Angel was in his office when he heard the phone ring in the foyer. He leaned back in his chair, knowing that Cordelia was on desk duty right now. They’d already been out and defeated some demons and now Angel was just doing some paperwork. He glanced at the clock that hung from the wall and noticed that it was almost twelve thirty. Cordelia stopped manning the phone at twelve thirty exactly, so whoever it was had been lucky to get through. Angel rubbed a hand over his face and turned the page before registering the sound of feet running towards his office. He frowned and got up, only to hear someone knocking on his office door. Angel pulled the door open and surveyed Gunn through the doorway.
“On the phone. Cordy says it’s someone from Sunnydale.”
Angel didn’t need to hear any more. He bolted past Gunn and down the stairs to the foyer, one thought running through his mind.
‘Please don’t let it be Buffy, please don’t let it be Buffy.’ As he entered the foyer, his eyes desperately met Cordelia’s and the reassuring look she sent towards him sent waves of relief flowing over him. He walked over to the desk as Cordy told the person on the other of the line that he was there and said her goodbyes. She handed Angel the phone and waved, indicating that she was going to bed. Angel nodded and mouthed ‘thanks’ at her before focusing on the phone he was holding.
“Angel, it’s Willow.” Angel blinked. Willow sounded really upset. His fears began to escalate again.
“Willow, what’s wrong? Are you okay? Is Buffy okay?”
“What? Oh, yeah, Buffy’s fine. I’m just okay, though.”
“Buffy told me what happened. I’m really sorry.”
“That’s alright, Angel. Listen, I need your help with something.”
“What?” Angel asked. Willow still sounded upset to him and he was getting confused.
“When was the last time you saw Spike?”
“Spike? Um, it was a while ago. Why do you ask?”
“Angel, I think he needs help. A while ago, he left Sunnydale because something happened that I don’t think he meant to happen. He was gone for a while but, about a month ago, he came back. Buffy and I saw him and he looked so weird. He was so quiet. He told us that he’d gotten his soul back.”
“WHAT?!” Angel gasped, sitting down on the edge of the desk. “Spike, as in William the bloody, has a soul?”
“Yes. Angel, it’s destroying him. I hadn’t seen him since that first night almost a month ago, so I went to Willy’s to see if anyone there knew where he was and if he’d been around. Apparently he hasn’t been there for a couple of weeks and he hasn’t been buying blood. Willy told me that he was back in his old crypt, so I went there to check on him. Oh, Angel, he’s not moving or responding. It’s like he’s dead. He’s so pale and cold, even more than he usually is, I’m so worried about him, I don’t think he’s been feeding at all, he’s so skinny,” Willow babbled. Angel had frozen up.
“Willow, calm down and take a couple of deep breaths,” Angel instructed, regaining his composure. “Where are you?”
“I’m at my parents’ house. I managed to get Spike here but I don’t know what to do now.”
“Does anyone else know you have him there?”
“No. Buffy and Xander don’t care and I didn’t want Dawnie to worry and Giles is in London at the moment.”
“Alright,” Angel checked the clock again, “I’ll be there in about two or three hours. Try to keep Spike warm and keep trying to get a response out of him. If you have any, give him some blood but he should be fine until I get there if you don’t have any. I think I know what happened. He’ll be okay, Willow.” Angel couldn’t help but silently add a ‘well, at least I hope so’ under his breath.
“Okay, thanks Angel. I’ll see you soon.”
“See you, Willow.” Angel hung up and took an unnecessary breath before hurrying up to his room to pack a bag.
“Going somewhere?” Gunn asked from the doorway. Angel nodded.
“Spike’s in trouble. I’m going to help him. I’ll be back tomorrow night or the night after that. Call me if something major comes up.”
“Spike, as in your grandchilde Spike? What’s wrong with him?”
“Apparently, he recently got a soul and I think he’s having trouble coping.”
“Alright, Angel, I’ll call you if something comes up,” Gunn said before leaving. Angel stuffed a couple more things in his bag before taking his bag to the kitchen and putting a handful of blood bags into a small cooler and then putting the cooler into his bag. He wrote a quick note to the others and put it onto the desk before hurrying to his car and starting the engine, driving off into the night.
