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Dead Men Walking - 10

For vampires, demons, and inherently evil things, Angel and Spike gave a good impression of creatures that could feel quite deeply.

Angel's legs gave out from under him, and he sank to the floor, burying his face in his hands.

Spike picked his way carefully over Giles to where he felt his face might be. Giles stuck to his boots, and Spike gave out a low, distressed moan. There was surprisingly little blood. Almost none, in fact, and they both assumed Angelus had taken his fill.

Angel could not look at the obscenity on the desk. Spike took a rug off the couch and covered it carefully. They could do nothing to cover Giles, as he occupied most of the floor. Spike went back to Angel, and pulled at his arm. 'Out of here. Now!'

Angel's reserve broke, and he started to sob… deep, unmanly crying that rent Spike's dead heart in two. 'Angel, please!' He half dragged, half carried Angel out into the lobby. They sat together on the couch, Angel still crying piteously. Spike was too distraught to cry, but more than that, he was utterly terrified. Wesley and Giles had created this nightmare, and now they were dead. Spike felt abandoned and alone. A determined hand moved over to rest on his thigh, and he turned to find Angel's tear-streaked face looking at him. 'This ends now, Spike. Now!'

Spike felt a surge of relief sweep through him. He was not alone.

Spike stood, looked decisively at Angel, and went to the weapons cabinet. They selected what they needed, looked at another once more, then set off to hunt the demon down.

It was surprisingly easy this time. Angelus' merry voice assailed them from the direction of Angel's bedroom. Angelus was in the shower, singing Irish ballads. They stood in the doorway watching him. Totally enclosed under the water, Angelus had not heard them come in. Angel took a firmer hold on the stake, and made to advance. Spike's hand quickly stilled him.

Angel turned with hollow eyes, and Spike whispered urgently, 'You can't kill him, Angel.'

Angel's anger flared out, and he pushed Spike violently back into the bedroom. It was an unfortunate moment for him to notice the stained, rumpled sheets. 'You want him still? After what he's done?'

Still struggling with his space-time continuum dilemmas, Spike blurted out. 'No… no… but Angel, he's you!' Angel took this entirely the wrong way. He looked at Spike, and then slapped him across the face.

'How fucking dare you, Spike! He's not me! He's just murdered Wesley and Giles! He's a soulless, mindless demon!'

Spike reeled from the blow. He stood up in wonder, and couldn't help a smile cross his face, despite the pain. 'You've realised he's not you, at last. It's bloody worked.'

Angel couldn't believe that Spike was smiling. Wesley was… but Spike was smiling. He lowered his brow, utterly perplexed. 'I never thought he was me. What do you mean?'

It was Spike's turn to be bewildered. He sank onto the bed next to Angel, and put a hand gently on his arm. 'Angel, it's why we….' He choked on the word "we", and could not continue for a moment. Angel put his hand on top of Spike's, and Spike knew it was a supportive touch this time. When Spike recovered he said earnestly, 'There's a prophecy about you, Angel. Your soul will destroy you when you become human, because of that pile of shit in there.' Spike indicated the bathroom, and Angel's eyes followed his hand thoughtfully. 'You're going to kill yourself, Angel. It's why we… why this was all done. You have to accept you aren't Angelus, and that you're not bleedin' responsible for what he did.'

Angel's head started to sink towards his hands. He started to shake, and Spike thought, with some alarm, that he had made Angel cry. He was even more alarmed when Angel lifted his face, and said with a high-pitched, hysterical laugh. 'Me… him… why would I feel guilty about what he did? Spike, he's a demon. I was a demon. I feel sorry for him, in a way… he's irredeemable. I don't feel guilty for the past!'

Spike slipped to his knees in front of Angel in desperation. 'So, why the prophecy? Why did the watchers say….'

'The watchers?'

'Yeah, it's their latest project. You are….'

'You believed something the watchers wrote?'

'Angel! Giles believes… believed it, too. We both….' He broke off once more. 'We both saw it. You dead… you human, then dead.'

Angel took Spike's face almost painfully between his hands. He brought his face right down to Spike's and spoke distinctly, with a note of utter anguish in his voice. 'I don't deny I'm going to kill myself, Spike. But it won't be because of.…'

His words were cut off as he saw Angelus appear in the doorway, drying his hair with a towel. It was eerily similar to earlier events, and Angel felt a shiver run down his spine.

