Title: Not just for Christmas
Pairing: xander/angel, lindsey/spike
Feedback: always welcome
Concrit much appreciated and possibly needed
Disclaimer: Anything you recognise is still owned by Joss et al ~ or the various other writers, studios and tv companies
Distribution: hell, if anyone wants it just take it. Just drop me a line so I can take a look.
Xander stepped off the elevator and headed for Harmony’s desk, wondering for about the thousandth time if he was doing the right thing showing up here. He coughed a little, trying to get Harmony’s attention, but when she looked him over and returned to her magazine, he realised she hadn’t recognised him and so he was going to have to talk to her. “Is Spike around?”
“Do you have an appointment?” This time Harmony didn’t even bother to look up.
“No, but I don’t suppose he’s got that busy a schedule, and I’m pretty sure he’d have a bit of time for me.”
“Wolfram and Hart is a very busy office, we can’t have people just showing up. If you want an appointment we might be able to fit you in next month.”
“Come on Harm, can’t you do a favour for an old friend?” Xander reached into the bag he was carrying and pulled out a brightly wrapped gift box, “There’s even a present in it for you.”
Harmony looked at the visitor a little closer, her eyes travelled up long legs encased in tight black denim, passed a muscled torso and onto a faintly familiar face, the eye patch was new but it was someone she recognised, “Xander! My god Xander Harris, what are you doing here?” She shot around her desk and pulled him into a tight hug, now she finally figured out what Cordelia had seen in the guy, without the god-awful clothes he’d worn back in Sunnydale he was quite the hottie.
Xander returned the hug a little awkwardly, pulling back when vampire strength made breathing an issue, seeing as Harmony didn’t seem inclined to let him go, a little distraction seemed in order. Waving the present at her he said, “Harmony fragile human here, need to breathe.” When she reached for the gift he pulled it away, “Uh …uh Harm. Spike first, then the present.”
She pouted at him but he held firm, after all he’d had years of practice resisting that kind of trick from his girls. “Fine, but I don’t know why you’d want to see that loser anyway.” Moving back to her desk, she flicked a switch on the intercom and then screeched into the speaker. “Spike get your ass out here now.”
Xander handed over the present and sat back to wait for Spike whilst Harmony tore into the wrappings. A few seconds later Spike stormed into the view, “Bloody hell woman, what’s with the bloody shrieking? And wot’s so fucking important you needed to wake me up at this god forsaken hour?”
“Just me Spike, thought I’d spend Christmas catching up with some old friends.” Xander enjoyed the look of surprise on Spike’s face, it wasn’t often he got to catch the vampire off guard that way.
“Bloody hell pet, thought you was in Africa…..Hang on a bit, you’re here to see me. Can’t believe that little git didn’t keep his mouth shut.”
“We’re talking about Andrew here, did you really think he was going to keep quiet?”
“Tell me he at least held out for a bit.”
“I think he made it about halfway down the street before he called.”
“Shit, that means everybody knows, don’t they?”
“If you’re talking about Buffy and Dawn, oh yeah, they know. Speaking of….” Xander hauled off and punched Spike right in the jaw, then pulled him up and enveloped him in a tight hug. “The punch is from Buffy, something about you and the broodmeister stalking her round Rome, the hug’s from Dawn and she wants you to call her so she can yell at you in person.”
“Bloody hell, you’ve been working out pet, don’t remember you punching that hard before. Should be grateful the Slayer didn’t send you in with a stake I suppose. Any other little surprises for me?”
Xander pulled a box out of his bag and cracked the lid, “Cookies from Willow and this is from me.” This time he produced a bottle of jack daniels, “Got somewhere we can go and catch up?”
Spike grabbed one of the cookies and practically inhaled it, frowning a little when he noticed the size of the box. Xander followed the gaze and realised what Spike was asking, “Willow’s been guilt baking again, she got a little caught up in the magics. Nothing really bad.” He forestalled any major worries on Spike’s part. “But Giles sent her back to the coven to do another detox, though on the plus side we finally got rid of Kennedy.”
“Now there was a bint a never liked, wasn’t good enough for our Red. Come on we can use the pouf’s apartment; that way we can nick some of his scotch when we’re done with this bottle.”
They were halfway to the stairs when they heard Harmony squeal as she finally pulled her gift from the box, “Oh my god these are gorgeous!” Then her voice turned incredulous and she stared at Xander, “You
picked these out?”
