Angel glanced around the office a final time, checking to make certain everything was in place. A
white tablecloth was draped over the low coffee table in front of the dark leather couch. On the table
was a small chocolate-frosted cake with a single unlit candle in the center, a knife, two plastic forks,
and two paper plates. A gaily wrapped gift sat on the table, also. A Happy Birthday banner was
strung across the alcove of shelves holding various awards for excellence in the world of advertizing.
A Police tape was in the antique cassette radio, and the strains of classic 1980's music filled the
It was Spike's birthday, his 38th according to the birth certificate of Spike Kellogg, his 317th as a
vampire. Angel had been planning this mid-day surprise birthday party all week, and not because
Spike enjoyed surprise parties. Angel had barely seen his lover and long-time companion the past
two weeks -- which wasn't that much of a surprise, either, these days -- and Angel knew he
wouldn't see the blond anytime soon with a deadline looming over Spike's head. So, he was using
the excuse of Spike's birthday to spend some time with the other man.
Spike was a partner and a top rate advertizing executive in this incarnation of his manufactured life.
In ten years, he'd risen from entry level to partner, commanded his own staff of fourteen, and
worked eighty hours a week -- more, if an all important deadline was near. The prestigious New
York firm, Shoemacher and Kline, was where Spike would continue to work for at least another
fifteen years, until he could no longer disguise the fact that he wasn't aging by simply changing his
hairstyle. He pulled in a pretty penny, too, one that enabled him to take care of Angel with little
Angel ran his fingers through his silver mane, brushed them over his equally grey mustache, and
checked his dentures (ironic that his teeth would be the first to go, as a human). He didn't want
them coming unfixed while he was kissing his lover. Angel's heart skipped a beat in anticipation,
even though heart-skipping was an impossibility with his pacemaker.
At sixty-six, Angel was relatively fit and a "horny old bastard," according to Spike. He was also a
kept man, had been for over a century, starting back when he was still a vampire. It had been a hard
fight, then eventually a relief to relinquish control to Spike, to let someone else make the decisions in
Angel's life, and Spike seemed happy being the dominate caregiver, including the fact that
employment was necessary to support them. With the behavior modification chip in his head still
functioning, Spike simply had found a different arena in which to be a predator -- the business
"Marlene, call Mr. Wendell a taxi and make certain he gets in it," Spike was saying to his Drusilla
look-a-like secretary as he opened the door to his windowless office. Thumbing through his urgent
message notes, he continued giving instructions to Marlene. "Call Jason and tell him weasels are
not the same as ferrets, and if he wants to keep his job he'd better clean up the mess in the
conference room. Tell Carly she's got the BodyTreats account, but steal me the White Chocolate
Scented Massage Creme from the sample kit before you do. Oh, and I know about the 'surprise'
party tonight at Darwin's , so you don't have to try and figure out a way to get me there by eight."
"Yes, Mr. Kellogg," Marlene said with a grin. She gestured for him to continue into his office. "I'll
make sure no one disturbs you unless it's important."
Spike frowned at her. "Er, right. Thanks," he said, and closed his office door as she returned to her
desk. He unbuttoned his tailored charcoal grey pinstriped suit jacket. With his crisp white shirt and
light red tie, he cut a dashing corporate figure, in Angel's opinion. It was one of the pluses of Spike
being a white-collar employee.
Spike turned to head for his desk and froze for a brief instant when he saw Angel standing there.
Then, a surprised, happy smile spread across his chiseled face. "Angel, hi. What're you doing
"Can't your 'father' come visit when he wants?" Angel said with a wink. Marlene and the rest of
Spike's staff knew what Angel really was to the blond, due to the small parties they'd hosted at their
house, but the rest of Shoemacher and Kline employees, as well as the other companies that had
office space in the skyscraper, did not.
Spike tossed the urgent messages to his desk, crossed to Angel, and kissed him soundly. "Mmm."
