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The Darkling Plain

Episode 4

Chapter 1

'Oh, bloody hell! Fucking dog!' Spike shook his boot in outrage, watching a tiny dribble run out.

Angel sat up and stared around at the mess. 'Oh, Shit! He hasn't been fed! Or taken out!'

Something else fell out of Spike's boot, and there was a cry of fury. 'The little fucker! Where are you? You're dead!'

Angel caught him and wrestled him to the floor before he could find the puppy. 'We've been up here for over forty-eight hours, and he's not whined or fussed for food or anything!'

'Yeah? Nice. Let's see if he whines in hell.'


'He's crapped in my fucking boot!'

'I'll find him and feed him.'

Spike began to chuckle. 'Your hair….'

Angel's hands flew up, and he frowned, clearly torn between a shower and feeding the starving puppy.

He decided to do the right thing and searched through the apartment. He chuckled when he found the puppy in a small nest of Spike's shirt, surrounded by the remains of their bed picnic. Looking very content and full, the puppy watched him from the safety of his stolen bed.

Angel picked him up and gave him a stern look, then remembered none of his clothes were ruined, and put him back with a pat.

He went back to the main room, wincing at the mess that had once been his bed.

He held out a hand though, and together they went into the shower. They turned on all the jets, twisting and turning in the heat. Spike was inspecting his body. 'I'm fucking burnt!'

Angel slapped him, and Spike kicked playfully back at him. Suddenly, Angel pulled him into his arms and kissed him swiftly, then hid his face, as emotion overwhelmed him. Spike stroked his hair and murmured, 'I know, Pet. I died, too.'

Angel held him away. 'It's over. Hey! We're on holiday.'

Spike looked pleased, as if he'd forgotten, and as if his life was so pressured with work that a holiday would be a real treat. 'Okay… let's hit the clubs then!'

Angel pouted. 'I want to do some galleries.'

Spike's eyes widened. 'Nick some art? Yeah, cool.'

'Do! As in visit?'

'You're going to go to fucking galleries on your holiday?'

Spike scrubbed shampoo into his hair and flicked his head around under the water to rinse. He felt a hand cupping his cheeks and smiled under the jets.

'Just one? American Design? On at the Donar?'

Fingers slipped inside him and pressed gently on his prostate. 'Just one?'

Spike leant his hands on the wall, spreading his legs as if being read his rights. Angel smiled and eased his cock into the willing hole, running his hands over Spike's skin in delight.

'You're brown. It's… beautiful. Just one?'

Spike tipped his head back in ecstasy as Angel began to slide in and out of him. His hair plastered down as the water cascaded over him, and Angel put his hands to it, ruffling it up, spiking it.

'Just one?'

He slid his hands down to Spike's neck and began to squeeze gently as he took him, as if he could cut off air. It was incredibly erotic, even without the promise of asphyxiation, and Spike groaned, his throat vibrating in Angel's hands.

'Just one?'

One hand slipped under his thigh and lifted it, the increased access sending Angel's penis deep into his rectum, stretching his soft walls, filling him entirely.

'Just one?'

Angel eased all the way back, then slid in hard; he repeated this time and time again, his strong legs braced, his hands around Spike's waist, playing with him.

'Just one?'

Spike's balls began to throb with desperation for release. He gasped and hung his head to watch Angel's hands on his cock, loving the way it popped out of the strong fist, the way Angel pinched up his foreskin and swirled a finger around his leaking tip.

'Just one?'

'All right! One fucking gallery! Angel…!'

Angel knew begging when he heard it. He shifted his position slightly and gave Spike the orgasm he needed. He worked his thick vein over Spike's prostate and thrust harder with short, sharp jerks into the wet hole.

Spike's whole body tensed; he began to pant; the muscles in his legs shook, and then he flung his head back and came with urgent shots of cum onto the steamy tiles.

Angel cried out and followed him swiftly, emptying into his childe as the water continued to heat and caress his body.

With a sigh, he pulled out. 'Okay. Good. So, get dressed.'

Spike turned in disbelief and slid down the wall until he sat in the pooling water. 'Bloody hell.'

