Nice To Meet You, Pinocchio


by Saber ShadowKitten


Part Four




"Do you ever miss having a reflection?" Spike asked, touching the surface of the mirror in front of him. He and Angel had been brought up to Buffy's bedroom once the Slayer had arrived and were standing on the dresser, waiting for her to return.

"I guess I never really think about it," Angel replied, studying Spike's bandaged profile.

"One time, around forty years ago," Spike began, lightly running his fingers over the glass. "Drusilla and I were out hunting when we came upon this dance school. She had heard the music coming from the open windows and said it was calling to her."

Angel watched the ghost of a smile play on his childe's face from his memories. "It was a public building, so we were able to go inside," Spike continued. "That was the first time I actually wished I still had a reflection."

"What happened?" Angel asked, curious.

"There was a long mirror that ran the length of the room, and the few couples in the place were dancing in front of it. Cor, Angel, their movements were so...erotic, with their reflections mimicking them...," he trailed off, staring sightlessly at the mirror where his reflection should have been.

Spike shook off the memory and smirked at Angel. "Anyway, we killed the people there and danced to the music on the phonograph until the album ended, then left."

Angel rolled his eyes as Buffy entered the bedroom, carrying a white, plastic tape recorder with a microphone. She set it down on the dresser next to them and turned it on. "This should work," she said.

"Slayer, at this size, did you know you have really big tmmpsh-" Spike started to say into the microphone, but was cut off by Angel's hand for the second time that night.

"You sound like Mickey Mouse," Buffy said, folding her arms over her chest as she glared at the pint-sized vampire.

"Sorry, Buffy," Angel said into the mic, wiping his hand on his pants after Spike licked it. "You can understand us, though?"

"Yes," she replied, then grinned. "God, this is so weird. You guys are tiny!"

"Spike's fault," Angel said.

"Is not," Spike growled.

"Who opened the box?"

"Who came back to Sunnyhell?"

"Who can't control his impulses?"

"Who made me?"

"Enough, you two!" Buffy stated. "How do you expect me to get you un-shrunk if you keep arguing over whose fault it is?"

"It's his fault," Spike grumbled.

"Spike, shut up," Buffy said. "Angel, tell me what happened."

"The intelligent one here," the dark-haired vampire gestured to Spike. Spike glared at him, but said nothing. "Opened a box that he shouldn't have. We got hit by a reddish light, then ended up six inches tall."

"Where at?" she asked.

"Clearview cemetery," Angel replied. "In one of the mausoleums."

"Ok, I'll go see if I can find it," Buffy said. "But in the meantime, the sun's going to be up in a few."

"And I'm hungry," Spike stated. "All I had to eat was fly."

"Um, eew," she said. "That's gross."

"Tell that to Jeff Goldblum here," the blond vampire said, gesturing to Angel.

"You didn't have to...never mind," Angel sighed. "Buffy, if you can get some blood for us and find something small enough to put it in..."

"No sweat," she replied. "And I think I have the perfect place for you guys for the day."

*****



"The walls are purple," Spike commented. "The carpet is pink and the bedspread is gold. What type of color scheme was the Slayer trying to follow here?"

Angel gave Spike a strange look. "When did you turn into Martha Stewart?"

"Go find your own room, peaches," Spike told him. "This one's mine."

Buffy had, indeed, the perfect place for the two six-inch vampires -- her old dollhouse. She had carried it down from the attic and quickly cleaned it and dug out the furniture, then set it up in her room on the bed. A blanket over the front blocked any sun that crept through her closed shades.

The dollhouse itself was huge, with three floors and a wrap-around porch. On the main floor, there was a kitchen, dining room, living room, and a study. The second floor held three bedrooms and a fake bathroom, and the third was a large, open room. The house was complete with carpeting, furniture and lights that worked on an old train transformer.

The Slayer had left a short while ago, promising to return with blood and a few other things. Both vampires were beat, their long trek and multiple injuries taking their toll. Angel tiredly went into another bedroom and stripped down to his boxers, then laid back on the double bed. He was happy to find that it was pretty comfortable for a piece of dollhouse furniture.

Putting his arms behind his head, his thoughts drifted to the cat and what Spike had said. "What did he mean, 'why wouldn't I'?" Angel said to himself.

