Nibblet Ch. 09bybadgirl298©
Faith exhaled a cloud of smoke, letting the tension ease from her body as she expelled it. She didn’t know why, but smoking relaxed her, made her able to cope with her life. She glanced over at Spike who still stared straight ahead, his eyes fixed on the road and lost in his own thoughts. The same could be said for her. Her mind was racing with a flood of jumbled images.
In her mind’s eyes, she could see herself laying on top of Angel, grinding against his hips as her mouth seized his in a fierce kiss. Of course, he’d been pretending to be Angelus. But had he been pretending when he kissed her? That question had nipped at her heels for years. Added to that was the new image of Angel standing before her like an Adonis in that almost indecent scrap of black fabric. She’d lost her ability to speak when she’d seen him. He was tall and powerfully built and. . . Best not to think about that.
There were other images, too. Painful memory shards that cut at her. She could remember poisoning him with that damn arrow and the accompanying snag of guilt that followed. It had grown too, over the years. He was the reason she’d been able to find herself again and come to terms with her dark side.
She took another hit off of her cigarette. Faith could also remember the way she taunted him when she’d first arrived in L.A., trying to goad him into a fight. She’d even been hired to kill him and had relished the assignment. And then, that fateful night when she’d tortured Wesley and begged Angel to kill her. But he didn’t.
Instead he’d saved her, convinced her to turn herself in and begin her redemption. And she had. Then, he’d always visited, send her humorous notes or small gifts. He’d never forgotten her and was always there to speak with her. Somewhere in the middle of it, she’d started to think of him in other terms than a sex object or a guide. Dangerous territory. When she’d been released, she’d gotten away from him, begged to get back into the Watcher’s Council and had only called him occasionally or sent him a letter now and then.
She’d done her duty in Boston, become the Slayer that she was always meant to be. She labored diligently with her Watcher and even averted two apocalypses. She took being a Slayer very seriously now. Yes, she still got a charge out of a fight but she didn’t regard it as ‘fun’ anymore. It was her duty, but it was a privilege to perform that duty. She had even started to take some continuing education courses at the local university. Nothing too intellectual, just a computer course and one on auto mechanics. She had even got herself an apartment. No more shady living in an equally shady apartment with other shady characters. She even contributed to Dawn’s upbringing, sending Buffy money every month. Faith wasn’t rolling in it, but it was enough to make ends meet.
Faith had refused to become involved with men, though. She’d dated a bit, but there was no one special. And when she’d found out that she was related to Dawn, her whole world brightened. Faith had instantly felt a connection to the girl, it was almost a physical sensation. A gut reaction. But Buffy had been threatened by it, had warned her away from Dawn lest she influence the young Slayer. So she had worked even harder to prove herself worthy of being included in Dawn’s life, and Buffy had relented. A little. She was so proud that D. was going to college in the fall. Faith had kept phone contact with her as well as calling often and they had forged their own bond.
And there was always Angel. He floated through her thoughts, wandered through her mind with an alarming regularity. If she could just have both Dawn and maybe even Angel in her life all the time, it would be perfect. But Faith had learned long ago that life was far from that ideal.
“Why so quiet, luv? Poof got your tongue?”
“I wish.” She muttered without thinking. She stared at the vampire to find him giving her an amused look. “I’m tired. Not quiet.”
“Heard the first part, luv. Vampiric senses and all that.” He patted her hand. There was only a trace of mockery in his voice. “Tell daddy all about it, maybe I can help you.”
She could feel a headache coming on. Suddenly, she needed to confide in someone. Faith was weary of carrying around so much emotional baggage. Instinctively, she knew Spike could be trusted with a confidence about love. For some reason she got the feeling that Spike knew a lot about that subject. He was trustworthy. . .for a vampire. “I think I’m falling for Angel.” She put a hand to her forehead, hoping to stop the pounding in her head. “ If I haven’t already.”
“That’s a bloody shame, ducks. He doesn’t deserve you.”
“Exactly, he doesn’t deserve me.” Faith was restless and shifted in her seat. “He wants a ‘good girl’, like B. I’m just not like that, I don’t have it in me. I mean, I’m not evil or killing people anymore but I’m not a goody two shoes. I do enjoy fighting, cursing, drinking, and smoking. I’m not his type.”
