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Chapter 8

Angel tossed the keys at Wesley and slid into the passenger seat as if unwilling to release his hold on the amulet. He cradled it, his forehead lowered, as they drove to Cordelia's apartment. Looking at Angel's dark expression, Wesley tried to give the vampire the benefit of the doubt that he was thinking about Spike and not about cameras and desks.

Giles twisted in his seat and said cheerfully to his companion, 'I suppose they have told you how much you look like him?'

Billy nodded and wrapped his arms protectively around his body.

Giles gave a small, concerned blink then turned and watched the passing L.A. nightlife.

When they got to the apartment, Wesley went into the kitchen to make them all some hot drinks. Giles and Billy sat on the couch, and Angel began to pace, passing the amulet very carefully between his hands.

Giles watched for a moment, then said, 'Don't worry, Angel; it can't be broken unless it's on hallowed ground- hence surviving the hellmouth, I suppose.'

'You went back for it.' Angel's voice was oddly stilted, and Wesley, coming out with some mugs, paused and looked over at him.

Giles didn't appear to hear anything but a statement of fact and leant back, stretching his legs. 'Actually, no, I went back to…. Goodness, this is going to sound extremely odd, and I'm still not sure why I did it myself. I went back to take him some things. I thought he might like some of his things in his afterlife. He didn't own much, but I took it to him anyway. That's how I found it- intact and still glowing faintly.'

'Did you know he was inside?'

'Well, hardly. I wouldn't have kept it so long in my trouser pocket had I known. The thought of Spike rubbing up against my balls all day is just….'

'How did you find out?'

'I took the thing to someone who studied Chakras and crystals- never took to that pseudo-magic myself, but it seemed like a good idea. She said it was pulsating with dark power- she actually used the words dark soul. So, being the sort of quick chap I am, I put two and two together.'

Without changing his tone of questioning, Angel asked softly, 'When were you planning to destroy it, Giles? When are you going to try and kill him again?'

Giles took a sip of his tea. 'Ah, so you've had the Spike version of events already.'

'Is there another?'

Wesley suddenly interjected. 'Angel, sit down. Please. You're making me dizzy.'

Angel stopped pacing, but he went to the window, moving the blind and staring out at the night. 'Tell me your version, Human.'

'Why is it never good when a vampire calls you that? It should be a compliment really. Sorry. I returned from England to find Spike had a soul. Angel, you've got to admit that that was unexpected! Anyway, I believed he had an important role to play in coming events- for good or evil. Who knew at that stage? But he seemed… weak. He was scared and confused- too souled, if you know what I mean. What is it with vampires and their desire to be excessively souled? They can't they have normal ones like ours? We continue to lie, steal, cheat and murder our way…. Ah, maybe that's just me then. Oh well, anyway, he was going nowhere fast, and I needed to chivvy him along a bit.'

'By having him murdered?'

'Oh, get off your high horse, Angel. There was absolutely no way Spike was going to let a nursery rhyme and a school principal with a mother fixation kill him off. And if he had? Well, then he wasn't going to be Buffy's champion.'

'I was supposed to be that.'

'She wouldn't have left you to die, Angel- not again. She'd have stopped you and jeopardised the world. It had to be Spike. I would wipe that smirk off, if I were you. She loved you with her early morning love, but she loved him with the passion of her afternoon- clear and sure. She trusted him to do what was right; I don't think she ever trusted you like that.'

Angel didn't speak for a few minutes, but then he said in a dangerously controlled voice, 'Why did you bring this to us?'

'I'm right in thinking that was you on the phone the other night? You must be the only heavy breather to forget to actually breathe. I've been trying to free Spike. When I got your call, I thought maybe you were ready to help in some way. Then the bloody SAS raid rather spooked….'


'Commandos- black uniforms. Highly organised- until they found the place clearly just a mail drop. Then they all seemed to fragment slightly, and one went for pizza. But it seemed like a good idea to come here and get a little extra muscle on the case. Finding you, Billy, has been something of a shock- but a pleasant one, I must say.'

Wesley looked over at the other two humans. 'Those men work for a local law firm here in L.A. I hate to use the dime-novel term evil law firm, but that's what they are.'

'How did they find me?'

'They were monitoring us- hidden cameras.'

Wesley finished his tea and said to Angel softly, 'Perhaps it's been Giles's work to free Spike that's been causing him to leak into Billy's dreams. Nothing to do with you or the Powers or Wolfram and Hart.'

Angel nodded wearily and glanced at Billy. He cursed and strode over to him. 'Bed.' He had to put an arm around the pale man and physically help him into Cordelia's bedroom. He shut the door firmly and did not re-emerge.

