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As It Was, So Shall It Be - Chapter 6

'As It Was, So Shall It Be.'

'What?' Spike's quiet words confused Angel; they were not what he had been expecting.

'I asked the witch… Red… Willow; I asked Willow, and that's the spell she used. As it was, so shall it be. And it worked for two hours. Just for two hours, Angel. How could all of this have been precipitated by a pathetic spell that only lasted for two hours? I don't think it was.' Spike turned and forced Angel to look at him. 'I think this was latex.'

Angel's bewildered look made Spike wrinkle up his face. 'Latex… did I mean latex…?'


'Oh, yeah, latent. It was latent. Does that make sense, Angel? I think I've always wanted this, with you… that's why I've not really bothered too much with anyone else. There. I've said it before you, so I must be better than you… hey, poof, what'ya laughing at?'

'Nothing, I'm sorry… I'm just thinking of Angelus. As it was, hey? No, I can confirm, Spike, that this is nothing like it was. I've just slept for the first time. Ever. Really slept. I didn't hear you get up. I didn't hear you come back. I have never, ever slept without being half awake to danger. So yeah, I let you take me; I bought you presents; I wrote to you, but most of all, I slept. And at least you have had relationships. I've not even tried. Well, okay, I had Buffy, but that was an obsession more than a relationship, just like you, I guess. So maybe I've been wanting this and waiting for it, too.'

'With me?'

'Well, anyone would have done… yes, Spike. With you.'

'Huh. So, yet again, Angel, where do we go from here?'

'Well, I know where I'm going….'

'Hey, no fair… oh, what's that… okay, fair… carry on.' Angel did he continued to smear the cool gel he had bought over Spike's cock and slid his hand down between Spike's legs to his sac. He massaged the soft balls for a while as he finished his coffee, oblivious to Spike's groans of frustration. When Spike was fully lubricated, he started to spread the gel around his own cock until it glistened in the bright mid-day light.

When he was ready, Angel knelt up on the bed. 'You, hands and knees, now… some of the old ways good, yes?'

Spike smiled at Angel's confidence. The past held no terrors for them if they could use it to their advantage like this. He did as Angel asked, presenting his entrance for Angel's inspection and pleasure. He groaned once more when the cool gel was applied and pushed in with one eager finger. When Angel had ensured Spike was very, very slippery, he knelt against him and eased just the tip of his cock in through the hard, clenching muscle. Angel hissed at the feel of Spike's muscles squeezing him as he pushed in. He bent over and wrapped his arms tightly around Spike's waist, nibbling into the skin on his back with his blunt human teeth.

Slippery and ready, Angel's shaft embedded deeply and easily into the welcoming channel. He rode Spike for a while without thought of meaning or reason or excuse. It just was. It was Spike's body, and it gave him pleasure. Angel tried to make this pleasure last, but he couldn't. With the morning's urgency, he came quickly and copiously. He didn't even have time to bring Spike to release, an omission he once would not have cared much about. This time, as soon as he felt the last shivers of pleasure from his own orgasm, he pulled out of the wet, tight hole and slid around Spike's hard body to lie under him. 'Come on, your turn!'

Spike laughed and straddled Angel's chest, teasing him with his erection. Spike eased the foreskin off the blood-red cockhead and ran the cool, smooth surface over Angel's lips. They both groaned in unison when they saw glistening beads of precum bubble out of the tiny slit at this delicious friction. Angel took the head of Spike's penis into his mouth. He sucked on it for a while, rolling it around between his tongue and the walls of his mouth. Spike hissed and arched up on Angel's chest, leaning into the sucking. Then he fell forward, braced his hands either side of Angel, and pressed himself as hard as he could into Angel's face. He could feel Angel's lips pressed into his tight, wiry curls, feel Angel's tongue running up the whole length of his shaft and, finally, he could feel the sensitive tip of his cock rubbing against the back wall of Angel's throat. Angel wrapped his arms tightly around Spike's slim hips and held him fast, using only the powerful muscles in his throat to work the throbbing cock. Spike did not last long either. His orgasm hit him powerfully. It almost took away his ability to hold himself braced above Angel's face; he felt his muscles shake with the ecstasy of coming in that talented mouth. He cried out, one long cry of pure bliss, and then it was over.

