Title: The Fine Print
“How could you not know this was here?” Spike asked, pressing both hands around the thick green bar.
“It’s not like it was in the contract,” Angel said, tinge of two-year old in his voice.
“You told me you read the fine print when you signed on at Hell Inc.” Pressing his shoulder against the gate, Spike tightened his grip around the bar again and lunged forward.
“It’s not like it said ‘sheep storage’ anywhere,” Angel stood next to the gate and added his weight to Spike’s efforts.
“Should’ve asked is all I’m saying.”
“How the hell was I supposed to know?” Angel asked, giving a final push to the gate, to no avail.
Throwing his hands in the air, Spike glared at the impediment before them and turned to Angel. “How many of these little ritual sacrifices have you broke up over the years?”
“I don’t know, maybe twenty…thirty,” Angel paused, counting out the various not-quite-sacrifices he had managed to catch in the previous years. “Fortyish.”
“And it never occurred to you when signing on the dotted line that Wolfram and Hart had an in-house Dolly-shop?”
“Dolly?” Angel asked, eyebrows raised.
“Cloned sheep, made the headlines,” Spike stared in disbelief, although not surprise. “Do you ever watch anything that doesn’t involve a puck and fist fights?”
“Can we just worry about the problem at hand,” Angel said, returning his attention to the gate.
“Don’t you have keys or something?”
Angel rested his forehead against the highest bar, reaching into his pocket wordlessly. Fumbling for the key marked ‘master’ he slid it into the bolt, sneering at Spike when the lock released.
“Well that’s fabulous, now what are we going to do with them?” Spike stared out over the paddock, marveling at the hundreds of sheep. Several had symbols spray-painted onto their coats, presumably marking their purpose.
“We could send the senior partners a message, maybe score some brownie points,” Angel shut the gate behind him, blocking the escape path of several would-be-sacrifices.
“Could drain them, free dinners for a year, yeah?”
“Um, how about no?” Angel looked around, waiting for an idea to present itself. Behind the paddock was giant field leading up to the San Gabriel Mountains. “Do you see a gate at the other end of the paddock?”
Spike stood on the bottom rung of the fence and looked over the herd, “Yeah, one out there to the left.”
“Come on,” Angel said, grabbing Spike’s arm as they made their way through a sea of white wool.
“Oh you have got to be kidding me,” Spike said as Angel unlocked the second gate, “They aren’t bloody mountain goats, Angel.”
“They’ll be fine.”
“Have you ever been a sheep herder? How do you know they’ll be fine?”
“Do you really care,” Angel asked as he shoved the first one to freedom.
“Well, no, but I’m supposed to be the devil’s advocate,” Spike said, trying to keep his balance as more of the animals realized there was a way out of the paddock.
“Was that part of the fine print?” Angel asked, slapping the rears of several less-enthusiastic ewes.”
“Yeah, just under the bit that said I have to follow you on sheep herding missions.”
“I hate lawyers,” Angel stated flatly as the last animal escaped into the field.
“Yeah but without them we wouldn’t have all the great perks we have,” Spike said, grabbing Angel’s hand and leading him through the empty paddock and back to the car.
“Like what,” Angel asked as he climbed into the GTO.
“Like reclining seats,” Spike answered as he straddled Angel’s lap and took his lower lip between his teeth.
“We have the weirdest lives,” Angel said, swallowing Spike’s reply with a kiss.