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Once Spike had declared his intention to stay and help, the vampires had almost no time together at all. It all seemed frantic; everywhere they went that evening there were girls - slayers - and despite their intimate knowledge of one slayer, en mass, the girls unnerved them.
Before they knew it, Angel and Wesley were standing by the door, with Giles waiting to drive them back to the small local airport they'd flown into.
Spike stood back in the shadows, his hands plunged deeply into his pockets, watching Angel take his leave of Buffy. It was strangely familiar - standing in the shadows watching Angel kiss Buffy - but if he felt a stab of jealousy, it amused him to ponder the very different provenance of that emotion.
Eventually, Angel came over to where he stood, and they looked at each other, to any casual observer, two colleagues discussing schedules.
'You have my number?'
'Of course. But I don't think I'd better call. Too… costly.'
'Yeah. Too far away. Too hard to be understood… that far away. You have commitments in L.A, Spike. Don't stay longer than necessary.'
'As soon as I get back, I'll see to those… commitments.'
'I'll hold you to that.'
The vampires smiled at each other then Angel picked up his bag and strode out. Wesley wondered if anyone else watching that small exchange with him got the truth behind those smiles.
Spike watched a cobweb on the ceiling for a while then squared his shoulders and said to Buffy, 'Right. What do you want first? A new roof or plasma-screen TV? Cus, I'm thinking, you could use both.'
She opened her mouth to make a snarky reply, and he held out his hand, smiling. 'Come on, Luv, I'm gonna tell you a little story about the power of innocence.'
Although he would have bitten anyone who called him a fairy Godmother to his face, nevertheless, that's what Spike became to the new council over the next few weeks. He poured money, from his seemingly inexhaustible funds, into the house and into the search and retrieval of the slayers. The girls travelled in more comfort, and when they arrived, the house was warm and welcoming. Training equipment became state-of-the-art, and gradually, what had seemed like the false hopes of a few crazed messiahs, became a professional operation with funds and power at its heart.
Weeks inevitably rolled into a month and there was still so much to do.
It came as a startling revelation to Spike that he did not miss Angel's body as much as he had thought he would. He had nearly died after only two weeks of not touching him, but now it was nearly seven weeks since they had last made love, yet he was still standing. He guessed that missing his best friend consumed him so much that there was little room to pick on one feature he missed more than any other. He had never thought he could miss someone so much. Everything he did, he either wanted to consult Angel or tell him about afterwards. It felt a little like losing a loved one to death: the gap in his life was so big he was in danger of falling into it entirely. He had never understood the expression better half before, but he was beginning to see some truth to it now. He felt halved and it hurt.
Absorbed in missing Angel one evening, he didn't hear the door open, and started when Buffy sat down on the couch next to him. She pulled her legs up and tucked herself into a tired huddle. 'What's wrong, Spike?'
He turned and saw the genuine concern on her face. She smiled. 'I can read you, remember?'
He smiled ruefully. 'Yeah, I do.' He leant back in the couch and tipped his head back to stare at the ceiling. 'I'm missing my life in L.A, Buffy.'
'I don't get it, Spike. This is what we…. I mean…. Isn't this what you've always wanted?'
He rolled his head to stare at her thoughtfully. 'I've made new friends. Well, kinda renewed old ones.'
He nodded briefly. 'Yes. Our souls have brought us closer together, I guess.'
'I get that. I do, but….'
'He needs me.'
She nodded sadly. 'I think he does.' Spike knew she was thinking about the firm. 'But I need you, Spike.'
He frowned and took her hand, playing with her fingers. With a sense of inevitability about this moment, he replied, 'I know you do. But I need Angel.' He looked up and held her gaze.
He watched the thoughts flit across her face for a long time. Eventually, she said with a tight, brittle voice, 'Because he's your sire, right?'
He knew then that she knew. He smiled and nodded his head just once, accepting her graceful offer to leave it with that pretence.
She blinked. 'I think maybe you had better go.'
For a moment, he thought he'd read her wrong- that she was, after all, bitter and resentful, but as if seeing something of this in his hurt expression, she smiled and added, 'I kinda know how crappy missing Angel can be.'
