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Just An Insubstantial Trick of the Light - Chapter 1

Angel had been living in Spike's crypt with him for a little over two weeks now. He had arrived unexpectedly late one night after Spike had been indulging in a particularly heavy drinking session. This, of course, was not unusual, since Spike drank heavily every night. But this night, he only had the very cheap whisky he'd won in a poker game with some dubious demons, cus he’d drunk all the good stuff he bought with the money he’d meant to use for his bus ticket to LA to see Angel, so he felt especially drunk. So drunk, in fact, that he had been lying in his own vomit for a while before he realized that what he had taken to be left over pizza… wasn't.

He sat up with a curse of disgust, not for his behaviour, hell he was dead and no one cared what he did, particularly him. No, his curse was because it was hellish getting puke off leather. He knew. Hellish and expensive. Shit. He slowly stripped out of his offending duster and T-shirt and turned slowly - testing his balance - to place them on the chair.

And that's when he saw Angel.

'Fucking hell,' was his only coherent comment. Whatever else he might have said was lost in the curses that issued forth when, stepping back in shock, he slipped again in his not-pizza drinking detritus.

Half naked, covered in puke and cursing was not how he had pictured his longed for reunion with his beloved Sire. Shit, who was he kidding? Angel had not been longed for, or beloved, in at least one hundred years. Sometimes, Spike wondered just who it was the gypsies had tried to curse. Sometimes, it seemed to him it was Spike himself who had got the worst of the deal. He'd lost his Sire, his best friend and his lover in one evening. Whatever; his current state was not how he had pictured this reunion.

And Angel was looking his usual judgmental, prissy, swirly-coat self, which did not help Spike's mood. He just knew the fucker was cross about the bus money. Just like Angel.

'What the fuck are you looking at, you poncey, nancy-boy, faggot?' was what he tried to say. 'Whhhyalloinatyerponnnnabyfag?' was how it came out. Nevertheless, he straightened up. He'd made his point.

He stared at Angel, and Angel started back at him.

'You fucking gonna say something then, mate?' Apparently not, Angel stayed in the chair, looking at Spike.

'Fuck off. Stop looking at me!' Spike took a swing at Angel. He missed. Not due to the drinking, but to the fact that Angel did not appear to be actually… there. Spike just fell into empty space. He struggled with the armchair for a while, which had maliciously decided to pick tonight to viciously attack him, and whirled around. Angel was now sitting on the tomb, swinging his legs and looking down at a slight speck on his frock coat.

Spike staggered over to him and, this time, cautiously put his hand out to touch his leg. Nothing. Angel was as insubstantial as the air around him. He was definitely there, but just, not there.

Spike immediately swore off all liquor ever again. Well, to be honest, he swore off cheap whisky acquired from demons. Oh, fuck it, excessive cheap whiskey obtained from demons. Yeah, in moderation he would allow it. But oh, what the fuck was he supposed to do now? He had a silent, insubstantial Angel in his crypt, looking at him. Judging him. Hating him, probably. He wished he had some vomit left so he could vomit a bit on Angel. It wasn't that he hadn't imagined Angel enough times recently. Hell, Angel was his favorite fuck fantasy. He'd ousted the Slayer, in fact, and that was a tough job, cus she was good, too. But his previous manifestations had been purely in Spike's own warped imagination; he'd never actually… seen him before. This was not good. It did not bode well for Spike's gradually disintegrating state of mind. He was sure it was something to do with the chip. That was his theory, and he was sticking to it. After all, they gave human fuck-ups electric jolts to stop them seeing stuff that weren't there, so his were just doing the opposite.

Now he couldn’t settle to anything: all his important, evil stuff that had to be done, cus Angel was just there all the time, looking at him. Whatever he did, whether he moved to the left or to the right, Angel watched him. He tried a funny face. No reaction. Angel just continued to look. He vamped out. Angel didn’t and continued to watch him. He sat back in his chair and picked up a bottle. He took a sip. Angel did nothing. Okay, this was not going to be too bad. Angel did not appear to be interested in stopping Spike having fun. He sipped his cheap whisky for a while, considering his options.

