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I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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For _flaming_june_, who requested Spike/Angel, post Home/Chosen, in a church. Rated... R? Really light NC-17? Now with footnotes! And vielen Dank to stakebait for the exhaustingive beta-read.

Raison D'être

He rests for a moment at the lych gate. Behind him, grey stones shade black in the dark; before him, the chapel, small and still. And he, the dead guy, pauses where the coffins pause, to catch a breath he'll never need again. He's not unaware of the irony.

"This way," the curate says. Angel nods, but the young priest blathers on. "We found him here, you know. Spot of clean-up after evening mass; there's a crew in to do it, Monday mornings, but Father Simon says they never put things right..." At Angel's look of patience wearing thin, "Yes, quite. Sorry. You'll know all this; that girl, his friend— she'd have told you when she called."

Angel scrapes his palm along the stone as he stands straight; a tiny rasp of pain. It wakes him, spurs him onward, past the gate. "It's alright," he says, excusing, dismissing. He waves a healing hand at Father Something Young and Way Too Trendy. Barry? "I know the way."

A hundred years on, but he does; his steps are sure. Father Barry's babble floats on the moss-scented breeze. "He's lodged up at the guesthouse since she left, but he wanted to meet you here. Not quite certain why. He isn't of the faith; I asked, and..."

Angel tunes the rest out, hand upon the door. Why here? Stupid question. When has the reason ever been anything besides 'to piss Angel off'? He knows he'll ask it anyway, which pisses him off, and proves the point.

Another pause, in the doorway. Not, this time, to stare at someone else's ancestors and put this off another second. Just the scent of incense, long-burned. Votives flickering faint inside their glass.

Boots, dusty and black, propped lazy on a seatback, crossed at the ankle. A column hides the rest.

Get your feet off that pew, boy! Show some respect or you'll learn it from the back of my hand... His own voice echoes in the stillness, though he hasn't said a word.

Ah, that's why, then. A hundred color pictures flood his brain — the things they'd done against that tapestry alone — and he'll have to face the curate again, on the way out. At least they ate the last one, not that he'd have cared, back then.

The door clangs shut behind him. The boots don't move. He can sense the smirk that hides behind that pillar— there's a twitching in his slapping-stupid hand. "You came back from the dead and dragged me halfway across the world because you wanted to play naughty altarboy again?" Easier than he'd thought, not to laugh; he's not sure he's joking.

The silence that's Spike, surprised; the tiny intake of breath that's Spike not snickering, stretching out the gag. Silence again for the space of that breath, and within it the steady, rhythmic sound of the impossible.

"Never wanted to play it in the first place." Spike thinks he can sneak his laughter out behind a layer of sulk, but Angel catches it. He's there, across the floor that's carpet now instead of stone, in the space of another breath. Looming over Spike, and that's familiar too.

Back then, he'd bent close, though, growling. Collar scratching his neck, wondering why he was glaring into bright blue eyes instead of misty gray. Vowing to beat Drusilla bloody for this trick, then not let her come for days. This was their game; father and daughter who'd played a thousand wicked variations of Nun and Novice. Not this toy whippet who couldn't name the stations of the cross, let alone think of something blasphemous to do at each of them. Who had every idea how ridiculous he looked in that cassock, and none of how obscenely innocent.

Now, Angel looms from afar, staring down. Taking stock. The jeans are loose; the white shirt open to the throat. The skin revealed by borrowed clothes is pink. Too much so; almost red.

Spike glances at his arm, then looks back up. "Stayed out too long." Angel expects the grin, but not the honest joy. "Don't freckle, it turns out." Faint hairs along his wrist, bleached white as the hair on his head.

Angel's fingers move without permission; he can't help it.

A hundred years ago, there'd been no question of his right. One wicked child had slipped another in her place, but blood was blood, and Spike was no less his. His to take fast, bent over the mourners' pew. His to fuck slow, hard against the altar, Christ watching without comment from above. His to trace the sign of the cross on skin laid bare, with smoking fingers dripping from the font.

Not his, not anymore. He isn't even sure just what Spike is. Still, Angel reaches — and Spike's forehead burns his palm.

"What are you doing here?" Angel growls, and in it are why here, why now, why me and why do you have what should've been mine? He doesn't move his hand.

"Funny story, that." Spike's voice mild as the cow-eyed Christ on the wall, but more amused. "Fell. Splat. Naked from the sky. Gave that little curate quite the view."

"Of course." He isn't twelve; he only thinks 'Originality is dead.' He shakes his head. "Why here?"

"Ah. Well." Spike's boot twitches. "Suppose 'cos she was here. Collecting up another brand new Chosen One." The grin's less blinding, but Angel's hand still burns. "And now she's in Hong Kong." Without Spike, and God knows what that means; Angel doesn't. "And you're here."

