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Protective Custody - 1

He was so close now he could almost taste it… taste her. It seemed like years he'd loved her, wanted her, and stalked her. But now she was coming to him entirely of her own accord. They'd kissed: a deep passionate kiss in the alley, an even more erotic one in the Bronze, and soon he knew she would be his. And now he knew it would be good because he could be unrestrained; he could hurt her. She was the Slayer: strong and sexy, and he could hurt her. He was almost permanently hard imagining their coupling.

Spike decided to pay her a visit at home and see if she would go slaying with him. He made his way along the usual route through town. He paused in front of one shop, pretending to watch the televisions on sale there. He was being followed again. He'd sensed someone shadowing him for days now but couldn’t be sure. He couldn't identify them either, or back track them. As soon as he paused though, the sense of being followed stopped.

He carried on, went down an alley alongside the Italian Restaurant, and felt a hard blow on the back of his head. He fell to his knees cursing, rolled, and started to come up in a fighting stance when he was hit for a second time from another direction. He went down, out cold, and knew no more until he awoke with the knowledge that his hands and feet were bound, and he was in a car. He was relieved to be coming to at all so didn't immediately fight the restraints. He kept his eyes closed and feigned unconsciousness, until he'd had time to access the situation. There was someone talking behind him. He didn't recognise the voice. It was human, and it was trying to be quiet. Then he heard another voice alongside him. 'Don't bother, Gunn; he's awake now.'


Spike's eyes flew open, and he let out a string of obscene curses. Angel was driving, one hand on the wheel, one arm casually on the window ledge, and he was glancing across at Spike.

'Shut up, or I'll hit you again.'

Spike didn't shut up, so Angel reached over and made good on his threat, punching Spike in the belly, hard.

Spike was outraged, incensed; he was beyond coherent thought. He was being kidnapped by… by… the fucking poof. He'd been knocked unconscious and kidnapped. Vampnapped. He tried to calm down, but couldn’t, so started struggling ferociously against the bindings.

'Angel's magically enhanced them man, don't bother.'

'Fucking shut up, lackey.'

'Okay, okay, don't shoot the messenger.'

'Ignore him, Gunn. He'll calm down soon.'

'Calm down! Ignore him! I AM HERE!' Perhaps realising he wasn't getting anywhere by being aggressive, he tried to calm himself down enough to ask what they thought they were doing.

Angel smiled slightly at the obvious effort he put into the icily polite tones he adopted. 'You're coming back to LA with me for a while. Until I know more about what's happened to Buffy.'

This sent Spike totally around the bend again. He ranted, raved, kicked, screamed, spat at Angel, and tried to kick him, too, but discovered his feet were tied under the seat. Angel only continued to smile at him in a supercilious way, and Spike suddenly stopped and said incredulously, 'You fucking want her, don’t you? Now she's all turned on and the like… you want her again.'

'He's imaginative, isn't he, Angel?'

'Maybe he's right. Maybe that's why I do want him out of the way.'

'Stop yanking his chain, Angel; tell 'im about the Powers.'

Angel smiled over his shoulder at Gunn and said to Spike, 'I was told to get you out of the picture so they could assess Buffy without you… interfering. So that's what I'm doing.'

'And who the fuck are the powers?'

'The Powers That Be.'

'The powers that be what?'


'Be… what?'

Angel felt himself to be floundering slightly. 'I don't know; that's just what they are called.'

'Why not the Powers That Are?'

'I have the option to gag you as well, Spike.'

This only enraged Spike again, and he started screaming and spitting at them both. Angel reached into the back seat and produced a piece of black cloth that looked suspiciously like an old T-shirt.

'I warned you, Spike. Gag him.'

Spike's eyes flew open, as he eyed the large human leaning toward him.

'You touch me with that, and it'll be…'

'What, chip-boy, it'll be what?'

The cloth being tied around his mouth choked off Spike's eloquent description of what it would be for Gunn.

When Gunn was happy, he patted Spike on the head and sat back down.

Spike was so beside himself by now, he couldn't even look at either of them. He turned around and stared out of the window, feigning total indifference to his situation. Whatever... they couldn't keep him in LA. Soon as they untied him, he’d be off and, if he could, he'd stake the fucker, Angel, before he left.

