Over The Rainbow - Revisited
Sometimes, the streets of L.A. were jam-packed at night, everyone trying to get somewhere else.
Sometimes, like tonight, the streets were empty, because everyone was already at where they wanted
"Here. Stop here."
Angel stopped the convertible in front of the white-washed entrance to a place seen in countless
opening credits to films. "Here? Isn't this a movie studio?"
It actually seemed apropos; Angel's life had resembled a comedic farce this past week. Cordelia's
ex-friend and Spike's ex-girlfriend, Harmony, had come to town on Monday. A disaster in the
making if there had been one, but her appearance had caused Spike to proclaim that he belonged to
Angel in front of all and sundry at Caritas. Angel had wanted to beat his chest with primal pride.
He had dominated the wild, willful master vampire, in spite of Angel's being perceived as a nobody
because he had a soul. No one would doubt his virility after that.
Harmony had gone after a failed attempt at evil-doing, and two days later Cordelia had a debilitating
vision that led to Angel helping Lindsey McDonald, of all slime. Lindsey, it turned out, had his
shorn hand replaced with an "evil" one that he couldn't fully control. Or so he said. Angel
suspected that Lindsey had groped him on purpose. Angel knew that he had groped Lindsey on
After the case had been solved, Lindsey left town under the watchful glare of a jealous Spike.
Spike's jealous glare then transferred to the Host later that same night when the Host's cousin
appeared from Pylea. Lorne, as Angel had learned was the Host's name, had been very "pay
attention to me" while the cousin was in L.A. Angel had paid attention, Spike had gotten jealous,
and that was why the blond vampire was in the car with them on the way to rescue Cordelia from
"I suppose we should probably begin," Wesley said, looking across at Angel.
Angel nodded slowly. "Should I, you know, I don't know, maybe put the top up?"
"Shouldn't be necessary," Wesley replied. "If I'm right, we only require a metal enclosure on four
sides in order to ensure that we travel through the portal together. The car, top up or down, should
do it. I'm almost positive."
"Ninety-six percent," Wesley said. Angel sank down into is seat with mounting dread. "Well, it's
not like I've ever done this before!" the ex-Watcher exclaimed. "And with the time factor, I'm
under a great deal of--"
"Oh, suck it up, English," Gunn said as he hopped over the side of the convertible into the back seat.
The Host slid closer to Spike to give the other man room. Spike growled faintly and Angel shot him
a warning look before focusing on Gunn.
"Gunn. How did you...?" Wesley began.
"Got a phone message. Sounded like the captain of the Titanic getting ready to go down with the
ship," Gunn said with a pointed glance at Angel.
Angel looked sheepish when all eyes turned to him. "I-I just thought that someone on this side
should know the details in case..."
"A backup man!" Lorne burst out. "Terrific idea! Well, now that he's going, I suppose someone
should stay here, mind the store. Don't worry, I'm not disappointed. Just get me something nice
to..." He started to get up in order to get out of the car, but Spike put his hand on the green demon's
shoulder and shoved him back down.
"Everyone set?" Wesley asked, ignoring the Host.
"Let's get a move on," Gunn responded.
"Right." Wesley opened the book in his hands. "Here goes: Krv drpglr pwlz chkwrt strplmt
dwghzn prglrzn lffrmtplzt!"
A swirling and sparking blue portal formed in front of the convertible at Wesley's incantation.
Gunn half-grinned. "Cool."
Angel put the car into gear and glanced over at Wesley. "Ninety-six percent, huh?"
"Give or take," Wesley confirmed.
"Okay," Angel breathed out a purposeful breath of air. "Gentlemen, take a good look around."
Everyone but Spike put their seatbelts on.
"Now, say goodbye!" Angel said and, with a final look at Wesley, he hit the gas. The car shot
forward with a squeal of the tires, into the portal.
Angel slammed on the brakes and the convertible came to a screaming halt -- although the
passengers continued to scream -- on a grass-covered hill in sunny Pylea. Very sunny Pylea.
"The sun! Daylight! Quick, get a blanket over Spike!" The dark-haired vampire threw the car into
park and twisted in his seat. "Get a blanket over Spike or he's gonna catch on fire!"
"And you're flame-retardant?" the Host said pointedly.
Wesley scrambled to hand Angel a blanket, but the vampire didn't take it. He was too busy staring
at the empty seat where Spike had been. Oh god, he'd been too slow, Angel thought, pain piercing
his heart. His boy was gone.
"Yo, Angel, why ain't you on fire?" Gunn asked after a moment.
"Well, it is another dimension," Wesley said. "Perhaps their sun--"
"Back up, Copernicus," Lorne interrupted. He pointed up. "That's suns. Plural."
Everyone but Angel looked up at the sky, where indeed two suns blazed hotly. "Suns," Wesley said.
"Yes, well, perhaps they don't have the same effect on vampires." Wesley reached out and pinched
Angel jerked and glared at Wesley. "Hey! Watch it, alright?"
Wesley pinched him again, and the vampire batted his hand away. "Fascinating."
