Author Note: Ok, This chapter is coming in three parts, but I'm keeping the "Glass House" title due to theme. There's a sad twist here, but hey it wouldn't be a story if they just sat around drinking tea. There is a lot of Spike/Faith interaction and Connor & Angel interaction and implied past Angelus/Spike.
Story note: Sorry this is like a badly placed commercial break. Here's the next part of the chapter starting right off from the last sentence.
"And the wittiest with the dirty jokes," he said, "And you know the homicidal jealousy over the ex I don't even like is hot."
"Does it count as homicidal if she doesn't have a soul?" Faith asked as she looked up and caught his eyes, "I just wanted you to put a shirt on. Didn't want her getting a free peek at the abs. Now if she felt like payin' for seein' em' that's another story."
"Nothing would be for free. If Harm had shown up here, I would have killed her unless she apologized for insulting you," Spike grinned as buttoned up his pants.
"Hmm, that sounds kind of like how my last pimping experience with a boyfriend went. It wasn't fun; of course, I was the one being pimped, so maybe that had something to do with it. How much could I charge her just to look at your abs?"
"What?" Spike demanded as he was snapped out of the seduction of her sultry voice and fell into outrage at what words she had just said.
"Your abs? I'd say at least a thousand dollars; two if she wants to touch them, and I'm a way better pimper than a pimpee. I know to get the money up-front," she said as she took her hand out of his pants to smooth over them once more.
"Someone pros—Who-who did that to you? That sod—that-that man John?" he stammered.
Faith stiffened and pulled her hand away. Her eyes grew wide as if she realized she had made a mistake. But then she grinned that steely grin.
"No, that one wasn't a boyfriend," Faith tisked as if he had gotten one of the She-Spies names wrong, "More of a sugar daddy. I actually ran away with the boyfriend because I got tired of doling out all that sugar. Don't worry, by that time I wasn't so sweet anymore. The sugar was running dry. Now, I'm the kind of girl that can joke about pimping out a perfectly good guy. Of course, she'd only get to touch the abs, no matter how much she had, and I don't really expect some vamp secretary will have three thousand dol--"
"Who did this to you? If it was a man you ran to in order get away from the other man, you must have trusted him. How old were you? It had to be before you were a Slayer, so you couldn't have been more than fifteen, sixteen? Bloody Hell, Faith! You were just a little 'bit," Spike gasped.
It had never all come together in his head in quite such a picture as it was now. He knew Faith's life had to have been hard. He knew there had to have be people—men—who'd hurt her. The last time he had a working heart for more than a few seconds the girls on the streets had been younger. But, what was a girl that had no money to do then?
He had seen things get better, for girls in the clean parts of the world, but he still wasn't one to be a fool and say that things were that much different. Spike was hardly naïve. He'd seen all of it, and done most of what could be done to little girls. He had been a veal kind of himself. Faith said her mother died when she was twelve. He didn't know exactly when she had been called, but he knew it was before she was seventeen. So, this meant she had to have gone through all of this between the ages of twelve and fifteen. That wasn't veal. That was a calf fresh out of the womb that didn't have time to even get in the box yet. Yes, he knew this happened all the time, and it would keep happening to 'bits everywhere. But, it shouldn't—couldn't happen to the girl he loved.
This was bloody awful. He felt like a complete tosser for not seeing this all sooner, for not doing something.
He hugged Faith to him even though she seemed a little resistant now. She was still straddling his lap but she had pulled away her bare breasts out of his reach, as if she was a stripper giving a lap dance who didn't really want to be touched. Of course, this thought only gave Spike a more detailed notion of what she must have gone through.
"Relax," she laughed, "You look like your mama or your dog just died. I was only joking, English."
"Like hell," he said quietly, "Who was this sodding little cowboy who took advantage of you?"
"Angel," she said and her mouth went round.
"Angel?" Spike said more in confusion than anything else.
"Hi Angel," Faith said grinned sheepishly, "Hey Connor. You guys are late."
Spike turned his head to see the big poof standing ten feet away. He was much too distracted to have sensed anyone coming. Great. Just what he needed to cheer him up; Angel crashing in on their party.
"Oh hell," Angel grimaced.
Spike smiled slowly. Right, Faith was topless and she was straddling Spike. The position had become so natural that Spike hadn't really thought of it. Angel would have to deal with reality now.
"He'll never stop walking in on me," Spike said, "I swear he times it. You do time it, don't you? I'm sure he's walked in on the lot of us before, right? It's how he gets his jollies."
Faith slipped on her tank top, and rolled her big brown eyes.
"Bite me," Angel muttered and turned away from Spike and Faith on the couch.