Raising an eyebrow, smirking slightly, Angel eased a towel off the rail and swaggered out to the bedroom.

He was halfway through deciding what to wear, when he turned to find Spike, naked, and holding his ruined boot and shirt theatrically in his hands.

Angel grinned and turned shyly to the closet. 'When I went shopping, I got kinda carried away. The memory of your body in my hands, yeah? I bought you some….' He slid open the other side, and Spike saw rows of beautiful clothes. He came forward slowly. Deep purples, greys, blacks, dark blood reds- Angel had chosen everything with care. Everything was immaculate.

Angel pouted and sniffed softly. 'Now I'm giving you your clothes as well.'

'Yeah. Good, ain't it?' Spike ripped a red shirt off a hanger and grabbed some leather pants. He poked Angel in the ribs for his sad expression and then took out a pair of beautiful leather boots.

When he was dressed, he carefully and reverently replaced his sunglasses and stood grinning. Angel chuckled and put his on too.

They knew they were being vain, but felt they were owed it.

With a small frown, Angel then fished in his pocket. 'I need to call down.'

Spike pouted and rummaged in his discarded jeans for his cell phone. With a sigh, he murmured, 'They are gonna be so insufferable about this.'

They moved apart and made their respective calls, Angel's short, to the point and curt; Spike's long, amused, rambling, and coarse. When he was finished, he stuffed the phone back in his pocket and turned. 'Right. Let's….' Angel pushed him back to the counter and bent over him, his mouth locked hard on the still speaking lips.

Spike moaned at the intense need washing off his sire and wrapped one leg around Angel's, just pulling them closer. Suddenly, Angel picked him up and flung him on his back on the counter. He ripped at the leather jeans and tore them down to Spike's knees, falling on the freshly washed sweetness of curled hair and hard, throbbing flesh.

'Oh, sodding hell….' Spike lay under the intense light as Angel sucked him off, just holding the dark head, running his hands through the soft, still-damp strands. Before he could protest again, he heard a zip, felt himself dragged down, and then he was bent over the bar stool and entered.

Angel flung his head back and cried out at the animalistic pleasure of taking his childe so gratuitously. Spike arched to the penetration, pushing back to meet Angel's need. He stood and braced himself against the counter, cursing the tight constriction of the jeans, unable to open his legs as he wanted. Angel didn't seem to mind, he stood close, his legs flexed, and worked himself in small, jerky motions just at the rim of Spike's tight anus, working his foreskin over the tip of his cock until it was so swollen and stimulated that it dripped crystal clear fluid to the soft, maple flooring.

Angel began a high-pitched, panted cry in a staccato rhythm that matched his fucking. Suddenly, holding Spike's hair like reins in one hand, he finished, dipping to the pleasure that flooded through his groin and spread down his legs, suffusing his face with a deep glow for the briefest of preternatural moments.

With a sigh, he leant against Spike's back, still panting. He slipped a hand around and fisted him, murmuring, 'Moan for me again. I love it when you do that.'

Spike didn't need to be asked: a small, choked sound ground out of his throat at the pleasure of Angel's skilful fisting. He joined his hand to the larger one, just riding with the movement, stroking his finger lightly over the flesh giving him so much pleasure. 'Make me come.'

Angel nodded and kissed into Spike's hair as he concentrated on the feel of Spike in his hand, listened to the low sounds he made, smelt him with his demon, possessing him.

At just the right moment, he fell to his knees, pulled Spike around and opened his mouth to the spurting erection. Spike shivered and ejaculated into Angel's mouth, pulling on his hair, heaving him closer, deeper, harder.

When he was dry, Spike leant back and ran a hand through his hair. 'Bloody hell.'

Angel rose gracefully and licked his lips, liking the taste. He bent to Spike and kissed him deeply. 'I love you.'

Spike nodded into the kiss. 'Clearly.'

Angel stood straight and eased Spike's jeans up for him, fastening them and patting him down. He ran his hand through the rumpled blond hair, straightened the glasses and nodded. 'Perfect. Let's go.'

Spike shook his head censoriously and headed to the elevator.

