Nollaig Shona Duit


Summary: Angel has some visitors on Christmas Eve
Notes: This is my response to a challenge on the Angelslash list and I’ve also tried to fix what Satan, I mean Joss, did in Heroes. I think I’ve taken some liberties with the layout of Angel’s apartment. Also, extra points to anyone who knows what the title means :)

**********

Angel absently rubbed the back of his neck as he tried to decide which book to reread that night. He needed something to do and for once he was actually lamenting not having a television. Not that he would have been able to stomach any programing on anyway. He had already given up on the radio. The souled vampire really didn’t understand why, just because it was eleven-o-clock on December 24, every station *had* to play Christmas carols.

“Go on, say ‘Bah Humbug’. You know you want to.”

Angel spun around, eyes wide. His jaw dropped at the sight of the slight, dark haired Irishman lounging on his couch.

“Doyle!?”

“In the flesh. . . well actually I’m not, but you get the idea.” He smiled at the befuddled vampire.

“You’re a ghost?”

A slightly wounded look crossed Doyle’s features. “I prefer corporally challenged.”

“But how, why, what, how?”

“You already said how.”

Angel sank down into a thankfully close chair.

Doyle took pity on his obviously shell-shocked friend and began to explain. “Actually I’m not a ghost, I’m a spirit.”

“There’s a difference?”

“There’s a very big difference I’ll have you know. A ghost is a soul that's tied to the Earth plain for one reason or another. A spirit is a soul sent to Earth for a specific reason, usually to be a guardian or guide.” He grinned. “And you thought you had gotten rid of me.” He said playfully.

“Okay, that helps with the what and why, but there’s still the how.”

Doyle’s smile was replaced by a serious look. “I was offered a choice. I could either have ascended to. . . heaven, I suppose you could call it, or, I could return here. Eternal happiness or fighting the good fight.”

“And you chose to come back.”

“What can I say, I guess that hero stuff kinda gets inta your blood. . . or whatever it is I have now.”

Angel finally allowed himself to smile at his friend. “Cordy’s gonna be happy.”

Doyle smiled again, a blush covering his dimpled cheeks. “Did she miss me?” He asked shyly.

Angel’s voice was very soft. “Yeah, she did.”

“Well, I guess I know where I’ll be headed tonight once my work here is done.” The Irish spirit said with a wink.

The vampire’s body tensed. “Work here? Is there evil?”

“You need to really think about laying off the caffeine bud.” Doyle let out a sigh. “No, there’s no evil, at least none that I’m aware of, and I do have a pretty direct line now.”

“Then not to sound rude, because believe me I’m glad you’re back, but. . . if there’s no evil . . .”

“I’m here to deliver a present.”

“A present?”

“A Christmas present, from The Powers.”

“The Powers are giving me a Christmas present.”

“Angel, boyo, stop repeatn’ everything I say, I really would like to get over to Cordelia’s before she’s too old to appreciate me anymore.”

“Sorry.”

“Thanks. Now, as I was saying, The Powers have been feeling a little bad about everything that’s been happening to you lately. . .”

“A little bad?”

Doyle scowled at him.

“Sorry.” Angel said again.

“May I continue?”

“Yes, please.” The vampire slightly bowed his head.

“Good.” He cleared his nonexistent throat. “It being Christmas Eve and all, the powers decided to get you something, a morale booster if you will, after all you are one of their best warriors. Anyway, they decided to let you have your heart’s desire.” He paused for a moment. “Done.”

Angel broke out of his silence. “Wait, what’s done. I didn’t say anything yet.”

“You didn't’ have to.”

“But. . .”

Suddenly a new voice called out and stopped the bickering.

“Deadboy?”

The vampire and spirit both turned to face the teenager standing beside the elevator.

“Xander?” Angel glanced quickly between him and Doyle.

“Well, this is . . . unexpected.” The Irishman said, trying unsuccessfully to hide a smile.

“What the hell’s going on?” Xander asked, understandably perturbed.

To his credit Angel recovered his composure quite quickly. “I’ll explain in a minute.” He said to Xander. “Doyle, can I talk to you in the kitchen?” He asked in a tight voice, already heading out of the room.

Xander watched the shorter man give him an apologetic smile then float after the vampire. Wait, *float*. Xander raised his eyes to the ceiling. “Is it really too much to ask to have a normal holiday for once?” He muttered.

Angel was pacing around the small space between the counter and the table. “Doyle!” He tried very hard to keep his voice low.

