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The Darkling Plain - Episode
Angel sat on the stool and just watched Spike in the kitchen. He was too exhausted and confused to do much else. Now that Spike had recovered from the initial shock of having him back, Angel had time to allow his own feelings. Human- he could hardly process it.
He wanted to strip and examine his body, to see if it had changed. He wanted to run out into sunshine, stare at himself in a mirror, watch his own blood drip slowly from a wound, but he could do none of these things just yet. He was having enough trouble feeling his heart, feeling warm, feeling his stomach rumble, feeling the pain in his head and in his body.
'I need to call Sam- tell him I'm okay.'
Angel jerked, just catching the edge of the counter. He'd almost fallen asleep sitting in the kitchen.
He listened to the low murmurs, tried to catch the conversation, but was too tired to concentrate.
Eventually, too drained to wait for the food, he went and lay back down on the bed. When he'd finished reassuring his friend, Spike came over and crawled on too, then sat cross-legged alongside Angel. He held up a small knife, studied it thoughtfully for a moment, and then began to pare an apple, slowly, delicately, until the skin hung in one long coil between them. He sliced off a piece of the crisp fruit and fed it to Angel, watching with fascination as Angel's tongue came out to receive it, as his teeth crunched it, and as he swallowed slowly. Then he produced a piece of cheese, and they repeated the exercise, smiling that it was giving them both so much pleasure. A bottle of chilled white wine was shared between them, but then Angel pouted and said softly, 'When I was human before - for that one day - there was a lot of… sugar?'
Spike chuckled. 'I'm thinking I'm not the best person to take you on a tour of America's culinary delights. I never ate all that much when I was human. We'll go shopping tomorrow. Show me what you'd like.'
If he expected Angel to pick up on the cue to something more fun than food, as he would have done before, Spike was amused to see that, instead, Angel's eyes were slowly closing. He pushed the remains of the meal onto the floor and covered him with a blanket. 'You've had a hard night, Pet. Sleep now, yeah?'
Angel was already asleep. Spike propped his chin on his hand and studied the sleeping face avidly. Angel was breathing deeply, and Spike uncovered his chest so he could watch the smooth skin rise and fall. Eventually, very carefully, he eased down alongside the sleeping figure and laid his head over Angel's heart. When he closed his eyes, he could picture the ventricles opening and closing, the red heat pumping through in its steady thump, thump. With a small smile of intense pleasure, he realised that blood still joined them; it was only that now Angel had it, and he, still a vampire, would always want it. Small differences, compared to the incredible, almost unbelievable fact that Angel was back.
He found it hard to put himself back into the dark place he'd been in only a few days before. He could remember the despair, remember the overwhelming grief and fear, but not actually feel it. What had been torn away by Angel's death was restored; so, the memory of loss was there, but not the pain. Thump, thump… he closed his eyes again and returned to a time when that was all he could hear, joined as he had been by a cord to a body that sustained him with its own blood, shared it with him- that most potent of all blood gifts. Once more, he felt a bond with Angel: he'd been human once; he'd been born, nurtured, and had died. He had these memories, and they would bind him to Angel now.
As he drifted off to sleep on the warm pillow, he had a small, disturbing thought that he was defending the side of an argument that no one had yet made, but he let the thought drift harmlessly away on the steady rhythm of Angel's heartbeat.
When Spike woke, it seemed incredible to him that he had slept at all - that he had missed even that short slice of Angel's life - but he remembered that he had not slept for over ten days, and allowed himself this small mistake.
When he realised Angel was not in the bed with him, he felt a jolt of fear so sudden and so unexpected that he made a soft sound of distress. Before he could begin to tell himself that Angel's return was just a dream to torture him, he saw the remains of the picnic and sensed the warmth of Angel's body still lingering in the sheets. He rose and went into the bathroom.
Angel looked up from where he was sitting and tried to decide if he was embarrassed. He felt he ought to be, but wasn't, and this amused him somewhat. Tired, still overwhelmed and confused, the terrible place he'd been in still pulling him back into its fearful grip if he stopped concentrating for a moment, it didn't seem important that Spike was now watching him in the bathroom.
He smiled and nodded at the hesitant, pale figure in the doorway. 'The last time I had to do this, we didn't have indoor plumbing. Remind me to thank Sam.'
Spike looked puzzled. 'I thought this was your second go round at being human. Thought you had a day with… her.'
