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The Darkling Plain
Spike had a feeling that Amanda would not be in the best of moods that night. He could hear the clearing of the table and the angry clatter of washing up from where he was.
He had no idea what they had done, or why.
All he could focus on was the feel of Angel's body against his. Now, he felt as if he was half a person, as if all this was not real and Angel was the only reality left.
With a grimace, he went into his daughter's room and stood leaning on the rail of the cot, looking at her. She was deeply asleep with her tiny fist curled tightly and her breathing soft and even. His heartbeat returned; his skin warmed up, and he felt a secure sense of peace envelop him.
She was his anchor; she was real.
When Amanda finally came up, Spike was in bed, lying on his belly in just his boxer shorts, with his book on the floor, reading.
She eyed him and pointedly went about her night time routine in silence. He turned and watched her. She slid in alongside him and turned out the light. He slid closer and embraced her lightly, 'I'm so sorry.'
'I know. And I'm sorry. Isn't it what husbands are supposed to do? And then buy incredibly expensive presents…? And be all….' He kissed up her arm. 'Apologetic?'
She capitulated gracefully and turned to him. 'I know, Sweetheart, we've both been so tired.'
Spike nodded, hardly hearing. He continued to kiss over her body, working his way down to her breast. He eased his hand up her nightdress, stroking her thigh, and then took her nipple in his mouth. 'OW!' She sat up and pushed him off. 'You know how sore she makes me!'
Spike gritted his teeth. 'Please. I'll be… gentle.'
She pulled her arm away. 'No. It's too soon.'
'It's always fucking too soon!' He flung back the covers and stomped downstairs.
Angel was leaning by the dying fire, kicking morosely with his bare feet at the small pile of wood. He was only wearing a pair of pyjama bottoms.
He turned sharply at Spike's entry. He saw the tenting under Spike's shorts. Spike saw the bulge in the front of the soft cotton pants. He tried to turn away. His arm was seized. He felt a hand on his swelling and looked down, hissing.
Sam cried out as the blade cut his skin, but he didn't hesitate to press his wrist to Spike's mouth.
Wesley came out of the bathroom, deeply flushed, and knelt to Angel's head. He ran his fingers over Angel's lips.
Droc climbed onto the bed and, snarling for a moment at the thing the humans tried not to look at, began to lick Spike's ear.
Angel didn't know what to do with his hand now. He could feel Spike's damp hardness pressing into his palm. He didn't know why he'd put his hand there. He didn't know why he now slipped it into the opening, seeking a solid root jutting out of soft hair. He folded Spike back against him, hugging him close with his other arm. 'She wouldn't let me fuck in case you two heard.'
Spike moaned and held Angel's wrist where it disappeared into the fly of his boxers. 'We've not done it since the baby.'
'What do you want me to do?'
'Wake me up.'
Angel slid his hand up Spike's length. Automatically, they moved back into a darker corner of the room. They were so uncertain, so needy, so not knowing where to touch or what they were doing. Angel pressed his lips clumsily to Spike's and fumbled with his hand in the dampening shorts. Spike moaned, then made a small, distressed cry when the lips were withdrawn. The cry soon turned to hissed understanding when Angel fell to his knees in front of him. Inexpertly, he pressed his face to the swelling and breathed deeply. Spike tipped his head back and leant on the wall, running his hands though the strangely familiar short hair. When his cock was brought out into the air, he felt as if he could smell sperm already. Angel murmured something unintelligible, and then Spike felt a warm tongue on him.
Once more, the solidity of the cabin slipped away. He couldn't feel the wall against his back, couldn't hear the last crackles of the fire. He could hear voices though- familiar in some way he couldn't remember. Something was in his mouth that made tears come to his eyes with pleasure: warm, life giving.
Then there was another voice: female- calling Angel. His hands flew to Angel's head to hold him on.
Angel became frantic on him as if Spike's sperm could save them both.
The stairs creaked.
The female voice got more strident.
Angel pulled off and flung to the other side of the room, his head hung down, his shoulders shaking slightly.
Susan came in and went up to him, not seeing Spike, destroyed in the shadows.
'There you are….'
'I'll be up in a minute.'
'It's so cold down here.'
'A minute ago, I didn't feel the cold.'
'Oh. Well, come back to bed. It's only for a few more days, Hon- then we can fuck like bunnies if we want.'
