Here's my story for this year's rekindling of spangel :)
Title: If Wishes Were Horses
Warnings: hurt/comfort, canon character death, grief
Summary: Angel and Spike seek comfort in each other when they return from the hole in the world.
Before they’d fought their way into the Deeper Well, they’d reached for each other’s hands. It was a trick that time, a strategy they’d used almost a century ago against old enemies.
Arriving home and finding that nothing he and Spike could have done would have saved Fred from her fate was like another kick to the gut that neither of them thought they could stand. After a quiet gathering between himself, Spike, Lorne, Gunn and Wesley, Angel excused himself. Everyone else could work on the latest development in this twisted up story. Tomorrow, he’d help. Tomorrow, he’d come back with ideas. Tomorrow, he’d be the boss again.
Tonight, Angel would grieve.
At first, he thought he’d want to do it alone. After just a little while, though, he asked Spike to join him. Angel knew everyone was just as devastated at this loss as he was (Wes probably even more), and Spike had taken a liking to Fred almost immediately when he turned up at Wolfram and Hart. Maybe, he thought, just maybe it might be easier to get through this initial stage of shock and heartbreak if he had his lover at his side.
Spike, of course, made his way to Angel’s rooms immediately and found him on the sofa wearing sleep pants, a t-shirt and an unmatched pair of socks. He was holding a glass tumbler of whiskey, and the bottle was on the coffee table nearly half-empty.
Angel didn’t speak at first, just glanced up and poured a drink for Spike, passing it over to him and continuing to stare at some invisible thing on the wall opposite them.
“She was so…damn it, so sweet. When we first got her back here, it was a long time before I got to see her real smile. It was worth the wait, though.”
Spike nodded and replied, “That smile was the brightest I think I’ve ever seen. So sincere and innocent. I can’t stand the thought of never seeing it again. You knew her a lot longer than I did, I can’t imagine what you must feel.” He shifted and laid his head on Angel’s shoulder while Angel reached up to stroke Spike’s hair.
“You lost her just the same as the rest of us did, Spike. We all loved her, we all tried to save her, and we all failed. Nobody’s going to rest easy for a while. I wondered sometimes, though, what it was about her. With you, I mean. It’s not like you had any romantic intentions toward her, but I always got the feeling that you got pretty close within a relatively short period of time.”
“Even when I didn’t have my body back yet, when I was still a ghost, she wanted to help me. Did everything she could to help me. There were days when I felt so down, so useless, but she treated me like a person. Like a good man. Her first instinct was to find the good in people, even in someone like me.” Spike was starting to shed tears at this point, knowing he’d never let it happen in front of anyone except for Angel. When he lifted his head, he saw that Angel was now looking back at him, and his own tears were falling.
“Look, we’ve all done bad things. Made mistakes or even just the wrong choices. It doesn’t make anyone inherently bad. Especially you. It’s easy to see the good in you for anyone who’s paying attention”, Angel responded, kissing Spike’s forehead and moving to rest his arm around Spike’s shoulders.
Taking another drink from his glass, Spike continued, “Even for someone who’s known me more than a hundred years?”
“We’ve both known each other that long, and I see plenty of wonderful things when I look at you. We’ve both lost people we cared about over the years. Even each other, more than once.” Angel bent down and kissed one of the tears on Spike’s face.
“We found our way back, though, didn’t we? We always have. And I’m not planning on losing you again, not if I can help it.”
Neither of them could think of anything else to say at that moment, so they just did what they’d done a day earlier, only for entirely different reasons. Spike reached for Angel’s hand, and Angel intertwined his fingers with his lover’s. Eventually, they drifted off to sleep just as they were – tears drying on their cheeks, the bottle of whiskey still on the table, and holding hands.
Holding on to each other.
- FIC - If Wishes Were Horses