Working Out the Issues

Working Out the Issues


Chapter 4:

Harmony's looking at me oddly. I'm not sure why... oh wait yes I am. It's Wednesday. Wednesday equals Spike and his crazy therapy sessions. Though they haven't said anything outright I know they want me to go. Am I going to go? I haven't exactly decided on that as of right now. I should go I mean after everything that happened at the bar. I want to go, but... part of me wants to go and the other part says that I shouldn't go.

I'm torn between going and not going. I mean it's not me that's screwed up... or is it. Is Spike the way he is issues and all because of me? Dr. Johnston said that despite our best judgement we pass our problems down to our kids or whatever. She said I had father issues. I DO NOT have father issues.

Okay so maybe I have some father issues. That's no ones business but mine if I have father issues. I mean I'm the one that has to deal with them. Course the way Dr. Sarah Johnston tells it so does Spike. I'm leaking all my bad 'daddy issues' on him or at least I did.

Personally I just think it's the easy way out. Spike's got issues because I gave him issues. Yeah blame the Sire that'll work. Spike had issues before I entered his life. So what if I may or may not have made his life worse then it already was.

I'll admit, turning him into a vampire was wrong, but the way Spike tells it it's the best thing that happened to him, so I don't see what the problem is. He was happy with being a vampire before so what's his problem now.

Does it even have anything to do with being a vampire? Funny he told me what it was all about and I still can't seem to understand it. Of course he said he didn't understand it either. That's why he needed the help.

But I'm not sure I wanna go down that rabbit hole right now. There's just too much to deal with. I mean there's this place. Wolfram and Hart. I'm trying to run a business here. One that will rid the world of evil if I use the resources right.

I lost Connor so that he could have a better life and I got this place in the exchange. I want to at least get one thing right. And Cordelia. I just lost Cordelia. Am I really ready to be opening old wounds when the new ones are still so very fresh?

"Angel, could we um... have a word." I look up to see Wesley, Gunn, Fred, Lorne and Harmony standing in the doorway of my office.

"Um... I..."

"Good." Harmony says pushing her way into my office.

"We've got some important things to discuss." She's says as she smoothes out her pink skirt. The others follow her in although more hesitantly.

"Go ahead. Talk." I say in what I hope is a somewhat menacing voice.

"Well, we were just wondering if... you know... you were going to go to the... um..." Fred began.

I know it's wrong to try and stare down Fred. She's been through enough in her short life and although she's definitely become way independent these past two years she's still a little shy around me. I'm a bad man to use to that to my advantage, but this is really none of their business.

"What Fred is trying to ask is if you're going to go to Spike's therapy session today." Harmony asks. I remain silent for a bit to let them study me.

"I really don't see how that's any of your business. You're my employee." I say.

"Yes but some of us thought we were your friends. We're we misguided?" Wesley asks.

He's also gotten independent. He's not afraid of much and I can't blame that all on the Connor fiasco. He was heading towards that before. He'll do whatever it takes to fight evil. I guess it's all just part of the job.

"No, you guys are my friends... we're like a family... or at least I thought we were. I still don't see how any of this is your business." I say.

"Look, Angel man, I may not have exactly like Blondie in the beginning, but we get along now and I see the way you act around him. It's a wonder neither of you have staked each other yet. You're slipping and I know it's because of him." Gunn said.

"Well, then I have an easy solution. We get rid of Spike." I say with a smile on my face.

"Oh, hiding the problem isn't going to do it for you now, Angelcakes. Sure you could have probably hide him away for the next hundred years, but there's always the next hundred after that. Let's face it, Ange, family never goes away." Lorne says shuttering as if he's remembering his own family.

"And not only that, but Spike is a very valuable resource to have here." Wesley said.

"Wesley this firm is a valuable resource. Spike just likes to slice and dice demons because he's got nothing better to do. How is that a valuable resource." I say.

