Angel

By Shakespeare's Girl

A/N: For full Author's Note (where I rant about life the universe and everything and offer up reasons and rhymes for the existance of this little adventure in storytelling) see bottom.

Author's Note Abridged: Sequel to "Stay" but it can stand alone. I think. If you're reading this after "Stay", then it's about two years later, and Spike has moved back to Sunnydale. I messed with canon in this one. Sunnydale wasn't obliterated, most of the Scooby Gang stayed there, with the exception of Dawn, who went away to college and is therefore very conveniently not here anymore. And Anya is still part of the gang, due to my needing a plausible someone who wasn't Buffy (which would have just caused problems, because I did try writing it with her and there were problems galore) or Willow (tried it with her too, but she didn't work either, because she's a lesbian) or Dawn (who I conveniently sent to college because I didn't want to use her) for Spike to be involved with.

That was abridged? I shudder to think of what the full one looks like.

"Hello?"

"Angel."

"Spike?"

"Yeah."

"What's--hang on."

Spike bit his lip. He never thought he'd actually call this number ever again. He tried to keep his desperation from vocalizing as he waited for Angel to speak again.

"Why're you calling me so late?"

"It's kinda hard to talk right now."

"Why? Are you crying? Is everything okay?"

"I can't be too loud, there's . . . it's . . ."

"Spike, what's wrong?"

"I'm getting married."

"What?"

"I--" Spike caught his breath, biting his tongue to ground himself. "I had to tell you. I couldn't just . . . I couldn't."

"She's there with you, isn't she? That's why you're whispering?"

"Yeah. She's in the next room."

"Nina's out of town for a while . . ."

"Oh . . ."

"Sometimes I wish she was you." They said it together.

Angel chuckled darkly. "I guess we never did move on."

There was a pause, neither of them sure what to say next. "So . . . who's the lucky girl?" Angel asked finally.

"Anyanka, if you can believe that," Spike answered, glad to be on surer footing. "Little demon's a hopeless romantic, apparently. Said yes almost before I'd asked her the question."

"Actually, I'm not surprized about her so much as that you actually asked," Angel mumbled.

"Yeah."

"So, when's the wedding?"

"Oh, June. My girl likes the cliches, she does," Spike tried desparately not to start crying at that. "How 'bout you? You and Nina ever tie the knot?"

"No. I've asked a couple times. She always says when we're going to get married, we'll both just know."

Spike nodded, then realized he was on the phone. "Right."

"It's really good to hear your voice," Angel said quietly.

Spike closed his eyes against all the implications and emotions behind that sentence. "I--We sound like a sappy love song, don't we. Never though we'd--"

"You couldn't have just called to tell me you're getting married," Angel interrupted. "That's not like you."

"It's just . . . I keep having this dream."

"Oh?"

"We're in the church, and I'm standing there, watching her come down the aisle toward me. And she's gorgeous and wearing white and all the boys and girls are drooling over her. And we start the vows, but when the minister gets to the 'I dos', I don't. And no matter how hard I try to lie, I always answer his do you takes and all that with a no. And Anya just smiles and says to stop fooling around already. And I just keep saying no. And when I turn around and watch Anya walk out of the church, you're standing at the door."

"What happens then?"

"I wake up. Screaming, usually, although there's nothing scary about the dream."

"Does Anya know?"

"No."

"This won't upset her, will it? You know, us talking?"

"I never told her about us."

"Oh."

"I didn't think she needed to know."

"No, of course not. What good would it do?"

Spike thought he heard jealousy, or maybe hurt in Angel's rhetorical question. "Did you ever tell Nina?"

"No. I don't think she knows we're even in contact still."

"Well, we weren't, until tonight."

"I mean, I don't think she knows . . ."

"I think I know what you mean. Look," Spike hesitated. "This is silly and stupid, but it would make me feel better if I could see you again before the wedding."

"I don't know," Angel sighed.

"I'm not asking for anything more than an hour of your time. We'll meet somewhere public. No one has to know. I just . . . I don't know. I think this is something that I have to do."

"Okay. How about that diner, the one that's midway between LA and Sunnydale. Or the crater that was Sunnydale. How's rebuilding going?"

"It's fine. It's all fine. I'll see you there."

"Yes."

There was a pause, neither one of them hanging up.

"What, um . . . what time?" Spike asked.

"Now. Today. As soon as we can."

"Okay."

There was a click and the line went dead. Spike hung up his phone too. He left a quick note for Anya, letting her know he'd stepped out for some "guy time," and got in his latest sorry excuse for a car and drove.

Angel was already at the diner when Spike got there. He went inside, spotted Angel immediately, chatting up the cute blonde waitress. Angel slid into the booth across from Angel.

"What'll you have, honey?" she asked.

"Oh, just coffee," Spike mumbled, thrusting the greasy menu she'd handed him back.

"Cream or sugar?"

"Yes, that's fine."

"And for you, hon?"

Angel gave a more complicated order than "just coffee," ordering pancakes and cheese fries.

Spike didn't comment on the strange food until Angel ordered it to go.

"What's all this, then?" he asked.

"For Nina. She's pregnant."

"You're not the father?"

"I'm a vampire. I can't be, can I?"

