They were sprawled all over one another on a makeshift pallet on the
floor in Spike’s apartment, Giles lying on his side, his head propped
on one hand and the other running across Spike’s chest and arms,
Spike’s eyes fluttering shut under his touch.
still can’t believe it,” Giles whispered. “Why didn’t you call me? Do you realize what I’ve
been going through the past few months?”
flinched at the hurt in Giles’ voice. “I dunno. Lots of reasons. I’ve
missed you, all of you, awful lonely here without you . . .”
sighed. “It was . . . I was here for so long, bloody incorporeal, stuck here, you know? Couldn’t leave. And then Angel . .
. even before what happened in Sunnydale I was startin’ to get an idea
of what he’d been goin’ through, all these years, the whole soul thing,
the guilt, the not sleepin’, the needin’ to make up for what he’d done
. . . and I watched him, watched his team, the good they been tryin’ to
do, especially that Fred. She reminds me so much of you and Buffy, the
way she treats me, like a real person, right? And she especially
reminds me of Tara, did you know that she told me that she thought I
was worth savin’?” Spike said, rolling his head and looking at Giles.
of course I didn’t know. But between you and Andrew she sounds like a
is, she really is. They’re a good group, Wes, even” Spike said and
has come a long way,” Giles said.
he has, considerin’ he was Head Boy,” Spike snorted and Giles drew up
hang on!” Giles said. “I
was Head Boy as well!”
you were,” Spike murmured, rolling on to his side and plastering
himself up against Giles. “Bet you were best Head boy ever.”
that! Tell me why you haven’t called,”
was silent for a long time, trying to find the right words. “Scared,
for one, I guess. Wasn’t sure what the lot of you would say, if maybe
you were done with me once I’d done my bit.” He brushed his fingers
against the mark on Giles’ neck. “And I knew you must’ve felt it,
Watcher. And I waited, every day, for you and you never came. I thought
you were done. With me. Watcher . . . why didn’t you come?” he
whispered, looking up at Giles with eyes that were, after all they’d
been through, still full of doubt and hurt and fear. “I’ve been waitin’
so long . . .”
grabbed him by the jaw and kissed him hard. “Jesus . . . yes, I felt
it, but Spike, I had no idea
what it meant, had no idea where you were, or even if you were! I wondered and I
waited but when there was no word I thought it must have been wishful
thinking. But I was never done with you, Spike, I never will be,” Giles
have been before,” Spike said, staring at the ceiling. “Been done with
me, I mean. Left me.”
changed, Spike, I changed . .
.” Giles said, voice soft with regret. “If I’d known what had happened,
Spike, I would have been here in a heartbeat, taken you home.”
smiled slightly. “My white knight,” he said, with just the barest hint
I suppose you could say that. If you must,” Giles said, smiling. Then
he became serious again. “But Spike, don’t you ever doubt me again.
I’ll always be there, always.”
stared at him, eyes searching his face, and then he smiled. “I know
that now, Watcher,” Spike murmured, running his hand along Giles’ jaw.
come home with me,” Giles said softly.
sorry, I’m really sorry, but I can’t,” Spike said, staring at Giles
intently. “I’ve gotta see this through.”
that’s the bitch of it, Angel won’t tell anyone what he’s got planned,
the stubborn bastard. But whatever it is, Watcher, I believe in it and
I believe in him.”
sighed. “So odd to hear you talk about him this way.” He paused for a
moment. “You’ve taken up with him again, haven’t you?”
winced. “Yeah,” he said quietly and then reached out to grab Giles when
he felt him stiffen and pull away. “But it was different; it was habit,
comfort, solace. It was a couple of times on a couple of really bad
nights is all, right? You understand that, Watcher? I missed you, God,
so much, and he misses Cordelia and he’s still moonin’ over Buffy, not to
mention his son . . .”
Christ,” Giles said after Spike had finished his story, falling on to
his back and staring at the ceiling. “And where is this child?”
was part of the deal. Angel gave the kid over, new family, new life,
and in return he took over Wolfram & Hart.”
Spike sighed. “None of ‘em remember it, so don’t tell the rest.”
won’t,” Giles whispered. “But Spike . . . Angel is incredibly
vulnerable in this situation. And as much as I might trust his motives,
I do not trust him under
these circumstances, not while he’s at Wolfram & Hart.”
don’t figure I would either, if I weren’t on the inside, watchin’,”
Spike said. He sighed and suddenly rolled on top of Giles. “We done
talkin’? We all made up? Say it!”
bloody well will not, not
while you’re involved with Angel,”
Giles muttered in disgust, turning away when Spike tried to kiss him.
grinned. “Fine, no more Angel. I told you, it was just a couple times.”
glared. “Do you swear?”
swear, I swear, I bloody well swear! Say it! Say it, say, it say it!
And then fuck me some more!” Spike ordered, and then leaned down to nip
sharply at Giles’ shoulder.
Love you,” Giles said grudgingly. “But if I find out that he’s touched
you again, first I’ll kill him and then I’ll kill you. And I’m not staying in this
dreary apartment one more moment, I’m only here for three days, and if
you won’t come home with me then at least come back to the hotel.”
for Christ’s sake!”
sighed and rolled his eyes. “Huge. Jacuzzi.”
stickin’ it to the Council, aren’t you?”
smiled slightly. “Perhaps.”
eyes darkened. “If you’d like.”
your man, then,” Spike said, grinning, and then leapt to his feet and
started dressing. “And why’re you so jealous? Is it because of me or
because of Angel? ‘Cause you
know, everybody knows you two had a thing . . .”
FOR GOD’S SAKE!”