'Give me a minute.'
She turned and saw Spike. Angel said swiftly, 'Mandy kicked him out for forgetting their anniversary.'
Susan pouted, then said, pleased, 'And you're having a man-to-man chat. That's so sweet of you, Hon.'
'A minute, and I'll come up.'
She kissed him, blew one to Spike, and then went out.
Angel looked at him from the other side of the room. 'It doesn't matter what we do; they'll just tighten the net around us. It's like they hear us.'
Spike nodded. 'There were other voices. When there was your mouth, there were other voices. Good ones.'
'But we can't make them stay.'
'No. This is too real.'
'If I do, she'll come back. She always does.'
Angel suddenly glanced at the fire and said in a low voice, 'What if they… went away? Permanently.'
Spike licked his lips nervously. 'You know we can't do that.'
Angel looked sharply at him. 'Not even so we could… be…?'
'No. Not even for that. I think killing them would only make them more real.'
Angel tipped his head on one side and returned Spike's glance. 'I could kill.'
'I have no doubt that you could, but you'd just kill any chance we'd have to be together. That's always been our paradox.'
He saw Angel's sad, confused look and joined him at the fire. Before Angel could reach out and touch him, he said sharply, 'No. I need to talk to you. If you touch me, one of the girls will come in or the baby will cry.'
Angel nodded and folded his arms tightly over his chest.
'I can't do this anymore: Amanda, the baby, me. So, I'm going to swim the lake: tonight- in the dark. You have to come with me.'
Angel looked at him, fearful. 'No! We wouldn't be able to see the other side.'
'Angel! We can't reach it anyway! Always, this will drag us back.'
Angel saw the despair in his face and touched his cheek with the tip of one finger.
Spike smiled at the touch. 'It won't take long. A few lungfuls and we'll be free.'
'They'll think it was a stunt- like today.'
'Exactly. An accident.'
'Now.' He turned and went out of the front door, half-expecting something to prevent him leaving.
He sensed Angel behind him.
He hardly felt the cold, although in his boxers it was very, very cold. He hardly felt the rough ground under his bare feet.
He felt the cold of the lake though.
It took breath away, which was so good.
It chilled his body, which was very, very good.
Together, they struck out for the opposite side, knowing they would never make it.
The moon was so bright their bodies seemed to pale as they swam side by side.
They got to the very middle, where they'd been stopped that day and paddled for a while, floating on their backs.
'Dog's back- watching us.'
Angel looked to the far shore where Spike was indicating. 'He wants to save us, but he's too little.'
'When he's grown, he will.'
'Yeah, it's his mission. It's why he's come to us.'
'But we're gonna die now….'
'Are you afraid?'
'I'm afraid of what's behind me. New journeys? No, I'm not afraid of them.'
'I can't stay afloat anymore. Something's pushing me under.'
'Hold my hand. Don't let go.'
Angel tried to find Spike's hand, but it was too cold, and the thing that crushed him wouldn't let him move his arm. He opened his eyes, saw what it was, and screamed in shocked disgust.
Spike woke up and saw it too, swearing viciously. Then there was nothing but noise: shouting, barking, and vampires trying to extricate themselves from the vast, dying maggot that seemed to be decomposing to its timescale, not theirs- rapid onset of putrefaction, which now coated the supine demons.
Already bloody and covered in other substances, their three friends became equally covered in goo. Only the puppy avoided it, keeping his distance and eyeing the proceedings with the level of disapproval only a dog can achieve.
At last, Spike flopped naked and slime-covered to the floor. Angel fell out after him like an obscene birth. The smell was too awful to cope with, and all five of them ran to the bathroom, those dressed stripping off. All the showerheads were turned on, and the five of them stood in the steam filling room, scrubbing and shampooing and rinsing as if their very lives depended on it.
Sam felt a presence at his side. His wrist was captured and examined minutely. The vampire gave him a look of such intensity that Sam had to turn away, blinking tears from his eyes.
'You fed yourself to me?'
Sam's shoulders tensed slightly, attempting a dismissive shrug. He felt strong fingers take the soap and begin to wash him, and he turned and twisted to the vampire's loving touch.
Angel went to Wesley, who was leaning tiredly on the wall, his eyes closed.
Wesley nodded, and no more needed to be said between them.
