It was sunset by the time they rolled into the car park of the small motel. They had booked out most of it. Edward had wanted it all, but the manager had refused to throw the current guests out. Asher and Jean-Claude moved the coffins from van into the end room. Jason and Edward moved the equipment into the middle room..
"How come you get a room to yourself?" Spike complained.
"Advantages of being a girl".
"You just want a place to take your fancy vamp".
"That as well" Edward had crept up on them.
"Money" Spike stuck his hand out "Don't look at me like that," He protested. "I need smokes"
Anita reached in her pocket. Pulled out a note. Edward gave Spike a stern look. "The seven-eleven is across the street. Straight there. Straight back. Right?"
"Yes Dad." Spike turned to go. "If I'm a good vampire, which will never happen, do I get a cookie?"
Edward turned towards the rooms. "Straight back Spike"
"Angel. Here Angel" The voice came out of the dark.
Spike smiled. What poor mutt was landed with that name? He thought. He took another drag from the cigarette. He looked out to the wooded area beyond. He caught sight of the tale wagging. The woman made her way round to where Spike was lurking. She pasted him before he could see her face. So he checked out her figure. He was dead but still a man. Nice, he thought.
"Angel. Get back here"
"There's a voice I know" Spike knew who it was searching for her dog.
"Spike!" She turned round. "What are you doing here? Did they finally kick you out of Sunnydale? About time too if you ask me. You are defiantly better off away from normal people."
"Cordelia." Spike smiled a winning smile "Verbose as ever I see" He put out his cigarette.
"Are you still chipped? Cos if you aren't you'd better be aware of the cross round my neck, the stake in my bag and the large man with the gun standing behind you."
Spike heard the gun click. "Edward. Meet Cordelia Chase. Cordelia meet my em.. kidnapper is the best description ain't it mate?" Spike turned round and faced Edward down the barrel of the gun.
"Kidnapper? You kidnapped him? Why?" Cordelia asked, shocked.
"Think of me as the boss who will kill you if you mess up"
"I think of you as a guy holding a gun in my face"
"Close enough" Edward put the gun away.
"Angel" Cordelia called again. The dog came out of the trees.
Spike snorted in a laugh. "You called your dog Angel!" The scruffy golden retriever sniffed at Edward and passed on to Spike. Lifted its leg. Spike made to kick it away, but ended up grabbing his head. The chip zapped him.
"Aw. Get that thing away from me"
"Where are your manners Spike?" the dog asked "it's get that mutt away from me please"
Spike looked at the dog. Its soulful, sad brown eyes looked back. "Angel?" he looked puzzled.
"In the furry flesh" Cordelia said.
"Yip" Angel said licking his nose.
"What you up to?" Anita said as she arrived.
"This is Cordelia" Edward pointed, "This is her talking dog"
"He's actually a vampire" Cordelia filled him in.
"He's a vampire dog?" Anita asked.
"No" Cordelia said "He is a vampire who happens to be a dog at the moment"
"Bloody hell" Anita said.
"That's what I said"
"Lets go get something to eat. I'll fill you in on the details" Angel scratched himself and walked off in the direction of the hotel.
Cordelia followed. "I could do with a bite to eat" Spike went after them.
Anita and Edward looked at each other. "Vampire dog?" Edward shook his head, he hadn't heard of that either. "Coffee. Defiantly need coffee"
"Explanations would be nice too" Edward set off.
"Coffee and explanations it is then. I'll get the boys. I get the feeling we will only have time and want to hear this once"
"Where is Asher?" Anita asked.
"He has gone to check the surrounding area," Jean-Claude said.
"For food or bad guys"
"For bad guys, ma petite" Jean-Claude sat closer to her on the sofa. "We have not yet asked permission to feed from the Master of this area. Hopefully we will not be here long enough to have cause to."
"Besides, you have take out" Spike said pointing at Jason. Jason smiled and waved at Spike. "Not that he seems to mind. Get off on the whole thing don't you." Spike stalked across the room. Examining the werewolf in detail.
"It would hurt you and him, even if he was willing to be a blood donor, Spike" Anita told Spike. He moved away towards the door. Edward kept his eye on him until he stopped moving about.
"So" Edward addressed the dog "Explanations"
"They didn't mention the fleas, the dog food tastes better than it looks and I have the erg to chase cars!" Angel with his chin on Cordelia's lap. She stroked his head absent-mindedly. She gave him a stern look.
"I think they mean the whole, why are we here and how'd you get to be a dog, Dummy"
He looked up at her. Panting a laugh. "I know. But why give up a opportunity for a bit of a whinge."
"Ok. When this is over, we will make sure the PTB get a memo on the bits they didn't mention" Cordelia promised.
"PTB?" Anita asked.
"Powers that be" Angel informed her. "Kind of a mystical Big Brother. Looks out for the innocents. I'm their champion" He sat up, all puffed up and proud.
"They chose a talking dog for their champion?" Jason smirked. Jean-Claude gave him a look that promised pain. Jason looked forward to it, but was quiet.