"She called me. For you." He doesn't know which word to stress, which finally makes him laugh. "Why?"

Spike unfolds his legs. Rises, and Angel snatches back his hand. "Blah safe, blah research, blah because I said so. Not my idea, trust me."

"Yeah? Then why're you here?" Angel asks again. Or maybe asks himself.

Silence. Spike dips his fingers in the font, and stares.

Ten seconds count themselves in Angel's head, before Spike flicks the holy water at him.

~ fin

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2003-07-11 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh my GOD, MP, I love you so much. I do. I love you. I'm not even kidding. More coherent feedback later, when I can get my shit together, but jeez louise!!!! This is amazing!!!

Thank you! Squeeeeeeee! xoxoxo


2003-07-13 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

:-D I'm so glad you liked it! (Especially since despite my best efforts at convincing them that there should be real smut, all they would give me was flashback. ;-) )


2003-07-11 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

You ROCK. That last line, just turned the whole mood of the piece on its head.

That was GREAT. I think you managed to run the whole gamut of emotion in the Spike/Angel(us) relationship in this one.

And perfect title :)

Plus, footnotes!

::curtsies in your direction::


2003-07-13 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

::bows back::

Footnotes seemed appropriate. I'm 'of the faith chiefly in the sense that the church I currently don't attend is Catholic' 1, and I didn't know what one was until I came across it in some story or other, and I still had to look it up this time, to make sure it meant what I thought it meant.

1 ~Kingsley Amis, 1973, paraphrased ;-)


2003-07-11 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hee hee hee! I could comment on good fic but - Blackadder reference!


2003-07-13 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

"The Black Monks will have their money, or I will have my fun."

"You enjoy your work, don't you?"

"Bits of it, yeah."

"The violent bits."

"Yes. You see, I am a colossal pervert. No form of sexual depravity is too low for me. Animal, vegetable or mineral -- I'll do anything to anything."

"Fine words for a Bishop. It's nice to hear the Church speaking out for a change on social issues. "


2003-07-11 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh yum!

Er...not exactly detailed.

Oh yummy!


2003-07-13 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you! That extra 'my' means everything!

(Deleted comment)


2003-07-13 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thankee! (I don't think Spike could quite hold out for 1000 words without doing *something* to torment Angel.)


2003-07-11 10:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Nicely done. Love all the mischievious Spike touches :)


2003-07-13 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link)


(Deleted comment)


2003-07-13 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, there was a twitching in his other hand, the jerking-off hand, too, but he was trying not to think about that in church.


2003-07-11 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Why here? Stupid question. When has the reason ever been anything besides 'to piss Angel off'?

I love this fic. Fantastic voices.

And fabulous use of the jeans and white shirt.


2003-07-12 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Gah. I'm a moron. The jeans and the white shirt.

::dies all over again::

(no subject) - writteninstars, 2003-07-12 11:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _flaming_june_, 2003-07-12 11:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-07-13 12:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-07-13 12:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: - writteninstars, 2003-07-13 12:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-07-13 01:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)


2003-07-11 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Funny story, that." Spike's voice mild as the cow-eyed Christ on the wall, but more amused. "Fell. Splat. Naked from the sky. Gave that little curate quite the view."
What a fascinating, unusual, and hilarious way to bring Spike back ;-) This is a wonderful story, Mad Poetess.


2003-07-13 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

(Deleted comment)


2003-07-13 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Gurgling is wonderful! Thank you!


2003-07-12 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)

This was wonderfully evocative, and the ending made me smile large -- the perfect contrast to Angel's over-serious self importance.

Most cool :-)


2003-07-13 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thankyou thankyou! (I had wondered if Angel was getting too poncey -- and if Spike was enough to let the air out...)


2003-07-12 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)


Perfect last line.

Love it.


2003-07-13 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you! *hug*


2003-07-12 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)

The last line is perfect; love the way it goes from faintly menacing to just silly.


2003-07-13 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Spike apparently resents that.

"Damn straight! I'm *always* faintly menacing!"

[Spike, she was talking about Angel.]

"Ah, that's alright then. Angel's always silly."

[Spike, she was talking about.... sigh. Never mind.]


2003-07-12 09:16 am (UTC) (Link)

God, this was fabulous.


2003-07-13 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you, Lesley!


2003-07-12 10:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Unpredictable and charming from the first word to the last.


2003-07-13 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you so much. (I really enjoyed yours as well -- Xander's despair, the shame of taking comfort in Spike and sex therewith, and the small note of hope underneath. Hey, look, I managed not to mumble incoherently! Plus guh.)

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