Characters/Pairings: Spike/Xander, mentions of Spike/Xander/Angel
Rating: PG for this chapter
Prompt/Challenge: Al dente
Warnings: Shapeshifting
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys, I just like playing with them. No money being made and no offense intended.

Fourth in the Shifting for the Future!verse

Heights, Threats and Realizations


From Angel's new position in life, the top of the bookcase was extremely high. He stared at it in disgust. He needed a place to hide from all the junior slayers. The girls had all adopted him as their mascot and while he didn't mind the brushing and petting, the squealing and cooing were getting to him. He had tried to hide earlier, but the spot was easily found and one of the girls dragged him out. This spot though would be a good hiding spot. All the girls were fairly short and if he curled up back in the corner no one would be able to find him and he could sleep in peace. Nodding in resolve, Angel crouched down, bunching his muscles in preparation to jump. The second before he launched, large hands scooped him up. Opening his mouth to berate his attacker, Angel stopped in confusion when he was neatly deposited on the top of the bookcase.

"I wasn't sure if you'd make the jump," Xander explained with a smile. "If you got hurt the girls would never let you go."

Thanks, Angel meowed, laying down so his head was just over the edge. Any luck on figuring out what the Powers meant?

"Not yet," Xander replied. "Dawn, Willow, Giles and Spike are working on it. Buffy's out beating up everything to keep from going insane. Oh, and this was sent for you."

Angel looked at the item dangling from Xander's hand. It was a collar made black leather and studded with what looked like emeralds. A small tag hung from the front of it.

"I'm fairly certain Dru sent it," the mortal told him.

Why? Angel asked, glaring at the offending piece of leather.

"Because I got one too," Xander said with a blush. "The tag on mine said Kitten."

What's that one say?

"It says Angel-Kitty."

That sounds like Dru, Angel sighed. Did Willow check it for spells?

"Yep, Dawn too," Xander nodded. "There's only a preservation spell on the leather. Dawn said something about keeping it al dente, which I didn't understand. I thought that was about pasta."

It is. Knowing Dawn, and Dru, it's probably to keep the leather supple but firm.

"Ah, that makes more sense."

I'm not going to wear it, the vampire-kitten grumbled.

"Neither am I," Xander laughed. "But I thought I'd show it to you anyway." He tucked the collar away. "Hide up there until the girls go to bed, then you can come and sleep with us, okay?"

Yeah, Angel yawned. Thanks, Xan.

"No need. Just move to the back so they can't see you."

Nodding, Angel did just that, curling up into a little ball. Dozing he listened as the junior slayers pouted when they couldn't find him and heard Willow berating them for bothering him. The witch reminded the girls that while he was currently a kitten, he was still a Master vampire and wouldn't be in this form forever. She left with the warning that vampires had long memories. Angel snickered to himself. He would never hurt the girls but he was certain that Willow's threat would keep them from terrorizing him for a little while at least.


The thump of the front door closing woke Angel up. Stretching, he listened carefully for signs that any of the girls were up and about. Hearing nothing, he jumped off the bookcase and landed neatly on the floor. The only good thing he had found about his new form was that he kept his agility. It made Angel realize that vampires did have a lot in common with cats. After pausing to smooth sleep ruffled fur, he made his way to Spike and Xander's room, hiding in the shadows the whole way.

The door to the boys' room was open a crack, obviously left open for him. Slipping inside, he pushed it closed behind him and padded over to the bed. Jumping up on the bottom, he watched the two men curled together in sleep. Spike was behind Xander, arms wrapped tight around the human and the vampire's face was buried in the hair at the back of Xander's head. As Angel watched, Xander reached out to the other side of the bed and made a soft sound of discontent when his hand encountered nothing but cool sheets. Spike's hold tightened and the vampire began to purr softly to sooth his lover.

Lying down, Angel wondered about that. After their brief encounter post-kitten, Angel had run and hid from them for over a week. Since that time both had extended offers to him, both subtle and blatant but he refused each and every one. He had thought they were only doing it out of pity, but now, watching as Xander reached for someone, for him, he knew it wasn't pity. Their offers were genuine. They actually wanted him; wanted him with them. Heaving a sigh, he stood and walked up the bed until he reached Xander's chest. Curling up, he pressed himself against Xander's body, feeling and hearing the beating heart. A large hand curved around him and he drifted off to sleep, content for the first time in a long time.

The End

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