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Wesley was so enjoying this pleasant evening. He debated just standing up and leaving, testing whether either of them would notice, but he was reluctant to leave them alone in this mood. He knew Spike thought the house protected him, but he wouldn't like to take a bet on its power over Angel.
Eventually, however, his decision was made for him. His cellphone rang. It was Fred. She needed him. Even though it was only research, he could not say no to her. He didn't want to. She seemed like a bright light of normality after the dark evening he'd spent.
He made his apologies. Unusually, Spike walked him out to his car. He sensed the vampire didn't want to be left alone.
When they were out of sight of the house, at the end of the long drive, he leant on the car and said thoughtfully, 'You've known Angel a long time.'
As this was pretty obvious, Spike didn't break his reverie - about other, more interesting things - to reply.
Wesley saw his lack of attention and added, 'But I'm not sure that you know this Angel- I'm not sure any of us does.'
That caught Spike's attention. He cast the human a look, which clearly invited him to continue. Wesley pushed off the car and plucked at a fragrant bush overhanging the path. 'The most significant thing that has ever happened to him, happened without any of us effectively being there. We can't remember it, anyway. Can you imagine what he has been through with Connor? Imagine knowing that someone you love enough to allow him to forget you is out there somewhere… doing just that- forgetting you.' Spike was not looking at him, but was staring down at his feet. Wesley added sadly, 'I think you should try to get him to talk about it. Open up a bit, maybe.'
Spike looked up. His eyes were wild, dilated. He nodded and said with some kind of strange, pent-up energy, 'That's exactly what I was thinking of doing.'
Wesley sighed at the obviously private joke that he was excluded from and just wished him a goodnight. As if regretting the reception he'd given to the human's attempt to help, Spike laid a hand on his arm. 'You are right, Wes. I am going to get him to share more.'
Wesley smiled and nodded, climbed into his car and drove away with a heavy feeling in his heart.
Spike watched the rear lights disappear then tipped his head back and scented the night. It have him a small, heady sense of what he needed: the predatory, killer instinct once more. He already felt more like himself than he had since the spell, just from having made the decision. He debated going out to kill something for real, just to heat the blood, but with a rueful touch to his jeans realised it was hot enough.
It was now or never.
He frowned. That cliché had propped into his mind - now or never - but that wasn't right at all. The fear that it was literally now or never sent a shiver of fear into his balls. He'd not thought through what might happen if Angel refused him- had tried to avoid thinking about this-filling his head with the more pleasant thoughts of Angel's ready capitulation. Now or never. Was he willing to lose Angel completely for the sake of this?
He had to conclude that he was.
He would lose him anyway if he didn't attempt it, for without this change to what they had become, he would lose himself. One hundred years? He doubted he'd last another week.
When he strode back into the apartment, his body giving an impression of supreme arrogance and confidence that he did not feel, he found Angel at the sink, washing up.
It was not the heady, sexy ambience he'd relied on.
He frowned and leant on the back on the couch, watching him for a moment. 'Hey.'
Angel turned. 'Who's done this for the last two weeks?' He sounded genuinely puzzled.
Spike ignored the obvious fact that Angel's mind wasn't running on the same track as his, and said huskily, 'I think you promised me something for tonight.'
Angel dried his hands and came closer. 'I've been thinking about all this…. I mean, I think I've taken you too much for….'
'You heard. Get your kit off.'
'No. No "Spike"s… just take 'em off- slowly.'
Angel gritted his teeth and began to speak once more, but Spike opened his legs and ran a hand over his crotch. Angel's eyes drifted down to watch, and Spike knew he had him. He saw that whatever it was Angel thought he wanted to say about their relationship was diluted and washed away on the hot blood flooding his groin. Angel even licked his lips slightly as he watched the blatant display.
Angel swallowed, his eyes still on the rising swell of Spike's pants. Like a man about to dive into strong, irresistible surf, he began to undress, thoughtless, his mind on the water soon to envelop him.
Spike stood up and opened the top button of his jeans- just that. It was enough. He knew Angel could not resist the wanton look.
Angel shed his shirt, and it fell to the floor in complicit capitulation. One by one, he slid the zipper of his pants over the small teeth that held his hardness in check.
