It was exactly the kind of place Angel hated. A town like Sunnydale was bound to have a demon hangout or two, though - no getting around that. He never would have considered walking into one before, and even now he felt more an outsider in this place than he felt almost anywhere else.
Demons, in general, weren’t too impressed with vampires. Half-breeds, because they kept the bodies and the memories of the humans they used to be. Angel wasn’t really a demon, with the soul, but the demon was still in there somewhere; he wasn’t a human either, no matter how much time he spent living among them, even trying to help them.
They were afraid of Angel, though, because they knew he was other. He wasn’t on their side, he went after them every chance he got, and he was dangerous. Strong. Fierce. When they underestimated the souled vampire who built a life with humans, it was a bloodbath every time.
But even for him, that was a ridiculous amount of time spent in brooding contemplation. He didn’t come to this place for a drink. He knew Spike was inside, he knew Drusilla was not. It was stupid, coming here, but Angel’s normally unbreakable willpower crumbled to pieces when he saw Spike go into the place alone.
Inside, it was even more disgusting than he imagined it would be. Angel tried to block out the stench but wasn’t all that successful. He was less than ten feet from the door when he spotted Spike. His back was turned, but there was no way he didn’t know Angel was in the room. It took a minute or two, but eventually Spike’s curiosity got the better of him and he turned around - drink in one hand, cigarette in the other - and gave Angel that century old up and down appraisal with those predatory blue eyes. He raised an eyebrow and asked, in a conversational tone too quiet for anyone else to hear, “Drink?”
Angel closed his eyes briefly and gave in. Maintaining his posture, he moved toward the bar. The demons who recognized him gave him a wide berth.
“You know I’d never drink anything in this place, Spike.”
Spike shrugged. Casual, that was what he was going for, Angel could tell. Not a bad act, but definitely an act. Spike wasn’t any less drawn to Angel than Angel was to him.
“Right. ‘Course. Smoke?”
Angel wasn’t going to turn that down, at least it was a distraction. Spike handed him a lit cigarette and they both went on alert as one of the locals approached them.
“Slumming tonight, eh? To what do we owe the honor of your presence? You know this one?”, the demon asked, gesturing toward Spike. “‘Cause I sure as hell don’t.”
Spike gave the thing a wide smile. “New in town”, he said, then gesturing toward Angel, “We used to be friends.”
“A long time ago”, Angel added, giving the demon a clear signal to move the hell on. It must have been a well-read cue, as no one else came near them.
They weren’t catching up, there was no remember me when, not even a so how’ve you been. Just mutual silent assessment. Honestly, neither of them needed to speak after a few moments. Angel dropped his cigarette to the floor, Spike ground it out with the heel of his boot, looked up and asked, “Good to go?”
This time Angel only needed to give a slight nod of his head before he turned and walked out of the bar alone.
He knew Spike would be out right behind him.
A long time ago was kind of a relative phrase for vampires.