Disclaimer: I own nothing, especially not the quotes I am using from BtVS, AtS, Torchwood and Doctor Who at the start of every chapter.
A/N: This fic will be different from the original for several reasons:
1) Where the original fic was mostly set in the Buffy ‘verse, this will mostly take place in the Torchwood ‘verse. I am not sure how easy it'll be to follow for someone unfamiliar with TW.
2) Previously I focussed on Buffy and Jack and their relationship as one long continuous story. Here the stories are mostly interconnected stand alones, written to fit in around canon, and dealing with various fallout from same.
3) Some of this fallout will be from the events that took place during The Year That Never Was, wherein the Master (an evil Timelord and the Doctor’s arch nemesis) took over planet Earth, enslaving humankind - I wrote a tie-in fic
which, amongst other things, explored what happened to the Slayers. (At the end of the year time rewound, and only a handful of people - Jack included - remember what happened.)
4) Since this story takes place post-NFA, I've had to develop my own take on what happened to the Buffy 'verse characters, and it's all there for a reason.
Chapter 1Buffy: Oh my god, are you twelve?
Spike: It's him. The Immortal. This is what he does. Every time he shows up, I either lose my girl, get beaten by an angry mob, or get thrown in prison for tax evasion. Long story.
Captain’s Blog: But come on, check out those cheekbones. Cardiff, Late spring 2008
“I think Nostrovites are the busses of the rift - none for ages, and then you get three all in one go.”
Ianto raised an eyebrow, but didn’t look away from the road they were driving down.
“It’s a month since the last ones, not sure that qualifies as ‘all in one go’, sir.”
“Nit-picker. At least we only got one this time.”
Jack studied the rift activity locator in his hand, and watched the fuzzy dot meander about the tiny map.
“Afraid that’s impossible.”
Jack looked up and realised that Ianto was unfortunately correct. He had no qualms about using one-way streets the wrong way, but bollards were an obstacle even the Torchwood SUV couldn’t cope with.
“Fine. Double back, and let’s try to catch it on foot. Since we actually have the benefit of daylight for once.”
Soon afterwards they were stalking down Cardiff’s back streets, praying that they would find the Nostrovite before it found them... the area was a veritable labyrinth.
It was a cloudy day, but now and again the sun peeped through the clouds, as if the weather was trying to remember that it was actually almost summer. Jack had a feeling that it was going to be a good day - if they could get this Nostrovite out of the way quickly, he might even be able to talk Ianto into a quick tryst...
Glancing at the rift activity locator - now in Ianto’s hand - he cautiously turned a corner, eyes narrowing as he surveyed the surprisingly wide passage, gun at the ready.
And then a miracle happened.
A sunbeam fell down into the street, and into the golden light stepped a figure - an impossible figure, but one that Jack would have recognised anywhere.
“Princess...” he whispered, as the blonde young woman took another careful step into the alley, looking up and down - and then caught his eyes.
She stopped, frozen, and blinked in surprise.(She was shackled and bruised and silently grieving - yet defiant and unbowed, causing even the Master to back away.)
“Immortal?” she asked, and even though he was too far away to hear the words, he could tell.
The next second he holstered the gun and started running, and he could have sworn that time stretched and he moved in slow-motion, as if he was the star of his own movie. The surprise on her face giving way to the bright, blinding smile that he still saw in his dreams, she began running too, and mere seconds later she was in his arms, so tiny and strong and just Buffy
that he thought he might cry...(The Master raised his hand, and death singed the air as the laser beam cut through her. She fell down, lifeless and dead and gone, gone, gone...)
When he finally put her down she looked at him with wonder, and somewhere deep down he felt another part of the horror of that dark year melt away.
“Immortal? What are you doing here?”
“I could ask you the same thing!” he countered, and her eyes narrowed.
“Oh no, gentlemen first!”
He laughed, because he’d missed this so much
“I live here.”
