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As It Was, So Shall It Be - Chapter 3

Angel found it hard to speak with his finger in his mouth, so he removed it and sucked the blood from his tongue instead, secretly enjoying the taste. He looked at Spike, trying to gauge his mood. Clearly, he had missed something between Spike seeming fine about everything, to Spike punching him in the jaw. Angel tried to remember if it had been like this with them before. Had he found it difficult to read his childe? This creature in front of him was a complete stranger, his look hostile, and his stance defiant.

Angel started to feel under pressure. He felt like an actor on stage without any lines. He started to get angry at Spike who continued to sit on his tombstone, smoking. 'Is this test going to be a piss-Angel-off-as-much-as-possible sort of thing? Seems to me this is more about revenge for some imaginary slight you are feeling right now, than it is about testing my love.'

'Not at all; I'm not upset about anything.'

'What was this then?' Angel stuck his tongue out to show Spike the blood. That was never a good thing to do with a vampire. Spike's eyes dilated at the sight of the soft, pink membrane bleeding. He almost slid off the tomb. He almost went to Angel and took that small sliver of flesh into his mouth to cool and nurse it. Almost. Instead, he sat still and called on reserves of strength not to give anything away in his look.

'Yeah, sorry Angel. I just got a bit pissed about Buffy nearly finding us. That would have been shit, wouldn't it? So embarrassing. Imagine that. Yeah, really embarrassing. Sorry. 'k?'

The flat monotone voice might have given it away. The fact Spike didn't catch Angel's eye might have been a small clue. The fact he now hopped off the tomb and started to walk slowly back to his crypt with his shoulders hunched, might have been a message loud enough to deafen more sensitive ears. Angel only heard an apology, heard Spike agree with his thoughts on the Buffy incident, and saw Spike going back to continue the interrupted sex.

He jogged to catch Spike up and said hopefully, 'So... pick up where we left off?'

Spike turned to him with an incredulous look, but hid it quickly by looking down as he ground out his cigarette perhaps a little too forcibly.

He kept his voice very calm and neutral. 'No, Angel. I meant what I said. You've got to prove yourself first.'

The insistency of Angel's erection started to do the talking for him. 'Okay, okay, I said I would. Come on then. What is this test? Enter a hell dimension? Fight something? Come on, Spike... let's get this done with.'

Spike laughed with very little humour. 'Good suggestions, Angel. Just the sort of things you'd like and find easy, hey? But no. No... it's much simpler than that. I want a present.'

'A present.'

'Yeah, I want you to buy me something.'

'Buy you what?'

'Ah, that's the test. You have to decide.'

Angel's face was a picture of confusion. 'You want me to just buy you something. Anything?'

'No, not anything, Angel. The only thing. There is only one thing that will do. You have to buy me that.'

'Are you fucking demented or something? How am I supposed to know what to buy you... what happens if I get it wrong?'

'Nothing happens.'

'Oh, okay, that's all right then....' Visions of Spike compliant and bleeding on his cock, slipped seductively into Angel's mind.

'No, Angel. NOTHING. Nothing happens between us. Wrong present... no us.'

Angel was speechless. He shook his head in disbelief. He tried to regroup, but Spike went through the door of his crypt and slammed it after him.

Angel drove slowly back to LA. He ran the gamut of emotions on that trip. His first thought had been 'fuck you then'. His second was also 'fuck you' but it had a completely difference emphasis in his head. He wanted to fuck Spike, had been ready to fuck Spike, and now he was in his car, hard, frustrated, and going home alone… all for the sake of a stupid present. That thought only made him angry again, so more 'fuck you' thoughts flittered through his brain for a while. When he'd calmed down a bit he tried to think about the present without the attached ire. It worked. He allowed himself to think about it rationally. How difficult could this be? It was easy; what did Spike like?





Fuck you, Spike!

