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After the Dust Settles

by Wrenn

[Story Headers]

Spike rolled over onto his back with a groan, he could hear a voice calling his name. It sounded like it was coming from a deep well.

'Huh, why in the bloody hell would they be callin me William?' he wondered as he fought his way to consciousness. His eyelids felt like the dragon was sitting on them. Finally he managed to drag his eyes open far enough to see a blurry figure crawling on all fours towards him.

"William, Spike, please be alright, speak to me." Spike recognized Illyria, but there was something wrong, Illyria did not sound right.

"Bluebird" Spike slurred through bruised and battered lips, "Wha s goin on? A gel? Gunn? Who?"

Reaching Spike Illyria collapsed beside him "Angel is unconscious and Gunn is badly wounded."

Spike focused onto the face lying so close to his own, "Fred?" he whispered, not daring to believe what he was seeing.

Fred's eyes were staring at him out of Illyria's face; "is that really you?"

At the others nod Spike rolled over and gathered the woman into his arms, he buried his face into her hair, he whispered, "Thought I lost you pet". Spike allowed himself a few moments to hold the one person who accepted as he was.

"Alright, we have to get moving" with a groan Spike rose to his feet pulling Fred/Illyria with him. They stumbled over to where Gunn and Angel lay, Fred picked up Gunn as if he weighed no more than a child, Spike threw Angel over his shoulders in a fireman's carry.

They carried their comrades in arms back to the Hyperion without words. Spike unceremoniously dumped Angel onto a pile of cushions lying on the floor, before grabbing a bag of blood from the fridge, without bothering to heat it he drained the bag. Grabbing two more Spike walked stiffly back into the lobby where Angel was lying on the floor. Tearing open a corner of one of the bags, he let the blood trickle into Angels mouth, he drained the second bag while he watched Angel swallow the blood.

After both bags were drained of blood, Spike moved over to where Fred was tending to Gunn's wounds.

"How's he doin Pet?" Spike watched as she wrapped bandages over a deep wound in Gunn's abdomen.

Without looking up from what she was doing Fred answered, "We need to get him medical help and soon, otherwise he won't make it."

Spike ran his hand up and down Fred's back, needing the physical contact as he thought. He turned Fred to face him, running his eyes up and down her body Spike catalogued all the wounds and bruises he could see. She was a paler blue than before and her eyes were Fred's expressive coffee color, other than that, Spike couldn't really see any other changes. "You alright Fred? You don't need a hospital do you?"

Fred shook her head, physically she was fine, mentally and emotionally was another story entirely. Fred knew everything that had happened since Illyria had taken over her body, she remembered as if she had watched a movie.

"You have to take Gunn to the hospital, I'll watch over Angel. I think a few more bags and he will recover." Fred cupped her hand to Spike's cheek, rubbing her thumb on an edge of a bruise, "You look like you could use a few more yourself."

With his trademark cocky grin, Spike replied "You know me Pet, takes a lickin and keeps on fighten." With that Spike picked up Gunn and went out to Angels convertible.

Returning from the hospital at nearly dawn, Spike only wanted a comfortable flat surface for the next millennium or so, "next time there's a chance to save the world, walk away" he said to himself as he mounted the steps. He was surprised to hear Willows voice coming from the lobby as he walked through the front doors.

Without acknowledging any of the people sitting around, Spike strode over to Giles and laid him out with a right hook. "If you know what's good for you mate, you'll be gone when I get up."

Ignoring Willow, Xander, Kendall, Faith and Andrew, he went toward the stairs, Fred's hand grabbing his from where she was hidden in an alcove stopped him. Reading the question in her eyes, Spike wrapped an arm around her shoulders, "Any time Pet, you should know by now you don't even have to ask."

Willows questions stopped as her mouth dropped open in shock at the warmth in Spike's voice, even with Dawn his voice had never been so, so comforting she thought. The Scoobies watched as Spike led the young blue woman up the stairs, at the sound of only one door closing they looked at each other in shock.

"Here, I brought this up for you," Fred held out a mug of blood. With a weary smile, Spike accepted the warm mug and emptied it. Fred grabbed his hand and pulled him to the attached bath, where she had started the shower while he was drinking.

"Get in and wash all the muck off, you'll feel much better" Fred ordered in her no nonsense tone that the fang gang had taken to calling her Mother Fred tone.

Spike wearily undressed, leaving his clothes in a heap on the floor, he stepped into the hot steamy water, letting it wash away the grime and stiffness from his body. Fred opened the bathroom door, her arms loaded with towels that she placed on the basin; she pulled a pair of electric blue boxers from the bottom of the pile and left them beside the towels.

Spike could feel the approaching dawn getting ever closer, he didn't want to fall asleep in the shower, so he got out and dried off. He raised an eyebrow at the boxers, but put them on before leaving the bathroom. Spike crawled into bed beside Fred, understanding her need to not be alone because he felt it too, he wrapped her in his arms and fell asleep to the sound of Fred's snoring.

