Spike was staring at Illyria. She was face-first on the couch that was in their guest rooms. She was not wearing her body armour and had blue freckles on her back. He was wondering if her arse had a blue tint to it and was about to lift the blanket draped over the lower half of her body when someone knocked on the door.
Angel came out of the bedroom and glared at Spike. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing,” Spike said, dropping the blanket.
Angel glowered some more and pulled open the door. He frowned even more when he saw Theo.
“I’ve brought this for your friend when she wakes. It should help with the massive hangover she will likely have.”
Angel gestured for Theo to enter. He was about to shut the door when a hand slammed against it, effectively preventing that.
“Buffy,” Angel said.
“That’s me,” she replied lightly as she stepped into the room. With her hand still on the door, she closed it firmly. “So, how did you
enjoy Thanksgiving, since you actually sat at the table and didn’t lurk in the shadows this year?”
“Which one of us are you talking to, love?” Spike asked.
Angel glared at him. “Buffy, I’m really sorry. I don’t know where Illyria got the alcohol. She must have wandered into the wine cellar or something.”
“It wasn’t that bad,” Theo said, just trying to calm his girlfriend, and knowing eventually he would have to tell her he’d supplied the first bottle.
Everyone else looked at him with a look that asked what dinner were YOU at
“It would have been better if everyone wasn’t drunk by the time I brought out the food,” she snipped. “But that’s not why I’m here.”
you here?” Spike asked curiously.
“To kick you three out. It’s time you went back to L.A. You’ve had your fun, got to socialize, but I want you gone.”
Angel gave her a look. “Buffy-”
“Quiet,” she said with a glare. “I told you about Dana with the implication that you would watch for her back in L.A. I know I’m not your boss, but I trust you to do what I ask when I need your help. You got to see me, see the council and all the slayers, and see your friends. But it’s time for you to go home. You can stop by to see Dawn or even Faith in Cleveland, but you won’t be staying here anymore. Do I make myself clear?”
“That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think?” Theo said. “I’m not threatened by them.”
Spike glared at Theo.
Angel sighed, knowing she was right, but not liking her delivery. “At least I didn’t beat your boyfriend up when I visited this time.”
“You beat up soldier boy?” Spike asked. “Outstanding. I don’t suppose there were pictures? How did I never hear about this?”
“It is not too late to tie you to a chair and put an arrow through you,” Buffy said before turning to Angel. “And no, you didn’t, but I’m not going to say thank you, because you shouldn’t have beaten up Riley in the first place. He didn’t deserve it.”
Theo was scowling at Angel now.
“Nobody probably ever deserved it more,” Spike muttered.
Angel glared at him before looking back at Buffy. “Look, as soon as Illyria is conscious, we’re LA bound, okay?”
“I would agree with that,” Theo said. “I don’t know much about the constitution of former hellgoddesses, but travelling with anyone that hungover wouldn’t be prudent. I’ll check on her again before you go to make certain she’s up to it.”
Spike made a face. He wasn’t sure he liked Buffy’s new beau. All necromancy aside, he seemed to have all the spark of a wet dish towel.
She nodded. “And for the record, I don’t care that you guys came to visit. What bothers me is the fact that you didn’t let me know ahead of time, because you knew I wouldn’t say to stay. I can take care of myself against Ethan and Dana. Fly off the handle again, and I’ll start keeping you out of the loop.”
“Bitchy,” Spike said in his mock-offended tone. “I don’t need anyone’s permission to-”
“Well understand that, Buffy,” Angel said. “But try to see it from our point of view. The last time there were issues with Dana, you basically told me and my crew to suck it because you didn’t understand what was going on in LA and never bothered to ask, and beyond that, you sent the message through Andrew. You had Andrew tell us that we weren’t trusted and we could bite you. Andrew, Buffy.”
Everyone was silent for a moment.
“Okay. Poor choice of words there, but you know what I mean.”
“What was I supposed to say?” Buffy asked. “You were heading up a branch of Wolfram and Hart. Did you really expect me to ask if you were evil again? How could I believe you either way? And speaking of,” she turned to Spike with a glare. “I had to find out you were alive from Andrew. You couldn’t call or email with a quick message?”
“If I were evil again would I have really taken Dana alive? And since when do you care if a guy has gray moral areas? Yeah, taking over the LA branch of Wolfram and Hart might not have been the smartest plan, but did they rebuild there after the fallout? No. We did what we intended. We took them down.”