I’m outta here for the next couple of days, got my phone thingy if you
need me but only if it’s really
important, like naked pictures of Buffy or somethin’, got it?” Spike
said, adding Buffy’s name simply for the provocation factor.
head snapped up and his face hardened. “Giles.”
came around his desk and grabbed Spike by the lapels. “He’s here.”
rolled his eyes. “No, Angel, he’s in England, I fucked him
metaphysically on an astral plane or some such rot.”
in the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
smirked. “Havin’ two days off, gettin’ off, fuckin’ a rather hot
Spike!” Angel shouted, shaking him.
pushed him away. “Oh, shove it with the jealousy, that ain’t you
talkin’, that’s Angelus, thought you were tryin’ to get away from that
leaned back against his desk, arms crossed and glowering. “Why is he
scowled. “You’re not leaving, are you?”
Angel, didn’t know you cared. Wait, actually I did. And for the record,
Angel said grudgingly. “We’ll need you.”
know. Bye now,” Spike said, turning to leave.
wait . . . what does he think of all this? We may need his help down
sighed and turned back. “Let’s see; he thinks you’re an idiot for bein’
here, doesn’t understand why
you’re here, doesn’t trust you, hates your hair and thinks you’re fat.
Oh, and he thinks you dress like a male prostitute. NOW GOODBYE
ALREADY!” Spike bellowed and stormed out. Then he popped back in. “He
did, though, think you were precious as a wee puppet man, I showed him
the pictures. Ta!” And he was gone again.
groaned in frustration and buried his face in his hands.
thinks I’m fat?” he whispered
“God, Watcher,” Spike sighed,
draping himself across Giles’ chest. “I’ve missed you.”
least you haven’t been moping around for weeks thinking I was fucking dead,” Giles grumbled, ruffling his
fingers through Spike’s hair.
gonna let that go any time soon?”
bloody likely,” Giles muttered.
smiled and closed his eyes, running one hand over Giles’ body. “Leaner.
of girls to train and very few people to train them, that’s what
it,” Spike murmured, then he froze suddenly. “Oh, bloody hell,” he mumbled.
for it . . .” Spike sighed.
the door was kicked open and Giles looked up to see Angel standing
for God’s sake! Are the two of you utterly incapable of opening a door
properly?” Giles spat, looking from Spike to Angel.
sure you’d let me in, what with you not trusting me and hating my hair
and all!” Angel shouted, throwing his arms out wide. Spike snorted and
hid his face in Giles’ chest.
“What?” Giles said.
mind! I need to talk to you, Giles,” Angel said, moving to stand at the
foot of the bed.
sighed and leaned back against the pillow, putting one arm behind his
head while reaching for Spike’s cigarettes with the other hand, pulling
one out and lighting it, his eyes on Angel all the while. “I don’t
believe there’s anything we need to discuss, Angel,” he said, squinting
at Angel through the smoke. “I’ll have nothing to do with you while
you’re at Wolfram & Hart.”
you sure don’t seem to have a problem showing up here and fucking an
obnoxious, pain in the ass vampire who also happens to be at Wolfram &
Hart!” Angel snarled.
sat up suddenly, grabbing Angel by the shirt collar and yanking him
down so that they were face to face. “You’ll watch the way you speak
about Spike, and the way you speak about me, Angel, I’m perfectly
capable of killing you just for the hell of it and you’d do well to
remember that,” Giles hissed, his face and eyes hard.
well, a cat fight over little ol’ me,” Spike said smugly, rolling on to
his side and propping his head in his hand. “Do go on.”
up, Spike!” Giles and Angel said simultaneously.
yanked himself free of Giles’ grip, sighed, and started pacing along
the foot of the bed. “Listen, Giles, I’m not here to start a fight, I’m
here because we might need your help.”
won’t get it. Not under these circumstances.”
I’ve got a plan . . .”
you won’t share with anyone. No, Angel.”
sighed and rolled his eyes. “Gods, the two of you can be such complete
idiots . . .”
up, Spike!” Giles and Angel again said in unison, and Spike leapt off
the bed and began dressing.
what? I’m bloody well sick and fuckin’ tired of bein’ told to shut up!
You!” he yelled, pointing at Angel. “You can’t ask him for help if he
doesn’t know what in the hell you need it for! And you!” he said,
turning to Giles. “You’ve known him long enough, why don’t you trust
him? You could at least hear him out!” He shrugged into his duster.
“I’m gettin’ the hell outta here, have fun buttin’ heads and gettin’
absolutely NOTHIN’ FUCKIN’ DONE!” The door to the hotel room slammed
and Angel and Giles stared after him.
God,” Giles said finally. “He’s really coming into his own.”
Angel said grudgingly. “He is.”
turned to stare at him. “Don’t you dare hurt him, Angel. I will kill you.”
God’s sake, Giles! I’d never hurt him, not now, at least not
intentionally. He’s here because of the connection, the blood, you’ve
got some idea about that, now,” Angel said, nodding at the mark on
Giles’ neck. “He’ll always be there when I need him, and I’ll always be
there when he needs me, that’s why he’s still here! But I’m not the one who can hurt him,
not in the way you mean. You’ve
got the power now to hurt him like that, not me. So let me reverse that
threat, don’t you hurt him
or I’ll kill you!”
glared at one another for a long time before Giles finished his
cigarette and stubbed it out on his bare heel and then flicked the butt
Angel said, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms. “Was that supposed
to impress me?”
it?” Giles asked, voice hard.
