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Chapter 15

Angel stormed back to the hotel, summoned a conference in his office and slammed the door behind the two humans.

Simultaneously, he and Wesley said, 'Lilah's not doing this.' They stared at each other and began to speak at the same time, until Angel held up his hand. 'What do you mean?'

Wesley glanced at Giles and said, 'We don't think this has anything to do with Lilah. It's too linked to events that happen here: sleeping, falling down stairs, being stoned. Those events are causing Spike to slip away, Billy to take over, and visa versa.'

Angel sat heavily on the edge of the desk. 'But why? Why the fuck would Spike allow that human to take him over? No. It's not possible.'

Giles said softly, 'Maybe he thinks it's what you want.'

Angel dismissed this idea by leaving abruptly. He stormed out and slammed the door once more.

Giles raised an eyebrow and looked over at Wesley. 'And here I was missing a hormonal teenage girl in my life.'

Wesley sighed. 'If we're right, there's very little we can do to help. He's never taken my ad….'

Angel came back in and sat down. He ran his fingers through his hair, ignored their startled looks and said between gritted teeth, 'Spike thinks I separate him and his body in my mind: that I want one, but not the other.'



'Well, that does rather explain all this then. He's giving you what he thinks you want- subconsciously.'

'He's deliberately going?' Angel ran his fingers through his hair once more in an increasingly edgy gesture. 'Deliberately!'

'Well, don't make it sound as if he's doing this to annoy you. Something that could cause these profound character shifts must be linked to something terribly traumatic in his psyche.'

Giles took his glasses off and offered helpfully, 'Sally Field managed it quite easily, I seem to remember.' At their puzzled looks, he sighed and gave an imperious wave. 'Do go on; I'm riveted.'

Angel looked back to Wesley. 'What can we do?'

'You, Angel. You're the only one who can solve this, I'm afraid. You need to keep him here. You need to convince him to stay.'

Angel began to pace, the other two watching his powerful form as it moved gracefully around the office. Neither of them expected him to ask their advice on such a sensitive subject, so were both taken by surprise when he ventured softly, 'What do you do to show love?'

Wesley sat up straighter and adjusted his glasses. 'I'm really not the best person to ask. If I loved someone, I'd probably end up being a sort of Fool to their Lear, hoping desperately that one day they might see through the act.'

Angel gave him a dismissive gesture. 'Giles?' Giles was staring thoughtfully at Wesley, but he roused and said, 'I think you have the ultimate example of that lying upstairs.'


'No, you fool, Spike. Sacrifice, Angel. Love is sacrifice. Spike loved the world enough to sacrifice himself for it.'

Angel gritted his teeth. 'Is this some kind of freaking Spike-appreciation society! He wanted to get in Buffy's pants!'

'He'd already been there, Angel. He wanted her to have a world to live in.'

Angel folded his arms over his chest and threw himself into the couch. 'You're saying I need to sacrifice something?'

Giles stood up. 'Work it out for yourself, Angel. I'm feeling rather cross with you at the moment.'

He went out, and after a few moments, seeing Angel's dark expression, Wesley followed him.

Giles glanced at Wesley as he passed then took off his glasses, pinching his nose wearily. 'I am so very sorry, Wesley; I didn't know.'

Wesley turned slowly. 'Ah. No. Quite. But neither does he.'

Giles sighed. 'I have a feeling this is all going to end rather badly.'

For the first time in quite a while, Wesley smiled broadly. 'You don't know Angel as well as I do then.' He stared at the closed door. 'When he wants something enough, he finds a way. He'll save the world, even if it's only our little world.'

Angel stood alongside the still sleeping figure on the bed. It was hard to say whether the face was younger and more vulnerable than he had ever seen it, or whether he was just seeing it from a new perspective. He had always been the one with the fragile hold on his warring personalities, not Spike- not his childe.

He desperately wanted the eyes to open and reveal the one he wanted. Whether they fought, whether they never saw each other again, he just wanted Spike to possess his own body.