"You should know better then anyone how intelligent Spike really is. He says that you taught him most of what he knows. He helps more then you know. You just never want to know. Whenever Spike is brought up you always shy away from the subject." Wesley said.

"That's because he's a royal pain in my ass." I say.

"He is not. You just have some issues left over from your days of yore... days. I know that he can be a bit standoffish at times. He used to treat me like dirt, but I get why now. It was because of you." Harmony says.

"Not exactly what you want to say to get me to go." I say.

"But she's right Angel. I know you're all, brooding dark avenger super hero guy, but there's something more that we're missing here. Something that you haven't even admitted to yourself." Fred says.

"Yeah and it's screwing up your aura. I used to get a hint of it before. Nothing major just this longing for the past, but now I can actually see it it's so bright. Especially when Spike is around. There's something there that you aren't admitting to yourself." Lorne says.

What does he know? Just because he can read peoples futures and stuff. He thinks he's so smart.

"When it comes to Spike, there are a lot of things I don't like to admit to myself. Most of it bad things I would rather forget." I say.

"So what's the good things?" Fred asks.


"You said most of it was bad. That implies that there were good things." She says.

"No that just means that there were bad things that I'm okay with thinking about." I say and of course even to my ears that didn't make sense.

"Well what are those things."

"Things Fred, okay. Just stupid things. Now can I please go back to work." I say.

"No because you've got an appointment to make at three and it's already two thirty. You're going to hit traffic if you don't leave right now." Harmony says.

"Maybe I just won't go then." I say.

"Don't be ridiculous Angel, you have to go." Wesley said.

"Why, what law says that I have to go? It wouldn't matter even if there were a law because news flash, I'm dead and I don't have to follow laws. I'm not going and that's that." I say and I think I won. They look ready to back off.

"You read anything off him Lorne?" Gunn asks.

"Nope, just the usual repression. Only this time it's more... potent." Lorne says.

"Oh for crying out loud. Can't I be trusted to make my own decisions?" I ask. They look a little skeptical and I wonder just how good of a leader I am if my troops are al uprising against me.

"Angel it's not that we don't trust you to do what's right, but..."

"No, English is wrong. When it comes to Spike you can't be trusted to do what's right for you." Gunn says.

"What mystical power do you think Spike has over me?" I ask in outrage.

They're acting as if Spike is some how some huge weakness of mine. He's not... most of the time. He was when I was Angelus. Major weakness. Why I don't know. I guess I was intrigued with him back then. He was a mystery... still is.

"We're not sure, but it works both ways. I always thought it was Dorksilla he was pining over, you know I thought she was the one that hurt him so bad, but apparently I was off the mark." Harmony says.

"Why is it my fault that he's got issues?" I ask.

"Well parents do tend to mess up their kids. I'd say the same goes for mentors and such." Wesley says.

"So it's all my fault. I screwed up and made Spike a psychopath." I say and it's meant to be sarcastic, but in reality it's kind of the truth.

I did turn him into a psychopathic serial killer that thirsted for blood. Had I just left him in that alley, had I not tried to mold him when I saw the spark of maniacal genius would he have turned out differently.

He certainly would never have made it past one. He would have served Dru's purposes and then gotten himself killed some how. He was always smarter then that though.

"Well, yeah, but that's not his problem Angel. I mean sure he killed a lot of people and that's bad and all, but he's got deeper issues. Things that come from you know... being abandoned." Fred says.

"Being abandoned?" I ask.

"Yeah by you. The way he talks about it sounds like you two had some sort of relationship going on where he adored you. He's very vague about it, but I can tell that that's what hurts him the most." Fred says.

"I already went through this with him. I'm not Angelus. I can't apologize for that and I don't think I want to. It's wrong to leave blood thirsty vampires because what they're doing is wrong, well this is news." I say.

"But don't you think it's weird that you were so different from how you were with Spike before the soul then how you were after?" Wesley asks.