The blond licked his lips, opened his eyes, and grinned at the elderly man. "My, what a deft tongue
you have, Daddy."
Angel chuckled as he and Spike moved to the couch. Sitting, the silver-haired man lit fire to the
birthday candle's wick with a match. "Happy birthday, Spike," he said.
"You, my pet, are a sweet old man," Spike told him.
Angel blushed and gestured to the cake. "Shut up and make a wish."
Spike looked at Angel for a very long moment, as if memorizing the other man's face, then smiled
softly, held his tie against him, leaned forward, and blew out the candle.
Angel cut the cake -- a very small piece for him, a larger slice for Spike -- and they ate the
chocolate confection as they chatted. Spike told Angel about the new accounts the firm had
acquired that had been assigned to his team. Angel told Spike about the new flowers he'd planted in
their garden at home. Spike promised to take vacation time after the impending deadline had
passed, and Angel pretended to believe him.
"Holy hell, Angel, where'd you find this?" Spike stared in amazement at the opened gift in his lap.
It was a 2000 X-Men Wolverine action figure, in its original packaging.
"Antonio's Antiques," Angel replied. "He has a standing request to call me if he gets in any X-Men
"This is great," Spike said enthusiastically. "I can't wait to put it in the display cabinet with the
others." He leaned over and kissed Angel on the cheek. "Thank you, pet."
The intercom on the phone buzzed, and Spike gave Angel an apologetic look before rising to answer
it, leaving the action figure on the couch. Angel sighed and began to clean up. A half-hour had
passed since Spike had returned to his office, and it looked like the intimate party was over already.
The banner, plates, forks, cake candle, and tablecloth were tossed in the trash. The rest of the cake
was left on the table for Spike to give to Marlene. Angel collected the action figure to take home
with him, knowing that Spike would forget it if he didn't. He headed for the door, raising a hand in
"Wait, I'll walk you out," Spike told Angel, hanging up the phone. He placed his hand on Angel's
back as they walked out of the office, past the busy workers in their cubicles, to the elevators. Spike
pressed the down button and nodded politely in response to several greetings from his staff.
"I'll see you later," he said to Angel, glancing at the silver Rolex on his wrist. It had been another
gift from his devoted human companion in an attempt to remind Spike to come home every so often.
It hadn't worked. "I don't know what time, though. I have this birthday party thing at Darwin's to
go to after work."
"I'll be home," Angel said quietly, head down, as the elevator arrived. He got onto the lift and
pressed the button for the lobby, despite it having been pressed by one of the other five passengers in
"Angel," Spike said from the other side of the open elevator doors. "You do know that I loved the
surprise, and that I would come home early if I didn't have this office party, yeah?"
"Of course," Angel replied, trying not to let the hurt show in his voice. Why would Spike want to
spend his birthday with a senior citizen anyway, especially with the kind of parties Spike's staff
The elevator doors were almost shut when a pale hand caught one, causing the safety to kick in.
The doors reopened, and Spike stepped inside the lift, grabbed Angel by the back of his silver mane,
and kissed him passionately in front of everyone.
The doors started to shut again, but Marlene stopped them with her foot. She set Spike's briefcase
and overcoat in the elevator, hit the button for the basement parking garage, and waggled her fingers
at the other passengers in the lift as the doors shut once more. A bright urgent message note was
stuck to the top of Spike's coat, which read: "Time waits not."
"You didn't ask me what my wish was," Spike scolded a bit breathlessly, even though he didn't
need the oxygen. The five other passengers in the lift watched on, two uncomfortably, the other
three smiling behind their hands.
"What was your birthday wish?" Angel asked obligingly.
"Nothing," Spike replied, caressing Angel's weathered cheek. "I already have everything I could
"Really?" Angel smiled, his pacemaker skipping a beat. "And what's everything?"
Spike leaned in, and whispered tenderly against Angel's lips, "You."