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Chapter 10

Angel got to the bar ten minutes early.  He’d played their conversation back in his mind the whole intervening two hours.  It had amused him to torture himself with the thought that Spike had actually been talking about someone else—that he would walk in here soon with Lenny or some other employee of the company. Amused and aroused him….

He selected a seat where he could see the door and drank steadily.

When Spike entered the bar, the glass slipped from Angel’s hand.

He tried not to stare.

He tried to rise to his feet.

He mopped at the spilt drink, trying to process what he was seeing.

Spike had shaved his head.

Spike had had his hair shaved—a close, light brown stubble was all that was now left of what had been longish, blond locks.

It wasn’t the hair—or lack of it—that Angel stared at. It was Spike’s head. Every bone was now revealed in perfect alignment. He’d never seen a head better suited to such a cut.

Torn denims, a sleeveless T-shirt and the hair…. The bartender refused to serve him and demanded to see some ID.

Angel came up to the bar and, half in shock, ordered drinks for them both. Spike suddenly seemed shy and slid into the seat, lighting a cigarette intently.

When Angel sat down, he asked softly, ‘Well?’

‘I—.’ Angel hesitated. ‘Can I touch it?’

Spike laughed. ‘I bet you say that to all the boys.’  He lowered his head obediently.

Angel stretched out his hand and ran it lightly over the stubble. ‘Jesus.’

Spike grinned and sat back, smoking and watching Angel.


Spike’s face suddenly became less readable.  He leant forward and said deceptively calmly, ‘So you won’t get us mixed up anymore.’ He glanced up then continued, ‘I make my own starting lines when I want them.’

Angel couldn’t take his eyes off the bone structure, the artist in him longing to sketch Spike, the man in him wanting to do something else.

He ran his hand over it once more, and Spike half-shrugged him off. ‘People are looking.’

‘Are they jealous?’

Spike almost blushed and leant back out of reach. ‘Drink up, poof.’

‘Why? What’s the rush?’

‘None at all. I just wanna get you drunk so I can seduce you.’

Angel toyed with his drink, swirling it around in the glass. ‘Who says I need to be drunk for that?’

Spike suddenly leant forward and said in a low voice, ‘Ingram taught me some fun things, Angel. Did he teach you, too?’

Angel felt a surge of anger rise from his belly at this so casual mention of the man who’d torn apart his life.  He sat dumbfounded that Spike could be so insensitive. But the anger didn’t grow as it always did. It swirled around for a while and then sank back, and its wake left him acutely aware of nuances in Spike’s expression.  Suddenly, he knew that it was over: Spike’s anger at being used, and his guilt for allowing Spike to be used.  He realised that the past was just that: the past—and not just the recent past either. By that one question, Spike had done what Angel had always hoped he would. He’d closed the gap for him between his widely divergent paths.

In response, he marked the spot where these paths met as his own new starting line. He leant forward, grabbed Spike’s wrist in an almost painful grip and very slowly pulled it toward his mouth.  Deliberately, seductively, he took a drag of Spike’s cigarette, knowing they were still being watched. ‘Yeah, he did.  He liked me to practice them, too.’

Spike rose, pushing his chair so hard it fell over. He didn’t even stop to check that Angel was following.

They hit the night air, and Angel asked almost breathlessly, ‘Where?’

‘My place.’  Spike jogged across the street, clearly impatient when Angel had to wait for a moment for traffic.

They hit the apartment block running and fumbled with the outer door key.  By the time they made it to Spike’s door, fingers wouldn’t work, and the key was dropped in the dark. Finally, Spike turned sideward and kicked the door in.  They tumbled into the dark in a confusion of denim and leather. 

Thumped up against a wall, Spike tore desperately at buttons, not sure whether they were Angel’s or his, aware only that he needed to remove what separated them.

Angel shoved his hand inside Spike’s pants and found what he wanted.

Released, their cocks stood hard and urgent, already wet from the intense excitement.

For their first time, it was nothing like either of them expected: both, somewhere in their human halves, expecting long, slow kisses, and pleasures taken and enjoyed in slow time.  This was nothing like a movie scene: they kissed and their teeth clashed together painfully; when Angel began to work Spike’s cock, the shaved head flung back and hit the wall hard.

They didn’t care which cock they jerked off—just that they had one and that it was hot and hard. They mashed cockheads together in desperate need for friction.  They still tried to kiss, but kept missing lips, tasting hair and ears and sweat pooling in the hollows of necks. 

Finally, sweat and pre-ejaculate making their hands impossibly slippery, they grabbed onto clothes and just stood, grinding their hips, thrusting and dry fucking each other.

Things weren’t dry for long.  With a sound more of pain than pleasure, Angel whimpered as his cock spurted long, high shots of sperm between them.  Spike shuddered, hit his head once more as he arched back and cried out with a ragged, pained sob as he shot his load to join Angel’s.

It was a few moments before they realised they were still holding each other with death-like grips on arms. They prized their fingers off, Angel staggering slightly at the loss of support. 

Spike slid down the wall, his pants tangled around his thighs and caught on his boots.  Angel fell to his knees, then twisted around to sit next to him, leaning gratefully on the wall, too.

