Higher Learning


by Saber ShadowKitten
Continuation of Short Silly Fics - The Summer Series



XLII & XLIII
XLVI & XLV
XLVI thru L



Higher Learning XXXII - Growl





Angel opened his door and blinked in sleepy surprise at the redhead in a old Dodger's cap who stood on the other side. "Willow?"

Willow looked up at him with a glare, then pushed past him into his apartment. He closed the door and trailed after her. "Willow is there something-"

He stopped in the kitchen doorway, where the hacker had all-but-stomped into, and stared at her as she removed containers of blood from his refrigerator. Each one thunked down on the kitchen table until there were no more. Then she shut the door and opened the cabinet beneath the sink. He watched, dumbfounded, as she took out a plastic back and slammed the door shut.

She put each container in the bag, then picked it up and headed right towards him. As she shoved past him again, she emitted a growl equal to that of which he could make. A moment later, the apartment door slammed, as the petite witch left.




Higher Learning XXXIII - But-



"Buffy, she growled at me!" Angel said into the phone.

"Willow?" Buffy said.

"No, Maple," Angel said sarcastically. "Of course Willow."

"Why would Willow be growling at you?" Buffy asked patiently. She rolled her eyes at Faith, who was sitting on her bed, as she tried to figure out what her boyfriend was babbling about.

"ImayofsortatoldSpiketogoaway," Angel mumbled quickly.

"Uh, what was that?" Buffy said. She covered the receiver with her hand and whispered to Faith. "I think he's lost it." Faith snorted.

"I told Spike to take a hike," Angel repeated more clearly.

"Only with your fists, right?" Buffy said, putting a hand on her hip.

"And, uh, maybe my fangs," Angel admitted sheepishly.

"Angel!" Buffy exclaimed. "I told you not to do anything to him!"

"But-"

"I told you no!"

"But-"

"I. Told. You. No."

"But-"

"Angel," Buffy said sweetly. "If you 'but' me one more time, I'll growl at you."

"But-"

"GRRR!" Buffy yelled into the phone, then hung up. She grabbed her purse. "Come on, Faith. We're going to LA."

"Bitchin'," Faith said. She followed Buffy out of her bedroom. "One problem. We don't have wheels. Or licenses."

"But we have a Xander."




Higher Learing XXXIV - Getting the Driver



"Let me get this straight," Xander said, looking back and forth between the two Slayers. "You want me to drive you two down to LA so Buffy can beat up Angel for beating up Spike after Buffy specifically told Angel not to beat up Spike?"

"That's a 10-4," Faith replied.

"Can I beat Angel up, too?" Xander asked with a grin.

"If you get us there five minutes ago," Buffy answered.

"We are so gone," Xander said, throwing his car keys in the air and catching them.




Higher Learning XXXV - Gathering Her Thoughts

Willow sat on a bench outside of the Holiday Inn, watching the people who walked past her on the sunny day. The bag filled with containers of blood was by her feet, her hand looped around the handle so no one would try to take it. She knew she should bring it up to Spike so it wouldn't go bad, but she needed a few more moments to gather her thoughts.

She was glad that Spike hadn't been run off by Angel. She liked having him as her friend. She would be content to always have him just be a friend, although she wouldn't mind trying that kissing-thing with him again. But, if Spike didn't really want her in the naughty sense of the word 'want,' she could live with that.

After all, she had a pretty sexy next-door neighbor.

With that settled, she stood and made her way into the hotel. She stopped by the soda machine and got a Coke before she continued on to Spike's room. Using the key, she let herself in and found the blond vampire sound asleep on the bed. Quietly, she set the bag on the small dresser and walked over to his side.

She gently removed the multiple wash rags she'd put across his back, then frowned at the marks marring his pale skin. His chest had been unmarred, but he had refused to let her see anything below his belt. She could see a criss-cross of faint red lines on the back of his tan khaki's where blood had soaked into the material. She sighed and went into the bathroom to rinse the rags out, then returned and carefully replaced them on his back.

