Royal London Hotel, 1880
There's laughter outside the closed door, and a just-risen William
and Dru come into a very sumptuous suite of rooms. As soon as he
closes the doors, William puts his arm around Dru, pulls her back
against him, nuzzles at her neck. Hungrily, he turns her around,
pushes her against the wall, starts to kiss her. She pushes at his
"Such a hungry little kitty!" she says, amused. "Meeeeeoowwww...
You've been a starved one, haven't you? My sweet Willy." She moves
away from him, into the room.
"I have you to feast on now," he says. This isn't soppy, milquetoast
William, this man is confident, and he knows what he wants from Dru.
He looks around. "Is this your home?" he asks.
"Their home." Dru indicates a dead couple on a settee. They're
slumped to the side, eyes open, each with a pair of bite marks on
their necks. The ambassador to...Dru can't remember. "And his
plump, lovely wife. Til their spirits flew away on fairy wind." She
gives Spike a conspiritorial look. "Psst. When Angelus took them to
William is fascinated by the dead bodies, but he doesn't miss her
words. "Angelus," he says, "who the bloody hell is Ange..."
But he senses another presence, and stops, turning toward the
bedroom. A dark silhouette looms in the doorway, face hidden in
shadows. William is immediately wary.
"Look what I made," Dru says proudly. "It's called Willy."
"William." The correction is automatic, because William is still
focused on Angelus. Dru pouts for a moment, then smiles broadly.
"Where's Darla?" she says, "I want Darla to meet William."
"Darla and I," Angelus says, stepping out of the shadows," had a
little spat." He's just as focused on William as William is on him.
Sizing each other up. "Master sent for her. You know
"Poor Angelus," Dru says, but not with any discernible amount of sympathy.
"Don't worry, Dru," Angelus says, still focused on William, "we'll
make up. Always do." He touches a healing gash on his temple.
"After a little tit-for-tat." William looks at him, eyes narrowed.
Trying to figure out this new element...
"So instead of feeding on this...William," Angelus says, "you went
and turned him into one of us." He steps forward slowly, and William
watches him carefully, buthe doesn't move. "Another rooster in the
henhouse," Angelus says softly. There's the barest hint of menace in
"You're not cross with me, are you?" Dru asks.
"Cross?" Angelus says, and suddenly steps forward, grabbing William's
forearm, digging his thumb into the tendons to close William's hand
into a fist and pulling his hand into a beam of sunlight. "Do you
have any idea what it's like to have nothing but women as travel
companions, night in and night out?" he says, as William struggles
against his hold. Finally William, who clearly didn't expect his
hand to start sizzling, breaks away.
"Touch me again..." he says, ready to threaten, but Angelus goes on
as though he doesn't notice.
"Don't mistake me, he says, "Love the ladies, it's just, lately, I've
been wondering..." He extends his arm, setting his own fist in the
sunbeam. Steam starts to rise from the flesh, and Angelus is clearly
enjoying the pain. "What it'd be like," he goes on, his voice slow
and husky and very, very seductive, "to share the slaughter of
innocents...with another man." He opens his hand and smoke rises
from his palm. (note: AAAAAAAND the slashometer pegs HARD in the
red...) He looks straight into William's eyes. "You don't think
that makes me some kind of deviant, do you?" He pulls his hand back
and smiles. (And the slashometer jumps another eighth-inch past the
William looks at him, eyes slightly narrowed. Perhaps it's surprise,
perhaps it's awe, perhaps something...else...that we see in his eyes.
WIthout speaking, he puts his open hand into the sunlight. His arm
shakes with the pain as smoke rises from his skin, but he doesn't
move his hand out of the light, and all the while he looks at Angelus
with that enigmatic expression.
After a moment, when he's sure William is serious, Angelus begins to
laugh. He puts his shoulder, pushing William's arm down. WIlliam
looks very relieved.
"I like this one!" Angelus says, still laughing. "You and me, we're
going to be the best of friends." He laughs, and now William is
laughing with him, full out.
"Get the hell away from me, Spike," Angel says, coming down the
stairs into the W&H lobby. He's enormously annoyed.
"Would that I could, you big ape," Spike says, walking through a
column. "Why don't you make us both happy and give me what I want?"
Angel, on his way to Harmony's desk, doesn't even turn. "You are not
getting an office."
"You selfish sod!" Everybody else gets to go home to a nice cozy
place, but Spike is stuck in somebody else's nest. "It's not right."
"You just haunt the place," Angel snaps back. Which Spike thinks is
a job well done. He asks for Wesley's office--and he actually calls
him Wesley instead of Percy--since he's gone, but Angel says Wes is
not gone, he's on a leave of absence. He stalks into his office and
closes the door.
"Oh, right," Spike says, "Boo-hoo. He thought he killed his bloody
father." By now, Angel has closed the door. "Try staking your
mother," Spike shouts after him, "when she's coming on to you!"
Harmony looks up at that. "Wow," she says. "That explains a lot."
Spike makes a frustrated noise, but gives up an explanation as a
hopeless cause. He starts to go toward Angel's office, but Harmony
calls him back. He turns, exasperated. Okay, he'll try... "Look,"
he tells Harmony, obviously holding onto his patience with both
hands, "that was a long time ago, and she wasn't herself." He's
about to say more, but Harmony interrupts him.
"You've got mail," she says. Very cheerful.
"What?" The non sequitur throws Spike completely off for a moment.
"It's addressed to you, care of here," she says.
"Who'd send post to a..."
"Ghost?" she finishes for Spike. "Doesn't say. 'S kinda heavy.
Here." She sets the package, which is fairly large, say enough to
hold eight medium-sized paperback books, on the counter, and looks at
He merely holds his hands in the air and wiggles his fingers, eyebrows raised.
"Oh!" she says, realizing. "You want me to..."
"If you wouldn't mind," Spike says politely. She opens the tape seal
with a letter opener, and when she opens the box, there's a bright
flash of light.
Spike's eyebrows lift. "Welll," he says, "That was a slap and a tickle."
Harmony looks into the box. There's nothing there, and she's about
to say so, but the phone rings. When she answers, there's nothing
but a horrible static screech that makes her hold the phone away from
her ear in pain.
"Any more fireworks for me," Spike says, walking toward Angel's
office as she answers the phone, "I'll be in here, telling your boss
what a miserable bastard..." But he collides with the door, instead
of going through it, and bounces off, landing flat of his back on the
floor. "BUGGER!" he says. "That hurt!"
Angel opens his office door, come to see what the ruckus is. He sees
Spike lying on the floor, and Spike looks up at him. "Hold on..."
Spike says, realizing what just happened. Angel seems to realize it,
too, because he begins to look the tiniest bit alarmed. Spike looks
up at Angel, his brows drawing down in a frown...
More to come...