Title: Changing Fate
Genre: Romance, Time-Travel, Humour, Drama, Action... it's all in there somewhere
Rating: two or three parts will be NC-17 but the rest is PG-13
Warnings: sexual content; some Angel-bashing; some kind of character death or sort of (but don't let that put you off, the death won't happen till very much later on and in spite of it there's definitely a happy-end waiting for you)
Summary: The world of Angel Investigations is turned upside down when a spell Wesley performs in Season Five goes wrong. Spike is thrown back in time to Season One and that alone would be enough to screw up everything. But what happens when the vampire starts falling for a certain Englishman? Will he find a way back to his time? And… does he even want to go back?
“No, no. Thanks. Bye.”
Cordelia hung up the phone and sighed.
“Nothing?” Angel came over and leaned against her desk.
“No, absolutely nothing at all. I tried here and there and everywhere. The whole city doesn’t know Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.”
“Cordy, we’re supposed to be investigators. So we have to investigate.”
“All right, Mr. Smart, and where do we start?” the vision-girl demanded.
“Let’s see,” Angel expressed, “where to start? How about the beginning? What do we know about Wesley?” He looked at Cordelia expectantly.
“First of all…there’s the English. Hhm, did we check the ‘Museum of British Arts’?”
Angel gave her a look.
“Okay, okay. He is English, he has no taste in fashion at all and he’s the most horrible kisser I’ve ever met in the world.” Cordelia shivered at the thought of it.
Angel glared at her and mocked: “So with that information we can rule out the fashion stores and all places beneath a mistletoe, thank god.”
“Hold on, doofus. That’s just what popped up first in my mind. There must be more.”
“So, while you sort out the things you know about Wesley and that you can tell me without getting too intimate, I’ll go and try…”
“Books!” Cordelia shouted triumphantly.
“Books!” she repeated. “He’s a book boy, he owns thousands of them for his research.”
“Great, so we’re gonna look for a place packed with books and stay there waiting for him to show up, yeah?” Angel was beginning to loose his calm.
“Well, either that or we check out the libraries with ancient books and ask if someone called Wesley Wyndam-Pryce has an ID-card there.”
Angel shot her a very questionable glance. “And then…?”
“And then, that’s it. If he has a card they must have an address, a phone number or anything. Otherwise you don’t get a card at any library, see?”
“And you think they’ll give his address to anyone who asks nicely?” Angel doubted.
“Not to anyone, of course. But to me, in case it’s a nice little library guy who I will soft-soap due to my fabulous acting skills.”
“And in case it’s a little nice library girl working there?” Angel asked.
“Well, then it’s your turn to start soft-soaping!” And with that she gave him her 1000-watt smile.
Spike followed the tunnel to where it let into a deserted alley and reached it just in time to see the sun setting down beneath the familiar building across the street.
“Bloody hell!” he swore and started running to meet one last sunbeam. There he stood, breathing hard, unsure if to take the risk.
“Bugger off! If it hurts I’ll pull away quickly. No big deal, so come on!” he tried to encourage himself.
Carefully he stretched out his left hand till it was bathed in sunlight. For a second nothing happened and he was about to take a step forward into the light, smiling incredulously, when suddenly…
“Oh, fuck! Fuck!” he cried out in pain and pulled back. Jumping furiously into the secure shadow he plunged his hand into the pocket of his duster to stop the flames from burning any more of his flesh. The connection of his scorched hand with the leather shot new waves of pain through his entire body and so he pulled out of the pocket again soon.
“Oh bugger!” he flinched at the sight of the smouldering flesh that covered most parts of his fingers. The skin was peeling nearly everywhere. “Sod off! Really great spell, Peaches! Fuck, I wished you’d have tried it, too!” he cursed. ‘Perhaps I should go and tell him it worked. And then I’ll watch him going out into the sun! Yeah, that’ll be bloody fun!’
While he waited for the sodding sun to eventually set he loafed around the shadowy street and looked up to the 31st floor of the Wolfram & Hart building in front of him.
‘Something’s wrong,’ he suddenly thought, ‘different. The windows are shaded but still...’ He took a pack of fags out of his pocket and smoked thoughtfully.
When he was done he stroke his short hair back and walked towards the entrance of the law firm. But on halfway he changed his mind, turned around and went back into the darkness of the alley.
Something was definitely wrong here. Not only the building looked different, everything did. The streets, the people…everything. It even smelled wrong…it wasn’t the LA he knew.
