Disclaimer: The standard ‘not mine, wish they were’ rant
Summary: Spike and boredom in the boardroom, Wes and a wedding and accidental alliteration.
Beta thanks to jasonsnene Written for purpledodah
Xposted to purps_a_palooza
Babel Fish Don't Do Demon
Wesley sat at the boardroom table, looking anywhere but at Spike. He looked at Fred and Gunn, heads together, whispering; he looked at Lorne, sipping a tall glass of water with a twist. He tried his damnedest to focus on Angel, but that shock of white hair to his left was just so eye-catching.
Each time Wesley glanced at Spike, Spike seemed to be looking at him. Wesley quickly pretended to be very interested in something outside the window. It had been like this for the last week. Wesley found his thoughts occupied by the most licentious scenarios, the most titillating images. Each and every one involved the irritatingly coarse, foul-mouthed, nicotine scented, enticingly muscular, delightfully irreverent, visually striking, blond vampire.
He couldn’t help glancing at Spike every now and then, or more often, truth be told. As the days went by, Spike seemed to catch him at it frequently. Or perhaps it was Wesley catching Spike? Wes nearly snorted his water. Spike interested in him? He covered a laugh with a cough. Unlikely, but Wesley wished he had the nerve to find out.
What the hell was the Watcher’s story? Spike looked at his T-shirt. Nope, not inside out, no spots. He checked his jeans; zip firmly up. He ran a hand over his face. No stray drops of blood. So what was the man laughing at? A poorly disguised laugh at that. Oh, bloody hell. He must have cottoned on. Spike had been trying to be casual and discreet, but it was not one of his better honed skills.
It was the bloody hair. That thick, dark hair. And the stubble. Spike was a sucker for that whole mild-mannered metropolitan Marlboro Man look. He quickly glanced around the table to make sure he hadn’t accidently alliterated out loud. No one was looking at him. Good.
Spike settled down in his seat and let one of those fantasies run through his head while Angel droned on with some bum-bitingly dull rot. Shame the Watcher was so straight laced. Little chance Spike would get more than a look in with that one.
At the head of the table, Angel was ticking off names on his list. “Right, Gunn, you’ll take Fred and deal with those Wearaok demons.” Gunn and Fred appeared inordinately pleased at being paired together; Angel rolled his eyes at them. “Lorne and I have the E’olam covered. So, Harmony, was that it?”
“Just about, Boss. All except for the Abeir and Manaza clan merging.”
Angel frowned. “Is that this week?”
“Yep, tonight! We need two representatives to attend on behalf of the firm.”
“Okay, Spike, Wes that’s you,” Angel said, and stood, collecting his papers.
What? He had to sit next to the Watcher for a whole night and not get caught out having a nice long look at the goods? Nigh on impossible.
“What the bleeding hell are you talking about?” Spike asked, getting out of his seat and poking his finger in Angel’s chest. “I don’t work for you. You can’t send me anywhere, you ponce.”
Angel slapped his hand away. “You sit in on meetings, you steal my blood bags, you steal my Viper, and you annoy the crap out of me. I think you can start earning your keep.”
Wesley cleared his throat. “Angel, I really don’t think Spike is the best person to be attending on your behalf at an event like this. He is rather, ah, vulgar, is he not?”
“Oi, Percy. I’ll have you know I can hobnob with the best of them. I can be right charming, you git.”
“Yes, I can see that Spike. However, this merging, as I am led to believe, requires some diplomacy,” Wesley said. “The invitation clearly stated that the two Cradjvics, meaning representatives, from Wolfram and Hart, will be expected to take part in the ceremony, to help celebrate the union of the clans.”
“Ooh, big fancy, bloody deal then is it?”
“It is a big deal, Blondie,” Lorne said. “These clans have been feuding for millennia. If this wedding goes well, then it’ll bring peace to their dimension.”
“A wedding? A soddin’ wedding? Bloody hell, Angelus.” Spike shook his head in disgust. “You must hate me more than I thought.”
