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Counting The Ways - 8

Wesley answered the door slowly. He had his glasses propped up on his head and a large, heavy book in his hand. When he saw Spike, his jaw fell open, and the book slipped to the floor. 'Bloody hell, what were you doing playing on the railway line, Spike?'

Spike's hand flew to his face. 'Oh, that bad, hey?'

'God.' Wesley pulled him inside and placed him on the couch, then fetched a bowl of hot water and a cloth, and began cleaning the wounds covering Spike's face.

'He came to the hotel.'

'I know, pet.'

Wesley held Spike's face still. 'He did this?'

Spike put a hand on Wesley's arm. 'It's not what you think, luv. He did but…'

'He knew about your ridiculous plan, Spike. It was all a complete failure.'

Spike grinned and placed a swift peck on Wesley's lips. 'I wouldn't say that, luv.'

Concentrating on the bruises and cuts, Wesley did not look up. 'He won't have me back, Spike, and he didn't want to hear my explanation. I'd call that a total failure, wouldn't you?'

'That's not what the plan was for, pet. That's the next stage… Hey! Don't do that, that hurt!'

'No! No, no, no. I am not going to get involved in another of your plans… and what do you mean, that's not what it was for? That was the whole point wasn't it… to get me back to Angel Investigations?'

'Nah, Angel had a little problem that needed to be taken care of.' Spike indicated his face and the general state of his body. 'Problem now solved. Now we move onto stage two.'

Wesley shook his head and went to refill the water bowl, but Spike, shedding his coat, followed him into the kitchen. 'It's nice to be tended to an' all, luv, but there's not much wrong now… so… how's about we take this to the bedroom?'

Wesley turned with a slightly furtive look and glanced at the clock. 'I'm sorry, Spike; I didn't think you'd be over so soon after… well, I thought you'd have more issues with… I've got Cordelia, Gunn and Fred coming over at eight.' He saw Spike's expression and smiled shyly. 'I suppose your plan did work to some extent. All the rest of Angel Investigations seem to have forgiven me, and if the mountain can't come to the Mohamed…'

'Bloody, fucking, sodding, shitting, cunting NO!! I've just been fucked four ways to hell and back for you, and you don't want to shag? You've got a bleedin' dinner party?'

'Spike, calm down. It's not a party. They are coming over for research… that's why I was… never mind; I can see you aren't in a mood to be reasonable… and you can't hit me with that, remember… your chip… ouch…'


'…Spike, are you all right?'

Wesley stood helplessly as Spike held his head, kneeling on the floor. Eventually he stood and cast Wesley an evil look. 'You owe me a shag.'

Wesley winced, but absurdly felt the debt. He walked stiffly past Spike to the bedroom, not seeing the amused smirk that followed his progress. Spike had just found a new use for the human's habitual guilt. He caught up with Wesley and pushed him against the bed, nuzzling into his neck. He slid his voice down to his most seductive - his chip made it impossible to shag the totally unwilling, 'Come on, Wes, we've got half an hour… I'll make you cum real fast… an' we can shower together… I need a shower and I want some more doctoring… what'da'ya say? Wanna play doctors in the shower with me?'

Spike knew that Wesley glanced once more at his watch before he groaned an agonised 'Yes,' but he forgave him and swiftly capitalised on his conquest by slipping a hand around and down the front of Wesley's jeans. Wesley sucked in his belly in response, and Spike connected easily with the tip of his cock. He grinned and, flicking one eyebrow up, eased the waistband down just enough to let the cock stick up, exposed. He murmured an appreciative noise over Wesley's shoulder at the sight.

He was briefly annoyed when Wesley batted him away and modestly covered himself with one hand, but let the incident go when the human turned to face him, saying almost angrily, 'Come on then, but it's got to be quick.'

Spike turned Wesley around again. 'Spread.' He kicked Wesley's legs apart and made him hold onto the edge of the mattress. Slowly, he reached around and undid Wesley's fly the rest of the way, peeling the jeans off Wesley backside and down as far as his knees. Wesley began a feeble protest, but Spike ignored him. He knelt behind the offered backside and began to lubricate it with his tongue. The warmth of the body surprised him as ever. He pressed with one finger inside the anus, but Wesley winced in pain: Spike collapsed once more in agony on the floor.

