TITLE: "Happy Valentine's Day, Peaches"
1/1 - A/S Valentine's Day Angst/Humor/Mush/Smut
AUTHOR: Ducks, The Angel Ho. ;)
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. No profit. Don't sue. The TV characters belong to Joss & Co. The song "Peaches" belongs to the Presidents of the USA, and their handlers.
IMPROV: #9 - plush, broken, bewilder, moonlight
TIMELINE: AU - mostly irrelevant.
SPOILERS: Vague at most.
SYNOPSIS: Tender-hearted, crusading souled vampires do lose their tempers sometimes... even on Valentine's Day.
CONTENT: Slash, Angel-Angst, shouting, overcooked cabbage, and tons of vampire-mushiness.
DEDICATION: As musicians and actors thank their muses, I thank Kita. And to all my beautiful, brand new, tingly, Slashy friends. I love you with great effulgence and glistening smarminess. *grin* A special "WHEE! I'M NAKED!" to Avarice and Darcy, and a happy, happy thank you to Saber for the Mud Puddle. *sigh* This is my virtual Hallmark Card (i.e. utterly unoriginal, and yet, you say "Aw" anyway...) to all of you!
And a very special *BIG HUG* to all of the Spike fans who were so wounded by "Crush"... believe me, as an old B/A Shipper, I know how it feels, and you have my sympathy.
And... can I get any sappier now? *grin* (You'd be surprised. ;)
"Happy Valentine's Day, Peaches"
When I pop open the grate and haul my miserable bones up into the basement, the first thing I notice is the smell.
Not basement smell. Not rats. Not even the beer still left in Spike's undoubtedly unwashed empties piled up in the corner. None of the things I'm used to... the dust, leather, and lust with just a hint of cigarette smoke (how many times do I have to tell him to smoke OUTSIDE?) that living with my Childe always generates. It's something else entirely. Something far more disturbing than any of those, and I admit, sinister enough to make me shiver.
Oil. Spices. Some sort of meat. Potatoes. Blood pudding? A hint of... is that *cabbage*?
Cooking smells. Someone... presumably Spike, is cooking. At 2:00 a.m. This can only be a bad, bad thing.
I stop for a moment to sigh and shake my head. I'm *exhausted*. I don't think I even have the energy to scowl at him, after the night I've had. Four Rhino demons. Four very large, very pointy horns, as evidenced by the gouge in my side, and four extremely thick hides, as indicated by my being one shattered broadsword and one cremated axe short of what I left with.
For a moment, I contemplate just turning around and going back the way I came... walking to Silver Lake. Pretend I didn't smell any of this, take a nice, hot, *quiet* shower, and sleep on Cordelia's couch, with no one to bother me but Dennis. Call the insurance company in the morning to come look at the fire damage.
But... no. Like all of the other punishments I endure for the piss-poor decisions I've made in my life, I have to stand face-to-face with, and take the licking for, this one too. What possessed me to tell my errant offspring that he could move in here? What was I *thinking*?
All right... truth be told, I wasn't thinking much at all beyond, "OH, GOD!" as Spike had his infinitely talented mouth wrapped around my long-neglected erection at the time. I'm embarrassingly easy to sway, when it comes to skillful handling of my genitals.
Believe me, I've spent plenty of time regretting that moment of weakness, since. Par for the course in my existence, I suppose. Liam was a lecherous
moron, which led to his murder by Darla. Angelus is a psychotically gluttonous moron, which resulted in his just *having* to eat that one *particular* gypsy whose death would drive her highly magickal tribe insane with lust for revenge.
And I, Angel... I am a sentimental moron, which leads me to my current predicament. Dragging my mostly broken, undead carcass up the steep basement steps, trying to determine if the scents involved in Spike's culinary adventure in any way involve dead humans, slow-acting vampire poison, or out-of-control fire as I steel myself for the worst.
I finally wrestle the metal door open (after determining that the doorknob isn't hot) and step into the hallway. No thick, black smoke. So far, so good.
But then... there are sounds. He's... singing. That *God* *Damned* *SONG* that I've asked him *400 MILLION* times *NOT* *TO* *SING*.
"Movin' to the country, gonna eat a lotta Peaches... movin' to the country, gonna eat a lotta Peaches!"
