Pairing: Spike/Angel
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Don't own Spike, Angel, or Disneyland, more's the pity
Dedication: Written for [info]nekid_spike 's June nekid numbers. I drew Angel, amusement park, and postcard. A special thanks to [info]blondebitz , who was willing to overlook deadlines and supply with such lovely picks!

The (Un)Happiest Place on Earth

Darkling Dawns

“C’mon, just once?”


“Look, we’re already here, yeah? Already tracked down an’ killed the soddin’ Coliika demon, even managed to do it without permanently scarrin’ any of the lil tykes.” And that hadn’t been easy to do, not when those particular demons were almost exact copies of the Magic Kingdom’s beloved Mouse. They’d had to wait for ‘Mickey’ to ‘take a break’ before they’d been able to confront him and send the young girl he’d had stashed in the locker room back to her parents. “Might as well take some time an’ see the sights, do it right.”

Angel crossed his arms and glared at his irritating childe. “Spike, we’re not going on It’s A Small World.” The blond opened his mouth, but an upraised hand cut him off. “Or the Matterhorn, or Indiana Jones, or Pirates of the Caribbean, or any other ride. We came here to take care of a demon, not for fun.”

“Not like you even know what fun looks like anymore,” Spike muttered. He scowled down at his boots, wishing he’d never asked about staying. Maybe he should’ve just taken off once the demon was dead, ditched Angel and spent the rest of the night walking around and going on the rides, but he’d wanted his sire with him, wanted to show him how much fun Disneyland could be, but the ponce wasn’t willing to let his guard down that far, so that meant no rides, no candy, no souvenirs, and no time off from the office that was nibbling away at his soul.

Angel didn’t bother to answer him, just turned around and started walking back towards Main Street USA. He never looked back to see if Spike was following him, and Spike wondered if it was because he was certain he would, or because he didn’t really care either way. Spike started to follow him, but then a burst of screaming and laughter made him turn to watch a group of teenagers stumbling off of Space Mountain. He set his jaw and started off in the opposite direction. Maybe Angel would figure it out when he didn’t catch up, and maybe he wouldn’t, but Spike was through waiting and hoping for what was never coming.

It was an uncomfortable walk back to the entrance of the park, and from the sullen silence behind him, it was promising to be an even more uncomfortable ride home. Angel didn’t dare look over at Spike, not when he knew what he’d see- slumped shoulders, a dejected scowl, and a dark look that said more clearly than words that it was all his fault. He really should’ve said yes to the ride, but he knew Spike too well to risk it. One ride would’ve turned into three, and before he’d known it, they would’ve spent the whole night at the park- which was probably Spike’s plan to begin with. He’d have had a wonderful time dragging Angel on ride after ride until he got sick enough to make him stop, and Angel had a sneaking suspicion that Spike had been planning on trying to get him to wear one of those silly mouse ear hats as well. So really, it was best for everybody concerned that they weren’t staying.

Disneyland required a wonder and an innocence that Angel didn’t possess anymore. It was a place for children, and for those who could still touch that ‘inner child’ people on the TV were always talking about. And it was perfect for Spike, who was probably second only to Xander Harris as the most childlike person Angel knew. He fit in with the loud noises, flashing lights, and bright laughter that surrounded them as though he'd been formed here, while Angel could barely wait to get away and go back to the still quiet of his office, where nobody except Spike bothered him.

Of course, Spike would probably stop bothering him now. Angel still didn’t understand why the rides had been that important, but they’d obviously meant something to Spike- after all, he’d all but begged to stay, and he couldn’t remember the last time he’d heard Spike really beg for something. He stopped and turned around, ready to apologize and maybe offer to stop at a bar on the way back, only to find that Spike was gone. “Spike?” he called, raising his voice when there was no answer. “Spike!” Maybe it was just Spike getting back at him, playing a petty trick to try and upset him like he’d obviously upset the blond. Maybe not, a voice whispered deep inside. Maybe he’s had enough of you, too.

Angel shoved his hands in his pockets and headed out to the parking lot, telling himself that it didn’t matter that Spike wasn’t coming with him. He was glad he was staying, in fact- grateful that he wasn’t going to have to argue about the radio on the way back, or listen to the ten-thousandth complain about the lack of an alcohol allowance as part of the benefits package, or listen to yet another ‘remember when’ story that always made his soul feel just a little too shaky for comfort. He could relax and enjoy the drive in quiet, maybe put some Mozart on, and when he got back to the office, he could get some actual work done for the first time in weeks.

He spent the drive back making a mental list of things to do, and if that list included a few calculations about how Spike would get back or how long it would take him, he wasn’t about to tell anyone. And if he found it hard to concentrate when he sat down at his desk and opened the first file in his inbox, he blamed the thermostat instead of the deafening quiet that seemed to ring in his ears. The office was almost always cold, and no matter how often Angel had Harmony turn the dial up, he just couldn’t seem to get warm anymore.

After a few hours of restlessly shuffling papers around, he gave up trying to decipher the complicated wording and just started signing his name to everything. He figured that was probably what they wanted out of him, and really, it wasn’t like it mattered if he signed his life over to them, because he’d already damned his soul the moment he’d taken the devil’s bargain and accepted the keys. It was worth it, though, because Connor would get the life he deserved, and Spike-

Spike would get the Shanshu. He’d be human, able to go out in the sun and spend the whole day at Disneyland, instead of just a few hours at night. He could pick up the life that Angelus and Drusilla had interrupted all those years ago- marry, have children, grow old… and die. Angel laid the pen that had suddenly grown twenty pounds heavier down, wondering why the thought of Spike dying as an old man made his throat close up. He should be happy for him- wasn’t that the death everyone wanted? Surrounded by friends and family, loved and missed and mourned?

But if he were honest with himself, he’d have to admit that he’d never imagined dying that way, never thought of Spike dying that way, either. They were supposed to die together, on their feet, fighting the good fight. They were meant to sacrifice themselves so the world could go on, and anything else just felt... wrong. Dying without Spike beside him was wrong. Living without Spike beside him was unthinkable.

Sometimes it was hard to remember that he’d only had Spike back in his life for a few months. They’d fallen back into their old patterns of annoyance and argument so easily that it seemed like he’d been there all along. Of course, there was one pattern they hadn’t fallen back into, and Angel told himself that was a good thing, even as he felt a warm knot in his belly draw tight at the thought.

Deciding to give up on what little work he’d managed to do, Angel shoved his chair back and headed upstairs. He took a long hot shower and tried not to think about the blond he’d left at Disneyland, or the way they used to spend their nights, but it proved impossible. When he slipped into bed, the ghost of memories swarmed about him, and every time he closed his eyes he saw Spike, smiling at him, laughing with him, kissing him, writhing beneath him…

It was a very long, very frustrating, very sticky night.

When Angel walked into his office the next afternoon, he found a postcard waiting for him on his desk. Fireworks were exploding in the air above a castle, with Disneyland written in distinctive white letters at the bottom. Undeniably from Spike, probably detailing how much he’d enjoyed his time away from his sire. With a sigh, he flipped it over and stared at the elegant script on the back.

Had a terrible time. Wished you were there the whole night. – S

He looked up to see Spike leaning against the door frame. “Really?” he asked, cringing inside at how desperate and hopeful he sounded.

Spike nodded. “Turns out it wasn’t rides I wanted,” he said, stepping inside the office, closing the door behind him. “It was my sire.”

Angel wanted to tell him that his night had been awful too, wanted to say how much he’d missed him when he wasn’t there, but he was too busy kissing him to bother. Maybe later.

The End

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