“Sure did, though I had a little advice from an old friend.” With that Xander threw a quick wink over his shoulder and followed Spike upstairs, leaving Harmony to wonder just who he’d been talking about.
Angel exchanged a satisfied smile with Wes and Gunn as the Tyleg delegation filed out of his office, the meeting had gone off without a single error and the peace treaty had been signed. He leaned back in his chair and enjoyed the satisfaction of a job well done, then started to frown as something niggled at the back of his mind.
The negotiations had gone off without a hitch, everyone was happy, why did he feel like he was missing something? Then it hit him, Spike! His Childe hadn’t shown up once today, no drunken interruptions, no mouthful of abuse, in fact all was completely quiet on the Spike front. This couldn’t be good.
He swept out of the office and headed for Harmony’s desk. “Have you seen Spike?” No answer; and Angel thought, not for the first time, that he really needed a better secretary. Then he noticed that Harmony wasn’t even looking at him. Her attention was entirely focused on her feet, as she moved them this way and that, seeing them from every angle.
This was something Angel remembered, “New shoes?” He questioned hesitantly and was rewarded by a blinding smile from Harmony.
“You noticed, Aren’t they gorgeous, they were a present from Xander.”
Angel was glad his Cordy trained brain had been right; then the rest of what Harmony had said registered. “Xander, you mean Xander Harris?”
“Yes he came by to see Spike and brought me these.”
“Xander came to see Spike?” Angel knew he was sounding like an echo, but he wanted to be sure he’d got this right.
“That’s what I said, didn’t I? There was some punching and some hugging; then they went upstairs. I wasn’t taking too much notice, I mean it was just Spike. Though I might just try and catch up with Xander before he leaves; that whole eyepatch thing he’s got going on, kind of makes him look sorta hot.”
“He lost an eye right before Sunnydale fell.” This time the voice was Lindsey’s, and he continued before Angel could ask how he knew. “Where exactly are we?” His voice was condescending, like he was talking to a particularly stupid child. “The Senior partners kept an eye on all the White hats, including your Slayer and her pals. Never knew when they might turn into a problem, and when the First takes a personal interest in someone, that usually gets their attention real quick.”
“The First evil was interested in Xander Harris?” Wes sounded sceptical and Angel couldn’t help but agree.
“Something about him being ‘The One Who Sees’, no-one knows what that actually means; but there’s a shitload of prophecies that mention him. So we kept him under pretty close watch. Probably still do, unless you’ve changed the standing orders.”
Before Angel could question Lindsey further about the prophecies, he remembered what else Harmony had said. “Upstairs; as in my apartment upstairs?”
Harmony focused just long enough to answer him, “Yeah, I think they mentioned something about catching up and getting drunk, like I said I wasn’t really listening.”
Spike was in his apartment, Spike, Xander and alcohol; this really couldn’t be good. They despised each other, Harmony said there’d already been violence; Angel discounted the idea that they’d hugged as a delusion of Harmony’s. But he could see this ending badly; he’d never hear the end of it, if Spike killed the boy on his watch and frankly he could do without more trouble from Giles and the Watchers.
Angel stormed upstairs, Lindsey, Gunn and Wes trailing in his wake; determined to save Xander from whatever terrible thing Spike was planning. He was ready for anything, and he rounded the top of the stairs, sword in hand, all set to put a stop to Spike once and for all. Then stopped dead in his tracks.
There was no bloodshed, no danger; just Xander and Spike leaning against his couch and each other, passing a bottle back and forth between them and…..giggling. Spike was giggling.
The sound of Angel’s sword hitting the floor alerted them to his presence, and Spike looked up and said, “Well if it isn’t Peaches, come to join us for a drink, have you?”
“Xander, what are you doing here?” The ‘with Spike’ was implied by the glare Angel shot in his direction.
Xander looked himself up and down, taking another swig from the bottle, “Getting drunk; catching up with an old friend. You?”
Wes shouldered his way past Angel and took stock of the pair on the floor. “I think what Angel means is that Giles was vehement about wanting nothing more to do with any of us, so it’s a little surprising to see you here.”
“Well, I’ve always been prepared to think of Angel as slightly evil, that soul of his is just too damn removable, but from what I hear, there’s no chance you or Gunn would end up playing for the wrong side.”
“That’s a pretty big call, seeing as we’ve never met.” Gunn had moved to stand beside Wes and was looking down on Spike and Xander, with a questioning glint in his eye.
