A Million Miles Away, Future Interlude
One of the things that Angel loved about where they lived was the change of seasons. It was something he'd missed back in Los Angeles, though he hadn't realised how much until they'd been here long enough to see them turn. He was glad that Connor would be growing up with that natural rhythm.
Each season had its charms, but it was winter that was Angel's favourite. Snow always reminded him of that Christmas years ago when an impossible snowstorm had saved his life when he'd been determined to end it. It had left him with the sense that snow had something of an air of magic and grace about it.
Beyond that there was the reason why the snowstorm had been able to save his life in the first place -- when it was snowing, the clouds were thick enough that the sun couldn't burn him. He could go out in the daytime.
Which meant he could play with his son outside. During the day. Like normal dads did.
It wasn't every snow fall that Angel was able to do this in; full out blizzards or even snowstorms with a significant wind and extra cold temperatures were no place for Connor to be out in, and Wesley wouldn't let Angel go out unless he was sure the cloud cover was going to hold without risk of a sudden sun breakthrough-vampire bursting into flame incident. But there were always a few days a year where the weather was mild enough and Wesley deemed the cloud cover sufficiently thick and continuous enough for Angel's safety, they would all go out and play.
Angel wasn't sure who started it, but those days became known as "snow days" and quickly became something looked forward to.
And not just by Angel.
Angel and Wesley were enjoying the last few minutes of being lazy and warm in bed before getting up when a small tornado of energy burst through their door and dove onto the bed between them.
"Daddy, Wesley, get up, get up!" Connor pulled on Angel's arm, then turned and pulled on Wesley's. "It's a 'no day!" he declared, eyes practically glowing with excitement. "You gotta get up!"
"A snow day, huh?" Angel grabbed his son and held him up off the bed while Connor squirmed and giggled. "How do you know that?"
Connor gave him a look that very clearly said he was doubting his father's intelligence. "Looked out da window," he said, the unsaid 'duh' loud at the end of the sentence.
"Oh, I see." Angel grinned; Connor was such a neat kid.
"The forecast did call for moderate to heavy snowfall today," Wesley put in.
"See?" Connor said triumphantly, pointing at Angel and almost getting him in the nose. "'No day!"
"Looks like it could be," Angel acknowledged, setting Connor down on the bed beside him. "Tell you what, why don't we get dressed and make breakfast, while Wes checks the weather and makes sure Daddy won't burst into flames. If he says it's okay, we'll go outside after we eat."
"Can we go 'bogganing?" Connor asked, his eyes shining.
"If it is indeed a snow day, and if conditions on the hill are right for it," Wesley told him. "Why don't you go to your room and pick out what you want to wear and Daddy will be in in a few minutes to help you get dressed?"
"'kay." Connor squirmed back down to the bottom of the bed then slid off and ran out of the room.
"It never ceases to amaze me that two vampires produced a progeny that has that much energy this early in the morning," Wesley commented, bemused.
"I think it's a kid thing. So you really think it's a snow day?" Angel asked, hearing an eagerness in his own voice that rivalled his son's.
Wesley seemed to think that warranted a kiss, not that Angel was complaining. "I think you better see about getting that huge toboggan Connor got for Christmas out of the storeroom. We're going to need it."
One of the advantages of living in a house at the top of a hill was the built-in private sledding run. It was an advantage that Connor had noticed and he'd been asking for a sled since the winter before.
So among Connor's Christmas presents had been one of the largest toboggans that Angel had been able to find. It was almost twice as long as Connor was tall, and something he could grow into. Or so Angel maintained when Wesley questioned his choice; the fact that this one was big enough for him to be able to ride with Connor was just a happy coincidence.
"Just whose gift is this again anyway?" Wesley asked blandly, watching with amusement as Angel gingerly folded his body onto the toboggan and around Connor who was sitting in front of him practically bouncing with excitement.
"Connor's nice enough to share with me," Angel said, grinning up at him. "If you ask nicely, maybe he'll let you go next ride down."
Connor bounced impatiently. "Wanna go zoom, Daddy! Now, pwease."
"Right. Zoom coming up. Or down." Angel looked up at Wesley again. "Can you get us started?"
"Well, since someone said please..." Wesley leaned over and Angel felt his hands on his back, giving a strong steady push that started them moving over the lip of the hill where gravity soon took over and off they went.