'Ahh, I see you found me little surprise for ye! Artistic, did ye no think? Ever the artistry of the kill entices me.'

Spike saw Angel's hand fasten once more on the stake. 'Angel! No! I don't understand all this, but he is you... was you. If you kill him, you may not exist now. Please, don't!' Spike fastened his grip on Angel's arm.

Angel looked at him. 'I don't care, Spike,' and he lunged at Angelus. Without hesitation, Angel thrust the stake through his heart.

Angelus did not turn to dust. Angelus vanished. He blinked out, and was no more. Angel and Spike looked at each other, bemused. 'What the hell was that?'

Angel flung the stake from him as if it revolted him. 'I don't know, and to be honest? I don't care. It's all over now, isn't it? He's dead, and it's all been for nothing. We're the only ones left alive, Spike, and we're dead anyway. Ironic, hey?' He sank back onto the bed, and resumed his quiet mourning.

Spike looked at him intently. 'What did you just say?'

'Us, Spike, dead. Wesley and Giles, both dead. All dead.'

'Uh huh.' Spike closed his eyes to the sudden, unbidden memories assailing him. He could feel Giles' warm thigh pressing against him. Giles' hands caressed his face, and the intense eyes held him. '…do you trust me, Spike? Remember, the definition of what is alive is complex, remember that, and trust me....'

Spike flung himself at the closet, and grabbed two shirts, thrusting one at Angel. 'Keys? Where are your car keys?'

'What…?' Angel was unwilling to be distracted from his misery, and sniffed sadly.

'Angel, shut up. For once, just shut up. Do you trust me?'

Angel looked into Spike's desperate eyes, and nodded half-heartedly. 'They're downstairs in the kitchen.'

Keys in hand, they stood by the door. Spike said with gritted teeth, 'It'll be gone.' He seemed convinced of this, and stepped forward boldly. He passed through into the warm night air. They ran to the car, and drove to Wesley's apartment.

Not waiting for the elevator, they flew up the stairs and kicked in the door. Giles and Wesley lay deeply unconscious on the floor, blood seeping from Wesley's ears, and a trace of blood on Giles' lips. A ring of candles surrounded them, and strange occult designs had been traced on the floor in sand.

'What the….' Angel flew to Wesley, and cradled him in his arms. Spike picked Giles up.

'Hospital. Now!'

Not speaking further, they carried their friends to the car.

They hovered nervously in the ER, waiting for the humans to be examined. After half an hour, a sheepish, exhausted looking Giles appeared from one of the cubicles. He held his glasses loosely in one hand and pinched the bridge of his nose in a weary gesture.

'Hello, both of you. I gather it's all over then?'

Spike flung himself at Giles furiously, wanting to hit him. He briefly pictured killing him. He halted and merely gave him an evil look. Giles had the grace to look guilty, and squared his shoulders to the look.


'Angel. All well?'


'Ahh… he's not quite as… resilient as I am. It's taken it out of him a bit. Nothing a night under observation won't cure.'

Angel walked off, angrily, looking for his friend. Giles sat down next to Spike. 'I'm sorry.'

'How could you, Giles? I thought he'd got past me... I thought he'd killed... that it was my fault you were.... '

'I told you, Spike… it was vital your reactions were natural. I couldn't tell you what we planned to do. So, has it worked? It would all be an awful waste, if it hasn't.'

Spike studied his boots for a long time. Finally he looked up, but he only answered the question with one of his own. 'That wasn't really Angelus, was it? It's why I didn't sense him, isn't it? It's why he just winked out... he wasn't real. That was not my sire.'

Giles jerked his head back a little, defensively, but then capitulated. 'No. It's why Wesley brought me here. That was a projection of my memories of Angelus, not yours.'

Giles' words hit Spike like a blow to his gut. 'Yours? He… to you… for hours… and… in game face?'

Giles nodded sadly. 'You were in that awful chair, Spike. You didn't see all of what happened.' Giles looked down sadly. 'I'm sorry, but we both thought Angel needed a bit of a helping hand to see the inherent contrast. Your journals offered a very different view of Angelus to the one that I knew. I just took your memories as a template for the spell and then added mine.'

