banner by the very talented and generous mwrgana (this fic was inspired entirely by seeing this banner/manip posted on LJ)
Title: Time Is On My Side (1/5/08)
Summary: Takes place sometime within the year after the dust-up in LA. Spike steps on the wrong piece of pavement at just the wrong/right time.
Disclaimer: I don’t own either one of these pretty men, but I would be happy to take them off the hands of their real owners…
Distribution: In light of recent events, I’m back to reminding people that if you don’t already have permission to archive my stories, you should ask me before you take it anywhere.
Beta and read-through thanks go to my usual beta, Always_jbj, who is to be commended for gritting her teeth and doing this one; and to SpikesKat, who read my slash and okayed it for public consumption.
Time Is On My Side
The voice drifted down from above, drawing everyone’s attention to the fact that the lift that was used to enter the facility was gradually dropping, in spite of there being no one from the team upon it. A guilty start from Owen as he hastily jumped away from the lever upon which he’d been leaning made it more than clear what had happened.
Jack leaned against a pole – a study in casual curiosity, although his hand was not far from his gun. He watched with great interest as the lift settled into place, leaving a puzzled and angry blond punk glaring around the room. When there was no apparent threat forthcoming, the new arrival relaxed his stance.
“So, what’s this, then?” the stranger asked, pulling out a cigarette and doing his own imitation of someone totally unworried about his circumstances. “Know I didn’t have that much to drink – so I’m guessing one of you can explain to me why the very ground gave way under my feet.”
He cocked his head and raised an eyebrow at a blushing Tosh. “How about you, luv? Want to let me in on what’s going on here?”
Toshiko blushed even more as the purring voice caused sudden heat to flare through her body. She glanced at Jack helplessly, wanting so badly to answer the waiting man’s question, but afraid to do so until her boss gave the okay. At a nod from the still relaxed Jack, she smiled timidly at Spike.
“You’re in Torchwood – in our headquarters.”
“And what’s a ‘Torchwood’, pet?” he asked, stepping easily across the space between them. It wasn’t lost on Jack that the newcomer had managed to do so without ever actually turning his back on what was clearly the alpha male in the room.
“Why don’t I explain things to our ‘guest’, Tosh,” Jack said, standing up a bit straighter and allowing a glimpse of the holstered gun that was almost a part of him.
Spike cocked his head and ran his eyes up the other man’s lean body. If the presence of a weapon bothered him, he gave no sign of it. He flashed the disappointed Toshiko an apologetic wink before strolling over to look up into Jack’s amused eyes.
“Just tell me right up front if the ‘torch’ part is some kind of code for torture…not that I’m averse to a bit of rough and tumble, but really not interested in--”
Jack’s eyes narrowed a bit as he got a closer look at the man. Clearly an adult man, not the punk rocker boy he may have appeared to be at first; and clearly someone not easily intimidated. The sharp blue eyes and chiseled cheekbones leant a beauty to the harsh impression created by the bleached hair and clothes. He briefly wondered if the man’s choice to dress like a thug was an intentional one, designed to disguise his inherent prettiness.
“It’s just the name,” Jack said smoothly. “We don’t torture anyone here.”
As he spoke, a mournful howl came from the cages below, followed by fierce snarling noises and a brief cacophony that gradually subsided. The blond man quirked an eyebrow in amused disbelief.
“Good to know,” he said, turning slightly so as to have everyone within his range of vision. “So all that was just…your employees celebratin’ something?”
“My team members” - Jack was careful not to refer to them as ‘employees’ - “are all right here. You’ve already met Toshiko, the man over there is Owen, the other lovely lady is Gwen, and Ianto is about somewhere.”
Jack waited a moment, then added, “I’m Jack – Captain Jack Harkness. And you are?”
Gwen and Owen couldn’t smother their snickers, which quickly vanished when the man turned an icy glare their way.