“Spike, stop being a drama queen,” Angel told him, as he followed Fred, Gunn and Lorne out. “You’re going.” Angel tossed over his shoulder and let the door slam behind him.
Spike flipped his fingers at Angel’s retreating back, and then turned to Wesley and sighed. “When is this thing then, Watcher? And what the hell do I wear to a demon wedding? Bear in mind, if you say I have to dress up in a suit, I will bite you.” Spike noticed the watcher jump and blush. Humans.
“No, you can wear your normal clothes, Spike. The demons will give us a ceremonial robe to wear over them when we arrive.” Wesley smiled and looked a touch embarrassed. “Actually I am quite looking forward to this. It’s an occasion for the history books. The joining of two powerful clans, brought together by-.”
“If you say love, I will bite you, kill you, then bite you again.” Again with the red face. What was it with this human? Did he really think Spike would bite him? Not that it wasn’t an appealing idea. Not in the least. A little nibble, not a bite really, and a bit of licking, there, just near that pulse point. No, tosser, stop teasing yourself.
“Ah. Um, actually, no. I was going to say brought together by politics, but yes love too. It’s a very Capulet and Montague arrangement, minus the deaths, of course and add in the happy ending.”
“Oh bloody hell, its going to be a long night.”
Hours later, Spike found himself wearing nothing but a long purple robe, sitting at a table next to Wesley, who like every other guest, had also been liberated from his clothes, and wore the intricately patterned ceremonial garb. The only difference between them, was that Wesley was also wearing a smile. Earlier he had been amusingly flustered as he’d realised his misunderstanding of the dress code. And those were the only two things that made this bearable, Wesley’s smile and the occasional glimpse of skin Spike caught, as Wesley shifted and his robe gaped a bit. Nice. Light fuzz of hair on the chest, not especially muscular but fit enough. Good solid thighs. Yep that would make up for having to sit here almost starkers, listening to boring humans prattle on making small talk.
“Spike this is wonderful. To witness this first hand; oh, what an honour.”
“Yeah. Purple is my colour, really highlights my sallow complexion.”
“Everyone is wearing the robe. And it looks, ah, fine. It looks fine.”
As Spike let out a low growl, Wesley’s eyes darted everywhere around the large cavern.
There were hundreds of guests, all wearing nothing but the various coloured robes. Spike and Wesley’s table wore purple, as did several others. There were table groups of every colour imaginable scattered through the enormous space.
As well as being grouped by colour, Spike and Wesley appeared to have been seated with others who spoke English. Not necessarily human, but close. At least, the food had been suitable for humans.
Spike picked at the meal in front of him. “I can think of at least four hundred places I would rather be right now. You want me to tell you about them?” Spike asked Wesley. “Most of them involve having your poof of a boss strung up and tortured for a good length of time. Number one, hanging from the-.”
“Spike this may be the only chance I get to study this culture up close. Please don’t ruin it for me.”
“Sad git.” Spike went back to eating and surreptitiously looking down Wesley’s robe. Maybe not such a bad outing after all.
For the next two hours, the merging couple and their families went through the ceremony on a large raised platform in the centre of the room. There was much chanting, and howling, some wailing and general, noise making.
All this took place while the guests ate and drank. And in Spike’s case, drank and drank some more. Human tastes were catered for by the drinks waiters as well, who happily kept Spike’s glass of bourbon full.
Wesley had started out sipping at glasses of red wine, then as the ceremony drew out and became interminably long and dull, he had switched to the same bourbon Spike was downing.
By the time the tables were cleared of plates and food, Wesley was dragged into conversation with the woman seated on his other side, a librarian, whose husband worked in one of the Manaza’s New York business ventures. It was a slurred and rambling conversation, as between drinks, they both lamented the fact that demon culture could often be as dull first hand as it was in the dusty old tomes.
Spike listened in, paying more attention to the soft sound of Wesley’s voice than the words themselves. He did his best to ignore the woman who was taking up time he could have spent talking to Wes.
“Your Cradjvic doesn’t appear to be enjoying himself,” she said, pointing to Spike.