“We might not have met, but it’s not like I didn’t hear all about you guys from Cordy, and she’s always been a damned good judge of character.”
“You talked to Cordy?” Angel had thought that Cordelia had never looked back on her life in Sunnydale and finding out she had spoken to Xander made him wonder what else he’d missed.
“Bleeding hell, did they ever talk? Fucking hours I had to listen to the two of them rabbit on when I was staying at his place, used to drive me up the bloody wall.”
“Like you never talked to Cordy. Jeez Spike I’m still traumatised from that time I walked in to hear you giving her ‘torture Angel’ tips after that whole Darla thing. And lets not even talk about all the make-up and fashion conversations I had to listen to.”
“Yeah, well she had real class did Queen C, not like the rest of you lot. Sometimes I thought Sunnydale was a fucking style free zone.”
“Coming from the vamp that hasn’t changed his look since the seventies.”
“Better than your old look, them shirts of yours used to inspire nightmares.”
Angel looked from one to the other as they continued bickering; realising that, despite the insults, there was no real malice in their words. They were comfortable with each other and that implied they really were friends and that didn’t make any kind of sense.
Angel reigned in his curiosity about this strange friendship, but he still wanted to know why Xander was here now. “So you just decided to drop by for a visit?”
“Yeah and I had a few presents to deliver. Speaking of; Spike Buffy wanted Angel to have the same thing you got. Why don’t you deliver it for her.”
The look of pure glee that crossed Spike’s face was a little unnerving to Angel as was his reply. “Hell yes pet; it’d be my pleasure.” Spike hauled himself up and lurched in Angel’s direction and then drew back his fist to deliver a quick punch.
Luckily Spike wasn’t sober enough to cause any real damage, but Angel still sank to the floor in shock.
Xander snickered at the look on Angel’s face and said, “The card says, don’t go stalking her and her new honey round Rome again, or next time it’ll be a stake.”
There was a throaty chuckle from the one person in the room Xander didn’t know, and he was about to ask who he was when Angel growled. “Lindsey.”
“What? I didn’t say anything, I was just enjoying the floor show.”
Xander vaguely recognised the name, he seemed to remember Cordy telling him some story about an evil hand, but Spike interrupted his train of thought by asking. “She didn’t threaten me with a stake then, or did you leave that bit out?”
“No, I think you got a free pass on the staking on account of you not being dust. She really was glad about that you know. Even if you do seem to have inherited stalking tendencies from your Sire.”
“Not our fault, we was worried about her. Thought that Immortal wanker was using her to get to us.”
“Yeah, isn’t it nice to see Buffy showing her usual appalling taste in lovers? He gets on my last nerve, hell I’d almost rather she took up with King Brood again.”
Xander looked at Angel who hadn’t moved or spoken in awhile. “You know Deadboy, you really need to get the hang of this human interaction stuff. You know I insult you; then you insult me. It’s no fun at all if you don’t snark back.”
Seeing that Angel wasn’t going to be answering, Wes decided to distract Xander and give the vampire a little time to recover from hearing that Buffy had threatened to stake him. Ever since Angel’s soul had been merged with his demon, Wes had half expected him to go racing off to Rome to try and rekindle his relationship with Buffy.
But months had gone by and Angel never spoke of her and after seeing him start a relationship with Nina, Wes had wandered if Angel was finally over the blonde Slayer. Not that things had exactly worked out with Nina, but in Wes’ eyes it had at least been a step in the right direction.
Eyeing the bag lying next to Xander, Wes asked, “Did you say something about presents?”
Xander forced his gaze away from Angel and answered, “Yeah, the top two are for you and Gunn.”
When Wes reached for the brightly coloured gifts, he noticed that instead of one gift each, they were both addressed to the two of them. He and Gunn pulled the wrappings off the first box, and then turned shocked eyes on Xander after seeing the contents.
Gunn pulled out the book and glared at Xander, “What the fuck is this?” ‘This’ being the copy of the joys of gay sex, he was waving about.
“Hey don’t look at me like that.” Xander’s voice was an embarrassed whine, “Cordy picked it out.” He grinned wider, “Though if that one makes you react that much, you really need to open the other one in private.”
Gunn was looking very nervously at the other parcel, then he narrowed his eyes and glared back at Xander. “Cordelia told you to buy this for us?”