No! Well, yeah, kinda,” Angel admitted, grumbling, and sat down on the
love seat across from the bed. “All right, listen, Giles, please. I am working on something and no, I
haven’t told anybody what it is, partially to keep them all safe and
partially because I don’t have all the details yet.”
regarded him in silence before finally speaking. “So what is it you
think you need from me?”
have no idea, I don’t know that we’ll need anything from you, but it’d be nice
to know you guys were there for us if we call.”
won’t commit to anything, Angel, not until I know all the details. And
even then I might not be willing to render any assistance, especially
if it involves putting any of mine in any more danger than they already
sighed. “Well, are you willing, as things progress and I feel safer
about letting everyone in on what’s going on, to at least consider
helping us? On some fronts, at least?”
stared at him for a long time through narrowed eyes. “Depending upon
what type of help you may need and how dangerous it might be, yes, I’ll
rubbed at his forehead. “Guess that’s all I can ask for now.”
that’s all I can offer, for now.”
heaved a heavy sigh and fell back on the love seat, all trace of
animosity gone, and began picking at the upholstery. “So. How’s things?
You look good. How’s, you know . . . Buffy?”
sighed. “She’s fine.”
you don’t . . . really think I’m fat do you?”
Giles,” Angel said, lowering his voice to a whisper and leaning forward
and fidgeting with embarrassment. “Why is everybody suddenly asking me
if we, you know, slept together?”
clapped a hand over his eyes and fell back on the bed with a groan.
please, stay, Watcher, just a little longer, so afraid I’ll lose you
again,” Spike whispered against the skin of Giles’ neck.
see what I can do, two more days, perhaps,” Giles said. “But you can
still come back with me, you know.”
Spike sighed, and wrapped himself around Giles as if he would never let
suppose there’s no point in asking you again?” Giles said, arms around
Spike’s waist, his forehead resting against Spike’s. “I just got you
Spike sighed. “You could stay here, you know.”
LEAVE, YOU UTTER BASTARD!”
YOU BLOODY STAY!”
buried his face in Giles’ neck and brushed his lips lightly against the
mark, smiling a bit when Giles shuddered. “We’re fucked. And not in a
fun, dirty way,” Spike said mournfully. “I’ll miss you, Watcher, will
you come back?”
try.” Giles smiled and kissed him. “Call me,” he whispered.
will, if I can figure out how this fuckin’ phone thingy works. Don’t
laughed, and then sighed and held Spike tightly. “How could I possibly
forget you?” he asked, bring Spike’s fingers to the mark on his neck.
“You’ll always be here.”
DON’T YOU BLOODY WELL FORGET IT!”
sighed and rolled his eyes. “Be careful, Spike, that place is goddamned
dangerous, if you die again, I’ll kill you. And stay the fuck away from
Spike whispered, smiling.
right. Say it.”
you,” Spike murmured, reaching up to kiss him.
closed his eyes and sighed again. “Goddammit, Spike. Love you, too,” he
Giles said, putting a hand to his mouth as he smiled. “I see you’ve
mastered the art of the cell phone.”
sighed. “Nope. Fred dialed it for me. Listen, Watcher, I called for a
reason, I need somethin’.”
frowned. “Is everything all right?”
is it? What do you need?”
need to know what you’re wearin’. And then I need you to take it off.”
froze and only his eyes moved to take in the crowd around his desk,
Willow, Faith, Xander; and Buffy, who was grinning maniacally.
he said calmly. “Perhaps I should let you know that you’re on
speakerphone? And that I’m in a room full of people who can hear you?”
right? Hey, all! NOW GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE SO I CAN HAVE A GOOD
PHONE FUCK WITH THE WATCHER!”
groaned and buried his head in his hands as Buffy and Faith fell all
over each other, laughing and hooting and herding a giggling Willow and
a shell-shocked Xander out of Giles’ office.
sighed and picked up the receiver. “I’ll never live that down, you
know, you utter bastard.”
Giles bit out through clenched teeth.
What’re you wearin’?”
Just listen to me – what? Dammit!” Angel bellowed and hurled the phone
as hard as he could at Spike’s head. Spike snatched it out of the air.
told you to let me call him, you idiot!” Spike
hissed before putting the phone to his ear.
sighed and paced in front of his desk while Spike talked softly into
the phone. “Hey, Angelkins,” Lorne whispered, leaning forward and
grabbing Angel’s arm. “Why is Spike our contact with this Giles cat? I
thought it’d be Wesley, or you, didn’t the two of you have, you know, a
little of the forbidden Vampire/Watcher love that dare not speak its
name, although I guess I did
just speak its name, but didn’t you? Back in the day?”
groaned and clapped a hand over his eyes.
It’s Fred. Please.”
looked at Willow, who nodded frantically and leapt up and ran from the
sighed. “Fine, Spike, I’ll allow her to come, but you’re to be with her
at all times, am I understood? Never leave her alone, with anyone, it could be terribly
dangerous for her at Wolfram & Hart, considering how powerful she’s
be safe, Watcher, I swear to God.”
then. She has to meet with the coven in order to be there as quickly as
possible – and the teleportation makes her ill, be ready for that as
well, and Spike, please . . .”
sighed. “That’s good enough for me, then.”
was silent for a moment. “Thank you, Watcher. Love you.”
you, too, Spike, and for God’s sake take care of yourself as well.”
waited, fingers drumming on the desk top, then he winced as the mark on
his neck flared and he picked up the phone and dialed immediately.
“Spike,” he whispered. “I’m so sorry. I know how much she meant to you.”
listened for a long time as the grief poured down the telephone line,
and when Willow appeared in the doorway, face drawn and tearstained, he
motioned her forward and pulled her onto his lap and she cried on his
shoulder, and he comforted her with touch and comforted Spike with soft
words until they were all too tired to cry anymore.
