Angel/Highlander: The Series
Summary: Angel and Duncan commiserate in a bar
Disclaimer: Angel belongs to Mutant Enemy, Fox, WB/UPN. Highlander belongs to Davis/Panzer Productions, Rysher Entertainment. Not mine, just playing.
Spoilers: Nothing specific
Warnings: gratuitous swearing
Word count: 1,637
Note: I have nothing against gypsies.
“Fucking, Gypsies,” Angel slurred as he downed the last dregs of the bottle he had been drinking from. “Damn them to hell!”
Angel slammed the bottle on the bar and glared at the nervous bar tender, “another!” he demanded.
The bar tender stared at him, “b-but, sir,” he protested. “That’s your fifth bottle...” He trailed off as Angel slowly stood up to lean over the bar his eyes flashing gold and the bar tender gulped. “Of course, sir.” He reached up behind him and picked a bottle at random, his hand shook as he handed it to Angel who snatched it from him before plunking himself back on his seat.
“Fuckin’ gypsies,” Angel muttered again as he took a long, dejected swallow.
Angel had been in the bar since late-afternoon. He had arrived in a cloud of smoke with a heavy woollen blanket over his head and immediately demanded a bottle of scotch which he had drunk in a matter of seconds. When he had asked for a second bottle the bar tender had been so shocked by how quickly he had drunk the first that he had handed it over without a second thought.
Two bottles later and Angel was drunk enough to sit and stare morosely at the scarred wooden surface of the bar and mourn his fate. The biggest, baddest, vampire in the world had been reduced to eating rats and brooding in some no name bar in New York and it was pathetic. “Fucking gypsies,” he cursed.
Angel looked at the bar tender who was staring at him fearfully. He narrowed his eyes as he noticed the bar tender had dark hair and eyes and a slightly olive complexion. “Are you a gypsy?” he demanded. Soul or no soul if the bar tender was a gypsy he was dead.
The bar tender shook his head his eyes wide with fear as he shook his head. “No, no, sir. Not a gypsy.”
Angel continued to stare at the man trying to figure out if he was lying or not. That was what gypsies did after all, they lied and they cheated and they cursed people with souls and ruined their lives. Bastards!
“P-please, sir,” the bar tender stammered. “I’m no-not a gypsy. My mother was Irish, my father was Spanish. I’ve lived here my whole life.”
“Fine!” Angel spat angrily.
It was disappointing that he could not eat the bar tender. Angel had decided after he polished off his third bottle that guilt be damned he could live with eating gypsies. It was his new rule and he was so hungry and so sick of rats. The other vampires laughed at him behind his back and after the debacle in China his former coterie would not even speak to him.
Angel turned around on his stool, wobbling dangerously when it tilted slightly and glared around at the rest of the patrons in the bar who were all doing their best to look elsewhere. “Are any of you gypsies?” he roared.
There was a general shaking of heads and murmurs of denial from around the bar. When no one owned up to being a gypsy he turned back to the bar tender more annoyed than before. “Why aren’t there any gypsies here?”
The bar tender shrugged helplessly, licking his lips nervously. “I’m not sure, Sir. Maybe they’re out stealing babies or-or, people’s hard earned money,” he suggested.
Angel nodded sagely before taking another long drink. “You’re right, they probably are. Fucking gypsies.”
“What’d they do to you?” a deep voice asked.
Angel turned to look at the figure sitting a couple of seats down from him at the bar. The man was all blurry and seemed to be rocking slightly, he squinted trying to make him out through the haze before giving up and stumbling his way over to sit next to the other man.
“You a gypsy?” Angel asked suspiciously. It never hurt to be sure.
The man looked up from the large glass in front of him; dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin made Angel instantly suspicious.
“No,” he replied.
“Are you sure?” Angel asked when the man did not elaborate any further.
The man nodded, moving his head up and down exaggeratedly. “Yes.” He drank the last of his glass and held it up to the bar tender who was watching both men worriedly now.
“You look like a gypsy,” Angel observed. You could not be too careful around gypsies; they were tricksy fuckers.
The bar tender came over and raised a shaking bottle to refill the other man’s glass before he backed away to the opposite end of the bar.
“’m, not a gypsy,” the other man growled. “I-I’m, Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod. Not a gypsy.”
