The Halloween Bash
"Are we there yet?"
"No, Anya, we're not," Angel replied.
Spike glanced over at Angel and rolled his eyes. The trio in the back seat of the car had been
bickering for the past hour and a half, and the blond vampire felt like he had been sucked into one
of those commercials with a family going on vacation. He'd even heard Cordelia whine that
Doyle was on her side of the invisible line.
The five of them were headed to Sunnydale from Los Angeles, both to drop Spike off after a
weekend spent with Angel and to attend a Halloween party. Normally, that sort of activity didn't
float neither Spike's nor Angel's boats, but Cordelia hadn't seen Xander for a couple of weeks,
Anya had never been to a Halloween party before, and Doyle went wherever his current girlfriend
went; so they had gotten dressed up and were all making the trip to Sunnydale.
"Are you sure this is appropriate, Doyle?" Anya asked about her costume for the tenth time.
"Yes, darlin', it is," Doyle replied.
The half-demon had been introduced to the former demon by Xander, and it had been love at
first sight. Anya thought Doyle was a crass pig, Doyle thought Anya was a stuck-up feminist in
the bad sense of the term. They'd been together for six months and counting.
Angel dropped his right hand from the steering wheel to reach over and rest it on Spike's thigh.
The blond gave him a quick smile and Angel gave him a tender one in return.
The two vampires had been together for close to a year, ever since they'd been on what had been
affectionately dubbed Treasure Island by Willow. While Spike still lived in Sunnydale and aided
Buffy, and Angel lived in Los Angeles helping those who needed it, the two of them were closer
than ever. They alternated visiting each other, either in Sunnydale or in LA, and Angel hadn't
been as content with his life as he was currently for a long time.
Cordelia and Xander had a similar arrangement. The actress wanted to stay in LA to continue to
audition for roles while helping Angel. Xander had made manager at the video store he was
working at, which afforded him to attend the local community college, and he felt he was better
off staying in Sunnydale for the time being.
Spike leaned over and turned the volume up on the radio to drown out the argument reforming in
the back seat. He couldn't wait to get there. He loved his Sire dearly, but two hours in a car with
Cordelia, Doyle and Anya was almost too much for anyone to tolerate.
Up ahead on the back road they were taking in order to reach Sunnydale sooner, a long, old,
covered bridge spanned a dried up river bed. Angel glanced over at Spike again, and the younger
man batted his eyes in an exaggerated manner, as the headlights to the car outlined the beginning
of the bridge. The dark-haired vampire smirked and nodded, then chuckled when Spike bounced
slightly in his seat. Two centuries of living and Spike still acted like a five-year-old at times,
The darkness engulfed the car as it started across the covered bridge, the headlights barely cutting
a swath to light their way. Spike leaned over and started honking the horn like the immature child
he normally was. Doyle let out a Tarzan bellow, causing the two girls to cover their ears and start
yelling at him. After a second, Spike joined in with overly obnoxious yodeling, which had Angel
laughing so hard, tears filled his eyes.
"Xander, that's disgusting," Buffy said, looking at the eyeballs floating in the punch bowl at the
snack table set up in the kitchen at the party.
"Don't look at me, Wonder Woman," Xander said, holding up his hands. "I didn't do it."
"Then who did?"
Willow giggled and waved her hand. "Me."
"Doctor Rosenberg, please tell me that these are fake eyeballs," Buffy teased.
The redhead grinned. "Maybe."
"We should never had encouraged her to take that Gross Anatomy class," Xander said.
The music changed to a Halloween favorite, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and the USunnydale
students at the party howled along with the introduction to the song. The Halloween bash was
being held at the supposedly haunted mansion on Crawford Street, which just happened to be
the same mansion where Angel had lived for a year. Buffy, Willow, Oz and Xander had laughed
uproariously when they'd gotten a flyer to attend the party.
The mansion had been abandoned since Angel had left Sunnydale a little more than three years
prior to the party. Buffy had ventured there only one time over the years, several months after
Angel had left after high school graduation. She'd said her goodbyes to a love that could never
truly be again, then closed that chapter on her life and started a new one. A new one that
included lots of dating, but after the failed attempt with Riley Finn, no long-term relationships.
