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The Darkling Plain - Episode
Spike didn't know what to do first: turn down the ear-splitting music, duck a piece of gym equipment flying out of the training room, or stake the demon who was singing along to Nine Inch Nails at the top of his voice.
He felt like howling- along with the dog.
He turned off the music, and everything else stopped as well.
A figure came out of the room and stared at him.
It moved toward him slowly: a demon in leather, blood from broken mirrors coating his hands.
He came very close to Spike, overpowering him with his huge presence.
Fingers coated in blood probed his mouth, pushed in, let him sample the exquisite flavours of blood and skin.
Something was wrong. Spike backed away, but the powerful figure kept the distance between them constant, the fingers filling his mouth, exploring, being wetted. Spike collided with the counter and grunted softly.
He was lifted and laid back, harshly illuminated under the powerful recessed lights. His legs were lifted, pants released and heaved halfway up his thighs, his pale, hard globes exposed to the air, then parted slowly- explored, wet fingers now wetting other skin.
Suddenly, he knew what was wrong. His demonic body convulsed at the thought that his childe was about to take him, but that was just the start of how wrong this was. He couldn't do it either- the man in him. He'd held on for so long. He'd been so strong on his own. He'd been what everyone needed him to be and, in the end, he'd been willing to be a champion. He was the sire; he was the champion, and this was wrong.
Then a murmur, so low that it wasn't actually speech but a resonating in his blood, slid seductively into his troubled mind. "Let go, Childe. I am here."
He was entered, bitten, and then taken- powerful thrusts claiming his body, a demonic bite claiming what lay inside.
As the blood link quivered inside him, with absolutely no doubt or resistance at all, he surrendered.
He lay back and let himself be taken back to a time when he had not been alone, and when forever had been a promise, not a mockery.
The demon pumped into him and consumed him like longed-for prey, fangs deep in his neck, a hard prick riding his arse. The penetration was too fast, painful. It matched the stinging pain from the feeding.
Before Spike greyed out entirely, he felt the teeth easing out of his neck. A tongue licked in small circles around the damage-hot skin. Strong hips were ground around to match, forcing the heavy, needy erection hard against Spike's soft, internal walls. The voice in his blood was loud, no seductive murmurings now. Now, he heard one sharp shout, "Mine," and it was all the more intense for being silent.
Spike moaned, and he reached behind him wildly with one hand, knocking utensils off the counter. The flailing hand was seized and fingers entwined. The dark demon nibbled into Spike's wound, letting small globules of blood trickle down his throat. With his other hand, he opened Spike's legs more - as far as the half-mast pants would allow - and began to jerk his hips in an increasingly rapid rhythm, bringing himself off in the slick, tight channel.
With a violent twitch, swelling more, the heavy prick inside Spike released.
The rush was cold and sustained, but as the demon jerked and writhed, he pulled out and let his stiffness bounce, uncontrolled, spreading his seed over Spike's exposed cheeks.
With a sigh, he let Spike's legs drop, and he lay against the slimmer figure, still teasing the blood gently out of his neck.
Spike put a hand to the familiar face, and it was tipped toward his open palm, the smooth cheek rubbed into the wondering touch. A hand slipped around to the back of Spike's neck, and he felt himself being pulled up.
Soft, knowing lips awaited him. He sucked the bottom one into his mouth gently and tugged it with his teeth.
'Angel….' They both knew this was a confirmation of what Spike's blood told him, not a question.
Angel dragged Spike off the counter and pulled up his pants, fastening them carefully over a few stray wisps of curly hair. 'There, now I'll be able to smell me on you.'
Angel chuckled, hearing the vast number of questions massed behind that simple interrogative.
He patted Spike on the backside. 'Ten, nine, eight….'
'Angel! Bloody hell! I've just spent the last few….'
'Seven, six, five….'
'Shut the fuck up! What the…?'
'Four, three, two… here we go.'
'Spike! Angel? Angelus!'
Spike tipped his head back and cursed inwardly. 'Wesley. Giles. Put the bloody stakes away. It's Angel.' He turned away so they could not see this assertion contradicted by confusion in his eyes.
'My God! It worked? Despite…?'
Angel went forward and stood very close to Wesley. 'Thanks. I can't begin to… Lilah?'