Suddenly a thought flashed through his mind. His eyes darted to the ground where he found what he needed. A few steps away lay a newly looking piece of newspaper, a page of the LA Daily. He reached down, grabbed it and scanned the upper part of the page. There it was, the date. “Saturday, December 22nd, 1999”.
“Wait,” Spike gasped. “1999? That’s not…that’s impossible!” His face went an inch paler than it already was. It couldn’t be true. If it was, it meant…that would mean…
“That means you’ve gone four years back in the past!” someone said behind him.
He shot round to see the owner of that voice and was blinded by a bright light. A light that went right through him and made his soul ache.
The young guy behind the information desk smiled apologetically at the Brunette and said:
“I’m really sorry I couldn’t help you with your request.”
Angel was watching the scene from his position at the front door of the library. He couldn’t help but smile about the way Cordelia always got what she wanted. Her plan had succeeded, all the library guys had fallen for her soft-soaping and had been looking into their files for someone called Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.
The only flaw in the plan had been that Wesley simply didn’t have a card of any library in LA. That was that.
“Nothing and nothing again!” Cordelia said when she reached Angel at the door. They both turned around and strolled towards Angel’s car.
“We’ve been to every single library in the city. So what are we gonna do now, Angel?”
“Well, there’s nothing we can start right now. Tonight we won’t find him anyway.”
Cordelia gave him a concerned glance, but Angel continued: “I’m gonna think about another way to track Wesley down and you’re gonna go home and try to sleep, okay? No complaining, I’ll drive you home.”
“Okay. Thanks.” Cordelia said and got into the car.
They drove quietly through the night until Angel stopped in front of Cordy’s apartment. He turned the gearshift into the waiting position and said:
“Look, perhaps Wesley hasn’t shown up because is the weekend. Taking a break, you know? I’m sure he’ll be back on Monday, right as rain.”
“Well, I don’t know,” Cordelia answered doubtfully and left the car. “Perhaps you’re right. Good night, Angel!”
“Good night, Cordy!”
Spike stomped furiously through the sewers, fists clenched, and mocked at the words the strange lightning voice had told him:
“I’m not allowed to help you,” he mimicked in a high voice, “you have to find a way back on your own. Try and think about someone who might be able to help you. Think about who you know in this place!”
“Well,” he said shifting to his own deeper voice, “the place is one of my tiniest problems, I suppose. More likely it’s the sodding time that’s playing against me.”
A sudden movement way down the tunnel took Spike out of his reverie. Two feet away a vampire had appeared out of nowhere.
“Hey, this is my place! Are you looking for trouble?” the creature shouted and took a step towards its victim. In an instant the ‘victim’ dodged and pulled something out of his coat. One quick move and he was in the vampire’s back.
“Well, I guess I’m looking for the trouble of killing you!” he said in a cool voice and plunged a stake into the vampire’s heart.
With a soft ‘zsszt’ the creature disintegrated and left a big cloud of dust whirling around him. Spike shrugged and tried to clean his black duster with the palm of his healthy hand.
“I really hate dust!” he murmured and searched for his fags. After putting one between his lips he struck the lighter and inhaled the welcoming smoke. Then he continued his way through the sewers with the stake in his hand.
“If there’s another bloody vampire down here he better run or he will be dust right away,” he muttered. And with a smirk he added: “Well, except for myself of course!”
Wesley woke up surrounded by dim light. He found himself in an unfamiliar place, sitting at a stony ground and propped up against a cold wall. Everything seemed to be cold around him, he could sight his breath. Small white steams were leaving his dry mouth.
Wesley tried to move and felt his hands tied up in his back. The same strong rope bound his feet.
He looked around. A small room with dirty stonewalls, a single window high above his head. It was dark outside, but whether it was that late or the window was either dirty or blocked with something he couldn’t guess. He noticed a small door to his left and tried to listen to the outside. There was no sound at all.
‘Well, I seem to be alone in this…place,’ he thought. ‘No one knows where I am, so I will not be found here. And worse, no one will even be searching for me. Who is going to miss me?’ He sighed.
Family? Several month would pass before his mother would be alarmed. And his father? Well…no. And as for others…Angel, Cordelia? They would simply think that he had left town to continue his rogue demon hunter thing. Perhaps they would even be relieved? He let his head sink down to his chest and closed his eyes.