He had absolutely no idea what Spike wanted, didn't want, liked, didn't like, needed or didn't need. Not one single idea. He could not believe how hard this was. Where was that demon dimension? Where was the fight? Why couldn't Spike have chosen something like that, rather than this totally impossible test?

By the time Angel flung himself into the hotel in the early hours of the morning, he was sweaty, upset, furious, confused, angry with himself, and not in any mood to face a new, fresh, human day.

He wanted to have a vampire day. He wanted to curl up in his bed and sleep all thoughts away. He wanted to appear as dead as he felt. But that was not his privilege anymore. He showered, changed into fresh clothes, and had hot coffee on the table when Cordelia and Wesley came to work.

He eyed the humans dejectedly. They sensed his mood and kept up a light, artificial chatter for a while, until his despondency began to get them down. Cordelia, never afraid to tackle Angel and show him the errors of his ways, eventually said in her tactful way, 'Told you, you shouldn't have gone to see him.'

'Cordelia....' Wesley hated embarrassing scenes with Angel and tried to quiet her before she made his mood worse.

'What? Look, Angel, you can't let him do this again. Last time you saw him... okay, you were hanging in chains and bleeding... but you let him get to you then. It took you weeks to get back to your normal cheery, fun self. NOT. Snap out of it.' She got up and went out to her desk. Wesley coughed nervously, thought about trying to say something comforting, had no idea what Angel was thinking or feeling, so made the sensible decision to keep quiet. He started to drain his coffee and stood up.

'Wesley....' Angel's voice saddened him; it was full of confusion and... was that guilt?

Angel looked up at Wesley and attempted a smile. Wesley wished he wouldn't do that... it was unnerving. 'What do you want, Angel?'

'Wesley, you're English....'

'Was, last time I looked....'

("Looked at what...? File thought away for later.") 'Wesley, if I wanted to buy you a present, something English, what would you like?'

Wesley's face beamed with pleasure. 'Angel, how did you know? Did Cordelia tell you? She really is....'


'My birthday. We weren't going to tell you, you know, what with you not celebrating them really... well, having too many to celebrate, and not really birth, I suppose, so....'


'Oh, sorry. But I really am most touched. Present then. Well, there are some new demonology books I'd love to get my hands on, very rare....'

'No, English things... I said English stuff.'

'But, Angel, I am English.'

Angel wondered if he hit his head on the table hard enough, whether someone would come and rescue him from this. He doubted it, so started again. 'Wesley, I want to buy an English person a present. What would they like do you think...?' ("Please, Wesley, just come up with the perfect present for me.")

'Well, it has to be English?'

'Yes.' Did it? Angel couldn't have said what his name was at this point, let alone think this present business through.

'Okay then. Well, some decent biscuits would be welcome. Hob Nobs. Oh, yes, perfect - a box of Tetley's and some Hob Nobs for dunking.... I haven't done that since....'

'No food! Nothing edible.' God, was Wesley trying to make Angelus stir?

'No food. All right. English present, but not food. Oh... of course, how about a nice calendar of English gardens or something. That's always welcome when you live in a place with no seasons.... Angel.... Angel, where are you going?'

Wesley was not sure now what he was getting from Angel for his Birthday; he made a mental note to make sure he opened the gift with others present.

Angel went to his desk and brooded the morning away. Music? What sort though? He had no idea about music after 1870 and didn't think that would work. Did Spike even own a record player? Did they still make record players? Shit, did they still make records? What century was this? Fuck you, Spike. Books. Oh, yeah. Spike reads. Used to read. Books, perfect. What? Something violent and bloodthirsty. So, turn up with a paperback as the perfect present.

Even Angel could picture that scene.

Fuck. Not music, not books. Clothes? Hey, clothes? Spike wore clothes. Angel knew about clothes. Angel bought clothes... this he could do. What would Spike like? What did Spike wear now? Oh.


