SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1SHE WAS THE WIND
A Box of Crayons' story- color Blizzard Blue
Disclaimer – All rights belong to Mr. Whedon et al. I'm just having fun giving them a future.
Rating – FRT for alcohol use
Pairings – not really important, non-ship story though there is Dawn/Connor
Time Line – AR of S5 of Angel post creation of Illyria
Summary – After being forced to destroy Illyria, Spike and Angel go to England to return a powerful weapon and to toast Fred's memory
Feedback – yes please, Note – This was written for Ragna's birthday and her challenge at the Bunnyfactory was used for writing this story (challenge at the end). if you'd like to read other Box of Crayons series stories head here
http/www.geekgirlzrus. you see Rupert?" Spike asked, looking around the airport.
"No," Angel said, glancing about for a moment then settled on watching Connor almost vibrate out of his skin with excitement, in spite of the grimness of their last mission. Angel didn't blame him. Connor had been away from Dawn for a whole week at a critical time. Angel put a hand on his son's shoulder. "How is Dawn? Did you call this morning?"
Connor shook his head. "I emailed her. She's getting tired of bed rest and being so...well, big." Connor held his hands out in front of his concave belly.
"That will pass," Angel said wryly. He wasn't sure how he felt about his son becoming a father again but at least the baby was normal as far as anyone could tell. The only problem was Dawn had developed placenta previa, a condition where the placenta overlaid the birth canal and she could die if she had to give birth naturally. Angel could only imagine how she was chafing under the bed rest mandate.
"I knew I should have neutered you from the moment I realized you were even sniffing around my Dawnie," Spike rumbled, glaring at Connor, and Angel chucked him hard.
Connor ignored Spike's less than subtle threat. He pointed over the crowd. "There's Giles." They gathered their luggage and rolled Giles' way. The Watcher spotted them, heading over.
"Sorry I'm late," he said.
"Dawn's okay, right? You're not late because…" Connor grabbed the man's arm, his face pale and tight with worry.
Giles smiled softly, patting Connor's hand. "She's fine. I just got caught up with my research and lost track of time."
"It happens a lot with him," Spike confided and Giles eyed him sourly.
Giles led them to his small car and they had the devil's own time fitting into it. They didn't talk much beyond Spike's grumbling about the long plane ride, even if it was in one of Wolfram and Hart's necro-tempered windowed planes instead of a cargo hold where vampires usually had to travel. Connor kept asking after Dawn all the way home. Angel tried to decide if it was cute or annoying or a little of both. He also figured none of them really felt like doing any talking given what they had just done in L.A. It was better to keep it light.
Finally, they got to Giles' St. John's Wood's home. Connor didn't help with the luggage, just bounced out of the car and ran for the front door. Dawn was waiting on the other side. Angel smiled at her as his son embraced her gingerly. Connor hadn't lied. Little Dawn looked like she had swallowed a watermelon. Her bulging belly was at odds with her slender body.
Angel went over and hugged her gently. "You look great, Dawn."
"I feel like I'm big as a barn," she said, kissing his cheek.
"Hey, Bit," Spike said, swooping in for a light kiss to her cheek. "You're glowing, girl."
She wagged her head. "So everyone tells me. All I see is the dark circles under my eyes because someone's daughter keeps kicking my bladder all night." She eyed Connor evilly. He shrugged, a sheepish look on his face.
"I could take him out back and do to him what the little one is doing to you, Bit," Spike offered, an eager glint in his eye and Angel slapped him in the back of the head.
"I see you two are getting along as good as usual," Dawn said, rolling her eyes as Connor tucked his arm around her. She leaned against him. "How you don't kill each other..."
"That would be too easy," Connor said, brushing her hair back. "And too satisfying."
"It's not too late to neuter you, yob." Spike wagged his pack of cigarettes at Connor.
"No smoking around Dawn," Connor retorted, his lips skinning back off his teeth.
"Don't worry, I wouldn't do anything to hurt Dawnie," Spike assured him. "Or the Sprout. Uncle Spike knows better." He gave Dawn's belly a light pat.
"Those are words I never want to hear again," Angel grumbled. "It's creepy."
"Is not." Spike shot his grandsire a defiant look.
Dawn sighed. "Come on, baby. Let them fight while I show you how much I missed you." Dawn pulled on Connor's arm, leading him back to the bedroom.
"Now there's an image I'll need a beer to forget," Spike said, shuddering.
"Trust me, around here you get used to it."
At the sound of Faith's voice, the vampires whirled around to face the living room. Her hair was a bit disarrayed and a strawberry still stood out on one cheek. Angel knew she had been in Wales fighting some demon when Giles had hit on something that would help Angel in his fight to keep Illyria from taking over the world. With Faith occupied there and Buffy in Norway dealing with some reanimated Viking zombies, Connor had gotten tagged to bring the objects to California.