Angel was the first to leave the bathroom. He fetched towels, wrapped one around his waist, and took the others, with an assortment of his and Spike's clothes, to the couch in front of the fire. He knelt and stoked it up a little.
When the four followed him in, he indicated the clothes. 'Choose something that will fit - mine or Spike's, and then go home, yeah?'
There was something of a disappointed silence, as if bonds had been formed that he was not respecting. He heard the silence, and then added, 'Spike and I need to get rid of… that thing. The bed too, I guess. Go home, change, come back. We'll order something in.'
Wesley seemed to be the first to realise he was standing naked with four other naked men and quickly grabbed some clothes and dressed.
Jordan chuckled and copied him. Sam wasn't bothered at all and helped Spike dress first, amused at the reversal of what they usually enjoyed. Only then, when he was the last one left naked, did he sigh deeply and pull on some of Angel's clothes.
The similarity between them now was remarkable.
Holding their hands over their noses, they skittered past the bed and piled into the elevator together, glad they'd been excused clean up duty.
Spike didn't need to be told twice. He hopped neatly over the couch, and they fell in a tangle of desperate need to the floor. Angel ripped off the clothes Sam had so recently put on his childe and unzipped himself.
They stared at each other for a moment, then Angel closed his eyes and whispered, 'We made it to the other side.'
He pushed in, and Spike arched on the floor at the joining. Strong, swift strokes, expertly applied, brought them both off within a few minutes. Angel caught Spike's cum in his cupped hand and drank it.
There was no finesse to anything.
They wanted each other, and they took what they wanted.
With a sigh, Angel lay down on his belly next to Spike when they'd finished. 'We have good friends. I'm not sure what we do to deserve them.'
Spike nodded. 'There's someone else we have to thank too, I'm thinking.'
Angel nodded and frowned. 'Where is he?'
Spike smirked. 'Under the couch, watching. He likes to watch.'
'Eww….' Angel fished the puppy out and gave him a stern look. He put him on Spike's naked belly, and Spike folded his arms under his head so they could stare at him together.
'It was just part of the weirdness, yeah? What we said about him….'
'Just a scruffy mutt.'
As if to add to the just-a-dog reassurance, the puppy lifted his hind leg and began to lick his balls. Spike chuckled. 'Wish I could do that to mine.'
Angel moaned. 'I'll do it for you.' He bent his head and lifted Spike's leg.
Spike swiped at him and sat up, dropping the puppy onto the couch. 'We've got pooh-boy to shift.'
'Yeah. What d'ya reckon? Cut it up and bag it?'
'I'm thinking whole new bed.'
Angel flicked up an eyebrow. 'I've always wanted a water bed.'
Spike shivered. 'No more water, just for now?'
Angel pulled him to his feet. 'So, what do you want to order?' He re-dressed Spike, then slipped an arm over his shoulder. 'It's good to be home.'
They sat around the table, eating, talking, laughing. It was exactly what Spike had bought the table for, and it was just about perfect. The smell had almost gone. The apartment looked odd without a bed, but no one seemed to care.
The group had split naturally into two: Wesley and Angel together at one end, Spike and his friends at the other.
Angel pulled a few bits of food onto his plate, just to be sociable, and watched Wesley eating. 'I meant it. Thanks.'
Wesley nodded. 'The first thing we need to do is determine how it managed to get in. Somehow, it must have tricked you into touching its equivalent of blood, and….'
'I scraped some up to show you.'
'On the roof….'
'Unknown demon goo and you just… collected it?'
'God, Angel, you can be so very stupid sometimes.'
Angel grinned and took a sip of blood. He glanced down the table at Spike.
As always, despite what they appeared to be doing or thinking, their thoughts were on each other. Spike glanced up at exactly the same time. An intense look passed between them. It went straight to Angel's balls, making them scrunch and tighten. Spike smirked and licked his spoon provocatively. Angel took another sip of blood, peering at him over the rim of his glass.
'…pervasive and dangerous though they must have been.'
Angel turned back to Wesley with an apologetic look. 'Sorry. What?'
'The dreams, Angel. I think it picked up dreams as it went; so, each victim got the last victim's dreams. I mean, it's entirely up to you whether you wish to share what you were dreaming, and I totally understand if….'
'They were my dreams.'
