Angel and Spike were moving swiftly through the sewers to Cordelia’s apartment. Angel knew that Spike was choking the words that he wanted to spill out.
The unsaid comments were vibrating throughout the air. Angel shook his head. He had forgotten. It had been so long that Spike and he had traveled together with the same goal. But the memories were coming back quickly. Angel, Angelus could be still and silent,
Spike never could. Even in a motionless state, the younger blonde vampire radiated motion and energy. And now it was ringing in Angel’s ears.
“Roses. Roses, that’s how it started with Dru.” Spike rushed. “He knows the cheerleader’s address, so we can assume the stalking has begun. Next, is the teasing, he will contact her, seduce her then….”
Angel stopped swinging around, wondering why even bothered to ask. Spike never said anything anyone wanted to hear. Even if what he said was the truth. “It won’t happen.”
“He’s re-playing your game with Dru. Once he seduces the cheerleader, he’ll kill her family, you know those humans that we just left, then insanity, then he’ll turn her…Wait, she’s already part demon, can’t be a vampire, she’ll just be insane. And I don’t think the cheerleader will wear it as well as Dru did.”
Angel growled. “It won’t happen.”
“Okay, it won’t, but it will.” Spike rolled his eyes at his grandsire. Spike clutched at the hands that were suddenly around his throat. “Hey, I’m not the one that’s poaching.” He knocked Angel’s hands back. “I’m on your side.” Spike struggled up from the ground. “Bugger, I can’t believe I just said that.” He shook his head standing straight up.
“You’ve got some serious issues to work out. Shit. Angel, you are a vampire, soul or not. You can stand there and pretend that you aren’t sniffing your hand trying to taste the chit’s juices. But you are. Face it. You’re a vampire. And as sweet as that taste is, you still want the blood, you want to change that wimpy poof mark on her delectable neck into a real one.” Spike pushed off from the wall past a silent Angel.
“You’re going have to deal with it at some point. Bastard.” Spike turned back towards a silent Angel. “Do you even know how lucky you are….Angelus, shit….you had Buffy’s love, now you have the cheerleader’s, a chit that seems to be more than willing to accept the vampire in you. Cinnamon in your blood? And a kid?” Spike shook his head. “One fucking undeserving lucky bloke.”
“I know.” Angel said quietly from the shadows.
The vampires that never liked each other, but were connected by a blood bond, only to later be separated by a soul, stared at each other.
Angelus and William the Bloody were nullified, nothing was left but Angel and Spike, two vampires that could understand one thing about the other – they were vampires that loved amazing women and were scared as hell about it. Angel lifted his hooded eyes to Spike. “He can’t touch her.”
Spike slapped Angel on the back. “He won’t. Look on the bright side- we’re the only ones that know that we’re pathetic, everyone else thinks were bad ass demons. So, let’s go be bad asses.” Spike shrugged moving again further into the sewers whistling as he blended into the darkness.
Spike jumped back as the apartment door immediately opened.
“Casper the friendly doorman, I presume.” Moving to follow Angel through the opening only to jump again as the door slammed in his face. “Rude, invisible sod,” banging with his fist. “I’m with Peaches. Open the frickin door.”
“Spike, stop banging and shouting. Dennis, open the door. Yes, I know he’s a vampire, but he’s here to help. No, not good, but he’s on our side for this.” Angel’s voice sounded through the door.
The door swung back open in an instant. “Bugger your dead arse,” mumbling as Spike crossed over the threshold. Spike took an interested glance around the apartment. Attractive and classy, a lot like the chit that lived there. “So, where’s the threatening floras?” Spike ducked as several large full trash bags flew at him.
“Dennis, calm down. Cordy is safe. I won’t let anything happen to her. How did Dracula get in?” Angel asked, ignoring Spike and walking into the kitchen. Angel turned to the sound of the front door opening and closing.
Spike glanced around getting ready to duck if the ghost decided to throw a clock in way of an answer. But instead, a magic marker floated towards the refrigerator. The number five was scrawled on the erasable memo board attached to the appliance.
“Did he just walk in?”
The number five was erased and the word magic appeared. Then the word smoke and under.
“Parlor tricks.” Spike said disgustedly.
Again the board cleared. The numeral one appeared, magic, then lots.
Angel paced the kitchen, his hands shoved in his pockets. He couldn’t think of anything else to ask the ghost.