“Face it, Wesley,” he raised his head again, “you are going to die.”
And not only die, but also die unnoticed. Not a single soul cared about him, right?
Spike stood outside a telephone box and searched in his pockets for a cigarette. There had to be one somewhere. He knew he had smoked too much, one after the other, all night. But, hey, it wasn’t like he could die from cancer, was it?
All night he had been thinking about what had happened and what to do next. If it was true and this was December 1999, which he almost believed, then this wasn’t as bad as it could have turned out.
“No,” he corrected himself, “1999 is as bad as any other year before…”
His voice trailed of as he thought about what his life had been four years ago. Well, better call it his un-life.
He shrugged and forced his memory back to the present. ‘No, the past,’ it corrected itself.
There was no doubt about what he had to do. He knew exactly who to find, to ask for help. And that would be the hardest part of all.
‘All I have to do is convince him that I’m different,’ the blond vampire thought. ‘If he’d only give me the time to explain. I have to convince him quickly, with details, particulars. Then he has no chance but to believe me. So, what do I know about December 1999 in LA?’
And then it hit him. What date had it been on the newspaper? The 22nd? Well, that he called fate!
He turned around immediately, opened the door and stepped into the telephone box.
He dialled and waited for someone to pick up the other end. After the third ringing a female voice answered.
“Angel Investigations. We help the hopeless, how can we help you?”
“Cordelia?” He was shocked to hear the vivid voice of a girl he had seen lying in a deadly coma not too many days ago.
“Yeah, so. Who’s there?” he heard her ask.
“Ugh…” he stuttered. She would be shocked if he’d say his name, wouldn’t she?
“Gee,” the girl on the other end said, “whoever you are, cat got your tongue?”
His voice hoarse he managed to say: “I need to talk to Angel.”
“Well, then wait a minute, okay?”
After two or so seconds he heard a familiar voice.
“Yeah, it’s Angel. Who’s there?“
„Angel, don’t hang up. It’s me...Spike.“
“Spike? I…I don’t…”
Angel couldn’t think straight. Spike of all people (or un-people) called him? No way! He felt Cordelia's eyes upon him but avoided to look at the vision-girl.
“Spike? Oh god, I knew that I somehow recognized the voice,” she murmured with a frown.
“Angel?” The voice of his grand-childe startled him. “Hey, Peaches, you still there?”
“I am,” was all he managed to say. Angel turned around and fell down onto the client’s chair in front of Cordelia’s desk. Then he took an unneeded breath and turned to the vampire waiting in the line.
“So, you’re actually calling me?”
“Well, as you can see, I am. Ugh, not see…I mean…hear…obviously,” Spike tried to collect himself. “I thought it safer to call, since you would have staked me the second I entered your office, wouldn’t you?”
“Ugh, yes, probably! But why would you come to see me anyway? Is it to fix a date for another torture round? You know, I don’t own the Gem of Amara anymore.” Angels voice raised a little.
“What are you talking about?” Spike asked. Then he remembered. “Oh, the bloody Gem. Yes, now I remember.”
“You remember, wow. Tell you what, I wasn’t to forget our last meeting as quickly as you could. Though I thought I’d smashed your head hard enough to make you forget your own name!” Angel challenged.
“Oh, fuck, why didn’t I stake you when I had the chance of it?” Spike snarled back.
“Spike, I’ve never given you the chance to stake me!” Angel said.
“So will you stop sniping and listen to me?”
“Why should I?”
“Because I know where he is!” Spike didn’t notice he held his breath.
“Where he is?” Angel repeated. “What? The Gem? I told you…”
“For hell’s sake, Angel. Stop babbling about the fucking Gem,” Spike interrupted. “I’m talking about Wesley!”
There was a moment of utter silence and then Angel gasped:
“Wesley, remember? The tall Englishman working for you, brown hair, blue eyes, kind of bookworm and good at guns. I know where he is.”
Again a long silence filled the line and then…
“What did you do to him?” Angel asked with badly repressed rage.
“What?” Spike had to think quickly. “Wait, no! I don’t have him. I just…happen to know where he is.”
“So you know where he is but you didn’t do anything to him? Spike, do you really believe me that stupid?”
“Well, if you ask me that way, Peaches, yes I do. But that’s beside the point. So you wanna know about him or not? Then will you eventually shut your big mouth and listen to me!”
Angel sighed. “Okay, I’ll give you one minute. Spit it out!”
