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The Darkling Plain

Episode 5

Chapter 5

Almost running, they made it to their suite and piled in. Angel wanted to admire the room but was flattened against a wall. Spike laughingly ran his hands over him as if he were frisking him. He flung Angel around and patted down his front too, stopping at the hard, obvious bulge. 'Concealed weapons? Can't be having that.'

Grinning, he fell so slowly to his knees that Angel thought he would come just watching the blatant display. Spike nuzzled into the hardness through the clothes, feeling it twitch and shift position at the touch of his lips.

Suddenly, Angel murmured, 'Fuck this,' and fell on Spike, pushing him to the floor and ripping the back of his jeans down. It was the fastest, least prepared entry they'd done for a very long time, and Spike arched his head back with a long, drawn-out sound of pain.

It was like music to them both, and Angel lay heavy on the smaller form, pushing up and down on strong arms, his coat falling like a dark wing over them both. He pressed his face into the back of Spike's head, his breath ruffling the short, blond strands as he fucked.

When he wanted it deeper, Spike pushed them both up, bracing his arms, and with a cry of pure animalistic pleasure, Angel knelt to his hole and dragged him back on tight, digging nails into Spike's flesh, drawing a hint of blood, just enough to make them swell and throb more.

He jerked his hips into Spike, moaning. Spike began to shiver as Angel found just the right spot inside him every time, his whole body responding to the penetration.

A grunt of drawn-out release, a deep, aching sigh, and they came together; one raining splashes of cum onto the carpet, the other shaking himself off somewhere high in Spike's body.

Spike released the tension in his arms, and they lay down together, Angel's weight heavy and very welcome on the smaller figure. Spike stretched his arms along the carpet and closed his eyes.

After an age, Angel rolled off and tidied himself away. 'This is… incredible!' He rose and went around the stunning suite, admiring what money could buy for a few nights.

With a grin, Spike bounced up, holding his jeans together and flung himself on the bed, grabbing for the room service menu. 'Let's order.'

Angel sank down next to him and eased the jeans back off the tight, smooth backside. As they scanned the menu, he played with Spike, entering him with a finger, teasing him with his tongue, keeping them both on an edge they could enjoy for a very long time. 'No blood on there.'

'Nah. That's the downside of the holiday.'

'We'll go hungry. We've done it before.'

As he was pushing his tongue into Spike's slick hole, he didn't see the expression that briefly flittered across his childe's face.

Suddenly, Spike pulled Angel up and twisted around to prop himself up on one elbow. Angel sighed at the interruption of his game but copied the position.


'Nothin'! I can lie here and stare at my favourite person, can't I?'

Angel smiled shyly. 'Any time, yeah.'

'Go shower, Pet; we're going out.'

Angel nodded. 'I'm not holding out any hopes… English showers?'

'Never mind. We'll be home soon.'


Spike leaned over to pull the phone closer. 'Go shower; I'm gonna order some snacks.'

If he noticed that, once more, the timing of their return had been deferred, Angel didn't comment. He stripped off his clothes and went toward the bathroom.

Spike watched him go then dialled Sam.

'Give me the bad news first.'

'Hi, Babe. Oh, ye of little faith! It's all done.'


'You can let him come home.'

'Well, okay. We'll catch a flight tomorrow- get a cab from the airport.'

'Okay. See ya….'

'How's the mutt?'


'Sam! The puppy, you're supposed to be….'

'Relax, Spike… he's fine. Nice to know you care- I'll make sure to tell him.'


'Love you too.'

Spike gave him the finger, even though he knew it was wasted, and put the handset back thoughtfully. It made their return slightly… worrying. He debated joining Angel under the shower and telling him what he'd done, but didn't want to provoke something they couldn't finish here- this far away from home. Instead, he straightened his clothes and slipped out of the room, heading down to the servants' quarters: he needed information, and he knew just where to find it.

The club was lush, intimate: brocade and velvet the dominant themes. Angel wrinkled up his nose and said quietly, 'Not your scene?'

Spike nudged him. 'Wait and see.'

An elderly man approached them. He reminded Angel of a draper he'd once eaten. 'Welcome! Oh! You're vampires!'

Angel took a step back, but Spike put a hand on his arm and gave the man an annoyed look. The man seemed to take the criticism, for he extended his arms. 'How rude of me. I can't apologise too much; only, it's normally female vampire, male human. That's just the way it is. But there are no rules about these delicate things! Absolutely not. So… would you like male or female companions?' He glanced at Angel again. 'I'm thinking male?'