"Who says I was different?"

"Spike does. The way he tells it you were almost human or something." Harmony says.

"Harmony I think I would remember the most how I was. I don't think I was any different before the soul then I was in Sunnydale." I say because thinking it over I don't really see the difference. I was evil and I was evil to Spike and it seems all the same to me.

"Yes, but can you answer fairly." Wesley says.

"What do you mean can I answer fairly?" I ask.

"What Wes here is trying to say, Angelcakes, is that because of your soul thinking that everything you did was bad, you can't exactly judge fairly. It takes an outsider to see your actions differently." Lorne says.

"Oh and Spike is a fair judge of that. He should be disgusted by everything that he did. All the people he killed all the lives he destroyed, but instead of taking blame for it he's putting it all on me. Well I'm sorry but I just don't see how he can be a fair judge of character." I say.

"You don't think he's hurting. He is. He hates how he was back then, but he's just not showing it because he's constantly going around fighting evil. Guy never gives it a rest. He goes out every night and looks for demons to slay. If he doesn't watch out one of them is going to take a pretty nasty chunk out of him." Gunn said.

"What do you mean he goes out every night looking for demons to slay? How come no one ever told me that?" I ask.

"He didn't want us to. He thought you'd think he was doing it for some ulterior motive... which he was right about." Wesley says.

"He's trying Angel. He said that in Sunnydale he couldn't exactly get used to having a soul. He said that he had to be strong for everyone... that um... that he was told he was better to them as the old Spike... the one that kicked ass. So instead of being able to be sad about everything he had to get up and fight. It wasn't his choice." Fred says.

I can tell just by the way she shied away a few minutes ago that she was taking about Buffy. That Buffy wanted the old Spike, the one that kicked ass back which is understandable. If he were really doing self-reflection he would be no good to anyone in an apocalyptic battle.

"So when he came out of the amulet he had no other way to act. He was still on the defensive not to mention the fact that he was incorporeal. It was how he was expected to act so he just slipped into the role. He said that when he was fighting you at the... well the fake housing of the fake cup that he learned something... that he had said something to you about you not knowing the real him." Wesley continues what Fred was saying before. I nod my head. I remember his speech about me not really knowing him and I guess it might have been true.

"Yeah, go on." I say not really liking that I'm showing that I'm listening to them, but I want to know what they have to say.

"Well he said that he didn't really know himself either. That he had been this false part of himself. That while the way he is, in one way or another, is still apart of him it's not the whole. That he needed to find out who he was and in order to do that he had to go back and examine every part of his life." Wesley says.

So if he's trying to find out who he is why does he need me there to do it?" I ask.

They're quiet for a long while. Like they know something that I don't know and they're wondering if they should tell me.

"I guess it's because you're such a big part of who he is." Lorne finally speaks up.

"Why do you say that?" I ask.

"Because it's truth. You were there for a lot of his crucial moments Angel. A lot of your character makes up his own whether you want to believe it or not."

I think about this for a second. Spike's been around for over a hundred and twenty years. I was only there for about twenty of them. I guess I'm having a hard time believing that my character makes up his character... I'm even having a hard time understanding exactly what it means.

"I don't understand what you're saying."

"Well, you don't have to really. You'll see over time. That's about all we can do for you. Ultimately, Ange, it's your decision whether to go or not, but if it were me, I'd go. Just for the laughs the situation will bring later on." Lorne says.

They all start to leave and I'm still left pondering what exactly it is that they mean. I guess this is why Spike is in therapy in the first place. He couldn't understand what anything around him meant.

I could go, what would it hurt. I don't think it would necessarily hurt anyone in particular. I could just go and see what it is that's wrong with Spike. Could be interesting too. And who knows maybe I'll learn a thing or two about myself as well.

I push down the intercom button and say, "Harmony hold all my calls for the rest of the afternoon... I've got somewhere to be a three o'clock."

Chapter 5

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