At the top of his lungs. The sound of his voice, accompanied by the very *loud*, very *careless* clanking of my very *expensive* professional grade stainless steel *cookware* clangs through my head like the Bells of Notre Dame.
Did Esmerelda kill Quasimodo in the end? Right now, I can't quite remember. And I don't care.
I'm going to kill *him*.
"Movin' to the country, gonna eat me a lot of... Hey, Peaches! I was jus' singin' about ya!"
Look at me. I'm trembling. No... *quaking*, is actually a more fitting description. The kitchen is... the... goddamn... KITCHEN IS...
"Hungry, Batman?" He asks, wiping his filthy hands on my... FAVORITE
BLACK ASIAN RAW SILK SHIRT THAT HE DIDN'T ASK IF HE COULD BORROW BECAUSE HE *KNEW*
THAT I WOULD SAY 'OVER MY SIFTING *DUST*'!!!!
I think I just felt a blood vessel break in my head.
No... it had to have been a stroke, because I suddenly can't talk. Or move. Can't do anything but stand here, shake, and stare at what's left of my kitchen.
I've seen wars do far less damage. There's... what looks like... clotted cream? Dripping off the ceiling. There's flour coating *every* surface -- including the linoleum *I JUST MOPPED THIS MORNING*. Every piece of cookware I own is piled high in the sink. And I *think*... that might be an aborted attempt at a corned beef, disintegrating on the counter. Without the privilege of a DISH!!!
"Wh... I...th... what?" I hear my speech center attempt.
"Dinner, mate!" he informs me cheerily, with an impish grin. "Didn't think you'd be home so soon."
Okay, Angel. Breathe. I know, I know, you don't need it to live... but right now, *he* does.
I don't know if it's a question or a statement, really. And if I'm talking about this moment, or our entire *life* together. Or his very *existence*, for that matter.
A pot on the rangetop boils over, hissing and splashing cheerily. Ah, I was right. Boiled cabbage, as illustrated by the smelly green slop that dribbles down the front of the stove and puddles to the floor like the remains of a slime demon.
I gape at it.
"Aw, fuckitall!" he grunts, spins around, grabs the pot, and flings it into the sink.
Where something breaks.
1...2...3...4... Breathe, Angel. Patience. No, you aren't going to dismember him with your bare hands. 5...6...7...
"Figured I'd cook, it bein' Valentine's Day and all. And you bein' such a big, pansy-ass pouf about that sorta thing."
"Say, Fluffy. You don't look so good. Maybe you should siddown while I finish. Want some whiskey?"
I glance at the mostly empty bottle. Blink. 51....52...53...
"Sire? You in there?"
55...56...57... Oh, fuck it. Counting's not going to save his ass this time. I'm suddenly a lot less weary, and a LOT MORE VIOLENTLY, MURDEROUSLY INFURIATED!!!
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO MY KITCHEN???" I screech.
Ah, good. Not a stroke, then.
Now it's Spike's turn to freeze. He knows that tone. He knows what it means. He averts his eyes and starts pouting like a puppy that got caught eating my favorite shoes.
"Makin' you a nice dinner," he says softly, his voice edged with hurt.
I don't CARE! This is the LAST GODDAMN STRAW! He broke the front door last week because he was too drunk to use the keys. FINE. He wastes every other bag of blood that he drinks because he can't learn how to run a GODDAMN MICROWAVE! Fine! He's lazy, rude, foul-mouthed, disrespectful, mean, rude, petty, childish, self-absorbed, and did I mention RUDE? I've let all of these things slide, despite the fact that my friends remind me DAILY that I should just STAKE him and get it OVER WITH! But, oh NO! Not Saint Angel! I let him continue to EXIST!
But I will NOT HAVE HIM DESTROYING MY SIX *HUNDRED* DOLLAR COOKWARE SET, WHILE MAKING AN INCREDIBLE MESS THAT I KNOW DAMN WELL THAT *I* WILL HAVE TO CLEAN LATER!!!
I am NOT in the mood for this.
"Get out," I hiss.
His jaw drops, his expression utterly bewildered. "But..."
