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Finding Spike

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When was the last time I saw Spike?

Not too long after he came to Rome with Angel. The Immortal decided to play a twisted game with my ex-boyfriends when he found out who they were. He was kind of the jealous type, which was so not of the good. And I thought vampires were jealous.

I was really angry when I found out that Spike and Angel had been in the apartment I shared with Dawn and that the Immortal had even tricked Andrew into being a part of the game. Well, not so much tricked as burned down his apartment building to bully him into deceiving the two vampires in my life.

But I’m getting off the subject. You want to know how I reconnected with Spike.

Okay, so I don’t know all of it, like how he came back from dying in the Hellmouth, and I really don’t know what he was like with Angel. I wasn’t there, but I know what Spike told me in the time we shared. Why does it always seem like the time we had together was so short? There’s no answer to that, is there?

* * *

Spike tossed his mostly empty briefcase from one hand to the other as he marched up to the elevator. Between parking garages and tinted car windows, he could make it from his apartment to the Wolfram and Hart with little to no risk of frying up extra crispy.

Shifting impatiently, he watched as the light showed the elevator slowly descending, and with a ding, the doors parted. Sighing, he entered and pushed the giant lobby button. Scowling, he noticed that someone, no doubt attempting to be funny, had pushed all the buttons.

Then, something on the floor caught his attention. Something green and slimy oozed out around his shoes.

“Oh, for the love of. . .” Spike cursed, lifting a hard-to-move foot. Looked like he’d be complaining to Angel about the janitorial staff. . . again. How many times had he run across demon goop of unknown origin in the elevator? Almost made him wish he were all ghostly and go-throughable again.

The elevator dinged again, the doors parted, and Illyria stepped aboard from the second-level parking garage. “Good morning, vampire.” She regarded him with unblinking, electric blue eyes. Spike still had a hard time seeing Fred’s willowy body worn by the god king. “You are standing in something. . . adhesive and dense.”

She squatted to the floor of the elevator so quickly that Spike didn’t see the motion, just felt a slight shift in the air around him. Next thing he knew, she was sticking a goop-covered finger into her mouth. She closed her eyes, and Spike raised his eyebrows as she remained motionless through the next ding of the elevator and the next.

Finally, they reached the lobby, and Illyria remained a motionless sculpture. Grumbling to himself, Spike side-stepped around her, pulling his feet from the muck.

As he slipped past, Illyria’s hand clapped onto his ankle. Spike tried to unlock himself from her grip, but she only tightened her hold. Turning her head slowly, she opened one cobalt eye, “Someone must clean this up.”

“And that won’t be me,” Spike informed her, clapping his palm on the side of his briefcase. “I have stuff to do. Let go, Blue.”

She loosened her fingers, but only to ask, “You have more to do with me? More science projects?”

“Not today. Go find Watcher boy. He can mind you.”

He hoped the double meaning of “mind” would throw her off long enough for him to get away. He was right; she spent a moment processing what he’d said. He extracted his foot and squished onto the carpet, spreading the demon goo. Served the cleaning staff right.

“Wesley is angry with me. I feel. . . uncomfortable because he is angry.”

“Not my problem.” Spike angled toward Angel’s office, sweeping past the passersby who’d stopped to stare at Illyria. He wanted to spend the morning pestering Angel, something that had become part of his daily routine.

Spike almost launched himself through Angel’s door, complete with beaming smile and cocky attitude, when he noticed that the door was slightly cracked, and the ex-Watcher’s voice filtered out.

“So, just to make it clear. You don’t want to do anything.”

Angel didn’t immediately respond. When he did, he sounded completely annoyed, “Nothing. I don’t have time right now to go chasing after Buffy. Spike and I spent enough time chasing after Buffy in Rome. We have bigger fish to fry here, money to make, clients to tend to.”

“And yet, you still have people at Wolfram and Hart keeping an eye on her.”

“I do, yes. But only because I haven’t had time to reallocate our resources.”

Spike narrowed his eyes. This was awfully fishy. Why wouldn’t Angel want to help Buffy if she needed some sort of help. . . no matter what kind of “work” needed to be done at Wolfram and Hart? And despite what Angel had said about giving up on Buffy, Spike knew for a fact that Angel wouldn’t stop watching out for her. Angel always did like to have a semblance of control over things even if he didn’t *actually* have control.