At this she did the most adorable ‘Huh?’ face, and then shook her head, clearly not believing him for a second.
. Live here
Immortal, the toast of Rome’s social scene, with his luxury mansion and his cars and his faithful servants... Lives in Cardiff
He more sensed than saw Ianto come up behind him, and thanked whatever powers there might be above that it was him and not one of the others. Ianto, he knew, would be able to keep the secret.
“Told you that whole racket was just a place to get away from things. This is where I work.”
And this was the problem with Buffy, here. But was there any point in being evasive now? She’d probably figure it out somehow or other, and he really didn’t want to retcon her...
“There’s a rift in time and space running through Cardiff. My team and I monitor it, and deal with anything that comes through.”
Buffy looked thoughtful.
“You know, that explains a lot. We came here because-” she stopped and looked around, then rolled her eyes dramatically.
“Spike! For Pete’s sake get out here!”
Jack’s heart skipped a beat.
“Spike? He’s alive
She turned back to him, nodding, and the smile on her face made the sun seem dull in comparison.
alive. There was this prophecy, the shoo-something-or-other, and... he became human!”
And indeed, into the sunlight stepped a very much alive and kicking Spike, hair still blonde and coat long and black and quite, quite fetching. Although, as usual, he looked as if he was about to commit murder. Jack could hear Ianto’s swift intake of breath, but hoped he’d not shoot without permission.
“Spike!” he said, throwing his arms out wide, “Long time no see! Welcome to Cardiff!”
Spike, however, was obviously not going to play along, studying Jack with undiluted anger.
“Touch my wife again, and I’ll bloody kill you.”
Jack pivoted back to Buffy.
Still beaming she held up her hand, showing off a beautiful, and very deeply set, diamond ring.
“Almost a year now...”
Laughing he picked her up again, swinging her around, ignoring Spike’s cursing. There had been that incident with Dru back in the Fifties, hadn’t there... He chuckled at the memory, and thought that it was funny how history kept repeating itself. Oh today was
a good day, he’d been so right!
“Congratulations! If I’d known I’d have thrown you a party!”
Hearing a polite cough, he gently put her down (no need to make Spike literally
explode) and turned to Ianto, beaming.
“Ianto! Please allow me to introduce Buffy Summers- it’s still Summers, right?- and Spike. Spike, Buffy, this is Ianto Jones, my-”
Suddenly faltering he tried to work out what the best term might be. Colleague, archivist, employee... no, too formal. Lover? Too intimate. Partner, boyfriend... no. Not going there.
Thankfully Buffy solved the conundrum by looking Ianto over and offering a suggestion of her own.
“Your Englishman in a suit?”
Abruptly reminded of his first encounter with Giles, Jack doubled over laughing, whilst simultaneously trying to explain that that was it exactly
Ianto shot him a look - one of those that held about twenty different meanings - and held out his hand to Buffy.
man,” he corrected primly, “pleasure to meet you.”
He then turned to Spike, both men hesitating momentarily before manners or upbringing or face-saving made them briefly shake hands, studying each other with barely concealed hostility and suspicion. Jack knew he’d have to explain Spike’s face soon, but figured they’d probably not come to blows just yet and so turned to Buffy.
“Buffy... I’ve missed you like you can’t believe.”
Reaching out and laying a hand on his arm (ignoring the quiet hiss from Spike) she smiled warmly.
“So, why did you never call? I had a wedding invitation for you!”
“You were going to invite him
?” Spike exclaimed, but Jack’s attention was diverted by Ianto.
The creature had obviously decided that it was tired of being trapped and had resolved to make a run for it. Grasping the situation in a flash, Jack turned to see Ianto already aiming his gun.
“Don’t!” he called out, grabbing his arm and turning to Buffy.
“We have guests. Princess, if you want to do the honours?”
“Sure,” she grinned, a split-second later sailing through the air and kicking the Nostrovite solidly in the middle.
