Footsteps in the Sand - 2
He took a long shower, turning under the scalding water, debated going down to see if there was any action, but retreated to the calm of his own bed… too bloody calm recently. He slept the day away, unaware that Angel came up at lunchtime and stood in the doorway, a mug of blood cooling in his hand, just watching him. Although there was no one to see him, Angel kept his face carefully neutral as he watched Spike sleep. He turned away after ten minutes without letting one emotion escape, his whole stance closed-off.
Spike woke as the sun set, and his first thought was of Wesley. His second, embarrassingly, was to wonder what he was going to wear. Suddenly, his habitual black jeans and T-shirt did not seem... appropriate? adequate? shag-me-now enough? He scrambled out of bed and ripped open the cupboard. He seemed to remember Angel buying him some clothes when he'd bought the telly and other 'I'm so guilty about all this' shit. He inspected them for the first time. He had to smile; Angel had taste, and Angel knew him. He was just pulling out a chocolate-brown silk shirt and a pair of faded jeans when he sensed Angel watching him. He paused.
'You taking that to Wesley's tonight?'
Confused at first by Angel's meaning, Spike turned to him with a puzzled expression. He saw the direction of Angel's look, and his already swollen erection rose some more in response. He chucked the clothes onto the chair and grinned.
'Not all of it maybe… could leave some of it here with you… if you want….' He stalked slowly towards Angel, watching his neutral expression carefully. It felt odd, they hadn't taken each other for days, and at this moment, Spike could not really say why this was - other than he had been busy stalking Wesley. Spike almost felt shy. He reached Angel and allowed his penis to rub slightly on Angel's shirt. Angel tipped back his head and closed his eyes. He seemed to be trying to decide something, and put his hands on Spike's shoulders for a moment as if to hold him away but, at the tension he felt radiating from his childe, he suddenly looked down and smiled.
'I want it all, Spike. You know I do.' Spike melted to Angel's look and put his hands on the soft brown hair, pulling Angel's face to him for a long, intense kiss. Angel ran his hands up Spike's back, groaning at the feel of the sinewy body under his hands. They moved together to the bed, and Spike pushed Angel onto his back, straddling his chest.
'So, where do you want it?' Spike wriggled his eyebrow, suggestively. Angel laughed and the sound hit Spike in the solar plexus like a blow. He hadn't heard Angel laugh for days but hadn't noticed the absence until now.
Angel put his hands to the thin waist, massaging his thumbs into the sides of Spike's groin, watching delightedly as the erection swelled and pulsed to the touch. He licked his lips and, about to make his selection, hissed in annoyance when his beeper went off. Spike cursed and scrambled for Angel's pocket, snatching the small machine out and stabbing at it to try and turn it off.
'Spike… don't. Let me see.' Spike batted Angel's hand away and hurled the offending beeper into the corner of the room. Angel gave him a furious look, pushed him off, and retrieved it. 'It's Gunn. I've got to go.'
They stood and looked at each other, and Spike felt there was something he ought to see in this confrontation other than the surface tension over an unsatisfied erection.
'I have to.' Angel's voice was quiet but closed off.
'Fine. Go. I've got other places to be.' Spike deliberately made a show of sauntering over to the clothes and putting on the shirt that Angel had chosen for him. It had been a good choice: the silk enhanced his slimness, the colour making him almost edible. Even this, however, did not break Angel's control. Just as deliberately as Spike, he turned off the beeper, adjusted his clothing slightly, and made his way to the door. Only when he was in the hall did he ask, very quietly, but very distinctly. 'Will I see you later?'
Pausing in the act of trying to zip jeans over his erection, Spike was in no mood to pander to Angel. 'Dunno. Depends on the effect of this rig, don't it? You make a great pimp, mate, ta.' He regretted his words as he said them, but not enough to let Angel know. He cast a quick glance at his sire's back. ("Turn around Angel, and I'll tell you I love you; keep walking and I won't.") Angel walked quietly away, and Spike cursed the missed opportunity, but he had other things on his mind. Angel would be there when he got back; Angel was always there, an immutable fact in his unlife. He desperately wished he could see himself in a mirror - he felt good but wanted to test this out before he saw Wesley. He wet his hair and ruffled it up, leaving it to dry in the air and put on all his favourite jewellery. He felt ready. He sat on the bed and wondered why he was procrastinating. Angel had ruined his mood. He reminded himself he was only doing this for the uptight pillock, and that made him relax a little. Shaking each shoulder and circling them around like a boxer about to go in the ring, he put on his duster, grabbed a couple of bottles of JD from his fridge, and made his way down the stairs.