Spike’s only contribution was, “I don’t have an email address, and you don’t read yours anyway. You were trotting all over the world by then. What was I supposed to say? What number was I supposed to call to reach you? You knew we were in Italy when you were with the Immortal, and you set us on the trail of a decoy slayer. You didn’t want to know I was alive because then you’d have had to deal with what happened, and you don’t do that.”
Theo was distinctly uncomfortable now. Maybe he did mind them being here because obviously there were still a lot of feelings involved.
“I’m going to go check on Pevensie,” he said in clipped tones.
He didn’t want to hear any more.
“I didn’t have time
to deal with that,” she argued, focusing on Spike. “We released the essence of the slayer and we had no idea
what the consequences of that would be. All of a sudden, we had girls with super strength and no accountability all over the world. There were new hellmouths to guard and I thought my second line went to the dark side. So, yes, we sent Andrew to fetch Dana because at that point, I was
done with you, but when we found out what your real plan was, we came and backed you up. Communication is a two way street. You could have told us what was going on before the very last minute.”
This was an argument that was years in the making. She just wished Theo didn’t have to be around to witness it. The truth was, she, Angel, and Spike would always disagree about something, and the disagreements would be explosive.
Theo didn’t say anything. He just left. He did, however, slam the door behind him.
Spike pursed his lips. “Mistakes all ‘round then. Didn’t figure a necromancer for being such a prancing lightweight about arguing though.”
“Shut up, Spike,” Angel snapped.
“He has other people to check on and probably has better things to do than listen to us yell at each other all afternoon. It’s polite,” she snapped. “And while we’re getting this all out of our system, anything else you’d like to bitch about?”
“I like him,” Angel said.
“You would,” Spike retorted.
Angel glared. “He seems all right. He’s better than Riley. Willow mentioned something to me about moving Cordelia and Wesley to rest here. If I decide to do that, I don’t want to have to have your permission to visit them. I’d like to just say that I’m coming by.”
Spike didn’t say anything - for once.
“That’s different,” she said softly. “Honestly, I don’t care if you come, but this is a school, too. All the girls got a little crazy when you burst in with no warning. And you don’t have to worry about people bothering you in the cemetery. Willow and I are the only ones who really go out there, to visit Tara and mom.”
“No, you’re not, “Spike said. “I went out the other night to have a visit with Joyce and the witch and ran into Draco’s slayer. I think she’s out there a lot. She’s got that thing about her that made me want to kill a slayer, that drive, and she’s very connected to who she is.”
Angel was looking at Spike with an unreadable expression.
“I wouldn’t come in the school or disturb the classes. Though one slayer did ask if she could call me sometime to ask questions.”
“Oh god, I’m scared to ask who,” she said, rubbing her forehead.
“Pevensie’s little friend? The serious one? She’s very interested in mine and Spike’s history. You know, what’s not in the texts.”
Buffy nodded. “Meredith. It doesn’t surprise me. Hannah’s going to have her hands full.” She frowned. “And I should probably apologize to Hannah. Looks like I’ve scared off another kitchen helper.”
“And Willow,” Spike said. “She was a bit chaffed after checking on you. Probably Draco too. He said you threatened to drop kick him. I’m wondering if you should be allowed in the kitchen for holiday meals.”
“Draco doesn’t get any room to talk. Trolls showed up for his dinner. At least no bodily harm came to my guests.”
Spike started laughing. “He invited trolls to dinner? What a stupid wanker.”
Buffy didn’t even bother correcting him. “Do we have a pseudo deal? I don’t show up at your place unannounced and you don’t show up at mine unannounced? Just a quick phone call as a heads up?”
“I can make no promises,” Spike said.
Buffy and Angel glared at him.
“What? I kind of have a thing for that slayer Kasie. Might have to pay her another visit. Plus the librarian has a fabulous collection of poetry from the 19th century.”
Her eyes widened. “When you say you have a thing
for a slayer, what kind of thing
are we talking about? And I would steer clear of the librarian or risk Draco setting you on fire.”
“She did warn me, Luna did. And I don’t know what kind of a thing I have with Kasie. We’re still figuring that out.”
Buffy threw up her hands. “Do not tell me. I don’t want to know. When Giles starts cleaning his glasses and clicking his tongue, I want pausible deniability.”
“It’s plausible, Buffy,” Angel said, grinning.
“We haven’t done anything,” Spike said. “Just talked. I like how she hangs off a roof.”
“As long as she doesn’t jump off them anymore, I don’t care.”
“So you wouldn’t be upset if I did that thing with my tongue-”
“Spike,” Angel shouted.
This caused Illyria to jerk awake and fall off the couch.
“Now there’s something you don’t see everyday,” Spike said. “Blue nipples.”