Angel glanced away, and even in the low lighting, Spike could see that he was blushing furiously. It intrigued him. He was cut off from sensing what Angel was thinking, but he now had new, visual cues to study and to learn to interpret.
Angel bit a nail for a moment, and then said in a low voice, 'I was too embarrassed to go while she was there. I kinda… held it all in, ya know?'
Spike began to chuckle, and Angel leant back, studying him in return.
Feeling the scrutiny, not at all sure what Angel was thinking, Spike flicked up an eyebrow and turned on one of the showerheads. 'Seein' as I'm in here….'
He turned slowly under the cascading water, stretching his arms up to run his fingers through his hair, lifting each leg in turn to wash his feet, bending low to run soaped hands up his lean legs.
Angel watched the provocative display, and when he was ready, rose and joined Spike under the water. He winced at the temperature and, with a small, apologetic smile, turned it down a little, but then removed the soap from Spike and began to wash his own body. It was too new, felt too sensitive to the touch for him to be as blatant and provocative as Spike. What he lacked in eroticism, however, he made up for in sensuality. Spike could not believe the expression on Angel's face as the water touched his skin. He watched with avid fascination as Angel trailed fingers down the inside of his arms, brushed over his belly, circled his nipples.
Spike leant back against the wall, the water in his eyes, his hair flattened, the loud sound muffling his speech, and said flatly, 'I thought I had it all before, Angel: demon and human lover- all in one incredible package. But, like this, you are… beyond beautiful.'
Angel put his hand to Spike's chest, as if feeling the contrast between them.
Spike looked down to where the soft, warm flesh touched him, and said with a catch in his voice, 'Are we going to survive this?'
Angel looked up, and his expression had never more perfectly matched his name. He took hold of Spike's hand and pulled him out of the water. 'What do you say we go and explore some of this apparent incompatibility?'
He led Spike to the bed, brooking no refusal, allowing no fear.
They climbed on, wet, kneeling up, slicking back each other's hair with hesitant fingers. As Spike's fingers ran out of the dark locks, he held on and tugged a little, tipping Angel's head back, opening his mouth.
He entered the warm, welcoming mouth, his tongue the first thing to unite their profoundly differing flesh once more. Angel moaned softly and caught Spike around the back of his neck, opening his mouth wider, taking more of Spike in. He clashed his tongue against Spike's, wanting to taste him with his reawakened taste buds. Spike's lips were warm from the water, and Angel tried to keep them that way, grinding his against them, the friction making their bodies hot in other places.
He could feel the cool, leaking tip of Spike's cock pressing into his belly. His own erection lay heavy and hot against his thigh. Spike's hand slid down from the hairline to the small of Angel's back, pulling them closer.
Angel did the same, and then one hand dipped lower: to Spike's cheeks. He slipped a finger down the smooth crevice and up again, stopping just short of the place they both wanted him to explore some more. Smiling into the kiss, he lay Spike down and rose above him. 'Turn over.'
Spike turned into the warm place Angel had slept in and bent up one leg, stretching out his hands on a mattress that had been so desperately empty for the last two weeks.
Angel began at the top of Spike's spine, trailing his hot tongue all the way down the prominent discs until just before the enticing valley began, and then he put one hand on each cheek and parted them.
Spike moaned and lifted his hips slightly as the cool air touched the sensitive skin around his hole.
With a sigh of pleasure, Angel lay down between Spike's legs and played his tongue over the opening. Spike lifted his head and cried out softly. Encouraged, Angel put his whole mouth over the hole and breathed hotly into the cool flesh. He lifted his face and blew over the wet skin, then put his lips back and nibbled with his blunt, human teeth into the puckering.
Just before Spike could lift his hips with delight once more, Angel inserted his finger, pushing it in deep, embedding it until his knuckles ground against the rim.
Spike arched like a too tight bow and let out a high-pitched cry of need. Angel twisted his hand around so he could bend and stroke his finger over Spike's prostate. He played deep inside Spike until his wrist ached, then withdrew slowly and regarded the waiting hole.
Closing his eyes for a moment, praying that he'd be hard enough, he introduced his new, human penis to the body it still craved more than air.
Spike's hand shot back to rest on Angel's hip, urging him deeper, and he began to pant. It was only hearing Spike's sharp breath that made Angel realise he was breathing deeply, too, his panting loud and ragged in the otherwise silent apartment. He liked the sound of their joined breath and paused for a moment to listen while the smooth crown of his cock rested against Spike.
