"What are you doing here?"
Spike looked up from the television as Angel entered his apartment after dropping Willow off before the appointed curfew. "Hello to you too, poopsy."
"I really hate being a vampire," Angel sighed, closing the door behind him. "Any yahoo can come waltzing in without an invitation." He dropped his keys on the table and shed the tuxedo jacket, tie and cummerbund, wondering why he wasn't feeling animosity towards his childe. "You still didn't answer my question."
"I needed a place to crash for the day, and I figured since I came all the bloody way from Brazil to tell you about your witch..."
"You'd come here," Angel finished, unbuttoning his dress shirt. "I should make you go away."
"But the sun is high in the sky," Spike told him, then frowned. "The sun is high in the sky and you just got back now?"
Angel gave him a half smirk. "Well, I had to stay and see the sun rise, then we had to eat." He chuckled at the blonde’s wide eyed stare. "And now I have to get some sleep. Red's parents are having a 'get to know Willow's friends, especially that Angel, what kind of name is Angel anyway?, who took her to the prom' dinner."
"But, the sun..."
He rolled his eyes. "What is your fixation with that beautiful sunlight? Oh, yeah, sorry. You can't go out in it," he mocked, going over to the refrigerator and pulling out two packets of blood. He took out a small pan and began to heat it over the stove, the television humming in the background.
Spike blinked several times, trying to fathom what his sire had just said, then narrowed his eyes. "Is the witch that powerful?"
"Her name is Willow, Spike," Angel said over his shoulder. "And stay away from her."
"Or what? You'll beat me up?" Spike said sarcastically. "Ooh, look at me, I'm shaking."
"It won't be me you'll have to worry about," he answered cryptically, pouring the blood in two mugs.
"The Slayer?" Spike asked, then snorted. "I'm not afraid of her."
Angel arched an eyebrow at him, then turned off the stove, ran water in the pan, and handed him the extra mug. "That's right, you're her best friend."
"Hey, now," Spike glared at him, accepting the mug. "I wouldn't have had to make nice if you didn't try to send the world to Hell."
"I never did thank you for bashing me over the head, did I?" Angel said sarcastically. "If I weren't the man I am today, you would be wearing your skin inside out."
"How did you become all soul-filled again, anyway?" Spike asked, ignoring his sire's threat. "And how is it you're still here instead of rotting away in Hell where the Slayer had to have sent you to close the portal?"
"You'd have to ask Red," Angel replied, earning another astonished look from Spike.
"You mean, that little girl did all that?" Spike said. "Remind me never to get on her bad side."
Angel laughed. "She can be very...persuasive, when she wants to be. Which reminds me, if you're going to meet Buffy tonight, don't kill her. You won't like the consequences."
"I wasn't planning on killing her anyway," Spike said begrudgingly. Angel arched his eyebrow again, giving him a skeptical look. "Unlife would get too boring if Dru wasn't complaining non-stop about how I aided the Slayer and hurt her daddy."
"Red was right, you do have a crush," he replied.
"Buffy," Angel said. "You have a thing for her."
"Shut your hole!" Spike growled.
"You do," he told Spike calmly.
"I hate that girl, always ruining my plans, my reputation, my dignity for bloody sakes, pulling down my pants to see what I'm wearing underneath," he mumbled, glaring at the television screen as if it were the blond in question.
Angel chuckled as he put the mug in the sink. He couldn't wait to tell Willow she was right, even if it was 'eew,' as he put it last night.
"Don't you have any bloody alcohol in this place?" Spike was muttering as he opened and closed cabinets, waking Angel later that afternoon. "Cor, there's enough food in here. When did you turn into a human?"
Angel looked over at his childe, watching his jerky movements. "What are you doing?"
"I'm looking for a drink," Spike answered, opening the refrigerator and scowling at its packed shelves. He pushed around the soda, Jell-O, Redi-whip and other food before closing the door in disgust.
"Any particular reason?"
Angel shook his head as he got up, going into the bathroom as Spike reopened the fridge and took out a soda. Once the door was closed, he broke out laughing, knowing that what he'd told Spike unsettled him.
He turned on the small radio, then stepped into the shower, letting the hot water wash the dregs of sleep away. An old Police song came on and he grinned as he thought of Willow, and he began to sing along with the chorus. "Every little thing she does is magic, everything she does just turns me on. Even though my life before was tragic, you know my love for you will still go on..."