He tried to decide what to do- tried to work out how bind Spike to him. He had no idea how to prove to Spike that love had survived the passage of time: that it had gone on through all changes they had both undergone.

He knew he had very little experience of love to draw upon. He knew even less about sacrifice; he felt he had nothing to sacrifice- nothing that Spike would want, anyway.

The terrifying possibly suddenly occurred to Angel, that with one slip into Billy, one attempt to escape the belief that he wasn't loved, Spike might not return at all. Angel felt a cold dread wash over him. Not only did he want Spike back, he would almost go as far as to say that he would want Spike back in whatever shape he happened to manifest in. This thought made Angel smile ruefully at his own foolishness, but he knew he could not afford to be foolish now. There was something he wanted, and he needed to focus all his energy on acquiring that something: that blond something on the bed that had run like a thread though his life, too.

When Spike opened his eyes, he registered the restraint first and then Angel, but the two thoughts came so quickly, one upon the other, that it was more like one: restrained by Angel. Fury, red and hot, washed over him. He roared, out of control, terrified of his own panic, and rose up, straining against the metal that denied him his right to choose his own destiny. He felt he'd earned that right.

Angel watched him dispassionately, and then began to unbutton his shirt. Spike's eyes widened fractionally, but he held his ground. He didn't shift edgily to the other side of the bed until Angel began to unbuckle his belt, and then this small, wary movement was accompanied by a low, confused, 'What is this?'

Angel looked up as if surprised at the question. 'This is what we've been missing.'

Spike swallowed. Angel let his pants drop to the ground and began to stroke a rising erection.

Spike looked at the manacle as if thought could be power, as if he could break free magically and escape from something he felt was drawing him inexorably down to a place he didn't want to be.

Angel crawled onto the bed. Spike looked at him, and that was the last thing that happened slowly, the last thing that happened without pain, the last thing that he remembered before it was all a blur of humiliation and shock.

Angel forced him over; Spike fought like a devil. Angel lay heavy on him; Spike writhed and bucked, panic making the movements frantic. Angel got off on the writhing and the bucking, need making the movements delicious.

He parted hard globes and penetrated what lay between: first with fingers, then with something more intrusive, more intimate, and therefore more humiliating.

The smell of blood rose in the warm air. The fight was so hard, the victim still resisting with everything he had, that neither of them could tell where the blood came from; they just used it- one to swell and harden, one to ride high on the peak of his fury.

There was noise, but it was mixed and confusing: whimpers that could have come from either; grunts, the same; harsh cries of pain that were easy to attribute; and then a long, drawn out sigh of pure pleasure that was so mixed with the earthy smell of sperm, that neither of them needed to have its provenance explored.

Angel pulled out and shook off a last few drops on the hard, reddened cheeks.

Spike was breathing heavily, more a determination not to give into emotions that would unman him in front of the creature he now hated beyond even his previous ability to hate, than a need for oxygen, but it prevented him speaking for a moment.

When he did speak, his voice was so ragged he had to repeat his question before even he could understand it. 'Why? Angel, why now?'

Angel heard what he wanted to hear in that small, desperate interrogative and smiled as he replied. 'Because it's what we needed.'

Slowly, clearly in some considerable pain from places that had been penetrated and places that had been held too tightly to allow that violation, Spike turned over and faced his attacker. There was a catch in his voice, but he repressed it. 'Why did we need this? I thought….'

'Not this.' Angel reached down to the floor and brought up two items, dropping them on the damp pillow. 'This.'

Spike blinked. A key and a stake lay in reach.

In a move so quick even Angel was caught unprepared, Spike rose, unfastening his restraint, fastening his clothes and grabbing the stake.

Angel moved almost as quickly, pulling on his pants and running, a blur of pale flesh and black, out of the door.

There was no mistaking this hunt. They both knew it was to the death. When Angel felt Spike like a dark wing over his shoulder, he put on a burst of speed he'd not realised he'd had, clearing one flight of stairs and then another, leaving only a breath of killing hatred behind.