"'Zat you, kitten?" Spike mumbled sleepily.

"No," Willow replied with a smile. "Go back to sleep."

"'K," he sighed.

Willow laughed lightly when she realized he'd fallen asleep again.




Higher Learning XXXVI - One Thing To Say

The phone rang, waking Spike up for the second time, the first being when Willow wanted him to feed. He'd gotten a good laugh over how she obtained the blood and had fallen back into a pleasant sleep filled with dreams of the tiny witch beating up his sire.

"Hello?" Willow said, answering the phone. She was sitting beside him, having moved the chair next to the bed. Spike watched as she narrowed her eyes, then she held out the receiver. "It's Angel."

He pushed up on his elbows and shifted his weight so he could accept the phone. "Yeah?" he said, his voice devoid of emotion.

"Spike, it's Angel," Angel said over the line.

"So I heard," Spike said.

Angel muttered something that Spike couldn't pick up, then heard the Slayer's voice in the background, followed by his sire's sigh. "Buffy wants me to apologize to you."

"Are you sorry?" Spike asked curiously.

"Not even remotely," Angel replied.

Spike decided to be completely honest with his sire for once. "Good. If you were, I would have lost what little bit of respect I had left for you, because you got the knackers to date the Slayer despite the soddin' curse."

"I take it you're not leaving," Angel stated.

"No," he replied succinctly.

Angel sighed again. "Hurt her and I'll make you eat your testicles by breaking your body in half so you can reach them," he said in a calm, non-threatening tone.

"I'd like to see you try, mate," Spike said, a grin spreading across his face. He could hear the Slayer yelling in the background and he chuckled.

"Spike, put Willow on," Angel said.

"He wants to talk to you," Spike told Willow, handing the phone back to her.

"Yeah?" Willow said in an exact mimic of Spike.

Spike couldn't help but snort. He was sure his sire was apologizing to Willow, because her eyes flashed green and silver.

"Well, Angel, I have only one thing to say to you," Willow said into the receiver.

Then she hung up the phone.

Spike laughed until he cried.




Higher Learning XXXVII - She Couldn't Breathe

"Well, kitten, how's it look?" Spike asked, trying to look over his shoulder at his back. Fresh out of the shower, towel riding low on his hips, he wanted to find out if his injuries had healed.

Willow couldn't stop staring at him -- and not because she was worried about the almost completely faded marks. It wasn't as though she wasn't caring about what Angel had done, she did, and she was still upset with the dark-haired vampire. However, the white towel was barely staying on his lean hips. One false move and it would fall off, leaving Spike quite unclothed.

That gorgeous body would be completely exposed.

A naked Spike.

She couldn't breathe.

"Willow?" Spike said, turning his head to try to look over his other shoulder. "Is it bad?"

*Oh yeah,* she thought, her eyes glued to his backside, trying not to will the towel to fall. *It's very bad.*

"Kitten?"

"Mmeep?" Willow squeaked, as Spike turned around to face her. Her cheeks were flushed and she could hear her heart pounding in her ears. He had a dark trail of hair that led from his navel down under the towel which she hadn't seen when they'd last been at the hotel.

The towel moved. Even in her virgin status, she knew exactly what caused the towel to move, especially considering she was staring at an area she shouldn't be staring at on her best friend.

She couldn't breathe.




Higher Learning XXXVIII - Men!

"I said I was sorry," Angel repeated for the hundredth time in the last half-hour. He ran an exasperated hand through his hair.

"But you didn't mean it," Buffy said, scowling at him. "I told you not to do anything."

"Buffy, despite being 244-years old, I'm still just like any other male," Angel said. "You tell me not to do something, chances are I'm going to do it."

"That doesn't make any sense!" Buffy exclaimed. Angel shrugged and she growled. "Ooh, men! You are such...such...men!"

He gave her a puzzled look. "I'm not sure how to respond to that."

"I think Buffy just insulted me, too," Xander commented to Faith, who was sitting beside him at the kitchen table, watching the fight in the living room.