To his intense embarrassment, Spike started to cry. He bent down, trying to hide his anguish in his hands. Giles let him be for a while, then put a hand on his neck and, once again, found himself comforting this perplexing demon.

Spike sat up, heedless of the tears on his face. 'He's still safe, then?'

Giles looked puzzled.

'My Angelus… still safe, up here?' He tapped his head. 'My memories… all real?'

Giles nodded. 'I'm sorry, Spike. We did it for the best. We did it for Angel. And you didn't answer my question; has it worked?'

Spike didn't attempt to relay the intense conversation they'd had in the bedroom, for he hadn't fully understood it himself. Angel had claimed not to be guilty about Angelus, but had not denied that he was suicidal.

Before Giles could press further, Angel reappeared to confirm that Wesley was being kept in for the night. Both vampires looked at Giles, and he stood up decisively. 'I'd like to collect my stuff from my hotel and, if it's no bother, could I impose on you for a lift to the airport?'

His quiet, formal manners calmed what could have otherwise been a fraught moment. Angel took a noticeable step back and only said, 'How?'

Giles looked slightly furtive. 'Yes, sorry, of course. You must be curious. It was a form of astral projection, but far more ancient… it's a rather fascinating study… err… sorry. We projected our corporeal forms as best we could, but obviously they wouldn't have stood up to too much scrutiny. We rather anticipated we wouldn't have to maintain them for long.' He turned to Spike with a fond look. 'I'm not usually that boring, am I?'

Spike gave him a light punch on the arm, was pleased when his chip didn't fire off and did it again, but misjudging the force, ended up on his knees. Giles shook his head, and walked off to the car.

Spike and Angel did not speak as they drove Giles on his various errands. Angel stayed in the car at the airport; Spike carried Giles' bag. Neither of them needed to be reminded of a time before; they just smiled at each other.

'What are you gonna do now, watcher?'

'Publish, Spike. I'm going to be published.'

Spike laughed. He had been referring to more intimate things, but saw that his charms had been replaced by the thrill of being a paid, published author. He thought it a fair swap.

As Giles was about to enter the departure lounge, Spike laid a hand on his arm, stilling him. 'He could have killed me, Giles. I was unconscious, but he just put me safely on a couch. Why? If he was your memories of Angelus, why didn't he kill me?'

Giles turned, and put down his bag. He put his hand softly to Spike's cheek. 'I think the truth will always out, Spike. However you distort it, the truth will out. Even the Angelus I remember loved you. He's loved you in every one of his manifestations.' He bent to pick up his bag, straightened, and said very distinctly. 'Every manifestation, Spike.' Then he turned and walked away.

Spike went back to the car, and climbed in beside Angel. They sat in silence for a while, both of them mentally and physically exhausted. Eventually, Angel started the car, and began to back out of the parking bay. Spike laid a hand on his arm. 'Not the hotel, Angel… please?'

Angel gave him an inscrutable look. 'One advantage of kicking doors in.…'

Spike nodded, and they drove to Wesley's apartment.

When they got there, Angel began scuffing the sand to break up the patterns. Most of the candles had burnt out harmlessly, but one or two of the larger ones still flickered, sending an almost unearthly light though the room. Spike watched him. Angel had not spoken to him, other than that brief sentence, since they had found the humans unconscious on the floor. The eerie silence reminded him of his torture the previous night. He wandered over to the bookshelf, and switched on the CD player… anything to take away the deafening silence.

He gave a faint smile when he heard the familiar English music start. It seemed a lifetime ago he had played that music with Wesley. Angel stopped his furious attempt to obliterate any trace of the powerful magic and leant wearily on the counter, regarding Spike. Spike, his back turned to the room, felt the intense stare.

'So, are you going to tell me what this is all about?'

Spike turned defensively. 'I could ask you the same thing, Angel.'

It was Angel's turn to look defensive. 'What do you mean?'

'Angel, I only came to LA because I had to tell you 'bout your soul an' all. It was all done to make you forgive yourself. Now you tell me we've wasted our time!'

Angel looked down. 'No one listens, do they?'