They didn't even try to pull apart. Somehow Spike's cock slipped out of Angel's mouth; somehow Spike slipped off Angel's chest, sliding on the slick trail of cum that had been leaking out of him. They were too spent to notice how they lay or to arrange themselves, they just lay, replete, full, empty, and content.

Eventually, Angel stirred enough to lift his head onto Spike's chest. It was all he could be bothered to do. Spike made a token effort, too, and wrapped his arms companionably around Angel. More time passed; Angel could have sworn he actually dozed again, but this seemed incredible, given he had slept for over twelve hours already. He must have done, however, for he found himself waking to a low chuckle from Spike. 'That was more fun than the 'let's talk about the issues' threat.'

Angel sat up and started to rub his hair and look around for his clothes. 'Yeah, I know. I guess we should talk now, hey? What's that noise?'

'That, you poor excuse for a sire, is your childe's stomach rumbling. I'm bloody starving. I can't live on ice cream and coffee. Unfortunately. Any chance of a little brekies in this hotel then?'

'Yeah, throw something on and follow me.'

Angel led Spike down to the kitchen and put a number of blood bags into the microwave to heat. Spike hopped up onto the counter, and Angel came to stand between his thighs. He ran his hands over the incredibly hard muscles of Spike's legs; he admired, once again, Spike's toned abdomen and chest. He gave a quiet groan and looked up at Spike's amused face. 'I love these, just here.'

'What, poof?'

'These muscles here, what are they called?' He ran his hands down the prominent, muscular sides of Spike's groin towards his soft cock. He grinned when he felt it beginning to twitch to life.

Spike removed Angel's hands and held them firmly. 'They're the Tranverse Shaftus Erectiles, and you can't play with 'em 'til I'm fed.'

Angel wasn't sure if he was being made fun of, and he didn't care too much. He pushed away from Spike, poured their blood into mugs and sat at the table. Spike hopped off the counter and came over to join him. They drank a large quantity of hot liquid, both needing the replenishment.

Finally, Angel put his mug down a little too hard onto the table, looked sternly at Spike and said, 'Now… we've having that talk now, Spike. No more procrastinating from either of us.'

Spike licked the last traces of blood off his lips and smiled seductively at Angel. 'Bugger, I was hoping we could go down to your training mats and procrastinate the afternoon away.'

'Stop it, Spike. Talk.'

'Well, okay then. You start. What do you want, Angel? You're the one who suggested we stick to sire / childe for a while. You're the one who keeps breaking that rule….'

'And buggering me against the bathroom wall yesterday didn't break it, I suppose?'

'Yeah, well, all right, I admit it; I wasn't thinking like your childe then.'

'So, where do we start? We can't go on with this pretence. The others will work it out soon. I'd rather tell them myself.'

'I think Fred already knows, Angel.'

'What! What did you say?'

'I didn't say anything. Oh you are a dozy pillock sometimes, Angel. Did it escape your notice last night that I couldn't keep my eyes off you? Did you not realise that every time I looked at you, you were already looking at me? I think she got that something was up. Two somethings were up!'

'Oh. God. She's the last one I'd have told.'

'She was okay, Angel. She was still smiling an' happy when we left her for bed, wasn't she?'

Angel nodded glumly. 'Come on, mate… look, one weekend per human. In a month's time, they'll all know.'

Angel suddenly looked up intently at Spike. 'Know what, though? That's what I can't bear to think about, Spike. Know what?'

Spike stuck out his bottom lip and tried to think deeply. The more Angel complicated it, the clearer it seemed to him. 'Know that we want each other, I guess.'

Angel rested his head on his hand and continued to look searchingly at Spike. 'Want each other?'

'Angel, I want you as a friend; I want you in my life; I want you in my bed; hell, I want you in my head. Full circle, Angel… I want to think about you all the time and have you think about me.'

'But you won't come and live here with me.'

Spike looked down shyly. 'I have to admit, Angel, LA is not how I remember it. I remember nothing but fear and blood, hunting and a kind of sick evil. There was no ice cream, that's for sure. So maybe… maybe I could eventually.'


