Bliss Took Hold 17
by Danielle


They’d been to five warehouses, beat up Willie, and followed a handful of dead end leads and Spike was fit to be tied. This was the part of the white-hat life that he hated: a cold trail. Add to that Xander’s squirrelly behavior, and the vampire thought he might chance the headache and go on a killing spree.


“So. Angel. You and Riley really beat up that guy?” The human seemed uncomfortable in his own skin, fidgeting and sweating. They were heading into an abandoned loading dock, none holding out any hope that they’d find what they were looking for. He’d been asking obvious questions all night and being generally tiresome.


“Yeah. He wouldn’t talk, then he bled, then he talked,” his sire half-heartedly answered, keeping his mind on the task at hand.


“Sounds like a regular movie of the bloody week--what’s your problem, boy?” Spike whirled on Xander, sensing the fear and arousal coming from the human.


“No--nothing! I was just making conversation!” The brunette put his hands up, palm out and stepped around him.


Angel sighed and kept walking. “Really, guys. Argue louder. I’m sure whoever’s inside already knows we’re here.”


“How’s this for conversation: You hate me, you like me, you wanna shag me, then you hate me again. You attack me, now you’re acting like a sodding nervous puppy and giving off shag-me-vibes! Make up your sodding mind already! Hell with this!” Spike stomped past Angel and kicked in the door. Ethan Rayne stood at a table just inside, counting money.


It looked like a comical scene, the middle-aged man’s round eyes shining owlish as he clutched bills in sweaty hands. Spike tilted his head at his sire and made a ‘well?’ gesture. The older vampire showed his demon face and stalked toward the sorcerer, who cowered appropriately. While Angel easily knocked Rayne out and tied him with some nearby rope, Spike glared at Xander, who looked shell-shocked.


“So you gonna say something or are we gonna prance around your issues like a couple a poofs?” Spike crossed his arms and surveyed the room for the vials. A lone crate caught his eye.


“I’m not the one yelling and getting all mad. Sounds like you’re the one with problems.” Xander pouted while he and the younger vampire approached the crate and peeked inside. Arranged in neat little rows were about two dozen vials, filled with light yellow liquid.


“Bugger that! You’re in denial, boy!” the blonde shouted.


Angel approached, carrying the unconscious sorcerer.


They walked back to the car in silence, and Angel shoved Ethan into the trunk. Xander and Spike carried the box of vials together, being careful not to jostle it as it was hoisted into the backseat of Spike’s DeSoto.


“Let’s take the box to the mansion where it won’t be a threat if any of those vials break,” Angel ordered as Spike drove carefully toward their destination.


“We should take these to the Watcher so he and the witches can make a cure. This might not be the only batch.” 


The two brunettes nodded as Spike picked out two test-tube-looking vials from the bunch and shoved them into his duster to save for Giles.




“Stupid vampire,” Xander grumbled as they hauled the vials into the decrepit mansion.


Angel held the doors open as they approached.


“Flakey whelp!” Spike’s irritation infused the tone of his voice. When they set the crate down, Spike lit a cigarette and glared.


“We need to get to the others so we can tell them that we have Rayne and the formula,” Angel negotiated.


They ignored him.


“You wanna know what my problem is? You. Ever since that night at the dump, I’ve been so confused--”


“Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, Donut Boy,” Spike said with a ‘duh’ look on his face. He ashed his cigarette at the human and took another deep drag. “I knew how I felt about you. We were enemies! And you start in on your ‘I see you’ crap and I actually believed you!” Spike gestured at him in frustration.


Xander hated being interrupted, and his anger flared. “As much as you don’t want to believe it, I meant that! And sorry, some people aren’t all ‘let’s jump into this with both feet’! I had to think this through!” His temper was getting the best of him, and he wasn’t thinking about what he was saying.


“Guys!  This isn’t the time!” Angel grabbed Spike’s sleeve as the younger vampire tried to pace back toward Xander.


Spike just shrugged the duster off, leaving it in Angel’s hand as he headed toward the human. 


“*You* had to think this through?! You’re a bloody Scooby--I’m not daft! I know there’s not supposed to be anything between the white hats and vampires.” He was nose-to-nose with Xander now, and he gestured wildly at Angel. “Look what happened to them!”


“Hey!” The older vampire was offended, and he dropped the duster and started his approach on the two.




“I was the biggest cheerleader for them breaking up! And, hearing that out loud, maybe cheerleader isn’t the most manly word I could have chosen, but it should be clear that I am the expert on knowing that we’re not supposed to be together!” The human was frantic and upset, knowing that he was screwing things up worse, but not sure what he could do about it. 


Spike threw his cigarette to the floor, not even half-burnt, and shouted, “Then why did you bloody attack me!? This--” and he gestured between himself and Xander “--is wrong?  After all the bollocks you told me about promising to come back and seeing where our relationship went, it was all just some game to you, wasn’t it?”  His eyes were glistening--hurt now, anger and frustration taking a backseat to his broken heart.


“Uh guys...” Angel’s stunned voice coming from behind them couldn’t be of the good, but Xander was still arguing. At least, he knew he was saying something, but it seemed as though the volume of the room was being turned down. The frantic gestures of the vampire in front of him slowed down until he was almost standing still. He was aware of a sweet, flowery aroma wafting through the air. //Seems to be getting stronger…//


The human was vaguely aware that he was speaking, and the world tilted as his vision grew darker until all was pitch black.








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