Summary: Response to DenialHaven's "2-Heads-Are-Better-Than-One-Challenge-Fic-A-Thon". Here is the challenge:

Challenge # 2

During Ats S5 The Girl in Question: Angel and Spike catch up with Buffy.

Requirements:

1. Buffy is not actually dating the immortal.
2. No Spike bashing
3. Angel/Spike banter
4. Spike showing the maturity about Buffy and Angel that he showed in Chosen.
5. Mention of Puppet Angel
6. The quote: Love doesn't hide. It stays and fights. It goes the distance, that's why love is so strong. So it can carry you all the way home. -Anonymous
7. Popsicle Toes (Just whatever pops in your brain when you see that.)
8. A bottle of wine
9. A mention of Angel's last time in Rome.

Please review. Flames will be used to keep my frozen Canadian butt warm.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. All belongs to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and the WB. I'm only playing with them for a bit.


Incomplete (1/1)

They caught up with Buffy at the airport. Or, more accurately, the vampiric pair walked on the luxury jet liner to find her making herself comfortable.

Spike found his voice first, "What're you doin' 'ere, luv?"

She smiled at them. Brilliantly. Angel figured that his brain short-circuited. "What's it look like?"

"Here to see us off, and wish us well?" Spike's tone implied that he hoped it looked like a lot more than that.

She considered that for a moment and shrugged. "Close enough." She cocked her head to one side and looked closely at Spike. "You look good, Spike."

Spike jokingly looked himself up and down. "Depends on your point of view, luv. I'll grant you that I look a damned sight better than tall, dark, and stuffed over here a few weeks ago."

Her eyebrows rose into her hairline. "Stuffed?" she quizzed Angel with a smile playing about her lips.

Angel abruptly broke out of his contemplation of how beautiful she'd gotten in the space of a few months. "Long story." An elbow to Spike's ribs kept the younger vampire from elaborating. "Buffy."

"Angel." The ritual completed, Buffy felt free to stare as much as she liked to - and she liked to, a lot.

"Spike," the bleached blond interjected, feeling left out.

"Spike," Buffy said, drawing his attention. "Please?"

Spike sighed. "Right. Know when I'm not wanted. Can't blame a bloke for tryin' can ya?" He stepped forward and placed a feather-light kiss on Buffy's cheek, blithely ignoring the low growl that rumbled through Angel's chest.

Buffy chuckled affectionately at him, but stood and shoved him out the door anyway. "Angel."

"Buffy."

Her name had no sooner passed his lips when she practically threw herself at him. Buffy grasped his cheeks and pulled his head down to deliver a soul-searing kiss. "I missed you," she whispered when she came back up for air.

He rumbled happily and captured her lips for another kiss. "Missed you, too," he returned when he finally let her breathe. She deposited one last, lingering kiss on his delicious lips and forced herself to take a step back. "We need to talk."

She agreed.

He led her over to the couch and pulled her down beside him. He wouldn't let her go far, however, and pulled her into the circle of his arm that seemed to have been specially designed for her. "About the Immortal..." he started.

"Adam?"

"That bastard has a name?" Angel demanded incredulously.

"Sure. But he's not a bastard. He, uh, mentioned the last time you crossed paths, so to speak. In his defence, he was under orders."

"From who?"

"Whistler and The Powers That Be, would you believe it?"

"Not exactly."

"It's true; I got a visit from the pain-in-the-ass, and he confirmed it."

"Really? Did Adam happen to tell you everything about my last encounter with the bastard?"

"He says that capturing you was his orders. As were the nuns. The rest of it, on the other hand, was just for fun." Angel was delighted to note that she didn't sound happy with "Adam" in the slightest.

"I'll just bet it was fun - for him," Angel muttered.

Buffy let a smile cross her face. "It was, but he's mostly sorry."

"Oh, mostly?"

"He refuses to apologize for the nightclub incident..."

"That's it?"

"You know, you're taking things a lot more personally than I remember."

"People change, Buffy."

"You're right, they do."

She sounded so downcast that he pressed a kiss to her hair. "I didn't mean it that way, Beloved." If it hadn't been for two-hundred-and-fifty-plus years of experience - not to mention the fact that Angelus would simply murder him if he behaved in such a fashion - Angel would have slapped his hands to his mouth. He hadn't meant for the endearment to slip out like that.