Never one to quit while he was ahead, and much too comfortable in his own environment, Owen said with a shrug, “A bit much, isn’t it? Makes you sound like someone’s idea of a guard dog. How’d you get a name like that?”
“Trust me, mate,” Spike said, never taking his hard eyes off the other man, “you don’t really want to know.”
He held Owen’s gaze until the other man gave what he hoped was a dismissive sneer, dropped his eyes and became very busy at one of the desks scattered around the large, open room. When he felt his point had been made, Spike turned a sunny smile back on the real focus of his attention.
“So, then, Cap’n Jack – I can call you Cap’n Jack, can’t I? – you were going to show me around?”
“It would be my pleasure.” Jack gestured to the others to go back to work and held out his hand to indicate that Spike should precede him. With the confidence of a creature that had other senses to depend upon than just his vision, the vampire swaggered in the direction indicated, unconcerned that he was leaving his back exposed.
While they strolled through the base, Jack gave a modified version of what Torchwood was all about and why it was located where it was. It was quickly apparent that, appearances to the contrary, the street thug walking beside him had a quick mind and more of an education than he would have expected. Jack paused before they descended to the cage level and met Spike’s curious gaze with one of his own.
“There’s more to you than meets the eye, isn’t there?” he asked mildly, beginning to wonder if, rather than just having stumbled onto the wrong piece of pavement at the wrong time, the blond man might have found his way to them on purpose.
“Pot meet kettle,” Spike fired back. Jack shook his head and laughed.
“TouchŹ,” he said. “I think I’m going to enjoy getting to know you.”
“Into ‘you show me yours, I’ll show you mine’ are you?” Spike’s tone was non-committal, but his eyes twinkled.
Jack ran his eyes over the lean, muscular body so visible inside the tight jeans and ripped tee shirt, responding with a slow smile.
“I guess we’ll see, won’t we?”
Before Spike could answer, Jack turned to go down the stairs into the large underground room that contained the facility’s captives. He was well into the room when he realized that Spike was no longer behind him. He turned to find the other man standing at the bottom of the stairs, his eyes wide and his expression horrified. With a guttural snarl that didn’t sound human, Spike whirled and, with equally inhuman speed, ran up the stairs with Jack in hot pursuit.
As he ran, Jack pulled his pistol, cursing himself for allowing a pair of pretty blue eyes to dull his usual ability to sense when something was off about a stranger. He reached the landing to find Spike crouched in a fighting stance, his eyes flaring amber as he clearly struggled to control himself.
“You bastard! You’re just another organization that tortures demons…all that talk about rifts and warps – it was all nonsense wasn’t it? Just a trick to get me into one of your cages. Well, I’m not going. I’ll rip your heart out if I have to, before I let you put me into one of those places.”
Jack held the gun on the man who he now knew was not quite as human as he originally appeared. He studied the distraught man for several minutes, then raised his free hand in the universal gesture of ‘peace’. Slowly, so as not to frighten or anger Spike any more than was already obvious, he holstered his gun, saying, “I’m guessing this wouldn’t do you as much damage as I would like, would it?”
“Damage, yes – kill me, no. Might slow me down a mite, but you’d still be dead. Got my word for it.”
Jack made a show of relaxing against the wall behind him.
“Well, it probably wouldn’t take,” he said carefully. “Tends not to be permanent.”
Spike narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “Seems like there’s a lot of that goin’ around lately,” he said enigmatically, allowing himself to straighten up, but remaining poised on the balls of his feet.
Jack just stared at him, searching for some clue as to what he was looking at.
“Want to tell me what that was all about down there?” he asked mildly. “I didn’t take you down there to put you in one of the cages – they’re only for creatures who are too dangerous to be allowed loose.”
“Could be me. You don’t know,” Spike said, raising his chin and challenging the other man with his eyes.
“Could be. I don’t think it is.”
“You don’t know what I am,” Spike said flatly.
Jack nodded. “You’re right, I don’t. But I know you don’t belong down there with those creatures from other worlds with other timelines. I’m not sure where you came from, but I don’t think you came through the rift.”