Wesley waited for Spike to recover, glancing nervously at the clock. God help him; he did want Spike… despair at his confrontation with Angel plummeting him back to the edges of the black mood that had drawn him to sex with the vampire in the first place. He did want Spike… just not now and not in this way. Maybe in a warm bed when he had showered first… maybe if Spike could be more normal… maybe if they could be a little more decorous in their activities… maybe if they had more in common… just maybe. He could think of nothing else but that they were coming: the friends he thought he had lost. Spike, he could have anytime, but this was Fred… this was Cordelia… this was Gunn…

He decided to speed things up a little and get it over with, so took his jeans off completely. He sat on the edge of the bed, learning some new and interesting turns of phrase from the prone vampire. Eventually, Spike's chip stopped firing off, and he crawled onto the bed alongside Wesley, peeling off his clothes, too. He eyed the human warily; it had not escaped his notice that Wesley seemed less prepared, less emotionally numb, somehow, to cope with what he wanted to do to him.

Wesley's distraction with the clock and yearning for respectable sex, however, vanished rather when he saw Spike's body once more. A flare of desire made him feel hot and almost weak inside. His penis, which had swelled just to Spike's presence, now began to twitch for release… but he could still muster none of the black urgency that had driven him to seek release in pain or humiliation. He wanted to cum, and he wanted to cum pleasantly, quickly, and with a minimum of fuss and mess. He took Spike's hand and encouraged it onto his cock. Spike removed it, and with a harsh laugh said, 'Turn over; I need to take you.'

Wesley shook his head. 'There's no time. Just hold me as I…' A squirt of warm cum plopped onto Spike's hand and dribbled over his wrist. Wesley gave a satisfied sigh and was about to reach for Spike when a loud knocking, accompanied by a familiar voice, made him turn swiftly. 'Oh… bloody hell! They're early.' He jumped off the bed and pulled on his jeans, straightening his hair. He gave Spike a nervous glance. 'You'll have to stay in here. They won't be long; I promise.'

Spike didn't reply. He let his expression speak for him. Wesley had the grace to look guilty, but left, shutting the door firmly.

Spike stayed kneeling on the bed with his cum covered hand stretched out theatrically. He replayed the whole scene in his head a few times, laughing in disbelief every time he got to the part where Wesley had cum on him and left. He debated marching naked into the living room and just checking with Wesley that that had actually happened, but didn't. He had the distinct and scary thought that if he pushed this human too far, too soon, Wesley might tell him he was only using him and call him William.

After he'd played the martyr for the while, he flung himself down on the bed and decided to wait the humans out. After all, how long could they stay? … and he needed a small snooze. He wrapped himself up in the silk sheets and began a necessary pre-snooze review of his plan. Angel was cured - huge success there. Wesley was on his way back in - annoying laughter from next door confirmed that. That only left the kid. Spike's plan was still a bit vague where Connor was concerned, so he skipped that part and went back to Angel. He liked thinking about Angel. He particularly liked thinking about Angel whispering his name… hang on… screaming his name - that was better. He liked the image in his mind of Angel spread like a blanket over him… whoa there… Angel spreading him like a victim against a wall. Jesus, he was more tired than he thought and packed Angel-thoughts away until he felt strong enough to corral and control them.

The human voices still floated out from the living room. There was only one thing left to do really… so he did it. He took his erection in his hand and began to play thoughtfully with the foreskin. He was slightly sore, and remembered with a smile Angel's teeth assisting one particularly enjoyable orgasm. Bugger. Angel again. Dismissing all thoughts of… him… Spike took a firmer hold on his root and began to pull in long, measured, and practised-over-centuries strokes. That was good, almost as good as … not even going to go there. He was close to coming. He came. It was good… but he felt strangely desolate, and his body ached for strong arms, twisting and entwining, and soft endearments borne of shared blood.

