“You’ll never get me to buy into your nefarious scheme!” Spike said stoutly, glaring down his grandsire. “Not for all the circus masks in the world!”
“This is my costume, Spike,” Angel said patiently. “You know, like Superman?”
Spike snorted. “Superman’s a poofter.” He considered. “You know, you are like Superman.”
“Spike…” There was a sudden edge to Angel’s voice. But talking to Spike for any measure of time did that to him. “Come on, we can work together. Just like old times.”
Spike raised an eyebrow. “And in old times, you were also working with Captain Cardboard? Because, you know, that explains a lot.”
“No, he turned out to be a triple agent. But I’m still working on him,” Angel said proudly. “With a little more time, I think we can manipulate the writers- I mean, the Powers That Be- to make him a quadruple agent!” He shoved a paper at Spike. “Come on, read this and you’ll see why you’ll be helping Buffy if you join me.”
Spike smirked. “So what, now you’re the Darth Vader to my Luke Skywalker? Trying to convince me to join the dark side- or the Twilight side, as that may be.”
Angel frowned. “I thought I was your Yoda?” He sniffed suddenly. What was that heavenly scent? It was almost as if he’d found the one person in the whole world whose blood called out to him!
“Way to remember a random, obscure line I said years ago because it had a pop culture reference,” Spike said scornfully. “What, do you have every single Tuesday for the past nine years memorized?”
Angel sighed. “You’re getting off topic, Spike. Just read the stuff and you’ll definitely go Twilight.”
“Because I’ve always wanted to sparkle in the sun,” Spike muttered, but he took the paper anyway.
And dropped it like a hot potato. “Bloody hell!”
“What?” Angel picked it up and scanned it, trying to figure out what had scared Spike so.
Spike stabbed a finger at the image on the page. “You and Buffy have a lovechild! I knew that Connor wasn’t the only one!”
“What?” Angel squinted at the picture. “You’re a moron, Spike. That’s Buffy.”
Spike chortled with uncontrolled laughter until he realized that Angel was scowling at him. “You’re serious? But she looks like she could barely pass as twelve! That’s not the chit we saw partying with the Immortal!”
“Oh, that.” Angel waved his hand dismissively. “Turns out that that was a decoy, not the real Buffy.”
“Oh!” Spike realized. “That’s why you went looking for a girl with blue eyes! I just thought you were just a self-involved creep clinging to a dream that’s been over for years!”
“Nothing.” Spike perused the paper some more. “Wait a minute. Willow stayed with that Kennedy bint once they’d left Sunnydale? Well, that’s just unrealistic.”
“Tell me about it,” Angel sighed, pulling his mask down onto his squarish face and immediately transforming his head into an oval shape.
Spike turned to stare at him. “Mister President?”
“Just me,” Angel corrected him, yanking the mask off again.
“Right, well…” Spike turned back to the paper. “What? Buffy slept with a girl???” He scowled. “And the only obviously poofter member of the original three Scoobies is the only one not to experiment. Jos- We’re calling him the Powers That Be?” Angel nodded. “The Powers That Be must be guys.”
“Seems that way,” Angel agreed. His eyes turned black. “Wow, I’m getting hungry. Can we speed this up?”
“Right. On we go.” Spike laughed at the next item on the page. “No way! The Slayers needed some dosh, so they robbed a bank?” He goggled at the next words. “Harris and the Niblet are in love? This is really beginning to stretch the boundaries of reality!”
“And the last thing?”
Spike’s jaw dropped. “You’re kidding, right? Just messing with old Spikey?”
Angel shook his head regretfully. “I wish I were.”
“But…but it says here that Buffy confessed her love for Xander…and he turned her down! This is just ridiculous!”
“Hey, I thought the same thing when that happened with you two,” Angel muttered. “Or when that idiot Finn was convinced that Buffy wasn’t in love with him. Noticing a common thread here?”
“Well, this is it,” Spike declared. “It’s all so clear! Buffy’s been acting so out of character and unlike everything that’s come before the comi- the Powers That Be started expressing her through a different medium!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Angel said, grinning as that heavenly scent flooded his nostrils again. Maybe he should go hunt down this delightfully-smelling woman and charm her into having a truly twisted vampire baby with an equally twisted name. Did Oz need a new girlfriend? And he was sure that his newfound powers of flight (since he’d clearly been blessed by the Powers That Be to become the ultimately evolved vampire, in his godlike perfection) would help him in winning over this woman. Maybe she was just a girl. He smiled. He liked girls. Particularly young, innocent, and sucking lollipops. Because they were yummy, not because of the sexual connotations! Well, it wasn’t like he was some kind of sick pedophile who slept with underage girls and then stalked them for months afterward! That was Angelus’s thing!
“Um, Angel?” Spike was staring at him. “You still there?”
“Huh?” Angel jerked back to the present. “Oh. Yeah.”
“Buffy needs my help!” Spike said dramatically. “Clearly, she and the Scoobies have been abducted by the Powers That Be and replaced by fake Scoobies! I see now that that must be your mission! To defeat these false, out of character child-people and save Buffy and her friends! I will help you, because I am the true messiah of this world!”
Angel jabbed a finger at himself. “Hello? I can do no wrong? I’ve been returned to life for no particular reason? Every girl I meet falls hopelessly in love with me? I have a soul?”
“I forgot,” Spike conceded. “Your soul was forced on you, and therefore you’re actually two different people and totally not responsible for anything bad you do. I, however, sought mine out and am therefore still an evil attempted rapist. Hey, then why’d you get sent to hell and Buffy to heaven?”
“Don’t question the Powers That Be’s ways,” Angel warned. “They might still turn you into my simpering sidekick for your disrespect.”
“Do you really think so?” Spike asked Angel tentatively. “Please, tell me what I should be doing. I know you’re always right.”
Angel stretched out a hand. “It’s time for you to know the truth, Spike. I am Twilight!”
Spike stared at him. “Well, duh. I kind of figured what with the stalking and the one true love business. And the picture of you making out with Buffy in your Twilight costume, but that’s a different story.”
“Come, Spike!” Angel pulled him outside into the bright daylight. “Join me, and we can rule the galaxy as father and son!”
“I’m sparkling! I’m sparkling!” Spike shouted joyfully. “Take that, Robert Pattinson!” He cocked his head in sudden bewilderment. “I mean...huh?” Well, it didn’t matter. He was coming for Buffy, and he’d save her from the Powers That Be Writing Staff! It was only a matter of time.