“Was born in London,” Spike said shortly. After a pregnant pause, he continued, “In 1853.”
Jack nodded, as though meeting someone who was over 150 years old was commonplace. “Nineteen fourteen, Los Angeles, California,” he replied and waited for a reaction.
“Good place to be from. Not much left of it now, I understand.”
“So I heard. Got a bit messy.”
“You might say that.”
Secrets having been shared – up to a point – they seemed to have reached an impasse. Jack waved off the other team members when they peered curiously into the hallway. He waited until Spike nodded that there was no one else around – never questioning why he knew the other man could tell - then held out his hand.
“Can we start again? I’m Jack Harkness, I run an organization that does what it can to keep this world safe for humanity.”
“A white hat, huh?” Spike allowed a small smile to twitch at the corners of his mouth. “I guess I can relate to that.” He held out the scarred and calloused hand of someone who had used his fists too often on too many unyielding objects, waiting silently for the lack of body heat to register on the man now gripping his hand. “Name’s Spike. Also known as William the Bloody.”
Hours later, after Spike had reluctantly toured the cage area and agreed that he didn’t recognize any of the creatures confined there, and after he had responded without thinking to a snarling attack from one of the creatures that threw itself against the plastic when they walked by, he and Jack sat in a nearby pub sipping on pints.
“So, you think the one that threw himself at the door is a kind of vampire?” Jack asked quietly.
“Ugly bugger – makes old Batface look handsome – but, yeah, I’d say so. Young one, I’d say. He backed right off from my game face.”
“I’ve got to say,” Jack said, his eyes warm, “Your real face is a lot prettier to look at.”
“Jack, that was my real face,” Spike said firmly. “Don’t ever doubt it.”
Jack nodded in acquiescence, taking another sip of his beer before saying, “What brings you to Cardiff?”
Spike snorted a short laugh. “What takes a man anywhere,” he responded with a wry smile. “Was looking for a girl.”
“A particular girl, I take it. Not any girl – a special one.”
“Very special one.” Spike nodded, almost to himself. “You might say she’s been Chosen.”
“Have you found her?”
“Not yet. Just got here, didn’t I? Was getting’ a feel for the place and tryin’ to find whatever it was that she was sent here to take care of.” He cocked his head at Jack. “Although, I’m thinkin’ this might be one place in no need of a slayer.”
“Little things – usually – deadly, though. Would make hash of your alien vampire back there. Full name is Vampire Slayer.”
“And you’re looking for this girl?” Jack’s look was clearly disbelieving.
“Complicated, as in ‘it’s going to take me a while to explain this’ or complicated as in you don’t want to tell me because then I might have to do something to stop you from finding her?”
“Complicated as in ‘it’s between the Slayer and me’. An’ trust me, she doesn’t need any help from you to keep me in line – been handin’ me my own arse for years, Buffy has.”
“Buffy? The Vampire Slayer is Buffy?”
“You’re a California boy – can’t tell me you haven’t heard worse. Does Moon Zappa ring a bell?”
“Point taken. So, this ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’ is from California? What part?”
“Los Angeles originally – late of Sunnydale.”
“The Hellmouth. I’ve heard of it. Also heard it wasn’t there anymore.”
“Oh it’s still there. Jus’ buried under a bit of rubble.” Spike was clearly uncomfortable with the conversation and Jack vowed to have Toshiko dig into the known data about the collapse of Sunnydale.
Changing the subject, he asked carefully, “What were your plans for the rest of the night?”
“Not goin’ be snackin’ on the locals, if that’s your worry,” Spike said, a trace of disappointment crossing his face. “Thought we were past that.”
“We are,” Jack responded quickly, leaning forward to gaze into Spike’s eyes earnestly. “I was just wondering if you needed a bed for the night.”
The vampire gazed back, allowing what he was thinking to show in the warmth of his expression.
