* 'Spike?' The blond vampire shook his head out of his reverie and looked up at Angel, still wrapped in the throw from the sofa. He read the concern in that fathomless gaze and shook his head. 'I'm fine, Pet. Mind was wandering a bit, is all.' 'Are you sure Spike? You went quite a strange colour,' said Wesley, coming over. Angel looked down at the completely porcelain vampire. 'He's still white,' he said bluntly. 'Well yes,' said Wesley, 'but there are shades, you know. And was looking a distinct shade of green.' 'He never looks green,' said Angel. 'Occasionally a little yellow, but he's never green.' Wesley sat down on the sofa and shook his head. 'No, he was green. You just have to look at his cheeks.........' The vampire stared at him. 'Not those cheeks! But he was definitely a shade of apple there,' concluded Wesley. Spike sat up and glared at both of them. 'I'm bloody dead! I don't go off-colour!' Angel brushed his cheek fondly. 'Yeah, I know, but you looked distracted. Something bothering you?' Spike revelled in the caress, smiling a little as he thought that from now on, Angel would be wearing his name carved on his ass. Me and mine, he thought, funny how that definition's changed over the years. 'I told you, I'm fine.' Angel hesitated a moment before nodding. 'Go back upstairs Wesley, Spike and I will be with you in a few minutes. Go make her coffee or something.' Wesley sighed and walked back to the stairs, but Spike caught his concerned gaze once more before he left. He gestured roughly with two fingers and grinned as the demon hunter bristled. Some things never changed. Angel groaned as he looked at the rug and throw. They were smothered in dairy products and his own blood, topped off with sprinkles which were getting, quite frankly, everywhere. Including up his ass. Which was not too bad, but everytime he flexed, he could feel one of those bloody balls inside him. Hopefully they'd dissolve soon. Spike picked up his clothes and put them back on, watching as Angel drew denims up over his still bleeding ass. He'd cut him deeply, claimed him and it felt good. The dark vampire winced a little and turned to Spike, dropping him a contented grin as he pulled a sweater over his head. He knew that the mark on his ass might heal, he wasn't sure what his demon would do about it, but to him, it would always be there, a statement of belonging between Angel and his love. He'd thought Spike would be bragging to everyone about it - something he did regularly, whether to cover up his feelings or just basically gross out the others. Maybe even to make them jealous. But Spike seemed absent somehow, as if he wasn't entirely here and that just wasn't like him. In as much as they did typical things, Angel was the one who brooded and lost himself in the past and Spike was the vampire who remained firmly routed in the present. But when Wesley had announced that they were being asked to find a sire, Spike had grown quiet. Perhaps, thought Angel as he found his socks, (regulation black usually, but this pair had Sesame Street characters embroidered on the ankle - Cordelia's choice) Perhaps Spike was worried about going up against other vampires, announcing to the world that he was fighting on the side of good. Perhaps it was simpler than that - Spike wouldn't kill vampires for anyone. Okay, so there had been Penn, but that had been personal. To kill a vampire simply because it existed was a harsh thing for any of them to do. When he'd killed Darla, he had turned his back openly on anything he had been. To ask Spike, who would still be an active vampire were it not for the chip, to kill one of his own, just because it was evil by nature, was incomprehensible. He couldn't do it. 'Spike?' asked Angel. 'What was that, Peaches?' asked Spike, cutting off his own thoughts and replacing them with plans for after this investigation. Angel looked at him, accurately reading the thought that had just passed. 'If we take this case, it's.........' 'Gonna mean staking someone, yeah, I know.' 'And you don't mind?' Spike shrugged and pulled his Doc Martens on. 'Just doing a job, right?' Angel raised an eyebrow. 'It doesn't bother you?' Spike snorted and fastened the laces. 'If some stupid bugger forgot to off the family, then it's his bloody fault. We're just picking up the pieces.' 'Oh,' said Angel, 'I guess?' 'Right, Love,' said Spike with a grin, 'So get that bloody mopey face off and pretty up for the client. I've got to get some smokes whilst we're out as well.' 'Okay,' said Angel, confusion crossing his brow. 'It really doesn't bother you?' Spike grinned and lit one up. 