"Who said you were a man?" Faith asked him with a wicked grin.

"Hey!"

"That's because you're a man, Angel," Buffy said, as if speaking to a child. She tapped her temple. "It's hard for you to grasp complex things."

Angel narrowed his eyes slightly. "Watch it, Buffy."

"Or what?" Buffy scoffed. "Are you going to beat me up like you did Spike?"

"Five bucks says yes," Faith said to Xander.

"He wouldn't touch her," Xander said. "You're on."

"Buffy, I did what any sire would do when their childe was out of line," Angel said. "I should have done it when Spike first came to Sunnydale."

"Why didn't you?"

"Because I was a guilt-plagued wimp who was too busy following you around like a whipped dog," Angel answered bluntly.

Buffy's, Xander's and Faith's mouths dropped open. Faith chuckled and socked Xander on the arm, who closed his mouth with a clack.

"Oh," Buffy finally said. "So, uh, what does that mean now?"

A slow, predatory smile crossed his lips. "It means that there's something I'd much rather be doing than arguing with you about Spike."

Buffy's eyes widened and she squeaked, as Angel grabbed her suddenly and hoisted her over his shoulder. He smacked her rear-end, then carted her off into the bedroom, kicking the door shut behind him.

Faith turned to Xander. "Why don't we put that fin you owe me to use and get us some munchies?"

A loud squeal of laughter that suddenly cut off came from the bedroom.

"Good idea," Xander said. The two stood and quickly left the apartment.




Higher Learning IXL - Embarrassment

She was looking at him like he was a new computer and her hands were itching to grasp the joystick. Said joystick became a little stiffer. The towel that Spike had around his waist moved slightly because of this. Willow's eyes widened and she turned a very interesting shade of red.

Embarrassment because of his physical reaction to her took whatever blood that wasn't traveling to all points south and spread it across his cheeks. He quickly turned around, clenched his fists and ground his teeth together, as he tried to will his budding erection away. He did not want her to know how much he desired her in that way. He was too afraid to ruin their friendship, especially in light of his behavior the previous night.

"Sorry," Spike said through his clenched teeth. He snatched his clothes off the end of the bed and beat a hasty retreat to the bathroom. He didn't know how they were going to get past this embarrassing predicament.

Willow didn't know how they were going to get past this embarrassing predicament. She could pretend she didn't see what she saw. She could pretend she didn't understand what she saw. She could run far away. She could barge into the bathroom and demand to see it again -- without the towel in the way.

*Ooh, bad Willow,* she thought in response to the last idea. Her face had to be as red as a stoplight. She felt the intense need to go jump into the ice machine at the end of the hall.

That was it!






Higher Learning XL - Ice Cubes

Spike emerged from the bathroom, his trousers and shirt firmly in place. He had come up with and discarded several ways to extract themselves from the embarrassment caused by his schoolboy reaction to her. He finally decided to ignore what happened and dig out the cards he had to involve her in an rousing -- not arousing -- game of gin.

"Willow, what say weeeeaaahh!"

Spike's back arched as the ice cubes hit his skin under his shirt. He whirled around to see Willow standing there with a mischievous grin on her face, holding an ice bucket. He grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled it out of the waistband of his pants, but not before a cube sneaked into them.

"Bloody hell that's cold!" he yelped, jumping up and down to urge the cube to descend down his pant leg.

Willow's hand suddenly shot out and a few more cubes joined its brethren in his trousers, as she yanked his waistband out and dropped them inside. The squeal he let out was by far the most unmanly sound he'd ever made.

She burst into laughter, as he danced around. She turned, threw open the door and took off running down the hallway.

"Willow!" Spike finally exclaimed. With a large smile, he tore after her and the remainder of the afternoon was spent running around the hotel.

The awkwardness that might have been had vanished with the ice cubes down Spike's pants.






Higher Learning XLI - Belonging

"You only have that bite mark on your neck," Willow told Spike, shortly before they were to leave to head back to her dorm. Spike had changed into the swim trunks she had gotten him, then slid his fatigues on over them along with a black T-shirt.