"ARE YOU DEAF? GET! THE! FUCK! OUT! OF! MY! HOUSE! *NOW*!!!!"
I know I'm being harsh. But if I were soulless, the way I know he half-wishes I was, I'd already have some lower minion sweeping his remains into a DUSTPAN! So I figure he's getting off EASY!
Spike stands there, gaping at me like I'm speaking Swahili. So I decide to make myself perfectly clear. I grab him by the arm of my LATE shirt, drag him out of the demolished kitchen, across the lobby, and fling him at the stairs.
"Do you understand me? That's IT! I've HAD IT! Pack your stuff and GET OUT!"
He stumbles up the first few steps, then stops. For a moment, he looks at me, his bottom lip trembling, as if he's going to cry.
I swear on my beleaguered soul, if he starts crying, I *will* kill him! I'm done being manipulated by this thoughtless, indolent, offensive, disobedient, disrespectful little WHELP! I'm tired of his damn insults, his constant insistence on manipulating me with my guilt over killing him. I'm SICK of his uncanny ability to CONSTANTLY get into trouble, to break almost EVERYTHING he touches, and I'm goddamn TIRED of dreading coming home from a long night of saving the fucking world for his ungrateful ass, because I don 't know what minor DISASTER I'll find when I get there! I was happier being alone and MISERABLE!
But he doesn't cry. The quivering lip stops, and he gives me a glare that would give most people nightmares.
GOOD! That's what I like to see. Hate me, boy, go ahead. Because I hate you right back! You make my life one ulcer-inducing mini-Hell after another, and I can hardly WAIT to watch your coattails disappear through those doors for the last time!
Spike's thinking of a million nasty comments... I can see it in his eyes. He might even be thinking about killing me. But he does nothing. Says nothing. Only turns on his heel, marches up the stairs, and disappears from sight, his anger punctuated by the bedroom door slamming.
I deflate a little, and shuffle back to the lobby, collapsing on one of the couches.
Damn it! Why does he always have to be so frustrating? Why does he seem to spend every waking moment trying his damndest to drive me *insane*? I just don't understand!
Okay, so... I treated him badly when he was a fledgling. Very badly, in fact. A great majority of his youth was plagued with one sort of pain or another, inflicted by my hand, glance, or words. And.. sure, the few years before he moved in here, and we started this... whatever it is... were fairly cold. I did pretty much deny our entire relationship together in deference to my soul.
But I took him in, didn't I? I've kept him in blood, booze, and Marlboros all this time, and rarely asked anything in return. So why the determination to do everything in his unholy power to punish me for it?
Hell... It's probably just one more of the innumerable trials the Powers have created to measure my dedication to making amends. "Here ya go,
Angel. Have a walking, cursing, drinking reminder of some of your worst sins, all
wrapped up in a flesh and bone vessel of pretty much everything that you hate. Deal with that."
The return, murder, and resurrection of my Dam a few years ago didn't completely drive me over the edge, but Spike comes close every damn day.
I close my eyes. When I open them again, none of this will have happened. I might be short some cash or silverware, but damn it, it'll be worth it.
And when I wake, not long later, I can't feel him anymore.
As soon as that thought forms in my head, I know I don't mean it. And I instantly miss him.
No. It's better this way. I have too much I have to worry about in my life. I can't spend half my time baby-sitting a crippled--and yet still fully evil--vampire.
Who I made.
I force myself upright. Okay. I'm not going to think about this anymore. I'll clean up the house, then go to bed. That'll keep my mind off things. No brooding.
I wander into the kitchen, the spark that ignited this whole disaster.
And find that it's already clean. Floor mopped, dishes done and put away.
The counters and appliances sparkling. Even the cream is gone from the ceiling.
I stand there and stare for a moment, hardly able to believe my eyes. Then... I see the table. Two beautifully arranged place settings... good china, shining, smartly polished silverware. Unlit red candles that smell like berries. A bottle of wine. I pick it up. Beaujolais, 1963 Carnanette. My favorite. A single rose in a silver bud vase. I didn't notice this before, as buried as it was under piles of garbage.
Now I feel bad. Far worse than bad, actually. I was so angry, I didn't realize what Spike had been trying so hard to accomplish in his bumbling, earnest, child-like way.