'Look Pet, I'm not arsed. If it pays the rent and gets you to stop worrying about making nice with the Powers that Fuck about, I'm in. Just don't expect me to go advertising it, okay?' Angel laughed dryly a moment and then followed the English vampire upstairs. Sometimes, he thought, I don't know anything about you at all. Spike turned back at the top of the stairs and kissed him fiercely, tongue flicking seductively against his teeth. And other times I do, grinned Angel and opened the door. * Megan McGill sat quietly in the chair, counting out her keys as she waited for Wesley to come back. She wasn't patient by nature and what she had come for today was the culmination of several years' research. It had taken time and money to track the vampire down as far as she had, and the risk of being human had resulted in several near misses. No amount of preparation could protect you completely from a vampire's strength, but, she thought with an iota of amusement, it could keep you alive long enough to know that. Wesley walked back in the room, smiling his slightly world-weary grin, boy-scout expression on his face. 'They won't be a minute,' he said politely, 'Could I get you some tea or coffee or something.' 'I don't do tea,' said Megan with a returning smile. 'Could use a real drink though.' Wesley raised his eyebrows before nodding and walking to the cabinet near Angel's desk. 'I've had a bit of a rough day myself,' he said, pouring out two shots of whiskey. He passed one over to her, 'Have you come from straight from England?' She shook her head. 'No, I've been in the states a couple of years, touring round, looking for.........' Wesley nodded quickly. 'Yes, quite. I've been here for a few years myself.' 'Practically a native now, huh?' She smiled at him again and he wondered if he was imagining the flirtatious tone in her voice. Must be. 'Oh I wouldn't say that,' said Wesley, 'But,' and he smiled in what he hoped wasn't a smug way, 'I know my way around.' 'Really,' said Megan, knocking the drink back and gasping, 'Maybe afterwards you could show me?' Wesley gasped and then recovered his wits enough to drink his own booze. She was still smiling at him and he felt quite naked under that gaze somehow. Oh dear! Or maybe.........good? The door opened and Wesley got up. 'Ah that will be them. I'll just, er.........' He gestured towards the notepad he'd been using. She nodded easily and he retrieved it as Spike and Angel walked in. Megan stood up to shake the vampire's hands. 'Hi, I'm Megan and you must be Angel,' she said, clasping the dark vampire's hand in her own. 'I've heard good things about you.' 'From Wesley?' asked Angel, knowing the ex-Wather's tendency to praise his reputaion. 'Well yes,' she said with a grin, 'But I've been looking for someone like you for a long time.' Wesley raised an eyebrow and Angel looked at her, confused. Spike chuckled at his lover's discomfort and took the moment to look their client over. The flirting was automatic, he surmised quickly. Given Wesley's nervous behaviour, he guessed that she did it to everyone. Pretty girl though, got a nice neck. Wouldn't have minded giving that a nibble or too. She looked at him and he was a little startled by the sharp gaze. So few people actually met his eyes, feeling his violent nature even if they didn't acknowledge it all the way up to their minds. Primal senses ran deep and he could count on his fingers the number of mortals who actually stood up to him. 'Who are you?' she asked politely, but she didn't lose the arrogant stare. 'This is.........' 'Spike, Pet,' said Spike, not moving his eyes from hers. He saw the glint of recognition. 'William the Bloody,' she breathed. 'I heard you were dead.' 'I am, Pet.' 'Dead, dead,' she said dryly. 'Back in Sunnydale they said you'd been caught by white hats and presumed dust.' 'You've been to Sunnydale?' asked Angel. She broke away to look at Angel and nodded. 'I've been tracking this vampire a long time. I've been almost everywhere it has.' 'Watch it,' said Spike, 'We're not bloody animals.' Megan looked at him once and grinned. 'I know that. I know some of you are.........' she looked at Angel, 'Different. But my family has been searching for this vampire for so long. Longer than I've lived.' She shrugged at them both. 'Some people get the key to the door on their eighteenth birthday, I got a big book full of family history.' 'So, what?' asked Spike, 'You found out the black sheep had a penchant for AB negative and you set off on a global search?' She grinned again. 'Something like that. You see, there's just me now. Everyone else was killed a year ago.' 'Vampires?' asked Angel, feeling his natural regret that his race had existed. 'Told you,' said Spike, 'family dead, she wants a stake through his heart, or a gypsy curse or something.' 