“Yep, not really in the habit of giving gifts like that to people I don’t know, but she just nagged and nagged until I agreed to get it.”
Wes approached Xander cautiously; the look in his eye saying that he thought Xander was just a little bit crazy. “Xander, you do know that Cordelia died last month?”
“Noooo…Really! And there was me thinking that the floaty, incorporeal thing was just one of those extreme LA diets. ‘Sides being dead has never been enough to keep any of the Scoobies quiet for long.”
“Are you saying she’s haunting you?”
“No, wouldn’t say that exactly, she’s just hanging around.”
Wes was really starting to sound interested now, “Does she appear often? Is there some kind of pattern to her appearances?”
“No she pretty much just shows up whenever she gets bored.”
“My god, this is wonderful, we’re going to have to study this, I wonder if any one else will be able to see her or if it’s just you she’s appearing to?”
Before Xander could tell Wes that neither he nor Cordy would be co-operating with any kind of tests, Gunn spoke up, “So Cordelia seemed to think we should have this?”
Xander decided to put them both out of their misery, “You know she could hear you, when she was in the coma; you both came to talk to her and she heard every word. She said that you were both pretty much saying the same thing, but she kind of despaired of you ever actually telling each other and so she decided you needed a little nudge.”
“So you can interact with her, I wonder if she’s been sent back for some purpose.” Wes seemed to have forgotten the present altogether as he got caught up in the mystery of Cordelia’s re-appearance.
“It doesn’t matter.” Gunn took Wesley’s arm and tried to steer him towards the door.
“What do you mean it doesn’t matter? Do you have any idea how important this could…..” Wes’ voice trailed off as Gunn pulled him round to face him and gently touched the side of his face.
“English we can worry about that tomorrow, right now we’re gonna go somewhere with a few less people and open our other present.”
“Other present?” Wes blushed as he remembered Xander’s warning, but when he took a good look at Gunn’s eyes, he decided to take a chance, “Charles, are you sure?”
“Oh yeah English, I’m damn sure, just been waiting for you to finally wake up and take notice. Trust Cordy to find a way to give us both a swift kick.”
“Cordy….right Xander we really must talk about that tomorrow.” He looked in Gunn’s eyes again and finished off, “Late tomorrow, maybe after dinner.”
Spike and Xander started giggling again as Gunn practically dragged Wes out the door before he could say anything else.
“So the prom Queen’s turned matchmaker on us has she?” Spike asked as he grabbed another bottle of Angel’s scotch, before settling back down, this time resting between Xander’s legs and leaning back against his chest.
“You don’t know the half of it. She’s teamed up with Anya, I never know when the pair of them are going to show.”
Spike twisted round to give Xander a sympathetic look and then handed him the bottle, “Jeez pet, wot the hell did you ever do to deserve that? I mean I loved the birds ‘n’ all but I can’t imagine having them pop in all the ruddy time.”
“They seem to think I need looking after, I don’t mind them popping up in the daytime so much, it’s the night visits that make me want to track down an exorcist.”
“You don’t mean they…..”
“Show up every time I’ve got a girl in my room. Oh yeah they do that. And then they start fucking critiquing every little thing.”
“Not like you’ve got much to worry about in that department pet, seem to remember Anya used to bang on about how good you were.”
“Oh it’s not me they talk about, it’s the girls.” Xander slips into a fake falsetto voice, “Would you look at that cellulite…..My god, who wears clothes like that any more?……Do you think you’re fooling anyone with those breasts, I’ve seen better implants on a shop mannequin.”
“Fucking hell, you’re never going be able to sleep with another woman.”
“I think that’s the point they’ve been trying to make, looks like I’m going to be stuck with men from now on.”
“Not exactly new territory for you though is it?”
“Hey I’m allowed to mourn a little here, my potential dating pool just got sliced in half.”
“Just so long as you try to stick to human, that’d be a start.” When Xander didn’t bother to respond to such an obvious dig, he turned round to see what had the mortal distracted, only to see him giving Lindsey the once over then, obviously liking what he could see, the second, third and fourths over. THWACK
Spike hit Xander in the back of the head, “Oh hell no. You aren’t getting involved with that one.”
Xander shot Spike a baleful look, “Not like I was thinking of proposing Spike, and he looks like he gives good snark.”
“Those girls of yours really fucked with your head, you know that Harris? Foreplay does not have to consist of a bleeding argument every time.”
“Well it doesn’t have to, but it’s a lot of fun.”
