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As It Was, So Shall It Be - Chapter 2

Angelus stayed a long time on Spike's cock, just pleasuring it with his tongue and lips. He allowed the foreskin to cover his tongue, he played with the tiny slit and he kept up a light, erotic kneading on Spike's balls. He glanced up at Spike as he sucked, saw his confusion and moved his hands up to graze and tweak Spike's nipples. As it was the loving gestures confusing Spike, this attempt to alleviate his anxiety completely failed.

For all his confusion, however, Spike did not have the willpower to push Angelus off. He allowed him to continue. He lay back on the pillows and tried to just enjoy this sensation for what it was: the opportunity to come in someone's mouth - something never to be lightly dismissed.

He was more than a little angry, therefore, when Angelus slowly let the hard, glistening shaft slip from his mouth. He crawled up Spike's chest, straddling him. He took Spike's face in his hands and forced Spike to look up at him.

'New beginnings?'

Spike didn't get it. He was so overwhelmed by this turn of events that he did not understand what Angelus was asking. He looked up with a puzzled face. Angelus smiled down at him and showed him exactly what he meant. He leant behind him, took hold of Spike's erection, lifted himself up and gently eased the slick cockhead into his entrance.

Spike tried to sit up, tried to protest, tried to stop this reversal of everything he had ever known. If this was happening, then Angelus really could change… Angelus really could love.. Angelus, allowing himself to be fucked by his childe... it was ... it was... it was incredible.

Spike could not believe the tightness of Angelus' channel. He could not believe how good Angelus' cock looked standing proud from its nest of dark curls right in front of his face. Angelus settled himself down as far as he could on to Spike and then just sat there, watching Spike's reaction carefully.

Then he started tiny rocking movements. That was all it took. Spike rose up and took over. He pushed Angelus onto his back, pushed his thighs up and stabbed into Angelus' hard centre. Angelus gasped and dug his fingers into Spike's shoulders. Spike suddenly had a shiver of delight... just whose new beginnings had Angelus meant? From the look on his face,, this was new for his sire, too.

It made Spike smile, and that smile broke the tension between them. Suddenly they were joined in more than just their bodies. They had only one aim in mind: mutual pleasure for both of them. Spike started to experiment with his thrusting, watching Angelus' face carefully to see what he liked best. There wasn't much doubt about that. When Spike felt a slight nub under the ridge of his cockhead, Angelus arched back and hissed with pleasure. Spike realised, without bitterness, that he was finding something for Angelus that his sire had never bothered to find for him.

Spike felt Angelus' grip shift to the back of his head and realised that Angelus wanted to pull him down into a kiss. He hesitated and resisted for a moment. He had never kissed Angelus when they were joined; it seemed too personal somehow. Spike smiled ruefully at himself - too personal? More personal than having your cock stuck up someone's ass then? He allowed himself to be pulled down to the waiting lips, but his quiet laugh made Angelus ask, 'What's so funny?'

Spike shook his head slowly, 'Just life, pet.'

Angelus smiled and continued with the kiss. He opened his mouth and crushed Spike to him; he ran his hands urgently around on Spike's neck. He ran his hands up and down the sensitive skin of Spike's back, then returned with his nails, scratching deep red welts into the white skin. With a huge groan of pleasure, Spike flung himself upright and quivered against Angel's hole. It was as if his whole body were flooding into his sire. Not only had Spike not had release in a body for very long time, he had never had the face of an angel watching him as he did. He flooded Angelus with a wash of cold seed. Angelus closed his eyes and with a tight fist on his cock, brought himself off over his chest and belly.

Spike started to pull out, but Angelus pulled him back down and made him lie on him. 'Stay in? Please.'

Spike was so confused now, he didn't have any strength to argue one way or another. This was his fantasy. This is what he had been trying to explain to Angelus. This is what he wanted. He was engulfed in Angelus' strong arms; he was joined to him, and he was lying with him, sharing the post-orgasmic quiet time. There had been no pain, no inequality, no angst, just the two of them finding out what pleasure they could have from these exceptional bodies.

Angelus was equally quiet. They lay without speaking for a long time. Finally, Spike heard Angelus say, almost too low to hear, 'Was that love then?'

Spike just laughed lightly on Angelus' chest, nodding his head without speaking, and Angelus started those long strokes down his back again, which had led to this experience in the first place.

