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Another Hellmouth?

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****Flashback:

"John???"

The moment Spike heard someone yelling, he got run over and hit the ground. He turned his head and looked into the angry face of a man he had never seen before.

Before he had a chance to react, he was punched in the face again, hard. Just to find himself kissed fiercely a moment later. He decided not to ask any questions and gave in to the assault from the other guy.

The kiss was broken as suddenly as it had started.

"Who are you?"

"Spike."

"Jack Harkness..."

Spike didn’t give the other man a chance to say more, and instead began to kiss him again.

It was pretty obvious that the man, Jack, had intended to say something else, perhaps wanted to explain himself, but Spike just wanted more kissing. Now it was his turn to attack the guy’s lips in a heated kiss. It didn’t matter who this Jack Harkness was and why  he had hit first with his fist and then with his kiss, Spike just wanted this feeling to last a while longer. And Jack didn’t seem to mind; they were rolling around in the dark alley, kissing each other senseless, teeth clashing, biting, the taste of Jack’s blood exploding on Spike’s tongue, making him deepen the kiss even more.

All of a sudden, Jack broke the kiss, jumped to his feet and started to walk away. He hesitated a moment and looked over his shoulder. Spike was still on the ground, confused by what had just happened.

"I'm sorry, but I have to go. There is someone waiting for me," Jack said. Then he turned around again and left Spike alone. Spike needed a few moments to come to his senses and by the time he got up to follow Jack, he was all alone. The alleyway was empty.

****End of Flashback

Still confused about this encounter, Spike made his way back to his hotel.

Who the bloody hell was this Jack Harkness? This Jack bloke was surprisingly strong and had an air of age beyond his looks, but he was no vampire or demon of any kind. Spike could still taste the blood on his lips and he definitely tasted human. A smirk appeared on his face as he thought about the kiss - whoever this man was, he seemed to like a mix of fighting and sex just as Spike did. That should be reason enough to find him again.

When he reached his hotel, he threw himself on the bed, grabbed the phone from the nightstand and called a number in London.

“Dawn Summers.”

“It’s me, Spike. Listen pet, I didn’t find any signs of a new Hellmouth here in Cardiff yet, but there are some strange things happening. I might need your help.”

“Are you alright?” Her voice sounded a bit scared.

“Yeah, I’m fine...” He hesitated for a second. “... just had a strange encounter tonight.” Her concern made him smile, it felt good to know that there was at least one person who cared about him.

“What happened?”

“Nothing really, but could you try to find out something about a Jack Harkness? I have no idea who he is, but I’ve got a feeling that he’s got something to do with what’s going on here or at least knows about it. Don’t know where he’s from, but don’t think he’s British.”

“Jack Harkness? I’m sure I've never heard the name before, but I’ll see what I can find out about him.” Now Dawn sounded curious and determined. Spike just knew that she would do everything she could to help him.

“Ta, I’ll call you tomorrow, should give you enough time to find something for me.”

“Spike, be careful...”

“Niblet, I can take care of myself...”

“I know, I just want you to come back in one piece.”

“I promise, I’ll not take any unnecessary risks, pet. Bye, hear ya tomorrow.”

“Bye.”

Thinking about Dawn made him smile. He had always cared for her, but since the Hellmouth in Sunnydale had been closed they had developed a great friendship. She was the only one who did not ask any questions after he reappeared from L.A.; she just threw herself in his arms to hug him. Ever since then, he had been helping her and the Slayers by checking different cities all over the world, anywhere, if  there was too much demon activity. They wanted to make sure that there wasn’t another Hellmouth besides the one in Cleveland - which they already guarded. His latest assignment was in Wales , there had been some strange things going on in Cardiff a while back that had been reported to the re-founded Watchers Council.

‘Back to work,’ he decided, the night was still young - okay, probably not for most humans, but he had at least six more hours before sunrise. He didn’t exactly know where to start, but he liked the idea of having a drink or two. That way he could have some fun and chances were good he’d meet someone who might want to tell a tale about ‘things that went bump in the night’.

He wandered through the streets, looking for a place to have a drink. He still couldn’t stop thinking about his encounter with Jack Harkness, his thoughts kept going back. Spike didn’t even know why he had kissed this stranger back, he had never felt the need to kiss a man before. But with this bloke... it just felt like the right thing to do. Unwilling to spend even more of this night with unnecessary pondering, he lit a cigarette and started to look around for a pub.

There were a lot of pubs in the city centre and after he had a look at several places, Spike finally decided to settle in “Dempsey’s”. It was a cozy looking Irish Pub with lots of dark wood, cream colored walls and a hint of red. It was Saturday, so the place was still crowded even if it was rather late, and there was some live music. It smelled like beer and sweat and pheromones, the light was a bit dim and candles were flickering on the tables.

Spike immediately liked the place and pulled up a stool at the bar. Now if only he’d be allowed to smoke inside, the place would be perfect. He shrugged and ordered a pint - at least they had real beer here, not what passed for it in the US. He looked around for someone to talk to, after all he wasn’t here just to have fun. It didn’t take him long to find some people who were more than willing to talk about the strange things that had happened a while ago when he bought them a drink - alcohol always was a great way to get people to talk. After about two hours the crowd started to thin out and eventually there was nobody left but a snogging couple in a booth at the back, and Spike. He ordered one last beer before heading back to his hotel.

Along the way he thought about what he had found out - nothing that was really new. The various explosions followed by some “wild animals” on the streets were what had brought him to Cardiff in the first place. To him, the “animals” sounded suspiciously like demons and the descriptions he’d gotten from the locals confirmed this, but he couldn’t know for sure until he had seen one for himself.

He decided to call Dawn again during the next day, to investigate about those “Weevils” or whatever the people here called them - funny that they should name a demon after a bug. But then, they were just a different kind of vermin.

Apart from that there had been just one person who could tell him something new, an older man who had talked about something called “Torchwood” – it seemed to be a branch of the police or something like Angel Investigations. He was told that they tended to appear wherever strange things happened around town, and had a black SUV with Torchwood written on it. Spike probably should try to find out more about it.

In his hotel room Spike made sure that all curtains were completely closed and he had  hung a “Do not disturb” sign on his door. It wouldn’t do him any good to let the sun in and he didn’t want to get woken up by room service after he’d just gone to bed. He shrugged his duster off, carelessly dropped it on a chair and sat down on the bed to remove his boots. Then he propped himself up on the headboard, and started to think about what he had or hadn’t found out, but his thoughts drifted away...

