Christmas Countdown: December 9
Angel

by Juli

December 2006


Angel was not sulking. Vampires did not sulk. True, he was keeping to his office, but that was entirely his choice. The hustle and bustle of holiday preparations was mildly irritating; he got more done if shut the door.

A swell of voices brought him out of his funk. Grumbling as he put down the file he’d been trying to read, Angel went to the office door and looked out into the lobby of the old hotel they used as headquarters for Angel Investigations. It was Wesley, accompanied by what looked like a group of furniture movers. As Angel watched, the men brought in two easy chairs and the largest big screen television that Angel had seen outside of an electronic store’s showroom.

“Wes,” Angel called out.

Wesley gave a final instruction to one of the men and came hurrying over. “Yes? Is something wrong?”

Distracted by the activity, Angel just shook his head. “Who’re they?”

“Yes, well, I’ll explain in a moment,” Wesley looked very much like a little boy who’d been caught with a hand in the cookie jar. “You’ll just have to trust me for now.”

Angel nodded solemnly. “All right.”

Trust didn’t come easy to him, but Wesley had earned it. The human’s smile was wide at Angel’s easy acceptance and Angel couldn’t help but smile back. He would have liked to do more than smile, but didn’t know if that would be a good idea in front of a group of workmen that he didn’t know. He did reach up and cup Wesley’s face gently for a moment. Wes should smile more often, it transformed his face. Wesley did tend to be on the grim side, something that had been said about Angel in the past. One thing was for sure; Angel had more to smile about since his relationship with Wesley had started. They had yet to take that last step, the physical act itself, which was likely why Angel still retained his soul. Sometimes, though, it was hard to hold back. Especially with Wesley looking at him like that.

Angel went back into his office, his mood contemplative instead of broody. He watched through the slatted blinds as Wesley directed the workers. The television set included what looked like an elaborate stereo system and Wesley was being very picky with how everything was being set-up. Angel thought he’d never seen anyone fuss so much over something. . . until he watched Wesley supervise the placement of the easy chairs. If Wesley had picky with the speakers, he was downright persnickety with the chairs. Their position must have been changed a dozen times before Wesley was content with their placement.

Eventually, however, everything was arranged even to Wesley’s satisfaction. It was with a measure of relief that Angel observed while the human paid the workers. From their smiles, he assumed that there was a generous tip included in the payment. That would be just like Wesley too; fussy, but willing to reward those who met his meticulous expectations.

“You going to tell me what’s going on now?” Angel asked when they were finally alone.

And they were truly alone. Gunn, Cordelia and Fred were off visiting Fred’s family. Roger and Trish Burkle were a great couple, but Angel had to wonder about the wisdom of that move. They clearly loved their daughter, but would they understand her romantic involvement, not only with another woman, but a man too? Only time would tell.

“I know you wanted to attend the candlelight concert at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,” Wesley explained as he clutched the back of the nearest easy chair. His long fingers were clenched with tension. “But given that it’s in a church, doing so would be most. . . uncomfortable for you.”

Uncomfortable was an understatement. Angel nodded, silently encouraging the other man to continue.

“I read in the newspaper that they are broadcasting the performance live,” Wesley held up a remote. He pointed it at the television and turned it on. It took a moment for him to find the right channel, but when he did, the sweet sound of children singing Christmas hymns flooded the hotel.

Angel closed his eyes, letting the beauty of the singing carry him away. When the song finished, he opened them. Wesley was looking at Angel, not the TV, and he had a hopeful expression on his face.

“Do you like it?” He asked anxiously.

“I love it,” Angel assured him. “I think you wasted some money, though.”

Wesley looked dismayed. It was mean of Angel, but he did so enjoy that little worry crease that appeared on the human’s forehead under these type of circumstances.

“I don’t think so, Angel,” Wesley argued. “The top of the line equipment is necessary to get the full concert experience.”

“I can hear that,” Angel replied as he flopped on one of the chairs. “And it’s glorious, but that’s not what I’m talking about.”

Wesley looked around, taking a quick visual inventory of the set-up. “Then what?”

“You shouldn’t have bothered with two chairs,” Angel answered smugly. “We’re not gonna need both of them.”

With that, Angel reached out and snagged Wesley’s wrist. With a practiced yank, he pulled Wesley to him and onto his lap.

“Ah.” Angel sighed with exaggerated appreciation. “That’s better.”

Wesley wasn’t a cuddler, which told Angel a lot about the man’s childhood. It was something Angel was working on. Although not normally overly demonstrative himself, Angel enjoyed holding Wesley, hoping to convey with his touch what he didn’t dare say out loud.

At first, Wesley remained stiff in Angel’s arms, but he slowly relaxed. The fact that Angel was essentially petting him helped. The concert continued; the beatific sound of the music providing the perfect background. With Wes in his arms, it was better than actually being at the cathedral.

“Thank you, Wes,” Angel whispered in his lover’s voice. “This is great.”

“You’re welcome,” Wesley whispered back. “I know how much you’ve missed the music.”

The two men settled in to listen, but for Angel, the real joy was the man in his arms. By the nature of what he was, Angel was denied many of God’s graces. He was just glad that didn’t include Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.

~the end~

 

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