When he awoke, Wesley was curled alongside him. He looked rumpled in the early morning light and very edible, so Spike tasted him for a while in his memory. He grinned and slipped under the sheet, taking a very warm, very soft penis in his mouth. He sucked on it like a piece of candy, giggling to himself at the feel of it rising in his mouth. Wesley groaned and came before he had really woken properly or sensed where he was.

He pulled away from Spike and sat up, rubbing his face. 'Sorry, they didn't go until three. It was so late, I didn't wake you.'

Spike shrugged and crawled up Wesley for a kiss. Wesley smiled and tried to relax into the strangeness of waking with Spike when his head was full of the agency and his friends' lives once more. Suddenly he pushed Spike away as a thought occurred to him. 'Spike… they think you may be dead… deader… no one's seen you since the funeral and something about Angel chasing you…'

Spike swung his legs off the bed and reached for his jeans, patting his pockets for his cigarettes. Had it just happened again? Had Wesley just pulled away from one of his kisses?

Eventually he made a mumbled comment about having to get back, waiting to see what Wesley would say.

Wesley hesitated so long that when he did persuade Spike to stay, he could not have rightly said whether the persuasion was from guilt at the hesitation or genuine desire for Spike's body.

Spike ignored the fact he was being used - he'd had recent practice at ignoring this - and stayed for some recreational sex with his new pet.

Puppy-in-pocket, however, needed very careful handling. He suddenly seemed extremely... fragile. Spike wondered if he was merely finding contrast with someone… and he wasn't going to go there. He used as much lubrication as he could find; he entered agonisingly slowly; he tried not to push or heave; he took it like he was fucking a virgin on her first date and as if he actually cared about that. It worked in a fashion. He came - but he did not find a sweet release in the cold jetting into Wesley's body. Wesley came, too, but his orgasm seemed to satisfy him, for he lay panting slightly in the bed. Spike curled into him, wanting to entwine his limbs and be enmeshed in the other body, but Wesley pulled away and glanced once more at the clock. 'Sorry. Again. We're working today. I promised to meet Gunn. I… I… I have you to thank for this, Spike. I know I'll never truly be back where I was… I know Angel will never see me… despite any complex and cunning plans of yours, Spike… but I have the others back, and that almost seems enough this morning. It's so much more than I could have hoped for really.' He got out of the bed and pottered around the bedroom, talking at Spike and gathering stuff for a shower.

Spike sat, watching him with a look of bemused tolerance on his face. He'd decided to give Wesley the benefit of the doubt… it was his first day reclaimed… he was clearly over-excited… he'd calm down eventually… hell, he might even regain some of that sexy, black angst.

Spike was nothing, if not patient.

Wesley wandered off to the shower, apparently forgetting the vampire sitting naked in his bed.

The patient vampire flung himself into his clothes and left, hurling a torrent of abuse at the human in the shower.

Spike stomped through the now familiar sewer, kicking at things and hoping something might try to stop him. He felt like a good killing. Angelus had always… fucking hell! He'd done it again. Why did he always have to refer everything back to Angelus? Must remember to tell Angelus this… must let Angelus know that… Angelus will like that…

Suddenly, Spike grinned and stopped. He pursed his lips and looked thoughtfully at the filthy floor.

He sped up and ran the last few miles to the hotel. He flung himself up through the basement and into Angel's room. He laughed as he caught Angel still in bed and dived onto him. Angel woke with a grunt… but ripped at Spike as if he had not had him for over a century.

Angel could not wait to get Spike's clothes off; he just tore them from the pale body. He didn't lubricate, he thrust in dry and stifled Spike's screams with his hand. Spike bit once more and Angel had to suppress his howl of pain… and the orgasms were glorious. Spike shuddered his forever into the midnight blue sheets, the milky, opaque liquid pooling like early morning haze. Angel jetted his into the blood of his childe for it to be carried up the tight channel with his thrusting.

They laughed, as they pulled apart. Spike collapsed onto the bed and went to pull Angel down on top of him, but at the last moment diverted the action so it appeared that he had just been making himself more comfortable. Angel, about to snuggle into his childe, turned slightly and lay apart from him. 'Vampires, Spike?'

'That's right, mate, vampires. See? Told you this would be good.'

'You come, you see, you fuck.'

