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Dead Men Walking - 8

It was the only shock Spike could have coped with at that moment. He got up, went hesitantly towards the door, thought about Wesley watching, paused, then with a shrug that clearly said 'what the fuck' flung himself on the weary Giles.

Giles, also mindful of Wesley's incredulous stare, patted him on the back - much as one would an over exuberant spaniel - -and said calmly, 'Nice to see you, too, Spike.'

Wesley and Giles immediately began the detailed research they needed for their plan. Spike sat on the couch next to Giles, just enjoying his familiar presence and reassuringly phlegmatic approach to any crisis. After a while, he went to fetch his book. Given the imminent arrival of the Scourge of Europe, he thought his was better research anyway.

Eventually, Wesley sat up and pushed the tomes away from him. 'Enough, Giles. If we aren't ready now, we will never be. I think we should outline the plan to Spike and set it in motion.'

Spike actually felt his stomach contract in fear.

Suddenly he felt Giles' thigh pressed reassuringly against his. It was unmistakable. Giles continued to look steadily at Wesley, but was pressing his thigh hard against Spike's. Whatever else had gone before, whatever they had done together, nothing could have sealed their friendship more than this thoughtful, intimate touch.

Spike looked up ready to hear his fate.

'We are going to lock up the hotel for four days, Spike… lock it to vampires from the inside out. Well, to all non-human presences, none of….' Wesley had been about to say something, but changed his mind. 'None of you will be able to leave. It will force Angel and Angelus to confront their issues, but it will also effectively constrain Angelus' eating habits… we don't want a feeding frenzy on the good citizens of Los Angeles!' Wesley saw Spike's face fall, and he sent a triumphant look to Giles. 'I told you! I suspected William the Bloody was counting on a little sire-assisted, blood donation session.'

Spike twitched his lips. He couldn't deny it. He gave Wesley a cheeky smirk. 'The Big Bad here, and don't you forget it.'

He heard Giles' slight cough of amusement and only responded by pressing his thigh back conspiratorially.

'So, as I was saying, vampires trapped in… no feeding… and Angelus will only exist for that four day period… he is temporary, whatever happens….' He trailed off, and Spike had the distinct impression that although Wesley was aiming for confident, he was by no means as sure of his plan as he appeared. Wesley glanced at Giles for support, but Giles would not catch his eye.

'We will summon Angelus from here… and then join you….'

'NO!' Spike's authoritative tone stopped Wesley in his tracks.

'Err… what?'

'I said no. I want to meet Angelus on my own.… I don't want you two there. Just for a while.… I want him to myself for a while.'

Wesley started to protest this change of plan, but Giles, perhaps aware of what Spike wanted to avoid, hushed him. Wesley pursed his lips, but Giles' quiet voice overrode any objections he might have made. 'Two days, Spike, then we come.' Giles turned and gave Spike an expressive look. Spike knew he would have his reunion with his beloved sire, unwatched by human eyes.

Wesley continued, with a noticeable edge to his voice. 'Two days then. We will come after two days and precipitate Angel's responses. Angelus will then dis… go. After four days, whatever happens, he will go.'

Spike looked from one to the other. 'That's it?'

They looked puzzled. 'Yes… what else do you want?'

'So, I just shut myself up with one unpredictable mass killer and one anally-retentive brood boy for four days?'

'Without the colourful language, essentially, yes.'

'Why do I have to bleedin' be there? Why can't Angel and Angelus just battle it out without me?'

'You are the catalyst, Spike. You are rather essential to the plan.' Spike thought he heard deceit in the words, glanced briefly at Giles but saw no complicity in his look.

'Enough!' Giles interjected. 'That's enough.' He turned to Spike. 'What is essential, is that you react naturally and genuinely to anything that might happen. Anything false, and they'll both see right through you. We can't tell you anymore.'

Spike was about to protest some more, but Giles unexpectedly laid his hand on Spike's cheek. 'Do you trust me, Spike?'

Spike looked at him intently then grinned wickedly. 'Not bleedin' likely.' Giles gave him an amused look and nodded, hearing the truth through the lie. He rubbed the base of his thumb fondly over Spike's cheekbone.

'Good… you'll need to.' He looked down for a moment then held Spike's gaze intently. 'Remember one thing, Spike… can you do that for me?'

