"Are you mad? You're sending me to Angel's?"
"That's the plan," Buffy said, peeling a stray thread from Spike's chair as he paced around his crypt.
"If you'll recall, I got Angel tortured and very nearly dead not five months ago!"
"What can I say? He's very forgiving."
His eyes narrowed. "What did you tell him?"
"You told him something."
"I... told him you have this chip now," she said quietly, "and that you're trying to be good."
"Trying to be good?" Spike flailed his arms around. "I am NOT good! I am EVIL! And there's no way I'll ever join his goody-good little nancyboy brigade! EVER!"
"I know. But can you just pretend for a little while?"
He looked at Buffy. "Why do you care?"
"I told you--"
"No," he cradled her chin, forcing her to face him. "Tell me why you care."
She shrugged him off. "I don't know."
Spike sighed. "Join the bloody club."
* * *
"Just shut up and get in," Angel said from the driver's side of the black convertible.
Spike jumped over the door and made himself comfortable, angling mirrors and tuning radio knobs. "Sure you don't want to come, pet? Road trip." He
gave her a devilish brow twitch. "Could be fun."
"Got all the fun I can handle right here, thanks," Buffy said, hand resting on the driver's side door. "Hellmouth. It's a non-stop party."
Angel said, "I'll keep the calls emergency only."
Spike read between the lines in a deep baritone, "Like if Junior here gets a chipectomy and eats the citizens I've worked so valiantly to protect."
Buffy sent him a withering glare.
Angel sighed. "See ya, Buffy."
The car slowly pulled away, and Spike pursed his lips to send her a kiss. "So long, kitten." He winked. "Don't forget to write."
"Already forgotten." She called after them worriedly, "Try not to kill each other on the way, 'kay?"
Vamping out, Spike bent over Angel, poised to attack.
Angel responded with a swift backhand, and Spike reluctantly returned to his seat. "You're no fun anymore."
Buffy muttered under her breath, "No, my life isn't weird."
She noticed her stomach was doing backflips, and tried to pinpoint the source.
Angel. Seeing Angel again.
And now she had to go talk to Riley.
But it wasn't just them. It was also... Spike.
"Oh God. Kill me now."
* * *
"You're breaking up with me?"
"I can't do this anymore," Riley said.
"You're breaking up with me," Buffy tried to process. "Why?"
"I won't play second fiddle to a vampire."
"You're not! You're... first fiddle!" she cried. "He's not even a fiddle!"
"How do you expect me to believe that when you constantly put him before me? When you lie to me for weeks about what happened, and you go rushing to his defense!"
"I didn't lie, I... omitted."
"And now, thanks to you, I'm the laughingstock of my unit!"
"What are you talking about?"
"Last night, my... subordinates assumed you were screwing around with Hostile 17."
"Well, maybe if you weren't spying on me..."
"On you? We were looking for him!"
"Well, I'm sorry but in my line of work we sometimes cross paths!"
"This morning, I had to punch out a cadet for asking me how 'Boffy the Vampire Layer' was doing!"
"Don't do me any favors."
"Don't worry. From now on, I won't."
"Riley!" Buffy watched her door slam, and dazedly sat down on her bed. "Crap."
* * *
"What's he doing here?" Cordelia asked.
"Didn't you tell her, Wes?"
"I didn't have a chance."
"Hey, old chums," Spike said, putting an arm around each of them. "Miss me?" He scrutinized Wesley. "Who the hell are you?"
Cordelia was unmoved. "Are you going to stake him, or should I?"
"Cordy," Angel said. "Spike's gonna be hiding out here for a few days. You have nothing to worry about, he's got a chip that stops him from hurting any living thing."
"And I should believe that why?"
"Buffy said so."
"Oh, Buffy said it. It must be true."
"Want I should make a demonstration?" Spike volunteered.
"No, thanks. Really." Cordelia removed his arm from her neck and accosted Angel. "Now, if he can't hurt a living thing, does that mean he can hurt you?"
"Technically, yeah," Angel said.
"Okay, thanks for coming by," Cordelia said, ushering him out the door. "You're not invited back."
"I won't let him hurt me, Cordy."
Wesley stepped up. "I'm inclined to agree with Cordelia on this one, Angel. From everything I know about him, he's... volatile to say the least."
"Do I know you, mate?"
Angel said to Wesley, "I wasn't very reliable either... before. Buffy wants me to give him a chance, so I'm giving him one. The second he does something to prove otherwise, he's out of here, you have my word."
God, they were boring. Spike took a seat on the couch. "Comfy."
"Glad you like it," Angel said. "That's your bed."
"What, no telly? How will I watch my stories?"
Cordelia rolled her eyes and walked away. "Oh, he's fun."