The Clockwork Vampire


by Spirit


 





'Quit getting angry.' Spike leaned back on the pillows as Angel paced about the room. It had been going on for about five minutes now, which was, in his estimation, five minutes too long. He stretched out, wondering whether a quick striptease would take Angel's pedantic mind off Wolfram and Hart for a bit. He'd had enough of that place, and if those bloody lawyers never tried to kill them again it would be too soon. But Angel never seemed to feel that there was such a thing as enough. He grinned lightly as the complete possibilities of that phrase availed itself to him. For the past week, they'd done precious else than shag the arse off one another. Even when they'd dealt with that lad-who-would-be-Buffy, Angel had found time to grope him. Which was fine by Spike. Getting shagged almost blind in an alley was one of the more pleasant experiences of the week. Telling Wesley that Megan was still knocking about the place, albeit in a new and exciting form, came in about ninth, and this, watching Angel growl about things over which they had no control, was definitely the owner of last place. Angel rubbed his eyes, and Spike waited for the next tirade against the lawyers. 'You know what gets me most?' See, thought Spike absently, even when you don't want to be, you're right. 'Go on then, Peaches, thrill me.' Angel looked up at him and for a moment the sulky face was gone, replaced by I-haven't-upset-you-have-I face. They'd been fighting other vampires downtown, when Angel had heard a noise and gone to investigate, leaving Spike to deal with the rather frightened pair himself. Apparently the reputation of one William the Bloody had gone a long way in LA, along with the knowledge that he was once more fighting alongside his sire. Spike had never thought that being a white hat could actually inspire fear, but the reaction he'd got from these small-time neck biters was overwhelming. Here, he was Spike, kick ass vampire, fighting against the scum of the city, and though he missed, would probably always miss the purity of human blood, his unlife was pretty damn good. William the Bloody had respect once more. But whilst he'd been dealing pleasantly with the enemy, Angel had witnessed a blind woman attacking a street vendor, killing him almost instantly with precision tactics. When he'd run to stop her, Angel had been unable to land a single punch, and she'd almost wiped the floor with him. By the time Spike had caught up, she was long gone, perfecting a trick only vampires were normally capable of. With a little help from Xander, Cordelia had managed to scout out the girl's identity.........and her court appearance dates. No one had been particularly surprised to discover that she was being represented by Wolfram and Hart, but it had been a matter of concern - with them on her team, she was going to be free and able to kill within days. Which had left them all, but Angel in particular, with the problem of bringing her down. As a consequence, Spike was getting really pissed off with the whole topic. 'Come on then, Pet. Tell me why we're sitting here talking about wanker lawyers when we're all alone in the bedroom.' Angel counted a beat, then started pacing again. 'I can't play by their rules, I'm not even in the game with them.' 'The lawyers?' He didn't pause, and Spike wasn't sure if he'd even heard him. 'How am I supposed to fight evil if they won't even put it behind bars?' Spike raised an eyebrow. 'Hello there, Pet. I'm not exactly Mother Teresa.' Angel swallowed and looked up at him. 'Yeah, but you're different, you're.........mine.' Spike chuckled. 'I'm a possession, now?' 'That's not what I meant.' 'Oh isn't it? I rather thought that it was.' Spike grinned and pulled off his jacket, dropping it to the floor. 'So tell me , Love, what do you want to do with your property?' 'Spike.........' 'Come on. You know a good shag'll take your mind off.........' He tailed off as Angel's worried face came back. Damn - mistake. 'I can't even get in their courtrooms.' Spike groaned and reached for the half open bottle on the table. 'Why would you bloody want to? It's all full of dickhead jargon and bad wigs.' 'I have no place in their world.' 'You have a place here.' Angel stared at his feet. 'I don't know why I even bother to fight.' 'Because, me old sport, you're the good guy, the one who gets to walk out of the fire in a white hat.' He stretched his arms out, nestling back against the pillows. 