Spike turned to his lover, the older man kissed his forehead gently and stepped away from him. He faced the stunned occupants of the room...and pulled off the silver ring on his right hand.
Angel grabbed Buffy before she made it off the couch, pushing the Slayer back into her seat he stood facing his Childe. The re-newed blonde met his eyes with calm certainty. For a moment no one breathed, but the explosion they were expecting never happened. Spike had no feelings for any of them, his family had made their peace with the past...and there was no need to explain that he would kill anyone who harmed them. The blonde wasn't interested in settling the past. For him, it wasn't important. All that mattered was his mate and his family.
"Good to see you too Peaches. How's the soul? Get a nice dose of guilt out of this did ya?"
"You haven't changed."
"Have to. Just ask my family."
"You can't turn them."
"Oh, but I can. And I will. And there's not one bloody thing you can do about it."
Buffy tackled Spike from the side. She rolled until she had him pinned and then pulled out a stake. Spike's hand shot out and caught her wrist, a squeeze and a twist and she was stakeless. Rolling over, he pinned the Slayer under him and sank his free hand into her hair. Two quick wraps on the floor and she was nearly unconscious. Spike released her and stood up in one smooth motion.
The room around him was frozen...literally. When it was obvious Spike had the upper hand, the Slayerettes had tried to interfere. Xander had summoned a thin sheen of ice. They were in no danger of freezing, but they couldn't move. Spike turned his attention back to the Slayer. She was slowly getting to her feet. Clutching her wrist and moaning, she was bleeding from the split in the back of her head. The vampire had cracked her skull.
Seizing her hair again, the blonde dragged her to the couch and dumped her on it. Glaring down at the Slayer he could only wonder what it was his Sire ever saw in the bratty bitch. A movement to his left told him that Xander's spell was wearing off, and he turned to face Angel. The older vampire's eyes were calm and focused. There was no anger, no intent to attack.
"Got rid of that bleedin' thing ages ago."
"You still work for the Powers."
"Yeah, s'not so bad. Wes has visions and then we lot clear up the mess. Plus I get to eat the bad guys. Guilt free snacking, you should try it sometime."
The blonde had to laugh, because Angel was smiling. And for just a minute looked like his Sire. Not the mad bastard that tormented him in Sunnydale, not the souled lapdog, but his Sire. The man that saved him from rotting in a grave. The patient teacher who taught him to hunt, to fight, and even to read and write. The one person in the world who he could always rely on. And maybe he did have some past to let go of, but the man in front of him wasn't the one he still missed on the anniversary of his turning. Nor was he any of the other incarnations of Angel, he was something new. Someone with elements of all of them, and maybe with time and trying...He would never have his Sire back, perhaps he could have a friend.
But those were things to be thought of later, when he has his family bake to the safety of their home. For now, he had to take care of his mate. Because as difficult as this has been for the rest of them, for Xander it will be ten times worse. Oz and Wesley dealt with the betrayal of lovers, he is still dealing with the loss of his Sire, but his mate will have to handle the fallout from total betrayal. A Father figure who became a lover and a friend who he all but called sister, they had ripped him to pieces with cool indifference. And now Spike was trying desperately to think of a way to keep Xander from losing his temper. He knew the brunette wasn't prepared to deal with what might happen if he did.