'Is that from another electric theatre presentation, mate? I don't recognise that.'

Angel laughed faintly. 'So, you've come from …'



'You had a good evening with Connor?'

'Yes, I took him to a movie.'



'No. Hideous. So, are we allowed to be... talking like this… just vampires as we are.'

'No, guess not. I've gotta shower anyway and get some food. Humans ain't too good at feeding vampire guests.'

'Unless they're…' Angel looked at Spike and his amber eyes sparked behind their covering of soulful brown. Spike groaned.

'Oh, yeah, unless… they're… fuck… hanging up…' he bit into Angel's lip, and Angel moaned at the taste of his own blood. '… and their blood's draining…' he straddled Angel's chest and wriggled and rubbed himself on the new erection. '… you slit their throats, Angelus, and caught the pouring out in your mouth…' Angel swelled so hard at the memory that Spike was able to embed deeply, and he closed his eyes to the pleasure of the fullness in him. '… hurt me, Angel, give me pain now, please…' Spike gasped as Angel put a hand to his throat and began to squeeze, livid marks blossoming on the pale column. When the pain became unbearable, Spike's agonised writhing brought them both off. The ache propelled his cum forcibly into Angel's face; Angel's shot high in Spike's body and tingled its cold presence for many minutes, as it washed around and dribbled back down.

Angel's hand was cramped around Spike's throat. He had to prize it free with his other hand. He'd crushed the windpipe, and Spike was unable to speak more than a croaked whisper. He grinned and wriggled some more, enjoying the pulling-off-Angel's-cock sensation that always excited him and made him ache for more.

The space alongside Angel looked so inviting, and he felt so weary: he wanted nothing more than to slide into that deep blue pool and soak himself in his sire's presence. Angel glanced at the space too, but looked sadly away.

Spike nodded and climbed off. He tried to speak, could not get the words out, and so left for his own room.

Within two days, Spike knew he had made a huge miscalculation with this plan.

The realisation first hit him the following day when his early morning wake up call on Angel was reciprocated by his sire. He woke to the feel of Angel's cool, heavy, sleek, perfect, so-desired, so-fuckable body sliding over him, giggling slightly. He pretended to be asleep - he let Angel work harder to wake him. When a finger slipped in, even he could not keep up the act, and he laughed softly into Angel's neck. 'Morning.'

Angel purred against his mouth. 'Good morning.' He was smiling and his face was open, the longing desire evident in every feature. Suddenly Spike stilled and removed the finger.

'You're already hard.'

Angel nuzzled into Spike's neck, licking up towards his ear and biting gently on his earlobe. 'I've been lying in bed for ages thinking about coming up here.'

Spike felt a tingle of desire course down his spine, but he tried not to show this in his response to Angel. 'But this is just vampires, remember.'

Angel pulled away and looked at him. 'Oh. I forgot. So...?'

'Well, I don't know! Do something vampire like.'

'You mean hit you or something?'

'Duh. Yes. Pain and blood, remember - that's all this is.'

Angel helpfully punched Spike. 'Ouch - bloody hell - watch the nose, Angel. You didn't have to hit me on me bleedin' - hey I'm bleeding!'

Angel licked at the blood on Spike's face and slipped into game face. Spike reciprocated and Angel took him hard and fast and came in a salvo of cum deep in his body. He pulled out, went back into his human form and sat on the edge of the bed, adjusting his clothing.

Spike sat up against the headboard, shaking slightly from the force of Angel's penetration. He looked at the bent back and lowered head for a moment, returned to human form and asked quietly, 'What else was there? What did we use to do now?'

Angel turned to him, frowning. 'I don't remember. Hunt?'

'Yeah, maybe.'

'I can't do that now.'

'Neither can I.'

'So, I suppose I'll see you later then.' He cast a look at the tiny, uncomfortable bed.


'Are you going to see... Wesley today?'

Spike hesitated. 'Probably not.'

'Oh. Okay then.'

'You got plans with Connor?'

'Err, no, he's going out shopping with Cordelia. Daylight... you know.'


'Well, I've got stuff in the office to do then.'

''K, pet. I'll maybe see you later.'