'That and you're a great poof who doesn't know when to stop talking and take what's on offer.' The dark vampire grinned and looked up. 'You have a one track mind.' 'No, two track. One side's been derailed though.' Spike hauled his T-shirt over his head and winked. 'Come on, Pet. Let's call it a night and make with the good stuff, eh?' With a resigned sigh, Angel closed the door and started unfastening his shirt. 'Bit more enthusiasm, if you would. Not just anyone gets to see this work of art.' Angel moved over to the bed. 'You? A work of art?' He shrugged. 'Maybe a Picasso.' 'My ears are in the right fucking place, mate. As is the rest of me.' 'Monet then.' Spike trailed his fingertips down the open neck of Angel's shirt. 'Hints of the real thing?' Angel caught his hand and leaned in, lips brushing against Spike's own. 'No. You look blurry close up.' With a low growl, Spike bit the fleshy lip in front of him, tasting the annoyingly attractive man he shared a bed with. Sometimes he wondered how anyone could be around Angel longer than a minute and not want to tear his clothes off. Given the looks the brooding one was given on a pretty much regular basis, he'd say the world had learned a bit more about self control. As the tongue started licking at his lips, he could feel his jeans growing too tight, and he was glad he wasn't subject to such worries. 'Blurry close up, eh?' Angel grinned. 'Very.' 'Maybe you need glasses, mate. Now that you're getting on a bit.' With a chuckle, Angel moved in closer, pressing his long frame against Spike's, the friction of their clothes heightening every nerve. Their bodies might not change, the nature of the demon might stay true to its original cause, but among their own kind, Spike knew that he and Angel were more than simple anomalies. One chipped, one souled, both had evolved from what they once were. All vampire's knew passion, few knew love and without it, the world was dimmed. You needed sunglasses to see these two. Desire mounting, Spike dipped his tongue inside Angel's mouth, his hips almost glued to those of his sire's. They rocked together, torn between the temptation to remove the last of their clothes, but loathe to lose contact, even for a moment. His fingers wrapped round Angel's neck, Spike lifted his legs, grinning as Angel moaned at the nearness. It didn't seem to matter how many times they made love, each touch lingered, etched in the stone of his mind. I never thought this would make me happy. I thought all this was over when you left me with Dru. Even if I'd thought about it (which I didn't, I swear, Angel) I determined not to think of your arrogant, annoying, sexy as hell ass after you were gone. I didn't brood, I didn't spare you a thought.........except when I dreamt, and there you were as clear as you are now, perfect body, sensitive fingers and hard cock. But you had no soul, and as much as I needed it, needed you to say it, you never could admit you wanted me enough to let me call you mine. I never regret the past, Love. What's done is done, and no amount of worrying could ever change it. And the future's there, something unwritten and mostly unpredictable. We can only be certain of the now, the only thing tangible in anyone's existence. If I could only get you to see that, you'd feel better and maybe then you'd see something of that redemption you're after. I just hope there's a place for me in your forgiveness. Spike closed his eyes and gave in to the moment, feeling his way through the darkness, feeling Angel's body meld against his own. Yesterday was done with, tomorrow held uncertainty, but right now was perfect. And that was all anyone could ask. * 'Oh dear.' Cordelia looked over the top of the monitor at Wesley. 'Can you say understatement? This woman actually got away with it.........again.' Xander passed a mug to Doyle and nodded at her. 'That's why get the big bucks, Cordy - because they can lie on a much higher scale.' There was a whisper of something that was almost a breeze, and the resident ghost announced her presence. Wesley closed his eyes and turned to where he thought she was. He wasn't sure which was worse - knowing she was dead, or having a physical reminder. He'd woken up in Doyle's arms, the gentle Irishman smiling wistfully, smelling of soap and shampoo. There hadn't been a moment when he was more content, when he'd felt as safe or as wanted. They'd slipped into a bath, and he'd been able to lean back against Doyle's matted chest, resting his head in the crook of his shoulder. It had been the laziest bath he'd taken in a