Five By Five -- Revisited

by Saber ShadowKitten
Revisited 16

Angel wasn't happy and Wesley wasn't making him any happier. They were arguing in Angel's office after his phone call to Giles and he wanted to get everyone to safety before Faith showed up. He did not want one single hair on their heads harmed, especially in light of what had happened with Rebecca a week ago.

He was also pissed that no one in Sunnydale bothered to tell him Faith was out of her coma. Added to that was Giles's reluctance to tell him the full story of what Faith did to Buffy. It was becoming clearer and clearer that he was no longer to be privy to information regarding the first love of his souled unlife.

"I thought we were a team," Wesley said.

Angel glared at the man standing across from him. "We're not a team," he ground out. "I'm your boss. You go where I tell you, and I tell you to lay low."

"It seems you're taking this personally," Wesley said.

"Well, you know, she tried to shoot my own personal back," Angel said caustically. "So, yeah."

Wesley gave him a thoughtful look. "Did she do something to Buffy?"

Angel dropped his eyes, hating that Wesley nailed one of his sore spots on the head. "Giles just said it was rough."

"I'm sorry," Wesley said.

Angel could hear the 'but' in his voice. He wasn't wrong.

"But if you let emotion control you right now, one of you will certainly end up dead!" Wesley exclaimed.

"Well, that's what the lady wants," Angel responded without a hint of emotion.

"That's not good enough!" Wesley snapped. "She's not a demon, Angel. She's a sick, sick girl. If there's even a chance she could be reasoned with-"

"There was," Angel interrupted, disgusted by the gall of the other man. "Last year, I had a shot at saving her. I was pulling her back from the brink when some British guy kidnapped her and made damn sure she'd never trust a living soul."

Cordelia, who'd been keeping out of the argument, stepped forward. "Angel, it's not Wesley's fault that some British guy ruined your...," she paused and looked at Wesley, "...wait, that was you." She gestured to Angel. "Go on."

"You don't need to," Wesley said, his voice heavy with self-recrimination.

"Let's just get to work," Angel said, ending the argument. "Take whatever you think you'll need from here. I'll get Spike and meet you in the garage."

Cordelia and Wesley didn't move.

"What?" Angel said with exasperation, looking back and forth between the two of them.

"Angel, how can I put this nicely?" Cordelia gave him a hard glare. "There's no way in hell I'm going anywhere with Spike."

"Nor I," Wesley said.

"Just because you're not happy with me-"

"It has nothing to do with whether I disagree with you or not," Wesley interrupted Angel. "Spike is your responsibility and neither Cordelia nor I wish to have anything to do with him."

"I know he's my responsibility," Angel said. "That's why I need you to take him out of here."

Cordelia let out a mocking bark of laughter, turned and left the inner office. Angel stared after her in shock. His gaze swung to Wesley when the other man cleared his throat.

"Angel, because you are my boss, you reserve the right to fire me for what I'm about to say," Wesley began. "What you do with another vampire, who you've kept hidden from us and has nothing keeping him from slaughtering us all, is your own affair. However, I will not jeopardize my life to aid that... thing... in any way, and I know Cordelia shares my sentiments."

Angel was unable to form a response, but Wesley hadn't finished anyway.

"I am of the opinion that your affair with Spike is extremely wrong and makes a mockery of everything you are striving to accomplish," Wesley continued. "You wish to save lives, yet you are harboring and -- excuse my language -- buggering a killer. Unlike Faith, there is no conceivable chance at redeeming Spike. He was, is, and always will be, a demon without a soul."

He straightened to his full height and looked down his nose at Angel. "For you to even think to suggest that Cordelia or I would readily do anything with regards to Spike, other than staking him, shows how little you know or care about us. As of right now, you are the boss, Cordelia and I are your employees, and that is the extent of our relationship."

Wesley nodded his head once in a gesture of politeness. "Good day, Angel," he said, then strode purposefully from the inner office.

Angel stared for several moments at the space Wesley had occupied, completely stunned. He hadn't been on the receiving end of such a dressing down since he was a mortal still living with his father. To top it all off, every single thing that Wesley had said was the truth. He was harboring and screwing a killer. He was making a mockery of the lives he was trying to save. He was just expecting Wesley and Cordelia to help Spike because he'd said so.