Spike felt he ought to be embarrassed, both by the soft, human hand caressing him, and by the hypnotic gaze from which he could not break away. He went for streetwise nonchalance in his tone to compensate. 'Duh! What?'

'Remember our conversation, Spike… the definition of what is alive is very complex. Remember that and trust me?'

Spike took a deep breath of human commitment to friendship and nodded.

Giles smiled indulgently. 'Now go. Go back to the hotel and to Angel. Call us when you get there, and we will perform the sealing spell. A few minutes after you call us, Angelus should arrive.'

Spike actually tried to swallow, adding to his human responses to this situation. 'What should I tell him?'

Giles raised an eyebrow. 'Angel or Angelus?'

That simple question brought home to all of them the incredible thing they were about to attempt. Angel and Angelus 'alive' at the same time.

Spike wondered if there were any other nervous human reactions he had not yet tried and went for biting his lip. 'Err… I was going to say Angel, but I guess both. What do I tell 'em?'

'Tell them nothing, Spike… you must not let them know your involvement in this… it may compromise your safety.'

Spike gave a very clear 'Duh!' look at Wesley. Knowing Angelus, it would be a lot more than his safety compromised if there were any suspicion of his childe's involvement in this plan.

'Any last things then or are we all ready?'

Spike turned to Giles. 'Which Angelus are you gonna summon?'

Wesley looked up from his books with an unreadable expression.

Giles held Spike's gaze. They both had a vivid memory of Angelus in the abandoned factory. Giles answered with a decided tone. 'Angelus pre-Sunnydale, Spike. Your Angelus.'

Spike smiled. He did not see Wesley's intense look at Giles, nor did he know that Giles summoned every reserve of strength not to return that look.

It was done.

Spike went to the bedroom to fetch his stuff. He laid the half-read book on the bed and made a promise to finish it later. It wasn't much, but it was something to live for.

Engrossed in this small act of defying fate, Spike did not see Giles finally give a long, desperate, and agonised look at his fellow conspirator.

Spike returned to the Hyperion. In all the confusion, he had forgotten that he had not kept his promise to Angel. They had shared intimate physical acts; they had done things that needed to be talked over and rationalised, and Spike had promised that he would be there in the morning. He was not too sure now what day it was, but he knew he had stayed away from Angel for some time. So, not only did he have this overwhelming plan to think about, but Angel was probably not talking to him. Spike sighed when he reached the door and sat for a while smoking on the step.

He was beginning to regret his giving up of squidgy bits so easily.

Spike was right. Angel was upset. Angel was so upset that he was being outwardly calm and friendly. He had spent an utterly wretched few days struggling with his own well-developed self-revulsion. He struggled against feelings of abandonment. He thought Spike was deliberately avoiding him. Wesley being absent had not helped, as Wesley was the mirror in which Angel monitored his own behaviour. Wesley pleased - Angel being good. Wesley not pleased - Angel must be bad. Wesley not there, and Angel had no idea whether he even passed for human or not. He rattled around his too large home feeling unwanted, uncared for, and unloved. Spike's casual return, with no obvious acknowledgement of the pain he had caused, infuriated Angel. His fury temporarily overrode his obsession, and he returned to the, outwardly polite and neutral, inwardly in turmoil, vampire that had travelled to Sunnydale less than a week ago to deal with his damaged and dangerous childe.

Spike went straight to the kitchen. He was not avoiding any rooms with telephones… he was just hungry. Angel was at the table, apparently reading. Hesitating for a moment, Spike decided that even one of his flawlessly insincere apologies would be a utter waste of time, so merely gave him a small nod and dropped his bag noisily on the floor.

'I'm back.'

'Yes, so I see. Why?'

'Wesley's back.'


It was one of their most riveting conversations. Spike couldn't help let a small, evil thought cross his mind "You're not gonna be so icily polite soon, mate," but he also he had the slightly worrying notion that he wasn't going to be quite so cocky soon, either.

He went to the fridge and helped himself to some blood. He drank quickly and greedily, more than he would normally have done.

'Are you well?' Angel did not bother looking up from his book, but Spike noticed that Angel was either a very slow reader or he was not quite so fixated on the pages as he appeared to be. Spike moved nonchalantly just out of Angel's line of sight. He leant on the counter and studied Angel's lowered head.

'Shouldn't I be asking you that?' Angel was now forced to acknowledge that he was not really reading, and he turned to face Spike.