"Yeah, that's the other way you get 'em. But I think you're really finally fully on your own, mate. My girl doesn't want you for that sort of thing. So, you'll have to time your entrances differently," Spike said as he glanced over at Connor.
Spike frowned. He wanted Angel to have to deal with the reality that a Slayer loved him, but he didn't want Angel to have the reality of seeing Faith's perfect tits ever. Nor did he want Connor to see them as long as Spike was alive, and Spike was very much alive. He knew that wasn't the reason that the kid's eyes were popping out of their sockets. Spike knew the kid had already gotten word that Spike had unexpectedly lived through the last ordeal, but even if he hadn't, Spike didn't have a big enough ego to think Connor would be gaping over him when Faith's breasts were showing themselves.
"C'mon, Spike," Faith smiled, "Be fair. Angel was supposed to come by days ago, and that would have been way worse, I don't even think there was a second I was wearing clothes, and you--"
"Okay," Angel sighed and closed his eyes, "I really don't want to know. I didn't want to know. I was almost at the door a few days ago, when I—sensed---it. So, I took Connor and we went to Vegas. I was hoping it was over by now. Why isn't it over? Why is there blood and pizza staining my crystal table?"
"Who do you think I am, you?" Spike smirked, "I got my girl. I'll never let it be over, unless she ever allows me to die for her like she was supposed to. Not bloody likely, since she's always gotta be the hero, the top, at least in front of open doors."
"Oh bitch, bitch, bitch," Faith said as she was now cleaning up pizza crusts.
"So, you—you're dating, the two of you. This isn't just—just like one of those sex things that you do. Can't it be not dating? Can't Spike go to Mongolia? I'll pay for him to go to Mongolia. I'll pay for him to go to go anywhere as long as it's alone."
"Spike? What are you--? Faith are you--? I thought that--?" Connor's eyes were still wide with surprise as he stammered.
"He speaks, well kind of. How ya been, lad? Why are you late meeting with my girl? Not that I'm complaining. It gave us time to do much needed things," Spike said.
"More unconventional training you wouldn't want to see," Faith laughed, "Is everything okay? The cyborgs didn't cause any trauma, did they?"
"Cyborgs? What cybo—Oh yeah, that—that—went pretty---How are things going with you?"
Although the boy had Angel's eyes with Darla's color, he didn't really have their eyes at all. They were way too innocent. The boy might see that opinion as an insult after all the battle he had seen, but it was true. Spike knew it couldn't be the fake memories that had done that, not after the real ones had come back. A person had to have a real goodness to have that, goodness magic couldn't provide.
"I think you broke the boy by giving him a glimpse. Don't worry. Won't happen again," Spike laughed.
"Do you want anything? Like you know, food or something?" Faith said as she rose off the couch.
"Such a thoughtful girl, isn't she?" Spike smiled.
"You're offering me food from my own house. My house with the crystal table that now has pizza stains all over it," Angel sighed.
"You don't have to give Angel anything other than what you've already have, love," Spike said.
"Right, you don't eat. I'm sorry. It's just Spike's really into eating so I forgot about you," Faith said.
She was trying to break down the pizza box and she wasn't quite folding it right. She became frustrated with it, and dropped back on the table. Angel frowned, or frowned more, but Faith hadn't noticed. She was trying to clean the table in a different way, but just seemed to be spreading crumbs around.
"She forgot about you," Spike grinned and Angel glowered at him.
"Faith," Angel said softly as he glared at Spike, "Do you really know what you are doing here? I mean, maybe this is a mistake—a huge, huge mistake."
"Angel, no!" Faith gasped as her eyes widened in hurt, "I know it may look like that with the two of slacking off in your house, but I promise it's not. I swear you can trust me."
"This isn't his house—," Spike began.
"It's not that I don't trust you," Angel said, "It's just, you have just been through a big trauma. You almost died. You had a break-up, and along comes Spike with—his---his cheek bones and whatever else he has, and I know that after Buffy died she—"
"Is that what you're worried about," Faith laughed, "Well don't. Me an' Spike already talked this out, and I told him what's what from the get go."
"Oh thank God!" Angel said.
"So, Spike is going to Mongolia?" Connor asked.
"No, kid," Faith smiled, "Don't worry. Spike is with us."
"But—," Angel began.
"Look, Angel. Don't worry. We talked it all out. Both of us are interested in fighting the mission, and helping Connor fight on the Hellmouth," she said.
The girl was so engulfed in her own argument; she couldn't see the confused and stricken look on Angel's face. She had such fire to fight the fight that she didn't see when other people were concerned about her for other reasons. Spike stepped behind his girl as she was futilely trying to clean pizza droppings of the sodding crystal table with a napkin. Spike brushed her hair back to display the bite scars Angelus made.
