Title: Heat Wave
Genre: Drama, General, angst perhaps?
Rating: FRC (G)
Spoilers: "To Shanshu in L.A"
Warning: Some words, slashy implications.
AN: Angel is Spike's Sire. Also I'm making him (Spike) talk real Cockney - that said I have to point out that I don't know a thing about that, but I did find a neat site where you can have regular sentences translated into Cockney rhyming slang (if you want just let me know and I'll mail you the address)– I find it hilarious and I just wanted to see how I could blend it into a story.
Also I am very aware of the fact that this situation, considering in which point in Canon this takes place, is most unlikely or impossible but that's what's great with Fiction – you can actually give a toss about them. g
Another Also – This is the summer after the whole never-ending-vision which means that Angel still lives with Cordy, so no Hyperion here. Aaaand I'm mucking around with the timeline – you'll see.
THANKS Pat for betaing I really liked it...
Summary: A heat wave has struck California and Cordelia gets worried on how it affects her favourite vampire.
"Do you think it'll work if I say: 'Angel, from now on I empower you to invite anyone you want.'"
"Don't know. Let's find out. Spike, I invite you in."
Puzzled Cordelia looked at Angel but as she saw him looking over her shoulder she stiffened right before she heard the rough voice behind her. Swirling around she yelped as she saw the bleach menace that had been leaning on the doorframe. With a mocking salute Spike walked in nodding at his sire, "vanks Peaches." (Thanks Peaches.)
"Angel!" Cordelia screeched, making both Angel and Spike wince at the shrill tone, "You, you…"
"Don't need to yell Cordy I can hear you just fine."
She pointed an accusatory finger at Spike, who was gingerly sitting down on the couch under the nervous gaze of the Watcher standing not to far away. Before she could say anything a knock on the open door made her turn around to see a sheepish Xander standing there before he got pushed from behind and a young girl slipped by him to join Spike on the couch, waving at Cordelia in greeting, "Hi Cordy, you don't mind us here right?"
"D-Dawn." She stuttered before her jaw dropped further as she saw the rest of the Scooby walk in.
Looking up as she felt a gentle finger close her mouth she gazed into Angel's amused eyes. "You knew." she whispered not knowing what to make out of all this. Whether to be angry at the intrusion or just…wearily she shook her head and sighed, it was too hot to work up a temper but her eyes promised that later – oh yeah, later, watch out manpire.
She could see Angel's shoulder drop as he received the message but he said anyway, "I could smell them." Never mind that he and Wesley had known about it before hand - but oops it slipped their mind. His eyes caught the blue ones of the sheepish ex-watcher.
"Angel, last time you saw Spike he…" before she could say anything Spike interrupted her.
"Oi, I'm not gonna do anythin' ter Peaches 'ere. It's ter damn Alan Knott fer that, innit." (Oi, I'm not gonna do anything to Peaches here. It's to damn hot for that.)
Huh, what did he…?
"Huh? Whatever. What about me? We are hardly safe now are we?"
"Um, Cordelia, " Buffy's voice piped up from the chair she was currently sprawling in, "do you really think I would be in the same room with him and not deal with him if he actually was a threat?"
"What Buffy means, " Xander explained, " is that Deadboy Jr here is defanged."
Turning around slowly Angel looked at Xander arcing an eyebrow, seeing from the corner of his eyes Spike vehemently denying the statement.
"What do you mean defanged?" Only Cordy and Wesley heard the dangerous tone lying underneath and they stiffened.
It was Willow, sitting beside a blond girl who Angel couldn't remember if she'd been introduced or not, that explained about the Initiative and what they had done.
"OH! Is what all yew 'ave ter say?" (Oh! Is that all you have to say?)Spike asked incredulously. Angel just gave him a cool look and slowly lifted an eyebrow. Spike almost visibly deflated and grumbling under his breath settled deeper into the cushions.
As everyone settled down on every available surface, it was Wesley that asked, "So, what brings you people here? And who may I ask is," nodding towards the blond woman, "this young lady?"
"Oh, oh I thought I'd already introduced everyone." Willow stammered ignoring Spike's snort. "This is my- I mean Tara, Tara this is Cordelia- "
"Whose apartment you've all invaded." Interrupted Cordelia.