The whole trip, Angel worried about what he was going to find. From what Willow had told him, it seemed that Spike had put himself into a trance, either accidentally or on purpose. Angel knew that a vampire could last about a month in a trance before they either woke up and recovered, or they died. What would he do if he lost Spike? Sure, they weren’t so close now but they were still family and Angel still felt the same obligation towards ensuring Spike’s survival than he did the night Dru had brought Spike home the night she had turned him, especially now that Spike had his own soul. Angel shuddered as he remembered how badly he had handled having a soul again. Spike would be taking it so much worse, Angel knew, because Spike was just like that, sensitive and very aware of his feelings. Even when Spike had been chip-less, he’d still been less vicious than other vampires of his age. Spike also had maintained his capacity to love the whole time he had been a vampire and had also demonstrated his loyalty in his love; he had been Dru’s constant companion for over one hundred years, after all.
A sudden thought occurred to Angel. Willow had sounded awfully upset on the phone, especially since the rest of the Scooby Gang didn’t seem too worried about Spike’s disappearance. Could the red haired witch have fallen for the blonde vampire? Angel clenched his hands on the steering wheel. He hoped, for Willow’s sake if his suspicions were correct, that Spike would pull through.
BtVS BtVS BtVS BtVS BtVS
Willow put down the phone after calling Angel. Angel was coming; he’d make it all better. She was sure of it. She glanced sideways at Spike once again, reflecting on her conversation with Angel. Angel has suggested giving Spike blood but she didn’t keep any in the house. Neither did any of the other Scoobies and Willow was not going to leave Spike alone while she went all the way back to Willy’s and got some. Willow scowled darkly until she had a sudden idea, which she acted on. There was plenty of blood for Spike in the house; it was just a bit hard to get to.
Willow ran to the kitchen and got a small, sharp knife and a piece of plastic sheeting to protect her bedding before rushing back to her room. She gently raised Spike’s head and shoulders, sliding half the plastic beneath him and leaving the rest covering her lap. Screwing up her face, Willow summoned her courage before she raised the knife and slid it across her wrist. She yelped out loud in pain but noticed with satisfaction that the wound was deep enough to draw blood. Shifting herself into a more comfortable position, Willow lowered her wrist to Spike’s mouth, letting the blood run into his mouth.
“Come on, Spike. Swallow it. Please swallow it,” she begged him. She sobbed and then smiled when she saw Spike swallow some of her blood, the first reaction he had given her of any sort since she had found him in the crypt. Willow ran the fingers of her uninjured hand through Spike’s blond hair soothingly as the vampire weakly drank her bright red blood. Willow blinked as she started to feel dizzy and dark shadows began to appear at the edge of her vision. Willow shook her head, knowing that she needed to take her arm away from Spike or she would pass out, but she knew that Spike needed the blood or she might lose him. Willow clung onto consciousness for another couple of minutes before she finally drew her wrist away, using some tissues to apply pressure to the wound and stop the bleeding. Spike didn’t respond to the sudden loss of contact with Willow’s wrist and Willow bit her lip. She leaned against the headboard, watching Spike as she slowly regained her strength. At some point, Willow’s eyes drifted closed and her head lolled to one side as her breathing evened out and she fell asleep.
BtVS BtVS BtVS BtVS BtVS
Angel pulled his car up in Willow’s driveway, noticing that, once again, her parent’s car was missing. He got out of the car and strode across her front lawn, jumping up onto her front porch and crossing over to the front door. He knocked on the door before focusing his senses on the inside of the house. He could hear one heartbeat, which he guessed was Willow’s, and could also sense Spike’s presence in the house.