They looked at the hatch for a moment, and Angel pursed his lips. Spike gave him a look, threatening him to comment on the obvious. 'We're on holiday. We'll talk about it all later, yeah?'

Angel nodded, jumped for it, swung up, and then hung a hand down to pull Spike up.

'Did you not think about another exit, Angel?'

'I wanted the security. I didn't think about not wanting to go down.'

'Oh, yeah, sorry, like you never enjoy going down….' He got a slap for being cheeky, but felt it was worth it.

They made their way out onto the roof and suddenly stopped. It was a startlingly bright evening, the air crisp and smelling of the recent rain. The entire roof glowed as the soft lighting they'd left on in the apartment shone through the gracefully curving glass.

Angel jumped up on the narrow wall around the glass, peering down in wonder. Spike hopped up and joined him. He had an unnerving moment of disorientation as the bed looked exactly as he'd imagined it would look if he peered in from here, and for a moment, he wondered if he'd had a premonition of doing this. He could almost see them on it now, that blue-black circle of pale flesh. It was salutary looking down on their lives like this. Angel seemed to feel it too, for he reached out and pulled Spike into a light, friendly embrace- an arm over his shoulder, a slight lean toward him. They were not invulnerable, and they felt it acutely, peering down into the tiny fish-tank of light that had seen such drama play out.

'Hey! You fucker! Get OFF!'

Angel chuckled as they watched the dog returning to Spike's discarded boot.

Spike banged on the glass, and the dog jumped, skittering out of sight. Angel laid a hand on his arm. 'Don't. He's….'

'He's a piss machine. That's what he is.'

'He's a survivor. Like us. He must have lain alongside the decomposing body of his mother for days, Spike. Someone shut them in there to die like that. But he survived- like we would have done.'

Spike straightened. 'Are we gonna have this holiday or not?'

Angel grinned and dropped off the roof.

They walked along side by side through the alley that skirted the back of The Crypt. Spike slowed and then bent to light a cigarette. Angel stood watching him and then very quietly, as if merely commenting on the weather, or the dark, or any other unimportant thing, said, 'Don't ever leave me again. Please.'

Spike glanced up from his lighter and caught Angel's expression before the vampire veiled it.

He frowned and began to walk on slowly, clicking his lighter shut, putting it carefully into the back pocket of his new pants: familiar actions in the unsettling moment of unfamiliarity. For a second, as he'd looked at Angel, he'd had the startling thought that Angel was no longer talking as his sire - the vampire he'd known for so many decades - nor was he talking as Angel, this new, souled version of that familiarity. He was talking as a man, a young one, new to what they were doing. He was talking as a young man who had found himself in love with another man and was only now beginning to come to terms with that incredible fact. Spike frowned and took a long drag on his cigarette, as with blinding clarity, he saw his own actions over the last few weeks in the same light. There had been no magical influence keeping them apart; he'd not been subject to a spell, driving him away from Angel. He'd run of his own accord, as a man, as a human, as someone very, very scared of what had begun to happen between them.

He felt Angel alongside him, and for the first time, instead of interpreting his brooding silence in some mythical, vampire-in-turmoil way, Spike saw it for what it was: a young man's silent anxiety that his intense love was not returned.

It didn't seem enough to offer platitudes. Instead, Spike let the back of his hand brush Angel's. Tentatively, he took hold of just two fingers. When that wasn't rejected, he adjusted his position and, incredibly, they found themselves walking through the night holding hands.

Angel glanced down to where they were joined, a deep frown on his face, but he did not break the hold. They came out of the alley into the brighter street. A few couples strolled along, peering in shop windows, talking quietly. Afterwards, neither could have said who moved first, but they let the intimacy go, hands being thrust deep into pockets, shoulders hunched protectively.

Angel frowned again, but then Spike just leant into him softly, nudging him. 'Never.'

Angel glanced up through lowered lids and flashed him a quick, intense smile. He nodded.

Feeling as if he had left the apartment one person but found himself to be someone entirely different, Spike took a long drag on his cigarette and grinned inanely into the night.

Spike's conviction that the gallery would be closed at this hour and that they'd go to a club instead was crushed when they arrived to find a line waiting to get in.