Not letting go of Ianto, Jack pulled him back until they were flush against the wall, where Spike, somewhat reluctantly, joined them.
“Just watch, trust me. Because this? Is the Eighth Wonder of the World.”
Ianto looked uncertain, but then his eyes went back to Buffy and they all three fell silent.
Buffy was clearly enjoying her audience, and Jack drank in the sight of her with pure relish... Five - no four years since he’d last witnessed this. (The Year That Never Was didn’t count. He had to stop adding it...)
“Spike - you’re the luckiest man in the world,” he observed, and Spike nodded, eyes fixed on his wife.
“Tell me about it.”
“How-” Ianto started uncertainly, “how is she doing that? Is she an alien?”
“Vampire Slayer,” Jack explained, “perfectly human, just with super powers.”
“Right,” Ianto said, obviously not quite paying attention to Jack anymore.
Jack absentmindedly wondered what he’d have to do to talk Spike into a foursome, as happy memories began crowding into his head. She was so limber
“Buffy - watch out for its teeth!” he called out, noticing a near-bite, and Buffy shot him a look so droll he was suprised the air didn’t dry out.
“Thanks Mr Helpful.”
“No really - it can impregnate you with a bite!”
His words clearly made her decide to finish off, and mere moments later her strong hands were around the Nostrovite’s neck, snapping it like a twig.
Jack grinned, noticing the stunned look on Ianto’s face, and clapped.
Buffy, however, was studying her sleeve with a worried look, taking in the great glob of blue spew that was stuck to the white fabric - then caught Spike’s eyes.
“Don’t. Say. A. Word.”
Spike opened his mouth, then closed it firmly.
Then Ianto stepped forwards, gently taking her arm in his hands, and getting out a handkerchief.
“If you’ll allow me?”
Removing most of the sputum, he studied the sleeve with an expert eye.
“I think I can probably get the rest out back in the Hub - I’m used to getting anything and everything out of Jack’s clothes.”
Buffy started to say thank you, then cut herself off abruptly, turning to Jack.
“‘Jack’? You have a name
“It’s not his real one.”
Buffy looked from one to the other, eyes narrowing, and Jack shot Ianto an annoyed look.
“But it is
the one I’ve been using the longest.”
Then, snapping to attention, he plastered on his most official smile, vividly recalling the day he’d turned up in full World War II pilot regalia at her door. Good day - especially since it had also brought with it a certain Ermanno Mancini. Christ, that boy had been a good kisser.
“Captain Jack Harkness at your service Ma’am.”
“You’re not impressing anyone,” Spike said. “C’mon Buffy, let’s go before he tries any of his tricks.”
,” Jack said, voice as seductive as he could make it, “you could come with me and see my big, underground, science-fiction superbase? I have a pet pterodactyl!”
“Bollocks!” Spike said, as Buffy’s eyes narrowed, uncertain. Jack tilted his head.
“Hey, I’m telling the truth for once. I’m a genuine alien-hunter. Andrew is absolutely right - there is
a huge government conspiracy and I’ve been part of it for more than a hundred years.”
“Why tell me now?” Buffy asked, and he grinned.
“Well you just killed an alien...”
“He wants to show off,” Spike interrupted, “Plus it’s a trap. It’s always
Buffy’s smile returned as she affectionately looked Jack over, and part of him wanted to clobber Spike and Ianto over the head and run away with her again. The fun they’d had...
he’s showing off, it’s what he’s best at. And Spike - stop being jealous and paranoid.”
?” Spike spluttered, incredulous. “Do you have any
idea what he’s done to me?”
”Yes,” Buffy answered, sighing. “So shut up. Immortal, I would love to see your big secret base... thing.”
Spike glowered, but seemed to accept that she’d go whether he did or not. Ianto, ignoring the marital disagreement, looked at Jack.
“I think it’ll be easier if I bring the car round.”