One option seemed much more attractive than any other he could think of. So he moved his hand slowly, down over his crotch. Angel's eyes followed his hand. Oh, now this was going to be interesting: Angel hallucination, one he could actually see, was going to be his fuck bunny now, too. Lucky him.

Spike closed his eyes for a little privacy and took himself out. The cold air in the crypt chilled the moist tip of his cock slightly. He peeked at Angel. Angel was definitely looking interested. Spike closed his eyes again and started a long, slow pulling of his, by now, urgent erection.

It only took four strokes before he felt another, larger hand over his. He opened his eyes to find Angel kneeling in front of him… helping him. Angel looked up and smiled, and Spike's heart flipped over. He closed his eyes and took his own hand away. But Angel stopped, too. Spike replaced his hand, and Angel joined back in again. Bizarre.

Together, they kept Spike erect for over an hour. For the last few minutes, Angel put his mouth over the tip, so when Spike eventually came, he came into the place he'd most liked coming all his unlife. It was a pity Angel was so insubstantial; Spike's cum splashed onto the floor of the crypt, just as effectively as if Angel had not actually been there. Angel gave Spike a rueful smile and returned to his preferred place on the tomb.

Spike left himself out and just looked at Angel.

He was not sure what this was supposed to be all about, but he had very little inclination to question it too much.

He had the distinct feeling, anyway, that when he sobered up in the morning, Angel would not be there.

In that case, better make sure he didn’t sober up!

He picked up the bottle again and finished off the last few inches. He said goodnight and goodbye to Angel, just in case, and hunkered down further in his chair.

For once, his dreams were untroubled by dreams of Angel. Dreams of missing Angel. Dreams of loving Angel. For once, his dreams were good dreams. He dreamt of railroad spikes in soft human arses; he dreamt of screaming that tore at his skin, making him hot and horny. He dreamt of rivers of blood and endless fucking. Yeah, real good, happy dreams.

He woke when the sun came up. He smelt its evil softness creeping across one wall of the crypt. He was afraid to open his eyes. Him, the Big Bad. Afraid. This was not good. So he opened them boldly.

Angel was not on the tomb.

He was sitting beside Spike on the arm of the chair, his chin resting on his hand and, as usual, he was looking at Spike. This time, the smile on his face was lascivious. He wanted Spike, that was clear. So Spike felt it only fair to oblige his houseguest. Embarrassingly, he was still hanging out. That was not a good way to sleep. Not in a crypt where no one ever bloody bothered to knock when they came in. But it explained Angel's eager look and the urgent erection Spike now had. Even his cock could see Angel apparently.

This time, Angel used his tongue from the outset. As soon as Spike closed his eyes tightly enough, his hand was joined by Angel's tongue. Angel still refused to go it alone, stopping infuriatingly every time Spike’s hand stilled but, all in all, it was a good blowjob. Again, Spike spilled his seed to the floor. Again, Angel looked sorry he could not swallow it for Spike.

Spike had a long, boring day to fill now. The curse of being a vampire. He thought about watching TV and wondered what show Angel would like to watch. He asked him, but got no reply. Angel only shrugged, and Spike took that to mean whatever Spike wanted to watch was okay with Angel. Good. That was how it should be. They started with a programme about how to lose weight and get your lover to want you again, which they followed with a very interesting programme on cooking seafood the Cajun way. Ordinarily, Spike would not have watched these sorts of shows; he'd have hurled abuse at the mincing presenters and flicked channels. But Angel seemed to enjoy them, and Spike found a slightly worrying enjoyment in just having Angel there with him. Although Angel couldn’t, or didn’t, talk, he was brilliant company – shit, he was just company – and at least Spike could talk to him. Which he did. He started talking as the first show started, and he found himself still talking late that evening. He must have told Angel everything and anything he could think of about his life, about himself. Angel listened attentively. Occasionally, he persuaded Spike to have another wank. And that, in Spike's book, made him the perfect houseguest.