In the other bedroom, Spike was also in a similar position, although he was backwards on the bed and his feet were propped up against the wall above the headboard. The gold bedspread was draped across his lap, not wanting to give the Slayer an eyeful when she returned. Six inches tall or not, he still wasn't considered 'small.'

As he lay there, images of the cat pouncing on his sire ran through his mind, making him tense and uncomfortable. He hated when his feelings overrode his control, causing him to act or say things he didn't want known. It was bad enough that the Slayer had gotten to relax around her and her friends, or the fact that she'd been there when he'd broken down and blubbered over Drusilla like a baby. But then she'd let him beat her up, and he felt better.

However, he couldn't very well go into the other bedroom and rough up his sire At least, not with his head pounding and his body aching like it did. Instead he was stuck knowing that he'd acted on feelings long buried in the deepest recesses of his heart and practically admitted those feelings to Angel. "Bloody hell," he cursed quietly, putting an arm over his eyes. He'd have to hope that the dark-haired vampire would forget about it come evening.

*****



Angel burst out laughing, falling down into the chair at the kitchen table, when he saw Spike. Buffy had gone out and bought them some doll clothes to change into, not knowing how long they'd be shrunk. The clothes were a little loose on Angel, but they swam on Spike's leaner and shorter form.

"Shut up and help me, pillock," Spike growled at him, holding the legs of the too long pants up as he shuffled into the room. At least his belt had shrunk with him, which was the only reason the pants were staying up where they belonged.

Angel pressed his lips together, trying to squash his laughter at his childe's expense. He stood up and gestured to the chair he'd abandoned. "Climb up," he instructed, then sniggered. "Don't trip."

"Wanker," the blond scowled, climbing up onto the chair. He glared down at the top of Angel's head as the older vampire crouched and began rolling up his pants legs. He had tried to do it himself, but after three frustrating minutes, he figured since it was Angel's fault they were six inches tall, he should help him. "Did the Slayer say if she found the box?"

"Yeah," Angel replied. "Rupert is trying to translate the writing."

"Wonder if Riley is helping," Spike said, thinking out loud.

"Who?" Angel asked, looking up at Spike.

A smirk crossed the younger vampire's face. "You don't know about Riley? He's Buffy's sort-of new beau."

Angel tensed and returned his eyes to his task. "Really? What's he like?"

"He's really...swell," Spike replied, silently snickering at his sire's discomfort. "I keep expecting Jimmy Olsen to come running around the corner, though."

"Well, as long as she's happy," Angel shrugged. "That's all that matters to me."

"Cor, you friggin' prick," Spike said, jumping off the chair as Angel stood. He glared up at his sire. "Are you really such an unfeeling bastard? Oh wait, I already know the fucking answer to that."

"Woah, Spike," Angel put up his hands in defense. "What's with the hostility?"

"You bloody figure it out," Spike said, then stalked out of the room and up the stairs.

"Boy, someone sure has a SHORT temper today!" Angel called after him.

"SOD OFF!"

*****



Spike had climbed up to the roof of the dollhouse, wanting to be as far away from his sire as possible. He'd done it again, allowed his emotions to control him and ended up saying things he didn't want said. The forced togetherness, even though it had only been two nights, was getting to him. He really wished Angel would go back to Los Angeles.

"Hi...uh...Spike," Buffy's loud voice greeted as she came into the bedroom, after she made sure which vampire it was. "How do the clothes fit?"

"Swimmingly," Spike dead-panned. Of course, she couldn't hear him, seeing as the microphone was on the other side of the room.

"I just came to tell you guys no luck yet," she said, moving around to the back of the dollhouse. "And to bring you some dinner and something to do." She opened a paper bag and pulled out a three-inch high container of blood, followed by a bunch of tiny gift books and set them in the kitchen.

"Thanks, Buffy," Angel told her from inside the house, despite that whole not-hearing him thing.

"Well, I can't stay," she said, opening the lid on the blood. "Patrol and all. I'll check on you guys in the morning."

Spike chuckled as the Slayer sent him a smile, then bounced out of the room. He knew exactly why she hadn't stuck around. She had a date with Riley and she didn't want to be around Angel, Fraggle-sized or not. As much as he really wanted to kill the Clark Kent wannabe, having him be with Buffy while his sire was here was too sweet to pass up.