“Casper, did he say anything other than mumbling flower spells and nonsense? What?” at Angel’s look. “ Drac’s a snooty egocentric that loves the sound of his own voice.”
Angel considered and nodded. Spike had a point. The board remained clear. “Dennis?” The board was quiet for another minute.
Just when it looked like the Count hadn’t given any relevant information, words appeared fast and furious, a lot of them. Angel was surprised. Dennis when forced to resort to writing seemed to prefer one-word answers or as close he could get rather than full sentences.
Angel didn’t know if it was because writing took up too much of his ghostly energy or if he just didn’t like to write, but now the ghost was filling up the small board with words.
Spike studied the other vampire out of the corner of his eye as Dracula’s monologue came to life. Spike could sense the rage building up in Angel’s body, driving it to a standstill. Spike had always been envious of Angelus ability to just stop.
It’s what made Angelus one of the best vicious hunters in his heyday. Angelus would still, becoming stone, always alert, but so motionless that the flow of the world’s movement would swallow the vampire, cloaking him, until he disappeared – until he was ready to strike.
That’s what made Angelus so good, his victims never saw him coming unless he wanted them to. That his grandsire had maintained the talent didn’t surprise Spike, the fact that rage was what was turning him into stone, was somewhat different, though.
Rage was not a common emotion of Angelus. His acts of violence and torture were rarely done out of rage, but out of fun. Angelus hadn’t cared about anything enough to get truly angry. The angriest Spike had ever seen him was after he lost his soul for the second time and woke up in Sunnydale and that was primarily because Angelus had wasted all those year when saddled with the damn thing.
This was different. Shit. The chit wasn’t even in real danger yet, but the mere sight of the words on the board was driving Angel to the edge. Spike wondered if that would help or hinder his grandsire in the inevitable confrontation with Dracula.
Rage was a funny thing; it could strengthen or weaken one, making the combatant really strong or really reckless.
“Cocky son a bitch, ain’t he?” Spike read the words out loud. “My lovely lovely Cordelia, I hope you appreciate my gift, you will learn to appreciate all my gifts and you will be getting so many, as many as you can physically stand when you are mine. And you will be mine.” That hadn’t helped. Angel was about to disappear in his growing rage.
“Peaches, your options on what to destroy are limited to me, the ghost and the cheerleader’s furniture. Me, it ain’t happening, Casper- a little difficult and smashing the air isn’t satisfying, so that leaves the cheerleader’s apartment. Somehow, I don’t see her being happy about that, do you? Why don’t we go try to find the bugger you really want to smash?”
Angel blinked. “Anything else?” He growled. The board flipped over quickly. Angel stared then left the kitchen.
“Bleedin blabberghost, that wouldn’t have been fun.” Spike said into the air. A tied trash bag barreled into his chest, Spike automatically caught it, and then dropped it. The bag came flying up into him again. Spike let it fall to the ground.
The bag flew harder into the vampire. “What’s your deal? Peaches,” Spike headed for Angel standing by the door. “What’s his deal?”
A bag floated towards Angel, more settled around his feet. The bag in his hand twisted, squeezed as if it was a neck that could be broken. “He wants us to get these ‘gifts’ out of Cordy’s apartment.”
“We’re taking out the trash?”
A pillow to the back of his head stopped Angel. He turned back into the living room. “I’ll take care of her, Dennis. She won’t be touched.” The pillow flew back to the couch it came from. “Spike, lets go.”
Spike looked back at the empty room. “Chit’s got a way with dead things, don’t she. The live guys must be crazy for her. Hey, don’t growl at me,” He followed Angel out of the apartment, bags of trash in hand.
“I’m sure she likes the dead ones better.” Spike laughed at Angel’s growl. That was better. Gone was the enveloping rage that threatened to bring out the violence of Angelus or worse.
Now, Angel was just exuding anxiety and a determination to return back to Cordelia.
If Spike didn’t understand it, it would sicken him the way Angel’s determination turned into anticipation the closer they got to the hotel. All because of the chit.
His damn grandsire was smiling. Oh hell –it was sickening. Spike paused. Did he smile with such stupid glee when he knew he was going to see Buffy? Spike kicked the dirt.
She probably didn’t even know he was gone.
“Hey, Buffy, Buffy.”
The pretty blonde looked up from her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Her younger sister was waving a wild hand in front of her face.
