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Author's Chapter Notes:
Disclaimer: Characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and others. I own Gabriel.

Dedication: For everyone who ever felt that what they wanted was unattainable.

Series: Demon Life Ain't All It's Cracked Up To Be Interlude
It was a dark and stormy night.

Or rather it should have been.

For a dark and stormy night would have fit Spike’s mood perfectly. The crash of thunder could have taken place of the screams he held inside, and the bursting flashes of lighting would have been a release from the tension building inside of him.

But the moon hung high in the sky, not quite full, still a few days from that. Not a cloud in sight. The weather was warm and balmy and did nothing to help Spike’s mood.

Spike fumed.

People were keeping secrets from him.

A fact that he detested.

Willow knew what was really going on. He could see it in her green eyes when she thought he wasn’t looking. She would regard him with eyes that were filled with happiness or filled with sympathy, depending on her mood, and Spike knew that she knew the truth.

Angel knew. The fact that his sire knew, and he did not, irked Spike to no end.

Angel would look at him, either disgust or pity in his gaze, and Spike could feel the anger burning deep within himself.

What right did they have to keep whatever knowledge they were keeping from him from him? What right did they have to decide what he could and could not know?

And Gabriel was the worst, sitting in brooding silence for hours on end, or storming about the mansion in fits of rage such as he had never seen before. Her temper flared at the slightest provocation, and everyone was beginning to keep a wide berth around the demon.

Spike himself was beginning to scare people away, with his only vocalizations being growls and snarls, and his flashing blue eyes filled with so much anger. The two were the talk of the underworld, as long as the underworld chose to speak in hushed whispers, for anything else would bring the wrath of one or the other down upon the speaker.

Finally Willow could take no more, grabbing Angel one night for a hurried conference.

“We have to talk to them,” Willow whispered. “No one can take their anger anymore. Soon there won’t be anyone left to help us. They keep scaring everyone away.”

“I know,” Angel said with a defeated sigh. “But do you really want to broach the subject with them?”

Willow thought about that for a long moment. “Nope,” she said.

A small smile touched the corners of Angel’s lips. “Then what do we do?” he asked quietly. “If even we won’t talk to them.”

Willow tilted her head as she thought, eyes dark. “I don’t know, but we have to do something.”

Suddenly a dark light filled Angel’s eyes. “I think I have just the plan,” the vampire said, leaning in to whisper in Willow’s ear. The witch’s eyes widened, then a smile slid across her lips, predatory.

“And what a plan it is,” she murmured with awe.

Near sunrise Gabriel found herself on the enclosed porch, which had been sun-proofed at the beginning, a steaming cup of hot chocolate in her hands, though it was far too hot for the drink. But she had learned, by chance, of Spike’s love for the drink, and for the little marshmallows that went in it, and now drank hot chocolate at odd times, just to feel closer to Spike.

For though they were living closer together than they had in over a hundred years, Gabriel had never felt more far away from him.

The emotions that she had managed to convince herself were a silly crush had returned, stronger than ever.

A wall, high and insurmountable between them.

So the demon sat, sensing the sun as it slid over the horizon, wishing, for once in her life, that she were a vampire. Burning as she walked into the sun had to be easier than facing sleepless days and nights of not touching Spike.

With a sigh, she sipped the hot chocolate, surprisingly bitter for once, and sat there throughout the day, until Spike rose from his sleep, and the anger and frustration filled the mansion once again.


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