My apologies for the lateness in this being posted.
Title: Fevered Dreams
Fandom: Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing/Characters: Spike, Angel(us), Willow; Spike/Angel, Spike/Angelus, implied Spike/Drusilla, implied Angelus/Darla, implied Spike/Buffy, implied Buffy/Angel
Disclaimer: Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon and company.
Notes: Set after the events in "Not Fade Away."
Summary: After the battle with Wolfram and Hart, Spike's life changes.
Word Count: 2361
The end of the world comes in a bright flash of light. One moment, he and Angel are standing in the alleyway waiting to take on whatever it is Wolfram and Hart will throw at them and the remainder of Angel's crew and the next he is blinded by a brilliant white that consumes him.
* * *
When he awakes, he knows that he's in Hell. Not that he ever entertained the idea that he had a chance at Heaven. His body aches and he barely manages to roll over before he vomits. The pain almost consumes him whole.
The voice is soft and gentle and vaguely familiar. The owner, despite her sins, shouldn't be in Hell. He knows that incoherent words tumble out of his mouth but they're nothing more than nonsense. A cool and dry hand is pressed against his forehead making him aware of how hot he is. He feels as if a fire is consuming him whole. He shudders when the hand is removed.
"Please," Spike manages to croak out.
"I am not going anywhere."
The words are reassuring as the world fades to black.
* * *
When he awakes again, he is awoken by someone's ragged breathing. He's not sure if he's in Hell in anymore since he is aware of a soft mattress beneath his battered body. Before he can think more of it, he is consumed by a great thirst. A cool glass is pressed to his lips and he drinks greedily before nausea consumes him. He is assisted in rolling over and he throws up in a bucket.
Maybe this is Hell after all.
"How is he?"
"He's dying and I am not sure from what."
For a moment he thinks that he can overhear Angel and Willow discussing him. But he knows it's nothing more than some tortured dream since Angel would never sound that concerned about him. And vampires don't die from unknown afflictions. They die from their heart being pierced, from the sun or flame or from being beheaded. If he was dying it would be quick and obvious.
He can only assume that he's already and he's in Hell where the demons where the faces of Angel and Willow.
* * *
They've been enemies for so long that he has forgotten what it meant to be anything else when it came to Angelus. Drusilla might have bitten him and turned him into a vampire bit it was Angelus who taught him everything he knew. Although Angelus was never soft or sweet to him, there had been a time when there was more to what they shared than fists and fangs and animosity. There was a time when he knew that Angelus would have sacrificed anything and everything to save him. And then a gypsy witch had to ruin everything. Angelus became Angel and they were never whole again.
* * *
He wakes up from confusing images of Angelus. He can almost feel the other vampire's presence but it feels off. It's not like before when he could smell Angelus (leather, smoke and death when he was without a soul; wool and animal blood when he was with a soul) instead it's something different.
"How are you feeling?"
Spike hoarsely laughs. He knows that this is Hell. Angel would never have cared how he was feeling. Nor would Angelus. He looks at the demon who wears Angel's face as a convincing mask. Words tumble out of his mouth. For a moment he almost believes the look of sadness of Angel's face.
Black spots start to mar his vision. He can hear hushed voices as he faints.
"What's happening Willow?"
"I think he's dying from the change."
"Thinking is not acceptable, I need you to know what's happening."
The snarl that falls from Angel's mouth is reminiscent of Angelus. Yet neither the soul nor the vampire had cared that much about him. It was always about Drusilla and then later on Buffy.
"I am trying," Willow says, desperation making her voice thick.
* * *
Drusilla is contentedly dancing amongst the corpses that litter the pretty parlour of a girl that he once loved. He finds himself growing bored of the petty killings for revenge of the his former social circle. Truth be told, he's beginning to think that he was a bloody awful poet. He sees none of the poetry in the blood and the viscera that litter the room, poetry that Drusilla claims is there waiting for him to write it in his victims' entrails.
He sighs as he turns away from the once enchanting sight of Drusilla swaying to music only she can hear. It's been a fortnight since she turned him and already he is bored of his new life.
"I could teach you boy," Angelus says. His voice dark and seductive.
He refuses to turn around even as Angelus press his body against him. A fortnight ago, he would have been horrified by the evidence of Angelus' desire pressed against him. Now it does nothing to either horrify or excite him. Two weeks as a vampire and he's already jaded.
"I could teach you to take delight in all of this," Angelus whispers. "I could teach you so much more than what she could teach you."
His voice is full of bitterness but he knows that Angelus does nothing without a reason. Angelus' grip is bruising as the older vampire forces him to turn. He holds himself still as Angelus shifts and gives him a punishing kiss that's all fangs and dominance. When Angelus pulls back, his mouth is covered in blood.
"I could teach you so much more than she could teach you and you're willing to throw it away for pride?"
"Fine teach me."
It's a challenge. One that Angelus doesn't resist from acting on.
* * *
He is shivering but burning up at the same time. His body wracked with pain as he comes through again. A rattle sounds close by and he realizes with horror that it's his breath. He is dying but it's impossible. He's a vampire, vampires don't die, they don't breathe, they don't sweat or shiver with cold. What's wrong with him?
A hand gently grips his own. He shifts his eyes over to the right and is surprised to see Angel. Is this Heaven or Hell or somewhere in between? He can't ask because he has no tongue in which to ask. Yet Angel seems to know what he wants even without words.
"Stay with me," Angel pleads.
He's powerless to ascertain to Angel's request.