“Oh, really? Because no one seems to have told him that. I’ve seen him watch you , luv. Out of the corner of his eye.”
“He watches me?” Faith asked, trying not to sound like a lovesick little school girl.
Spike smiled to himself. Yes, the poof did watch her. Hmm . .what did that say about his sire’s relationship with nibblet? “Can’t take his eyes off you but only when he thinks you aren’t looking.” He smiled slyly. “ I also know he dreams about you.”
Faith gave him a suspicious look. “How could you know that?”
“He called out your name last night.”
Faith snorted. “Probably having a nightmare about me kicking his ass.”
“No, I don’t think it was that kind of dream.” She raised an eyebrow as if to say ‘details!’. “No, it wasn’t that kind either. Believe me, I wouldn’t have slept in the bloody bed with him if that’s what he had on his filthy mind. Probably try to grope me. Did you know he wears girlie silk pajamas?” He wanted to see her smile.
Faith laughed. “You’re starting to grow on me, Spike.”
Spike beamed at her, pleased with her compliment. Then, he pinned her with an intense gaze. “But not in a fungus demon way, right?”
Dawn hadn’t said much of anything, she kept glancing at him out of the corner of her eye. He could literally hear the gears in her mind turning and he could only guess at what she was contemplating. “Is something wrong, princess?”
“No, not wrong. I’m curious about something.”
“Go ahead and ask me.” Dawn had a keen and inquisitive mind, it was one of the things that he liked most about her.
“Um. When you . . .what does it feel like when. . .how do you–“ Dawn broke off. “Never mind.”
Angel was baffled by her behavior. Normally, Dawn was so confident and out going. Seeing her so flustered was a new experience for him. This must be really difficult for her.”What do you want to know about, princess?”
“Sex.” She blurted out.
He didn’t know whether to he should burst out laughing or shake his head. Ahhh. . .time for a lesson on the vampire birds and bees. Angel looked at his lap, his lips twisting.“Well, I’m a male.”
Dawn blushed. “Believe me, I know you’re male.”
“Really liked that swimsuit, didn’t you?”
Dawn scowled. “Don’t look too smug. I’m a. . .a. . .v-v-v“ ”Virgin?” Angel said, openly enjoying her discomfort.
“No, I was going to say Virgo.” Dawn shot back sarcastically. Then, she growled a little.
“Did you just growl at me?”
“Yes? Gotta problem with it, Angel?”
Angel grinned again. “No, I just think it’s kinda sexy.”
“What?” He asked innocently.
“Of course I’m curious about you.” She said tightly. “Don’t get a big head about it or anything.”
One raven eyebrow rose. “Speaking of a big–“
”Be quiet!” She shushed him, “Yes, you’re attractive, we all know that. ‘Angelus, the one with the angelic face’. Now, get over your self. I want my first time to be with Spike.”
“Are you saying that I’m second in line?” He couldn’t resist teasing her.
Dawn flushed. “Angel!” She squirmed under his gaze and he returned it to the road. “I’m just . . .nervous. I mean. . .I never. . .and he probably has lots of times. What if he gets bored with me?”
Angel felt his possessive vampire instincts rise up. Dammit. . .she wore his mark, not Spike’s. He had claimed her. Not Spike. Dawn was too good for his wayward childe anyway. She shouldn’t gift the younger vampire with her innocence. He didn’t earn it. “If he get’s bored with you, princess, then he doesn’t deserve you and I’ll stake him.”
She continued to fidget. She liked Angel’s possessive tone, liked how he proved he cared about her again and again. But he done nothing to allay her fears about Spike. And now she felt like she couldn’t pursue the matter anymore without agitating him. Then he’d make her listen to Classical music again.
Angel observed all of this with an inward turmoil. On one hand, he didn’t want to help his childe’s pursuit in any way shape or form. On the other hand, and the whole reason he was playing along with this little scam, he wanted to make Dawn happy. She deserved to be happy. And who was he to lecture about the dangers of sex? She was older than Buffy had been when he had . . .well, he wasn’t going to be a hypocrite. He decided to tell her the truth about Spike. Even though he would probably regret it later. “Dawn, you have nothing to worry about.”
“What do you mean?”
“Spike–well, he has great taste in women for the most part. At least with the ones he really cares for. And he does really care for you. And, well, he’s not the bored easily type. He’s more the love you until you draw your last breath, then mourn you until the end of time sort. You know, the obsessive kind. It’s ten times more likely that you’ll be bored with him while he’s still trying to acquaint himself with every strand of hair on your head.”