“All I’m offering right now is a safe place to sleep. But other options could be on the table at some point.”
Spike nodded, leaning in and brushing his lips across the ones placed so temptingly close.
“Then I appreciate the offer; and I’ll take you up on it. Could use a bit of kip after the trip I had.”
Not to be outdone by the vampire, Jack grabbed Spike’s lower lip in his teeth and tugged gently until he saw the eyes flash with amber highlights. Then he let go and sat back with a satisfied smile.
“Let’s go then. I’ve got a busy day ahead of me tomorrow.”
As the two men strolled towards the exit from the pub, a rough-looking sailor sneered at them.
“Good riddance,” he said, eyeing them up and down. “We don’t need any more nancy-boys in here.”
As one, the two men turned cold eyes on the speaker and remained staring at him until uncertainty replaced his sneer of superiority. Jack’s normal semi-smile never left his lips as he allowed his coat to gape open. Spike’s hard expression turned to one of almost glee as he bounced on his toes and growled, “Were you talkin’ to us? Cause I know you didn’t just call me a nancy-boy, did you?”
As his companions edged away, the sailor took a closer look at the two men he had thought to shame out of the pub. Although the blond one was not a big man, the hard muscled body was more than evident under the tight tee shirt. And the way he stood, poised to move in any direction, indicated that he was no stranger to bar fights. The slightly taller man was wearing, in addition to the now visible pistol, an expression of supreme confidence -- the look of someone who has no fear of the consequences of his actions.
Their detractor wasn’t a coward; but neither was he stupid. With a sullen surrender to the obvious, he muttered, “No, weren’t talkin’ to you two. Was those two fellas went out of here before you…”
Jack and Spike exchanged almost identical smirks, then nodded and turned their backs to leave, allowing the sailor to suddenly discover his courage. Pool cue in one hand, empty bottle in the other, he lunged at their backs intending to bring an object down on each head. The whisper of air behind him was all Spike needed. He spun around far enough to grab the man by the throat, laughing when the pool cue slid harmlessly off his shoulder. Without pause, he stepped through the door, taking the hapless man with him and throwing him against the brick wall of the pub’s exterior.
“What do you think, Cap’n?” Spike asked, allowing his true face to appear. “I’m feeling a mite peckish…think I should just eat him?”
Jack took the bottle out of the man’s frozen hand, and reached over Spike’s shoulder to bring it crashing across the sailor’s temple.
“Can’t let you do that, Spike,” he said regretfully, watching as the now-unconscious man slumped to the ground.
“Party pooper,” Spike grumbled, giving the downed sailor a kick for good measure. “I could’ve stayed drunk all night on his blood.”
Jack laughed and gave Spike a nudge towards the entrance to the facility. “I’ll bet your slayer friend would be real happy about that, wouldn’t she?”
Spike shrugged. “Don’t think she’s got the stick quite as far up her arse as she used to. She might have been alright with it.”
When Jack just cocked a sardonic eyebrow at him, Spike grinned and admitted, “Or maybe not… Considerin’ how brassed off she’s gonna be at me anyway, probably wouldn’t have been in my best interest to greet her with blood on my breath.”
They arrived back at Jack’s quarters to find Ianto waiting for them, his face carefully blank of anything except concern.
“You didn’t need to wait up,” Jack said with an appreciative smile.
“I didn’t know if you might need me for…anything,” he said stiffly, glancing at the smirking blond man behind his boss/lover.
Jack shook his head, saying, “No, thank you. We’ll be fine. If you will just show our guest to the extra room, you can go to bed.”
He turned to the curious vampire. “Spike, this is Ianto. I couldn’t run this place without him. He’ll show you where you can sleep and how to find the main lab when you wake up tomorrow. Ianto, this is Spike. He’s our guest for a while and should be shown every courtesy.”
Spike ran his eyes lazily over the other man’s stiff body and smirked. “Right then. Show me to my bed and you can get to sleep. I expect the Cap’n will need you come morning.”