Angel chuckled at the outrage on Spike's face and obediently joined the back of the line.

Disbelieving that he was doing it, Spike stood alongside him, trying to give the impression that he was merely there by coincidence and not design.

Determined not to enjoy the experience, he stomped around the various displays of Americana, complaining about not being able to smoke and about there being nothing but bloody furniture, yet still nowhere to sit.

That was until he entered a large room in the centre of the gallery. They both came to a halt, some people behind them tutting and parting to move around them.

Spike glanced up and shook his head. 'No glass, but other than that… it's our place….'

Angel looked down, pleased. Spike glanced over at him. 'You copied this?' He pulled Angel's hand over and glanced at the brochure. 'Shakers?'

Angel nodded. 'Isn't it beautiful?' They wandered around the furniture that was laid out on a maple floor that shone just as deeply as theirs did.

Spike ran his hands over the arm of a chair and chuckled that he found it so beautiful. The confidence he now had to admit that he could find furniture beautiful only seemed to confirm something about the strange night for him- highlight some transformation inside himself that he had not realised was happening.

He turned to say something to Angel but found himself the subject of an intense look. Spike frowned uncertainly. 'What?'

Angel swallowed. 'Let's go home now.'

Spike felt his breath hitch at the need in Angel's voice. He lowered his eyes and then glanced up provocatively, running his hand over the perfect wood once more. 'Like me stroking this, do you?'

Angel only took a step closer. Spike pouted and moved his hand to a table. 'It's so smooth and cool…. What would it feel like to lie on?'

He heard a soft growl and backed toward the frame of a beautifully carved bed. 'Does wood turn you on…?'

Angel came up close to him, closer than normal personal space between two people admiring furniture would normally allow. 'You turn me on.'

Spike grinned and glanced to one side, murmuring, 'We're being watched.'

Angel didn't even blink. 'Home. Now.'

Spike dodged away. 'But I want to see the rest of the exhibits. I'm really learning from this experience.' He snatched the programme from Angel and skittered away into another room.

Angel tipped his head back and stared at the ceiling for a moment then, grinning, went in search of him.

He followed his trail and found him studying a painting that had been hung over a mock-Colonial hearth. Angel glanced around and then stood very close, pressing himself to the smaller form. 'I need to go home, Spike. Now.'

Spike dipped his head at the feel of Angel's urgent need pressing against him. Angel wanted to lick the sliver of skin that appeared above Spike's collar. He wanted to run his fingers through the short, blond hairs at the back of his neck. He wanted to slide his hands around and see if his childe wanted him, too.

Some people came over to admire the carving on the mantle and gave them an odd look. Angel moved away with a growl of annoyance pitched for preternatural ears.

When he looked back, Spike had gone again.

This time, Angel trailed him to the exit and found him leaning against the wall, one leg bent up, lighting a cigarette. He tore the cigarette from Spike and crushed him against the brickwork, taking his mouth with a hot ferocity that made Spike's lip bleed. Pulling back, blinking with pleasure, Angel sucked damp, pink flesh into his mouth and drew the blood out slowly.

Spike cradled him around the back of the neck, running his hands through the silky strands, moaning faintly as Angel's tongue probed him.

Incredulous, Spike felt Angel's hands on the button of his pants and they were opened. His zip was lowered, and he murmured warningly, 'Angel….'

Angel seemed to come back from a long way away. He stared at Spike's dilated eyes then, suddenly, zipped him back up. 'Shit.'

Spike twitched up an eyebrow, amused, grabbed his hand, and began to drag him toward the street. He hailed a cab and, laughing, pushed Angel in.

They sat in respective corners, staring at each other. Spike's entire body yearned to cross the small space between them, and he could feel a similar passion pouring off his sire.

They reached the front of The Crypt before it seemed possible, and as Angel paid the cab, Spike opened the garage door and held it up for him. They ducked into the dark and fell on each other, tearing at clothes, needing to get down to skin, needing to smell and taste flesh.

Naked, Spike slammed Angel against a wall and spread-eagled him, kicking apart his legs, running his hands over the exposed cheeks. With no preliminaries, he pushed a finger roughly in and sought out Angel's prostate, pressing on it until Angel flung his head back with pleasure and groaned.