For a moment they leant close, her forehead touching his for a brief brush of blond hair, and then she drew away and rose. He caught her hand. 'Will you be okay?'
She knew he wasn't referring to his imminent departure.
She smiled and looked around the empty room. 'I should love this… quiet, this… emptiness. But you know? I love it when it's teeming with girls- with slayers. Can you imagine what it's like for me, Spike? To be surrounded by my own kind at last?'
They both laughed ruefully, and he stood up, squaring his shoulders. 'I'll get a flight tomorrow night then.'
He looked down at the hand on his arm, covered it briefly with his own then went to pack his few possessions.
A sense of intense anticipation seized him as he waited for his flight. Although they had agreed not to call each other, nevertheless, he tried to remember how to use a public phone and dialled Angel's office.
There was a long pause then Angel said very quietly, 'Just tell me you're coming home.'
'I'm coming home.'
Spike replaced the receiver softly. They didn't need to say more.
As he sprawled comfortably, exhausted, in his seat on the way home, Spike stared out at the dark. He had the absurd notion that this was the closet he'd ever been to God, and then berated himself severely for the rest of the trip for being a stupid wanker.
He was slightly disappointed that Angel hadn't come to meet him at the airport but understood Angel's better judgement as he walked up the drive to the house.
This was better private.
He walked into a sea of soft, flickering light, candles having been lit throughout the apartment, spilling out into the courtyard, and despite the heat of the L.A. summer, a fire crackled softly in the background.
Angel was leaning on the kitchen counter, drinking a glass of wine, staring out of the window. He turned when Spike came in.
Once more, time began to play its games with them. The five weeks since they'd been apart seemed like one day, but then, before they could process that anomaly, it veered violently the other way and became an eternity-a barrier between them making them feel awkward and shy.
Angel had never seen this person so clearly as Spike-not since before the spell that had brought them together. He found it hard to process that he wanted to go over and kiss Spike.
Spike could not understand why he didn't fall on Angel and devour his body, as he had in his mind many times whilst on his extended trip to England. All he really wanted was to hear Angel's voice, to talk to Angel and tell him things that he had not shared with anyone in that colder country. He was almost afraid that Angel would fall on him and drag him out to the courtyard to fuck him, or take him there as he stood in the doorway.
Angel smiled and came over, holding out his hand for the bag. 'Hi. Good trip?'
Spike bowed his head, smiling inwardly. 'Yeah.' As Angel took the bag out of his hand, their fingers touched briefly, and a look passed between them that stabbed through the exterior politeness, but nevertheless, Angel just held out his other hand for the coat.
Spike followed Angel's glance to a beautiful, elegant spiral staircase in smoky-grey wrought iron that matched to perfection the other touches of ironwork around the apartment. Spike cursed softly and went over to them, lightly running up.
The room up top was entirely empty. Angel came up behind him, standing close. 'I thought we could do the buying of cool things together.'
Spike closed his eyes briefly; so much pleasure in such a short space of time threatened to undo him. He ignored the thought that it was actually only extreme hunger and jetlag making him feel so euphoric.
Spike chuckled, wondering if Angel could now read his mind. 'I am.'
They ate out by the pond as had become their habit before Spike left. Dressed only in a pair of old jeans, finding the unfamiliar heat almost overwhelming after so much damp coldness, Spike ate as if he'd not had real food since the last time Angel had cooked for him. Angel just sat and watched: let off having to join in because Spike was too tired to insist.
They talked about everything and nothing: the agency, the new council, the girls, Wesley, Andrew. Even Buffy was mentioned, although Spike's slightly less forthcoming replies about her made Angel steer off this topic. Again, they battled the time shifts, sometimes feeling as if they'd picked up a conversation they'd been having only a few moments ago, and sometimes despairing over how different their experiences of the last weeks had been, and how much distance now lay between them.
When Angel took the empty plate, their fingers touched.
Spike looked up sharply, as if he'd touched something hot. Angel hesitated for a moment then pulled him to his feet and kissed him. Neither heard the sound of the plate crashing to the ground; they were too busy finding the familiar in the almost overwhelmingly strange.
