Took Hold 11
Spike was in the lower level in his crypt, chain-smoking and not watching the match blaring on the telly. His eyes and face were red from crying, and the cat lay purring in his lap. He had nicked a few boxes of liquor a few weeks back, and he was working his way through them. So caught up in his misery was he that the vampire only heard Angel’s approach once he was down the ladder.
“You made me the *lion*? I thought I’d be more of a Tin Man type guy, myself.”
Spike sighed as he pushed the feline off his lap. He watched as his feline approached his sire and Angel picked her up.
“God, you’re bad at small talk, Peaches...damn thing’s too friendly for her own good,” the blonde muttered as he stood up and wandered over to scratch her ears.
“You mean it’s not a snack?”
Angel’s teasing look was lost on Spike and he grabbed the cat out of the dark vamp’s hands. “Miss Edith’s not food, she’s currency.” Half drunk, he turned her in his hands and gazed affectionately into the cat’s hazel eyes.
“Miss Edith?” Angel was visibly amused and not a little surprised. “I’m seeing the book now—‘Naming Pets After Your Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Doll and the Psychological Implications’.”
This little chat was leading up to something, and Spike was curious. He put the cat down and swayed at Angel. The good humor in the older vampire’s face sunk in, and he grinned.
“Sod off. You know the best way to piss Soldier Boy off is to ignore him, then bitch to Buffy about how useless he is while he’s there. It invalidates his little manhood. Insecure Pillock.”
“Why were you crying?”
They were hopping subjects, something that always happened with them. Their sire/childe bond combined with twenty years spent together had honed their non-verbal communication skills and it was a good thing, since Angel hated long talks.
“Had a run of bad luck is all. Got dumped again.” Spike made his way back to the recliner and grabbed two bottles. He tossed one at Angel and saw the surprised features.
“So what happened with the boy *was* more than a fling.”
Casually put, but the younger vampire scowled and squinted his way anyway. “Thought it was.” Spike let his head fall back. “Wasn’t the point anyway. I keep reliving that night, and it’s like it’s in bloody color, where the rest of life isn’t. Unlife without him is cold and faded. Stupid blighter. Making me need him. To think about that one moment of happiness knowing that I can’t have it again--but I guess you’d know all about that, Peaches.”
“Actually, it’s not a problem anymore--or at least not as much of one.”
Spike straightened up in his seat. “The curse is gone?”
His sire glared at him. “No, moron. Angelus was a constant threat, so I went to a shaman last spring. It’s a long process, and I still have about a year to go, but I can be *intimate* now. It’s a monthly ritual that makes the soul more permanent each time. There are still – issues, however.”
Angel pursed his lips. “About a year ago, a woman slipped something into my drink and Angelus came out--”
“Bloody brilliant! She slips you a Mickey and you rip her throat out”
“--More or less, but it can still happen. Even though I can have sex without the happiness clause messing things up, Angelus can still be brought out in other ways. At least until the process is finished.”
“And you’re not shaggin’ the Slayer senseless because....” Spike lit a cigarette and took another swig.
“She’s the Slayer, Spike. Some part of her will always hate me for being a vampire. What kind of relationship is that?”
Spike blew a cloud of smoke above his head. “’bout the same as me and Donut Boy....” The blonde frowned into his drink. “So, you’ve tried it? Actually screwed someone and not been all *grrrrr*?” Spike was well on his way to being plastered, and he knew it. Angel nodded and the younger vampire continued, “That explains why you’re not such a broody ponce anymore, but why haven’t you told the Slayer about me and Xan?”
“How you deal with the boy is your decision, Spike. Just stick around, try to talk to him, and see what happens. Is that what that scene at Giles’ was about?”
“And saving Xander in the first place?”
“I don’t know what the bloody hell that was about. You saw--not even a thank you!” Spike said between gulps.
“You could be a big help, if you came on full-time.” Angel sat on a battered folding chair next to his childe.
“What? Join those wankers?! That soul’s made you senile, Peaches!”
“I’ll talk to them, make it look like their idea. At least you’d be eating again--you look like hell.”
“No, Angel!” Spike threw his head back, exasperated, as he flicked ashes to the floor.
“It’s just patrolling and demon killing. Anyway, we’ll entertain ourselves by getting under Riley’s skin.”
“Literally?” The blonde perked up.
“No, idiot. Buffy’s getting tired of me beating him up.”
“Why hasn’t Her Highness run your arse out of town, anyway?”
“I told her I’m here to fight evil with the team, not to interfere in her life. I’m not working for Buffy or Giles, just helping the team when I can like I did in the beginning. Dawn’s been getting on Buffy’s nerves lately, and I guard her during the day--I don’t think she likes me though.”
“Guard--you mean babysit, don’t you? You don’t have the knack for it, Peaches. She used to sneak to the Watcher’s when I got the sodding chip and trade Slayer blackmail with me.”
“See? You could take over the Dawn shift.” He stood up and handed the bottle back. “I’ll talk to Buffy about it while we’re patrolling--which I’m late for. I’ll be by tomorrow to take you to her house. Glad we had this little chat.”
“Wait! …I haven’t agreed to--” Spike furrowed his brow and watched as his sire crept up the ladder and disappeared. He flicked his cigarette at the wall.
BLISS TOOK HOLD 12