She perked up and looked him in the face. "Really?"

He could only nod when faced with her delight. "Really." Angel suddenly realized that they'd gotten off topic. "About him, you're not... seeing him, are you?"

She frowned and gave him a look that suggested that she thought he was out of his damn mind. "What the hell gave you that idea?"

"You mean, besides every person we talked to?" She noted that his sense of sarcasm was in fine shape. "Mostly Andrew. Not that it's news, since you don't trust me anymore, either, apparently."

"Huh?" Her clueless look spoke volumes. "Since when?"

"How am I supposed to know? You're the one who stopped trusting me, remember?"

"Okay, first off, Andrew's an idiot. I was against him staying with us from the start, for the record. Dawnie begged me," she added a bit miserably. "Second thing, there has never, nor will there ever be, any Immortal and me. All I need is you."

"He said you snuggled on the couch."

"And you believed him?"

"What about the bartender at the club?"

"I don't recall being at a club tonight. What I do remember is spending all evening tracking down a single damn demon, and then coming home to find Dawnie and Willow each with a hold on Andrew's ears with the news that you and Spike have been trying to track me down all night. Adam wasn't even with me."

Come to think of it, Angel didn't recall feeling a single tingle the entire time that they'd been in or around the club at the same time that she had supposedly been there. "I believe you." He'd been so blinded by jealousy that his own instincts had been put on the backburner. "I still maintain that he was spit out of the depths of Hell because Lucifer was too afraid he'd try to take over."

"And Spike feels the same way?"

"He does."

"Well, that's too bad, because he wants to talk to you."

"Oh, hell no."

Whistler wandered in through the jet's open door. "Come on, Kid, just talk to the man."

Angel hastily disguised a groan. "Again, I say "Hell no"." There was a pause, and then, "And how many times have I asked you not to call me "Kid"?"

"Sorry, Kid, but compared to me, you are one."

Angel frowned - heavily - but let it go. "How'd you get by Spike, anyhow?"

Whistler smirked. "He didn't pose that big a problem." A snap of his fingers forced Spike himself onto the plane as if he was being yanked along by an invisible leash.

Spike growled angrily, his ridged forehead and yellow eyes displaying exactly how pissed off he was. "Who do you think you are?"

"Spike, this is Whistler. He's a messenger for the PTB." Angel couldn't help but chuckle at Spike's decidedly unimpressed snort.

Spike looked the badly-dressed demon up and down and rolled his eyes. "Right. Where'd you get your clothes, there, messenger-boy? Goodwill dumpster?"

Buffy and Angel winced and both opened their mouths to say something, but Whistler's temper overrode any warnings and he banished Spike to destinations unknown. "Dare we wonder where you sent him?" Angel asked carefully.

"The Immortal's basement," the messenger replied sourly. A single peal of laughter escaped Buffy before she clamped her hands over her mouth.

"I'm sorry," she squeaked. She let out another spasm of laughter before it, too, was contained. Angel exchanged a look with her and they both spent several seconds trying to restrain paroxysms of laughter.

"Kids," Whistler groaned. He decided to find something to drink whilst they were otherwise occupied and rapidly found the in-plane bar. A quick search revealed nothing stronger than a bottle of Chardonnay and he wrinkled his nose in disgust. However, an internal debate decided that wine was better than bloody nothing and he unscrewed the cork and took a swig straight from the bottle.

Buffy looked up just in time to see his departure from proper etiquette and voiced her disgust: "Gross!"

Whistler looked up and shrugged. "I couldn't find any whiskey; this is the next best thing."

Buffy considered him. "Feel like sharing?"

Whistler did a quick mental calculation and handed the bottle over. Then he dug in the bar fridge for another. Finding nothing, he snatched the wine back. Buffy didn't bother protesting.

"So, what's up, Whistler?"

"Not much. The, uh, Powers sent me with a message for you."

Angel pinched the bridge of his nose. "What is it?"

Whistler winced. "Together you are powerful, alone you are dead."

If Angel could have blanched, he definitely would have. "What?"

"You heard me."

"Where have I heard that before?" Buffy queried, talking more to herself than to either of her companions.

