Sunday, December 7, 2003

 

 

Harmony had always known she'd never go to college, so dying hadn't actually screwed up any plans. But sometimes she felt regret—not the kind Angel felt for killing people, which was, you know, silly, since that was what vampires did: kill. But for things she could no longer do. Like going to Harvard and becoming a lawyer, like Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. Because you probably had to be alive to do that.

Still, being a vampire wasn't so bad, especially these days. No more smelly coffins in dank basements—unless your name was Spike and you felt you owed it to your reputation as the Slayer of Slayers to shack up in a cemetery. No superstitious peasants with pitchforks and torches invading an honest undead working gal's apartment. But the best thing about being undead? No more PMS. And super-strong nails. Yay!

Ego, Peep Show, or After Hours?

After a moment of deliberation, Harmony picked up the little magenta bottle of nail polish and shook it vigorously. Definitely Ego. Pink and glitter were her favorites, and so far Angel hadn't complained or requested more conservative colors.

In the background, Julia Roberts was about to show those mean, nasty ladies at the boutique that she was not to be walked over just because she looked like a hooker. It was Harmony's favorite part, and she paused to watch, before giving her toenails a second coat.

If only men were like that Edward guy in real life: chivalrous, generous, and romantic. Take Spike, for example. He had a kind of Richard Gere look to him, sexy, good looking—and he was a much better lay, according to the latest rumor Lornytoons had told her. But his fashion sense? So retro. And his manners? Pre-Flood caveman kind of outdated. Maybe Lorne could arrange for the Fab 5 to make over Spike?

Giggling at her own thought, Harmony returned to painting her nails and the very familiar plan to lure Spike into her bed again. Even if he spent all his time moping about the Slayer, well, he hadn't gone to her. That made him fair game, right? Okay, so he hadn't come to see her after the weird blood-eyes thing. Really, was it her fault she'd bitten him? Then again, when had her Blondie Bear ever not liked biting during sex! But fine, if he wanted to play hard to get, Harmony could play along. She liked chasing—probably a vampire thing, but she really, really did.

Harmony smiled again, put the brush back into the bottle and blew on her nails, willing them to dry faster.

She had money, a job, and her eyes set on a cute guy, what more could an undead girl ask for?

* * *

The very instant the elevator doors opened, Angel knew that Spike was there. One didn't need a vampire’s sense of smell to detect cigarette smoke and it was kinda hard to miss the music that echoed hollowly in the almost empty parking garage.

Angel sighed and headed for the Viper. His Viper.

The windows had been rolled down and a black clad elbow was sticking out of the driver's window.

Angel stopped beside the driver's door and leaned down, one hand on the roof, the waxed varnish almost sensuously smooth underneath his fingertips. "Aerosmith?" he asked after rifling through his memory for a moment.

"Toys in the Attic," Spike agreed. Eyes closed, he'd been bobbing his head to the music, but now he peered up at the older vampire, his usual expression of defiance firmly in place. "You got twelve cars to choose from, you don't need the Viper," he said, sounding tired. "So sod off."

Angel scanned the parking garage, but they were alone. The building was notoriously quiet on Sunday evenings. The car was cold, no heat radiating from the engine. Judging by the blue cloud of cigarette smoke that loomed over the car and the overflowing ashtray, Spike had been sitting here for hours.

Angel walked to the other side, opened the passenger door and slipped inside. He wasn't a great fan of classic rock, but compared to some of the stuff Spike liked to listen to, this was almost civilized.

"God, I miss my old wheels," Spike sighed after a while, when Angel made no move to evict him. "The deSoto didn't have a fancy stereo like this one, no CD player or anything.  Had character, though,  in spades."

They listened quietly and it was only when the song ended, that Angel realized Spike was listening to a local radio station instead of a CD or tape.

"About that company car you asked for..." Angel said awkwardly, half way into the next track, 'Sweet Emotion.'

"Don't overexert yourself," Spike interrupted and patted his duster pocket that still held the check Angel had given him. "Got money now. Enough to get something cheap."

Angel knew he'd regret it, but he said it anyway: "You can use the Viper till then."

"Was going to anyway," Spike scoffed.

"Fine. Well, now you're doing it with my permission."

"For Christ's sake, Angel, you really have a knack for takin' the fun out of everything."

"Yup, that's me," Angel admitted resignedly and leaned back, resting his skull against the headrest and closing his eyes.

A frown appeared on Spike's face. "You feelin' alright?" The question slipped out before Spike could stomp on it.

"No," Angel admitted without opening his eyes, " and for once it's got nothing to do with Buffy, or infinite remorse, or even you."

"Wanna talk about it?" Spike elbowed Angel between the ribs to get his attention and pushed the open flask in his hand.

"No." Angel stared at it for a moment, then took a hefty swallow, and returned the flask.

"Thank god," Spike snarked. "Had me worried there, for a mo."

Monday, December 8, 2003

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