'I won't come until you're totally happy about all this, Angel. I'm not gonna to sneak around like a fuck toy.'

'Do fuck toys sneak?'

'They might, they might. Never used one meself, not being a poof.' Spike grinned at this last, aware he was treading on thin ground. 'So, poof….' He made a point of emphasising this. 'What do you want to do now? It'll be dark soon; we could go out again. On our own, maybe, this time?'

Angel stood up and stretched. 'What have we decided here?'

Spike tipped his chair back and propped his feet up on the table. 'We've decided I love you.'

Angel paused. He had no idea how to reply to something that so fundamentally changed both their lives. He went for non-committal. 'That's good then. Enough to risk another bath with me?'

'I think I might survive that, yeah.' Spike grinned and let the chair drop. 'You run it; I'll fetch some drinks.'

Spike utterly refused to sit spooned into Angel's chest. He insisted on sitting facing him, propping his feet irritatingly on Angel's chest, in his face, on his shoulders… wherever they would most inconvenience Angel. Angel put up with it for a while but retaliated by pushing his into Spike's groin. The bath degenerated from that point on. Spike attempted to grab Angel's feet and pull him under, and a wave of water sloshed over the edge onto the tiled floor. Angel lashed out to try and dunk Spike and ended up falling on top of him, so more water cascaded out.

Spike laughed and pushed Angel off, tumbling painfully out of the bath and onto the hard floor. Angel caught his ankle but, unable to pull him back in, hopped out himself and flattened Spike onto the tiles. Spike flipped over onto his back and put his arms up in mock surrender; Angel crawled up his body slowly. He wasn't sure what he'd intended, but he suddenly stopped and looked down at Spike. Spike stopped laughing and looked back at Angel. Angel put a tentative hand onto Spike's cheek and caressed it lightly, and they both knew that something had changed between them. Spike's declaration that he loved Angel, however lightly it had been said and received, had meant more to both of them than they knew. Angel bent down slowly and placed his mouth to Spike's. Spike responded, opening his up and welcoming Angel's tongue. Angel laid his full weight down on Spike and kissed him as he had never kissed anyone before. He was not just kissing, but kissing this person… kissing Spike. The kiss deepened; Angel heard a soft moaning, thought it was Spike, but realised it was him. He tightened his hold on Spike even more and started imperceptible rocking movements on the thin, wet body.

Suddenly, Angel pulled his mouth away from Spike's and buried his face into the crook of Spike's neck. He was panting; he was actually panting, and it felt so good to breathe again. Angel wished he had mirrors in the bathroom and that he could benefit from them. He'd like to have seen their bodies entwined on the floor like this. A quiet voice brought him back, 'I'm cold, Angel… can we take this to bed?'

Angel nodded and pulled Spike to his feet, leading him to the bed. Spike crawled over the covers and murmured, 'Hmm, in your bed at last' and gave Angel a cheeky look.

Angel smiled and joined him. He pulled up the blankets to warm Spike, and they lay side by side, looking at each other. Very slowly, Angel put his hand on Spike's arm and started to run it up and down, trailing a finger up towards the smooth neck and down to the strong, thin wrist. He looked down shyly for a moment, but then looked at Spike directly and boldly. 'Will you let me make love to you, Spike?'

Spike opened his mouth to reply but, despite his temptation to make a joke and laugh this off, despite his burning desire to say 'poof' in an irritating tone, he resisted. He faltered. He closed his eyes briefly to collect himself, and then nodded slowly, not trusting himself to speak. He rolled onto his back and folded his arms behind his head, staring at the ceiling. He'd never had anyone offer to make love to him before, and he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do.

He was later pleased to discover that Angel hadn't needed him to do anything… anything other than moan, cry out, and scream his pleasure that is.

Angel wondered what he had been missing all these years. What was the difference between having sex with someone and making love to them? It had to be who got the most pleasure. Even with Buffy, it had been his moment of happiness… and he'd ensured he'd had that, ensured he'd had his explosive orgasm in her. He wasn't so sure she'd enjoyed it that much, and the fact that he did not know, spoke volumes. Now though? Now he wanted to pleasure this body he'd been worshipping all week. He wanted to explore it… not so that would bring him to a peak of pleasure… but for Spike, for just his pleasure.

