Sequel to Darkness Inside
“He wonders what will happen the night the words change”.
Pairings / Warnings: B/S/A – nothing explicit, as always. If the concept
of slash and/or threesomes offends you though, don’t read.
Timeline: This is complete AU - another one in my series
of B/S/A fics, following “Darkness Inside”. I’m pretty much ignoring the events
of the current season - if you haven’t read the other fics this will sound both
farfetched and out-of-character. If you still want to read it, though, you have
to at least know that Buffy and Spike are happily together and Angel comes to
Feedback: I’m kind of curious on what you made of it.
Disclaimer: Yeah, like B/S/A is ever going to happen on
screen. Unnecessary much?
Thanks: To Lara Dean-Brierley for the beta – what would I do
without you? ;)
Author’s note: I suspect this was brought about by Yseult deBreton’s
recurring use of phone conversations in her fics. So, here’s to you, Yseult.
On the nights that things go wrong they call him. The shrill sound of
the phone echoes through the apartment and pierces his ears and he knows it’s
them. He practically pounces on the receiver and nearly rips the thing off the
wall in his haste. And he prays. Desperately. He prays to hear the usual words.
He shakes all over and he didn’t know that one could dread like this. In
those moments, he doubts love is worth such fear. Fleeting moments. Just until
he hears those words.
“Angel? Maybe you should come….” Buffy’s schoolgirl voice, with that
lilting tone she always uses when she says his name and that uncertainty that
says she’s tired and afraid. That death brushed too close this time and she’s
“Angel, maybe you should
come.” Clipped words and crisp speech so he won’t hear the panic, upper-class
British accent betraying it nonetheless, William coming through over the wire
and the decades, frightened little poet.
After that, Angel has to
sit down because his knees won’t hold him up. He wonders what will happen the
night the words change.
It wasn’t like this before.
Connor’s fault, he thinks it is. The constant worry and care that your own
flesh and blood awakens. Babies tend to do that. You’re constantly guessing – is
he all right? Is he hungry? Is he cold? Is he sick? Does he want to play? Why
is he crying? An infinity of questions and focused attention and reading
the signs. And so much *love*. You never would’ve guessed there was so much
unconditional love bottled up inside you. All for one small person that
suddenly has become the most important thing in the world.
But Connor isn’t a baby
anymore. Stopped being a baby all of a sudden and in his place there’s a
stranger with suspicion and distrust in his eyes. Someone who doesn’t know him
and doesn’t like him. All that promise, all that hope cast down to the bottom
of the sea and scattered like so many grains of sand.
And what was Angel to do
with all the love that wanted a way out? When his son’s heart is closed to him
and won’t let him in and won’t love him in return?
There’s only so much pain a
man can take. And Angel has taken more than his fair share of pain. Even if
he’s not a man. Even so.
On those nights, he breaks
every speed limit between LA and Sunnydale. Needs to see them. Touch them.
Smell them. Hold them so tight that Buffy gasps for air and Spike squirms in
his arms -- “Let go, you poof. Christ! If I’d known you’d be like this, I
wouldn’t have called.” And Angel laughs, knowing it’s all a front and that
Spike’s so glad he has come he hasn’t the words for it. “Never leaving you
again.” Angel whispers so that only Spike will hear. Blinding flash of a smile,
deer caught in the headlights kind of effect. Spell broken by Buffy’s chaste
kiss to his cheek and heartfelt words – “I’m so happy you’re here.” So simple and
meaningful. Just like her. Pure Buffy.
He inspects the cuts and
the bruises and tends to them. Knowing they’ll heal completely in a matter of
days doesn’t make him feel any better.
Tries to guess how many
they were this time, what were they. How did they unsettle the carefully
choreographed dance? The synchronicity that binds their movements into patterns
and rhythms so perfectly timed that Angel forgets he doesn’t need to breathe
while drinking in the fierceness and the beauty.
Tries to reconstruct the
scene from the way the wounds are distributed and figure out what happened that
broke their unity and made them vulnerable. Were they outnumbered or simply
Mind numbing fear at that
last possibility. Never asking – better not to know.
Angel patrols alone the
nights that follow. Kills anything that moves, a rush of fury and unrestrained
violence. Letting the demon out to play in a way he doesn’t allow in LA.
Not that many innocents in
Sunnydale’s streets at night. Chances are if you’re out you’re deserving of the
death that’s heading your way. He stopped making distinctions: potential threat
equals fair game. Nothing but prey.
Angel doesn’t care. Stopped
caring the night he came back to find Buffy’s arm broken and Spike coughing up
blood from the internal damage. Buffy’s eyes childe-wide with shock and voice
so low he had to strain to make out what she was saying. “-- humans…they were
humans….” Doesn’t remember much of what happened that night after the red haze
descended upon him. Knows he was in game-face even before he hit the streets
and that cold rage guided all his actions.
On those nights, it’s not
him roaming the avenues and alleys, the parking lots and sewers. Not him.
Smiles that lopsided smile of his when he comes across his unsuspecting
victims. Eyes like needles.
Only returns to the mansion when it’s all drained out of him. When he
doesn’t have the stamina to continue and all he can do is sit in a chair
because he’s too exhausted – and too sated - to move. For now, at least.
Doesn’t go to sleep,
though. Doesn’t sleep at all during the nights he stays. Sits in their room and
watches them sleep. Next best thing to fucking them into the mattress is
watching them. He watches a lot.
Spike is leaner now.
Mustn’t be eating as much as he used to – always hated pig’s blood. He’s all
corded muscle and well-defined cheekbones, pure lines and milky white skin.
Straight black eyebrows and shadows in the hollows of his face and impossibly
long lashes. Solar white hair. Angel knows his skin would be warm if he touched
it. Hot from sleeping next to the tanned California girl. Buffy’s heat radiates
in waves from the curves of her body. Angel can see it if he concentrates and
it seems only fitting that she has bronze skin and blonde hair. What other
color could she be? His girl is sunshine gold.
Spike and Buffy are all
about light. The sheets are white because they know Angel won’t bear darkness
next to them. Both laughed it off when Angel made his request. “Don’t tell me
you’ve become superstitious in your old age” and “Bloody nonsense if you ask
me.” And they never wore black sheets again.
He watches and he thinks on
the way things are now. Broods. Isn’t that the word?
happiness is no longer in his reach. Still, he’s not putting that theory to the
test. He’s sticking to this and not getting involved with anyone else.
Maybe it only works because
it’s them. Buffy and Spike. Which feels kind of like a sick joke, really. Like
all the suffering he’s caused these two beings he loves above all else
constitutes the ticket that now allows him to be with them.
Or maybe it’s because
they’re not really his anymore – they belong to each other and he’s just
tagging along for the ride. Which means that he can still attain perfect
happiness after all.
He doesn’t know which
option is more discouraging.
Maybe he’s just stopped
being naïve. Love hurts. The smell of their blood is both temptation and
admonition. Ghastly omen. Sooner or latter one of them will die. Maybe both.
And he’ll come home to find a corpse. And a pile of dust. Or not even that.
He hates those calls.
~~ Finis ~~