William Restored

Summary: Spike recalls a time when Angel and he connected.

Timeline: After Not Fade Away

Other men said they have seen angels,
But I have seen thee
And thou art enough.
by G. Moore

It had started off simply enough, there had been fighting and drinking involved of course. He knew that he would blame it on the booze and the bloodlust from their battle with the Ka'trow Demons. It wasn't. Not for him at least. They had been growing closer for sometime now, ever since the night Andrew took Dana really. That was when they first found it. The connection. It had been a slow progression from there though traces of their old relationship still lingered like a bad taste in their months. They still argued about the stupidest things and got into fist fights with each other though the intensity had seemed to change somewhat. The air crackled whenever they were in a room together. Their banter became more playful than hurtful and Angel would seek Spike out to discuss matters with him more often.

Spike in turn could not help but begin to open up more towards Angel. He even began the tale that he never even told to Buffy about his trip to Africa to win his soul. Angel had been a captive audience hanging on his every word. It gave Spike courage to venture further on into his story feeling a strange sense of acceptance that he never knew before. Was that pride in Angel eyes or was he just imagining it?

The story was never completed as luck would have it. Another battle came up and it was never brought up again. Connor was though. The thought of Angel having a son with Darla was mind blowing. Spike couldn't help but feel some bitterness over all the rewards his rival was given freely while he had to fight for everything he earned. The feeling didn't last long after the boy paid a visit though. He was a good kid, with a better taste of music than his dad and a decent sparring partner. It was a rare day indeed because Angel didn't brood he had smiled fondly and actually laughed instead.

After the battle with the Ka'trow demons took place they had gone back to the hotel. Slightly drunk they had giggled and pushed each other as they raided the storage room. Angel had taken out his old sketch books to show his work and proceeded to tease the other vampire about his lack of drawing skills. In mock irritation Spike had taken his sweet time to draw a portrait that he dubbed, "the great poof."

His eyes lingered on Angel has he pretended to take great concentration on his task, making snide remarks about needing more paper to do the other vampires' forehead justice. The larger vampire in return remarked that he doubted there was any way he could bring out the radioactive hair as he didn't have any neon paints. Inspiration suddenly struck and Spike changed course with his sketch.

His smirks finally unnerved Angel enough for him to demand that he see the drawing for himself. Satisfied with his work Spike flipped the drawing over stunning Angel. Although he wasn't nearly as talented an artist as Angel was there had been no mistaking the intention. The puppet version of Angel frowned thunderously across the page. His short arms crossed tightly, forehead sticking out with little fangs appearing above the figures' pout. Above in quotation marks was the new title, "Angel the wee puppet man."

Angel pouted asking if the puppet him really looked so plump. The younger vampire nodded claiming that it reflected a very cute mini version of him opposite to the non-cute version in front of him. Spike was still laughing over Angels' huffy "I am cute" when the other man had said it was his turn to draw.

Suddenly nervous for reasons unclear even to himself Spike obeyed the command to lie back on the old sofa in the corner of the room. The teasing began in earnest again making Spike relax a fraction. Not entirely though, something was still churning in the pit of his stomach. He felt so exposed in front of those clever eyes. What did Angel see when he looked at him? Part of him was afraid to know, another yearned to hear it. It was William he supposed, always wanting his "Yoda" to notice him. To accept him. That had to be it, right?

Lost in his own thoughts he had almost missed the way the banter had come to an abrupt halt. Dark brown eyes ran over his body lingering at his face. In a voice that startled him Angel told Spike to look up at him. Had Angels' voice really been such a husky demanding one or was it his imagination again?

The churning had increased and an unnerving sensation ran down his spine. The dark eyes were relentless, searching for something with such intensity that he seemed to be channeling Angelus. For a fleeting moment he was sure that very thing had happened. There was something predator like in his body language to be certain.

When Angel stood up a still transfixed Spike jerked back in surprise. The movements in the older vampire were still predatory his focus never leaving Spikes' face. Something brushed against his right hand causing the blond glance down to see the picture being thrust into it. Feeling a growing sense of trepidation he lifted it with a shaking hand. Before Angel had started acting weird Spike had expected to receive a mock drawing like the one he had made. This had not occurred to him at all.