Spike fell to his knees and plunged his tongue in through Angel's tight ring, not able to reach as far, but giving him just as much pleasure. He slid his hands around the firm body and found a strong column that bobbed and waved against a taut belly. With a moan into the tight hole, he took the erection in one fist and began to work it, pumping it as he stabbed his tongue in hard.

Angel came so suddenly, that for a moment, Spike wondered what it was cascading over his fingers and wrist. With a groan, Angel eased him off and spun around, sinking to his knees. He took Spike's fingers and sucked on them, feeding his childe the taste too, then ducked down and took Spike in his mouth. Spike sank back against the wall, and Angel shifted onto his belly, his head then a dark shadow on Spike's lap.

As he sucked, he fondled Spike's balls, stretching them, rubbing them together in their soft, velvety covering. They were so hard, so sensitive, that Spike winced and rose slightly, the movement only pushing his cock deeper into Angel's mouth. He let out a soft moan and did it again, rising up, fucking into the deep sucking.

With a cry, Spike clambered to his feet, dragging Angel up to kneeling and pushing his back to the wall. Almost in a fever of need, he rode into Angel's mouth. He humped himself into the willing mouth, plundered its depths, rubbed hard over the soft lips, swelling them until they split, and then he rode on the blood, his mouth watering to taste it.

Trying to hold it back only made the orgasm harsher, and with a huge gasp of release, Spike flooded Angel's mouth and throat, cum then spilling out in a blood-mixed trail of delicate pink on Angel's chin.

When he was dry, Spike fell to his knees and tasted the blood he so desperately needed. Angel opened his mouth wide and let the fluid pour back out, mouthing it to Spike so their faces were coated in the shared juice and they could no longer tell who it belonged to.

They rose to their feet together, still kissing, but gradually the passion subsided into amused, gentle kisses that left them space to think once more. Angel chuckled and rested his chin on Spike's shoulder. 'Good holiday.'

Spike nodded. 'Value for money.'

Holding him away, Angel said coyly, 'Upstairs? Bed?'

Spike flashed him a knowing look and began to look for their clothes.

When they were dressed, they peered around the door to the agency, found it deserted, and went quickly to the elevator.

They stepped in, and when the doors shut, Angel leant against the wall, wrapping his arms around Spike and pulling him back against him, so he could rest his chin once more on Spike's shoulder.

They stepped out together, but Spike stopped on the threshold, glanced around, then nodded.

Angel gave him a look as he bent for blood in the fridge. 'What was that for?'

Spike took the offered blood bag and fetched two mugs from the cupboard. 'It's my apartment. That's all. Just felt like I was coming home at last.'

Angel appeared to be busy heating the blood, but after a moment, he said teasingly, 'So, no more rent then?'

Spike chuckled and slid a hand under Angel's shirt to rest it on the small of his back. 'I don't know what this is, Angel - I'm on holiday, and I'll be fucked if I'm gonna examine it too much either - but I do know it's right. For me. For you. For… us.'

Angel turned and pulled him into a loose embrace, looking at him carefully. 'It WAS all mine, Spike. I knew it when I was doing it, but I wanted to surprise you.'

Spike frowned. 'Hey, Pet…. We said no talking 'til….'

'I know. But I want to tell you this. I had Sam make some arrangements. When the Hyperion money finally came through. I've given half to you.'

Spike frowned even more. 'Half to me?'

Angel watched his expression carefully. 'Are you going to try and kill me and jump out of the window again?'

He got a punch in the ribs for being facetious, but then Spike said seriously, 'You're not joking are you? Fuck. How much? I mean, why? No I don't; I mean how much?'

Angel told him, and Spike appeared to find it hard to breathe, which they both acknowledged was a neat trick, given he didn't breathe in the first place.

'I'm… Jesus.'

Angel laughed and kissed into his hair. 'Not quite.'

Spike pulled away. 'Mine?'

Angel nodded and shrugged as if it was nothing, but Spike held his jaw. 'Angel. Why? Tell me.'