Once again, he found himself thinking about his encounter with Jack Harkness and wondered why he couldn’t forget about him. Usually he was only interested in women, but after more than 100 years the thought of having sex with a man was not completely new to him. It was just that he had never met a bloke until now who interested him enough to give it a try. And then, all of a sudden, there was this complete stranger, kissing him as if there was no tomorrow – and Spike just loved it, couldn’t get enough of it. Whether it was a man or a woman hadn’t mattered at all, it had just felt right.

Spike closed his eyes, remembered the feeling of those warm, firm lips against his, that hot body pressed to him, those strong hands holding him close, the taste of blood after biting the lower lip of the other...

He dozed off, into an erotic dream of what had happened and what could have followed.

Meanwhile, Torchwood Hub

Jack was in deep thought all the way back to the Hub, passed Ianto without even really noticing him and went up to his office. He closed the door and dropped in his chair behind the desk, buried his face in his hands.

Who had this guy been? He looked like John Hart if you ignored the bleached blond hair, but he definitely wasn’t, he had felt and tasted so different. Those lips where so cool against his, the hand gripping the back of his head as cold as the lips, the kiss so passionate and full of hunger.

Why on earth had he continued to kiss this stranger, even after he realized it wasn’t John? And he Wouldn’t have kissed John like this either, Ianto would never be able to accept it. Jack was only sure about one thing right now, he didn’t want to lose Ianto, he just meant too much to him.

A knock at the door, Jack sighed and looked up, saw Ianto standing in the doorway. Ianto looked worried, but when he noticed Jack’s swollen and bitten lips his features hardened and he had a look of betrayal in his eyes.

“Are you going to tell me what happened, or do I have to guess?” Ianto’s voice was quiet and controlled, but his eyes showed the hurt he felt.

So much for not hurting Ianto, this would be difficult. Jack couldn’t stand to look into those vulnerable blue eyes, he was afraid of what he might see there, he dropped his gaze to the desk and started with a low voice: “I ran across someone in an alleyway, thought it was John. He looked so like him... I ran into him, part of me wanted to hurt him for everything he has done but another part wanted to kiss him.” He dared a quick glance at Ianto, but immediately looked down again. The only thing he could read in Ianto’s face was hurt, betrayal, Jack just didn’t know how Ianto would react, what he thought. He cleared his throat and continued. “I didn't even think about it, but I first knocked him down, then started to kiss him. As soon as he kissed back it was obvious that it wasn’t John, it was someone else I didn’t know. I just couldn’t stop kissing, it just felt like the right thing to do.” Jack slowly looked up, met Ianto’s gaze before he continued. “It just felt right until I had to think about you. I don’t want to hurt you, never wanted to. That’s why I left him and came back here, to you.”

Jack kept their eyes locked while he stood up and closed the distance between them. Ianto just looked back at him, not showing any reaction to what he’d just heard. Why was it so hard to read him? Jack had plenty of experience in reading and manipulating people, but Ianto was different, he didn’t give anything away. Jack brought his hands up, framed Ianto’s face with them. “I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he whispered, before he caught Ianto’s lips in a tender kiss. Ianto stiffened for a moment, before he gave in to the kiss and relaxed in Jack’s arms.

Spike's hotel room

The persistent ring of the phone, woke Spike from a dream about hot lips pressed against his cool ones, a hot body lying on top of him. Still a bit disoriented, he reached for the nightstand and picked up the phone.

“What’s up?” he asked sleepily.

“Sorry to wake you up, but I got some news for you.” Dawn sounded tired herself.

“’s okay, pet, just give me a second and I’m with you.” Spike put the receiver down for a moment,  stretched to remove the kinks from sleeping in an uncomfortable position and sat down cross legged in the middle of the bed. That felt much better. He picked the phone up again.

“I really hope you got more information than I’ve got here. I spent all evening talking to people and heard almost nothing new.”

Dawn quickly filled him in on what she found out about Jack Harkness, even if it wasn’t much. Obviously he had been around for quite a while, longer than possible for a human without aging, she had found pictures of him from now and from several decades ago and he still looked the same. And he seemed to be connected to this mystery organization called “Torchwood”, but Dawn didn’t know anything more about it than Spike.

“Oh, could you have a look into something else?” Spike asked. “I’ve heard about some demon-like creatures that have been spotted several times, they are called ‘Weevils’ or something like that. Couldn’t understand that bloke too clearly, he might’ve had a few too many.”

“Like that never happens to you, Spike,” Dawn gave back, he could hear her grin.

He decided to ignore her teasing, he was too tired, and just continued to describe the demons, or whatever they were. She promised to look into it, compare his descriptions to the database and let some of the Slayers do research in the huge amount of books that hadn’t been added to the database yet.

“Oh, Spike, I almost forgot. There’s a netbook computer on the way to you. That way I’ll be able to send you information via email and you will have access to our database. Perhaps do a bit of research yourself. And hopefully, I’ll be able to get a bit more sleep.” She yawned.

Spike sighed, as he thought about researching.

Dawn giggled, she had obviously heard his sigh and knew him well enough to know that he hated research. “I’m sure you will survive it.”

“Whatever you say, but I don’t have to like this bloody boring research stuff.”

He could still hear her smile when they said good bye and ended the call.

Spike didn’t even have time to warm himself a mug of blood before his phone rang again. With an annoyed look, he put the mug back on the table and answered the phone. It was the hotel receptionist, telling him that there was a package waiting for him in the lobby. Must be that stupid piece of technology Dawn had sent, did it have to arrive that fast? Despite his bad mood he thanked the receptionist, it wasn’t her fault after all. The he finally warmed his blood on the hotplate, drank it slowly - anything to stall for another few moments, he really didn’t want to do any research - and then made his way downstairs to retrieve the parcel. As he had feared, it was from Dawn.

He muttered something under his breath about “bloody technology” and “hate that effin’ research” when he climbed the stairs back to his room.

He unpacked, the parcel held a small netbook and a messenger bag to carry it in. Obviously Dawn had bought the bag, it was black leather, Spike immediately liked it. Other than that he found a power cord and something that looked like an USB drive. After he had spread it all out on the small table, he tried to ignore the innocent looking, silver computer. He kicked his boots off again, threw himself on the bed, rolled onto his stomach and grabbed the remote control for the TV on the far side the room.