'Hey!' Angel wasn't too sure what to be outraged at first and let the all-encompassing comment hang in the air.

The man directed their gaze into the corner. 'Both is not discouraged….'

Angel's eyes widened when he followed the man's gaze to a large armchair by the fireplace. A man sat limply with glazed eyes. At his feet, two vampires knelt, one a young boy, and the other an even younger girl, sucking at the exposed veins in his extended arms.

The man sighed. 'So young. They'd never feed otherwise.' He sighed with pleasure at his charitable act and waved Angel toward the bar. 'Would you like a regular drink first?'

Angel began to back away. He turned his head to stare at Spike, furious, upset, confused about being brought here. To his surprise, Spike was looking at the scene in the corner with an equal look of horror. Suddenly, Spike turned away, grabbed Angel's arm and said firmly, 'We're leaving.'

He propelled Angel back up the stairs and out into the cool London night air. They stood together in the narrow, cobbled street for a moment, until Spike tipped his head back and let out a long breath. 'I'm sorry. I thought we'd like it. I thought that would be fun.'

Angel watched him carefully. 'But it wasn't?'

Spike shivered. 'What have I become? I should find that… sublime….'

Angel put an arm over his shoulders. 'Welcome to another facet of being a souled vampire, Baby: evil starts to disgust you.'

'Bloody hell.'

'Come on. Let's go back to the hotel, and I'll take your mind off being hungry.'

Spike smiled shyly, and they walked along. Angel, he noticed, had not removed his arm, and that was okay by him.

'We're catching the midnight flight tomorrow, by the way.'

Angel looked surprised. 'I thought you wanted some time in London.'

'I want to go home now.'

Angel suddenly squeezed hard with his arm, crushing Spike close. 'Then let's spend the day in that huge bed together.'

When they got to the bright lights of the lobby, the arm over Spike's shoulders tensed noticeably. It almost twitched to return to its owner's side. With a small shake of his shoulders, however, Angel left it there, and they sauntered across the marble floor and entered the tiny lift.

Spike turned and gave Angel an amused look. 'Well, done, Pet. The effort is appreciated.'

Angel pursed his lips. 'We're a long way from home… no one we know, yeah?'

He opened the door to the room, and to Spike's delight, they discovered the food had been delivered.

Angel sat on the bed, pulling off his shoes, and Spike rummaged happily through the cart. When he had what he wanted, he turned on the TV and sat against the headboard, clutching the remote control.

Angel looked over at him incredulously. 'You're gonna sit there eating and watching TV?'


'I kinda had another use in mind for the bed.'

'You can sleep if you want, old man; I'll keep the sound low.'

Knowing this was another argument he'd not win by force, Angel nodded as if accepting this idea. He stood and pulled off his shirt, dropping it carelessly to the floor. 'I'm gonna shower.'

Spike just nodded and continued flicking channels.

Angel came out of the bathroom a few minutes later, still dripping wet, rubbing his hair with a small towel. He needed something across the other side of the room and wandered slowly in front of the television, pausing for a moment to look at something on the screen, then moving on to stand by the window. He lifted an arm and rubbed the towel slowly down to his ribs. When that side was dry to his satisfaction, he put a foot up on the armchair and bent over to rub his foot dry, working slowly but surely up toward his thigh. He repeated the exercise with his other leg.

'Bloody hell!' Spike caught him around the waist and dragged him onto the bed. Something crunched underneath them, and laughing, Spike swept all the food to the floor. He crawled provocatively toward Angel. 'I'm gonna eat you instead.'

Angel raised an eyebrow. He caught the hem of Spike's T-shirt and hitched it up slightly, feeling underneath for the hard abs. He groaned and slid his hands all the way up, resting them over Spike's nipples. Spike pushed him onto his back and straddled the naked body. 'You smell so good.' He dipped his face into a hollow in Angel's neck and licked softly over the absent pulse. 'Everything I am, I owe to you, Angel.'

Angel lifted Spike's head, tugging gently on the blond strands. 'That's not true, Spike. You've created yourself….'

Spike shook his head. 'I only saw it when I told Wesley. It's true for him, and it's just as true for me. Look at me, Angel. I'm here like this because I came to LA- because of you.'

Angel nodded. 'Okay. But I'm here too. This….' He kissed Spike deeply and slowly, finding his tongue and entwining them softly. 'This is because of you.'

Spike ran his fingers through the mussed dark hair, straightening it for Angel, as he knew he liked. 'I love you.'