But Buffy didn't mind. She enjoyed the entire Grrl Power/standing on her own feeling.
Which was why she was dressed as Wonder Woman for Halloween. Grrl Power with sexiness
combined into one costume. Plus, she had learned after the Ethan Rayne Halloween incident that
she should always dress as some sort of superhero, just in case.
Willow was dressed as a doctor, in light blue scrubs and a white lab coat. Oz was wearing a
purple zoot suit, his hair dyed to match. Xander, the normal goofball of the group, was dressed
as Harpo Marx, in a plaid jacket, a flowered shirt, and garish stripped pants, with a bowler on his
Xander was the most excited of the circle of friends that night. He hadn't seen Cordelia in
weeks, and she had promised him her costume would make his jaw hit the floor. He couldn't
"So, when are they getting here again?" Xander asked.
"Soon, Xand," Buffy answered with a smile. She popped a pretzel in her mouth, then looked
around. "Where's Oz?"
"He took Devon home," Willow replied. "He had a little too much to drink too fast. But he'll be
"...And I'm tellin' you, darlin', you look foine."
"No I don't. I look foolish."
"I'm the one wearin' the dress!"
The trio turned and smiled when Anya and Doyle entered through the kitchen door. Anya
looked beseechingly at Willow and Buffy. "Do I really look all right?"
"You look great Anya," Buffy confirmed, taking in the former demoness' three piece, pinstriped
suit. She shifted her eyes to Doyle. "Now, your boyfriend on the other hand desperately needs
to shave his legs."
Doyle lifted the skirt of the lilac dress he was wearing, exposing more of his bare leg. "My
sweetheart loikes the hairy-legged feminist look."
"Not all feminists have hairy legs, Doyle," Cordelia scolded, entering the kitchen.
The hanging lanterns that had been put up in the kitchen caught the gold of the brunette's
costume, making it shine. The small, gold coins that made up a necklace-like shirt left her tanned
stomach exposed, and more gold coins acted as a belt around her waist, over an ankle-length,
plain beige sarong. Her dark hair was piled on top of her head, and her makeup was heavy,
especially around the eyes.
Xander's jaw hit the floor. "C-C-C-Cordy?"
"Actually, that's Cleopatra tonight," Cordelia corrected, moving to her boyfriend. "But you can
call me 'your highness.'"
Xander dropped down to his knees and bowed worshipfully before her, his arms extended to
either side of her legs. "Your grand highness, I'm not worthy to be in your presence."
"Get up, dorkwad," Cordelia scowled. Xander knelt up and kissed the scar on her abdomen, then
"Where are Bert and Ernie?" Buffy asked, looking towards the open door for the two vampires.
"Taking a trip down memory lane," Cordelia replied. "Neither of them could believe that the
party was being held here of all places."
"Well, mate, are we going to go in or stand here all bloody night?" Spike asked, leaning against
the hood of the car. He took another drag on his cigarette and waited for Angel to answer him.
When he didn't, Spike presented a third option. "Or we can get back in the car and shag for a
Angel chuckled, his own position similar to his childe's, as he leaned against the side of the car,
staring up at the hulking mansion. "We're a little too old to be screwing in the car, Spike."
"No one's ever too old for a good fuck in the back of a motor." Spike grinned wolfishly.
"'Specially not me."
The dark-haired vampire shook his head, but refrained from replying. He wanted a few moments
to prepare for the memories that would undoubtably bombard him when he entered the mansion
that had seen both the best and worst side of him.
Spike finished his cigarette and flicked the butt away. "I'm going to head inside, Angel," he said,
reaching out to put his hand on his Sire's shoulder. He squeezed briefly and added quietly,
"Take your time."
Angel nodded, giving him a small smile of thanks, then watched as the peroxide-blond walked
"Wow, Spike, you clean up great," Buffy commented with a female whistle of approval when
Spike joined the group in the kitchen.
Spike clicked his spit-shined heels together and executed a half-bow. "Why thank you, pet."
The blond vampire was dressed in a classic, black tuxedo with short coat and tails. He wore a
white vest instead of a cummerbund and a black, bow-tie. A vibrant red rose was in the
boutonniere hole on his lapel. He also was carrying a black cane with a round, silver, ornate
"Where's Angel?" Willow asked him.