Warm up the bed.”
got a thing in Rome, I’ve convinced him to drop me at your place.”
could hear Angel bellowing in the background and put a hand over his
mouth to cover a grin. “Don’t tell me, you . . .”
him around for an hour and when that didn’t work I threatened
wee puppet man pictures.”
started giggling uncontrollably, tears streaming down his face. “You
mean he doesn’t know about Dawn’s website, AngelPuppet.com?”
it, Watcher, he’ll hear you! Well, he would if he’d quit all that
bloody screamin’. ANGEL! We goin’ or what?” Spike shouted. Giles heard
more grumbling in the background. “Good then, you twit. Watcher?” he
said, speaking to Giles again. “We’re on our way.”
closed his eyes and sighed as a thrill shot through him. “How long?”
God,” Giles muttered, hanging up and then rushing around, banishing
everyone from the house for the next 24 hours.
“Fuck, Watcher, so good,”
Spike bit out through clenched teeth, bracing himself against the
headboard. “Good and hard, Jesus fuckin’ Christ, so good . . .”
“God,” Giles groaned. “Oh, God!”
you, Watcher, Christ, love
the way you fuck me . . .”
you, so goddamned beautiful . . .”
Giles,” Faith said, leaning against his desk. “Getting’ a new bed, huh?
Hmm, wonder why that could be?”
flushed and hid his face in his hands.
Giles said, pulling her into his arms. “How have you been? You’ve been
gone too long.”
great,” she said, grinning up at him.
rolled his eyes. “The Immortal?”
yeah. Big yeah. And hey, you know what? Neither Dawn nor I have been
inclined to kill Andrew. Weird, huh?”
actually,” Giles said, taking a seat behind his desk.
and you know what else? Angel put a tail on me!”
had some guy following me all around Rome.”
in the bloody hell for?”
propped her elbows on his desk and fluttered her eyelashes. “Because he
loves me. In a really weird,
stalkery kind of way. Jealous?”
glared and she smirked.
though,” she said, sighing. “I’m having tons of fun with the Immortal,
but I really kind of miss Angel. I mean, really miss him. I thought the tail
thing was kind of sweet, if, you know, stalkery.”
looked at her thoughtfully. “You really still love him. After all this
she said, picking up a pen from Giles’ desk and toying with it. “I
think I always will. Giles, you’ve had lots of contact with both him
and Spike, especially Spike,
with all your perverted phone sex,” she said, grinning at his put-upon
sigh. “Surely you have a better idea now of what’s going on there. Are
you absolutely sure we can’t help them? Whatever they need? Giles, I
understand it’s Wolfram & Hart, but I also understand Angel, I know him. Can we, you know,
reconsider the boycott?”
hasn’t exactly been a complete boycott,” he said quietly.
know. But we haven’t helped them as much as we could, either.” She
looked at him. “Will you at least think about it? For Angel’s sake? For
mine? For Spike?”
stared at her for a long time, thinking.
enough, you gotta tell us what’s goin’ on!” Spike yelled.
is going on, nothing that I can tell
you’re gonna hold off to the eleventh hour?”
a bloody awful liar,” Spike muttered and stormed out of Angel’s office.
Spike said, looking at Wesley and Gunn in turn. “What do you think?”
and Gunn looked at one another and then Wesley sighed, sinking wearily
into the chair behind his desk. “I think we should try it,” he said,
rubbing at his face.
too,” said Gunn. “I’m in.”
Four days. One of you talk to Lorne. Wes, what about Blue? I think she
should be involved.”
looked up at him with tired eyes. “I think she should, as well.”
Gunn, Lorne, Illyria and Spike entered Angel’s office four days later
and stood as a group in front of his desk.
calling a meeting,” Wesley said.
meeting? What for?”
something we need to discuss, Angel.”
nothing we need to discuss,
Wes,” Angel muttered, scowling.
believe otherwise. Do you care to come along?
glared. “Come along where?”
I’ve said, I’m calling a meeting. Off-site.” Wesley glanced at Spike.
Christ, Wes, I don’t have time for this shit!”
locked eyes, saying nothing while saying quite a lot.
Angel muttered, finally. “Fine.”
think we’re clear,” Wesley said. “We haven’t been followed and I
haven’t been able to detect any sort of listening devices, either on
the SUV or any of us, and certainly not in here.” He glanced around,
peering through the gloom of the abandoned opera house. “So, Angel,
please. Tell us what’s going on.”
paced, one hand over his mouth. “I can’t
tell you! There’s too much risk involved, I can’t afford to lose any
more of you!”
Wesley said. “All of us already know that loss is an inevitable part of
what we do. Tell us what you’re planning.”
know, Angel, it might just be possible that we could, oh, I don’t know,
help?” Gunn said pointedly,
can’t believe you guys are ganging up on me,” Angel muttered.
we’re not ganging . . . well, actually, I suppose we are,” Wesley said,
smiling slightly. “But I’ve known you for years, Angel, and when the
stakes are high you tend to go off on your own and take up the burden
by yourself. Don’t do that this time.”
Spike said quietly. “Tell us.”
sighed and sat down. “Fine. But don’t come crying to me when you all
end up dead.”
That’s it. Happy, now?” Angel said, scowling.
and Wesley stared at each other for a long time and then looked back at
me up,” Gunn said, sighing and leaning against a wooden grate.
on board, as well,” Wesley said.
will kill whomever you please,” Illyria said, “As long as it pleases
head jerked up. “You’re kidding. You actually think this will work?”
you didn’t?” Wesley asked, smiling.
I wasn’t sure, I’m still not
sure . . . do you really think it’s a good idea?” he asked, a hint of
uncertainty in his voice.
think it’s bloody brilliant,” Spike said. “Watcher?”
stepped out of the shadows and Angel’s eyes widened. “I think it’s
suicidal at best, especially in its current configuration,” Giles said,
moving to stand in front of Angel and crossing his arms. “But I also
think it’s incredibly brave. Heroic, even.”
the hell are you doing here?”