Angel smiled and hugged him, crushing him down to his chest. 'I love you too.' He pushed Spike up. 'See, I can say it….'


'Not when I've got you to do it for me.'

Spike grinned and slid down Angel's body until he was straddling his knees. He dragged his body slowly and hard over Angel's groin, making the supine vampire groan, and the effect of the friction was noticeable. Angel's shaft twitched with the illusion of life, leaking onto his belly, pulsing magically. Spike put his mouth to the soft balls then licked slowly and very precisely up, until he reached the source of the leaking. He caught the swollen cockhead in one hand and flicked his tongue through the crystal bubbling then, with a small chuckle, began to work it into the small slit. Angel murmured his pleasure, closed his eyes and folded his arms under his head to enjoy the sensation. With a grin at his own wickedness, Spike reached surreptitiously behind and picked up the card of matches on the cart. He tore one loose. He teased the tiny hole for a moment longer with his tongue then inserted the matchstick.

Angel rose off the bed very satisfactorily, his eyes wide with shock.

Spike pulled the match out and scurried back slightly. Angel caught his arm and looked down. Spike knew that expression. With a groan of wonder, he came back to his playground and, this time, scratched the rough match head around the soft skin for a while before easing it in deeply. Angel hovered, his body half up, half lying, not sure of the game, wanting it, fearing it. He laughed down at Spike with raised eyebrows, and the uncertain look and sound were totally human.

Spike moaned with pleasure and rewarded them both by taking the deeply flushed cockhead in his mouth and easing his tongue over the abused areas- but not for long, his game was too much fun.

He pushed the match in and regarded the small head sticking out thoughtfully.

'Don't even go there, childe.'

'I wouldn't let it burn down far, Pet. Trust me.'

'Not even in hell.'

'And that means?'

'I don't know, but you're not fucking lighting that match.'

'Are you scared, Angel?'


'Spoil sport.'

'You wanna see if it works? Swap places.'

Reluctantly, with his best pout, Spike withdrew the small stick and used it anyway to light a cigarette. He sat back on Angel's legs, watching him, amused.

Angel returned the mutual staring, and they enjoyed a pause in the game. 'Wish I had some manacles. Then I'd just do it, and there'd be nothing you could do 'bout it.'

'Okay. That's ruled out me ever wearing them again.'

'Nah. You can't resist it. You'll forget; I'll put them on you, and then you're mine.' To punctuate this last word, Spike pressed the glowing tip of his cigarette into Angel's belly button.

Angel rose off the bed once more, and that expression was even more satisfying that the last one.

He glared at Spike, inspecting the tiny burn. 'Fuck you!'

'Not yet. I'm enjoying myself too much. Hey, wonder if this'll fit….'

'No! No inserting cigarettes anywhere!'

'You could try and smoke it- ya know… with yer bum.'

To give him his due, Angel looked genuinely appalled at that suggestion.

Spike shrugged. 'Saw someone doing that the other day.'

'Let me guess- at some club with Sam?'

'Yeah. Only it was cigars. Easier to… grip.'

'Stop it! Jesus, Spike. What's got into you tonight?'

'You. You're… everything to me, Angel: human, demon. I can have it all. I do have it all. This is as good as it's ever going to get, and it will stay like this forever. How many people can say that?'

Angel lay back down. 'None, I guess.' He stretched up and cupped Spike's cheek. 'Everything? Demon, human?'


'Okay.' He heaved Spike off him and pinned him down. 'Then I'm doing human tonight, Spike. I wanna see bright stars again.'

Plucking the cigarette out of Spike's hand, he lifted the T-shirt and pulled it off Spike's head. Slowly, he eased tight jeans off long, slim thighs and pulled them off.

Naked, they lay together in the very centre of the bed and began to kiss.

It was very human. They both sensed it. They felt almost vulnerable: being in a strange hotel room, a city that was now so strange to both of them. Their bodies began to entwine as urgently as their tongues; legs twisting over legs; arms, holding and pinning writhing torsos; fingers so closely enmeshed that only rings identified them.

Spike's entry into Angel was so subtle, so part of the rest of this joining, that he didn't realise he was in until he wondered why he couldn't crawl up Angel's body. With a gasp of pleasure at finding himself in his favourite place, he bent Angel's legs right back, leaning on his thighs to keep them flat to the bed. Angel huffed at the undignified position, but it turned into a catch of pleasure as Spike stroked veined hardness through his tight channel.