He ran his fingers through his hair to comb it back and shrugged. "Nothing I can do about it, luv," he said. "It should be gone by morning."

She rolled up onto her knees on the hotel bed and lightly touched the twin whitish marks on the side of his neck. The skin had healed over the punctures, but it was easy to tell he'd been bitten. "Did it hurt?"

"Not really," Spike replied, tilting his head slightly so she could see better. "It's more of a mental 'ouch' than a physical one."

"How's that?" she asked curiously.

"It's like I told you this morning, kitten, the vampire world is based on dominance and possession," he said, taking a seat beside her to pull on his boots. "I was given a reminder that I belong to someone else." He gave her a wry grin. "It bloody bites."

Willow groaned and slugged him lightly on the shoulder. "That was bad," she aid. She moved so she was seated beside him, then started twisting the hem of her shirt.

"Just ask, Willow," Spike told her after a few moments watching her nervous actions out of the corner of his eye. "I'll always tell you the truth."

She continued to fiddle with her shirt for a moment. "Is it ok that you, uh, 'belong' to Angel or do you hate it?" Willow finally asked. "I mean, I already know you're not leaving even though he told you to and that you think he did the right thing..."

"Both," Spike answered, rising to his feet and walking over to the small table. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it before he continued. "I bloody hate the fact that someone owns me, but it's nice to know the stupid sod still wants to own my cute arse. He may be a wanker, but he is my sire."

He took a drag on the cigarette. "You know what I hated most when Angel lost his bloody soul? Well, aside from the fucker taking my Dru, that is."

Willow figured it was a question that she needn't answer and waited quietly for him to go on.

"I hated how different he was than the Angelus I remembered," Spike continued. He moved to the heavy curtain and peeked out into the night. "Maybe it was because he had a bleedin' soul, or maybe it was because he wasn't around for all those years, I don't know. He was always a sick fuck. Liked to play mind games and all that rot. But to do that to a Slayer? Especially one as unconventional as your Buffy? That's just not playing with all his marbles, if you know what I'm saying."

He dropped the curtain and tapped the cherry of his cigarette into the ashtray. "Does that answer your question, pet?"

"Yeah," Willow replied. She shook her head. "Vampire behavior is strange. It's like a whole other culture, like African tribes compared to American life. Or even like...um...like..."

"Wild animals," Spike supplied. "Predatory ones, not the fluffy kind."

Willow looked at him, then burst into giggles. He arched a brow in question. "I just pictured you with a squirrel's tail," she explained between giggles. "And the ears."

He rolled his eyes, then put his wallet in his front pocket and grabbed his car keys, cigarettes and lighter. "Let's go, kitten," he said, picking up the room key. "Before you start calling me 'Rocky.'"






Higher Learning XLII - Drop Dead Gorgeous

Michael needed to find a tanning bed and he looked like he needed to take a weightlifting class.

Jason needed that same class, but to get rid of the belly he had from eating junk food all night while sitting in front of the computer.

Shay Lin had a lot of bug tattoos.

Tristan looked like the perfect boy-next-door. Built, but not overly so; California tan; navy blue swim trunks that showed off a cute ass -- not that she was ogling it, merely taking note -- and a light dusting of dark hair covering his legs.

Rafael was a Latin Adonis, perfectly sculpted and radiating sensuality that was almost palpable.

Spike was literally drop dead gorgeous.

Willow couldn't keep her eyes off him, especially because he was standing next to Rafael. The contrasts between the two men were extreme, but if she were forced to chose one based only on their physical appearance, Spike would win hands down.

The flock of girls -- and a few guys -- who were hanging around as the group of friends went on their Fountain Run seemed to agree with her. Spike looked dangerous. And deadly. And gorgeous. The bad boy all the girls fantasized about.

And he was Willow's.

That thought made her blush. Spike was hers in the sense that he was her friend and not the others'. Not hers in the physical sense. **Ooh, that's even naughtier,** she thought, turning a darker shade of red.