“Come on, Willow, open the door,” he muttered quietly, knocking on the door. After standing on the front porch for another five minutes, Angel gave up trying to get in that way. He went around the back of the house and climbed the tree up to Willow’s balcony. He glanced through the window and his jaw dropped. Spike was lying on Willow’s bed, clearly unconscious, and Willow was sitting beside him, sleeping soundly. Hating to disturb the pair, Angel tapped on the window loudly, smiling when Willow stirred out of her slumber. She lifted her head from her shoulder, blinking sleepily and looking around for the source of the noise. When her gaze fell on Angel, she made a squeaking noise, and got up quickly, collapsing onto the floor. Angel immediately sensed that something was wrong.
“Willow!” he called as she staggered to her feet again and shuffled across the room to the window, unlocking the door.
“Come in, Angel,” she weakly muttered and Angel stepped through the doorway, instinctively wrapping a supportive arm around Willow to stop her from falling again.
“Willow, what’s wrong with you? Are you okay?” Angel asked before spotting the bloody tissue wrapped around Willow’s wrist, the piece of plastic on the bed, and Spike’s limp form. He closed his eyes briefly.
“You didn’t do what I think you did, did you?” he asked
“What do you think I did?” Willow replied, still unsteady on her feet. Angel walked her back to the bed and she sat back down beside Spike.
“You cut your wrist so you could feed Spike,” Angel said and Willow avoided his gaze.
“Well, you said to give him blood if I could and I didn’t have any bags of blood in the house, and I didn’t want to leave him. I thought he would die… again if he didn’t get some blood soon, so I thought it was the best thing to do.” Willow spoke quickly and without taking a breath. Angel laid a soothing hand on her shoulder.
“Willow, it’s okay, just don’t do it again. I have blood in my bag that he can have.”
“Okay, Angel.” Willow spoke softly before glancing down at Spike again, her fingers gently stroking his head. Angel too focused his attention on the younger vampire. He reached out is hand and touched Spike’s skin, then moved his hand to Spike’s shoulder, shaking it lightly.
“Spike, come on, wake up,” Angel growled, but the blond vampire lay still. Angel sighed, realizing that his suspicions regarding Spike’s condition had been confirmed.
“What’s wrong with him?” Willow asked and Angel could hear the tears behind the words. He rubbed her shoulder reassuringly.
“Sometimes, when a vampire doesn’t feed for a while, say, a couple of weeks, they go into a trance-like state, where only a minimum amount of energy is used by the body. It’s sort of like being in a coma for a human. A vampire can usually last about another two weeks in this state before they… well, they die. How long they last in the trance depends on how well-fed they were before going into the trance.” Angel dropped his hands to run along Spike’s ribs, and groaned. “From the feel of it, Spike probably hasn’t been feeding right since he left Sunnydale.”
“Can you help him, fix him, cure him?” Willow asked. Angel blinked.
“Well, it would be better if Dru was here, as it’s the sire’s blood that is the best cure for a trance, but my blood is the next best thing for Spike. I have to let him feed off me until he shows signs of improvement or until he wakes up. Then we need to make sure that he feeds more regularly than he would normally, preferably on human blood. He might also need to feed off me a couple more times at various points of his recovery. I think, from what you were saying about him having a soul, which I’m going to have to spend a lot of time talking to him about that as well.” Angel turned his head to face Willow.
“Are you going to help me help him?” he asked. Willow nodded without a hesitation.
“Angel, I only realized it when I found him in his crypt earlier tonight but I think I’m in love with him. I’m not going to lose him like I lost Tara. I’m going to be supporting him the whole way through this, even if no one else is,” Willow told Angel. Angel realized that when she said no one else, she meant the rest of the Scoobies. Then it clicked in his mind what she had said before that. Willow was in love with Spike.
Angel shook his head when he heard a muffled noise beside him and realized with a pang that Willow had started crying. He rubbed her shoulder reassuringly and Willow responded by clinging onto him, burying her head into his shirt and sobbing into his chest.
“He’ll be okay, Willow. I promise he’ll pull through. This is Spike we’re talking about. He’ll bounce back, he always does,” Angel reassured her. Willow nodded into his shirt and when she leaned back, she was smiling.
“I love how he always makes me laugh, even if I’m upset about something. Will he still be like that, now that he’s all soul-ish?”
Angel shook his head. “I don’t know, Willow, I really don’t know.”