August 15, 2000
Angel limped into the office of Angel Investigations and gave his two coworkers a pained look.
"Next time I go after a Peti by myself, kill me first and save it the trouble."
"That bad, huh?" Cordelia said as she stood and headed to the filing cabinet, where the first aid
kit was located.
The new office of Angel Investigations -- new, thanks to the old office being destroyed by a demon -- was
located in a semi-decrepit neighborhood on the outskirts of Central L.A. Set up similarly to the
old location, Angel Investigations had an outer office/reception area, an inner office, and a break
room/conference room. The building sported a parking garage with side-door access directly to it
from the inner office.
Angel had wisely chosen to make his home at another location.
"That bad," Angel replied to Cordelia. He handed Wesley his bloodied weapon. "I thought I
was a goner until the Peti suddenly seemed to tire."
"Well, next time, rest assured, you shall have backup," Wesley stated.
"Thanks, Wes," Angel said as he accepted the first aid kit from Cordelia.
"Are you going to be okay?" Cordelia asked with concern.
"As long as there's no excitement in the next twenty-four hours, I'll be fine," Angel replied.
Angel dropped the first aid kit at the high-pitched scream. He whirled towards the office door
just as it was slammed open. A peroxide-blonde whirlwind flew into the room, jumped into
Angel's arms, and pressed his face into Angel's neck.
"Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy," Spike babbled. "Save me!"
Angel had instantly wrapped his arms around the body that had latched onto him and he winced
when he felt his broken ribs shift. "Spike?"
Knowing his Sire was hurt, Spike adjusted himself so his weight was resting on Angel's hips
only. With his hands clasped behind Angel's neck, Spike leaned back slightly and looked at
Angel with as wide and scared-like eyes as he could manage. "Save me, Daddy! Please! Don't
let him get me!"
"Who?" Angel's face reflected utter confusion and a hint of fear. "What's wrong?"
"EEP!" Spike squeaked and put his feet on the ground. He slid to Angel's side, partially buried
his face in Angel's shoulder and peered at Xander, who was standing in the open doorway of the
"Don't let him get me," Spike whispered in his best scaredy-cat imitation.
"Xander?" Cordelia gaped. "Is that you?"
"Hey, Cordelia." Xander slid his sunglasses-covered gaze to Wesley and his brows raised in
surprise. "And Wesley?"
"All right, what's going on?" Angel demanded to know.
"He's a bad, bad man," Spike said, pointing at Xander. "Very bad."
A sly smile spread across Xander's face as he ventured further into the office. He concentrated
on the air behind Spike and a tiny lightning bolt formed.
"Aah!" Spike jumped as he was struck in the ass by a stinging bolt. He rubbed his behind and
glared at Xander. "Bastard."
Xander chuckled without humor. "I wish."
Spike scowled and moved away from Angel. He flopped down on a chair, pulled out a cigarette
and lit it.
Angel, Cordelia and Wesley looked back and forth between the two visitors.
Xander lowered his glasses slightly, winced and pushed them back into place. The office was too
bright for his super-sensitive eyes. His actions went unnoticed by everyone but Spike. Spike abruptly stood, walked over to the wall and shut off the overhead lights.
"Hey!" Cordelia exclaimed.
Xander shot Spike a grateful nod, then removed his sunglasses. "Do you
guys mind if we keep the overhead lights off? I got sand in my eyes earlier today and had to go
to the doctor," Xander lied. "He put some of those drops in my eyes and now they're really
"Uh, sure," Angel agreed. "Now, who's going to explain what's going on before I start to get
"And you don't want to see Angel get angry," Cordelia warned. "It's not pretty."
Spike snorted and Xander cuffed him across the back of the head. Wesley
suddenly gasped and a cross appeared in his hand, almost as if by magic. "Xander's a vampire!"
"No, he's not," Angel contradicted, folding his arms across his chest. "He's alive, but he's
seconds away from becoming dead."
"Angel, you sound right pissy," Spike said in surprise as he retook his seat. "What's up your
"Gee, I don't know, Spike," Angel replied sarcastically. "You come flying in here, screaming
'Daddy' like God Himself is chasing you, and it's Xander who appears in the doorway. Now, I
might be a lapsed Catholic by a couple of centuries, but I do remember that God does not look
like Xander Harris."
"Technically, Angel, God can appear in whatever form He wish-"
"Shut up, Wesley," Angel interrupted with a growl.
"Sorry. I was only trying to be of assistance-"
"Wesley, Angel said to shut up," Cordelia said. "So do it."
Xander raised his hands and formed a 'T.' "Time out, guys. We didn't come here to get into a
fight. We just wanted to say 'hi' on our way through town. So, hi. Now, let's go, Spike."
"Right." Spike stood again and followed Xander towards the open office door.
"Wait," Angel said, his conscious gaining the upper hand over his irritation. He dropped his
defensive stance and took a step forward. "You just got here. Why don't we have some of
Cordelia's bad coffee and, um, converse?"
"I don't make bad coffee," Cordelia said.
Xander stopped in the doorway, turned and looked back at Angel. "Bad coffee and conversing?
I don't know. Spike, are you up for bad coffee and conversing?"
"I don't make bad coffee!" Cordelia repeated.
"I'd rather have good coffee and silence," Spike shrugged, "but whatever. I'll stay."
"Okay, you got yourself a deal, Angel," Xander said. "Bad coffee and conversing it is."
Cordelia suddenly exploded, "I do NOT make bad coffee!"
"You're right, Cordelia, you don't make bad coffee," Angel said, shaking his head in opposite of
what he was saying. Wesley hid a chuckle behind his hand. "I stand corrected."
Cordelia stuck her nose in the air and walked into the break room. Angel glanced at Wesley, then
looked at Xander and Spike again. "She makes horrible coffee."
"I heard that!"