Angel had not touched anyone for the whole five weeks. He had noted it every day, missing Spike so much that darkness seemed to hover around him all the time. Not one touch with anyone. Sometimes when Harmony passed him a file, he would watch carefully to see if their fingers connected, but they never did. He would visit with Wesley in his office, but could not ever conceive of a reason that would make them touch. Occasionally, he found himself hoping that he would get shot so the human or Lorne would dig the bullets out of his body, touching his bare skin, but he remained healthy and entirely alone for five long weeks. He'd lived like that for eighty years, so was surprised how hard he found this much shorter solitary sentence.
Holding Spike's half-naked body now was revelatory. He didn't want to split it open and discover its secrets: he'd done that already. Now, he almost wanted to merge into Spike, absorb his skin and his unique scent slowly, almost like feeding, keeping them bound.
Spike had remembered Angel's kisses, as he'd lain alone during the long days in England. He'd conjured the taste of his mouth to get hard, touching himself to fleeting images of lips and tongue and soft noises of desire. He realised now, as he kissed Angel in the soft candlelight and heat of the L.A. night, just how two-dimensional memory was.
With a sigh of reluctance, Spike eased Angel's mouth off his, but took his hand and, without looking back, led him to bed.
They undressed each other slowly, not speaking, listening to things more intimate than speech. They began to kiss again, hard bodies pressed together, rubbing, enjoying the friction between them. Skin-starved, Angel licked and stroked and nuzzled into Spike's hollows and creases, wanting to expand all his senses to the level they had been before his unwelcome abstinence. His only hunger was for Spike, and he fed off him greedily.
They fell to the bed, rolling in a tangled heap of limbs, not really aware of themselves as individual bodies, but as merged and indistinguishable as their soft, flickering firelight-shadows on the wall.
Need was so urgent between them that they instinctively reached for the other, eager mouths wanting slick hardness to taste. They lay side-by-side, foot to head, lost then to their individual pleasures for the first time.
Having intimate acquaintance with their own cocks for five weeks, they both became unbearably turned on by holding and sucking the other's. It seemed like a line in the sand that they both willingly crossed: the desire to penetrate excused by the natural male urge, but this - this need to suck cock - much more defining and revealing of what they had become under the all-encompassing love they now had for each other.
Unable to arrange matching orgasms, they enjoyed them staggered, Angel coming first because he was rested and filled with the languid sensuality of the house; Spike, tired, taking longer and needing more skilful mouthing.
When they'd both been satisfied, Angel reversed his position, hauling Spike on top of him, spreading his vast magnificence like a sacrifice for Spike's comfort.
Hot, sticky, still tingling from his orgasm in Angel's mouth, Spike fell into an almost immediate, deep sleep; while Angel lay beneath him, trailing his mind up and down their bodies, and feeling every inch of where their skin joined.
When Spike woke, in the strange dreamlike time between sleeping and waking, he thought he was under the sea. He could smell ozone; everything was a filtered, opaque green, like pieces of glass he'd seen on beaches; he could even sense a lulling rocking of the waves. He puzzled over this for some time until real consciousness returned, and then the waves became more solid-a chest rising and falling. Scent became identifiable as maleness, and the light told him he was at home.
Carefully, he lifted his head and looked at Angel. He looked so young and vulnerable Spike found it hard to reconcile this with the immediate stab of desire he felt for him. Spike knew it wasn't all illusion, however-this apparent vulnerability. Angel was vulnerable, memories of hell colouring their lives even now.
With a sense of inevitability, he initiated the end of these bad memories for Angel.
He gently placed his lips to Angel's, and as he kissed him awake, he dragged his body lightly up the slick warmth between them. The subtle movement sparked involuntary swelling in their cocks, erections hardening and stretching with life of their own.
Angel opened his eyes and wrapped his arms around Spike's back, grinding them some more, participating in this incredibly welcome wake-up call. As they kissed, Spike reached his hand down between them and began to play with Angel's hardness, not enough to bring him off, but enough for him to want what was coming, enough to bring drops of thick fluid to the tip for him to wet his fingers.
When he was ready, he slid his open palm down over Angel's root, causing Angel to curse softly with pleasure. The tips of his fingers found Angel's entrance, and before Angel could object, he pressed them against it, just enough to fire off the sensitive nerves, like a warning of something more to come: a siren for penetration.