Spike slowed his body and tried to slow his breathing to match. Too human, always too human…. He'd needed to be dead now: still, silent, listening- deadly.

He sensed him on the floor above and tipped his head back, swearing softly, the stake hot in his hand, other things hot and itching and pulsing, driving him on.

He mounted the stairs silently, the upper floor dark and menacing. It was fitting, and he felt a grin of anticipation stretch his face, muscles recently stretched with another emotion. He came to a door slightly ajar, and saw Angel's shadow moving through it as if time itself helped him on his righteous quest.

He pushed it openly fully with the stake and stared at the sight that greeted him.

Moonlight streaked in through a window poorly covered in torn drapes.

Angel knelt on the bed, his head hung down.

Warily, like a cat, Spike waited until his eyes adjusted fully, sensing and tasting the air for unseen danger. He couldn't work out what was happening, and that scared him. It took away his power, his certainty; it made him still the victim of Angel's pleasure.

He walked slowly to the bed. Angel lifted his head.

Spike lifted the stake, but held it still, sensing that he could move faster than Angel if required.

'You know I have to kill you now.'

Angel nodded. 'I'll make it easy for you.' He reached behind him to something that hung on the bed and snapped one wrist into a restraint, the style of which Spike recognised only too well. 'There.'

Tethered, semi-naked on the bed, Angel lost none of his power; he was still ferocious, still magnificent, but now that magnificence was focused beyond what Spike could understand. He came a little closer, frowning deeply, the stake now lowered at his side.

Angel nodded at the look of confusion. 'You can stake me, fuck me, or fuck off and leave me, Spike. It's your choice. You have the power now.' He lifted his wrist and made the chain dangle gently in the moonlight.

'Then I'll kill you.'

Angel nodded again, but then glanced up at him through lowered lids. Spike felt a tingle run down his spine, and the image of plunging wood into Angel made him wince slightly in confusion.

The small wince turned into a moan of distress when Angel slowly and deliberately lay on his belly and stretched up one thigh. Still peering at Spike through lowered eyes, he said, with only an almost imperceptible catch in his voice, 'Make us equals at last, Spike. Please.'

Spike's hand holding the stake shook slightly, and he forced it against his leg to steady it and his heart, which seemed to him to be beating again. With William summoned in his mind, he couldn't help but hear him in his voice. 'This is utter madness.'

'No. You've been splitting yourself, Spike- that's the madness: thinking I want them again! Spike! Spike… think…. Would I lay down and offer myself to William?'

Spike took in a huge breath as if Angel had offered this and he was William, and the sacrilege undid him. He shook his head.

'Use your other memories as well. Would I have offered my body to Billy?'

Spike made a small, harsh sound that was almost laughter and shook his head.

For the first time, Angel looked uncertain, vulnerable, the heavy cuff on his wrist only emphasising this. 'But I offer myself to you. I repeat: kill me, fuck me, or fuck off and leave me. I've made my choice. You make yours.'

Emphasising the finality of his challenge, indicating that he was now done, bored almost of the complexity of his life, Angel turned his head away from Spike and stretched his neck, watching instead the dust motes that their drama had disturbed as they danced and circled in the moonbeams- small ghosts of a passion given new life in their need.

The dust settled, the only indication to Angel that a considerable time had passed.

Finally he heard a soft, forced, 'I can't.'

Angel turned his head and looked at the blond figure.

Suddenly, so fast that Spike had no chance to retreat, Angel rose and caught him by the back of the neck. He pulled him in close, so close that Spike's thighs lay pressed against the mattress, his body slightly bowed to the pressure on his neck.

Angel hovered his lips.

The invitation was there, but not so explicit that Spike didn't have to work to accept it.

'I kissed you, Spike. Not them, and not who you still think I am.' As he spoke, Angel's lips brushed the air that teased over Spike's lips. His words came forth and ghosted over Spike's defences, testing them, seeking vulnerability.

Spike opened his mouth to reply - to shore up his defences - and Angel conquered. His tongue flicked out and joined them in an intimate touch. His lips closed the gap and sought Spike's, matching their soft need with his.