Bigger present. Something big. New... what? Car. Hey! New car. Perfect. Buy Spike a car. Why? He had one. Had nowhere to go… will have, if I get this present wrong. Oh, fuck.


Oh... somewhere to go... a trip... buy a trip, a holiday. Buy Spike a holiday. Where? Somewhere permanently dark. Great. Buy him a fucking holiday in a mine.


Think, Angel. Think. One hundred and thirty years. Think... Spike. Okay, deep breaths, occasion calls for breathing. Now, think... Spike. Free association... let your mind wander. Think... Spike. Stop thinking about his bloody cock. Something else. Spike... fighting... weapons... Spike likes weapons. Oh, right, buy Spike a weapon. That's romantic. Scary thought. Am I trying to be romantic? With Spike! Fuck.


The sound of Angel's head hitting the desk was audible even in the outer office.

'Stop that.'

Angel only groaned.

'Angel, what is your problem this morning?' Cordelia came in with some more coffee and sat on his desk.

Angel eyed her thigh for a while from his position face down on his desk. His brain started to function again... Cordelia... present... Cordelia... shopping... present. 'Cordelia!' He sat up with a cheery look on his face. Cordelia, too, went slightly pale and wished he wouldn't do that.

'Cordelia, I have to buy a present for someone; what should I get?'


'Man. Sort of.'


'Youngish. Sort of.'


'Relative. Sort of.'


'NO! Yes.'

'Uh huh....'

'Not with the uh huhs... it's a present, that's all. It's his… birthday; it's traditional.'

'Again, uh huh. Okay, Spike. What would Spike like... thinking really hard here Angel....'

Angel actually sat there expecting the perfect present to fall from her lips. He saw it; he concentrated on their perfect red shine, waiting for them to open with his salvation.

They opened. She laughed. Angel folded his arms defensively. 'What?'

'Angel, how long have you known Spike?'

Angel mumbled a vague reply.

'How long?'

'One hundred and thirty years, on and off. Mostly off. Why?' He knew very well why. It's what he'd been berating himself with, too.

'One hundred and thirty years, and you're asking me for advice on what to buy him. Seriously, Angel, have you ever considered counselling? Because you suck at relationships. Getting the broody, live by myself part now.... Live by yourself because you are a liability in the present department.'

She stalked off to her desk, offended for Spike whom she didn't even like very much. One hundred and thirty years, and he asks her!

Angel felt very chagrined at this, wanted to say something about it not being a relationship, but didn't want another 'uh huh' coming his way. He was so chagrined in fact, that he decided he would allow himself a vampire day after all. He slunk past Cordelia's desk, felt the look she cast him like a dagger in his back, and scuttled upstairs.

Half way up, he saw Gunn stroll in through the main door. 'Hi, man, what's up?'

Angel eyed him up and down. Heard the question out loud. Saw Gunn's incredulous look. Knew he was wasting his time, so only shrugged and carried on despondently to his room.

He undressed and slipped between the sheets. He brooded for a while and used what was rapidly becoming his favourite phrase "fuck you" a number of times, picturing Spike in his head. It still didn't help. He slid over to the side of the bed, propped his head up on his hand, and tried to picture Spike actually lying beside him. Oh... unexpectedly easy. He could practically see him. Spike was naked, very muscular, very blond, and grinning. Angel wondered if anyone else ever did this with imaginary lovers... not Spike, obviously, that was just him....

'Come on then, you little git, speak!'

Spike remained stubbornly silent. Angel hit him, but it didn't help. Spike just laughed and continued to stare at him with a provocative look. 'I really hate you, Spike.' That felt good, so he said it again and added a few choice swear words in various languages. German was always good to swear in. Spike didn't speak German, so he just shrugged all this off and went back to staring irritatingly at Angel.