Angel tensed, but Spike fell on his mouth, ravishing him so thoroughly there, that he was distracted from the stroking and playing.
When Spike was convinced he would not be rejected, he parted their mouths and, inch by inch, slid down Angel's body, his intent unmistakable.
He lay between Angel's legs and returned all his attention to Angel's cock for a while, rolling the head around in one cheek, teasing the slit with his tongue, sucking it to intense need and then leaving it. Without pause, he put his mouth to Angel's entrance and, probing with his fingers, licked around the hint of red on the slick walls. Angel arched and cried out, his cock hardening to lie totally flat on his belly.
Spike pulled Angel gently apart with a finger on each side and pushed his tongue into the heat. He played with Angel's twitching anus with as much intensity as he had Angel's mouth. He worked it: mouthing in, pulling off to tease and stimulate, pushing back in until all of Angel's intimate place was open to him, waiting for him.
When Angel pulled his legs up in an unconscious attempt to give Spike more access, Spike knew they were ready. Very gently, he stroked one finger in through the opening along the walls he'd prepared with his tongue. He found the slight swelling he sought and brushed his finger over it as if it were Braille and he were trying to read Angel's need for him in its hidden language. Angel tried to lift off the bed; he threw his arms over his face, moaning, but most importantly, he tried to reach Spike's hand and urge him further in - harder, faster - anything just to recreate that incredible sensation.
Spike gave it to him again, this time gently circling his finger over his prize, closing his eyes and bringing the memory of Angel's cock rubbing his to his mind.
Carefully, without taking the finger away or stopping its erotic stroking motion, he eased up Angel's body and pulled him to sitting so they could kiss.
Angel thought he'd discovered the complete delights of this new activity, and then he experienced them whilst kissing Spike. He didn't know where to put his body; it was almost too much pleasure, and he squirmed under the skilful touch, getting as much pleasure from the finger as he was from the tongue.
Sensing that Angel was very near now, Spike brought his thumb into play, pressing it into Angel's perineum and root as he stroked. Angel snapped his head back, cried out almost regretfully, and then shot such powerful arcs of cum out of his bouncing cock, that they hit them both: cheeks, chins, lips- all coated with Angel's release.
With utmost care, Spike withdrew his finger and laid Angel back on the pillow, still kissing him, sensing that Angel was only half there: half of him still reliving the powerful orgasm brought forth without a single touch on the more familiar object of his manhood.
When Angel's eyes focused, he frowned and seemed on the point of saying something, but Spike only kissed him again and murmured, 'That's enough for now.'
Before Angel could protest, Spike swung his legs off the bed and scratched. 'What day is it?'
Angel smiled and stretched, thinking of the promise implicit in the for now and replied, amused, 'Whatever day it is, it's Saturday, and I'm not going to work.'
Spike padded over to his bag and rummaged for a while, finding his cigarettes. Angel sat up so he could see Spike's naked backside better and murmured, distracted, 'I kinda thought the mall: TV? Pooltable? Bookcases?
Spike produced his cigarettes with a flourish, grinning. 'Get dressed then.'
Angel turned in the bed, lying on his belly, facing Spike. Very slowly he held out his hand, and with a grin of compliance, Spike threw his unlit cigarette away and came forward.
This was much more familiar, and they fell into the routine of Angel fucking Spike as easily as if they'd been doing it for decades rather than mere weeks. Angel was aggressive in his demands, Spike playful and resisting, and they enjoyed the pleasures of being strong and invulnerable. At one point, just before being happily skewered on Angel's ready cock, Spike made a last bid for freedom, making it to the new stairs, swinging up them, laughing, knowing the tempting sight he was offering his pursuer: cock vertical and bouncing.
Angel caught him at the top of the stairs, and they fell in a tangle to the floor of the vast empty room. Fucking became wrestling, and wrestling could have been mistaken for fucking. They rolled and tumbled, twisted and fought, mastering each other, only to surrender and begin it all again with a look, a bite, or soft laughter of need that mastered them both.
Eventually, bloody, aching, Angel ended the game and took Spike. There was no elegance, no need to consider underlying worries- they both knew exactly what they wanted and gave it to each other: Angel frantically thumping into Spike's contorted body until they both got off.