He straddled Spike and began with a few more deep, intense kisses. He felt Spike relax into the sensation, opening himself up, becoming vulnerable in his need for love.

Angel slid right down Spike's body until he knelt at his feet. He picked up one leg at a time, nuzzling into the hard flesh, softening the muscles under his tongue. When he reached the sensitive flesh behind Spike's knees he stopped there awhile to place deep kisses into the seductive hollows, biting with his human teeth. Spike groaned for the first time that night and covered his face with his arm. Angel smiled and let him hide for a while; he would make him watch soon enough.

As he moved up Spike's thighs, rasping his tongue over the almost totally hairless flesh, Angel reached into his bedside drawer and brought out a few of the tubs of lubrication he'd bought. He sat up, opened each one in turn, and let Spike smell them, wanting him to choose. Spike didn't hesitate and pointed to the one he liked. Angel was amused. It was his favourite, too. It was called Seduction of the Sea; it was supposed to smell of seaweed and foam and the deep, deep ocean. He thought it smelt of cum and now grinned that Spike clearly thought this, too. It was an entirely masculine essence, and it turned them both on just to smell it.

Angel took a deep scoop out of the tub and started to work it against Spike's hole. Spike pulled his thighs up, but replaced his arm over his eyes. Angel knew he was enjoying the sensation, for other hand clenched and unclenched on the sheet in pure pleasure. Angel slipped one finger into Spike to coat the tight ring with the cool gel. It went in so easily that he added another.

Suddenly, he paused; he thought about love again and the giving of pleasure without the selfish taking. Now knew how he could. He added a third finger. It went in effortlessly. He pulled them all out again, then one by one slipped them in once more, this time adding his little finger.

Spike removed the arm from his eyes.

Angel pulled his fingers out again, took another vast handful of the lube and, one by one, repeated their slow entry, but this time he had neatly tucked his thumb between his index and middle fingers, effectively making it disappear, leaving his hand a smooth projectile.

Spike sat up slightly.

Angel kept easing this missile-shaped hand into Spike's glistening entrance.

Spike watched avidly.

Angel's entire hand slid out of sight until Spike's hole was stretched around Angel's wrist.

Spike sucked in a very necessary breath and said, 'Oh, fuck.'

Angel, unable to take his eyes off the sight of his hand inside his childe, echoed this sentiment, quietly. 'Yeah, fuck.'

Angel suddenly gave a feral grin and clenched his fist closed.

That caused the first ecstatic scream from Spike that night. He flung himself back onto the bed and lifted up his hips as high as he could, impaled as he was on Angel's arm.

'Fucking hell, Angel… do that again!' Angel started to clench and unclench his fist in a strong pulsing movement, twisting his arm around as he did so. Spike began to writhe on the bed, and Angel had to put his other hand on Spike's belly to hold him down. When Spike stilled slightly, Angel pushed in slightly further and stretched his fingers out straight once more. Then he felt it… under his index finger… a slight, but very noticeable bulge in the wall of Spike's channel. He smiled to himself and just made a tiny, light swirling movement over it with his finger.

Spike's eyes flew wide open; he opened his mouth almost comically and let out a long, drawn-out sigh of desire and anticipation. They both suddenly realised how much more pleasure a strong hand, four fingers, and a thumb could give than one cock.

Angel now pressed harder, but not directly on that soft nub. He worked around it with a deep pressure, getting faster and faster. As he worked his finger, his knuckles stretched and pummelled the sensitive walls of the tight passage. Spike didn't know such pleasure existed. The pressure on his gland made his cock harden and weep copiously.

Angel clamped his other fist tightly around the base; he had no intension of letting Spike cum yet.

Now he alternated his working around the gland with strong strokes over it. The second scream of the night was elicited from Spike.