Half an hour later, he was already tired of day time TV. It seemed to be the same crap all over the world. He sighed, switched the TV off and glanced at the table. Of course the netbook was still there and he had to admit that he was too curious to just ignore it, he had learned a bit about computers from Dawn and Willow and he knew there was a lot he could do with it. Still, research was research, no matter if you used books or a computer - it was boring. With another sigh he got up and took a seat in front of the computer. The wooden chair was as uncomfortable as it looked. The instant the computer had started a message popped up, it was a picture of Dawn and the text said: “Don’t forget to plug the computer in, or you’ll run out of battery.”

“I’m not stupid, would’ve remembered myself.” he grumbled, but he looked at the picture with affection. He’d always had a soft spot for Dawn.

He growled at the computer, grabbed the power cord and plugged it in. He had to search for the right port on the computer for a while, but refused to look at the manual. Meanwhile, the message had faded away and there were some instructions on how to use the email program and how to access and use the Watcher’s database.

The USB drive turned out to be a Wifi stick that he could use whenever there was no free Wifi around - but he was lucky, he wouldn’t need it at his hotel. By the time he had read through all of that, Spike was about ready to smash the computer into the nearest wall.

With another growl towards the unimpressed netbook, he started to search the database. The search for Weevils didn’t bring any results, so he decided to look for Jack Harkness and Torchwood instead. It took him a while, but eventually he came across some pictures of a black SUV with the inscription TORCHWOOD in huge letters. The car seemed to have appeared several times near to sightings of strange creatures that could very well be demons.

One of those pictures showed Jack Harkness and an Asian looking woman in the car, another one had obviously been taken when Jack was just leaving the car. In this last picture, Spike could clearly see that Jack was armed with a gun.

By that time, Spike was so fascinated by all the possibilities the computer gave him that he spent all afternoon searching for more pictures and tried to identify the people he saw near Jack. When he finally turned the computer off it was already starting to get dark outside, but he had some names to go with the faces.

He had jotted down some street names where the SUV had repeatedly appeared in the photos - most of them taken by traffic CCTV cameras. After another mug of blood Spike put on his boots and duster, grabbed the paper with the street names and left. In the hotel lobby he helped himself to a map of Cardiff, quickly found the streets he was looking for and started to search for the SUV in that area.

Only a short while later he came to the end of a dark alleyway and saw the car he was looking for drive past the road. Immediately he climbed the roof of the nearest building and followed the black car by jumping from roof to roof. About 15 minutes later, the SUV came to a halt in front of a large department store.

It seemed to be a crime scene, lots of police there, but as soon as Torchwood arrived the police left them alone to do whatever it was they did. Spike watched curiously and tried to listen into what they were talking about. There was a man lying on the ground, obviously dead, he had a large wound on his neck and another one in his chest. He had lost huge amounts of blood, the vampire could still smell it six floors above the ground. Spike saw Jack, a dark haired woman - Gwen according to his research -  and a young man called Ianto search the place for evidence and examine at the body.

He was several storeys above ground, so even with his improved hearing he could make out part of their conversation. He heard “must’ve been a Weevil,” and “seems to be gone for now” then he saw Gwen look up to him. It might be a good idea to move to another place, and move fast, he didn’t want to get caught spying on them. He decided to hide on another building, still in sight of the SUV so he could follow them when they left.

On the crime scene

Jack followed Gwen’s view and had the impression of a platinum blond head disappearing on the roof. Immediately he started to make his way to the top of the building, he didn’t like the thought that they might be watched.

“I’m just checking something, I’ll be right back.” He shouted over his shoulder towards Ianto and Gwen. Ianto gave him a puzzled look, but Gwen told him in a hushed voice that it was possible that they had been watched by someone on the roof. They continued their work, to distract anyone who might be spying on them from Jack’s approach.

As Jack reached the roof, there was no sign of anyone. He could have sworn he had seen the guy he’d run into the night before, Spike or whatever his name was, there weren’t many people around with this distinctive bleached blond hair. But no, the roof seemed to be empty. He checked all corners and possible hide-outs for hints that someone had been up here, he was sure he hadn’t imagined things. Near the place where he’d gotten a glimpse of blond hair, he found a still warm cigarette butt on the ground. Jack looked around again, a bit confused, and tried to find a possible way for the other man to have left the roof without being noticed. There was only one set of fire ladders, the ones he had used on his way up, and the door that led to the staircase was covered in so much dirt that it was impossible to open it without leaving any traces. There were no signs at all on this door that it had been touched lately.

Jack was still puzzled but he was sure that he was alone on the roof. He started to climb down again and didn’t notice that someone was watching him from the roof of a nearby building.

Another roof close by

Spike had just had enough time to hide himself on the building next to the department store when he saw Jack appear on the roof, obviously looking for him. With a smile he watched the other man searching every corner and he had to keep from laughing about the confused look on the other’s face. Who would think about someone jumping to another roof with buildings that far apart when they had never met a vampire? It was still amusing to watch.

A short while later Torchwood had finished their work on the crime scene, they got into the waiting car and drove away at full speed.

Spike had quite some difficulty following them, he nearly lost them more than once when they were leaving the city center and the buildings were too far apart for him clear the gap.

His vampire speed helped, but still he barely managed to follow them to Cardiff Bay. They took quite a lot of turns he didn’t expect. At some point near the Millennium Centre he finally had to give up because the SUV was nowhere to be seen.

“Bloody hell! This just started to get interesting, now it’s turning into a bloody game of hide and seek!” Spike smashed his fist into the nearest wall with an angry cry.

Then his anger was gone again and he decided to have a look around, perhaps he‘d still be able to find some clues about Torchwood or Jack even if the car was gone. This stupidly huge car couldn’t have just vanished, it had only gone around a corner and when Spike arrived, it was nowhere to been seen. There must be something he had overlooked, a hidden entry to a parking garage or something like that.

There were a few impressive looking buildings here, including a water tower on the Plass and a building with a huge inscription on the outside in Welsh and English, but no sign of Jack Harkness or any other Torchwood member. Spike walked down to the water and saw a small Tourist Office, decided to glance into the windows. He didn’t really expect to see anyone there at this time of night, but he had a feeling that made him check it out anyway. And if he had learned one thing in his long unlife, it was to trust his feelings. To his surprise, he saw Ianto behind the desk, he had come through a door in the back of the building. Without a second thought Spike rushed into the office, almost breaking the door off its hinges, that  earned him a shocked look from a pair of big blue eyes.