Spike fidgeted nervously with the CD box. 'What?'

Angel looked up, and the pain in his eyes was overwhelming. 'I'm not fucking waving here, Spike. I've been drowning, and no one's heard me. No one's taken the time to listen. I don't feel guilty about Angelus… or not just him. Hell, I feel guilty about fucking everything - that's just me. It's not the guilt, it's the….'

Spike said quietly, 'What, pet?'

It made Angel even more furious. 'Can't you see, Spike? Can no one see? I'm dying of loneliness, that's what. I've been reaching out for someone, but there's no one. There's never anyone there. Who can I love, Spike? I'm so alone all the time and… and… when my path is done - when I've done what I have to do, and I earn my rest - then no, I don't want to live anymore. I do plan to….' He couldn't finish, and Spike saw again the fearful image of Angel hanging in a cellar.

He took a hesitant step forward, but stopped. He looked down, fidgeted with the box, looked up and said, 'So, what about now? Given our… err… kiss an' all. You still thinking about topping yourself now?'

He saw Angel give a flicker of a smile. 'I don't know yet, Spike.'

'Oh.' Spike could not keep the hurt out of his voice. 'Why's that, then?'

Angel smiled openly, and it illuminated his face. 'Because you are still over there.'

Spike closed the gap between them. Angel opened his arms to pull him into a deep, passionate kiss. Angel opened his mouth to Spike's, and their tongues sealed the fragile bond between them. As their lips touched, an intense base rhythm kicked out of the player. Spike felt Angel smile; it was clearly familiar to him, too. Angel broke the kiss, nuzzled into Spike's neck, and whispered the erotic lyrics into the cool skin. 'Every breath you take,' he kissed Spike's eyes. 'Every move you make,' he pulled away, and looked intently at Spike. 'Every bond you break, every step you take, I'll be watching you.'

He started to unbutton Spike's shirt. 'Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay, I'll be watching you.' Button by button, to the intense beat, he exposed the eager, waiting flesh.

'Can't you see? You belong to me,' the shirt peeled away, and he teased his hands up Spike's torso, flicking at his nipples. He opened his mouth over the hard buds for a while, licking and sucking and teasing them into erect peaks. Then he pulled away again. 'Since you've gone I've been lost without a trace.' He kissed Spike's chest between the soft words. 'I dream at night I can only see your face.'

He discovered Spike's mouth once more. 'I feel so cold…' he smiled at Spike's smile '…and I long for your embrace.' Spike took him into his strong arms, and held him tightly. Yet still, Angel possessed him through the power of his words, and the intensity of his need.

'Every breath you take, every move you make, I'll be watching you.'

For the first time, Spike saw the depth of Angel's obsession. He heard it in Angel's strained, husky voice. He felt it in Angel's hands… intense, obsessive, unhealthy… vampire love. It was so fitting. In every manifestation, like an eternal chord running through his life, Angel had loved him. It was exactly the intensity of love Spike wanted. He realised, with a deep sense of satisfaction, that he had become the illumination holding Angel captive to love. Every breath Spike didn't take… every bond he would break... every game he would play, it didn't matter. To this dead man, he was more than a dead man walking.

Angel pushed Spike away from him, admiring the naked torso. Spike felt soft. He felt he was melting into the candlelight and the music, and still the intense rhythm crept its sinuous way around them. Angel seemed to sense Spike's malleability; he brought his hands up Spike's chest slowly, as if Spike were clay. He pressed into the flesh, kneading it. Spike groaned, his tight, strained muscles soothed under the strong hands. Angel murmured into his ear, 'Someone to touch, Spike. It feels so good.'

Spike nodded, and brought the hands to his mouth, sucking on each finger softly. It was Angel's turn to groan. He leant back, tipping his head and stretching his neck, revelling in their mutual need. Spike undid Angel's shirt, and pushed it off the powerful shoulders. His hands brushed the body that had made him. He caressed the demon that wanted him. Spike ached to release his own erection. It screamed at him for relief. Angel seemed to sense this. He suddenly grabbed Spike's hand, and pulled him towards the bathroom.

They stood in the much starker light, just looking at each other. Angel put his hands to Spike's waistband.