'That's not very compassionate, Spike,' said Wesley, before turning to Megan. 'I'm sorry to hear that Miss McGill.' She shrugged. 'It's okay, I'm over it in a lot of ways. What I'm not over is why it happened.' She looked into her glass for a moment and then back up at Wesley. 'Can I get a refill?' 'Of course,' said the Englishman, leaping to help her. 'It would be my pleasure.' 'I'm sure it bloody would,' grinned Spike, as Angel squeezed his shoulder. She sat down on the edge of the desk and knocked back the second drink. 'Wow, that hit the spot.' She sighed. 'Okay, my family have known about vampires for years, from a personal perspective. My Great, great, bla bla blah grandmother had one or two in her family and they knew others around. If you followed the rules, it was okay though. Just knowing about them didn't prove a threat. If you had a cross and never invited anyone in you hadn't seen by daylight, it was okay. The local ones just picked easier prey.' 'Sounds familiar,' mused Wesley before catching Angel's surprisingly sharp glance. 'Sorry.' Megan carried on regardless. 'So I grew up accepting it and didn't pay it much mind. If it's been there all your life, you don't worry so much.' 'What changed?' asked Angel. She studied her fingernails a moment. 'There was a diary written when the family first met them.' 'The vampires?' asked Wesley. She nodded. 'Yeah, it was detailed.' Megan looked up at Angel. 'It said that whilst most vampires tend to kill their families as a first kill, ours had remained unharmed. And the vampires went away almost immediately.' Angel fought against the memories of his first meals and forced himself to listen to this woman. 'So some blood sucker remembered he had a family and came back to finish you all off?' grinned Spike. She shook her head. 'No, but part of the same clan seemed to harbour a grudge.' 'They came back to finish you off.' She nodded. 'I was away for the weekend, and when I came back, they were all dead.' 'Everyone?' asked Wesley. Megan stared at him and he read the loss in her face. 'Everyone.' Angel furrowed his brow. 'So why'd you come here, to me?' She stood up and looked at them both. 'I'm the only one left and I'm still in danger. I'm not going to be out of danger until this vampire's dead. So I came looking for it, rather than wait for them to get me.' 'Still doesn't tell us why you came here, Pet,' said Spike. 'What's it got to do with Angel?' She looked at them all and picked up her bag, ready to leave. 'I don't suppose it matters now. You can't help me.' 'What?' said Wesley, 'Wait up, we haven't said that.' 'You might as well have,' said Megan, pulling the strap onto her shoulder. 'Why?' asked Angel. 'You needed our help when you came in.' 'Yeah, but that was before.........' she trailed off and then got up resolutely. 'I'm sorry to have wasted your time. Bye Wesley.' Spike moved to the door and stood in front of her. 'Now just a bloody minute, girl, I wanna know why we're not good enough for you now.' She met his gaze again and he recognized the will power within. She breathed out deeply, aware that she was face to face with one of the biggest killers in the vampire world. 'Because of who I'm looking for.' 'Give me a name,' demanded Spike. She looked briefly to Wesley and Angel, before frowning at Spike. 'Drucilla.' *
He woke up with the faintest memories of the night before. He could remember the job, finishing up with Hardcastle and his trip through the park. He could remember her, and something prodded at his head here, he was supposed to remember something about that. They'd had a drink, then they'd gone up to one of the rooms, him taking the bottle with him, and then......... Nope, he couldn't think what had happened then. It was bloody dark in here, though, and.........what the Hell was that? His head ached and his belly grumble. Should have had something to eat, he thought to himself, should have sent down for steak and kidney pie or something. Ah well, I'll sort it when I get out of here. He went to sit up, but his head hit a hard surface and he swore violently. He moved about, realising that he was enclosed in a box and groaned. He'd been caught hadn't he? Someone that Hardcastle had hired must have set him up with that tart last night. How could he have fallen for it? He must be more of an arse than he thought. Now how the fuck was he going to get out of here? Will pushed with his hands and scowled as the wood gave way easily. Too easily. But hey, he was stuck and anything that would help was a plus, right? He scrabbled and the wood fell in on him, letting in dirt and mud, coating his body. As he pushed harder, Will realised that he was buried the full six feet down and groaned. Hardcastle