Wesley paused with a fork on the way to his mouth, and then laid it down again on the plate.
'I'm sorry? I didn't quite catch….'
'My dreams.' Angel kept his gaze resting lightly on Spike and added, 'What I used to dream my reward would be like. That place, that life, that future promise of happiness.'
'Oh. I… I'm not sure what to say to that.'
Angel turned, and his slightly dreamy manner was gone. 'You need to say that Shanshu can be reversed. Cancelled. Obliterated. That's what you need to say.'
'Not thinking that would be much of a reward now.'
Wesley turned to watch the blond figure at the end of the table. 'No. I can see that.'
Angel turned back to watch Spike, too. 'This was a wake up call, Wes. I'm heading down a path I don't want to go. If the end of the path doesn't change….' He left the vague threat hanging in the air, and after a moment, Wesley pushed his plate away, seemingly having lost his appetite.
'That would be a shame, Angel. If you don't follow your path, you'll be lost. Wandering in the wilderness again.'
'Do you have a dictionary?'
Angel dragged his eyes away from Spike. 'What?'
'I thought you might like to look up the meaning of the word prophesy. You seem to have trouble understanding it.'
Wesley saw a brief flash of anger cross Angel's eyes, and whether it was at being patronised, or because he was genuinely being reminded of something he didn't want to remember, Wesley couldn't determine. Nevertheless, he pressed on. 'The foretelling of future events…. Things that will happen.'
'Nothing is certain in this life. We've proved that enough times.' His gaze went back to Spike, who was now showing Sam and Jordan what he'd brought them from England.
'Have you told Spike about Shanshu?'
Angel's eyes flicked briefly back to the human, and once more, Wesley detected anger in their brown depths. 'No. I hadn't thought about it until this. It's just not… come up.'
'And not going to?'
'You need to butt out of this, Wesley.'
'Because you and Spike and your extremely smooth relationship don't need any help from your friends?' He began to lift the edge of the rough bandage he'd put over his slashed wrist and examine the wound with deceptively casual interest.
Angel gritted his teeth but refused to be drawn. 'I want Shanshu reversed. So there's no need for him to know.'
Suddenly, Wesley pushed his chair away from the table and stood. He bent right down into Angel's face and hissed in a very low voice, 'One of these days, Angel, he'll wise up and leave you, and when you try to work out why, all you'll hear is your own bloody broody silence. Grow up, Angel.'
Wesley went angrily to the elevator, didn't want to wait for it, so jogged down the stairs to the basement.
The three at the end of the table watched this small scene without understanding its import, and Spike nudged their feet under the table.
Sam got up, pulling Jordan to his feet. 'We're going, Babe. Kinda bushed. All that wanking and coming and blood loss. Good times. J…?'
Jordan nodded, bent swiftly and kissed Spike, and they followed Wesley down.
Spike got up and began to clear plates, ignoring Angel's stony silence.
He showered, made a makeshift bed in front of the fire and lay down, sat up again, fetched a book, and then climbed back in.
Angel continued to watch him from the table. He was dying for Spike to ask him what was wrong, but the thought that this need somehow proved Wesley's parting shot kept him silent.
Eventually, with a sigh, he got up, stripped off, and joined Spike in front of the fire.
'Wesley pisses me off sometimes.'
'Told you some home truths?'
Spike laid his book down and propped his head on his elbow, looking at Angel's angry profile.
'He's not getting his present now.'
Spike hid a fond smile.
'He forgets he works for me, not the other way around.'
Spike nodded helpfully.
'As if I'm gonna take relationship advice from him. Not seeing all the people lining up to love him!'
Spike trailed his finger around Angel's soft nipple.
'Research and speaking when he's damn well spoken to would be kinda nice.'
He licked the tiny nub, nibbling it until it flushed red.
'I need to assert the boss thing more.'
He played with the other idly while he worked on the one nearest to him.
'Less Mr Nice Guy, I'm thinking. Harder….'
Spike pulled the nipple into a peak with his teeth and sensed Angel was beginning to be successfully diverted.
'If he….' Angel found it hard to speak with his tongue entwined with Spike's. He reasoned that if he had been about to take Wesley's advice and tell Spike about the prophecy, it was too late now.
He let himself be turned over.