“Well, it’s not that easy.” Spike told him. “If I’d tell you the ex-watcher’s whereabouts right now, I would have nothing to force you...well, the fact is…oh fuck…I need your help…”
“Spike, tell me where he is. NOW!” Angel shouted.
“Hey, listen. He’s in no immediate danger. Well, that’s at least what I understood when he told me. I wasn’t around the first time, so…”
“What are you talking about? You weren’t around? What first time?” Angel was confused.
“That’s exactly what I’m trying to explain, Captain Forehead. I can almost see you scowling through the telephone.”
“That’s it. I’m done, Spike,” Angels voice trembled with fury.
“Oh, bugger off, Peaches, wait! Please!” Begging crept into the usually cool voice. It made Angel hesitate. Spike begging? He really sounded…different. The last time Angel had heard him like that…so Spike-unlike….it must have been more than a hundred years ago. Angel noticed that he had zoned out on Spike who was still pleading.
“So,” he interrupted his grand-childe. “is Wesley in danger or not?”
“I…I don’t think so. Not yet.”
“Spike, what’s that supposed to mean?” Angel tried to remain calm.
“That means, you bloody poofter, if you keep distracting me with your fucking stupid questions, he will be in danger by the time I’m eventually finished with my say.” Now it was Spikes turn to try and stay calm. “So, will you listen?”
“Is this some kind of a bad joke?”
Angel sighed. “Okay, I’m all ears.”
“Well,” Spike thought about where to start, “first of all, bookboy’s gone since when? Yesterday?”
“Ahem, he didn’t show up yesterday, yes. Last time we saw him was on Friday evening. He left the office late.”
“And when he didn’t come in yesterday, you didn’t call his place? You didn’t stop by?” Spike sounded reproachful.
“What am I, his mom?” Angel asked. “It was just one single day! And besides we don’t know where he’s staying.” Angel tried to explain. He wondered where all this would lead to. A strange thought came to his mind. “Spike, you don’t know his place, do you?” Angel asked his grand-childe.
“Yes, I do. But he probably won’t be there anymore. As far as I got it he was abducted yesterday afternoon.”
“You know his place? Why?” Angel was still pondering the fact that Spike seemed to know where Wesley lived.
“Oh, hell, Mr. Stubborn. I know his place because it’s the same apartment he’ll be living in till 2004. It’s the same apartment he’ll invite me to stay in.”
“You’re nuts,” Angel gasped.
“I know it sounds crazy. But it’s true. I’m not the same Spike you know. I’m not the same who came to LA a few month ago, who tortured you for getting the Gem of Amara.” Spike didn’t give Angel the opportunity to say something, he continued: “I don’t know how it happened, or why, but I…oh, sod off, I suck at this…listen, I travelled back in time, okay? In 2004 Wesley did a spell and it went wrong. You should see my hand right now, looks like a bloody toast because of that shit. But, anyway, the spell caused me to end up here and now, in December 1999. Four years in the past.”
Now it was out and Spike released an unneeded breath.
Angel didn’t know whether he should laugh or shout. He decided to shout at last.
“I don’t know why you’re doing this, Spike. But I tell you, we will find Wesley without your help. You can say what you want, you can go on babbling mad, I won’t listen anymore. I’m out! You’re insane. And if I’ll ever meet you again, I’ll kill you before you’ll even know I’m there. Got it?”
“I got it,” Spike answered before Angel could hang up the phone, “and now you get this, Peaches: You won’t find Wesley till next week and by that time he will be nearly starving. He has been abducted by some nasty demon for a bloody New Year’s ritual, and to the demon it doesn’t matter if Wes is dead or alive by then. But to me it matters, I fucking care about him, as crazy as it must sound to you. I care! And I had the false hope that you’d care, too. That if a so called friend is in danger you would move your sodding ass to help him and maybe even take my help to do it. But you know what?” Spike took a deep breath and said: “You don’t want my help, okay. So I don’t need your bloody help either. I don’t want it. I’ll go and find the watcher on my own and perhaps he’s gonna help me. If the Wesley of 1999 has but a split part of the smartness and loyalty I’ve come to know him for in my time, then I have no doubt that he will believe me. He will help me!”
And with that Spike threw down the receiver and the line went dead.
Cordelia had been following the conversation between the two vampires through the second line. She returned to her own desk, where Angel was still hunched up in the client’s chair, the dead end of the phone clenched in his hand.