“Twisted that’s what you are?”
“That’s a laugh, coming from you.”
“Hey, vampire here, I’m supposed to be twisted. It’s in the job description. You on the other hand need to start finding a better class of date.”
“Like I said, I was looking for a playmate not a life time commitment, and look at him; pretty, snarky and ever so slightly evil, even you’d have to admit that’s exactly my type.” With that Xander went right back to staring at Lindsey; only to have Spike whack him in the back of the head again.
“What part of NO
don’t you understand?”
“The part where this is any of your business. And what’s with all the head-smacking. Have you been watching NCIS or something? ‘Cos I got to tell you; the Gibbs method does not work on Xanders.”
“You know what they say about people who talk about themselves in the third person?”
“That they’re really not drunk enough.” Xander stole the bottle again and went back to his Lindsey staring.
Deciding that he needed to try a different tack, Spike gave Lindsey the once over himself. “You know he’s really more my type anyway.”
“Oh no way Spike, if I don’t get to sleep with him, why should you?”
“Well he’s not likely to corrupt me is he pet? You on the other hand are too much of a white hat to go down his path.”
“By that logic, I should be the one that gets him, I mean with your history; you’re far more easily corruptible than I am. So I’d be much safer than you.”
A loud cough drew both their glares in Lindsey’s direction. “Not meaning to interrupt or anything, but don’t I get a say in this?”
“Now then love, you really saying you’d turn either of us down?” Spike’s voice was pure silk and he was suddenly sounding a lot more sober.
Lindsey was the one staring now, giving both beautiful bodies a long, hard look. “Not saying I’d turn anyone down. Just that a fella likes to be asked.”
“Is that a fact love?” Spike was on his feet and across the room in a shot, looming over Lindsey; who sat frozen in his chair. “And there was me thinking you was the type that liked to be told, not asked. Bet you’d do just about anything I said, wouldn’t you?”
Lindsey swallowed hard and Xander didn’t need any preternatural vampire senses to see how turned on the lawyer was by Spike’s little dominance display. Well fuck, it looked like he’d lost out there.
Leaving Spike and Lindsey to it, he went in search of another bottle. Stopping in front of Angel, he waved a glass in front of his face and offered him a drink. “Deadboy, you still with us, you’ve been awful quiet, you seriously have to stop this brooding of yours, if you ever want to enjoy life a little.”
Angel wasn’t brooding, not really. It was just that he was disappointed, Xander’s bag of presents was obviously empty, which meant Cordy hadn’t sent anything for him. He was happy for Gunn and Wes, and contrary to popular opinion, wasn’t all that bothered about the fact Buffy had moved on. He’d been in love with the idea of her, the purity of her youth, whereas he wasn’t even sure he liked the woman she’d grown into.
Bits of the conversation he’d been listening to, seemed to be on repeat in his mind. Xander had been disappointed that Angel hadn’t argued with him…….Xander apparently equated arguing with foreplay……Xander slept with men…… Xander wanted to argue with Angel…….Therefore Xander wanted to sleep with Angel.
He ruthlessly shut down the part of his brain that was telling him that he needed to think this through; and decided, that for once, he was going to just do exactly what he wanted and damn the consequences. He focused on Xander standing in front of him, barely registering the fact that the young man was still talking. Angel just reached out and wrapped his arms around Xander’s body, leaned in and pressed their lips together.
Angel had stopped thinking the moment he’d touched Xander. It was all about sensation, the way Xander’s faint struggles made his body undulate against Angel’s; Xander’s smell, chocolate, and sandalwood and underneath the ever-present scent of the Hellmouth, which still clung to the man. Xander’s eye, which had opened wide, shocked and staring, at Angel’s first touch and was now darkening with lust and rolling back in his head. But most of all it was Xander’s taste; sweet, strong and incredibly needy, as Angel’s tongue swept into Xander’s mouth, and explored the dark cavern, he felt himself wanting…..no needing more.
Xander had been so shocked at Angel’s actions, that he’d been frozen for a minute and whilst his body was enjoying itself just fine; his brain decided to stage a fight back and Xander was able to wrench their lips apart. Gasping for air he just managed to yell out, “Spike a little help here.” Before Angel’s lips descended once again.
