Soulworld Special: Spike - Blood & Whiskey
by Philip S.

SUMMARY: Set during the original Soulworld story. Spike is drunk and relives the most traumatic week of his life.
SPOILERS: None, since this is an AU fic. You should have read the original Soulworld story, otherwise you might not understand a whole lot.
RATING: PG-13
DISCLAIMER: The characters of Spike, Angel, Drusilla and others portrayed in this story belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No copyright infringement is intended. The concept of Soulworld is mine.

#

(sets in at the beginning of Soulworld p12 - At Night All Slayers Are Gray)

#

"I'm really getting tired of this, Peaches!" Spike yelled at his Sire. "I've had it up to here with your save-all-innocent-souls attitude. This chick is a murderer and we should deal with her. Right here! Right now! Rip her head off and be done with it."

Angel could hear the alcohol in his childe's voice, as well as the pain and anger he still felt, even after twenty years. Angel grabbed the blonde Vampire by the shoulders.

"This girl down there was tricked, Spike! They told her Vampires were evil and so she killed them. She didn't know any better! It's not her fault!"

Spike pushed him away, vamping out. The only thing he knew was that there was a Slayer in this house. A Slayer that Angel thought he could turn around, but Spike didn't believe it. Slayers were murderers. Slayers were killers.

"I don't care what she knew and didn't know." He screamed. "She killed them. Killed our people." His rage spent, Spike dropped to his knees, crying bloody tears. "Killed Dru."

Angel knelt down and hugged Spike close.

"It wasn't her, Spike. This girl down there wasn't even born then. It's not her fault. And neither was it yours."

Spike barely heard him. The only thing he could think of was the night his life had shattered.

#

New York, 1976
Bicentennial Celebration

Something was wrong.

Spike knew that something was wrong as soon as he had set foot in the city. He should have been glad to be back here. The city was still buzzing with celebration, even though the 4th of July had come and gone, everyone was partying and Spike had been looking forward to a great time.

No longer. Something was wrong.

Dru and he had arrived in town a week ago and joined the celebrations. They were having the time of their lives, just partying the night away without a care in the world. Not since Woodstock had Spike enjoyed himself this much and Dru had almost glowed with happiness.

Dru. The thought of her always made his knees weak. Over eighty years now and he still loved her as much as on day one. No, he corrected himself, more than that. In the beginning he had been but a demon, a shell of a man, that had loved another demon, or thought he loved her. Since the Restoration, though, he was certain. He, the man, loved this woman, not her demon.

The Restoration had been hard for all of them, especially for Dru. Angelus, the demon that had worn Angel's face, had shattered her sanity before he turned her. It took them years to recover even a portion of Dru's mind, but they had succeeded. And while Drusilla still made the odd comment now and then and sometimes talked to people no one but her saw, Spike didn't care about that.

Without thinking about it he started running. The demon inside him was screaming at him to run faster and for once Spike agreed with him. Dru had decided to stay in the city while Spike made the quick hop over to New Jersey to meet his old friend Lenny. Spike reached the apartment they had rented and skidded to a stop outside the door.

The door was broken.

For a long minute Spike was frozen. That didn't mean anything, he thought. Maybe Dru had gotten impatient with the locks and just kicked it open. She did such things now and then, he reminded himself. This meant nothing.

Slowly he managed to open the door.

Inside the apartment looked like a hurricane had gone through it. Spike had no eyes for the smashed furniture or broken windows.

He only saw the dust on the floor.

#

"I should have been there." Spike sobbed. "I should have stayed with her. Saved her."

Angel knew no words that would help his childe, so he just held him and let him cry for the woman he still loved more than anything else.

#

New York, 1976
Two days later

Angel walked into the dimly lit bar and looked around, already sure that he would find his prey here. He felt the presence of his childe like a buzz in the back of his head. Moments later he found a shape sitting at the bar, bleached hair shimmering in the low light.

He slid onto the stool next to Spike and looked at the long row of empty glasses and bottles in front of him.

"I felt her die." Spike said without looking up, his speech slurred by alcohol. "I knew before I got there."

Angel nodded. "I felt it, too. Came here as fast as I could."

Spike took one of the empty bottles and threw it behind him, enjoying the sound of the breaking glass. The barkeeper came over with an angry look on his face, but Angel quickly produced several bills from inside his coat and handed them over.