When Cordy sat down he broke out of his reverie and hung up the receiver.
“What was that, Angel?” the vision-girl asked.
“I haven’t got a single clue,” the vampire replied, “but either Spike has gone totally mad or it was some mysterious trick to make a fool of me.”
“You…you’re not even thinking about believing him?”
Angel glared daggers at Cordelia. “No, no way. I mean…hey, a time travelling Spike? Have you ever heard of something more ridiculous?” Angel’s voice had gone sharper with every single word he spoke.
“Stop going all mad on me, okay? I’m not the one pretending to be ‘future-guy’!” Cordelia replied, “I don’t say I believe ‘Captain Peroxide’, I just…well, it could be true, couldn’t it? Remember your one-day as human. You know, a few weeks ago, with Buffy? You were the one who turned back time.”
“What do you mean?” Angel asked confused.
“Well, if it’s possible for the Powers That Be to turn back your timeline, why shouldn’t they do the same to Spike?”
“Ugh…well, I…that was a different case.”
“What did Mr. Evil-Vamp say about Wesley trying to do a spell?” Cordelia thought out loud.
“Huh, I can’t remember. I didn’t get all of what he said, most of it was so nuts,” Angel admitted.
“Perhaps you should have listened. But you’re lucky to have an associate as clever as me. I suppose he said something about a spell that went wrong. Tell me if I’m mistaken but as former friends of Sunnydale’s own witch named Willow we both know very well that sometimes spells can go wrong.”
“Yeah, but…” Angel shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
“So, let’s try for one second to forget that it was the evil Spike who called. Admit it, if it had been any other person on the phone it would have taken you less than a blink to go saving Wesley with the help of whoever called, right? You wouldn’t have doubted it a second! Just because it’s Spike…” Cordelia’s voice trailed off and she watched Angel closely.
The vampire thought about it and had to admit she was right. If it had been any other person…or a person at all…but Spike?
“Angel,” Cordelia urged, “if it’s true and Wesley was kidnapped by a demon, for who knows what reason, then we need to help him.”
“Well, if it’s true what Spike said, then Wesley is in no immediate danger. He said something about a ritual and Wesley nearly starving, but no grave danger.”
“So,” Cordy retorted, “if you think being sacrificed for some odd demon ritual or starving to death are no immediate dangers, well, lucky you!
Angel sighed. “Okay, you’re right, we should go and find Wesley. But we have no hint, no clue…and Spike won’t likely call again, will he?”
Spike ran through the tunnel, cursing Angel and his stubbornness, and stopped every now and then to crash his unscorched fist into the stonewalls. He didn’t know why he was so angry and he didn’t want to think about it. He also didn’t want to think about why he suddenly cared so much about Wesley. ‘He’s a sodding ex-watcher, and a bloody old ponce, too,’ he tried to remind himself. But nevertheless the thought of a helpless and, worse, hopeless Wesley made Spikes soul ache.
Although Wes hardly ever spoke about any of his feelings, Spike knew that he had been unhappy back then. The time before Wesley had started working for Angel he had been a different person. Insecure and very, very lonely. How must he feel now, being all alone in the cellar with no hope of ever being rescued…
“It’s all Angels fault! This stupid git, I will track him down, as soon as I’m back in the present, I swear he won’t get away with this!”
Spike stopped both swearing and running when he reached the trapdoor he had been heading for. The one that led to the cellar of Wesley’s apartment house, where he hoped to find the ex-watcher.
Spike remembered Wesley telling him about his abduction only two weeks ago. ‘The worst Christmas ever’ he’d called it, and then he’d laughed at how ridiculous the whole circumstances had been.
Wesley had been a prisoner in his own home, or better beneath it, and Angel and Cordelia hadn’t been able to find him because they hadn’t known the address. Ridiculous, really!
‘Well, I suppose bookboy won’t see the fun in it right now,’ Spike thought when he opened the trapdoor and entered the deserted cellar.
All he could see beside the stairs was a small wooden door ten feet away. It obviously led to Wesley’s hiding place. Spike tried to listen whether the demon could be heard anywhere, but there was nothing. The creature must have gone out to… whatever.
Spike took in an unneeded breath. ‘I guess ducks won’t be too happy to see me, since he doesn’t know me but through his books. Here he comes, William the Bloody.’ He let out a sigh. ‘So, let’s go forward to rescue the watcher. He will probably try to stake me the second I release his chains.’