Angel really hadn’t liked hearing Xander call out for his errant Childe, so re-doubled his efforts with the young man’s mouth. Teeth nibbling at Xander’s lower lip; gently biting his tongue and drawing it into his own mouth; encouraging Xander to play. It was better than he could ever have dreamed of, Xander’s body felt like it was made for his, and he could feel the younger man becoming more aroused with every second.
“Bloody hell Peaches, don’t tell me you’ve gone and lost that bloody soul again?” Spike’s annoying voice finally cut through Angel’s lustful daze. “Like the bloke ‘n’ all; but never figured Harris for one who’d give you a moment of pure happiness.”
“Don’t be so sure of that?” Angel’s first words were spoken so softly, that even Spike barely heard them; the rest of what he had to say though, was practically shouted. “No I haven’t lost my soul, I’m sick of people fucking asking that, it’s perfectly possible for me to be happy without being evil. Especially since the soul and demon merged last year. “
Xander took advantage of Angel’s distraction to edge a short distance away, before saying. “Well if you want to be convincing with the ‘I’m not evil’ thing you might want to stop with the raving and yelling; not to mention the grabbing of innocent bystanders.”
“Not like you weren’t enjoying yourself.”
And look it turned out that Angel was even better at the smirking thing than Spike was. Which really wasn’t fair, ‘cos Spike smirk had always had the ability to reduce Xander’s brain to mush and it looked like Angel’s had the same effect. “So not the point, I’m male and horny, still doesn’t explain why you suddenly decided on ravishing me.”
The second the word was out of his mouth, Xander knew he’d made a poor choice as Angel’s smirk just deepened. “Ravish…..” And who knew that one word could sound so damn sexy when it was practically purred like that. “That wasn’t ravishment, that was just a little light start, now ravishment…..that’s something else entirely.”
Watching the way Angel’s burning gaze travelled up and down his body, lingering on his crotch before returning to Xander’s face was almost more than he could bear. He was literally aching for the vampire, desire curling deep and hard in the very heart of his body. Still not knowing why Angel had apparently had a personality transplant; Xander decided that he didn’t care. He just wanted those lips on his once more, that hard body to be pressed tight against his own; and more than anything, he wanted to know exactly what Angel meant, when he said he’d ravish him.
Growling deep in his throat, Xander just took a handful of Angel’s shirt and hauled him close before fastening their lips together again.
“Not wanting rescuing then?”
This time both brunets turned glares on Spike before grinding out, “No!!”
“Right then, we’ll just leave you to it.” Spike went to lead Lindsey out; stopping when he saw how the man was fascinated by the sight of Xander shoving Angel up against the wall, and dropping to his knees.
“Fuck.” The single word dragged from Lindsey’s lips was little more than a moan.
“Yes pet, but somehow I don’t think me Sire’d appreciate if we stuck around to watch the show. Time we were off.
Lindsey whimpered a little and looked like he wanted to argue until Spike barked out, “Now pet.” Then his eyes dropped submissively and he headed for the door. Spike followed chuckling to himself, “If I’d have known that’d work; I’d have fucking tried it weeks ago.” Sparing Xander and Angel one last look, just in time to see his Sire’s heading go crashing back against the wall as Xander swallowed him down to the root. “Poor old pouf’s got no idea wot he’s let himself in for with that one.”
The next few hours passed by in a blur for Angel. It was all straining bodies, gasped pleas and sweet release. Eventually he dozed with a sleeping, sated Xander in his arms. When he woke. It took just a moment to remember where he was and who he was with. From the way his body ached, the plan had gone a little awry, it seemed he’d been the one who wound up getting fucked through the mattress, not Xander. Not that he had any complaints; he’d no idea that Xander would prove to be so deliciously talented.
He pulled the sleeping man closer, and nuzzled into his throat, only to feel something that didn’t belong. Stiff ribbon wrapped around Xander’s neck and tied in a bow. Angel traced the material and found a tag, forcing his demon to the surface so he could read it. “For Angel, with love, Anya and Cordelia.”
Coming more awake, he realised he could hear whispered voices, and when he looked round the room; he spotted the ghostly shapes of two women by his desk. Straining he could just make out their conversation as they argued over a piece of paper.
“You need to put that he has to feed Xander properly, no more junk food or twinkies.” That was his Cordy, and Angel was surprised that he didn’t feel the heart-wrenching sorrow he’d experienced after their last encounter.
