Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything belongs to Joss Whedon, etc.
Challenge Summary: #1 Birthday Challenge from Our Armageddon. Must include at least FIVE of the following:
A bottle of cheap champagne *
Someone saying "Fuck birthdays!"
A birthday cake *
Five party hats *
A t-shirt with a smiley with fangs printed on the front *
Someone saying "I didn't mean for it to be stuck there!"
Mention of the movie Seven *
Someone mentioning something concerning receding hairlines
A pair of tweezers
And any or all of the following: Two rubber ducks
A black cape *
A Donald Duck comic book
* means that the item is in the story
Story Summary: It's Spike's birthday and the gang is throwing a small surprise party for him when some unexpected guests show up. Spike never fell in love with Buffy. Dawn is not the key, Glory never came to Sunnydale, Buffy didn't die, Joyce is healthy, Riley left, Tara is not around.
Willow twisted the red streamer carefully, not wanting to rip the fragile material. Taking a piece of tape off the dispenser she affixed the streamer to the wall. The room was finally finished. She'd been working really hard to decorate it for Spike's birthday. Thankfully Angel had given her permission to use the mansion for the party. Buffy glanced up from where she sat on the sofa reading the latest issue of Cosmo.
"Are you sure about doing this Will? Spike doesn't strike me as the lets-go-celebrate-my-birthday type. Besides, I think that you're forgetting one major thing…he's a vampire."
"Don't you get tired of using the same old excuse? He's helped us a lot the past two years despite the fact that he gets no credit for anything he does. He deserves this. Even Xander agreed with me about that."
Buffy grumbled softly to herself. She didn't like to admit it, but Spike had been pretty handy to have around. He and Dawn were thick as thieves, so close that most of the time she felt completely left out by them. Spike wasn't supposed to know her sister better than she was. But he did. Same for her mom. Joyce Summers doted on him. It was like Spike was the son she never had. It kind of freaked Buffy out at times to come home from patrol and see Spike sitting at the dining room table enjoying a cup of cocoa with her mother. She had no idea what they had in common that they talked about. "Did you make the birthday cake yet?" she asked, trying to push all thoughts of Spike's acceptance into her familty to the back of her mind.
"Yeah. I made two and put his name in big letters across one of them. I highly doubt anyone would like to taste a chocolate blood cake."
"Willow, you didn't?"
"I did. I figured it's his birthday, the least we could do is have a cake that he'd enjoy."
"How did you find out about his birthday?"
"I asked Angel. It was hard to decide which day to use. There's his real birthday or the day he was turned. I'm using his real birthday which makes him one hundred and forty three years old today." Willow collapsed on the sofa next to her friend. "You are going to get him here tonight right?"
"Yeah. As much as I dread it, you put a lot of effort into this party for him. It would be a disappointing for you if he missed it. He'll probably never forgive you for throwing it, but he'll be here."
"Good," Willow said. "What did you get him?"
"It may sound weird but I saw two gag gifts that I couldn't resist. The first is a t-shirt with a smiley face that has fangs." Willow chuckled. Only Buffy would find that gift. "You know how much he hated Dracula?"
"Well, I got him a black cape too. I thought why not. Except for the difference in height and hair color they're a lot alike. They both have that sharp, angular face thing going on. They're both kind of mysterious. We know virtually nothing about Spike. And they both have a thing for me. I also got him a serious gift. Giles let me pick out this awesome sword from his private collection. It's really lightweight and has etchings carved into the blade. He'll love it."
Willow couldn't help but smirk slightly, though she tried to hide it. Spike did not have a thing for Buffy and if Buffy ever paid attention to anything she could find out quite a bit about Spike. But she was right about the sword. It was perfect for him. "What did your mom get him? And Dawn?"
"Mom took Dawn to the blood bank and now Spike will have five bags of human blood, type O, set aside for him each week. They said he had some sort of blood disease that he needed it for. They even had this doctor that treats demons vouch for it. He'll love it. Only Dawn would think of getting him that. Mom got him something really weird though. She bought him three expensive leather bound books. She got the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, a book of poetry by Lord Byron, and the Complete Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne. I don't think he'll enjoy them though. Spike hates to read."
Willow just smiled. Buffy really didn't notice anything. Spike was probably close to genius smart. He read tons of stuff. She remembered when they'd barged into his crypt once and he'd been sitting in bed reading Crime and Punishment. He'd thrown the book across the room and ripped the glasses off his face so that they wouldn't see, but he wasn't quick enough. And Buffy never noticed. "Let's head out. I still have to wrap his gift and you have to get ready to drag him out on patrol. Just make sure that you bring him here by nine. Tell him that there's a group of vamps squatting in the mansion."
They walked out the door, still discussing Spike and the birthday party planned for that night.
"Come on Spike, you've got to help me. Willy said there were about fifteen vamps trying to use Angel's place as their new lair."
