Angel kept his hands in his pocket the whole time he was by Spike’s bed. He wasn’t being tactful and, for once, he wasn’t trying to resist the urge to punch him – or to hug him. Not that he did hugs anyway.
It was just that for some reason his hands were still shaking.
“Smog's bad today, Wesley?” Giles looked at rivulets of rain racing down a flat plane of glass and smiled as he lied. “Beautiful day here.”
“She told me... she said daddy wouldn’t come,” Spike said, the words husky in a throat dried by fear. “Said he was dead.”
Angel’s mouth twisted in a smile. “Got that half right,” he said.
“Mr Angel said he’d forgotten to give you this,” the nurse said brightly, her arms full of worn, soft leather. “Shall I hang it up?”
“No!” Spike dialed back on the volume and smiled at her. “Tell him...tell him, thanks but it doesn’t fit any more. Grown out of it, yeah?”
The hardest thing he had to do wasn’t standing still and enduring Andrew’s hugs and frantic, joyful pats.
It was standing still and not returning them.
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