Astronauts vs Cavemen

By Shakespeare's Girl

A/N: Written a while ago as an exercise in opposites. Thought I'd add it to the posting frenzy.

Angel pushed up from his desk as Spike shouted at him. They'd been arguing for nearly an hour and Angel was sick and tired of Spike thinking he was right all the time. This was one argument he was going to win.

"It's bollocks, Angel!" Spike yelled. "It's your brand of bollocks from first to last!"

"No," Angel disagreed, just as loudly, "you can't ever see the big picture. You can't see any picture!"

"I am talkingabout something primal, right?" Spike argued, gesturing wildly with one hand. "Savagery! Brutal, animal instinct."

"And that wins out every time with you," Angel didn't so much ask as bellow. He stepped forward and found himself nose to nose with the angry blond. "You know, the human race has evolved, Spike!" Angel turned on his heel, disgusted.

Spike followed behind the bigger vampire, still gesturing, although this time it was to mock, and not to emphasize. "Oh, into a bunch of namby-pamby, self analysing wankers who could never hope to--"

"We're bigger, we're smarter, plus, there's a thing called 'teamwork,' not to mention the superstitious terror of your--" Angel made air quotes as he finished "--pure aggressors!"

"You just want it to be the way you want it to be," Spike spat, finding himself talked into a corner.

"It's not about what I want!" Angel shouted as the door to his office opened.

"Sorry," Wesley interrupted cautiously. "Is this something we should all be discussing?"

Angel felt his embarrassment at being caught replace his anger at Spike, although his surety over being right didn't fade. "No," he mumbled.

"It just . . ." Wesley fished for the right words. ". . . sounds a little serious."

Angel crossed his arms defensively. "It was mostly . . . theoretical. We--"

"We were just working out a pr--" Spike started out calmly, then worked himself up a little as he thought about their argument again. "Look," he huffed, "if cavemen and astronauts got into a fight, who would win?"

Angel noted their twin postures of crossed arms and expectant looks with a hint of irony.

"Ah," Wesley nodded, then frowned. "You've been yelling at each other for forty minutes about this?"

Angel fidgeted embarrassedly, but Spike kept Wesley's gaze, obviously expecting an answer, and probably expecting the one he thought was right.

Wesley considered for a moment. "Do the astronauts have weapons?" he asked.

"No," Spike and Angel answered together.

***

Angel winced as Spike's boots dug into an expensive Italian leather chair instead of avoiding it and staying on the carpet. He opened his mouth to protest the mistreatment of his office furniture, but Spike beat him to the first line.

"Harmony just pulled me out of a very promising poker game down in Accounts Receivable, so this better be good," he announced. Angel took a moment to wonder whether or not a heavier work load would keep the boys in Accounts Receivable away from their poker games, but didn't come to a satisfactory conclusion before Spike added, "Oh, and by the way, all the guys down there agree that astronauts don't stand a chance against cavemen, so don't even start."

Angel sighed as the rest of Spike's body joined his boots in mussing the expensive Italian leather chair. This was exactly what he'd been brooding over. "Look I can't do this anymore," Angel murmured quietly, walking back to sit down at his desk.

"Admitting defeat, are you?" Spike demanded, grinning at the thought of winning this argument.

Angel didn't take the bait. "You and me," he explained. "This isn't working out."

Angel may not have been the most observant man on the planet, but even he saw the hurt in Spike's eyes. "Are you saying we should start annoying other people?" the younger vampire asked, holding a hand to his chest melodramatically. Normally Angel would have been distracted by the snark and the overly angsty performance, but not today.

"I'm saying you should go," Angel said simply.

"You really can't stand the competition, can you?" Spike asked, not quite believing what he was hearing.

"That isn't the--" Angel sighed again, the end of the thought hurting more than he'd ever admit. That isn't the point. It hurts to be upstaged by you, but that's not why I can't have you around anymore.Instead of completing the thought, Angel started again. "The way I figure it, Lindsey brought you back as a spirit bound to this place so you'd become . . . invested in it. He only made you corporeal again once you'd gotten used to it, attached to it.

Spike fidgeted, twitching his fingers and glancing away uncomfortably. "'M not attatched. I just don't have anywhere else to go."

"What if you did?" Angel asked, his voice gentler than he thought it would be. "Look, Wolfram and Hart has got offices in every major city in the world, and a lot more out of it. I'll give you the resources you need to go anywhere, cars, gadgets, expense accounts. You fight the good fight, but . . . in style." Angel sat on the edge of his desk, steeling himself for the cruelty of his next words even as he ached for Spike to be anywhere that wasn't near Angel. "And if possible, in Outer Mongolia."

"Roving agent," Spike tried out the words, folding his hands behind his head with a smile. "Sort of a double-oh seven without the poncy tux. Go anywhere I want?"

"Anywhere," Angel affirmed. "Everywhere."

Spike smiled again, and Angel knew it had worked. In a few days, maybe a few hours, Spike would be gone, and so would the last ties he had to Sunnydale. Maybe this was a bad idea, but Angel couldn't do what was necessary unless he was sure that Buffy wasn't going to see him, wasn't going to hear about it later on.

Spike's smile turned into a grin. The earlier hurt was gone, chased away by the taste of adventure. "Hmm. Anywhere but here."

Angel looked away. It was only a matter of time, now.