The Dijon night was quiet and calm, peaceful. Lights winked on and off in the valley below,
making the area look like a field of lightning bugs. On the far side of the valley, the beginnings of
a fire slashed one of the French vineyards with yellows and oranges, the dark smoke rising up to
be swallowed by the night sky.
Spike stood in the open doorway that led to the balcony from the bed chamber. The cool night
air caressed his bare arms and chest like a lover. He watched as the distant fire grew larger, trying
to let it distract him from his tumultuous thoughts.
"Spike, you're no' dressed," Angelus's scolding came from behind him, slicing through the
silence like a knife.
Spike didn't turn. "No bloody shit."
"Dinna you think you should be?" Angelus inquired, amusement heavy in his voice. "'Tis your
"A party I didn't want," Spike pointed out. "Who cares that I've been a vampire for twenty-five
"'Tis a mark of honor, boy," Angelus said. Spike could hear the older vampire rifling through the
wardrobe closet, undoubtably choosing the clothing he wanted Spike to wear. "No' many o' our
kind survive t' their twenty-fifth year."
Spike snorted. "That's because most vampires are nancyboys."
Angelus chuckled. "Come, lad, and dress. Downstairs, the blood runs like the wine in the valley
-- a rich ambrosia made from the sweetest of grape-pickers."
"I'm not going," Spike said. "You know I hate dressing up like a soddin' toff and being put on
display like bloody Queen Victoria."
"Dinna piss me off, Spike," Angelus said in a hard tone. "Darla's come all the way from Paris t'
attend, an' I willna let you make a fool o' me in front o' me Sire."
Spike's shoulders tensed at Darla's name. He clenched his jaw and glared unseeingly into the
He felt rather than heard Angelus's approach. Cool hands slid around his waist, joining together
over his stomach, and he was pulled back against the older vampire. Angelus rested his chin on
Spike's shoulder and spoke softly, his light Irish lilt tinged with a hint of concern.
"What is it, me sweet William?" Angelus asked, using Spike's true name as he did whenever they
were sharing a private moment. "What has you tensed up like a caged tiger?"
"Darla said she's taking you with her when she leaves at the end of the week," Spike said.
"Aye, this I know," Angelus said. "We'll have much packing t' do. That portrait we've just
done will still be wet-"
"She told me I'm not invited," Spike interrupted, trying to keep the bitterness from his voice.
"Dru an' me are supposed to stay here while she carts you off to Romania with 'er."
"Did she now?" Angelus sounded surprised. "Hmm."
Spike folded his hands over Angelus's on his stomach. Inside, he was a bundle of churning
thoughts and feelings that he didn't like. He took a purposeful breath before asking quietly, "Are
you going to leave m-us?"
"I dinna know, William," Angelus replied. "I'll speak wit' Darla, but she is me Sire..." The older
vampire let his sentence trail off, the implication of his obeying his Sire's wishes remaining an
Spike blinked back the tears stinging his eyes, hating the fact that his emotions were controlling
him. But, acting like an emotional git or not, it still didn't change what he knew was going to
happen. There was no doubt Angelus would be leaving with Darla -- alone.
Angelus sighed loudly and kissed Spike's shoulder. "'Tis no use worrin' about it. The week isna
at an end yet."
The older vampire started to pull away, but Spike held fast. Angelus paused, then relaxed his
arms, allowing Spike to stay in his embrace. He nuzzled the area behind the younger vampire's
ear before whispering, "What else be in this pretty little head o' yours?"
Spike chewed on his lower lip, not wanting to ask, but needing to have his fears put to rest.
"Angelus, do you...," he swallowed and forced the words past his distress at having such intense
feelings for the older vampire, "...love me?"
Angelus went perfectly still for a moment that seemed to stretch on forever. Then, he kissed the
back of Spike's neck with a loud smack and pulled himself away. "We've no' the time for dilly-dallying, Spike. You have five minutes."
The sound of Spike's nickname, followed by the click of the bedroom door closing, caused the
vampire to spin and slam his fist...
... into nothing as Spike abruptly awoke.
The peroxide-blond sat up and swung his legs over the side of the stone coffin he used for a bed,
the tattered blanket that had covered him falling heedlessly to the dirty floor. Spike pressed the
heels of his hands against his eyes and grumbled softly, "Bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger,
It was the same dream again. The exact same one that started and ended the exact same way.
The same dream he'd had for three solid weeks, every single time he closed his eyes to sleep.
Spike had stolen a dream interpretation book from the library by the end of the second week,
hoping to put a stop to the repetitive dream. He had found the answer as to what it meant
without any trouble, but it did not make him happy.
He had unresolved issues. About Angelus. About love.
With a curse, Spike hopped to his feet and stormed out of the crypt into the pre-dawn light. His
footsteps were hard and fast-paced as he made his way to Giles's with one goal on his mind.
He was going to resolve his damn issues so he would stop having the same bloody dream.
"Do these people ever lock their doors?" Spike commented to himself as he easily entered
Giles's home. He paused inside the doorway and listened. After a moment, Giles's soft snores
drifted down to his ears.
Nodding in satisfaction, Spike quietly closed the door behind him and made his way over to the
ex-Watcher's desk. He switched on the lamp and paused, waiting to see if Giles awoke. When
no crossbow bolts rained down on him, Spike took the address book from under the phone,
located the number he needed and placed the call he really did not want to make.
"I need you to answer a question for me without arguing," Spike said without preamble.
A pause, followed by a sigh, came over the line. "Go ahead."
Spike took a deep, purposeful breath, and blurted, "Did you ever love me?"
Then, "I never stopped."
A huge smile broke out on Spike's face before he quickly squashed it. "Thanks, mate," he said,
then hung up the phone. The vampire shut off the light and, with an unconscious spring to his
step, left Giles's for home.
Later that morning, Spike dreamed of staking Darla and laughing as her ashes scattered in the