had strung him up like a kipper, leaving him buried alive in the ground. More dirt fell on him and its crushing weight started to frighten him. Just concentrate, he told himself, get out, then panic. Will held his breath as the mud pressed on his face. He pushed hard, trying to reach the surface, afraid, so deathly afraid that he would suffocate. And the pain in his head was intense, he needed to get out of here soon, or he was as good as dead. He scrabbled away, righting himself slowly and trying to push through the soil, desperate for a lung full of fresh air. He'd been clawing away for a while before he realised that he wasn't breathing. A man trapped beneath the soil of an unmarked grave, Will groaned, wondering if he was losing his mind along with his life. If he could just break through, if he could just reach the surface......... Fresh air. Will pulled himself onto the ground and panted hard, the exertion of climbing out of his own coffin wiping him out for the moment. He lay there for a good ten minutes before he sat up and looked around, seeing the mass of grave markers and the space where his should have been. He was filthy and hungry, needing to find somewhere to hole up and stay out of Hardcastle's eye before he worked on his revenge. As he thought about that bastard he growled, and felt something strange happen to his face. He reached up shivering fingers and touched his forehead, feeling ridges he knew shouldn't be there. As he stroked along his reshaped face, he found he could smell his own fear, pheromones giving off a sweet smell that taunted his nose. A childhood fear suggested itself to him and he shook his head, such things are impossible. It couldn't be. He felt the ridges against his eyes and moaned deeply as he stroked towards his mouth. It wasn't possible. The only bad things that existed at night were him and his cronies. Nothing else walked the night. Nothing. It was fairytale, fantasy. It wasn't true. He reached his lips and closed his eyes, before reaching in to his teeth. Sharp. Will withdrew his finger and looked at the blood dripping from the tip. It's not real. He could smell the sweetness and taste the coppery liquid. It made him pant, hunger for more and ................Oh God, he could remember. They'd gone to the room and his seemingly innocent girl had swept her arms around him as soon as the door was closed, clamouring for kisses. And he'd been more than willing, taking and needing every ripe thing she offered him......... clothes falling, everything.........throbbing. God he was hard and she was cool against his heat, nothing warming her.........and she was so.........oh god, open, waiting, she needed him.........needed him.........and she......... She......... Dear God what is that pain? He howled in the graveyard, knowing what should not be real was far too near to be denied. He heard his voice, changed, pulsating in the night air and Will got to his feet. Buried in a pauper's grave, risen to take on the world. I am not what I once was. I am not yet what I will be. And I am.........he got to his feet unsteadily and breathed in the smell.........hungry. * 'Drucilla?' asked Wesley, 'Oh, now that does raise some.........'he trailed off and then looked at her again, 'Are you sure?' She raised an eyebrow at him and Wesley nodded apologetically. 'Yes, of course. You'd hardly come here if you weren't.' Spike glared at Megan, waiting for her to take it back, to say it was all a joke, that she was a demon come for payback. Anything, just not that she wanted to hire them to kill Dru. But her eyes were clear and he knew she wasn't lying. 'So.........you gonna let me go now, now that you can't help me?' Spike looked back to Angel, seeing over-used 'I'm sorry' expression on his face. There had been a time when they both would have done anything for Drucilla. Or at least, Spike would have done anything for her, Angellus indulged her, but only when it benefited him as well. Spike would have done anything for his Princess, given her anything.........but those days were long gone now and if she'd taken all the trouble to take down this family, he didn't know her any more. When he'd been turned, she had been too insane to consider caring for her newly formed fledge. Eventually, when he had turned people himself, he had learned that a sire teaches everything to their newly born, acts as parent and master. Dru had done none of this, possibly forgetting the man as she trailed through the night. He had been discovered by Angellus, who had laughed at him before recognising his fearlessness and appetite for violence. He had taken on the mantle of sire and taught him everything he needed to know, from his first kill to the