Disclaimer: Don't own, etc

Disclaimer: Don't own, etc., etc. Joss Whedon rules supreme and retains pretty much everything. Only written for personal enjoyment and because this plot bunny just wouldn't die, even after some serious staking…

Summary: Sequel to The Vampire in My Living Room. Occurs around from You're Welcome to Why We Fight, but not down to the minute… Wherein things go from bad to worse, which doesn't really surprise us, does it? Rating 15.


Chapter 1 – The Unnatural Habitat

After watching Spike ignore Passions and fiddle aimlessly with a variety of detailed and rather dry esoteric tomes no less than four times in the space of fifteen minutes, it finally dawned on Wesley that the undead's very own Sid Vicious was actually embarrassed.

As well he should be, Wesley thought uncharitably.

Spike being made unexpectedly corporeal had thrown everyone for a loop, but it had also made Wesley aware of his friends' general attitude towards the blond vampire. While Spike was insubstantial, Angel, Gunn, Fred and Lorne had seemed to be under the impression that he did nothing else but hang around Wolfram & Hart twiddling his ghostly thumbs waiting for them to show up so he could bug them.

Wesley, not wanting to get 'into it' with Angel, had been carefully never disabused them of this notion. Lindsay MacDonald getting sucked through a portal into the personal presence of the senior partners was deeply satisfying, but though Spike was solid now, Angel and the others seemed not to have given thought to what the vampire's living arrangements were since the apartment that Lindsay had provided the blond vampire with in his guise of "Doyle" had been as phoney as everything else.

Lindsey MacDonald had used a memory spell on the owner/landlord to make him forget the basement apart was there, but that had collapsed with the rest of Eve and MacDonald's con, something the others hadn't even noticed. In the event, Spike had come into Wesley's apartment, announced he'd got his own place and gone again in as many seconds. Later, when the whole Lindsay-Eve scheme had blown up, Spike had simply walked back in one night, clearly in full-on nothing-ever-happened mode, acting as if he'd never left.

Wesley had indulged in a few snide comments, but left it at that. For all his abrasive character, Spike had been a good guy. Lindsay MacDonald's machinations as the fake Doyle with Eve's help couldn't take away from the fact that Spike had risked himself to help people, including saving Angel from that hallucination-causing parasite, in the belief that "Doyle" was a genuine representative of the Powers That Be, to the extent of ending up being tortured by the mentally unstable Slayer, Dana Parvati…though when it came to a serious lack of mental good health and a tendency towards psychotic instability, Wesley had to acknowledge that no member of either Sunnydale's Scooby Gang nor LA's Team Angel was in any position to cast the first stone…Myself included

Wesley narrowed his eyes, unaware he was imitating the way Spike had looked at him in Ye Olde Britannia the night he had purchased the Orb of Thessaly. Never that stocky to begin with, Spike definitely was thinner and paler than he had been. Many people equated 'strength' and 'power' with being built like Arnold Schwarzneggar, but that was a foolish mistake to make. Spike actually had a lithe, whipcord musculature that his height and more slender build tended to hide, but he couldn't afford to lose much if any weight without appearing haggard. Those high cheekbones, which gave Spike's face that sensuous but subtly cruel cast women seemed to find so attractive, now served to accentuate the fact that he looked perilously close to gaunt. Wesley watched as Spike tapped his long fingers on the spine of Munschausen's Complete Ghost Roads, noting how his usually immaculate red-tipped black nail polish was chipped, as if the vampire had been biting his fingernails.

Was Spike nervous rather than embarrassed? It was entirely possible that the vampire had done something to piss off the wrong creature. While not the dullest knife in the drawer, Spike was also not the sharpest by any means. It wasn't that Spike was stupid, far from it, he was sharply witty and possessed of quick intelligence, but he was rash, following the dictates of his emotions rather than logic. In human terms, Spike was ruled by his heart rather than his head and because of that he tended to be impulsive and impatient, leaping before he looked.

Buffy still had no idea of Spike's resurrection, as Andrew Wells had promised, but before the Trainee Watcher had taken Dana Parvati back to Sunnydale following the confrontation with Angel and Wesley on the waterfront, he had phoned the direct line to Wesley's office and 'suggested' that Wesley acquaint himself with the details of Buffy's battle to defeat the First Evil, which had culminated in Spike's self-sacrifice to close the Hellmouth.

One of the changes instituted by Buffy and Giles for the new Watchers Council was creating free web access to the digitalized Watcher Diaries instead of hiding them away in vaults, a task Buffy gave to the new Slayers to teach them patience. Giles had put his money where his mouth was and contributed his own Diaries first to Willow the Webmistress. The intimate details of many generations of individual Watchers' deepest feelings made for often uncomfortable reading, especially those that been Watcher to – and outlived – a Slayer, but the number of hits the website received daily proved just how widespread interest was, even though some of the viewers were undoubtedly bad guys whilst others didn't believe the diaries were real.

Wesley had gone and read through the events of those momentous weeks and came way amazed anew at the extraordinary strength not just of Buffy Summers, but of her Scooby Gang…which at the time had included the grim-faced vampire currently moping in his apartment, creating about him all the cheer of a wet weekend in Wigan.

Wesley had known instantly when he came across the passage Andrew was hinting about. Never one whose vices included loving the sound of his own voice, Spike usually limited himself to pithy aphorisms, so the entry was notable for being about the most Spike had ever spoken at one time. By his own admission, the blond killer had never been known for a towering intellect and now Wesley recalled the words as clearly as he had read them on the monitor:

to which Spike's response was and I have tried to write it verbatim, since I admit myself to be utterly astounded at the depth of character shown by this sarcastic coerced Scooby whom we all treat with far less charity than we should, along with a foolish underestimation of his capabilities – Rupert Giles:

"I've been alive a bit longer than you, and dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine, and done things I'd prefer you didn't. I don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker; I follow my blood, which does not always rush in the direction of my head. So I've made a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls…"

Therein lay the rub. When "Doyle" had approached him, Spike had jumped in with both feet to be the PTB's Champion of Light, following 'his blood' without once pausing to think that maybe there was something odd about the PTBs circumventing Angel and his crew whom they had worked through for the past near half-decade? Had Spike made some sort of grand gesture or played hardball in the belief that he had the Powers That Be backing him, and was now facing up to the fact that Terra firma had turned into quicksand under him? It was just the sort of impetuous thing he would do.

" 'm going out for dinner, don't wait up." Spike suddenly surged up from the couch, his lips a thin line, sweeping out before Wesley could speak, and leaving the former Watcher staring thoughtfully after him.

Continued in Chapter 2…