Spike forgot all the reasons why he had entered the room and did not even notice the small thud of a stake falling unnoticed to the ground.

They kissed like strangers once more: illicitness in the touch of lips, hardening them.

Angel murmured, 'Jesus,' into the kiss, and his unfeigned wonder touched alight something in Spike. He pulled off, looked at Angel chained on the bed, and returned with a fervour to the kiss, pulling Angel closer, eating him remorselessly with this mouth, mirroring the small curse of wonder - Jesus, Jesus, Jesus - like an incantation between them.

Spike's fingers stole into Angel's hair, mussing it. Angel hands slipped around Spike's waist, dipping lower into his waistband.

Between his soft expletives, Spike pulled away. 'You raped me!'

Angel groaned with the pleasure of the memory and pulled him back. 'Yeah.'

Spike joined Angel on the bed, kneeling to him, desperate to suck kisses out of him, feeling stuck in time: forever seeking this mouth.

Old patterns reasserted themselves: Angel's cock rising and seeking its favourite place of entry; Spike's body tingling and twitching with the anticipation of that pleasure- until Angel pulled them apart. He held Spike off. They knelt, suspended in time.


Spike shook his head and repeated, 'I can't.' At Angel's expression, he added so quietly that only preternatural senses could have caught it, 'You're my sire, Angel. After all is said and done, you're my sire!'

Angel grimaced and shook him gently, the chains of the manacles clinking together softly like erotic wind chimes. 'In your mind. Like you were Will to me. But that's not us now. Spike… reach out and take this. It's ours- if you want it enough.'

Slowly, gracefully, he turned away and lay back on his stomach once more.

Spike looked down at the gently curving backside, its beauty only emphasised by the expensive leather pants, at the dip of the spine, at the broad flare of the strong shoulders, and felt a jolt of desire run through him. But it wasn't enough; it wasn't enough to break the taboos of two lifetimes. It wasn't enough to overcome fear enough for two men.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, Angel twisted his head and asked plaintively, 'Does it hurt?'

Spike frowned.

Like a veil lifting, he saw someone else in that small, melancholy question- not his sire, not Angelus in any incarnation, and, most importantly, not the Angel he had met in Sunnydale, betraying him for the love of a teenaged American girl.

He put a hand reassuringly on the smooth curve of one cheek and smiled. 'Only the pride a little, Luv.'

Angel didn't seem to find this particularly reassuring and pouted slightly into the mattress.

Spike crawled back off the bed.

Angel's eyes widened with disappointment, puzzlement and some considerable sadness.

Spike grinned and bent to pick up the stake. 'So, I'm thinking….' Angel eyes flashed with something that wasn't plaintive, and Spike nodded. 'We'll take the best of the old, Angel, and make it ours. What d'ya say?' He stabbed forward with the stake and caught Angel's arm, a bright red welt flaring on the powerful bicep.

Angel reared up and lunged at Spike, but restrained, he was powerless to retaliate. Spike merely stepped back and tapped the stake thoughtfully against his lips. 'So, about that rape thing….' He lunged again, catching Angel across the belly, and they both winced with surprised pleasure when a bright red line appeared and began to drip prettily into Angel waistband.

Spike came forward in wonder and put his hands to Angel's button. 'I wanna see the blood drip lower….'

Angel nodded and helped him strip the leather off. Totally naked, the blood glistened darkly in the moonlight, and with a hiss of deep pleasure, Spike gouged a matching wound in a cross to intersect the first. He rubbed his fingers in the gore and then spread it down into Angel's dark, wiry curls.

In a strong, irresistible movement, Angel caught at his wrist. Spike dropped the stake, and they came back to each other, mouth seeking mouth eagerly.

The scent of blood was strong between them, swelling and stiffening them. Spike felt Angel's blood against his belly and rubbed against the hard body as he kissed. The fingers playing obsessively with his hair turned vicious, tugging and pulling at his head until it tipped back and his neck was stretched: a pale column in the moonlight.