“Don’t look at me!” He held up his hands. “That’s your doing.”

“No it isn’t. I didn’t even get a chance to say anything.”

“That’s not the way it works.” Doyle thought for a moment. “You ever play that word association game? You know the one where one person says a word and then another person says the first thing that pops into his head.”

“No.”

“Oh, well its the same basic premise. I said the words ‘heart’s desire’ and you immediately thought of. . . him.” He gave Angel a sly grin.

“No I didn’t. Xander Harris is not my heart’s desire and that’s that.”

Doyle shrugged. “You can lie to yourself all you want Angel, but you can’t lie to Them. They know what’s in your heart, you soul, what you really need to be happy.”

“I’m not supposed to be happy, or did everyone else forget that pesky little clause in my curse?”

“That doesn’t apply to you anymore.” Doyle stared into his friend’s eyes. “The Powers are no longer afraid that true happiness would make you shirk your duties. Your soul is bound to you forever.”

Angel let that information sink in. “Are you sure?

“Yeah.”

“I want Buffy. Send Xander back. I’m happy with Buffy.”

“No, you’re miserable with Buffy.” Doyle rolled his eyes. “How thick is that undead skull of yours. You and Buffy had a supernova kinda relationship, which is all well and good if you want fast and fun, but not if you want an everlasting kinda thing. Think about it man, would you rather have a few white hot years, or a slow, steady burn for the rest of your life?”

“But. . . Xander?”

“The Powers are not beings that make a lot of mistakes Angel.” Doyle said seriously. “And on that note, I have a certain ex-May Queen to reacquaint myself with. See ya.”

Angel watched as the spirit slowly faded until he was standing alone in his kitchen. He sincerely wished that he could have a few centuries to mull over everything that had been said, but the presence of the boy in his living room demanded that it be dealt with now.

He walked out of the kitchen. “Xander?”

“Angel, what’s going on? I mean one second I’m happily locked away in my basement, getting ready to spend Christmas Eve inside for the first time in nine years, then, all of a sudden I’m in the middle of your living room, at least I assume it’s your living room and if it is that means that I’m in L.A. so I think I have to repeat with more feeling, what is going on?” Xander took a deep breath and flopped onto the couch. “And who was the floaty guy?”

“That was Doyle.” Angel said tentatively sitting down on the other side of the sofa.

“Doyle? Oz didn't say anything about him being a ghost.”

“That’s because he wasn't when Oz was here. He only died a few weeks ago. And, technically he isn’t a ghost, he’s a spirit.”

“There’s a difference?” Xander tilted his head to the side. “Wait, explain that to me later, first fill me in on why I’m here.”

Angel gave him a big grin. “You’re gonna laugh.” The grin disappeared. “Well, probably not, but laughing is better then yelling or sobbing uncontrollably.”

Xander raised an eyebrow. “Deadboy, you’re starting to worry me. Whatever it is, just spit it out.”

A certain mental image flitted through Angel’s mind.

“Angel?”

“Uh, what was the question?”

“Why am I here!?”

“Oh, right. Um, some of this may sound a little strange.”

Xander gave him a smirk. “Believe me Deadboy I can deal with strange. I mean, I can handle you, right?”

Angel shook his head before his traitorous subconscious could provide him with another mental picture. He took a deep, unneeded breath, and told the teenager everything that Doyle had told him, carefully gauging Xander’s reaction to certain bits of information. When he finished he stared expectantly at the boy.

Xander was picking at the knee of his jeans. He finally looked up and met the vampire’s gaze. “Is it true?”

“Doyle wouldn’t lie to
me.

“No, not that.” Xander let his eyes fall shut and Angel couldn't’ help but stare at the contrast between the boy’s dark lashes and pale cheeks. “Me. How you feel about me. Is that true?”

“I don’t know.” Angel said softly, suddenly finding the back of his hand very interesting. He didn’t even notice when Xander opened his eyes, or the look the boy gave him. He did, however, notice when Xander slid closer, shortening the distance between them.

“Would you like to find out?” Xander asked just as softly. He placed one of his hands on Angel’s knee and brought the other one up to gently rest on the vampire’s shoulder.

This time Angel didn’t mind when wondrous images of him and Xander danced in his head.

“Yes, I’d like that.” He and Xander leaned toward each other. Their mouths met and Angel immediately knew what Doyle had meant by a slow burn. He could feel that fire spreading through him as he wrapped his arms around the young mortal.