He took Spike's hand in his and squeezed it.

"I know how much you loved her, Will." He said softly.

"She was naming stars." Spike said, his voice barely audible. "When I left her. She just looked at the ceiling and said she was naming stars. One of her bloody lunatic phases again, I guess. Didn't care."

He downed another drink and threw the glass away. Angel put another bill on the counter.

"I would have brought her all the stars." Spike said, a bloody tear trailing down his cheek. "She'd just have to ask and I would've brought them down for her."

Angel said nothing, just put his arm around Spike's shoulders and ordered a drink for himself. Spike continued to mumble about odd things Drusilla had said or done and Angel nodded, smiling sometimes, remembering the beautiful girl that his demon had turned into a mad monster. The beautiful girl that had reappeared after the Restoration.

For that alone it had been worth it.

"Spike!" Angel said after they had sat together for close to an hour.

His childe looked up at him, blue eyes clouded by grief and whiskey.

"We know who killed her."

Spike's eyes instantly cleared and he sat up straighter, knocking another bottle down in the process. He had some trouble keeping his balance on the stool, but there was no mistaking the cold determination suddenly shining out of his face.

"Who?" He asked, not sounding drunk anymore.

"A Slayer." Angel said. "Called here in town a few months ago. She did a number on the local gangs. We have narrowed it down to a girl called Nina. Lives in Harlem. We have the address."

"Give it to me!" Spike said, standing.

Angel sighed. He had feared something like this might happen.

"Spike, you are not in any condition to go after a Slayer on your own. Darla and Luke are on their way here. We'll do this together."

"No!" Spike said, his voice cold as ice. "Give me the address!"

"She was our family, too, Spike." Angel said, standing as well.

"But she wasn't the light of your existence." Spike said, another bloody tear trailing down his cheek. "She wasn't your princess. Your goddess. Your only reason to go on. She was for me. Now give me the bloody address!" He screamed the last words.

Angel looked at his childe for a long time, then produced a piece of paper from the pocket of his coat and put it into Spike's waiting hand.

"You sure about this?" Angel asked as Spike turned to leave.

"I'll be back soon." Spike simply said.

Angel shook his head, putting some more bills on the counter to pay for Spike's drinks.

"Just be careful, my friend!"

#

Spike needed two days and it ended in a subway train. One station earlier all the passengers had gotten off in a hurry when a man with bleached hair and punk clothing had started tearing into a black girl wearing a leather coat. The two of them had brawled all over the train as it sped toward the next station, where the police was already waiting for it.

Spike didn't care about the police.

In the end he caught her. He had chased her all over Manhattan, a relentless chase without break, and the Slayer had gotten worn down. Spike pinned her to the ground, his hands around her neck, and the fear he saw in her young eyes was a beautiful sight to him.

"Not nearly enough for what you did." He whispered at her. "Not nearly enough."

Her neck broke with a loud crack.

Spike didn't linger. He pulled the emergency break and brought the train to a hold in the middle of the tunnels. Before he left he took the Slayer's leather coat.

#

"I know how much you still miss her." Angel said. "But killing this girl will no more bring her back than killing the other Slayer did."

Spike was too tired to argue.

"William!" Angel said. "All of us here did horrible things in our past. Don't you think it's time we did something else than kill for a change?"

Angel put his arm around Spike as they walked through the Hyperion, slowly making their way toward the gym area.

"Give her a chance, Will! That's all I ask. A second chance. The same thing we all got."

Spike couldn't stop thinking about Drusilla. The beautiful way she had smiled. The love sparkling in her eyes whenever they looked at each other. He would have brought down the stars for her, he really would have.

In the end, though, all that was left was the blood he had spilled on her behalf and the whiskey he had drowned his sorrows in. Blood and whiskey.

Would she have wanted it that way?

"A second chance?" Spike asked Angel.

Angel nodded.

"I ... I guess ..." He looked up Angel. "I will try."

"That's all I'm asking." Angel hugged Spike close. After a minute he added: "Oh, and one other thing."

"What?"

Spike had half a second to realize that Angel had led them into the Hyperion's swimming hall before Angel gave him a shove. Spike loosened a string of curses and splashed into the cold water, going completely under for a few seconds.

"Get sober!" Angel yelled at him when he broke the surface, grinning. "I'm getting tired of paying your whiskey bills."


THE END