“Good thinking,” Jack replied, laying a hand on his arm, but Ianto shot him an inscrutable look and walked off in the direction of the parked SUV. Jack couldn’t quite work out if he was in trouble or not, so he decided not to worry about it and just to enjoy Buffy.
“So... you never told me what brings you to Cardiff,” he said, shooting her a pointed look, and she smiled good-naturedly.
“Well the short story is that one of our departments has been busy mapping demonic and magical activity, and Cardiff... well, there’s hardly any demons here at all, and the magical levels are, like, zero. And yet you’ve got Sunnydale statistics. Figured something was up.”
“Yeah, that would be the rift...” he said slowly. “I thought we’d done something with the statistics though. Will have to ask Tosh to get onto that again.”
He pondered the problem for a second, and then dismissed it, because he could see Spike getting ready to say something
, and there were more pressing points.
Especially considering that Spike was like nitro-glycerine to handle...
“Listen,” he looked from one to the other, “I need you to do me a favour.”
to be kidding me!”
“No. It’s very simple - just don’t tell any of my team about my life in Rome. Don’t use that name, don’t talk about the house or... any of it. By all means say that you hate me, just keep any particulars out of the conversation. I’ve kept my aliases separate for more than a hundred years, and I would really like that to continue.”
There was a look of uncertainty in Spike’s eyes as he studied him, and really it was a rather incongruous proposition, Jack supposed.
“And give me one good reason I should do this?” Spike finally said.
“Well I kept your
“And what secret would that be?”
Jack shot Buffy a quick look - he didn’t want to do this, but...
“I never told Buffy you were alive.”
The surprise on Spike’s face was more than matched by Buffy’s, as she studied him with a look of shock and resigned hurt that he really didn’t like.
“I found out. Long story.”
“But you never said...”
He smiled sadly.
“I was going to tell you when I left. Except circumstances... well, you know. I did think about telling you before, but I’m very selfish sometimes, and I wanted to keep you.”
He saw her opening her mouth and forestalled her.
“As if you’d have stayed with me, knowing that he was alive.”
He turned to Spike.
“See? You win. So please, do this one thing for me.”
“And if I don’t?” He could almost feel
Spike’s pleasure at finally having the upper hand, and shook his head.
“Then I’ll have to shave your visit off their memories. My world, my rules.”
Buffy was scrutinising him now, with that look of semi-disbelief that he well remembered, and not a little hostility.
“You would seriously mindwipe your friends?”
“If I had to, yes.”
Spike’s eyes narrowed.
“And what about the pretty boy in the suit?”
“The ‘pretty boy’ knows how to keep a secret.”
Seeing that Spike was none too impressed he tilted his head.
“Just - will you do it for Buffy’s sake?”
There was a beat as they watched each other in silence, then Spike reluctantly nodded.
“Fine. But I don’t trust you.”
“I’m not asking you to trust me. I’m asking you to keep schtum.”
At that moment the SUV’s horn beeped, and Jack turned to see Ianto emerge from the vehicle, body bag in hand. Time for a little cleanup.
“I don’t like this,” Spike said as they disposed of the Nostrovite in the back of the car. “Just wait, he’s got a plan.”
Buffy sighed deeply, and Jack shrugged, holding open the door to the back seat.
“By all means, stay here. Buffy?”
Buffy climbed in, and a second later Spike followed, although if looks could kill Jack would have been dead. Lucky for him that he was immortal. The atmosphere in the car was somewhat strained, and Ianto kept his eyes on the road, driving in silence until they neared the waterfront.
“I’m presuming you want to take them on the lift?” he asked, and Jack grinned.
“Oh Mister Jones, you know me too well!”
He jumped out and opened the door for his guests.
“Please follow me!”
Buffy, a little wary, but used to his antics, jumped out, followed by a more-hostile-by-the-second Spike. Jack beamed at them. Some days, everyone lived
. He had Buffy back, with bonus Spike, and it might just be one of the best days ever.