“John???”

“I don’t bloody know who this John is, but I want to see Jack Harkness NOW!” Spike literally threw himself at Ianto, grabbed his tie and shouted the last word right into his still shocked looking face.

Then everything seemed to happen at once. Spike heard the click of a gun from behind, turned around and grabbed the pistol out of Jack’s hand faster than Jack could pull the trigger. With a disapproving look at the gun, he threw it out the still open front door and a mad grin appeared on his face.

A second later, Jack and Spike were fighting, hitting and kicking at each other, Spike was still grinning like a madman. He really enjoyed this and tried to hold back a bit, he didn’t want the fight to end too soon. They exchanged kicks and blows and at some point Spike headbutted Jack, it’s been ages since he’d had that much fun in a fight. It felt good not to think, just to react, to fight - still he held back, kept his demon in check as he didn’t want to kill Jack. This was too good, he wanted to feel this excited for a bit longer, to enjoy the adrenaline rushing through his body and to revel in the waves of excitement he breathed in from Jack.

After a while, he didn’t know how long this had gone on for, he found himself on the floor, arms and legs entangled with a heavily breathing Jack. Spike’s lower lip was bleeding, as was Jack’s eyebrow, but the vampire felt strangely content. They looked at each other and both started to laugh at the same time, Spike didn’t even know why he was laughing, but it felt too good not to.

“I don’t know who you are, but fighting you is almost as much fun as fighting John.” Jack detangled their legs, got up, grinned at Spike and held out a hand to help him up. Spike gripped his arm and let Jack haul him to his feet. They ended up in front of each other, just a few centimeters apart, none of them releasing the hold of the other’s forearm. Neither of them seemed to be able to look away, the distance between them was slowly melting apart.

“Jack...” Both turned their heads to Ianto, they both seemed to have forgotten that he was still there. The young man was standing in front of them, glaring at both. If looks could kill, they’d both drop dead right there and then - even Spike and he was dead already!

“Would anyone mind to tell me what’s going on here?” Ianto asked with an innocent tone in his voice, he raised one eyebrow in question.

Jack stepped back a bit from Spike, gave them both a wide smile.

“I don’t know exactly, but why don’t we go somewhere more private to discuss this? I’d really like to know who you are.” As he said this he looked back at Spike again.

The vampire glanced at the still open front door and then looked around the Tourist Office. He decided to bluff a bit, check their reactions to what he knew about them.

“Why do I doubt that this is the Torchwood headquarters? So, where’s your bat cave hidden?”

Jack and Ianto shared a surprised look, then Jack simply shrugged and pointed to the door that led down to the Hub.

“Down here,” he said and lead the way without even looking back once. Spike hesitated a moment before he followed Jack. He could hear Ianto leave the Tourist office, go to the front door, then come back and close the it behind him. Oh yes, the gun he had thrown outside, Spike guessed that Ianto had just picked it up before he’d followed them.

As they arrived at the Hub, Spike was pretty impressed by the large room and all the computer terminals, this really looked like the headquarters of a secret organisation. He tried not to show his surprise when Jack gave him a questioning look over his shoulder.

“Jack, here’s your gun,” came Ianto’s voice from behind. So he had been right, Ianto had picked it up. “And we need to check him for weapons,” Ianto continued calmly after he had handed the Webley to Jack.

“Sure,” Jack answered, he turned to Spike, “you need to hand your weapons to Ianto, can’t allow you to wear them down here.”

Spike just gave him a wide grin, “No weapons here, at least none that I can hand over.”

Ianto didn’t seem to believe him and picked up a small electronic device which was obviously scanning him for weapons. When he didn’t find anything, Ianto’s eyes widened in surprise for a second before he had himself under control again. “Okay, you’re clean,” he said and motioned Spike to follow Jack to the conference room.

Spike took his time, he looked at everything that caught his attention. And there were a lot of interesting things down here, as he had to admit. Jack was already waiting for him, he sat on a chair behind the conference table. Spike didn’t wait for an invitation but grabbed the nearest chair and lounged into it. He smirked at Jack and said, “If you want me to tell you who I am, I want to know a few things too. Seems like you’ve got a few secrets of your own.”

“Sounds like a fair deal, but let’s wait for Ianto. He will be here in a minute with some coffee.”

Jack had barely finished his sentence when Ianto entered the room, he carried a tray with three steaming mugs. Spike rarely drank coffee, but he had to admit that this smelled wonderful so he decided to take the mug that was handed to him. He gave Ianto a nod, inhaled the scent of the coffee before taking a sip. To his surprise, he really liked it and took another sip.

“So, you want to know who I am,” he started and looked from one man to the other. Jack simply leaned back in his chair and gave him an expectant look. Ianto slowly sat down on the table near Jack and shifted so he could look at Spike too. When none of them said a word, he made the decision to tell them the weirdest part first.

“Well, you probably won’t believe me, but I’m more than 100 years old.” He paused, waited for their reaction. To his surprise, Jack and Ianto started to grin.

“Why shouldn’t we believe this?” they said simultaneously and shared a knowing look.

Spike merely raised an eyebrow, he had no idea what was so funny about this. But he ignored them and continued, “And I’m a vampire.” He could see that they didn’t believe him now and allowed his demon to show on the surface. As was to be expected they both looked shocked and reached for their weapons but Spike didn’t even flinch when two guns were pointed at his head.

“If I wanted to kill you, you wouldn't be sitting here any more. And your guns might hurt me but they can’t kill me. If you want to hear the rest of my story, put them away or I will just leave,” he said calmly before he showed his human face again. His blue eyes caught Jack’s until the other man nodded once and put his Webley on the table. Ianto lowered his gun too but seemed still unwilling to put it away completely.

“That will do for now,” Spike said and continued with his story. Of course he didn’t tell them everything, left out the parts where he had been evil, but he explained about demons, vampires, the Slayers and the re-founded Watcher’s Council.

“And that’s why I’m here in Cardiff, we heard about the explosions and sightings of strange creatures lately. Then the Council decided to send someone from London to Cardiff, to explore if there is another bloody Hellmouth here and to find out if we need to send some Slayers. I volunteered, didn’t have anything else to do and just can’t stand having all those slayerettes around. Most of them still secretly want to kill me because I’m a vamp,” Spike stopped for a moment, he looked directly at Jack now, “and then I ran into you, on my first night in Cardiff.”