Sliding down the blanket, he landing lightly on the bed then walked around to the back of the dollhouse. Using the chair he'd stuck out earlier, he re-entered and walked through the dining doorway to the kitchen. "The Slayer's got a date," he said gleefully, picking up a pint-sized cup and dipping it in the container of blood

"Do you want me to scream and rage or brood and cry?" Angel asked before sipping on his own cup of blood.

"You could at least do something," Spike scowled. "You act as though you could care less that another bloke has a leg up on your woman."

"That's just it, Spike," Angel said. "She's not 'my woman' anymore." He set down his cup and picked one of the gift books up off of the pile, then retreated to the living room.

"Well that was no bloody fun," Spike pouted. He'd hoped to get a rise out of his sire, and all he got was acceptance. Just like he acted when someone mentioned Drusilla to him. With a sigh, he refilled his and Angel's cups, picked out a book, and wandered into the living room.

Angel looked up from the book he was not reading as Spike entered the room. The provided lamplight from the transformer was bathing the room in a cheery glow in direct opposition to his dark thoughts. Despite his words to the contrary, he'd be quite happy to go out and skin Riley alive for touching Buffy. But he wouldn't, because it had to be over between them.

"'Ere," Spike said, holding out a cup. Angel took it with a questioning lift of his brow, to which the younger vampire shrugged in answer. Spike set his own cup on the floor, then sprawled out on his stomach, chin propped in his hand, and opened the two-inch gift book.

"Six, five, four, three...," Angel counted under his non-existent breath, watching his childe. "...Two, one." He grinned when, on cue, Spike's bare feet went up in the air behind him like a little kid. Another second later, the younger vampire hooked one ankle behind the other and began to bounce them slightly. The only thing left to happen was...

"'Success is a journey, not a destination -- half the fun is getting there.' That's the bleedin' truth."

...Spike quietly reading aloud and commenting to himself on what he read.

Many, many nights were spent exactly like this, with Angel reading the newspaper in a chair, searching the society announcements for new hunting prospects, and Spike spread out on the floor in front of him. Or, if it was raining, they'd stay indoors and Angel would read one of the books normally found in the house they 'inherited' from the previous owners. The younger vampire would sit still for roughly ten to fifteen minutes, then he'd be itching to do something else. If it was raining, that something else more than likely did not include clothing.

"'One cannot conquer the evil in himself by resisting it...but by transmuting its energies into other forms,'" Spike read quietly to himself. "The energy that expresses itself in the form of evil is the same energy which expresses itself in the form of good; and thus the one may be transmuted into the other.'" He shook his head and turned the page. "Like duh."

Angel snorted in laughter at Spike's commentary. The blond looked up at him and he shrugged. "Sorry. You sound like Buffy."

"Cor, not that," Spike complained. "It's bad enough that you sound like a bloody American, I don't want to turn into one, too."

"Ah, Will, I don't be tinkin' dat be a problem," Angel said, slipping into brogue. Spike stared at him a moment, an unreadable expression on his face. Then he went back to his book without a comment on how bad Angel's accent had become from years of disuse. Confused, he stayed silent, studying the younger vampire.

Spike closed his eyes a moment and shoved back those damnable feelings again. Memories pushed their way into his mind, not knowing they were exactly like Angel's had been minutes before. It was the accent that had done it, as bad as it was. He'd been able to pretend things weren't the same until Angel had spoken in Irish brogue. Growling softly to himself, he turned the page in the book and forced himself to read.

"'We are injured and hurt emotionally -- not so much by other people or what they say or don't say - but by our own attitude and our own response,'" he read. "Bloody fucking hell, you don't know what the fuck you're talking about!"

Spike slammed the book shut and climbed to his feet. He looked at Angel and growled, "I hate you!" Then he stormed out of the room.

Angel sat there, stunned by Spike's outburst. "What the hell was that about?"



Part Five




Angel entered the bedroom Spike had claimed as his own, a frown on his face. The blond vampire was half-sitting on the windowsill to the covered-up window, playing with an unlit cigarette. "Spike, would you mind telling me what the hell crawled up your ass and died?" he asked.