Oh yeah. Angel could stay as long as he liked.

Which was why, two weeks later, Angel was still there. Still listening, still not talking, still assisting in the necessary, frequent, and particularly enjoyable jacking off sessions.

Spike's feelings for his Sire had changed, though, quite dramatically since Angel's arrival. For the first few days he had done nothing but talk to Angel. But being such a good listener had persuaded Spike to try Angel out in other ways. So he showed him his stuff. All his good stuff that he had collected and liked. Stuff no one else would be bothered to see and probably wouldn’t appreciate if they had seen it. Angel was suitably impressed and allowed Spike free reign to lay out and discuss his treasures. However, that had only really occupied one day, cus Spike's collection was really quite small, and once he produced the porn mags, Angel was more interested in the effect of those on Spike than anything remaining in the small cardboard box that held Spike's treasures.

Rereading all his porn mags with Angel had been fun though and had taken another day, because Angel actually wanted Spike to 'read' them, as opposed to looking intently at the pictures, cuming on them, and moving on. Once he had unstuck one or two of his favorites, he indulged Angel's whim and read to him for an hour or two, putting on funny voices, mimicking the lusty tones he felt the writers had aimed for. Spike was a natural mimic and an inventive entertainer, but he needed an audience to shine. Angel was the perfect audience. Other than the fact he kept insisting on putting his mouth over Spike's cock, just as Spike was getting to good bits, he was the perfect, porn companion. But again, that only lasted a day. Then Spike got bored. And angry. He was angry that Angel was only a trick of the light. He wanted Angel to… do something more substantial. At this stage, he didn’t care what, just something. Preferably something involving his cock but, honestly, he wasn't that particular. Anything really.

So he got angry and spent a few days pleasantly abusing Angel. The first time he tried out a few of his choicest terms of abuse, Spike had retreated behind the safety of his chair. Angel was unpredictable, strong, and ferocious, as well as being a pompous killjoy with no sense of humour. So Spike took no chances the first time. He'd had the torture thing enough for one hundred years. But Angel, for once, could not retaliate to the insult. He had merely stood there looking exactly how Spike would have imagined he would look being insulted and not being able to do anything about it. Yeah, exactly. Brilliant. So Spike did it again. And again. He quickly used up his entire repertoire of curses, swear words, and insults, a fact that rather surprised him. He'd have thought that living over one hundred years, and knowing various demon languages - languages that specialize in the more unpleasant side of linguistics - he'd have thought he'd have lasted a bit longer. He was slightly fazed by this, but he shrugged it off and started again, this time illuminating his already colourful speech with obscene gestures. He was enjoying this, and Angel clearly wasn’t. That had entertained him for at least two days. But, worryingly, Angel had decided to retaliate to these taunts with the one way he could… by slightly fading. He became clearly transparent. And this was not good. So Spike stopped the taunting and decided to get drunk again. After all, he reasoned Angel had appeared after one good drinking session, perhaps he too needed alcohol to get through unlife, just like Spike himself.

So, he spent the next two days drinking. And he was right. Angel got substantially more real. So real in fact, that Spike started actually feeling him. And that was just perfect.

It had happened for the first time on the third night of Spike's indulgence. He had decided to take himself down into the lower levels of the crypt where he kept the old mattress he had reclaimed from the dump and called his bed. At first, Angel had refused to come anywhere near such a filthy, old, evil smelling thing. Until, that is, Spike had pointed out that, as he, Spike, was lying on it, Angel had no choice in the matter - being as he was only a trick of the light.