Spike decided further listening was warranted.

Wesley persisted, “Well, here’s her address. She’ll be in L.A. visiting her father for a few days and doing some work with the Slayers here in town. In case you change your mind.”

“Don’t you need to get back to work?” Angel sounded annoyed.

“At least take the address.”

“Fine.” Spike heard Angel snatch what was likely a bit of paper. “Go back to work. Don’t you have Illyria to look after?”

“Spike!” a voice hissed from behind Spike.

He jumped and guiltily glanced over his shoulder, rolling his eyes when he realized who’d caught him. Yet another reason he didn’t know why he came here everyday. “Harm!” he whispered, hoping she wouldn’t increase her volume.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked sweetly, shoving her face into his and smiling at his obvious discomfort.

Angel’s office door swung wide, and Spike grinned. “Looking for old Wes here.” Spike whapped the ex-Watcher in the chest. Wesley glared at him.

Harmony made a face to let Spike know she didn’t believe him. “Uh huh.”

“What do you want?” Wesley asked, adjusting his glasses.

“Blue’s looking for you,” Spike lied. Someone had to look after the blue god. “Caught her wondering around the second level parking lot. Better watch her. She might decide to go for a walk down the street and end up on the six o’clock news.”

Spike caught the pain that flashed in Wesley’s eyes as he pushed between the two vampires. Spike reached out to snag his arm, adding, “Heard what happened. She was just trying to help you. . . even if she didn’t know how to do it very well.”

Wesley paused and nodded, giving Spike a half-grimace, half-smile. He moved on with the gait of a man older than his years, casting a cloak of misery over the pair behind him.

Harmony was distracted, so Spike ducked into the office.

“Hey!” she called as he shut the door in her face.

“What do you want, Spike?” Angel asked gruffly without looking up from the papers he was reading at his desk.

Spike marched straight up to the desk and plunked his briefcase on the polished top. Scanning the papers on the desk, he announced, “I’m here for the meeting.”

“What meeting, Spike?”

Hoping to play on Angel’s recent distractibility, Spike pretended not to notice Angel’s patronizing habit of punctuating each statement or question with his name. “You know. The one we scheduled last week before we headed out to Rome.”

Angel didn’t even look up. “I don’t recall scheduling a meeting with you, Spike.”

Spike spied a small post-it note that seemed out of place near Angel’s right arm. He craned his neck in an attempt to read what it said. Sodding cramped Watcher handwriting. “Right, well, maybe you just forgot.” He cocked his head to one side. “Doesn’t Harmony keep your schedule nowadays?”

Angel huffed and slapped his papers on the desk, half-covering the key post-it as he reached for the phone. Spike frowned at the papers and carefully leaned over the desk to read the address. Just as he was about to make out a word or number, Spike wasn’t sure which, Angel glanced back as he pushed a button. Spike quickly pulled himself upright and gave his grandsire a wide, innocent smile.

“Harmony!” Angel barked into the phone. “Tell me what I have scheduled for. . . ,” he turned from Spike to pick up the small clock on his desk, “eight-twenty-three in the morning.” Angel twisted in his chair as he listened to Harmony chatter on and on. “Just tell me what I have scheduled. I don’t need a rundown of what’s being served in the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch.”

Silently praising Harmony’s prattling, Spike sidled around the side of the desk and carefully started to lift the corner of the papers covering his target.

Angel rammed backward and stabbed the papers with his elbow just before Spike read the address. He glowered at Angel’s back. Stupid vampire wasn’t cooperating.

“I don’t care if my meeting with the T’knof demons hinges on the timing and content of each meal during the day. I don’t understand all this catering we do to these demons. You’d think they’d accommodate us a little. Just tell me if I have a meeting with Spike today.” He was silent for a minute. “Thank you!”

As Angel reached to slam the receiver into its cradle, Spike jerked the slip of paper from its hiding place and stuffed both hands into the pockets of his duster. Angel appeared a bit bewildered by Spike’s new position beside him.

“Spike, go away. We don’t have a meeting today.”

Spike smirked. “Right.” He swung around the end of the desk, pulled his briefcase over the edge, and headed for the door before Angel could notice any changes to his papers. “I’ll just. . .” Spike paused and pushed open the door, giving Angel a small salute, “go.”

Angel shook his head at Spike’s abrupt exit and went back to work.