"Figured I'd cook, it bein' Valentine's Day and all. And you bein' such a big, pansy-ass pouf about that sorta thing."
Valentine's Day. I'd forgotten.
A card leans up against the vase. A greeting card. From Spike.
Silently wishing I could stake myself right about now, I pick it up, and open it carefully. Knowing I'm about to feel a whole Hell of a lot worse, I read.
The cover is simple.. a watercolor scene of a brilliant sunrise over a serene ocean. The inside is blank, but for his careless script.
I remember so clearly teaching him how to write, almost two centuries ago. I remember leaning over his slim shoulder, guiding the feathered quill in
his hand with my own as he struggled to form the letters. His brow
furrowed tight with the effort, and he nearly chewed his lip clear through in concentration.
Not so good with the mush, pet, but... Happy Valentine's Day. Your fat ass
is already mine, so I'll skip that part and say you're not half bad a Sire for
a big, stupid nonce with a soul.
Will. I trace the sloppy letters gently, and struggle against the urge to cry.
Damn it. I'm such a bastard. The Powers should have just let me rot in Hell.
Spike really has given me so much, in the time that he's been here. Far more than he's taken, truth be told. He's brought joy and laughter to a once dark and dreary existence. He constantly surprises me, and for someone who's seen all that I have, that's no easy task. He makes my body--and damn it all, my dead heart--sing. All things I never thought I'd be allowed to have again. He watches my back with a minimum (okay, a great deal, actually) of complaining. But watch it he does, and I know I can safely put
my life in his hands. I trust my boy utterly, whatever his outward attitude might be.
I can count on one hand the number of creatures in all my 250 years that I have honestly been able to say that about. He's my brother. My lover. My companion. He dulls so much of the ache of being who and what I am.
And now I've driven him away, and for what? Because he made a little mess in my kitchen?
You know, there's just never a Slayer around when you need one to drive a stake through your heart.
Bad analogy. But you get the point. So to speak. Oh, forget it.
"Spike!" I start yelling before I'm even out of the kitchen.
I can't let him go. I need him. I don't know if I can make it through all the long, dark, endless days of forever without him. He and my friends are the only comfort I have... my only support when I feel I can't go on. I can't let him...
I trip over something large on the front step. Something blonde, wearing a leather duster, carrying a duffel bag, glowering, and smoking a cigarette.
I stare up at him from my landing place on the sidewalk. His scowl is cast in shadow by the fading moonlight.
"You know, for a bloke who's sposta be preternaturally graceful, you're one clumsy bloody clod," he grumbles, and takes a long drag off his smoke.
For a moment, I'm so shocked... and so glad... to see him there, I can't move. "You... you're still here."
He shrugs. "Brilliant observation, Sherlock. No wonder you're LA's top dick."
I throw off my stupor at the same moment I launch myself from the ground and throw my arms around him, crushing him to my chest, weeping like a child.
"You're still here! Thank God! Thank you! Will... I'm
sorry," I sob.
So I'm a fool. Is this news, really?
He tenses in my embrace. "Yer stupid God's got nuthin' to do with it, wanker. Couldn't hot wire your car, and there's not enough time to walk anywhere before sunrise," he counters.
I pull away and look into his face. Those beautiful blue eyes. I love this infuriating creature. I do. I can't help it. He drives me to the very edge of violent bloodlust, but... it doesn't matter. I trace the line of his chiseled cheekbone and just drown in those eyes.
"I'm sorry, Spike. I shouldn't have lost my temper like that."
He scowls. "You're a grouchy asshole. That's nuthin' new."
"I don't really want you to go. Stay? Forgive me?"
My Most Favoured rolls his eyes. "Sure. Fine. You're forgiven."
I don't get a lot of that... and he probably doesn't mean it, but it's still the best gift he could give me at this moment.
I claim the other side of his face, and softly kiss him.
"Thank you," I whisper into his lips. Finally, I get back to my feet, and offer him a hand up.
He stares at it for a moment, then looks back into my eyes again. There's so much going on in those stormy orbs... so much I can't read or understand, even after all this time... so much that he tries to hide from me. I find it difficult to believe, sometimes, that he doesn't have a soul.