Before Ianto could drive off, however, he caught hold of a wing mirror, and Ianto lowered his window.
“Just... don’t mention the ‘Immortal’ thing, OK?”
Seeing the objection on the other’s face, he smoothed it over with a promise of explaining everything later.
“Everything?” Ianto asked, and Jack bit his lip.
“It’s a whole different life... Please?”
He could see Ianto’s curiosity overtake his hostility, and sighed with relief. Then he turned to his guests and started walking across Roald Dahl Plass. It was a far cry from Rome, but it was his
, through and through... The Water Tower ahead of them caught the sunlight, refracting and scattering it, and in that moment there was nowhere else in the whole universe Jack would rather have been.
“And here we are - please step on board my invisible lift!”
He waved to the nearest CCTV camera, knowing that someone was probably watching below, and then beckoned Spike and Buffy to join him.
They did so, a bit cautiously, and he chuckled as the big paving slab slowly descended, their eyes growing wider and wider as the huge cavern spread out around them, dark and mysterious - the very antithesis of the elegance of his Rome mansion.
“Well you obviously like space...” Buffy said faintly.
“I hope you don’t have a problem with heights?” he asked, concernedly, noticing the way she had grasped onto Spike’s arm, and a small smile appeared in the corner of her mouth.
“I’ve been in a Hellmouth. This is nothing.”
And there it was - that perfect self-assurance. It was times like these that his heart had always been the most in danger... Chuckling at himself he looked at Spike, who was trying his best to affect boredom.
“Where’s this pterodactyl then?” he asked, and Jack shrugged.
“Oh it’s around. Might be out stretching its wings - look there’s its nest.”
Being nearly at floor level by now he jumped off and turned to them, spreading out his arms.
“Welcome to Torchwood!”
The next second Gwen, Tosh and Owen sprang out from nowhere, guns pointing straight at Spike.
“Don’t even think about it!” Gwen said coldly, as Buffy and Spike stared around bewildered, before Spike pointed at Jack, furious, but glowing with vindication.
“What did I say? It’s a trap! It’s always
a trap! You see? I was right!”
Swearing under his breath Jack held up a hand.
“Spike- shut up!”
Then he turned to his team, slowly lowering his hand.
! It’s not him!”
Owen shot him a look that was quite frankly insultingly patronising, gun still trained straight on Spike’s chest.
“Oh please Jack, pull the other one. Come on, check out those cheekbones!”
“You read my log?”
There was a sudden discomfort in the ranks. Tosh cleared her throat.
“It... was forwarded to everyone after the... incident.”
“Oh,” he said slowly, reminding himself that a jealous Ianto should never be underestimated.
“Would you please explain what’s happening?” Buffy asked, pointedly, and he sighed.
“OK. He-” Jack pointed to Spike, “-happens to be a complete doppelganger of my ex-partner. Said ex-partner dropped by recently and caused some trouble. So, my team are a little... wary.”
He frowned at them. “I said weapons down
“What do you mean ‘ex-partner’?” Spike asked guardedly, and Jack grinned wickedly.
“Whatever you’re imagining in the darkest corners of your mind - turn it up to eleven.”
Spike’s face was a picture, and Jack tried to tell himself not to go overboard. But why not...
He took a step closer to Spike.
“We were partners in every
way - and then some. See, you always misunderstood me, Spike. I never hated you. Quite the opposite in fact...”
He followed the statement with a significant look, and then, before the other could retaliate, began the introductions.
“Sorry everyone, I should have called ahead. Because this-” he threw out an arm, “is Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer. With her is her husband, the usually very charming Spike.”
The weapons - finally - got lowered.
“Vampire Slayer?” Owen said, eyes narrowing. “Now you’re just taking the mick.”
“Says the zombie!” Jack pointed out. “Buffy, Spike - this is Owen Harper, our doctor. Next to him is Toshiko Sato, our computer expert, and last is Gwen Cooper-Williams.”
