Written for the Puppet Angel ficathon.
Sloshing the Angel!Puppet
Angel growled low under his breath. You'd think that when the CEO of Wolfram
& Hart was turned into a puppet there'd be some kind of priority attached
to getting him back to human... well, vampire form. But no. Rules and
regulations and the Vice President of Magic and Artifacts was apologetic but
firm when he said that nothing could be done until form RTR-59B was filled out
– Requisition for Transformation and Reversals. Damn Wes. Angel was pretty
sure this was just some sort of petty revenge for increasing Fred's annual
budget at the expense of Wes's department. But didn't Wesley realize
much a Collider Detector cost? The money had to come from somewhere. And he'd
done the research – Magic and Artifacts went way over budget last year.
Probably from restoring the offices after the Beast's attack, but a budget was
a budget. This year, they were just going to have to cut back.
He swore under his breath, carefully trying to hit the backspace key again.
“Why the hell don't we have large keyed keyboards anywhere in the office?
Fifty different kinds of demons working here and none
of them need to
compensate for claws?” He was pretty sure there was some sort of disability
rule that should apply to this situation. He reminded himself to have a severe
word with InHuman Resources in the morning. After
he finished filling
out this form.
“What the bloody hell are you doing?”
Angel closed his eyes briefly. Don't look up. Don't look up. If you don't
look up, maybe he's not really there…
He looked up. Damn it. “What do you want, Spike?”
Spike shrugged. “I'm bored.” He walked – no, swaggered – into the
room, gazing down at Angel.
Angel glared at him. Spike was enjoying being taller than Angel far too much.
It was driving Angel insane. Just a few more days
he thought to
himself. Just a few more days and this will be reversed. One way or
Spike leaned against the desk, peering at the computer screen. “And since
apparently your ears are as full of cotton as the rest of you, I ask again –
what the bloody hell are you doing?”
Angel glared harder. Unfortunately, he'd discovered, his glare wasn't
particularly piercing in this form. “Not,” he said icily, “That it's any
of your business – but I'm filling out paperwork so that Wes can have this
damn transformation reversed.”
Spike snickered. “Bit of mutiny in the ranks, eh?” He shrugged. “Why the
hell are you doing it, though?”
“Because,” Angel said through clenched teeth, “Until the paperwork is
filled out, they're not able to requisition the supplies they need, nor assign
a sorcerer to the task.”
“No, I mean why the hell are you
doing it? Isn't that what you've
got Harm for?”
Angel blinked. He'd forgotten about Harmony. Cordelia would have laughed in
his face at the suggestion that she fill out a form. But Harmony…
Spike was eyeing him with a smirk.
Don't rip his throat out
, Angel reminded himself. You're not
sure if your teeth detach or not
“She was busy…earlier.” He offered weakly. He could hear her talking on
the phone, a mile a minute. Something about a special luncheon she wanted to
go to, some working women's expo.
He pressed the intercom button on his phone. A high-pitched squeal emerged
from it. He glanced down. His fingers were covering half the buttons. Out of
the corner of his eye he could see Spike holding on to his sides, weak with
laughter. He tried again, wincing as the sound pierced the air again, sounding
even louder. He gave up on the phone.
“Harmony!” He called out. “Could you fill out a RTR-59B for me?”
“Sure thing, boss!” Harmony chirped from the front office. “Do you need
that with an Amendment P attached?”
Angel steadfastly refused to look at Spike. “Ummm…” He frantically
searched his mind. What good was a photographic memory if you were pretty sure
you'd never read through the guidelines in the first place?
“That's a P for Priority!” Harmony called back helpfully.
Of course it was. He wasn't positive but he bet that if he looked a little
deeper he would find that the head of the Policies and Procedures Division was
a product of years of edutainment. He suppressed the urge to burst into song.
to get this damn spell reversed soon.
“Yes. Thanks, Harmony. And send it straight to Wes.” He searched his mind
for something positive to say. Something reinforcing. “And, and – the
company will pay for that conference you wanted to go to.”
He could hear Harmony letting out a squeal of excitement. “Thanks, Boss!