long while, and he was more than a little bit proud that his aching prudishness had subsided when he finally made love to Doyle. And yet, despite that need being sated, desire was only ever a touch away, and they both knew it. Unwilling to face Angel, Wesley had taken the day off work, pleasantly surprised when Doyle brought in bacon butties and stated that 'my lazy arse isn't leaving this house without you'. When Doyle had rung in, Wesley hadn't been in the least interested in what Spike or Angel had to say, the vampires no longer among his highest priorities. Maybe at some point, that would change, and whilst he knew that Megan's death wasn't entirely Angel's fault, he had a share of the blame. And so did Wesley. When he put the phone down, Doyle's face had been white, and for a moment, Wesley wondered if it had been all a joke; that Megan was still in her own body and Spike had been lost to them. He was worried how much that thought actually chilled him, and wasn't entirely certain that his reaction to Angel hadn't been a result of relief, rather than anger. And he wasn't willing to deal with that at all. 'Wesley? Get the stick out of your butt and talk to me?' Doyle passed him over the transcripts of the trial, in which Lindsay McDonald had made her seem whiter than white in her actions. None of them had any idea how to fight something like this. With Wolfram and Hart behind her, fighting for her liberty pro bono, it seemed she wasn't only free to do what she would, but that she was still in their employ. None of which looked good for the residents of the city. 'Okay, I may be wrong here,' began Xander, sipping casually from his mug, 'but isn't that stick permanently wedged?' Wesley glared at him and he raised a hand. 'Hey, no offence man, it's why you do the reading and I.........' '.........Clean the bathrooms,' finished Cordelia. 'Now after that little summation, shouldn't we be looking for Ms Brewer's next victim?' Doyle tapped the monitor and scanned down the screen, trying to find something that would help them. 'I don't think it's going to be as easy as that, sweetheart. It's not as though these attacks follow a pattern or anything.' 'Except for the gruesome death thing?' 'Yeah, except for that.' 'That's Wolfram and Hart for you,' said Megan, 'Full of exciting new ways to meet your death.' 'And that wouldn't be the voice of someone with a grudge, would it?' She glared at Xander, who nodded and fled for the safety of the coffee machine. He'd seen one or two ghosts back in Sunnydale, and in his experience, they got pissed off real easy.' Wesley sank into the chair and tapped the papers against his lip. 'What we need is inside information.' Cordelia raised an eyebrow at him. 'Like spy stuff?' 'Like a look at the files they keep on her would help.' She nodded. 'Spy stuff.' Doyle rubbed his forehead and looked out of the window. 'I don't know, man. It's not like it's an open invitation place or anything. More likely to get hung up with one of their less discerning clients.' Wesley nodded. 'I agree, it's not good, but there must be something we can do.' Cordelia gestured to the elevator with the tip of her pen. 'Pray for an answer?' There was silence for a moment and the sound of the door opening was suddenly very loud. They turned to see Lindsay McDonald, face paled, walking quickly forward. 'I need your help.' 'What?' He stared at Cordelia. 'I want out.' Doyle leaned down and whispered to her. 'They're representing God these days as well?' * Angel sat on the edge of the bed, sated, but somehow still tense. Spike slept peacefully behind him, snoring leisurely, his arm still wrapped round Angel's waist. He'd been passionate, almost clingy, and that just wasn't like him. The dark vampire was ashamed that he hadn't even noticed that there was anything bothering Spike. From past experience, it could take years to find out what it was. We hide, he thought as Spike's grip shifted slightly. We hide from the world, from each other - predators without the fight. Sure, Spike takes it out on demons, and, to some extent, so do I. But we're both defanged, more or less, incapable of fulfilling our true nature. He sighed. Being a tamed beast isn't all it's cracked up to be. Spike moved again and his fingers brushed the top of Angel's thigh before falling to the mattress. Angel climbed out of bed quickly before Spike could assume his blissful possession. Grabbing his pants of the chair, he made for the door, determined not to get side-tracked and climb back into