Angel realized Faith had no idea what he was talking about. She thought he was afraid Spike was going to want her to quit the mission. It wasn't even dawning on her that Spike was the worst choice for a boyfriend that she could possibly pick. A Slayer with no slaying power and a vampire with a Slayer hang-up, it was the worst idea since…Angel was thinking it was the worst idea since Sid and Nancy, and he would have had no problem saying so until Spike brushed Faith's hair back and traced Angelus's bite scars. Angel forced himself not to look away as Spike purposely displayed where Angelus had bitten Faith. He didn't have to look into Spike's eyes for more than a fraction of a second to realize that Spike had found out what Angelus had tried to do to Faith. Of course, Faith had told Spike as they were lovers now—more than lovers. Angel hoped they had just been lovers and nothing more. Angel could deal with that. The things he smelled when he first came to the door of his house-- the things he heard. But now Spike knew just how Angel had slipped back into Angelus and what he had done—tried to do. Angel was positive Faith had stuck up for Angel. She knew Angel was not Angelus. Angel wasn't the one that tasted the sweet salty river of Slayer blood, and was pleasantly surprised when it was so similar to Buffy's—and so different from Buffy's. Angel was not the one that wanted to sire Faith and do all those unspeakable things to her body as she lay between life and death. Spike didn't believe that. No, he didn't want to believe it.
"Yeah, don't worry, Angel. WE talked it all out. We know you only want what's best for Faith, and we appreciate all your concern. But I'd never take her out of the mission, and I'll make sure no one else does it—ever again. I'd almost like to see them try, with all the things that I have planned for people who get in her way," Spike said.
Spike kissed Faith's neck and looked up at Angel. Spike didn't want to believe it because his own demon was so much a part of who he was. The little shit had no curse. He got a soul to get into a Slayers pants, and now he had. He didn't seem to have any remorse for his past. He spent two weeks crying in a basement and he was fine. He had taken the Sanshu and decided to come back as a vampire. (Wesley said that might not be the case. It might not have been the Sanshu Spike fulfilled, but still. Now not only had he slept with Buffy, but Faith. She was one of the few people Angel trusted. And Spike had gained the friendship of Angel's son—his son!) How fair is that?
"Right," Faith smiled as she was still trying to clean the pizza that had destroyed his crystal table.
Angel knew he should just be happy that the table was still standing. Faith wasn't even aware of the huge insult and threat Spike was making. It was a threat that Angel fully believed. If Angelus got out and hurt Faith again, Spike would do everything in his power to kill Angel in the aftermath. Of course, this was a moot point, as Angelus was gone, but Spike would love the excuse.
"So, you don't need me to go to Sunnydale anymore?" Connor asked.
Oh, wouldn't that be the best thing to happen! But, Angel couldn't help but notice his kid was crushed. Why did he want this life? He told Angel it was to make amends, but it had to be more, as the boy had already done that as far as Angel was concerned. It wasn't as if his son was like him, and had two lifetimes of atrocities he could never make up for. Maybe his son wanted Faith. But, there was no chance of that happening now. She was clearly enthralled with Spike, and had been for sometime. Angel was hoping that they would never actually couple, that Faith herself would stop it from happening. He thought that Spike's kind of overbearing "love" would suffocate her, but Angel knew that there was another side of Faith that exhausted anyone human with her need.
"Are you fucking kidding me? I don't know what we would do without you. That's a mother of a Hellmouth, you know? You've never seen it active," Faith said.
"Yeah. No one ever said you weren't invited to the new dance. You just don't lead. Since I lived, I figure there's a lot I could teach you. Not to mention the things that Faith could teach you. She just may not be able to teach you all you wanted," Spike said.
"Hey!" Faith said, "No one is leading the dance. We don't waltz anymore, Victorian guy. It's free style, and I can still teach him everything he wants. Just because I don't have the muscle anymore doesn't mean I'm chopped liver. What's that they say? Those who can't do-- teach."
"You can do anything you want, love," Spike said.
"Yeah, like keeping them under control, please," Angel muttered.
Faith wasn't the only one with this need. Connor needed her. She also needed him, but not like she needed Spike. Angel didn't want to think about how Spike, Mr. Needy himself, was getting out of having Connor around, or vice versa. So, he didn't think about it.
"Yeah, I can do that. Bust out the whip and all that," Faith winked.
"But no school girl outfit, that's old hat," Spike smiled "Maybe tweed. Since you're going the way of the Watcher now. Yes, tweed with nothing under it."
