Disclaimer: Nothing here is mine.
Summary: Spike and Angel have a small moment of understanding, set during S5, after Damages.
Why couldn’t Spike for once remember to charge his cell phone? Wasn’t he aware that Angel did not always have the time to go looking for him, whenever he needed to talk to him? Well, not that he really needed to but Spike had not shown up at Wolfram and Heart for three days in a row and not knowing where Spike was, or more importantly, what he was up to, gave Angel an uneasy feeling.
He stopped in his tracks when he heard Spike’s muffled voice through the walls of the apartment building, something Angel could not quite make out was followed by a string of very familiar British curses.
Angel sped up his pace. He heard Spike again, this time clearer, speaking in a weirdly pitched sing song.
The idiot wasn’t using magic again, was he? That never went well, especially with Spike. The dreadful image of a beautiful mansion he had once secured them in New Orleans covered in onions that grew from the most impossible places (say rugs and stone walls) sprang to his mind. It had been one of the more harmless instances (but by no means the only one) of Spike losing interest during spell casting.
“Nü wen… ren…Nying dwen… oh hell, how is anyone supposed to bloody con…”, came the voice from inside the apartment.
It really was a bit of a reflex when Angel broke into a run and smashed the door instead of trying to open it first. He burst into the room, where Spike was standing reading from a book, no candles or magic paraphernalia anywhere in sight. Spike stared at him in surprise, then snapped the book in his hand shot at supernatural speed and pushed it under a pile of old newspapers on his table next to a CD player.
“Nan wyen” an unfamiliar voice from the speakers said and Spike almost broke it as fumbled to turn it off instantly.
“What the hell are you thinking, you did with my door, you git?!” The shock at the intrusion had only taken a second to transform into righteous anger. “Have you forgotten how to use a simple doorknob with those bloody paws of yours?”
Why was it that Spike always managed to get him to do rash and stupid things? Must be contagious. Angel stepped out of the doors remnants and tried to cover his embarrassment with a glower. “I heard you chanting and cursing. It sounded like you had gotten yourself into trouble.“
“And you came to my rescue. I’m ever so grateful. Thank you. Next time knock, you oaf!”
“But what where you doing in here?”
“None of your bloody business.” Spike turned away defensively and added “If that’s all. You can go now. See you at evil inc….or in hell. I’ll send you the bill for the door.”
Angel looked at Spike inquisitively, noticing how the man immediately started to fidget under his gaze, though it was hard to tell if that meant anything, since Spike rarely managed to keep still for very long periods.
It was Angel’s turn to move with supernatural speed now as a he snatched the book from under the newspapers. Spike immediately lunged after him, but Angel managed to push him back long enough to take a look at the cover. “Chinese for Beginners ?” he read out puzzled. “With Audio CD?”
Spike tore the book from Angel’s hands, so furious he ended up nearly ripping it in half in the process.
“I told you to piss off, you bloody nosy old bastard. “
“That’s what you hid so fast? And why are you learning Chinese of all things? You hate studying!”
“Told you. It’s. Non.Of.your.Business.”
“What’s the matter with you? It’s just a book. Why is it such a secret? Are you going to China?” His eyebrows knit together, while his voice went up a notch: “Is Buffy in China?”
Spike rolled his eyes and huffed. “God, you’re such a moron!”
“You want me to go away, tell me why this is such a big deal! It’s Buffy, isn’t it?”
“Has nothing to do with her.” Spike said, leaning back with a sigh and rubbed his hands over his face.
“Since when are you so interested in what I’m doing?”
“Since I broke down your door…apparently for no good reason.” He shot the unhinged broken door a slightly embarrassed look.
A glint of amusement lit Spike’s eyes. “That you did.” He chuckled, the hostility dissolving from his voice. They were both silent for a while.
“It’s because of the slayer”, Spike finally said in a low voice. “The one I killed when we were in China.”
“That was a 100 years ago.”
“Know that. It’s just back then she said something to me, right before I killed her. Her last words. But I didn’t understand them, because they were in Chinese. “
“What did she say?”
“I’ve tried, can’t reproduce it. Was too long ago, thought I maybe could recognize it if I learned the words, but that stupid language is insanely difficult” he shot a hateful glare at the Chinese book. “She probably just cursed me anyway. It’s stupid.”
“It’s not.” Angel did not say more, there was no need to. This was a matter of the unique nature only the two of them shared.
It’s just… girl died a champion, like Nikki Wood, like Buffy…”
“…like you” Angel said quietly.
“Those were her last words and I didn’t even get them.”
“Do you really want to know? Most days I just want to forget the things they said to me.” Their eyes met, each seeing the mirror image of their own guilt in the others gaze.
“Don’t have the right to forget them, do I? My memories are the last that’s left of them.” Spike shook his head. “I’m too thick though, can’t learn that barmy babble for the love of me. Did you know that “horse” and “mother” is the same word, only you pronounce it differently? And when you finally think you’ve got it, you find out that what you said actually means “hemp”?”
Angel nodded. “Ma. I speak Chinese.”
“Of course you do.” Spike rolled his eyes heavenward at having yet another thing Angel had on him pointed out.
“I could teach you, you know.”
Spike looked up surprised, quickly playing over it with scrutiny: “I remember your teaching methods, still have some scars left, mate.”
“Well, you speak Fyarl now and none of us thought you ever would.”
Dark glances were exchanged.
They were both quiet for a while then Angel said. “So tomorrow, seven, my office?”
“I’ll be there.”