Disclaimer: The characters in the following stories are the original creation of Joss Whedon and are owned by Mutant Enemy. I am borrowing these characters from Mr. Whedon's series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel:The Series" . No infringement of rights is intended.

The original fiction archived here may not be archived or reproduced or quoted without my explicit consent.

Many thanks to Marcee, Pam, Evil Willow and Dramatic for their input and for beta-reading.




Stranger Things Have Happened


by
Estepheia



The moment I wake up I know something's wrong. I'm lying in a proper bed. Not mine, though. I don't have satin sheets. I open my eyes. Black satin sheets. Satin on naked skin. Totally camp. Hang on a sec, naked? Nothing wrong with that, except for one tiny little detail: can't remember how I got here. Instead of memories I've got a splitting headache and a horrid taste in my mouth.

That's right. I've got a hangover. It's been a while since I could actually afford one.

Something else is wrong. In fact, wrong doesn't even begin to cover it. There's a naked body spooned against my back. An arm is slung around my waist, cradling me. Not necessarily a bad thing, except that the body feels male – wriggle – oh yes, definitely male. Oh fuck!

Bloody hell, must've been drunk as a skunk last night! Oh god. I didn't, did I?

I take a whiff. Hair gel? Coffee? And that unmistakable... Bollocks!

I stifle the urge to jump out of bed and run out as fast as I can before my magnificent grandsire has a chance to stake me for the Gem of Amara cock up. Oh god! I don't believe I ended up in HIS bed. But how? All the booze in the whole wide bleedin' world couldn't get me plastered enough for THAT. No broken bones, no pain – apart from the hangover, that is - and I'm not wearing chains or anything.

I force myself to lie still. Go away, headache! Better to sift through recent memories now, before Angel wakes up.

L.A.? Yeah right, I went to L.A. for a few days. Not to see the ponce, of course, but to give the good old DeSoto a bit of exercise. And, truth be told, to get away from the Scoobies and their holiday preparations. Christmas turns ordinary people into scary monsters and super freaks. All that talk about presents and turkeys and trees and whatnot, and the milling around in malls, the shopping frenzy and agonizing over festive menus. Enough to drive me nuts. And away. Also, no one invited me. And let's be honest...that hurt.

They probably expected me to come, anyway, but it just isn't the same, is it?

Anyway, as I was saying, the whole bloomin' Christmas rigmarole was getting to me. Made me downright morose one minute and stir crazy the next. Reminded me of my black princess. We always had a good time at Christmas, Dru and I. She liked the whole package, the sights, the smells, the flavors. And I liked getting her presents.

I missed her.

I felt lonely.

So, I went for a drive.

And when I saw that punk girl standing underneath the "You're leaving Sunnydale" sign, I actually stopped and told her to hop in. Only goes to show that I've really gone soft. I mean, I've eaten my share of hitchhikers, but this one I actually picked up to give a ride. Um, not the kind you're thinkin' about, you perv.

Strange girl, too. Nice outfit, leather, lotsa chains, safety pins dangling from pierced ears, hair all straggly and green. She had some of them little blinking lights in it, makin' her look all Christ-messy. She didn't comment on the blackened windows. She just made chewing gum bubbles and bobbed her head to the rhythm of my assorted Punk Rock tapes.

She didn't talk much. But I think I ranted a bit. We shared my Bourbon and her cookies. When I finally dropped her off, she held on to the car door for a moment and said, "If you wanna get laid, wear something blue." She walked off, appearing more than a bit tipsy. As I was watching, she turned around. "One good turn... and all that crap," she hollered, gave me a cheerful wave and then she was gone. As in now-you-see-me-now-you-don't. Gone. Vanished. Into thin air.

So what. Stranger things have happened. Believe me.


How many people you reckon live in L.A.? Over three and a half million people. So, the chances of bumping into anyone particular are therefore three and a half million to one, right?

Wrong!

If the fates hate you enough, they'll unerringly make you run into the one person on this godforsaken earth whose guts you hate the most. And if you are daft enough, you don't just bugger off quietly, but you tap that person on the shoulder.

"Peaches."

