They say airport security is tougher in these days after 9/11, but it's still bad enough that they let the poofter into the bleeding terminal without a boarding pass. They say a lot of things but they're always wrong. Wankers. Now he's cursed with having to sit with broody boy while waiting for his flight. The cold stares, the free-flowing remorse, and the way that he'd always just pissed him off; it was such a downer. Still... he couldn't think of doing this without Angel. It was just the way it had to be. Bloody wonderful.

Spike clutched the smaller items of the new executive luggage set against his legs, awkwardly possessive of the leather and the contents - clothes and toiletries he hadn't owned just days before. And legitimately purchased he would have cared to add. That was still equally odd for him, soul or no.

As much as he needed Angel there with him the vampire was driving him up the bloody wall, all with the silent treatment, even though he must've been just itching to say something. God, he needed a fag. Lousy non-smoking legislation. And another eight bleeding hours before he'll be off the plane in Frankfurt before another hour and a half in the flying tin can with it's draconic regulations. He wonders if he'll be able to sneak a quick smoke in the loo if he covers the smoke detector with damp cloth. He's never tried it but at first thought it could work. He should really try to quit. Too much hassle in the world today and having to actually worry about dying from cancer now or the medical bills of surviving chemotherapy. Shudder.

"I hope you're not this edgy the entire flight," Angel finally says, snapping Spike out of his internal rant.

"Why? What's wrong with me?" he replies defensively. "I'm perfectly fine. Better than fine."

He is rewarded with a smirk, the first sign of emotion he's seen all day from Angel. "You look like you're about to give a speech," is Angel's comment.

"I'm fine with speeches," he lies, remembering the many drinks it took him to finally get his poetry off his chest and out to the crowd. Maybe a few dozen of those little airline bottles would kill his desire for a cigarette, and take the edge off his other worry(s).

"It's completely understandable," Angel uncharacteristically attempts to soothe him, "If I were you I'd be nervous too. Having the chance to see her, really, for the first time since you closed the Hellmouth." Angel's eyes grew distance and a scowl replaced the forced grin on his face. "And maybe getting the chance to have a real life with her. Without the good and evil. Without a curse."

"Hey," Spike found himself leaning over to the big, broody vampire man, and shocked himself by putting a warm hand on his cold shoulder. "Buck up mate. You've got yourself a good thing going with your wolf. I've seen her, she's a fox." Sort of cross species analogy there. They both winced. "I know the old me would've enjoyed nothing more than rubbing your broody, snivelly nose in it, but the new me is saying let bygones be bygones and all that pansy shite. Besides," he gave into his real fears, "no guarantee she'll take me back."

What would he do if she didn't? Stuck in Rome with not quite enough money to get back to America, even if there was anything for him here. Too weak to fight the good fight without ending up injured or dead. He'll cross that bridge when he comes to it, but the prospect scared the living daylights out of him.
He swallowed hard and wished for a drink or a smoke or anything. "And then there's the whole problem with the bloody Immortal. And if it all goes wrong for me I can't even kill him because he's bleeding immortal."

"She's not going to turn you down."

"Come again?"

"No way will she turn you down," Angel reiterated.

"How can you be so sure?"

"I wouldn't have signed away my rights to living if I didn't think you'd make good with it. I know Buffy. She cares about you. More than you could ever accept. You may not be the love of her life but you're a close second."

Bastard. "Thanks."

"So," Spike says, trying to forestall the silence that he sensed coming. "What are you going to do now?"

"I can't leave until sundown, so I guess I'll hang around the duty-free for about six hours. And I think I saw a Wolfgang Puck's somewhere around here so I'll make like I need food even though I don't-"

"That's not what I meant."

"I know. I just hadn't been able to think about that with all that has happened. Too much too soon."

A voice came over the loudspeaker. Spike could barely make it out with his newfangled mortal hearing.

"United Airlines flight 8844 to Rome FCO with a stop at Frankfurt FRA now boarding gate 71B. Handicapped, elderly, and special considerations."

Spike looked at his watch, also new. 3:05. Bloody plane was ten minutes late already.

"'S my flight," he said, gathering up his bags. "I'd better get ready to go."

To his surprise, Angel grabbed him, softly, by the shoulders. "Plane won't be ready for a few minutes more." Spike nodded and sat down again.

"Thanks for the bloody backhand compliment earlier, by the way."

"Don't mention it."


And that was that. Six minutes later the boarding call for the rest of the passengers was made, though Spike didn't hear and Angel had to tell him. They walked to the gate together.

As the stewardess was taking his ticket Angel offered Spike one last piece of advice.

"Before you go to see her remember to wash up. Now that you sweat you'll stink to high-heaven when you get off that plane."

Spike offered Angel a sincere smile as he picked up his bags. "Thanks, mate. I'll send you a postcard."

"Take care."