bed. Despite Spike's more than welcome attempts to take his mind off it, the Brewer case kept coming back to haunt him. He'd felt so helpless, unable to help those he felt responsible for. That Wolfram and Hart were involved was just the icing on a very bitter cake - they had scores to settle on both sides, not the least of which was lumbering them with a voyeuristic ghost. He moved to close the door, but Angel couldn't help pausing, looking back toward the bed, just to check he was still there. Spike had wriggled in his absence, filling out the bed, sheet draped around his hips, one corner wrapped around his leg. Sleeping, he looked innocent, and though he could never blind himself to the truth, for that moment, Angel wanted to believe it. Love is the strangest, the weirdest thing I've ever felt. It's taken me to my highest moments and my deepest despairs. It's not about passion anymore - with Spike that's a given, I can't move without being aware of him. Love, in its purest form.........I'd give up heaven to stay like this. Spike snored loudly and rolled over, unaware of the grin his lover gave him. But I might invest in some of those new age snoring therapies first. 'Angel?' He closed the door behind him and gestured towards the kitchen. Xander edged over, looking distinctly uncomfortable. It wasn't as though he was scared of Angel in any way. He'd had to clean the bathroom after Spike had bought everyone Chicken Madras, insisting they all ate it up. nothing had been scarier than the morning after, when each of them had made sudden excuses and locked themselves in the bathroom for an hour. Nope, there was pretty much nothing Angel could throw at the boy to compete with that. 'Okay Xander, what?' The boy flinched, as though he'd been lost in his own thoughts. It was always possible he had some. 'The guys, upstairs.' 'Yeah?' Xander shrugged. 'You remember how we were all kind of annoyed cause Blind Fury woman got off on a technicality. The technicality being that she's represented by LA's very own scum?' Angel clenched his fingers. How could he forget? 'I remember.' Xander nodded. 'Well guess who's upstairs and asking for our help?' The vampire frowned, wondering if Ms Brewer was paying personal visits now. 'I don't know.' 'I'll give you a clue - if this guy had a farm, Napoleon and Snowball would be fighting for representation.' Angel snarled as he got up. 'Lindsay.' * 'Wake up, you annoying bloody creature of the sodding night, you!' Spike blinked and rolled, ready to attack whoever was shouting at him. Angel's wakeup calls were nearly always moments to remember, and no-one else in the office ever bothered to get him out of bed. No-one that is, except the ghost who was flickering in and out of his vision. So that's what happens to spirits when they get mad, he thought, they go invisible. He rubbed his eyes and reached for his pants, annoyed that he'd spared the subject any thought at all. 'Morning, Love. Nice to see you're all cheery.' She wavered closer to the bed, seeming to struggle to find somewhere to sit down. 'It's so not a good morning.' He nodded. 'Yeah, cause if it was, you'd be Angel and I'd be spending the next hour in bed.' 'Very funny.' He shrugged. 'Come on then, what mind-bendingly pathetic thing's pissed you off so much?' She glared at him. 'Try, your lover in his office, talking to Lindsay McDonald.' Spike blinked. 'Who?' Even as she said it, the name, the smell came back to him. What the hell was that wanker doing here? And, for that matter, what Angel doing talking to him and not torturing the crap out of the little shit? 'Why?' he ventured. She started pacing up and down the room and Spike closed his eyes. Why did everyone he knew pace when they got annoyed? Why couldn't they just give in and shag the hell out of one another? He paused, remembering the insubstantial form of his descendant and shrugged it off. Maybe they'd have to introduce her to phantom Dennis - see if she'd fancy moving in there instead. 'Apparently, Wolfram and Hart have gone just too low for Angel's defector. Seems there're some kids gonna be killed by Blind woman and that's just too insensitive for our boy.' Spike shook his head. 'He's here to help?' Megan shrugged. 'Help, get his ass kissed, become one more of Angel's precious little converts. I don't really care.' She turned to him. 'He got me killed, you almost, and yet they're all playing nursemaid to him up there.' Spike fastened his fly and reached over for his T-shirt. 