Angel decided to beg. 'Please, Spike... come on... if I do this for you....' Angel was happy to take his cock in his hand anyway, but wanted Spike to feel it was a treat for him... if only he'd fucking say what he wanted for this fucking present. Again, Spike stayed quiet, so Angel thought it only fair to continue with his slow pulling of his cock. He couldn't concentrate though. It was the only thing he usually did give his full attention to these days, but he just couldn't. Spike lying there grinning at him didn't help, so he put a few bruises on Spike's face and made him look sad. That helped. He added some blood for good measure. That helped a lot. Spike got turned over, and Angel came quite quickly and pleasantly into Spike's imaginary hole. Of course, imaginary hole had its limitations and Angel was left lying in damp sheets, but he didn't mind too much. With a little more imagination it was not just his cum under his chest. He patted Spike's backside and drifted into a sort of vampire-in-a-fug sleep for the rest of the day.

He had a dream about Spike… Spike walking away from him, coat swirling… Spike turning away from him, his face saddened for real… Spike not being there when he put out his hand for him. The dream seemed very real, and it's effect lingered for a while when he woke. Angel sat up and wrapped his arms around his knees. What? What the hell was he going to get Spike? He woke Spike up and put the question to him one more time, but Spike seemed to be sulking, and made no useful reply.


For one fraction of a second, Angel almost tried to push imaginary Spike under the bedclothes, realised in the nick of time that that would spell imminent senility, so only rolled back into the centre of his bed, covering himself for decency.


'Oh... sorry... it's only me... Angel...?' Fred hovered nervously in the door.

Angel melted, as he always did with this exotic fawn of a creature. 'Come in, Fred. What's wrong?'

'No! You, Angel. You're wrong... or rather Cordelia said you'd gone to bed, I just added in my head that you must be wrong.... Angel, in bed... can't be right. If it's not right, it must be wrong. Sorry, am I talking too much again? Only Cordelia said I had to practice talking just the right amount, but I don't know what that is, because all talking seems too much to me, and then I try to compensate for not talking by talking, but by then everyone has the look on their face just like you have now....'

'Sorry, Fred. I'm fine. I've just got a problem to think about and I....'

'Problem! I'm good with problems, Angel. Let me try. Please. Course, if you'd rather not, I'd understand....'

'No! Sit down. I have to give someone a present, but it has to be just right. It's just like you said; if it's not right then everything will be wrong. Does that make sense?'

'Oh, course it does, Angel. It's beautiful; like a physical law -like balance.'


'Sorry... is that just me again? Silly me. So, a present. Is it a....'

'Man, young, relative.'

'And it's very important?'

'To me, yes.'

'Okay… I'm not very good at thinking about presents, though, really… unless it's something like you rescuing me and giving me all this new life, or like time…. I gave someone time once, as a gift… course, it was just the formula… but he didn't like it much… so, gift… oh… what about a….'


The scream was so loud, both Fred and Angel jumped at the same time, Fred's reply cut off just at that critical moment.

'No…! Don't go, Fred; it was only Cordy, only a vision… Fred… Fred!'

Angel dragged himself out of bed and put back on his clothes. Even German wasn't good enough now, and he switched to Russian. That gave swearing a whole new dimension. He ran down to the lobby to find Cordelia recovering on one of the couches, Gunn, Fred and Wesley variously fetching weapons, helping her, and standing uselessly by, trying not to get in the way.

'Angel, it's a possession of some kind; Cordelia felt a possession: a powerful one.' Wesley handed Angel some weapons, as they made to leave the hotel.

As he passed Fred, Angel hissed in a low voice, 'Stay here with Cordelia and keep thinking… please?'

She nodded, only half listening, and knelt to hold Cordelia's hand.

Wesley and Gunn both noticed how unusually quiet Angel was on the drive… quiet even for him. He wasn't even listening but not contributing, which was his usual habit. He seemed to be staring at the shop fronts as they passed; his eyes had a wide, desperate look in them.

