Shadows Become Thee

Chasing the Sun

The blond vampire found himself going to Los Angeles. That was as far away as he got from Sunnydale before running out of gas. He was currently drinking in a demon bar near to where his stolen motorcycle was parked. He threw back another shot and tried to stop the nagging feeling that he was forgetting something. "Hey good lookin'," Another patron eyed him up, he ignored her. "You look familiar."

He finally turned to the slag to give her a piece of his mind when he realized he didn't even care to do that. He smiled at her and said, "Know what, love? I've got a boat to catch and I don't fancy talking to old enemies." He paid his tab and walked out. In a matter of days he would be on the other side of the world from here.

"That was William the Bloody, you asinine girl. Of course he looked familiar." A pregnant blond said.

"And who are you, human?"

The blond smiled eerily, "My name is Darla."

"Tara, Amy's missing and her cage is smashed." Willow shouted, dragging Tara into their room. Dawn soon came rushing in to see what the shouting was all about.

"Nothing else is taken or broken. Well, except one of my focusing crystals. Huh," Tara said as she looked in their closet. "And my green dress."

Willow looked at Tara, worried. "You don't think she was turned too?"

Dawn laughed, "Oh come on, Vampire Rat? Like that would ever happen."

"No but maybe the reversal spell reverted all changes." Tara said, "One thing's for certain, I'm getting my clothes back from that thief if she's human again."

Buffy came into the room toweling her hair dry and said, "I'll take you to her house. Think her dad still lives in the same place."

Dawn whispered once Buffy had left to get ready to go, "How does she do that?" The other two just shrugged.

"Yeah, she showed up just yesterday, been in her room asleep for most of the time. She's also been avoiding my cheese enchiladas. They were her favorite. Do you have any idea where she's been? She won't say." Amy's dad sounded worried so Buffy decided to lie to him.

"We had no idea she was missing but she had been crashing at my house last week and left with some of Tara's stuff. Tara was hoping to get it back." He let them into his house and Buffy knocked on Amy's door. "Hey."

Amy looked skittishly from Buffy to Tara. "What are you doing here?"

Buffy sighed and held out her hand, "The stuff you took from my house, I want them back." Amy backed up and after rummaging in her drawers came up with a plain green dress and a crystal. Buffy took them with a smile and gave them to Tara. She began to leave before Amy spoke again.

"Is that it? Not going to explain how I ended up in your house naked, missing years off my life?" Amy sounded shrill.

Buffy turned back and coldly said, "Your own damn fault. If you hadn't been so quick to cast spells willy nilly you wouldn't have gotten stuck like that. Willow has been trying to turn you back all that time, as well as taking care of your rat self. You should be glad she didn't just let you get eaten by the first stray cat that came along. Come on Tara; let's let Amy get settled back into human life." With that Buffy left after thanking Amy's father for his hospitality.

Beaten and bloody, singe marks on various parts of his body, Spike stared defiantly in the face of the ugly yellow eyed demon and said, "Give me what I came here for." He heard a disembodied laugh coming from behind the demon before his chest exploded in pain and the fire of something flashed in his eyes. He screamed a slow, agony filled scream. He grinded his teeth together before succumbing to memory, the memory of all the horrible things he had done for fun.

Drucilla danced in front of him, her eyes alight with the glee of being truly evil. She shimmied forward, caressing his dirt covered shirt as if it was made of the finest silk. He had begun calling himself Spike and taken to wearing peasant's garb. She purred into his ears, "Let's have them all, William." He turned to look into their little faces; they were orphans of the state. No one would miss them.

"Alright, come on you lot. You heard the lady." He let out a roar and laughed as their eyes widened dramatically when seeing his true face. Drucilla smiled encouragingly and said in a stage whisper, "This is who you are, William. My darling Knight."

Not one of them was left alive.

He found himself back in Los Angeles some days later. He didn't feel particularly well at all still and stumbled into Angel's hotel in a state of dreaming wake. Thankfully Angel was there at the time; otherwise one of his junior members probably would have killed him instantly. "This is a bad time, Spike. Tell me now why I shouldn't just let Gunn finish you off." Angel very nearly growled.

He laughed, perhaps a little less than sanely and said in a singsong voice, "Because you wouldn't kill someone with a soul." His hand reached up to clutch his shirt near his dead heart. "It's a bit bruised; actually, all of me is in pain."

Angel called off the dogs and sent Cordelia to get some blood. Spike smiled when she finally brought it back, "Still alive, Cordelia. Good to see you've grown from it."

Cordy gave Angel a look that clearly spoke of her confusion. Angel shook his head and began speaking to him again. "What'd you do, Spike?"

He grinned and said, "I won my soul from a demon sorcerer."

"Did- No, Do you ever think, you idiot? Why would a demon give you a soul? I don't like this, Spike. Maybe I can get Wesley to look up this... Whatever this is." Angel meant to turn away but said one more thing, "You know you are a thorn in my side."

Spike only laughed and finished his lukewarm cup of blood in one gulp. A thin brunette girl kept giving him furtive glances. "And who are you?"

