He knocked on the front door, he didn't want to be here but didn’t see any other way.
After making sure the book was safely tucked into his coat, he was about to knock again when the door finally opened and Dawn stood there looking all grown up.
"Hi, what are you doing here?" She asked looking confused, like she was making sure there wasn't anything she was forgetting.
"Is your sister here? I've got something for her."
"Sure, come in. She's in the kitchen."
He walked past her and went straight to the kitchen, not noticing if Dawn followed him or not.
He smelled him before he saw him, it amazed him how much he still smelled like family or at least of familiarity, of comfort.
Everyone froze when they saw him, a bit like the actors in the soap operas Fred and Cordy had sometimes tried to get him to watch did, when something dramatic was about to happen. Xander, Willow, Buffy and Spike stood there just looking at him.
He only noticed Spike, his eyes automatically drawn to him without having any control over it.
Something was different.
Not like it was supposed to be.
"You've got a soul"
Neither of them moved or dropped their gaze and this started to make the other ones tense, not knowing what was about to happen. Buffy broke the silence.
"Angel, what are you doing here?" Unknowingly echoing her sister's question.
He finally noticed her properly, reluctantly taking his eyes off Spike.
He moved away from the doorway and stepped further into the kitchen.
"Fred found this book, it seems to contain some prophecy or tale of some sort about a town she thinks might be Sunnydale."
"Ok, so you came all this way because of a book that may or may not be about Sunnydale?" Buffy said unconvinced, taking the book from him.
"Yes, we do also have problems of our own Buffy so sorry if we didn't have time to dig any deeper on this. Just though you might like to have a better look in case it was something. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered." His voice sounded harder than he intended it to be and she flinched, but only for a second.
"Yeah, we've all got problems." Was her only answer.
With his mission complete, his gaze went back to Spike.
"How long have you had it then?"
"A few months now"
"Why didn't anyone tell me?
"Didn't think you'd be interested mate"
Spike gave him a cold stare and he didn't know how to respond to that statement.
"Why are you bleeding?"
"You're bleeding" He pointed to Spikes dark blue t-shirt where blood stains had started to form on his chest.
"Spike what's going on?" Buffy asked worry in her voice.
Spike looked down on his shirt, then quickly started to move like he was about to take off.
"Stop, take your shirt off"
"Angel, don't you dare start playing Sire on me!"
"Spike take it off now!" His eyes flashing yellow for a second, both from the smell of Spike's blood and the fear he all of a sudden felt rolling of off Spike. Maybe that was what made Spike do as he asked. He took his shirt off revealing some kind of symbols that were bleeding, although they looked like they had been there for a while.
"Spike, they haven't healed yet! Why didn't you tell us?" Buffy asked while moving closer and reaching her hand to him.
"Don't touch him" His voice came out like a low growl and he was surprised she even heard him.
"Why not?" She asked, annoyance in her voice. "Don't you get all territorial on me, you can't tell me who I can or can't touch!"
"No, but I can control who touches him!" He realized he was feeling territorial, just not for the right person it seemed. The thought of someone else touching Spike's wounds angered him. Not understanding why, he said a bit softer. "Sorry, I just... don't touch him please" Buffy looked completely confused but backed away from Spike.
He moved over to Spike and lightly trailed his fingers over the wounds, trying to make them out and suddenly remembering where he had seen them before.
"These are old Vampire Lore symbols. Who did this to you?"
"The First decided to use me as a fucking blood source"
"Did The First do something else to them? Carving them in isn't enough to make them permanent"
"No, not that I remember"
He grabbed Spike's arm and steered him to stand by the kitchen counter.
"Angel" Spike said with a warning.
"Do you want me to fix this or not?"
"I don't want the bloody humans watching!"
Xander and Willow who had just stood listening and watching up until then, suddenly came to life. "Here give me the book, we'll start looking into it. Won't we Xan?" And with that they left the kitchen.
The two vampires looked over to Buffy.
"I'm not leaving"
"Fine! Just don't tell anyone, alright. Go ahead then." Spike sat up on the counter and Angel went to stand between his legs. He put one hand behind Spike's back and the other one on his hip, holding him in place.
Buffy froze as he started licking and sucking at Spike's wounds and around them, getting them clean. Spike closed his eyes and started breathing slightly.
“What are you doing?” Buffy whispered, half ways from shock but also from a feeling that she was intruding on something very private.
The two vampires ignored her, Angel moved closer to Spike and started using his teeth as well as his tongue on the wounds. Spikes breath hitched and he grabbed Angel’s upper arms and dug his nails into him.
This went on until all the wounds had been give the same amount of attention, Angel stopped what he had been doing but made no effort to move or step away from Spike. He rested his head on one of Spike’s shoulders, both had their eyes closed and seemed reluctant to end their connection.
Angel slowly raised his head, looking at Spike who still hadn’t moved or opened his eyes.
He studied him for a few moments, taking in what was the same, what was different. Really looking at him for the first time in a hundred years, allowing himself to see all the things he had been missing, all the things he had been pushing to the back of his mind telling himself it was for the best. No good dwelling on it.
It was however still there. Nothing and everything had changed.
On impulse he gently brushed his lips to Spike’s, feeling the familiar softness only for a few seconds, pulling back before it would turn into a kiss. Spike’s eyes shot open at the unexpected touch then leaned in and pressed his lips against Angel’s again, making it more of a kiss, firmer and bolder. Ending it just as abruptly.
They looked at each other briefly, half smiled and nodded before Angel stepped away from Spike and turned to leave, hesitating before walking past Buffy he stopped in the doorway to look back at Spike and then left.
Spike didn’t look at Buffy until he heard the front door close.
“What was that?”