Cordelia was finishing up at her desk as he came down. She looked up casually and whistled. 'Who's the lucky dead girl?'
'What?' Spike was caught between being pleased by this reaction and infuriated by what it implied.
'Duh. Have you got a date?' Cordelia did her "I'm speaking to the hearing-impaired" impression, annunciating each word with distinction.
It didn't help Spike's mood. 'No! I can put a bloody clean shirt on, can't I?'
Angel came out of the kitchen and made his way past Spike without even glancing at him. Never one to notice the subtle tensions between people, Cordelia caught at his arm as he passed. 'Hey, Angel, aren't you going to ask Spike who he's seeing tonight? He's all g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s….'
Angel didn't even spare her a look. 'No.'
Spike watched his retreating back, and the words slipped out before he could stop them. 'Don't wait for me, to lock up, Angel. I've just changed me mind. I won't be back 'til tomorrow. 'K?'
Even Cordelia sensed she was missing some undercurrent between them. 'You don't like Spike's girlfriend? Is that it, Angel? Eew, it's not Drusilla again, is it?'
'Shut up, Bint.' Spike kept his eyes drilling into Angel's back, well aware that Angel felt every inch of the pressure. ("Turn around Angel, and I'll tell you I love you. Please.")
'Hey! Angel! He's just told me....'
'Shut up, Cordelia.' Angel spoke neutrally, but decidedly, and finally turned - but Spike was not there. The door to the hotel slammed deafeningly shut. Some objects fell off shelves. Cordelia flinched. Angel only turned and went into his office, but he mirrored the hyperbole of Spike's exit. Cordelia flinched again and looked around her in astonishment. She was the one both vampires had just insulted, but she was the one being calm and mature. She huffed and followed Spike out, making a big show to the empty hotel of shutting the door carefully.
Angel sat with his feet up on the desk, his hands tented against his lips. The room gradually darkened around him, but he did not move. Occasionally, he blinked, but this was the only movement he made until the sun rose: its first destructive rays tickling against the shades of the room. He seemed to reanimate at the approaching light, stood gracefully, and went towards the kitchen to begin his ritual of preparing a breakfast he didn't eat. Every movement, every step, betrayed nothing but ironclad self-control. No emotion escaped him. Even when Wesley arrived very late for work, looking sour, hung-over, unshaven and anxious, nothing betrayed Angel's mood. He hardly glanced at the man before taking some weapons out of the cabinet and saying calmly. 'I'm going out.'
Spike arrived at Wesley's apartment in a foul mood. He kicked at the wall for a while to try and calm down. He had half decided to forgo the evening and return to make things up with Angel when Wesley came out of the door. 'Oh, hello, I'm just popping down to the shop for some more liquid refreshment. Make yourself at home….' He saw the two bottles clutched in Spike's hands. 'Ah… well, maybe we have enough then.' Wesley turned, and the expectation that Spike would follow drew the reluctant vampire with no conscious volition.
The video was already playing, the pre-match work-up running through. Spike watched the familiar flags painted on people's eager, expectant faces and smiled slightly despite his mood. 'You ain't wearing a flag, mate. I call that unpatriotic.'
Wesley grinned and hitched his jeans down slightly on one side. 'Ah, but I am, Spike.'
Spike raised his eyes in amused wonder that the staid watcher was wearing St George's Cross underpants and felt his bad mood slip from him as easily as his duster. He cast both into a corner and hopped over the back of the couch. 'Glasses?'
Wesley grinned, too, and started to move various essential items onto the coffee table: beer, snacks, glasses... more snacks. Spike nested on the couch and grabbed the remote controls. Wesley smiled and let him. Surprisingly, he settled alongside the vampire and passed him an empty glass, holding his out to be filled.
'Thanks for coming. I take it Angel wasn't too pleased.'
Spike turned and looked at him. 'Why'd you say that?'
'You were pretty upset when I found you in the hall. You were going to go back, weren't you?'
