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My Favorite Mistake
Author: Tania
Rating: PG-13
Setting: Post - A Hole in the World

Making his way down the stairs is harder than it should be. The slightest breeze of early-morning air knocks him off balance on legs too weary. The jet rumbles gently as the pilot urges them out the door by revving the engine. He stumbles to the side, ignoring Spikeís laugh behind him. Heavy bootfalls pushing him forward, trying to institute a rush where none is left. Angelís head is groggy in the worst way, a swim of alcohol and grief. The night sky seems to chase him, blurred stars that he knows should be still, dance like comets through a meteor shower, leaving orange tracers in their wake.

A hand at his back sends chills over his skin, making it crawl, beg, scream for the touch to stay there, lingering. And then itís gone, followed by a pained laugh and shouts to hurry. Ten steps never felt so like a pyramid to the sky, the prince descending on the land at long last.

Angel vows to never board a plane again, certainly not with Spike. Alone he may have been able to sleep the trip away, ignore the roiling pain that gripped his stomach the second they hit altitudes high enough to pop your ears. Alone he might have just popped in a movie and sipped at a calming whiskey. Alone he might have had a proper cry, in private, not the sort that comes when you canít help but take comfort in whoever is closest. Of course alone is only a dream, Spike is always there now.

Spike on his knees saying it was more comfortable than the chairs. Spike at the mini-fridge twisting the tops off tequila bottles as fast as his hands could move. Spike spouting poetry at the sight of the world below. Spike letting him forget that they had failed their mission, lost the girl. Spike forcing reminisces down his throat like liquor and family blood. Spike asking for distraction, offering to make his own. Spike performing the slowest of stripteases, expecting Angel to stop him, begging him to not.

When his feet finally hit the tarmac Angel canít help but look at the grinning fool behind him, inappropriately content when they should be mourning. The smile is contagious, just as his need had been earlier. Angel canít help but smile at his favorite mistake, even as he curses himself for making it yet again.