"Brooding," Spike answered, snatching a pretzel and popping it into his mouth. "I think we need
to get him a new hobby."
"I thought him screwing you was his hobby," Cordelia said. Spike waggled his brows at her.
"Cordy, not while there's food around, please," Xander begged. "I'd like to be able to eat."
"Hey," Oz greeted, coming into the room from the main portion of the mansion.
"You're back," Willow said happily, moving to his side.
"That I am," Oz said. He nodded to the newcomers. "Nice costumes. We seem to be missing
"Angel's outside," Anya supplied. "Something about bad memories."
"Understandable," Oz said. He turned to Buffy. "Before I forget, there was mention in the other
room about some book that was just found. Thought you'd might want to check it out."
"Thanks, Oz," Buffy said.
"I'll go with you, Slayer," Spike said, falling into step with Buffy as they left the kitchen.
The main part of the mansion was decorated festively in honor of Halloween. Jack-o-lanterns,
ghosts and skeletons were scattered around the large room. Lanterns hung around the room,
providing light. The music was blaring from dual, five-foot speakers that one of the students had
brought, along with a stereo system, and a Mummy was acting as deejay.
Ozzy Osborne was currently belting out a tune, instructing everyone to do the Zombie Stomp.
Buffy and Spike slowly made their way around the room, pausing by each of the small knots of
conversationists and keeping their eyes out for some sort of book. They paused at the doors to
sunken garden, all the boards having had been pried off to allow people to freely come and go.
Tiki torches lined the perimeter, casting the area in a faint glow. The air was heavy with the
fragrance of jasmine.
Spike inhaled purposely and blew out the breath of air, causing Buffy to look up at him in
question. "Give me a moment, luv," he told her. She nodded and turned her eyes back to the
people in the garden.
Despite the fact that Spike had been back to the mansion on several occasion to lay his ghosts to
rest, the garden was always the hardest for him to enter. It had been Drusilla's favorite place in
the old mansion when they'd lived there. The scent of jasmine was forever associated with his
black queen, and he couldn't stop the painful ache in his heart for a love long lost.
He smiled sadly at his blond companion, then stepped into the garden. Together, as they did in
the main room, they slowly made their way around the area, listening in on conversations. They
had reached the corner opposite the stairs when they struck pay dirt. Both of them were about to
join into the conversation, when one of the costumed student's gasped.
"Oh my god, it's him," a girl dressed in a harem costume said in a breathy voice. She pointed up
at the stairs, and the four other USunnydale students she was with all turned to look. "It's the
guy in the book."
Buffy and Spike both turned to look, as well, and an involuntary shiver ran through the Slayer.
"Spike, Angel's still got his soul, right?" she asked quietly.
"He does look rather...hungry, doesn't he?" Spike commented, desire shooting through him.
Angel was walking slowly down the stone steps, his eyes surveying the people in the sunken
garden as if they were prey. The white tank-shirt he was wearing emphasized his muscles and
was tucked into well-worn, brown leather pants. His dark hair was spiked up in a casual disarray,
and a light mustache ran along his upper lip. A small, triangular wisp of a beard was centered on
his chin beneath his lower lip, making him look like the devil personified.
The dark-haired vampire spotted both Spike and Buffy, and his lips curled up. The group of girls
that were speaking about the book all squealed and started talking rapidly about how Angel
smiled at them. Spike managed to tear his eyes away from his Sire and glanced down at the
Slayer, who was trying very hard not to laugh.
An exceptionally naughty idea came to Spike and he leaned closer to Buffy to whisper, "Watch
"Oh no, what are you going to do?" Buffy whispered back. Spike winked at her and she quietly
Angel reached the bottom of the stairs the same time the music changed to the theme from the
movie Dracula. Spike bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing at the appropriateness of
the dark, instrumental song. He waited, purposely setting the cane in front of him and resting his
right hand over his left on the top, the old cigar band ring exposed on his right middle finger. His
smile slowly grew with each step his Sire took towards them.
When Angel reached them, the girls were whispering and huddled together to the right of Buffy
and Spike. The blond vampire gave Angel a polite nod, then turned slightly to the group.