"Aw, for chrissake," he complains, taking my hand at last. "Quitcher broodin' already. Said I forgave you, didn't I? Not your fault you're an anal retentive bastard."
I put my arm around him, and take his bag as I lead him back inside. "So... do you think any of that cabbage survived? I'm starving."
He snorts. "Damn micks. Not a brain in your heads, but got plenty in your dick and your enormous gut."
Dinner, believe it or not, is delicious. Spike manages to salvage quite a
feast... including some of the cabbage, and what I hope is an entirely different corned beef than the one I saw melting on the counter earlier.
I wipe my chin and give him a smile.
"That was great, Spike.."
He tips back the rest of his wine. "You sound surprised."
"Well," I chuckle, "I admit, I am. I didn't know you even knew how to cook."
He shrugs and shakes his head -- the Spike equivalent of blushing. "I watch Emeril a lot. Bam, you know? Sinks in after a bit."
I have no idea who Emeril is, but I think I should find out, and send him a thank you note.
"Ah," I respond.
Spike takes a deep breath, and looks straight... deep... into my eyes. I know what that gaze means. And so does my body, which responds like one of Pavlov's dogs to a bell.
I often wonder who is really the Master in this relationship. I'm practically drooling to see that hungry look on his beautiful, pale face, cast in warm shadow by the candlelight, and right now, he could ask me to do anything, and I would agree... just as long as I could get a taste of those lips...
Romance comes naturally to me, but to Spike, it's anathema. The addition of it to our interactions this evening is like an aphrodisiac... the music (my music, not his), the candles, the card, the wine...
Spike is romancing me. Unbelievable. See what I mean about the never-ending surprises?
"So... do you want the rest of your present now?" he asks, interrupting my adoring reverie.
I can only nod. He rises and takes my hand, blows out the candles, and leads me slowly upstairs. When we reach the door to my suite, he stops.
"Close your eyes."
Yes, as a matter of fact, I do flinch. I stare at him as a little irrational flicker of fear begins in my gut.
He sighs. "Just fucking close your bloody *eyes*, will you? 'S not brain surgery!"
That's better. I smile, and comply. He leads me into the bedroom. I hear him light a match... smell sulfur and scented wax. More candles? What is my boy planning?
"Awright. You can look."
I do, and find...
Fairyland. Flowers everywhere. Thousands of candles casting the room in soft light, and the bed...
There are more rose pedals on the bed than there is... well... bed. I could melt into a puddle of undead jelly right on the spot.
"Will... this is..." I catch his eyes. Honestly, he looks more like a rabid wolf than a romantic lover out for sweet seduction. But... that look means more to me than if I saw abiding love in his eyes. It means that he's done all of this for my benefit, as much as his. "It's beautiful. Thank you."
"Yeah, well. Happy Valentine's Day, ya git."
I smile at him. He smiles back, in spite of himself.
He loves me too.
In less than a breath, he's in my arms, his lean, hard form pressed against me. Ah... good gods, I've loved this body for so long... through so many incarnations. Where making love to Buffy was... unreal... Holy... like being admitted to Heaven at last... making love to Spike is like coming home. Being fully in my own flesh and blood. A different, but no less miraculous, sensation. With him, I am what I am, no more, and no less.
When we're like this... when we're bared to one another, stripped of all the barriers of humanity... clothes and daily pretense thrown away, the years vanish right along with them. I stroke the hard, lean lines of his chest with my hands... brush feather kisses over his nipples... trace the cut of his abdomen with my tongue, and wander down, following the downy line of hair that starts at his belly button. And we're suddenly where we were a hundred years ago. He's not Spike, but Will... I'm not Angel, but Angelus, and we are simply two beings enraptured by one another's flesh. He doesn't insult or curse me in that bitter way he has... he sighs my name, and sometimes my title. I don't feel guilt or remorse, but only his skin.
I lay him gently down on the plush bed of rose petals and continue my reverent wanderings over his lithesome form, caressing every millimeter of his satin soft skin with every inch of mine... stroke him into peals of whimpering pleasure. Feel my body raging for him, this creature who once so mesmerized me that I followed him surreptitiously through North London shadows for weeks before I even found the proper way to approach him.