Spike wondered why Willow was blushing. He'd been watching her ever since they had joined her friends for the Fountain Run. Of course, it was impossible for him not to have his eyes on her, what with her wearing the same swim suit she'd worn when they'd last visited LA together.

Luckily, he managed to get his schoolboy hormones under control, or he'd be standing in calf-high water in the fountain with a raging hard on that all the world could see. Then again, the night was still young, and if she kept bending over like she was, his control would be extremely tested.




Higher Learning XLIII - What 's Your Book?

Spike was trying desperately not to tear Tristan's head off and suggest a game of water polo using the boy's head as the ball. Standing at the edge of the pond, his toes sunk into the mud, his jaw ticked as he ground his teeth together. His arms were crossed and he was staring out over the dark water, half-listening to Willow and her friends.

"Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry," Shay Lin said. "I got so upset about the pig at the end, I threw the book across the room."

"What about you, Rafael?" Tristan asked. "What book have you read that caused a big reaction?"

"Romeo and Juliet," Rafael replied. "It is sad that the parents could not see past petty difference to pure love. I did wept when Juliet woke at the same moment Romeo met death. If she had awoke a few seconds sooner..." He was quiet for a moment, then smiled. "It is much fun to read old English in espaņol."

The friends laughed and Spike muttered to himself, "Old Willy was a pompous blowhard who wrote in high English so no one but the bloody toffs could read his stupid stories. Not that I cared about that crap..."

"Willow?" Tristan prompted.

"Well, I read Interview with the Vampire last summer and laughed so much I almost wasn't able to finish it," Willow replied with a large grin to Spike, who had turned towards the group when she started speaking.

"You found it humorous?" Michael said. "Not tragic?"

"Vampire's don't act like Louis. Lestat, yes. I felt sorry for Claudia because she was trapped in a girl's body, but I don't know any vampire who acts like Louie," she said.

Spike arched his brow. "What about the poof?"

"The 'Poof?'" Jason said.

"Um..." Willow tried to think of some way to answer Jason. "An, uh, Anime character from some movie we saw." She looked over at Spike expectantly.

"Right," Spike said, backing her up. It was his mistake anyway. "Don't recall what picture, though."

"What about you, Tristan?" Willow asked before anyone could start a Twenty Questions game to try to figure out what Anime movie they were talking about when it didn't even exist. "What's your book?"

"Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand," Tristan answered. "It was nine hundred pages long, but a fast read. It nicely countered the crap that was forced down our throats in my Humanism class. After I finished it, I wrote the author. I got a nice, long letter back."

Spike narrowed his eyes slightly when Tristan looked pointedly at him while the boy said the number of pages being a "fast read." **Whatever the hell that means,** the blond vampire thought. He watched as an almost smug smile appeared on Tristan's face, and he had to curb the impulse to wipe it off with his fist.

"How about you, Spike?" Tristan asked. "What's your book?"

Spike ground his teeth together for a moment, restraining his instinct to show the boy who was the Master. Bite mark on his neck or not, he was the dominant here.

"Well, mate, there's just so many to choose from," Spike said, his voice slightly mocking. "What with me being an uneducated cockney git and all."

Willow looked as if she was going to intervene, but he stopped her with a lift of his fingers. "But I would have to say it was the first book I ever read cover to cover," Spike continued, not changing his tone. The boy was going to have to learn that Spike wasn't easily intimidated or embarrassed. "It was that Dr. Seuss bloke's One Fish, Two Fish book."

"I love that one!" Shay Lin exclaimed, leaning forward over her bent knees. "Have you read Yertle the Turtle?"

"Hop On Pop," Jason said. "That's my favorite."

"The Cat in the Hat is evil," Michael spoke up. "The children were good kids until that Cat came along."

"The Lorax," Rafael added. "Such a heartening lesson."

Spike smirked at Tristan as the Dr. Seuss titles continued to fly back and fourth. He could see the boy grinding his own teeth together now.

Tristan: one. Spike: two.