Spike came partially awake several hours after sunset, rolling over he looked for a clock. "William? Don't leave me." Fred wrapped her arms around his chest and threw her leg over his thighs. "Shh Luv, I'll never leave you, I'm here for you always" Spike soothed her as he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair; they fell back asleep wrapped around each other. Neither noticing the shadow that stood in doorway, the shadow that had just seen what had transpired in the room, the door closed softly without waking the occupants.

The door slamming open woke Spike, in time to field the warm female body that flew across the room. Spike found himself wrapped in a tight hug.

"Your alive, I can't believe you didn't tell me!"

"Hey, Nibblet, what are you doing here?" Spike asked Dawn who had him in a death grip and didn't seem to be inclined to let him go any time soon in the near future.

A moan sounded from the lump under the covers by Spikes right hip, Fred's head appeared out of the covers, mumbling something about it being to early to get up she buried her face into Spike's side.

"Oh my God" Dawn attempted to scramble off the bed, "I am so sorry"

Spike tightened his arms around Dawn; "It's alright Nibblet, its Winifred Burkle, otherwise known as Fred" with a grin at the still mumbling Fred Spike continued the introductions "Ex God King previously known as Illyria. Fred this is Dawn, otherwise known to one and all as Nibblet."

Mumbling something that sounded suspiciously like "Shut Up or I will kill you" still threatening bodily harm Fred tried to burrow under Spike, causing him to jump and laugh, accidentally knocking Dawn to the floor.

"Fred Stop" Spike wiggled trying to get away as she continued, he realized that Fred was actually awake. "Kay Pet, it's war," Spike yelled as he pounced and started to tickle Fred.

Dawn watched in disbelief as her friend, the big bad vampire, started a tickle fight with the blue woman called Fred. Dawn was startled, when Buffy came into the room and yelled.

"What in the hell is going on here?" Buffy stopped dead at the sight of a very disheveled Spike rising from the opposite side of the bed where he and Fred had landed in a tangle of covers.

"Well, I really don't think it's any of your business, Slayer" Spike sneered, "but I'll tell you anyway, Fred and I were having a little fun, which you rudely interrupted."

Andrew walked into the room carrying a tray with breakfast for Fred and a carafe of warm blood for Spike on it. "Good evening all, I heard your wake up all the way down in the kitchen. Miss Burkle, I hope you like French toast and bacon." With a flourish that would have done a maitre d proud, Andrew set the tray down on the table and whipped off the silver cover.

Buffy ignored Andrew and stared at Spike, "I want to know why you hit Giles" she said through gritted teeth, "and I want to know now"

"None of your business Slayer, it's between the watcher and me" Spike retorted, he braced himself for a fight, but before one could start Andrew interceded.

"Spike is only partially correct, it is actually between the Watcher's Council and Miss Burkle." Andrew crossed the room, he placed his hand on Buffy's shoulder as he continued, "Believe me when I say it was well deserved Buffy, but this is none of your business."

Buffy looked at Andrew in astonishment, "But he hit Giles! That makes it my business."

Shaking his head Andrew looked suddenly much older than his 21 years, "No, this is something that was done to an innocent by a Watcher. This is none of your business Slayer now leave, before I have to physically remove you."

Spike watched in astonishment as Buffy simply glared at everyone standing in the room, before grabbing Dawn's arm and hauling her out behind her. Andrew turned at the door, "It is good to see you again Spike, and I would like to speak with Miss Burkle at her convenience." With that Andrew left closing the door behind him.

"Are they gone" a small voice asked from the pile of blankets at Spikes feet, reaching down he grabbed the whole pile, dumped it on the bed. Grabbing an edge of the blanket he unrolled Fred as if she were Cleopatra from her rug being presented to Caesar.

"Ready for breakfast Luv?" he asked with a grin, he knew normally cheerful to the extreme Fred was not in the best shape first thing in the morning, or evening as the case may be.

"Gah" was all the answer he received as Fred crawled across the bed, giving Spike a very nice view of her thighs and backside as she did so. Taking pity on her, Spike picked her up in his arms and placed her in the chair in front of her breakfast. By unspoken mutual consent neither spoke of the apocalyptic events they had survived the day before, instead they spoke of books and other shared interests. Without realizing it, Spike no longer spoke with the hard edged cockney accent that he had years ago adopted after being turned, instead he spoke with the accent he had used while still human.

Fred was simply glad to have this time to be human once again, to not have to worry about the world coming to an end; there was time enough to grieve for Wesley in the upcoming days. For now it was just enough to be eating breakfast with William.

A knock on the door interrupted their conversation; rising Spike went to answer the door. "Hey mate, you look a lot better than when I dragged your ass in last night." Moving aside, Spike waved Angel into the room. Angel raised an eyebrow at Spikes attire, but said nothing; Andrew had already informed him of the Fred/Illyria change so he was unsurprised to see her sitting at the table.

Angel leaned down and gave Fred a hug, "Glad to have you back". Smiling Fred, reached for the empty mug and filled it with blood from the carafe, she motioned for Angel to have a seat.

