by Saber ShadowKitten

Angel said nothing as he sat down beside Spike on the bench. The park was desolate, the young children having long since been tucked safely into their beds, dreaming the dreams of innocence and light. The nighttime surrounding them was bitter and cold, like it was a reflection of death.

Like it knew.

Gently, Angel put his arm around the other man's shoulder and pulled him close. Spike stiffened, his entire body radiating of tension and anger and grief, but Angel did not let go.

Instead, he began to purr softly.

Almost instantly, a sob wracked Spike's body, bursting forth between tightly pressed together lips. He bowed his head and pressed the heels of his palms hard against his eyes, as if trying to push back the tears. He sucked in harsh, gulping breaths of air until he was painfully hiccuping and his body jerking in Angel's partial embrace.

Angel ran his hand up and down Spike's upper arm, his purr enveloping the younger vampire in a blanket of comfort as Spike leaned closer to his Sire. A few, silent tears trailed down from Angel's own dark, troubled eyes in empathy. The grief radiating from Spike was almost palpable and his painful cries cut into the quietness of the night, causing all those who heard to make certain their families knew of their love for them.

It wasn't until the scent of dawn filled the air that Spike calmed. He leaned against Angel for several long minutes after the tears had finally stopped, before he growled abruptly and pulled away. Rising to his feet, Spike shot his Sire a hateful glare then stalked away.

Angel waited a moment, then got up and followed his Childe to one of the cemeteries. There, he watched as Spike entered a mausoleum and slammed the heavy door shut. The dark-haired vampire walked over to the small crypt across from where Spike had gone, pushed open the door, then sat down in the open doorway and kept a loving, protective eye on Spike's door for the day.