Also Comes in Strange
Stand Alones    Ficlets    Drabbles   Series    Essays    By Pairing

Title: Coming Home
Author: Tania
Rating: PG
Pairing: Angel/Spike
Setting: Post NFA.

Itís been a long time since I thought about Spike, thatís no surprise I guess. Itís not like I really thought about him much when he was five feet away, let alone gone for years. I donít know where he is, alive yes, a target certainly, thinking about me too? I doubt it.

But on this day? The day we made a choice to let the world bleed? Heís here in my brain, constant sound echoing through my mind. His endless chatter still goes on; who wins? Why do you get the big sword? Is that my blood or yours? Never a moment of silence on this day. I still see him limping off into the rising dawn, quiet promise that heíll check in on my Ďlonely assí in a couple years. He never has, and itís only today that I regret that.

His face appears before me the ever-mocking embodiment of his prescience. I am lonely, but it feels like a betrayal to say the words. I have enough ghosts to keep me company for a lifetime. They whisper and pull at me, reminding me of all I left in Los Angeles, telling me I should be there, picking up the pieces that still lay in dark alleys and abandoned hotels, my name emblazoned in black and gold lettering scattered across each shattered remnant.

Itís another bloody anniversary before I can stand to be in the city that bears my name. I canít raise so much as a shocked ĎOí to my lips when I see him sitting in my old room like heíd been waiting all these years for me to come home. The chattering echoes throughout the hotel lobby just as itís rang through my ears for nearly a decade. Long months of silence followed by never-ending inanity and challenges. Iíve missed it.

His kiss tastes like secondary insanity. His arms meld around me in an embrace that speaks of his own loneliness, a rare emotion on his face. It pains me to see the fresh scars that cover his body as he peels the ever-present coat from his shoulders. He whispers that he never left, never expected me to be gone so long. I ask why he never looked for me and he lies, says he never got more than a few blocks from this tattered home base before he was pressed back to its imaginary safety.

The night seems quiet within these walls, quieter than itís been in years. It chills me to see pictures of lost friends and children cover the walls and for a moment I fear the child I hold has become the patriarch. He watches over those who no longer speak to him, keeping them secure despite their protests that he is old and obsolete in the battle that will rage forever and after.

Thereís comfort in the pain of being here, I donít know why I stayed away so long. Maybe he does, maybe the answer is in sweat drenched nights and bottled blood. Maybe it isnít. Maybe all that matters is that we all return to the scene of the crime, we all come back and pick up the pieces and polish off our name. Itís only in putting them back together that we lay the past to rest and find that home is just how we left it. Home.