When Spike had finished, both Jack and Ianto seemed a bit overwhelmed by all this information. He decided to give them some time to take everything in and reached for his mug. But the coffee was long cold by now, so he placed it back on the table without drinking.

"Just to make sure I get this right, you are a demon fighting with a secret organisation against demons?" Jack asked calmly.

"That's it in a nutshell," Spike responded. He was astonished by the lack of disbelief in Jack's and Ianto's gaze. "And you believe me? Don't think I'm crazy or something?"

"Why should we?" both men asked at the same time. They shared a knowing smile before Jack talked to Spike again. "You looked a lot like a vampire when you changed earlier and we’ve seen our share of strange things, there is not much on this world or others we won't believe."

"Other worlds?" Spike raised an eyebrow. "I think it is your time to tell a tale now."

"Just give me a minute to make some more coffee," Ianto said with a disapproving look to the still almost full mugs of cold coffee. But before he could get up Jack stopped him.

"I think we need something stronger than coffee now, I'll be right back." Jack gave Ianto a quick kiss before he left the conference room. When he came back, he carried a bottle of Scotch and three glasses. He poured a generous amount into each of them and handed one to Spike. As their fingers touched they both felt a shiver run through them and their gazes locked once again. Spike quickly broke the eye contact and downed half of his drink in one big gulp. When he dared to look up again, Jack was sitting on his chair, one hand resting on Ianto's thigh.

Spike tilted his head and looked directly at Ianto, he didn’t want to look at Jack right now, "So what about those other worlds then? Thought there wasn’t much that could still surprise me, but you just did."

Jack and Ianto took turns to explain about the Rift being a hole in time and space, aliens coming through, time shifts and other things they had dealt with; finally they told him about Torchwood and that it was their job to make sure that people in and around Cardiff stayed safe and blissfully unaware of what was really going on.

"To make it short, where you hunt demons we hunt aliens. And we work for the government, so we get called by the police if something happens they can’t easily explain - or we hack into their reports and just show up and take over a crime scene if anything suggests it’s a case for us," Jack finished his story.

"So we do the same, protect people from evil things they wouldn’t even understand," Spike said with a smirk. "But now to the part that’s really interesting me right now, who is this John? Both you and Ianto seemed to confuse us.”

Ianto obviously felt uncomfortable now, he got up from his place at the table and stood behind Jack's chair. He rested a hand on Jack's shoulder and said, "I don't want to talk about him. I'll leave that to you, Jack."

Spike wondered why the younger man looked so vulnerable all of a sudden, he had seemed so calm and collected earlier. Before he’d mentioned this John, whoever the hell that was, he had the impression that Ianto was a strong person, but now he looked even younger then before and seemed to need protection - though Spike couldn’t imagine what he might want to be protected from.

"We don't have to talk about him, if you don't want to," Jack said and cupped Ianto's hand with his. Then he focused on Spike again and continued, "Let's just say he is an old acquaintance of mine – and as you might have guessed, we were lovers a long time ago. It is at least partially his fault that our team is now reduced to just three members."

"What happened?" Spike asked, but Jack shook his head.

"Enough storytelling for today, I really don't want to talk about it right now."

They all drank the rest of their Scotch in silence before Spike spoke again. When he’d heard that they had lost some team members he had an idea - he might be able to stay here, could probably be more useful for them than for the Watchers. "You don't happen to need someone here? Someone really fast, who knows how to handle himself in a fight and is hard to kill?" He gave them his most innocent smile.

Ianto looked Spike up and down, then turned to Jack. "I still don't know if I like him or if I even trust him as far as I could throw him, but he is right – we need some new team members.” He hesitated as if he didn’t really want to say what came next, but then he continued anyway. “I don’t particularly want him to stay here but where else are we going to find someone willing to work for Torchwood, work for you?"

Jack hesitated for a moment, pondered his options, then asked, "Why do you want to stay here? I thought you were working for those Watchers."

"I'm bloody useless there, no need for more muscles when you have thousands of Slayers instead of just one. And I'm really not the man for boring research stuff, all those books in ancient or demonic languages make me sick. I need some more action – or I wouldn't have volunteered to come here." Spike seemed to be really annoyed by the thought of being useless.

"Oh, I'm sure you can find more than enough action here," Jack said with a suggestive smile. He stood up and shook Spike's hand, "Welcome to Team Torchwood – at least for now. We will see if you fit in." Spike felt like he was naked under the hot gaze that Jack let travel over him. He licked his lips nervously  as Jack moved even closer. A part of him wanted to pull Jack onto his lap to snog him senseless, yet another part of him felt uncomfortable and wanted to run away. Before he could decide what to do, Ianto's voice broke the spell.

"Can I have a word with you, sir? Alone?" Ianto tried to appear calm, but was not really able to hide the jealousy in his eyes.

Spike raised an eyebrow at the sudden formal tone of Ianto's voice, and why did he suddenly address Jack as ‘Sir’? That didn’t really fit with what he had seen and heard before. He should better go now, he felt like an intruder. Without hesitating a moment longer, he got up from his chair. "I'll leave you two alone, I'm sure I can find the way out on my own."

"You don't have to go, just wait outside for a minute, if you don’t mind." Ianto surprised him once again.

Spike had been sure that Ianto wanted him to leave completely, stay away from Jack. He shrugged and and left the room, closed the door on the way out. It would at least give them the feeling of privacy since he hadn’t told them all about his enhanced senses yet. Should he really stay? Or leave them now before he could hear that he wasn’t wanted here?

He leaned against the wall to think about it, but then he heard Jack's voice through the door. "Ianto, if you want me to send him away, just say so." Spike’s curiosity won over his fear of rejection and he stayed where he was - the closed door and their lowered voices didn’t do anything to keep him from hearing every word they said.

In the conference room

"Ianto, if you want me to send him away, just say so..." Before Jack could say anything else, Ianto shushed him with a finger on his lips.

