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The Darkling Plain - Episode
The evening they were due to leave for the cabin, Angel was in such a state of nervous excitement that Spike took Droc out for a long walk just to get away from the obsessive packing and unpacking.
Wesley and Lilah had left the evening before, to get the place ready for them all. Gunn and the girls were going to follow on the next day, in the light. The only thing keeping Spike from picking the dog up and running away somewhere was the thought of Sam foregoing Babel for him. It was such a sacrifice that his pain seemed small in comparison.
When he got back to the apartment, he eyed the number of bags stacked by the elevator doors with horror. Angel came over and deposited another. 'Have you seen my watch?'
'Yeah. Gold Rolex. Flashy. Nice.'
'No… have you…?'
'No, Angel. I haven't. Have you packed some food for Droc?'
'Oh, no. What does he eat?'
Spike sighed and went to stack some of the dog's tins into a box. 'Guess mine's not been packed either?'
'I kinda thought you'd snack on all of us if you needed something….'
Spike whirled around, and it was evidence of just how much of a bad mood he'd worked himself into that he didn't get that Angel was joking. He just stared at him with one blood bag held limply in his hand. Angel shook his head and came over, pointing at one of the cases.
'Your blood's in there, Baby- in a cool box. I'm sorry you're not looking forward to this.'
Spike sighed and slipped his arms around Angel's waist- carefully, so he didn't hurt the still-healing ribs. 'I am. In my own way.'
Angel smiled into his hair. 'What way is that then?'
'In the… not looking forward to it way?'
'It's only a few days…. And we're all so… good together now. Wesley says the place is really big- lots of room for us all to find some space.'
Spike sighed again. 'I'll carry the bags down. You make sure this place is secured. I'm looking forward to coming home to it already.'
They left L.A. in light rain, the holiday traffic heavy. Angel drove, and Spike stared morosely out at the night. After a few minutes though, he said, amused, 'Last time we did a road trip, I didn't speak to you for seven hours.'
'Poof.' He looked into the backseat and pouted at the dog, which was stretched out upside down on a rug. 'He's got the right idea.' He tilted the seat back and closed his eyes. 'Wake me up when we get there.'
'If I pass out through pain or tiredness, try to catch the wheel before we all die.'
'Aren't you going to talk to me and keep me entertained?'
Spike was silent for a moment, but then said casually, 'How's Wesley gettin' on then? With Lilah. No one tells me anything these days.'
'They're… working on it.'
'Uh huh. And that means…?'
'Things are shitty.'
'I guess it's not easy.'
'Living with a human?'
Angel glanced over at him. 'I was going to say living with a demon.'
Spike pouted. 'Do you think they'll be able to make it work?'
'I don't know, Spike. What do you think?'
Spike ran his hands over his thighs for a moment. 'I think if they love each other enough, they will.'
Angel's shoulders relaxed fractionally, and he murmured, 'That's what I think, too.'
Spike flicked his eyes over to find Angel watching him slyly as well.
'Keep your eyes on the road.'
Angel reluctantly did as he was told. 'So, what are Sam and Jordan doing for the holidays?'
Spike raised his eyebrows and replied innocently, 'Staying with some friends, I think.'
'Want some music?'
'Not yours, no.'
It came onto a station playing Christmas medleys. Spike cursed and lunged to turn it off, but Angel grabbed his wrist. 'You said pot-luck.'
'I should have known… my bleedin' luck. Just don't sing along.'
After a while, Spike dosed off, and Angel was able to complete the journey singing happily.
When he nudged Spike, the vampire sat up with an annoyed grunt. It turned into a small gasp of wonder. 'Wow.'
Angel grinned inwardly but kept his counsel on this genuine burst of unfettered delight.
The mountains were covered in dense snow. The moon was now out, and everything was cast into a place of magical shadows and dark light. The road wound up a steep, tree-covered valley with an ice-imprisoned stream glinting darkly alongside them.
Angel kept glancing over at his companion, revelling in the look of wonder on his face. Finally, he saw a small sign up ahead and turned into a private road, following that for another mile until they rounded a bend and found the cabin.
Spike frowned. 'This is a cabin?'
Angel looked at the enormous house with equal astonishment. 'I kinda thought logs.'