"William I would you please grab my robe from the closet" Fred asked Spike.

Angel watched as Spike retrieved the robe and helped Fred into it before sitting down beside her on the loveseat. Angel smiled inwardly; at the domestic scene being played out in front of his eyes. If he had not seen it with his own eyes he would not have believed Dawn's tale, but both his loose cannons had found something in each other that seemed to settle them down. Angel reassured them that Gunn was fine, healing nicely in the hospital and that he would be returning to the hotel in a few days. They spoke of inconsequential things, simply enjoying being healthy and whole for the time being.

A short time later a knock on the door interrupted them, Dawn poked her head around the doorframe, "I took the liberty of grabbing some clothes for both of you, I hope that's alright?" she asked as she handed the clothes over to Spike and Fred.

Angel and Dawn took their leave letting Spike and Fred get dressed. "They make a very cute couple don't they?" Dawn said as they walked down the hall to the stairs, Angel simply nodded his agreement.

After hearing Andrew out Fred wandered down to the work out room, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know anyone else was down here."

"Tell me does he moan your name and go completely still when he comes?" The voice was cold as ice and cut across Fred's nerve endings like a knife. "How long do you think it will be before he rapes you?"

Too fast for the human eye to follow Illyria was across the room and was lifting Buffy into the air by her throat.

"You are an annoying me you petty insect, for your tone alone I should rip out your intestines and wear them as a garland." Illyria cocked her head toward the stairs. "I disturb you my Pet, do not worry the one you call Fred is still here within this shell." Shaking Buffy as a dog would a toy, Illyria then tossed her into a corner. Walking toward the stairs Illyria announced "I am bored, I will return when there is some one for me to kill."

Suddenly Fred was once again standing in front of Spike, "You OK Pet?" he asked as he ran a hand over her hair. When Fred's eyes rose to meet his Spike gasped, there was pure rage shining out of them. He realized in a moment that the rage was not directed at him but at Buffy who was slowly climbing to her feet.

Without turning her Fred spoke "I have heard much about you Miss Summers," Fred's Texas drawl was sweet and thick as syrup. "How you were Angel's great love, how he pined for you. How your friends missed you so much that they defied the Gods themselves to bring you back from the dead."

Fred turned to face Buffy who was watching her from across the room. "I also learned things that you never bothered to. I found out that Angelus hurt Spike dreadfully, broke his heart."

Buffy scoffed at the mention of Spike having a heart, Fred felt Spike stiffen at the mention of Angelus' betrayal, but Fred knew that she had to get everything out in the open for the wounds to heal.

"I know Spike lusted after you, he even loved you in a fashion. You Miss Summers used that against him, you used him to make yourself feel something, anything after your friends brought you back."

Tilting her head Fred raised her hand as Buffy started to retort, "Don't bother to deny that you used Spike and that you kept going back to him, even after you would push him away. It does not surprise me in the least that Spike finally snapped. Frankly Miss Summers I pity you, Spike may have lusted after you, even loved you. But he never liked who you are, just as you never truly liked who he is."

Reaching back Fred grasped Spikes trembling hand in hers, taking a deep breath she continued, "I like Spike, but I am in love with William. I can only hope that one day my feelings will be returned, but even if they are not I know I will always have his friendship."

Fred turned and walked up the stairs leaving a stunned Buffy and Spike staring after her, "Oh, I haven't had the pleasurable favor of seeing him orgasm, so I don't know if he would moan my name." With that Fred continued up the stairs leaving the basement.

Spike stared at the doorway that Fred had just vacated, "What in the bloody hell did you say to her Slayer?" He wasn't exactly sure what had just transpired, he came down to Illyria throwing Buffy around like a rag doll, suddenly Fred was back and verbally tearing a strip off of Buffy's hide, declaring her love for him and how in the bloody hell did she know what he looked like when he got off. Shaking his head Spike tried to take it all in, Buffy's voice brought him back to the here and now.

"So you fight with the Blue Bitch and fuck the sweet Texas Slut," Buffy's voice was cold, "Still the same Spike."

"Fred was right Buffy, I let you use me. I did lust after you, even loved you, but I never really liked you." As he said it Spike realized that he had moved on, that the wound from Angelus' betrayal with Dru was beginning to heal, and that his future waited upstairs for him in all her blueness.

He stopped on the top of the stairs, "Oh by the way, when I make love with Fred, something tells me she'll have me screamin her name."

Faith let out a wolf whistle and clapped her hands "Go Winifred!" The whole gang including Nita had heard Spike's declaration, they all clapped and congratulated Fred as she tried to sink into the cushions of the sofa.

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Fandom:  Angel
Title:  After the Dust Settles
Author:  Wrenn   [email]
Details:  Standalone  |  PG-13  |  het  |  16k  |  03/14/05
Characters:  Spike and Ilyria/Fred
Pairings:  Spike/Fred
Summary:  What happens after the Alley?
Disclaimer/Other:  I do not own anything, I am just borrowing these characters for a period of time.

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