“I asked if you wanted to go to the movies with Willow and me. And before you get all parental. It’s the Lord of the Rings, no sex, some violence in that action packed harmless fairytale way and it’s over by 11:00 p.m.”
“Oh. No. I mean sure, but no. Got to sling burgers. Did I tell you they were really vegetables, mashed icky smooshed vegetables? I mean, I had felt sorry for the cow, now it’s the cucumbers you got to worry about. And why does it have to smell? Do, I smell? I took three showers.”
“Only a tinge of grease and yes, you told that secret you swore to keep.”
Buffy looked at the clock on the counter debating whether she had time to take another shower. Oh, what was the point; she would be knee deep in grease in twenty minutes. Her life sucked.
“Oh.” Buffy looked up. “You’ve got school tomorrow.”
“And I’ll be in bed asleep by 11:00 p.m.”
“I don’t know that’s late for a school night.”
“Please.” Dawn smiled and whined at the same time.
Dawn’s smile got bigger. “Cool.”
“Um, is Spike going with you guys?”
“I know he goes to the movies with you sometimes, I was just wondering because, you know he’s a vampire, evil, not good, bad, annoying….just not good.”
Dawn stared at her sister. “Saved our lives how many times.”
“Made them miserable just as many.”
Dawn rolled her eyes. “No, Spike’s not going. I went to ask him after school, but he wasn’t home.”
“Probably out creating mayhem and other stuff.” Buffy poked at her sandwich.
“Whatever.” Dawn left to run to get ready for the movie.
Buffy stared at her sandwich, her expression settling into a pout. Spike wasn’t home in the middle of the day. Where could he be? It’s not like he could go play in the park.
Maybe she should swing by, he could be up to something. Buffy’s head knocked in the table. No. She told Spike to leave her alone; that she was just using him. That meant she had to leave him alone. Spike was gone that was a good thing. Right? Right.
Wrong. She jerked her head, she should go cuz he may be planning to end the world or something, he was evil. Buffy’s head fell back on the table. Spike hadn’t tried to destroy the world in a really long time. Buffy slapped her face.
She was being stupid and she had to get ready for her exciting career of fake burger flipping.
Spike stopped himself from growling. He wasn’t sure what the other’s vampire reaction would be. Angel would either turn all goofy on him,
‘what?’ Angel’s goof mouth would say or the vampire would grab Spike by the throat again and slam him against the wall, just on the off chance Spike was growling at the chit and squirt.
Spike had to admit they did make a tantalizing picture. If he had seen the dark haired beauty cradling the helpless tyke when he could roam the night-filled streets and hunt, they would’ve made a lovely diversion.
A hot woman and a helpless baby, very tasty, and very off-limits as he sensed Angel’s glare on him. “Just appreciating the view, Peaches.” He shrugged, his palms facing the ceiling.
“Spike.” Angel’s growl never left his throat, but it vibrated through out the tiny passageway between the basement and the lobby of the hotel.
“Honest, just appreciating.”
“Spike, I’ll tell you a secret, one you may have already figured out, the soul doesn’t cure the demon, just makes the choices of right and wrong available. And killing anyone that threatens Cordy and Connor, well, I just can’t see how that choice is wrong. Just can’t.”
“Geez, and here I thought we bonded. I ain’t after what’s yours. I want my own. I just can appreciate a lovely sight.” Spike rolled his eyes pushing past the other vampire into the main room.
“Spike?…Angel,” Cordelia’s face lit up as she saw the dark vampire follow the blonde out from the basement door. “Connor, daddy’s home.” She moved quickly towards Angel. “He woke up. Let’s not talk about D..R..A…C..U…L…A.. in front of him, okay?”
“Okay.” Angel didn’t know what do. Who to touch first? So, his palm cupped his son’s head as his fingers brushed the soft skin of Cordelia’s collarbone. He could drown in them.
“Now, he’s tired.” Cordelia giggled at the baby’s yawn. “He just wanted to wait until Daddy was home. I’m going to take him back upstairs….Angel?”
“Angel, can I have a word?” Wesley said.
“Now?” Angel looked at the miracles in front of him and then to his friend.
“It’s important, just as it’s important that you tell us what Dennis told you.”
Angel nodded, his palm moving to caress the small head. “I’ll be up.” Placing a light kiss on Cordelia’s forehead.