Spike stood so close he could hear the throb in Angel's balls and smell his desire. It was perfect. He eased around until he was standing behind the huge figure. Very slowly, to the pace Angel set with his pants, he licked from the base of Angel's skull to the loosening waistband: one long trail down the powerful spine glistening in the moonlight. He felt Angel's body shiver like a ripple of wind on calm waters then the pants fell to his ankles.
He was naked beneath them, a habit he'd picked up in the last two weeks, always impatience to touch skin to skin, additional clothes a burden. Spike had not seen Angel's body for some hours; its beauty struck him once more. He was so sleek, like a great jungle predator: nothing about him that was not needed for the one purpose of being master of all he surveyed. He was perfect from the front - the face of an angel - but from the back he was magnificent as well. His broad muscles flared from a slim, hard waist. The globes of his backside were like sculptured marble, but they twitched with life, just the small tic of desire as he felt his need grow under Spike's scrutiny.
He began to turn, to present his manhood to conquer and take what it was he so desired, but firm hands held his waist and kept him facing away. Before Angel angered, Spike fell to his knees and picked up his trail where he'd left off: his tongue finding the top of Angel's cleft and running down the silky valley.
Angel swore softly and bent over the couch, parting his legs.
Spike couldn't believe it was happening so easily-easier than in the fantasies he'd toyed with all day.
He nuzzled into the soft, damp skin between Angel's cock and balls, knowing how irresistible that would be. Angel seemed to agree with him, for one knee began to tremble, a deep muscle spasm that ran up into his thigh. He was still swearing softly, an encouragement of fucks and yeahs that made Spike's belly waver with need.
When the long lapping of his tongue dragged Angel to a peak of need, he shifted up slightly and kissed one cheek. Subtly, as he did, he blew softly into the very centre of the cleft: his target. The fine, downy hairs around Angel's entrance moved to his breath as if parting in preparation. He smiled and kissed gently into the puckered skin.
Angel stiffened noticeably under his hands. Quickly, Spike slid his fingers around from Angel's waist to his groin and brushed up and down his cock for while as if taming a wild animal. When the stallion was calm, he returned to the softness waiting him and wet it with the tip of his tongue.
Spike used his fingers more skilfully, teasing one nail over the slit in Angel's wet cockhead, rubbing the sensitive edge of the glans, until the warning murmur of his name dissipated in the soft night air. More urgently, he returned to the hole, mouthing it now, lips wide, tongue dancing.
Soaked, glistening, it lay ready for him, so he rose and brought a hand off Angel's cock, now playing the fingers over the puckering. Kissing the hard muscles of Angel's back, he pushed one finger in.
Angel's elbow caught him under his chin, and his jaw, open and soft from kissing Angel's sweat-slick skin, slammed shut on his tongue. Blood spurted into his mouth, and an awareness of pain stabbed into his brain. He stepped back, and before he could stop it - every fibre in his body pumped with testosterone in preparation to fuck - he fought instead. He lashed out and paid Angel back in kind, thumping his fist into Angel's nose.
Angel caught his arm and held it away, but not until he'd been made to bleed, too. 'What the freaking hell is this?' Angel wiped his nose with the back of his hand. He'd turned from stallion to bull; massive, huge cock solid and pointing at Spike.
Spike spat some blood and hissed menacingly, 'Turn around.'
'Fuck you, Spike! What the hell do you think this is? You fucking stuck your finger in me!'
'You've been sticking your cock in me for two bloody weeks!'
Angel seemed incapable of processing the connection between these two things. He just stared at Spike, his eyes dark and dangerous. 'Is this what this pissy attitude you've had has been about?'
'NO! Yes. I guess. Look….'
'No. No!' Angel knew he was behaving badly, but he felt as if Spike had thrown all his attempts to heal the rift between them in his face. He'd tried to be more considerate, tried not to treat him like an object- jeez, he'd even washed up! He'd wanted to do more: talk to Spike… have him talk for once. (And then fuck him.) This had totally thrown him. He squared his shoulders and said icily, 'What the hell do you think I am, Spike?'
To his surprise, Spike came very close and stared him down. 'The question is, Angel: What do you think I am?'
Angel felt a tic beat in his cheek, so clenched his jaw. He had no answer to this, other than the obvious, which he was fairly sure was not what Spike wanted to hear.