'Your back's bleeding.'

'Funny that… you've got blood under those immaculate, poofy, LA nails. Coincidence or what?' Angelus laughed and studied Angel's nails for a while.

'Tell me about this Angel. Why have you grown so far apart?'

'I don't want to talk about him.'

'Why not? He is still your sire.'

'I've told you, all that is meaningless here, pet. He staked his… I mean, you staked Darla a few years ago.'

'Have you given him reason to hate you?'

'I hope so… I'm a proper vampire… or I bloody was. Yeah, I guess. When he got his soul he couldn't abide me. That was the start of it all.'

'Maybe he was jealous of you.'

'Nah, not Angel. He wears his soul like the old red badge of courage. It's like a fucking bleeding heart on his sleeve. He has no fun, no life, punishes himself all the time, hates everyone, lives in squalor, martyrs and whips himself, it's pathetic.' Spike had started truthfully but had gotten a bit carried away with his descriptions.

'But you don't do evil stuff now?'

'Not stuff anyone would find out about. I do what I can, given I can't hurt anyone… so, no, I don't do shit really. Half-inching stuff from the magic shop and scaring kittens is the height of my extra-curricula activities these days, I'm afraid.'

'Does Angel know all this? Does he know you have a chip and that this is how it affects you?'

'Don't know, guess so. He was here once, watching when I was tied to bloody chair starving. He didn't do fuck for me then; so, I kinda got the message.'

'That was a long time ago.'

'Doesn't seem it to me. I'll never forget being that helpless and knowing he was just outside, doing nothing.'

'Maybe Angel has problems of his own to cope with.'

'Well, you felt the hair, and you've seen the dress sense; so, I guess he's got to be given some latitude for being a total, fucking git to me all the time.'

'If Angel came here to try and make amends with you, what would you do?'

'What's with the hypothetical, mate? That's the path to madness, ya know.'

'Humour me.'

'Well, give me some for instances… what does he want to do with me?'

'Be a friend?'

'Okay, I could do that, I guess.'

'Be your sire again… protect you?'

'Not fucking likely. I don't need that; he needs me protecting him. He's a pillock.'

Angelus laughed lightly. 'What about if he was lonely and wanted someone to love him? He's also a demon who can't love humans, and he maybe he doesn't want demon love either. What would you do then?'

Spike lifted his head and found Angelus watching him intently. 'I'll tell you what, mate, you go back to eighteen fucking whenever, remember all this conversation, don't eat a friggin' gypsy when Darla offers her to you, then come here now, burst in through the door and tell me all this, hey?' Spike suddenly realised he'd actually been half-listening to see if someone did come through the door. You didn't want to fuck with the space-time whatsit… even it you weren't a loser.

'Then I'd find myself in bed with you. There would be two of me and one of you.'

Spike raised his eyes seductively. 'I could cope with that,' but added in his head "you probably get hard to the thought of fucking yourself" but didn't say this part out loud.

'You didn't answer my question; you are cleverly avoiding it.'

Spike rolled off Angelus; he was soft now and slipped out easily. He put his arms behind his head and pursed his lips for a moment, choosing his words carefully. 'If Angel did that, I'd probably stake meself.'

'Oh. Why?'

'Well, one way or another, I'd fuck it up somehow. It's what I do. I'd have exactly what I want, then I fuck it all up…. So, I'd stake meself before I could do that.'

Angelus sighed, pulled Spike against him, and pulled the rather ragged, old cover over them both. They lay quietly for a minute until, with an explosive giggle, Spike turned to Angelus and said, 'You're listening, too, aren't you? Just in case!'

'Go to sleep, you irritating childe.'

Spike didn't; he forced himself to stay awake all night. He tried to memorise every inch of where their skin touched, so he could bring it back to his thoughts whenever he wanted to. This would not last. It never did for him. He had to take what he could get and not live on regrets.

In the early morning, therefore, when he went out to steal clean clothes for Angelus that would fit him, he was not unduly surprised to find Angelus gone when he returned. Devastated, destroyed, bereft, and all those other poofy things, but surprised? No. This was his life: get your fingers in the crack of something good and have them torn away from it.

He was angry with himself for letting his guard down enough to let love in again. He was even angrier that someone had done this to him… and he knew exactly who that was.