Wesley had no idea how long he had been waiting for something to happen. He couldn’t manage to glimpse at his watch, as much as he tried to crane his neck.
‘I must have been here for several hours at least,’ he thought, ‘according to the rumbling of my stomach.’ He thought about the last thing he had eaten (a toast at half past eight this morning, or had it been already yesterday?) when a sudden noise outside his prison startled him. No doubt, something’s coming.
Wesley heard someone outside lift the bolt of the door. Then the heavy wood slid open.
Bleached blond hair poked through, followed by a pale face and a slim body dressed in a long leather coat.
The sight of the man rang a bell somewhere in Wesley’s watcher-memory, but he couldn’t remember why. He was sure he’d never met this fellow before, yet he seemed familiar in a strange way.
The man hesitated in the doorway and stared down at Wesley for several seconds. Then he broke his gaze and said in a hoarse voice:
“Ugh, well…hi, you’re okay?”
‘English?’ Wesley thought he had heard a slight spot of the familiar accent in the voice. As if its owner had lived many years from home.
Wesley became aware that he hadn’t answered. He nodded when another sound startled him coming from the outside. Heavy footsteps accompanied by a deep groan. The demon returned eventually.
“Oh, bugger!” the unknown fellow swore. He grabbed a crowbar from the dusty ground and disappeared through the door towards the noise.
Wesley gasped in shock. What was he doing? Did he believe he could defeat the demon all on his own?
Wesley struggled and tried to free himself from the chains, but the rope wouldn’t give. He could do nothing but listen to the battle-sounds from outside the door. Rumbling and groaning filled the air, followed by several loud smashes.
Suddenly it all went silent and then someone let out a triumphant shout.
Two seconds later the blond man returned to where Wesley was waiting anxiously.
“Gee,” he breathed, “that was some sort of a fight. I tell you, bloody cool!”
He pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his coat, lighted one and sat down on the ground. “Well, I guess my turning up was pretty damn on time, wasn’t it?”
Wesley couldn’t help but gawk at Spike open-mouthed. “Is…is the creature dead?” he managed to ask.
But Spike didn’t listen. When he had reached Wesley all he could do was stare incredulously. He couldn’t believe this to be his future flat mate. From further apart Wesley had looked all right, not that different at all. Okay, he did wear glasses, something Spike had never seen before. But the rest had seemed to be the very same Wesley. His hair was mussed and the stubble let his face appear as closed and unpredictable as ever.
But then Spike had approached and he had caught the look in Wesley’s eyes. And now he did look very different. His eyes appeared bright and innocent…so vulnerable! There seemed to be much more missing in them than the four years of age. Determination, ruthlessness…and suffered pain!
“Ahm…excuse me, as it is that I don’t know you, I have to ask: did you come to rescue me? If that were the case, would you mind releasing my chains?” Wesley asked shyly.
“Oh, sorry pet, but your shrieking outfit took me aback,” Spike mocked. “So when you say that you don’t know me. Do you mean that we’ve never met before, which is technically true, or that you don’t know who I am? If it’s the latter, then I have to admit that the sodding Watcher’s Council sacked you for right!”
“What…how?” Now it was Wesley’s time to be flabbergasted. He simply sat there waiting for an explanation.
“You know what, mate? I’ll release your arms and then I’ll tell you who I am and what I want from you, okay?” Spike smirked, apparently enjoying his advantage.
‘As if I had any choice,’ Wesley thought but nodded.
Reaching for a small pocket knife Spike rose and leaned towards Wesley, invading his personal space. When the blonde began cutting the rope in his back Wesley turned his head to get a closer look on his saviour. Cheekbones to die for, bright shining blue eyes and…no breath.
Wesley jerked back as if he had been burned. He struggled and berated himself for being so bloody stupid. ‘I thought I should be able to recognize a vampire if he…wait! What is he doing, why isn’t he killing me?’
“Fuck, Wes. Stop that. I nearly cut your veins,” Spike reproached and shot Wesley a stern look.
Wesley couldn’t stop a snort while thinking: ‘I suppose you’d have liked that.’ Then he tried to gain back his senses. No faults right now, otherwise…
“Eventually you’ve noticed I’m a vampire, congratulations!” Spike mocked with a smirk and sat back on the floor. Then he kept staring at Wesley with crooked head.