He turned round with a start. "Spike!"

"Argh!" I yelled as hot cappuccino spilled over the front of my T-shirt, narrowly missing my duster.

"What are YOU doing here?" It was all there: hostility, suspicion, exasperation, and a hefty dose of mental self-flagellation. He was also being territorial, but I wasn't playing.

A standard question deserved a standard answer. "What's it look like?" I asked amiably. I inspected my T-shirt. Decided I needed to change. Dropped my shopping bags and began to shrug out of the duster.

There was enough of Angelus left underneath that soul to make Angel look pretty pissed at that lack of respect.

When he opened his mouth to say something, I interrupted him: "Hold this." I hung the duster over his arm.

"Looks like you're stripping in the middle of a shopping mall," he said, making a sour face. He looked around nervously.

"Don't get your hopes up." I pulled the coffee stained T-shirt over my head and rummaged among my bags until I found the one with the T-shirts. I picked one randomly, tore off the price tag and put it on. Then I unburdened the poof and put my leather coat back on.

Angel was wearing his usual expensive designer clothes: black pants (not leather, though), silk shirt, long black coat. He was carrying half a dozen bags. It looked like Angel and his credit card had joined the general holiday shopping frenzy.

Yeah, look who's talking. I wasn't exactly unencumbered, myself.

If was funny, really. There we were, two vampires amongst thousands of tasty people, but both kind of restrained, me technologically, him metaphysically. Both removed from our own kind. Except perhaps from each other. Granted, we were enemies, but we were also family. You just got to love the irony of it all.

"Buying prezzies for your pet humans?" I asked. You marvel at my civilized tone? Been chipped for over two years now. Plus, spending too much time among humans.

Angel didn't answer that, probably trying to fathom some sinister meaning behind the small talk.

"Let me ask you one more time, Spike. What are you doing in L.A.? What are you up to this time?" His body was tense, ready for a fight. It was nice to know that at least someone still considered me dangerous.

"Executing my evil master plan of the year: This Christmas I am going to get Buffy and the Scoobies royally pissed off."

Angel raised a brow.

"Buying presents for the children."

"That's the master plan?" he asked, reluctantly drawn into what one might actually call a conversation. I didn't know what had gotten into me. I was actually TALKING to Angel. Last time we'd been vis-à-vis he'd been squirming and writhing in chains and I'd listened to the music of his screams.

"It'll make them feel really guilty." I forced a wicked smile.

He gave me a strange look.

"Do you want yours now?" I asked, still grinning. "Saves me the trouble of having to find out your new address."

"You're drunk," he observed.

"Not nearly enough," I said. "Suit yourself. I can always drink it myself."

I picked up my bags, turned around and walked off. I could feel his eyes on me as I threaded my way through shoppers and fake Santas. For a moment I was tempted to give him a two-fingered salute.

"...'Tis the season to be jolly, falalalala laa..."

The omnipresent Christmas cheer was beginning to get on my nerves.

"Spike!"

I kept on walking.

"Will!"

Okay, that stopped me in my tracks.

I turned around. He gave me that put upon look he's so good at. Angel, that is. Not Angelus. As you can see, I've learned to differentiate. Sort of.

"Where are you staying?" he asked.

I shrugged. "Haven't decided yet." I had planned on sleeping in the old DeSoto again, cause it was cheap and felt homey, but I'd have rather spontaneously combusted than admit that.

"There are plenty of empty rooms at the hotel," he said hesitantly.

Dru had told me that Angel Investigations was now based at some old hotel. So, I recognized this for the invitation it was. And jumped at it.

I shrugged, as if I didn't care either way. "Thanks, mate," was all I said.

He nodded.

"So," I said. "Where's the Angelmobile?"


We picked up our cars from the shopping mall parking lot and I followed him to the Hyperion. Holy shit, I thought, when I saw it the first time. Pricey. Looks like the poof stashed some money away in his time...Which yours truly never did, cause – you know – vampires take whatever they need whenever they need it, unchipped ones at least.