"Wesley, former Watcher and that's Angel." She ended up pointing at Angel, who had seated himself on the couch beside Spike. Dawn was curled up on the other side of the slim blond vampire. Tara shyly waved to them all in greetings.
Angel tuned them out as Giles stuttering explained that they had thought to visit as the activities on the Hell-mouth seemed to have stopped altogether due to the current heat wave. He could hear Spike mutter sarcastically about it being too hot to do anything evil – even evil had its limits to what they can take. He smirked as Dawn pinched him on the side, having heard him.
Looking closely Angel could see the evidence that the heat was affecting even Spike by the almost imperceptible tired lines around the eyes and the fact that he seemed kinda flushed. He guessed that he looked about the same. It's true though – about it being unusually quiet on the demon front. In retrospect, Cordelia hadn't had a vision for quite some time since this final heat wave hit L.A. Angel was extremely grateful for the lack of visions, since he really didn't think he was up to doing anything close to throwing a punch.
No, nothing more than sitting in the apartment drinking ice water, which Wesley kindly enough had been providing him with; or eating ice-cream which seemed to be the humans way of coping with the heat as he had witnessed since this whole thing began and doing it right now apparently.
Seeing the others had lapsed into a comfortable – yeah right! – silence, Angel sunk further down on the couch. Accidentally brushing against Spike, Angel noticed for the first time that he wasn't wearing his coat; in fact it was nowhere to be seen. Instead he was dressed in his usual clothing with the exception that he was striped down to his t-shirt. Angel himself was dressed in a wife beater and if it hadn't been for the Scoobies he would have stripped down to his boxers the way he'd done every other day.
Feeling someone watching him Angel looked up and met the worried gaze of his seer. Mutely, he shook his head meaning he didn't want her to say anything and for the first time she actually kept her mouth shut. Instead she stood up and walked to the kitchen where Dennis was already waiting with a bag of ice. Holding up two fingers she indicated that she wanted two.
Heading back she silently handed Angel the bags and sat down. Angel could feel the annoyance from his childe sitting beside him and he knew that pride would not let Spike beg for the same relief. Without a word Angel threw one of the bags to a surprised Spike who grabbed it, and jerked a quick nod.
With a quiet sigh they both dragged it over their faces.
As the heat increased it got harder and harder to remain in human guise. In fact a few days ago he lost control of it and his… – amazingly his friends had been exceptionally cool about it – alright at first they had gotten scared, though Wesley assured it was more that they were startled, that's all. But after they had talked and Angel sorta explained the reason for it all. They assured him that they had no problem with it and sure enough by the end of the day Angel could no longer smell the wariness on them. Cordy even joked about the face, saying it was even cute after a while, in a kittenish way.
Angel would never be able to say how much it all meant to him – but now with the Scoobies there, especially Buffy, the idea of losing control was not something he wanted to do. Though he could feel the strain of it already slipping.
Shaking his head he turned his attention back to the renewed conversation.
"See I don't get that, why the heck do you need ice? I mean you're vampires, your cool enough as it is." He heard Xander say. He indicated Spike, who gave him a golden glare under the bag he was holding to his forehead. Xander only smirked back.
Feeling a nudge to his ribs Angel looked at Spike but instead of looking back at him Spike nudged him again with his elbow and finally Angel got that Spike wanted him to answer. Damn this heat is really making me slow. All right.
"Xander, we are vampires, "he said drawing attention of everyone. Inwardly he cringed, he really didn't like to be the centre of attention, sure as soulless, no prob, but with it huh huuh.
"Yeah? What of it? I know you're vampires, hello with the whole no heart-beat and evil bloodsuckers-of-the-night thingy."
Ignoring the last part of the sentence Angel carried on – he was getting really good at it, ignoring things that is.
"So we don't have our own cooling system. We don't generate heat, true, but we don't generate anything else either. We adapt to the environment, to the room temperature and if it's cold, we're cold and if it's hot we're…" he trailed off letting them fill in the blank which – bless you – Cordy did.
"There are limits to what even we can handle. If it gets too extreme our body begins to shut down." He could feel the intense gaze of Buffy but he refused to look at her, they both lived their separate lives now and to go back on the same road was really not an option anymore, and frankly he wasn't even sure if it had been, he would do it.