A wave a guilt washed over the dark-haired vampire. He knew that he had done a lot of damage when the demon part of him had free reign, but neither Cordelia nor Wesley had blamed him for what had happened. He'd thought he could rebuild his friendship with them; now he wondered if he'd thought wrong.

But what could he do about it? He couldn't just up and stake Spike, especially not after what he'd done to the vampire. Plus, Spike was his Childe and everything that had happened over the past half-year had reestablished the bond between them. As Spike had told him, either he was the master or Spike mastered him. There was no going back to the way things were before the incident with the Gem of Amara.

Angel wondered, if he had to chose between all of them, would he be able to give Spike up? Or would it be Cordelia and Wesley that he completely broke the ties of friendship with? Ever since Spike made it clear he wasn't leaving, Angel had grown very fond of the blond vampire and their Dom/sub relationship. It was a normal vampiric liaison and it soothed the part of him that craved violence and pain -- the same part that, without his soul, had not even the faintest touch of humanity, which was an abnormality even among vampires.

However, as Wesley pointed out and Angel was well aware of, Spike was a killer and would have no compunction against going after Angel's coworkers. Granted, the blond vampire had curbed his hunting because Angel, as master, had ordered it, but that didn't mean Spike would continue not killing. It was part of his nature, and, short of Angel somehow foisting a soul back onto his Childe, there wasn't much that could be done about it.

Angel sighed and rubbed his eyes. He had some very hard decisions to make, but not right now. He had a fight coming up that he was not looking forward to, and he needed to get Spike safely tucked away in case Faith appeared at the offices. He had no doubt that she would target those he cared for in order to get to him.

And Spike was someone he definitely cared for.

"Master Peaches, 'bout time you showed up," Spike said cheerfully when Angel entered the bedroom. The blond vampire rolled slightly onto his side and pointed to his backside. "I have this bloody itch that I can't reach. Scratch it for me?"

Since Spike had awoken three days prior, mostly healed except for his shattered knees, he'd been in good humor... and extremely annoying. Angel knew his Childe was milking the dark-haired vampire's guilt for everything it was worth, but Angel allowed it. It was one way, albeit a poor one, to show how sorry he was over what had happened.

"Later, Spike," Angel said, walking over to the wardrobe to get out some clothing for his Childe. "There's trouble and I'm going to have to stash you down in the tunnels until it blows over."

"Trouble?" Spike said. "What sort of trouble?"

Angel pulled out a pair of his own loose pants and an oversized shirt. "Disgruntled postal worker-type trouble," he replied.

Spike arched a brow at him as he tossed the clothes on the end of the bed. "Who'd you piss off now?"

"Faith," Angel replied, carefully removing the bright blue leg-braces from Spike's legs. "The psychotic Slayer."

Spike's eyes widened a moment then he burst out laughing. "Bugger, you don't do things half-way, do you? Another Slayer! Ha!"

With the blond chortling like a maniac, it was actually easier for Angel to slide the pants up over Spike's injured legs. His Childe's laughter only hitched briefly when he lifted Spike's ankles to get the pants over his feet. Then, it was just a matter of Spike holding onto Angel's shoulders as the dark-haired man partially lifted him and pulled the pants up over his boxers.

"Anytime you want to stop laughing...," Angel hinted, as he re-fastened the leg-braces which he'd obtained from a hospital supply store. Spike's knees needed to be kept straight and immobile for them to heal properly, and Angel knew the antsy vampire couldn't be still enough for that to happen without help.

Spike snorted. "Fat chance, mate."

Angel sighed and threw the shirt at Spike. He grabbed the paperback book the blond had been reading and tucked it into his back pocket. "Do you need anything from up here?"

"A good blowjob'd be nice," Spike replied with a salacious grin.

Angel gave him a look, and then, as gently as possible, hoisted the blond over his shoulder.

Spike tweaked his ass.

"If you wanted a rimmin', pet, all you had to do was say so."

"Is sex all you ever think about?" Angel asked, as he crossed his apartment to the grate in the floor.

"Hmm, let's see...," Spike paused dramatically, "...yep, 'fraid so."

Angel chuckled, relaxing slightly despite the seriousness of the situation. "You're incorrigible."