You're the best!” He cringed, rubbing his ears. Unfortunately the cotton
ones worked just as well as his old ones, no matter what Spike tried to claim.
Speaking of Spike…Angel looked up. Damn it. Spike was still there.
“What do you want?”
“C'mon, Angel. I'm bored. And you look like you could use a drink.”
“That's a stupid idea. I don't drink.”
“Oh, please, don't try that soddin' stupid pure and noble champion routine
on me. I've known you for over a hundred and twenty-five years. Course you
drink. Spend much of your time that way, or at least you used to. Back when
you were fun.”
“No. I mean I can't drink.”
Spike raised an eyebrow, just looking at him.
“I don't think there's a hole!” Angel burst out in frustration.
Spike's face twitched. Angel thought about kicking him but decided it wasn't
worth the effort. Instead he drew his brows together, growling low under his
breath. “I can still bite.”
Spike looked at him critically. “Open up.”
“I want to check your teeth.”
Angel batted away his hands sulkily. “You're not a dentist.”
“Or a toymaker, but I want to see…”
“Stop it!” Maybe, Angel decided, he didn't care if his teeth detached. He
could just rip out Spike's throat and then try velcro later.
“Fine, then. I just wanna know how real you are.”
“I'm real! Just because I'm a puppet doesn't mean I'm not real!” Angel
stopped, horrified to hear the words coming out of his mouth.
“C'mon, Angel…” Spike wheedled, tone beseeching. “I'm bored and you
can't do much else as a little puppet. Come get a drink with me.”
Angel sighed. “Fine,” he snapped out. It wasn't like there was anything
better to do.
Angel found himself staring moodily into the bar, peering through the…lack
of smoke. Health laws took away the ambience of the pubs in California. Still,
he was busy not being evil right now. He didn't need the smell of smoke to
encourage him. He could feel Spike behind him, shifting impatiently.
“Look, there's two spaces at the bar.” Spike's voice was annoyingly
cheerful as he bounced on the balls of his feet.
Angel grumbled. “I can see them.” He hadn't, they weren't in his direct
line of sight. But that wasn't the point. The point was to never admit
anything to Spike.
He started over to the bar, in the direction Spike had pointed. Stopped when
they reached it and hid a wince as he realized how high the stools were.
Spike leaned down, as if to pick him up.
“I can do it!” Angel jerked back from Spike's hands. Then he pulled his
dignity around him and carefully clambered up to the top of the stool.
Spike flashed a grin at the bartender. “Two pints of your best, mate. And a
couple shots of tequila.”
Angel groaned. It was going to be a long night.
“Yeah, but you don't need
an axe if you're fighting a Grappler
demon.” Spike poked Angel in the chest, emphasizing his point.
There was a soft squishing noise. They both looked down.
“Huh.” Spike poked him again. squish
. He leaned forward, taking
a big sniff. Pulled back with a grin on his face as the smell of alcohol
wafted up from Angel's chest.
“Spike.” Angel warned. “Don't say it.”
Spike started laughing. “You're sloshed! You're so sloshed you're actually
“I told you not to say it!”
Spike waved the bartender over for another round.
One two three four.
Five six seven eight.
He wiggled his fingers experimentally. Squinted.
“Angel?” Spike's voice was low, deeper now. Angel wondered how much they'd
had to drink. And where Spike had gotten the money to pay for it. He made a
mental note to check his wallet in the morning. Then he dismissed it. He
didn't think he'd remember, anyway.
“What are you doing?”
Angel wiggled his fingers again. “Counting my fingers. There should be two
more” He sighed. “What happened to my other two fingers? Where do you
think they went, while I'm in puppet form? And do you think they'll be
“Angel?” Spike's voice was very soft now. “I think it's time we went
Angel found himself nodding. He stared down at the floor, judging the distance
to the ground, then muffled a squeak of surprise as Spike carefully picked him
up off the stool. Angel thought about protesting, then gave it up and just
wearily laid his head against Spike's neck. He felt limp and boneless. Hell,
he was limp and boneless.
“Spike?” He said in a blurred voice, half asleep.
“Make sure you wring me out so I don't wake up with a hangover in the
“Sure thing, Angel.”