It felt so good to both of them, so much pleasure to be taken and had. Spike closed his eyes for a moment and found a rhythm he knew he could keep up for hours. Angel arched and bowed beneath him, played like a finely tuned instrument, and then, with only a small hesitation, he lifted his feet and tucked them under the rail of the bed. It was the first time he'd ever done it. His backside was totally flattened to Spike's thrusting. Spike fell forward slightly and embedded another few inches further into Angel's body. They both hissed with pleasure, and Spike knelt up higher, digging his fingers into the firm flesh of Angel's spread body.

He dipped his head with pleasure as he sped up, heard panting and smiled, knowing it was his. Angel was working himself, squeezing his cock leisurely through his fist: pinching up his foreskin and releasing it, stroking over his cockhead to tease himself. Spike groaned, watching and had to reign himself in slightly not to come at the sight.

He slowed everything down, pulling out from the tight depths of Angel's channel and keeping his cockhead inside the muscles at the edge. With a tiny movement, he just teased there, pulling out enough to expose the mushroom-tipped head, then pushing it back in out of sight.

Angel smiled and copied him, making his cockhead peek from his fist, easing the foreskin back so its purple bloom flushed slick in the low light.

Spike leant over him, and they kissed for a while, smiling against familiar lips, kissing where they knew it was enjoyed, touching tongues just as they liked. When he knew he'd subdued the need to come, Spike sat back up and pushed in again hard.

Angel groaned, and the dance began again.

Spike braced his hands on Angel's hipbones, thrusting, raising and lowering his whole body. He grunted with pleasure every time his cock thumped in. His balls swung hard against Angel's flat, spread backside, and he began to delay the moment of pulling out, grinding around when he was deeply embedded. Angel's fist became more urgent; so much precum leaked out that his belly became slick with it, and he used his other hand to rub it around: across his nipples, down to his belly button.

Angel knew exactly when Spike was about to cum. He saw the blond head flung back. He felt the whole body tense against him then shudder- the shudder he knew so well. Then he was filled. Spike jerked against him, his eyes wide with release, low animalistic grunting filling the room, and Angel let his flood loose. A spurt of cum shot out of his slit and arched gracefully, falling with a splatter to his belly. His prostate quivered to the release being let go inside him and another wave of intense pleasure shot up through his cock, pulsing it with cum that jetted out just as forcibly as the first load.

Spike finished and sat back on his heels, panting deeply, his head hung down as if too overcome to make the physical effort to lift it.

Angel groaned and released his body from its unnatural position. He lowered his legs either side of Spike and pulled him down onto him, hugging him tightly. With a twitch, he covered them both with the blanket and then folded his arms tightly around Spike's back.

For the first time, they heard the traffic noise from the street below. Faint sounds of someone's TV reached them from another room. They hugged closer, well aware just how good it was between them now and just how rare that really was.

Angel fell into a deep sleep, and when he woke, Spike was gone. He turned without the slightest concern, patting the bed until he discovered the note he knew would have been left for him.

He found one and squinted at it. 'Gone shopping. Me.'

He folded it into his hand and went back into a pleasant place somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, wondering what Spike was going to buy for him.

When Spike got back with a number of parcels, Angel was in the shower, so with a shrug, he stripped off his own clothes and joined him.

Angel snagged him close and began to wash him, rubbing shampoo into his hair. 'What did you get me?'

Spike frowned. 'You?'

Angel tried to suppress a pout.

Spike grinned and poked him. 'God, you are SO easy to tease. I got you something; don't worry. It's for later though.'


'Cus. Now, come see what I got Wesley.'

It was a startling moment. They let it hang between them, savouring it; then Angel grinned and climbed out to go and inspect presents.

The flight was… different. Everything seemed different. They'd never really travelled together, and they suddenly realised what they'd missed by doing it alone. The waits didn't seem long; the flight wasn't tedious; the inevitable delays didn't even annoy them. They talked; they read together; they watched the movie, and they slept- they passed for human, and in their hearts, another small bond was formed that would not be broken.

This proved to be fortuitous when they landed, for when they were waiting idly for their bags, there was a sudden commotion. They heard a child screaming, and as one, they turned, alert to danger, wanting desperately to help.

The child was staring straight at Spike, and when he saw the vampire look at him, he collapsed back against the man holding him, unable to look again. The frantic, fearful screaming continued, however, and everyone hung uselessly around, wanting to help, but being utterly unable to offer anything. The man looked around helplessly and, as Angel was closest, said despairingly, 'I'm sorry. He lost his mother a few months ago- saw her murdered. It's just a flashback. His therapist said- ya know?'