'I could come down if you like when I get hungry... maybe we could...'

'Oh, yes. I'll wait to feed 'til you get there then.'


'See you.' He glanced once more at the bed, got up and left.

Spike slammed his head back into the wall in frustration.


He dressed and almost ran to the apartment. Wesley was just up, pottering around in his pyjama bottoms, watching TV, drinking tea, and eating some toast. He seemed annoyed to see Spike.

Spike paused and took off his coat, heading towards the kitchen. Wesley followed him. 'What's up, Spike? Did you come here to…? I mean…'

'Yeah, later maybe. I thought we could maybe talk for a bit, ya know... spend some time together. Make me some toast, hey? Lots of butter and marmalade, if you've got it.'

Wesley stood bemused with his toast halfway to his mouth. 'You want to eat toast and talk?'

'Yeah, what's wrong with that?'

'Oh, nothing, I suppose, nothing. All right, go and sit down; I'll bring it in.'

He stood at the toaster wondering frantically what they could talk about. The only thing they had in common was Angel, and Wesley didn't want to talk about Angel with Spike. He feared the things he might hear.

He carried the breakfast in and sat alongside Spike on the couch. 'All right then, Spike. What should we talk about?'

Spike munched his toast thoughtfully. 'I dunno. Just stuff.'

Silence ensued. Eventually Wesley risked, 'I'm working on a case with Gunn today.'

'Good. Demon?'

'Yes, a big one.'


Spike finished his toast and watched the telly for a while, mulling over the key highlights of the conversation so far. He wondered how Angel was getting on in the office and whether he was hard, too, and thinking of him.

Suddenly Spike groaned and said abruptly. 'Come on, I've finished talking, get into the bedroom.'

Without speaking, he got up and made his way towards the bed. The opportunity for an orgasm in a human was never to be passed up. He stripped and regarded Wesley in the stripy pyjamas, grinned and slipped a hand in through the front opening in the soft flannelette material. Wesley was hard, warm, and Spike allowed his mind to shut down and his body to respond on autopilot. He pushed Wesley against a wall, sank to his knees and released the whole ensemble. It looked perfect, standing proud against the soft material. He licked up from the hanging balls to the tip of the erect cock and then down and swirled his tongue around each testicle. Wesley groaned and put his hands lightly onto Spike's head.


He'd show Wesley a thing or two about being a vampire. In one swift move he lodged Wesley into his throat, rapid, urgent swallowing motions, rubbing and stimulating the human penis on all sides.

Wesley screamed, his knees buckled and he trickled a warm stream of cum deep into Spike's throat. Spike groaned, pulled off and regarded the soft cock with disbelief. He looked up at Wesley who was panting rapidly, his head hung down.

'I've gotta go.' He began to dress.

'Err... what? Why? That was a bit sudden... err...'

'Sorry, mate, prior appointment...'

Spike ran almost the whole way back this time and burst into Angel's office, leaking and desperate.

'Where is everyone?'

Angel flung himself around his desk and crashed Spike into the wall. 'Out. All out. Spread.' He twisted Spike around and ground him into the wall. He slid both hands down the insides of Spike's jeans and cupped his bare cheeks, groaning.

Spike tried to speak, but heard his voice faltering with suppressed desire. 'Pain first, Angel. Don't forget the vampire shit.'

Angel moaned and Spike thought he heard a repressed 'No' in the moan, but ignored it. 'Come on, Angel, hurt me.'

Angel feebly batted at Spike but swiftly replaced his hands inside the back of Spike's jeans, cupping and squeezing the hard flesh of his cheeks.

'Angel! Pain! Blood! Now!'

Angel stood back looking furious and aroused in equal measure. 'All right. All right. We should take this upstairs anyway... clients... I'll count to ten, Spike. If I catch you, you won't walk for the rest of the day.'

Spike's eyes flew wide, and he licked his lips in anticipation.


Spike backed towards the door.

'Two.' Angel became Angelus.

Spike hissed and started to run, and he just caught a quiet, amused, 'Three' before he hit the stairs at full pelt.