Spike smiled. 'I can undress myself.…'

'No, you can't.' Angel looked down, shyly, and Spike saw, with a frisson of delight, that Angel was playing out some long-repressed fantasy. He slipped his hands gently into Spike jeans, and looked up questioningly. They both felt it... the same position, the same body… but a very different intent. Spike nodded for him to continue, and Angelus' ghost was laid to rest by that acquiescence.

Angel slid Spike's zip down, inch by inch. Spike had to brace against Angel's shoulders when his legs betrayed him. Falling to his knees, Angel pushed the material away, carefully… almost reverently. Spike's erection sprung free into the light, and Angel hissed at the beguiling sight.

Spike moaned slightly, and moved unconsciously towards Angel's face with a male's instinctive desire to embed.

Angel kissed the underside of his shaft. Spike's knees buckled, and he fell to the floor.

Angel pulled him in for a deep kiss, not allowing Spike time to think or to speak. He felt Angel's hand searching for him. When Angel held the thick, ropey penis he looked down, sitting back a little on his heels. He eased the foreskin off the cockhead, running a thumb over the soft, sensitive tip. Spike put his hands to Angel's hair, rising up on his knees. He screamed when Angel's mouth enveloped him, but fell silent when he started to suck.

Spike looked down at the familiar mouth in this unfamiliar role. This was the only manifestation of Angel that had done this. Spike was humbled. To his enormous chagrin, he only lasted for a few, deep sucks. He gasped, every muscle in his body cramped, and he sent a lifetime's urgency of cum deep into Angel's mouth. Utterly new to the sensation, Angel choked slightly. Spike started to pull away, but Angel locked his hands around Spike's backside, and forced him deeper.

It was the ultimate illusion of life. Spike's body revitalised through the intense orgasm: his nerve endings screaming, his legs buckling, and his hands flexing and tightening in Angel's soft hair.

When it was over, Angel released the softening penis from his mouth. Spike sank once more to the floor. Angel pulled him into another kiss, sharing the sweet, salty taste. Spike pulled away with a slight face, and Angel regarded him solemnly. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. 'Why did I never do that before, Spike? One hundred and thirty years!'

Spike licked his lips, seductively. 'Kind of hard to do from behind.'

Angel gave an embarrassed smile. 'Yeah, well. Front or back… equally good.'

Spike raised an eyebrow, secretly delighted, but saying nothing.

Angel stood, and turned on the shower. He kicked off his pants, and pulled Spike to his feet. He stepped in, and forced Spike against the wall. Spike suddenly realised why they were in the bathroom. Angel wanted to recreate the scene of his drunken fumbling. Spike pulled Angel down onto his neck, and said quietly, but intently into his ear, 'He was lying. I didn't speak one word to him 'bout us, and if I had, it would not have been about disgust.'

Angel sighed. 'But I disgusted myself, Spike. I wanted you so much, and then it all seemed sullied. You seemed sullied. I want you pure, like this.'

Spike pushed Angel away, sharply. 'Pure?'

Angel looked puzzled, and cupped Spike's face in his hand. 'Yes… why? Pure.'

Spike shook his head. 'Not degrading, then? I… this...this isn't degrading, doesn't degrade you?'

Angel let out a peel of laughter. 'Err… no!'

'Uh huh! Pure, hey?'


'Saintly, even?'

Angel laughed again. 'If you want, Spike… anything you want. You always did like doing it in churches.'

Spike laughed gleefully. 'Anything?'

'Anything, as long as you do it before I drown, yes.' The irony of his words was not lost upon Angel.

Spike put one foot up on the edge of the bath, rubbing Angel's hand slowly through his thighs. He pressed Angel's fingers towards his entrance. 'I want it good tonight… get me ready, hey?'

Spike heard no more from Angel for many hours. He played out his obsession on Spike's body. He eased him open with fingers, kept him open with his tongue, and enjoyed him open with his cock. He repeatedly brought Spike to orgasm with skilful penetration. Neither noticed leaving the bathroom, nor remembered collapsing onto the bed. They were too busy reawakening their long-dead bodies.

