Heartbeats

Spike felt the pain as he slowly came back to consciousness. His entire body was hurting, and he felt the taste of his own blood. He opened one eye, then the other. He was in the alley behind the Hyperion and the sun was shining down on him.

"Bloody hell!" He jumped into a shady part of the alley before realising that he must have been in the sun for quite some time. He looked himself over. No visual burns, only cuts and other injuries from the battle.

"What the..." That was when he noticed the thumping. It was inside him and surrounding him at the same time. It took a while before he realised what it was. He hadn't herd the sound in over a century. His own heart.

Spike slumped down against the wall of the Hyperion and looked around him, trying to figure out what was happening. The battle started to come back to him, and he winced at the memories. Gunn had only lasted about ten minutes, just like Illyria had said. But he had taken a lot of the enemies with him. Illyria had followed him a while later, he wasn't sure how long. He remembered her body had turned back to Fred after she died. The last thing he remembered was Angel turning to dust as the fire of the already-dead dragon hit him. After that, it went black.

Spike got up and started wading through the demon bodies that were filling the alley. He found Illyria first, and carried her body into the lobby of the hotel before going back out. After another ten minutes or so, he put Gunn down next to Illyria. He knew that the only thing left of Angel would be dust, and decided it was time to leave this place that reeked of death and decay.

xxxxx

As the sun set, Spike was standing outside Lorne's apartment, knocking on the door. He had walked around LA the whole day, trying to figure out what had happened and, more importantly, what he was going to do. He remembered the Shanshu, that was supposed to restore humanity to a vampire with a soul. It had meant him after all, and not Angel, like everyone had thought.

He was starting to get used to the sound of his own heartbeat, and had managed to get a glimpse of himself in a mirror. After that, he had gone to the Hyperion where he had gotten himself cleaned up. He had called the police and told them where they could find the bodies of his two friends before he left the hotel again to enjoy the feeling of sunlight on his skin.

Spike pushed the thoughts of the dead aside as the door in front of him opened to reveal Lorne. A look of surprise and relief was on the green demon's face.

"Spike, oh my God, what happened? Where's Angel, and the others?"

Spike pulled out of the tight embrace and Lorne stepped aside to let him in.

"Oh, sorry, I invite you in." Lorne made a gesture to let him pass.

"So?" Lorne walked ahead of Spike into the living room and sat down on the couch. Spike followed his example.

"They didn't make it." He could see the impact his statement had on Lorne.

"They... but... you're the only one left?" Spike nodded.

"There were thousands, maybe ten thousands of them. And I'm not talking tiny demons, I'm talking twenty foot dragons and the like. Don't even know how I survived. One moment, I'm watching Angel catching fire from the dragon and get dusted, the next I'm lying in the alley, and I've got this heartbeat thing going."

"You have a heartbeat? You mean... you're alive, as in human?" Lorne looked shocked.

"Seems like. Haven't had a chance to look into it, but got the heartbeat, the not-burning-up-in-sunlight, the reflection, oxygen being an issue..."

"So... what are you going to do now?" Lorne asked.

"I was hoping you could help me." Spike gave his green friend a smile. "Need to see a certain girl."