"So what does that mean, "Dawn asked curiously looking at Spike, who seemed to be turning a faint shade of pink, if one looked closely. "you swell up and begin to rot?" That earned a derisive snort from Spike who had his eyes closed and his head leaning against the back of the couch.
"Not a bleedin´ Zombie, niblet." (Not a bloody Zombie, Niblet.)
As the others pitched in with their opinion Angel gave a huge sigh that stopped most of them to look at him curiously.
"It's amazing you can do that considering you don't breathe." Giles said.
Ignoring him Angel said, "Contrary to popular belief we're not corpses, we do not rot, if we were we would be zombies. Our flesh is not human, if this was a simple human body we wouldn't be as strong as we are, we wouldn't be able to drink blood considering the human body is not equipped to deal with the consumption of that substance nor would we burst into fecken´ flames in tha sun!" Angel finished in his version of a roar, the hint of Irish brogue coming through in the last few words.
Spike stiffened beside him – knowing that for Angel to slip if only almost imperceptibly into his old brogue…well, shudders to think. The roar, which wasn't really all that much yelling, stunned everyone. The way that most people in the room reacted it could have been that, or they simply weren't used to him speaking in any other tone then the sad quiet voice he usually used. At least back then.
"You say it!" Spike muttered almost too silent for Dawn to hear.
"As I said," Angel continued in the stunned silence that followed and ignoring Spike's input, "we adapt to the environment, and this heat is nearing even our limits."
"You seem to cope better then Spike does, he's practically knocked out." Buffy said.
"Actually he's not. But I have a higher tolerance then he does. After all I've been to hell," he once again ignored the flinch Buffy made at the reminder and the glare Giles gave him, " and even then they were 'considerate' enough to adapt it so that I could, well not pass out." He gave a bitter laugh that sent cold shivers through every one present.
Shaking his head to shake away the memories he felt a soft invisible - caress – and smiled hollowly at the air knowing it was Dennis. Seeing the sad eyes of his seer he shook his head again and smiled reassuringly at her – he knew that she mourned for him but really it was all in the past (?).
Breaking the now tense silence in the room, Angel asked something that had been bugging him and he knew that the same thing was on Wesley's mind judging the looks he kept throwing at Spike.
"How come you brought Spike with you?"
" Hey, one might talk ter da shrink yew don't wan' me 'ere?" (Hey, one might think you don't want me here?) Spike said from his position on the sofa, Angel absently noted that if he sunk any lower he would end up on the floor.
"One might not be wrong." Cordelia answered him after a pause to figure out what in the hell he was saying and glared at him – she had definitely not forgotten what he had done to Angel with the ring thingy, nor forgiven – no one hurts her friend. Though the glare was muted, as Spike didn't bother to open his eyes to see it.
Buffy snickered as she remembered how Spike had been before they got on the road. And she retold everything with helpful inputs from Xander. He had been so pathetic that even they had begun to feel sorry for the neutered vamp, him whining when he thought they couldn't hear about how he wanted his sire. Spike very deliberately ignored them.
It was Dawn that had 'forced' them to take him with them when they left for L.A. But then again she was the only one to have seen him one day actually crying in his sleep as it was really beginning to become too much for him.
Angel looked under heavy lids at Spike and said for vampire ears only, "Miss me did ye, boy?"
Glancing at Buffy and seeing her arced brow and the slight amused smile he remembered, slayer hearing. Shrugging he returned to leaning his head back on the couch and watching the familiar ceiling.
Suddenly Willow piped up, "How about we go to the beach?" It was beginning to become afternoon and the sun still shown mercilessly down on the dried land. After much discussion, which normally have been a debate but everyone was too hot and tired, the whole group opted to go except the vampires, since hello – flammable – and Cordelia, who gave some excuse or another which Angel didn't bother to hear.
Soon enough the apartment was empty except for two vampires, one human and one ghost.
Cordelia stood a moment silently watching the vampires as they sprawled on the sofa before murmuring something and left the apartment. It wasn't long before she was back and she saw that they hadn't moved a muscle. Plugging the fan she had just fetched from a friendly neighbour into the nearest outlet directed it towards them. Taking a towel that was on the table she dried her face as best as she could before she got a spray bottle and filled it with cold water.