Spike grinned. 'Who's complaining?'
They climbed out of the car, letting the dog jump out after them. He immediately sank up to his belly in snow, and by the time Spike dug him out, he had small ice balls clinging to his straggly fir.
They followed a makeshift path and hammered on the door.
A slightly flushed Wesley opened the door with a glass of red wine in his hand. 'You're here! Thank God! Such an awful road.'
Angel stepped into the warmth and looked around in wonder at the huge main room. He went eagerly over to the fire and rubbed his hands, nodding when Wesley offered him a drink. Suddenly, he frowned and looked around. 'Where's…? Fuck!'
He dashed back to the door and wrenched it open. 'Wesley! You're hiring this place. Invite him in!'
Spike gave them both a baleful glare and stepped in, shivering pointedly.
Angel gritted his teeth and gave him a look.
Spike shrugged and was about to prolong his moral victory a little longer when he suddenly saw the room. His head tilted back in wonder, and he ran his gaze along the gallery, which led to the bedrooms. 'Nice.'
Wesley grinned. 'Come see.'
He jogged up the stairs and showed them around. He kept the best for last, walking down a small, separate hallway and opening the door at the end of it. The bedroom was huge, the bed enormous, low, and heaped with beautiful, soft rugs and pillows. Angel went in and immediately over to open the floor-length drapes. He cried out and beckoned Spike. Spike went over to join him and began to chuckle. 'I'm cheering up, Pet.'
Outside the window was a private deck and sunk into the deck, softly illuminated, was a steaming hot tub. The deck faced the mountains with an unobstructed view of their towering, snow-clad beauty.
'This is your room, of course.'
Spike glanced at Wesley. 'Where's Lilah?'
Wesley's eyebrows rose fractionally. 'She finds it rather…. She's gone out for a walk.'
Angel glanced up at the lonely, cold mountain and shivered slightly. Spike looked in the same direction, but his gaze was wistful.
'Right. Would you like something to eat? I've put the….'
'No. Thanks, Wes, but I drove the whole way. I really just want to go to bed.'
Wesley nodded. 'Of course.'
Wesley went toward the door, and Spike began to follow him, until he felt the lightest of touches on his arm- just a pinch of his sleeve. He dipped his head, smiling, and waited until the door was shut.
The fell on each other, kissing in an agony of need that had sprung from nowhere, everywhere, the mountains, the sense of being away from the city and their problems.
Angel ripped off Spike's shirt, tearing with equal desire at his pants. He yanked them down Spike's thighs, almost knocking the slim figure off balance, and then fell to his knees, moaning, grunting with desire, as he licked and tasted the familiar coolness.
Spike tipped his head back, totally overwhelmed by Angel's sudden desire for him. It was just like the old days. It was like the old Angel, and he didn't question where this had sprung from; he just took what was on offer. He let his erection take over his senses, let it drain the blood from his brain. He centred himself on it, not caring whether Angel's hot sucking was giving his lover any pleasure- it was giving him pleasure, and he needed it.
He dug his fingers into Angel's scalp, dragged them through the soft hair, and pulled the eager mouth closer, urging his cock further down the hot throat.
Angel's hands slipped around the slim hips and cupped him, kneading his hard cheeks. One finger was eased further than the others, one finger seeking him out, as if drawn to explore soft puckering. Spike gasped as the tip of Angel's finger penetrated him. His balls hardened, and he felt his erection swell to accommodate the flood that was building. Angel felt it, too, and moaned some more, pulling his mouth up urgently, plunging it back on, pulling Spike closer, pushing him on with the exploring finger.
With a sharp cry, Spike released into the back of Angel's throat, shot after shot of thick cum.
The orgasm left him panting, light-headed. He laughed in disbelief and held Angel firmly to him, not wanting this incredible pleasure to end.
Angel withdrew his finger, and after a moment, his hand banged ineffectually on Spike's backside.
'Woops.' Spike let Angel breathe, easing his still semi-hard erection out of the warm mouth.
He sank to his knees and cupped Angel's face in his hands. When Angel had caught his breath, Spike placed a long, loving kiss on the glistening lips. He could taste his own cum, and it made him swell again, but he wanted Angel to have some pleasure now. He lowered his hands, seeking out Angel's zipper, but Angel caught his hands and stilled them, glancing over his shoulder. 'In there.'