"Yeah, fascinating," Angel snapped. "But my non-flaminess doesn't tell me what happened to
Spike." The vampire shoved open the car door, climbed out, and slammed it shut. He stalked
around the car to where Spike had sat in the back passenger seat. The others yammered on about
the amazing feat of dimension hopping, which did nothing to help Angel's temper.
Where the hell was Spike?, Angel growled to himself, squinting in the twin sunlight as he searched
the hilly area. A close-up examination of the back seat and floor revealed no dust, and Angel's not
burning meant that Spike shouldn't have burned either. Could Spike have fallen out of the car while
they were traveling through the portal?, Angel wondered fearfully. Could his boy be in the
magickal ether, forever lost?
Angel's knees began to shake, and he leaned heavily against the side of the car so he wouldn't fall to
the ground. Suddenly, he felt nauseous. He felt hollow. He felt like Buffy had shoved a sword
through his chest again.
"Spike," the name tumbled from Angel's lips in a painful whisper. He couldn't lose his childe, not
like this. Not after everything they'd been through. Not after Angel had learned that he needed
Spike in his unlife, and that Spike wanted to be with him, too. Not after Angel found himself
growing more and more enamored of his blond wildchilde, with the devastating cheekbones and pert
"Spike!" Angel straightened and cupped his hands around his mouth. "Spike! Where are you?!"
Trees and brush dotted the Pylean landscape. In the distance, Angel could see a town. The rest of
the area was comprised of rolling hills with a few rocky out-croppings. No Spike, but charging
directly at him was a man-sized creature wearing Spike's duster.
Green rough skin split by a circle of purplish horns made up the demon's face. It had sharp ivory
fangs, red eyes, large pointed ears, and tufts of white-blond hair on the back of its head. Clawed
hands were extended as it crashed into Angel, knocking the vampire against the side of the car.
Snuffling and snorting, the demon sniffed at Angel's crotch, nuzzled the vampire there, then dropped
back onto its haunches and looked up at Angel expectantly. Angel stared dumbfounded at the
creature. It was wearing more than just Spike's duster; it was wearing all of the blond's clothing,
including his boots!
"Since when did your boy become an ugly version of the Incredible Hulk?" Gunn asked. He was
perched on the back seat of the car, frowning over the Host's head at the demon.
The thing -- Spike? -- shifted its focus to Gunn and growled. Angel could see its muscles coiling
in preparation of an attack. "No!" Angel said sharply. The creature looked back at him and
whined, but stood down.
"My word," Wesley said, peering over the edge of the car door. "It seems as though this dimension
has more of an effect on vampires than just sun-proofing."
"Then why don't I look like that?" Angel pointed at... Spike. It must be Spike. Mother nature
couldn't reproduce that shade of blond hair. And would a Pylean demon have claws tipped in black
"I- I couldn't say," Wesley replied, now eyeing Angel with trepidation.
"He's green, he's horny, he couldn't look better... except, perhaps, with a splash of color to counter
the punk funeral black," the Host said. "Now, I for one remember a foxy little girl named Cordelia
awaiting a rescue, and the sooner we rescue her, the sooner we can take the next portal home."
"You guys go ahead," Angel continued to stare at Spike, "I'll catch up."
"Got it." Gunn hopped out of the car on the opposite side of where Angel and Spike were. Wesley
and the Host did the same, and the three of them started on their way.
Spike stuck his green nose in the air, sniffed, and growled again, but he didn't move. Angel waited
until his friends were a good distance away for safety's sake before he addressed the green, horned
"Spike, is that you?" Angel said tentatively. "Is that you, boy?"
Spike cocked his head to one side, eyed focused on Angel. He whined softly.
Angel closed his eyes. Fear warred with confusion and happiness that Spike was all right. Angel
snorted. That was, if looking like a true demon instead of Spike's normal handsome human-like self
could be considered 'all right.'
Angel felt a soft nose at his crotch again, and he cupped the roughly-skinned and sparsely-haired
head of his childe without opening his eyes. It was wrong to want to forget about Cordelia, turn the
car around, and take Spike back through the portal home, Angel told himself as he lightly petted the
demon at his feet. But Spike meant more to him than Cordelia -- which Angel would not admit out
loud -- and he wanted his childe back to normal, right now.
That wasn't an option, however. The book which had opened the portal was gone. Angel had half-heard that wonderful bit of information while first searching for Spike.
So, what to do? Cordelia did need rescuing. A way back home did need to be found. Spike was
definitely not himself and Angel couldn't be certain as to how his boy would behave like this.
"Into the car, Spike," Angel directed, opening the passenger door. He rolled up the window three-quarters of the way, climbed into the car, and slid across the seat behind the wheel. He turned on the
power and hit the button to put up the top on the convertible. Spike crawled into the car, sniffling
and snorting, as Angel rolled up the driver's side window.
After the convertible's top was up completely, Angel exited the car on the driver's side, locking and
shutting the door behind him. He quickly rounded the car, shut the passenger door, and used the key
to lock it.
Spike plastered his non-human face against the cracked-open window and whined loudly. Angel
briefly pressed his palm to the window, then pocketed his keys and hurriedly went after Wesley,
Gunn, and the Host.