Disclaimer: Angel belongs to Joss Whedon and company.

Notes: Set post Season Five of Angel. Written for rekindledspangel in 2011.

The world doesn't end. At least not quite yet. Spike's certain that a day will come when the world will be finished but apparently that day hasn't arrived, despite the fact that Wolfram and Hart had unleashed all that it had at them. The only ones standing after the fight was himself, Angel and Illyria. Spike doesn't want to think about their losses, it feels too much like Sunnydale all over again.

"We'll regroup at the Hyperion," Angel tiredly commands.

Illyria lifts up Connor, the boy is still alive but barely. Spike is certain that if the boy wasn't somehow the human son of Angel and Darla that he'd be as dead as Wesley and Gunn are. The fact that Connor is the human son of Angel and Darla is still something that he can barely wrap his head around. He falls in behind Ilyria who follows Angel and they make the trek back to the hotel that Angel and his team had called home.

Spike keeps his mouth shut, normally he would find something insulting to say to Angel but right now with the taste of death in his mouth, Spike can't find the words to insult Angel. Instead he watches as Illyria gently sets Connor on the couch.

"He fought bravely," Illyria says.

Spike doesn't think that Angel really wants to hear that his boy fought bravely when he might be dying. It's on the tip of his tongue to say something when a wave of pain has him bending over in shock and surprise. He groans as it feels as if his intestines are being ripped from his body.

"Fuck," Spike spits out.

"Are you wounded?" Illyria asks. Her voice is flat and emotionless.

Angel watches him and there's something in the older vampire's eyes that Spike doesn't like. Something cold, hard and calculating. It's a look that reminds him of Angelus and as much as Spike misses the former relationship that he and Angelus had once had, he doesn't miss the insane vampire that he last saw in Sunnydale.

"Illyria take Connor upstairs. Use Fred's memories to find the right room," Angel orders, his voice cold and hard.

"I'm fine," Spike says, as he tries to stand up.

And for a moment, he is. And then he's hit with pain again, it feels as if his entire body is aflame and as if he's being stabbed repeatedly. Spike stumbles and it's Angel who catches him. Angel guides him over to the couch that Connor had recently lain on.

"I'm fine," Spike growls. "Leave me alone you big pouf."

"You're anything but fine," Angel quietly says as he pushes him down.

Spike feels weak when Angel easily pushes him down onto the couch and keeps him there. It doesn't seem right that he can't fight off Angel, before they've always been evenly matched. If Spike had been feeling particularly generous, he might even admit that Angel often held the advantage when they fought one another.

He locks eyes with Angel and Spike knows that the older vampire knows what's happening to him.

"What did you do?" Spike demands. "What the fuck did you do to me?"

"I didn't do anything to you."

Angel's voice is full of sadness and guilt. Spike knows that no matter what Angel says, he's responsible somehow for the pain that's consuming him alive. He manages to feebly push the older vampire away. Still, he's not able to push him across the room like he had once been able to. Angel just staggers away from the couch.

"What did you do to me?"

"I didn't do anything to you."

"Then what is happening?"

"I suspect that it's the Shanshu."

"Bugger that, you can have this. I'd rather not be a real boy if it hurts like this."

Spike feels feverish and he can't recall a time when he had hurt like this. Not even when Drusilla had turned him or when he had climbed out of his own grave. His body is aflame with pain. He tries to say something but the words don't come out as he faints.

He wakes up in a bed. The sheets are soft cotton and he feels like he's been wrapped up in cotton wool. His head is pounding and he has to squint to see across the room. Spike shifts in the bed and he sees that Angel is sitting there.

"What happened?"

"You've become human," Angel tells him.

"Take it back, make me a vampire again," Spike demands.

"Don't ask me to do that," Angel says. "Ever."

"You have no idea what this is like."

"Actually I do and nothing can make me take it away from you."

It's been five days and he still doesn't feel right. His body is clumsy and his senses are dead. The only thing that he seems to enjoy is eating. Spike doesn't think that losing everything that made him Spike was worth gaining the sense of taste. For the most part, he stays in Angel's suite of rooms at the Hyperion. When Angel asks him about Buffy, Spike tells him to tell the Slayer that he's dead, this time for real. He can only imagine how it'd turn out if Buffy were to see him now. She might have told him that she loved him back when he was dying but now that he's human, Spike doesn't think that she'll feel the same way.

"You can't hide in here for ever," Angel tells him.

"What do you know, you big pouf?"

"Hiding away isn't going to change the fact that you're a human."

"I'm useless," Spike says.

"When did you start to feel sorry for yourself?"

"Go away, you don't know what this is like."

Spike rolls over on his side, pulling the covers over his head. However his victory is short lived when Angel yanks the covers off the bed and pulls Spike off of the bed. He feels feeble as he tries to fight Angel off but his punches are ineffectual and Angel drags him into the bathroom.

"Kinky," Spike snarls when Angel shoves him into the shower. "But you're not my type."

"I was once," Angel says as she steps into the shower behind him. "I seem to remember when you could barely keep your hands off of me."

"I am not a vampire anymore, remember."

"Doesn't change who you are, boy," Angel growls.

There's something about the way that Angel says it, that makes Spike shiver. He doesn't want to fall into the same old patterns that he had when he had been newly turned but it's hard to resist Angel when the vampire is pressed up close to him. It's hard for him to look at Angel as a vampire, as something different than what he is. Still he shifts in the shower and pulls Angel down for a bruising kiss. Angel doesn't resist when Spike takes control of the situation. There's a part of Spike that wants to force Angel to turn him but he knows that Angel won't.

Afterwards, Spike hates the way that he can feel the bruises on his hips from Angel's fingers. Yet for the first time since the aftermath of the battle, he doesn't regret being human. He doesn't regret the fact that he's a man and not a vampire anymore. He misses being a vampire but he doesn't regret it anymore.