Giles quirked up an eyebrow. 'Am I seeing what I think I'm seeing?'

Wesley followed his gaze thoughtfully. 'We'll be hearing it soon, too, if these walls are as thin as at the hotel.'

Giles smiled. 'Well, at least the dress sense is explained at last.'

Wesley chuckled. 'There's a pull-out couch- double.'

'I'll take the floor. Thank you.'


They made themselves as comfortable as possible, both taking their glasses off at the same time, which seemed to amuse them. Wesley said tiredly, 'I don't suppose you have any idea how we can resolve this without tears?'

Giles pursed his lips. 'We saw our town sucked into hell and the world nearly pitched into eternal damnation. I think tears are rather par for the course, no?'

'Angel will have to choose. I don't envy him that decision.'

'It might be possible to release Spike into Billy's body.'

'Can you imagine what would be left of Billy with William the Bloody crashing into him? He's getting weaker every day as it is.'

There was an odd noise from the bedroom.

Giles coughed lightly. 'Perhaps he's just tired and… sore.'

Wesley nodded. 'That thought had occurred to me.'

'Are we allowed to make a comment about being a fly on the wall, or a pun on the word watcher?'

Wesley coughed, amused. 'Actually, I know someone who now has video footage.'

'Where's Spike, by the way?'

'The amulet?'

'Sorry, yes. Bit of a habit. It's been just the two of us for some weeks now.'

'Angel's got him.'

'Ah. An interesting threesome then.'

'And on that note, goodnight. Thank you for trusting us enough to come here tonight.'

Giles made a small wave of his hand. 'I don't think I do trust Angel fully. I trust you.'

Wesley smiled into the dark.

'You need to eat something.' Angel watched Billy thoughtlessly fiddling with something of Cordelia's on the nightstand, noting his increasingly pale, starved look.

Billy nodded. 'Yeah.'

'You want I should get…?'

'Tomorrow, Angel. I'll eat a hearty breakfast tomorrow.'

'No one's condemned you.'

'No? You haven't put him down since that man gave him to you.'

'I've hardly put you down since I met you either.'

Billy blinked with a pleased smile. 'Come to bed, Angel.'

Angel tipped his head back. 'Indulge me; say that again.'

'Come to bed and fuck me, Angel.'

'I like the addition.'

'Will they hear?'

'I can do quiet.'

'Not yet you haven't.'

Before he could chastise the human for his insolence, Billy came forward, put a hand to Angel's belt and gave one sure, determined tug.

Angel groaned and tipped his head back, and Billy began to tear at Angel's clothes, ripping inelegantly at buttons. Angel stood and let himself be undressed, their shared history a soft resonance in the room. Finally, he stood naked before the fully dressed human, and he snagged Billy's hair in his fingers, drawing him in closer.

Billy stared at Angel, grazing his eyes over the flawless body: feet, up, lingering, further up, staring at the dilated pupils. 'It said in one of Wesley's books that vampires have hypnotic eyes.'

'Do you think it's true?'

'Hypnotism only works on willing volunteers.'

Angel smiled. 'You've just invited me in.'

'You didn't need an invite, Angel. Somewhere, in some other life, I loved you.'

Angel took hold of one of Billy's buttons and gently threaded it back through the small hole.

'Tell me how it was for us the first time.'

Angel moved his fingers down to the next button, and he twitched up his eyebrow. 'It was like this.'

'Was I… scared?'

'Are you now?'

'Not that you'll hurt me, no. I guess after a few times….'

Angel released the last button. 'What then?'

'That I won't be what he was to you.'

Angel freed Billy's shirt from the waistband of his jeans and then reverently slid it off his shoulders. 'But, Billy, I was a demon then. I had no humanity in me at all. I loved as a demon loves- ferocious passion, like the passion I carry for blood.'

'But you loved him.'

'Not enough to make any attempt to keep him.' He undid the waistband and gently slid Billy's jeans to the floor, kneeling to help him step out of them.

'And me? Am I worth keeping?'

Angel tipped his head up to look at the man and then, in one swift move, took his semi-hard erection deep into his mouth. With a gasp, Billy dug his fingers into the soft, dark hair, but just as swiftly, Angel released him. He rose, and they stood naked together. 'If we do this thing, Billy, we do it with no ulterior motives- I will destroy the amulet or I will free Spike. You can't fuck me into one course of action or another.'

'But you can love now? You said it yourself. You said you had a soul and that you can love.'

'I can love very well now, yes.'