Angel looked over at the back of Spike's head. His expression was inscrutable. He studied Spike for a long time, glancing back at the road every so often. Gunn wondered what was going through his mind but, wisely, didn’t interrupt this intense examination. Finally, Angel broke his gaze away and said quietly, 'Call Cordy. Check everything is ready.'

Gunn got out his cell phone and, after a few moments, spoke to Cordelia in LA. 'All go, girl?'

He listened to her reply and relayed the critical bits to Angel. They both knew Spike was anything but as indifferent to this conversation as he was pretending to be.

'It's all arranged, Angel. They can't test it, of course, but it should be okay.'

'Good. Spike? Spike, I know you are listening. Look at me.'

Spike continued to stare out into the night. He was so angry at the unfairness of his plight, and humiliated by the fact that Angel had done this to him in front of a human, he had felt tears prick his eyes, and was desperately trying to blink them away before turning.

Angel sighed wearily.

'Spike, if I take off the gag, will you be civil?'

Spike nodded, and Angel reached over and pulled the T-shirt off Spike's face.

Spike did not turn around, but he kept his word and was silent for the rest of the trip.

When they got to LA, Angel undid the straps holding Spike into the car and carried him, still bound at the ankles and wrists, into the lobby.

As soon as they were inside, to Spike's astonishment, he bent down and undid the rope around his ankles, and cut through the pieces binding his wrists. He stood back and looked at Spike. Spike stood and looked at him and Gunn. Then he turned on his heel and ran for the door. He was literally blown onto his back by the impact he made against some invisible barrier across the gap.

Undeterred, he picked himself up and tired to run again. Same thing. Unbelievably, he tried once more, before it hit him that they'd somehow sealed this door to him… from the inside.

He gave Angel a furious look and ran past him looking for another exit.

When he was out of sight, Gunn turned to Angel. 'You just gonna let him roam around like that?'

'Why not? He can't escape… the witch did a good job.'

'Yeah, but Angel… he's a lunatic….'

'I'll be okay, Gunn. Go home; I'll see you in the….'

His words were cut off when he was thrown back against the counter. Spike had come from nowhere and charged him, and he had a broken piece of chair leg in his hand that he was attempting to ram into Angel's heart.

Fortunately for Angel, Gunn was fast, and he grabbed Spike's arm. Instinctively, Spike kicked out at him and instantly fell to his knees clutching his head, the improvised stake falling with a clatter to the ground.

Angel picked it up and chucked it to Gunn then lifted Spike by his lapels until he was face to face with him. 'Gunn….' Angel spoke very slowly and distinctly. 'Tell Spike the only way to revoke the seal on the hotel.'

'Angel's the only way, man; he's the only one who can do it. You stake him and… boy, you're here for eternity. You don't want to be waving one of these around.' Gunn spun the chair leg in his hand. Angel held Spike's chin, forcing him to look at him.

'Do you understand, Spike? I've had a vampire barrier reversed and placed around the whole place. You can't leave. I'm the only one who can revoke it. You need to keep me happy and healthy, or you'll be getting rather familiar with this place. Fancy staying here alone, my humans forgetting to feed you? You're going to think waking up in your coffin was crowded…. Spike, do you hear me?'

Spike didn't reply, but flung his head forward, his forehead satisfactorily smashing Angel's nose.

'Yes, I understand,' and with that, he stalked off.

Angel waved away Gunn's offer of help and told him to go home. Then he stood up and made his way painfully into the kitchen. As usual though, the bleeding stopped, and the pain receded to a dull ache. He poured some coffee.

'Want some?'

Spike was sitting on the counter glaring at him.

'Spike, have some coffe, stop being an ass, and accept the situation.'

Spike didn't reply but hopped off and ran up the stairs.

Angel called out after him, 'Choose a room… I've got plenty.'

He sat down to enjoy a much-needed coffee when he heard the sounds of breaking and smashing coming from upstairs. With a groan, he ran up, following the sound.

Spike had found a bedroom… Angel's. He was systematically smashing it up. Angel's chair was a broken heap, all his things swept off his chest, and his bed linen shredded.

Spike was a whirlwind of destruction in the center of the room.

Angel snapped. He flung himself on Spike and propelled him into the wall. He felt something break and, in his rage, couldn't be sure if it was something of his, or Spike's. He started punching into Spike's stomach but was surprised when a knee jerked up and connected with his balls. He sank to the floor, hissing in pain, and was flung backward by an extremely accurate and hard upper-cut to his jaw. The next thing he knew, Spike had a chair leg and was beating him around the head with it.