He looked down and hissed at the sight of his purple-red erection horizontal to Spike's spread paleness. His penis was suffused with blood, pulsing with it, as if it were skinned and the blood lay on the surface. Thick veins, almost black with blood, stood out on the slick surface and felt hot to the touch when he ran the tip of his finger over them.
At Spike's soft plea, Angel came back from a place where he'd been immersed in flesh and blood. He nodded and made a soft sound of apology, and then pushed in hard, knowing he could never hurt the invulnerable flesh that now held him in its tight grip.
With a low growl, Spike rose to his hands and knees.
Angel cried out as he slid another few inches further up into Spike's rectum, and then there was no time to look or think or remember what they had been, or to wonder at what they had become.
Angel felt his orgasm cresting almost immediately- Spike was so tight, so slick, so rewarding to pound into. He tried to ease back, slow the pace to make it last, but he couldn't. He didn't have that level of control now, and his orgasm overwhelmed him.
It wasn't as strong as he'd had before; his ejaculation wasn't as copious; nevertheless, it rocked his whole body, hot and hard. As he felt his fluid fill Spike, he had the almost incomprehensible realisation that it was alive. He was pumping the essence of life out of his body. He was alive, and now he had the power to make life within him.
In that one moment, his whole definition of being alive changed, and for the first time since he'd been brought back, he actually understood that he was now a human man.
He fell away from the cooling body and tried to catch his breath. His heart was pumping so fast he was afraid it would burst through his chest, and he laid his hand over it wonderingly.
Blood pounded in his ears; he could feel the veins in his neck pumping blood. His head swam slightly with all these sensations, but then he felt… drugged. It was as if someone had tranquillised him. All he wanted to do was sleep; his body craved sleep; his mind shut down as if demanding sleep.
He slept, his mouth open slightly, breathing noisily.
Spike turned around and studied the sleeping figure. He sat back on his heels and felt Angel's fluid drain out of him. He glanced down at his own painful erection, puzzled, as if it betrayed them both somehow. He felt guilty that thoughts he didn't want were pressing into his mind, so he killed them dead, stabbing at them angrily before he could actually think them and have them ruin this moment.
Suddenly, Angel jerked awake again. Spike ran a nervous hand through his hair and smiled.
Eyes wide, Angel caught him hard around the back of the neck and pulled him down to lie on his chest. 'Listen.'
Spike didn't need to. He'd heard the almost scary thump, thump of Angel's post-orgasmic heart from where he'd sat. Up close, it was like being alive himself: the vicarious beating stirring something deep in his own, dead body.
Spike felt tears prick his eyes at the sense that something was missing and was furious at this betrayal. Suddenly, Angel stretched his neck back tight and whispered, 'Your turn.'
Spike rocked back on his heels and hissed, 'No!'
Angry, Angel pulled him back. 'Don't deny me this.'
'I- Jesus, Angel, you know what this will be like for me. I might not be able to… stop….'
Angel chuckled. 'Are you afraid?'
'Come here, Baby.' Angel stroked the back of Spike's neck, pressing him in harder and murmured, 'Please. You've not had any pleasure yet. Don't make me feel a failure.'
Spike frowned. 'Angel- I….'
Angel watched, fascinated, aroused, as Spike changed. Demonic eyes studied his reaction for a moment, and when they were satisfied, Spike fell to Angel's neck.
It didn't even hurt. Angel felt a tiny pressure and then a sense of pleasure as some of the pounding in his heart lessened. His whole body sank back into a state of sleepy, warm enjoyment.
Spike swallowed his first mouthful and felt as if he were drinking the blood of Christ. The most important thing in his life, the thing he loved the most, could now feed him and keep him alive. Once more, he felt some powerful bond with Angel, confusing and merging memories of feeding from another human he had loved with this one. This one, however, he would not grow out of. This one would sustain him forever.
Angel roused from his state of sublime pleasure when something cold and thick spewed across his chest. With a cry of delight, he ran his hands through Spike's sperm, feeling the last few shots of the spontaneous ejaculation hitting his wrist.
With a low, sensual moan, Spike pulled his mouth off Angel's neck.
They lay side by side on their backs, staring up at the darkness above them.
Suddenly, totally unexpected by both of them, Angel began to laugh. There was a small, hysterical edge to the sound; nevertheless, it was a genuine, rare, heart-felt expression of emotion. Spike turned his head, amused, and studied the dark profile. He turned and draped his arm over Angel's still wet chest. 'What?'
