That Word

When Jenny first said it, she didn't even notice. When Angel heard it, he'd never forget it.

"Come on, peaches, Jenny made it just for you."

Angel looked at the belt in his hands with a mixture of curiosity and fear. It was a thick, leather belt with a large box, about the size of a lunch box, with a steel cord connected to a metal harpoon.

"And what is it?"

"Connor said I should call it the fisher," Jenny said.

"Really?" Spike whispered to Connor.

"She wanted to call it the hooker," Connor whispered back, "I didn't want to explain to a seven year old why it was a bad name."

"Good choice then," replied Spike.

"Come on," Jenny pleaded, "just try it, please! Come on, Dad!"

Angel did his best not to do a double take. With a bright smile on his face, he put the belt on before realizing what he'd done.

"So…what now?" Angel picked up the harpoon, testing its weight.

"You throw the harpoon," Jenny pointed to a button on the belt, "and pressed that to retract it. Simple!"

"Think you can handle that?" Spike asked, with a smirk that made Angel very, very suspicious, "because I can draw a diagram if you like."

"Try that door I brought in," Connor said, "it's just fiber board, but should work."

"Okay," Angel took a nervous breath, which failed to ease his anxiety as he had no real need to breathe, "lets do this."

Angel called upon his centuries of experience, and threw the harpoon like Arab reborn. It flew through the air like a dart, but stopped a mere four feet away.

"You…umm…have to pull the cord out more," Jenny said.

"Right," Angel yanked at the cord, and gave himself some more length. When he judged that he had enough, he gave it another attempt, and the harpoon pierced the door flawlessly.

"Now, just press the button," Jenny stepped back, "and reel it in."

Angel took another not so reassuring assuring breath, and pressed the button.

The engine connected to the belt began to spin, and the door seemed to fly through the air at him like a missile.

"Wait, how do…" Angel brought his hand up to protect his face, but it was all in vain. The door flopped harmlessly in front of him.

"It worked!" Jenny threw her arms up in triumph.

"So uhh, there's a safety length," said Angel, "good to know."

"Bahahahahahahaha!" Spike kneeled over, his body wracked with laughter. He rolled on his back, holding his stomach, "it's…hahaha…it's…hahaha!"

"What's so funny?" Connor asked.

"You…haha! Don't get it!" Spike was laughing so hard that tears fell from his eyes.

"Get what?" Jenny said innocently.

Spike pointed at Angel, "He's…hahahaha! He's wearing a utility belt! Captain Forehead is wearing a utility belt! Bahahahahahaha!"

Angel rolled his eyes, "Oh grow up, Spike."

"What?" Jenny looked at Angel, then to Spike, and said with a pout, "this was just a joke? I thought you said it could be useful."

Spike stopped laughing instantly, "What? No luv, it's just a fringe benefit."

"But…I worked so hard on the belt," Jenny sulked.

"Come on, Spike," Connor said, "using Jenny to play a prank? That's cold, man. Did you at least promise to make it worth her while?"

"Of course!" Spike was on his feet in an instant, brushing the dirt from his coat, "tell him, luv!"

"Spike promised to take me to get me ice cream," Jenny said, "but if this was just a joke…"

"Just ice cream? Come on, Spike, are you really that cheap?"

"What? No!" Spike said, indignant, "that was just the start, remember sweat pea? I also promised to take you to see a movie, remember?"

"You did?"

"Of course!"

"Didn't you also promise me pizza?" Jenny said.

"That too, naturally!" Spike winced. He could all but feel the walls closing around him, "that reminds me, I have to meet someone. Somewhere…err, right now."

Angel, Connor and Jenny watched as Spike politely excused himself as he all but ran from the room.

"Connor," Angel took a moment before he looked at his son, concerned that the grin plastered on his face might give a mixed message and so he could deny seeing the fist bump between him and Jenny, "don't use your sister for evil."

"Is messing with Spike really evil? It seems more like a gray area to me, Dad."

"Jenny, you're okay with this?"

The young Hybrid smiled, "I get free ice cream, pizza and more time with Spike. What's not to like?"

"Well, it is Spike," Angel groused.

"So?" Jenny covered her mouth suddenly, "oh, wait, I called you Dad. I…I didn't mean…"

"It's fine," Angel pulled Jenny close, "you can call me that any time you like, honey. But guys? Next time you pull something like this on Spike and don't let me in on it? That's when you're in trouble."

"Really?"Connor rubbed his chin with an evil smile, "because Jenny had this idea about putting this spell on his hair gel that'd allow us to control it remotely, change the color, alter the length…"

"I just thought, since vampires can't see their own reflection…" Jenny said with a smile that Angel wished he saw on her every day, "Connor said pranks are okay, and they feel fun. They are okay, right?"

"As long as the victim is Spike, yes," Angel said, "and I never say it enough, but I love you both so much."