Spike lost count of the number of orgasms they shared. Eventually, even Angel had to stop for a rest. He lay on his back with his head hanging slightly off the bed, pretending to be too exhausted to move. Spike lay with his head on Angel's penis. It was flaccid, as Angel claimed… recovering. Spike turned slightly and, with his tongue, experimented with the recovery. Angel groaned and swatted him away. Pouting, Spike went to fetch snacks.

There was something missing. Spike couldn't believe it, and he couldn't work out what it was. It was annoying the hell out of him. He had exactly what he wanted, so why did he have this persistent feeling that something was wrong?

He thought back over the events of the evening. Angel had taken him in the shower: the hot water scalding their skin. Angel had taken him on the bathroom floor: imprinting the grain of the tile on his back. Angel had taken him pressed against the wall: meaningless vampire fucking that Spike had insisted they try. Angel had taken him on the bed; he had taken him on the floor, and, once, he had taken him halfway between the two. So, what was missing? It was a puzzle. Spike leant on the counter, waiting for some coffee to brew for Angel. He still felt restless. He felt he wanted to kill something. It wasn't blood, although he was hungry and craved it. It was like an itch he couldn't scratch, something he could only satisfy with fighting, or taking, or….

Spike's eyes flew open. He jerked his head back, shocked at his revelation. He wanted to penetrate, to take, and to make his. More to the point, though, he wanted to penetrate, take, and make Angel his. He wanted to embed his cock into flesh and ravish it. This was what he had been doing for over a hundred years, and the old ways were no longer enough.

Spike wasn't sure how to broach this with Angel. He debated demanding, 'Turn over and open up' but thought it probably wasn't the best tactic. He could go for the seductive wheedling he'd found extremely successful with other lovers, but he wanted to save that for emergencies. He considered strategies he'd used in the past… but didn't have chains, or money, and couldn't bite. It was a perplexing problem. Buffy had been his most successful conquest, but she had only been responding to… she had been turned on by… violence was her… Spike tipped his head on one side, thinking. The slayer had been easy to antagonise. Angel was, too, and Spike knew the one thing that would enrage him the most.

Would Angel fall for it? Every game you play… Spike grinned, and licked his lips. He'd played Angelus for thirty years, time to remind him of the rules.

Angel sensed Spike's return to the bedroom. He felt the mattress depress, and a hot mug of coffee was placed carefully on his belly. He murmured his appreciation, and cupped both hands around it, warming them. He didn't open his eyes, but tracked Spike's movements as he made himself comfortable on the bed.

'What took you so long?'

'Couldn't find the coffee.'

'What time is it?'


'I don't know. It was just something to ask.'

'I wonder if Giles is home yet.'


'Yeah, England. I wonder if he's got home yet. Seems a long time ago he left, but I guess it's not.'

'What made you think of Giles? Is that what you were thinking about in the kitchen?'

'Uh huh. We don't like coffee. Just got me to thinking, 's all.'

'About what?'

'Me visit next month. I need to ring 'im when he gets back. Fix it up like.'

Angel sat up. 'Visit?'

'Angel, you're doing it again. Stop repeating everything I fucking say.'

'What visit?'

'I told you… didn't I? I must 'ave. I'm going back to finish the book with him.'

'I don't think so.'

'You don't have to think, Angel. It's nothing to do with you. This is Giles and me. You knew how it is with us, didn't you?'

Angel put his coffee on the table with the deliberate care of someone who never, ever lost his temper. He pressed Spike back into the bed. 'What are you taking about, Spike? There is no you and Giles.'

Spike, trying to keep the appropriate expression of outrage on his face, pushed him back. 'Fuck off, Angel.'

The red-rag successfully waved, Spike waited for the bull to perform. On cue, Angel grabbed Spike's arm, and dragged him off the bed. He pulled him into the living room, forcing him to stand on the scattered sand patterns.

'Look, Spike! What was all this for? This was not for you and Giles. This was for us.'

Spike used one of his most irritating shrugs. 'Well, duh, Angel. But who did I plan it all with, hey? Didn't have all those cosy little post-shag sessions with Giles for nothing. I mean….'

