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“So here you are then.” Spike’s voice was smooth disinterest-over-pain and Angel wondered – for one of numberless times – what his long-ago boy was upset about. Joyce? Buffy had said something about marshmallows and cocoa, though Angel had little faith in Spike’s capacity to care for anyone who wasn’t Drusilla. Yet… Here he was, by the grave Buffy had just left and Angel was about to. Sunlight, after all, was his implacable foe.

“Yeah, I’m here. So are you.” Angel realized he sounded irritated and… Yeah, he was. Just Spike’s presence was enough to make him itch with annoyance and a desire to be somewhere – anywhere – else.

Spike lit a cigarette, the routine now more James Dean than the Sid Vicious Angel remembered too well. “Come into town to console the fair maiden, make cow eyes at each other, then it’s back to Hell-A to play the brooding hero, and leave the rest of us to deal with her mooning and sighing over her one true love.”

Huh? Angel was lost, though he supposed he shouldn’t be surprised. He’d let Drusilla sire the boy and the obliqueness and insanity were bound to crop up more often than not. “Since when do you spend enough time with Buffy to notice what she thinks about anything? And for your information…”

“She wants you here. You’re just bein’ her friend. You were right fond o’ Joyce…” Spike cut him off. “Spare me the excuses and the lies. You didn’t give a tinker’s dam about Joyce, and as for Buffy… You couldn’t care less about friendship. You just want to make sure she doesn’t move on. If you can’t, she can’t, no matter that there might be someone…” The voice trailed off, but Angel heard the words underneath the silence.

He just couldn’t believe them.

“You’re in love with Buffy.” He’d meant the words to be a question, but they didn’t come out that way. He wanted to laugh, as well, but he didn’t dare. Too close to Angelus, he realized, the idea of scoffing at Spike for falling, yet again, for a girl who’d been his first.

A harsh bark of desperate mirth was his answer – a lie, but Angel felt a sudden and uncomfortable sense of charity and it kept him from puncturing the soap bubble of Spike’s defenses.
Charity, though… It wasn’t all he felt.

He didn’t want to think about that, not about the heart Spike gave so completely to people Angel loved but never…

Never to Angel.

Not that he wanted it. No. Angelus may have had a taste for the cold heat of William’s embrace, but even he would never have stooped so low as to dub his appetites ‘affection’ and as for Angel…

He’d never so much as kissed…

Yet suddenly, that was exactly what he was doing.

Spike fought at first, but then his arms wrapped around Angel’s back and he held him close, the kiss a terrifying and brutal thing, the passion of warriors from opposite camps rather than lovers.

“Sunrise…soon,” Angel panted as their lips left each other.

Spike began to walk away before turning back and mumbling, “My crypt.”

And so Angel followed. Later – days, weeks later – he’d realize that the urge to be away from Spike had meant something else all along.

The End.