"Just listen for now, before I can think too much about this," Ianto hesitated for a moment, then removed his finger from Jack's lips and looked him directly in the eyes. "I know you don't want to hurt me, don’t want to lose me.” Ianto looked as if he didn’t want to say this, didn’t know how to say it. “But I know just as well that I’ll never have you all for myself, you won’t stop flirting.” He paused again, smiled in a way that Jack couldn’t quite read. “You wouldn't be you any more if you stopped being interested in other people.” Jack really didn’t know where Ianto was going with this. Could he dare to hope that Ianto understood? He shook the thoughts off and concentrated again on what Ianto was saying. “So I won’t ask you to do that for me, I don’t think it would be fair on either of us. I just want you to promise me one thing…" Ianto's voice trailed off and he nervously licked his lips. "In fact I need you to promise me two things: never try to hide anything or anyone from me – I would know anyway, you’re a terrible liar sometimes.” Another smile, more affectionate and teasing this time. “And make sure you come back to me."

Jack pulled Ianto into a hug, this really wasn’t what he had expected to hear. "Always, at least as long as you want me to," he whispered in Ianto's ear. "You mean way too much to me, I don't want to lose you." Jack took a small step back and gave Ianto a smile that clearly showed his feelings for the younger man. Ianto never stopped amazing him. He was so young, a child of the 20th century, and yet he had no problems coping with aliens, time travel, an immortal lover, 51st century attitudes to life or whatever else working for Torchwood involved. He didn’t even flinch when a vampire who looked like Jack’s ex-lover showed up on their doorstep. "And if you want to know about it, I will never do anything behind your back." He cupped Ianto's face with his hands and captured his lips in a soft and loving kiss. “It’s much more fun that way.” Jack grinned when Ianto glared at him. “Just let me know when I tell you more than you want to hear.” Another kiss that seemed to go on forever.

"Then I'll leave you two alone," Ianto said with a mocking smile, when they finally broke the kiss. "I think I'd better go and warn Gwen, I don't want any more of this John and Spike confusion tomorrow, had more than enough of it today." With those words Ianto turned to the door, ready to leave the Hub.

Corridor

When Spike heard footsteps coming closer he quickly leaned into the wall again - while he listened in on them he had inadvertently moved forward and turned towards the door. He even managed to put a blank look on despite his racing thoughts. With his hands in his pockets and his head resting on the wall he seemed totally bored and unaware of what had happened in the conference room. But inside he was in an uproar, as he knew all too well why Ianto left them alone.

Spike still wasn’t sure whether he wanted to give in to the strange attraction he felt for Jack or not. He had always, always just been attracted to women, and now he couldn’t understand why he suddenly felt the urge to kiss a man. That one time with Angel... no, that didn’t really count, did it? They’d both been high on adrenaline, had just... Neither of them had wanted to repeat it, had mentioned it ever again. No, it really didn’t count. This however was different, he was aware of what he was getting into, it wasn’t something that just happened, that he could write off later. No, this would be something he decided to do. He was so deep in his thoughts that he barely registered when Ianto walked past him.

"See you tomorrow," Ianto's voice startled him. Spike opened his eyes and found himself just one step away from Ianto. He was surprised that he couldn’t see the least bit of jealousy or animosity in Ianto’s face.

"Yeah, see you," he managed to say with a smile that felt fake even to himself. His eyes followed Ianto until he was out of sight. Spike considered leaving as well, he didn't really feel up to being alone with Jack, he still didn’t know what he wanted to do, if he should give in to the attraction or not. He wasn’t even sure why he was that attracted to the man. 'Right, as if he could force me to do anything I don’t want to.' He shook his head and had to laugh about himself, he’d never before allowed his fear to control him and what exactly was he afraid of?

"What's so funny?" he heard Jack's voice from behind and slowly turned. Jack leaned against the door frame and gave him a wide smile.

"Nothing," Spike said, "it's just been a bloody strange day." He slowly walked towards Jack, hands still in his pockets.

He had planned to walk past Jack, back into the conference room, but he was stopped by Jack's arm that blocked the doorway. They were just centimetres apart, Spike could feel the heat radiating from Jack’s body, could hear his heart beat, could smell him - he smelled so good. There it was again, the urge to just touch and kiss the man in front of him. Spike’s demon wanted to grab Jack, kiss him, fuck him, drain him - any or all of them. Spike tried to fight it, to control the demon and stayed where he was, so close to the tempting scent. He took another breath, there was something new, exciting about this man, something he hadn’t come across before. Whatever it was, it appealed both to the man and to the demon in him. Spike didn’t want to move away, but he couldn't bring himself to break the distance between them, afraid he’d lose control, confused by his own strong reaction to being this close to Jack.

Their gazes locked and Spike felt like he was frozen to the spot when Jack slowly moved in to capture his lips in a gentle kiss - then he stopped thinking, just kissed back. Jack came even closer, pressed his body to Spike's. One hand made its way slowly up Spike's back and finally came to a halt right above the collar of his duster on his neck; the other hand moved under Spike's coat and held him around the waist.

Their kiss got more passionate and Spike's hands started to travel along Jack's back as well. It felt so good to have this hot body pressed against him, to feel Jack's growing erection rub against his own. Spike rapidly lost control, his senses overwhelmed by the feeling of hot, oh so hot, body that close, Jack’s unique scent combined with the one of their arousal, the sound of a rapid but strong heart beat, the fascinating taste of Scotch and what was just Jack. It was all too much, he couldn’t keep his demon in check any more . His eyes flashed golden for a moment, but he fought it back, didn’t want to lose control completely. He wasn’t quite successful at first, his eyes kept changing between blue and gold. Thinking got different.

Driven mostly by his instincts now, Spike shoved Jack to the wall and kissed him almost forcefully. Jack was shocked for a moment by the sudden assault, then he moaned into the kiss and duelled Spike's tongue in a fight for dominance. Spike had to break the kiss to get back a bit of control; he didn't want his demon to take over completely. But all his doubts were gone, he had stopped to think about what was happening, he just wanted to feel and to taste more of Jack. Once again, he brought their lips together in an almost brutal kiss while his hands impatiently tried to unbutton Jack's shirt.

Spike felt the duster slide from his shoulders and stopped his attempts to open Jack's shirt long enough to shrug out of it. Their kiss never stopped, it even got more passionate when Jack moved his hands under Spike's tee and started to stroke his back. Their bodies were pressed against each other, Spike felt Jack's groin rubbing at his hip.

Breathless, Jack broke the kiss. His voice was thick with desire when he said, "Want to feel more of you." Even before he had finished the sentence, he began to strip Spike. When his shirt was gone, Spike could practically feel Jack's hot gaze travel over his naked chest and down to the hint of hair visible right above the waistband of his jeans. As fast as possible, he got rid of his boots and socks while Jack undressed too.