Ornament for the crypt? Yeah, new candle. Oh God, know where that would immediately be rammed. Boots? New boots? Needs them. New laces…. YES… definitely needs new laces. Can vampires be hung? Better not. Fuck you, Spike. Candy. Possibilities. Endless supply of candy? Too open ended. Alcohol. Even better. Permanently drunk and malleable, Spike… like that idea. A toy? Oh… a sex toy… but can't go in there. Oh, oh, oh, videos… he likes TV. Videos. What? Something bloody and violent. Fuck, been here before. Book and the movie. Oh god. I hate you so much, Spike. A pet. Getting desperate; hope demon kills me.


'What, sorry? Sorry, Wesley, I'm a little preoccupied; what did you say?'

'Err, only that we are here, Angel… and we've stopped the car.'

Angel felt he was doing a lot of slinking recently. He slunk out of the car sheepishly and followed the humans to the front door of the quiet, suburban house.

It was all the usual demon stuff… blah, blah, blah… oh, TV itself? Brilliant, with cable… does he have electricity? Usual demon, usual family, usual children… a picture? Something to remind him of home? Demon driven out, yadda, yadda, yadda, put into Angel's body… a gift voucher for something, then he could choose himself? Yeah, let Spike choose, have to be right then. Demon didn't like dead vampire body… the usual… MONEY! Just money… perfect! Give the git money to shut him up. Pay him. Pay him for his services. Shit. Not good. Demon dissipates, family grateful, offer profound thanks… yeah, yeah… like the mother's necklace… jewellery? Have I just thought about purchasing jewellery for a man? Wish I could dissipate.

It went on like this all week. Everywhere they went, everything they did, Angel tried to turn it into the solution to his problem. Everything he saw made Angel think about Spike. Every word anyone spoke brought Spike to mind. Had he ever listened to music, Angel might have thought of that addictive, intense lyric, and added every breath, too. But he didn't breathe or listen to music, so he didn't.

It was only a week though, for by that time Cordelia was threatening to stake him, Wesley wanted to do a spell to see if he was possessed, and Gunn volunteered to take him out and get him laid. Fred made no suggestions at all, keeping a very low profile, having been totally unable to come up with anything better for a present than a plant. Even she had not missed the look of total derision Angel had given her at that suggestion.

If Angel had been in the mood to think about anything else other than Spike, he might have seen it as ironic that the solution to his problem did, in the end, come from that most unlikely of sources, Gunn. Not because Gunn had an idea for a present… he did not even know what Angel's distraction was about. No, he had just been chosen from the cast of thousands to tackle Angel about his preoccupation. Wesley was too embarrassed; Cordelia too tactless, and Fred still doing her very impressive disappearance act… so, Gunn was rather nominated by default.

He sought Angel out in the basement where he was trying to find a present in the training punch bag. He'd not had any inspiration from the mat, the sweaty towel, or the knuckle tape, so why he was giving the punch bag such a hard time, was a bit of a mystery. Gunn wisely stood well back and waited for Angel to notice him. Angel, of course, had heard him before he'd even started on the stairs, but he couldn't see any present in Gunn, so ignored him.

Computer! At last… I'll buy him a fucking computer. And electricity. I'll get the damn electricity into his crypt, and he can surf the net all the damn day.

Damn was an excellent word to punch the bag to. It suited his mood. Damn, damn, damn.

I have no idea how to buy a computer… I hate them. Damn. Can you give someone something you hate? Big box. Damn. Would look really poofy turning up with big box. Might make me sweat. Damn.

Gunn tried clearing his throat. Angel reluctantly stopped beating the bag and caught it to him, putting his forehead onto the stained leather for a moment.

'What? Another vision?'

'Lucky for you, no.'

Angel turned to look at Gunn and then wandered towards him to fetch his towel. Gunn neatly sidestepped, keeping the exact same distance between them. He'd done a rapid calculation of how quickly Angel could reach him should things turn nasty and wanted to keep that gap very evident.