'You're the one who is supposed to be here recovering, Spike. You didn't come over for your blood, and you were supposed to go for a check-up today… did you forget?' Angel was satisfied that he had successfully given the impression that this was the only reason he was furious at Spike's absence.

'Well, I'm really gutted I missed that then. Yeah, really need another finger up me arse.' Spike had only been referring to the doctor's previous quirks. It was only when he saw Angel's face that he realised the other interpretation that could be placed on his words. He almost thought he saw Angel flush, quite an achievement for something dead, but he felt his words had hurt him considerably.

Angel stood up, pushing his book angrily away. 'I'm going to Wesley's.'

'No!' This actually came out as a squeak.

Angel was immediately suspicious. 'Why not? What have you done?'

Spike listened hard for his Giles filter, but nothing was forthcoming. He decided to answer for himself. 'Fuck off.' It felt really good, and he grinned at his own brilliance.

Angel took two steps and thrust Spike back against the edge of the stove. He pinned Spike's arms to his side. 'I think it's time you left. You've just outstayed your welcome.'

Spike looked down in a submissive manner then, timed to perfection, crashed his forehead into Angel's nose. Angel grunted and staggered back. Spike slipped around him and disappeared into the office. He had made the call and was standing with his back pressed firmly to the wall when Angel came storming in, pinching his bleeding nose between two fingers.

'You, come here! Now!'

'No.' The wall felt reassuringly solid and protective. It wasn't as good as Giles' thigh, but it would have to do. He closed his eyes briefly and was transported back to childhood nightmares. He could remember the feeling of crouching, unprotected and vulnerable, in a long gallery and the 'thump' 'thump' 'thump' footfalls of some fearsome monster getting closer. However much his mother had told him on waking that it was only his own blood pounding in his ears from a childhood fever, he had feared to sleep. He heard a door slam. He heard footfalls. He forced his eyes open to face the nightmare made real.

'Spike… fucking concentrate here. You're out… now… go get your stuff and fuck off.…'

'What demon infested hell have I been summoned to?'

Angel froze in mid swear. He heard the voice, and he registered the accent, but nothing more. Spike did, too, but he was watching Angel's face intently and did not look towards the door. Angel didn't even blink; he turned as he would to greet any visitor to his agency.

'Hello, what can… I… do.…' Spike was so tense, he let out a small giggle. He had never seen Angel completely and utterly speechless. Angel saw himself, but Angelus only saw two strange vampires in an even stranger place. He did not immediately recognise either of them, so changed were they from their old selves. Angel tried to speak, but nothing came out. Spike felt sorry for him and laid a gentle hand on his arm. To his amazement, Angel added his on top and gripped on for dear life. Spike actually felt him shaking, so he stood a little closer.

'I don't like to repeat myself. Would one of you kindly… tell… me… do I know you?' Angelus was staring at Spike. Angel he seemed to ignore, but Spike intrigued him. 'William.' This was a statement, not a question. Spike thought it only fair to nod.

Angelus came over and pushed Angel slightly out of the way. He took Spike by his arm, looking him up and down in bewilderment. 'What have you done, you foolish childe? This is your doing, isn't it?' Spike thought it quite ironic that Angelus was so wrong and so right at the same time. He thought it wise to offer a small shake this time. 'You've done some infernal spell and… your hair… William, what have you done to your hair?'

Spike opened his mouth to reply, but was stopped by a sharp blow to the side of his face.

'Always getting yerself into trouble ye be, William.' Angelus grabbed Spike's face, and Spike flinched, expecting another blow, but instead his lips were seized in an urgent and rough kiss. Angelus forced Spike's lips open and bit savagely on the lower one, drawing blood.

Spike started to push Angelus off, but there was no need. Angel ripped Angelus from the kiss and violently propelled him out of the room. Spike noted with some annoyance that it had been the kiss Angel objected to and not, apparently, the slap. Angel continued to force Angelus backward through the reception area and thrust him up against the counter. Angelus put his arms up as if to grab Angel's shirt, but half way up his arms stilled, his head tipped to one side, his mouth opened a little, and then dropped in sheer amazement.

'Me.' Again, it was a statement, not a question.

Angel stood back and repeated in equal astonishment, 'Me.'

Angelus put a hand to Angel's hair, 'But not me?'

Angel knocked the hand away, set his jaw, and said firmly. 'Past and future.'