Spike looked at the hot tub and breathed softly, 'Oh, yeah.'
They undressed slowly, watching each other, smiling at the tense eagerness between them. Angel slid open the doors and cried out as his naked human body encountered the sub-zero temperatures. Hopping in pain over the ice-caked deck, he sat on the edge of the tub, lowering his legs in.
He gasped and looked at Spike. 'Fucking hell.'
Spike raised an eyebrow. 'Wimp.' He jumped straight in.
He regretted his high-pitched scream for the rest of the holiday. He tried to struggle out of the scalding water, but Angel held him down. The struggle released more steam, and they were enveloped: pale, laughing, seemingly evenly matched figures in the darkness.
Finally acclimatised to the heat, Spike gave up the fight and relaxed back into the water, sighing in pleasure. Angel slipped the rest of the way in and eased around to sit next to him.
'I like being a rich American.'
Spike gave him a glance. 'Irish, no?'
Angel pouted. 'Not really. Born in the USA- this time.'
Spike only closed his eyes and smiled. 'I prefer Angel to Liam anyway.'
They were silent for a long time, just basking in the heat, enjoying the incredibility of being in this place.
When he felt he'd cook if he stayed in much longer, Angel said softly, 'So… is it passé to take advantage of the not breathing thing…?'
Spike cast him a sideward look. 'You want me to go under….' He glanced down into the water where the bubbling and steam had turned the tub into an opaque caldron.
Angel pouted and looked up, pleading silently through lowered lids.
Spike sighed theatrically but, with a cheeky grin, slid slowly off the seat and out of sight.
Angel tipped his head back and groaned as a now invisible mouth fastened onto his hot need.
He lifted his hips off the seat, humping into Spike's mouth, giving him easy access to the place he wanted penetrated, stroked, and played with.
Spike didn't bother with too many preliminaries; he inserted his finger and found Angel's prostate with one swift, sure thrust.
'It is very hot, isn't it? I was quite taken aback when we tried it last night.'
Angel jerked his eyes open and watched Wesley stepping out with a bottle of wine and two glasses. The human looked around, puzzled. 'Where's Spike? I thought you'd like to celebrate your first night….'
Angel slid his hands innocently into the water and held them tightly on the floating blond hair. 'I'm not sure.'
'Well, all right. I've brought all your bags up. Is there anything else you…? Angel, are you quite… all right?'
'The ribs, Wes. They're… ugh… sore.'
'Ah, yes. Well, that heat must feel wonderful.'
'Oh, it does.'
'The dog's been out, by the way. Shall I just leave him in your room?'
'Good night, then. No hurry in the morning. I'll make breakfast; come when you're both ready.'
Frowning slightly, Wesley backed carefully off the deck and shut the door.
Angel released his hold of Spike's hair and let him up. Spike rose slowly, letting his tongue run up Angel's belly, until he surfaced. He continued licking slowly up the wet skin, circling each nipple in turn and then catching Angel's mouth and kissing him deeply.
Suddenly, he pulled away and frowned. 'Huh. Wine.'
He shrugged and poured some for them both, holding Angel's glass for him as he drank. After a few minutes, Spike saw that Angel wasn't just pretending to be too tired to hold his drink. He looked totally exhausted. Sighing, he climbed out and offered Angel his hand. With difficulty, gasping at the contrast in temperature, Angel let Spike help him into the bedroom.
Within a few minutes, Angel was deeply asleep in the vast bed.
Spike waited for a few minutes longer, then dressed. Silently, he slipped out of the cabin into the unearthly night.
For the first time since they had brought Angel back, he felt totally at peace. It was so beautiful he fancied he could hear God breathing slowly in the crunch, crunch of snow under his feet.
His body hot from the tub, his heart hot from Angel's sudden, intense passion for him once more, he walked toward the tree line and to the small glow of red that he had seen there.
'It's too cold out here, Lilah- even for you.'
'I like it.'
'What are you doing?'
'I'm thinking about us- me and Wesley.'
'Huh. So… how's that going?'