'The Poof's many things, Love. But he doesn't play kissy ass with people he doesn't like.' 'Oh no? So the fact that they're planning how to break into Wolfram and Hart together so they can help him out is just an aberration?' Spike grinned and pulled his T-shirt over his head. 'You know as well as I do that this isn't about McDonald. Angel's saving the kids, nothing more.' He huffed before pulling open the bedside drawer and wondering how many pairs of black socks a man could own. And why the fuck were they set up in neat little rows? Sometimes Angel was just far too anal. 'Yeah I know that, I'm not stupid.' 'So? Why are you whining about it to me?' She smiled at him and for a moment, it was like looking in a mirror. It was predatory - wolf-like. 'How about a good dose of revenge?' 'On the lawyer?' The grin widened, and he remembered how good it felt to feel such clarity of purpose. 'One where he gets all bloody and dead.' Spike paused. There was nothing he'd like better right now than to get his teeth into a good kill, but chips and promises kind of waylaid that, and the Lindsay character was free of harm from his quarter. Even if he'd wanted to, (which, he guessed, he did) he couldn't lay so much as a finger on the little shit. Which really sucked. But if he was to, shall we say, assist someone else.........help a lost soul find the light at the end of the tunnel, that couldn't be all bad, could it? If one more soul got to where it was supposed to be, wouldn't that be helping Angel's cause? Wouldn't he actually be doing the 'right' thing? He grinned back at her and drew a cigarette into his mouth. 'You're bloody evil, you know that?' She smiled and sat back down on the bed. 'It's part of my inheritance.' 'Really, Pet? What's the other part?' She passed a hand through the end of his cigarette, damping the end and putting it out, ignoring the growl he gave. 'I really get bored easily.' *

Lindsay moved into the building, trying hard not to hold his breath, trying hard not to sweat too much. I'm actually thinking about that, he thought briefly, before stemming down on his thought patterns and moving purposefully forward. Don't think, just do and you might actually get through this. Listen to the vampire, he knew what he was talking about, and hell, he seemed to have a hell of a lot more confidence about it than me. Course, he's used to people trying to kill him - for me this is entirely new and I don't like it. God what have I got into? He didn't know which situation he was talking about. Angel had told him that he wasn't ready to change, that he was only panicking, that it took more than being sickened by the death of children to get out of Wolfram and Hart. That you had to do more than just wear a white hat, you had to tie it under your chin and know it was there even when you thought you'd hung it up for the night. That fighting the good fight took more than fancy words and money. Man, that vampire was fond of parables. He moved towards the stairs, nodding to the security guard as he always did. It had to be his imagination - Jeff wasn't looking at him with more than a cursory glance. The guard didn't sense anything different about him at all. There was nothing in the way he looked or moved that expressed his betrayal. He wasn't doing anything different than he did everyday. And yet he couldn't shake the feeling that every eye was upon him, that Holland knew without being told, and was just waiting for the right moment to pounce. It couldn't be true, and yet it wouldn't go away. Stop thinking like this, he urged as he moved up the stairs. If you're going to have any chance of making it out of here alive you're going to have to stop all this doubt. Cause even if the supernatural guys don't sense it, Holland will, or lee, or Lilah, damn her. He called me evil. And that's unfair. I'm not evil, I'm not. I tried to tell him, but, huh, let's face it, to him I'm the enemy. He doesn't care about my reasoning, or any decision I make. He' not interested in my motives, just the consequences of my actions. And that Brewer woman gives me the creeps anyway. This isn't about friendship, or who gets to save a soul. It's about doing the right thing, no matter what, and I can't take the knowledge of sanctifying a child murderer. I can't, I just...it's not within me to do it. I'd be better if it was. And if I heard of it in passing, if it was Lilah's case, would I do anything to stop it? Or would I just turn a blind eye, just look the other way as I slid up the ladder, greased on deals with the devil, or his Earthly