Spike eyed him levelly. 'I am a demon, Watcher. Let's get that straight now. I do not - cannot - feel upset about things.'
'Fine. It was just an observation.'
'And what Angel thinks or feels is completely irrelevant to me, is that clear? He's my sire; that's all.'
'In the widest possible interpretation of that, yeah. My sire. He don't own me.'
'Well, no, obviously not. That's not what I meant at all. He cares about you, that's all… it's fairly apparent.'
'Huh.' Infuriatingly, Spike felt tears prick behind his eyes, and he had the almost irresistible urge to say petulantly, "No he doesn't," but regained some self-control by downing his large whisky in one swallow. He turned back to the screen and tried to ignore the odd feeling that he shouldn't be talking about Angel to the prey and, if he did, he oughtn't say things that he thought might actually be true.
Wesley covered the embarrassing moment by pouring them both some more whisky. Spike sat sunk in gloom for a while, but Wesley's unexpected and infectious enthusiasm for the game won him over gradually. When Beckham finally scored from the penalty kick, Wes leapt up in the air for all the world as if it were a live match and the result unknown. Spike laughed and relaxed back onto the couch. He turned to watch the watcher. The normally reserved human was more animated than Spike had ever seen him. He wondered, idly, if Angel had ever known his pet human like this, but berated himself for thinking about Angel when doing that just depressed him once more. A brief image of Angel's rigid back flashed into his mind, so he flushed it out with a drink. Wesley lent forward with excitement and sometimes flung himself back against the couch, but the most surprising thing of all to Spike was that the watcher was clearly aroused by the match. Pheromones poured off him; the room was awash with the power of his arousal. Spike felt light headed with its affect on him. Wesley seemed unconscious of his state except, once or twice, when he leant forward, Spike could have sworn he saw a flicker of discomfort at the tightness of his jeans cross Wesley's face. This tightness fascinated Spike. He watched Wesley's penis through the thin fabric where it was clearly outlined, lying to the right.
Spike knew he was drunk when he started to picture the tip of Wesley's uncut cock just peeking from the opening. Why was it peeking? ...oh yeah, he'd begged the watcher to take it out - he'd skipped that bit - it was too embarrassing. So, the cock appeared. As Spike watched Wesley's enjoyment of the football, he pictured giving him something much more enjoyable. He could crouch between those open thighs and pinch the foreskin lightly. Wesley would have better cause than a good move from Michael Owen to hiss with pleasure. He could let the tiny slit have just a moment of freedom and exposure before he drew it into his dark, cool mouth. Maybe Wesley's hands would come to rest on his head as he sucked on the warm penis, as he rubbed it on the back of his throat, and as he made the human gasp with delight. When he shouted, Wesley would be shouting for him; when he groaned, it would be a deeper, more erotic groan than he made now. When Wesley asked if he were all right, it would be with warm hands massaging his hair.
Spike jerked back to full consciousness. 'What? Bloody hell! What happened?'
Wesley laughed. 'It's half time. You were asleep.'
'Ah. You groan when you're awake do you?'
'I'm err… can I use your bathroom, mate?'
Totally wrong-footed by this odd request, Wesley could only wave Spike in its direction. Did vampires need to pee? It was most odd.
'Fuck.' Spike leant on the inside of the door and eased himself out of his jeans. He thought this might have been one of those times when he regretted not wearing shreds of any sort. He closed his eyes, praying he hadn't left a damp patch and opened them with a relieved sigh. His erection was nearly exploding but apparently not yet visibly so. He staggered over to the toilet bowl and just made it there before an arc of cum shot out and plopped into the water. He came over and over again; ragged jerking of his cock all that was necessary to empty his sac. It was unbelievable. He'd only been fantasising about sucking the watcher off, yet here he was wanking into the loo like a horny teenager on a first date. Date? Cordelia's words came back at just the wrong time to mock him.
He finished and flushed, well aware that this behaviour was odd and briefly wondered how to cover with the human. He needn't have worried too much. Wesley wasn't there when he came out, and he heard slight movements from the direction of the bedroom. He took the opportunity to drink another few whiskies and fill Wesley's glass for him. He chortled to himself when the watcher finally emerged and nonchalantly passed him the drink. 'Second half's started, mate. You're missing it.'