"Angelus, I'd like you to say hello to the ladies, if you will," he said formally.
Angel quirked a brow at his childe, then did as asked, noting the flushed faces of the costumed
"Hi," one of the girls breathed. The others stood there staring at him with barely suppressed
Angel transferred his gaze to Buffy, who rolled her eyes. With that action, he knew Spike was up
to something juvenile and somehow he was going to get sucked into the prank. He wasn't
Spike suddenly raised the cane under his hands and swung it around Angel's back, effectively
trapping the older vampire when Spike grabbed the tip. Using Angel's surprise to his advantage,
the blond quickly pulled his Sire up against him, stood up on his toes and pressed his lips to
Buffy giggled when the girls all gasped as one, then had to cover her mouth to prevent her loud
guffaws when theirs dropped open as the kiss deepened. Having seen Spike and Angel doing this
many times before, she was able to enjoy the reactions of others upon seeing two, grown men
passionately kissing. Especially because both Spike and Angel were two exceptionally gorgeous
Angel broke the kiss first and his dark gaze met mischievous blue eyes. One corner of his mouth
turned up at his childe's antics. Spike winked, then released him and turned back to the
"I couldn't help but overhear earlier that you found some sort of book?" Spike asked, using a
"Um, yeah," the harem girl answered in a disappointed tone. "Holly has it."
"Who's Holly?" Buffy asked.
"She's dressed as a vampiress," she replied.
"How nice," Buffy said sardonically, exchanging a look with Angel and Spike. "Do you think
you can show us?"
"Why should I?" harem girl said. She gestured to her friends, and they all followed her out of the
"If she was really a harem girl, it would be no surprise if a man turned to another man," Buffy
"The Slayer's got her claws out," Spike commented with a chuckle.
"What's this about a book?" Angel asked.
"Someone found a book in the mansion," Buffy explained.
"Hmm, I don't remember leaving anything," Angel said, following Buffy back into the mansion.
Spike trailed along behind them, a smug smile on his face.
"One of them said they recognized you from the book," Buffy said. She stopped near the edge
of the coffee table, which had been pushed back against the wall near the fire place. She stepped
up onto it to look at the crowd of partyers. The Monster Mash was the current song playing.
"How the hell are we suppose to find someone dressed as a vampire in this group?" she
grumbled to herself.
"Why don't I go get the others to give us a hand, pet?" Spike suggested. Buffy nodded and the
blond vampire headed towards the kitchen.
Buffy tapped Angel's shoulder and met his questioning eyes directly. "How are you?"
Angel gave her a small smile. "I'm okay," he answered.
"I'm sure," Angel replied truthfully. He looked her up and down, then smirked. "Nice
"Found it," Willow said as she and Oz entered one of the empty bedrooms where they had
preplanned to meet. She held a slim, navy book in her hand.
Angel had dug out blankets that he had left in the mansion from a closet, and after shaking them
out thoroughly, had spread them around the empty room so everyone could sit. Anya and Doyle
were beside each other, leaning against one wall, watching Angel watch Spike. The blond
vampire was on his hands and knees in front of an open hole in the wall, a stone having been
removed. The older vampire had both a curious and lustful expression on his face at Spike's
"Got it!" Spike exclaimed, sitting back on his heels as Buffy entered the lamp lit room. He held
up a barely empty bottle of scotch.
"Hidden scotch?" Angel said with a frown. "Why would you hide the scotch?"
"Because some pillock was making my unlife a living hell while I was here," Spike replied. He
tossed the scotch to Angel, who caught it and examined the label. Spike bent forward and
reached into the hole again. "That soddin' wanker would have took it if he knew I had it."
"Damn right I would have," Angel said, uncapping the bottle and holding it under his nose for a
moment, then returning his eyes to the label. "This is some fine liquor."
"To go with my fine Havanas." Spike sat up with a cigar box in his hand.
"What's going on?" Buffy asked Willow.
"Spike had a hidey-hole while they were living here, I guess," Willow replied. She showed the
book in her hand to the Slayer. "Found the book."
"Where are Xander and Cordelia?" Oz asked, doing a quick head count.
"Closet," Anya, Doyle, Spike and Angel answered at once, pointing to the closed, wooden door.