"Turns out B's sister is more like Anya or me than anyone cared to think about." A good-natured smile played on Faith's lips.
"Dawnie's nothing like you," Spike said crossly then mellowed a bit. "You okay, Slayer?"
"It looks like whatever it was gave you a rough time," Angel said, gesturing to her cheek.
Faith touched it, a rueful cast on her face. "It was an ugly whatever. Killed one of the new Slayers. Giles and I are still looking for whatever it was, just to be sure there's nothing else I missed, like it resurrecting from the pile of goo it dissolved into or an egg case or something."
"Or a mate looking for revenge for killing its mate," Angel said, remembering a time or two that had happened to him.
Faith bobbed her head. "That too." Her eyes narrowed. "You two look...depressed. I'm sorry about the Stick...sorry I couldn't be there to help."
"You have your job to do," Angel replied, not even batting an eye at Faith's slur on Fred. He knew she didn't mean anything by it. "Connor and the tools he brought from Giles were enough."
"Barely," Spike grated out.
Angel sighed, nodding. "Giles, we should get those tools back into your care now."
"And I need a beer, so let's do it and get out of here," Spike said in disgust. He cast an irritated glance towards the bedroom Dawn and Connor had disappeared into.
Giles eyed the vampire with something akin to sympathy. "I know just the place. Faith, would you like to accompany us?"
She glanced over at the vampires, seeing something in their eyes that said they'd prefer a boys' night out. She shook her head. "I'm exhausted. And I've work to do here yet. Besides, someone needs to cook a little dinner for Dawn. She can't and I know Connor has to be beat from that long plane ride."
Angel gave her a grateful look then flipped his carry-on up onto the dining room table. He took out what looked like an orb topped with a pewter wolf. Faith edged closer as Angel's big fingers pressed down on that wolf's head as if to stopper the orb more tightly. It wasn't pewter. It was silver and obviously old. The wolf held a five-point star in its mouth and the cobalt glass of the silver-banded orb was decorated with silver bees.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Salt," Angel replied. "This is the coffer of Prester John."
"The salt within is volcanic in nature and imbued with certain magical properties," Giles said, taking the orb to a wall safe. He nodded at Faith to move the high boy so he could get to the safe. "Salt has long been used to make protective circles and for exorcisms. In this case, it was used to temporarily block Illyria's magic and weaken the demon-king."
"And that's when we ran her through with this." Spike nudged a long, hard-shelled carrying case with a toe. "Didn't think airport security was going to let us through, even if we were getting on a private jet. No one seemed to believe the junior horn dog was working with the museum transporting antiquities." Spike nodded toward where Connor had disappeared with Dawn.
"Yes, well, he does look much younger than he is," Giles said. "And it was either send Connor or Andrew, and I assumed you'd need the extra muscle Connor could provide."
"It was needed," Angel said, grateful to have had his son with them when it became obvious Illyria couldn't be controlled any longer and had to be destroyed before her evil spread.
"And I was not comfortable sending Andrew off with something as powerful as the I Caladbolg /I ," Giles admitted.
Faith's pale eyebrows knitted. "What?"
" I Caladbolg /I ," Spike said, opening the case. He hefted up the sword inside. The pommel was decorated with delicate knot work and spirals and streaking comets had been engraved into the blade.
"It's sort of like Excalibur," Angel added, touching the scabbard.
"Legend has it, this sword could cleave mountains," Giles said.
Faith took it from Spike, admiring it. "And you've hidden this toy from me because?"
Giles plucked it from her hand and reverently put it back in the case. "Because it's not a toy and it's far more powerful than what you'd need for a run of the mill vampire."
"Hey, that hurts." Spike managed an especially aggrieved expression. Angel mirrored it.
Giles rolled his eyes. "The I Caladbolg /I has been guarded in the Watchers' vaults for centuries. I'm afraid, Faith, that the Watchers became much like the Catholic church and the Vatican, hoarding objects and knowledge even when the use of such objects would have been more appropriate. It's one of the things I'd like to see changed."
"It was a horrible thing to watch," Angel said softly, his brown eyes dejected. "It made Illyria implode. The sword glowed for hours afterwards."
"Who knows what kind of energy if absorbed," Spike added, his eyes haunted by what he saw the sword do to Illyria.
Giles took off his glasses, scrubbing the lenses. "I'll have that investigated. Faith, I'll trust you to keep an eye on this while we're gone."
She sighed. "And not play with it right?"
"Got it." Faith looked disappointed.
Angel took her aside as Giles shooed Spike out, seeing the vampire going to light up his cigarette. "How are you doing with those two?" He nodded toward the back bedroom.
"Your kid can be a brat sometimes, but he is amazing with Dawn. He treats her like a queen. I think he really loves her." Faith said that as if shocked that it could be real.
