Drabbles

Written for the Live Journal Community, Open_On_Sunday. Each drabble has a theme and must be exactly 100 words.

Woman of Property
Rating: PG-13
Character: Darla, pre-series
Challenge/Theme: success/failure

She gripped the wooden spade, blood flowing from winter cracks, and tore open the ground. The swaddled babe, first she had ever put to breast, lay dead beside her.

Woman of property? Land enough and no one to tend it but her own back.

She bore that child in an empty bed. Only her hand to catch him.

Old Madge had once told her, “It's best not to give them a name, girl, lest they find you again.”

She whispered a name in his ear. Laid her Jersey childhood rosary in with him. What use had she anymore for God?

Boys of Summer
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Angel, Spike, Connor; AtS s5 (no specific spoilers)
Challenge/Theme: Summer sunsets

Fifth inning. Sun above the trees. Connor’s up at bat.

“Sodding hell, Angel! Baseball?”

“It’s a dream, Spike.”

Smirk. “So I’m the man of your dreams now, am I?”

“Shut up and watch the game.”

“Bastard cricket, it is...Who’s the boy?”

“Mine.”

“Care to share?”

“No. Just wave your flag.”

“It’s a pennant, ya git.”

Swing. Hit. Connor dives into second base. Safe.

The sun sinks. Reflects yellow orange crimson off of Connor into Spike’s face.

“God, Angel, the sun...”

Arm around Spike, Angel smiles. Two men sit in the sun and don’t burst into flames.

It’s a good dream.

Love's Austere and Lonely Offices
Rating: PG
Character: Lindsey, pre-series
Challenge/Theme: Winter and/or steam

Winter. Flu season. They've all been sick with it, but Shannon and Davey most of all. Seven and bone-tired, he's been up at the kettle all night.

He stumbles back to the kids' room. Two beds for six of them. His small hands scalded, he pours the boiling water into the pot by the side of the bed. Watches the steam rise.

In the kitchen, his father asks, "You been at this all night?"

Eyes down. "Yes, sir."

An old face swirls with love, pain, decision. "We can't afford the gas, boy."

Lindsey watches the last of the steam die.

Of All the Gin Joints at LaGuardia...
Rating: R (for language)
Pairing: Spike/Samantha (SatC) implied, S/A/B implied; post-series, no specific spoilers
Challenge/Theme: Crossover

"Botox? Chemical peel?"

Startled, Spike looks up from his beer at a slinky blonde.

"I never forget a face. Or a coat."

Oh yeah...hot little ride. "Spike."

"Samantha."

Angel strides in with a florist's wet-dream, "This okay?"

"Take a look at you," purrs Samantha. "Is this a private party?"

Angel sputters, "No...Yes...Spike!"

Spike, laughing, pulls a startled Angel to his lap, "No use denyin', Ducks. Lady's perceptive."

"Buffy's flight..."

"Arrives in an hour." Smirks, "Our lady-love. Long story. Involves oil."

"I'll bet."

"Spike..." growls Angel.

"Promises..." Spike waves farewell.

"Vampires," Samantha laughs, "Fucking town's full of 'em."

Hope Is a Blossom of Glass
Rating: PG
Character: Wesley, AtS 3x15 "Loyalty"
Challenge/Theme: seven holy virtues/seven deadly sins

Wesley heard this joke in a pub once:

If you took all the nerves from a man and laid them end to end--that man would die.

Now he knows this isn't true. He is a wire, resonating. A thin line of love. "Love can be a terrible thing."

He believes this. Love encompasses beauty and terror. Love is a bottle of milk on the stove.

If he could choose anything, it would be this place. To watch a man, his son in his arms.

Hope is a blossom of glass, unfurling in his chest--erupting in a thousand shards of laughter.

Solomon's Verdict
Rating: PG-13
Character: Angel, AtS 3x16 "Sleep Tight"
Challenge/Theme: Doors

Solomon said: Cut the babe in half and give one to each.

The real mother said: Take him.

Now Angel stood facing Lilah, Connor in Holtz's arms. So close he could smell him.

How often had he said, "Make it worth me while, I might let the child live?"

No time for memory, irony. Death smiles at his boy. He has no choice but choice.

"Take him." Angel tells Holtz. "Take him."

The Quortoth portal opens. Holding the baby tight, Holtz leaps through. The portal closes.

Angel sinks down on all fours. Connor is not the one split in two.

Grand Gesture
Rating: PG
Character: Doyle, AtS 1x9 "Hero
Challenge/Theme: livejournal mood (quixotic)

He's never one for grand gestures. Those are for the likes of Angel, you see. Angel has the sweeping coat, the tragic love story. For him, it's yesterday's shirt if he hasn't gambled it away. Divorce. Chasing after the girl in the office.

But now he's kissed the girl, made that leap. There's a dinner he'll never see as he disarms the device, plays the hero. He belongs with a vampire and a princess, but it's here he needs to be. Holding on, his skin starts to crackle, sizzle. The holding on isn't the hard part.

It's the letting go.