Angel hissed and placed blunt, human teeth to the irresistible skin and licked up from the hollow to the chin, then further, over Spike's mouth, them both smiling to the strange, half-kiss.

Spike pulled away, his head lowered. Then he glanced up through dangerously lowered lids, the sparkle of fun unmistakable. He bent and picked up the stake, his tongue pushed into his cheek as he attempted to repress his amusement. 'What's that saying, Pet? Something about… in upstairs rooms, no one can hear you scream?'

Angel chuckled and shifted back across the bed, out of reach of the dangerous point.

He was caught in a broad sweep across his shoulders as Spike leapt the bed, landing gracefully on the other side in the shadows.

Angel yelped and tried to staunch the blood, and he was taken from behind: a sharp jab to one buttock, marking it and making the blood run down in small, bubbling rivulets on the perfect, pale flesh.

Spike stood and admired his handiwork, then murmured, 'I'm thinking that might make it hurt less.'

Angel twisted his head around slowly and watched, mesmerised, as Spike dropped the stake and advanced upon him. He put his hands to Angel and cupped him gently, brushing his mouth over Angel's, murmuring nothings in a low voice.

In gentle swirls, Spike eased his hand over the bleeding cheek, coating his palm in the thick fluid.

When it was sticky and red, he reached around and took hold of the thick, stiff cock, circling around the tip and diluting the crimson until it dripped slowly to the mattress.

He knelt behind Angel and encircled his neck with his other arm as his hand sought entry.

Angel hissed and tensed as a finger touched him.

Spike frowned and hesitated.

Angel sensed the hesitation, turned to look briefly at Spike, then fell onto his hands, leaning down into the mattress.

Spike groaned and shuffled around until he knelt behind Angel. A faint trace from his bloodied palm called to him: a century's old marking given new life and meaning in this reversal of their roles.

Reverently, Spike bent down and kissed Angel, as if he touched his lips to Angel's mouth. He kissed long, using his tongue just as skilfully as he did around Angel's lips. The skin became wet; it caught the moonlight and glistened. It looked ready, and Spike sat back for a moment then, with a sigh of fatality, eased one finger into the soft opening.

Angel cried out, more from embarrassment than discomfort, and Spike stilled, just the tip as far as one nail inside the tight enclosure. 'Okay?'

Angel nodded and dipped lower. Spike groaned encouragement and his finger slipped in further.

It was warm and soft inside- a playground of new sensations. Spike withdrew his finger, but using the slight stretch, replaced his tongue to the external puckering and eased that into his new delight, tasting where he'd felt, licking the warm softness he'd discovered.

Angel moaned, the sound of a man being deeply pleasured, and encouraged, Spike re-inserted his finger, working like a painter, sweeping brushstrokes up and down- everywhere but the place he wanted to save; the place he wanted to offer Angel slowly, lightest touch by lightest touch, until Angel begged him as prettily as he could make others beg for him.

Angel had never felt that sweet sensation.

He was touching inside Angel's body. The realisation of what they did hit him, and he sat back on his heels, his artwork abandoned, his hand hanging limply at his side.

His canvas turned, quizzical, then eased slowly onto his back, pulling Spike into a hot, tight embrace.

Once more their mouths spoke silently the things they found it so hard so say. They returned to a kiss like old friends, and that only seemed to stab them with renewed wonder at the erotic illicitness of this act: kissing a long-known friend, discovering in a familiar friend an unknown lover.

Spike licked his tongue delicately around Angel's lips, outlining them, a small chuckle between them making something tingle and swell. He moaned and pushed his tongue harder into Angel's mouth, then all around, tasting him. He felt a deep shudder run through Angel's body and murmured into the warm flesh of his lips, 'Are you afraid?'

Angel nodded.

Spike tired to kiss the fear out of him but then rested his forehead to Angel's with a small, choked groan. 'So am I.'

He eased away slightly, looking deep into Angel's eyes, expecting to see the fear, only to find a twinkle of amusement. Angel raised an eyebrow, and his eyes travelled down slightly. 'One push and I think the fear might go.'