He ran out of his crypt, ran most of the way to the magic shop, and waited in the alley until the demon opened up.

'Where's the Witch?'

'What's wrong with you? Crabby or what?'

Spike just stormed in anyway and sat on the stairs glaring at her. He could wait. It didn't take long. Willow came in a couple of hours later, followed by Xander and Buffy.

Spike flung himself off his perch and stomped up to her. 'What the fuck did you do?'

Willow glanced nervously at Buffy and became defensive. 'Nothing.'

'You answered the phone; you found out about me and Buffy, and then you did a spell.'

Buffy rounded on no one in particular. 'There is no "me and Buffy"… no US here!'

Neither Spike nor Willow were listening to her. Willow continued to look defiant for a moment, then her face crumbled. 'All right. I did. I did a tiny spell so Angel would go back to how he was.'

'What?' Buffy sounded as shocked as Spike looked. 'What were you trying to do?'

'I wanted him to come here and love you again Buffy, get you away from him.'

Spike was looking at her intently. 'Well, it went wrong, Witch. He went all the fucking way back to Ireland.'


'Oh yeah.'

Buffy looked to Spike. 'You had a visit from Angelus? Are you okay?'

Spike continued to stare at Willow, making her very uncomfortable. 'I survived. It's what I do.'

Willow tried a light shrug. 'Don't make so much of it Spike; it was nothing.'

'Nothing! Nothing! You didn't have bleedin' Angelus in your fucking home last night.' Spike did not elaborate on just how he had had Angelus.

'No, I mean it must have been awful, but he was only there for a couple of hours at the most… I remember: I made some coffee, then I had to wash my hair, and then I reversed the spell. So, two hours at the most. What could have happened in two hours…. Spike? Spike?'

Willow almost shook off Spike's hand on her arm but realised it was not there to hurt her, more that he needed it for support. His eyes were dilated and wild; he was focused on something far away. Suddenly he came back to himself and looked directly at her.

'Two hours. You reversed it after two hours?'

Willow only swallowed nervously and nodded.

Spike left the shop without speaking again. He made his way back to his crypt through the tunnels on autopilot. He must have done; he couldn't think about anything else but that two-hour period.

When he got home he flung himself on the bed. He curled into a ball again and put his arms over his head. He knew only too well when that time had ended. Those fingers running up and down his spine had not been Angelus'. How long had Angel lain looking at him before he had reached out that tentative hand? What had he thought as he'd come back to himself in that cum-soaked bed, naked with his hated enemy? It was inconceivable that Angel had stayed quietly in that bed and had then made love to him… and all those questions. All those bleeding questions about them. What had he been trying to find out? Why had he done it?

Had Angel asked if Spike could love him?

What had he said in reply?

He'd told Angel he would rather stake himself than that.

Spike started a low, distressed moaning. What the fuck had he done?

By the time it was dark, Spike had gone through the whole thing in his mind so many times he felt sick and disoriented. Angel had sat on his cock! Angel! Spike had so much confusion, so many questions he wanted answers to. He debated going to Los Angeles and confronting Angel, but didn't have the bottle. He was embarrassed, and that was a relatively new emotion for him… but having your hated nemesis on your cock can do that to you. He thought about telephoning him but, again, feared the inherent awkwardness. After another few hours he had come to the decision to write to Angel. What did he have to lose? Angel could either not reply, write back and say "piss off" or write and say… what? What on earth could Angel say about what he had done?

Spike decided to find out.

He tore a piece of paper out of an old notebook and rummaged around for a pencil. He sat cross-legged on the bed, sucking the lead, trying to think what to write.

Dear Angel
I'm trying to I want to You know it was a spell Why did you leave

In the end, all he wrote on the tiny bit left was:


Pleased, he wrote an address, put on the magic shop's address for return, and posted it.

He waited nervously for a reply. He hung around the shop all day getting on everyone's nerves. He came back the next day and the next. He was put to work sorting shelves but made a deliberate hash of it, so was allowed to absent himself to the alley to smoke. At last it came: a letter, in Angel's elegant handwriting, on smooth velum, and penned in green ink. Poof.