This entire vicious onslaught had been done in total silence. It was eerie. He rolled over, leapt to his feet and side kicked Spike's feet from under him. He landed sideward on top on him, pinning him to the floor by virtue of his superior weight.


No answer, only a furious growling sound, as Spike attempted to get away.

'Quit it. Now.'

More growling. More wriggling.

Angel felt there was only one thing for it. He reared up and sank his jaws into Spike's neck and started systematically to drain him of blood.

He used no finesse; he went straight for the artery, opened it up wide, and took most of Spike's blood in about ten minutes.

Now he was still.

Now he was quiet.

Now he quit it.

Angel withdrew and sat back on his heels to study Spike's inert form. He did feel some sympathy for him. He knew Spike hated confinement or rules of any kind, and this must be intolerable for him. But it had been the only way Angel could think of to keep him safe. For that's what he hadn't told Gunn or Cordelia or Wesley… he had been told by the Powers to stake Spike to get him out of the Slayer's life. He'd bargained with them for Spike. They had agreed to let Angel keep him out of the way while they investigated Buffy. But if he failed to restrain him, they promised to stake him themselves.

Angel lifted Spike and placed him in the middle of his bed. He undressed him and covered him with a fresh sheet. He exchanged his broken chair for a good one from another room and sat down for a long night of brooding about Spike and what he was going to do with him.

It took about five minutes for Angel to want to be in the bed with him. He didn't even bother to examine his motives. He undressed and slipped in next to him, felt too naked and intimate, so got back up to put on a pair of old sweat pants. Suitably clothed, he slid back in alongside Spike. He propped himself up on his elbow and studied the unconscious vampire lying next to him. He looked different since Angel had last seen him. Admittedly, with several hot pokers through his joints and an insane pedophile vampire torturing him with repetitive music, Angel had not been in the best of moods to be worrying about how Spike looked. But this Spike, the one asleep a few inches from him, was quite different. He had lost his hard edges. It wasn't just the hair, although that had changed: no longer slicked back and hard, but soft and almost curly. It was something else. Something in his face. It was as though muscles that had not been used for a long time had come back to life. He looked younger but older… no, not older… more mature. Younger, but wiser perhaps. Angel was good at studying faces; he'd had plenty of practice, and he saw a lot in Spike's relaxed, sleeping face. He saw enough to be glad that he'd followed his instincts and brought him to LA, and also enough to decide on a course of action. He began to see that he had made an error forcing him to come like this. He should have attempted to reason with him first. Clearly, this Spike was not the Spike who had insanely tortured him. This Spike might just respond to reason.

Angel lay down and pulled Spike into his arms. He closed his eyes and allowed his face to push into Spike's hair. He felt ancient, protective. If he was aware of any other motives for wanting to crush Spike to him, then he did not allow them to surface in his mind. That had no part in his life now. Not only could he not risk happiness through pleasures of the flesh, he found it an effective whip with which to lash himself and suffer. If he denied himself physical release, he would gain spiritual reward. Like a holy man, he wanted to suffer for his sins. So he allowed himself to hold Spike only as he would hold anybody to him: for their comfort and protection. He told himself he would hold any of the others just the same, if they needed him to.

He slept lightly, aware of every movement in Spike's body. He was a little chagrined at himself, therefore, to wake the next morning to find Spike now watching him. He looked very pale, very tired, and not in any sort of fighting mood. He hadn't lost his spirit though.

'What are you doing, you poof? Have you been fucking interfering with me or something? Why am I naked and what are you doing in the soddin' bed with me? And why am I… fuck….'

Spike suddenly collapsed back on to the bed and closed his eyes. 'Have you bloody drugged me so you could fucking play with me? I'm a sodding date rape victim, ain't I?'

Angel turned onto his back, looked up at the ceiling, and prayed for strength. As he couldn’t answer the entire tirade of questions, he wisely decided to ignore it, got up, and went to fetch a couple of blood bags.

When he came back into the room, Spike had managed to pull on his jeans, but was sitting with his head in his hands, groaning.

'Here.' Angel gave him the blood.

Spike attempted to bat it away, but Angel caught his arm. 'You either do this voluntarily, or I'll force you to drink.'