'Angel. I've been… I need to talk to you, man. It's like you're not here or something. It's worrying everyone.'

'I'm sorry. I've had a lot on my mind.'

'Yeah, well, get over it, Angel. We've got a job here. You've been a liability to us all. I don't care what it is, get over it. Get over yourself. You've thought about nothing else all week, man. It's weird; it's like Angel's not here or something.'


Gunn did the swiftest mental calculation he'd had to do since fifth grade and stepped back even further.

'What did you say?' Suddenly, Angel threw his towel towards Gunn, covered the distance between them as if he had been made of pure light and, to Gunn's utter horror and disgust, kissed him. Twice. On the lips.

'Fuck, man… I ain't ever playing messenger again. Ever!'

Angel grinned at him and ran up to his room.

He knew exactly what he was going to take Spike. It was like a revelation. He felt light headed. He didn't even stop to consider the consequences of getting this wrong. Life was full of decisions made in a second, chances turning on a whim, eternity balancing on the flick of a card. Who was he to demand certainties? That's exactly what he'd accused Spike of.

He heard, yet again, the thought 'fuck you' in his head, but knew this time which version of that event he meant.

When he arrived in the cemetery, he was not too surprised to find Spike sitting in the soft moonlight, smoking.

He did not have his habitual duster and black garb on but, shockingly to Angel's eyes, a soft brown shirt and slightly baggy, dark jeans. This made him seem very human, very vulnerable somehow. Angel was a little disconcerted by this new-look Spike. It suddenly seemed even more critical that he get this right. This Spike he wanted to lose even less than the one he had left a week ago. As he got closer, he saw that Spike also looked tired and drawn. He was biting the side of one nail, his fingers heavily stained by nicotine as if he'd been smoking even more than usual. He didn't look up as Angel approached and, with a shiver of fear, Angel realised that Spike didn't hear him. Spike was so distracted by his thoughts, that something as inherently dangerous as Angel, was able to get within killing range without noticing.

Angel was annoyed with Spike for this. He felt, irrationally, that Spike should take better care of what he, Angel, needed. He chastised himself for this megalomania and coughed lightly to attract Spike's attention.

Spike had not looked any more surprised when he'd found Angelus in his crypt only a week ago. He hopped off the tomb, started to come towards Angel, changed his mind, and lit another cigarette, trying to look unconcerned.

'So, poof, you're back.'

'I am. You need to stay alert, Spike. I could have been anyone, anything.'

If Angel expected a torrent of abuse at this, he was surprised when Spike only nodded and sighed. 'Yeah, had a lot on my mind. Sorry.'

Angel smiled at the almost exact conversation he'd been having with everyone all week.

Spike started back towards his crypt. Angel caught hold of his sleeve. 'Let's walk, hey?'

Spike shrugged, and they walked towards the town together. Spike felt naked without his duster and put the strange nervousness he felt down to its absence.

When they reached the main street, Angel suggested coffee, and Spike readily agreed. They sat at a table on the pavement, and Spike busied himself with the menu… anything but precipitating this conversation. There was no going back from what might be said tonight.

When Angel had ordered and paid, they sat back in their respective seats and watched the humans moving around them. Spike could stand it no longer. He put his finger into the scalding hot coffee, held it there despite the pain, and asked the question he dreaded.

'So, what did you buy me?' The pain in his finger grew, which was good. With any luck, the pain Angel was going to give him would be less than this… but he focused on the pain, took it into himself and prepared for worse should it come.

'Nothing. I brought you nothing.'

Spike looked up sharply, thought 'fuck this' and removed his scalded finger from his drink. Angel had watched this bizarre behaviour with amusement. He wanted to take the finger and put it in his mouth, but didn't want to lose the moment.


'That's right, nothing.'