Buffy took the book from Willow and opened it to a random page. Her eyes widened. "Oh
wow, look at this," she said, holding the book so the redhead could see.
Spike put the stone back over the opening, then moved onto one of the blankets. He opened the
box of cigars and grinned happily. "How lovely."
Angel took a sip of the scotch, then passed it to Oz. Spike took out a cigar and handed the box to
Doyle. Buffy and Willow continued to page through the book, until Anya spoke up.
"Well? What is in that book we were looking for?" the former demoness asked with impatience.
"Us," Buffy replied. "It's about us."
Angel frowned and walked over to the girls. Buffy handed him the book. "This isn't mine," he
said after a quick perusal of the hand-drawn pictures. "But the handwriting is familiar."
"Should I get the two in the closet?" Oz asked. Buffy nodded. The werewolf passed the scotch
to Anya, then went over to the closet door and knocked loudly.
"Let's see that, Angel," Spike said, sticking the unwrapped cigar in the inner pocket of his jacket.
Willow sat down on the opposite side of Anya and Doyle. Oz joined her as the closet door
opened and a slightly mussed couple exited. "What did we miss?" Xander asked, dropping
down on the blanked beside Oz. Cordelia sat down beside her boyfriend.
"Cigars and scotch," Willow answered, passing the cigar box to Oz, then accepting the scotch
from Anya. She took a sip and grimaced. "And we found the book."
Spike accepted the book from Angel with a soft statement. "Cor, I thought I'd lost that."
"It's your book?" Buffy asked, sitting down beside him in order to look over his shoulder.
"Yes," Spike replied, opening the book. "It's my journal."
Angel sat between Cordelia and Buffy in the small square the friends had made. The cigar box
came to him and he took one out, then shut the box and set it beside him. "You had a journal?"
"Know your enemies," Spike said. "Especially when they're hard to kill." He turned the journal
so the others could see a sketch of Buffy. "I'm no Angelus when it comes to drawing..."
The sketch was done in ink pen on the unlined journal page. There was no doubt that it was the
blond Slayer, from her slightly upturned nose to the multiple earrings in her ears. The picture
appeared to be drawn while Buffy was sitting at a table at the Bronze. Her forearms were resting
on the partial table that was sketched and her fingers were wrapped around a mug.
"Wow, that's good," Cordelia commented. "Do you have a sketch of all of us?"
"Not the wolf, Doyle or Anya," Spike replied, pulling the book to him and turning the page. "But
Buffy leaned closer and tried to read the handwriting on the page. "What's that say?"
"'Buffy Summers, Slayer. Not a natural blond. Blue-grey eyes. Tiny. Sixteen. Great wit,'" he
read. "'Mum good with an axe.'"
Buffy giggled. "Bet you never expected that."
"I never expected any of you," Spike corrected. He turned several pages and one side of his
mouth quirked up. "Least of all my great poof of a Sire." He held the book so the other could
see the sketch he'd done of Angel.
Spike looked at the dark-haired vampire. "Bet you didn't know I was there."
Angel shook his head as he stared at the picture of himself. In the ink sketch, he was standing at
the beach, the bottom of his pant legs rolled up to his calves, the waves of the ocean swirling
around his legs. His right arm was crooked back, and his first two fingers and thumb were curled
around a flat stone, as if he were poised to throw it. His body was slightly turned to where Spike
would have had to have been sitting to sketch the picture, allowing the blond vampire to capture
the small frown on Angel's face.
Angel raised his eyes from the sketch and met Spike's uncertain blue one's. He knew
immediately that Spike was seeking affirmation or praise or some indication that his drawing was
not bad. It was funny that, even after all the time that had passed, the younger man still felt he
needed Angel's approval. His childe had yet to understand that no one's validation of anything
he did was important, as long as he felt good about himself.
But because his childe was the most important person in the world to Angel, the dark-haired
vampire smiled affectionately and said, "It's beautiful, Will."
Spike blushed and ducked his head, pulling the journal back to him. He turned the pages back a
few and cleared his throat before reading, "'Willow Rosenberg. Red hair. Green eyes. Hidden
strength. Has a thing for the annoying boy. Has the sexiest abs I've seen in awhile...'"