Angel did not in the least take umbrage with this rather rude and quite cavalier attitude, and rewarded Spike for his assertiveness later that night. Spike had fallen asleep in a drunken, deep stupor with his pillows bunched up and hugged to his chest. He occasionally did this when very drunk not, of course, because he was lonely and seeking comfort from a body-shaped pillow, but in case he vomited in the night and needed to be propped up. He'd heard of vomit-induced night suffocations, and he wasn’t about to risk it, even if he couldn't suffocate because he didn’t need to breathe. So he squished his pillows into a rough body shape, curled around them, laid his hand on the pillow-body's stomach, and sank into a deep and, this time, dreamless sleep.

He was quite excited and pleased, therefore, to wake in the middle of the night to find that Angel had taken the place of the pillows. If he kept his eyes tightly shut, he could distinctly feel his hand on Angel's muscular stomach, and feel Angel's soft hair lightly on his face, as he curled around his now sleeping Sire. This was just bloody perfect. Spike shifted imperceptibly to get closer to Angel, and Angel woke up. Spike obediently kept his eyes shut. He knew Angel didn’t like it when he opened them whenever they were together. In fact, he had a tendency to disappear when Spike opened his eyes. So he didn't, he even squeezed them a bit, just to reassure Angel that he wouldn’t ruin this.

Angel rewarded this by turning in Spike's arms and rubbing his face over Spike's. He took Spike's hand and put it on Spike's insistent, throbbing cock. He lay on top of Spike for a while - surprisingly, light as a feather - while Spike brought himself to an explosive orgasm. But, best of all, he stayed afterwards, and let Spike whisper words of love and need into his ear, 'til Spike smelt the sun coming up and the mood was broken.

But that had, of course, ruined everything for Spike. Now he had admitted to the git that he loved him. He had become a wuss, a pansy, a fairy, a faggot, a queer, a fudge-packer, a hamster habit. Everything he had thrown at Angel the day before, he now cursed himself with. Angel tried to reassure him that all was well. In fact, he seemed to become slightly more substantial all day and had, at one point, even placed a hand on Spike's neck and rubbed lightly on the small, blond hairs he found there. He stopped as soon as Spike shifted in the chair, but he had done it, and that was enough.

Spike admitted to himself, and told Angel, what he had really known all along… he loved Angel. Angel only smiled, as if he was telling Spike that he had known it all along, too. Even when Spike was torturing him, even when Spike was trying to kill him, all along, he'd known that that was just Spike's way of showing hurt and betrayal. After all, Sire, best friend and lover, all in one night… just gone. It had been a lot to take in and even more to cope with when said Sire, best friend and lover, had suddenly reappeared in a school corridor, when Spike was definitely not at his best and caught off guard. Angel showed him all of this with one small smile, and Spike was pleased that Angel knew it at last, because he'd wanted to tell him all this time that that's how he felt, but had never had the nerve.

This Angel was much more receptive to declarations of love, he found, than the Angel he had seen on and off for the last three years. This Angel, enjoyed being told that Spike loved him. So, for the last few days, that's what he had been doing. He'd been loving Angel. He'd told him every way he loved him. He'd talked at length about Angel's hair, Angel's face, Angel's body, Angel's voice, Angel's laugh, Angel's cock, Angel's clothes, Angel's character. He'd dwelt at length on the cock, of course, because Angel liked that bit best, in both senses of that.

Angel proved, yet again, to be an avid listener. He listened to all of this very intently, so intently that every night he became a bit more substantial and real to Spike. One night, he almost felt Angel's lips on his. Especially if he placed his hand in one certain position on the pillow. It seemed as soon as Angel sensed Spike's hand was in that position, there would come his soft, sweet lips to Spike's.