The blow sent him reeling towards the bookcase but, being prepared for it - having instigated it - Spike came back with a speed that took Angel by surprise. They crashed against the couch, and Spike got in a painful blow to Angel's belly that made him double up in pain. He took his advantage and tipped Angel onto the floor. Angel looked up with an expression of outrage and grabbed Spike's ankle, pulling him down on top of him. Spike tried to shake off the unfortunate associations of this manoeuvre, but used them to his advantage, too. When Angel was struggling to sit up, Spike smashed his forehead into Angel's nose, making him howl with anger.

Spike laughed, and scrambled away. Angel came after him, and they wrestled in a tangle of strong limbs, until Spike sensed just the right moment and, when Angel was trying to bite his ear, turned, and kissed him hard. Angel pulled back fractionally, shocked at the abrupt switch of emotion. Spike capitalised on his confusion, and hit him again. He laughed gleefully, and escaped Angel's grasp. Angel cursed under his breath, and lunged at him. Once more they fell, meshed with each other's bodies. It had not escaped either of them that Angel's penis had recovered, and was now engorged and weeping. Angel tried to pin Spike to the floor, but Spike brought his knee up, effectively ending that little plan. Taking advantage of Angel's agony, Spike sauntered to the bedroom. He waited to one side of the door, and propelled Angel onto the bed as he entered.

That was enough for Angel. He had been equalled, if not bested, by his childe, and it had to stop. He caught Spike's head under his arm, pinning it tightly to his side. It would have been an effective hold if Spike's tongue hadn't started exploring his ribs. One by one, Spike's cool tongue probed the muscles, just reaching the edge of one prominent nipple. Angel groaned, and released him, falling onto his back on the bed. Spike capitalised on his success, and straddled Angel's chest. He reached behind him, and pulled up one thigh. Angel raised an eyebrow, but awaited developments.

Spike put his finger into his mouth and sucked it for a moment. Angel looked scornful of this move until Spike bit savagely, and the blood flowed. It was the first blood play they had indulged in. Aroused by the fight, Angel's eyes dilated noticeably at the sight and smell. Spike reached behind him once more, and placed the bloodied, slick finger to Angel's entrance.

All movement in the room stopped. Angel closed his eyes, as if deliberating something. Spike waited. Angel put one arm over his face, as if to hide from his own desire, but he lifted his other thigh. It was all the encouragement Spike needed. He swung off, and positioned himself between Angel's legs. He opened up the wound in his finger a little more, but also reached for the jar of lotion that Angel had used on him. The fluids mixed in a satisfying way, and Spike traced patterns of red across Angel's pale skin. Angel groaned, but didn't remove his arm. Spike sat back a little, and looked at him. He smiled. Angel seemed so innocent... Angel was innocent, and he had called his childe pure. Spike had to smile at the euphemisms vampires used to make themselves seem human. They were neither pure, nor innocent. They were demons, and they were dead… time to start enjoying it.

Having affected this unexpected role-reversal, Spike thought Angel ought to watch. He pulled at Angel's arm. He made Angel prop his head up on some pillows. When he felt all was ready, he slipped off the bed, and put the music back on.

When he returned, he showed Angel, in slow motion, and with some considerable detail, why watching him was worthwhile.

The beat was perfect. At every pulse of the music, Spike pressed a little harder with his finger against Angel's virgin hole. At the crescendo of the lyric, he entered. Angel swelled to the beat, his penis throbbing to the endless repetition. He gasped and looked in wonder at Spike. Spike grinned at him, his tongue out slightly in concentration. The sight of the tiny pink tip made Angel groan. Spike blinked slowly with pleasure, and pushed deeper. Angel wanted more. He took Spike's hand in his, showing him how hard, and how fast he wanted the penetration. Spike grinned and, as the unnatural passion of the lyrics played out, he replaced his finger with a cool, smooth shaft.

Spike pushed Angel's thighs higher, and began to match the rhythm. He returned the obsessive promise to Angel… every breath you take… and they both smiled realising Angel had begun to pant. Orgasm began to swell in Spike's balls. He increased his thrusting, and the music went with him, only emphasising his hard penetration… every move you make. He wanted to close his eyes, but fixed his gaze intently on brown eyes instead. Can't you see, Angel? You belong to me. Angel jerked his head back with extreme pleasure, and nodded at the mutual possession. He had thought he was the only one drowning, and now realised his mistake.

