Spike headed to the laboratory, looking for a little friendly flirtation with Fred and perhaps some new insight on how to make him corporeal again. He walked through the walls jauntily, getting used to the feeling of nothing-ness, if not especially enjoying it. Walking through walls was cool if only to see the look on Angel’s face whenever he showed up at an extremely inopportune time.
Fred was not there when he reached her office, but he thought he might be able to read her notes on him if he concentrated really hard, so he closed his eyes to make the effort. It was then that he heard a plot that made his non-existent blood boil and his dead heart beat loudly in his chest. The young lab assistant assigned to Fred came into the lab and locked the door behind him, not bothering to check Fred’s office to see if anyone else was there. Knox moved to kneel upon the floor and, taking out a torn out page from a book, lit some candles and then held the page up to the light, crooning softly.
Spike listened, his vampire hearing catching every word and shuddered at what he heard. Knox planned to kill Fred and have an ancient Old One take over her body. The innocent looking, evil maniac murmured several phrases concerning his plans and then, apparently now finished with his daily demon-worshiping, put out the candles and left the lab.
Spike’s mind raced with what to do. He couldn’t tell Angel, and there was no way he could tell Fred that her lab assistant, who had been making eyes at her, was actually conspiring to murder her and use her body as a shell to house a demon who would deal out death and destruction to all mankind. Nobody would believe him, nobody here trusted him and there wasn’t a sodding thing he could do with his pass-through-flesh hands. He’d just have to keep an eye out and make sure this sarcophagus thing Knox had mentioned never made it into Wolfram and Hart. He could go to shipping and haunt the security guards till they sent it back. He could and would do something. The girl who had so selflessly and tirelessly worked to restore him would not die. Not this time.
Two weeks later
“So bye then, Charlie-boy,” Spike offered awkwardly and assuredly at the same time.
Gunn smiled and clapped his hand. Wesley and Spike nodded stiffly, the old Watcher-vampire antagonism still in place. Fred wrapped her arms around him warmly.
“Have a good trip and be safe now, you hear?” she told him sternly.
“Well, if anything happens to me I’ll most likely get resurrected and chained to this bloody building and you can lecture me all you want while concocting something for my inevitable restoration, eh, Science-girl?”
Spike tugged at a strand of her hair and she smiled at him. Spike hesitated, then drew Fred aside and whispered in her ear. She swatted at his arm.
“I know! I don’t need those kinds of suggestions, thanks all the same.”
“Then get on it. Watcher’s head’s about as thick as Angel’s, might take you awhile.”
Fred gave him an exasperated smile.
“Go worry about your own love life. I’ll be fine here. I just wish I knew how you got your body back.”
“Give me a ring if you find out, but I’m just glad whoever this bloke is decided to do whatever the hell he did. Having the body’s like heaven. You gotta admit; it’s a nice one.” Fred rolled her eyes at him, but didn’t say anything. Spike cleared his throat and continued. “Thanks, pet, for trying and all to save me. And no worries, I’ll always be here if you need saving. Cause you’re worth it too.”
“That’s so unfair! Every other girl on the planet but me gets to see what you call a nice side. Everybody else gets a goodbye. But not me, the girl who actually decided to give you a chance. Well, goodbye, Spikey. Not that you would’ve noticed I was here or anything. Don’t come back.”
Spike turned to Harmony, stared blankly at her and then inwardly reminded himself that he had a soul now.
“Bye, Harm. Thanks for the tumble. Do me a favor, slip a little of that Killer of the Dead poison in the boss’ blood, there’s a good girl.”
“Sure, Blondie-B- hey! I don’t take orders from you!”
Harmony sat down with a huff and started pouting as Spike turned to Lorne.
“So keep singing there and don’t let Gramps get you down.”
Lorne smiled and offered his hand.
“You keep singing there too, peach pie. Don’t deny it; I heard the ole pipes working a time or two during your stint here. Not a bad set you got there and I’ll let you in on a little not-secret, much better than Captain Tone-Deaf over there.”
“Don’t I know it? Back in the day it was Giselle, then, in Sunnydale, more Manilow than you could stand. Ole Barry seems to be the one thing Angelus favors right along with our Dark Avenger. For that alone I would’ve turned sides.” Spike turned to grin at Angel who stood silent and grim near the elevator. “What? No hug? It’s not like I staked you or anything.”
Angel walked up to Spike and whispered menacingly.
“Get gone and don’t come back.”
Spike playfully slugged him and swaggered toward the elevators with his duster flapping behind him.
“Sure thing, Peaches. I’ll be sure and tell Buffy you said hello.”
Angel swallowed hard, setting his face in a glower, mumbling something about cookie dough, and stalked back into his office as the elevator chimed.