Spike ran a finger down Angel's spine and murmured huskily, 'I'm gonna make this good, Angel. Like the humans we were in our dreams…. We can do it now….'
Suddenly, Angel flung around and reared up in vampire face. With a hiss of demonic desire, he bit savagely into Spike's neck.
Spike's head tipped back involuntarily, stretching his neck to the penetration, and when Angel came up to lick blood over his lips, Spike's eyes glowed back amber at him. With a snarl, Spike took Angel's throat just as viciously, and then they were a blur of growling and fucking and blood.
In this mood, Spike didn't even attempt to assert dominance over Angel. It was unwise, better to let his sire have his way, but he didn't let him have an easy victory. He fought hard to take Angel, only giving in when the desire to have Angel's demonic power inside him became too much to resist. Capitulating, spreading himself like a sacrifice in front of the flickering flames, Spike clenched his jaw and felt every inch of the other demon as it tore into his body.
Angel's penetration was as savage and as delicious as the bite had been, and Spike arched up, panting. Angel braced over him on strong arms, raising and lowering into the tight hole. Spike's head tipped back so far that with only a tiny stretch, Angel could reach his neck. He fastened on once more, worrying at this familiar flesh as he pounded into the body.
The tightness that had been in his balls all night finally released, and he had the orgasm he needed: hard, prolonged, and inside Spike. The pleasure was so overwhelming that he didn't even feel the blood rushing into his mouth from the bite. He just swallowed reflexively, filling his body, sustaining his erection longer.
When he was done, Angel unlocked his elbows and lowered himself to one side of Spike. Spike sank very slowly to the floor, feeling the blood loss acutely. Nails raked down his back. 'Turn over and pleasure yourself. I want to watch.'
Spike kept his smile of pleasure hidden, so when he rolled over as commanded, his face betrayed nothing but suitable subservience. He sat back on his heels, facing Angel, and took hold of an erection that was so tight and unsatisfied, it was almost painful to touch. 'Like this… Sire?'
Angel's eyes dilated, and Spike couldn't have rightly said whether this was due more to the visual or to his husky use of Angel's title.
He decided to spice the game slightly. 'Tell me what to do. Command me.'
With a hiss of pure desire, Angel said in a low voice, 'Kneel up. Let go.'
Spike did, his erection unwavering, horizontal to the ground.
'Close your eyes.'
With a tingle of fear that gave him all the spice he needed, Spike slowly did as he was commanded.
He felt a cool breath against his ear. 'Remember me entering you- penetrating you.'
Spike's head bowed a little. He heard Angel groan and knew the cause: at just the thought of Angel's cock sliding through his anus, his erection had throbbed and twitched up. 'Inch by inch- sliding into you.'
The hypnotic voice had shifted around to the other ear, and Spike sensed Angel circling him, making him his sexual prey. Once more, Angel made a faint sound of desire, and Spike felt the cause trickling cool down the underside of his shaft. Another bead of precum then leaked out and joined the first. As he pictured Angel's cock deep inside him, this trickle turned to a steady stream of desire.
'Where should I lick, Childe? A wound?' Coolness touched briefly to Spike's neck. Or… here…?' From root to tip, Angel encompassed Spike's entire erection with one long, sensuous lick.
Spike scrunched up slightly at the waist: the need to come overwhelming his desire to prolong the game.
Once more, Angel's voice was by his ear. 'Shall I decide for you?'
Angel chuckled evilly. 'Both then.' He bit into the skin at the root of Spike's cock.
Spike flung his head back and screamed as Angel sucked. With a grunt of shock, he came, spurting shots of cum, coating Angel's neck and shoulders. He dug his fingers into Angel's hair to ride the whirlwind of orgasm, pressing him on, urging him to suck harder.
The second blood loss was too great though. He greyed out, and when he came to, he was in Angel's lap, being fed from a powerful, pumping wrist wound.
He latched on greedily. He hadn't tasted Angel's blood for far too long, and he revelled in the erotic kick it gave him. Inevitably, he swelled slightly to the feeding, so Angel took the recovering erection in his fist, playing with it idly as he fed him.
As soon as he'd made Spike come again, he eased the food supply away and slid down, cradling the blond head in the crook of his arm. He dragged the blankets over them both, turned into Spike and went instantly to sleep, feeling suitably demonic, and safe, for a while, from any threat of this changing.
to chapter 5
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