Working Out the Issues

Working Out the Issues


Chapter 5:

I'm back at the Caremore building and back into the therapy mix. Funny how two hours ago I thought hell would have to freeze over before I'd be coming back here. It just goes to show how wrong some one can be... or in my case how persuasive my friends can be.

I'm not late this time, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing. Because I'm not late I have to sit for the whole hour, but because I'm on time I don't have to see that disappointed look that everyone seems to be having nowadays.

"Um I'm here to see..."

"Go right on in Mr. Angel. Dr. Johnston has been expecting you as has Mr. Spike."

The secretary says in a cheery voice. I really think Harmony should come down here and watch her work. She might learn something. I nod my head and make my way into the room.

I've been here before and I know what to expect. Accept I don't because instead of the room being blue its... green. A dark rich forest green. Everything is green. Even Dr. Johnston is wearing a green frock. This is odd.

"Wasn't this room... blue before?" I ask.

"Well hello to you too, Angel. Please have a seat." Dr. Johnston says. I guess she thought I was being rude, but excuse me if I'm a little... thrown here.

"It's nice that you decided to show up. Spike was a little worried that you wouldn't, but I assured him that you would." She says.

Spike is sitting in the seat next to me and he doesn't look as shocked as the first time, but he does look slightly... surprised. Pleasantly so though.

"About the room..."

"Oh right, well it mood changes. I told you I work with demons and some times they get offend by certain colors. To just avoid that all together I asked a shaman to cast as spell on the room to make the environment more... pleasant for the patient." Dr. Johnston says.

"Oh, well it's very... green."

"Well yes great observation, Angel, but we really must get to business. Now lets see where we left off." She says as she starts to look throw sheets of paper.

Spike fidgets nervously in his seat. He obviously doesn't like this part. I wouldn't either. She takes notes of her patient, which I guess all doctors would do, but to know that all your movements and words are being analyzed down on paper is just... creepy.

"Right we left off with your father issues." Dr. Johnston said brightly smiling like she didn't just untactfully say something that might offend me. I grit my teeth.

"I don't have father issues." I say.

"Sure you don't." She says and I can't tell if she's being sarcastic or not.

"Anyway, I would like Spike to talk more during this session. You seemed to take up a lot of our last few minutes last time." She says.

"Well, what do you want me to say?" Spike says speaking for the first time since I walked in.

"Well why don't we start by telling Angel your concerns. You know about your relationship." Dr. Johnston says. Spike fidgets even more. If he sinks anymore in his seat he's going to fall out.

"Um, well I guess I just think that the poof doesn't care about me. I mean he's never shown that he does. But that's not it. I mean I know he's got this whole... soul thing that he hides behind..."

"Hides behind! I don't hide behind anything!" I say.

"Shush, Angel this is Spike's time to talk." Dr. Johnston scolds. I scowl.

"Anyway, I just think he uses his soul as an excuse to not be happy." Spike says. Wait where did that come from? Spike wants me to be happy? Who said I wasn't happy?

"And why is it important that he's happy Spike?" Dr. Johnston asks. I lean in. I really want to hear this.

"It's not. I mean not really. I'm just trying to understand why he's always so... brooding." Spike says.

"I brood because I did terrible things when I didn't have my soul. And it makes me feel dirty. Don't you get that?" I say and I don't care if Dr. Johnston doesn't want me to talk.

"Well, hell Angel I don't know let's see. I have a soul. I did some terrible things. I feel really bad about them..."

"Oh you do. You don't seem to show it. I thought you loved being a vampire."

"Well yeah I do like being a vampire. I thought we already had this discussion. I like being a vampire because it's part of who I am, but I do feel bad about the people I've killed. It does hurt, Angel." Spike says and for the first time I do see that it does hurt him.

"Well, you don't show it." I say somewhat petulantly.

"I would. I really would. I mean I could be like you, but what would that accomplish. There would just be two brooding vampires in the world." He says.

"Why does your soul affect you, Spike? Why is it that you have a different reaction from it then Angel?" Dr. Johnston asks.

"I don't know. Maybe it's because I actually had time to think about it. you know weigh the options. I decided to get a soul. Angel didn't." He says and for the first time it isn't said in an attitude that would lead me to believe that he thinks he's better than me.

"I admire that you actually wanted your soul Spike." He smiles a bit.

"But I also hate you for it. Or well the soul hates you for it... I think Angelus might hate you for it too. Or maybe hate is to strong a word. I mean the soul part of me is..."

"Jealous?" Dr. Johnston says.

"Yeah, I guess. Yeah it's jealous. Because you did something I can never do. You went out and got your soul." I say.

"Because it makes you feel less special." Spike mutters.

"No because you now have something I so desperately want. And that's never really happened before." I say.

He looked over at me and it's the truth. I've always had things that he wanted. Dru, my time, Buffy. The one thing that I want... that I really want and he has it. he has it because he wanted it. and deep down...

"It does mean that you're better than me." I say.

"Angel, no one is better than anyone. Everyone is on the same playing field. It's just sometimes people act like they're better when they really aren't." Dr. Johnston says.