Angel took a small breath. 'So I know you're here by choice, and not because you have to be. You can go anywhere and do anything now. Money is power, Spike, and I've shared mine with you. You have the power to make choices.'

Spike turned and took the mugs out of the microwave, handing Angel his. 'I can do what I like with the money? No conditions?'

Angel frowned. 'Of course. It's yours.'

Spike nodded. 'Okay. Bloody hell.' He put his mug down very carefully. 'Conscious choices. I thought I had those before, but I didn't- neither of us did.' He looked up at Angel seriously. 'I'm sorry about leaving you. I panicked. I was afraid of….' He glanced around at the beautiful apartment for a moment. 'I think I was afraid of admitting what I am- what I've become. What you've made me.' He put his finger to Angel's lips to stop him interrupting. 'I'm becoming human, Luv- well, finding human emotions. None of this, with you, is just vampire shit anymore. It means something in here, in my dead heart- which isn't dead when I'm with you.'

Angel pulled him gently against him. He slid a hand up inside Spike's shirt and tweaked his nipple, smiling at Spike's blink of pleasure. 'It took me three days to work out how I was going to get you back, three days to realise that I didn't want to do it like a vampire - like your sire. I wanted to…. I wanted to romance you back. Then I realised that I had absolutely no idea how to do that.' He laughed softly. 'Cordelia once told me I was closed off to human emotions. She had NO idea. This - you and me - I don't get. It's taken me over, but I don't understand what it is- I have nothing to compare it with.' Suddenly, he bent his face and hid it in Spike's shoulder. 'But I know that if you leave me again, there'll be nothing left- nothing to fight for you with again. I was so… hollow.'

Spike eased him off. He nodded. 'The hollow men, Pet. Now, are you gonna get into that bed and let me thank you for the money?'

They began to kiss, taking off clothing, moving toward the bed without their lips parting. They fell together, and then both suddenly cried out, picking strange things off the sheet. Angel crawled off and stood, looking down at the mess they'd left from last night. 'Fuck.'

Spike grinned and caught at his arm. 'Definitely. In my bed though.' He dragged Angel into his room and pushed him over the back of the sofa, climbing onto him. 'Oh, yeah.' He lay on Angel and clasped him around the back of the head, kissing him deeply. Their bodies smelt of each other, gently arousing enough to keep things interesting without the desperate, unfulfilled need of earlier.

Angel parted his legs so Spike lay between them, and then he wrapped them over his back, locking his ankles. They lay for a long time, just kissing gently, sometimes passionately, biting, sucking on bleeding lips, rocking slightly to enjoy sensations elsewhere. It was only when Angel's belly gave a huge rumble that they parted. Spike frowned. 'When did we last feed?'

Angel chuckled. 'Last night. Ice cream.'

Spike clambered off and went to fetch the now cold mugs of blood and climbed back on carefully, handing Angel his. As they drank, he turned lazily and flicked the TV on. There was an old black and white film showing, and he cradled his head on Angel's chest, one arm hanging off to hold his mug. It grew very peaceful in the room.

He'd almost fallen to sleep, when he felt something licking his fingers. He opened his eyes and peered at the puppy, which was trying to lick some of the blood off the edge of the mug. He dipped his fingers in and let the puppy lick them.

'Hey. Don't.'

'Why not? He likes it. He belongs to two master vampires- he needs to like blood.'

There was a small pause. 'Our dog?'

Spike shrugged.

Angel pushed him up and sat, picking up the puppy. 'I'll feed him.' He tried to keep his voice neutral, but Spike heard the deep emotion, nevertheless.

Spike ran his fingers though his hair and said disgustedly, 'We'll be wearing matching bloody underpants soon. Just come to bed and get fucked, yeah?'

Angel stood and stretched, his body lithe and tanned in the soft light. 'Five minutes- I'll take him out.'

Spike huffed and went over to the bed, watching Angel carry the ludicrously small dog draped over the palm of one hand.

By the time Angel crawled into the bed, Spike was deeply asleep, lying on his back, his arms spread eagled as if waiting to embrace something.

Angel gave him something to hug, and when every inch of their skin touched, he joined him in that temporary respite from the intensity of all their new emotions.

Go to Chapter 2

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