His singing was interrupted by pounding o the door, then Spike's voice. "You have a phone call, mate. And stop that bloody caterwauling. It's worse than nails across a blackboard."
Angel emerged from the bathroom and threw on a pair of pants as Spike sat chatting with whoever was on the other end of the line.
"Oh, peaches is done perfecting his hair," Spike said. Angel scowled at him. "See you later, pet."
He snatched the phone away from the blond. "Hello?"
"Hi, General!" Willow replied over the phone. "Are you ready for tonight?"
"Are you sure I have to do this, Red?" Angel said.
"Yes, you do," she answered. "Xander and Cordy are going to be here at seven. Would you make sure Buffy is, too, even though Spike promised to bring her."
"He did what?"
Willow giggled. "Promised to bring her after their 'fight.' He even said he'd make sure she didn't get too dirty. I'm telling you - he's got a crush."
"I know," Angel replied. "He was rooting around the kitchen for something to drink because I told him that." She giggled again. "Should I bring anything else?"
"Just your sexy body," Willow said. "I have to go now."
"Ok, see you in a bit."
"I love you."
Angel smiled, his whole face lighting up at her words. "I love you, too, Red." Spike snorted as he hung up the phone. "Jealous, Spike?"
"Not bloody likely," Spike replied, drinking the soda and making a face at the taste. "And I do not have a crush o the Slayer!"
"Sure, you don't," Angel mocked.
"I don't! I'm quite happy with Dru. I love her."
"I believe you," Angel said, enjoying himself at Spike's expense. "But you still have a crush on Buffy."
Angel stood hidden in the shadows, watching Buffy and Spike fight and exchange barbs, as well as the two vampires observing them from a distance. It looked as though his childe's reputation was going to get that boost he wanted.
Glancing at his watch, he moved form his hiding spot to break up the fight. Spike saw him, winked at Buffy, then sent her flying to the ground before jogging off. "Next time, Slayer."
Buffy rolled her eyes as she accepted Angel's hand up. "Are those two vamps who were watching gone yet?" she asked, brushing herself off.
"Yes," Angel answered.
"I hope they enjoyed the show," Buffy said as they started walking out of the cemetery. Spike joined them on the other side of the gates, grin on his face.
"Thanks, luv," he said to the Slayer.
"You're welcome," Buffy replied. "Now, go away."
"No can do. The witch invited me to dinner," Spike said.
"She did what?" Angel said, surprised.
"Invited me," he replied with a snicker. "Wants me to be your 'family.'"
"As what?" Buffy asked, frowning mentally at Willow. "You can't tell them he's your 'daddy', as Drusilla would say."
"Red, what did you do?" Angel groaned.
Spike clapped him on the shoulder. "Don't worry about it, bro. We'll have a gay old time."
"Buffy, stake him. Please?" Angel begged as they approached Willow's front door. Cordelia's car was parked in the driveway.
Willow must have been watching because she opened the door before they could knock. "Hi, guys, come in."
"Hey, Wills," Buffy greeted as she passed. Spike shot her an endearing smile, following behind the Slayer into the ranch home.
"Red, why are you letting Spike into your house?" Angel asked after he dropped a kiss on her lips.
"Because he knows you, General," Willow replied. "Besides, he can't do anything now that he's in the house or for the rest of the time he's in Sunnydale."
"What did you do?"
"Oh, just a little anti-violence spell," she said. "It wouldn't work unless I got him here. The second he stepped over the threshold..."
"You zapped him," Angel finished with a smirk. "I should go after him now, pay him back for clubbing me with a tire iron."
"No, you won't," Willow said. "If he hadn't hit you, the world would have been sucked into Hell."
Angel pouted. "Ruin my fun."
"Come on, mom wants to talk to you in the kitchen," she said, pulling him into the house and shutting the door.
"Hello, Mrs. Rosenberg," Angel greeted as they entered the kitchen.
"Hello, Angel," Mrs. Rosenberg said, looking up from the food she was setting on the table. Dinner was to be buffet-style, and the table was piled with chips, potato salad, burgers, condiments and all sorts of other goodies. "Did you enjoy yourself last night?"
"Yes, ma'am," Angel replied. "We had a lot of fun."
"Willow tells me your brother is in town," she said conversationally. "Billy, I think his name is?"