He took the letter from the demon and went back out to the alley for privacy. He put the letter down on a box and looked at it for a while. He picked it up and licked it. It was so smooth and expensive looking. Had Angel deliberately used this off-putting envelope to give him a hint as to the contents? Was the vellum a sort of 'fuck-off' hint? It was the sort of paper he imagined lawyers gave you bad news on. He weighed the letter in his hand, trying to determine how many sheets were in it. One was bad, maybe? One would be a fuck off. Two couldn't possibly be. Two would be an explanation… but that could be a fuck off, too.

Bugger it. Spike tore the envelope open and took out… one sheet of neatly folded paper, also expensive, also written in green. Angel did not give the impression that he had taken many goes to get this right as there were no mistakes, but maybe he had sat laboriously copying out earlier drafts. Spike scanned the letter first, speed-reading to see if he could detect any 'fucks'. Then he read it more slowly.

Why what, Spike? Why did I leave? As you can imagine, it was a bit of a shock for me, too. I remember coming to see you, to discuss Buffy, and then I woke up alongside you in a damp bed. That, and the fact I remembered everything that had happened between us that night, rather threw me.

Or are you asking me why I let you make love to me? I don't know why, Spike. I just did.

Perhaps you are asking why I asked all those questions of you. Again, I don't know why.

I wish you were asking me why I needed to know if you could love me. But I don't think you are, are you?

Spike read this through a number of times and pondered its meaning. He was tempted to write back and say, 'Nah, I was just asking why you are such a bleeding poof all the time.' He decided to strike while the proverbial was hot and went back into the shop, tore out some paper from some old book, and sat at the research table, thinking.

Okay, I'll play this game. If I was asking you that, what would you say? I'm not asking it, by the way.

The reply came swifter this time:

It's if I were asking, Spike. Didn't I teach you anything?

Spike grinned and sent back his note scrawled on a torn off piece of bog roll.

From the other night, I'd say I outdid teacher, wouldn't you?

Charming paper. Thank you, Spike. And I won't deny you surprised me. I assume you've had lots of practice?

This time Spike put a suspicious smear on the bog paper. It was only chocolate, but he imagined Angel's face when he saw it before he smelt its innocence.

Assume your ass, Angel. New beginnings was right.

Angel's next note was sent by return of post:

First time????

Spike replied on the back; it seemed a waste to not use all that lovely blank paper.

Yeah, never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, hey? And don't think I haven't noticed that you're evading my question.

Sorry, unpleasant piece of tissue got thrown out by my over-efficient staff. What question? I never evade.

Fuck, forgotten, too. Something about you telling me you loved me.

Doesn't sound like me…sure this is not another of your correspondents?

I'm almost laughing too hard to write. Your jokes have improved over the last two hundred years, luv, but don't give up the day job. And you are officially evading now.

When Angel's reply to this came back it was not so neat, had obviously been written in some considerable hurry and even had a few un-Angel-like smudges and blotches in the green ink.

Yeah, I know. I was trying to work out what is happening here. When I came to in the bed, I remembered what I had just done to you. I thought about how you just lay there and took it. How you had tried to stop me… but then just lay there. It was so unlike you, so unlike what I had thought of as you anyway. So, NOT what I had come to Sunnydale to sort.

And I just wanted to say I was sorry... when I put my hand out to wake you. Honestly, Spike, that's all I wanted to do: to wake you up and tell you I was sorry. But I felt your skin. I'd just had you, but it wasn't me. Now I was me, and it was all so intense. The smell, the feel of you. So I thought it couldn't hurt if I stroked your back for a moment. But that just kind of undid me. I just wanted you back... but then I thought about all the stuff you'd said. How you hated me, how you didn't see me as your sire anymore.

If I'm not your sire, then what is this I'm feeling for you? That is a very scary thought. I'm not used to being scared.

I'm not Angelus, Spike. I'm not pure demon. I want a lot more than he did. I have needs he could not have imagined. I think I can love enough even for you, but I wanted to see if you knew what you really wanted.

You did.
It scared me even more.
You said you would stake yourself. You seemed so sad.
Is any of this making sense?
Spike, why don't you just come here, now. We can talk.

And you can take that last as literal talk, or not...

Spike's hand shook as he read that last line. Those three little dots seemed to be an invitation to something. He knew exactly what sort of talking both of them would indulge in, if he went to Los Angeles. So why wasn't he in that car now? Why wasn't he cruising for a very pleasant bruising?