intricacies of vampire lore. And when the gypsies had worked their magic, Drucilla, lost and alone had turned to him, seeking solace in his arms, treating him as her beloved. And so it had been for almost a century. The two of them, hunting and feeding throughout every country. She had asked to see Italy, he had taken her there. She had wanted to see the pyramids, he had complied. She had wanted to visit Prague.........bit of an accident there, but she was his absolutely and he had done everything in his power to make her happy. Love me, he had begged silently, be mine and I shall give you the world. But nothing is as we expect and when Angellus had returned to them, all traces of the man he had loved were gone, replaced by anger at his humanity and a passion to destroy both the Slayer and the relationship his childer had developed. Dru belonged to Angellus again, forgetting the vampire who had cared for her, submitting her will eagerly to their brutal sire. And Angellus had been so set on ridding himself of any semblance of his besouled self, that any humanity he had possessed was both ignored and reviled. Instead of running with his sire again, Spike had been subject to humiliation from both his lovers, despising them both with each passing day. He had gone to the Slayer to reclaim Drucilla, believing that without Angellus' influence, she would belong to him alone. He was wrong. She had learnt what his bargain had been and hated him for it, avenging her sire by sleeping with as many base creature as she could. He was too human, she had told him, not good enough for a vampire princess like herself. He could sleep with the food if he so wished, but she would never stoop to the caresses of a traitor like himself. And now.........she had destroyed an entire family from his country, leaving the sole survivor to flee in fear, knowing that her fangs were a heartbeat away. Was this something he knew nothing about, or, as he had begun to suspect, was it revenge all too close to home? He looked at Megan again and sighed, not really wanting to know the answer to his question. 'Who was your great, great.........' 'Grandmother?' 'Yeah, her. What was her name, Pet?' 'Morrell,' she replied softly, seeing the recognition in his eyes, 'You knew her?' Spike shook his head and picked up the whiskey from the desk. 'Nah, knew of her though.' 'Does this have something to do with why Drucilla has targeted Miss McGills' family, Spike? Asked Wesley. Angel stepped forward, a notion coming to him. 'She's doing this to hurt you, isn't she?' The younger vampire snorted. 'If she is, she's fucked up big time, cause I don't give a damn.' 'Yeah, but she thinks you do.' 'Umm, hello,' said Megan, 'Am I missing something, because it's my family that got their throats ripped out, not her love toy here.' 'Watch it, Love,' said Spike warningly. Angel turned to Megan. 'When Spike became.........he insisted we all left his neighbourhood after we'd dealt with a couple of his enemies.' 'Payback's a bitch,' murmured Spike, swigging back another draught. 'Drucilla was angry about that. She'd wanted us to finish off Spike's family, everyone he knew.........everything.' He looked down and Spike rolled his eyes. 'Don't get all broody, Peaches. Doesn't help anybody, that.' He shrugged at them all. 'I wouldn't let them feed on my folks. There were other.........more fun things to do.' Wesley picked up his notepad again and read through his notes. 'You think Miss McGill is a descendant of one of your family?' 'No,' said Spike. 'If she is who she says, then she's my grand daughter.........give or take a few generations.' Megan blinked then took the bottle off Spike and knocked it back. 'That would explain why Dru's so keen to kill her,' said Angel, before laughing. 'You never told me you had children.' 'Wasn't important, Pet,' said Spike. 'Didn't get involved. Knocked her up, then she gave the kid up to her aunt. Nothing to do with me.' 'But you told Drucilla?' said Wesley thoughtfully, 'And she's doing what you wouldn't let her before.' 'Looks like it.' Spike turned to have a good look at Megan. She didn't exactly look like him, except for those highly accentuated cheekbones. The hair was the wrong colour, the eyes.........wrong colour but.........there *was* something. Bugger me, Spike thought with a grin. It's my bloody attitude. Kid's a bitch without even trying. She finished her drinking and glared at him. 'I'm not calling you Granddad,' she said flatly. 'Wouldn't expect you to, Pet,' said Spike. 'I'm not your family.' 'But you just said,' began Wesley, before Megan interrupted him. 'No, it's okay. I wasn't looking for any kind of reunion.' She picked up her bag. 