Spike took one of the bags, ripped it open, and downed its contents in one go. He lay down and let the fluid reanimate him for a moment. Then he sat up and held out his hand for the second bag. When he'd drunk that one as well, he continued dressing. Angel watched him. He waited 'til he was lacing his boots, and then spoke quietly, 'We need to talk, Spike.'

'No, we don't.'

'Spike, why didn't they tell you what they were going to do? Why didn't they get you to help? You know more about magic than the lot of them.'

Spike looked up from his laces, the pain evident on his face. 'Why do you think, you ponce? Same reason that black hood in the car last night doesn't like you… don't deny it; I could smell his distrust, and I know you can, too. They hate me; they don't trust me; I don’t know why, Angel. They didn't. That's all.'

'I think it's because you would have stopped them.'


'So, why would you have done that?'

'You know why, Angel. We both had to claw our way out of coffins. It doesn’t do much for your mental health.'

Spike had finished with his boots and tried to push past Angel to leave. Angel put his back to the door for a moment then shrugged and let him pass. He'd learnt his lesson trying to force Spike. But he followed him out. 'More blood?'

Spike hesitated at the top of the stairs then gave a small shrug himself and nodded. So they went together into the kitchen.

Spike hopped up on the counter while Angel warmed the blood and started cooking some breakfast for Cordelia and Wesley when they came in.

'Right little housewife, ain't you?'

Angel just smiled. 'It's nice being domesticated, Spike. It's the first time in three hundred years, after all.' He wanted to continue his promising discussion, and was hopeful that Spike would listen for a while. 'Do you think she is okay?'

Spike knew exactly who he was talking about and pretended to study his nails for a while before answering. 'No. I guess not. She's different. But then she was in heaven or some shit; that must do something to you.'

'Was she though?'

'What do you mean?'

'There are many dimensions, Spike. Some of them affect us differently, confuse us, lull us into a false sense of security. When I saw her, I thought she was very different.' Angel looked at Spike for the first time since coming into the kitchen and moved close to him on the pretense of offering him some bacon. 'I don't think all of her came back.'

Spike hesitated in the act of reaching out for the food. He looked directly at Angel. 'Not all of her?'

'No. I got the impression that something was missing. But….' Angel found this hard to say. 'Something seemed to have taken up the missing space.'

'Bollocks.' Spike took the bacon and started munching. 'Bloody bollocks. There's nothing wrong with 'er. And I should know.' He said this with a deliberate leer in Angel's direction to provoke him.

Angel knew better than to let Spike get a rise out of him and only replied. 'Yes, Spike. You should know; you see more of her than I do. And I think you do know.'

Spike shrugged again, hopped off the counter, and helped himself to most of the rest of the breakfast Angel had prepared. Angel noticed he was rubbing his neck and reached out a hand to hold him still.

'Let me see that.'

'It's nothing; some randy fucking vampire trying to get his rocks off on me drained me and took advantage of me. 'S all.'

'In your dreams, Spike.'

'Got better things to dream of now than you, mate.'

'So, you used to dream of me?'

'Of you and pokers, yeah.'

'Thinking Freudian pokers there then.'

'Thinking been too long in LA, mate. Thinking you need to get a life.'

Angel smiled to himself. It was good to be sparring with Spike again. He'd missed it in a perverse way. But he was determined not to let the conversation about Buffy drop yet. 'So, you agree with me then; she's not quite right.'

'Hey, that's not what I said at all. I said there was nothing wrong.'

'Look, Spike, I came back from seeing her, and Cordy had a vision….'

Spike interrupted. 'A vision?'

'She's my link to the Powers That Be….'

'Oh, the Powers….' Spike said this with a sneering tone, and Angel had to take a deep unnecessary breath to keep his temper and continue.

'She has visions that tell me when people are in danger. Well, she had one, and you were in it.'

There. He'd done it. He'd told Spike the truth. He'd told Spike why he had been rescued. Surely now he'd appreciate what Angel had done. Angel did not expect Spike to collapse in laughter.

'Me, she saw me… fucking 'A'. What was I doing then? Wanking, I hope.'

'You were being staked by Buffy.'

He hadn't meant it to come out quite so bluntly, but Spike would try the patience of a saint, and for all his good qualities, Angel had not yet reached sainthood.

'You mean fucked.'