She beamed. “Okay, hurry though, he’s tired. Oh. I want to know about D..R…A…C..U..L..A, too, no hiding secrets from the potential.” She paused and looked at the child in her arms. “V….i…c…t…i..m.”
“That kid is either going to have no vocabulary or the be the best speller on the planet.” Gunn said.
He scowled moving away as he realized that an undead blonde vampire was the one he was whispering to.
“Magic. Transmutation.” Wesley wiped at his glasses. “Fred, please start searching for such spells on that,” Wesley waved at the computer.
“Angel, Dracula is a vampire with a skill in magic, we find the spells than we find the counterspells.”
“Angel.” The vampire turned from his ascent to the upper floors. “I still need a moment.” Wesley motioned Angel to his office.
“And here all the rumors said that the baby watcher had no balls.”
Gunn moved away again suddenly realizing that Spike had not only come up next to him again, but that Gunn was actually sharing a knowing nod with vampire.
Angel turned to the two as Wesley took more than enough time to open his office door. “Spike.” Angel’s head jerked up the stairs.
“Now, you trust me.”
“Fine. I used to be a terror,” Spike shrugged to Gunn. “Now, I’m a baby sitter. Weird thing life, uh.”
Gunn jerked back. How’d the vampire get so close to him again? Spike was like a cat, going to the person that hated him the most and rubbing around his leg. Gunn glared at the blonde vampire going up the stairs.
Cats had nine lives. When done correctly, vampires only had one.
“Angel, I’m quite gratified that you and Cordelia realized finally that you loved each other.”
Angel’s leaned back against the closed door his arms crossed against his chest. He hadn’t expected this, he guess he should have. “My soul is permanent, Wesley.”
“Yes, I understand. See this.” Wesley waved his hand around the room. “This is my office.”
Angel bit back his first retort. The ex-watcher was nervous enough. But, Angel really did want to make his twitching friend squirm. Like Wesley could tell him when and where he could make love to Cordelia. She was his. Angel leaned up. “Yes, it is.”
“In the future I would appreciate any displays of that love- out of my office.”
“Wesley, you can sit at your desk with peace of mind.”
“Oh, oh good.” Wesley brushed at his glasses. “Chairs?”
Wesley looked around his office. “Floor?”
A ‘no’ was voiced again, accompanied by that wicked smile. “ You want I start the warm, hot, cold game?”
“Angel.” Not at all liking the grin on the vampire’s face.
“Guess. Oh, Wesley, this conversation stays away from Cordy, she’d be embarrassed.” Angel left the room.
Wesley twirled. Where? And like he would discuss this with Cordelia. His own face was burning.
Wesley backed out of his office, his eyes darting around. Bookcase? His hand jerked from the doorknob. Door? Wall? Wesley left hoping that this would not be a normal thing.
“Are you coming in.”? Cordelia looked up from the bassinet.
“Right, Fred.” Cordelia stroked at Connor’s soft cheek. “Sleep honey, Daddy’s here and even Uncle Spike, you’ll be fine. No one will ever H….u….r…t…you, they won’t let it happen.”
Spike pulled back from the doorway of Fred’s room as if he had been sucker punched. Then again he had been. Uncle? The chit called him the squirt’s uncle. Family? A protector of the squishy human squirt?
Cordelia rolled her eyes to the vampire. “What’s your problem now?”
Spike stepped even further back. There was just something not right about this scenario. He kept moving only stopping when he bumped into a hard cold chest.
The blonde vampire whirled around. “She’s not right, just not right. And I’m not the squirt’s uncle, I…I’m not.” The blonde moved quickly, gone in an instant to the safety of his third floor room.
“He’s weird.” Cordelia smiled as Angel sat next to her.
“So, what do I need not to hear?”
“It was magic, Wesley is already trying to figure the spells out.”
“Dracula got in cuz of magic?”
“Dennis said so.”
“Is he alright? For a ghost, he gets a little frantic at times.”
“Dennis was assured that I would never let anyone hurt you.”
“Dead guy to dead guy.”
“Something like that.”
“Angel, say goodnight to Connor, I’m going to go figure out how just to make it up you.” Kissing gently on the vampire’s lips.
Angel’s eyes followed the young woman leaving the room. “Uh, Connor, buddy, guy, I’ve got to go. Your mommy wants to….talk to me. “ Angel gently brushed at the sleeping small child.
“Don’t worry, you’ll understand when you get older.” Kissing the soft down covering the small head.