advocate. Be the one doing the shooting, or be the one shot, it's that simple. I can't...I can't be the victim. I've been there, I've done that and it sucks beyond anything these rich bastards know. Okay Lindsay, just shut up and go do what the man said. Then you can get out of here and think about what comes next. If I live that long. He walked toward the research lab and into Lilah. Great, he thought, the wicked witch of the west...in high heels. * Gunn grinned as they drew up outside Wolfram and Hart. The idea of a vampire calling on him for help was about as funny as it got, and recently there hadn't been an awful lot to laugh about. Losing his sister was something he refused to think about, knowing the alternative was a whole lot worse. Becoming one of them, becoming the very thing they'd sought to destroy just didn't stand well. Better to do it this way - at least it was clean. And then Angel had turned up last night, usual brooding expression plastered across his face, repentant in the extreme that one. But he had spoken about Wolfram and Hart, of the problems they caused, of the children that would suffer without Gunn's help. And whilst he didn't feel he owed the vampire anything - his loss far greater than a reputation and the survival of his friends could compensate for - Angel had spoken of the danger, and inherently, the idea of getting one over on the rich guys held a lot of appeal. So here he was, ready to walk inside a place that might arrange his death on a business contract, with one of those savage beasts in a bag. Wrapped up tight and ready for a non signing delivery. Can you get one, Angel had asked and he'd said fine, no problem. Not his fault if it didn't work out, as far as Gunn was concerned, he'd done more than enough. And if he got to mouth off, so much the better. He shrugged his shoulders back, checked his watch and walked inside. 'Whoo-whoo! My god! They told me it was true, but I didn't believe them. Damn, here it is! Evil white folks really do have a Mecca.' The security guards looked at him blankly and he grinned in amusement. This was going to be more fun than he'd hoped. * Lindsay checked his watch and looked toward the monitor. The young guy in the lobby he assumed Angel had sent was just rounding up his speech. Fucking kid, full of resentment towards them for having money, for being better than him. If he wasn't working on the same side temporarily, Lindsay knew he'd be calling out the guards to take more than just his delivery down. But this was important and he'd long ago learned to put personal and business into separate categories. Thing was, he wasn't sure what today counted as. The thing in the corner threw its head back and squealed as Gunn dumped the blanket covered creature in the corner of the room. As the security guard reacted and picked up the phone, announcing a vampire on the premises, Lindsay looked to the monitor again and switched the camera detailing Angel's entrance to a different view. His job done, he relaxed a little and moved toward the door, thanking Howard for his time and making general excuses. All he had to do now was get out and back to Angel's offices. Perhaps there he might find some peace of mind, find the place in the world that Holland had talked about. Perhaps he'd know what to do next. Lost in thought, he closed the door behind him, confident that at least part of the plan had worked. He didn't see the lobby. He didn't see the first guard fall, nor the second. He didn't see the way their night-sticks-come-stakes were broken and slammed out of the way. He didn't see the vicious countenance of the vampire as he headed upstairs. He didn't know Spike was coming for him. William the Bloody raged once more. * Spike knocked out the camera as he headed towards the office he'd been in last time he was in the building. He picked up the fire extinguisher and threw it against a door, breaking it and grinning at the freedom of chaos. The mild pain he felt as he attacked each guard was nothing compared to that he normally experienced, and somehow it felt good to be so violent again, even if he'd laid off killing the silly sods whilst he found Lindsay. Even now, Angel had to be somewhere in the basement, trying to break into the vault, trying to help out the lawyer bastard whilst Spike and Megan worked out a reasonable way of torturing him to death. It wouldn't be so bad, he thought as he cracked a picture on the wall. Angel gets to save the kids, and I get to practise my human hating. Perfect arrangement