'Oh, right.' The smell of human cum almost overpowered Spike. He tipped his head back, savouring the smell and the knowledge that Wesley had been similarly engaged to him. He smiled, but then frowned slightly. He was the one supposed to be excited. Wesley wasn't allowed to get off thinking about him… that was too suppressed whatsit for Spike's liking. He shifted imperceptibly away from Wesley on the couch, well aware that for a sexually predatory vampire he was behaving illogically. Shouldn't he be capitalising on his obvious conquest? Spike sipped his drink thoughtfully. The awful suspicion had crossed his mind that it had been the football, rather than his obvious charms, that had excited the watcher. What if he made some sort of move and was rejected? He wouldn't have minded that when he started this game… that was all par for the course when you were hunting: you ignored protest and just changed tactics slightly. So why would that bother him now? Why would Wesley's rejection of him… fuck, Wesley's laugher at the suggestion… bloody hell! Wesley preferring David Seaman to his semen… affect him now?
Spike sunk lower in the couch, hoping the richer oxygen down there that he didn't need to breathe would help him with this puzzle. He'd just got off thinking about Wesley. Wesley had just got off probably thinking about the footie, and he was pissed off about that? Yes, he was, and he was buggered if he was going to risk rejection... and fuck he was drunk now. He cast a baleful glance at Wesley and saw a distinct lack of concentration on the match in him, too.
'I think I am, too. And I don't have a vampire's constitution.'
'I'd better go.'
'Stay. The couch is yours, if you want it. But, Spike, I will be metaphorically locking my door very sturdily tonight.'
Spike looked impressed. 'How'd ya do that then? 'S a good trick that.'
'I mean, I'm drunk, but I'm not that drunk. Not as drunk as last time I was drunk with you. Do you understand?'
'Why we always getting drunk together, Wes? Am I nervous of you? I mean… are you nervous of me?'
'I am, I think. I'm nervous of Angel; I know that.'
'Fucking hell.' Spike flung himself up, misjudged the force his own propulsion and ended up on the floor. 'Woops. And, yeah... fucking hell, don't talk 'bout 'im. I don't want to talk about 'im tonight.'
'He did upset you.' Wesley looked down in an unfocused way at his glass and murmured in a rather maudlin tone, 'He bloody upsets me all the time, too.'
Spike rolled onto his back and peered up at Wesley. 'Uh huh. I thought he was mister soul boy and all saintly like.'
'Well, yes, he is. But living with a saint when you want a… anyway. I think I'd better be off to bed. Sleep tight.'
Spike watched Wesley trying unsuccessfully to stand, and tried to remember what he was here for. 'Do you like me shirt?' It wasn't his most subtle approach, or his most original, but he felt the moment was getting away from him.
'Me shirt.' Spike held the front of the fabric out for his inspection. 'Do you like it? Cus I can't see it like… on me.'
'Oh, yes. I suppose so. I'm not very good with clothes. Ask Cordelia, she knows all about that sort of thing. I'm better with books really.'
Wesley was supposed to have said, "Take it off, Spike, you could see it then." Why wasn't this human being good prey? Spike was too drunk to change the tactics of an unlifetime and replied weakly, 'Oh. Pity. I'm not so good with those. Now I'm dead an' all.'
Finally, Wesley managed to stand and stepped over Spike. 'Are you going to use the couch or stay on the floor?'
'All right. I'll see you in the morning then. It's quite shady in this room; don't worry.' He was wasting his breath, for the arch, predatory fiend was already asleep. He chucked a throw in his unexpected houseguest's direction and made his way unsteadily to his own bed.
