Chapter 1: See Yer Later, Peaches
Chapter Notes: This is a response to challenge by anon462 on Elysian Fields- Post NFA. – Spike got the Shanshu and was turned human, and hates it. Spike hates having a weak human body, even though he actually is stronger now than when he was human the first time. Spike refuses to stop fighting and keeps getting hurt, sometimes really badly. Angel tries to cover his back and protect him during the fights, which just makes Spike angry (angry at Angel for trying to keep him alive) and hate being human even more. After a fight where Spike gets hurt really bad and is unconscious, Angel realizes that Spike is trying to get himself killed. (Spike wants to die, but he can’t just let himself be killed, his pride won’t let him commit suicide, he has to go down fighting.) Angel calls Buffy. (Will she care? Will she even want to help?) My first attempt at a challenge but i’ve been playing with it for a while and decided to post!! Can’t stand leaving things unfinished. will post probably weekly as concentrating on Parallel Lives the sequel to Changing Lives. Let me know what you think!! apologies to Legen who I’ve seen is posting for same challenge!!
The scream ripped through the quiet. Angel woke with a start and leapt out of bed, looking around wildly.
The words disappeared into another blood curdling scream.
“Spike!” yelled Angel.
He raced out of his room and into the one opposite. Spike was writhing on the bed, face contorted with pain. Angel hesitated, unsure of what to make of the scene before his eyes. Lights were dancing around Spike’s body – they looked like they were actually going inside of him.
“Spike!” Angel cried again and ran to the bed, hands outstretched and ready to pull Spike away from whatever the weird lights were. As he reached the bed the lights pulsed and, with a flash of blinding light, Angel was flung backwards through the air, finally crashing into the wall with such force that he was unconscious before he slid to the floor.
Spike’s movements became weaker as the lights continued to dance around and within his body. His cries became quiet until, as the lights faded away, he too lost consciousness.
Angel groaned and put a hand to his throbbing head. He struggled to focus his thoughts sufficiently to remember what had happened. He rolled over until he was on his knees and then used the wall to help him stand. He looked around vaguely, getting his bearings. He froze as he saw Spike’s inert body on the bed, suddenly remembering the strange lights. He walked over to him.
“Spike? Are you all right? Spike!”
When he got no response he put out a hand so he could shake him. As his fingers touched Spike’s arm he recoiled.
“What the hell?”
He touched him again. He hadn’t been mistaken. Spike was warm, more than room temperature warm. Angel peered closely at Spike’s face. It was no longer deathly pale. There was a faint hint of pink in his complexion.
“My God,” whispered Angel, backing away from the bed.
He ran from the bedroom, hurtling down the staircase until he was in the foyer of the Old Hyperion Hotel that served once more as his home. He sat on the seats in the middle of it and put his head in his hands.
“No, it can’t be,” he said shaking his head slowly, his voice echoing in the empty space.
He closed his eyes as he thought of the previous weeks. After the battle with the army of demons that the Senior Partners had unleashed on them, only he and Spike had survived. Illyria had saved both of their lives but at the cost of her own. Poor Gunn had barely made the final fight and lasted only moments. Wesley died before that final push. They should never have let the humans fight; they were never going to be strong enough. Hell, he and Spike had barely made it. They’d hid in the sewers for a week, feeding on whatever vermin they could catch, and letting their wounds heal.
They finally decided to risk getting to Angel’s hotel, so Angel was kind of back where he started years ago. They’d expected to be hunted down but, to their amazement, they found Wolfram and Hart’s LA branch had closed. Against all of the odds they had won.
Once they were fully recovered they’d started taking cases again. Sure he and Spike still bickered, they had right from the start after Drusilla sired Spike in 1880. But they found that they could work well alongside each other, perhaps because they only had each other.
Angel lifted his head from his hands and looked back up the stairs. He felt a surge of resentment towards the bleach-blond haired man. Yes, that’s what Spike was now. There was only one explanation for what he’d seen and felt. The Shanshu Prophecy must have been genuine and Spike had been returned to his human form, the demon within banished.
“Why was it him and not me? We fought side by side to the end. So why did it choose him?” thought Angel bitterly, although he could guess the answer. It was because Spike had already died once saving the world when he’d closed the Sunnydale Hellmouth.
Angel sighed and walked slowly back up the staircase. He hesitantly opened the door and glanced at the bed. It was empty.
“Spike? Are you there?” he called.
“Er…yeah…I’m in the bathroom,” replied Spike, his voice wavering.
Angel walked to the en suite bathroom and saw Spike. He was standing in front of the mirror staring at it. Angel felt another pang. There was the irrefutable proof that Spike was no longer a vampire – he had a reflection.
Spike turned to Angel, eyes wide with disbelief. “Christ, mate,” he said weakly, “What do yer reckon to this?”
“Shanshu,” replied Angel quietly.
“What? You too? God, this is unreal,” gasped Spike.
Angel stepped closer to Spike until he was standing beside him.
“No, not me.” He nodded at the mirror.
Spike looked back at it. Angel was standing close enough to brush his shoulder but in the mirror Spike was standing alone.
“Why me?” asked Spike.
“So it’s true then? I am a real boy again?”
“Bloody hell,” said Spike with feeling.
The two stared at each other, neither knowing quite what to say. A slightly built blond man and bulkier, taller, brown haired vampire.
“So are you going to find Buffy then?” asked Angel, cringing at the whining tone of his voice.
“What?” said Spike. He shook his head, “Um…I don’t think so.”
Angel couldn’t believe his ears. He thought he’d be on the first plane to Italy.
“Well, nothing’s changed, has it? She still thinks I’m dead and she’s still with the Immortal. I thought we were moving on?” replied Spike, turning back to look at the mirror again. He couldn’t get over having a reflection.
“You don’t call being made human a change?” asked Angel, “And stop staring at yourself. It’s freaking me out.”
“Jealous?” sneered Spike.
“No,” said Angel grumpily. “Of course I am!”
Spike walked out of the bathroom, pushing past Angel. He started pacing back and forth in the bedroom. Angel followed him and sat down on the bed.
“Will you stand still? You’re making me dizzy,” complained Angel.
Spike stood still. He couldn’t get his head round this. He’d fought Angel for the Cup of Perpetual Torment because he’d been so desperate to know that the Shanshu was real and to beat Angel for it. That test had been a fake but now the prophecy had made him human and all he felt was empty and terrified.
“Stop looking at me like that,” he snapped at Angel, “Like I’m a bleeding freak.”
He stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him with all his might. He stopped short when he realised the door hadn’t smashed into pieces as was his intent but merely closed with a crash.
“What he f…? Oh shite.” He realised that he no longer had his vampire strength. He strode down the staircase and to the entrance door.
“Spike, where are you going?” asked Angel, running after him.
Spike glanced back at Angel. He couldn’t stand the way he was looking at him, all sort of hurt because it wasn’t him who was human.
“I’m going out,” Spike laughed, a touch hysterically.
“Wait, Spike. Look, stay here, and let’s talk this through for a while. It’s been a shock for you,” said Angel.
He could read Spike like a book after so long. He’d never been any good at concealing his emotions and Angel knew that Spike was halfway to freaking out completely.
“Gonna stop me?” said Spike as he opened the door and stepped out into the bright sunlight.
Angel instinctively stepped back.
“See yer later, Peaches.”