It was exactly midnight when the power went out, cutting of Warren Zevon right in the middle of
a howl. The nine friends were still in the empty bedroom, laughing over what Spike had written
about them in his journal, and complementing him on his sketches. The bottle of scotch had
been passed around the square until it was empty, and a few had smoked cigars.
When the singular lamp went out, the room was plunged into darkness, startling them. The
distinctive clicks of lighters were heard, and the small glow of the flames in Spike's, Angel's,
Doyle's and Willow's hands gave them enough light to see one another.
"Do you think the party's over?" Willow asked.
Xander checked his watched. "At midnight? Things are usually just getting started around
"Maybe someone tripped the power," Doyle suggested.
"Or shut it off on purpose," Oz added.
"Thanks, Oz," Cordelia said. "Next you'll be saying there's a homicidal maniac that's coming to
chop us up into little pieces."
The silence in the room after Cordelia's statement slowly grew with nervous tension as they each
thought about the possibility of it being true. As one, they all stood and prepared to investigate.
"Cordelia with Xander, Willow and Oz, Doyle and Anya," Buffy instructed. "Spike, you, me
and Angel split up. We also need to check around outside. Someone see if the power was turned
off on purpose or not."
"We'll do it," Willow said.
"I'd better do it," Angel told her. "I know where it is."
"True," Willow agreed.
"Everyone armed?" Spike asked. Stakes and crosses were pulled from various pockets. Even the
most scantily clad Buffy and Cordelia had the tools of the slaying trade on their persons.
"Then let's do it," Buffy said, then led the way out of the bedroom.
Angel paused at the head of the stairs to the basement. He tried to listen carefully to the sounds
below, but the din of voices of the revelers was too distracting. Before he'd ventured to the door
that led downstairs, he'd retrieved as many candles as he could find, drawing on his memory of
where they were located. He'd passed them out to the USunnydale students in the main part of
the mansion, and now the room was lit in a the quiet glow of the candles.
Cautiously, he descended the stone staircase, the flame from his lighter the only source for him to
see by. He did not wish to slide into his true face due to the possibility of running into other
students who had come down to the basement to check on the power, too. His footsteps were
silent on the stairs and with each step he got closer to the basement, the more quiet it became, as
the students' voices faded away.
More from memory than from being able to see, Angel was able to traverse the basement to
where the main power switch was located. For some odd reason, the electric company had never
shut down the power after the original tenants had vacated the place, which had been a plus when
he'd been living at the mansion.
He was almost to the electric box when he felt something change in the air. The hairs on the back
of his neck stood up and he halted, the flickering flame casting dancing shadows on the floor and
old crates around him. He listened carefully, his eyes focused on a non-existent point.
Light, female laughter drifted to his ears from behind him. Turning slowly, he tried to pinpoint
where it was coming from. The light did not cast far enough to see further than in a small radius.
He waited silently until he heard the laughter again.
"Who's there?" Angel asked in a threatening tone.
"Why Angel, don't you recognize my laugh?"
Angel did not reply, and the female laughed again before stepping into view. He looked at her a
moment, then growled, "You're either The First or a ghost, but there's no way that you're
"Are you sure about that, Angel?" Darla asked, smiling coyly at him. She was dressed in the
same school uniform Angel had last seen her in, the night she tried to kill Buffy.
"I staked my Sire myself. You don't get any more certain than that."
"That's right, you did stake me," Darla said. She stuck her lower lip out in a pout. "That wasn't
very nice of you."
Angel shrugged. "You deserved it. You were a killer."
"Like Sire, like childe." Darla smiled wickedly at him. "Or is it like grandchilde?"
"Don't," Angel said shortly.
"Don't what?" Darla asked. "Don't talk about how your childe is just as much of a killer now as
I used to be?"
"I'm not listening to you." Angel turned and stalked towards the electric box.
"You mean you don't want to listen to the truth."
Angel spun and glared at her. "It is not the truth," he hissed.
Darla arched a sculpted, blond brow. "Are you sure about that, Angel?" she repeated her
question from earlier.
"Such loyalty to your childe," Darla commented. "Or is it love?"
Angel didn't answer. He turned and continued forward, holding up the lighter when he reached
the power box.