Angel couldn't look at Spike but did anyway. Spike had returned to a paleness he'd not seen in him since he'd first risen from the earth.

He backed away and went swiftly out of the concourse. Angel tipped his head back and wanted to kill something.

He followed Spike out and found him leaning on the wall, lighting a cigarette.

He hung uselessly at his side, wanting to say everything, unable to think of a single thing that would help.

Suddenly, Spike put a hand out. Angel hesitated, but took it, standing close, just holding the cold hand.

Spike looked at him and immediately frowned and squeezed his hand tight. 'I'm okay, Pet. Little lad, ain't. But there's nothing I can do about that. As much as I want to…. If I could change things, I would.'

Angel let out a breath he didn't even know he was holding and stood a little closer. 'That's never happened to me. I'm so sorry.'

'Can we get their names maybe? I know money's kinda an insult now, but… I could- yeah?'

Angel nodded and went back into the airport. When he came out, he nodded at Spike. 'We'll get Sam to arrange something for him.' He hesitated then said softly, 'Do you remember him?'

Spike looked down and dropped his cigarette, grinding it out viciously. 'Oh, yeah. I made him watch. It took hours. He learnt a few things, I'm thinking.'

'Oh, fucking hell.'


Spike rubbed his hands tiredly over his face and sighed. 'Welcome back to the real world, Spike.'

Angel caught at his wrist. 'Let's go home, yeah?'

Spike pushed off the wall and followed him to the cab line.

Angel waited until they were underway then turned and asked softly, 'You okay?'

Spike was staring out of the window, and he turned. 'I am. Strangely. I am. It's like I've….'

'Forgiven yourself?'

'No! Not that at all. I've come to terms with what I was: without conscience, without any rules, without control- without you. I think I feel sorry for the demon that I was now. And I can't pity and hate at the same time. He's beneath contempt, but I'm not.' He smiled softly. 'Sorry.'

Angel looked at him astonished. 'To me? What for?'

'For making you think it was all going to be lost again. I meant it Angel- nothing is going to separate us now. If I think something, I talk about it, remember?'

Angel felt once more rough bark of a fallen tree against his back and the feel of dry leaves scrunching. He nodded. 'Yes. I do. Reaching out- the human inside you for the man inside me.' He pulled Spike against him, and they travelled the rest of the way back home, tightly embraced.

They were both weary and strung out when they arrived. Angel paid the driver, and they made their way through the basement and up to the offices. They were deserted, dark, and they were both glad. Spike's office, however, had a low light on, and with a glance at Angel, he went in and found a note propped up on the desk in Sam's writing: Good luck, if he tries to kill you (again) you've got a permanent invite. Love.

Spike suddenly glanced up and groaned- he'd forgotten. He'd actually forgotten. The whole reason for the delay in England….

Angel was heading toward the elevator, and Spike skidded up to join him.

As they went up, he suddenly leant over and pushed the stop button. Angel moaned faintly. 'I'm kinda tired, Baby- another time, maybe?'

'No. I want to… I made some changes, Angel. To our place.'



'Well, good, it's about time we had some of your things around the place.'

Spike winced. 'It's a bit more… oh, fuck it.' He pushed the button one more time and let events unfold as they would.

They stepped out into a world of muted, coloured light. Spike silently blessed Sam and watched Angel's face as he looked around.

The uncomfortable couch they'd never used was gone, and the well was filled and totally dominated by a vast table. With a look of wonder, Angel went closer. He had an immediate thought that he might get to find out if it felt cold to lie on after all. He ran his hands over something he'd not thought to see again out of the museum. It was so perfect he wanted to cry but chuckled instead. As if to offset the purity of the religious obsession with wood, Spike had teamed this table with eight rich, brocade covered chairs in the deepest blood red, the colour given depth by soft amber lighting shining up from recessed lights in the floor. Angel looked at him and knew exactly what this alteration was designed to say: that they were men who now had friends they might want to invite for dinner. It opened up their lives to a new scrutiny, and he knew that that they wouldn't fail.

The most incongruous element of the change was a computer on one end of the table. Angel frowned at first, thinking it almost blasphemous to put something like that on such a piece, but then he got it- got what Spike wanted to say: that life moves on and that the journey was good. That it was a wireless computer with a state-of-the-art flat screen and no visible connection to anything remotely resembling electricity only added to the sense of old and new meeting and blending harmoniously.

