Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

O Holy Night
By alizarin_nyc
For WesleysGirl

"It's the end of the world as we know it," Spike said.

"It's like standing on the edge of everything," Angel said. "Nothing between us and the abyss."

"I thought I was the bloody awful poet."

"I told you, I never thought you were that bad."

Spike grinned and thought for a moment he saw the most fleeting of smiles ghost across Angel's face. They stood on a high cliff overlooking San Francisco Bay, the ruins of the city behind them, the ocean stretching out forever in front, and the orange metal spires of the sunken Golden Gate Bridge rising out of the water below.

The fog lifted and watery afternoon light filtered down, so Spike ducked back inside the Hummer. He sat watching Angel, who looked out over the ocean as the sun lit up the waves and whitecaps. His hair had grown long and unruly. Odd to think how that happened, when vampire hair never really seemed to grow all that quickly. Angel's face already had a weather-beaten look to it; he'd gotten sunburned several times, and there were fine lines around his eyes reflecting grief and worry. At the same time, his expression looked open and new, almost youthful, the darkness gone from behind his eyes.

There were a few things Spike and Angel had already agreed upon.

One, Angel wasn't going to look the gift horse in the mouth. He would not ask Spike to turn him, and Spike would not encourage him to ask for it. Not ever. Not even to save him. Spike knew Angel would stick to his side of this agreement, but he wasn't sure he could if it came down to it. When he considered the crushed cities, the decomposing dead, the sheer nothingness of life on earth now, he knew he didn't want to be alone.

Two, they agreed they weren't interested in finding the Watcher's Council, or Buffy. Wherever they went next, it wasn't with this goal in mind. She could be dead, but neither of them thought so, really. Angel had been Scooby-less before the apocalypse, and he was going to stay that way. Spike felt the same.

And that was all they had decided on during the month-long trip up the California coast.

"Hey!" Spike called to Angel, who stood motionless, the trees of the Presidio moving in the wind around him. "Let's find a place to lay our weary heads already."

Angel moved then, walked back to the vehicle and swung behind the seat. Daytime, he drove. Spike drove at night. No matter who was awake, this was the line that had been silently drawn. Usually Spike had no problem lying in the back, windows covered, under a blanket during the daytime. Angel seemed to have more trouble sleeping, but that made sense. So he often kept Spike company during the nights that they chose to drive, rather than set up camp in someone's abandoned house, or in the Hummer on the side of the road.

Often they averaged a few miles a day before having to call it quits. The days when a pedal-to-the-metal driver could achieve Los Angeles to San Francisco in under five hours were long gone.

"I left my heart... in San Francisco," Spike belted out. "High on the hill..."

"Dear god, shut up," Angel said.

"Above the blue and windy sea. When I come home to you..."

"It's like a dog in heat," Angel said.

"Your golden sun..." Spike warbled. He might be tone-deaf, but no one could accuse him of not enjoying a good old-fashioned tune.

"The Fairmont," Angel said suddenly, spinning the Hummer around a corpse and gunning the motor.

"Excuse me?"

"The Fairmont. I've always wanted to stay there, never have."

"Well," Spike replied, tilting his head and looking out of the corner of his eye at Angel. "I'm sure the service isn't up to its usual standards, but whatever you want, you should have." And he was surprised by how much he much he meant it. Angel had taken nothing extra since The Night. He'd eaten only as much as he needed, rested only when he could, and was even sparer with his words than before.

He certainly hadn't taken up Spike on his many wordless offers to share body heat, not that Spike had any, but that wasn't the point.

They reached The Fairmont as the sun was setting and Angel drove right into the lobby, and up to reception through a giant hole in the front of the building.

"Bellman!" Spike called into the unlit interior. "Got a few bags here and have my man's vehicle valet-parked, now, be a good man. I'm a generous tipper, I'll have you know."

"Shut up, Spike," Angel said.

"What'll it be, now? Ground floor?" Spike knew that Angel was a little sensitive about his overall weaker state. "Or shall we climb up to the tower, you and I and let down our long hair, see who climbs up?"

"Shut up," Angel said, tossing Spike one of their packs filled with clothes and food and taking another one himself. "The tower. We need to be up high. See what might be coming at us. Not everything in this city is dead."

"Right you are."