"Go. Away," Spike said distinctly.

"No," Angel said, walking over to Spike and grabbing his shoulder. His plan was to make his childe face him, but he didn't expect a violent reaction.

Spike rose off the windowsill as he turned, his fist driving into Angel's jaw. The dark-haired vampire staggered back, surprise evident on his face. Infuriated with his sire's cluelessness and his own behavior, the blond vampire attacked.

His left leg shot forward in a snap-kick, pushing Angel further into the center of the room, then he threw himself at his sire. Grabbing him by the shirt-front, he drove a hard punch into Angel's face and went to do it again when the older vampire shoved him away. With a growl, his fist shot out again, aimed at Angel's mid-section. Angel blocked it and threw his own punch, clipping Spike in the jaw.

With that hit, old pain and rage exploded in Spike, and his eyes flashed yellow as he let out a loud snarl. He launched himself at Angel, tackling his sire to the ground. Clawing and biting took the place of punches in the animalistic fury that had come over him.

Angel fought back, his own face morphing to that of his demon, and the dollhouse was filled with the sounds of two wild creatures of the night holding nothing back. Clothing was torn, skin was ripped in to and the scent of blood permeated the air as the hurt and anger that had been a part of Spike for so long was finally coming out.

Angel eventually got the upper hand and pinned Spike to the bloodied carpeting. His knee was pressed hard in his childe's lower back and Spike's arm was pulled up behind him at a sharp angle. His elbow was digging into the back of the younger vampire's neck, holding him face down on the floor.

For a moment, silence descended upon the room, and it left an uneasy feeling in the pit of Angel's stomach. He was furiously trying to think of something to dispel the quiet when something else did.

The sound of crying.

Angel released Spike and sat back on his heels, a confused expression on his human face. He had expected Spike to move the second he let go, but the younger vampire continued to lay face down on the floor. Tentatively, he reached out his hand and placed it on Spike's back. "Spike?"

"I hate you," Spike responded. He put his hands under him and pushed himself to his feet. Tears were streaming down his cheeks, his blue eyes reflecting years of buried hurt.

Angel rose to his feet as well. "I know you hate me, Spike," he said. "But all I can do is say that I'm sorry about the things I did when I didn't have a soul-"

"Damn you stupid bloody bastard!" Spike interrupted, his voice cracking from the tears. "Don't you fucking get it?!"

"You hate me," Angel said, confused. "I don't know why el-"

"I HATE YOU BECAUSE I FUCKING LOVED YOU!!!"

The silence that fell onto the room again was deafening. Angel was shocked. He stared at Spike with wide eyes, oblivious to the blood trickling down the side of his face. Neither of them moved as the seconds slowly ticked past. Finally, Spike started to speak, his voice harsh and full of hurt.

"You were my everything, Angelus," he said, not caring about his tears. "For fifty fucking years, you were my friend and my partner and my lover and my teacher. Then you found Drusilla and cast me aside like rubbish."

"Spike, without my soul, I couldn't love-" Angel started.

"Bollocks!" Spike exclaimed. "That. Is. Fucking. Bollocks." He poked Angel's chest hard with each word. "I am just as much of a demon as you, and so was Drusilla and so was Darla, and don't you dare try to fucking tell me that neither of them loved you."

"You're right," Angel said quietly after a moment.

"I am?" Spike said, then scowled. "Bloody well right I am."

Angel turned and walked over to the bed, then sat down. "I hate to tell you this, Spike, but without my soul, I'm an uncaring asshole."

"You'll get no argument from me," Spike agreed.

The dark-haired vampire sighed and shook his head. Emotions may be running high, but the vampire standing halfway across the room was still Spike. "I'm sorry if I hurt you."

"Like you bloody care," Spike said, rubbing his bloodied hand across his face to wipe away his tears.

"That's the idiotic thing, I do care," Angel told him. "Do you know how much I've been thinking about us in the past these last two nights?"

"Do I look like a mind-reader?" Spike replied.

Angel stood and walked back over to Spike. "Well, the answer is a lot. From you laying on the floor reading, to hunting together, to waking up with you curled against me." He lifted his hand and went to touch the blond's face, but Spike flinched back. "Hold still. You have blood on your cheek."