Was he scared, too? If he did not see Angel as his sire, then what this that he was feeling? Scary indeed. Spike put Angel's letter down on the bed and looked at it for a while. It had no answers for him, but it gave him time to think. Was he confused? What was he getting into here? Angel sounded as desperate and lonely as he was, but Spike had done that, been there, bought the postcard. The meeting of wounded souls was not exactly what he had in mind. He could have that with the Slayer, without all the mess in the sheets you got from fucking sires. He had had that from Dru, from Harm, from every soddin' body else.

Where was the strong lover he wanted?

Where was the lover he could think about all day, because he knew they would be thinking about him?

Where was the lover who would let him be himself, strong enough to love him despite his one or two minor faults?

He picked up the letter again and lay on his back, holding it above his head. He hoped in that position some answers might fall out of it.

'Read any better from that angle?'

'Fuck.' Spike's heart didn't jump because it was dead, which was strange really, cus he did… quite visibly. Angel laughed.

'Thought I told you to guard your perimeter… twice.'

'You taught me lots of things I've successfully ignored for years.'

Spike sat up and Angel came cautiously over and sat alongside him. 'Well?'

Spike looked down at his boots, seeming to study the frayed laces. He looked up at Angel, and his face was a picture of misery and doubt. Angel didn't try to speak; he just pulled Spike gently towards him, and held his head against his shoulder.

'You're lost, childe. I can see it in your eyes.'

The deliberate mimicry of Angelus confused Spike. 'Don't Angel....'

'What are you afraid of?'

Spike pulled away. 'You. I'm afraid of you... and me.... I'm afraid this will destroy me. I meant it Angel; I'd rather stake myself now, than suffer the pain of losing you.'

'You haven't got me yet, and you're worrying about losing me?'

'Poof. I've got you. You know that; I know that.'

'Spike. Why should we be different to the humans? They have to take leaps of faith into the dark every time they reach out to someone. Do you think we are immune to that, because we are immortal?'

'Well, I'd kinda hoped the being dead thing might exempt us from all that shit, yeah.'

'So, what, you want complete certainty before you'll commit yourself to someone?'

'That would be nice.'

Angel looked down at Spike's boots, too. It seemed the thing to do. 'What about Buffy then? You've been committed to her with no return at all so far.'

Spike reared back a little. 'Bastard. Cut to the quick, why don't you?'

'I'll cut to the bone, Spike, if that is what it takes.'

Spike had to smile a little at this. He liked the image that gave him: deep cuts bleeding, blood flowing freely, tongues lapping at it, blood in his mouth, blood being swallowed....

'Err… Spike?'

'Oh, sorry, pet, got a bit carried away there.... So, what were we talking about? Blood?'

'I think the time for talking is over, Spike. Yes or no? It's a simple question. Think about it, hey? Let me know when you've decided.'

Angel stood up, thinking that Spike would reply. When he didn't, when Spike continued to study that infuriating lace, Angel started to walk towards the steps. He went slowly, because he expected Spike to speak. He climbed to the top level, paused to listen for a reply, but none was forthcoming. He went to the door, was afraid to go through it because he would not be able to hear Spike's voice if he should speak. Had no excuse not to go through it. Had even less excuse for lingering in the cemetery.

Had almost made it back to his car when he was flattened under a flying Spike.

They skidded into a heap against a mausoleum wall. Spike disentangled himself and stood up, offering a hand to Angel. Angel took it and started to brush with annoyance at his clothes.

'I gather you've made up your mind then?'

Spike grinned. 'Nope... I didn't get the question; what was it again?'

Angel looked at him with a suspicious look. 'You're going to make me ask again.'

'No, I'm gonna make you ask properly for the first time.'

'You are infuriating and pushing your luck.'

Spike started to walk away. 'Come on, Angel, make up your mind.'

'All right. All right.' Angel ran to catch up to him. He took Spike's arm, turning him to face him. 'Will you let me love you?'

Spike grinned again. Raised his scarred eyebrow and said quietly.


Angel's eyes widened in genuine shock. Spike stopped grinning and looked seriously at Angel. 'I'm going to give you the chance to prove that you can.'

Angel's head went back a bit as he thought about this. A small smile crossed his lips. 'Guess you do guard your perimeter well, after all.'