There was a huge Christmas tree in the lobby, very nicely decorated, too.
I went through my shopping bags, took out a parcel and shoved it under the tree. Which was a bit silly, come to think of it, cause I had bought the present to annoy him but now it looked like a peace offering. What the heck, perhaps it was just that.

I flopped down casually on the round settee. "So, where is everybody?" I asked.

"Wesley..."

"Your ex-Watcher?" I interrupted.

"The same. He's in England."

"So's mine," I grinned.

"Yes, but mine will be back after the holidays." Angel elaborated. I nodded.

"Cordy..."

"The beauty queen?"

He didn't correct me, but it was obvious he didn't like the moniker. "Cordy went skiing for the first time in years. She deserved a break."

"Fred..."

"Who's he?"

"SHE is a friend and she's celebrating with her parents."

"Gunn..."

"That a she, too?"

"No, HE said something about going to Vegas."

"So, they all scampered off to their families or to have fun, leaving you to brood on your own?" I said with my trademark smirk, rubbing it in. "Life's a bitch and then you die."

I've never been able to really get to Angelus, no matter what I said or did, but Angel was a different matter. He looked hurt. Which should have given me pleasure, but didn't.

I dropped the smirk. "Yeah well," I said with a sigh, "my lot aren't keen on having me around for Christmas, either. So, I'll do what I did last year. And the year before. Drink myself into a proper stupor."

And that's when he told me about his kid.


A mortal child.

He showed me photographs. He couldn't show me the boy himself, although I think he would have liked to. He was that proud. But in order to keep the nipper safe, he had given him to a family, the parents of a friend. I didn't ask who or where.

It was obvious that the separation made him deeply unhappy. I mean, you couldn't even call it brooding anymore.

After a while, he fetched glasses and a bottle. Old Irish single malt whiskey, which he sipped reverently and I downed at more than twice the pace. Made a change from my usual paint stripper.

We spent hours talking. Why not? Stranger things have happened.
He told me about Darla and how she had come to an end. Good riddance, if you ask me. When I said so, he gave me a furious look. But he didn't hit me like he used to when he was Angelus.

I couldn't think of anything to brag about, and I was no way near drunk enough to talk about Buffy, the 147 days and nights she'd been dead and buried, and how she treated me like dirt, and how I hated myself for loving her. So, I ended up talking about old times. Dru and me did this, Dru and me did that.

But while I was talking, I kept coming back to the same thought: A mortal child.

Goes to show that the universe really does have a sense of humor. And a sick one at that. I mean, Angelus, he always had this thing about families. Stalking them, controlling them, tearing them apart. If the gypsy curse hadn't given him a soul and all that guilt, we'd probably still be together: Darla, Angelus, Dru and me - with a few additions, I suppose. Not a happy family, but HIS. And I'd never be alone. I'd belong.

But now? Darla was dead. Again. And Dru's whereabouts were unknown. And he had a child, a real one, alive with a soul and all.

Got me thinking. What did he need ME for?

Why was he talking to me, anyway? Why hadn't he mentioned Marcus and his hot pokers? Why was he so bloody forgiving? I was beginning to think that staying at the hotel wasn't such a bright idea, after all. Come on, I wasn't THAT lonely.

This was ridiculous.

I put my empty glass down and got up. "Right then," I said. "Must be off."

"What?" he asked. He sounded funny with his voice highly pitched like that. "I thought you were going to stay."

"This isn't gonna work, now, is it? You. Me. For god's sake, we're enemies. You didn't expect me to sing 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' with you and whatnot, did you?"

"Why not?"

Good question.

"You used to sing for Dru," he added, sounding petulant.

This was getting downright surreal.

"True," I said, surprised that he remembered. I didn't get it. What did he want with me? What could I possibly give him that he didn't already have?

I couldn't put my finger on it just then.

"If you have no pressing engagements elsewhere, why don't you just stay?" he said with just a hint of pleading. I didn't think I had ever heard Angel plead before. Or Angelus. He really wanted me to stay.

"Haven't eaten, yet," I answered slowly while trying to digest this novel experience. I wasn't used to being welcome, and I honestly didn't know how to deal with it.

"There's blood in the fridge," he answered.