Spike took another deep breath to smell Jack's arousal – that scent and the sight of an almost naked Jack who was just wearing his boxers now were enough to drive Spike almost crazy with lust. He wanted to feel this hot body against his cool skin and pulled Jack close. Their bodies met, hands were exploring each other. Desperate to feel more, Spike quickly opened his jeans and let them slide down. Now they were only separated by the thin fabric of Jack's boxers and Spike moaned as their groins met for the first time.

It felt so good, hot hands roamed over his cool body, an equally hot mouth and tongue nipped and licked at his neck, teeth scraped his skin. Not quite a bite, but close enough. Spike let himself get lost in the pleasure for a while, head tilted to one side to give Jack better access to his neck. He didn't even notice that Jack had manoeuvred them backwards until his thighs hit the edge of the conference table.

Spike had to hold on to the table when Jack's lips travelled down his chest, it had been way too long since he’d had more than just a quick shag. Nothing wrong with that, but this was so much better, it felt good to be touched and kissed. Jack licked a line down from his collarbone, followed the curve of his muscles. Soft kisses and little licks were trailed over his chest. First, soft lips closed around his nipple, then an almost painful bite made Spike moan and arch into Jack's touch.

He could feel Jack grin, then his tongue, hot, wet, another bite. His demon pushed forward again, Spike had stopped to fight it for control, for once they seemed to want the same - more of this, more pleasure, more pain, sex. Jack’s bites and licks and kisses travelled lower, over Spike’s stomach, to the bit of tender skin where thigh meets hip, to the inside of his thighs. Spike spread his legs to give Jack better access and heard a low chuckle, then this hot, talented mouth moved up again.  Spike just needed to look down, he had to see that it all was real and not just another dream like earlier that day. He forced his eyes open and met Jack's gaze just as Jack’s lips closed around the tip of his cock.

Jack’s hands were on Spike’s hips, held him still, as he slowly slid down, swallowed. The sensation was almost too much, Spike had to fight not to come right there and then. The demon pushed forward again, showed on his face for a second before Spike could get back a bit of control. Jack had stopped, looked up at him but he didn’t seem to be the slightest bit afraid.

Spike needed some control over the situation, hoped it might help him control the demon - he couldn’t stop this any more, didn’t want to, but he didn’t want to harm Jack. He grabbed Jack's shoulders to pull him up and turned them around with a swift motion. He pulled down Jack's boxers and pushed Jack's legs apart, rubbed their erections against each other. "Want to fuck you now," he growled in Jack's ear.

Jack shivered as he heard the almost predatory sound and mumbled, "lube 's in m' coat." Part of Spike didn’t want to lose contact with this hot body, wanted to fuck him, hurt him, but he managed to step away and rummaged through Jack’s coat as fast as he could. Pen, strange metal object, something that looked a bit like a pocket knife, Spike hastily emptied the pocket. Why did people have to carry everything in their pockets? He grumbled while he discarded what felt like a gazillion items, then he finally found what he was looking for.

The second his fingers closed around the lube he moved back to Jack, startled him a bit with his speed. But still, no scent of fear, just arousal. Jack just gave him a curious look, then pulled him close again. Spike lifted Jack with one arm on the table; his free hand opened the lube. Without wasting any more time, Spike slickened two of his fingers and pressed them inside. His demon wanted more, now, didn’t want to wait, didn’t care if he hurt the other man, but part of Spike managed to hold it back.

His still golden eyes met Jack's, looked for any signs of discomfort as he slid both fingers in. Jack held his gaze, his breath quickened as Spike began to move his fingers in and out. He moved with Spike now, pushed himself deeper on Spike’s fingers. Jack’s eyes closed in pleasure, an impatient sound escaped his lips. The sight of Jack writhing in pleasure combined with the scent of his arousal made Spike almost lose the last bit of control.

He quickly removed his fingers and replaced them with his cock. Tight heat surrounded him, another wave of arousal assaulted his senses, his control slipped even more. His face changed, the demon gained more control, and he thrust almost violently into Jack's willing body. Jack's legs closed around Spike's hips, his hands were searching for something to hold on to. Spike could see a drop of moisture at the tip of Jack’s erection, could see a vein in his neck throb, could hear his moans, his heart beating faster and faster, could feel that Jack started to tremble around him.

It didn’t take long until he was right on the edge of orgasm, the demon almost fully in control now. With a hiss he pulled Jack closer, put his lips - no, his fangs - right over that throbbing vein in Jack’s neck, wanted to bite, drink, kill. He could smell fear now, still mixed with arousal, Jack didn’t try to fight him off, but he was afraid. The acrid scent of fear, so sweet for his demon, somehow kicked part of his brain back into gear. It was just enough to stop himself from biting. He threw his head back with a feral cry. That was all he could do, his body kept moving, driven by lust, part of him knew he was hurting Jack, would leave bruises where his fingers were digging in with a bit too much force, but he didn’t care - and Jack didn’t seem to mind either. They both came almost at the same time.

Spike collapsed on top of Jack, his face changed back to human. For a few moments they just stayed like this, Spike’s head on Jack's heaving chest, Jack’s legs still around his hips, a warm hand resting on his shoulder. Then Spike realised what he had almost done – he had barely stopped himself from biting Jack, from killing him. He had to get away from Jack, now, pushed himself up and stepped back, way too fast, almost stumbled over Jack’s boots because he didn’t pay attention to his surroundings. He stood there, didn’t know what to say, what to do. After a moment of awkward silence Jack asked, "What's wrong?"

Spike grit his teeth, he really didn't want to discuss this with an almost stranger - even if they had just shagged. "Nothin' 's wrong. Just need to go back to my place and pick some things up before sunrise." He couldn't look Jack into the eye while he answered him, but he busied himself with picking up his clothes instead. “Guess I’d better be here during the day to meet the rest of your team.”

"We could take the SUV," Jack suggested.

"I'm probably faster alone, just make sure the Tourist Office is not locked or you might find nothing but a pile of dust in front of it." Spike had to be alone now, had to get back some control - and needed time to decide if he really should come back or not. Could he afford to come back to work with them after what had just happened? Jack didn’t seem to be aware of just how close to death he had just been. Spike let himself fall onto the nearest chair to put his boots on. He could feel Jack's questioning gaze, but didn't look up until he was finished with the boots. Then he stood, grabbed his duster and turned to the door. He glanced back over his shoulder.