He had an awful night, was hours late for work, and in no mood to obsessively watch Angel as usual. He barely registered Angel's comment about going out, only gratefully resting his head on the desk when he'd left. The whole night, it seemed to him, he'd lain awake with his blood pounding and surging through his heart, his stomach sick and heaving, his head threatening to open up between his temples, so thirsty he thought he would die, but too dizzy to attempt getting up for a drink. When the alarm had gone off at six, he had fallen into a deep, much needed sleep, and had not woken until ten. When he realised the time, he didn't even stop for a shower or a shave, but pulled on some clean clothes and made his way through the darkened apartment. On his way out, he cast a sour look at the still sleeping vampire, wondering - not for the first time - whether the dead (like the unemployed) didn't have life better sorted. Spike was almost twisted around the legs of the coffee table, the remote control clutched to his chest. Other than that, he did not look the worse for wear. Wesley drove slowly to the office, well aware he was still over the limit, and sat at his desk wondering why he'd bothered to come in at all. No one would have missed him. He could have woken later in the day with Spike... well, not with Spike. Spike was not in his bed this time... and had he regretted that on waking? Had he left the metaphorical locks off his door deliberately? Is that why he'd lain awake all night? Had he been waiting for a silent approach that never came? Was that why he was in a foul mood now?
Wesley knew he was not very good at introspection. He feared to look too closely into his subconscious for fear he might find unpalatable truths there mocking him and threatening his English reserve. He stopped all such self-examination now and made a pot of strong tea. Tea was preferable to thinking anyway... but the tea made him need to pee. Peeing made him think of Spike's sudden, mystifying disappearance last night, and that made him think of his own reaction. Memories of that unexpected, but intensely pleasurable hand job let normally repressed erotic thoughts tumble into his head. These made his body do what it had wanted to do since he'd gotten up that morning. He heaved noisily and painfully into the toilet, ridding his body of some of last night's whiskey, and all of today's tea. When he'd finished, he stood up and washed his face, not daring to look at his reflection. The feel of his stubble alone made him wince. He decided to take the sickie he should have earlier and left the office in Cordelia's capable hands, making his way back to the apartment.
Spike was not under the coffee table anymore. On a brief search, Wesley discovered him face down and asleep on his bed, wearing only the silk shirt he had seemed so worried about the previous night. It had ridden up over his backside, and Wesley couldn't help but smile at the rather child-like appearance this gave the ancient demon.
Wesley was rather at a loss now. He'd planned on retreating to the bed himself, but decided to freshen up, instead, and ran a deep, hot bath, pouring in anything sweet-smelling and eau-de-vomit masking he could find. He soaked for a long time, shaved, and then dressed in something comfortable. Feeling almost fully recovered, he decided a large cooked breakfast would soak up any remaining alcohol and give him the required strength to fight off any lingering hangover. He put some bacon on to fry and was amused when a bleary-eyed vampire emerged almost immediately from the bedroom. Spike was still dressed only in his shirt although, now standing, this covered what it needed to. ''S that for me?'
'You want to eat?'
'English bacon I do, yeah.'
'Oh.' Wesley threw some more in the pan and offered Spike some tea. 'Eggs and fried bread, too, I seem to remember?'
Spike grinned through his pain. 'Yeah... this is getting repetitive, Watcher.'
'Least I wasn't sick over you this time, Spike.'
'Yes, at work, I regret to say.'
'Work! You've been to work? Fuck! What time is it?'
'Oh God... he'll be.... Err... did you see Angel?'
'Briefly. He seemed in his perpetual foul mood and went out.'
'Uh huh. Did you say anything about last night?'
'No, should I have?'
'Oh bleedin' fuck yes! You could have said I was drunk and passed out on the floor!'
'And he'd have wanted to hear that, would he?'
'I think so, yeah.' ("But I'm not so sure of that now to tell him myself.")
Spike sat despondently eating his breakfast. Where was all this going wrong? Why was all this going wrong? He was supposed to have shagged the watcher last night, not slept on his floor like a reluctant virgin. He was supposed to be doing this for Angel, not worried about Angel's reaction to something that hadn't happened anyway. It was too much to puzzle out on a good day; with a raging headache, he had no chance.
Wesley's hesitant words pulled him out of his revere. 'What do you intend to do now, Spike? Are you going home?' It was on the tip of Spike's tongue to reply, "Don't have one of those," but kept his misery to himself.
'Dunno. Might stay 'til it's dark, if that's okay. What do you usually do then?'
'Well, there's only the weekends, obviously, but I read at bit, watch TV... although I try not to watch daytime American shows - that's always seemed to me to be a line I ought not to cross somehow. I do housework, unfortunately. Not very exciting I'm afraid, is it?'
'Well, it beats rummaging in the dump for stuff and being beaten up by teenage girls and, mate, once you've crossed that daytime telly line, life's so easy... you don't even notice the descent after that.'