"Pig's blood." I made a face. "What about turkey?"

In the end I sent him off to set the table (which he did, with napkins, candles and all, would you believe it!) while I made some pasta. A liberal helping of heated blood on top and - voilá! - you got Spaghetti Sanguini á la Spike. Angel's disgust was short-lived. We drank two bottles of pretty decent red wine with our meal.

And we talked some more. Most of which I've forgotten.

When the candles had burned down and the wine was gone, he got another bottle of whiskey.

I remember having a truly morose moment and talking to him about Joyce's death and later Buffy's. But on the whole the evening got better and better. We even sang 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' together – no mean feat after all that booze, I can tell you. And boy, is Angel a bad singer!

From then on my memory gets really patchy. I believe I told him about my feelings for Buffy, and I think we fought, but were basically too drunk to do much damage. And then, well, I'm not sure, but I think we made up. We must have, cause neither of us is dust and I am lying in his bed now, wondering if he's awake or not.

What I do vaguely remember is crawling up some stairs on all fours, shedding my clothes on the way, singing 'God Save the Queen'.

But I honestly don't know how I got into Angel's bed. Or if anything happened after that. I sniff again. Doesn't smell like we had sex. I am not sure whether I should be relieved, insulted or disappointed.

Oh god, he's awake.

I can feel his cock slowly hardening against my thighs. I know he's not Angelus; still, I can't help going all tense.

"Good morning," he mumbles. I expect him to withdraw his arm from my waist, but he leaves it where it is. In fact, he doesn't move at all.

"What happened? Last night?" I ask.

"Don't you remember?"

"I remember drinking way too much. I don't remember going to bed. Is there something I should know?"

I turn over. So now we're lying face to face. For someone who is over 200 years old he sure looks insecure right now. He hesitantly withdraws his arm.

"You crawled in here, naked I might add, and said, and I quote: 'For Christ's sake, Angel, If you wanna shag, why don't you just say so!' End quote."

He doesn't get the accent right, but other than that it sounds like something I might have actually said. Not necessarily to HIM, though.

"And?" I prompt him.

"And then you passed out."

The way he looks at me is weird. Like he's waiting for something. Not anticipation but apprehension. He's waiting for the rejection he thinks he deserves. For me to call him a soddin' poof and jump out of bed, now that I'm sober again.

And then I get it. He feels guilty for letting Dru turn me. Which he needn't be, cause I like myself just fine. And for doing the things he did as Angelus. Probably thinks the whole Gem of Amara issue was really about how he treated me when I was stuck in that wheelchair, and about how he stole Drusilla's affection. He might be right on that one.

If Angelus were here I'd fight him with everything I've got and one of us would end up dust. But Angel? I don't want him to feel guilty on my account.

So?

So I forgive him in the nicest way I can think of: I kiss him.


A sharp intake of breath and he goes rigid with surprise. As if he can't believe this is happening. Hell, I can hardly believe it myself.

Still, stranger things have happened.

And then, slowly, he begins to respond. His lips part invitingly. I nibble on his lower lip, teasingly, before our tongues meet. When he fully realizes that I don't intend to break it off, the kiss becomes more intense. Almost desperate.

Most likely he hasn't been kissed or touched by anyone for quite some time. His sex life is even more fucked up than mine. Well, of all mornings, I think Christmas morning is the right time to give Angel a real treat.

I bury one hand in his hair and pull him into a tight embrace. As our bodies press together his erection prods me. I grind my thigh against his hardness and he whimpers. I can feel my own cock harden.

He tentatively starts to touch me, too. My hair, my back, my ass. Meanwhile, I explore his body, learn its secrets. I stifle a chuckle as he arches under my touch, as he moans. He longs for it. Needs it.

Suddenly, he pulls back, all self conscious and brooding. I can see it in his eyes. He's embarrassed. I think he doubts my motives, doubts his own power to attract. Remembers all the times I've called him a poofter or worse.

He's right, you know. To question my motives. Sometimes I hate him so much that it chokes me. And he knows it. But even that's gotten stale. It's not his fault the Slayer always holds him up as a shining example, as the one to measure up to.