"Sounds itchy," Faith said.
She looked at Spike like he was the only one there. Suddenly, Angel felt bad for that Wood guy. Faith always looked at Wood with such adoration, kind of the way she looked at Angel, but it was never like that. And hadn't Spike killed his mother or something? Though, Angel knew love had nothing to do with fairness.
"Yeah," Connor said, "You don't want to go the way of Wes. He has issues. One of those Cyborgs was made to look like his Dad. I wonder how they did that? I guess you can get a satellite photo of anyone and then do a silicon molding of their face scan…Still—they must have used magic."
Angel couldn't help but smile, even though Connor sneered at his own use of the word "magic." He was such a smart kid, a curious kid. He could do anything he put his mind to. He could rule the world. Of course, with the right guidance, that would be a good thing.
"Anyway, they had us all duped into thinking this 'borg was his Dad, and Wes shot it, like 5 times, in the chest. Issues," Connor smiled.
"Connor!" Angel grumbled, "That wasn't what happened. So, Wes thought he killed his--- It turned out not to be his Dad. So, it's not a big deal. Can we just move on? I told you I didn't want to talk about that anymore."
Spike was laughing. Angel really should find a way to stop this—to not leave Connor with Spike. He would have to think about what to do while he was in Rome, fighting those damned cannibals.
"Huh," Faith said after a second of thought, "Wes blew apart some Freudian nightmare they put together in a lab just for him. Cool. See, Wes is a major player, guys."
Angel had to agree that was all true. He hadn't thought about it. Hadn't wanted to. Now this gave rise to new thoughts. Who had done that anyway? Why? Angel knew Wes was a major player, but Faith had a way of putting everything into perspective. Connor would be safe with her.
"So," Connor said to Spike, "Maybe we should have thought twice before pissing him off."
"Piss him—oh yeah that. Fun, eh?" Spike still laughed, "Gotta say I was impressed how he stood his ground. Don't get me wrong. I still think he's a misguided pompous Git, but he has stones, and he does do what he thinks is best. A lot like his boss."
Angel felt his face tighten at Spike. How could Angel leave Connor here with him? Together the two of them had beaten Wes horribly for the difficult decisions he had to make for Faith. When you were the only one with the knowledge and resources you had to decide was best. Spike understood nothing about that; he only understood his own feelings of injustice, and he turned them into rage with Angel's son—his son! Angel couldn't let them be together again, no matter how much he trusted Faith. He knew all too well how a Slayer in love could be blinded by it. He'd have to find a way to get his son away from Spike.
"How did you guys piss off Wes?" Faith asked.
"Nothing he can't work out with the company shrink. We just tried to stop him from doing that spell on you," Spike said.
"If it wasn't for that damn spell I might have killed you," Faith said.
"Bloody watcher didn't know that. He could have killed you, and sodding Alistair interfering with your mind! I really wish I could rip him a new one like I did on your old Watcher, but who knows what he could do. Like I said, he could probably turn the old wedding tackle inside out with magic."
"What did you say?" Faith asked.
"Oh, remember when I said that I should have realized how much I loved you sooner, because I was willing to take on ol' Alistair and how he could turn my big boy inside out---"
"Not that, that thing about Wes. What did you do to Wes?"
"Oh, that. Well, back before we did that spell I showed up at his office to try to talk him out of it and we ended up exchanging blows. Actually, he really exchanged a lot of blood for my blows," Spike said proudly.
"You did what?" Faith demanded. For a second her mouth hung open with a look Angel had only seen on her once before.
Shocked and almost frightened.
That's right. She hadn't known that Spike had attacked Wes. Angel hadn't told her. He almost expected her to start shouting at him for not doing so.
"I used Watcher Boy as a punching bag back when I thought he was trying to hurt you, and because he did try to hurt you. You think I don't know about what he did to you in order to save his man here?" Spike gestured to Angel roughly.
"How he pumped you full of Orpheus and fed you to the most dangerous vampire on Earth? He needed to be taught he wasn't going to be allowed to make a mistake like that again. Peaches may think anything is justifiable to save his ass, but I don't."
"Shut up, Spike. Faith knows that's not what happened," Angel said dully.
He sank down on the couch. He could see into some of the other rooms now. Spike has trashed those too. Angel was sure the other rooms smelled of sex—just like this one. Spike always did leave his scent everywhere. Even in places and situations it had no places being. Maybe Angel should try to talk to Faith about Spike being a mistake again.
"You were the one that beat up Wes like that so he was going around like a walking bruise," Faith said.