They climbed the emergency staircase, Angel, huffing up one floor at a time. Spike danced up the stairs around him; shadow boxing in the stairwells, singing Frank Sinatra, and filling the silence with chatter, so perhaps Angel wouldn't notice how difficult it now was to get up some 20-odd flights of stairs.

Eventually Spike got bored and bounced up the remaining flights. When Angel finally got to the top, Spike had forced open the door to the room and while Angel caught his breath, he announced: "The Fairmont Suite features a contemporary design including a spacious bedroom, a wet bar, a full stereo system, a plasma screen television -- these things are bloody useless without electricity I might add -- and two full baths. No water, no problem, I'll fill 'em with champagne."

Spike continued reading, while Angel did a very military-like perimeter inspection. "The master bath has a Jacuzzi tub with remote control television. The Fairmont Suite accommodates up to 75 people for hospitality -- and thank god for that, as we'll definitely be receiving guests -- whoops, sorry, one king bed, we'll have to share. 180-degree view. Of utter chaos, so skip that."

"Spike, are you going to shut up sometime this evening?"

"Wasn't really planning to," Spike said, dropping the brochure in the middle of the room. Dead flowers lay crumpled all around, mixed in with broken crystal that glinted in the waning light. "Can you even see in this light anymore?"

Angel switched on a flashlight and pointed it in Spike's eyes. "Now I can."

"Very funny," Spike said, throwing up an arm and hissing as his eyes turned into kaleidoscopes.

"There's a sunset. We should watch it." Angel moved to the window.

Angel had a thing for sunsets. Especially now. He seemed to not want to miss a single one, and who was Spike to complain? Now he'd indulge Angel almost anything. The problem was, Angel asked for almost nothing.

"You're such a romantic," Spike said, hoping to drop some not-too-subtle hints, now that they were getting settled in. The subtle hints had hit a brick wall, going back to before The Night, when Angel had turned inward, and had shut everyone out, even Spike.

"Watch it with me, Spike?" Angel asked, not turning around. He clicked off the flashlight and the two of them stood at the window, watching. Tiny campfires flared around the perimeter of the city, and candles burned in a few windows all around. There was life, there. Small, but thriving, somehow.

"Won't be your last, mate," Spike said off-handedly.

"Now there's no way to know that. Each one is precious. It's one more that I get to see that the people who believed in me don't get to."

"S'not your fault, we've been over this."

Angel coughed. "Not my fault. I'm just the catalyst for the death and destruction of the human race."

"Not dead yet. See them out there?" Spike pointed to the candles, fighting to glow against the sinking sun and winning out. "Also, your role in the apocalypse was foretold. You weren't the catalyst, just the chosen agent. You're no more responsible than a match is for an arson fire."

Angel was silent, brooding with his new, open face. "Plus," Spike said, "You get to live." And he hoped that Angel knew what that was really worth. Spike wasn't jealous exactly, but he realized that his reward -- to just go on as he had been -- was nothing compared to Angel's.

"And for what," Angel replied, "Those I love are dead."

"Thanks ever so," Spike said and moved away from the window. He wandered into the other room of the suite and inspected the Jacuzzi. It was still filled with water, and dust and tiny dried petals from the dead flowers floated on the top. He knew Angel didn't love him the way he'd loved Wesley, Gunn, Cordy and Fred, but this was getting ridiculous. He hadn't traveled all this way with Angel just for shits and giggles. He wanted something more. Angel was allowed to mourn, but he had to appreciate what Spike was doing. Didn't he?

"Start spreading the news," Spike sang out suddenly. "I'm leaving today." He could easily figure out why that song sprang into his head. If things went on like this, he couldn't stay with Angel. It would be too hard. There was no loving, okay fine, but there was no fighting either. And so maybe they didn't have a grand plan to unite the human race, but they had to at least talk about what good they could do -- would do.

He made a beeline for the wet bar and lo and behold, there was wet there to be found.

"New York, New York," he hummed, as he rescued a bottle of Jack from its perilous position on the edge of the bar.

"Fancy a cuppa?" He asked Angel. He wasn't heartless, after all.

"Yes, please, Spike." Now that was twice Angel had used his name in the space of twenty minutes. That was certainly new and different.

Angel bellied up to the bar and they shared a small smile as they drank from the crystal tumblers that had somehow survived an apocalypse to be clinked together by the former William the Bloody, and the former Scourge of Europe and former CEO of Wolfram & Hart.