Fact is, right now I want him.

"For god's sake, Angel! Unwind! Shag now, brood later!"

I touch his erection and he bucks. I guess he liked that. I begin to stroke him firmly, steadily, watching his face. The doubt goes away. And the last vestiges of coherent thought aren't far behind. So much for the better. I rub myself against his body. It is as strong and muscular as I remember it, but this time it's me who's in control.

"Spike..." he moans as I coax him onto his back and begin to lick his throat, his collarbone, chest, his nipples... While I lick and kiss and playfully bite him, working my way downwards, I never cease the slow rhythm of my hand. I know he's not gonna last long. When I take him into my mouth he groans and arches his back.

He shouts my name when he comes.

Afterwards he just lies there, spent. I am still hard. I want to bury myself in him.

I give him a cocky grin. He returns the gesture with a goofy smile, then looks at my hard-on. An unspoken question passes between us.

"Cooking oil, kitchen," he suggests.
"Right," I remember where that is. Doesn't take me long to get it. I half expect him to go back to brooding while I'm gone, but when I come back he hasn't moved. And the goofy smile is still there.

More kisses and more licking. It doesn't take much to get both of us aroused again. This time he's more active. This time he tries to find out what I like.

I like his teeth lightly scraping the insides of my thighs, oh yes, and I like his tongue licking my shaft and his lips surrounding it, but the moment I like best, though, is when I finally slide into him. Cool, tight, soft. We stare at each other, momentarily overwhelmed. "Oh god, Angel," I breathe, and then I begin to move. He wraps his legs around me. Soon we are both moaning with pleasure. He babbles my name, as I jerk him off in synchronicity with my thrusts. He's not one for dirty language. Not his style. A shame really. In the end it's his cry when he comes that sends me over the edge.

A little nap and a few encores later, I think I can safely say that there's not a lot of Angelus left in him. Just enough.

Eventually, I get up to take a shower. Then I pick up my discarded clothes and begin to dress. Slowly, cause he's watching. I hate it, after I've made love, when the person I made love to can't get away from me fast enough.

"I promised Dawn I'd stop by later today and give'er her present," I answer his unspoken question. He nods.

He puts on his poofy dressing gown and disappears into the kitchen to heat us a few mugs of pig's blood.

"What did you get her?" he asks, while we sip our lunch.

"A gift voucher for a tattoo."

"Buffy will go ballistic."

"Yeah," I say with a happy smile. "I expect she will."

I rinse the empty mug in the sink, cause Angel's a pedantic sod and I'm feeling charitable.

"Well then, I'd better be off."

"Take care," is what he comes up with.

I guess we really buried the hatchet.

"See you around," I say, giving him a friendly pat on the back. "Say hi to your pets," I add, knowing that he won't, and then I pull a blanket over my head and dash out.

Safely inside my car, I look at the photo I've nicked from of his collection. Father and Son. The little one looks a bit cross, but Angel's lopsided grin more than makes up for it. I put it into my pocket. It'll join the Scooby photos on my fridge.

Humming contentedly, I start the DeSoto and drive out of L.A.

Just as I'm about to get on the highway to Sunnydale, I see her standing under a road sign, hitchhiking again. I stop and she climbs in. "Hi," she says cheerfully. "Did you get laid, all right?"

I step on the brakes and face her. "What are you?"

"Isn't that obvious?" she asks.

No, not really. "What do you want from me?"

"A word of thanks would be nice."

Realization dawns. "You! You set this up. You put some kind of love spell on us. What gives you the right to mess with people like that?"

"You called me."

"The hell I did! Dabbling in the arts of summoning and conjuring? Not this vampire."

"I don't need summons. I go where I'm needed."

"Get out!" I snarl.

"There was no love spell," she says. "I only did one little thing."

"And what was that?"

"I changed the odds." And with that she disappears. Like last time. Vanished. Poof!

I start the car again, change gears and pull onto the highway.

Three and a half million to one. Well, I guess that did need some fixing.

I light myself a cigarette. "Yeah, well," I mumble. "Thanks."

And with that, the DeSoto and I roar back to Sunnydale.





The End



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