“Oh, don’t mind him. He’s just upset that he had to come with me.”
“He would have let you come with someone else?” she asked with a very confused expression.
“Let me?” Wesley snorted into his glass before emptying it. “Hell, he would have made me come with anyone else, if he could. Our boss ordered it though. Everyone else was already paired off.”
She gave him an odd look. “That’s very, ah, liberal of you. You both must be very secure in your-.”
At that point a huge cheer went up and the ceremony on the pedestal appeared to be coming to an end. People and demons were standing and waving at the group on the platform. Wesley and the woman joined in.
“Come on Spike, its all over, you can show some enthusiasm now, surely.” Wesley grabbed him by the arm, and hauled him to his feet, gripping just a moment longer that was proper.
Spike reluctantly raised a glass to the family. “Here’s mud in your eye,” he muttered and threw back his drink and slammed his glass down on the table. “Right, we off then Watcher? Fat lady’s sung yeah?” He turned from the table.
The woman sitting next to Wesley looked horrified and snatched at Spike’s arm. “No! You can’t leave before the joinings. Do you want to start a diplomatic incident?”
Wesley looked at her then at Spike. “No, of course we don’t. It’s, um, it’s not over yet?”
“Not until the family has witnessed the joinings. It’s almost as important as the pedestal ceremony. Surely as a researcher you are aware of the wedding custom?”
“Oh, the joinings! Of course, how could I forget that?” Wesley laughed, then turned and whispered to Spike. “Do you have any idea what she’s talking about?”
Spike shook his head, enjoying the hot breath against his ear. Over Wesley’s shoulder, he could see a series of demons in gold robes were positioning themselves at each table, and judging by the way they held themselves, they looked to Spike as if to be some kind of guard.
On the platform, the newly joined couple were digging around in a large gold box, that bore a similar design to the new guards’ robes. One of the couple, Wesley couldn’t tell whether it was the male or female, pulled a large piece of coloured fabric from the box and waved it triumphantly in the air.
As the green flag was twirled for everyone to see, another loud cheer arose from the green tables.
“Oh, green starts, what an honour!” The woman next to Wesley was bouncing, trying to look over her husband’s head. “I hope we’re next.”
After a brief silence, more cheers went up around the room and people began applauding.
Spike turned to Wesley. “Green starts what Watcher?” At Wesley’s shrug, Spike shook his head. “You’re supposed to know what’s going on here. Didn’t you look into it?”
“Ah, not exactly Spike. I, um, well, I wanted it to be a surprise.”
Spike twitched an eyebrow at Wesley, then scanned the room. There was no green table next to theirs, but by bending and peering around others, Spike caught a glimpse of one not too far away. His jaw dropped.
“Watcher we are leaving.” He grabbed Wesley by the arm and tried to haul him away from the table.
“Spike no, we can’t.” Wesley protested. “She said, diplomatic incident or some such difficulty.”
“Don’t care. Not staying.” Spike took two steps from the table and was met with a wall of gold as the guard stepped in front of him.
“Sirs,” it said with a rough voice. “Please return to your group.”
“Ah, no, we’re leaving, places to be. Not here.”
The demon snarled at them and drew a long blade from it’s sleeve. “You would insult the merging of the Abeir and Manaza in such a way? Have you no respect for the ceremony? Have you no desire to see peace in this dimension?”
“No! No insults, no disrespect, my friend here was joking, he’s a vampire, they do that.” Wesley dragged Spike back to the table and ignored the frowns and whispered comments from the others at their table. “Spike we have to stay. We can’t start a war.”
Another cheer rose over the room as the couple on the platform waved a red cloth over their heads. The applause began again almost immediately.
“Watcher, you want to know why we can’t stay?” Spike grabbed Wesley by the head and turned him to face the table next to theirs.
“Oh my.” Wesley’s jaw dropped even further than Spike’s had. “Oh, good lord.”
“Yeah, that was my thought too.”
At the adjoining table, red robes were being flung into the air, and to the accompanying cheers and applause, the demons occupying the table were now entangled in each other, in pairs around the table.
