WAITING FOR FUEL By D.M. Evans Feedback - Rating: PG-13 Timeline: Up to Destiny AtS 5 and goes AR there after. Disclaimer - Mr Whedon owns all the characters within, not me, but we all already knew that. Summary - Injured and banished from Wolfram and Hart Spike has to find a way back into everyone's good graces and gets help from an unexpected source. Author's Note #1: Written for the Angel Book of Days - Winter Challenge http://www.moracle.co.uk/angelbod/contents.html Author's Note #2: I'll admit it, the h/c genre tripped me up. I can usually write Spike well but it was the genre part I wrestled with this time. I hope what I came up with isn't too far off course and that it's still an enjoyable story even if it is. The Challenge Written for: Kara Requirements: Character: Spike Genre: h/c And: no other requests Restrictions: please don't pair him with Harmony Spoiler Max Level: Unrestricted Rating Max Level: NC-17

Dig deeper this time down beneath the impossible pain of our history beneath unknown bones beneath the bedrock of the mystery Fuel - Ani DiFranco

I managed to make a real cock up of things. The last time I had done it up this bad was when Buffy dropped that organ on my head. No, that wasn't my fault. I had piss poor help that delivered not one but two Slayers right to me at the worst possible time.

This was more like that time with Adam, yet another ally who crapped out on me. Trying to turn everyone against each other is tricky business. It takes a skilled hand. I was good at it. I had nearly torn apart the Scoobies. I don't know why they didn't kill me. I didn't think I was going to get so lucky with Angel.

He was screaming for my blood. That wasn't too unusual. He and I were like fuel and an open flame, always have been. It's been a vicious cycle of admiration, jealousy, distrust, friendship and one upmanship since he first took me under his wing.

Angel knew I was out to steal his place in any which way I could, right down to that prophecy. Granted, that's probably not something I could just take, especially if it hinged on me being a good person. I wasn't being one right now. I was a total bastard. I played on Fred's good heart and got access to her files. I played the fellow Brit to Wes who was feeling adrift. I knew the look, understood the feeling and that got me access to the library. Pretending to appreciate Gunn's deus ex machina intelligence, I got the client files. Anything else I needed was filled in by that twit, Harmony. Damn, I almost miss those blokes.

I wasn't really trying to set one against the other. They already were and just didn't realize it. They only came together when the threat was high. They didn't even see how isolated they were. Okay, I didn't know them very well so maybe they were always like this but I doubt it. If I had wanted them all gone, I could probably have picked them off with ease.

I didn't want that. I was still clinging to the delusion I could be a good man. Part of me wanted to be. What I was doing with Angel didn't fit into good or evil, at least not as vampires see it. We tended to take things. It was our nature. My Machiavellian flare let me put together pieces of a puzzle they all had and didn't see how it fit.

I could see that Wolfram and Hart was just stringing Peaches along. They were keeping him occupied, making him look one way while something big was happening in the other direction. I probably should have just told Angel what was going on, be a team player instead of trying to exploit it. It's hard to go against your own nature.

I didn't realize how much I had to lose. I learned quick. I took what I knew to Eve, to blackmail her into giving me something to trump Angel. She pointed me to a local college to a scrawny little kid with a bad hair cut. Someone should have told the short-arse and his friends the Punk era really ended thirty years ago no matter how hard they tried to keep it alive.

I never did figure out what Angel would want with some whelp with hair bleached whiter than mine, tipped with blue and gelled into spikes. I was still trying to puzzle out what he might mean to Angel when my grandsire caught me on campus stalking the skinny bastard. One thing was clear, Eve hadn't lied to me. This boy had some kind of important to Angel and I'm betting she told Angel where to find me. I know Peaches doesn't usually hang out on college campuses. I found myself locked into one hell of a fight with Angel when I said I wouldn't back off the boy until I figured out how he fit in the puzzle. Obviously from the broken nose, cracked ribs, loosened teeth and fang marks I received, Punk Boy had some place in the jigsaw.

Of course, the only thing I had gotten for my broken bones and torn flesh was a threat on my life if I ever came back to Wolfram and Hart's building and most especially if I ever was caught sniffing around Punk Boy again. Angel meant it. Oh, he's meant it in the past before, too. We have had our share of flare ups. Angel and I were always fires waiting for fuel. We even enjoyed the battles. This wasn't one of those enjoyable times. This would be me out in the cold for a good long time as far as my grandsire was concerned.

Maybe I wouldn't have minded so much if I wasn't being hunted by Eve and the resources Wolfram and Hart put at her disposal. Peaches didn't know about that. The bitch knew Angel had hung me out to dry. No one had my back. I don't know how she tracked me to the place where I was licking the wounds Angel had given me. I barely had time to react before the fire bomb came through the roof. I could hear her laughing as I managed to scramble into the sewer, extinguishing myself in the filth. Fuck, Dru, now I know what you felt like when you came to me for comfort back in Sunnydale after Angel torched you and Darla. The pain went beyond excruciating. I couldn't see myself, of course, but I could feel that I had lost most of my hair and parts of my face. My shoulders, back and chest were blackened in spots. Blisters had been raised on my arms. Moving was next to impossible.

I stretched out in my new hidey hole, trying to get comfortable. I had robbed a hospital of good human blood. It tasted funny with all the thinners in it but better than pig's blood. I didn't really like hiding out in a coffin but it was needed. I had dumped the poor sot out of his box and climbed in after making sure the skeleton wasn't visible from the crypt door. There was only one way into the crypt; good and bad. I was hoping this hideout was just for the day. I didn't like having a place without a bolt-hole, especially not when I have something like Wolfram and Hart hounding me.

I hurt too much to care that I was alone and a little afraid, if I had to confess to it. Comfort would have been as cold as the winter winds whipping the crypt, colder even given that southern California couldn't do up winter right, not like England could. I shut my eyes, hoping for sleep.