Angelus looked at him intently and nodded. Angel was pleased to note how intelligent he was and how quickly he caught on, but his sly glance of 'nah, nah, nah, nah, nah' to Spike was ruined by being crushed under a two hundred pound vampire.

Like an enraged bull, Angelus flung himself repeatedly against Angel. They spilled out into the lobby, crashing over one of the couches.

Spike followed as if in a dream, sucking lightly on his torn lip. So, this was his longed for reunion with his beloved sire… it was not quite how he had pictured it, and he was glad he had insisted on the humans' absence - if for very different reasons.

Angelus' nose was now bleeding profusely. Spike thought he ought to smell the potent fluid but only did when Angel's lip split. There were both grunting with the effort not to have to speak to each other, and Spike thought it time to break them apart. He went up to Angel, as the most reasonable protagonist, and caught at his arm. Unfortunately, Angel was about to swing a vicious punch at Angelus, and Spike caught the full force of the blow to his temple. He crashed unconscious to the floor.

Angelus gave a bellow and sank to his knees alongside his childe, casting a furious glare at Angel. 'How dare you!? William.…' He slapped Spike hard on the side of his face. 'William, childe, wake up….'

'Leave him alone.' Angel stood, bemused, disoriented and bleeding. He had no idea what was happening to him, but he did not like Spike being held or hit by… by… he could not even think this vampire's name let alone admit his identity.

'Who are you to tell me what to do with my own childe? William, get up!' Angelus shouted at Spike and hit him once more.

Angel fell to his knees alongside them. 'Stop hitting him. Give him to me.' Fortunately, Angelus was spared his refusal as Spike started to come around of his own accord. He woke to the feeling of being in Angel's lap but soon realised his mistake. He sat up, pulling away from both of them, and felt all around his face and head, sure his cheekbone was broken again. He looked slowly from Angel to Angelus, and he couldn't help it: he felt a giggle break the surface of his fear. Both sires looked at him sternly, and he backed away slightly.

'We need to talk.' Angel looked at Angelus, and Angelus nodded. They made their way warily into the office once more. Angel immediately took the position of authority and perched on his desk, which only left the couch for Spike and Angelus.

Spike sat down, still feeling around his jaw for more damage. He noted with interest that Angelus sat down as close as he could get, far closer than rules of normal personal space would allow and casually laid his hand on Spike's thigh as if there were nothing more natural in the world. Spike was about to protest this liberty until he saw Angel's face. Angel, too, had noted the intimate, possessive touch, and his face was stormy, anger lowering his brow. Spike smirked slightly and only stretched back comfortably on the couch.

Angel began to outline the situation to the one he could neither name nor admit. Angelus, unaware of Angel's difficulties, listened intently and nodded occasionally. Angel could hardly concentrate on what he was saying. He could not stop his gaze drifting down to Angelus' hand…the hand that was now squeezing lightly on Spike's thigh. It was his hand; he recognised it... but it wasn't. Spike just continued to stare challengingly at Angel. He felt triumphant. His sire was back, and Angelus had immediately claimed him… all right, he'd hit him a few times first, but what was a soft slap between friends? Angelus' hand started to slide up and down and dip into the space between Spike's thighs. Spike accommodated him and opened his legs slightly. Angel faltered. He had just started outlining to Angelus how much he had changed when he stopped mid-sentence.

Spike looked at Angel, opened his legs wider and said, 'You were saying, Angel? Don't stop; we're all ears here.'

As if to illustrate the point, Angelus turned and, plunging his hand deep into Spike's open legs, plunged his tongue into Spike's ear.

Angel got up off the desk. 'Hey!' Angelus turned to face him quizzically, but did not remove his hand. His fingers were splayed out over Spike's jeans, and he ground the heel of his palm into the hard bulge.

'Aye? I be listening to ye… say something clever then, and tell me how I'm to get home.'

'Stop that then.' Angel's voice sounded weak and childish even to his ears. Angelus only gave him an incredulous look and turned back to enjoy Spike's ear.

Spike threw Angel a slightly more vicious look than he intended. He couldn't decide whether he liked Angel intervening or hated him for not stopping Angelus all together. When Angelus' hand slipped inside Spike's loose waistband, Angel threw Spike a disgusted look and stormed out of the room. Angelus stopped his attentions to Spike and sat back, regarding him quizzically.