“What are they-. What is that-.” Wesley tilted his head, then his eyes widened. “I know that demon species. Oh god, they’re mating.”
The woman next to Wesley gave him a nudge. “Of course they are. The joinings have begun. The merge between the clans won’t be official until the joining of the guests.”
“All the guests?” Spike asked her.
“Well yes of course, that’s why the invitation specified you bring your Cradjvic. It’s a little uncomfortable otherwise.”
“Company representative,” Wesley said. “Cradjvics are company representatives. Why would they ask-.”
The woman was laughing. Bent over double and laughing. “Crodjvoi, is representative. Cradjvics is partner. Intimate relations partner, to be specific.” She stopped laughing long enough to share the story with her husband who looked incredulously at them.
“You mean you guys, aren’t, well, you know?” He asked, waving his finger between Spike and Wesley. They both shook their heads, looking uncomfortably at each other. “Well, boys, you’re about to get real friendly real soon, unless you want to trigger a war. Looky there.”
Spike and Wesley both followed his finger and saw the couple on the platform now waving a purple cloth. The cheer was not as loud this time, as many tables were already deeply involved in the joining.
“Our turn!” the woman shouted and peeled off her robe, throwing it in the air to the cheers of the neighbouring tables.
“Watcher. Be a pet and tell me, just exactly who translated that invitation,” Spike said slowly.
“Ah, that would be-, well, I don’t have a great deal of experience in-, Babel Fish said-, I must have misread-. Ouch.” Wesley jumped as the gold clad guard gave him a non too gentle prod with the still sheathed blade.
“Your time for joining, the family is watching,” the guard said, indicating the heads of the clan on the platform.
“Oh no, but we’re not-, you see I didn’t read-, he and I aren’t-,” Wesley stammered waving his hand at Spike.
The guard indicated the rest of the table who were in various stages of coupling. “You must begin.” He pulled the cover from his blade and pointed it in their direction.
“Bloody hell, Percy. What have you done?” Spike said as he watched the other couples. “You could have, ah, could have, oh hell, look at that.” He pointed to the couple across the table, who were showing no signs of inhibition, and were currently naked and bouncing enthusiastically on what Wesley hoped was a sturdy chair.
“Spike I’m sorry, it was an honest-, oh, oh, that’s just, well of course we shouldn’t watch, but, oh.” Wesley’s hands dropped to cover the front of his robe, which was doing little to cover his apparent interest in nearby events.
“Oi!” Spike shouted, as he too was on the receiving end of the guards temper. “Alright, bloody hell.” He turned to Wesley. “Watcher, unless you want to start something akin to a minor apocalypse, we need to join this party.”
Wesley’s eyes dropped warily to the front of Spike’s robe, which was gaping slightly.
“What?” Spike said, looking down. “Oh, that. Well you try having vampire senses in a room full of human and demon pheromones and see how long you last.”
More cheers and applause echoed around the cavern, and the merging couple waved yet more colours.
Wesley glanced around the table, blushing furiously. “It is quite-, I mean-, it’s very-.” Wesley followed Spike’s eyes down to where they were fixed on the front of Wesley’s gaping robe.
Spike licked his lips and tilted his head, smirking at Wesley. “That it is watcher.”
Wesley met Spike’s eyes and made no move to close his robe.
Spike couldn’t look away. The chemicals in the air swirling around him were becoming thicker by the second. Combine that with the racing of the watcher’s heart and the burst of pheromones from him, and Spike was suddenly battling not to throw the man down on the table.
When it was apparent that Wesley was not planning on covering himself, Spike took his unspoken challenge and looked questioningly at him. “So, Watcher. You want to do your bit for averting an interdimensional skirmish? All in the name of diplomacy, of course.” He took a step closer and ran a finger down inside the join of Wesley’s robe.
“Diplomacy. Of course. Peacekeeping. Very important.” Wesley leaned into his touch. “If there is no other way, and needs must.”
The guard, apparently satisfied for now, moved off around the table.
Spike raised his eyebrows. “You ever, um?” He waved his hand between them.
