VERY edited version of rules:
- They will be three vignettes exploring Spike's state after "Chosen".
- They will all be named after song lyrics.
- They will all be accompanied by one quote from "Buffy" or "Angel".
- They will not be connected.
- They will not be continued.
- They will be open as story ideas to anyone who wants to run with them.
- They will be weird.
1. title from "The Cat Came Back" by Harry S. Miller
2. title from "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
3. title from "Ghost World" by Aimee Mann
Dedicated wholeheartedly to Rebecca. Because.
Spoilers for BtVS season 7/"Chosen" and "Angel" season 4/"Home". Season 5 "Angel" speculation.
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back, it just couldn't stay away
1.Thought He Was A Goner
("Come with a nice leather collar, does it?")
"You had the chicken salad, right, Lorne?" Fred peered into the takeout bag as they ambled down the hall toward Lorne's new office at Wolfram & Hart. Lorne absently steered her away from walking into a large potted plant as she dug through piles of paper napkins, but he didn't answer her. "You're sure not talking much today. I'll just leave it on your desk, and then we really should--oh, wow!"
Lorne's freshly redecorated office was a lush, multicolored marvel of taste and style, but Fred was staring only at the sleek silver computer desk at the center of the room. On it perched a fluffy white cat, apparently interrupted mid-bath with one paw halfway to its face, and it peered at them through narrowed blue eyes.
"Oh, wow," Fred said again, her voice dropping into a croon, and she stepped forward and stretched one hand cautiously to the cat. "Hey there, kittybaby." The cat sniffed her fingers with polite interest. "Is he yours, Lorne? He's gorgeous." Up close shadows of brown showed through the cat's white fur, like watermarkings, or traces of an old burn.
From behind Fred in the doorway, Lorne glowered at the cat. "He was singing up a storm outside my office window this morning," Lorne said. "Guess he thought my dropping a marble paperweight on his head was an invitation to move in."
"He was outside your window? This office is six stories up!" Fred put the bag on the desk and tried to pick up the cat, which purred deafeningly even as it wriggled from her grasp. "What're you doing up here, kitty? Are you hungry?"
If it were possible, the cat purred even louder. Fred began to pull wrapped food out of the paper bag and stacked it on the desk. "We'll see what we've got here, okay? And then Lorne and I'll run down to Seven-Eleven and pick up some Fancy Feast for you, I saw it was on sale--"
"Over my decapitated and burned corpse are you giving this little ingrate Fancy Feast."
"Dog person," Fred said with breezy accusation.
"Okay, nice, fine thank you goodbye!" Lorne started pushing Fred toward the door as though she were a chair, leaving the food still stacked behind them on the desk. "Now I need some alone time here with Pussy Galore."
There was a short but thoughtful pause.
"We're all going to forget I ever said that," Lorne said, and slid Fred across the threshold into the hall.
"Lorne, are you feeling all right?"
"I hope that's a rhetorical question." Lorne sighed. "Look, Fredkins, just give me a sec. With the cat. And don't tell Angel about him. There are some things I need to--discuss with him first."
"With the cat."
Fred blinked at him. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"Not especially." Lorne tried to close the door.
Fred caught the edge of the door and forced it back open partway. "Is this like the thing with Charles and his leopard?"
"I think it was a jaguar, actually. And no." Lorne pushed the door shut and spoke through the wood. "Don't tell Angel yet. Please. Humor the green guy."
He heard Fred snort. "Green weirdo." Her voice grew fainter as she moved away from the door. "I'm going to get the Fancy Feast. And I won't tell Angel."
"Pour you in a bundt pan and call you angel food, sweetcakes," he called after her.
Lorne turned back into the office. The cat was on the desk crouched over Lorne's pulled-open salad, gnawing the chunks of chicken loose from the wilted iceberg lettuce with almost surgical care. It flicked its tail at Lorne but didn't pause in swallowing.
"Angel's going to skin us both when he finds out about you," Lorne said. "I'll be the attractive green leather suitcase, perfect for the CEO of any major evil law firm, and you'll be my elegant fur trim."
The cat swallowed the last bite of chicken and settled back onto the desk, its paws disappearing into its thick fur until it resembled a furry white meatloaf with head and tail. Lorne circled the desk and sank into his chair. Claw marks already scored its expensive new Italian leather upholstery. He delicately prodded his own skin and winced. "You had to be my problem. Just couldn't stay away, could you, Spike."
The cat hunched itself forward and began to rumble like a small, maddeningly smug motorboat.
Continued in 2. On A Gathering Storm