So, by the end of the two weeks of Angel's residence, Spike was totally, completely, one hundred per cent, in love with his Sire again. Angel was his best friend - not difficult when, as Angel pointed out, he was his only friend - and Angel was his lover. Albeit that aspect of their relationship was still a little circumspect, given that Angel was only an insubstantial trick of the light. Spike had tried various ways to persuade Angel to be a little more anally substantial in bed and had, once or twice, brought various tubes and food items into the bed with him to try and force Angel to take him in. But Angel refused to manifest in the apple pie or the broken Hoover tube and, even when Spike had his eyes so tightly screwed shut that he could see lights popping behind his closed lids, even then, they remained a dirty old suck tube, and a messy squash of apple pie. Stupid film. He knew it was a crock of shit.

It seemed that Angel, however much he loved Spike, was not willing at this stage to go beyond kissing and assisting in the hourly hand rituals.

And make no mistake: Angel did love Spike. He had told him, frequently, during these heady, exciting three days. Well, he had shown Spike, anyway, cus Angel never spoke at all, regardless how drunk Spike became; he stayed infuriatingly silent. But Spike knew what he was trying to say. Spike found it surprisingly easy to translate Angel's silences. And, all his silences said loud and clear that he, Angel, loved him, Spike.

So, Spike was very, very happy these days. So happy, he never left his crypt. Why should he? He had everything he needed right here. Except for food, that was. He'd run out of blood and was now getting desperate. He really didn’t want to leave Angel alone. Not that he thought Angel would steal anything or make a mess, only that he might decide to leave when Spike was out, and not come back. And that was intolerable. So, Spike hung on, getting hungrier and hungrier. At last, he was forced to leave, as he was considering trying to suck his own cock, just for sustenance. And if he was going to attempt that, he wanted it to be for pleasure alone.

He gave Angel an extremely stern lecture about staying put. Firstly, he pointed out he loved him and he wanted him there when he got back but ,secondly, and just as important, Spike did not want him following him to the Watcher's where he was going to bum some blood. No way did Spike want the harsh light of the Watcher's reasoning destroying his Angel. Angel was best off staying right here, where he was loved and needed.

Angel took the lecture in good part, assured Spike that he loved him, too, and hopped up, obediently, on the tomb to wait for his return.

Spike set off across the cemetery. He felt strangely alone now. He had been talking non-stop to Angel for two weeks. Other than the occasional sleep, the frequent wanking, that's all they had done. Talk. Well, Spike had done that, and Angel had listened. So, now, all this quiet was depressing. It was like it had been before Angel came. Spike did not like it. Even more, he was extremely worried that Angel would be gone when he returned. That somehow, this burst of fresh air and reality would drive Angel away. And that was the worst thing Spike had thought of in a long time.

So, he was particularly pissed off to get to the Watcher's and find the whole fucking Scoobie gang there.

He was not in the mood to make idle banter with them... given they never appreciated his sense of humour and never laughed anyway, not like Angel had been doing for the last two weeks. Angel found everything Spike said funny, and that only served to make Spike funnier.

He went in and started to make one of his usual rude, but true, comments on one or other of the gang, when he was brought up short by the sight of Angel, perched up on the counter, looking at him with a quizzical look on his face. Spike was furious. How dare he. How dare he come here with him like this and embarrass him. Although Spike was happy enough to be going slowly round the bend in the privacy of his own crypt, he had a reputation to maintain. And seeing tricks of the light Angels in the Watcher's house did not fit his own image of himself, let alone the one he wanted the children to see. How dare he. And God! What if Angel did something incredibly erotic and turned him on; shit, even thinking about it had got him hard now. Fortunately, given the multi-purpose nature of his duster, it acted as a sun cover up as well as a stonkin' hard-on cover up, so he was okay. Humans couldn’t smell his arousal either. But he was still pissed off. He did not like having erections in the Watcher's house, unless he had a bit of time and space to wank off on Giles' couch and flip the cushions over to hide the damp spot.

So, after initial banter with the minions, he stalked over to Angel under the cover of going into the kitchenette to get some blood from the fridge. With his back to Angel, so the others could not see he was talking to himself, he let loose a hissed stream of low, vitriolic fury at his presence there.