Higher Learning XLIV - Miss You



"Well, luv, I'd best be off," Spike said, standing under the carport outside the doors of the Holiday Inn. The day was dark, heavy storm clouds blocking out the sun, much to the vampire's comfort. Check-out time had been at eleven, as it was last time he and Willow stayed there. He hadn't been too worried because of the carport, but the lack of sunshine was always a plus.

"I'm glad you came down," Willow told him. She stuck her hands in the back pockets of her cargo pants, the old Dodger's cap backwards on her unbound hair.

"I am, too." He gave her a soft smile. "Give us a bell sometime?"

"I will. Promise," she replied. "And I'll threaten Lisa with newtage about taking better phone messages."

He chuckled. "You do that, kitten."

Willow gave him a half-smile, then looked away. "Well, um, bye."

"Bye," Spike repeated. He turned and headed around the front of his car towards the driver's side.

Halfway there, he stopped, turned and retraced his steps. Stopping directly in front of Willow, he put his finger under her chin, tilted her face up and brushed his lips over hers.

"Miss you," Spike whispered against her mouth before he dropped his hand and quickly made his way to the driver's side of his car.

Willow was still standing there five minutes later, hands in her back pockets, a stunned expression on her face. It wasn't until another car pulled up that she snapped out of her daze. A large grin crossed her lips and she said aloud, "I'll miss you, too."

The elderly couple who exited the care looked at the redhead funnily, as Willow turned and walked away.




Higher Learning XLV - About Spike

"So, what are we going to do about Willow and Spike?" Buffy asked the three brunettes seated around Angel's kitchen table Sunday afternoon. The friends from Sunnydale had opted to stay overnight at the ensouled vampire's apartment, giving the blond Slayer some quality time to spend with her boyfriend. It also gave Faith an excuse to drag Xander around to various clubs and revel in the night away from the Hellmouth.

"I've done all I could, save from staking my unruly childe," Angel said, resting his forearms on the table.

"Staking is good," Xander said.

"Red would be pissed if you did that, Xand," Faith pointed out.

"We do not want to upset Willow," Angel agreed.

Xander snickered. "Deadboy's afraid."

"You would be, too, if you heard her growl,"Angel told him.

"Don't worry, Angel," Buffy said, patting his arm. "I'll protect you from the big, bad Wicca." Angel glared at her and she smiled innocently.

"I say let them be," Faith said. "Spike is a super-hottie with a great ass-"

"Faith!" Buffy exclaimed.

"What?" Faith said, looking at the blond Slayer. "You're the one who said his ass made you think of-"

Buffy leaned over and clamped her hand on the top of Faith's mouth. "She's lying. Telling stories. Nothing that comes out of her mouth is the truth," she said.

Faith pushed Buffy's hand away and grinned wickedly. "Guess I shouldn't mention your comment about Spike pounding-" The brunette Slayer clacked her mouth shut at Buffy's murderous glare, but the grin was still there.

"Buffy, is there something you wish to share with me?" Angel asked in a calm tone, one dark brow arched as he looked at her.

"No?" Buffy replied, her voice rising to make it more of a question than an answer.

Faith and Xander exchanged looks, stood and quickly left the room. "You are evil," Xander commented to Faith as they headed out the front door.

"Yes," Faith agreed, no remorse in her voice.


Higher Learning XLVI - Friends





"Aaron, you trotting git," Spike said into the phone when his vampire friend picked up on the other end of the line. Spike had very few true friends, considering he was a Master vampire with a tolerance level of a caged jackal. But those friends that he did have, he was extremely open and talkative with. Mostly because he needed to have normal conversations while he catered to an insane Drusilla all those years. "What's this about me being whipped nonce?"

Aaron chuckled. "Where were you this weekend?"

"LA, visiting Willow," Spike replied.

"See."

"Sod off," Spike grumbled. He began pulling dirty clothes of his duffle, which he'd tossed on the bed after getting back from Los Angeles.

"So, what's new?" Aaron asked.

"I had a run-in with my Sire," Spike said.

