AN: This had to be written. It just dawned on me this morning that this could be pretty cool and I've not read a twist like this before. I hope you guys like it and would very much like to hear your feedback. Thanks guys! Please enjoy.

Summary: AU AtS S5/ BTVS S4. Spike has disappeared and suddenly so many things that were wrong in the world, seem to have miraculously been fixed. Angel goes on a journey to find answers and finds Spike, who's more than willing to tell the story of how he changed the world.

Time Bomb

By Secret Slayer

Chapter One

Angel closes his eyes as the bright beam of energy scorches through the skin of Illyria and then breaks out from crevices in her skin. She convulses with pain and her head snaps back, turning rigid from the amount of energy coursing through her entire being. Wesley stumbles back from the force, but keeps a tight grip on the gun, efficiently zapping the power straight from the blue haired immortal.

The light from the gun is too bright. All eyes lose vision and nobody sees him vanish.

The gun cuts its own power off, knowing it's finished the job. Illyria crumbles to the floor, resting her forehead against the linoleum, her body heaving as the impact of what has happened settles in. Wesley's face softens with a sympathy he'd rather not feel.

"Illyria," he begins, stepping towards her, although he's sure he doesn't feel strongly enough to comfort the creature.

Her head snaps up and icy blue eyes lock with his, an immeasurable anger building behind them.

"Touch me and die, vermin," she snaps weakly.

Her voice holds no strength, but Wesley knows better than to push her. Her head hangs limply again, her breathing laboured and loud in the silence that's descended in the room. Angel shuffles awkwardly, unsure what to say, when he frowns, realising that its been too quiet for too long.

"It's too quiet in here," he mumbles to himself, but Lorne looks up at the sound of his voice, watching him questioningly, practically seeing the cogs turn in the vampire's head. For the first time since the light has gone, Angel looks around the room. His frown deepens. He looks around the room again. "Where's Spike?"

Lorne's eyes widen and he spins around frantically, as if he'll suddenly find the blonde vampire hidden in a corner and will be able to sigh with relief. He doesn't find him. Wesley scowls at the empty place where Spike had stood before they had turned the gun on.

"Perhaps," the Englishman begins, and clears his throat as though he's about to announce something rather tragic. "Perhaps, Spike was caught in the blast of the ray and – and..."

Angel predicts his train of thought and shakes his head, "There's no dust."

A hollow laugh erupts from the blue demon and simultaneously, eyes fall to her. Slowly, her head rises to face them.

"Stupid lesser beings," she says through gritted teeth.

"You know what happened to Spike?" Wesley asks carefully.

She's on her feet in the blink of an eye, standing toe to toe with Wesley before he even has a chance to register she's moved. He's momentarily disappointed that the gun hasn't lessened her powers more. She's still inhumanly quick. Her head cocks to the side and cold blue eyes examine him thoroughly. She tilts her head to the other side so that she can look at Angel over his shoulder.

"When you removed my power," she began, her voice low and seething, "Some of my power escaped before it evaporated to nothing. I believe the white haired one was in its path."

Angel impatiently places his hands on his hips, "You mean to say Spike's travelled through time? Like what just happened with us?"

Wesley turns his head and looks at the vampire curiously. Angel purses his lips at the questioning glare from the Englishman.

"I'll explain later," Angel sighs.

Suddenly, Illyria stumbles back and begins choking. Wesley steps forward to help her, but she holds a hand up, stopping him in his tracks.

"My power is my undoing," she whispers.

Her hands rake through her blue hair and she screams. Angel, Lorne and Wesley all step back from the shock of the ear piercing sound.

"What the hell is going on?" Wesley asks.

Illyria stills and a wicked, soul-curdling smile creeps across her normally emotionless features. Her head twitches to the side as though she's heard something very quiet.

"The vampire has been busy."

And then she's gone.

And then she's there.

"What are ya'll lookin' at?"

There's an impossibly long silence before Wesley scowls, "It's a trick."

Lorne shakes his head sadly, before looking away. "I need a sea breeze. Let me know if Spike turns up or if there's anything I can do to help."

The green demon turns to leave, his hand on the doors that leads out of the training room, when Angel makes him stop short – makes his heart fall into the pit of his stomach.

"It's her," is all the vampire says.

The gun slips from Wesley's hands and clatters to the floor, making Lorne jump and turn back around to face them. Tears are in Wesley's eyes almost immediately. "It can't be. Her soul was destroyed."

"I can smell her soul," Angel says, then smiles. "Fred, it's really you."

Fred looks at the men in the room as though they've lost their minds. "Have you boys been drinking?"

"Freddles?" Lorne asks hopefully.

Fred frowns and looks between the wide eyes staring back at her, until they fall on the already bloodshot eyes of her boyfriend. "Wes, what's going on?"

Wesley smiles, "That's something I'd very much like to know."

And then, before Fred can brace herself, she gets three sets of arms surrounding her in a hug that almost knocks her off her feet.

"Why are you all squashing Fred?"

Angel's head snaps up.


And... Connor? No, it can't be.

Cordelia stands in the frame of the door, a little boy in her arms, cradled on her hip. She's glowing, is Angel's first thought and not in a demon possessed, supernatural way. A genuine, healthy and happy human kind of glow- the kind that comes from being very much alive.

The little boy giggles.

"It can't be," Wesley whispers.

"They've gone kinda loopy," Fred says.

Cordelia frowns, "I can see."