The chime of the clock on the mantle broke the kiss, but not the embrace. Angel watched it until the twelfth bell had rung. He turned his head to find Xander staring at him, a smile playing on his lips.

“Merry Christmas Angel.”

**********



All You Need

Summary: Angel and Xander stress over Valentines Day. This is a sequel to ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’
Notes: The names and descriptions of certain products below are real, just changed slightly to protect the innocent. . . shheeeyeaah right, like there are any of those here.

***************

February 8th -
12:38 PM
*****

Xander yawned as he slipped a shirt over his head. Helping fight that interdimensional goon squad had taken a lot out of him and the teenager was grateful Angel had let him sleep late, even if it did mean briefly forgoing the rapidly beloved tradition of waking up next to the beautiful vampire.

It had been almost a month since Xander had left Sunnydale and moved to
L.A., or more specifically almost a month since he had moved in with Angel. So many things had changed so very quickly, yet some things remained the same and these slightly irked the teen.

Of course Xander understood the practicality of a vampire having a subterranean apartment, but he was a bit chagrined that after all the changes his life had undergone he was still living in a basement. With a rueful smile the mortal made his way up the stairs and into the main office area where he found Cordelia, seated behind her desk, idly flipping through a magazine.

“Hey Cor, Deadboy around?”

“Nope, he had to go meet Cop Lady about something. Said he’d be back in about an hour.”

Xander studied Cordelia for a moment. “Isn’t it a little early for you to have that shopping glow?” He asked plopping into a nearby chair. Cordy glared at him. “Right, sorry. What was I thinking?”

“You weren’t, that’s the problem.” With a very put upon sigh she continued. “If you must know I was picking up Doyle’s Valentines gift. Actually, if you want to be technical, I was picking up the wrapping for his gift.

“Wrapping?”

“Uh huh. Want to see?” Hazel eyes twinkled mischievously.

Xander knew he would be given a presentation regardless of what he wanted so he simply nodded his head.

Cordelia secretly glanced around the office. “Okay. I’ll show you, but breathe a word of this to Doyle and it’ll be the last breath you take, got it?”

Xander rolled his eyes. “I’m not gonna tell, now show.”

With a coy smile Cordelia reached into her large tote and pulled out a small bag, from that came a piece of stretchy red lace. Cordy held the negligee up and raised an eyebrow at her former boyfriend. “Well?”

Xander leaned back in his chair and briefly imagined the brunette’s curves covered by the sheer fabric. “I think it’s a good thing Doyle’s already dead so you don’t have to worry about his heart stopping when he sees you in that thing.”

Cordelia grinned at him then quickly stuffed the nightie back into her bag. “You think he’ll like it?” She asked almost shyly.

Xander grinned. “I think he’ll like the wrapping, but he already loves the present.”

Cordy tucked the tote back under her desk. “Now why couldn’t you have been that sweet when we were dating?”

“Because I was in high school, I would have been kicked out of the male gender.” He quipped.

“Ah.” Cordy gave him a knowing smile. “So, what are you getting tall, dark and broody?”

Xander scowled. “I have no idea. Do you know how hard it is to shop for a two hundred and forty five year old vampire? It’s hell. I mean, compared to what he is and what he’s gone through everything for this holiday just seems so . . . shmaltzy.”

“Huh. Well, maybe you should do what I did and get a pro-active gift. Umm, what do you think about a red, silk thong?”

Xander grimaced.

“Come on.” Cordelia pleaded. “You should get something that’ll make it impossible for Angel to keep his hands off of you.” The brunette paused and studied her old friend. “What’s wrong?”

“Huh? Nothing.”

Cordy narrowed her eyes. “I *know* you Xander Harris and you just had that *look* on your face.”

“What look?” He asked innocently.

“*That* look.” She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “Spill.”

Xander ran a hand through his hair and sighed. “It’s complicated.”

Cordy perked up. “I can do complicated. Talk to
me.

“What?”

“If you’re having problems I want to try and help. Talk to me. You and Angel are my friends.”

“Are you sure, cause. . . “

“Gawd Xander, don’t take all day. I’ve got a salon appointment at two, tick tock!”

“Okay! Okay! Geeez.” Xander took a deep breath. “The problem, and I so cannot believe I’m doing this, is that Angel and I have been living together for almost a month now and we still haven’t. . . ya know, done *it*. I mean we’ve done things. . . just not *it*.”

“What kind of things?”

“Um, . . . certain oral things.”

“Huh. So basically you’ve sucked each other off but no one’s penetrated anything yet.” Cordelia summed up with a succinct nod of her head.

