Disclaimer: I own nothing

Authors note: This is a little vignette, a conversation between Spike and Angel. No Buffy in it, actually, but it belongs here, not in the Angel section, because this is about Buffy and Spike, ultimately. And, um, it will break your heart. Sorry. Spoilers through the latest ep of Angel. Set during "Hole in the World," before everything went bad and the latest apocoli started up. (Remember Riley said he needed to know the plural of Apocalypse? Starmouse made one up. Many thanks)

PS: I don't normally do this sort of thing, but when they said it would be a month-long hiatus, I went a little insane.

Spike growled at Angel, glaring at him. "Cavemen!" He shouted.

Angel glowered at him. "Oh, sure. Ignoring what intelligence has done for the species entirely."

Wesley chose then to retreat, knowing that the discussion, however fun it could be, would never end peaceably between the two vampires with souls who were currently on the same mission, and still hated each other's guts.

He knew that they would never admit it, but they were very alike. Very much so. The leather jackets. The hair that they clearly spent so much time on with gel (although with such very different effects). And the rage that they carried.

True, with Angel it was a buried, brooding rage, and with Spike it was on his sleeve. But it was there.

Spike sat down roughly, grabbing a cigarette out of his pocket. "Ponce." He muttered.

Angel had just about had enough. "Why are you here?" He asked.

"Saving the world." Said Spike dryly. "Never thought I'd be in your shoes, poofter."

Angel rolled his eyes. "I mean, here. In my office. You won, you know? You got it. You stole everything I had. You stole Buffy, you stole my cool gig, you even managed to somehow win over everyone else in the office. Fine. I can take a hint. You win. So why are you still here, and not off gloating somewhere?"

Spike took a long drag on the cigarette. "Must be the company." He said snidely.

Angel slammed a hand down on his desk. "You have everything I ever wanted!" He said, his voice rising. Spike looked up at him and cocked one eyebrow lazily. "You have the woman I loved. You're more than halfway to the redemption I wanted, craved more than blood. Why are you here?"

"I have everything you ever wanted?" Asked Spike. "That's a laugh." He scoffed, standing up. "You're the one with everything, mate!" He stalked closer to Angel.

"Ha!" Said Angel. "I can't sleep with Buffy or I lose my soul. You slept with her." His face darkened. "A lot."

Spike shook his head. "All I ever wanted was for her to love me, even a little." He glared at Angel. "But she doesn't, not even a little. Oh, I satisfied her cravings, but even up at the end, before I burnt to a crisp, she looked into my eyes—and I saw pity." He sat back down. "Sure, she slept with me, but you have her heart."

They both stared at each other. Each one held what the other wanted so badly. And what neither could have.

Each one lived and died for Buffy.

And neither of them could have her. Instead they were stuck with the consolation prize that was each other. Dark eyes met clear blue eyes, and the hatred in the room simmered at a boiling point.

Both could have called Buffy at any time. Thanks to Andrew, they both knew where she was, and how to reach her.

Neither one dared to, knowing the torture and torment that awaited them.

Knowing that she would never belong to them.

They stared at each other, for a silent moment commiserating. Understanding. Sympathizing.

"I'm talking about something primal!" Said Spike, breaking the moment. "I'm talking about animal instincts! I don't see how your poncey astronauts could beat that!"

Angel sighed angrily. "Oh, sure, discount human evolution!" He said, angry.

And they both pushed away painful thoughts of Buffy, the woman they both loved, and who neither one could have.