Dawn was both pleased but disturbed by that last comment. To be on the receiving end of that much devotion would be heady but give her an absurd amount of power over the blond vampire. “What type are you?”
“Well, all vampires are obsessive, in its nature.” He thought back to when he’d stalked Buffy as Angelus. “But me, personally, I’m the marrying man.”
“You’re excused.” He grinned again. Dammit, broody Angel was less annoying. “I don’t put women on pedestals. I mean, I need. . .I want . . .I am. . . a life partner. A soul mate. An equal.”
“A Slayer.” She gave him her inquisitive cat look.
“Are you offering?”
“Not me, you. . .you. . .slut. Faith!”
“You want Faith?’
“No, you do, funny vamp.” Her blue eyes held a bit of sparkle. “Think about it. . .you both save the world. You both like leather. You both are great with weapons. You both are the strong silent type. You both have a dark side and–“
”I get the picture, princess.” Angel went into brood mode again, staring ahead. It was his dark side that was the problem.
“Do you want Angel?”
“That’s kinda personal.” Faith rolled her eyes. “Do you want me to get all touchy feely on you?”
“You just cried on my bleedin’ shoulder for a half an hour and now I’m getting personal?”
Faith balled her fist. “I do NOT cry. Especially over men. Say that again, blondie, and I’ll–“
”Don’t get your knickers in a twist, ducks. I’m gonna help you snag the poof.” And make Dawn jealous at the same time. ”We’re gonna make them jealous.”
“How are we going to do that?”
“By canoodling, kissing, a bit of flirting. We’ll make them go straight into sugar shock.”
Faith always did love to play games. Serve Angel right to give him a taste of his own medicine.“You’re evil.”
“Takes one to know one, baby.”
Angel pulled up in front of the Hyperion Hotel. “Home sweet home, princess. Missed it?”
“Yep, can I have my old room back?” Angel and Cordelia had decorated a room especially for her. It was in cool tones of blue and silver.
“Actually, I was thinking that you should stay in my bedroom.”
Dawn stared at him. “This is a game, the thing between you and me. Right, Angel?”
“Right.” He looked ahead, refusing to meet her eyes. Spike and Dawn together. . .kissing. . .holding hands. . .dating. . .maybe getting married. . . Angel felt his blood backing up on him. As Willow would say ‘resolve face’. “Of course it’s a game. “ He turned to her. “Why? Afraid to sleep with your old pal Angel?”
“No, because I’d kick your lily white bum. I’m sleeping in my room.” He opened his mouth. “Alone.” He tried to speak again. “All by myself.”
Angel grimaced. Foiled again. “Fine, but we’re having adjoining rooms. I’ll be next to you and we’ll put Spike next to me.” He’ll have to go through me to get to you. “And then Faith’s on the end of the row.” Far away from temptation.
“Room arrangements? You’re like the Martha Stewart of vampires, arentcha?”
“Get in the hotel, Dawn.”
“Nice place you got here, poof.” Spike said grudgingly, he was standing shoulder to shoulder with Faith.
Angel noticed but decided to not think anything of it. His childe was easy to talk to, Faith had probably already made friends with the vampire. He picked up Dawn’s two bags and his own small one and followed behind the young Slayer.
“So, Angel, where are we sleeping?” Faith asked, surveying the foyer.
“Angel made room arrangements for us all.” Dawn said with a smile. She took Faith’s hand. “I’ll show you where yours is.” The two young women bounded up the stairs.
“You’re sleeping beside me, Spike.” Angel said tiredly. Today he felt every year of his long existence. He needed a bath, some soft music, and maybe a good book.
Spike smirked. “Quit trying to get me into bed, poof.”
Angel rolled his eyes. “How very droll. No, you are sleeping in the bedroom bedside mine, next to Faith.”
“Next to Faith, you say?” He smiled. “Well, that’s downright convenient, innit?” Then he marched up the stairs, only to turn around. He tossed Angel his keys. “Have my bags and Faith’s stuff brought up to our rooms, bellboy.” His grin grew wider and he ran up to see his new digs.
Angel stood with a black scowl on his handsome face. “Bellboy? And what the hell did he mean by ‘convenient’?”