(A/N: This is my first attempt at Spangel, so please tell me how I did. Also, spoilers for ep "Just Rewards" (Season 5, I think) Enjoy!)

Angel slipped into his bed, pulling the sheets over tired muscles. The shower he had taken, while relaxing, had not helped him come to a conclusion about what to do about Spike's…condition. It was, to put it mildly, a complete paradox. On the one hand, he knew that it would be cruel to keep Spike in a state of being that allowed him no feeling, no real sense of being. To forever be a ghost, a mere spectre of the person he had been.


At the same time, he just couldn't bring himself to simply erase Spike from this plane, ghost or no. He wasn't ready to rid himself of the nuisance he had come to know and, in some strange way, love. He knew he had always felt something for the blonde vampire, until now he just assumed it had been a deep-rooted hate and jealousy.

He had just lowered his eyelids to fall into a somewhat restful sleep when he heard a voice he had known for more years than he cared to count at the moment.

"Well. Look at you."

Angel groaned, "Oh no…no, no!"

"Sitting in luxury's ample lap. Top of the world. Looking down on, well everyone. Good to be king, isn't it?" Spike continued. The moonlight streaming in from the open window lit up the blonde, giving him an angelic appearance. It caught silvery highlights and patches of light from the leather, creating a ghostly glow, as it were. Angel sat up in his bed, wondering why his harassment was continuing well into the night.

"Haunt me all you want during business hours, but this space, off-limits." Angel groused.

"Relax, beefcake. I didn't come for a fight. Not that I could, right? Can't touch ya, can't affect anything. Yeah, I overheard your little group powwow about me."

Angel, with a guarded expression, asked, "How much?"

"Enough of enough."

"Look, Spike-"

"Necromancer tried to make a deal with me. Said he could bring me back, body and soul. If I used our…close personal relationship to double cross you."

Angel was surprised at this, but immediately crossed his arms and responded suspiciously, "Really? What'd you say?"

"Right there. That's the problem. You havin' to ask me that. I don't play for that side anymore, or haven't you heard?" Spike said exasperatingly. "Besides, even if he did what he promised, I trust him about as much as you trust me."

The brunette was a little unsure of what to say, so he simply asked, "What do you want of me?"

The tall blonde gave an elegant shrug. "I can't live like this Angel. Being useless. Being nothing. I want it to end."

Angel's heartstrings wrenched and knotted as he heard the naked honesty in these quiet words. He wasn't sure how, or why, but he desperately wanted to comfort the tortured vampire.

His voice carried soft and low along the air as he said consolingly, "You're not useless, and you're not nothing. You're something. Something…special." A very faint blush, nearly undetectable in the dim moonlight, spread across the soul-weary vampire's face.

Spike's expression of surprise and astonishment was evident when he whipped around, his back to the cool windowpane.

"Wh-what I mean is, you're real. Real to me, anyway."

Spike was unsure of how to respond to this, so he opted for easing down onto the bed, sitting next to Angel. Spike reached out his pale hand and tried his hardest to feel Angel's hand. Nothing. His face fell slightly, and Angel reached out and laid his hand across where Spike's face would –should- be.

The former William The Bloody was surprised and touched by this show of affection, long forgotten since their days of blood and pain. With a shaking hand, he brought his hand up to 'touch' Angel's, feeling a warmth that wasn't physically there. For the first time since that stupid amulet was unleashed in Angel's office, Spike felt…real. Like he was really there. It was as though Angel had somehow reached past all the thorny defenses and touched his soul.

Spike smiled bittersweetly and whispered in the moonlit room, "Thank you."