"It's all he's ever wanted, Faith, someone to love."
"Anyone but you, you mean," Spike shouted from the doorway. He had the front door open so he could puff smoke outside and still not miss out on the conversations inside the house. Spike was not one to miss out on any good gossip. Faith and Angel pointedly ignored him.
"He's still mad at you for the spell thing?" Faith asked.
"Connor wouldn't know what to do if he wasn't mad at me. I think being mad at me is the only thing that keeps him sane," Angel said with a dark humor packed into every word.
"You deserve it, sometimes," Connor said, coming back into the room. "You're always trying to run my life...except with Dawn and I appreciate you not messing around in that."
"Li'l Bit toss you out already?" Spike asked, smirking at Connor.
"No, she wants something to eat. I'm going to make her something," Connor said, annoyed.
"I'll do it, Connor. You go rest. You look about as tired as I feel," Faith said. "The men are heading to the bar so you'll have the house mostly to yourself."
Connor smiled, looking immensely grateful. "Thank you, Faith." He started back to the bedroom.
"Did Dawn say what she wanted to eat?"
"Nope," he said, looking over his shoulder at her.
"Figures." Faith blew a puff of air at her bangs. "Well, I'll go play Martha Stewart while you guys do what you need to at the pub."
"Faith, I'm not sure that spreading jam on toast or calling the first place that delivers qualifies you to compete with Ms Stewart." Giles' blue eyes glinted.
Faith smiled dangerously. "Someone better hope I don't find out which pub he's heading to."
"And on that note, shall we?" Giles asked and the men escaped back into the night.
"It's bloody unfair, it is," Spike said, slamming his bottle down on the bar. The bartender had failed to keep up and several empty Worthing's White Shield conditioned beer bottles were stacked up in front of the two vampires. Giles was nursing his more cautiously. He didn't fancy calling Faith up for a ride. He'd never hear the end of it.
"You barely knew Fred, Spike," Angel said, weaving on his stool. "I rescued her from Pylea and for what? To die here, eaten up from the inside."
"We killed her," Spike sobbed, burying a hand in his disarrayed curls.
"You had no choice," Giles offered tentatively, wondering if he should just move the vampires into a snug so they could sit and weep and moan out of full view of everyone. They were likely to get tossed out on their ear for being too pissed.
"Don't matter," Spike moaned, sliding off the stool and staggering toward the restroom.
Giles looked over at Angel. "When did he fall in love with Fred?"
Angel waggled the White Shield bottle at the bartender for a refill. "When she spent over a million dollars to try and give him back his body. Can you believe it? Someone would spend that kind of money on Spike?" Angel's glazed eyes managed to show his disbelief.
"It does boggle the mind." Giles slugged back some beer at the thought.
"Didn't even notice Spike liked Fred until...too late." Angel shook his head. "Fred thought she was in love with me once. I was her white knight, for all the good it did."
"For what it's worth, Angel, you didn't kill Winifred. Illyria did, just like the demon inside of you killed Liam all those years ago," Giles said, comfortingly. He wasn't used to emotional men and a drunk Spike and Angel were weepier than he would ever have guessed. It was like drinking with Louis and Lestat as Xander would say.
Angel pouted. "I still feel like I could have stopped it."
"Not without losing thousands of lives. You and Spike made the right decision when this started and now you've ended it before Illyria could destroy our world," Giles said. How did he get appointed morale officer for these two? For the most part he didn't even like the vampires.
"I'm tired of losing people," Angel growled as Spike staggered back.
"At least you're getting people back, Peaches. What do I have? Nothing," Spike moped, missing the stool and nearly knocking Giles off his.
"How do you figure?" Angel drained his beer bottle.
"Did you forget that muffin growing in Dawn's oven?" Spike pounded the bar for the bartender's attention. Giles grabbed his hands, glaring. Spike subsided, pulling out his rumpled pack of silk cuts. "You're getting a granddaughter...and a daughter, too, if that son of yours would just do the right thing and marry the girl."
"He wanted to but Buffy threw a fit. Doesn't want her sister tied down to a mistake. A mistake," Angel growled, nearly shattering his empty beer bottle but it slipped from his numb fingers.
"Angel, these things have a way of working out," Giles said, keeping to himself that Connor and Dawn had secretly married with his help. He made a mental note to never go out with two maudlin vampires again. "Your son wants you to just be there for him and not interfere. Trust me, that's your best bet. You and Buffy need to back off of the youngsters."
"Never thought I'd hear you say that, Rupert," Spike said, looking at Giles in shock. "Not with little Dawnie in that predicament."
"That's the very reason I'm saying it. She's under enough stress without her family tearing her apart." Giles waved for another round. He needed it at this point. "And that's not why we're here."