“No we can’t stop the twinkies completely, that’s how he learned to do that thing with his tongue. You know the one that made Angel go all grrr and non-verbal.” And that just had to be Anya, as tactless as everyone had described. Though if she was right about the twinkie thing, there was no way he wanted Xander to give them up. A tongue that talented had to be kept in shape after all. Hang on a second, she….they…..oh god they were watching.
Angel gave up pretending to sleep and bolted upright in the bed and glared at his visitors, only to encounter two identical smirks.
“Told you he was faking.”
“Fine Anya, you were right, though I’d have thought he’d sleep like the dead after the workout they got.”
Angel looked helplessly from the tag tied to Xander’s neck to the women, “What are you doing here, beyond trying to get us to die of embarrassment?”
Cordelia and Anya approached the bed, but when Anya reached down to touch Xander’s cheek; Angel reacted on pure instinct, pulling him into his arms and out of Anya’s reach. Though he felt guilty when he saw the look of sadness on her face.
“I’m not going to hurt him Angel, we wouldn’t give him to you just to take him away. He means more to us then anything, that’s why we want him to be happy.”
“Angel,” This time it was his face Cordelia reached for, and he shuddered as he felt the sensation of her ghostly fingers brush past his cheek. “I guess we won’t be needing this.” As Cordelia made the scrap of paper she and Anya had been working on disappear, Angel was just able to make out the top line, ‘The rules for the care and feeding of a Xander Harris.’
Cordelia shifted to look down at Xander and Angel finally realised that she really had loved this boy, but her tone was resolute when she continued. “You two do fit together, I know you don’t love him, not yet; but it so obvious that you will. And Angel he’s going to be yours for as long as he lives; and we’ve got it on good account that forever is going to be a very, very long time for the two of you. Lindsey wasn’t exactly wrong about those prophecies.”
“When Angel made to interrupt, she pressed her fingers to his lips, “We can’t tell you that, not yet. But there are things coming, good things for both of you, and you’ve got all the time in the world to figure it out. Just know that you need each other.”
Anya looked at the window and started to pull Cordelia away from the bed, “We can’t stay much longer, but we’re trusting you with the most important person in our lives, so you’d better not screw this up. If you hurt him, we’ll haunt you in ways you wouldn’t believe.”
“What, I’m just making sure he knows what the consequences are if he makes Xander unhappy.”
“He won’t.” Angel was awed by the quiet confidence in Cordelia’s voice. She hadn’t forgotten him at all, and she got him a present he could value more than anything. She was right that he didn’t love Xander yet; but he knew himself well enough to realise that he was well on the way to falling. Spike might think himself love’s bitch, but he’d inherited that particular trait from his Sire.
He wanted to tell them how much their trust meant, how hard he was going to try to make them proud of him, but as he watched; they drifted towards the window and faded into nothing. Anya’s voice drifting back, like an echo, “Tell him we love him and want him to be happy.”
He felt Xander shift and start to come awake, “Did I hear Anya?”
“They just left.”
Xander wriggled round so he was facing Angel, “Damn, I wanted to say thank you,” at Angel’s questioning look, he continued, “Cordy nagged and nagged me about coming here, kept telling me something wonderful would happen, and it looks like she was right as usual.”
“Wonderful?” Angel hated that he sounded so hesitant, so needy, but despite Cordy’s words, he had no idea how Xander felt about him.
“Definitely wonderful.” Xander reached up and pressed their lips together in a kiss more gentle than any they’d shared so far. It made Angel think that everything just might turn out okay.
He watched as Xander fingered the ribbon around his neck and laughed at the outraged look on his face when he read the tag. “They gave me to you?”
“Yeah, apparently Xander’s are all the rage for Christmas this year.”
“Oh really,” Xander was trying to sound angry, but honestly he was feeling so good that he couldn’t keep it up.
Angel used the ends of the bow to pull Xander back to him and started to pepper kisses over his face, not wanting to waste another minute talking. He unfastened the bow and was just moving the ribbon away when he felt Xander’s hands come up and stop him.
“You know if you unwrap me, you have to keep me.”
“Is that a fact?”
“Yeah. So you think you can put up with me beyond the holidays?”
“Don’t exactly think that’s going to be a problem,” Angel ground out before going back to nibbling on his new lovers neck.”
“Good, ‘cos if you keep a Xander it’s forever, they’re not just for Christmas.”
“Forever sounds pretty good to me.”
Out in the city the bells began to sound, ringing in Christmas day; and high above them all, Anya and Cordelia looked down on the men they’d loved as they received their wings for a job well done.