'No, Spike. It was a stake, and it was going into your heart and….' He could not continue and pretended to be distracted putting on more food to replace the stuff Spike had eaten. Spike was quiet, and he glanced over at him. He was studying that elusive nail once more. Angel let him be, pottered around the kitchen, and made no further comment. After a few minutes, he heard Spike get off the counter and walk out.

Spike absented himself for most of the morning. Angel tried very hard not to wonder where he was or what he was doing, and was relieved to see him saunter down the stairs just before lunch. He went up to Cordelia's desk and sat on one end.

'Hello, Cordelia.'

'So, he actually did it. He went and got you and brought you here. Angel, are you insane?'

'Yeah, I think he is. Look, I want to know 'bout the vision whatsit you had: 'bout me and Buf… the Slayer. What did you see?'

Angel couldn't have been more surprised if Spike had come down singing hymns and asking if everyone knew Jesus as their saviour. He was clearly thinking things through and checking Angel's story for himself. He was even willing to ask Cordelia questions about his personal life.

'Well….' Cordelia glanced nervously at Angel.

He nodded at her. 'Tell him anything he wants to know.'

'I saw you and….'

'Me. I mean… how did you know it was me? Are these visions like a video in your head?'

'No, I didn't see you like that, but it was you. In my head.'

'And Buffy… you saw Buffy stake me?'

'Yeah.' Cordelia looked down sadly.

'It was her… you are sure?'

Again she glanced at Angel. He looked nervous and fiddled with some paper work on his desk. Wesley coughed and went into the kitchen.

Spike took all this in. 'What! Tell me.'

'It didn't look like her, but my head told me it was her.'

'Hah… so you're not sure.'

'No… I am sure, Spike. It was her… in some form.'

'Some form?'

'Well… oh God… I saw a demon, Spike. I saw a demon that was inside Buffy's body stake you.'

If Spike was shocked, he did not let it show. He rose gracefully and went back upstairs where he stayed for the rest of the day.

When Angel went up that evening, he searched a few rooms then picked up the trail of cigarette smoke coming from one of the top bedrooms. It was cold and grim up at the top of the hotel. If any of its previous, ghostly inhabitants still lurked in the building, it seemed to Angel that they might congregate here. But, nevertheless, it was the room Spike had chosen. Angel suddenly realised it was the room farthest away from his.

He went in and sat on the bed. Spike was sitting with his feet up on the window ledge still smoking.

'So, what do you think now?'

'I don't know. But I should be there, not here. But I can't go there because you've decided for me. And I hate you more for that at this moment than I've ever hated you in the past. And, as you know, I've always hated you a lot. But now I'm stuck in this bloody prison, and you're my jailer. And there's nothing I can do. Leave me alone, Angel. At least I don't have to see you or talk to you. Leave blood in the fridge for me, and I'll make sure you never see me or hear me.'

'That's not what I want.'

'Oh. Okay then, you'd better tell me what you want then, Angel, cus seems you always get what you want, doesn't it? Did I ever tell you that you are a bully, Angel? For all that puppy dog look and soul talk, you are nothing more than a small-minded, mean-spirited bully. Now fuck off and leave me alone.'

Angel decided he preferred the angry, destructive Spike of last night to this one, but he left, and went back downstairs. He didn’t feel like staying in the hotel avoiding Spike, so he grabbed his coat and went out.

When Spike heard the door, he came out from his self-imposed retreat and went down into the office. He felt like breaking everything, setting fire to the hotel, and burning up himself. Because he knew it was true.

He wasn't stupid. The Buffy that had clawed her way up through that worm-filled earth was not the Buffy he had been willing to take on a God for. She was clearly different and damaged in some way. He had not considered the unpalatable possibility that a demon now inhabited her body. Not that that would put him off shagging her. Fuck, he'd shagged a bundle of wires and plastic cus it looked like her. He had been willing to die for her, but he didn’t want to die because of her. He wasn't that stupid.

But he didn't want Angel pointing this out to him or keeping him here like some sodding teenager that had been grounded.

It infuriated him to the point where he couldn’t think straight… and there was nothing to do to distract himself from this rising rage. No telly… no alcohol… nothing. He wandered around feeling more and more despondent. What the fuck was he supposed to do? In the end, like a caged wild beast, he started to bang his head against the wall. He felt like howling, too.

'Stop it.'

Angel's quiet, authoritative voice broke the silence of the hotel. Spike realised he'd splattered blood over the wall where he'd been banging his head.