He was beginning to get to know the hotel a little better now and made directly for the back staircase to the kitchen. It wasn't where it was supposed to be, and he cursed, wondering if he was on the right floor. He headed up instead and made his way along a clearly abandoned hallway, kicking at an old mattress as he went. He pushed open the door to a bedroom, didn't want to get trapped, so moved on. He found another staircase and went up, clambering over disused furniture and some old suitcases.

A quiet, whispered, fearful 'Ten' came from somewhere behind him.

Spike giggled in glee and ran down the dark hallway. There was nowhere to hide except in one of the bedrooms, so he pushed open the nearest door and went through. He stopped in surprise. It wasn't a bedroom, but the eaves of one wing of the hotel. The space ran the whole length of the hallway, had an arched roof supported by roof struts and one or two filthy, blackened dormer windows. He walked in, craning his neck to the arching roof, brushing away cobwebs as they caught in his hair.

His hand was seized in a powerful grip, but he ignored it and only said in wonder, 'Hi.'

Angel had his neck craned back, too. Spike looked at him. 'Didn't you know this was here?'

Angel shook his head. 'Never come up here before. Look, it must be fifty feet long?'


Angel pulled Spike into his arms. 'What did I chase you up here for? Remind me.'

Spike chuckled. 'Something painful, I seem to remember.'

'Hmm. Good.' He pushed Spike against the wall and cupped him through his jeans. 'Take them off.'

'Do it yourself.' The blow to his belly for his arrogance made Spike wince in delight: it was hard and accurate and made him swell to the need for release. Angel clearly felt this, too, and flipped Spike around, ripping at the offending jeans, pulling them down to Spike's knees. Spike began to step out of them, but Angel stopped him.

'No, like that. I want to see you and take you like that.'

Spike groaned and allowed Angel to take him. Angel didn't even remove his clothes, he just took himself out and worked into Spike, bending him over, spreading him as much as the half-mast clothes would allow and fucking him hard and urgent in the gloom of the attic. Just before he came, Angel pulled out and finished himself off with one hand over Spike's bent back, his other hand massaging and probing Spike's hole as his cum slammed into the waiting cheeks.

Angel finished but almost immediately fell to his knees and twisted Spike around to his mouth. He swallowed Spike in greedy mouthfuls, urging his cum to propel down his throat with low, vibrating moans of appreciation.

Angel kept his hands on Spike's backside, clenching them and digging his nails in until he felt Spike was totally spent, and then raised up and used them to pull him in for a kiss. Before their mouths met, he pulled back fractionally.

Spike opened his eyes and brought himself back from the place he had been in and looked at Angel. Angel looked back at him, his head slightly on one side. 'Are we allowed to kiss?'

Spike felt that this was a very important question somehow, and that a lot more than touching his lips to Angel's depended on his answer.

He pulled away and bent to rearrange his clothes. Angel sat down with his back against the wall, watching Spike thoughtfully, but silently.

Spike lit a cigarette and began to pace. The room was so large that he almost disappeared from Angel's sight before he turned and paced back the other way.


'Yes, Spike, is kissing allowed? Given that we are just doing the vampire thing here.'

'Did we kiss a lot before?'


'Uh huh.'

'Was it vampire-like then... painful and demonic... part of the dark side an' all.'

Angel laughed. 'Sometimes.'

'Uh huh. But not all the time.'

'No, not all the time - mostly though. And you have Wesley now... for ... kissing.'

'Yes. I have Wesley.'

'Does he... like kissing you, Spike?' Maddeningly, Angel discovered he had a missing button on his shirt and this engrossed him, and prevented him from being able to look at Spike as they talked.

Spike took a long drag of his cigarette and looked thoughtfully at Angel's lowered head. 'I'm not sure that's the important question here, pet.'

Angel nodded faintly. 'I know. But I don't want to ask the other one.'

'Ask it anyway, Angel. Please.'

Angel looked up at him. 'Do you like kissing Wesley?'

Spike smiled, pleased.