"You got that right," Spike said with indignant pride now, "and I'd do it again. That bugger had no---"
"Wait a second," Connor said, "I did it. It's true it was Spike's idea of how to mess with him with reenacting the torture, but I was the one that---"
"Reenact torture?" Faith said looking ghostly white now.
"Yeah, well that part was Spike's thing, but we had to do it, Faith. He was going to have that guy use black magic on you, and we knew that could kill you, just like he could have killed you with the Orpheus before. I know you don't remember, thanks to Angel's spell, but I was there. I saw what Wes made you go through for what he thought was right, and he was doing it again," Connor said.
Angel wanted to object to what his son said. He wanted to say that he never wanted to have Faith or anyone forget him. He wanted to say that Wes didn't have any other choice, but to put Faith in danger. Angel wanted to tell his son that his opinions were being influenced by Spike—who had no right to have any opinions about right and wrong. But, Angel found he couldn't say any of those things. As much as he wanted to say:
"How fucking dare you?" Faith roared.
Then Angel saw every sad and angry line come out on Faith's face. Now it seemed everyone could only be silent, even Spike. Angel felt some brief relief as he remembered how affected Spike could be when Drusilla was truly angry at him.
"How fucking dare you?" she said again, but now it was mixed with some kind of horrible pain that Angel would have gladly skipped seeing. .
Faith marched past Connor and stopped right behind him to where Spike was standing and punched him in the face. Connor's face was also something Angel didn't want to see. He almost looked hurt, like he wasn't the one hit in the face.
"I wasn't trying to hide it from you, love," Spike said in his small voice now, "Honest. I'd have told you sooner. I just didn't think it was important. It's--"
"You just don't think I'm important," she spat.
"What? Never," Spike gasped in shock, "You are absolutely essential, that's why I went after him, because he seems to think different."
"No!" Faith said, "Wes helped me do what I needed to do because he thinks I'm a warrior of the mission, not some fucking door prize to be fought over. I can't believe I fell for any of your shit. I can't believe I thought you wanting me would lead to anything good."
" I don't just want you. I'm not Wood, or the rest of them. I love you, what you really are," Spike said.
"And what's that, a hardened criminal whose torture style you love to imitate? Robin doesn't want me anymore, but at least when he did it wasn't about torture and using and lies," Faith said.
"What do you want to do then? Go back to Wood and tell him you've given it all up? Face it, you are the mission, and you can't fight the mission without me," Spike said, angrily now.
"What is it with the guys I pick? You all think I'm so fucking stupid, that I would run myself into a blade without you. Well, you're the ones that need an education, not me. The only ones that really help me survive are the ones that don't fuck me."
"What are you talking about him now...Him?" Spike roared in anger now as he gestured to Angel again.
Of course, just when Angel felt good about the direction the conversation was taking Spike had to
drag Angel back into it. It was just like the old days.
"He's the whole reason your Watcher almost killed you, and don't give me that 'Angelus isn't Angel crap.' Say I even believed that. Angel still had to want his better half to come out for some air. He had to agree to it, and if you think he's gonna go to Sunnydale and help clean up the mess that Wood's granddad created you're mad. He can't bear to stay in Sunnydale, and smell old traces of Buffy's scent?" Spike said.
Yep. Just like the old days indeed. Spike would do something incredibly stupid, and somehow it all went back to Angel not being the man Spike was. But, of course, Angel wasn't Angelus. He couldn't—wouldn't and didn't want to give Spike the pain and pleasure of the punishment he would have deserved in the old days.
"I have—"Angel began to stand up for himself literally and figuratively with the truth as any good man would.
"Well, maybe that's better than only being there to sniff stale B!" Faith said.
Angel smiled. Of course, this wasn't the old days. Angel's Faith was nothing like Angelus's Dru. Faith didn't find bullshit amusing. Spike wasn't going to get away with anything with her.
"I want to be is Sunnydale and it has nothing to do—"Connor began.
But, Angel's smile was brief. His son was involved in this too. His son mixed up with Spike. Faith mixed up with Spike. BUFFY mixed up with Spike. How could he have let this happen?
"You have no idea how wrong you are, but one day you'll know. One day I'll be able to show you that I love you more than anyone," Spike smiled at Faith. .
Why did he suddenly look so happy? Love. Spike was sure he loved Faith more than anyone. Right, Spike was always so sure of everything, of his stupid feelings. That was all that mattered to him his candy ass feelings.
"How the fuck am I supposed to believe that knowing what I know?" Faith demanded.
"Love, Buffy an' me we—"Spike began calmly now.
"I'm not talking about B! Why would I care if you love B? Everybody does that, you can't help it. This isn't about B or Angel or Wes or anyone else. This is about you and me and how little you think of me."