Angel shouted, glaring. “Why didn’t I sense you, why . . .”
that’d be me,” Willow said, grinning, and moving to stand beside Giles.
“Mystical shields, you know, that kind of stuff.”
stared at both of them, dumbfounded, and then turned again to Giles.
“Don’t tell me you’re here to help,”
he grumbled, glowering.
no, I hadn’t intended to until I knew what you were planning, and now
that I know, you have our support. Well, my support, at any rate, there are
others who are involved in making the final decision,” Giles said.
head dropped. “Buffy,” he whispered.
that’d be me,” she said, she and Faith suddenly standing at Giles’
side. “And whatever you need, Angel, you got it.”
stared at one another for a long time, and then she smiled, and before
she could blink she was swept up in his arms and he was kissing her,
deeply and for a very long time.
kids, slow down,” Faith said, grinning. “I’d tell you to get a room,
but we all know what might happen if you did.”
and Angel glared at her and then Angel slung out one arm to pull her
close, and then he looked at Giles. “You sure about this? It’s gonna be
big, Giles, really big, and if we fuck it up all of us are screwed.”
we’d best not fuck it up, then,” Giles said. “Angel, you should work
with Buffy and Faith, get things coordinated, and I’ll see about
bringing the girls over in shifts, we wouldn’t want to attract
attention by bringing the whole lot at once. And tell me,” he said,
walking over to Lorne and staring at the gun Lorne was holding with a
great deal of distaste. “This Lindsey, he’s the one who brought Faith
into this mess, correct?”
one of ‘em,” Faith said, frowning.
he’s mine,” Giles said, holding out his hand to Lorne. “That is, if you
don’t mind, Lorne?”
“Mind?” Lorne said, handing the gun
over carefully. “Of course I don’t mind, I could just kiss you, you
long tall pint of British ale, Angelbuns, I can see why you fell for
this guy, I mean come on, look
at him!” Lorne said, beaming.
and Buffy giggled while Angel and Giles sighed in unison.
walked over to Giles and wrapped her arms around him. “Thank you. Nice
to know you got my back,” she said quietly, and he smiled and kissed
her on the cheek.
last night on earth,” Giles panted against the skin of Spike’s back.
Watcher, make it count, make it count,” Spike groaned.
say it,” Giles whispered.
Because it would feel like goodbye.”
slid his arms around Giles’ neck and kissed him. “I’ll be back.”
damn well better.”
sword play, English,” Lindsey said, smirking. “Not as good as mine, of
course, but good.”
of training,” Giles said, reaching into his pocket. “Tell me, Lindsey,
do you remember Faith?”
frowned. “That’s a weird question, what’s she got to do with anything?”
answer it, please. Do you remember her?”
The Slayer bitch? Yeah, she was hard core, we had high hopes for her.
Heard she’s busted out, maybe I’ll track her down . . .”
raised the gun and fired six times.
HELL ANGEL, YOU’VE SLAIN THE FUCKIN’ DRAGON!”
Spike bellowed over the sound of the battle.
know,” Angel said, grinning like a madman.
Eve, quit shifting it into neutral!”
yelling at me Lindsey, I’m nervous enough as it is!”
can’t believe that fuckin’ Englishman shot me six fuckin’ times and
didn’t kill me! It’s like he did on purpose or something! Godammit, I’m
bleedin’ all over the seat, I just got it restored, original!”
are we going?”
about the senior partners?”
think the senior partners are gonna look for us in fuckin’ Oklahoma?”
we coming back?”
yeah, we’re comin’ back,” Lindsey snarled. “Just not, you know, for a
while. Couple years, maybe. And then, I swear to God . . .”
going to kill Angel,” Eve finished for him, sighing and rolling her
eyes and grinding the gears.
battle raged on four fronts, Angel, Spike, Wesley, Gunn and Illyria in
the alley outside the Hyperion, Willow hiding in the shadows and
throwing up wards when necessary; Faith and Xander leading an attack
from the west and Kennedy from the east, and Buffy coming at the demon
hordes from the rear, and all of the Slayers having the time of their
all was quiet, most of the demon army either dead or dying or fleeing,
and the AI team stared at one another, stunned.
did it,” Gunn said finally, grinning slowly. “We fuckin’ did it!”
be damned,” Wesley said, slumping up against the wall and staring at
Angel. “Congratulations, Angel, that was incredible – Angel?”
he mumbled as he fell to his knees. “I don’t feel so good.”
are you hurt?” Gunn asked, running to his side.
bit,” Angel said, wrapping his arms across his belly.
my God,” Willow whispered, coming out of the shadows. “Angel. Don’t you
what, like shit? Yeah, I feel it,” he said, wincing.
eyes widened and he ran over to where Angel was kneeling. “No, you
stupid git, she means do you feel
it, THIS!” he shouted, taking Angel’s hand and then stopping, wincing
in pain and doubling over. “Oh, bloody
hell,” he bit out before collapsing.
was making his way as quickly as he could to the Hyperion when the
throb in the mark on his neck stopped. He staggered, putting one hand
up against a wall for support. “God, no,” he whispered, and then he ran.
he saw when he got there shocked him.
was a celebration, Angel on his knees and smiling a pained smile while
the rest laughed and cried and shouted, and Spike, God, he thought,
knees buckling, Spike was
there, yelling and flinging his arms around everyone’s necks and
grinning maniacally, and Giles smiled through his daze to think that a
vampire could feel that much crazy, wild, loud love for so very many
known all along, Watcher, that . . .”
one does, yes.”