There was a ring of truth to his words that even Angel in his current inebriated state could not doubt, besides why would a gypsy pretend to be Scottish? That was almost as bad. Angel sighed into his bottle as an idea occurred to him and he turned back to the man, blinking quickly to try and stop the room from spinning. “Could you pretend to be a gypsy?”
It was the best idea he had ever had and he thought he might even be able to eat a pretend gypsy. But the man shook his head negatively. “No. Don’t wanna be a gypsy. No one likes gypsies.”
Angel frowned as he contemplated his rapidly emptying bottle. “Do you know any gypsies?”
Duncan screwed up his face as he thought about it before nodding his head looking pleased that he could answer the question, “yes.”
Excitement coursed through Angel at the prospect until Duncan frowned and shook his head, “but, no. Only Jakob and he’s not, not a real gypsy. Just pretend.”
Angel felt his excitement wane at the other man’s slurred correction. Despite being hungrier than he could ever remember he probably could not even bring himself to eat a pretend gypsy. “Fuckin’ pretend gypsies.”
If he sounded like he was pouting the other man did not seem to notice. He just held up his glass to Angel in a toast, “fuck the gypsies!”
Now that was a toast close to Angel’s heart and he enthusiastically clashed his bottle to Duncan’s glass and they both drained the rest of their respective drinks.
“Fuck the gypsies,” Duncan muttered again. He scowled at his empty glass and raised his eyes to the bar tender who meekly brought over another bottle for Angel and refilled Duncan’s glass without being asked.
“’s what I did,” Angel mumbled. He reached out for the new bottle automatically. It was so hard to stay drunk when you were a vampire and it was not fair. If he could not drink people he should at least be able to get drunk so he did not have to dwell on all the bad things he had done in his past.
“You did?” Duncan asked. He sounded interested and Angel felt himself warming to the other man, so few people understood his pain. “So’d I and she cursed me!”
Angel felt his heart go out to the other man he could so sympathise with him, another undeserving soul cursed by evil gypsies. “What’d they do to you?”
Duncan’s face fell dramatically, “said I’d never marry anyone...ever.” Pain filled big brown eyes turned to Angel pleadingly, “’s’all I ever wanted. Marry and have wee bairns of my own. Never going to happen, now.”
“Fuckin’ gypsies,” Angel cursed as he waved his bottle in the air. “Ruin good people’s lives ‘s what they do.” At some point during the last few bottles Angel had conveniently forgotten he had deserved the curse.
Duncan nodded in sad agreement with Angel, “what’d they do to you?”
“Gave me back my soul,” Angel grumbled. “’s’all Darla’s fault too, wouldn’t have drunk a stinkin’ gypsy if ‘d known.”
“Stinkin’ gypsy,” Duncan agreed, not really paying much attention to what Angel was saying.
They sat in silence for a few minutes each caught up in their own thoughts, taking the occasional swallow of their drinks.
“Whosh Darla?” Duncan finally slurred.
“Wha’? Angel asked, confused.
“Darla, s’her fault ‘sn’t it?” Duncan repeated starting to sound confused himself.
“She’s beautiful,” Angel swooned. “Like a angel from the Lord. She’s my everything...” he trailed off sadly. “She won’t - won’t talk to me. Left me in China ‘cause of the gypsy. Her fault, all her fault.”
“Fuckin’ gypsy,” Duncan commiserated. He finished the rest of his drink and put his glass on the bar before standing up.
Angel stared at the other man in confusion, “where’re you goin’?” Duncan could not leave him like this. He had to understand they were the only two people in the world who truly knew what the gypsies were like. They needed to tell people so no one else had to suffer like they did.
“Food,” Duncan replied. He swayed slightly as he patted his coat down and then nodded to himself in confirmation of whatever he had found there. “Need food.”
Angel perked up at that, he was hungry after all. He upended his bottle draining the remaining three quarters quickly and stood up. The world spun around him and he reached out to steady himself on Duncan trying to ignore it; it was probably the gypsies playing tricks on him again.
They made their way to the door unsteadily, supporting each other as the world moved around them. With Angel holding him securely Duncan managed to fumble the door open into the dusk stained night. The bar tender watched them both go with a palpable feeling of relief that was crushed as Angel’s plaintive voice floated back through the bar as the door closed behind them, “can we have gypsy? ‘m sick of rat.”