"What?" Spike looked as confused an unsure as Connor now.
"How could you not get it? How could you not know? You took the only good thing I ever did, the only time I was even close to being a good Slayer and turned it into shit!" Faith said, "It was my decision to bite it for Angel—mine."
She roughly pointed to her chest. The angry line was in her forehead and her eyes blazed back and fourth in fury as they looked at Spike.
Then all of Spike's confidence and anger melted away. Angel forgot how quickly his feelings , the ones he was so sure of, could shift. His little rodent like face could deflate as quickly as it was puffed up, like his whole body. It could change quicker than crazy Drusilla's, but unlike Dru's there was always a logic behind it Angel understood. Spike finally got that he had taken something from Faith, something she valued maybe more than him, her heroism.
"Love, I never wanted to hurt you. I just—" Spike began as he was talked from inside himself.
"You just wanted to hurt Wes because I listened to him and not you. You just wanted to take all the good things I did and turn them to shit. You punished Wes and Angel for the only good thing I ever did for them and the worst thing is you used Connor to do it," Faith said.
So, that was it. Angel was happy. He hadn't had to do a thing. Faith saw the light on her own as usual.
"I wasn't used. Spike didn't use me. I was the one that told Spike about it. I was the one that helped Spike break into Wes's office. Spike was the one that stopped me from killing Wes," Connor said.
Why couldn't Angel's happiness ever last? Angel knew he didn't deserve happiness, but why did Connor have to be delusional?
"Oh c'mon, Blade," Faith still laughed, "You're not a murderer, not like us. Why would you do something like that unless Spike pumped you full of bullshit?"
"Because I wanted to save you," Connor said, "and I was angry—angry at what he did to you before, to me before. Spike wasn't using me. You and Spike are probably the only people in this world that never used me."
"I never used you," Angel said.
"Oh, please," Connor was the one that laughed now, "You've done it the most. You used my family, put memories in their head so that they would love me. You lied to them and to me, just so you could live with yourself."
"It wasn't about me. It was the only way to save you," Angel said quietly.
"I'd rather have gone down than have you mess with them the way you did," Connor said.
"You know what?" Angel sighed, "I give up! One minute you are saying how much you get what I did, and the next minute you're cursing me for it. You can have all the mood swings you want, Connor. But you know I did the right thing."
"I said I love my family; I said I understood what you did; I never—never said it was the right thing!" Connor folded his arms, "Maybe that's too complicated for you to get."
Hadn't they settled this? Hadn't they gone to Vegas and had a good time? Why was Connor throwing this in Angel's face again? Of course, Angel got that it wasn't simple. Didn't the boy get that it was the last thing Angel wanted to do? Didn't Connor see how the several phone calls Connor had received on his cell phone from his other parents tore him up? Connor had told his parents he was on a trip to Vegas with his boss. His boss. He told them how his wonderful job opportunity at Wolfram & Hart was worth dropping out of school for. (Both Angel and Connor's other parents disagreed, but Connor convinced them otherwise.) Yes, Connor had lied to them, but he wanted them to be happy, and he loved them.
"You know what your bloody problem is?" Spike spat, "You don't want to be loved. You're glad this happened. You're just looking for reasons to be brassed off."
Angel was too mad to speak. How dare Spike say anything to him about love. He had no idea what real love was—the heartbreak—the sacrifice.
"That's—, "Connor began quietly as his voice lost all its edge being truly stunned.
Oh, had Spike been talking to Connor. Was that it? Connor didn't want to admit Angel loved him. That would make sense, after a man that hated Angel raised Connor. No, why would Spike ever stick up for Angel?
"…the biggest load of shit I've ever heard!" Faith finished. "You don't know how much I wish you hadn't done this, but you're right I am almost glad it happened. Now I know how little you think of me. I'm some stupid bitch that can't make her own decisions, and I'll always be seen as the unstable one, who needs to be watched over. But hey, I'm a great reference to pull up for all the pain and torture I caused. That Faith, she's a real firecracker, no one put people through more hell than her. But you got to watch her when she actually tries to do something good. All she knows how to do is kill herself when people tell her to."
Of course, Spike was talking to Faith, and of course Faith had something to say back
"I think you're getting me mixed up with the man I beat down. You just want to believe we're all the same. It's easier that way, right?" Spike said.
"Shut-up!" she snarled. "Look, just get out of my face. I'm goin' back to Sunnydale and I don't want you there," Faith said.
"No!" Spike jumped in front of Faith as she tried to walk away.
Spike didn't sound angry at all anymore, but Angel was going to have to beat the crap out of him anyway when he didn't let Faith go. He liked to think he was looking forward to it.