Spike smiled, too. 'Well, I've never heard it called that before, but yeah, I do.'

They started to walk together, just a little bit too close for normal personal space, not close enough to commit either of them to anything they didn't want.

Angel pushed his hands deep into his pockets and hunched a bit. 'So, what am I going to have to do? Lots of what we did the other night? That would prove it, wouldn't it?'

Spike grinned openly now. 'Good try, Angel, but nah! I'm thinking more along the lines of tests.'

Angel lowered his brow and looked worried. 'You want me to write you an essay?'

For a second, Spike held his gaze with a serious look but couldn't keep up the pretence and turned away. 'Feats, Angel… tests, as in feats.'

It was Angel's turn to look amused. 'Isn't this a bit… poofy for you, Spike? That's a bit Homer-like, isn't it?'

Spike stopped and looked at him incredulously. 'Homer Simpson is not a poof, luv. What would Marge bleedin' say if she heard that?'

Angelus shook his head in a bemused way. 'This is the first test, isn't it? I decipher what you are rambling on about, and I prove something.'

'Shut up, poof, you're confusing me now. Look it's simple. I tell you to do something, you do it properly and, hey presto, it's bums away for both of us.'

'Romantic, Spike. Romantic. But okay, anything to get away from you just now. Love you, Spike, meant that, but please, put me out of my misery and give me some Homeric… I mean, give me a test then.'

'Right. First one….' Spike looked at the ground, poked a hole in the soft soil with the toe of his boot, looked up at the night sky, walked a bit, came back, lit a cigarette, smoked the cigarette, ground the cigarette out, walked some more, and finally came back to Angel and smiled shyly. 'Guess I didn't think you'd go for it; I can't think of one bleedin' thing you could do.'

Angel threw back his head and laughed uproariously. 'Well, why don't we do my suggestion tonight and maybe we can work on some ideas together?'

Spike pursed his lips, aggrieved at himself that he'd been caught out like that. Angel put his hand on Spike's arm and started to rub it lightly up and down the black leather. 'Want to see how different I can be to Angelus?' He pinched a small bit of Spike's sleeve between his thumb and finger and used it to pull Spike to him. When their bodies were almost touching, Angel leant towards Spike's mouth, stopping just before he reached it, forcing Spike to participate, too.

Spike's lips joined Angel's. Both unsure, both new to the emotions they were feeling, but both fairly sure that they were travelling to a place that would quickly seem familiar and safe.

Using just that tiny pinch of sleeve, Angel led Spike back to his crypt. He walked backwards, never losing eye contact with Spike. Spike allowed himself to be led. He allowed himself to be undressed and pushed gently back onto the bed. He watched as Angel slowly took his coat and shirt off. He smiled as Angel unbuckled his belt and peeled off his pants. Not once did Angel stop his earnest gaze at Spike. Not once did he drop his eye contact. He was practically making love to Spike already, just with his eyes.

Angel took Spike by his ankles, pulling him down across the bed. He stood between Spike's thighs, looking down at him. Spike put his hand up, and Angel took it, their fingers entwining.

Angel frowned. 'What is happening, Spike?'

Spike, usually so quick to make a defensive joke of everything, only shook his head slowly. 'I don't know, Angel. I've never wanted to do this before, except with Angelus. I can't think of you as my sire. I'm sorry; it just seems so meaningless now. We've hardly spoken for over one hundred years; how can it mean anything? So… what am I doing here, like this? What does this make me?'

Angel tipped his head on one side and closed his eyes briefly. He felt Spike tighten his hold almost painfully on his fingers. 'Hey, poof. I'll think about it tomorrow, hey? We'll brood together.'

It broke the ice. It freed their desires. They put aside their doubts and confusion because, as Spike said, they could think about them tomorrow. Now there was only this time. Spike smiled seductively and pulled Angel a little closer, wrapping his legs around him. He took Angel's soft sac in his hand and started to knead it lightly. 'So, let's see this difference, shall we?'

The slamming of the crypt door could not have come at a worse time.

Angel moved with a speed that bellied his three hundred years. He was dressed and sitting nonchalantly on the small trunk before Spike had even reached for his jeans. Spike did not hurry buckling his belt even as soft footfalls sounded on the steps. He studied Angel as he pulled his tee shirt over his head. He kept eye contact with him as he sat back down on the edge of the bed. He turned his head slowly as Buffy came into the light of the candles.