'So, you belong to this time as well, do you William?'

'Spike.…' Spike had to have a couple of goes at finding his voice and, when it was just at the right pitch, tried again. 'Spike, my name is Spike; I changed it a while back.'

Angelus twitched one eyebrow. 'Aye, ye hate William, always plaguing me about it.'

Spike tentatively put his hand up to Angelus' face and stroked it. 'You are really here?' He could not stop the same slight catch coming into his voice.

Angelus caught hold of his hand and brought it to his lips; he placed random kisses over the fingers while he looked thoughtfully at Spike. 'You are not liking this new sire, I'm thinking.'

Spike pursed his lips slightly. He was in a bit of a dilemma now; he wasn't sure which was the safest option with Angelus. If he admitted his intense feelings toward Angel, Angelus might take objection to this disloyalty. On the other hand, if he spoke the lie in his heart that he hated Angel, Angelus might perversely identify with Angel and berate Spike for disowning him. He went for non-committal and closed the gap between them.

When Spike's lips touched Angelus', he felt desire flare through him. This was so familiar, so needed, so longed for. He twisted and knelt up on the couch, bringing his hands up to Angelus' hair. He undid the ribbon in the long sable hair and groaned at the familiarity of that act. As the soft silky mane cascaded over his hands, he opened his mouth and gave his tongue to his sire. Angelus pushed him back onto the couch, laying his whole weight down on top of him. They kissed deeply, and Angelus' hand returned to fondle Spike's bulge.

Suddenly Angelus pulled away. 'Remove your clothing.'

Spike raised an eyebrow at him. 'Err… okay…' and he gave him a cheeky grin. 'What shall I do then…?' He put a hand playfully to Angelus' britches. Angelus batted his hand away.

'I told you to undress. Do so now.'

Spike jerked his head back a bit in disbelief. 'Hey, err… really feel like doing this now, mood broken, or what?'

Angel sat back on his heels looking intently at Spike. 'Did you just disobey me?'

Spike hedged his bets. 'Angelus, what's wrong? Why are you…?'

'What, boy? Why am I what?'

"Yourself" Spike wanted to say, "yourself", but he kept this thought to himself. It was too painful to bear. He tried to get up and push past Angelus, but Angelus pushed back. Spike pushed harder and was rewarded by another punch to the side of his head.

'Ow! Hey!'

'William!' Angelus roared his name. 'Undress now, and get yourself into a suitable position, or you will do it unconscious.'

Spike knew that this was not an idle threat. He had woken up in the past from a beating with cum dripping out of him and no memory of receiving it. He started to unbutton his shirt, but when Angelus relaxed fractionally, he smashed his forehead into Angelus' face. He laughed, 'A hundred years and you're still falling for it, Angelus.'

Reeling back and howling in outrage, Angelus did not reply, but he was quick… he caught Spike's ankle as Spike tried to slip past him, and flipped him painfully onto the floor.

Angelus lay heavily on Spike. He pushed his mouth into the back of Spike's neck, his tongue and lips just grazing as he spoke. 'Ah, you have changed your name, childe, but you don't change, do you? Why do you always fight me so? You know you relish the buggering - it is what I made you for… it is all you are.'

Spike twisted his head to the side; his brow creased with the effort of remembering. 'No! This isn't how it was with us… this isn't how we were. You love me. I love you; you know that. It was never buggering… you love me.'

'Hah! The childe speaks of love? William, what have you been doing all these years? Have you been reading again? I forbade you to read or to write your effeminate diaries. Love? We can't feel love. We need; we desire; we want; we take. I need you; I desire you; I want you, and… hmm, what was it? Ah, yes… I take you…' and Angelus ripped the back of Spike's jeans off his backside.

'No! No, don't, you're wrong.… I've been remembering you for a hundred years. I can't be wrong.'

Angelus just laughed. 'But William, I am me… how can I be wrong?' He held Spike down with his arm across the back of Spike's neck and opened Spike's cheeks with his other hand. He probed for his target and thrust a finger into Spike's hole. Spike winced in pain and tried to fight him off, but Angelus was too heavy and too strong. He used the finger like a trowel, digging and parting the soft inner walls of Spike's passage.

'Come on, William, bleed a little for your sire… you know I like it juicy. And still so tight? How long did you say it has been? One hundred years? Oh, William, have you been saving it for me? Ah… there we are… your blood still smells pleasing, William. Does it taste fine, too?'

