Also Comes in Strange
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Title: Mourning
Author: Tania
Rating: R
Pairing: Angel/Spike
Summary: Post You're Welcome, Spike sees Angel comfort everyone, save one.
Notes: Thanks to Josey for the beta.
Warning: Complete Spoiler for AtS episode 5x12 do not read if you have not seen it!

It wasn't so much the alcohol filling his body that was making him drunk, it was Angel's stare. When he first arrived the tears were still welling in Angel's eyes. Spike tried to listen as he mumbled out the details of Cordelia's death, even tried to cast a sympathetic gaze in Angel's direction, but let's face it, she wasn't exactly a friend, so it was hard for him to mourn. Of course she'd have no shortage of mourners. He imagined a few of the Sunnydale lot would slink in for the funeral, and then of course they'd leave. Leave them here to pick up the pieces.

Spike seemed to be the only one who wasn't in tears now. As the booze flowed and the memories rambled out of their mouths in a mixture of laughter and sobs he found himself mesmerized by Angel. The way he slowly moved from person to person, wordlessly placing hands on shoulders and giving small hugs that they barely registered. He really was the one that bound them together through the night, even if they didn't notice. It was always that way with Angel. Person couldn't help but be seduced into it, couldn't help wanting to be the next one he grasped by the neck and pulled into those arms. Even Spike wasn't immune to that.

He tossed a finished beer bottle into the center of the table, just hard enough to give a clank of glass on glass as it mingled with countless other empty bottles, but not so hard to pull the mourners out of their reverie. He turned away from their sad faces for a moment and watched the crowd that mingled around the sparkling bar, replete with brass tubes and nautical paraphernalia meant to give it an airy ship-like feel. In truth it made the entire place seem darker. Only snippets of light reflected off the brass, distorting people's reflections and throwing spirals of tarnished gold onto the mahogany walls and tables.

Spike wondered what had made them pick this place when they thought their evening would be a celebration of Cordelia's return, it seemed much more fitting now that their party had become an impromptu wake. He wanted to leave, go back to his basement apartment, assuming it was still his now that his benefactor had been revealed. Still, anywhere would be better than here, watching them cry, knowing he should care more whether he knew her well or not.

He tried to cut into their conversation to give his goodbyes, but every time he opened his mouth another Cordelia tale began making its way around the table. Most of them shared their memories freely, but Angel remained mostly silent, watching but not joining in. Some time after Spike's fourth beer and before the first shot of bourbon he noticed Angel's gaze start drifting to the door every few minutes. He could almost see the wheels turn as Angel planned his escape.  Spike saw new pain where the others saw only the hurt that was always present. They couldn't register anything more than brood or perfect happiness. Only Spike could feel every nuance of change in between.

When the conversation meandered from Cordelia to the previous year, before the coma, but after she'd been lost to the evil force that stole her body, Angel's looks to the door became more frequent. Simply watching him was enough to make Spike uncomfortable, claustrophobic. Like the reason Angel needed to escape so bad was a menacing force within the bar. The urge to look over his shoulder became increasingly hard for Spike to ignore, so he stopped trying. He stood up, placing a purposely wobbly hand on the table and nearly knocked his chair over as he backed up.

"Think I've had enough," he said to no one in particular.  Making a small show of taking his keys from his pocket, Spike let the Viper emblem wave in Angel's face for a moment before taking a side step away from the group. "See you `round," he mumbled as he headed for the door.

Angel had a firm hand on his shoulder before he had taken another step, just as he'd knew he would.

"Maybe you better let me drive." Spike gave Angel a drunken look and pulled the keys tighter into his body. "Spike," Angel continued. It was only his name and yet Spike knew he couldn't resist. It would only end in a brawl.

Angel said quick farewells to everyone, holding Wesley a little longer than the others, knowledge of something lost stronger between them than any of the others. Spike waited by the door, occasionally slipping a finger along the brass rail that extended over the door. Once Angel was able to let go of the last hug and answer the last teary eye with a nod he joined Spike at the door. Outside the bar the air was hot and tinged with the magic that had coursed through the city during the day. Both men felt it, hair-raising electricity mixed with sea salt and vast amounts of pollution. Spike wondered for a moment how humans could ignore scents so strong, deny what so clearly surrounded them.

They had only taken a few steps into the parking lot when Spike reached out and took the keys from Angel's loose grasp. "Thanks mate," he said in a clear voice, all remnants of drunken stupor gone.

"What?" Angel asked, not registering the sudden change in his companion. "I thought you were drunk."

"No, you just looked like you needed an out, figured I did too."

"Why would you...?" Angel trailed off, not really wanting an answer, just glad to be free of clinging arms needing comfort.

"They don't know what it's like," Spike nodded towards the door. "Losing someone you love."

"And you do?" Angel said; defenses back up.

"Well, I think I've lost Dru enough times to have an inkling, not to mention Buffy." Spike looked away from Angel and leaned on the now-close Viper. It was a stupid thing to say, salt to a wound, and Spike couldn't help himself sometimes. They stood in silence for a moment before Spike felt compelled to lay his hand on Angel's shoulder as he had done earlier for the others. Angel was more than a little taken aback, needed comfort coming from the one person he thought incapable of giving it.

A squeeze on the tender flesh reminded Angel that he wasn't alone and before he was truly conscious of his own body he was grasping at a leather-clad back and burying his head in blond curls, letting held back tears flow freely. The weight of the larger man nearly pushed Spike over, thankfully he still had the car behind him to balance out the force of Angel's sobbing. There were no words of comfort on Spike's tongue, and he knew that was fine. Angel didn't need to hear his platitudes, he simply needed to mourn the woman he had loved and hated and needed and depended on for years.

Spike lost track of time. He had no idea how long he held Angel in his arms. No idea exactly when they left the car and found an alley behind the bar, away from peering eyes and midnight traffic. There were no words spoken as Angel stripped the jacket from Spike's shoulders exposing him to the rapidly cooling air. No sound but zippers and rustling fabric as Angel slammed him into the damp wall of brick and pinned Spike's hands over his head. Only silent breath over ears and neck as Spike was entered in one motion, hips thrust forward into hard stone, arms held mercilessly above him as Angel pounded sadness and need into his willing ass. Spike felt Angel begin to shudder and could no longer tell if it was cries of pleasure or woe being muffled into his shoulders and back. He bent his fingers around Angel's hands as they kept him pinned against the wall, gripping as tight as he could, hoping even this small touch would remind Angel he was not the only one needing their unexpected coupling. There was no grand climax, Angel simply lay his head against the back of Spike's neck and whispered an "I'm sorry." before pulling his now limp cock back into his trousers and leaving Spike alone in the alley more hungry for Angel than ever before.

~Finis~

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