Angel held out his hand and, as if that hand were magnetic, Spike moved inexorably towards him. He sank to his knees between Angel's bent thighs. Angel took Spike's cigarette and stubbed it out carefully, never taking his gaze from Spike's. His hands came up around Spike's head, and for a long time neither of them knew anything more but the taste and feel of each other's mouths. They rolled across the floor, seeking more intimacy and more contact, they groaned, moaned, hissed and purred as the sensations began to overwhelm them. Spike couldn't pull Angel close enough to him; he couldn't get enough of this... man... who was no longer just his sire. The strong, powerful body threatened to obliterate his own senses until there was only Angel - only the taste of him and the sound of him as he groaned to the kissing.

At first, Angel could taste the fresh nicotine on Spike, overlaid by a subtle, but unmistakable, trace of human cum. After this initial burst of impressions though, all he could taste was Spike: all he could think was that he was kissing Spike and that this was not his childe. There was nothing submissive or childlike in these returning kisses; he was kissing a man whose passion for him was evident in every flick of his tongue, every press of his lips, every opening of the soft cool mouth.

Angel came first, into his pants, but before he could pull away, embarrassed, shocked, and apologetic - Spike came, too, and shuddered as he released his thudding orgasm into his jeans. He lay down on Angel, panting unnecessarily but satisfactorily and realised, with a chuckle of amusement that they were now at the other end of the long attic room. He nodded the discovery to Angel, and Angel craned his neck around, bemused.

He soon looked back at Spike though, and his face was full of questions. Spike shook his head slightly. 'I don't know, Angel. If you're going to ask me what just happened, I don't know.'

Angel nodded as if this answered him quite satisfactorily. He wrapped his arms lightly around Spike's back and relaxed to the feel of the body on him. Spike sank his head into the hollow of Angel's shoulder and lay very still - which felt kinda right for someone who had no place he'd rather be.

They knew time was passing for the beams of light moved, filtered through the LA dirt coating the windows, as the sun passed overhead and on towards the evening. They only roused when Spike's stomach gave a huge, not-to-be-ignored rumble. Angel laughed. 'Weren't we going to feed together today or something?'

Spike shrugged. 'Don't care. Don't move.'

'Come on. We'd better shower. I'm stuck to my clothes, and they're stuck to you.'


'Join me, then?'

Spike lifted his head. 'In the shower?'




Spike chuckled. 'I'm gonna have to invest in some new threads if I stay here much longer.'

Angel smiled but didn't reply at first. He climbed to his feet and made a show of dusting Spike down a little. 'I think we may have to invest in quite a lot of things, Spike.' He didn't elaborate further, but walked slowly through the attic, tearing away the cobwebs they had not disturbed on their lower progress through it earlier.

Spike followed him out thoughtfully, and they made their way down to the lower floors. They passed a room, and Angel paused outside briefly, but then moved on with a sad expression. Spike poked him in the ribs. 'What?'

'That was Lorne's room.'


'He's gone. He didn't get on... he wanted to run a new club, and it seemed for the best.'

Spike wondered what could have happened so bad that the nosey demon would go before he saw the outcome of the plan. He had not missed Angel's quickly retracted mention of the brat. He looked at Angel's lowered brow with annoyance. 'You'll miss him?'

Angel didn't reply, but continued to walk slowly down the stairs, his shoulders returning to their habitual hunched position as the weight of the world returned to them. The effect of mentioning the green fairy was not lost on Spike.

Just as they were about to turn into Angel's room, Connor appeared with a number of shopping bags, his expression a picture of eager distain at the thought of the clothes Cordelia had made him buy. 'Look, father, I cannot possibly need all these things - do you want to come and see what I've got?'

Angel hesitated and glanced at Spike, anticipating trouble. To his profound relief, Spike chuckled and swung gracefully away towards his own room. He didn't even look at Angel but said naturally to Connor. 'Hey, get those new glad-rags on, an' I'll take you to a movie tonight, hey? Guarantee it'll be more exciting that the one the po... yer dad took you to last night.'

Connor hesitated for a fraction then beamed at Spike and pushed on into Angel's room. Spike didn't turn to look back at Angel, but he gave a small, surreptitious wave of his hand as a farewell salute, knowing that he was being watched.

Knowing he would be understood, Angel only said distinctly, 'Thank you for that, Spike.'

Spike grinned and went on to his own room.

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