"I would say 'duh', but then you'd accuse me of becoming too blo-" The younger vampire's words were cut off when Angel leaned forward and pressed his lips to Spike's.

It was a simple kiss. Only a gentle meeting of two mouths for a brief second. Angel then stepped away, his hand dropping to his side. "For what it's worth, I thought of you as my equal," he said quietly, then turned and left the room.

*****



Angel raised his head from the book he was reading at the quiet knock on the doorframe. He had retreated to the bedroom he'd taken for himself after bandaging his wounds from the small amount of supplies Buffy had prepared for them. She probably figured they would come to blows and would be smug in knowing she had been correct.

"Could you...," Spike trailed off, shifting from one bare foot to the other, said bandages in his hands.

"Sure," Angel replied, closing the book and setting it down on the floor. Spike walked over and gingerly sat down on the edge of the bed. "Hurt?"

"Yeah," Spike replied, handing him the bandages. "I didn't know sheep had such sharp teeth."

"Oh, I'm a sheep now, am I?" Angel said, gently wiping at the healing wounds on his childe's bare back. "What's that make you? A cow?"

"Ha bloody ha," he replied.

Angel patched up Spike's back in silence, then instructed, "Turn around." When he did, the dark-haired vampire shook his head, eyeing the cross-work of bites and scratches, some right up under Spike's neck. "This isn't going to work. Lie down."

Spike arched his brow. "Are you propositioning me?"

"Just lie down," Angel scowled, standing. Spike laid back on the tiny pillows and he sat back down on the edge of the bed. Carefully, he began to swab the wounds once again.

"Angelus?"

Angel cocked his head at the use of his full name, looking at Spike in question. "Yeah, Spike?"

"What's it like having a soul?" Spike asked, staring up at the ceiling.

"It...well...sucks," Angel replied. Spike looked at him in surprise. "Not that I want it to be gone," he quickly amended. "But it's a lot of guilt to be carrying around. Sometimes I just want to go out and watch the sun rise if it'll make the bad memories stop."

"Why don't you?" Spike said, curious.

"Been there, done that, it snowed," Angel answered. At the blond's confused look, he added, "Don't ask." He tilted Spike's chin up to get at the cuts along his neck. "Having a soul wouldn't be that bad if there wasn't that damned happiness clause attached."

"If it wasn't for that friggin' thing, you'd still be between the Slayer's legs and Dru an' me would be happily ever afterin' it," Spike said.

"Only if we didn't kill you," he replied with a smirk.

"Like that would have ever happened," Spike smirked back. "We were your family."

"I killed Darla," Angel said. "I would have had no problems in killing you or Drusilla."

Spike held out his hand. "Nice to meet you, Pinocchio."

Angel rolled his eyes and a half-smile crossed his lips. "I don't see why I'm not killing you right now for that pathetic joke."

"You like me," Spike replied with a cocky grin.

"I'll let you in on a little secret, Spike," Angel said. "Nobody likes you."

"Aah! You stake me with your words," Spike clutched his chest dramatically.

"Did your mother drop you on your head when you were a baby?" Angel asked, watching his theatrics.

"Drop-kicked me, maybe," he replied. "But not dropped that I know of."

"Just checking," Angel said. "Now, hold still, or I'll tie you to the bed."

"Promise?" Spike said.

With that word, the teasing atmosphere changed. Angel met Spike's eyes, his hand hovering over the other vampire's pale chest, and he asked in a low voice, "Do you want me to?"

Spike pushed himself up on one arm, never breaking eye-contact as his other hand went around Angel's neck. Saying nothing, he let his eyes fall shut as he pressed his lips to his sire's. Just one more time, he wanted to feel what it was like to kiss the man who had been the most important person in his life.

Slowly, his coaxed Angel's tongue to play with his, savoring the taste of blood from feeding earlier. His hand wove into his sire's hair and he felt Angel cup the back of his head as well, holding Spike to him. The scent of arousal began to fill the room along with that scent unique to each of the males.

Spike broke away as unhurriedly as the kiss had been. Angel met his gaze with a question and invitation in his own, but he shook his head. "We hate each other, remember?" Spike said quietly, his lips curling up.

