Ugh, my head hurts. Apparently everyone at Wolfram and Hart has gone completely insane and I'm stuck on the outside waiting for the blow back. Over the last several days, there's been so much strangeness going on that I've resigned myself to hiding down in the training rooms between jobs. Angel has practically locked himself in his office after a phone call and muttering something about a great evil. Fred and Wesley are finally going at it like rabbits and, as much as I love them, they are so adorable that it's making me sick. Lorne won't stop hounding me about 'manning up' like Fred did and Spike… He's just weird.
Ever since that night in the kitchen, Spike has either completely ignored my existence or acted like the biggest ass on the planet. Like paying one of our computer specialists to hack into my desktop computer to make it play 'Baby Got Back' every time I receive an e-mail. Or mailing my unmentionables to every male in my department. It's immaturity at its best and even Lorne doesn't know what to make of it. Thank god for taking frustration out on immovable objects. Too bad Fred and Lorne figured out my hiding spot.
"Maybe he just likes you," she suggests, watching me beat the crap out of the punching bag.
"You're kidding right?" I ask, slightly winded.
"Think about it. My mom always said, 'if a boy likes you he either ignores you or is mean to you'."
"Please. If I had a dollar for every time that was true in elementary school, I'd be a very rich slut."
"Now wait a minute, baby doll," Lorne says. "She may have a point."
"You're both nuts," I exclaim, grabbing the bag. "There's nothing going on except he's being a jerk and it's really starting to piss me off. You guys know that I love him, but I can't do this anymore. I tried being his friend and look where it got me. It's time to move on."
"Move on? You've been pining over this guy for a whole year, Jinx! Are you really giving up this easy? I saw what could happen if you would just tell him!"
"Well obviously something's changed and whatever future you saw is shot to shit."
"No," Lorne yells, stubbornly. "I know what I saw!"
With a sigh, I collapse onto the mat and try to blame the forming tears on staring up at the lights.
"Why are you pushing so hard for this?" I whisper.
"We just want you to be happy," Fred replies.
"And I just want to be left alone. Please, guys. Just… give me a minute?"
I can hear the tow of them leave and it's only once the door shuts behind them that I hide my face in my hands with a sob. What's happening to me? I used to be so much stronger than this. In Sunnydale, I battled an entire army of ubervamps without fear. After that, nothing could bother me I was so numb. But ever since I came here, it's been like an emotional overload. After all this time of feeling so happy and confused and pissed, it almost seems as though my head is going to collapse in on itself from trying to keep up with it all. Maybe moving on would be for the best. Find a place of my own to see if the distance helps- although, if his dying didn't then I doubt anything will. Maybe…
The sound of the door being thrown open and heavy boots on the mats draws me out of my thoughts. I know those boots.
"What do you want, Spike?" I ask, trying to be sneaky about wiping the tears from my eyes.
"Uh, Fred said you were down here and that I should… You alright, love?"
"Fine. What about Fred?"
Turning my head to look at him, I can see the confusion and disbelief on his face. If Fred told him, I'm going to kill her.
"Said I was bein a git… Needed to apologize," he mutters, appearing too lost in thought to form complete sentences. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"Why do you keep asking me that? I said I was fine."
"Right. Laying on the floor crying cause you're fine." He walks over to kneel next to me before asking, "What's really going on?"
I hate it when he looks at me like this, with his eyes so full of sincerity and worry. To avoid having to gaze into his baby blues, I get up off the floor and pace the room while unwrapping the tape from my hands.
"I was thinking. Maybe I should get my own place. It just made me a little sad to think of how quiet it will be without you there playing Crash at all hours of the night and at top volume.
"Uh-huh," is his hesitant reply. "And where'd all this come from, then? I know I've been a…"
"It's not that," I lie. "Really. I just think it's about time I stop free loading on your couch."
"Wouldn't have offered if I minded, pet."
My eyes meet his for a moment as I wonder if that was his way of asking me to stay. Could it be? Or was he just trying to be polite? But Spike being polite is like a sign of the apocalypse or something so…
"Besides, I could use an upgrade myself. Maybe we should just look into a bigger place."
Holy shit, I cannot believe he just said that. Forcing my face to go blank, I wait a moment to see if he's going to burst out laughing and say' just kidding'. It has to be some kind of joke. When he continues to look quite serious about the offer, I second guess what all Fred might have told him.
"You want to be flat mates? Seriously?" I ask. "But you've been practically baiting me into moving out all week!"
"And I thought you said this wasn't about that."
"It's not, damn it," I exclaim, suddenly very frustrated. "But if we're going to be… moving in together… then I at least deserve an explanation."
He signs loudly as he runs a hand through his hair, trying to gather his thoughts. Instead of explaining, though, he grabs a hold of my hand and begins dragging me through the building. Some weaving and one elevator ride later, I realize he's taking me down to the garage. The only place where a vamp can smoke without catching fire. Bad joke. Upon our arrival, he pulls a cigarette out for each of us before handing me his lighter.
His lighter. Shit.
"Found that in the living room that night after you went to change into your new duds," He explains, his tone showing his anger. "It fell out of your pocket."
"You left it…" I start lying, suddenly taking a huge interest in the glow of the cherry.
"In Sunnyhell. So what were you doing with it? Had it this whole time, didn't you?"
"You should've given it back!"
"No," I yell back. "It was mine! It was all I had…"
Taking an angry drag of his smoke, Spike flicks the butt to the ground before closing the distance between us.
"Finish the thought," he commands.
I try to back away, shaking my head as I move, but his hand on my waist stops me.
"Please," he asks again, gentler this time.
"It was all I had…" I pause to take a deep breath. "Of you. I was heartbroken and it was the only thing of yours that I could lay claim to."
"Isn't it obvious?"