When he saw Angel looking in wonder to the cordless mouse and keyboard, Spike let his shoulders sink with relief. He joined Angel in the well and then turned him around so he could begin to see the real changes.

Angel's jaw dropped as he saw the second shaft next to the elevator. He strode back and stared in total silence down the spiral stairway. He felt Spike at his side. 'We were trapped, Angel. When the lecky went, remember? It goes down to the basement. We can come and go as we please now- not through the offices all the time.'

'Okay. Wow. How? No, wow.'

'It was always there, Angel- the parallel shaft. Didn't you feel the elevator swaying…?'

Angel grinned at that memory and pulled him close. 'Now I get the delays in England. I KNEW there was something. I thought you'd lost my dog. This is great!'

'Good. Now come and see the real reason we had to stay so long.' Spike took his hand and pulled him through the apartment to his room.

He opened the door and saw as much shock in Angel's face as had been in his the first time he'd seen what Angel had created for him.

Angel didn't know where to look first. The plasma screen was gone, and in its place, a huge fireplace had been built. A fire roared in the grate, sending flickering soft light over the now blood-red walls. Most of the impact of this colour had been taken away, however, by the floor to ceiling book shelves. Spike's couch was still there, but a couple of armchairs had been added and a rug over the wooden floor in front of the fire. Angel's eyes flicked from left to right as he tried to process the changes. In the far corner was another spiral staircase, this one leading up to a hatch in the roof. The most startling change, however - and not for physical reasons - was the bed: it was gone. The whole raised area had been lowered back to the level of the rest of the floor, and the window had been turned into floor length patio doors that led out to the tiny balcony. Ivory, floor length voile curtains billowed softly as the crisp night air came in through the open doors.

Just as the addition of the bed had made Spike reassess Angel's love for him, this removal now made Angel understand Spike's new commitment to him for the first time.

Spike pulled his arm and led him over to the couch. They sat together in front of the fire, and Angel took another look around. Spike smiled at his expression. 'This is the living room, Angel. It's where we live- together. I don't ever need or want to be separate from you. I've taken my new life, and I've made something of it.'

Angel nodded, knowing he couldn't form a coherent sentence.

After a few moments, he rose and went to the fridge, waving a blood bag at Spike. 'Are we still demons enough to drink some blood?'

Spike shrugged carefully. 'Dunno. You've not seen your room yet.'

Angel's face fell. His eyes flicked to the other side of the apartment, and trying not to run, he went toward his sanctuary. Most obvious was the lack of books or shelves, but he'd seen where they'd been taken, so his eyes went to the next biggest change: his weapons' cabinet. It was gone- as was the secret compartment behind for his more interesting toys. He realised with wonder that they didn't need these things now, as every weapon and instrument of torture he possessed had been hung on the walls. The rest of the room was stripped totally bare and the wood polished until it shone. It was a twenty-first century dungeon in LA. He felt Spike nudge his arm. 'We're still demons, Angel. It's why we've been chosen for these missions: we're stronger, faster, better than all the rest of the evil out there, and we have to stay that way. Alert, honed, strong. In here, every day- we train each other. We stay alive that way- for each other. So… yeah. I'm demon enough to want some bloody blood! Let's go feed? Please?'

Angel put his arm over Spike's shoulder once more, and laughing together, they went back into the main room to fetch their food.

Suddenly, the elevator began to hum. Angel looked at Spike and removed his arm. 'Expecting anyone?'

Spike looked mystified. 'Hardly. It must be four in the bloody morning.'

The elevator came to a halt. Angel tensed. The doors slid open, and Droichead was sitting on his own, staring at them, seemingly equally mystified.

Spike chuckled and murmured, 'Sam.'

Angel looked annoyed and went to fetch the puppy. 'Dumb stunt.'

Spike went to his room and out onto the balcony to watch Sam emerge. He waited for some minutes, until with a shrug, he assumed he'd stayed downstairs for some reason and went back to join Angel.

Angel was playing with the puppy on the bed, but he stopped when Spike reappeared and attempted to look more like a vampire- this effort considerably aided by Spike handing him some blood.

They took it back to the fire.

Angel stared intently into the flames as he drank his blood. Spike glanced over at him, then patted his leg and said shyly, 'Do you like it?'

Angel looked around at the room - at the puppy now asleep at their feet on the rug, at the flames - tipped his head onto Spike's shoulder and sighed, ''S okay.'

Spike laughed out loud, also hearing the truth behind that small dismissal.

The End of Episode 5

Feedback always very welcome: jenny

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