Lilah stepped out of the stairwell and looked shyly between the two vampires. Angel stood even closer to her, studying her.
'Shanshu?' He turned and looked at Wesley for a reply.
He shook his head, but the small gesture was more confusion that denial. Giles, his eyes on Spike's back, said conversationally, 'We're not sure. Wesley and I were discussing it as we….' He glanced down at the stake in his hand and, with a blush, laid it down on the counter.
Suddenly a quiet voice said, 'Both so desperate to bend the prophesy to your own needs.'
All eyes swivelled to Lilah, and as if uncomfortable with the close scrutiny, she went to stand by the table, her back to the room.
Wesley went to her side, and she turned and gave him a deep, affectionate smile. He blushed and murmured, 'We translated that scroll rather thoroughly and extremely scientifically.'
'Someone once told me that it wasn't about strict translation- that interpretation was the best you could ever do. Of course, I had just threatened to kill his family, so I'm thinking increasing margins of error was kinda high in his list of priorities. But you had to know… so desperate to know who was going to be human, who the souled vampire was: was it Angel, was it me, was it…. You took it, and you bent it to your own needs.'
Wesley licked his lips and a flicker of anger creased his brow. 'That's a little unfair, Lilah; Spike made a critical breakthrough by discovering that the whole Shanshu concept was feminine.' Spike, turned now to hear this small exchange, pouted and frowned slightly, but they all noticed that he didn't interrupt or attempt to add anything to the debate.
She smiled softly. 'And he was right- in a way. You were both right. Do you remember you told me your confusion between death and life- thinking it was one, then the other?'
'Well, yes, but we clearly….'
'Shanshu is, was, feminine. But the language wasn't trying to explain a concept of gender, but of order: birth before death, life before death, human before…. It's the essential femininity at the heart of all things. That, I got. But what I couldn't accept was that it was me.' She looked down for a moment, and then murmured so low that only Wesley, or those with preternatural hearing could catch it, 'I was even more desperate than you.' She lifted her head, stared at Spike, and added more clearly, 'I didn't get it until Christmas. You made me leave off my research and come down, remember? And Angel was so very human that I finally made the connection- it was death. It has always been about death. It wasn't about a souled vampire becoming human, but about a human becoming a souled vampire.'
Wesley suddenly locked his gaze on Angel and said slowly, 'Well, given that I accept this, which I by no means do- why? Why all this? I mean… Angel was souled before. He was a champion then. Why the need for all this? I find it hard to believe that his staking and rising was predestined. It's preposterous just to end up where we were before. Nothing has been gained for all this pain.'
She smiled at him and, without looking at Angel, continued, 'But there was another part of the prophesy, and that had me really confused. It didn't seem to fit with what we knew. It talked about the doubt there would be about the champion- which side in the end he would align himself to. Why would there be doubt about which side Angel was on? I mean… he was Angel, right? Souled. The champion. Except….' She turned her gaze on Angel for the first time. 'You weren't. You were undecided, and you were very close to giving into the darkness. It was enveloping you. I ripped you from your body, Angel, as if your giving it up was a relief.'
Wesley looked to Spike for a moment to see if any help was coming from that quarter, but when Spike wouldn't catch his eye, he said edgily, 'Well, what about you? If Shanshu was Angel's after all, how did you do this….'
He encompassed her return and her humanity in one small hand wave.
She looked smug. 'Someone told me to follow my heart. So I did- when the time came, I followed what my heart told me. Remembering I was still evil, of course. Damn cool advice.'
Giles took a few steps toward Lilah and said with a hint of amusement in his voice, 'I think we have friends in common. So, we've brought Angel back, we've been pawns in some greater game, but I still don't really see how things have changed for the better- in what way does this keep the darkness at bay?'
She smiled once more and seemed about to reply, but Angel came forward swiftly and put a hand on her arm. 'Give me a few minutes.'
She quirked up her eyebrow, glanced at Spike then nodded.
Angel didn't look at Spike, he just strode into the living room, expecting him to follow.
Spike looked down at his nails for a moment, frowning deeply. With a small pout, he followed Angel into the other room and heard the door shut behind him.