They quickly gathered speed until they were racing downhill, Connor shouting his delight. The wind of their passage was cold on Angel's face, contrasting with the warmth of Connor's body nestled against his own. Add in his son's happy voice filling his ears, and it was as close to a perfect moment as Angel ever allowed himself to get.
Their toboggan sped through the open gate at the bottom of the hill and halfway through the meadow beyond before finally slowing to a stop.
"Zooooom!" Connor turned to him, radiating joy. "Wanna go again."
"Yeah," Angel said, hugging his son. "I do."
Other winter activities besides tobogganing also were indulged in, although Angel wasn't certain some of them weren't entirely made up.
"What's Connor doing?"
"He's making snow angels."
"Oh." Pause. "Kinda looks like he's doing jumping jacks lying down."
"Yes, that's how it's done."
"Oh." Pause. "I've never done it."
"I rather figured that."
"I mean, evil vampire... It didnít leave a lot of time for..."
"Making snow angels?"
"You aren't evil now."
"True, but I'm not making snow angels."
"Technically, I suppose all you'd have to do to make a snow angel would be to fall in a snow drift, although that isn't living up to the spirit of the process."
"I'm not making snow angels."
"Connor was talking about wanting us to make a whole family of snow angels." Pause. "Like us."
"I'm not-" Pause. "A family like us, huh?"
"Jumping jacks lying down?"
Angel sighed as he lay down in the snow. "The things I do for family," he muttered.
Angel looked up as Wesley came down the stairs. "He asleep?"
"Out like a light." Wesley crossed the room and settled beside Angel in the nest of pillows that had been arranged near the wood stove. "Nothing like a day outside in the fresh air to wear him out."
"Another advantage of snow days," Angel said, putting his arms around Wesley and pulling him against him, Wes' back against his chest.
Wesley sighed and leaned bonelessly against him. "This is nice."
"Yeah it is." He nuzzled Wesley's throat. "The snow day advantages just keep coming."
"We could do this even on days that aren't snow days," Wesley pointed out, tilting his head to give Angel better access, which Angel took full advantage of.
"Wouldn't be the same," he said, his words caressing Wesley's skin. "Not that making out with you in front of the wood stove isn't an attractive prospect any time. It's just different on snow days."
"Making out?" He could hear Wesley's smile. "Is that what we're doing?"
Angel raised his head to look at Wesley. "Snuggling?"
"Snuggling," Wesley echoed, sounding amused.
"Foreplay leading to hot and passionate sex?" Angel tried again.
Wesley chuckled. "I vote for that last one," he said, leaning in and kissing Angel lingeringly.
Angel happily went with that and the next few minutes were spent engaging in foreplay hopefully leading to hot and passionate sex.
"How is it different?" Wesley asked, after Angel had pulled off his sweater and was trailing kisses down his chest.
"How's what different?" Angel replied, glancing up at Wesley but not stopping what he was doing.
"You said this," Wesley made a gesture encompassing them, their actions and their position reclining among cushions in front of the wood stove, "was different on snow days. How?"
Angel didn't answer immediately, needing time to think of the words for how he felt. "Snow days... they're like someone, some Power, granted a wish, a reprieve. They're special because they're normal -- we're normal. I get to go outside and play with my family just like anybody else could. I get to spend the day outside with my son and with you and it doesn't matter if it's tobogganing with Connor or you making fun of my snow angel's hair or us trying not to laugh at Connor's unfortunate choice of placement of the carrot for the snowman's nose. It's all... perfect. It's all the kind of moments you know are going to be lifelong memories even when they're happening.
"The whole day's like that. Including this -- us, with the fire and the mak- foreplay leading to hot and passionate sex. Not that that's not always worth remembering because it is, but on snow days it's like... the punctuation at the end of the story." He shrugged and gave Wesley a small smile. "The day wouldn't feel complete without it."
Wesley was quiet for a moment after that, then suddenly moved, pushing Angel to the floor on his back and straddling his hips. He leaned over and kissed Angel in a way that would have left him breathless if he needed to breathe.
"In that case," Wesley murmured against Angel's lips, "we best make sure this is worth an exclamation point." He kissed him again. "Or two."