Lilah threw down her cigarette and immediately lit another. 'We've got no more chance of it working than you and Angel do.'
Spike felt a catch deep in his body where his breath would have been, and it made him breathe suddenly, his breath like a smoke trail between them. Trying to keep his voice light, he replied, 'Speak for yourself, L….'
'Don't deny it, Spike. I hear you thinking it; I sense you knowing it. No one else does, but your blood is in me. I hear it.'
He followed her gaze to the silent cabin, dark except for faint bedroom lights: beacons in the darkness for them- as if their human lovers could draw them back like moths to their living flames.
'We don't belong in there- with them. You know that. It's why you didn't want to come here.'
'Why didn't you bloody back me up then?'
Lilah glanced over at him, surprised by the level of pain she heard in his tone, realising for the first time just how fragile his hold on things really was. 'I came because HE wanted it, Spike. Isn't that what we do now: snuffle after their precious humanity?'
'No! It's good to please… I mean….'
'Then why are we standing out here in the cold, and they're in….'
'Shut up! He's adjusting. It takes time. Now, come inside, and don't fucking disobey me, cus I'm in the mood now to….' As if suddenly realising just how violently his emotions had swung from that feeling of bliss he'd experienced on stepping out, and how, once again, this only evidenced his increasingly alarming lack of control, Spike stomped off toward the cabin.
He sensed Lilah following him. Together, they went straight to the fire that was still burning in the main room, standing close in the gloom, as the flickering light emphasised their startlingly pale faces.
She slipped her hand into his. 'Will we still be together in a hundred and fifty years, Spike- like you were with Angel?'
She felt Spike's hand tighten on hers and a tremor run through his body. She turned to him, puzzled by his expression, and realised that this was the first time it had truly occurred to Spike that Angel would not be with him for eternity.
She saw him blink rapidly, clenching his jaw.
Tightening their hold even more, she said sadly, 'Love can't survive death, Sire.' She stretched over and kissed him. 'I'm sorry. If I could go back to Angel's funeral and stop myself coming to you, I would.'
'No!' Spike's voice was hissed and vehement. He looked up to the gallery. 'He's up there now- asleep in the bed: warm, beautiful and mine. This is bloody perfect.' Nevertheless, despite this avowed perfection, they continued to stand together by the fire until it died, the embers cooling, and settling with small sighs of grief at the transience of their existence.
When Spike woke, late, Angel was gone. He heard voices outside and went cautiously to the window, peering through a tiny crack. He discovered the reason for Wesley's enthusiasm to come to this place: the human could ski expertly and was even now showing a helpless, unsteady Angel some of his moves. Despite the profound depression he'd taken to bed with him, Spike smiled at the small scene, watching Angel's face in the clear mountain sunlight with a deep sense of pleasure.
He was less pleased three hours later when he was still trapped and alone in the empty cabin. By lunchtime, he'd discovered that there was no television and no books - nothing, in fact, that was designed to be done inside - but that there were lots of skis and sledges for outside fun.
Gunn and the girls arrived after lunch, and their arrival relieved the boredom for five minutes. By teatime, he was talking to the dog and climbing the walls with frustration.
Then he heard another vehicle.
Grinning broadly, taking advantage of the setting sun to stand just to one side of the open door, he watched Sam and Jordan climbing out of a large four-wheel-drive vehicle. He frowned as they went around to the back and began to stagger in with boxes.
'Hi, Babe. Shit drive.'
'What's all…?' Spike looked at the boxes as they began to stack up.
Sam looked puzzled. 'Well, that's a TV; that's a DVD; that's a box of movies; that's….'
'I know what it all is- I meant… what is it?'
Sam looked even more puzzled and replied as if speaking to a particularly impaired person. 'It's things to do all day- because we can't go out in the sun?'
Spike stared at him. He looked across at Jordan.
His face crumpled, and he turned away, jogging up the stairs and out of sight.
Sam watched him go and took a deep breath.
Jordan came over and stood close, his arm just brushing Sam's. 'I swear, Sam, I will kill Angel one day.'
Sam nodded. 'He gets one more chance, J- then death.'
Jordan chuckled. 'Don't worry. He doesn't know what's gonna hit him.'
to chapter 3
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