'How dare you. How dare you come here when I told you to stay put. I told you I wanted you there when I got back and you agreed. Some kind of fucking love this is then, mate. And after I let you suck me off all last night as a pre-reward for being good today and staying there. You know I fucking love you, I've told you enough times, haven't I? If you're here, you might not be there when I get back, and I've told you, Angel, I won't stand for that. Rather kill meself than not have you again, even if you are only an insubstantial trick of the fucking light. So, fucking stay put next time, when you’re told to. You’re my bleeding fantasy, and I’ll say what’s what. Right? And don’t think I haven’t noticed you’re fully dressed again. I told ya, naked... all the time, so, you fucking better have that dark avenger shit off again when you get home. And if you come back from this little jaunt a little more insubstantial than before, I'll fucking make you watch Passions all day with me again. We've been going for substantial; remember, mate? We've been working on your hardness, remember? And in more ways than one, cus I promise you, as soon as you become hard enough, I'm going have you up me arse where you belong. Cus I've been without you for a hundred fucking years, and I ain't gonna give up this chance to have you to meself again. Don't care how many bleeding bottles of whisky it takes. And where the fuck is my blood?'

'Hello, Spike. Nice to see you again, too.'

No one in the room would have noticed anything untoward, given how quietly Spike had spoken to Angel, had Spike not, at that quiet reply from the figure sitting on the counter, leapt back two feet with a high-pitched scream.

Angel just looked at him with his deep brown eyes with a highly amused look on his face. On his very substantial, very beautiful face.

'Any chance you might be thinking about hot pokers, Spike, seeing this is the first time you've seen Angel since that little, 'how to win friends and influence people', episode of yours.' If Spike's brain was working at all, he would have surmised from the Watcher's comment that he, too, could see this talking Angel. As his brain wasn’t working, he ignored the comment, and just put his hand out to Angel, tentatively touching Angel's hand, which was lying on his lap.

Hard. And so was the hand.

Oh fuck.

Spike looked wildly around the room. Everyone was looking at him. He had the insane desire to cry out, 'Can you all see him, too?' But he wasn’t sure if it would be a good thing if they could or not. Would that mean his insubstantial Angel had become so real other people could see him, or did it mean… fuck, no. Surely anything but that. He looked again. He had to admit, there were subtle differences between this Angel and his Angel.

This Angel was wearing hair gel again. For some reason, over the two weeks Angel had been with him, Spike had made him stop wearing hair gel. There was just something about the smell of that particular item that made Spike think too much about wanking in the dark alone. It had become his sad smell, and he didn’t like sad, not when he now had an Angel to be happy with. So, no hair gel had been the rule. But this Angel had in the incredibly expensive, totally poofy hair gel he always wore. And this Angel, as Spike had already pointed out to him, was fully dressed. His Angel had paraded around naked the whole time: after the first night anyway, and who was Spike to disagree with Angel’s choice of undress?

This Angel was also looking supercilious and poofy, and his Angel had not looked like that since Spike's first wanking session with him had wiped that look off his face permanently.

So, there were subtle differences. He put his hand out again and, this time, ran one finger over this Angel's lips. If the others were watching before, they were riveted now. Spike had marched in, gone to the fridge, spent some minutes apparently engrossed in its contents, given an unholy scream, jumped impressively - even for a vampire - and was now running his hands over parts of Angel's body. Most entertaining, even for Spike, who they found quite entertaining anyway. They couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

Disappointingly, Spike seemed to find what he wanted in Angel's lips, and to have confirmed there whatever it was he wanted confirmed, because he suddenly screamed again and ran out.

And what was even more annoying, Angel hopped off the counter and followed him out. Given he had come to Sunnydale to help them with a particularly nasty demon, they thought that was a pretty bad show. Or Giles did, in that particularly English way of his. But what was the most annoying thing, was that they were clearly not going to be privilege to the follow up of the 'Spike screams and feels up Angel' spectacular they had just witnessed.

How extremely disappointing.

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