Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or their world.

A/N: A fill for leni_ba's prompt on Comment_Fic: "any. any. From love to hate, there's but a short step. (but the way back can take a trip across continents)"

Spike throws Angel's arm over his shoulder, loops his own arm around Angel's waist so he can use his other hand to keep poor grandaddy's guts from spilling out onto the sidewalk, and hurries (limps) the both of them quickly (slowly, haltingly) across the street toward the basement door he's spied there.


"Shut up."

They get through the carnage of dead demon carcasses and fallen civilians (not thinking about that right now) successfully and stumble onto the steps. He trips halfway down the stairs and they topple the rest of the way to the bottom.

Look, there's bone that's poking out just below his knee and his arm's been stabbed all the way through and Angel's gotten fat again in his old age, what more do you want from him?

"Ugh," says Angel. There's blood in his mouth and it bubbles out when he speaks and Spike's thinking it isn't someone else's. "You're awful."

"Fuck you." Spike will get up. He will. He can feel the sunrise coming, can see it at the tops of the buildings from where he's lying. He will get up and get them inside, but his ribs are most likely dust and his head is ringing from the fall and he will get up but first he's gotta take a moment.

Not like Angel's leaping to his feet to save them.

He didn't like Angelus immediately, back when they first met. There was a whole two minutes, nearly, of ambivalence before he recognised the way the cruelty in Angelus's eyes and the promises of eternal companionship were exactly what he wanted when accepting this new life from Drusilla. They'd been good together, back then. Vicious and sadistic monsters. They'd been real good.

And then Dru.

And then Romania.

And then China.

And then the sub.

And then… then Sunnydale.

Spike gets up. He has to hold onto the rails with his good hand, but Angel's still lying there, staring at him upside-down all yellow eyes and fangs, so Spike feels about as victorious as he can when they're still in the middle of a battle they can't possibly win and he's this close to having some of his body parts just fall right off.

Embarrassingly, it takes him three runs at it to get the door to break in.

Behind him, Angel snorts a blood-bubbling snort at Spike. Or maybe he just chokes. But if he does, he chokes deridingly, because that's what they do. That's them. Angel and Spike, enemies for unlife.

And there, see? That's how much the bastard's gotten into his head. Puts himself first.

Spike and Angel.

Spike stumbles into the basement. It looks like it's used for storage. Crates piled high around the edges of the room and in towering rows. Good enough to hide in for the day.

He doesn't try to get Angel back up again and hauls him inside by the armpits instead. Angel's pant leg doesn't got up in smoke at the very last second but it feels like they're cutting it that close. Spike closes the door behind them and collapses against it.

Only some of Angel's intestines have spilled out so they're doing pretty all right.

"You see her?" he asks.

"Yeah," says Angel. His voice is bubbly and wavering from the pain but Spike still hears the love in there. "I saw her. Just a moment. Didn't even get to speak to her."

"Thought I might've imagined her," Spike admits. He clenches his jaw, braces himself, and pokes at the bone that's slice through his skin and jeans and sees white. "Fuck." He pulls his hand back and slumps back, panting a little.

Angel groans but reaches out. "Get over here. I'll do it."

Spike scoots toward him without standing or putting any more weight on his leg and settles with the toe of his boot bumped up against Angel's hip.

"We're gonna have to do a lot of explaining when she finishes cleaning this up for us," he says. Him for pretending to be dead these past months and for not stopping Angel when he started this. Angel for starting this.

"Yeah," says Angel. He spits a huge gob of blood onto the floor on the side and then rolls over to face Spike. His hand rises and hovers just above the jut of Spike's bone. His voice is reverent and Spike knows the feeling.

Weird for them to be back, like this. Back in agreement and on the same side, for real.

"Damn well better make sure she knows it's all your fault," he says.

And Angel shoves the bone back into place.