred kneeled down next to her friend, staring closely at the collar.
"How do you get it off Methos?"
The old man kept silent.. Methos still stood there and Duncan repeated his question.
He didn't threaten, he didn't even warn the old man. All he did was to expect him to do the right thing.
Methos touched his shoulder and Duncan finally turned to him.
"I'm sorry." Was all he said.
"I'm not the one you have to apologize too."
Both of them turned to the vampires
Methos knew he had to lose control, knew he had to give up his claim. Like in those children's movies, where the kid has to turn the wild critter he befriended back into the wild. He'd never before considered doing so with a vampire.
Duncan stood there, talking about apologies. And all Methos could think was the kid asking daddy to say sorry to his bear for throwing it off the bed. Soulless, evil, soulless... Dead, yet pain.
He got up to the vampire, Angelus started growling as he approached. He didn't care. It's not like the bastard knew how to kill him.
He wasn't feeling guilty, he wasn't... even as he saw the pain on the vampire's way too human face. Spike just stared at him.
"I'm sorry master, sorry sorry..."
He placed his hand on the collar, as the vampire's owner he was the only one able to set him free. But did he want to? Did he want to be responsible for all the lives this vampire would take if he did...
Spike just looked at him.
There was too much feeling behind those eyes.
But then, that weird bit of trivia had always been there.
Not like a wild animal, but like a child, new in the world with so much to learn.
Maybe it was possible for a vampire to change, to learn new tricks. Did he want to let him go, free prey for whatever slayer he ran across, a threat to humans.
No longer his to keep safe?
He noticed the vampire's pain again and tore off the collar.
Spike sighed in relief, falling in his sire's embrace.
Methos sat down next to them, staring at them both.
He had to set it free, what other choice did he have?
Spike had come back... wrong.
They'd left him at his apartment that first night. He hadn't gone in till Angel told him to. Angel had reminded him that he was free now, that he was on his own and could make his own choices. Spike had then entered the apartment and slammed the door in his face.
Angel understood, it's what he deserved after all.
Four hours later he'd gotten a call from Wolfram and Heart. The cops had picked Spike up after a bar fight. Two ogres had attacked some hot young thing. Spike had torn the place apart. Angel had arrived at the police station just in time to get Spike out before the sun came up. He was lucky the bartender didn't have him charged.
The cops had seemed a bit dumbstruck when they saw him.
"You don't look like a grandfather. How old where you? Five?"
Angel struggled desperately to come up with an excuse...
"I'm his step grandfather."
The cop looked at him in disgust. Probably thinking, he'd just married some poor old widow to get his hands on her pension funds.Angel was desperate to explain, but didn't have a clue what to say.
Spike sat on the top bunk in the cell, waiting for him. Drunk as a skunk. He stank hours in the wind, filthy, covered in blood. His and others. He hadn't bothered to clean up after they freed him. The vampire seemed small, but the other four men in the cell were cowering against the bars on the other side of him. Angel just shook his head and ordered him to follow.
Spike wasn't allowed home after that. Angel took him home with him and dropped him on the couch. Spike tried to fight him on it. But Angel stood firm. And Spike was too out of his mind to walk out on his own.
He managed to slip out the next morning, ready to leave for the sewers.
"So what? Just cause the old bloke had me played like a pet, doesn't mean I'm your bleeding dog now."
Angel had stepped out of the way and let him go.
It took only two more hours before Fred called him. Spike had gotten in a fight with some of the demons up in accounting. The Dagrin had leered at him, talking about how pretty he'd looked when up for sale. Spike had jumped on them without a second of doubt. They'd found Dagrin parts for days afterwards. Angel wished he could have done it himself.
He tried to talk, but Spike left without a word. Fred told him he'd sat with her sulking for hours. He'd gotten angry when she told him he was brooding. But he'd stomped off, rather than saying a single angry word to her.
She told him he looked lonely.
Gunn had tried to get him to open up, Spike yelled at him to get out. He came back to him an hour later, bothering the lawyer while he was looking over one of the divorce cases they dealt with. He'd stayed at the office that night, and the night after that.
Angel offered him the couch in his penthouse. Spike refused. Angel found him sleeping on the couch in his office instead.
And all that time, Spike refused to talk to him. He finally grabbed hold of him, shaking him to make him see sense.
Spike just stared at him.
"I'm not yours, so what do you care?"
Angel dropped down in his chair, staring over the desk at his empty office.
He knew what to do.
Spike kicked against the bag, hitting it again and again, till it cracked and the filling flooded out. He kept hitting it, falling over as it finally cracked apart. He started beating his fists into the floor, he needed to hit something, anything. There was a desperation there that stopped him from noticing his scrapes, the blood dripping from his knuckles. Someone grabbed his shoulder and he twisted around, attacking his sire.
Angel crawled up to him and Spike growled at him from his crouch. Angel circled him and Spike tensed up, terrified as he sought to escape. His sire pounced on him, forcing him to the ground. Spike looked up, struggling to get him off.
"You are mine. " Angel licked out over his nose, tasting the salt on Spike's skin. Spike stared up at him. He didn't say a word.
Spike barely flinched when his sire's fangs pierced the skin on his neck.
Spike stared up in his eyes. Life was flowing out of him and fool that he was, he still wanted this so much It scared him how much he wanted it, how much he needed it. Angel pressed his wrist against spike's lips and Spike bit in. Flowing over in his sire's essence. There was a sense of belonging in the blood. A need to know who he was, what he was all combined in one package of sire.
"And nobody's taking you from me ever again."
His sire stayed on top of him, pressing him down. Spike planted a kiss on his sire's lips.
And then Methos entered the room.
Angelus growled as he sat up, one leg over Spike, his arm dragging the younger vampire closer. Methos couldn't help but think that he looked like a papa wolf protecting his cub. Spike instinctively moved closer to his sire. His hair was greased up, flattened to his skull. He was dressed in black. Methos had to admit, even if only to himself, that he'd missed the kid. Kid, the vampire was over a century, yet, he still felt like a child, an innocent almost.
A child really, and his sire wasn't that much older.
Methos showed his hands, clearly empty. He hadn't bothered to try and get his sword in the building with him. He wasn't here to fight. Angelus got up, Spike behind him.
"What do you want?"
Methos turned from the one to the other.
Angelus bought it as much as he did.
"And to tell you I'm leaving town. Just thought I'd say goodbye."
And see Spike one last time.
"Good riddance." Angel spat out the words with suitable venom.
Spike ... he didn't know what Spike was feeling. The vampire mostly seemed confused. Angel got up to Methos, staring him down.
"Duncan said your boy saved the world."
Angelus looked at Spike, his hand crunching the younger vampire's shoulder in a dead grip.
"He said that he has a soul."
Angelus nodded his head.
"I asked for it."
Methos smiled at Spike, not quite believing his own ears. A curse, he would have understood, but...
"I went through demon trials, fought some battles, got invaded by bugs and managed to survive."
"And you'd asked for a soul?" He had to hear it repeated, still halfway refusing to accept it. It felt like watching the sky cry blood, like finding out that cows had learned to fly, or that Duncan MacLeod was evil. He fell through his knees, surrounded by silence, no words came, no words would ever come.