Mr. Giles,” she whispered, smile in her voice. “It’s ‘former’ vampire
head whipped around and he pinned Giles with his gaze, and then ran and
pinned him with his arms. “God, Watcher, I heard her . . .”
did I,” Giles whispered, reaching up to cup Spike’s face and then
sliding his hands down to his neck. “Jesus, Spike,” he said, stunned.
know, I know, it’s horrible,” Spike muttered, and Giles shook his head
in exasperated disbelief at the thought Spike would find his reward
horrible, and then Spike wrapped his arms around Giles’ neck and kissed
him hard. “Where’s the Slayer, Angel needs her, God, there’ll be no
stoppin’ ‘em now, it’ll actually probably get quite disgustin’ . . .”
laughed. “Spike. Shut up, kiss me one more time,” Spike did. “Keep your
arms around me,” Spike did. “And watch,” he said, nodding his head, and
Spike turned to look as Buffy elbowed her way through the crowd of
Slayers to stand in front of Angel, staring down at him with wide eyes.
it true?” she whispered.
he said, looking up at her, still not really believing. “I don’t know
how, I signed it away . . .”
Wesley bellowed but Gunn waved him off, rolling his eyes.
One thing I’ve learned this past year? Contracts are meant to be
broken,” Gunn said, grinning.
Angel said, eyes wide. “It’s for real?”
for real, man,” Gunn said, clapping him on the back and making Angel
turned back to Buffy, who was crying now, and started to struggle to
his feet but she tackled him, arms around his neck, kissing him. “God,
I love you, Angel,” she said, crying and laughing. “Love you, love you,
love you, always have and always will.”
smiled. “I love you, too, Buffy,” he whispered. “But, uh, ouch.”
sorry! Sorry!” she said, sliding off him and helping him to his feet,
and Giles looked around, the wide smiles on the faces of everyone on
Angel’s team, Willow grinning and crying at the same time and giving
high fives to a laughing Faith, and he found himself crying as well and
he wiped at his eyes, then noticed that Spike was doing the same.
Spike,” he said. “Are you crying?”
I BLOODY WELL AM NOT!”
quite understandable, it is
very romantic . . .”
UP! I AM NOT CRYING!”
all weep in situations like this . . .”
IT, YOU BASTARD!” Spike bellowed, shoving at him, and Giles shoved
back, laughing, and then both sets of eyes widened in surprise at the
ease with which Giles pushed him away.
grinned. “Oh, yes, I think I’m really going to enjoy this new set of
circumstances . . .”
Spike grumbled, burying his face in Giles’ chest.
He looked up to see Buffy running toward him. “Look out!”
last thing he remembered was a searing pain slicing through his gut.
Slayer?” Spike whispered, sitting at Giles’ bedside.
is serious, Spike,” she said,
tears in her eyes. “He’s in critical condition. I’m so sorry, Spike, I
should have been watching, I thought we’d gotten them all . . .”
your fault, Slayer,” Spike said, turning his gaze back to Giles. “If I
hadn’t been human I’d have
seen it comin’, stopped it . . .”
don’t,” Angel said quietly. “It’s nobody’s fault. All we can do now is
so they did, the three of them, everyone else in and out for short
visits, for the next two weeks.
who’s awake finally!”
struggled to focus. “Buffy?” he said, voice hoarse.
she said, grabbing his hand. “How you feel?”
. . . like I’ve been run through with a sword,” he whispered.
that’s good then, I guess, ‘cause that’s what happened. Giles, I’m so
sorry, I tried to get there in time . . .”
he said, squeezing her hand weakly. “Not your fault.”
started fussing with the bedclothes. “Do you need anything? Water,
balloons, stuffed animals?”
smiled slightly. “No, I don’t think so. Where is Spike?”
he’s around,” she said. “The doctors are saying you’ll be fine, but you
should really get some rest.”
. . .” he whispered, already falling back asleep.
be here when you wake up,” she said, and something in her voice made
him frown as the blackness overtook him.
something you’re not telling me,” Giles said, finally sitting up in bed
and staring accusingly in turn at Angel and Buffy. They looked at one
another and Angel nodded, and Buffy sighed, running her hands over her
hair, fidgeting, and looked at Giles.
took off, Giles,” she said.
off? Took off where?”
don’t know. Giles, I’m so sorry, I don’t understand it either, he was
here day and night, right by your side, holding your hand, and then
when the doctors gave you the all-clear he just disappeared. We have no
idea where he went or when he’s coming back.”
mean, if he’s coming back,
don’t you,” he said, the realization of it settling in his chest like a
weight, hurting more than the wound to his abdomen.
she said, grabbing his hand. “Like I said, I don’t get it, we couldn’t
get him to leave or rest or eat for two weeks and then he was just
gone, took Angel’s wallet and car and left.”
don’t understand . . .” Giles whispered.
think I do, Giles,” Angel said quietly, and Giles stared at him. “He’s
scared. We were so strong for so long and then suddenly we’re human and
much more vulnerable, and I think it scared the shit out of him to see
you like this, in fact, I know
it did, he wouldn’t eat or sleep, he’d just sit there and stare at you.”
if he was so bloody concerned,”
Giles spat. “Then why in the hell did he leave?”
Angel said. “He almost lost you. I think that he believes that he was
leaving you before you left him, left him by dying.”
you were. And you will, someday. Time lasts forever when you’re
immortal, but then humanity hits you and it suddenly feels like there
will never be enough time, never.” Angel sighed and grabbed Buffy’s
hand and squeezed it tightly. “I think he just couldn’t handle the fact
that one day, you’ll die, and no matter what he says or does now he’s
powerless against it, and he thinks he took the easy way out, by not
being there when it finally happens.”
was quiet for a long time, staring into space. “When can I leave?” he
asked finally, his voice brittle.
doctors say you can fly in about two weeks.”
make the preparations, please, Buffy. And if the two of you don’t mind,
I’d like to be alone for a bit.”
and Angel looked at one another, then at Giles, and then they left in
silence, and Giles lay back against the pillow, put one hand to the
now-dead mark on his neck, and refused to weep, refused, refused,
months later and it was summer in England, an unusually warm and sunny
day, a Sunday, and Giles was tending to the horses, mucking out stalls
and doling out feed, when he heard a voice behind him, tentative and
stiffened, his blood freezing, and then slowly turned to look. He was
too thin and his skin was dark and his hair was a mess, grown out and
curly, the blonde tipping the ends, and he was wearing filthy blue
jeans and a stained white t-shirt, and the look on his face was one
almost of terror, and Giles thought he was the most beautiful thing
he’d ever seen, so he walked up to him and punched him as hard as he
could in the face and stalked off.