'Then love me, Angel. Keep me with you- don't let Spike ruin it for us this time.'

Angel cupped him around the back of the head and pulled him closer. 'He didn't ruin it. I think if I'd only clicked my fingers once and shown him some affection, he'd have been the companion I intended for my eternity.'

He eased them both back onto the bed, but Billy suddenly hissed, 'No! Put him down.'

'What?' Angel looked down at the amulet still clasped in his hand. Suddenly, he began to laugh and seemed to find it difficult to keep quiet.

Billy laughed, too. 'What?'

'I've finally gotten Spike into bed with me.' He bit his lip then put the amulet onto his belly. 'Jeez, I wish he could see this. It would SO piss him off.'

Billy took Angel's hand and pushed it down into the dark nest of curls. Angel raised one eyebrow. 'Now we're getting weird.'

Billy grinned. 'Nah. Weird is what crossed both our minds a moment ago.'

Angel's eyes widened, and he snorted softly, pulling Billy to him. 'When did this happen? When did I start to bring you to bed like a lover?'

'I think that was after you spoke to Spike through me for the first time.'

Angel hugged him tighter. 'Don't do this to yourself, Billy. It's you here with me now.'

'Not as soon as I fall asleep. What are you doing…?'

Angel grinned into the warm skin. 'I'm comforting you.'

Billy sucked in a huge breath of desire and lay back on the bed. Angel fed on the taste and feel of Billy's skin as greedily as he'd have fed on his blood.

Still clutching the amulet, he licked gently into the hollows of the man's eyes, lapped at his neck, pushed his face under his arms, nuzzling the soft hair.

With his free hand, he played with Billy's penis, teasing it, combing his fingers through the soft, curly hair, dragging them up the swelling shaft.

When he felt the man harden, he whispered, 'I think maybe I will make too much noise after all- I need something to keep me… quiet.' He slid down Billy's body and sucked the warm erection into his mouth. Billy arched and dug his fingers into Angel's hair, moaning. Angel's hand flew out and cupped over the man's mouth, but before he could remove it, the fingers were caught, Billy sucking them in turn as Angel sucked him. It was very quiet in the room, just the sound of saliva on skin- mouths being used to pleasure flesh.

When he was well into the blowjob, his thoughts on vein, root, and leaking tip, Angel found himself cupping his own balls- not unexpected, except that he was cupping them still clutching the amulet. He rubbed the cold, hard jewel over his soft sac, pressing it in slightly to separate his testicles. He grinned around the human's penis, feeling a rare stab of joy at the thought of Spike somehow knowing this and being powerless to stop him.

Spike powerless to stop him was a recurring fantasy: pinning Spike to a convenient wall and reminding him of his previous name.

He used Spike's sharp edge to run up and down his shaft, touched his cold, smooth surface to the fluid leaking from him, covering Spike in his sticky precum. He wrapped Spike's chain around his shaft, tightening it until he bulged with the pressure, then released, letting the blood flow back.

When he was ready, he shifted position slightly and rubbed Spike up and down his length, his fist increasingly urgent.

Skilfully, he brought Billy off at the same time, swallowing the warm semen as he coated Spike in his.

Billy was lost to his orgasm; nevertheless, Angel slipped Spike under the covers and lay on him, covering the evidence of the addition to their fucking.

Billy opened his eyes, and Angel pressed his mouth gently to him, opening him up skilfully with his tongue. Billy pulled away fractionally with a look. 'That's what I taste like?'

Angel nodded then brought his hand up as well, easing one cum-covered finger into the man's mouth. Billy's eyes widened, and he sucked languorously on the fingers, until Angel groaned and kissed him once more- the man there to meet him this time, matching him, open mouth for open mouth.

With a small, amused groan of inevitability, Angel heaved himself onto the warm human. Billy wriggled over onto his belly, and very easily and quickly, Angel pushed into him. Billy bent up his leg and stretched his arms on the cover. He grunted and pulled the amulet out from where Angel had hidden it. Angel stilled, but Billy only stretched himself wider, encouraging him. He brought the amulet to his eye line and said challengingly, 'He's in ME now.'

Angel chuckled into Billy's warm back. 'That's not exactly going to piss him off.'

Billy stared into the jewel. 'You know jack-shit, Angel.'

Angel's eyebrow rose, and he gave the man a slightly harder jab, deep in his rectum. Billy only laughed and said to the amulet, 'Getting Jealous, Spike?'

Angel gritted his teeth. 'Spike - doesn't - want - me.'

Billy slipped his free hand around and caught Angel's fingers. 'Yeah. As if. Angel, he was me once. How could he not want you still?'