"You don't mean that. I love you. You know we have something real. You know that! You are just afraid. It's like I said to you against the window we cracked. You know everything. You are just scared," Spike said to Faith.
"You cracked a window?" Angel muttered.
Sure. Great. Right. Why shouldn't everything be messed up including the house?
"You're damn right I'm scared. Scared of what dumb ass thing you'll think of doing next just to prove you own me," she said.
"Oh, that's just what you wanna believe. Because then, being buggered and sold by those men when you were just a little bit wasn't so bad," Spike said sourly.
"You fucking son of a bitch!"
Angel could see her moving to hit him. She was much slower than when she had the Slayer power. Spike had to see that coming, but he didn't move away. She hit him with a good amount of force behind her. It cracked Spike pretty good. As good as a lot of human men, probably. It was better than anything Cordelia could throw, which was saying a lot, for a regular girl. It was still a human punch though. Spike was barely affected.
"That's it, love" he said, "You can take it out on me, I'm built for it. But you have to know it wasn't really me who did it. Like we did in training that time, remember? You need me for that, not to mention you need me to bash and kill things since you are down on power."
"I have to go. I have to go right now," Faith said visibly shaking. She reached out like she was going to touch Spike's face, but then made to pull away.
"No, don't, love. It's okay. I don't mind." He had grabbed her hand.
"I do. You—you just have to stay away from me. It's obvious were dangerous together, and not just to ritzy glass houses and their plumbing. I'd rather be the one to leave Sunnydale, and I'd let you stay, but Connor---We have to stick together," Faith told Spike.
"The plumbing?" Angel muttered.
It was the same old Spike from 100 years ago. He never understood that you could have really nice things for a while if you didn't burn through them right away.
"We do have to stick together, love. You, me an' the boy. We need to be dangerous together for the Big Bad that's coming," Spike said gently now.
"No, I mean just me and Connor. I have to go with him back to Sunnydale. Angel, I'm sorry. I-I have to get out of here, like now. I'll get my stuff later," Faith said.
"Of course," Angel said.
Angel sighed. He should keep faith in Faith. She always saw things for what they were in the end, even if she was a bit reckless in getting there. Angel had done worse. A lot worse.
"Say goodbye to your Dad. I'll be in your car, kid," Faith said.
His son would be safe with her for sure and he could have what he wanted.
"Faith, you can't do this! Over the sodding Watcher!" Spike was back to anger now, as he grabbed Faith's arm.
"Let her go!" Connor commanded.
Angel rolled his eyes. He really thought he would never have to do this again in life. It was good to know that if Spike got drunk and showed up to bug Faith Connor would be able to handle it. Angel would have loved nothing more than to think Connor's fondness for Spike was completely gone. But, he noticed at the boy paused to see Faith's reaction to her arm being grabbed by the idiot she said she wanted nothing to do with. Angel didn't It was Angel that pushed Spike to the ground and off of Faith.
"Okay," Angel said calmly like this happened everyday because there was that time when it had, "I don't know what you're trying to pull, Spike. But whatever it is you've done enough of it."
"Pull?" Spike snarled, "Right, everything has to have an angle with you, doesn't it? Just like that Watcher of yours. I'm not pulling anything. I love her, and I'm not going to let her push me away because of the fuckers that hurt her. Bloody bastards! You have no idea, do you? You never bothered to find out. Yeah, some great hero you've been. You're just as bad as them. You're using her too."
Now he just looked lividly up at Angel. Then Spike stood up to Angel, literally.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Angel demanded.
"Nothing. He's talking about nothing. It's pretty obvious that's what he thinks of me. At least none of the other guys ever played me like this. They told me outright I was a stupid piece of shit," Faith shrieked.
Then she ran, and Connor was the only one that could follow her into the sunlight..
"Fi, don't! Faith!" Spike yelled after her desperately.
Of course, Spike being the genius that he was wasn't going to let a fiery death stop him from going after the girl he had managed to keep for a week before he pissed her off. Angel had no idea how the moron lasted. Angel grabbed him by the back of the neck. He saw Spike's fingers burst into flames. Angel snuffed out the starting flames with his hand. Angel looked up and saw his son gaping. At what he didn't know. Spike was of course in tears like a three year old girl now, so maybe that was it. Yeah, it was kind of strange. You could put the little bastard on the rack or the world could burn him up and dig him out ash by ash and all you got was smart ass remarks, but have one of his women walk out on him and it was a scene that even the devil would wince at. Maybe the devil was just wincing because he wished he could cause Spike that much pain.
"Connor, in or out. Shut the door," Angel said plainly as he continued to hold Spike back from the open sunlit doorway that Connor stood in.