Spike sat up on his bed where he'd been sleeping peacefully until the slayer barged in. He usually tried to sleep or stay drunk on his birthday. He didn't want to go fight any vamps. He just wanted some sort of oblivion.
"Let's go Spike. I really need your help with this."
"Oh, bloody hell! Fine. Let's get going," he snapped getting off the bed and pulling on a black t-shirt and his leather duster.
Buffy smiled as they neared the mansion. It was pitch black and she knew that they were all inside waiting. Xander was waiting by the light switch to flip it when they walked into the mansion.
"Okay, slayer, where are all these vamps?" he asked, his eyes adjusting to the darkness. He didn't get his answer because the lights came on and all the slayerettes jumped up and screamed, "Surprise!"
He stumbled backwards, shocked. He glanced at the slayer who was smiling and then he saw the banner above the fireplace. It read 'Happy Birthday'. 'Oh bloody hell!' he thought viciously. 'I'm going to kill whoever told them.' He walked forward a few steps and was enveloped in a bear hug by Dawn and all thoughts of killing flew right out of his head. "Who told you?" he asked.
"Can't say. Was sworn to secrecy," Willow said.
That was all Spike needed. "Remind me to thank Peaches sometime," he said sarcastically, loving how Willow's jaw dropped open. He wasn't supposed to guess. Ignoring her dismay over his guess she pulled out five party hats.
"They only had five left at the party store, so I bought them. I figured I'd never get you three to wear one," she said, looking at Spike, Joyce, and Giles. Anya, Buffy, Dawn, Xander, and Willow all donned theirs laughing each other. "So do you want to eat first or open gifts?" she asked Spike.
"Gifts?" No one ever bought him gifts. Hell, no one ever threw him a birthday part…at least not since he was human.
"Yeah." Willow was upset that he looked so surprised. Did no one ever give him anything? The same thing crossed Joyce's mind and she couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him. He was so alone.
"Oh." He was still trying to figure out what the hell was going on with the group. Had they been possessed? "Umm…gifts are fine."
Willow clapped her hands and pulled him over to sit between her and Dawn on the sofa. Everyone else sat gathered around them on the floor. He began opening his gifts like a child at Christmas. He ripped through the paper. From Xander and Anya he got the movie Seven and a gift certificate to a little naughty shop that Anya loved to frequent. "Now all you have to do is find someone to have orgasms with," she said before Xander could cover her mouth. Everyone laughed.
Willow's gift was next and he was surprised to see a note saying that her gift would arrive later. He looked at her questioningly, like everyone else, but she just shook her head no. He just shrugged and moved on to the next gift from Dawn. He loved it and couldn't believe that Joyce had helped her get it all set up. Human blood. His stomach rumbled at the thought. He'd still have to eat that pig swill once in a while, but not so often anymore. He gave his niblet a big hug. When he opened Buffy's first gift he laughed, pulling out the shirt. When he saw the cape underneath his eyes bulged out in horror at the thought of being remotely like Drac. He loved the sword though, which matched the dagger that Giles gave him. Joyce was last and when he opened the heavy box shock filled him. He carefully lifted each book out of the box and ran his fingers over the leather with reverence. Everyone watched stunned as he set them aside and pulled Joyce into a big hug.
"Thanks, mum," he whispered into her ear.
Buffy was stunned. He loved her mom's gift. "I didn't think you even knew how to read, Spike. You never want to help with research."
Spike scowled. "I'll have you know slayer, that I graduated at the top of my class from Oxford with a degree in English and Philosophy. Since then I've earned several more degrees by taking night classes. I now hold a degree in Latin, Classical Studies, and Medieval Studies. I love to read, as long as it's enjoyable. But I couldn't tell you that. It'd ruin my image. Only reason Joyce knew was because she came across my copy of Crime and Punishment when she came to visit me in the crypt once."
Buffy glared at her mother. "What?"
"Don't get your knickers in a twist. It was during the day."
Giles was sputtering. "You graduated from Oxford?
"Yes, Rupert, I graduated from Oxford."
Everyone was looking at him as if he'd grown another head. "You all thought I was an uneducated idiot?"
"Well, you never did anything to make us think otherwise."
"Rupert, you of all people should have known. I was raised in Victorian England. I was the son of a viscount. I know that was in your books. Of course I was educated. I was also a little twit who enjoyed writing bad poetry and falling in love with the wrong women…a habit that has been very hard to break."
"I think its time for cake," Willow said, interrupting the insult that she saw forming on Xander's lips.
The rest of the night went extremely well. Spike loved the blood cake even though the rest of them thought that was gross. They couldn't believe Willow made it. The party was over far too soon, even for Spike, who had finally been accepted as part of the group. When everyone had gone but him and Willow, she stood and made her way over to him. She took off his duster, leaving him in a t-shirt and jeans. "Your present is upstairs. But first you have to put on this blindfold. I'll take you up. After that, you're on your own."