Bloody hell!” Spike muttered, sprawled in the dirt of the paddock, then
he leapt to his feet and started chasing after Giles who was stomping
off through fields of green in the direction of a wooded area north of
the fuck out of here, Spike!”
please, listen to me, I’m sorry!” Spike yelled, grabbing Giles by the
elbow. Giles shook him off with ease and kept walking.
WATCHER!” Spike bellowed, and ran as hard as he could, tackling Giles
low and from behind, sending him face first into the grass.
off me, you bastard!” Giles shouted as they struggled. “Get off me and
get the fuck out of here, I want absolutely nothing to do with you
anymore, you filthy fucking coward, GET OUT!”
No, listen to me, goddammit, please,
Watcher!” Spike wheezed, grunting when Giles flipped him onto his back
and pinned him to the ground. He shoved his face into Spike’s.
to what, Spike? Your pitiful little excuses for leaving like you did?
About how much it hurts to be
human? How now you’re frightened of death? Well, join the goddamned
club! Poor, poor Spike, let’s all feel sorry for him, shall we, gets
his reward for being a hero and then fucking runs? Is that what you want me to listen
to?” Giles sneered.
stared up at him, eyes wide and tired and full of tears. “No,” he
whispered. “Just wanted . . .”
WHAT, Spike? WHAT DO YOU FUCKING WANT?”
. . . tell you I love you,” Spike whispered, tears streaming now.
“Missed you. Almost died without you, need you back, please . . .”
reared back, letting go of Spike’s arms. “What in the bloody hell am I
supposed to say to that, Spike? Is that supposed to fucking fix it?”
Watcher, I don’t know! I
don’t fucking know, does it?”
Spike said, scrubbing at his eyes, and Giles stared at him, watched
him, saw again the softness in his eyes and remembered the softness of
his mouth and the softness inside him. He sighed and his eyes closed.
“Watcher?” Spike said hesitantly, gently touching Giles’ arm. “Please?”
he whispered, desperate, so desperate, and the walls Giles had been
building for the past three months crumbled.
stupid, beautiful boy,” he whispered and then leaned down to kiss him,
and Spike flung his arms around Giles’ neck and kissed him back
hungrily, still crying, then they were both struggling with their
clothes and Giles was between Spike’s thighs, and Spike groaned and
wrapped both hands around their cocks.
long, Watcher, God, please,
love you, please, please . . .” he whispered.
you, God, so different, Spike, fuck,”
Giles muttered, thrusting frantically, the new heat of Spike’s body
making his head spin, and Spike bucked up against him, almost howling
with need, and they writhed against one another, fevered and cursing
and calling names of love, Spike shouting when he came, hot and slick
against Giles' cock, and then Giles fell over the edge as well.
look awful and you smell even worse,” Giles said, clothed again and
looking at Spike closely.
know,” Spike muttered, staring at the sky and still wiping at his eyes.
come back to the house. Get cleaned up, something to eat.”
I . . . can I stay? I really am sorry, I was just so . . .”
know,” Giles said softly, having seen the terror in Spike’s eyes. “Of
course you can stay.”
mean . . . forever, Watcher. I need forever.”
can’t give you forever, Spike. But I’ll give you every thing and every
day I have left on this earth.”
the tears started and Giles held him as he wept.
lounged in the tub and watched as Spike fussed with his hair, cursing.
could use the mirror, you know,” Giles said.
eyes widened. “Fuckin’ hell, I keep forgettin’,” he muttered, moving to
stand in front of the mirror. “Don’t know why, me bein’ as pretty as I
rolled his eyes. “What are you going to do with it? Your hair?”
sighed and stared at himself. “Dunno. Let it go dark, I think.”
arched an eyebrow. “Like it like that, then?”
Giles said, hint of a leer on his face.
scowled. “Curly it is then, I suppose,” he said, sighing.
watched and listened as Spike strained to see and identify the Slayers
currently on the training field, and he put one hand over his mouth and
turned Spike to face him.
I’m afraid I have some bad news,” he said.
for God’s sake!” Giles shouted and started yanking off his tie,
struggling out of his suit and into jeans and a t-shirt.
the hell are you goin’, we ain’t done here!”
going to tend the horses, I feel the need to do something a bit more
masculine than continue to argue with you for another two hours about
the color of the goddamned pillow shams, we sound like a couple of old
queens!” Giles yelled and stomped off.
for yourself!” Spike yelled after him. “I’m a young queen and it’s not my fault
YOU HAVE BLOODY AWFUL TASTE!”
was winter, and there was a fire blazing in the fireplace in the living
area of Giles’ bedroom, and he was sprawled along the just long enough
sofa that it had taken him weeks to find, Spike laying atop him, making
it a bit difficult to breathe but Giles didn’t particularly care, it
had become a weekly ritual since the weather had worsened.