Angel came toward him and caught him around the waist, pulling him in for a long kiss. Spike couldn't help but respond. His body responded, and he knew Angel would sense this. So, he didn't try to pretend he didn't want this kiss. He let his body melt against Angel's, just enjoying the feeling of their mutual hardness and need for each other.
Angel was the first to break the kiss. Keeping hold of Spike, he contorted his face as if trying to find the right expression and said casually, 'She's right.' He let a small, puzzled smile break free and added, 'There's no guilt, Spike.'
'But you're Angel, right?'
Angel laughed at the fearful simplicity of Spike's concerns. 'Yeah, Childe. I am. Just like Darla was, I've been restored to my own demon, but I chose to keep my soul this time. I've fought him, and I've won. He doesn't torment me any more. He can't. I chose my soul.' The last was said with a deep laugh, and Angel snagged his fingers into Spike's hair, pulling him back for another intense kiss.
Once more he pulled away, laughing. 'I so want to fuck you again.' The laugher was swallowed by an eager, seeking mouth. Tongues caressed each other, stroking over the matching sliver of wet flesh in delight. Spike moaned into the intimate caress, his hands roaming over the solid, familiar flesh.
Suddenly, he pulled away and said, slightly irate, 'I've had a bloody awful day, by the way- thanks for asking.'
Angel nibbled into Spike earlobe. 'You can tell me all about it later, Childe. We have eternity now.'
It was the wrong thing to say. Spike scrunched up his face then looked sharply away, pulling out of Angel's hold.
His throat convulsed, and tears stung his eyes, however desperately he tried to call them back. Then Angel was there, licking softly into the vulnerable wet hollows, murmuring things that meant nothing, but meant all the more for that.
Spike shivered, and Angel pressed him back against one of the bookcases. Spike took a deep steadying breath then nodded that he was calm once more.
Angel blinked his approval and then straightened them both, dusting Spike down a little and straightening his hair. 'You look like a horny demon just fucked you three ways to Christmas. Make yourself presentable, and join me next door.'
Still not too sure whether he ought to make more protest at this assumption of Angel's superiority, Spike nevertheless did as he was instructed: flattening his hair as best he could and straightening his clothes. When he got back to the main room, he grinned openly and went toward the table.
Sam was laying out an assortment of bottles, and when he saw Spike, he threw a streamer at him. Spike caught one end of it and, glancing slightly warily at Angel, went to stand close to his friend.
Spike wobbled his hand privately between them.
Sam narrowed his eyes at him. 'Why the huge fucking grin then, and the I've-just-been-fucked-as-far-as-my-throat look?'
Spike flicked his eyes over to Angel and said in a very pointed way, 'All restored. Very… restored. Very.'
Sam frowned, and he murmured, 'You mean he's gone all fucking possessive again? We kinda wanted to have some fun, share-nicely-with-Spike time.'
Spike winced, trying to get him to shut up with a look. Finally, he said under his breath, 'Preternatural hearing?'
He felt a presence behind him and strong arms wrap around his waist. 'What do you want to share, Human?'
Sam tipped his head to one side a little. He let his gaze travel up the leather pants and shirt to the face. He blew out a long breath. 'Right now? I'm thinking you.'
Angel chuckled. 'I come attached. Me and Spike for the price of one?'
Sam swallowed. 'Don't piss around, Angel.'
Angel ran a finger down Sam's cheek, and as he sauntered away, he threw over his shoulder, 'That's not in my repertoire. I'm happy to enjoy watching you doing it though.'
Spike and Sam stood side-by-side, watching the tall, slim figure depart.
Spike rubbed his nose.
Sam ran his fingers through his hair. 'Okay. That was… Angel?'
Spike lifted both eyebrows and then repeated the small wobble of his hand.
'You, me, J, and….' Sam swallowed again as if a sudden watering in his mouth had just occurred and finished, 'that walking hardon….'
Jordan came out of the lift and went immediately up to Sam, kissing him. Sam held him close, never taking his eyes off Angel's back. Jordan turned and followed his gaze. 'He's dead again. Good. Now, can we party?'
Sam laughed. 'Yeah. Happy New Year, Babe. I've just been handed the perfect present for you, too.'
Jordan began to pour some drinks. He turned to Spike. 'So, all easy and smooth?'
Spike, also staring in some confusion at Angel, murmured, 'Yeah. Totally easy. Only a few end-of-the-world moments.'