Angel pulled out the emergency candles they kept in steady supply from his pack and set a few up on the bar and the nightstand.

"Tomorrow," he said, dragging out each syllable of the word, "Let's go around and talk to people, see what they're going through, find out if nests of demons are still terrorizing the city centers."

"Sounds great," Spike said, surprised. "It's a date."

"Well," Angel said, moving back to the bar and taking up his glass again before looking at Spike. "Tonight is more the date part and tomorrow will actually be work, as I am still your boss."

Spike stared at him in disbelief. Forget the fact that it was one of the longest sentences Angel had spoken to him in the past month that wasn't about Fred or Cordy or Gunn or Wesley, but Spike wanted to choke him for his smug assumption that he was the boss, and he wanted to kiss him for even this tiny bit of flirtation.

"Close your mouth, the flies are thick," Angel said.

"Did you just -- did you -- are you flirting with me?" Spike firmly pushed aside his manly pride. What need was there for macho display when now Spike could snap Angel's neck within seconds?

Angel thumbed the edge of his glass, looking down. "No, of course not," he started to say.

"Don't." Spike said, setting his glass down after a giant swallow. "Just, don't." He moved around the bar to where Angel's long legs were extended casually from the bar stool. He slid close, but not quite in between Angel's legs.

Spike let himself search Angel's face. Angel returned the gaze. "This has been hard for me," Spike said.


"You've known how I've been feeling."


"You don't mind it."


"The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was you."

"The first thing I saw was you," Angel said.

"You and Gunn..." Spike continued his voice unsteady, "Were lying there. I'm guessing Illyria did it. Either she didn't bother with me, or I was dust, or I don't know. But when I woke up in that burnt out hospital and saw you, I knew." Gunn had been dead, probably for many hours, maybe a day or two, but Angel...

"What did you know, Spike?"

Angel was leaning in, close, meeting Spike's gaze. Still seated, he was looking up into Spike's eyes, and Spike realized that this too, was something new. He'd always been below Angelus, below Angel, and he'd never liked it down there. But the view was exhilarating from up here.

"I knew that you were a big deal, an important thing," Spike said. "You were breathing. You were fucking breathing, I could see it. And I knew that I wanted to live. I wanted to live, too. With you."

"I'm not the only one who was given a new life," Angel said, his voice low and soft, his eyes reflecting that new humanity that Spike found so puzzling. "I'm sure I saw you die, Spike there in that alley, or dreamed it, felt it."

"Yeah, I figure I'm being rewarded too. Not like you, but maybe for you. Does that make any sense?"

Angel didn't answer this time, but he placed his hand on the back of Spike's neck. Spike shivered and cursed himself inwardly for it. It was Angel, after all. This should be old hat.

Angel drew Spike in and rested their foreheads together. After what seemed like forever, he sighed and pulled Spike down into him, opening his mouth and kissing him carefully.

It was tender. And it was strange. Spike had never known Angel to be tender. Not before the soul, of course, and not after. Not with him. He felt himself slipping and when Angel broke the kiss, he began babbling, begging Angel to keep on kissing him, telling Angel everything, how much he wanted him, needed him, would never leave his side.

Angel took it all in stride. He led Spike to the bed and they undressed and climbed under the covers. Spike was thinking of all the things that were new, that would be so different from before. There would be no more biting, no more hitting, no more trying to kill each other before fucking. Angel's life was too precious now. The wounds could only be from the battlefield, not the bedroom.

Angel curled around him, holding him, touching him, and Spike returned it all, hearing Angel breathe deeply for the first time like this and knowing he'd caused that reaction. He twined his fingers in Angel's wild hair and instead of pulling, gently tugged. He kissed Angel's throat instead of sinking in his fangs. He felt Angel come in his hand after only a few strokes instead of requiring the sort of ravenous attention that only other vampires or slayers could provide.

And as Angel sank down to take Spike in his mouth, Spike murmured, "So good, Angel, so good."

When he came quickly and without warning, he felt a little human himself.

"The stars," Angel pointed to the window, later. He never missed anything beautiful now.

"The stars are brightly shining," Spike said, and then, since it sounded familiar, he began to hum.

"If you start singing Christmas carols, I'm going to have to reassess this whole situation," Angel said tartly.

Spike, never one to resist when the gauntlet was thrown down, began singing again, loud and tuneless. "O Holy Night..."