was holding up a book with one hand and had the other wrapped lightly
around Spike’s neck, while Spike rested his head on Giles’ chest, his
eyes, now with glasses, glued to the book he had spread open on the
watched him out of the corner of his eye. He was still loud, still
infuriating, but there were more and more moments like this, of quiet,
conversation about literature and music and politics and philosophy,
and Giles felt as if he were getting to know a new person, the person
he’d only glimpsed before.
was, however, still quite beautiful, as well.
suddenly flung his book over the back of the sofa and Spike’s head
jerked up. Giles looked at him pointedly “Bout time, Watcher,” Spike
whispered, grinning, and squirmed against Giles while kissing him
and Spike sat on the window seat in Giles’ office, head pressed to
glass, taking in the rare sunny day, green all over, and he sighed
wrong?” Giles asked.
just . . . all this color, the green and the gold . . .” He turned
suddenly to face Giles. “Do you think there’s anyway we could bring her
here? I hate the thought of her bein’ buried underneath where all that
dark came from. Bring her, and Joyce, too, do you think Buffy and Dawn
would like that?”
it turned out, several families who had relatives buried in Sunnydale
had demanded excavation of its many cemeteries, and Buffy and Dawn
added their names to the waiting list, as did Willow, and two months
later they were able to bring both Joyce and Tara home.
memorial service and reunion was scheduled, all those who had known
Joyce or Tara pulled in for the service and the celebration of the
lives of two women who had done so much, so quietly, to make all of
Come in. Where’s Buffy?”
course she is. How’ve you been?”
Great, really,” Angel said, smiling, and moving to stand in front of
Giles where he leaned against the front of his desk.
your reward then?”
It’s . . . weird, after all this time, to feel like this, but good.”
I’d imagine it would take a bit of getting used to. Spike has his bad
moments – too much maintenance, he says,” Giles said, grinning.
right,” Angel said, and then leaned in closer. “Giles, how in the hell
did everyone start talking about . . . you and me?”
sighed. “Angel, as to how that rumor got started, you really do not want to know.”
sighed as well. “I was thinking, maybe, something like the mindwipe I
used after Connor . . .”
the whole lot of them have been going on about it for months now, but
none of them really believe it. Let them have their fun. Besides, it’s
none of their concern, anyway, and I rather like keeping them on their
frowned. “But what if they get pissed?”
at what? A rumor? Just let it
Angel said, sighing and poked Giles hard in the chest. “Take care of
eyes narrowed and he poked Angel back even harder. “You take care of her. She means more to me than
anything in this world, and when I threaten death as far as she’s
concerned, I’m bloody well serious.”
You’re really gettin’ off on pushing the ex-vampires around, aren’t
I am,” Giles said, smirking, and Angel rolled his eyes and started to
Giles called. Angel turned. “I’m proud of you. Really.”
grinned. “Thanks, sexy,” he said, before darting away.
sighed and grumbled and rolled his eyes and fidgeted with his tie until
Spike leapt into the room, pointing at him accusingly.
KNEW IT!” he bellowed.
what, you prat?”
you fucked Angel! You gonna deny it? I just heard you! He called you sexy!”
am sexy! Spike, review that
conversation in your head very carefully. There was absolutely no
actual mention made of me having sex with Angel,” Giles said, irritated.
mean it didn’t actually happen,” Spike said, pouting.
walked up to him and kissed him. “No. It doesn’t.”
just admitted it!”
said . . . I know . . . I heard
. . . have you put some sort of spell on me?” Spike muttered, glaring
through narrowed eyes.
grinned. “Yes,” he whispered, and pulled Spike close to kiss him
deeply. “Now come on. There are two very special women waiting for us.”
were a lot of tears, but also a lot of laughter, and after the service,
as everyone else filed into the house for drinks and catching up, Buffy
walked up to Giles and Spike, Angel trailing behind her, and did her
best to hug them both at the same time. “That was hard,” she whispered.
“But good. Good to have them close to us. I love you pervs.” She kissed
each one of them in turn.
smiled and hauled her into his arms. “Love you, too, Slayer. And thank
you. If it weren’t for you . . .”
she said, holding up one hand. “You’re gonna make me cry. No more
crying for now, all right?”
Spike said softly, smiling, and handed her over to Giles who pulled her
high into his arms and then started spinning in circles until she was
giggling and dizzy.
she said breathlessly, smiling up at him when he finally set her down.
“You’re really happy, aren’t you?”
he said, and then hugged her again until she squeaked.
she whispered. “I love you, Giles, more than anything.”
love you, too,” he whispered and then straightened. “I’m not sure,
however, what I think about the type of young man you’ve started
bringing home, Buffy.” He glared at Angel over Buffy’s shoulder in faux
fatherly mistrust. “I mean, really, Buffy, vampires?” Spike snorted and Angel
rolled his eyes.
she hissed, poking him. “Stop embarrassing me! I’ll never be able to
bring other boys home now!”
other boys?” Angel said, glaring. “NO OTHER BOYS, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING
ABOUT? NO BOYS!”
kidding,” Buffy said, leaning up to kiss him before turning back to
Giles. “Besides, you’re one
as I say, not as I do!” Giles said, pointing a finger at her.
she said, smiling. “See you guys inside.” She grabbed Angel by the hand
and led him toward the house. “Buffy, no boys! I mean it, one boy, ME!”
he grumbled as he followed her inside.
sighed. “They’ll be married before you know it and there’ll be
snot-nosed brats all over the place, Gramps.”
sank to the ground beside Tara’s grave. “I rather like the sound of
fell to the ground beside him. “So now what, Watcher?”
Giles said. “We sit here for a bit and enjoy the sun, visit with Tara,
then go inside and get stinking drunk and visit with everyone else we
love, tell them that we love them and hug them all as much as we can
before they go, and then go to bed.”
fell to his back and sighed in contentment. “Good plan, Watcher.”
so that’s what they did.
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