"I take it by your tone of voice it wasn't a pleasant dalliance," Aaron said.

"Let's just say the old man still has it and definitely knows how to use it."

"Ouch."

"Yes."

"I take it this was about your redhead?"

Spike moved to his closet, dirty clothes under his arm. "Yeah. Angel was all 'leave Willow the bloody hell alone' and 'I'm your Sire, and don't you forget it' bollocks. Cor, you should have seen her face when she saw what the sod did to me." He opened his sliding closet door while chuckling. "She went over to his place and stole his stash of blood right from his icebox!"

"That's quite a woman you've found, Spike," Aaron commented, also laughing.

"She sure is," Spike said fondly. "Did you know that little Witch..."

"The little Witch what?" Aaron prompted.

Spike didn't hear, however, because he was too busy staring incredulously at his clothing hanging in his closet. "Why those bloody chits!"

"Woah, what brought that on?" Aaron asked.

"The-the-the," Spike sputtered angrily. He dropped his dirty laundry on the floor and tucked the phone between his shoulder and ear so he could rearrange his clothes. "Those Slayers! They were in my bleedin' house! Is nothing sacred? Cor, those bitches..."

"Wait, how do you know they were there?" Aaron said. "Did they leave a threatening calling card? A stake through a dummy dressed as you?"

"They rearranged my clothes!"

Aaron burst out laughing at the other end of the line.

"Shut up," Spike growled. "Just. Shut. Up."




Higher Learning XLVII - Payback

That night, Spike sneaked over to the Summers' home, sneaked into Buffy's bedroom window -- thankful about still having an invitation -- and stole all her clothing.




Higher Learning XLVIII - Ransom

"...All he left was a stupid ransom note!" Buffy exclaimed into the phone, a piece of paper twisted in her other hand. "Even my holey socks with the bears on them are gone!"

Angel was having a very hard time containing his laughter at the other end of the line. "So what do you want me to do about it, honey?"

"Do some...Sire thing," Buffy said, waving her hand around. "Make him give me my clothes back."

"Why don't you just do what the ransom note says?" Angel suggested. "It can't be that bad..."

"'Slayer twit number one,'" Buffy read. "'If you want to see your clothes again, you and Slayer twit number two have to sing Madonna's Like a Virgin on stage at the Bronze. Hate you, Spike.'"

Angel bit his fist hard to keep the laughs from exploding.

"Like a Virgin!!" Buffy squealed. "Faith?!"

"Um, dear, you're not a virgin, either," Angel managed to get out calmly.

"Shut up," Buffy growled. "Just. Shut. Up."




Higher Learning XLIX - You Did What?

"You did what?" Willow burst into giggles, dropping the phone in the process. It clattered to her dorm room floor, causing Lisa to look at her strangely. "He-he-he-he-he," the hacker gasped, trying to tell her roommate what Spike did. She gave up and just laughed.

The black dancer shook her head and picked up the phone. "I'm sorry, Will's gone off the deep end, can I take a message?"

Spike chuckled in Lisa's ear. "Tell the Witch I got the whole thing on video."

Lisa covered the receiver and said, "He says he got the whole thing on tape."

Willow snorted loudly and fell off her bed, clutching her stomach and laughing harder.

"She took that well," Lisa told Spike. "I'm going to have to put the phone down and administer CPR, cause Will's not breathing too well."




Higher Learning L - A Gift

Angel looked curiously at the Priority Mail envelope he'd just received and noted the return address was not one that he knew. The handwriting was of poor quality, and something about it tugged at him memory. He opened the cardboard envelope and pulled out a VCR tape and a note.

"I thawt you mite like a copy," the scribble read. "Your darling boy, Spike."

"Darling, my ass," Angel muttered, unable to help the smile that tugged up one corner of his mouth.

Moving to the television and VCR in the corner of the living room, he stuck the tape in, then sat down on the couch with the remote.

Five minutes later, tears were streaming down his face, and his laughter could be heard throughout the apartment building.






Continued