"M-me?" She smiled, it was cute. "I'm Fred. Winifred Burkle."

Gunn glared at him and he smirked, "That your girl or something, mate?" Gunn actually growled a little, imperceptible to the rest of the people in the room. "I'll take that as a yes."

"Charles," Fred said and pulled Gunn's attention away from him. Spike smirked even though, in the past, he would have goaded the man into a fist fight. Of course, in the past, he'd been a bloody idiot about almost everything.

He noticed Cordy was looking at him speculatively. He wondered what that was all about. If memory served she preferred the classy type of guy. "What's the matter, cheerleader?"

Cordelia scoffed and said, "I thought you'd be more like-"

"Angel?" This time it was Spike's turn to scoff. "Don't get me wrong. I'm not happy with what I've done with no regret. In fact, I'm pretty much disgusted with myself. But, I'm not about to wallow in it."

She smiled softly, "Why, there just might be hope for you yet. I know it can't be easy, but I'm glad you aren't going to do something stupid. You won't right?"

"Besides rest up here with you lot? No, I'm feeling much more level headed now. You should have seen me yesterday though. I almost threw myself into the sun." He rolled his eyes and caught sight of a blond he hadn't seen in a very long while in the doorway. "Darla."

She was glowing the way pregnant women do, the setting sun casting a golden halo behind her. She smiled softly, "Wiliam."

He rushed up, still a bit stiff himself with his injuries, and helped her settle on one of the circular couches in Angel's hotel. He looked her up and down, his eyes wide with shock. The others were most likely the same. "Cordy, get Angel, quickly." He said just loud enough to get her to move. Then he began to talk in a softer tone to his grandsire. "How did you... I mean, if you don't mind me asking that is, how are you pregnant?"

She seemed softer somehow, more like a human now. She even smiled like she meant it. "It's been so long William. We aren't the same are we? I think it's safe to say you have a soul now, like Angel. He's the one who made me this way. We made life together. I certainly don't understand the why or how but what is done is done."

He took her hand for a moment. "Darla, this is unbelievable. I mean, I understand the part about Angel... He would be the kind to knock someone up and then leave them," Darla got a bit tight lipped when he said that.

"Actually, he kicked me out. Violently." She looked stung about it still. "No, you're right though. This is unbelievably unlucky on my part. I was enjoying being a vampire again. Murdering shopkeepers and sleazy lawyers. Then I have angry sex with Angel and now I'm as big as a house." She sighed with unrestrained despair. This clearly wasn't the happiest pregnancy.

He wasn't sure what he was supposed to do in this situation, so he did what came naturally to him. He made a joke, "Want me to kill the blighter for ya?"

She leveled him a glare, she'd always been protective of Angel, even after he'd gotten a soul. "No thank you," She said primly, "But I'm starving. Do you have anything to eat here?"

"We got Charlie-boy here." At her suddenly white face he amended, "Or maybe Fred can fetch you something less... fresh."

Fred looked a bit lost about what exactly the vampiress could want to eat. "There's sandwich fixings in the fridge and possibly left over take-out... I'll just stop yammering and get something for you."

Spike bent down and began rubbing Darla's feet. He'd always had a thing for feet. She sighed appreciatively and gave him a pat on the head as reward. Gunn went elsewhere, probably wary of the vampire to human ratio. "So, how is it treating you? I noticed a difference in you too Darla. You share the child's soul and, I guess, it's eating preferences now."

She lolled her blonde head back on the sofa. "It's too human. I feel as if I'm caught in two worlds. And belong to neither. I suppose that's what my Angel has felt for these last few years."

A deep male voice chuckled, "A century is more than a few years, Darla." Angel had finally come back with Wesley and Cordy in tow. Wesley was frowning at Spike cradling Darla's feet. Cordy looked mildly amused at the scene. Angel, he knew, would understand that he couldn't help himself. He vacated his spot on the floor and took up a position leaning against the stair post. He settled into his usual fa├žade of smug indifference, complete with bored expression.

"It's nearly a family reunion. Speaking of which, when's the last you heard from Dru?" Spike said. Angel looked pained, as he usually did whenever Spike said anything.

Wesley spoke, "I don't think we quite have the time for your inane chatter, Spike. Why don't you just leave?" Everyone else seemed to agree with that as they didn't speak up for him and only smiled guiltily or not so guiltily in the case of a few. Spike didn't have to take that from this bunch of misfits, but he doubted Buffy and her gang needed him barging back in like nothing had changed. Everything had, and yet not enough to make a difference where it mattered most.

He pulled himself up from his uncaring slouch and went to the desk, swiping a key. "I'll just take a kip then while you lot talk things over." To death, he thought privately. No one paid him much mind as he left as they'd already begun arguing vehemently for this or that solution. It's a wonder any of the good guys actually win, must have a higher power on their side.

He stumbled into the right room in a matter of minutes. It was small and decorated in the same manner as the rest of the old hotel. He noticed a television complete with bunny ears on a rolling cart next to a dusty bed. "This'll do. It's not much worse than my crypt." He said as he fell into the bed and promptly shut his eyes for a good, long lie in.