'Good. What's this crap all over the place for? Had another fire?'
'No. Angel smashed everything human. If you wanna piss, you'll have to go to the coffee shop - sorry.'
Sam chuckled. 'Nah, we'll all just use mugs like we did last damn party Angel threw.'
'What the bloody hell is he doing?'
Sam followed Spike's gaze and said amused, 'I'd say he was flirting with Wesley.'
'Fucking hell.' Spike stomped over and joined the couple standing by the fireplace. Wesley gave him a look of total bewilderment over Angel's shoulder, and they shared a moment of very welcome solidarity. Spike smiled wryly and waited, knowing Angel knew he was there. Eventually, an arm snaked out and caught him around the neck, pulling him for a tight embrace. Without even a pause, Angel carried on seamlessly with his conversation, '…and now I am dead again. So, Wesley, I'm thinking that not gay thing won't be an issue now….'
Wesley kept a straight face, but Spike could see it was taxing his emotional resources to do so. 'Ah. Quite.'
Angel squeezed Spike a little harder.
'Anyway, think about it, maybe. You know I will be….'
He spotted Cordelia and Fred arriving, slapped Spike's backside and went over to greet them. Spike lifted his eyebrows and gave Wesley an amused look. Wesley grinned and looked down at his feet. 'I feel as if I've just been chatted up by a horny toddler.'
'What's happening, Wesley? What was all that shit Lilah was talkin'? Is Angel gonna stay like this?'
'Do you mean: is he going to become a human one day as we thought the prophecy meant, or is he going to continue to pump pheromones off like other men pump sweat?
'I'd say it looks like he's stuck like that to the first, and to the second, I'd say I haven't got a bloody clue.' They saw Angel heading their way again, and Wesley murmured, 'I have this absurd need to put my backside to the wall. You weren't by any chance stoned when you let Angel drink from you, were you?'
'What are you two talking about?'
Spike pouted. 'You.'
Angel slid his arms around Spike's waist and began to nibble into his neck. 'Can anyone join in?'
'Dunno, Angel. You tell us who you are, and we'll let you play.'
'Spoil sport. Guess I'll have to go play with girls. I still remember how, ya know.' Once more he smacked Spike and sauntered back to the bar.
'If he fucking smacks me like that one more time, I'll rip off his fucking arms and insert them somewhere he'd probably enjoy too much.'
The party began to go the way of most parties: people drank too much, alliances were formed and broken, promises made and believed. In the middle of everything was Angel. If someone emerged from a corner flushed and furtive looking, Angel was a few paces behind, grinning to himself. If couples fought and broke up, he was leaning nonchalantly a few feet away looking innocent and aggrieved at any accusations. The final straw came when he began to dance with Fred. They made a beautiful couple. She was clearly amused at the initial suggestion, but drunk enough to accept it. He held her loosely around the waist, swaying gently. She was pulled a little closer. A flush suffused her neck, and she glanced down, but then up at him with a wide, trusting eyes.
Suddenly, the music came to a halt. Angel held her closer and began to hum. The main lights came on. He tipped his head back with barely concealed anger, but then shrugged and continued thrusting against her.
'Party's over, Angel.'
Angel lifted his head and regarded the human for a moment. He glanced over at Spike, but he was sitting on the couch, his back to the room, watched by Giles.
Angel turned back to the man. 'Fuck off. Who are you to say when the goddamned party's over?'
'I'm the only fucking one who's not so impressed with you, Demon, that I'll let you do that to a friend of mine. Now, move away from her, or I'll take you on.'
Angel laughed, clearly delighted by this turn of events. 'I hate to be clichéd, but… you and whose army?'
Another figure moved to stand alongside Sam. Jordan lifted his head and grinned at Angel. 'Bring it on, Vampire, because, like, I'm fucking dying to see what you'd look like with your freaking cock merged with the elevator.' He chuckled. 'After I'd pressed the down button, of course.'
By this time, Fred had manoeuvred away from Angel with a small apologetic look and, along with Cordelia and Lilah, was heading toward the elevator.
Angel put on a pained look at their retreat and said theatrically, 'Well, that's just plain rude.'