"Ooh," Darla said. "It's love. You're in love with William the Bloody."
"That's not his name,"Angel ground out. He grabbed the power switch, yanked it down, then
shoved it back up again.
"Does he make you happy, Angel?" Darla asked.
Angel glared at the power box when nothing happened.
"Well, do I, mate?"
Angel jerked around at the sound of Spike's voice and saw him standing near where Darla had
been, dressed in his tuxedo. The flame flickered rapidly from the quickness of his turn, causing
the shadows to jump wildly. The dark-haired vampire frowned, wary of his childe's sudden
appearance, yet he answered the question. "Yes, you do."
"But not as happy as you were with the Slayer," Spike said almost sadly.
"That is definitely not true." Angel met Spike's eyes squarely. "In fact, I'm happier with you
than I ever was with Buffy on a whole." He smirked. "Just don't tell her that."
The dark-haired vampire stepped forward and took Spike's right hand in his own, his eyes never
leaving the blond's in front of him. "But that doesn't mean that I'm going to lose my soul. And
even if I did, my Will would stake me immediately. So turn on the lights and take a hike. Your
tricks aren't going to work on me."
An expression of pure malice flickered on Spike's face and he hissed, "We shall see."
Angel smiled mockingly, raised the blond's right hand to his lips and kissed his bare knuckles.
"Next time, remember it's the little details that make the game."
Spike yanked his hand from Angel, then disappeared without fanfare. A second later the lights
came back on. Angel snapped the top of his lighter shut, stuck it back in his pocket, then
sauntered out of the basement whistling Ghostbusters under his non-existent breath.
The party was back in full swing within minutes of the lights going back on. After checking to
make sure all the candles were blown out, Angel found his friends together out in the sunken
"I take it that the power was only shut off," Buffy said when he joined them.
Angel smiled. "Just someone playing a game."
"So, what do you guys want to do now?" Willow asked.
"I moyself was wonderin' if Spoike had more scotch hidden away," Doyle said, his arm around
"I've got a few places I can check," Spike told Doyle.
"Cordy and I are gonna head out," Xander said.
"It's a surprise you two made it this long," Buffy said with a smile.
"Well, they did have that closet time," Oz pointed out.
The group started into the mansion, teasing Cordelia and Xander, but Angel put his hand on
Spike's shoulder, stopping him from following. The blond looked up at him with a questioning
lift of his brow. "Yeah, mate?"
"Just this," Angel said, then brushed a soft kiss on Spike's lips. He rested his forehead against
his childe's, staring down into his blue eyes. "I love you, you know."
"Cor, Angelus, not 'ere," Spike said, the stolen blood in him rushing to his cheeks.
Angel chuckled and turned, throwing his arm around the shorter man's shoulders.
"Nothing you could do would embarrass me," Spike told him as they headed into the mansion to
join their friends.
"Oh really?" Angel said, his lips curling up into a smirk. He took a purposeful breath, then began
singing as loudly as he could.
"My son, the vampire
He'll make you a wreck
Every time he kisses you
There'll be two holes in your neck."
"My son, the vampire
He will leave you pale
All he does is drink your blood
Cuz he don't like ginger ale."
"When they see him people scream and they yell
And they scream and yell cuz they're scared as heck that he'll say
"Cor, will you shut the bloody hell up!"
"My son, the vampire
He's a total loss
And if you should meet with him
Do not drink or eat with him
Run if he takes out his dental floss."
Spike grabbed Angel by the front of his white tank-shirt, yanked the dark-haired vampire down
and smashed his lips to his sire's with a growl.
When Spike let go of him, Angel's mouth quirked up in a half-smile, and he whispered,
"Cuz my son, the vampire
Ain't collecting it for the red cross."
"You're an ass," Spike said, releasing his sire. "A complete wanker."
"A complete one," Angel agreed, nodding his head.
"And a pillock," the blond added.
"A big one." Angel slid his arm back around Spike's shoulder as they continued walking side by
"Prick," Spike muttered.
"I got a big one of those, too." Angel grinned.
"Not a chance."
"Why the bloody hell do I put up with you?"
"Want to go have sex in the car?"
"Oh yeah, that's why."