'What's happening?'

'Angel's paying me a little visit.'

Buffy looked from one of them to the other and repeated her question, 'What's happening?' As she had not directed it at either vampire in particular, both took the excuse not to answer. Buffy came further into the room, closer to Angel. 'Willow says she is sorry, Angel. Do you remember what happened?'

Angel seemed to pull his gaze away from Spike. 'Hello, Buffy. Yes, I remember everything. Willow needs to be controlled, Buffy. She is dangerous.'

Whether Angel meant this as an effective tactic to divert Buffy's attention was a moot question. It did divert her, very effectively. She looked sadly at Angel. 'I know that. She's over-compensating, you know, for Tara... and stuff.'

Angel nodded wisely, completely uninterested in Willow, her lover, or even Buffy. All he could think about was Spike's intense gaze fastened on him, as if he were expected to do something.

He found himself thinking quietly in his head, "tomorrow, Spike, you said tomorrow" and wasn't sure quite what he meant by this.

Buffy started to feel awkward. She had the distinct feeling she had interrupted something important here. From their intense, silent behaviour she thought Angel must have been lecturing Spike about them. That was not only embarrassing, it left her in the awkward position of not being able to defend herself with Angel, because she did not know exactly what Willow had accused her of.

Spike did not take his eyes off Angel, but he said quietly, 'So, Slayer, to what do I owe the pleasure? We are a bit busy here, pet. Maybe later?'

Buffy was not used to this. Her stalker was brushing her off. It rather threw her. 'Oh.' She looked from one to the other. Neither vampire was looking at her. 'I'll go then.'

'You do that, luv.' Spike's voice was becoming increasingly tense. Angel heard the change, and Angel knew the underlying cause. He tried to send Spike his cryptic message 'tomorrow' but failed miserably. Buffy turned and made her way back up the steps. They waited until they heard the door close before either of them spoke.

Angel did not fully understand what Spike's expression meant, but he had a fairly good idea that going back over and trying to undress him again, might not be the most judicious move. He sat tight, trying to maintain the nonchalant stance he'd adopted whilst Buffy was there.

Angel took another sly glance at Spike's stormy expression and threw a neutral, casual comment into the frosty air. 'So... kind of broken the mood then?'

'Yeah, kind of.'

Angel stood up, 'So... '

'Sit the fuck back down, Angel.'

'Err... what?'

'Sit down. Don't even think about coming over here. In fact, no. Do what you like; I'm going for a smoke.' Spike grabbed the cigarettes and lighter off his table and brushed past Angel, almost running up the steps and out to his favourite smoking tombstone.

By the time Angel caught up, Spike's hand had stopped shaking, and he looked outwardly calm. He even surprised Angel. With a slight laugh and a wave of his hand towards the crypt, he said lightly, 'That could have been embarrassing, hey? Two minutes later and....' He finished with a descriptive movement of his cigarette into his clenched fist.

Angel was incredibly relieved that Spike was over his brief upset. He gave himself a mental pat on the back for getting so much better at relationships. He went up to Spike and stood between his thighs once more. Spike narrowed his eyes, considering him, and continued to smoke, blowing the smoke into Angel's face.

Angel took the cigarette from him and threw it away into the dark night. Spike did not object. Angel was beginning to congratulate himself on the evening. He thought it had gone very well. He'd gotten away with Buffy knowing nothing, and Spike was clearly ready for some interesting fun and games. He leant in towards Spike's mouth. He watched those soft, enticing lips, smiled at the tiny trail of smoke still curling up from them. He imagined how his lips would brush them tentatively before he plunged his tongue in, demanding entry. He would taste the faint lingering essence of nicotine; he would give a slight huff of annoyance; Spike would smile into the kiss....

Spike's fist connected so hard with Angel's jaw, that he bit a sizable chunk out of his tongue. He reeled back, furious.

'Bloody hell, Spike! That hurt. What's wrong with you?' He pushed his finger childishly into his mouth, pressing against the bite.

Spike lit another cigarette to replace the one Angel thought he was finished with and took a long drag. 'I've thought of the first test, Angel. That's what. Poof.'

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