Angel decided to slow the tempo down a bit; he withdrew his hand completely, but slipped his tongue in to replace it. If he closed his eyes, he could imagine that deep ocean taste. It was like licking a fresh oyster: same taste, same texture. He ate deeply, enjoying the soft, appreciate moans from Spike. When his tongue grew tired, Angel worked his other hand into Spike, enjoying the sight of that one slipping in just as easily as the first had.

As he released Spike's cock to use this fist, Spike's hand flew to it to try and get some relief. Angel batted it away, licked his lips at Spike, and plunged his mouth down onto the weeping shaft. He pressed his mouth down as far as he could, pressed up hard, and was convinced he could feel his finger with his lips.

A third scream rent the air.

Angel tightened his hand into a sharp, hard fist and started long, slow thrusts in and out of Spike's backside, matching the rhythm with his mouth and throat on Spike's cock.

Each thrust of his arm caused Angel's large knuckles to work over Spike's soft nub. Neither of them was surprised that Spike couldn't last under this treatment. Angel felt the thick vein on the underside of Spike's penis swell in anticipation of the rush of cum; he felt the whole shaft throb slightly, and to Spike's fourth and most piercing scream, Angel sucked the flood of cum out of Spike's slit as he continued to grind and thrust into the tight hole.

When Spike's scream suddenly died, Angel glanced up and saw with delight that Spike had bitten savagely into his own forearm in ecstasy. Angel stilled his hand before he stopped sucking. He continued light, gentle sucks and licks even after the last jet of Spike's salty essence had been swallowed. He started to pull his arm out, but Spike grasped his wrist with both hands. 'Don't, I want to look at it some more.'

Angel lay down with his face close to where his arm disappeared, fascinated too by the erotic sight. He couldn't help it; he started tiny movements of his fingers, just wriggling them slightly, flexing and stretching them over the soft walls.

Spike half groaned, half chuckled. 'Look, Angel… I don't soddin' believe it….' Spike's penis was starting to rise once more, his sac flushed and hard.

Angel only smiled and put his free hand out to fondle the balls as he played with his other hand inside.

Spike just lay back against the pillows, lost in this incredible experience. Angel wanted to give him one more sensation. He stretched up and reached Spike's mouth. Spike felt as if he had left Angel's room and gone into a dimension of pleasure. He was all body, all anticipation, all orgasm.

Angel sped up the movement of his fist, matched the pace with his hand on Spike's cock, and plundered Spike's mouth until they both felt Spike's cold release jet onto his belly.

This time, even Spike wanted Angel to remove his hand… but they both enjoyed Angel taking his time to do it. He eased it out a bit at a time. He kept his hand long and flat until the last moment when he made a huge fist and jerked it out. Spike's eyes widened in shock and pleasure as he stretched to over ten inches in circumference then closed over again. Angel placed a few kisses over the hole just to ensure it was back and tight. He pressed his tongue to it, testing its firmness, pleased that it was as tight and resistant as ever. Angel crawled up the bed and laid his head next to Spike's on the pillow.

Spike turned to look at him, 'What about you…?'

Angel shook his head. 'No, not me, Spike; only you tonight.'

Spike rolled onto his side and took Angel's head in his hands and kissed him deeply. Then he pulled away and gave him an intense look. 'Do you mean that? Cus I want to be greedy…. Angel, I want….' He looked down, shyly, but when he looked back up, Angel saw the amber eyes of his demon childe starring at him. 'I want more, Angel.'

Angel stretched back his neck, pulled Spike to him, and groaned in ecstasy. He felt Spike's needle-sharp teeth slice him and even the pain was like a kiss. He felt the first suck, and that was better than other, more intimate sucking. He felt Spike swallow against him and knew his blood was now inside Spike. Spike had been entirely filled by him tonight.

He let Spike feed for a very long time, especially as Spike's hand had crept down to his tight, urgent erection. He'd thought to push him away, wanted this to be just for Spike's pleasure, but had realised, with a frisson of delight, that Spike wanted to do this. He wanted to play with his sire's cock as he took his sire's blood. It reassured him, made him feel safe and loved… demon love, as well as human love. It was more even than Angel had planned to give him that night.