* * *
They will never be friends, They're more than enemies but their rivalry hangs between them. They're no longer rivals for Drusilla or Buffy but now they're rivals over redemption. Who can redeem themselves more? Who can show more remorse for their sins? Who has the purer soul? Somehow it seems wrong to be this petty over a second chance but it is what it is because they're who they are.
Still it's times like this when they can be something more than mere rivals. He swallows a mouthful of the rotgut whiskey that Angel has always preferred as they sit on a couch in Angel's luxurious apartments bathed in sunlight that doesn't kill their bodies. Wolfram and Hart does offer some might decent perks.
They remain silent, unable to bridge the chasm between them that the past and their own jealousy has created. He can't help but wonder if there had been no Darla, no Drusilla and no Buffy later on how different things would have been. Would a curse have come between them? Would petty jealousy over the love a fickle woman tear them apart?
He's glad that they're not tearing Europe apart, draining it of life, but he misses those days when it would be more than just a battle of dominance. Angel sets his empty glass on the table in front of them and he decides that he has to take some action. He needs to know if what Angel felt for him was real or was it just another illusion.
When Spike sets his glass on the table it makes a click as the glass tumbler hits the glass table top. He shifts so that he is almost ready to straddle Angel and the older vampire warily looks at him. Even now there's so much doubt and mistrust between them. Still he presses his lips against Angel's mouth and for a brief moment Angel returns the kiss with a fervour Spike had thought long lost.
It's over before it even began when Angel pushes him away. There's no need for words so he stalks off. He'll find someone who's willing and who can make him forget about Angel.
* * *
This time when he awakes he knows that he is neither in Heaven nor Hell or some sort of limbo in between. Yet he feels different, he is more aware of his body and it's needs.
Willow's gentle voice interrupts his thoughts. He looks at the red-haired witch and he can't force himself to demand answers from her.
"Where am I?" Spike asks, despite the pain in his throat.
He vaguely remembers the hotel that Angel had called home when he was playing at being a detective. He doesn't bother asking why she's there or why they're at the hotel instead of elsewhere. He figures that in time Willow or someone else will tell him. Right now he lets the witch fuss over him.
* * *
"You're mine," Angelus snarls at him "Never forget that."
"You have no right to tell me who I belong to and who I don't," Spike snarls back.
Angelus laughs him. The sound cold and cruel. They both know that Spike's words are nothing more than false bravado. He's weakened and in a wheelchair. Angelus has all of the power here. Even Drusilla is more amused by her Daddy than she is by Spike.
"You're nothing more than a lame duck boy," Angelus spits out. "Maybe I should let the Slayer's little sidekicks use you for target practice."
"Beats looking at your face all day while you posture about how evil you are. I think you lost your touch since you were cursed with a soul."
Angelus snarls as he lunges at Spike. The pair of them fall to the grown, limbs entwined as Angelus hurls the wheelchair away from them. Spike tries to push Angelus away but considering that the older vampire has been forcing him to drink rat's blood, he's not at fighting strength (useless lower body aside). Angelus snarls as he holds Spike down.
Spike does the only thing that he can, he presses himself up and claims Angelus' mouth with his own. This is a long forgotten game between them: a physical battle for dominance that winds up with them fucking. Spike's not really wanting that now but it's better than Angelus' fists. He won't admit that he wants the old Angelus or even the cursed Angel. This new Angelus is too insane, too much like Dru but a million times worse with his talk of ending the world.
If he enjoys Angelus' response it's only because he's imaging how it used to be. Or at least that's what he tells himself.
* * *
It takes him a fortnight to recover. Willow has explained to him that he has become human since Angel has signed away his chance. Turning human had made him suspect to a myriad of ailments that his Victorian constitution hadn't been prepared for. Willow had pumped him full of antibiotics and liquids while hoping for the best. He would have thought that a witch as powerful as she could have just used her magic to cure him but that's not a topic he raises with her.
It takes him another two weeks to work up the courage to seek Angel up. He's not sure if he's there to gloat when he finds Angel on the Hyperion's roof top. Dawn is only an hour or two away and even though he can withstand the sun now, he still keeps to his old ways.
"What do you want Spike?" Angel asks.
He's not sure what he wants. Part of him wants things to be the way they were. He wants to be a vampire again and he's tempted to ask Angel to turn him. Even though he knows Angel would refuse, he wants to balance things again. It's not fair that he stole Angel's destiny.
Angel impatiently turns and faces him. He spits out his question again. Spike merely shrugs his shoulders.
"Are you here to gloat? You've won, Buffy will undoubtedly be unable to resist you now,"
"Is this how you felt when you had your soul?"
He can't really express how he feels other than he feels raw, exposed and on the outside. He's neither human nor vampire despite the deceptive appearance to the contrary.
Angel sighs in frustration. "What do you want Spike?"
"I don't want to be this," Spike says. "I don't want to be human at your expense."
"I signed my rights away for the greater cause," Angel tells him. "Don't go playing noble at my expense."
"Fine I don't want this between us anymore. I am mortal now Angel, we don't have forever to find out where we be long."
Spike doesn't let Angel before he pushes the vampire down to the ground. Angel's surprisingly gentle as he lets Spike lead them.
* * *
When it's over, it's as if nothing has changed. He's still human and Angel is still a vampire. The ghost of Drusilla haunts them as does the idea of Buffy. Neither of them were meant to be together in this way. It doesn't matter how Spike feels, there was only ever supposed to be one of them. In the end, Angel leaves. No doubt out of some misguided sense of duty towards Spike, so that Spike can have a happy human life. It doesn't matter that it's impossible.
- FIC: Fevered Dreams