Angel held back a chuckle. "Yes, Billy."
"How old is he?"
"A year younger than me," Angel lied. He'd have to remember to fill Spike, make that Billy, in on the background story. "Fair warning - we look nothing alike."
"He's also been in England for awhile, mom," Willow added. "So he has a cool accent."
"Well, why don't you two go join your friends. Ira will be back in a minute and we can start dinner," Mrs. Rosenberg told them.
"Thanks, mom," Willow said, exiting the kitchen with Angel. Their footsteps were silent on the carpeting as they walked behind one of the couches with Xander and Cordelia sitting on it.
"Hey you two," Angel greeted, smacking Xander on the back of the head.
"Aah!" Xander jumped, his head turning sharply to glare at him. "Where's your bells, Deadboy?"
"Xander, exnay on the eadboyday," Willow told her oldest friend.
"Sorry," Angel said, clearly not apologetic at all, as he pulled the black cord from under his navy button-down shirt. The four bells jingled merrily as they hit his chest.
"What are you, a cow?" Spike said, looking at the four colored balls.
"He has a point, Jingle Bells," Xander said. "You do wear an awful lot of leather."
"Maybe he was a cow in a past life," Cordelia suggested.
Angel groaned. "Now look what you started, Billy."
"Who-ee?" Buffy asked.
"Billy," he replied, grinning at Spike. "My 18 year old brother, Billy."
"Billy?" Buffy repeated, looking at the vampire seated next to her. She started to laugh. "As in Billy Idol?"
"Yup," Willow said proudly. The others joined in the laughter, as well.
"Shut up," Spike growled, making them laugh even harder.
"Dinner's ready," Mrs. Rosenberg called, and the group went in the kitchen to get some food, then gathered around the dining room table with Willow's parents. Spike and Angel took the smallest amounts they could get away with, and the peroxide blond was having trouble hiding his disgust until Buffy elbowed him sharply in the ribs.
"So, Angel," Mr. Rosenberg said, starting the dreaded conversation. "This is your brother?"
"Yes, sir," Angel replied, shooting Spike a warning glare to play along. "This is Billy."
Buffy and Xander snickered under their breaths. "He's visiting from England."
"And what are you doing in England, son?" Mr. Rosenberg asked Spike.
"Drinking, whoring, the usual," Spike replied. He was kicked from both sides under the table.
"I apologize for my brother, sir," Angel said, his glare turning murderous. "He hangs around with a bad crowd."
"Yes, sorry," Spike said. "I'm not use to talking to huma- er, people."
"He's leaving tonight, too," Buffy added for Angel's benefit, then added under her breath: "I hope."
"Angel, are you taking summer courses?" Mrs. Rosenberg said, changing the subject.
Angel shot a look at Willow, who nodded imperceptibly. "Yes. I'm taking..." he wracked his brains for some sort of inkling as to names of actual classes. "United States History, an art history class and a computer class."
"Willow's been accepted to Yale and Harvard," Mr. Rosenberg boasted. "All she has to do now is pick one."
"I got accepted at Sunnydale University," Xander interrupted, flashing his boyish grin at Mrs. Rosenberg.
"Why, that's wonderful, Xander," Mrs. Rosenberg said.
"And he only had to bribe ten people," Cordelia added.
"At least I got accepted," Xander said to his girlfriend. "Unlike some people *coughCordy* I know."
"What about you, Slayer? What hallowed halls are you going to terrorize?" Spike asked Buffy.
"None of your business," Buffy growled at him.
"Oh, come on, pet. Tell me," Spike said, leaning closer to her. "I'm dying to know."
"I'll have you know I was accepted at UCLA, USC and Berkeley," Cordelia continued arguing with Xander.
"It helps that your daddy's on the board for all three, right?" Xander said.
"General, this is not going good," Willow whispered to Angel as she watched her parents eyeing her friends with distaste. "Do something."
"Like what?" Angel asked.
"I don't know, just do it!"
Prompted into action by her words, Angel suddenly stood, bells jingling, and glared his friends. "That's enough," he stated. "This is not the cafeteria at school. We are the Rosenberg's guests and we shall behave as though we're in my library, got it?"
Stunned silence filled the room as all eyes turned towards him. Buffy, Xander, Cordelia and even Spike dropped their heads in shame, mumbling apologies. Willow hid her smile behind her hand as Angel sat back down. "I apologize, sir and ma'am."