'I told you to fuck off and leave me alone.'

'Stop marking my walls then. Someone will have to clean that. Brought you a present.'

'I don't want shit from you, Angel… oh.' Spike saw the bottle of JD Angel held up from a bag that clearly contained a number of such delights.

Angel spun on his heel and went into the kitchen and poured out two generous tumblers of the amber liquid. He assumed that Spike was following.

They sat at either end of the table, the animosity between them like tendrils in the air. After a few more drinks, Angel attempted to break through a few of the strands.

'What has happened to us, Spike? We used to be friends once. Remember?'

'No we didn't. And that was another lifetime, Angel. Before you forgot where you came from.'

'I didn't forget; I just moved on.'

'Whatever, same difference… I told you… we don't change, not demons.'

'That's not true in your case then, is it? You are entirely different to how you once were.'

'Well, I got neutered, didn't I?'

'So did I. I didn't ask for this soul, Spike.'

'You don't do anything to get rid of it though, do you?'


'How long are you going to keep me a prisoner?'

'You aren't a prisoner… well alright… I admit, it might seem to you that you are… but it's not how I see it.'

'Uh huh. How do you see this then? Do tell.'

'You're in protective custody.'

Spike spluttered into his drink.

'Don't tell me that was a smile, Spike?'

'Protective custody, hey? So how's that going to work when I don't want to be here?'

'I don't know; you tell me, Spike.'

'Any more of that?' Spike waved his glass at the now empty bottle.

Angel produced another bottle from the bag on the counter.

They drank quietly for a while.

Spike's voice broke the silence. 'A telly. I want a TV. If I'm having to stay here, I want a TV, and a video… no, a DVD.'


'What, just like that!'

'Yes, just like that. Anything else?'

'Yeah, I want my CDs and something new to play 'em on.'

'I'll get Gunn to fetch them, what else?'

'Plenty of this.' Spike waved the bottle at Angel.

'So long as you don't take hostages and try to get spells to make them love you… as long as you stay sober… then fine.'

'It's a pity your memory is so good in some things, Angel, and so poor in others.'

Angel looked at Spike and felt a tingle in the base of his spine. Spike held his gaze for a moment, then looked away.

'My porn mags.'


'I want my porn mags, too.'

Angel smiled softly. 'Borrow mine instead, if you like….'

Spike's head snapped up at this, and he let out a short laugh. 'Thought you forswore an' all, these days.'

'With anyone, I do… but, Spike, I'm still a vampire, just like you.'

He didn't need to elaborate on this. They both knew only too well the constant power of the stolen blood in their bodies; they were essence of blood, and their bodies almost a metaphor for an erection: kept up and hard by blood. Blood sang to them, made their penises swell, and made their thoughts run to sex and violence. It was uncontrollable, unwanted often, but it drove them.

'They'd better not be all poofy. I don't want fucking 'Circus Cocks' or some shit.'

Angel smiled and looked down at his glass. He started swirling the potent liquid around and around. It's dangerous drinking whisky in large quantities late at night if you start talking about sex. Tongues get loosened, memories stirred. Angel stopped his hand momentarily. 'Seems I remember you liked cocks well enough once, Spike.'

He didn't look up, but knew that Spike was watching him.

'I liked one cock well enough. I grant you that. But don't fool yourself, Angel. That's all it ever was to either of us… an entire relationship based on a cock. Nothing more, nothing less.'

'That's not how it was; you know that.'

'No Angel, I don't, and I'm not having this conversation with you. I'm drunk. So are you.'

'Bed then?'

They both looked up at the same moment. Spike wasn't sure at first if Angel had merely meant 'bedtime' or whether he perhaps intended to prove that his memory was the more reliable. His eyes gave no clue.

Spike stood up, gave him a bitter look and started to leave. 'Thanks for the drink, Angel. I want the other stuff, too.'

Angel closed his eyes and sank his head onto the table. Why had he brought up the past like that? He did not usually like to remember it, and he had a fairly good idea that Spike did not either… and there was very good reason for that. Angel thought over the evening. They had sat and talked together without fighting for the first time in over one hundred years. He had felt old flames being rekindled. He realised that his life of self-imposed abstinence was not going to get any easier.

He had not taken account of this when he had brought Spike to LA.

He had not thought through the consequences of putting his ex-lover into protective custody.

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