Cordelia smiled sweetly. 'Sorry, Angel. We don't do dick measuring. Get it out and play by yourself, yeah?' She punched the button, and the three women disappeared from sight.
Angel suddenly grinned widely. 'Well, now, just the boys. Ain't this real interesting? Hey, Spike, I think we've finally got a party.' He turned to the table and helped himself to some of the more interesting things Sam had brought.
He sauntered to Wesley and, giving Sam and Jordan a deep pout, said petulantly, 'They're mean. I don't wanna play with them. I wanna play with you.'
'Stop this, Angel. I don't know what's wrong, but I think….'
Angel leant against him gently, stroking his hair. 'I keep telling you: you think too damn much.'
'Maybe. But it keeps me out of mischief.'
Angel began to grind himself very lightly against the human. 'Mischief can be fun, too. Naughty can be… nice.'
Wesley glanced over Angel shoulder at Sam's approach and straightened as best he could.
'Get off him, Angel.'
Angel turned incredulously. 'Who died and made you the fucking dick-cop tonight?'
All eyes turned to Spike, who was leaning casually in the doorway, Droc sitting alert at his heels. He nodded to Sam and Jordan. 'Go home. I'll come over tomorrow… we'll talk.'
Sam nodded, gave Angel a challenging look, and left with Jordan.
'Are you going to be all right?' Wesley eased himself away from Angel and put a hand on Spike's arm.
Spike laid his over it and nodded. 'I'm thinking the party was a bad idea. It's not natural for a newly risen vampire. He needs to feed and rest, that's all.'
Not believing this for a minute, Wesley nevertheless nodded at Giles, and they left together, giving each other small, anxious looks.
Angel twisted his head around and watched the elevator doors close with a pout. 'Was it something I said?'
'You can stop the games now, Angel- whatever game it is you're playing, that is. Help me clear up.'
Angel grabbed his arm as he went past and pressed him back to the wall where Wesley had been. 'Jeez, I've missed you. What were you doing in there all night?'
'Mmm, bad baby. Kiss me….'
'Not in this fucking….' Angel's lips were insistent. They had an air of sincerity in them that hadn't been in his speech or manner all night. He pressed hard into Spike as if somehow trying to merge their bodies despite cloth and skin and bone. As if this seemed to occur to him, he suddenly ripped his shirt off over his head and tore down Spike's, popping all the buttons, exposing his naked chest. He murmured his pleasure and ran his palms over Spike's nipples with a reverence that was entirely genuine.
Spike looked down at the familiar hands on his flesh, and Angel turned his wrist slightly, his bracelet catching the light and sparkling like a small beacon of a lost promise.
Spike tried to push Angel away, but the larger vampire kissed deeply into his hair, dipping his lips down over his eyes, into the hollows of his cheeks, and down to his mouth, which could not be anything else but waiting. He would always be waiting for Angel to kiss him, forever wanting it.
Angel felt the relaxation and eased Spike off the wall, leading him toward the bed. He walked backward, pulling Spike slowly and seductively toward him.
They fell together, Spike hard on top of Angel, their bodies fitting together, equally aroused.
Angel rolled them until he lay heavy on Spike, and then he began to kiss him, teasing him with his tongue, smiling as he urged his mouth open, tasting deep into him. With one hand, Angel unbuckled Spike's belt, drawing out the small action, flicking the stiff leather so it cracked slightly in the otherwise silent apartment.
The sound of the zipper lowering was equally distinct.
'Angel, wait….' Spike was shushed with a kiss.
'Turn over for me.'
'Please…. All night… just you, Baby. Just thinking of you. Yeah, that's right, over like that. Let me see that pretty backside. Jesus, you're so smooth. Do you like that? Mmm, I know what you need.…' Angel reached over and pulled out a small tub of lube. 'Yeah, now I'll be cool and slippery…. Does that feel good? You open so easily.' Angel pulled Spike into a tight spoon, his hand between them, the fingers disappearing into Spike's entrance. He got them both comfortable and then began to enjoy himself.
Angel hooked his fingers; Spike gasped and tightened in his arms. 'Oh, you liked that, little one…? Yeah…. of course you did.' He did it again, stretching the fingers straight, then bending them and hooking them over Spike's sensitive spot.
Spike breathed out slowly and tried to turn over, but Angel held him too tightly. He buried his face into Spike's neck and just continued to play with his fingers deep inside Spike's body.