all round. And what with this 'not getting hurt' thing, I could torture the lawyer all night...or longer. It had been inspired, the solution to their problem. Spike couldn't physically touch Lindsay cause of the chip, and Megan couldn't touch him because she was basically untouchable herself. But the one thing that they did have on their side was something Wolfram and Hard were originally responsible for. Angel had come down to their apartment, solemn and expecting Spike's response before he'd even given it. And Spike had happily listened whilst Angel told him blow by blow what he intended to do. The older vampire obviously felt guilty, and instead of bringing him out of his depressing mood, Spike had encouraged him, playing the petulant and annoyed creature of the night for all it was worth. I don't feel guilty for fooling him, he told himself, because I'm fucked if the lawyer deserves any help. Besides which, he'd more suspicious if I was happy and up for it. So that's not a guilty twinge I'm feeling, fuck that. I'm just doing what needs to be done, same as him. Only he doesn't always see that some buggers should die. Or at least be tortured slowly, just enough to make them wish they were dead. 'I'm not going,' he'd said. Angel had hung his head and nodded grimly. 'I thought you might not.' And again that twinge, but it wasn't guilt, wasn't anything like heart ache... 'It's okay, I understand. It's not like I'm fond of the guy, myself. But the kids...I can't leave them for that bitch to kill.' Spike had nodded, and at least that felt true. He didn't like the idea of psycho woman being around, and if she could kill the vulnerable without qualms, it didn't make her a reasonable negotiator. He'd hate to think that at some point he and Angel would be on the receiving end of her wrath...calm wrath? Was there a word for the impersonal assassinations she did? Okay, assassination came pretty close, but there was something about her, something unsettling that even made vampires feel creeped out. 'Look, love,' he'd said finally before Angel had left to speak to Gunn, 'you do what you think you need to do, and if it comes that you need help kicking that bitch into touch, I'm your vampire. But worrying about that...asshole, just doesn't take priority.' And Angel had smiled, that sad half smile that made Spike long to take hold of him and kiss the silly bugger until penitence was the last thing on his mind. But he quashed the feeling, knowing...hoping that there would be time later, and settled for a brief kiss, tasting the longing in Angel's mouth. 'When this is over,' murmured Angel, 'I'll give everyone a week's vacation and get the ghost to go.' 'Oh yeah? Got something in mind, pet?' And that smile had been happier, something Cordelia assured him didn't exist before he came. 'You, me, the entire frozen desert section.' He'd chuckled and drawn Angel close, wondering absently if the deception was really worth it. But what he'd discussed with Megan - if they could do it, that trip to Sunnydale might not be necessary. Talking Gunn into letting him be the bagged vampire had been easy. After all, whilst Angel had come off all Batman looking for a Robin, (and damn anyone who put Spike in that role - he never looked that good in tights) Spike had been his usual charming self, naturally putting Gunn and the rest of his associates in a tense place. The only reason he'd escaped a staking was because they didn't touch the vulnerable. Something to do with a code, which was fine with him, as long as his ass didn't become skewer central. He was sick of pity though, and if this worked... Whistling to himself, Spike rounded a corner and spotted Lindsay walking nervously towards a bathroom. This was better than he'd expected and, with a grin, he edged away from the camera and followed the young man inside. A scrawny guy with fear tattooed all over him, pushed past Spike and through the door, as if he hadn't even noticed that the vampire was in the room. Now that bloke's got something on his mind, thought Spike, and if I had the time or the patience, I'd include him in on our little torture plan. But since I'm not known for my patience... 'All right there, Lindsay?' The young lawyer turned, fear etched across his face. It didn't fade when he realized who it was, cheering Spike right up. 'What do you want,' he managed. Spike shrugged his shoulders and reached into his pocket for his smokes. 'Got a present for you, pet.'

Continued

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