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Rating: 17 (sooner or later I hope!)
Pairing: Spike/ Angel (eventually), Spike/Raven(OC)
Summary: Spike decided to stay in L.A. and work with Angel and Co. in Wolfram and Hart now known as A.I and Co. However, Angel still has a bit of a grudge towards Spike, for obvious reasons. Spike gets hurt… Angel is responsible in away. How will that work out I wonder?
Notes: this is all happening in S5 AtS, Cordy woke up from her coma and Fred is Fred. W&H is now the Fang Gang's playground so… no Eve yay! You'll figure out the details when you read.
Disclaimer: the chars belong to Joss though I borrowed some… am going to keep them for sometime… give them tea and crumpets… maybe make them show me their sexy dance and if I ever get bored *snort* I'll return them.
Distribution: You want? Just ask, I swear I won't say no!
Thanks: A big smooch goes out to falcons319 for giving me the name to the story! Not to mention the encouragement to finish it since she was the very first person to read it (even before me!*g* don't ask… lets just say she endured something I wrote off the top of my head without rereading it… she's SO brave! And told me she loved it, go figure!). Love you lots hon!
*Smoochies* for Farah my bestest for quickly reading over and to lilithbint and Sophie for the great beta, thanks you guys!
Italics & *& capitals = emphasize
~ = thoughts
“I can not understand why you insist on living in this. . . in this. . .” Raven tilted his head to the side, searching for a more appropriate word.
“Dump. Rat trap. Hell hole?” Spike supplied with a grin. Raven raised an eyebrow at his cool demeanor. Spike only shrugged. “What can I say, it grew on me.” He pushed the door closed after the longhaired vampire walked in.
Raven blatantly peered behind the couch and pressed with lips. “Yes. Like mold.”
“That funny bone of yours only gets more charming, I’ll have you know.” Spike tossed the dark haired vampire a beer bottle that was casually caught. Raven examined the label with distaste, and then placed the cheap bottle on the stain filled table. He watched as Spike gulped at his own.
Raven could only observe amused as Spike flopped down onto the ragged sofa and started up a children’s game, displaying his talent; playing with only his left hand and sipping from the right.
The Hravolen Master had not been completely shocked when Spike had asked to be dropped back at his own apartment the night before. He was somewhat disappointed, but not surprised. He wasn’t a fool. He knew ‘that night’ Spike only sought his company – and more – for the sole reason that Angelus had broken the thin line. However, last night left Spike with a grin on his face.
Raven planned on thanking Cordelia Chase for informing Spike of the mission. Of course, she had no idea that he would be tagging along. Not wanting anything to happen to Spike or for his future Claimed to be alone with Angelus, Raven had inadvertently caused Ms. Chase’s matchmaking plan to be pulled to a screeching halt. Spike and Angel might be oblivious, but he, unquestionably, was not.
As Wesley’s inquiring mind was questioning Spike and Raven about the Elder vampire’s peace diplomacy, and as Raven was making an impression on Wesley, he was at the same time eavesdropping into Angel’s cellular phone conversation. Let it not be said that vampire hearing wasn’t helpful, especially since it served as the only warning to the demon’s eminent attack, for the beast outwardly appeared out of thin air, right behind Spike.
It was clear from the beginning that Angel wasn’t pleased with Raven joining them, and he positively wasn’t thrilled about Raven saving Spike. Raven had not missed the desperation that had filled Angel’s eyes as he rushed to rescue his childe, but, that was none of his concern. He merely enjoyed Spike’s rare good mood of the night, how the cheerful blond commented on how he amazingly overheard ‘Droopy Boy’ over Cordelia’s screeching and giddily spoke about how the rising actress seemed to be digging her claws back into the poor unsuspecting human.
“What’re ya grinning about?”
Raven was brought back into the present and refocused his attention to see Spike’s gaze directed elsewhere. He looked at the colorful screen and pointed. “Did that little blonde girl beat you?”
Spike followed the finger then laughed. “Nah, that’s me! I kick Tekken arse!”
Raven frowned. “You deliberately chose to play as … a girl?”
Spike leaned forward with a serious look in his eyes. “Never underestimate tiny blonde girls, Ray.”
Raven looked away from the still screen and into blue eyes. “You don’t say?”
“Yeah. Word of an expert here, mate.” Spike discarded the joystick on the couch next to him and lolled his head back against the cushions, eyes not breaking Raven’s gaze. “Care to tell me why you’re here? In daylight, so unlike you.” He smirked.
Raven’s face took an expressionless disposition. “The Gathering has been set two nights from tonight.”
Spike sat back up, he titled his head as if to hear better. “Isn’t that too soon?”
“I care not for such formalities,” Raven said in bored a tone and waved his hand dismissingly. “And those who appear in short notice are those who interest us. The ceremonial Gathering of the Vampire Lines would be set on the night of the full moon and that is still some time away.”
Spike nodded remembering Wesley telling him the same about the Vampire Society, although his fellow Englishman neglected to mention the aforementioned Gathering of evildoers. “You’re not gonna parade me around some buggering demon crowd, are ya? Like some pretty trophy.” Spike batted his lashes.
Raven raised an eyebrow. “We are taking a big step with Rule, William. An invitation had been sent to every powerful party in the underworld.”
Spike didn’t gulp. He was stressing on that crucial fact. “Slayers?”
“It is still too soon for them.” Raven shook his head. He didn’t miss Spike palpable relief. “We can’t trust them not to kill all the attendees.” Spike snorted but didn’t contradict the fact. Slayers did tend to kill first and rarely even bother to ask later, especially the new slayer-chicklets. He should know, he silently ginned, he had trained the senior potential-slayers before their ascension to the slayer ranks.
