Title: Some Monsters More Than Others
Rating: Adult (violent themes)
Length: 1500 - 2000 words
Spoilers: Takes place prior to AtS 5x21, "Power Play"
Warnings: violence, dark.ish, no porn
Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss, ME and such; all for fun, not for profit.
A/N: Thanks to Sofia (netweight) for the look-over. Takes place in Unfinished Epic!verse.
Spike was getting out of the shower when Angel walked into the bathroom and said, “I need you to go downstairs and work out in the training room.”
Running a towel through his hair, Spike said, “Fuck that, it’s Saturday.”
Angel, mouth set, folded his arms, leaned against the vanity. “Spike, you signed on for this. That means you’re on the clock when I say you’re on the clock.”
Something in the old man’s eyes said he was dead serious. Spike picked his battles. “Right. Could use a spot of exercise anyway...”
So there he was, shirt off, pounding the fuck out of a punching bag when he heard a voice in the corridor. “Hey, Angel, sorry I’m late, could you believe there’s traffic on a Saturday? L.A., man.”
And he heard Angel reply, “You’re the one who called the meeting, Izzy. We’re here. Now tell me what this is about. I’m a busy man.”
Oh, it was that Izzy bugger, one of those demons who lorded it about because he looked like the devil himself. Not that anyone knew what that was, of course. One of them had just posed for an illuminated manuscript or some such and now they all thought they were hot shit. Couldn’t stand the lot.
“Honestly, Angel? We’re a bit concerned with how you’ve been playing grab-ass in the office recently. Might affect things.”
Spike’s ears burned at that one. Knew they were talking about him. That lordly sod’s type always forgot that vampires got a bit of decent hearing. But Angel must have wanted him to listen in so he just kept on working that bag. Pow. Like that.
“That’s my personal business, Izzy. And why do you have to get into it? Just have Hamilton bring it up. He’s the liaison.”
“It’s his day off. Besides, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.”
“Got more than one on the plate now, Izzy. Why Spike?”
“We don’t care about your little werewolf, Angel. That’s dimestore stuff. But the only other vampire with a soul? One you’ve got such a history with? That merits some attention.”
“Like I said before, my personal business.”
Yeah. Sod off, Izzy. Spike, all bare-knuckle, started to work the bag hard.
“Shit, look at him go...How long can he keep that up?”
“Hours, if he has to.”
“Fuck, I bet he’s good in the sack.” There was a pause. “Do you loan out?”
Fuck. If he had said yes... Spike shivered. Angelus had done it once or twice to prove a point. Horrid, it was. Wouldn’t stand for it again. Could show the old man what for now. What was Angel playing at? Bastard was sounding too much like the old days for his comfort. He held the bag still for a second, started in with the kicks next.
“Shame.” There was another pause. “Angel, how involved are you? I mean, you’re not...”
“In love?” Angel laughed. “Please, I don’t even like him. You wouldn’t pass up that piece of ass. Why should I?”
Mother-fucker. You *wanted* me to hear that. Kick your arse when I get out of here.
“Good. As long as we’re on the same page, I don’t see a problem with it. I’ll pass that along.” He paused. “I can understand why though. With the soul...it must be like breaking him all over again.”
“Izzy, what did I say about my business?”
“You’ve gotta tape that. I’ve got a girl that I don’t share either. I don’t know though. She’s coming up with less inventive ways to off herself. Pretty soon, it’s not gonna be worth it to revive her. Just do her and let her go, you know? How about I send you the tape when I’m done? Then you can think about trading me one of yours.”
Oh, fuck me. Bet the old man could give him some pointers. Used to pride himself with how long he could keep those things alive that they used to cart about in crates when they moved.
“Snuff’s not my thing anymore, Izzy. Been there, done that.”
“Hey, you can’t beat the classics, Angel.”
“I think we’re pretty much done here, don’t you?”
“Yeah, keep him. Give him a good one for me, huh?” There was another pause. “Hey, is that Starbuck’s cart open downstairs? I could use a latté.”
“Yeah, it is. I’ll walk you down.”
Angel opened the training room door and said, “We’re done, Spike. You can go back upstairs.”
Spike nodded, picked up his shirt, and waited until he heard the lift doors close. He waited a few minutes more. Then he ran down the stairs to the garage, picked out a car and waited for that twisted fuck to waltz on over to his Beamer with his latté so he could follow him.
Angel wanted him to listen for a reason. Spike was going to save that girl.
Spike tailed the Beamer to a townhouse near Malibu. Figured that after the little nudge nudge wink wink that Angel and this tosser had, the bugger’d head straight for the girl.
Snuck up to the place good and careful, he did. Pried open a window and...couldn’t get in, leaned into the air hard but couldn’t get past the windowsill. Fuck, the girl must live here. Hadn’t thought of that...