They rolled away when they were spent, panting and laughing in the aftermath of powerful orgasms. Spike had taken the brunt of all the sperm: in him and covering his belly and chest. Feeling cheated, Angel levered over him and lowered- hard, taking Spike's breath away with an umph of shock. Angel grinned and looked at him through hooded eyes. 'I missed you, by the way.'
Spike stretched his arms above his head, grinning inanely in response. 'Oh yeah.'
Angel lowered his face much more gently, and with aching, cum-and-blood-covered muscles, they kissed as sweetly as any human lovers reacquainting themselves after a considerable absence.
Angel couldn't give his usual concentration to the shopping. As they wandered around the mall, in his imagination, he could still feel Spike inside him- fingers bringing him to peaks of pleasure he had never anticipated from that act. He'd had some inkling - watching Spike writhe beneath him enough times - but still, he'd not foreseen the intense, intimate joy that it had given him. It gave him a whole new perspective on his body, which he had lived in for over two hundred and fifty years, and which he had assumed had revealed all its secrets. It wasn't just his body, however, that was revealed in a new light. He was seeing Spike's through new eyes, too-especially his fingers, which were even now fiddling with a cigarette, lighting it, holding it to his mouth. All these things, Angel watched covertly with new eyes. Spike's fingers were long and elegant, a pianists fingers (except for the bitten cuticles), with blunt, serviceable nails. Angel had cause to know just how serviceable the blunt tips of Spike's fingers were. Watching Spike gave Angel a surge of affection for the human form that he rarely felt, and with that surge, one more layer of his self-hatred peeled off and washed away. Spike was beautiful; he was beautiful; and the day stretched pleasurably ahead of them, leading inexorably to the time when he would enjoy more than blunt, beautiful fingers.
For the first time since he had purported wanting Spike to take him fully, Angel actually did.
When they got back to the apartment, Spike shed his coat and began to examine the things they'd bought, carrying books up to the top level in preparation for the new bookcases. Angel went to the kitchen to put away some food, leaning on the counter. He was in a dilemma: he had no idea how to ask Spike for what he wanted. He turned and watched him surreptitiously, but the words I want you in me wouldn't come to him. He hunched his shoulders, desperate for the feel of Spike taking him, for the feel of those strong fingers giving him pleasure, for the intimate newness of lying down and allowing himself to be given pleasure.
Spike came over and began to rummage in the fridge for something to eat. 'You thinking of cooking tonight?'
'Cooking? Or do you wanna go out?'
'Guess we could ask Wes over, too.'
'Think about it. I'm gonna unpack some books.' Spike jogged up the new stairs out of sight.
He ignored the books and went to sit on the windowsill overlooking the courtyard. Angel's need reached him even there; it was palpable throughout the apartment.
He had never felt so right. He would go down soon and take as the natural predator he was. He would thrust with his maleness, claiming as he had claimed all his lovers. For the first time though, his desire to take was matched by his lover's desire to be taken. He lit a cigarette and blew a slow, lazy ring of smoke toward the window. He sensed Innocence behind him, wandering around the vast empty space that had once been her drawing room. She'd wanted him to have the house, and he felt her sense of deep approval that he was finally making it his.
With a slow stretch of anticipation, he flicked his cigarette to the floor and jogged lightly down the stairs.
Angel was making a desultory stab at making some food, and Spike smiled at the obvious distraction on his beautiful features. He went up behind him and slid one hand under Angel's shirt onto the small of his back.
'Come to bed, Angel. I want you.'
He felt the strong, invulnerable body shudder beneath him. He turned Angel and pressed him back grinding them together. Slowly, he unbuttoned Angel's shirt until he had the nipples exposed, and he played with them as his tongue explored the eager mouth.
Angel had clearly been ready for some time and lay hard and thick down one leg of his pants. Spike put one hand down, tracing the line of the erection from root to tip, scratching his nail over the head, making a small damp patch appear on the expensive material.