Spike allowed his eyes to travel down too, across their sweat streaked torsos, down to where patches of dark hair met and curled. Angel lay relaxed and open, legs fallen apart.

Spike hitched his breath in, watching as his cock twitched with a life of its own, the tip perfectly aligned to Angel's entrance.

'When did I get released?'

Angel chuckled. 'It rears, impatient to be off.'

Spike nodded watching mesmerised as a tiny bead of crystal fluid bubbled out, and at a slight twitch, was wiped over the waiting, puckered skin.

Spike looked up, held Angel's gaze and leaned in toward him. Angel winced as he was split open but tightened his hold around Spike's waist, stretching his neck back as if fearing the size and girth that was penetrating him- giving it room.

Eventually, Spike was in. Angel's shoulders sagged a little, and he brought his gaze back. Spike looked deep into the fathomless, dark eyes and realised, with a small jolt, that he was inside Angel's body for the first time- inside another man's body for the first time, although that, somehow, seemed less incredible.

Being inside Angel was a revelation, for it changed the way he saw this familiar person: took him from being the giver, to the receiver; turned strength into vulnerability; made something that had always been so masculine in him feminine.

Spike swallowed deeply, fear on so many levels taking away his potency. He felt himself softening inside the tight channel, unable to move, even if he had tried.

Angel put a hand to his cheek, and Spike caught his gaze once more. Suddenly, desire and tenderness flared up inside him in equal measure, and this was as much a revelation as the changes he had perceived in Angel. Angel was less. But he was more- and so what they were together remained the same.

With a long breath, Spike began to move. It was his role now: penetration, giving pleasure to the one who lay helpless beneath him.

Angel didn't seem quite to understand his role yet, for he didn't stay helpless for long: arching; twisting; crying out in low, resonating delight, as Spike gave him physical pleasure he had not known in any of his three centuries.

Spike grunted in appreciation and rose over Angel, bracing himself on his powerful, taut arms, jerking his hips repeatedly into the place that was so tight that he refused to think of it for fear he regret lovers he had thought pleasurable in the past.

Blood slicked between them, heated by the friction of their thrusting and writhing responses. It made Spike's mouth water with desire, other juices flowing just as freely.

At one point, Angel flung his arms high, gripping onto the edge of the bed, his torso stretched and smooth in the gloomy light. Spike dipped his head as he fucked the hard body, concentrating on one tiny patch of perfect skin just below Angel's belly button. Sparse hair grew there, running in a fine line, pointing to the place that had been his manhood, and was now something so much more. Spike had seen it so many times before - in this lifetime and others, as this person and others - but it was as new to him now as this sensation of taking Angel's body. Now, it was hidden and revealed, hidden and revealed by a thick, wavering, leaking erection. Angel's erection was free to the air while his punched deep into a friction-hot rectum. The exchange seemed more profound than who got to send his sperm high into another's body, and who had to spill it onto waiting, ready skin.

In some way, he had become Angel. He had taken Angel's role, and he saw through Angel's eyes. He was the one giving pleasure; he was the one making the other cry out his name; he was the one with all the power and the strength, and by default, Angel was now the weaker one- the one needing his strength and his protection.

For the first time, Spike came to believe for himself that he was not William or Billy, or any of the other personas he had flirted with over the centuries that he had hovered around Angel's dark light: slayer killer; psychotic punk; roller-boy; chip-boy. None of them would be allowed here, braced over Angel's moaning body, fought for and welcomed. This was just for him.

With a huge grunt of animalistic pleasure, he exploded into Angel's body, his orgasm coming upon him so hard and fast that his arms shook as he rode it out, tiny quivers in his otherwise rock-hard biceps giving the illusion that he felt the orgasm there, too.

Angel gave one, disbelieving groan as he felt the essence of another man filling him and spilled his own seed from no more stimulation than the mental picture of Spike's cock open and pumping inside him.

With a last shiver of pleasure, Spike lay slowly down onto Angel's wet chest, the spilt fluid sticky and not at all unpleasant between them.

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