It wasn't long before another finger was added to the fun. 'I wish you could see how wide you are now, Spike. Like a greedy little mouth, pouting at me. Mmm, maybe I'll….' Angel scooted down in the bed and withdrew his fingers. Before the hole could close, he kissed it, flicking his tongue over the sensitive edges.
Spike cried out and arched again. Smiling, Angel played his tongue over the rim and into the tight channel. He licked over the soft walls, moaning, pulling Spike open wider, climbing on him slightly to penetrate more, reach further. He opened his mouth wide, peeling back his lips, his teeth pressing into the softly puckered skin.
With a sigh, he eased his mouth away and reinserted his fingers into the slick channel, settling down again behind Spike and spooning him tight.
It became hypnotically quiet and still; Spike lay just waiting for the next hook of Angel's fingers as if his life somehow depended on this. He knew he should stop it, tackle him, talk to him, but he was too tired. It was so good just to lie there and have Angel's fingers in him. It was something he'd needed for so many long weeks that he felt the universe owed it to him for a little while. Sod champions and prophesies; this was all he needed or wanted right now.
Finally, when their bodies were tight and strung out and close to release, Angel eased his fingers out and inserted his erection. The difference in size made Spike groan as a full stretch made him burn and tingle, and needy walls were caressed along their length.
When Angel was in, Spike waited for a moment then pushed back against him, trying to initiate some movement.
Angel only hugged him closer and kept very still.
After another minute, Spike twisted his head around to see what was happening, but Angel had his eyes shut and appeared to be asleep.
Spike frowned and moved slightly again. Angel's cock gave a small, sympathetic twitch, but Angel stayed stubbornly asleep.
Pursing his lip, frowning, Spike settled down, Angel filling him. Next he tried to ease away, but Angel's arms tightened on him, rather casting doubt on his sleeping status.
Confused, but very, very tired, Spike shut his eyes, too.
Sleep was the great healer, even for vampires, and he reasoned they'd both had bad days, one way or another.
Spike woke when something banged his nose. He opened his eyes and growled at Droc. The dog gave him a look as if to say he could growl better and shifted his paw to Spike's cheek.
Spike blinked, realised he was in the bed alone and sat up. He ran his fingers through his hair and frowned at the dog. Droc turned and trotted toward the stairs. Spike tipped his head back and cursed. 'Why can't you bleedin' go in a mug, too?'
Still cursing, he hopped into his discarded jeans and, looking around distractedly for Angel, nevertheless, followed the dog down to the garage.
Droc immediately went up to one corner and sat patiently, staring at the figure huddled in the shadows.
Spike bit his lip, then went close and squatted down alongside Angel. He watched the silent figure for a while, hearing his pain well enough through blood, the silence only making the crying clearer.
He had done this once: crouched in the dark in pain, days merging into weeks in his insanity. Then he'd come to Angel, and nothing had ever been that insane again.
He didn't attempt to touch him, but sat alongside the silent figure, leaning on the wall.
He rummaged in his jeans for a cigarette and smoked quietly. After a while, he clicked his fingers to Droc, and when the dog came close, began to check out his fur, complaining softly about fleas and lice and other conversational things that dogs seem to enjoy. He put Droc through some obedience exercises, but that didn't take very long; so, finally, he offered him a cigarette to see if he could teach him to smoke.
At that, a hand shot out, and Angel said hesitantly, 'Don't.'
Spike flicked his eyes to the troubled face and put the cigarette back in his own mouth.
After another few minutes, when nothing more was forthcoming from Angel, Spike said casually, 'Wanna go upstairs? Light the fire maybe? Have some wine? Cuppa? Cold enough to freeze balls down here, Luv.'
Angel ran his fingers through his hair. 'I-.'
'No need to talk, Pet. If you don't want to. Only, no need to be cold and sad at the same time, is there?'
'I know. Come on. We'll have a cuppa and watch the flames.'
He rose and just waited patiently, not cajoling more, just smoking and talking to the dog.
Angel stood up and eased around the other two, without looking at them, and went back up the stairs. He was still naked, and Spike shivered slightly at the paleness of Angel's body in the light that pooled down from the apartment.
to chapter 9
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