Wesley smiled shyly. 'So, that's the choice then, Spike, until nightfall... reading, telly, or housework. Take your pick.'
Spike tipped his head back and actually heard a seductive reply in his head. It would run along the lines of, "I can think of something more fun than any of those, Watcher," and he would deliberately accidentally let his shirt ride up as he sat on the stool, exposing the meaning of his words. Instead, he snatched his shirt possessively by the tails and tried unsuccessfully to heave it as far as his knees. 'Can I take a bath, mate?'
'Oh yes, of course. Help yourself, sorry; I should have offered. And if you want clean clothes, borrow some of mine... and God, you are right; this is becoming rather a feature of our relationship, isn't it? Do you think we are doomed to be forever in this apartment, hung over, me cooking you breakfast, and you wearing my clothes?' Wesley's attempt at humour backfired badly. They both looked at each other aghast, Spike - still trying to pull his shirt down decently - headed swiftly for the bathroom; Wesley began to clear up the breakfast dishes. Why had he just said that? It was too ridiculous for words, too... domesticated? Had he actually pictured living with Spike in this apartment for a moment, and had that picture actually been attractive? Was that the line he shouldn't have crossed? It suddenly made Maury look perfectly harmless entertainment.
He listened to the sound of the bath running, imagined he heard silk being pulled over a toned, slim body... did hear gentle sounds of a body being lowered into water, heard a groan, then a sigh, decided he shouldn't be listening at the door, and made himself busy changing his sheets and pottering with the abhorrent housework. Suddenly he remembered he was on a sickie, not a weekend, and was just about to pander to himself with another cup of tea when the telephone rang. Almost grateful for the distraction, he picked it up to find Cordelia, breathless and urgent, summoning him. Not thinking, Wesley knocked on the door, then stuck his head around slightly, trying not to look at the reclining vampire. 'We're needed. Big demon. Angel and Gunn have already left; they've taken weapons for us; we have to meet them there.'
Spike, not realising that Wesley had the door open, hopped out of the tub, and paced over to the towel rail. Wesley hissed slightly when he saw Spike's naked body for the first time. Spike heard him and turned before he had a chance to grab a towel. He stood, completely naked, dripping water onto the tiles, looking horrified at Wesley. 'Jesus! Get out, will you?' He only just fought off the urge to cover himself with his hands but would rather have been naked in front of nuns than resort to that coy device.
'Yes, sorry, of course.' Wesley backed away and shut the door, but his legs wobbled slightly, and he perched feebly on the arm of a chair. It was perfect. Spike was perfect. That body was perfect. He had thought he had found what he was looking for in an enigmatic body - dark haired and graceful - but now he was confused, drawn inexorably to that muscular, defined, toned, beautiful and ... he had to stop thinking like this. Slim. Pale. Stop! That pale, thick penis... that dark patch of curls that would smell so... primordial, like the essence of sex itself. Now... stop! That body was Angel's for one thing. Wesley had not been joking when he had declared his fear of Angel. It was the flip side of his other feelings for the dark-haired, graceful, enigmatic vampire. Wesley was many things, but he was not stupid. He would not risk taking - or even borrowing - anything that was Angel's. He couldn't even begin to imagine the consequences of something that fundamentally stupid... but oh, how he wanted to go back into the bathroom and... and... and what? What did he want to happen? He had never touched another man sexually, except for that unasked for and only half-remembered fumble on the bed with Spike. So now he saw another man's naked body and wanted to come in it ... wanted that body to come in him ... and did he have to decide which now? Was this a 'one or the other' sort of thing? He had no idea. Girlfriends - all right, the one girlfriend - had been so easy. There had been little decision to make; she had suddenly lain on her back one evening and said, 'I'm taking the pill now. We can do it.' She had not moved from that position, and so his role in the whole process had been made clear to him... but with Spike? Who would...? Oh, bloody hell, who could...? He put his head into his hands and only roused when he felt a light hand on his shoulder.
'Come on, Watcher, we've work to do.' Wesley looked up into eyes that unbelievably looked as puzzled and hesitant as he felt his own must be.
'Right. Yes, come on. I'll come with you in the tunnels. No! I mean....'
'I know what you mean, Wes. I know exactly what you mean... let's go.'