"I never hated you, Spike," Angel told him. "I may have wanted to stake you to a cross at times, but I never hated you."

The blond vampire chuckled, releasing Angel to lay back on the bed. "Finish up, Nurse. I'm knackered and want to go to bed."

Angel shook his head and returned to bandaging. By the time he was done, Spike was sound asleep. Gathering up the excess supplies, he stood to make his way out of the room, but paused at the doorway. He turned and looked back at the sleeping vampire on the bed for a moment, then said quietly, "I could easily love you now, though."




Part Six




"So, do you think this'll work?" Spike asked Angel.

Angel shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine."

Standing on the bed after Buffy had removed the dollhouse, the two six-inch vampires were awaiting Giles to begin. They had redressed in their own clothing, which was only slightly the worse for wear, and both hoped that they would be back to normal in a few minutes.

"Swell, then we're going to be stuck like this forever."

"Look on the bright side," Angel said. "Buffy does have a lot of flies on her windowsill."

"Buffy, if you would please back up," Giles instructed, setting the box carefully on its side next to the vampires. Buffy nodded and stepped away from the bed, holding a thin rope which ran from the lid of the box to her hand. Giles stepped back as well, then said, "When you're ready."

Buffy pulled on the rope until the box opened, and a reddish light engulfed both Angel and Spike. Giles chanted something loudly, and the light turned a blinding blue, causing the Slayer and her Watcher to close their eyes.

When they opened them again, a full-sized Angel and Spike were standing on the bed.

Spike whooped, jumped off the bed, grabbed Buffy and planted a big kiss on her cheek. "Thanks, luv!"

"Oh god, I have Spike cooties," Buffy said, pretending to gag.

"'Oh no, not Spike cooties!'" Spike exclaimed in a falsetto voice, tickling her. Buffy screeched and ran out of the room, the blond vampire right on her tail, yelling, "My cooties have fangs and they vant to suck your blood!"

Angel climbed off the bed, shaking his head. "Is that how they always act?" he asked Giles.

"No," Giles told him, moving to close the box and wrap the rope around it. "They're usually worse."

"I feel for you," Angel said. "I've put up with Spike's juvenile antics for close to a hundred years. But to have two of them..."

"Yes, well, I-I have taken out a rather large life insurance policy on myself," Giles said. Angel gave him a questioning look. "Those two are bound to drive me into an early grave. When they all get together, I bring out the shovel, just in case."

The two walked downstairs and joined Buffy and Spike outside. The blond vampire was smoking a cigarette as the Slayer gestured animatedly as she spoke.

"...and we went to that new coffee place over by campus. You know, the one with the baby trees?" Buffy was saying.

"I think those are called Banzai trees, pet," Spike commented.

"Banzai, baby, Mr. Miyagi doesn't care," Buffy replied. She spotted Giles and Angel. "Right Giles?"

"Er...yes. What?" Giles said.

"Never mind," Buffy said. She looked at Angel. "So I guess now that you're big again, you're going back to LA?"

Angel nodded. "As soon as I find that relic," he answered.

"Spike will help you," Buffy said. "Again."

"I will?" Spike asked, giving her a wide-eyed look.

"You will," she replied.

"Bloody hell, luv. It's bad enough I had to miss the Simpson's marathon, now you're going to make me miss the bleedin' Underdog one, too?" Spike whined.

"Bye Spike, bye Angel," Buffy said purposely, then turned to Giles. "Let's go, Giles. I don't want to miss any of that marathon."

Giles smiled wanly at Angel, then allowed Buffy to drag him to his car. Within a minute, the ancient Citrogen was trudging down the street, coughing and sputtering every few feet.

"Come on, you tosser," Spike said to Angel. "And try not to get us shrunk this time."

"Me get us shrunk?" Angel said, falling into step with his chide. "I seem to recall it was you who opened the box."

"Yeah, but if you didn't come back to Sunnyhell, I wouldn't have even found the friggin' box," Spike retorted. "Therefore, we wouldn't have been shrunk to a bloody six inches tall."

"You weren't six inches tall," Angel told him with a smirk. "You were only five and a half."

"Angel?"

"What?"

"Sod off."




End 1