Spike didn't stop feeding deliberately; he just sort of slipped off into a deep, coma-like sleep, his human form reasserting itself as sleep overtook him, and the blunt teeth lost their grip. Angel spooned his childe to him, smiling at the way he slipped so effortlessly into sleep. He looked down at his own painful, unrelieved cock and brought himself off expertly and silently. Spike did not stir.

Angel buried his face into the still-wet, blond hair. He glanced at Spike's watch and groaned. It was nearly midnight. Too late to go out even for LA… even if he felt like it… which now, he didn't. Where had the day gone? It had gone on a blitz of sex and now, of love.

Angel pulled the blankets over them both and brooded a while on what they had done that day. He was beginning to see a solution to their problem, but before he could work out all the finer details, he too fell deeply asleep.

Neither woke until the sun was well over the yardarm… even for LA, where the yardarm was a great deal higher than in less civilised realms.

Spike stirred first. He stretched, groaned, and curled up again, wondering why he felt as if he'd gone three rounds with her Gloryificuscunticus. He smiled to himself when he remembered why.

The bringer of all pleasure and sore arses was still asleep on the pillow next to him. Spike blew gently on the poofy hair to wake him. Angel groaned as well and put his head under his pillow. Spike decided to wake him more forcibly, so slid his hand under the covers and down to Angel's soft, vulnerable sac. He squeezed lightly… slightly harder… harder still, until Angel heaved himself up and pinned Spike under him on the bed.

Spike grinned. 'Morning, poof.'

'When are you going, Spike? Don't leave it too late, will you? Traffic might be bad!'

'Yeah, you love me waking you up at… one o'clock, and you know it.'

'One? At night? Oh, no… it's light… fuck! Is it one o'clock in the afternoon? What day is it?'

'Sunday, Angel, relax. It's still only Sunday. So, what do you want to do today?'

Angel, still reeling from the fact he'd slept for another twelve-hour stretch, suddenly looked extremely furtive and turned away from Spike.

'What? Poof? What? Come on, tell me.'

'Well, I usually do the laundry and read the papers. Sorry.'

'Oh… no, that's good… can I throw some stuff in, too?'

Angel looked surprised and pleased. He'd expect major derision and disbelief, but Spike wanted to do laundry, too. They gathered up everything that needed to go in, which was pretty much everything Spike had brought plus a huge pile of Angel's hardly worn at all stuff and started the process of putting it through the machines. Towels around their waists they pottered in the kitchen. They heated blood for brunch… a concoction Spike immediately labelled 'blunch'. It was so quiet and domesticated that Angel thought his dead heart would break from the pleasure of just having Spike there.

When the blood was ready, Spike hopped up on the counter again, and Angel came to stand between his legs. It was rapidly becoming their favourite thing to do in the kitchen… especially as they were both only dressed in towels. Standing thus between Spike's legs had a whole new level of interest for Angel. He took advantage of the situation and slid his hands seductively up Spike's thighs. As they disappeared under the edge of the towel he looked up and grinned. Spike twitched up his eyebrow, as if to say, 'Now, I wonder where they're heading'. When the cool hands reached his soft nest of curls, he lifted his legs and locked them around Angel's waist. Angel gasped at the feel of being imprisoned by Spike and pressed the heels of his palms deeply into Spike's groin. It was Spike's turn to groan. Angel slid him forward slightly on the counter. His cock was tenting urgently against the towel; he could so easily slip it into the small, pink entrance he had exposed in front of him. Spike tried to urge him on by pushing Angel's hand down, hoping he would use a finger to open him up.

'No, Spike, we can't.' Angel stepped back slightly, trying to push Spike's legs off his waist. 'I'm sorry, but… Fred… what if she came in?'

Spike pushed himself back onto the counter and took his legs off Angel, but he imprisoned him with his arms instead. 'Risk one kiss instead then?' The look that Angel gave him sent shivers of delight down his spine. Pleasing Angel was easier than he had ever thought possible… but maybe he had not tried to please him all that much in the past. Again, Spike did not want to question why this change had occurred. He felt it called into question his whole persona as a demon… an evil demon… the Big Bad! Huh… laundry, kissing, love… fucking hell, the Big Betty more like… but he could not be distracted by thoughts like that when Angel was distracting him by deep, passionate kissing. If Fred had come in she would probably have been grateful not to find Angel buggering Spike on the kitchen counter, but she'd have been hard pressed to say that this was not just as intense and erotic to watch. Angel put both hands onto the back of Spike's hair and ran them around as he plundered his mouth. Finally though, he pulled away and tried to compose himself.