“Zombie?” Spike asked, studying Owen with a frown, and obviously in a hurry to move on from what Jack had just been implying. “He’s not like any zombie I have ever seen!”
“Gotta agree with you there,” Buffy chimed in, and Owen glared at Jack.
”Not a zombie. Just... dead. But re-animated. There was this whole thing where I fought Death and won.”
“So you’re like... like Jack?” Buffy asked, curious, and Owen shook his head.
“Nah. I’ve not got any of the perks, I’m just un-dead.”
Spike looked intrigued.
“Well, speaking as a former member of the undead club-”
“Former?” Tosh asked. “What do you mean?”
“Spike used to be a vampire,” Jack explained.
to?” Owen asked, incredulous. “He just got better one day?”
“It was a prophecy,” Buffy said, that bright smile back again.
“No but really - a vampire
?” Gwen asked. “Vampires are real?”
“Course they’re real!” Jack replied. “We’ve got one in storage.”
Gwen was adorable when she was confused, but before he could answer, Buffy cut in.
“You have a vampire in storage?” she asked, as if this was some kind of personal affront, and Jack sighed.
“Long story. Can we move on from this?”
“I don’t know,” Owen said coolly, studying Spike. “I don’t trust him.”
Jack sighed. He should have foreseen this.
“I would trust this man with the fate of the world. Which, incidentally he has saved. Personally. Several times. Once by dying. Also, he hates me.”
“But his wife doesn’t...” Owen said, raising an eyebrow, and Jack looked at Buffy.
“Oh no. Come on, let me give you the tour.”
He started showing his guests round, the team members hovering at the margins, and Buffy excitedly taking everything in whilst keeping a firm hold of Spike’s hand - more from a need to keep him under control than anything else as far as Jack could work out.
“So, how do
you and Buffy know each other?” Gwen finally asked, and Jack couldn’t help smiling.
“Oh we had a thing back in... 2004 was it? In Rome.”
“A ‘thing’?” Tosh prompted, and Buffy caught Jack’s eyes, her eyes dancing as she answered.
“A... fairytale thing.”
Jack held her eyes, adding: “She was Princess Buffy...”
“...And he was Prince Charming,” Buffy continued, as he took her hand and gently kissed it.
“We had a ball,” he finished, remembering that perfect night very vividly still, and idly wondered if any of them would work out that he meant literally. The subdued fury on Spike’s face only added to his amusement, but he figured that Buffy could probably deal with him.
you did,” Owen said, shooting Jack a significant look, and Jack began to worry that Spike might explode.
“Hang on,” Tosh said, brow furrowing. “In Rome? She
was the girl in Rome?”
“Indeed she was.”
“But you said... Oh I don’t remember... something about a one-eyed witch?”
“No. I said that her best friends were a lesbian witch and a one-eyed carpenter. Which is perfectly true.”
“No really?” Tosh was staring at Buffy, who clearly didn’t think that the people with a zombie for a co-worker had any cause for being weirded out.
“And why were you in Rome in 2004?” Owen asked suspiciously, and Jack cast his mind back.
“Ettian spaceship crashed outside the town. It was full of radiation so I offered to take it apart for UNIT and got myself a holiday in the sun on top!”
“Wait!” Buffy said, staring at him. “I remember something... big meteor crater, and Andrew kept going on about how it had to be aliens. Well until he started obsessing over you...”
“Like I said before, he was absolutely right. It was
a spaceship, and the government were covering it up - with my help. Remember that night when we went out to that military airport late at night? All the top secret stuff was alien technology for NASA.”
Buffy slowly shook her head, as Jack turned to Tosh.
“Incidentally Andrew was the guy who wrote the blueprints I gave you - the invisibility gun, remember?”
“We have an invisibility gun?” Gwen asked - clearly wondering how many more things she'd never been told about - and Tosh shook her head.