"Worse" Spike chirped up "They chose a vampire with a soul, who ponces about playing at detective"
Angel growled at him. "Down boy" Spike teased. Angel jumped down off Cordelia's lap. (Now there is a line to keep A/C shippers happy!!!)
"Angel!" Cordelia snapped, "We don't have time for this"
Angel stopped. "You are right. Explanations first. Then I rip Spike's throat out" He growled again in Spike's direction. Spike grinned. Just like old times. I always did know how to get on the wrong side of him. He thought.
"If it's alright with you" He looked at Anita, Jean-Claude and Edward "I'm going to get some air"
"Do you not want to know what is going on?" Jean-Claude turned to face Spike.
"The usual, by the sounds of it mate."
"The usual?" Edward asked.
"Vision. Magic. Tool up" He addressed Cordelia "Hair gel and" he smiled "dog chews"
"Pretty much" Cordelia nodded.
He tugged at the collar of his coat, tidying it and stomped off out slamming the door behind him.
"Should I go after him?" Jason asked.
"No need. Asher is out there." Jean-Claude let them know.
"You heard him?" Anita asked.
"No." Edward said, "He flew past the window"
"He can fly?" Cordelia looked impressed. "How cool is that!"
"You have a companion who is a talking dog and you are impressed with the power of flight," Jean-Claude laughed. It tickled everyone in the room. Jason squirmed with delight. As did Anita. Edward put his hand near his gun.
Cordelia smiled "You could make a fortune if you bottled that"
"I said something similar" Anita confided "But back to business"
"The dog thing?" Angel asked.
"The dog thing." Anita confirmed.
"Cordelia had a vision" Angel started
"For I am vision girl. PTB send me cryptic headaches telling us who to save. Didn't ask for them but"
"Cordy" Angel barked.
"Sorry. My bad. Continue" Cordelia sat back and listened.
"As I was saying. Cordelia had a vision that something major was going to happen here. Had to drop everything and get down here quick. Because of the distances, LA Mexico not a short journey by the way, we had to find a way to get me here without bursting into flames at sunrise."
"You allowed yourself to be turned into a dog?" Jean-Claude's voice was full of disbelief and disgust.
"Road to redemption. No one said it was easy" Angel cocked his head to one side and looked sad.
"Not that you would know anything about that" Edward glared at Jean-Claude.
"We are what we are" Jean-Claude stated matter of factly.
The room went quiet as everyone, but Cordelia and Jason, contemplated what that meant to them.
"Great" Cordelia said, "More brooding"
"I think it's kinda sexy," Jason said.
"You would" Anita gave him a friendly, I know what you are like, look.
"Try living with it 24/7. Soon wears off" Cordelia sighed.
"I'm sorry Cordy. I never wanted to be a burden" Angel gave his best puppy dog eyes.
"That look works without the real dog eyes Angel" Cordelia reached her hand to the furry figure "Relax. You are my friend. That means I accept all of you. Brooding included"
Angel licked her hand.
"Except that. Ewww" She rubbed her hand on her trousers.
"Sorry. Instinct" Angel looked away sheepishly. Which is hard to do for a dog!!
"You truly didn't notice?"
"What else?" Asher studied Spikes face. Looking for a sign, his new friend was making fun or lying.
"Where I come from mate" Spike handed Asher the bottle he had been swigging from. Asher held it for a few seconds before handing it back. He couldn't drink.
"That isn't the worst I've seen" Spike put on his game face. His feature changing from smooth perfection to a mountain range. His eyes changed from frosty blue to a cat like yellow. "Neither is this. It's all just packaging Asher. You are who you are, no matter how people see you" he changed back.
"Are they ever going to stop talking and get to the fighting?" Asher asked.
"Sodding well hope so. Getting far to touchy feely out here for my liking. Bloody Americans"
"I have a idea" Asher looked across mischievously
"What?" Spike said with a grin playing across his face.
"What good is he going to be as a dog?" Edward asked. It was what the rest of the group were thinking.
"Nothing wrong with being furry" Jason said.
"You know we did mean anything by it Jason" Anita said. She put her hand on his arm.
"Knew it wouldn't be long until you were after my body" he moved so her hand was stroking him.
"Down boy" Anita patted him again. "You know I'm spoken for" she flashed Jean-Claude a smile.
"I'm not permanently a dog. I can change back. Butů."
"There's always a but with this sort of thing" Cordelia pointed out "Why can't we have a trouble free existence of shopping and fast cars?"
"Because we have a calling." Edward said.
"As I was saying, I can change back. But it takes some time and there is no going back to dog after that" He scratched at his collar. "So I think it wise, if not totally inconvenient I stay like this for the time being." He snuggled up to Anita. She reached out and stroked the nap of his neck.
"Hey" Cordelia complained, "I thought you were a one woman dog"
Next time on Bloody/Death :"I was kidnapped at the time," Spike protested. "But we have to work together now. Any chance you can stop with the grand standing?"