"Guess not."

"You leaving her?"

"She doesn't know I know. I think . . . I think maybe I'll stay."

"You feel guilty for cheating on her, but she cheats on you and you stay?"

"I'm not sure it's the logical thing, but it's the right thing."

The food and coffee came, and they just sat there, staring at each other.

"Why does this feel like 'goodbye'?" Spike asked.

"I don't know," Angel answered. "I thought we already did this part."

Spike stood. "I shouldn't keep you," he said, downing his coffee without adding anything to it, and nearly smashing the cup when he put it down. "I should let you get back to Nina. This was silly anyway. I just--"

"You're getting married," Angel said. "You wanted to be sure it was the right thing."

"Yeah," Spike agreed.

"And now that you know, you can go home and be happy about it," Angel continued. "You can marry Anya in peace."

"I don't think I'll ever be happy again," Spike whispered. "I don't think I know how anymore."

Angel rose too, leaving his--Nina's--food on the table. "I'm gonna stay for a while," Angel said, shifting awkwardly. "Drive safe. Don't want you looking too banged up when you get home."

Spike nodded, and they kept staring at each other.

Angel was gnawing on the corner of his mouth, like he was trying to make a decision. "Since you got a silly request fulfilled, I wonder if I could--"

"Yeah, sure, what is it?" Spike jumped in.

"I just--"

Angel stopped, leaned forward, and kissed Spike.

Spike let out his breath on a whine as he closed his eyes. Angel's teeth tugged at Spike's lips, his mouth and tongue playing with Spike's. Spike barely dared to respond, to move. It was like a spell, and he didn't want to be the one to break it. God help him, he didn't want to have to go home to Anya and the Wedding, and he didn't want Angel to go home to Nina and the not-his baby. Spike let out a sob as Angel tugged on Spike's bottom lip.

Spike rocked back intent on saving them the embarrassment of the kiss going on any longer, but Angel's hands came up and cupped the back of his head and his neck, pulling him forward again, bringing their mouths back together.

Spike wasn't sure how long the kiss went on, and he didn't think he cared, either. It seemed like it lasted forever.

When Angel finally pulled away, letting his hands drop to his sides, Spike knew he was crying. "Goodbye, Angel," he shivered at the words, "goodbye."

"Goodbye, Spike," Angel said quietly.

Spike turned around and headed for the door. He bit his lip, wanting every second to turn around, but he didn't. He couldn't.

It was so much harder walking away from Angel than watching him walk away. Spike was choking on his tears by the time he got to his car.

He didn't know how long he sat behind the wheel, sobbing to the air bag and rearview mirror, but by the time he'd run out of tears it was starting to get light again.

Spike began the drive home, but the taste of Angel's lips stayed with him, and as he drove home, his mind cleared of all thoughts but one.

He never kissed me before.

A/N2: So, that was miserable. Let's just say I was in a dark place, what with death and cars getting stuck in the snow and it being near zero and me having to shovel and cavities and dentists and no cookies and too many toothbrushes. It hasn't been a great week. And just to clarify, I'm not dying. My grandmother did. I'm officially grandparentless. Kindof. Long story. But the four you think of as grandma and grandpa when you're growing up, they're all gone. And I kinda had a feeling this one was coming, so I've been in a black mood lately. Grandma went into the hospital with a facial infection around Christmas, and I thought oh shit, this isn't going to end well. She was discharged, they said she was fine. She went in again about a week ago, I guess, and I didn't quite catch what was wrong with her, but I still just got this feeling, like, something was going to go wrong, that something bad was happening in Oz, to quote from a musical. But she was discharged again. Third time's the charm, unfortunately. She went in again yesterday, and this time she died. Which is sad and morbid, but what's sadder and morbider is that when I heard, I was more shocked that it had taken this long than shocked that she had died.

Is it funny that my premonition for both my grandmother's deaths is "oh shit"? Because when my mom's mom died, I had the same thing. She'd been in the hospital for months, recovering from surgery, and she decided she was miserable anyway and it wasn't worth it, so please take her off the ventilator already. And my mom called me while I was on my way to class and was like "Get down here, now!" and that was pretty much it. And I hung up my cell phone and thought "Oh shit. She's gonna die." I was listening to "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass when I got that phone call. Which is strange, but now I always kind of associate that song with escaping death. It wasn't her time.

It was, however, my dad's mom's time. She was like eighty something, diabetic, and losing her memory. I think she had the beginnings of altzheimers, but no one else does. Or at least they won't admit it. In any case, it's not what she died of. I don't really care what she died of, except in a sort of morbid, "huh, isn't that interesting, I'm fairly sure that the technical term for that is" sort of way. Apparently she died of old age, the technical term for which is . . . old age.

In any case, my dark mood of the past month (which I've been doing a damn fine job of ignoring) is kind of just pouring out at the moment. Which happens, from time to time. See my "Requiem for Winifred Burkle" if you'd care to check out another dark mood.

Oh, and before I sign off, I should probably say that yes, I ripped off a few lines from Hinder's "Lips of an Angel", but only because they fit. And yes, that song on repeat greatly improves the mood of the story. But isn't necessary.

So, now that I've turned my account into a livejournal . . .