"He said it himself. He said he was better." I say and I don't remember being this petulant before.

"I didn't mean it. Not really. I mean yeah sure I went out and got my soul, but it was for selfish reasons. I mean I just... you would get your soul so you could help people. I got it just to..."

"Show off to Buffy."

"It's not always about Buffy." He says. "Then what is it about?" I ask.

He's quiet for a little while like he's thinking about the real reason he got his soul. It would be him though, to get his soul for a girl. He was always so damn romantic for his own good. That would be the ultimate test in love and loyalty.

"I got it to prove something to myself. I mean for once it was about me. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was. Because I didn't like who I was becoming. It used to be so clear you know." He says looking over at me with his big blue eyes.

He looks so helpless right now and I haven't seen that look since... William. Since he was first turned.

"I don't..."

"You know what I'm talking about. The killing and the blood lust. It used to be so clear. Then it started to get... unclear. I mean I tried... in Sunnydale after Buffy... well you know, but it wasn't good enough. I mean I was still a soulless evil vampire to them. But I didn't want to be that anymore. Somewhere along the line... I realized something." He says.

"What did you realize?" I ask.

I really am interested. That he could come to this conclusion without a soul. It's almost like he didn't need it.

"I realized that I don't think I ever was... you know that good at the killing and maiming. I'm just... needy." He says and I don't really understand what he's getting at.

"What do you mean? You were needy so you killed people?" I ask.

"I wanted your attention. I mean I needed it. And I needed the Scoobies attention. So I changed for them, but there was just too much... bad blood for things to ever be right. So I thought if I got my soul it would all be clear. It just made things harder." Spike says.

"Well what did you expect to happen. You expected to get your soul and then what everything would be crystal clear." I say.

"Well I didn't say it was a good idea. I just didn't like what everything was doing to me. I figured if I changed... but like I said you don't know the real me... but I don't know the real me either." He says.

"So then who does?" I ask.

"I don't know. I don't think anyone does." Spike says.

"So this whole thing is about finding the real you?"

"Sometimes we need others help to find out who we really are. What I'm trying to do with Spike is help him find a suitable path, but I'm afraid I'm not doing a very good job at it." Dr. Johnston says.

"What do you mean? You're doing a very good job at it, Doc." Spike says.

"No Spike. Sure I'm helping you dig through your issues and trust me when I say you have a lot of them, but I'm not really helping you. Not quite yet." She says.

"What do you mean you're not helping him?" I ask.

"Well Angel, I'm helping him sort through his issues as I said before, but he's still very self destructive." She says.

"I am not!" Spike yells.

I look over at him. He's got his arms folded across his chest and he's using his duster as a shield. It's weird that I can read him so easily and I have problems reading other people. Spike is very emotional. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and he's very rarely stoic or shut off.

"What do you mean self destructive?" I ask.

"Well he goes out every night and fights demons. Big demons. Now I know he's strong, but some of the time he comes in here with bruises and cuts so deep... I'm not sure what to do with him." Dr. Johnston says.

"I'm still in the room!" He yells. I already knew this of course. Gunn had told me earlier today. Just to here someone else say it... it's unnerving.

"I have to do that. What else am I good for?" He says.

"He didn't get that thinking from me." I say as I wonder where it could have come from.

"No of course not. You don't want me taking up your heroism. No, that little tid bit came from Buffy. Apparently I was better as badass Spike then as Spike with the soul." He says.

"What I can't believe she said that." I say.

"Yeah well trying being the one she directed that to." I know that Fred told me that Buffy had said something like that, but I didn't think she meant that she wanted the Spike without the soul around.

"She really said you were better without the soul?" I ask.

"Yeah, apparently I couldn't match up to you. Apparently she likes... pain." He says and he shies away from the subject. I don't know what the catalyst to Spike getting his soul was, but I do know it had to do with Buffy.

"Do you want to match up to me?" I ask.

"No, I want to be me, but I can't seem to do that. I've got this big... shadow Angel. And that shadow is you." Spike says.

"Well I think we've been very productive today. I would like you to come back next Wednesday if that's possible." Dr. Johnston says and I see that our hour is up. I nod yes.

"I would also like for you and Spike to spend some time together again. I think that the both of you are very good at talking to each other... when you put your mind to it." She says with a smile on her face. Spike smirks at her.

"Well, that's it for today. You both can go." She says. Spike gets up and bolts out of the door. I get up as well and get ready to leave.

"Oh Angel?" I turn around and face Dr. Johnston.

"Yes?" I say.

"I'd like you to come in... separately if you don't mind. I think there's some things we should discuss."

"I don't know." I say.

"Just try it, once. How does next Tuesday sound. At..." She checks her appointments.

"At two sound." She says cheerfully.

"I'll think about it." I say as I exit the room.

I walk out of the office and to the elevator. Spike's standing there swaying back and forth waiting for it too.

"So, this together time. Mulligan's again?" He asks.

"How about you stop by my pent house." I say and I'm not sure what prompted me to say that, but it's out in the open. He regards me silently for a second. Then a smile graces his face.


Chapter 6

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