Angel breaks away from the embrace with Fred and stumbles forward, so overwhelmed he seems to have forgotten how to walk. He stands before the woman, inhales deeply. Yes, definitely smells like her. The little boy squirms and reaches out both arms towards Angel.

"Someone wants their daddy," Cordelia says with a smile.

Feeling almost numb from the emotion overload, Angel hesitates at first, but then takes his son and holds him tight to his chest, kissing the mop of brown hair on his head.

"Angel, are you okay?" Cordelia asks, gently touching his arm.

Angel nods and then smiles so brightly, Cordelia thinks his face might crack.

"I'm fantastic!"

Wesley clears his throat and Angel turns. It warms his unbeating heart to see the Englishman holding Fred's hand.

"I don't want to ruin the moment," he says regretfully, "But we do still have the Spike problem."

"Right. We need to find him."

"Spike?" Cordelia echoes, confused. "Why do you need to find him? He's where he's always been."

Angel frowns and from his perplexed look, Cordelia elaborates. "He's with Buffy."

"Buffy?" the vampire repeats.

"Yeah, you know. Peppy blonde, professional vampire killer," Cordelia explains. "She who hangs out in cemeteries a lot."

"I know who Buffy is," Angel replies automatically.

"Right, well they're in Sunnydale... that place we used to hang until we totally outgrew the Hellmouth and moved on to bigger, better things."

Wesley and Angel share a look, before both looking back at Cordelia.

"Sunnydale?!" they ask in unison, jaws almost hitting the floor.

The first thing Spike is aware of is that he can't move his arms. He wiggles his fingers. Good, they're there. At least he knows his hands haven't been cut off again by a deranged slayer. His eyes are shut; he hasn't dared open them since the blinding light from that gun Wesley hit Illyria with. At first, his senses are practically numb. He doesn't hear anything or smell anything, only feels the dull thud of a headache pounding in the darkness of his mind. Maybe he got knocked unconscious or something and he's just coming around. That would make sense. Apart from not being able to move his arms – he doesn't have a good feeling about that.

Cold water hits his face and he's forced to open his eyes. The light in the room burns his eyes at first and he has to blink several times to focus his vision. Even when it's focused, he blinks several more times.

"Spike, now isn't the time for napping," Buffy says with an eye roll, tapping her foot impatiently.

Spike frowns and looks down at the empty glass in her hand, a small drop of water dripping to the carpeted floor. He follows the path of the drip and in doing so, looks down far enough to see his arms tied to a chair. At least that explains the lack of movement - not exactly comforting though.

"Oh bloody hell," he grumbles.

He looks to the side. Giles' kitchen, complete with the ex-watcher, who's leaning against the fridge with a heavy volume in his hands. Spike scans the rest of the apartment. Xander is laying down on the couch, he can tell by the brightly coloured trouser legs poking out at the end and the distinct smell of fruit roll ups. The witch isn't here or Anya. Spike tries to think back to exactly what day this could be, but Buffy's voice cuts straight across his line of thinking.

"What the hell was that about anyway?" Buffy asks, folding her arms over her chest. "You just passed out on us."

"He's probably just trying to avoid answering our questions," Xander grumbles from the couch, popping his head over the top to glare at the vampire. "I vote we beat it out of him."

"Oh this has got to be some sort of bloody nightmare," Spike sighs with exasperation. "Somebody pinch me."

"This isn't exactly a picnic for us either," Buffy retorts, assuming he's talking about being stuck in Giles's living room.

"Can't we just stake him," Xander says. "There must be other ways to find out about these commando guys."

"Of all the sodding times to be sent back to," Spike growls.

Buffy raises an eyebrow at the vampire, "Excuse me?"

Spike purses his lips, considering his options on how to play this situation out. He very almost has a plan forming, but Buffy distracts him. She's much younger here, not just in appearance, but in spirit too. Life hasn't made its mark on her yet. She stands before him, her bright blonde hair in soft bouncy curls that fall to her shoulders. She's wearing a summer dress. He hasn't seen her in one of those for a while. It was all about practicality in those last few months. Couldn't kill an army of uber vamps in a dainty little pink dress. He smiles for a moment, soaking in the vision of her, but then it occurs to him how terribly dangerous this is. Time travel was a fragile thing and he didn't want to screw it up. He needed to try and contact Angel, future Angel, and get back to his own time before he did any damage.

"You need to untie me," Spike says, straining against the ropes holding him in place.

"How about I don't do that," the slayer replies slowly, watching the vampire struggle in the chair.

The chair creaks from his efforts and Spike can feel the fibers in the rope begin to loosen. Buffy's eyes widen, realizing that he could escape at any moment. He notices the panic on her face, knowing she'll knock him unconscious before he gets to the door. He stills just in time, her fist pulled back and ready to connect with his nose. Oh, his poor nose. He hadn't missed those days. He wiggles it subconsciously.

"Buffy luv, you've got to listen to me," he says carefully.

She pauses briefly, taken aback by Spike using her actual name, but quickly covers her surprise with a quip. "Oh yeah, you got more vague, unhelpful stories to tell about commando central?"

"Oh sod it," he huffs, knowing hiding things will get him nowhere. "I'm not the same Spike."

She drops her fist and rolls her eyes again, "What, being tied to this chair for a few days made you realize the errors of your ways and turned you into a new man? Cut the crap Spike."

"I'm from the future."

Buffy blinks once, before breaking out into hysterical laughter.

So much for not causing any damage.