He turned around just in time to see the cattle prods before they jolted him enough to black him out...
“Well, good evening, little man,” said that bastard, Izzy.
Spike opened his eyes to find himself handcuffed to a canopy bed. He could still smell fear and pain in the air. Must be her room. He tested the cuffs. Solid, wouldn’t budge. “Spare me the bad movie dialogue, why don’t you? Where’s the girl?” He tested the cuffs again.
“I know you just woke up, but think about it,” Izzy said. “You’re here and barely conscious...how did you get in?”
Oh fuck, the girl must already be dead. All for nothing, it was. “Why bother to cuff me, then?” Spike asked.
“If the apple falls off the tree and into my lap, what do you expect me to do?” said Izzy, smiling, sitting on the edge of the bed.
Spike kicked out as far as he could, almost connected. Izzy stood up and laughed. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to hurt you. Just wanted to make sure you were paying attention when I gave you this.” And he held out a video tape. “Fresh off the deck,” he said. “If you can wait, I’ll have it transferred to DVD.”
“Oh, fuck you!” Spike shouted. He started thrashing the bed. Pretty sure he could break the bed post soon.
“You’re right, transfer quality might not be that great. I’ll just leave it here.” And with that he put the cassette on the dresser. He looked about the room, fingered the wallpaper by the door, turned to Spike and said, “What’s your favorite color? I need to get the room redone.”
“You blokes bleed red, yeah? Might look good with a bit of that spattered on it.” Spike had almost bent the iron in half by this point.
Izzy smiled, closed his eyes briefly. “You would be so much fun...Just make sure Angel gets that, okay? Can’t trust UPS these days.”
“When Angel finds out...” Spike started to say.
“I didn’t touch you,” Izzy said as he was leaving the room. “I promised him that when he called.”
By the time Spike broke off the post, Izzy and his minions were already gone...
Angel didn’t see the first blow when he walked into the suite. Spike whacked him three more times with the aluminum bat before speaking.
“You set me up! You fucking prick! You set me up!” He whirled the bat and whacked him twice more. Kicked him in the back four times when he staggered.
Angel managed to kick Spike’s leg out from under as he was going down. He jumped on top of Spike, held him down. “I thought I told you to go upstairs.”
That made Spike stop in mid-kick. “But Angel, didn’t you want me to...? Oh, fuck, you didn’t.”
Angel held Spike’s wrists down and looked away.
“What else was I supposed to do, Angel? I had to try,” Spike said, not even bothering to fight back now.
Angel sat up, rubbed the left side of his face that was already blackening with bruises, “I can’t sweat the small stuff anymore, Spike. She was already dead.”
Spike stood up, reached inside the duster and pulled the cassette out. He casually flung it on Angel’s lap on the floor. “Got something for you. Special delivery.” He paused. “She died *after* I got there, Angel. After.”
Spike stood there and watched Angel finger the cassette as he sat on the floor. And he felt the vertigo of himself towering above him, righteous, condemning. Not supposed to be like this. If this was Angel’s position, he didn’t want it. So he reached down his hand and said, “Not the best place to be sitting. Might get a cramp.” And he helped Angel up off the floor.
Their eyes met and Angel’s eyes only crinkled slightly before he walked over to the VCR.
Spike ran over to meet him and blocked his way. “Oh no, you don’t. Give her some bleeding dignity. Fuck!”
Angel merely looked at him and said, “Avert not your eyes from the wickedness of man.” And with that he put in the tape.
Spike said, “Throwing the good book at me, Angel? He’s a demon, doesn’t apply.”
Angel pressed ‘play’ and said, “She died alone, Spike. And in pain.” He sat down on the couch with the remote. “The least I can do is witness it.”
Spike sat down with him. “Could’ve done more.” But Angel didn’t answer, just watched the screen. “Know her name, at least?”
And they watched for a while until Spike finally said, “Looks like some of your work, from the old days.”
Angel was quiet for a minute, “I would have loved this, the technology, being able to capture the moment while I was in it.” He looked down at his hands then back up at the screen. He pushed 'pause', studied a frame that had a close-up of her face. “This one,” he whispered, “This one is mine.”
And Spike knew that the old man was adding this one to the others. Like a bead on a rosary. Tweren’t like that for him. All a-jumble, it was, like dipping one’s hand in shards of glass. Sharp, piercing, each one crisp as can be.
“Hey,” Spike said, taking the remote away from Angel. “Enough, yeah?” And so he pushed ‘stop’.
He took Angel’s hand, looked him in the eye and said, “Don’t know what you’re playing at, but you’re still one of the good guys, yeah?” He reached up his free hand and touched the bruises on Angel’s face. Couldn’t say exactly who kissed whom.
But they both made it go away for a little while.