With a wave and a smile, Spike followed Ianto’s stiff back out of Jack’s office and down a corridor to a small, spartan but comfortable, room. He threw himself down on the bed and crossed his arms behind his head, giving the other man a good view of bulging biceps, flat abs and a wicked grin.
“If there’s nothing else…” Ianto turned his eyes away from the grinning vampire and put his hand on the door. Spike’s suddenly softer voice stopped him.
“Not after your boss man, mate,” he said with sudden sympathy. “Here to find someone special to me. Be gone before you know it.”
“It’s none of my business,” Ianto replied, keeping his back to Spike. “Jack does what he likes.”
“I’m sure he does,” Spike agreed readily. “An’ if that’s the case, that’s between you and him. Jus’ letting you know that I’m a temporary blip on his radar.”
Ianto nodded and exited the room, pulling the door closed behind him.
With a sigh, Spike closed his eyes and let the sleep he’d been missing since he left the remains of LA seep into his body.
He awoke to find a large glass of warmed blood beside the bed, gulping it down quickly and wondering where they got it. Then he remembered the alien vampire downstairs and realized that they undoubtedly had to feed their captives whatever the creatures normally ate.
Standing up and stretching his body until it felt loose and limber, he then walked to the door and opened it to find Jack standing outside.
“Good morning, Cap’n,” he said. “Want to thank you for the breakfast drink. Just hit the spot, it did.”
“You’re welcome,” Jack said, “I thought it would be a good idea to bring it myself rather then let everyone in on your…other side.”
“So, you haven’t shared with the others that they’re harboring a blood sucker in their midst?”
“Nope. I want to see who figures it out first and how long it takes them. It’ll be good practice.”
Spike laughed and prepared to follow the other man back to the main lab.
“Any restrictions of how close they can get to me while they figure it out?”
Jack gave him a hard look. “How close were you planning to get?” he asked, stopping to crowd Spike into the wall. “This close?” He pressed his body against the shorter man’s hard torso. “Or this close?” His lips smashed against Spike’s, causing them both to gasp and press together even harder. He kept the vampire pinned against the wall while Spike used both hands to pull Jack’s hips even tighter against his. Their cocks rubbed together through their pants, stimulating moans and growls as they dry-humped.
When Jack’s hand went to Spike’s zipper, the vampire stumbled back until he could reach the doorknob of his room with one hand. He turned the knob and shoved the door open, falling backwards onto the bed as Jack kicked the door shut and followed him.
It was only a matter of moments before both men were naked – each pausing to take in the sight of the other’s eager cock, before losing themselves in another searing kiss and the feel of bare skin upon bare skin. When Jack slid down his body to take him into his warm and only too-human mouth, Spike picked the other man’s legs up as though they weighed nothing and spun him around so that Jack’s cock was where the vampire could easily reach it.
He ran a roughened tongue up the underside, smiling as the man above him shivered from the novel sensation. Then Jack’s expert attentions to Spike’s cock made the idea of teasing him less appealing, and Spike slid his mouth around the warm, pulsing flesh and began sucking on it the way only a vampire could.
It was only minutes before both men were arching into the other’s mouth and shuddering with simultaneous releases. While the human was still gasping for breath and waiting for recovery, Spike slid a ribald finger into him and pushed on his prostate until he felt Jack’s cock stir again. Immediately, he flipped them over, turning Jack again so that he was face down on the bed with the vampire poised to enter him. Spike used one hand to check that his cock had enough saliva and cum on it to act a lubricant, then pushed his way past the initial resistance and into the other man’s warmth.
He pounded into Jack, reveling in the flexing of masculine muscles under his undulating body and the wonderful sounds of appreciation coming from the other man’s throat. He slid his hands under Jack’s churning hips and pulled him to his knees – never ceasing his rhythmic thrusts. Grasping Jack’s cock with one hand while the other kept his hips pressed tightly against him, Spike began to pull on the hard shaft in perfect rhythm with his thrusts.