"Damn, damn it, Fred," Spike moaned. "We can't even bury her."
"Nothing left but ashes...we gathered them up," Angel said, nearly knocking over his beer.
"I'm sure her parents will appreciate that," Giles said, looking at the door. He was ready to run out it. "And if you want to do something to honor Fred, there's charity in her name, things like that."
"Poetry," Spike blurted out. He perked up. "I can write poetry for her."
"Um...are you sure that's wise?" Giles asked dubiously.
"Spike's poetry is...he should have been Irish," Angel said, his head wobbling drunkenly.
"No need to be insulting," Spike said, his finger fumbling with his lighter. He managed to get the cigarette lit. "Fred, she was the sun."
"That sucks, nothing about sunlight," Angel demanded.
Spike eyed him angrily. "Like you could do better."
"He's Irish. It lends itself to melancholic story and song," Giles said, wishing he had remembered that before setting out. He had no business here. This was their private pain and they'd be embarrassed in the morning, provided they remembered it.
"The tomb of your hopes and dreams so frail," Spike intoned. "Love's the funeral of hearts."
"Now that's more like it," Angel said, clapping his huge hands down on the bar top. "When'd you get so good?"
"Always been good, mate." Spike thumped his chest then frowned. "Wait a bloody minute...I think those were lyrics to a song I heard once." He shrugged. "Whatever. It's perfect for her. Your turn, Peaches. Give us a song."
Angel finished his beer. "I'm only doing this for Fred." He took a deep breath and launched into the song, even more off-key than normal. " I And if you come, when all the flowers are dying And I am dead, as dead I well may be You'll come and find the place where I am lying And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me. And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me /I ."
Spike clamped his hands over his ears. "Damn, your voice has not improved. And you started in the middle of the song, you bloody idiot."
"That was the part that fit," Angel said, dejected, sagging against the bar.
"Now would be a good time to give consideration to that giving to charity in her name idea a change," Giles said without much hope.
The Watcher endured several more inebriated poems from Spike and Angel attempting to sing Barry Manilow's I I Made It Through the Rain /I before he eventually had to give in and call Faith to get her and Connor to the pub so they could help him pour the vampires into the vehicles and get them indoors since they no longer were moving under their own volition.
"Is that your son on his knees rubbing Dawn's feet?" Spike asked, coming out into the moonlight gardens with Angel. He still looked vaguely hung over and glassy-eyed.
Angel looked over at the bench near the rose hedges. "I've been watching him with her for a while now. Faith's right. Connor's very tender with her. He's going to do good with fatherhood, Spike. I just need to let him find his way and let him come to me if he needs help."
"Still say he needs neutered," Spike grumbled good-naturedly. "Poor Dawnie's miserable."
"You'd be miserable if you had something inside you kicking your organs," Angel retorted, sympathetically.
Spike lit up. "Yeah. What do you remember about last night, Peaches?"
Angel smirked. "Just enough to know I should be embarrassed as well as nauseated...and I fear Faith took pictures but I can't remember."
"Got that going on with the drum corps in my bloody head, too. And if that Slayer took pictures, I'll be adding her to my tally," Spike said. He took a drag on the cigarette then handed the pack to Angel. "I'm really going to miss Fred."
Angel took a cigarette. "I know. So am I."
"So, what do we do now?" Spike asked.
Angel put a hand on the other vampire's shoulder. "We go home. We come back here when the baby is born and enjoy the new life. We go on like normal."
The smaller vampire drooped. "That's what I was afraid of, normal, like it didn't happen."
Angel sighed. "What else can we do?"
Spike steeled himself and hazarded a smile. "You get to hope that your brat doesn't realize that if he has a big church baptism for the li'l platelet, he'll get to splash holy water at you."
Angel eyed him evilly. "Don't even think of suggesting that to him."
Spike smirked, his blue eyes gleaming. He had every intention of suggesting it. "So are we in direct competition to see which of us will spoil that little girl more?"
Angel laughed. "You bet. You know, Fred thought of Connor as her little brother...until the whole thing with me and my ocean voyage but she forgave him at the end. There was this little dragonfly pin she had, nothing expensive or anything. She got it once she got the nerve to go back out into this world. She was so fond of it...I think she'd like it to go to Connor's daughter."
Spike smiled gently. "I like that idea, Peaches."
Angel sighed. It wasn't much but it was a step towards healing. That's all they had now, little steps to put their family back together again. He just had to hold onto the faith that it could be done.
CHALLENGE - Name: Ragna
Main Character(s)/Pairing(s): Angel, Connor, Spike
What you want: Character death, mild angst, Connor to live
What you don't want: A lot of angst, slash
Extras (optional): Use of the song "Funeral Of Hearts" by H.I.M. http/ rating (optional): R
Genre (optional): Mild angsty-dramatic