Walking back to the sprawled figures on her sofa she saw Angel peek at her. She only smiled at him, as really she preferred to save her energy. Putting the fan on she sprayed them with the water eliciting a startled yelp from Spike who looked shocked at her. Considering they don't sweat the only way to give anything closely resemblance of coolness with the fan was to add moisture to them. Snorting she shook her head – it was like watering a plant.
The first thing she was going to do when this heat wave was over was get central air-conditioning installed in the apartment courtesy of Angel.
Putting the canteen on the small table she began to gather up the glasses left by the others, Dennis helping her. She was briefly halted by Angel's voice, "Why didn't you go with them?"
"Didn't feel like it." They both knew that that wasn't it but it was the only thing she was going to say.
"Are you ok Angel?" she asked returning from the kitchen where she had deposited the glasses.
"I will be."
"If you don't mind I'll go to my room and lay down a bit."
He waved for her to go ahead. He knew that she had several fans in her room that would help to cool her down. Now the only thing to do was to wait for the nightfall and hope that this time the night would bring at least some kind of relief.
From time to time he could feel another mist of water and knew it was Dennis. He gave the ghost a vaguely grateful smile. Beside him Spike had fallen asleep and Angel took the opportunity to look him over. A worried crease graced his brow as he continued to watch him. The whole chip thing really needed to be taken care of, but he was damned if he knew how.
With a jerk the blond woke up and looked wildly around before he recognized where he was. With a deep sigh he relaxed again into the soft cushions. Angel could here Cordy´s regular breathing and he knew that she was sleeping, hopefully without heat induced nightmares.
"Blimey! Remind me again why we're in bleedin´California. Yeah?" Spike's voice captured his attention. He cringed at the rough Cockney accent that made it almost impossible to understand him if you weren't used to it and Angel let himself have a moment missing the old soft lilting voice that used to be his Will's voice.
"Err, right now I wouldn't be able to say quite frankly."
"Yeah? Well I bloody 'ate dis. Know what I mean?"
Choosing to stay silent Angel closed his eyes trying to think how much worse it could get in this weather. Briefly looking at Spike he saw him pass the now melted ice in the bag over his face, a faraway look in his eyes and Angel wondered what he was thinking.
Casting a coverted glace at his sire Spike murmured something almost to quiet for even Angel to catch it.
"Do yew remember what Bird Lime in Siberia an' we got nicked in what blizzard?" (Do you remember that time in Siberia and we got caught in that blizzard?)
"Do I remember? I still get nightmares from it." Shuddering Angel pushed the memories of that time further back in his head. "What ever made you think of that?"
"Nightmares do ye? An' I dunno. I remember I was convinced what I was curren' bun for. Still don't get 'ow we managed ter survive it. Sorted mate." (Nightmare do you? And I don't know. I remember I was convinced that I was done fore. Still don't get how we managed to survive it.)
"If yew say so." (If you say so.)If the big poofter wasn't going to give himself the credit he's due than by all means neither was he.
They settled into silence and Angel mused that this was sure not how he had envisioned their next encounter. He distinctly remembered imagining more violence. Not this passive sitting.
Things hadn't changed much when the others returned from the beach after nightfall and Cordy was up again. Angel was glad in a way that they weren't going to stay here more then a couple of days as really the apartment was more then crowded with just him and Cordy living there. Which reminded him - he had to resume hunting for a living space…later after the weather was done fucking around.
He loved Cordy dearly – she was as close to a sister he could get in this lifetime - but really she could be a bit much even for his jaded persona.
With night, the temperature only dropped a few notches and strangely the others, after having found a motel not far off decided to head out. At least the clubs must have some air-conditioning. He heard Wesley mentioning a quiet place with good air though it would be rather a surprise for them - no need to worry, as it was protected with an anti-violence spell.
Figuring out what club he was talking about Angel internally smirked. Now that would be a sight to see, the reaction on their faces once they stepped foot into Caritas. Too bad he was too tired. Seeing the corner of his mouth twitch Spike looked curiously at him and Angel mouthed later as he knew that Spike wasn't going anywhere.
This time Cordelia was going with them and after Angel managed to convince her that - no he wasn't going no matter what - she followed the others and Angel could hear them making plans for later tonight and tomorrow and Angel couldn't help but groan and wondered from where the hell they got the energy.