Angelus bent his head to Spike's bleeding hole and licked at the seeping fluid. With the smell of blood on his tongue, he then put his mouth to Spike's ear. 'I have to let you go now, William, for I need to release myself. You will no be foolish enough to move, will you?'

Spike shook his head, closing his eyes in defeat. Angelus started to unbutton his britches. Spike eased his jeans all the way off his legs then kicked at them until he was free. Angelus nodded, pleased. He did not notice Spike's whole body tensing. At just the opportune moment, when Angelus had his britches halfway down and encumbering him, Spike sprung up and ran like the wind up the hotel stairs.

He made a bad miscalculation though in assuming that Angel had gone to bed. He flew into the room and flung himself... onto an empty bed. He almost screamed Angel's name, but knew it was useless… he could not even sense him. Angelus' dark figure loomed in the doorway. Spike looked over at him, horrified. Angelus erection stood out thick and glistening. He stroked it thoughtfully. 'I had not realised you could be so much fun, William. Why did you not fight this well before?'

Spike shook his head again. 'I loved you; I wanted you… it wasn't like this.'

Angelus advanced on him slowly.

Ever the pragmatist, Spike quickly weighed up his options, and realised he didn't really have any. He was going to get buggered. He could either be buggered pleasurably, or not. He opted for the first and slid seductively towards the advancing vampire, hoping his tone conveyed sexy sincerity and not desperate back tracking. 'I know you like a spot of resistance to spice it up, Angelus... come on... I know you... I thought you'd like it.' He climbed slowly off the bed, never taking his gaze from Angelus' deep, soulless eyes, and fell to his knees in a position of supplication and surrender. A small, pleased smile slid over Angelus' features, and he beckoned Spike to him.

Spike bit back his fury and humiliation and shuffled on his knees the few paces towards the waiting vampire... better that, than not be able to walk for a week. Angelus braced himself against Spike's face, gripped the short, blond hair in one hand like reins, and rode into his childe's mouth. Angelus tasted slightly sour and unwashed to Spike. The memory of the fresh, sweet smell of Angel's skin, enhanced by easy living and hot running water, eased seductively into Spike's mind. If Angelus wasn't sweet, he was familiar, and these painful thoughts of Angel were quickly replaced by memories of another time and another vampire. Sounds, sights, smells... they all came flooding back to Spike, conjured by the taste and feel of the cock now surging down his throat.

Angelus started to grunt and clench his buttocks. He was clearly ready to cum. Spike felt him tense against his mouth, heard a harsh cry of release, and felt cold sperm spurting against his throat. He swallowed, and could not say that it was the worst experience of his life.

When Angelus had emptied himself into Spike, he switched his interest to other things. He pulled out and started to examine Angel's room. Spike wiped a trickle of cum from his mouth and watched him carefully. He debated another escape attempt, but had no illusions as to who was faster, stronger, and more vicious.

'What is this... ahh, holy mother, it is hot! Where is the flame?' Angelus turned the lamp upside-down, searching for the mysterious source of the light. Spike wasn't in the mood to give him a science lesson and had no idea how it worked anyway.

Eventually Angelus climbed onto the bed and, stripping off his shirt, spread himself to the four corners. 'He spoils himself.'

'You do, you mean.' Spike sat warily alongside him on the bed.

'That is not me, as well you know.'

'Will be.'

Angelus looked thoughtfully at Spike. 'How will I get this soul then?'

'I don't know, ask Angel.' Spike bet Angel wouldn't tell him either... and was he now lying to ensure Angelus got his soul... the one event that he had always blamed for the ruination of his entire unlife? Shouldn't he be warning Angelus... 'Don't eat the gypsies, mate'?

Angelus put a hand out to Spike. 'You may embrace me, childe. Come closer.'

'Oh, may I,' was said out loud; "stupid pillock" stayed unspoken.

Spike crawled into the strong arms and lay trying to work out where it had all gone so wrong. Were all his memories false, or was he just unable to recognise the truth anymore? He was not demon or vampire, human or beast, dead or alive... he was just in limbo, seeking identity, a new thing created by technology. The only things he had thought were utterly his - his memories - now proved to be seductive lies. This was not the beloved sire he had missed for one hundred years.

That sire had stormed out of the office earlier, unaware of his childe's feelings.