'Yeah. Exactly. Now, are you going to turn around and put out, or….' Spike dried up. Now or never. He had no alternative to offer. Except… he did…. He took a breath and finished, '…get out.'
Angel's reply was chillingly considered. 'I'm not going to be fucked, no; if that's what you mean.'
Spike was so hurt it flared in him like hot anger. He refused to recognise it was pain, so sucked in and welcomed the bitter fury. He pushed Angel, hard. 'Maybe I'll take what I want!'
Angel laughed-not from finding Spike's threat funny, but from the realisation that it was all happening again: an argument with a child he couldn't win, and a love dying in front of him
Spike didn't take the laughter as Angel's way of expressing fear at losing him. He took it for what it sounded like: derision at some attempted intimidation.
He stood a little straighter and said calmly, 'Last time we fought, I won.'
Angel bitterly regretted laughing and wanted to take it back - explain - but he could see from Spike's expression that the time for words was done. They would talk later. It's what they'd done on and off for over a hundred years: fight, make up, feed together, try to kill each other, fight for each other, and now this- fuck each other. He turned away and rubbed his shoulder where Spike had pushed him. 'I'm going for a….'
He never finished his sentence. He was flying backwards through the air then crashing into the fireplace instead. He was absurdly grateful that the fire had long since gone out, before he was kicked in the belly. Naked, previously very hard, he knew he was vulnerable and twisted away into a ball. An accurate, hard kick landed on his kidneys, making him wince.
He was about to push to standing and stop things before Spike got hurt, when a hand pressed down on his neck and another twisted his arm up over his shoulder. He cried out as his shoulder dislocated and tried to twist away.
Spike couldn't stop. It was just a dream, and he would tear and rip Angel and come in his body, then wake, without any of it being true. He'd laughed at him, and in that laughter, Angel had confirmed every awful thing Spike had thought about himself: that he was now Angel's bitch. What do you think I am?
He held Angel down, knowing that the pain in the shoulder would not keep him down for long. He was too light, and Angel was too strong. He took his arm off Angel's wrist and punched hard into his temple. Angel grunted and rolled him off, dragging himself to his feet, his arm hanging down limply. 'You're dead….'
'Yeah?' Spike flew at him again, and again, Angel was defeated by his nakedness. He fell against the edge of a table and knocked his balls, which made him cry out and fall to his knees for a moment, turning green.
Spike swung both hands and slammed them into his face. Angel was felled, but he crawled away and staggered back to his feet once more. This time, when Spike ran into him, they crashed out through the door and onto the path, Angel's naked skin glistening with sweat and pain in the moonlight.
Suddenly, Angel had enough. He picked up a stone from the shrubbery and crashed it down upon Spike's head. Blood spurted from a split in Spike's scalp and ran down into his eyes, making his face ferocious. Spurred on by blood, Spike shuddered into demon form; Angel hissed in remembrance and joined him.
They continued to fight down the path, Spike punching and thrusting Angel back until they reached the front door of the house.
They crashed through and onto the exceptionally cold marble. It was utterly unwelcoming, as if the house were trying to freeze them out. Spike felt its disapproval but did not have time to worry about it; Angel was pounding his face into the floor, grunting with pleasure at every hit.
He faked unconsciousness, and when Angel let up with an ambiguous groan, Spike leapt to his feet and ran for the stairs. He was leading Angel higher, aiming for somewhere he could contain him, when Angel caught his ankle at the top of the stairs. He tugged; Spike kicked back viciously and caught Angel directly on his cock.
It happened in slow motion, as if in a final joke, time played tricks on them again. Angel fell slowly, twisting down the marble stairs, his head banging and cracking as, totally winded, he was unable to save himself.
Spike ran down two at a time to the sprawled body. Angel wasn't unconscious, but he was stunned and unable to rise. Spike sat on him and prised open his cheeks. He pushed his finger in again. 'How's that, Angel? Like being my bitch for once?'
Angel swallowed and blood ran out of his mouth into the pool that was flooding out of the red mess on the side of his head. His voice was croaky, but distinct enough for Spike to hear it very clearly. 'If you do this, we're over, Spike. Everything. Not just this weird shit, but everything. I'll renounce you as my childe, and I won't recognise you or speak to you for the rest of my eternity. Or yours. I will wipe my mind of you.'