"Red, I don't do blindfolds."
"You do tonight. Put it on."
He did as she asked and was soon being led up the stairs to the master bedroom. He was nervous. What did the witch have planned for him? He felt her lead him into the room and then she let go of his hand. "Have fun Spike," she whispered. When he heard the door close and the lock catch, he yanked off the blindfold. The room was bathed in flickering candlelight. Red satin sheets adorned the bed and a variety of scented massage oils were set out on the mahogany nightstand next to a bottle of cheap champagne chilling on ice. He was so wrapped up in what he was seeing he didn't sense that there was another vampire in the room until a gentle hand touched his shoulder. He froze. Oh god! It was his sire. He spun around and backed away in alarm.
Angel stared at the wide-eyed boy in front of him. He knew what Spike was thinking. Angelus had returned and the little witch had set him up. Willow did set him up, but Angelus was no where in sight, nor would he be making an appearance. "Spike," Angel said softly, hoping to calm his childe.
"You bloody pillock! What the hell is this? And why did Red set me up?" Spike snapped. He knew that it wasn't Angelus. If it was he'd be getting the beating of a lifetime. It was the souled version of his sire, he just couldn't figure out why Peaches was here and why the witch had locked them up together.
"Spike," Angel tried again. "I'm not going to hurt you. Sit down." Spike just glared at him. "Please," Angel said and Spike finally sat down on the edge of the bed.
"This wasn't Willow's idea, it was mine. Don't blame her. She only did what I asked."
"Why are you here?"
Angel could hear the barely restrained violence in Will…Spike's voice and wondered if he should have done this. All he wanted was to see if there was a chance to get back any of what they'd once shared. He wanted it all. More often than not he found himself lying in bed trying to ignore the bond that was screaming for him to find his favorite childe and re-establish their relationship. But he would settle for friendship, if it was even possible. "I'm here for you."
Spike closed his eyes, feeling the urge to embrace his sire but ignoring it. "Why? We both know that there's no going back. I'm not William and your not Angelus…at least not the one I remember. We're Spike and Angel and we hate each other, remember?"
"I know who we are. I know what we've done to each other. I also know that when I lay down to sleep I can't because all I can think about is my childe, with his wild ways, smooth voice, and beautiful blue eyes." He stopped. "I had to kill Penn." The words came tumbling out and he saw Spike cringe. Penn was the only other vampire that had loved Spike. Dru wasn't capable of love, but Penn was. He doted on Spike. The three of them were inseperable once. When Lucinda joined the group she'd lured Penn away. Later when Angelus left Lucinda behind to be killed by a mob, Penn swore revenge. "I don't want to have to kill anymore of my childer. I just want it over. I'm tired, Spike. I'm tired of fighting, tired of seeking redemption, of pretending that I'm something I'm not for the humans I work with. I'm tired of being alone." Angel sat down wearily on the bed next to him.
Spike could feel Angel's presence permeating every part of him. Penn was dead. It had to happen eventually. Penn swore that he'd kill Angelus or die trying. Where was this going? Angel still had that pesky curse and they still had a lot of baggage with each other. "Tell me what it is you want, Peaches. I don't want to play games and I don't want to sit here and listen to you torture yourself over Penn's demise. You haven't put Dru out of her misery in all this time, even though you could have. You wouldn't have killed Penn unless you had to. It was you or him. End of story."
Angel sighed. Leave it to Spike to simplify things. "I want a chance. I want you to come with me to LA. I want to see if we can salvage any of what we were. I want you." He placed a soft, chaste kiss on Spike's lips.
"What about the slayer?"
"I loved her. I also got a little insight from the Powers about my soul. It seems I was with the wrong person all along. I was supposed to help her, but I was supposed to love you. I never would have lost my soul if I'd talked to you back then. It seems my soul is safe with you and you alone."
"So this is about shagging then?"
"No, Spike. This is about me wanting you in my life, any way that you'll let me have you. I just want a chance. That's it."
Spike couldn't believe this was happening. His sire wanted to start over. They had so much between them but that didn't mean that they couldn't try. He wanted to try. Spike stood and pulled off his shirt, smirking when he saw Angel's eyes widen. He leaned over Angel and quickly removed Angel's as well. Without a word, he pulled Angel up on the bed and crawled into his embrace, pulling the sheet up over them.
Spike curled into Angel's arms, his head buried against Angel's chest. Angel's arms wrapped protectively around Spike's waist and for the first time in a hundred years he was content. He was home and he was grateful for the chance to hold Spike in his arms.
"There's a lot we need to work out, and I need time. But there's nothing wrong with this. I just want to have you hold me," Spike whispered. Angel heard him despite the fact that the words were muffled. Closing his eyes, he let himself fall into a blissful sleep.
Spike's eyes began drifting shut as well and his last thought before sleep overtook him was that he'd have to thank Red for the party and the best gift he'd ever received. Maybe birthdays weren't so bad after all.