'We either take this back upstairs now, or I've got to stop.'

Spike grinned and stretched on the counter. 'I need feeding, poof, so guess we're stopping.'

'Huh, thought you'd fed quite well last night.'

'Oh yeah… I did. But I'm still hungry.'

Angel re-adjusted his towel and padded off to fetch the papers while Spike re-heated the now cold blood. Neither of them particularly looked forward to drinking it, it was disgusting enough fresh… re-heated pigs' blood held no thrill for them at all.

When Angel returned with the papers he'd had delivered early that morning, he shyly handed one to Spike. 'I didn't think you'd want the LA papers, so I ordered something for you from the English shop. It's a week old, sorry. I took Wesley's advice. I was going to get you the Sunday Times or something, that's what I used to read… God, that's a long time ago… but he said you'd probably prefer the Sunday Sport….'

Spike was incredibly touched by this gesture of Angel's. It showed that Angel had given some considerable thought to this weekend, and Spike liked the idea that he had been thought about so intensely. He felt he was getting close to the level of love from someone that he wanted. Like Angel, he was beginning to question whether he preferred the sex or the pottering in the kitchen doing laundry, but the thought confused him so much that he tried not to dwell on it too long.

Spike sat down and was even more pleased when he opened his tabloid. It kept him amused for at least an hour, and he learnt some extremely interesting things, none of them, strangely, about sport. He leant back in his chair, propped his feet up on the table, lit a cigarette, and sipped his blood. He also watched Angel, but he kept that discreet and a 'not-poofy' sort of watching. It was the best Sunday he could remember since he'd been human when he had always gone to church with his mother and sister and then come home to a huge family roast lunch.

As he glanced at Angel, Spike saw that he was studying his paper intently, the broadsheet spread out on the table in front of him. Every so often he would mark something with a highlighter pen and once or twice he tore articles out. When he felt Spike's gaze on him, Angel said quietly without looking up, 'Wesley likes me to show him interesting articles, and I cut the adverts out for Cordy and Fred.'

Spike's dead heart contracted in his chest. How many bloody emotions was he supposed to feel? He was a soddin' demon for Christ's sake; he could not feel sorry for someone. Someone else's pain was funny. Someone else's loneliness was to be made fun of. So why did Angel, sitting there cutting out his articles for the humans who would never really love him or appreciate him, hurt Spike so? It seemed to Spike that the whole hotel was symbolic of Angel's loneliness; he rattled around in it too much: too much on his own with his own thoughts. It seemed to him that Angel needed him more now than he ever had in the past… but how would he react with Angel and the humans. That was a whole different ball game than Angel on his….

'What are you thinking?'

Angel's quiet words startled Spike. He realised he'd been staring at Angel's bent head for a long time, and that Angel had sensed this. Spike let his chair clatter to the floor and put his elbows on the table, 'You know what I'm thinking about.'

'Any thoughts you'd care to share?'

'What are you going to do tomorrow, Angel?'

Spike's rapid change of pace caught Angel off guard and he looked up, puzzled.

'When I've gone, Angel… what will you do?'

Angel frowned. 'Work, I suppose, train, nothing special, why?'

'Will you miss me?'

Angel looked away quickly, but Spike had seen it. He'd seen a look of utter desolation cross Angel's face for a split second before he'd been able to hide it. Angel's voice was neutral when he replied. 'What would you do, if I did?'

'Come back early, maybe. I could come on Thursday.'

Angel's grin alone was worth coming to LA for. Spike was not used to giving people pleasure - he usually seemed to upset and anger the Sunnydale gang, but he had the power to give pleasure now, and it was almost addictive. He pictured another chink in his Big Bad armour being pierced.