Angel let go a vast second stream of cum into Billy, his whole body jack-knifing as he tried to ejaculate silently.

Billy clenched and unclenched his deep internal muscles, milking the cum. As he did so, he copied the movement with his fist on the amulet: squeezing it tightly to the rhythm of his arse on Angel.

With a sigh, Angel lay gently onto Billy's welcoming back. He slid his arms around under him, and they lay melting into each other in sweat and cum.

Under Angel, enveloped by him, Billy inevitably slept. When he was sure the man was deeply under, Angel slid off and lay on his side, watching him. Another half an hour, and he relieved him gently of the amulet.

He wasn't surprised when, after another few minutes, the lips moved, and the figure said softly, 'So, all a bugger's muddle still.'

'Hello, Spike.'

'You still driving around with three Englishmen and an inflated ego?'

'No, I'm lying in bed- with you.' Angel smirked at the silence.

'You- Uh huh, you found me….'

'I'm holding you in my hand now.'

'Hope you washed first. I know where those hands go.'

Angel repressed the almost irresistible desire to say, "You've just been there, too."

'So, what's the decision, Mate?'

'Wesley and Giles are working on it.'

'Oh, well, in that case, I'll start blowing up bloody balloons for a welcome back Spike party. Not!'

Angel rolled onto his back, holding the amulet over his face. Billy's hand was trapped beneath him, and he shifted slightly to free it.

'What's that?'

Angel blinked, looked at the jewel, and picked up the hand once more. He stroked his finger over the sensitive back.

'Hey! I felt that!'

'Jesus.' Angel sat up, cross-legged next to the human. He put a finger on Billy's back. 'Can you feel that?'

There was too long a pause, and he repeated, 'Spike? Can you feel that?'

A quiet, strained voice replied, 'Yes. I can feel that.'

Angel trailed the finger down the entire length of Billy's spine, until he reached the lightest patch of soft baby hair guarding the enticing parting between the hard cheeks.

'Don't.' Spike's voice was low and venomous.

'Why did you stop wanting me, Spike?'

'Angel, Angel…. You live some bloody fairy-tale, Mate, where William was the great love of your life, lost when I came along. It was NEVER like that! William was weak and spineless, and you didn't love him. You needed him- to worship you, to affirm you. But he grew up. I grew up! I started to see the flaws in my creator, and then you turned on me. I started to question you, and you turned on me. You stopped wanting me because I wouldn't fawn on you.'

'This is crap, Spike. Ancient crap. You hated me. You hate me now.'

'You hate yourself, Angel. Big difference. And you know I'm right. I hear it in your voice. I'm hearing real good in here, Mate. Not distracted, see, by that face. Not havin' to concentrate when I talk to you; not havin' to stop myself from…. So, take your hand off me. I don't want this.'

Angel trailed his finger into the open valley. 'What? This?'

'Stop. If you do this, Angel, it'll be rape.'

'Kinda hard to prove in a court….' He trailed the finger over Spike's anus, still slightly open and flushed from its earlier pounding.

'Angel… don't. Please.'

'Do you remember, Will? Long rainy days in London? We used to play like this for hours.'

'I remember how you met me for the first time one hundred years later and tried to trick me so you could kill me. That, I do remember.'

'Do you remember the laughter, Will? You made Angelus laugh, and he felt like a man again.'

'I remember hearing you scream as Drusilla tortured you. I remember cutting you and smelling your blood as it flowed into her.'

'When I finally put my finger inside you, Will, when you finally let me in, I remember the feel of you from the inside. My first time, feeling the inside of a man.'

'I remember pushing my finger into you, too, Angel- I'd just pulled a poker out of your shoulder, and I pushed my finger in instead. Do you remember that? Please, if you say you remember all those other things, then for his sake, don't do this.'

Angel's finger still hovered around the enticing, open hole, but eventually, he sobered and withdrew his hand.

He rolled onto his back once more, just holding the amulet in his hand.

There was silence for a while, until Spike said in an uncharacteristically small voice, 'Thanks.'

Angel replied bitterly, 'Don't mention it.'

After another long silence, Spike said with a catch in his voice, 'Some kinda touch would be good about now…. Kinda enjoyed feeling something at last….'

Angel sighed and caught his fingers and entwined them safely in his.

They lay side-by-side, both deep in their own thoughts, until a strange sense of peace from lying beside Spike overcame Angel, and he slept deeply.

When he woke to the sound of heavy, unexpected rain beating on the window, Billy was gone and so was the amulet.

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