Title: Making Memories
Author: babies stole my dingo (agilebrit)
Fandom: Firefly/Angel crossover
Rating: PG-13 (default)
Length: Short story (a little over 7,000 words)
Disclaimer: Joss is the genius behind these characters; I am but a lowly follower. I make no money from any of this, so please don't sue me.
Feedback: Concrit adored! If you see something that can be improved upon, please let me know.
Written for: The LJ Community Random Urges Rare Pairing Ficathon. Request was from BookishWench (Meltha) and was for either Angel/Inara or Spike/Kaylee, finding some comfort in each other, and chocolate cake (real food!), with no non-con.
Notes: Takes place post-OiS, pre-comics, and I used Spike/Kaylee, because, really. Who could resist that? Many thanks to the flist for putting up with my whining and moaning constantly about this fic, the Hubby for his excellent suggestions, and JeriB for making sure it didn't suck before I posted it.
Angel and Illyria paid their two bits apiece and walked behind the curtain. Both Angel's hands clenched into fists, and Illyria's eyes flickered to blue before she controlled herself and went back into Fred guise. Five hundred years of living with Spike and Angel had softened her speech patterns. "We've found him. Now what?"
"Now we get him the hell out."
Wearing only a loincloth, Spike hung shackled by his wrists, waist, and ankles in a cage. His matted, bicolored hair hung to his shoulders and obscured his eyes. He was thinner than Angel had ever seen him. Cuts and bruises testified to the abuse he'd been subjected to...and he was vamped.
"They have not fed him." Under stress, Illyria went back to her old way of talking.
"I'm aware of that," Angel flared. "He's drugged, too; I can smell it on him. Can you open it?"
For an answer, she grasped the thick padlock in her hand and twisted it off. "It is electrified," she said. "Stand away." He stepped back, and she ripped the door from its hinges.
"Hurry. All that noise'll bring someone running."
She ducked under Spike's outstretched arms and snapped the shackles at his feet first, then the one at his waist. Meeting Angel's eyes over Spike's shoulder, she tore the final chains away. Spike fell forward into Angel's arms and didn't even hesitate. He sank his fangs into Angel's throat and drank deeply, but they didn't have the time for him to feed as much as he needed to. Angel had to remind himself to be gentle as he made Spike disengage. "We have to go. Can you walk?"
Spike's features went back to human. "Back door," he gasped. His legs could barely hold him up.
"I would like to do some violence here," Illyria said.
"Wouldn't we all. No time for revenge. Maybe later," said Angel, as shouts and pounding feet came from the front. "Right now? We run."
They escaped out the back, Angel supporting Spike on one side as he staggeringly attempted to keep up. Sounds of angry pursuit faded behind them as they ducked through alleys and finally shook off their last persistent hunter over the roofs. They jumped down onto the dirt floor of an alleyway by the market. Spike collapsed, breathing in great gulps of air that did him no good whatsoever.
Angel dropped to his knees next to him, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Illyria, he's got to eat."
"On it." She disappeared into the crowd, returning a short while later with her hand clamped around the snout of a struggling piglet--and some clothes for Spike as well. Angel was glad to see some color return to Spike's face after he drained the pig dry, and he seemed stronger as he put the clothes on, as well, although the actual effort of donning them seemed to wear him out.
"There is a Firefly class ship going to Greenleaf looking for passengers. We would do well to book passage on it," Illyria said. "They are taking off very soon." She looked with concern as Spike's head lolled back against the side of the building. "They have a doctor."
"All right," Angel answered. "I think it's better if we split up. We'll book Spike on that one and get ourselves on something else headed the opposite direction; that way, hopefully, anyone chasing him will come after us instead. Can you buy a couple of live sheep in the market and get him a bag packed? We'll go talk to the captain of the Firefly." He shook Spike a little. "Spike?"
"Don' wan' split up..."
"We'll meet you in a couple of weeks after we're sure we've thrown them off." Angel heaved him to his feet, and they made their way over to the Firefly that Illyria had mentioned. Angel knew the ship by reputation, at least, although he'd never had occasion to use it. The Captain and crew were known to take on not-quite-legal jobs and keep their mouths shut, which was a plus in this case.
The smile of the girl at the ship slipped a little when she saw them approaching, and she seemed relieved when he asked for the captain, after a brief explanation. She scampered inside and came out a few minutes later with a tall man in a long brown coat with a pistol tied to his leg.
He stuck his hand out, and Angel shook it. "I'm Captain Malcolm Reynolds. Kaylee tells me you want passage to Greenleaf for your friend here and a couple of sheep?"
"Well, it's a little more complicated than that." Angel looked over his shoulder. A commotion had started at one end of the marketplace. "Do you have a place we can discuss this out of the way of people? Privately? And I'd like to speak with your doctor as well."
"Your friend is lookin' a mite peaked," Mal commented as they followed him into the ship.
"He's been kidnaped and drugged, and I want to get him out of here as soon as I can, before the people that did this to him catch him again."