Spike sat back and regarded Angel carefully. After a long pause, he said equally clearly, 'I didn't want it to be like this. I wanted you to want me. I thought you would. If I let you up now, we can go back to bed and do this properly.'
'I'd kill you if you tried it.'
'But you'll do it to me?'
Angel closed his eyes. 'I think at this moment, I never want to again.'
Spike climbed off and stood looking down at the bleeding figure. 'I guess this is it then.'
Angel turned over and sat up, pulling his knees up to cover his nakedness. Spike squatted down in front of him. He pursed his lips as if thinking deeply. 'Tell you what, Angel; I'll have a picture taken of my butt and send it to you so you can wank off in the shower to it- next time you want me.'
He rose, squared his shoulders and went toward the door. 'Don't come around for your things. I'll box them and sent them to the office. In fact, just don't come around, okay?'
He pushed open the door and went back out into the same night that had so recently made him feel like a man.
He didn't even feel enough to be dead now.
Angel sat in a pool of his own blood until he began to shiver- not from the cold. That last image haunted him. Spike had summed him up pretty succinctly.
At last, he rose to his feet and went slowly up the stairs to find a sheet to wrap around his body. He walked to his car and realised the keys were back at home.
What had been his home.
He put his head down onto the steering wheel and felt an overwhelming desire to just give in to tears. He could always blame them on the pain.
He didn't though. He reached under the wheel, hotwired the car and drove slowly and carefully to the place that had never seemed like home, but was now the only place he had left to go.
Spike had suffered more damage than he had realised. Adrenaline had kept the pain away, but now it flooded in. He eased off his shirt and pants, and showered slowly, sucking in the pain, using it to obliterate thought. He dressed in an old pair of loose black sweats and began to build a fire. He was so cold, but he knew the fire would do little to warm him up.
He sat in front of the flames for what seemed like hours. He thought he heard a soft tread on the path. He ignored it. He was used to ghosts and dreams of a better reality.
Angel pushed open the door.
Spike would still have thought he was a mirage conjured from his grief if it hadn't been for the very real blood-scent over Angel's freshly washed skin.
Angel came over to the fire and sat down, cross-legged. 'I'm not willing to give up on us. I want it too much.'
Spike opened his mouth to vent his incredulous fury when Angel laid a piece of paper on the rug between them.
Angel held his gaze and said calmly, 'I want to start again.'
Spike was too confused to summon back his anger. He just said weakly, 'Huh?'
'We need to try and find who we are, Spike, without the distractions.'
'Yes. The sex. It's all I've been able to think about. I've been possessed by you, I think. I want to see how real this can be without it.'
'You want…. Are you saying you don't want to have sex?'
'That's exactly what I'm saying.' Angel turned the paper over. 'A contract.'
Spike glanced down. No sex had been written in Angel's elegant hand at the top of a list. It was so ridiculous, so incongruous for two vampires that had so recently fought almost to another death that he began to laugh. Angel watched him closely. 'Is that amusement, or something else, like mine was tonight?'
Spike cut the laughter off as quickly as it came. Angel nodded. 'We were too distracted for me to tell you. That's what I'm trying to say here, Spike. I want this enough to make it work anyway I can. And I think it needs for me to stop wanting you and start loving you instead.'
'And you think this….' Spike glanced down at the list and frowned as he read down it. 'No wanking!'
Angel smiled and shrugged. 'It actually says no self-relief, but I'll give you the intent. And no-not in sight of each other anyway.'
'No touching at all. Bloody hell! Can I pass you a sodding cup of tea, or is that on some fucking Nazi list, too?'
Angel smiled. 'Well, don't touch the back of my hand, if you do.'
They both had an immediate flash of them in the courtyard, fucking like mindless beasts at the touch of a finger on the flesh of a hand. Spike shivered. 'Yeah.' He looked down at the list again. 'Still live together.' He looked up. 'You want us to live here-what? Like….'
Spike looked down again. 'No walking naked around the apartment. No showering for more than three minutes. What the fuck is that for?'
'That's because I'd be beating off thinking about you, if I'm in there too long.'
'Oh. 'K.' He laid the paper down. 'How long do you plan on this going on for? Not that I've agreed to anything yet.'
'Two weeks. The same time as we've allowed it to go so wrong.'
'Can you go without for two weeks, Spike?' There was a glint of amusement in Angel's eyes.