Xander let his head thump down on the desk. “Just when I think my life has reached it’s weirdness quota, my ex-girlfriend says something like that.”

“Xander.” Cordy admonished. “You should know by now that your life is gonna get way weirder then this. You’re dating a vampire - Hello!”

The teenager dejectedly raised his head. “You’re right, and I wouldn’t change that. I think I love him Cor, and I hate to complain, I mean, the whole cuddle thing is amazing, but sometimes . . . all I want is to. . .”

“Be thrown across the bed and ravished like a character in a trashy romance novel?”

“Uh. . . well. . . Yes dammit!” He blushed indignantly.

Cordy began to tap a perfectly polished nail on her keyboard. “Have you told Angel about this?”

“How am I supposed to do that?” Xander’s brow creased.

“Duh! Try talking to him.” Cordy shook her head. “You know, I just don’t understand why there are so many male male couples out there. I mean it’s hard enough maintaining a relationship that only has one Y chromosome.” She reached across the desk and clasped Xander’s hands. “Okay, see, the thing about men, and you should know this since you are one, then again, since you are one you probably have no clue as to what I’m about to say. Anyway, the thing about men is that sometimes the only way to get something through to them is to hit them over the head with it. Not literally, just tell him.” A wicked gleam formed in her hazel eyes. “Or better yet, show him.”

Xander pulled away. “I’m amazed that after all these years that look you get in your eyes still has the power to scare me senseless.”

“Then it’s decided.”

“Decided? What? Who decided, when?” Xander valiantly fought against the rising terror.

The ex-May Queen rubbed her hands together in anticipatory glee. “Tomorrow you and I are going shopping, and Angel, will never know what hit him.”

***************

February 9th -
4:02 AM
*****

Angel gave one last longing look at the dark haired figure curled in up under the covers before he turned away. The faster he got upstairs and accomplished his task the faster he could get back to his lover.

Once he was in the office area Angel settled himself into Cordelia’s chair and booted up the computer. He pulled up his favorite search engine and with a few choice keywords into the allotted slot the quest began.

A new screen came up and the vampire chewed his bottom lip as he studied the available choices. he scratched his head and decided to randomly pick one. A click of his mouse brought up another page and Angel found himself staring at more options. With a mental shrug he clicked on a product icon and the corresponding image popped up.

The vampire’s jaw fell open slightly as he leaned forward in his chair and peered at the screen. “Weenie Babies?” What the hell kind of place had he stumbled onto.

“What ya looking at?”

Angel let out an undignified yelp and spun around in his chair to face the bemused Irish spirit which had materialized behind him.

“Doyle!” Angle hissed. “Could you not do that.”

The black haired figure ignored the hostility radiating off the older man, focusing instead on the image on the screen.

“So, it’s come ta this has it?” Doyle slowly shook his head. “Tha great Angel has fallen ta collectin stuffed phalluses.” He snickered as the vampire hurriedly clicked on a different icon.

“N-no. I was just. . .” Angel excuses trailed off in defeat as the new image came up.

“What? Lookin fer. . .” Doyle leaned closer to the screen, reading the product description. “Sometin ta satisfy the hungriest a anal passions? Huh, I learn sometin new about you every day.”

The vampire pinched the bridge of his nose wondering how much it was going to cost him to keep the former half demon quite about this.

Doyle leaned against the wall and calmly regarded his friend. “Angel, ya know that yer personal life is none a my business. . .”

“Yet, you’re still here.”

“But, instead a lookin for trills elsewhere ya might want ta remember that handsome young ting ya keep in the basement.”

“I’m not looking for me, I’m looking for Xander.”

“Course ya are.” The spirit nodded conspiratorially.

Angel glared at him. “I am looking for something for Xander for Valentines Day. I thought I’d try the net before I resorted to actually shopping. Needless to say, I haven’t had a lot of luck yet. Are there any other questions?”

“Well, since ya asked. What exactly are ya looking fer?”

“I don’t know. I was hoping I could get some kind of idea online.” Angel sighed. “I just want to give Xander something. . . romantic.”

“Romantic? Keep lookin bud.” Doyle motioned toward the computer. “That kinda stuff aint fer Valentine’s. . . but, ya might want ta remember this site when his birthday rolls around.”

Angel growled at the Irishman. “Okay, oh great, wise, direct link to the powers, what do you suggest I get him?”

The Irish spirit shrugged. “It’s not fer me ta say, I’m not ta one who’s in love with him.”