Suddenly, Angel looked almost beside himself with delight. 'Thank God. You can come to Wesley's birthday party with me on Thursday night. You can do the party thing for both of us; I can sit quietly somewhere, out of sight.'

'Hey, poof… no parties… I'm not going to a soddin' human's birthday party.'

'Yes, yes you are… in fact, Spike….' Angel jumped up and grabbed his wallet off the top of the fridge. 'Here, take this….' he threw Spike a large number of notes. 'You're buying my present to him, too. You'll be good at that… you being English as well.' Angel tipped his chair back in a mirror of Spike's earlier, and continued to congratulate himself on a brilliant plan.

Spike carefully counted the money, grinning quietly.

Maybe he could do parties after all.

Maybe he was still the Big Bad. It was a considerable amount of money: more than Spike had had for a very long time. He stuffed it into his bag when he went up later that day to pack. Then he took it out and counted it again. It was still a large amount.

Spike had one more thing to do before he left for Sunnydale. He waited 'til Angel was busy with something downstairs and went quietly into Angel's bedroom. The sheets were still rumpled from their post-laundry and papers activities. He grinned. Even he had lost count of how many orgasms he'd had that weekend. He suspected it would probably be more than he'd had the whole of the previous year. When he was finished in Angel's bedroom, he grabbed his bag and made his way downstairs. Angel was waiting for him by the car, leaning on it, apparently studying a slight scuff on one shoe. For an instant, when he looked up, Spike could have sworn that he saw that look of desolation cross his face again, but maybe it was just gloomy in the shadows of the hotel. Spike threw his bag into the passenger seat and put his hands both side of Angel on the car and leant into him. Angel wrapped his arms around the thin body and put his mouth to Spike's ear. 'I miss you already.'

Spike pulled back and grinned. 'Good. Help you to think about me this week, won't it?'

Angel did not feel like smiling. He only nodded, kissed Spike lightly on the forehead, and started to move back inside. Spike's quiet voice held him still for a moment. 'I've left you a present in your room, luv.'

Angel turned and looked puzzled. 'What?'

'Ah, that's for you to find out. They're cus you can't see 'em here, pet, in the city. Seemed kinda sad to me.' Spike climbed into the car, pointed to his watch, and said, 'See you Thursday, poof. Remember… me… think… all the time.' And with that last reminder, he sealed himself in against the sun and drove off.

Angel went immediately up to his bedroom. Presents or lack of them, were rapidly becoming a major part of this strange new relationship. He admitted to himself, he was intrigued to see what Spike had thought to buy, or steal for him.

Nothing was immediately evident: no parcels on the bed, nothing on the surfaces, nothing on the floor. He checked the bathroom, opened drawers, and looked in the closet. Nothing. He was more than a little angry, firstly for allowing himself to be excited, and secondly for now being upset. He stomped down to the office to do some work before the manic-Monday syndrome kicked in.

A few hours later and no work done at all, he decided to have an early night. He didn't admit it to himself, but the Spike-fest he'd indulged in since Friday night had taken it out of him. He was out of 'Spike' condition, had forgotten just how exhausting shagging something that shagged back - hard - could be. He went into his room, pottered around, got undressed, went into the bathroom, showered, came back out, turned the light off, climbed into the bed… and saw Spike's present. The ceiling was alight with soft, glowing stars. Like a child's nursery, Spike had carefully covered Angel's 'sky' with the stars he could never see for real in the city of Angels… each constellation accurately placed and represented.

Angel felt tears prick his eyes. Tears were nothing new to him; he cried a lot in private when the agony of his soul and the pain of his guilt rent him in two… but he never cried for other emotions… until now. Spike's thoughtfulness touched him more than he could say. He was overwhelmed that Spike, outwardly so in-your-face-what-you-see-is-what-you-get was inwardly so complex. It showed up his inability to think of a present for his childe in an unfortunate way, and Angel knew it.

Angel lay for a long time watching his stars.

If Spike had an ulterior motive in putting this constant reminder of him in Angel's bedroom - over Angel's bed - then he was successful. Angel lay awake most of the night thinking about Spike. His bed smelt of him, his body ached for him, and now Spike's heart and his love were spread across his tiny, all-encompassing sky.


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