Angel pressed his fingers lightly to his eyes and said in a ragged voice, 'I'm happy, Spike. I'm… pure? Is that the right word? It's like that time when Lilah gave me a premonition of what would happen if I didn't turn her- I have no demon inside me.'
Spike chuckled, a low, evil sound. 'We can remedy that fairly easily, Pet. Turn over.'
Angel slapped him gently, and Spike hugged him closer. 'You should laugh more, Luv. It suits you.'
Angel sighed and stroked his fingers through Spike's hair. 'I think I will. No demon, Spike.'
'Where is he?'
Angel craned his neck and peered down. 'You want him back?'
'No! No, of course not. But…. Okay, just ignore me. I'm kinda strung out, yeah?'
'Sleep. I have so much to do tomorrow.'
Spike didn't reply, and Angel assumed he'd fallen asleep. He put his hand down to the floor, felt something warm emerging from under the bed and swept it up into the bed with them.
The puppy settled with a sigh of pleasure, which Angel felt mirrored his own feelings pretty well.
Angel woke with a jerk. He lay in the warm space he'd made, totally relaxed. Then he frowned and ran his mind over his body. Something was wrong, but he couldn't identify the feeling. Suddenly, he sat up, dislodged the dog, and climbed awkwardly over Spike. Sleepily, Spike tried to catch him, but Angel fought him off with an urgent, 'I've gotta pee!'
Spike grunted and sat up. He smirked. 'Want some help?'
Angel swore loudly and disappeared from sight.
Spike stretched and padded naked to the fridge. He eyed the blood bags with distaste, remembering the best food he'd ever tasted as it had slid down his throat the previous night. He glanced down at his heavy, weeping erection, and with a grin, went back to the bed, took the dog into the living room, and then stretched with an anticipatory sigh on the warm sheets.
When Angel came out of the bathroom, he had already showered. Spike frowned. 'Thought we were gonna play human-gets-a-demon-inside-him….'
Angel rubbed his hair with a towel. 'Oh… I kinda wanted to go down and see…. I mean… I'm not really….' He looked down, and Spike followed his gaze. With a sigh, he got back out of the bed and patted Angel affectionately on the backside.
'Go eat some breakfast, Luv. You look pale.'
Angel nodded, then caught Spike's arm and looked deeply into his eyes. 'You aren't… disappointed?'
Spike gave him his stupid-prat look and kissed him, embracing him tightly. 'You're back, Angel. You're back.'
He turned and went toward the bathroom. Just before he disappeared from sight, he said cheekily, 'Seein' as you're making something… I'm kinda peckish too….'
They sat together, eating lazily, studying the other's expressions, the way forks were held, how food was chewed and swallowed, and knew that from an outsider's perspective, there would appear very little difference between them.
Finally, Spike grinned slyly and said softly, 'You can't put off the… going down… any longer, Pet. They'll all be there- wanting to see you. Everyone was kinda… sad.'
Angel pouted and toyed with some bacon on his plate. 'Yeah. Guess.'
Angel didn't look up, so Spike slid his foot over and kicked him very softly. 'Don't worry. You look exactly the same.'
'I don't feel the same. Everything seems… bigger. It's not… fair. It's supposed to get smaller as you get older.'
'Just as well you've got me then, isn't it?'
Angel smiled, still looking thoughtfully at his plate. 'My vampire protector?'
Spike laughed. 'Why not?'
Angel nodded and rose. 'Let's do it.' He located the dog and carried him held lightly under the belly toward the elevator, the blue cast sticking theatrically out to one side. He sighed and threw a sideward glance at Spike. 'I'm so scary now: human and his injured puppy.'
'Angel, believe me, that dog is scary.'
'But I'm not?'
'Do you want to be?'
'No! Of course not. But….' As the doors closed on them, he turned fully and said in a low voice, 'Who am I? Am I Liam? How can I be Liam when I have Angel's memories?'
'Stop it, Pet. You're Angel.'
'No. I can't be him either- Angel was the souled face of Angelus. I have no demon whatsoever, Spike. Totally human here.'
'You have demonic memories. That's gotta be good, yeah?'
Angel suddenly chuckled. 'What would I do without you and that warped logic of yours?'
Spike grinned. 'Dunno. And we're not gonna find out. Now, ANGEL, get your arse in gear, and go run Angel Investigations.'
The doors slid open, and they stepped out.
to chapter 2
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