As the warm tight environment into which he was pounding brought about the inevitable result, he let his fangs drop, sliding them into the side of Jack’s neck and pulling in two deep draughts as the other man spasmed beneath him.
They collapsed together, Spike quickly licking the small wounds closed and lying stretched out full length upon the slender but strong body under his. When he felt Jack stir beneath him, he reluctantly rolled off to the side and lay there, face up, taking deep unnecessary breaths. Beside him, Jack also struggled to bring his breathing back to normal.
“Do you always bite when you come?” Jack asked, nothing but idle curiosity in his voice.
“Nope. Not always. Fortunately for you,” Spike added with a grin. “Remember where my mouth was the first time.”
Jack nodded wearily. “And I appreciate that. May need that equipment again. Not real soon, maybe, but eventually.”
Spike laughed and nuzzled the other man’s neck. “No vampire stamina,” he purred. “I’d almost forgotten what humans are like.”
In spite of Jack’s words, the touch of the vampire’s lips on his neck caused a small twitch in the limp body part lying across his stomach.
“Look at that,” Spike purred. “Not as spent as you thought you were, are you?”
With a reluctant sigh, Jack sat up, leaning down for a lingering kiss before saying with a sigh, “Maybe not. But I’ve got a rift to patrol and a team upstairs wondering where I am.”
“And I’ve got a slayer to find,” Spike agreed, sitting up also and looking around the room for his jeans.
Without further discussion, they dressed and after giving each other a once over and nodding, they left the room, leaving the rumpled bed smelling of sex and blood. Spike made a mental note to remember that as easy-going as Jack appeared to be, he had no problem with leaving the evidence of their dalliance for his lover to find and clean up.
He’s a harder man then he appears to be. You’d do well to remember that, William.
If anyone was curious about where they’d been, they knew better than to mention it. Jack’s cheerful announcement that there was something “off” about Spike, and his challenge to find out who could discover it first, set the team into full research mode.
Toshiko went immediately to her computer and began a search on both Spike’s name and his appearance. Ianto refused to participate, insisting that he had work to do elsewhere. Spike watched with interest as Jack held a murmured conversation with the man, running a comforting hand over his arm before allowing him to leave the room.
Gwen circled Spike cautiously, running her eyes over him from head to toe and mentally comparing him to other men. When her eyes lingered on his flat stomach and tight jeans, he smirked at her, asking, “See something you like, luv?”
A glare from Owen as Gwen blushed and moved a little farther away told Spike which way that wind was blowing, and he winked at the flustered girl. Owen, meanwhile, was loudly complaining that he had to be allowed to ‘examine the subject’ in order to properly do his job. Jack looked at Spike, who shrugged his agreement.
“All right, Owen. You can examine him – up to a point. But if you’re allowed to put your hands on him, then so is everyone else.”
Owen glared again as Gwen immediately moved closer to the smirking vampire and ran her hand down his cheek.
“Hmm. Cool, but not clammy.” She began her walk around the vampire again, peering at him intently and muttering to herself. “Muscular build, but not overly so. Pale skin, probably doesn’t spend much time outdoors – not albino, though, so should be able to handle the sun…”
Spike’s chuckle almost hid Jake’s snort of amusement - causing Gwen to stop and stare at both of them suspiciously.
Toshiko was bent towards the computer, her eyes wide with disbelief as she flew through the information flooding the screen. Without pausing to wonder what a “Watcher’s Diary” was, she devoured the information on William the Bloody, aka “Spike.”
Her eyes flew back and forth between her screen and the blond man – vampire! – currently curling his tongue at Gwen as she continued to mutter to herself.
Before Tosh could speak up, Owen elbowed Gwen away and stared into Spike’s eyes. Then his professionally observant stare ran over his face. He ignored the body that had attracted so much attention from the rest of the crew, concentrating instead on Spike’s skin and hair. He picked up one unresisting hand and turned it over, sneering at the black-painted nails before frowning in confusion. His eyes flew back to Spike’s amused face as he clamped his thumb down of what should have been the pulse point in Spike’s wrist.