"Oh, that's quite alright, Angel," Mrs. Rosenberg beamed at him. "I gather you have to do this sort of thing at the library often?"
"Sometimes," Angel replied. "This group tends to get a bit...rambunctious, considering they have the library all to themselves most days." He noticed Willow was biting her lip to keep from laughing. No one but them ever visited the library.
"Do you think you'll stay on at the library, even though it's summer?" she asked.
"Yes," he said. "There is always work that needs to be done, especially via the computer."
"Which is why I'll be there a lot this summer, mom," Willow said, catching onto what Angel was inferring.
"Don't your parents mind that your hanging around with high schoolers?" Mr. Rosenberg asked awhile later.
"They're dead, sir," Angel replied.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Mrs. Rosenberg said.
"It's alright. It happened a long time ago," he said.
"Some bloody wanker murdered them," Spike piped up malisciously, earning another kick in the shin.
"Oh, no. That must have been devastating," Mrs. Rosenberg said. "Who took you in?"
"A woman named Darla," Angel said. Lying was most effective when sticking as close to the truth as possible. "But she died two years ago."
"Does that mean you live alone?" Mr. Rosenberg asked, eyeing Angel like he was a randy teenager. Which, considering the cover story, he was in Willow's father's eyes.
"Yes, sir, I do," Angel answered.
"Hmm," he replied, fatherly instincts kicking in more. "I don't know if I want my Willow over there."
"Dad, we are usually too busy at the library," Willow broke in.
"Research parties all the time," Xander added.
"The library had a tendency to suck the life out of us," Cordelia said.
"You mean, I only had to go to that bloody library if I wanted you?" Spike asked, looking at the Slayer to his right.
"Screwing Buffy in the middle of the library would not have made Giles happy, Spike," Willow said in a very low voice, since she was sitting next to the vampire on his left. His mouth dropped open in shock at her and she could swear that he started to blush.
"That was mean, Red," Angel whispered to her as the conversation settled around the library and its tweed clad librarian.
"I know," Willow replied, giggling softly. "But so much fun."
Willow waved as Cordelia and Xander drove off, Angel's arm snug around her waist. Dinner hadn't been a total disaster, and her mom said her friends were fine and that her dad liked Angel's maturity. She giggled as she thought about how they would react if they knew he had over two centuries to mature.
"What's so funny?" Angel asked, kissing the top of her head.
"Just thinking about tonight," Willow answered. She nodded her head to where Buffy and Spike were standing, the latter smoking a cigarette while they talked. "Too bad Spike's a bad guy. They would have been perfect for each other."
"Don't even think about giving him his soul, Red," Angel warned. "Buffy and Giles were meant to be together, like almost all Slayers and Watchers have been."
"I know," she sighed. "Besides, I wouldn't want to take him away from Drusilla. He really loves her. That was the reason why he teamed up with Buffy to begin with - he wanted to get her back from you."
"Not my most glorious of actions," Angel said with a grimace. "I don't know what I ever saw in Dru."
"A way to make Spike jealous and play alpha male," she replied.
"Smarty pants," he teased, watching as the two mortal enemies walked over to join them.
"Well, can't say that this has been fun," Spike said, crushing out his cigarette.
"Why not, Billy?" Buffy said innocently. He shot her a dirty look.
"Are you heading back to Brazil?" Willow asked.
"Finally," Spike replied. "My bloody good deed for the century has been done."
"Don't forget Miss Edith," Angel told him. "We wouldn't want you to come back."
"You have to drag me by my entrails to get me to come back to this hell hole," he said.
"Hellmouth," Buffy corrected with a grin, her eyes dancing.
Spike focused his gaze on her. "You are a bloody pain in the arse."
"Oh, bugger it," he suddenly swore softly, grabbing Buffy and yanking her against him, crushing her in a fiery kiss.
Willow looked up at Angel and grinned. "Told you he had a crush."
As soon as it started, it was over. Spike broke away from Buffy, gave them a jaunty salute, then turned on his heel and sauntered off. Buffy just stared after him, a dazed expression on his face. "Damn, Angel, you didn't tell me he was such a good kisser."
Angel burst out laughing at her statement, as Willow gave her best friend a smile. "I guess next time we play I Never, you won't have to drink when asked who's been kissed by two vampires."