secret is exposed!
“I can’t believe this is happening!” Xander angrily paced around the room. “I can’t believe you let this happen!”
Spike bristled. “Don’t yell at me! It’s not my fault the bleedin’ Poof ditched me!”
Xander stopped in his pacing to stare at the blonde vampire. “Ditched you!? Spike, I know you’re not the sharpest crayon in the box, but how hard is it to keep tabs on a six foot dead guy?”
Spike opened his mouth to offer a scathing retort but Oz intervened.
“Guys, why don’t you two just calm down and tell us what happened.” The guitarist said indicating the other two occupants in the hotel’s small conference room. Doyle and Wesley glanced at each other, unsure of what this emergency meeting was exactly about and why it was being done so clandestinely.
The peroxide vampire turned back to Xander. “You know this is all your fault for putting me into a position of responsibility in the first place.”
“What else could I do? I couldn’t look after him!” Xander said defensively.
Spike snorted in derision.
“Oh what, you think I wanted this job?” The teenager looked at him incredulously. “Do you have any idea how much stuff the Best Man has to do?” Xander let out a weary sigh. “You know, if Cornfed wasn’t so damn honest and upstanding, I would think he was trying to punish me.”
Spike folded his arms obstinately. “Well, this is still your fault. You knew this would be hard for Angel. I don’t know why did you even let him come?”
Xander rolled his eyes. “And, how exactly was I supposed to stop him?”
“You could have chained him to the bed.” The vampire stated frankly.
“I would never do something like that!” Xander frowned. “’Sides, I couldn’t find them.”
The vampire looked at him quizzically. “The chains?”
Spike looked dumbfounded. “What about the manacles I got the two of you for Christmas?”
“Gone. He hid all of them.”
Oz’s eyebrows had steadily risen at the conversation. “What exactly is going on?”
“Spike lost Angel.” Xander said, giving the blonde vampire an evil look.
“I didn’t loose him.” Spike said caustically.
Doyle held up his hands to try and stave off another argument. “What do you mean Spike lost Angel?”
The answer to the half demon was lost as Graham and Forrest walked into the room.
“Anything to report?” Xander asked.
Forrest nodded his head slightly. “There’s no sign of the corpse, but we found three empty whiskey bottles near the south entrance to the pool.”
“Doesn’t mean anything. It might not have been him.” Wesley stated. “Just because we’re at. . .”
Doyle, Xander, and Spike looked at each other. “It’s him.” They announced in unison.
Forrest began to pace. “All right. Let’s look at this logically. You’re at your ex’s wedding. You’ve consumed large quantities of alcohol. What would you do?”
“Take the first pretty young thing I found and shag it senseless?”
Xander sighed. “Not you personally, Spike.”
Forrest rolled his eyes. “Let me rephrase the question. What would Angel do?”
“Um.” Graham nervously glanced around the room. “He wouldn’t try to do anything stupid, would he?”
Doyle looked alarmed. “Like stake himself!?”
“Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of disemboweling Riley.”
Xander thought for a moment. “Probably not.” He finally answered. “But, maybe someone should stay close to the groom, just in case.”
The other men in the room quickly agreed and was about to draw straws to see who got stuck with the Riley sitting duty, when the door violently swung open to reveal a very agitated ex-May queen.
Cordelia glanced around the room, slightly surprised to see such an odd mix of faces willingly sitting in the same small enclosed space. Annoyance once again regained it’s rightful place on her face and she announced with an sigh. “I don’t know what all of you are doing in here, but it’s the only open empty room on this floor and I need it more then any of you rented-tux boys, so get out. Now.”
Wesley rolled his eyes. “What’s wrong now?”
“What’s wrong!? What’s wrong?!” The brunette’s voice rose shrilly. “My life has become a nightmarish hell, all coordinated by little Miss Really-Shouldn’t-Wear-White Buffy, and, to top it all off, when I want to be alone with my indignities, I find a room full of you people!”
“What indignities, Princess?” Doyle politely asked.
“Are you blind?!? I’m wearing pink taffeta, for God’s sake! And bows, why the hell does this dress have so many damn bows!?” With a deep breath the errant bridesmaid composed herself. “So, I am going to stay in here for the remainder of the reception.” Cordy unceremoniously flopped into a chair. “Hey Xan, you might want to direct Angel to this room the next time you see him. We can nurse the tattered shreds of our dignity together.”
Xander looked up sharply “Wait, you’ve seen Angel?”
She snorted. “Yeah, kinda hard to miss *that* on the dance floor.”
A look of pure horror passed between Xander and Spike as they uttered the one word that made both their blood, borrowed or otherwise, run cold.
The seven men quickly made their way down the main hallway, with Spike and Xander in the lead. The rest of the group quietly wondered what the rush was, after all they had a reliable lead on the truant vampire’s whereabouts and even an intoxicated Angel would not let himself get into trouble on a crowded dance floor.
Wesley was the one who finally voiced these opinions. “I’m not quite sure what the two of you are so worried about.” The men firmly pushed past the double doors that led to the ballroom. “I’m sure everything will be f. . . Mary mother of God!!!” Wes quickly removed his glasses. For the first time in his life he was thankful for the astigmatism that blurred the vision of anything beyond his nose.
Xander moaned as a shudder ran through his young body. He had only been witness to that kind of display from his lover once before. The boy still carried the emotional scars from the unfortunate incident.
Luckily for Spike, he had had over a century to get accustomed to his Sire’s unusual displays of. . . movements. He shook his head and was glad Angel would be waking up with *Xander* the next morning.
The other males of the extended Scooby Gang watched the elder vampire with an almost morbid curiosity. It was like a car wreck right there on the dance floor.
“Huh.” Oz carefully arched an eyebrow. “You’d think that in almost three hundred years he would have developed *some* sense of rhythm.”
“Yeah, you’d think that, wouldn’t you.” Doyle swallowed convulsively.
A wild look came to Graham’s usually bashful eyes. “We’ve gotta stop him! How are we gonna stop him?!”
“I don’t know.” Forrest pursed his lips. “But we better think of a way fast. Buffy’s on an intercept course, and she looks *pissed*.”
That snapped Xander out of his thoughts. “Oz, Forrest - run interference with Buffy. Doyle, Wesley, Spike - try to corral him to a less populated area. Graham - get the tranq gun. We’re taking him down.
Angel opened his eyes very slowly, millimeter by millimeter, until he was blearily peering around the bedroom of his apartment. With an audible groan he sank back into the covers.
“How are ya doing?” Xander asked, suddenly appearing at the vampire’s side holding a mug of warm blood.
Angel’s stomach flip flopped at the thought of absorbing anything, but he accepted the nourishment anyway. He took a sip and grimaced, then fixed his puppy dog eyes firmly on his young lover. “Xan, what happened?”
The teenager shifted uncomfortably. “Well, what’s the last thing you remember?”
Angel frowned in concentration. “Um. . . the beautiful ceremony?”
“Okay, anything after that?”
The vampire pitifully shook his throbbing head.
“Right, well. . . you kinda. . . sorta. . . got extremely drunk.”
“That would explain my current condition.” Angel said morosely. He stared closely at Xander’s face. “Did I do something bad?”
“Well. . .”
“Dammit! I killed the Hayseed, didn’t I?” He buried his head in his hands. “That’s not gonna sit well with anybody.”
“No, no.” Xander said quickly. “You didn’t kill Riley. You. . .”
“What’s important is that we all still love you.” The boy gave his lover what he hoped was a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
“What happened?” Angel’s voice was a mere whisper.
The vampire’s scream of tortured anguish was heard throughout the building.