Spike huffed. 'What do you think this is going to achieve?'
Angel took a small breath. 'Maybe if you offer me a picture then, I'll want one of just you- as you are here.' He blinked and looked down, fiddling with the list. 'If we do this - if you agree to it - we sign in blood now.'
'Oh, come on….'
'No. I mean it. We fight in blood. We've fucked in blood. Blood is everything we are. I want this signed in blood, too. We can't break a blood oath, Spike.'
Spike picked the paper up once more, scanning it to see if it held something tangible that he could refuse. It seemed incredibly threatening, yet so innocent at the same time.
Eventually, he nodded, but before Angel put his wrist to his teeth, he held Angel's arm lightly. 'What happens at the end of the two weeks, Angel?'
Angel laid his wrist down. 'I think that will be obvious to us both-then.'
Spike rolled his eyes fractionally. 'Bloody hell. All right.' They put mouths to wrists and drew blood for the second time that night. Angel went first, trailing his finger over the paper in the approximate shape of an A. Spike added his S then made to dry it by the flames. Angel shook his head and took it back, adding an L. Spike raised an eyebrow but silently added a W. Finally content, Angel laid it on the hearth, and they both looked at it for a while.
'Okay. What now?'
Angel pouted slightly. 'I'm kinda tired. Weird night. I'm going to bed.'
'Where are you going to sleep?'
'In the bed…. Where else? It's a big bed, Spike.'
'Whoa!' Spike grabbed the list and scanned it again. 'I'm not bloody lying alongside you, wanting you all night and not being able to touch you!'
Angel hesitated unbuttoning his shirt. 'You still want me?'
Spike rose to his feet. 'Don't be dumb, Angel. That's all this was about: wanting you too much-in ways you aren't prepared to be wanted….'
Angel pursed his lips and sidestepped Spike. He turned and said softly, 'I could never deny how much my body wants yours. So, I won't pretend.' He went over to the bed and coyly slid under the covers to remove his pants.
Spike watched this childish display with total disbelief and put his hand to the waistband of his sweats, intent on stripping them off. Angel pulled his knees up to his chest, and a strange expression flicked over his face. 'I thought you wanted this more than that.'
'You'd break the oath so soon?'
Spike looked down at his hands, hesitated then tipped his head back and released a stream of cathartic cursing, but he walked - dressed - to the bed, slid in as Angel had done and pulled his sweats off out of sight. 'I just want you to know that I have now plumbed the depths of total self-disgust.'
Angel chuckled and turned on his side, facing him.
Spike flicked his eyes over but reached under the mattress for his cigarettes and lit one, smoking lazily. 'What now?'
'I don't know.'
'This is your dumb plan.'
'Yeah. It seemed like a good idea when I was sitting in my apartment, bleeding.'
Spike smiled at this but was immediately cross at himself so scowled instead.
He turned his head and blew a lungful of smoke at Angel. 'This allowed to touch you?'
Angel rolled onto his back and folded his arms behind his head. Spike glanced over again. 'How's the head?'
Angel rolled his head over on the pillow and regarded the strikingly beautiful profile before he whipped his head back and resolutely stared at the ceiling. 'That was a bad idea.'
Spike smiled, pleased and said softly, 'I had a weird dream today that I was eating that boy we saved.'
'In the alley? The one who called you a fat pervert?'
'Oh. Him. He was about twenty five.'
'Huh? I must have younged him a bit then. Anyway… I ate him… and other things.'
'And that's what got you to thinking that you wanted… other things… with me?'
'No, plonker. That's what gave me the balls to try. I've been thinking about it for - oh, let's see - a hundred years or so.'
Angel turned sharply back at that and was silent for while. Spike shrugged. 'Not very childe-like, hey?'
Spike flicked his spent cigarette onto the floor and began to punch his pillow in preparation for sleep. He glanced over at Angel.
Angel refused to return the look, but he did say plaintively, 'This is harder than I anticipated.'
Spike sighed. 'If it's any consolation, Angel, I'm too pissed off with you to want you tonight anyway.'
Angel hesitated then murmured, 'I meant I just wanted to kiss you goodnight.'
Spike made a small noise in the back of his throat and turned over, presenting his back to Angel.
Angel clearly didn't find this a help to his vow of chastity so turned as well.
'I just wanted to say goodnight.'
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