'Seems I've walked into the lions den. I'll get going before you decide to finish her job right now.' Spike slammed his hand back against the door. 'Let me go,' she said calmly. 'Nah, Pet. We may not be bosom buddies here, but that don't mean I'm not gonna do something about it.' Wesley worked that through in his head. 'You're going to help her?' Spike grinned and reached in his pocket, winking at Angel. 'I think someone needs a lesson, don't you, Love?' Angel looked between him and Megan, recognising the cold determination in both bodies. He didn't know how this was going to play out and it worried him a little. He didn't know if he could do anything to Drucilla. A part of him believed he'd caused her enough pain. But she was at full strength again, killing with a particularly brutal motive. She wanted to hurt Spike, make him feel inadequate and Angel couldn't let anyone do that. Not even her. He nodded at them both 'Let's find Drucilla.' * 'I always thought that vampires went in for Mansions and castles and things,' said Wesley, looking at the muck on his legs. 'We're in LA, Pet,' said Spike, lighting up, 'Castle free, sort of thing.' 'Well yes,' said Wesley, 'But isn't there a modern equivalent? You and Angel don't live in this kind of squalor.' He splashed through a particularly messy puddle and groaned as it seeped up his leg. Spike chuckled and inhaled the smoke deeply. 'Yeah, but Angel's a poof, he likes all that arty farty décor.' Wesley put his hand on the wall to steady himself and pulled it away, a disgusted expression on his face. He got out his handkerchief and started cleaning the sewer ooze off it. 'You're always so rude about him. One would hardly assume you were.........' he straggled for a word. 'Shagging?' asked Spike with a grin. 'Lovers,' said Wesley pointedly. 'I know vampire relationships are different from mortal ones, but still, I would have expected something.' 'Like what, Pet?' asked Spike as he bent to an interesting mark on the floor. 'Well I wouldn't have expected you to call him a great poof all the time,' said Wesley. 'It's hardly romantic.' 'What? So you want me to spout off flowers and poetry every bloody day?' 'Well, no. I suppose not,' he finished with a sigh. 'Your great great granddaughter.........' 'Watch it.' 'Miss McGill. She's quite an intrepid young lady.' Someone's been feeding round here. Spike stood up and looked around. 'You fancy her, don't you?' Wesley looked quite affronted. 'I never said anything of the sort. I was just saying, young woman like that, taking off around the world to find her destiny. Quite poetic really.' Spike snorted. 'Dru killed her family and she ran away. Not quite Proust, is it?' Wesley walked forward and looked at the walls. 'You haven't got a romantic bone in your body, have you?' 'Why? You up for a bit, Love?' Wesley rolled his eyes and tramped onward. 'I don't know why I bother talking to you sometimes, I really don't.' 'Because I'm such a good natter, Pet. Plus, you're looking to shag that shapely bit and you want a bit of advice.' 'Oh, please,' said Wesley disparagingly, 'You're the last person I'd talk to about.........sex.' Spike grinned and blew out a big puff of smoke. 'So you do wanna shag her.' 'I'm not dignifying that with a reply.' 'Come on, Wes, talk to me. Tell me how you want to slip her the length.' 'Not listening,' said Wesley. 'Come on, you haven't said anything about you and Doyle snogging, so the least you can.........' 'You know about that?' Wesley's face had suddenly gone pale and Spike shrugged. 'Vampires have a good sense of smell, Pet.' 'You could smell him on me?' Spike stubbed out the last of his cigarette. 'Well that and the way you didn't look at him without getting a drippy look on your face.' Wesley slumped and then walked to the dividing tunnels. 'I don't know what that was, really. We were drunk.........and well, the atmosphere was.........' 'You fancied him, you kissed him,' said Spike, 'No big deal.' 'It is a big deal,' said Wesley. 'I've never.........wanted a man before. I'm still not sure if I do now. And he's with Cordelia, isn't he.' The ex-watcher looked gloomy and Spike, sick of brooding people, walked up to him and passed him the bottle from his pocket. 'Here, Pet. Take a swig, it won't make you feel better, but you'll be too pissed to care.' Wesley laughed dryly and took a sip. 'Bottoms up, eh?' 'Only if I get lucky with Angel, Pet!' Wesley sighed and then slugged it back. 'Can't get any worse, I suppose.' 'Nah, Love. And if you get them leathers back on, you might just score with the tart.' 'She has a name.' 'Yeah, and since she wouldn't be here without me, you might just wanna get in with the family.' 'She has no family.' Spike grinned. 'She's got me.' 'Wonderful.'