On the sheet of paper his face stared up at him. Hair no longer slicked back curls framed his countenance making it appear softer. His mouth was pulled into a small smile while appearing sincere looked like it was fading. The eyes were indecisive and almost innocent. It made him feel naked to be so exposed, his mask lifted and all his uncertainties to be laid bare before them.

In bold print at the bottom right hand side the title of the piece popped out at him more than any neon paints could. "William Restored." Spike didn't know how to react it, whether to punch Angel for throwing this in his face or to flee in embarrassment. Something painfully tightened in his chest and he knew why. Words from a lifetime ago came back with a vengeance.

"All I ask is that…you try to see me…"

For so long he had tried to get the people he cared for to notice who he really was inside. Cecily, Buffy, yet no one ever seemed to see him. Or if they did it was only to cut him down. Or it was all too fleeting, like with Buffy at the end of the days in Sunnydale and then Fred.

"I do see you. That's the problem. You're nothing to me, William. You're beneath me."

Angel saw it now and Spike had no idea how to feel about that. It touched his soul in a way few things had. To have one of his longings fulfilled--to be seen. Experience told him though that it wouldn't be long now until the derision came. He awaited it feeling the tension would kill him when a large hand gently gripped his shoulder. Never one to stall a conflict when it was inevitable the blonde bravely glance up at Angel.

For once words were not needed between them. Yet Spike had a burning desire for them at that moment. The poet in him desperately wanted a way to express what it was he was feeling but he came up empty. He already knew then that he would struggle with them at a later date with pen and paper in hand in some poor attempt to recapture it.

When Angels' fingers traced his jaw Spikes' skin tingled when their lips met "at last" was the only thought that accompanied it. It was sweet and slow unlike anything he had experienced before. All of his other lovers tended to enjoy things hard and fast so Spike had complied. Never before had anyone treated him so tenderly, it almost made him feel like he was someone special. It might not have meant much to Angel since he had nights like this before. With Buffy and maybe even Nina, so he had to have grown to enjoy making love slowly. Not that Spike ever fooled himself into believing that was what they did. Still he imagined that really making love would be similar.

There were soft kisses, long caresses and such confusing emotions. It felt like something new was emerging from within him. For all Spike knew it had to do with the soul, it was still new maybe he was still breaking it in. Though the rush and the crunch had been making him feel alive for most of his unlife this new sensation made him feel alive in a different way. As if William was finally secure enough to make an appearance. He knew that he could never go back now. No matter how many masks he wore Angel would now know that he had finally seen through them. It was almost relieving in a way. No more games and hiding away the pain. But could he really be that honest with Angel?

Spike was lightly dozing when the body he was next to (he refused to call it cuddling) rolled away from him. He caught Angel wincing at being caught before the other man told him to go back to sleep. Still a bit brain addled from sleep Spike frowned wondering why he was naked with an equally nude Angel. Then he remembered their night together and something violently lurched inside him.

"Does it have to mean something?"

There stood Angel just as evasive as Buffy had been, not meeting his gaze. No the brunettes' eyes kept franticly going to the door of Spikes' room. Stuttered excuses followed while Angel practically scrabbled for his clothes. Hurt and fury were twisting wildly within Spike wanting desperately to be voiced. Acidy words ran around in his head hurtful damning words and images for physical damage to be inflicted. When he did at long last open his mouth to speak Angels' eyes flicked to him.

There was the powers that be champion with his pants halfway zipped up clutching his shirt like a scared virgin looking for all the world like he wanted to be anywhere but there. Anywhere but with Spike.

"Just go."

There was no hint of emotion in his voice just tiredness, though Spike just felt resigned. Unable to face the other man he turned away and waited for him to leave. There was hesitation, the start of another excuse and a slamming of a door. Afterwards neither of them spoke of what happened nor did Angel ever go back to him for advice. The arguing became more frequent and violent. The only evidence of what had occurred between them was either washed away or locked up in the attic with the other old memories.