Summary: For the bitterest pill is hard to swallow. The love I gave hangs in sad coloured, mocking shadows.
Author Notes: based on the Jam's 'The Bitterest Pill' but not an actual songfic.
They were all there, spilling out of the church's west door. All the relatives and friends. Giles looking proud enough to burst, but still with a faint crease in his forehead. Xander chatting to some woman from the coven. Faith clearly flustering some poor new Watcher and laughing wickedly. Wes looking on with an amused smile, arms linked with Fred and Gunn. Willow and Dawn, in simple bridesmaids outfits.
And the happy couple. The bride all in white, her veil thrown back now and her tan faded by years in Europe. The groom, all perfectly tailored in black and pale as only a newly human vampire could be. Three months. That's all it had been. He'd done something ridiculously selfless, woken up human and, as soon he knew everyone was OK and LA would survive without him, he'd been on a plane. A month later an invite had come through and only Harmony hadn't booked a flight over and gone clothes shopping. She hadn't wanted to skulk in the shadows at a wedding.
Buffy was sunlight. Golden, glowing, warm at last, despite the English breeze. She'd been the sun to him, burning brightly and letting him grasp the light. His world had been muted, greys and browns and blacks. Dark red blood and dirty alleyways. When he first laid eyes on her, he'd seen the glow of her energy lighting up the darkness. She'd made it bearable, made him feel alive for the first time in an undead century. When they had held each other he had felt her heart beating for them both, her love warming them both.
Now he had undead centuries to endure, the hint of a promise of a life now, with her, lost. He hadn't been the one to shanshu. No one had factored on two vampires with a soul. Angel and Spike. Together again after a century. They'd ended up fighting side by side, feared by half of the Americas and whispered of by the other half. Lorne still occasionally muttered about making a vampire version of Butch and Sundance with Bloom and Depp. Mainly because the man was obsessed with Orlando and Johnny. But in Butch and Sundance the two guys had left the girl behind in favour of going out together, still fighting side by side.
Buffy had never, strictly, promised. There'd been an awkward meeting of the three of them, once someone had finally told her Spike was 'alive' and in LA. She'd frowned, pouted in that knowingly cute way and threatened to smack their heads together if they didn't start playing nice. When she left, after the usual battles with demons, she'd not looked at either of them directly as she said "I meant what I said." So she hadn't exactly promised. He'd taken hope all the same. Mainly as he hadn't realised that it also applied to something she'd said to the other one in those last days of Sunnydale. Like that damn prophesy, he'd hoped it was aimed at him.
So now he stood in the deep shadow of the graveyard, wishing he had the guts to step forward and die, as she turned to her new husband and kissed him. She fell back laughing, his arm supporting the small of her back and a broad smile on his face. There was no doubting the love there, the promise of a future together.
Angel turned on his heel and left them to their celebrations.