I know he thinks I've forgotten... that I don't think about those days after I first made him. Those days of blood, sex, and passion... and yes, love. He thinks that the memories of him in my arms are too tangled with those of being a murderous fiend, and that I essentially regret his Making.
He's half right. I don't like to recall the things I've done to hurt others... including him. Those decades when we were Gods together, and
trampled a hapless world under obliterating feet. But honestly... I almost
never really regret him, or what we shared when it was just the two of us. I've never regretted loving him. I can't regret Making him... not when he's
here, beneath me now, easing the isolation I was not so long ago convinced would be my eternal fate. Setting my body aflame with his
hands and his lips... giving me bliss without endangering my soul...
God... I've always been such a carnal being. A glutton for this... flesh on flesh. Constantly aching, starving for touch... for this rush of passion and desire. Soul or no, I am still in love with the physical. For so long, it was denied me, until him.
For that alone, I can never regret him. I love touching him... love how responsive he is to every kiss, every nibble, every caress. I adore the hard lines of his back, the rounded muscles of his rear. Like a living statue draped in silk, imbued with the ability to speak... to murmur, "Yes, Sire..." as I pour myself over him.
And he tastes... ah... so sweet... cologne and beer, blood and cigarettes, and joy for living under his skin. How I love following his spine with long tongueflicks... from the nape of his pale neck, between his lean shoulders, down through the valley of his waist, and finally between his firm cheeks.
His most intimate parts are cool and salty... I drink in that wonderfully unique Spike essence as I lick him, easing my tongue inside his entrance, massage the satin of his perineum, the velvet of his testicles. And the sounds he makes... sweet music in the warming air.
My Childe. My beloved. My Will. I wish I could tell him in words how much he's come to mean to me... how much he has always meant to me. How he is as close to perfect happiness as I am allowed to come, and I cherish him utterly for that. For now, that is so much more than I deserve. More than I need.
But despite what he thinks, those sentiments don't come easily from my lips. And I know that he wouldn't accept them anyway.
I can show him, though. I can blanket his beautiful form with my own, ease myself gently inside his tight... oh... God...
I forget everything when I'm within him. When he arches that lean back and cries out my name. For a time, nothing else in the cosmos matters but his inner muscles clamping around me... his fine, graceful hands clutching the bedclothes tightly, his knuckles white with the strain. The gentle grace of this ancient dance as I rock into him, and he rocks back to me.
The details of my existence, and his, just aren't important when we are together like this. Connected. As one in flesh as we are in blood.
When the rhythm is so hard... so sweet... my thrusts so deep... his rending cries
so sharp as he climaxes into my stroking fist... and my reality explodes into stars as I empty myself into him...
Nights like this, nothing else matters, at least for a little while.
Afterward, I hold him... these are the only occasions when he'll let me do it. Leans on my chest... lets me kiss his sweat damp hair and simply
breathe him in.
It's definitely not the worst moment of my life. In fact, it's not even close.
"Ya pissed me off, ya know," he says softly, nuzzling into my neck. "I almost left yer sorry ass, and you woulda deserved it."
I pull him closer. "I know. I'm sorry, Spike. I really am."
"Hm. Yeah... well... I'm not gonna bother sayin don't do it again, because you probably will tomorrow."
I can still feel that hurt, just under his words. He likes to act like he has such a hard shell... but I know... his heart is soft and easily bruised. And I guess I wound him pretty often.
"Probably. But... Spike... I do appreciate you. More than I can express, most of the time. You give me so much, and I..."
He looks up at me with those eyes... Gods, how I adore this boy.
"If ya tell me ya love me or some such bullocks, I swear I'll rip yer knackers off."
I laugh--the second time tonight--and pull him still closer. It's as it should be, I guess.
Like a warm mist, the bliss of post-coital sleep sneaks slowly over me as we snuggle together. I'd forgotten, for a while, how tired I was, and my eyes slip shut of their own accord.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Will," I murmur.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Sire," he responds.
"I love you, you know." I can sneak it in now... right before we drift off.
"I love you, too, Peaches," he says, then starts to sing softly, "Millions of Peaches. Peaches for free. Millions of Peaches. Peaches for me."
God, I hate that fucking song.