“With a man?” Wesley asked. “No, never. You?”
“Vampire, mate. Goes without saying.” Spike snorted. “You want me to, ah, take the lead?”
“In the name of diplomacy?”
“Yeah pet.” Spike leaned closer and breathed in Wesley’s scent, pressing his mouth to the side of Wesley’s neck. “Something like that.”
Wesley tilted his head and wrapped a hand behind Spike’s head. “Lead on McDuff.”
The guard did several circuits of the table, nodding approvingly each time he passed Spike and Wesley. Neither had removed their robes completely. Wesley, in a belated attempt at decorum and Spike because it was too much trouble, when he could just open them both and hey presto, instant naked bodies- well the important parts anyway.
As promised, Spike took the lead, and in his state of three sheets to the wind, Wesley responded enthusiastically and swiftly.
Spike wondered, though his lust-filled haze, whether the watcher’s eager and fervent response was merely out of duty to the firm and respect for the demon’s culture. But when Wesley began participating in a more hands on way, Spike pushed all those thoughts aside and enjoyed the moment, regardless of the possible motivation.
The sounds and scents of other humans and demons engaged in similar pursuits spurred Spike on, as did the fact that Wesley seemed to be totally absorbed in what he was doing. And it wasn’t as though the watcher were obviously denying who he was with. There was frequent, heated eye contact, and, much to Spike’s surprise and delight, kissing. Now that was not something a body did when they were just fulfilling a duty. Not in Spike’s book. He took full advantage of this turn of events, laying Wesley down on the table.
Wesley moaned as he kissed his way along the watcher’s sweat slicked throat. “Spike! SPIKE!”
“SPIKE!” Angel’s almost-bellow startled Spike out of his reverie.
“Bloody hell, you great poof.” Spike jumped in his seat. “Give a man a heart attack.”
Angel looked doubtfully at him. “Spike, the meeting’s over. You can go now.”
Spike looked around. He Angel and Wesley were all that was left at the table. “Where’s everyone gone?”
“They all had work to do. You and Wes missed out this time, but you’ll get first pick next time round. Now you can leave. Go and sleep somewhere else. Meeting closed.”
Angel let the door swing shut behind him, leaving a dazed Spike sitting across the table from Wesley.
Wesley leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. “You’ve been staring at either my neck, or my face for the last thirty minutes. Everyone thought you were sleeping with your eyes open.”
“Yeah well, you sit through enough of Angelus’s monologues you pick up some new skills.”
Spike quirked an eyebrow. “Something to say there, Watcher?”
“You’ve been looking at me since the meeting started, haven’t you? And yesterday in the lunch meeting. And the day before, when we were in Angel’s car.” Wesley had fixed him with the intense stare of a man seizing an opportunity. “You know what Spike? I think you’ve been looking at me for a long time. Earlier, I wasn’t so sure. But then, I could see all kinds of things flitting across your face the last half hour. Everyone else may have been too occupied getting their briefing from Angel, but I noticed. I’ve been looking too, Spike.”
“Have you now?”
Wesley leaned forward and tapped a finger casually on the table. “Yes. I was watching you, Spike. Very carefully. You weren’t sleeping. You were daydreaming.” Wesley leaned back in his chair again. “Stand up.”
“What? No. Why do you want me to stand up?” Spike’s hands immediately went to the front of his jeans where he could feel the evidence of his fantasy. “I’m tired, I’m just gonna sit here and relax for a bit.”
Wesley gave a soft laugh. Not mean; just amused. “I’ll tell you what. There’s a bar across the street. I’ll wait there for, oh, lets say, thirty minutes. When you’re finished ‘resting’, if you feel the need to perhaps discuss your daydream in more detail, you know where I’ll be.”
“You’re going to just be waiting there. For me?” Spike asked hopefully.
“No, not just waiting, Spike. Daydreaming.” Wesley pushed his chair back, stood up slowly and gave Spike a pointed look. “Thirty minutes. No more.”
Spike was there in six.
They’d left together in twenty.
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