"I'm also well-hung and give good head, if I do say so myself," Spike said.

"Very true," Angel agreed, a grin slashing his face as he carefully descended the ladder.

The side-tunnel where Spike made his home was cluttered with junk. Magazines, books, cds, food wrappers, clothes and things Angel preferred not to identify littered the floor and all available surfaces. Cords hung down from the connection in the emergency light, which ran off the city's power, to the various entertainment equipment stacked in the far back corner.

Spike had definitely made himself at home, Angel thought as he maneuvered through the debris to the miraculously junk-free cot. With great care, he settled the blond sack of potatoes onto the bed.

"I'll move everything within reach for you," Angel said, handing Spike the book he'd taken out of his pocket. "Do you have any weapons?"

"Yeah, there's a flame-thrower in the cooler and an M-16 under the cot," Spike said dryly.

"I'm serious, Spike." Angel began to shift stuff around. "I don't want to have you completely unprotected."

"Alright, Master Poof, don't get your knickers in a knot," Spike said. "There's a crossbow and a few bolts under the bed and a khyber in the cooler." He reached under the pillow and pulled out a dagger. "Plus, I have this."

"Good," Angel said. He picked up the cell phone from the floor beside the bed and gave it to Spike. "I don't know how long it'll be before I can come get you again."

"Don't fret, luv," Spike told him. "I've been around a decade or ten. I can keep myself amused."

A worried frown marred Angel's brow as he studied Spike. His boy looked so small, his leaner frame swimming in Angel's borrowed clothes and the dual leg-braces giving him an air of vulnerability.

"Damn it, I wish they would've taken you," he muttered under his non-existent breath, as he dug out Spike's weapons.

"I'm gonna need some more blood, Angel," Spike said. "I was fresh out the night you... er..."

It was the first time Spike had ever trailed off into an uncomfortable silence. Angel closed his eyes against the burning of tears. Spike had always been able to let everything roll off of him, or at least act like he didn't care. For him not to sarcastically brush it off meant that Angel truly had hurt his Childe.

Angel swallowed past the lump in his throat and avoided meeting Spike's eyes as he spoke. "I'd better go get you that blood."

Spike didn't respond.

The dark-haired vampire made quick the trip back to his apartment to retrieve several bags of blood. He'd been giving Spike human blood to assist him in healing faster, and had stockpiled plenty of the appropriated bags.

"This Slayer chit," Spike said the moment Angel stepped around the corner. "Think she'll believe you if you tell her about your soul?"

"Faith knows I have my soul and she doesn't give a flying rat's ass about it," Angel replied. He dropped the bags of blood into the cooler.

"If you don't come back before my knees heal, I'm leaving," Spike told him.

Angel nodded. "If you need me, call, okay?"

"Whatever," Spike said.

Angel looked at his Childe for a moment then turned to go.

"Before you go, pass me one of those blood bags, will ya, peaches?" Spike requested.

"Sure." Despite the cooler being within Spike's easy reach, Angel took out a bag and handed it to him.

But instead of Spike taking the bag, he grabbed Angel's wrist and yanked him forward. Angel quickly put out his other hand to stop himself from falling on top of the other man. He ended up nose-to-nose with Spike.

"Don't get yourself offed," Spike said, a second before he pressed his mouth to Angel's.

The kiss was soft and wet and utterly unlike any kiss they'd shared before. The arm holding Angel up and preventing him from crushing Spike began to tremble as the kiss drew on, and he wondered if the feeling spreading through his heart was detrimental to his unlife.

Spike pulled back from Angel slowly, his lips lingering until the very last possible moment. When Angel opened his eyes, the cerulean blue gaze that met his was full of tumultuous emotions. He had no clue what Spike was thinking or what brought about the change, but, right then, he didn't care.

"I mean it," Spike said to him in a low voice. "Don't get yourself killed."

"Okay," Angel replied, unable to come up with anything more flowery... or even intelligent.

Spike nodded once and broke eye-contact. Angel straightened and pulled at the collar of his shirt. "I'll, uh, see you later."

"Right," Spike said. He opened the book on his lap and began to read.

Without another word, Angel turned and headed back towards his apartment, brushing his fingers across his tingling lips the entire way.