Title: Home

Pairing: Angel/Spike (sorta), Buffy/Angel(sorta)
Rating: PG
Summary: Angel finds Spike after Buffy leaves him in the alley (Dead Things) and is not happy. (no Buffy bashing)

Angel couldn't stay at the Hyperion any longer. He really didn't want to leave his son alone, but the image of Cordelia all over Groo was just too much. He didn't blame her for choosing Groo over him. Not really. Hell, he would have chosen him too, but it still hurt.

He needed to kill something.

No one asked questions when he said he'd go patrolling. It's what he did and what they expected him to do. Be the champion. He enjoyed it most of the time but there where moments that he wished things could like before the soul. No guilt, no loneliness. It was a simpler, easier existence.

He was so lost in his thoughts about the past that he barely registered he never stopped his car at the graveyard, that he kept on driving and that he was heading to Sunnydale.

Sunnydale. The place where his insolent, annoying, rude, brilliant childe lived.

He wasn't planning on visiting him of course. The connection between them was still there but it was severed. So, he just drove around the city, listening to Barry Manilow and brooding until he passed by the police station and was hit by the scent of Spike's blood.

He found him in the alley curled and shaking, his fresh wounds bleeding on the pavement and Angel's mind snapped. He couldn't lose him too. Not after losing Darla.

Angel picked him up gently and put him in car. Spike was semi unconscious, and was mumbling about Buffy. He could smell his ex on the younger vampire but didn't know what to make out of it and it didn't matter for the time being. He had to take Spike back to the crypt and take care of his wounds first.

The task took him longer than he expected. The blond was beaten really badly and wasn't well fed. It would take him a while to heal. Angel knew all too well how pig blood just wasn't the same.

When Spike finally fell asleep and Angel was satisfied with his state he decided it was about time to make that visit to his ex lover and find out what had happened to his childe.

"Angel?! What are you doing here? Is everything ok? You're not Angelus again are you?"

"Buffy relax. It's me, Angel. No apocalypse, no big emergency. Can I come in?"

"Oh, so you're just visiting? You don't just visit. What's going on Angel? The truth"

Angel sighed. This was harder than he expected. Why did he insist on making his life miserable? Atonement was a real bitch.

"Can we not do this out here? Can I come in?"

He waited patiently as Buffy examined him and then shrugged and walked back in the house indicating that he should follow her.

He found her in the living room, sitting on the coffee table and staring straight ahead, to nothing in particular. She had been crying before his arrival. Her eyes where still red and Angel could smell the salty tears even if she wasn't crying anymore.

"Why did you come?"

"I didn't come for you"

Angel regretted his words when he saw her hurt expression, but it was the truth and he didn't want to go through all the drama that came with the two of them. He sat in front of her on the sofa and took her hands in his.

"Listen. I don't know why I came. Things happened and I was…. I just got in the car and drove. I didn't plan to come here"

"Then why did you?"

"Spike"

"Spike?"

"I found him hurt in an alley. He was too weak to move, he'd probably turn to dust if I hadn't taken him back to his crypt"

Buffy looked at him with guilt in her eyes and Angel knew she was the one who had done this to his boy. His boy? When did Spike become his boy again?

"Why?" was all he asked.

She shook her head and tried to get up but Angel stopped her.

"Why?"

"Why do you care Angel? He's just a thing. He has no soul. He doesn't feel anything."

Angel let go of her hands as if her words had electrocuted him.

"Buffy, all Spike does is feel. I've never met a creature in my life that feels so strong. He may not have a soul but he can feel. I've tried to beat human emotions out of him when he was still a fledging but I never succeed."

Buffy covered her face and started weeping silently. Angel kneeled in front of her and caressed her hair.

"Look, I know you're hurting. I know how it feels to be forced back into life. A life that doesn't even belong to you. I know, but Buffy, you can't take it out on Spike because he's convenient, because he lets you."

Buffy cried harder but Angel didn't stop talking. She needed saving. From herself, from what she was becoming.

"Don't you see the kind of person Spike is Buffy? When he loves he gives everything he has and doesn't care what happens to him in the process."

"I thought you hated him" came her muffled reply and Angel wanted to shake her and make her grow up.

"I do hate him, because he reminds me of my sins, because he's one of my sins. Drusilla may have sired him but I made the killer. Everything he's done, everyone he's killed is on me, but all the good he's done these past few years is not because of the chip in his head, it's because of his love. Don't ever say that he doesn't feel."

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm so sorry."

His words broke her down. She held him tight and cried in his arms and he held her back and comforted her even though all he wanted was to go back to Spike and hold him instead.

"I love him'

He didn't know why he said that, to Buffy of all people, but he needed to say it out loud, and he needed her to know.

"What?"

"I hate him and I love him. He's family; he's a part of me. I haven't admitted that to anyone but there was always and there will always be a connection between us."

"Angel-

"You don't have to say anything. And I don't want to explain. Just know that every time you hurt him you hurt me too."

"I have to go" he finally said and kissed her softly on the lips.

Angel should have gotten in the car and driven back to LA but he guessed his team could do without him for a day. Spike needed him more.

He climbed into Spike's bed and took his boy, yes "his" boy, into his arms and rocked him slowly. When he felt the younger vampire relax in his embrace he bit his wrist and let his blood trickle into his childe mouth. For the first time in a while Angel felt less alone.

This was home. And he missed it.