“Unfortunately no - the theory was almost perfect, but...”
“I never managed to adapt it to a different power source than the one it was originally modelled around.”
“Which would be what?” Owen inquired.
“A magical diamond!” Buffy answered chirpily, clearly beginning to enjoy herself. Spike was keeping mercifully silent - although that might have something to do with the very
firm grip Buffy had on his hand...
“A magical diamond...” Owen slowly repeated, as Buffy’s face turned musing and she turned to Jack.
“Don’t suppose you ever found out how magic works?”(A bright smile, and dancing, malicious eyes...
“Well then children, let’s have a little history lesson.”)
The abrupt flashback momentarily paralysed him, and he had to fight to keep his smile in place. He still - although less frequently now - woke up from restless sleep, gasping into the night and clinging onto Ianto, as he tried to banish the memory of being drenched in Willow’s blood...
“I did actually,” he said, as lightly as he could, “but that’s another story. Here, have a look at our resident Weevil. I call her Janet.”
“Um OK... And what’s a ‘Weevil’ when it’s a home?”
Buffy was on the verge on wrinkling her nose as she looked at the alien in the bare cell. He was blatantly avoiding her question about magic, but she was used to that, and thankfully didn’t start probing any deeper. Trying his hardest to cram his far too vivid nightmares to the back of his mind, he concentrated on talking about weevils.
“We don’t know. Don’t even know what planet they’re from. We get a fair few through the rift, but they tend to stay in the sewers.”
“So why’s this one locked up?” Spike cut in, watching the Weevil with great focus, having apparently forgotten about his one-man campaign to try to kill Jack by scowling.
“Because otherwise she’d rip our throats out,” Ianto commented drily.
Jack hadn’t noticed him returning, but sent him a bright smile which could serve as either welcome back or warning. Plus, if he knew Ianto at all, Jack would bet that there would be exquisite afternoon tea ready in a few minutes...
Spike, ignoring Ianto, stepped closer to the see-through barrier, fishing a knife out of his boot as he did so. Gwen started to speak, but Jack stopped her, as Spike with great care cut a small sharp line in his palm, fluidly depositing the knife back in the boot as he held up his hand close to the air holes.
“But he’s-” Owen protested, and Jack shook his head.
“No. Just wait.”
As soon as Janet caught the scent she lurched forwards, throwing herself at the re-enforced plastic, and Spike’s face split in a wide grin.
“You like that, don’t you gorgeous? Mmm, thought you might.”
There was a beat, then Gwen spoke again.
“...Did he just call a Weevil gorgeous
“Yes, he did,” Owen said, studying Spike incredulously. “Jack - is everyone
you know a complete freak?”
“I’m not a freak,” Spike said softly, eyes still focussed on Janet. “Not anymore. And she....”
He held up his hand again, and Janet snarled against the invisible barrier, frentic. Spike was watching her, enthralled, and speaking more to himself than anyone else, Jack suspected.
“She’s everything I lost. You humans, you have no idea what it’s like to have nothing but pure instinct guiding you, fists and fangs and blood, calling to something deeper than...”
Jack noticed that Buffy had wrapped her arms around herself, face closed off and resigned. Then Spike abruptly turned, cold eyes on Jack.
“Why’s she locked up?”
“I believe Ianto already answered that?”
Spike slowly shook his head.
“So you just... keep her there?”
“Yes...” he said, unsure where Spike was going with this.
Spike shot Janet a quick look.
“I was a monster in a cage once. And I know that I’d rather have been staked than stay like that.”
Jack features hardened.
“I do not execute innocent creatures.”
“That-” Spike pointed to Janet, “-is no better than bloody torture! Next you’ll shove a chip in her head, I know!”
Jack took a deep breath, trying to will Spike into calming down.
“Behavioural modification technology isn’t our jurisdiction. I’m sorry about what the Demon Research Initiative did to you - I honestly had no idea...”