Following orders from Cordelia Dennis turned the TV on and put some bottles of ice water on the table before them before retreating to wherever he went when he was not there. The only sound in the apartment was that of the TV until Spike couldn't hold out anymore and asked.
"What's so bleedin' special ter dis Caritas?" (What so bloody special to this Caritas?)
Chuckling Angel slowly shook his head and said, "It's a friendly demon bar. All kinds permitted, no violence allowed. And no it's not like Willie's. Think more of a karaoke bar"
"Oh, OH an' you're le'in' da Slayer go?" (Oh, OH and you're letting the slayer go?)
"No violence, remember? Beside all kinds are welcome, the Host is rather an umm, colourful persona I guess one could say.
"What kind ov a pussy assed demon Ringo Starr is dis what don't allow violence?" (What kind of a pussy assed demon bar is this that don't allow violence?)
"A friendly one." was Angel's dry response.
"Heh, now that's a place I 'ave ter see if only ter see what i' actually exist." (Heh, now that's a place I have to see to know that it actually exist.)
"Are you doubting me?"
Shaking Spike stood and turned to him, "Yeah, what ov it?" (Yeah, what of it?)
Following suite Angel took a fighting stand as well but before anything could have started they both looked into each other's eye and simultaneously they feebly threw a punch that didn't even connect before they deflated and fell back onto the couch.
"You know we're lucky we won't actually fight or Cordy would have our hide for wrecking her apartment." Angel murmured.
Turning their attention to the TV they watched listlessly and as time passed Angel almost fell asleep. Seeing the time Angel thought it was enough sitting ass down on the couch and shakily standing up managed with one foot to unplug the fan. Taking it he began walking before he stopped and turned around to watch Spike. He tilted his head to the side and watched the other figure, then bent down and roughly shook him awake.
"Wha- wha." Blearily looking up Spike shook his head.
"Awright geeezzaa! What ever for?"
"I don't know about you but I intend to get more comfortable." and with that Angel turned around and walked away taking the fan with him.
The fact that Spike followed with a minimum of complaints proved to Angel how down he actually was. Also it could be the fact that if Spike stayed in the living room he would be without the fan, although it really didn't provided enough cool air to actually matter.
As Spike reached the guestroom that had been turned into Angel's bedroom he stopped at the doorway and looked wearily on as Angel stripped to his boxers, plugged in and turned on the fan, and laid down on the bed.
Murmuring into the pillow Angel said, "Stop fucking around and just lay down." Well, Spike thought, it's not like he can do anything at the moment. Calling himself a thousand kinds of fool, Spike gingery stepped further into the room and removed his t-shirt and jeans. Without turning around he managed to catch the boxers Angel threw at him with his head still buried against the pillow. So he still remembers that I don't wear any.
Tentively he crawled into bed and stiffly laid beside the bigger male. As minutes passed and Angel didn't move Spike lifted his head and peered at him. Incredulously he saw that Angel had fallen asleep and he felt sheepish for ever thinking- no. Shaking himself out of the almost-thoughts running through his brain, he laid his head down again. Closing his eyes, he finally relaxed completely and fell asleep.
When Cordelia returned later that night alone, as the others had retreated to their motel and Wesley had gone back to his apartment, the decision of letting Spike stay with Angel and Cordy unsaid, she found the living room empty with the TV on and the sound turned off. Laying her purse down and toeing off her shoes she walked up to Angel's room and peered inside.
Reassured that Angel was there she relaxed and she couldn't help but smile a little at the tableau the two made. Beside Angel Spike looked almost ridiculously small, half curled on the left side of the bed. She was a little disturbed at how thin Spike was but if it was true that he was not able to feed than it wasn't strange. Luckily she had remembered to remind Wesley to bring more blood to the apartment when he came by tomorrow.
Letting the door stay open to let the small amount of air left in the apartment circulate she retreated to her room and not long after she fell asleep. Angel in his room let himself finally fully relax as he felt the last occupant of the apartment fall asleep. Before sleep finally claimed him he heard a soft muttered "Poofter." Knowing that evidently he hadn't fooled Spike at all.
End of Chappy 1.