Raven noticing Spike’s distraction, coughed. “Of course, some humans will attend.” The older vampire hid a triumphal smile at bringing back the blond’s attention. He knew him so well. “But most are consorts, pets or the rare but powerful mages and witches.”
Spike nodded digesting all that. “Will Red be getting an invite then?”
Raven’s face showed interest. He had not heard of any Red magic user. Spike seemed to note his confusion.
“Willow Rosenberg,” he supplied. He chuckled when Raven’s face darkened.
“Ah, yes, the Black Witch of the Hellmouth. No.” He shook his head like that thought had been troubling him for sometime. “She’s a strong ally of the Slayer and remains unpredictable. She will be approached only with caution.” Raven looked at Spike warningly.
Spike rolled his eyes. “Yeah, well better keep that thought to yourself, Ray. She’s in LA-land with entourage to pick up a fledge slayer.”
Raven lightly nodded filing that, and didn’t bother to hide how that troubled him. He tried to change the subject. “I’ve received word that you have been to Wolfram and Hart’s L.A. branch today.”
“Ah, and the reason to why you’re awake during the day comes to light! Oh. See what I did there?” Spike said gaspingly then frowned in mock thought. “They better find themselves a better name if they want the world to know they’re good now, A.I & Co. needs some work…”
“This is not a joking matter, William,” Raven’s voice hardened.
“And having me tailed around town isn’t either.” Spike replied with vigor standing up with feline grace against a superior vampire more than three times his age. “You might have dominated claim on me neck Hrafen, but you don’t own me, yet.”
Raven’s jaw tightened. His golden eyes flashed but neither vampire backed down. The Elder knew he was the one to lose more in this, so he tried to ease the air. “You will be more than mine. You will be my mate. A Master Ruler of the Hravolen Line by my side, respected by all Clans.”
“Yeah, yeah, so you’ve been telling me,” Spike said defiantly, leaning his head back, and looking straight at Raven. “And treating me like a five-year-old fledgling all the same speaks otherwise.” He rumbled, throwing his hands in the air. “You didn’t need to come last night, I don’t need looking after! Survived this long without one’s eyes on my back.”
“Well, unfortunately for you, you will survive longer this time with one.” Raven’s eyebrow rose. “You are not getting rid of me this easily, William the Bloody.” The side of his mouth rose in sequence.
Spike glared. A second later, soft chuckled escaped with an amused slight head shake. “Would you think less of me if I stuck my tongue at you now?” Blue eyes looked at gray ones questioningly.
Raven encouraged by the sparkle in the azure orbs pushed on, “Only if you don’t intend to use it for something worth the exertion on yourself.”
“And there’s the funny bone rearing its nasty head with the all lovable oldie.” Spike’s fingers snapped accompanied with an amused head shake. “You’re gonna sully your big ole Master name if you keep throwing yer wit around like that.”
Raven smiled, his finger tapped periodically against his wrist. “Why were you out there today, Will?”
Spike sighed and eyed his beat-up mini-fridge longingly before answering Raven’s expectant look. “I went today to ask Freddikins where the Scooby 102 were staying. Need to tell them about the plan. No sense of going all the way if the treaty isn’t going to pass.”
“Ah, yes. Of course.” Metaphorical cold blades through the heart seemed to be painful. Interesting. “And that couldn’t have been done…?”
“Over the phone?” Spike finished for him. He shook his head and moved forward and around the still figure.
The British punk picked up his new leather jacket, made sure not to caress it - one time mockery is all Raven was going to get - and stuck his arms in the comfortable formfitting sleeves.
Raven stood in front of Spike before the other vampire reached the door.
“I need not remind you of what took place the last time you were there.” It was a clear statement. The venom that accompanied it didn’t go past Spike who knew the other vampire hadn't enacted the punishment he saw fit on Angel because Raven feared that the Aurelius Master would take back his unspoken permission for the claiming. Spike felt his blood boil all the same.
The angry look did nothing to affect Raven.
“I had a little too much to drink with Head Boy, I beat his Broodyness’ arse to the grimy ground once before, I’d do it again,” Spike said frivolously.
“Remember what I taught you, Leif.” The look was more vexed than angered. “Overconfidence when facing an enemy will be a downfall of any great warrior.”
Spike looked away. “Angel isn’t my enemy.”
“Then what is he?” Raven knew the answer. It had been a hundred years since he heard it, and the last time he asked it, William had replied without hesitation, looking out at something that didn’t exist. He waited anxiously for the answer.
It seemed like Spike's whole face was frowning, still looking away from his future Claimer. He looked back. “I have a date with a witch, a scarecrow and a tin-slayer about the land of Oz. Seeing as the sun is still up and about, and I don’t know if the bloody Hilton has sewer access like the eerie building of evil passed, and you came during the daylight hours." He titled his head. "My elementary tells me you happen to have that fancy glass in your car?” Even though it was a statement, more than one request was impended in it.
After a few minutes of reflection, Raven heaved an insufferable sigh. “Very well.”
Spike nodded and gave a small smile of thanks.
Silently, Raven opened the door and waved Spike out. The blond smirked awkwardly sideways at him when he was closing the door behind them. “Sure you don’t want to back out, mate? This is sugar puffs compared to what might -no scratch that- what will happen.”
Raven shrugged and walked besides Spike. Shoulders brushed occasionally as they walked down the hallway.
Spike got only one answer. “I know what I want.” They both heard the implicit question “Do you?”