"I'll be back in about two hours." With those words he shrugged into his duster and left the Hub without giving Jack a chance to answer.

Spike was well aware that there must be cameras in the Tourist Office and on the Plass, so he walked away slowly until he was around the first corner. Then he started to run as fast as he could, back to the hotel. His head swam, he didn't know what to think about the recent happenings. First of all, he just had shagged a bloke for the first time in his life or un-life. But that was not what was really bothering him. Panic filled him when he thought about the fact that he almost had killed Jack – that he almost had not been able to stop himself from drinking human blood. It was not that he didn't crave it each and every day since the chip had stopped him from getting it. But never after he got his soul back – no, even before – had he lost control so completely.

What the hell was going on? Could it be that his demon was getting stronger? He would have to be careful, he couldn’t afford to lose it, didn’t want to be responsible for yet another death. Spike wasn’t like Angel, didn’t want to be forgiven for what he had done in his past - he had been controlled by a demon, hadn’t had a soul. He had just done what his nature had demanded of him. But now was different, he tried to do the right thing. A soul didn’t make a good man, but he had been one before he got turned, he could be again. Still, it felt so good to fight, violence fed his demon, made it content. It’s been way too long that he’d had a decent fight, too many Slayers meant that there wasn’t much work for him to do any more.

By the time he reached the hotel, his mind was still spinning, but Spike tried to calm himself and entered slowly, there was no need to frighten the receptionist. He even managed a smile when he walked past the young man on duty.

Back in his room a quick glance at the clock on the nightstand told him that he still had one and a half hours left. So he decided to take a quick shower, he could still smell Jack on himself, on his clothes, he wanted to get rid of it. Maybe that would calm him down a bit. The hot water felt wonderful, some of the tension in his body left again, even if his thoughts kept running in circles. When he was done with his shower, he dressed in a new pair of black jeans, a black wife beater and a red shirt that he left unbuttoned.

He knew that he was stalling, didn’t want to go back yet - he wasn’t even sure if he should go back or just vanish from Cardiff. But he might find a place where he was useful - at least at night - he should give it a chance. There was no future for him with the Watchers and Slayers, at least not one he really wanted. Did he want a future here? With Torchwood and Jack? Could he have one? It was worth a try, he just had to keep his demon in check.

While his thoughts ran in circles he warmed himself some blood and checked his emails. As he had expected, there was a message from Dawn, she wanted to know if everything was alright and if he got any news. Spike had to smile a bit, he knew she was really concerned about him. He was running out of time, but he didn’t want to let her wait any longer, so he wrote a short reply.

Bit, no need to worry about me, I'm fine. I'm in a bit of a hurry now, sunrise is soon and you don't want me turn into a pile of dust, do you? I'll tell you the details later,

Take care,

Spike

He shut down the netbook, packed it into the messenger bag and added his last two bags of blood. A change of clothes might be useful, he randomly grabbed a shirt and a pair of jeans and stuffed them in the bag too. Another glance to the clock made him hurry up, he just had about 30 minutes left to reach the Tourist Office. He left the hotel again at a slow pace, but as soon as he was sure that nobody was watching him he sped up. By now he knew the shortest route to the Bay, but he knew just as well that he was really cutting it close, he had to hurry if he didn’t want to turn into dust - there wasn’t much cover for him on the Plass if he arrived past sunrise.

He ran as fast as he could, his thoughts had finally calmed down and the only thing on his mind was reaching the Bay in time before sunrise. He could feel the first rays of sunlight when he finally reached the Tourist Office. He didn't stop for a second, just hoped that the door was unlocked and kept running. Not only was it unlocked, Jack must have waited for him because the door opened before he reached it and closed again right after him.

Spike turned around to find a grinning Jack standing next to the door. "I told you, we should’ve taken the car."

"Why? I made it in time, didn’t I?" Spike couldn't help but grin back at Jack.

He didn't know why, but despite his earlier doubts Spike felt now completely comfortable around Jack, all awkwardness was gone. No more thoughts about what had happened, no more self-accusation, no more remorse.

Jack gave him a questioning look, he must have noticed the difference in behaviour. But he didn’t say anything, just led Spike down again to give him a quick tour through the Hub. Spike put his blood in the fridge, then slumped on the old sofa and picked his netbook up.

"Have to write a bit of an explanation for Dawn, she'll be worried, she’s the only one who really cares about me, not just about the results I get."  Spike didn't mind that Jack was reading over his shoulder when he opened his emails, he didn’t have anything to hide. Dawn was obviously already awake and had sent him another message

Spike,

what's going on in Cardiff? You don't pick up the phone and it is past sunrise, now I'm really worried about you. Please write as soon as you can or I will come to Cardiff myself and bring a bunch of Slayers with me as a search party. I'm sure you really don't want to see them, so write back!

Dawn

Spike had to smile at the concern that was even showing in this short message - and the thought of Dawn forcing several reluctant Slayers to search for him made him giggle.

Hey Bit,

I told you not to worry about me, everything is fine - I'm just not in my hotel room.

I’ll keep this short, will tell you more on the phone as soon as I'm settled. This stupid typing is going way too slow.

There is no Hellmouth here in Cardiff, but some kind of rift in time and space. Torchwood is an organization that helps to keep people safe from whatever comes through that rift. As I'm of no real use for you and the Slayers, I’m joining them here and will fight at their side for a while - it’s not much different from what I’ve done for you and the Watchers - and they need another fighter more than you do.

It might be good to join forces in some way, who knows, some demons could decide to come to this bloody town and create even more chaos than there is already. Or perhaps some of the demons we’ve encountered are not really demons but aliens – might be a good idea to cross-check each other's databases (and don’t even think about it, I'm not the one doing that).

Take care,

Spike

Spike glanced at Jack before he sent the message, to make sure that he hadn’t given anything away he wasn’t supposed to. Jack nodded once, so Spike sent the mail and closed his netbook. His gaze went through the Hub, then fell on Jack again who had moved to a workstation and was obviously checking some kind of data. He remembered what had happened between them, but didn't worry about it any more. There was no reason to feel bad, he hadn’t killed the man, had not even bitten him – so why should he fret about something that would most likely never happen again?

It was strange, he finally felt accepted and at home again, even if he barely knew the town and the people he was going to work with. With a content sigh, Spike relaxed on the sofa and waited for whatever might happen next.