Better Off Dead
Rating: PG
Characters: Angel, Spike; post-Ats 5x08 "Destiny"
Challenge/Theme: none

“Our rats are low...”

Doyle’s image flickers off the darkened walls of Angel’s suite.

“That the Irishman, then?”

“Get out, Spike.”

“Angel, can’t we just talk for once?”

“Which part of ‘get out’ did you not understand?”

“Fine, suit yourself.” The door slams.

Angel rewinds, ejects the tape marked DOYLE. Puts it away next to one he received before coming over to W&H. On a post-it, ‘If we must perish, tell the world our story.’ For eighteen days, he watched one section: a basement, a flung cigarette.

A new label covers the old. One word, written in black marker: SPIKE.

Sometimes an Icarus
Rating: PG-13
Character: Angel, AtS s5 - no specific spoilers
Challenge/Theme: food/eating

Sometimes he dreams of blood:

Buffy’s, Lilah’s, Connor’s...Dru’s when he turned her.

Three pulsed down his throat. One merely spattered on his hands.

Sometimes he sees them burning:

Darla and Dru in the warehouse. Spike in the desert.

Sometimes he dreams of water:

Falling, rising. Glass and hunger.

Here he sees Holland Manners, an elevator:

“Home Office, Angel?” he says.

This time he leaps up, heroic.

For in dreams, even a vampire can fly.

“Oh Dru, I can see the stars...”

But, even in dreams, a vampire cannot achieve escape velocity.

He falls--an icarus--into Acathla’s hungry mouth.

One Night in Bangkok
Rating: R
Character: Riley, post-series
Challenge/Theme: Tori Amos song titles (Finn)

He’s been clean for over three years. Until Sam leaves. Transfer she says.

“Are we getting divorced?”

So he finds himself with four of his buds in this little demon bar off the main drag in Bangkok. He lures her out of the corner with twenty dollars American.

“Oh dog, you gonna do it?”

Yeah, rolls up his sleeve. Watches her eyes watch his as she bites deep, sucks. Oh yeah. Jesus. Forgot.

“Fuck, Finn, you are twisted!”

Jackson winks, tries to hand him a stake. Shoves it and her aside. “Go!” he hisses.

He walks away clean after that.

Not the Delivery Boy
Rating: R
Pairing: Faith/Buffy, BtVS s3
Challenge/Theme: sex

The tv’s on in Faith’s rathole-room but nobody’s watching. Kicks off the last of the shit covers as she slides down Buffy. Her tongue’s on fucking overdrive as...

“Gyuuu-aawwwd.” How many fingers does B got? And they’re going at it, going at it...

And they’re just shit-for-brains after cause, yeah, it’s that good.

Gives B one good and slow. “Mmmm, don’t I taste yummy?”

Buffy looks away, “Angel.”

“Not the delivery boy these days. ‘Sides, eating ain’t cheating.”

“Rationalize much?” Buffy’s clothes-diving now.

“No big. We take care of each other, B.”

“Yeah. It’s nice...thanks.”

And there she goes.

he Ocean Within Us, The Ocean Above Us
Rating: PG-13
Character: Lawson, pre-series
Challenge/Theme: minor character

He fingers the gauze curtain, watches the neon strobe from the pawn shop flicker into the room.

"It's different here," he says to the figure in the bed. "Back home, we had thunderheads as big as skyscrapers. The only water we had was what fell from the sky." He laughs quietly, "So I joined the navy."

He sits, strokes her arm, the curve of her back. "Sometimes you taste like the sea."

He turns. "I follow him sometimes. God, back in my day, he was something, wasn't he?"

She doesn't say anything. She can't. He drained her dry hours ago.

The Hand Is Hard To Capture
Rating: PG
Pairing: A/S
Challenge/Theme: Hands

Hands were the hardest for Angel. He had spent centuries rendering hands of the dead–futility easier to replicate.

Couldn’t say when he started again. Maybe when he noticed that Spike, bodiless, never knew what to do with his. They either flapped wildly or scurried back inside that duster.

“What’s up with the hands?”

“Could use a fag is all.”

Tried to capture Spike’s hands from memory. Couldn’t get it right. Better if they grasped something. Tried cudgels, cigarettes--even another hand. Liked the hand best, kept that one.

Only later did Angel realize that the hand Spike held was his.

Make A Difference
Rating: R
Characters: Spike, Angel, Gunn, Illyria; AtS 5x22 "Not Fade Away"
Challenge/Theme: endings

Fitting it should end in an alleyway.

“Angel, you know where we’re goin’ to end up.”

“Yeah. See you there.”

Nothing but the brush of fingertips between them. Then Angel leapt up like fucking Batman.

Fine. Got a bunch of demons to take care of anyway.

“How you holdin’ up, Charlie?”

“Fine, English...”

In the voice he shed long ago, “It’s alright, Charles. We’ve got it.” “Okay, Wes...” Gunn fell.

“You lie well.” she said, her fists slowing.

Just time enough to look up at the glorious bastard astride the plummeting dragon.

Yeah, him and Angel, they made a difference...

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