They stopped in the infirmary, and Spike collapsed onto the table with his arm over his eyes. "Light hurts," he muttered. "Still don' wan' split up."
"Simon!" Mal hollered. A dapper-looking guy wearing a white long-sleeved shirt and a brown striped vest appeared in the doorway. He had better posture, Angel noted, than anyone outside a military academy had a right to. Mal nodded toward Spike. "See what you can do for him."
"Wait--" Angel said, as the doctor grabbed Spike's wrist and looked at his chronograph. "Oh, go se..."
Simon frowned and adjusted his grip, then tried Spike's other wrist. His frown deepened, and he tried his neck instead. "Captain..."
"Tha' won' do ya much good, mate. Can' ge' pulse if there ain' a hear'bea'..."
Simon backed away from the table, his eyes wide. Angel put his hand over his face. "Spike, go to sleep."
"'Fraid won' wake up..."
"You'll wake up."
"Wake uppa big pile o' dust, 'll haunt you resta your bloody unlife..."
"I can live with that."
"'kay...So ver' tired..." Spike's arm slipped off his eyes as he fell unconscious.
The Captain's expression was thunderous, and he put his hand on the gun he wore on his hip. "You wanna tell me what that whole exchange was about? 'Cause if it means what I think it means, there ain't no ruttin' way we're takin' him anywhere."
The girl who'd met them at the airlock poked her head into the room. "Cap'n? There's someone up front with a couple of really cute little sheep, says she knows these two and wants to know what to do with the livestock?"
"We'll pay you triple the going rate for transporting a passenger, plus whatever your rate is for livestock. In advance." Angel did some quick thinking. "And after you get him to Greenleaf, you can keep the sheep."
"What am I gonna do with a couple of gorram sheep?" Mal asked. "No, Kaylee, you can't keep 'em as pets." Her face fell.
"Sell them, eat them...Keep them and sell the wool off and have a sustainable income and make Kaylee happy. Up to you." Kaylee looked outraged at the "eat them" suggestion. "But I promise you, Spike won't be a danger to you or anyone on your ship."
"The extra coin is mighty tempting." Mal's expression was thoughtful. "But your 'promise' don't mean much of nothin' at all when we're out in the middle of the black with a vampire. That is what he is, right?"
"That's not poss--" Simon started.
"He's movin' around, walkin' and talkin', without a heartbeat, scared he's gonna wake up a big pile of dust. Vampire, Simon. Why we still talkin' about this?" Mal turned to Angel. "I suppose the sheep are a blood supply for him? He need anything else?"
"Wait, what?" Kaylee said. "He's a vampire, and he's going to suck the sheep's blood? I'm not sure I'm okay with that..."
"Well, not suck it as such, no," Angel said uncomfortably. "Part of the reason we picked your ship, Captain Reynolds, is because you have a doctor on board. One who can do the requisite blood-drawing from the sheep. It won't hurt them," he assured Kaylee. "That's why two. They only get used every other day, and a sheep has a lot more blood than a vampire needs."
"I'm a doctor, not a vet," Simon objected.
Mal's mind seemed to be made up. "For triple the going rate, in advance, you can find a sheep vein once a day, doc." He eyed Angel. "He causes me a lick of problem, though, and out the airlock he goes, without no refund, either. I won't like it, but I'll do it. We clear?"
Angel swallowed. Banking on Spike's good behavior was iffy at the best of times, but he didn't have much choice in the matter. "For what it's worth, he'll need an invitation to get into anyone's room. It's a thing."
"Shiny. What do you want me to tell him when he wakes up?"
"We'll send him a wave, let him know where we're going to hook up."
"Should he be restrained or anything?" Mal eyed the obviously fresh marks on Angel's neck. "Don't want him wakin' up all disoriented-like and takin' a bite out of the crew before he know's what's what." Kaylee bolted out of the room at that statement.
Angel's hand went reflexively to the wound. "This was a special circumstance. He was starving, and I was ready for him. He's been fed; it should be all right." He and Mal started out the door. "That being said, it might not be a bad idea to have some blood waiting for him, just in case."
A statuesque woman joined them on their walk. "What's this I hear from Kaylee about us taking on a vampire as a passenger, Sir?"
"And a couple of sheep. Ain't they the cutest damn things?" Mal said as they clapped eyes on them in the cargo bay, along with Illyria, holding them leashed beside several bales of hay, a couple of water barrels, and a suitcase. One sheep had a brown face and legs, while the other was all white, and they were smaller than average--they were, indeed, very cute. "Little bells on their necks and everything. Three times the going rate for a passenger in advance, Zoe, plus for the livestock. Not sayin' no to that."
"Your call, Sir. I'll ask Jayne if he's got any wooden stakes handy." Her expression was deadpan as she left.
"She always that excitable?" Angel handed over the cash.
"She frequently stops me from doin' things that ain't altogether bright." Mal counted the money. "I hope I don't regret this."
Angel and Illyria stood outside the door as it lifted up and closed. "I worry for him," she said.