Angel braced himself on the counter, leaning back, his whole body avowing his capitulation. Spike grinned and leant in, biting one nipple harshly. Before Angel could hiss with surprised pleasure, he bit the other then stood back to watch them flush to ripeness. The pants began to tent, Angel groaning with the need to be released. Spike ignored this and went back to the nipples, sucking each in turn, as he had with other lovers. If either of them saw the significance of his sudden interest in Angel's nipples, neither commented on it. Angel only stretched back some more, his magnificent muscles now shown off to best advantage.
As he mouthed into the enticingly hard buds, Spike began to release Angel's belt, slowly working the leather tongue out of its buckle, cracking it slightly as he flicked it back. At the tiny sting of leather on his bare belly, Angel let out a small sound of pleasure that almost undid Spike's calm control of the seduction. He hesitated for a moment, head hung down until he could control his own ache, and then he eased Angel's zipper down, the sound shockingly loud in the otherwise silent apartment.
Angel was wearing soft cotton boxers under his pants, and Spike grinned, sliding his hand into the warm opening, scratching his nails though the wiry hair around Angel's root. The whole erection lifted and twitched as he played around its source, but he was careful not to touch its silky length.
He knelt and peeled Angel's pants down his long legs, helping him step out of his shoes. It had been amusing to make Angel strip, but undressing him like a possession was a lot more fun.
Angel's hands began to stray to his obvious need, but Spike slapped them away and rose up again, shaking his head. Very carefully, keeping Angel's gaze the whole time, he arranged the swollen cock and balls so they poked up over the waistband of the shorts.
Possessions should be shown-off to their natural advantage.
When he was satisfied with his toys, Spike played with them for a while: teasing the wet tip with a nail while he bit the nipples, allowing the head to slip between his lips as he reached up and twisted the tiny buds in his fingers, taking the whole length into his throat as his fingers slipped under the shorts to seek out thin, stretched, sensitive skin.
Angel opened his legs wide, and Spike knew what that small gesture meant.
Rising back to his feet, he took Angel's hand and led him to the bed. He made him lie down on his belly and eased the shorts off his backside, leaving them just around the top of his thighs, the smooth curves of his arse exposed. He palmed them both, spreading his fingers over the cool roundness. 'Tell me what you want me to do.'
They both sensed that this telling would be more for Angel's benefit than Spike's, as Spike already knew exactly what Angel wanted.
'I want….' Angel frowned.
Spike stroked his finger lightly through Angel's cleft, increasing the pressure just over the hole.
'I want you inside. There.'
'Okay. Tell me how, Angel.' He straddled Angel's thighs and parted the perfect cheeks, stretching them hard. 'Like this?' His tongue lapped at the soft pinkness just visible with the stretch. Angel shuddered and moaned.
Spike's tongue entered him, and he rose off the bed, arching his back.
Spike withdrew and pulled Angel onto his knees.
Looking at Angel's cock over one broad shoulder, he hissed softly at how ready it looked: red, the slit puffy and weeping with need.
Holding Angel around the waist, he eased a finger into Angel's backside, pushing it in inexorably as if to slide right in and stiffen, puppet-master-like, that raised thickness.
Angel was panting.
When Spike began to stroke around the swelling that inevitability drew him, the panting turned into gasping, and without his own volition, Angel came: powerful shots of cum propelled vertically into the air and falling down around their thighs like opaque rain.
Angel growled, sounding genuinely angry, and Spike withdrew his finger gently. Almost immediately, Angel turned on him and Spike laughed, knowing what he intended, knowing how much he would now want to take him.
Angel pushed him onto his back, and Spike made to raise his legs obediently, but Angel growled again and straddled his thighs. With precise deliberation, he rose up and impaled himself on Spike's hardness. Slick, prepared by the strong finger, he took Spike in as easily as a woman could, with almost no sign of pain on his strong features.
Utterly taken aback, Spike arched and hissed, not sure whether he was warning or welcoming. Angel held Spike's jaw and forced him to keep eye contact as he rose slowly, now controlling the fucking entirely.
Spike arched once more, but this time stimulated by the intense pleasure of Angel's tightness around him. Angel breathed a soft sigh of total capitulation then spread his hands over Spike's smooth chest and gave himself entirely to the pleasure of the taking. They kept each other's eye contact. Angel rode Spike for what seemed like hours, and in that blurring between who took and who was taken, they found that perfect balance between what they were individually as men, and what they could now be together.
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