He waited a few seconds, frowned again and pulled his stethoscope from around his neck. Without asking permission, he held it against the vampire’s chest, listening intently for a heartbeat that never came; when the chest he was listening to ceased to move in and out with breath, he turned as pale as the man he was examining.
“Jack…” he blurted. “This man…he’s…he’s…”
“Dead?” Spike grinned at him.
At the same time, Tosh screamed, “He’s a vampire!”
While his crew huddled together behind a desk, Jack laughed and walked up to Spike, hitting him on the shoulder in congratulation.
“Fifteen minutes. Not bad. But I think we should take points away from Owen. When you stopped breathing, that was a pretty big hint.”
“No it wasn’t,” Spike argued. “He just thought I was dead – it was your computer bird who nailed me.”
Jack nodded. “Okay. We’ll give it to Toshiko, then. She wins.”
Ignoring the terrified looks from his crew and the way they were all surreptitiously finding objects that resembled crosses, Jack walked Spike over to the lift and stepped onto it with him.
“Kickin’ me out, are you?” Spike’s expression made it clear that he was not offended by being politely pushed out the door.
“You’re always welcome here,” Jack said with a smile. “All you have to do is be able to remember us.”
“You think I’m gonna forget the morning we just had?” The vampire’s expression was now both offended and hurt.
“I know I won’t forget it,” Jack murmured as they emerged into the cool, sea-scented air. “But, unfortunately, I can’t let you remember.”
As he spoke, he pulled Spike in for a lingering, tongue tangling kiss, during which he managed to push a small pill into Spike’s mouth and quickly cover it by cutting his tongue on one of the fangs just barely poking out of their hiding places in the vampire’s gums. Instinctively, Spike swallowed the blood flooding his mouth, realizing only too late that he’d been had.
“Did you just slip me a mickey?” he growled, fangs dropping even more.
“I did,” Jack said with genuine regret. His hand caressed Spike’s face, smoothing out the frown and the beginning stages of his true face. “If I’d had time to get to know you a little better, maybe I wouldn’t have felt the need; but I owe it to my team not to expose them to any more danger than comes with the job. I’m sorry.”
“So now what? I forget about the past twenty-four hours? Do you think I’m not going to wonder where they went? An’ how do you know it’s gonna work on me, anyway? I’m not human, you know.”
“I know. I almost hope it doesn’t – but I had to try. I’ll just add it to my list of regrets.”
“Got a lot of those, do you?”
Jack’s voice was flat and Spike remembered the way he’d so casually left the evidence of their day’s activities for his lover to find. Spike nodded.
“Know a bit about that myself,” he admitted. “Life can be a bitch, sometimes.”
“Speaking of which…not that I’m saying she is…but don’t you have a slayer to find?”
“I do. It’s not like I was expectin’ this to be any more than what it is. You’re right. I need to find Buffy, do some groveling, and get on with my life as a white hat.”
He pulled Jack into an embrace that was hard enough to make the other man groan.
“But I won’t be forgettin’ this,” he growled. “And I’ll be back someday. Maybe not soon…but someday.”
“I’ll be counting on it,” Jack gasped, wondering – as he felt that hard body pressing into his - if he couldn’t have kept the vampire around for another day or two without stirring up his team’s suspicions.
As though reading his mind, Spike smirked and stepped away just as quickly as he’d clutched the other man.
“By the way,” he said casually, stepping off the lift panel and onto the real pavement, “If you meet a small blonde whaling on one of your aliens, be careful what you say to her about me. She’s a mite possessive – and more than a bit prone to violence.”
Spike smiled at the empty-appearing space and threw a mock salute. “See you ‘round, Cap’n.”
Jack stood where he was and watched the vampire stride away.
“See you, Spike,” he whispered, raising an unseen hand in farewell. “I’ll see you again.”
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