These words seemed to soften the vampire. “I do, you know. Love him.”

“Does he know?”

“I. . .”

“Then, that’s what you should do.” Doyle interrupted. “Show him how much he means ta ya. If he’s tha center a your world now Angel, ya should make sure he knows it.”

“Well, what do you think I should do?”

“What?”

“I-i-it’s b-been a while. . . since I’ve. . . done the romance thing with anyone. . . you know, without bloodletting.” The vampire stammered.

The spirit chuckled. “I can’t believe you’re coming ta me fer romantic advice.”

“That makes two of us.” Angel said with an inward groan.

Doyle’s face held a bright grin “Okay bud, first ting’s first, we’re gettin away from this site.” The spirit telenetically moved the mouse and brought the search page back up. “Ah, now here looks like an interesting place ta check - Lubes, lotions and oils. Oh my.”

“You had to say it, didn’t you?

“Ah, you’re just upset cause you didn’t say it first.”

***************

February 9th -
2:29 PM
*****

“Are you sure about this?” Xander nervously glanced around the nearly empty bookstore.

“Xander, it’s a no brainer. Not even Angel can vague up the words ‘Karma Sutra.” She began to leaf through the book. “I mean check all the info and the, oh my. . . color illustrations.” Cordelia tilted the book slightly and peered at the page. “Wow. I did not know that could bend that way.”

“Lemme see.” Xander peered over her shoulder. “Ouch.”

Cordelia pulled away from him and closed the book. “Come on, let’s get this and get going. I’m going to sign you up at my gym.”

“Your gym?” Suspicion was written clearly over the boy’s features. “I know I’m gonna regret asking this, but why?”

Cordelia knowingly thumped the hardcover. “You *really* need to limber up before next Monday.”

***************

February 13th -
11:53 PM
*****

Angel anxiously puttered around the apartment, checking to make sure everything would be perfect when Xander got back. He had asked Cordelia to keep Xander occupied elsewhere while he set things up downstairs. With a huge smile, that told the vampire she knew more then she was letting on, the girl had agreed and suddenly Cordelia *absolutely had* to get to Bloomingdales before they closed and she *absolutely couldn’t* go alone. Xander had sputtered a bit before he finally accepted his fate and accompanied his ex-girlfriend to the mall. That was three hours ago, everything was now ready and Angel was driving himself crazy making sure of that fact.

Candles? Check. Wine? Check. Chocolate? Check. Strawberries and whipped cream? Check. Angel tried to suppress the wave of giddiness that suddenly swept through him. The thought of any of those tastes mixed with the unique Xander-flavor of his lover’s skin made the vampire’s stomach flip-flop in anticipation. However, his composure quickly returned with the sound of heavy footsteps on the stairs.

“I can’t believe Cordy talked me into letting her drive.” Xander grumbled. “Never again. *NEVER* again. . .” The teen stopped short when he saw the transformed apartment. “Wow. What’s with all the candles Deadboy, we doing some kind of spell tonight?”

Angel smiled at the once hated nickname. “Nope, no spell.”

“They why. . .”

“Happy Valentines Day Xander.”

The teenager’s jaw dropped as full comprehension dawned. “Wait, you mean. . . all of this. . . is for me?” The last part came out with a bit of a squeak. “B-but Valentines Day isn’t until tomorrow.”

Angel glanced at the clock. “It is tomorrow.” He crossed over to his lover. “And this is definitely all for you.”

Xander let himself be wrapped in strong arms and pulled into a searing kiss. The mortal returned the hug and let his overworked synapsis rest for a moment while he floated on the sensations of being loved and loving someone back. Finally their mouths broke apart, allowing Xander to take a shaky breath, but if anything their hold on each other’s bodies grew even tighter.

“A slow, steady burn.” Angel whispered into soft, brown hair.

“What?”

Angel smiled. “I just remembered something Doyle once said. Something about us. It’s not important right now.” He stared down into the sparkling brown eyes of his young love. “What is important is you. . .” Angel let one of his hands work it’s way under Xander’s shirt and stoked the base of the boy’s spine. “Me. . .” His other hand deftly unzipped the teen’s jeans and slipped inside. “And what we’re going to do with all that whipped cream over there.”

Xander’s body shuddered under the assault and he uttered the only thing his poor, addled brain could come up with. “Kay.”

Angel chucked as he led the younger man over to their bed. “I think this is going to be a good holiday.”

***************

The End.


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