Wesley felt the rope at his arms going limp. He brought his hands forward and started rubbing his wrists where the rope had cut the skin. He wondered what a vampire could want from him other than his blood, when Spike began to talk.
“I have to tell you, you look like a right geek with your glasses! I did as well when I had to wear them. That was when I was human, of course, because as a vampire, you know, your eyes sharpen to the night. But I’ll tell you a secret: the first year or so of being a vampire I used to wear the bloody glasses when I had to read.” Spike looked up to Wesley and added sheepishly: “Don’t tell Peaches, okay? He would be laughing at that forever!”
“I beg you pardon?” Wesley couldn’t believe that there was a vampire sitting next to him chatting about wearing glasses.
“Yeah, well, you know Mr. Big Boss Vamp, don’t you? It gives Angel the false feeling of superiority, if he can mock one of his relatives!”
“Relatives?” Wesley wondered. And then it hit him. “So you are…you must be…”
“Spike, yes!” It sounded oddly proud.
“Oh!” Wesley’s insides were about to turn round. Spike! William the Bloody, as he was called in the Watcher’s Diaries. Of all creepy creatures he had to run into the open arms of the most vicious vampire the world had ever seen besides Angelus.
Spike had watched Wesley closely. “Are you frightened, pet?” he asked.
Wesley felt so sick he couldn’t answer. He was afraid that if he opened his mouth he would start vomiting. So all he did was nodding slightly. When he saw it Spike let out a short chuckle.
“Ha, I don’t believe it. Mr. ‘I’m-so-cool-I-shot-my-own-dad’ is scared to death of his own guinea pig!”
Wesley was beginning to think that Spike had to be insane. First he babbled like mad about wearing glasses and then he called himself Wesley’s guinea pig? The relationship with Drusilla must have affected the vampire more than he knew.
“What do you mean? You have certainly never been my guinea pig! I’ve never met you in my life before!”
“Well, that’s true,” Spike answered. “But you will.”
Now Wesley was totally confused. Spike recognized the expression on Wesley’s face and added: “And now lean back and listen to what I tried to explain to Angel an hour ago, will you?”
And with that Spike stood up and started pacing around the cellar. He thought about where to start. If he didn’t want to scare Wesley more than he already had done, he had to choose his words carefully. He had realized quickly that this Wesley of 1999 had almost nothing in common with the cool and unpredictable man he would become. The man Spike knew in his time seemed to be afraid of nothing. ‘Or nothing simply affects him anymore,’ Spike suddenly thought.
“Ugh, sorry to disturb your thoughts,” Wesley broke the silence, “but is there an explanation coming soon? Otherwise I do not want to bother you any longer, I could simply leave you…”
One look into the piercing blue of Spike’s eyes silenced Wesley at once. Spike took out another fag and started talking eventually.
“Well, I know what I’m gonna tell you now will sound bloody ridiculous to you, but you have to believe me, okay?
Cordelia sat up straight in her bed and gasped for breath. What a nightmare! She had dreamt to be on a roof high above LA and Willow had tried…
“Willow!” Cordelia shouted at once. She turned on the bed light and took a quick look at her watch. Half past two, but that didn’t matter, did it? It was an emergency!
The girl sat up in her bed, reached for the phone and dialled the number by heart.
While waiting for the witch to pick up Cordy berated herself and Angel for being so stupid. It was so very simple! Why didn’t they think of it? The only way to prove what Spike had been saying…
“Willow? It’s me, Cordelia!…Sorry to wake you up, but it’s kind of urgent…What? No, Angel’s fine…yeah…me, too. Look, I need a favour: Can you somehow check if Spike’s still in town? I know, it’s…what? Where?…He’s…no, you’re kidding! He’s living at Giles’?…I don’t…how is it called? The Initiative?…Yes, I got it!…Well, then…he must have told the truth!…Sorry, Will…No, nothing serious I suppose. We’ll be able to handle it!…Yes, Angel will probably call Giles tomorrow to get the details….Thanks, Willow, you’ve been a big help!…Okay, sleep well. Yes, and say hello to everybody, will you?…Thanks, bye!”
Cordelia hung up the phone and sighed. If Spike was still in Sunnydale, and chained to a bathtub at Giles’ of all places… then who had been the one on the phone yesterday?
Spike watched his friend-to-be closely after finishing his story. Wesley sat silently staring at a point somewhere over Spike’s head. He hadn’t said a single word for more than three minutes. Nor had he shown any sign of understanding, let alone believing one word Spike had told.