Spike tilted his head with perfect contempt.
“Oh shut up
! You always do this - this fuckin’ grandstanding, like you’re the bleeding king of the world. You’ve always, always, always
been like this, you sanctimonious bastard, ever since we first met!”
“Spike, calm down....”
“No I will not
. You’re here with your super friends and your sci-fi bat cave, showing off as usual.”
“Spike-” Buffy began, but he turned on her angrily.
“Oh don’t you
start. I had all the arguments more than a hundred years ago from Dru and Darla and hearing them from your mouth don’t make ‘em any better. He goes where he wants and takes what he wants and everyone else is just shoved out of the way. If he
wants to keep creatures locked up, then so be it.”
Jack was rapidly beginning to remember why Spike was such an infuriating person to be around.
“Spike? Please stop talking about things you know nothing
“I know enough,” Spike shot back. “And I’ve heard all your little fans singing your praises.”
Just... Can we not do this now? I wanted us to have a nice time.”
Belatedly he realised that this had been entirely the wrong thing to say, as Spike’s mouth curled into a sneer.
“Ah so that’s how it is. What about all the times - as a matter of fact every single
time we’ve met - that you’ve ruined my
good times? Stealing our nuns, violating our women-”
“Hey- that was all their idea!”
Spike, however, continued unaffected, “-pinchin’ our Rathrun eggs, not to mention the angry mobs and that time I got thrown in prison!”
Jack threw his hands in the air, frustrated.
“You were evil
! Your idea of a ‘nice time’ involved torturing people!”
“Oh please, get off your high horse. No one gets a reputation like yours without getting their hands dirty!”
Keep calm, Jack told himself. Don’t let him get the better of you.
“Spike - look we’re on the same side now, OK?”
“Well that accounts for stealing our head and blowing us up!”
Jack frowned, not following.
“You mean in Rome? I took care of the head, yes, since there would have been a war
otherwise, and you and Angel were just fooling around. But I never blew you up. Didn’t know you had been.”
An eloquently raised eyebrow of disbelief shot up.
. Destroyed my coat too.”
Jack looked him over, unimpressed. He wasn’t about to pay for someone else’s crimes.
“Looks fine to me.”
“That’s cause it’s a new one.”
Fine, Jack thought. If Spike wanted to play dirty, then so be it.
“Unlike the one you took off the Slayer you murdered.”
“Added sentimental value,” the other sniffed, not blinking.
“But I didn’t blow you up. Was it Giuseppe? You really pissed him off you know.”
“Oh yeah, just fob off the responsibility onto one of your lackeys!”
They were nose-to-nose now, Spike’s blue eyes bristling with anger and arms folded defiantly... and the sparks between them hit Jack so forcibly that for a moment he could barely breathe. A pattern, ingrained to perfection from years worth of practice and so very recently brought to the fore gripped hold of him, and he knew himself to be as helpless as Pavlov’s dog.
For a second he closed his eyes, but escape was impossible. Slowly he opened them again, looking deep into Spike’s furious gaze and swallowing against the beating of his heart.
“On a scale of one to ten, just how hard would you hit me if I kissed you now?”
Spike’s jaw dropped.
“Oh come on
. You might not be a vampire anymore, but I refuse to believe that the threat of violence doesn’t turn you on!”
Spike, if possible, looked even more
furious and outraged.
“Kiss me, and you’re dead
Before Spike could react Jack grabbed hold of him, pulling him close and kissing him as thoroughly as he possibly could. Spike fought back of course, but he was only human these days, and Jack was more than used to holding this particular body in place with everything he had - his extra height and heft having always been a great help. And hot damn
, it was a good kiss - the anger just made it more delicious.
Finally Spike managed to break free, the fury on his face cold and deadly, and in less than a heartbeat his hands were around Jack’s head.
Then Jack knew nothing more, as the familiar emptiness of nothingness