"Spike, I, um…I don't--" his son stammered.
Did his son feel sympathy for the crying little Willy? He shouldn't. He brought all of this on himself, and now he was probably just going to get drunk and stupid.
"You know that this isn't my fault," Connor said, "She came to me, but I didn't—I tried to tell her I beat Wes up too. I mean, I didn't—"
"What are you going on about? You heard her. She wants you. She needs a fighter there; she needs you there. Go! And don't bugger it up. Get out!" Spike yelled through tears.
"Okay," Connor said softly, "So, An—Dad, you're driving us to Sunnydale now?"
"I can't," Angel sighed, "I have to go to Rome. People are trying to eat werewolves there too. Apparently, it's a whole worldwide trend thing."
"Oh, well—"Connor began.
"People eating werewolves and you're mixed up with them and she thinks I'm dangerous," Spike laughed and cried. He had now sunk to the floor, but was safe in the shadow.
Good. The last thing Angel needed was Spike killing himself again, and everyone on him about why he hadn't done something to stop him. .
"I'm not--- Just go back to crying, Willy," Angel said mockingly.
"At least my feelings aren't buried under a ton of dead weight that can't tell right from wrong anymore," Spike said as he got up from the floor.
"Right," Angel said, "You're feelings just go straight for what's wrong and make you and everyone around you miserable."
"Maybe I'm not right, but I know I'm not wrong, or running from myself, not like you are, hero. That's why she's in love with me, not you. Because she knows that, knows me. I look the demons straight in the eye because I know I'm nothing like them anymore."
He sounded pretty cocky and unembarrassed for a guy that had just been crying on the floor because his girlfriend of a few days walked out on him. So, now he was beginning his anger phase. Angel couldn't help but smirk when he thought about the fact that Faith probably wouldn't just forget it all or forgive him when Spike came around to chasing her down. Spike now seemed to give a confident sniff. He puffed out his chest and tilted his head to the side like he just remembered something good he had forgotten.
"In fact," he said, "That's just what I'm going to do. Look them straight in the eye and not let them get away. Get the demons."
"You do what you have to do," Angel rolled his eyes, "which we all know means drinking until what you just said makes sense. Now can you leave so I can say goodbye to my son, please."
Could it be that his son saw now, what an idiot Spike was? Maybe his son actually wanted him around and Spike out. Maybe he could arrange some time to go to Sunnydale after he got back from Rome. It was doable. He could just convince Wes or even Gunn to take over more with his end of things.
"I'm sorry, if you really need me in Sunnydale I can---" Angel began.
"Uh, no, no," Connor said, "I –uh—You have the car keys. I can't take Spike's car."
"Oh yeah, take mine," Angel seemed to smile awkwardly as he tossed the keys through the door.
Of course, Connor could take care of himself with Faith helping, and it wouldn't have been right for him to ignore the rest of the world for Sunnydale.
"Um, what's gonna happen with Spike?" Connor asked.
"What do you mean?" Angel looked genuinely confused.
His son expected him to care for Spike. To do something. Why? Well, he would. Of course he would. He had always done it, hadn't he?
"Well, I can't leave him alone in this state," Angel rolled his eyes, "He'd trash the house. I do wish I could have spent the time with you and Faith instead but, I guess I'll be a babysitter for the next few hours. You won't have to worry about Spike though. After a lot of drinking and roaming he'll probably come up with some half-baked plan to get her back. It's Faith, and she's not an idiot, so I'm sure whatever he does it won't work."
Connor only nodded, and Angel found himself wishing his son would say more. More about how Connor realized Spike wasn't the person to look to like he had thought.
"I just don't know why these smart women fall for out of control freaks in the first place. It never ends well. What is it? Their intensity? " Angel found himself asking his son.
Angel heard the sound of glass smashing.
"Whoopsie," Spike sang out sarcastically from the living room, "Hey, I finally found the scotch. I have to make up on all that time when I didn't need it. Before you came in and smashed my perfect happiness to bits."
"Maybe it's their ability to evoke an instant homicidal rage?" Angel rolled his eyes through gritted teeth.
He refused to look back at Spike and only looked at his son as the daylight and shadow stood between them.
"You're askin' the wrong guy, Dad," Connor said.
Connor actually smiled. Angel supposed the situation was funny. He smiled too. For a taciturn guy Angel was talking a lot. He didn't really want his son to leave, or Faith. Faith was actually pacing around the car now. She needed to get away from Spike. She needed Connor. They needed Angel to watch Spike for now. Then Angel would go to Rome and fight the cannibals, save some werewolves. He always did what was needed.
Stay Tuned for next part...