Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, Angel, and Buffy the series.

A/N: So sorry it's been a while. There are at least two new stories banging at me to get started and I finally quieted them by explaining I would give attention only when I got a few of these stories moving again! We are rounding out to the end so it's hard. I don't want to say goodbye!

Chapter Sixteen

Gunn stared at the baby, then at Angel again. Another glance to the baby, and back to Angel. Raising a hand to ask a question he looked at Wesley. Wes nodded, Gunn pointed to Spike and glared. Wesley nodded again. Giles frowned, just watching as they all had some sort of unspoken communication going on. Finally Gunn stared at Spike and opened his mouth to say something. Spike shook his head and gave a glare back. Gunn nodded satisfied and stood up.

"I need a shower, man. And a drink."

He headed for the stairs and Lorne jumped up to head to the kitchen.

"Already on it, my little ├ęclair!"

Gunn shook his head and disappeared into a room. Giles sighed heavily.

"It's absolutely amazing."

Wesley smiled knowingly.

AA

Faith shook her head as she and Buffy spoke in low voices. Cordy and Fred were trying to talk each other in and out of buying things for the baby that they knew weren't absolutely necessary.

"Okay so, they're like, a triumvirate, is that, just power or, what? I mean, sounds kinda kinky. Didn't take Cordelia for that kind of thing."

Buffy sighed heavily.

"It, yeah, Spike says it's just power and stuff but, it's not. I mean, I had no idea about this marking thing!"

"Dracula."

"That was different!"

"Yeah, you weren't epically in love with him."

Buffy frowned.

"I understand. I mean, Angel and I had a talk. Cordelia and I even talked it out and, well I get it. Truth is I was probably over Angel before he was over me. It's just, really weird."

"What about Spike?"

"What about him?"

"Please B. You can try and fool the others, but it's not like I haven't sparred with your ass. You get all distant, tell me it's not him you're thinking about."

"Okay so maybe it was, but I don't know, if I love him. I mean, I loved having him love me but. . . "

"It's not the same thing is it?"

Buffy looked up at her and crossed arms over her chest.

"I really don't think I like this getting along with my former enemies thing you and Cordelia are doing."

Faith grinned.

"Maybe you're growing up. Looks good on you B."

AA

It was already two hours, that worried the hell out of both Angel and Spike. Giles however, had relaxed more as time went on. He and Wesley going over books and prophecies, both enamored with the other's abilities and books. Gunn had gotten his drink and he and Lorne were taking bets on how many bags the girls were coming back with. That of course, had Angel scowling even farther. Spike caught it and shrugged.

"Can try askin' her, but don' think she'll be happy 'bout it."

Angel sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

"She'll just say everything is fine and to leave her alone."

"Well then."

Angel headed towards Lorne and Gunn at the front desk while Spike paced by the front door. He was the first one hit. The doors blew open and he flew back into the column, sliding down to the ground with a wince. All eyes were on the door as Marcus and what was formally Knox walked in. Knox frowned and looked at the men.

"She is not here. You said there was a seer as well."

Angel and Spike both growled and Spike ran for Knox, only to be grabbed by the neck and held up off the floor. Angel froze.

"What do you want Knox?"

Marcus grinned.

"Oh, you haven't been properly introduced. Allow me. This is Illyria. The god."

Giles and Wesley glanced to the others, Gunn went for the weapons. Angel walked slowly towards Marcus. Knox tightened his grip on Spike until the man's face went mottled.

"I would stop if I were you, vampire. I am aware he doesn't need to breathe, but I am sure he still needs his head attached to his spinal column, correct?"

Angel's eyes slid to Spike who winced. Whatever words were being exchanged, they were disagreeing. Gunn showed up next to Angel with his axe and handed Angel a sword.

"Yeah, well, why don't you put him down and we won't slice you into pieces?"

Marcus smiled.

"I think this might be a good place to start. I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't looking forward to this."

He removed his jacket and stepped down into the lobby so that Knox and Spike were behind him. Knox nodded and turned to leave as the rest went to attack and get passed Marcus.

AA

The girls were all loading up the trunk and smiling, Cordelia gave Buffy an inquisitive look and the slayer nodded. Cordelia smiled and looked relieved, then suddenly she dropped her bags and her face went slack. Her face started getting red and she almost fell but Faith grabbed her. Buffy walked over and grabbed her arms.

"Cordelia! Cordy, what is it?"

"Spike. He's, he's trying to kill Spike."

"Who? What, Angel?"

Faith asked confused, she looked at everyone and Fred finished putting the bags in the trunk and shut it.

"We should get back!"

Tears were forming in her eyes and Cordy was angry.

"If he hurts him I'll kill him."

Buffy nodded and she and Faith got her into the car.

"I'll help you. Faith, you drive."

AA

As soon as they entered the lobby Angel looked up and gave Cordy an apologetic look. She shook her head and walked over to hug him. By the look of things, she was comforting him. Buffy noticed this and started to wonder in this trio, who was really the strongest link to who. She was jostled out of that by Faith's angry declaration.

"Okay so what the hell happened and where are my slayers?"

Giles shook his head.

"By the time they got down here he was gone. I sent them back to bed under protest of course."

His look to Faith showed he believed she was passing on more than just fighting skills, but the stubbornness as well. She only shrugged.

"Hey all I know is I got suckered into a girly shopping party and Cordy starts freaking out about Spike. So where is he?"

"They took him. Probably back to Wolfram and Hart."

Angel couldn't hide the bite in his voice and Cordy squeezed his hand, now standing at his side.

"Right, well, he's okay right now, kind of out cold, but alive. So we need to find out why and where so we can get him back."

Wesley raised a hand.

"Giles and I have already begun working on that. Fred if you could give us a hand?"

"Oh, of course!"

She headed to the office with Wesley and Giles.

"Faith, why don't you get some rest as well, where's Connor?"

Angel raised his head towards the stairs and Cordy gave him a quick kiss and headed up to where Lorne was taking care of him. Faith sighed and followed to hit bed for a bit.

Buffy looked at Angel, suddenly left alone with him.

"Um, can we talk? For a minute?"

Angel shrugged and walked over to take a seat on the couch. Hanging his head he ran his hands over his face. Buffy came over to sit next to him. She wasn't sure how to start.

"What did you want to talk about? If it's Cordy again. . ."

"No, actually, it's Spike."

Turning his head to look at her he frowned.

"What about him?"

"Well, I was thinking about it. How he wants to date, or try to, and I was trying to figure out how that kind of thing would work. You know, with him and Cordelia, but-"

"But what Buffy?"

"I know she cares about him, and he cares about her, I know a lot of it is that mark thing. It's just, when we got here Cordelia was angry about it and you seemed more. . . "

"Just ask."

Angel didn't look at her, he could hear the question before she asked it and it wasn't something he really wanted to get into. At least with Cordelia, he didn't need to. She sort of, knew. Buffy reached for his hand.

"Do you, love Spike?"

He winced and tried to pull away but she held onto his hand. Finally he sighed.

"It's, hard to explain."

"But you do. It's one of those weird vampire things I won't get, but you do don't you?"

He nodded and she offered a small smile.

"Gee, so I guess I should worry more about you and Spike then Cordelia huh?"

"Buffy, you don't have to worry about-"

"I'm kidding Angel."

He relaxed a bit more and she leaned into his shoulder.

"We'll get him back you know."

"I know. But thanks."

AA