Angel stiffened. "I don't have a clue." Whistler mimed kicking the vampire in the shin when Buffy wasn't looking.

"Liar," she accused fondly. "I know exactly who said that to me last time. He was green, and he had two very sharp swords, and a big red jewel in his forehead."

A sound that wasn't quite a whimper escaped Angel and he sank into a chair. "You remember." It wasn't a question.

Buffy dropped to her knees beside him. "I told you I'd never forget," she said quietly. "I know why you did it, Angel, and while I'm not happy that you made yet another decision for me, I understand."

"They told me you'd die if I'd stayed human."

"And I did anyway."

He let out something that was almost a sob. "Don't remind me."

"I also heard that you went and isolated yourself in Tibet after Willow told you."

"You were gone; I just had to get away. When I lost you, I lost my reason for living."

Her eyes filled with tears. "I know, but I've got news for you: "Love doesn't hide. It stays and it fights; it goes the distance. That's why love is so strong: so it can carry you all the way home". And I love you, Angel. I always have."

"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I was trying to protect you."

"I know you were. But I don't need protecting. I'm the Slayer, remember?"

"I remember."

"I believe there was something about a prophecy, too," Whistler urged.

Angel glowered. "I'm getting to it."

"Well, get to it faster."

"If this is about that Shoe-Shine thing, I've already heard it."

"Shanshu?"

"Yeah, that!"

"How?"

"Wesley talks a lot. To Giles, at least; never directly to me."

"I love you, too."

"I already knew that," Buffy murmured as she leaned in for a kiss.

Whistler turned around to allow the lovers some privacy, but after five minutes with no let-up he faced them again and rolled his eyes. Coughing didn't help, neither did calling their names a few times. But when Spike burst in, mightily pissed, the make-out session was called to an abrupt halt. A slender dark-haired man of medium height and equal build followed him in, smirking. "This belong to you?" he asked.

Angel jumped to his feet, growling softly. "Adam!" Buffy exclaimed, walking forward to kiss his cheeks in the European style.

"Buffy," the despised Immortal murmured, flashing a genuine smile at her. "Angel." He nodded. "Whistler."

"Bastard," Angel hissed through clenched teeth.

"Adam," Whistler greeted.

"Listen, Angel..."

"I don't want to listen to anything you've got to say."

"I didn't sleep with Darla and Drusilla, Angel. I, uh, sent one of my compatriots with better stamina to visit them."

Spike snorted. "Yer kiddin', right?"

The Immortal hid a smile and shook his head. "No, I make it a point to never be seen by anybody. I sent a stand-in to visit the ladies."

Buffy started laughing first, followed by Whistler. The demons, however, took a little more convincing. Vampire pride, as they all well knew, was not something lightly slighted, and the trespassing of property, perceived or otherwise, was not easily forgiven. But even Spike and Angel saw the absurdity and starting laughing as well.

"Right, well, we'll leave you kids to it," Whistler announced, collaring the Immortal. "Much as I love Rome this time of year, this weather is making my toes feel like popsicles. Come on, Adam; I have need to get drunk and I have it on good authority that you have a whole cellar filled with nothing but large bottles of whiskey." With a snap of the demon's fingers, the ancient pair vanished.

Spike took in his grand-sire and the woman they both loved and a gentle smile crossed his face. "So, do I have to wait for you to say your good-byes, or are you comin' with us, Slayer?"

Buffy looked at Angel and smiled. "You couldn't keep me away."

"Good." Spike gestured towards the front of the cabin. "I'm going to be up there; please keep all smooching noises to a minimum." With that, he collected a bottle from his secret stash and headed towards the front.

Angel picked up a phone receiver next to him and told the pilot to take off. "What about Dawn?"

"She'll be fine for a little while. Besides, she's got Willow and Xander watching over her. And, about Willow: she thinks she's found a way out of the loophole in your curse."

Angel choked. "She's what?"

Buffy nodded, a beatific smile on her face. "She cast it yesterday; all we have to do is take it for a test drive."

He leered playfully at her. "Really?"

She shoved him into the chair-back. "Later," she promised.

Angel caught her lips in a kiss that was not only full of the sweetness of the past, but the promise of the future.

"Wait! What about the bloody head?"

If Angel heard him, he ignored it.

Fin.