Spike looked intently at Angel. Angel held his gaze. Suddenly, Spike reached over and pulled Angel's face towards him with both hands. He seemed to be trying to climb into Angel's eyes, so intense was his stare. Spike kept his hands on Angel's face regardless of the strange looks they were getting from other customers. Angel did not pull away. Angel saw the beginnings of a smile on Spike's expressive face. Angel felt the corners of his mouth twitching up in response.

For Spike saw it. He saw what he had been looking for. He saw that Angel had got it.

He released Angel and leaned back in his seat with a look of extreme pleasure and satisfaction on his face.

'So, that's okay then.'

Angel put a hand under the table on Spike's leg and started a very purposeful crushing of the bony kneecap. 'You. Are. A. Git. Spike.'

Spike grinned, despite the pain in his knee. 'Yeah, well, got you thinking about me all week, didn't it? Told you, it's what I want. I want someone who's gonna think about me all the time. And one thing's for sure, mate, when the Slayer was here… you sure weren't thinking about me, were you?'

Angel let Spike's knee go, but kept his hand lightly on the hard thigh. He looked guiltily at Spike. 'No. I wasn't.'

'Nor when she left, I'm thinking. You were thinking of, and with, this.'

Spike put his hand lightly to the front of Angel's jeans. He gave Angel brownie points for not glancing around nervously. He rewarded him for being so good by quickly taking his hand away, but he raised one eyebrow seductively at him, hoping that would embarrass him just as much.

Again, Angel sadly agreed with him. 'I'm sorry, Spike. I didn't realise how little I thought about you, until I started thinking about you all day. And night.'

'Hmm, day and night? Good thoughts?'

'Some of them. Not the ones when I was staking you… well, some of those were good too, I guess. So, did I pass the test?'


'Do I get a reward?'

They both felt their bodies sparking towards each other, every nerve on fire, every fire burning them with passion. Spike stood up and, this time, took a tiny pinch of Angel's coat. 'I think you were about to find your own. I think it's time you took another look.' He started to walk backwards, just as Angel had done. Angel didn't need to be pulled; he came as if attached to Spike by an invisible thread.

Spike had walked back through this cemetery so many times. He had walked through it happily; sometimes he'd walked through it sad; sometimes he'd been so badly beaten, he'd hardly been able to walk at all; he'd run through it; hell, he'd even sung through it, but he had never walked through it in such a state of nervous excitement that he'd felt like puking in it. This was quite new.

Angel was so pleased about getting the present totally right and not actually having to spend any money that he was caught between wanting to summon imaginary Spike and say 'up yours' to him, and wanting to concentrate totally on the very real, very solid, and very promising Spike he had here now.

Lost in their individual thoughts, they spoke very little until they got back to the crypt.

It did not escape either of them that they had already played this scenario. Spike was sorely tempted to ask Angel what he would do this time should Buffy appear. He tried the question in his head a few times, heard Angel's still hesitant answers, and decided to let it go for now. After all, it wasn't tomorrow yet.

He was glad he'd not broken the mood when they got downstairs. Angel's soft hands started to play over him, sliding onto his chest, rubbing around to his back, pulling his shirt loose from his jeans. Angel fell to his knees and put his face into Spike's belly, licking and nuzzling the hard muscle he found there. Spike hissed with pleasure and buried his hands deep into Angel's hair, increasing the friction on his skin by pressing Angel's mouth to him. As Angel enjoyed Spike with his mouth, he used his hands to release the soft jeans, pushing them further down Spike's hips. Just the tip of Spike's cock was visible, but Angel sat back anyway to admire it. Spike smiled down at him.

'Are you just gonna look then?' Angel shook his head, rose gracefully and pulled Spike into a long, deep kiss. When he pulled away, he guided Spike to the bed and pushed him onto his back. Angel eased the jeans all the way off and threw them into a corner. Again he stood between Spike's hard, lean thighs.

'Different to Angelus then?' The quiet question sent a frisson of delight down Spike's spine. He nodded, not trusting himself to speak.

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