Spike had started talking about the spell and about the time travelling but he had spared the detail that it had been Wesley performing the spell.
He had admitted to the strange fact that they both had become some kind of friends but he hadn’t dared to mention the tiny fact that they shared a home since Wesley had invited him after being back from death and being corporeal again. He thought it would be too much for the ex-watcher to process.
In his whole explanation Spike had also spared the part of him having gained back his soul. He didn’t want to reveal too much about the future for he had no idea how it would change everything.
After a while Spike tried again:
“Pet? You okay?”
And eventually he got a reaction, but one he hadn’t intended.
Wesley closed his eyes, leaned back to the wall and…laughed. He laughed so hard he had to take off his glasses and wipe away the tears. ‘I simply have a nervous breakdown. That’s it.’ He thought. ‘There is nobody around here, nobody travelled through time and there is definitely no Spike sitting next to me!’
A hard slap in the face told him otherwise.
Wesley’s eyes darted open. He was looking straight into the vampire’s face.
“Oh mother of God,” he managed to whisper, then he passed out.
“Angel?” Cordy shouted when she entered the office the next morning. “Angel, I have news!”
The vampire’s head poked around the corner of his office.
“Oh!” the girl hesitated just briefly, “well, mine are more important. Let me tell you, we’ve been real big dumbasses, both of us.”
“Great news, Cordy!” Angel mocked.
“No, wait! Last night I had a horrible dream about Willow. And when I woke up I called her immediately!” Cordelia looked at Angel expectantly.
“To tell her not to haunt you in your dreams again?” he asked.
“No, to ask her whether Spike is still in Sunnydale!”
Angel shot her an admirable glance. “And?”
“Well, he is! And better, he is chained up to Giles’ bathtub!” One of her famous brilliant smiles spread out over her face. Angel on the other hand looked really dumbfounded.
“He, what? Giles’ bathtub? But why?”
“Well, you’re not gonna believe this. Spike has become a guinea pig of the government! He was caught by a group called ‘The Initiative’, who put a chip into his head.”
“A chip?” Angel repeated.
“Yes, some weird techno-thing that will cause a terrible headache whenever he’ll try to attack humans.”
Angel stuttered: “He can’t attack humans?”
“That means he can’t…feed?”
“No, Giles is giving him pig’s blood every now and then. Well, only if Spike plays nice, of course.”
“But…but when did this happen?” Angel asked.
“Gee, I don’t know! Some weeks ago, I suppose. Why?”
“Well, Spike wasn’t at Giles’ on Thanksgiving. I went there, remember? I even went into the bathroom once. I didn’t see him there!” Angel said.
“You went into the bathroom?” Cordelia asked bewildered. “Why? I thought vampires had no need to…”
“I was hiding from Buffy!” Angel threw a stern look at the vision girl. “And besides, don’t you think Giles would have mentioned it if Spike would have been locked up there somewhere?”
Cordelia thought about it and then said: “Well, perhaps Spike has been captured some time after Thanksgiving? Who knows?”
“You should!” Angel rushed. “You talked to Willow! You should have asked!”
“Hey, stop yelling at me, okay?” Cordelia walked up to the vampire and poked a finger to his chest. “You should be glad I had this brilliant idea of calling Willow. You want details, call Giles.”
Angel looked down at his feet. “You’re right, I’m sorry. I probably will call Giles later. But for now…if it’s true and Spike’s in Sunnydale….” His voice trailed of.
“Well, then we happen to have another Spike in LA. And that means….he told the truth about his journey which means Wesley’s really been abducted and we have to rescue him, right?”
“Right,” Angel confirmed, “and now I guess is the right time for me to reveal my news. I found out Wesley’s place.”
“What? How?” Cordelia was astonished.
“Well, I…someone owed me a favour,” Angel said. “Someone who works for an estate manager.”
“Oh! Handy much?” Cordelia smiled, “So he was all friendly and looked into his files and…hello, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, there you are?”
“Ugh, well…yeah?” Angel looked away quickly.
“Aha! You went all…grrrghh,” she mimed a vamp out to Angel, “and threatened him, right?”
“Cordelia,” Angel sighed, “does it matter? We have Wesley’s address, so let’s go!”
“Sometimes I love working for a vampire!” Cordy said and followed Angel out of the office.