Spike lay stiffly in Angelus' arms, trying not to attract attention, but to no avail. Within a few minutes, Angelus' hand crept down to his penis. 'Why, William... this is not like you...?' Angelus flopped Spike's flaccid penis in a humiliating way. He sat up and regarded Spike with an amused look on his face. 'Never no mind, lad...' and pushed Spike's thighs back, exposing his blood-encrusted entrance. 'Ye are not needed, after all.'

'Sire, listen....'

'William, be quiet. Don't make me chastise you again...' but he hit Spike anyway, a resounding slap across his face. 'Ahh, I swell and rise to the sound of yer flesh.'

Spike gritted his teeth, but persevered. 'In the drawer, Angelus... look in the drawer. You'll enjoy it more, I swear... it'll be so... juicy. Angelus!'

Angelus paused in the act of pressing his penis into Spike and, keeping his gaze fixed on the desperate blue eyes, reached over and rummaged in the drawer. Spike closed his eyes and prayed to any gods he could name that Angel moisturised. He gave a very human sigh of relief when Angelus produced a tub of expensive hand lotion. Spike surprised himself when the usual "poof" did not cross his mind. Angel could be anything he wanted to be, if he would just be it here and now.

Angelus gave a small, feral grin at Spike and dipped his hand into the cool gel. He held it up to the light and watched it glisten. Small drops escaped and trickled down his arm. 'It is cold and pleasant.'

Spike nodded enthusiastically. Angelus returned to his fascination with the gel, then took his thick shaft and stabbed it dry into Spike anyway.

Spike's scream was buried into the palm of Angelus' hand. 'Ye don't want to bring in the minions, do you? Have some pride, childe.' He rode in and out, tearing Spike's lining, but the blood came soon enough, and the pain lessened to a dull throbbing. When he was sure that Spike was quiet, Angelus removed his hand and braced himself against both thighs. 'Aye, that colour is growing on me lad; I would love for Darla to see yer hair.' Angelus kept up this light chatter all the way through. He thrust hard. He ground from side to side, and he thrust some more. Only when he was about to cum did he quieten. His brow lowered; the feral look returned; an amber glaze slipped across his eyes, and his fangs descended. Throwing back his head, he screamed a long but silent release.

Spike knew now that all his memories were no more than mirages in a desert. Not once, in all the delicious orgasms he had released into his childe did Spike remember Angelus going into game face.

No future, no present, and now no past. He had come full circle. He was dead; he could not feel; he was disgusting. "You don't ... have a soul! There is nothing good or clean in you. You are dead inside! You can't feel anything real! " Her voice echoed in his head, a counterpoint to the silent screaming of the ejaculating vampire.

Angel slammed his fist once more into the punch bag. His knuckles bled; his hands were swollen, but still he pummelled the soft leather. He had stopped crying, at least. That had only been an initial reaction to Spike's glee at the attentions from his sire. His attentions? Was that really him? He was not sure whether he now hit the bag in anger or in confusion.

Angel's anger was not helped by discovering he was trapped in the hotel like a rat. He had stormed out of his office intending to go to Wesley's. Whether he had thought to go there for reassurance and help, or to challenge Wesley about the unfolding events, had been uncertain. He thought it too much of a coincidence that Spike had been 'helping Wesley with something'; Wesley had gone to England, and now they were trapped in this strange, unnatural drama. He had attempted to telephone Wesley, but had been distracted by the sounds of coming from the office. The unmistakable sounds of vampires getting reacquainted.

Angel felt a bone shatter in his forearm, but he continued to punch. The pain was superb, and he relished it. It was only when the bag split to his beating, glittering sand trickling out onto the mat below that he stopped and leant dejectedly into the sweat-stained leather.

He had to face the unpalatable truth that Spike did not want him. Spike was now with the other him, with an Angelus he could never be again... did not want to be again. Everything in his being told him that he was not that vampire anymore, but that was the one Spike chose to be with. That was the one Spike was, in all probability, now making love to on his office floor.

Angel knew what Angelus' hands would be doing. He would do the same, if he could. He knew where Angelus' tongue would taste... he would taste there, too... if he could. If he could... if he could... if he could. He banged his forehead to the punch bag to the rhythm of his useless mantra: if he could... if he could... if he could.

The tears returned, and Angel wept silently for love that seemed to elude him at every turn.

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