Spike heard himself starting to pant with the effort of penetration, but he needed to speak. He wanted Angel to hear his words. He put a hand to Angel's face, forcing him to keep eye contact. Thrusting smoothly and evenly, Spike confessed his loneliness… since you've gone I've been lost without a trace, I dream at night I can only see your face, I look around, but it's you I can't replace....

Angel tried to sit up, the power of his orgasm overwhelming him. When Spike told him that he felt so cold and how he longed for his embrace, Angel wrapped him tightly in his arms. They warmed each other, as Spike exploded into Angel's body.

Spike rode his orgasm into Angel, soaked by a rush of Angel's sperm. It shot copiously onto Angel's hard belly, and pooled in the indentations of his strong muscles. Spike entwined his fingers into the soft brown hair, while he jerked, thrust, and worked from side-to-side. The more he released, the more Angel groaned. The more Angel groaned, the more Spike wanted to flood his powerful, male body. Finally, when he felt his last pulsing release, he lifted Angel's face and, smiling, mouthed the most important words of all.

Every game you play… I'll be watching you. The music continued, but they stilled. Spike flicked one eyebrow up, questioningly. Angel grinned, and nodded. He'd been played, but he'd liked the game.

Spike pulled out slowly. Done well, it was a superb sensation, and he wanted Angel to enjoy it. He sat back on his heels, exhausted, but deeply satisfied. Angel pulled him down, and they lay tightly entangled, just enjoying closeness and touch.

Angel felt himself unravel. He had been taken, and had no need now for defences. All the seething emotions in his brain stilled. All the tension in his body eased. He let go. All the elements that defined his loneliness were gone and, in the resulting vacuum, love came in. If he were to speak, Spike would reply… move and Spike would feel the change. If a thought disturbed him, he could speak that fear. If physical needs overwhelmed his body, Spike would absorb them. He had gone to Sunnydale to put right something that was wounded and dangerous. If he had owned a reflection, he could have saved himself the trip.

Angel had no emotional reference points for how he felt. He had shown Spike the depth of his obsession, only to have that commitment given straight back to him. He had played the sire, but had been turned into the childe. With sudden and rare insight, Angel realised that their relationship had always had these subtle undertones. Had he merely carved himself into that soft Bath stone in an attempt to end his own loneliness? Young, and self-absorbed, William had not understood. Far from standing firm behind him, Angelus had wanted his childe to lead. Thoughtful, tongue-tied, shy, and obsessive, Angel was far from being a natural leader. Fate drove him into a spotlight that only blinded and bewildered him. Now he could lurk in the shadows cast by Spike's brightness, forever hovering at the edges of his illumination.

Angel had lain on his back and been penetrated and taken. He had once thought this… unthinkable. He now discovered it to be liberating. Fighting, striving, protecting… he gave of himself in other ways. Now, he had given himself to Spike… for this is my body, and I give it for you. His salvation had surged in with the force of Spike's passion. It had washed around his body with the cold release. It filled him now. Saved.

He felt Spike shift slightly on him, trying to get more comfortable. He smiled into the still damp hair and rolled them so Spike lay spooned against his chest. Spike half woke, and pulled him closer.

This is how Wesley found them on his return from the hospital. He found his kicked-in door first… his trashed living room was next. He was not surprised, therefore, to discover the indecipherable tangle of vampire limbs in his bed. He leant in the doorway, looking at them.

A deep smile of relief and satisfaction softened his face. He had lied to Giles, and he had lied to Spike.

Angel had been mistaken… someone had seen him drowning… someone had been listening. His friend had sensed an imminent implosion of longing and need and, when the opportunity to prevent it was offered, he had taken it.

He had not wanted Angel to find forgiveness, but love.

Love was important to Wesley. He understood the destructiveness of its absence. He loved Angel, now he supposed he'd have try and love the other… the blond haired grenade he had hurled into Angel's life.

He smiled at his own ingenuity, and went to put the kettle on. He needed some tea, and he had half a thought to take the vampires some, too. Learning to love Spike would be challenging. It was going to take time and study… and the image of those tangled limbs slid seductively into his mind once more. Wesley smiled. He did not think the task would prove too onerous.

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