He made a desultory attempt to pull his pants high enough to cover his still semi-hard erection, then gave up the attempt and just closed his eyes so he couldn’t see it.

In the dark of his head, Angel heard the click of a lighter and smelt the distinctive smoke of Spike’s brand of cigarettes.  He smiled when the end of one touched his lips, and he opened them obediently, summoning just enough energy to hold it.

They smoked silently for a while, both coming down from that place of almost frightening intensity, which had made them paw at each other with such mindless need.

Finally, Angel opened his eyes. He looked once again at Spike’s hair and leant into it for a moment, rubbing his cheek curiously against the stubble. When Spike made an affectionate noise of derision, he straightened. 

After a moment of thinking, Angel tipped his head to one side and said curiously, ‘Where’d the bed go?’

Spike chuckled. ‘Too small. I threw it out.’ He nudged Angel, and Angel turned to look the other way.

A large mattress, still wrapped in plastic, was propped against the living room wall.

Angel huffed. ‘So… you were pretty sure I’d come…?’

Spike turned his head and frowned. ‘I got it for the bloke I was telling you about—from the office.’

Angel nodded sagely but made no further comment.

‘So, how did that family business that you had to do go?’

Angel smiled and flicked his cigarette away.  He cupped his hands around Spike’s neck and pulled him close, staring down at his mouth greedily. ‘I’ll let you know.’ He kissed him, utterly aware who it was; whose mouth he eased his tongue into; whose tongue met his and played. He kissed with the thought Spike, Spike, Spike rolling around in his mind like an incantation of desire.  Thoughtlessly, one hand roamed around Spike’s head, feeling the shape of the skull and rubbing the erotic bristle.

Spike eased him off to say raggedly, ‘Bed?’

Angel shook his head and lowered him to the floor.  Their clothes were damp and hard to remove: pants catching on boots, shoes refusing to come off; but they managed the whole undressing process without their mouths separating, without sparing one thought for what they were doing with their hands, committing every thought to what they were feeling through their lips and tongues and eager mouths.

Angel only withdrew from the kiss when his hand brushed Spike’s chest. Spike arched up with such an intense moan of pleasure that Angel immediately ducked his mouth to a nipple and fastened on with blunt teeth. Spike laughed. ‘Did he tell you I like that?’

Angel nodded, his teeth still fastened around the erect nipple. The motion made Spike pant with pleasure. ‘Bloody hell.’

Angel turned his attention to the other nipple, and a similarly satisfactory noise issued from Spike. 

Angel rose back up and took Spike’s bottom lip in his mouth. Twitching up his eyebrows, he mumbled mockingly, ‘I know other things you like….’

Spike narrowed his eyes, speaking with difficulty. ‘What?’

Angel grinned. He separated Spike’s balls, pressing his thumb between them hard.  Spike’s eyes widened, he gasped and sucked in his breath.  Angel chuckled and attacked one prominently exposed ribcage, laughing. ‘I know what you hate, too!’

Spike howled in outrage at being tickled and rolled away.  Angel lunged and caught him, trying to pin him down. Spike fought back, and after one fervent look of pure delight, they indulged this more familiar passion.

Suddenly, it was anything but familiar. It was entirely new. Fighting naked, fighting with an intimate knowledge of the other’s desires, the violence lasted about a minute before passion overcame them again. Once more, Spike feebly indicated the new mattress, but Angel didn’t want to wait.  With one decided motion, he turned Spike onto his belly and braced over him, one hand seeking him out.

Spike pressed his face into the faded carpet as Angel’s finger found him.  He tensed, and Angel bit lightly into his shoulder. ‘Okay?’

Spike nodded. 

Angel kept his eyes fixed to what he could see of Spike’s face and eased his finger in.  He knew how Spike’s body would respond; he wanted to make sure its owner liked it, too.

Spike suddenly relaxed and pushed back on the intrusion. Angel moaned his pleasure and began to play, exploring—not so much the channel, which he knew pretty well, but the different sounds he could coax from Spike.

These were utterly new. These were delightful, and he indulged himself for a long time, finger and tongue working Spike’s arse in unison: spreading, licking, teasing and probing.

Eventually, Spike stopped making any sound, for he was twisted around, kissing Angel deeply.  Angel played his tongue as he was playing his finger: pushing it in, teasing Spike with it, drawing out the anticipation.

Spike murmured into the kiss, ‘Get some butter or something.’

Angel pulled back. ‘You want lube?’

Spike frowned at something in Angel’s expression and said doubtfully, ‘Well… yeah…?’

Angel’s smile was feral. He leant closer, held his cock to Spike’s moist pink hole, then suddenly groaned and jerked his head back, stretching his neck, exposing every chord. 

Spike shuddered as a cool spill of cum pooled into the natural well of his backside.  It lay there, glistening and thick.

Angel took a deep breath of satisfaction and said, ‘There, lube.’ Still bone-hard, he pushed in and sank deep into the sticky fluid, spilling it out and down Spike’s flawless cheeks in small rivulets of passion.

Spike’s whole body tightened, a taut bow, caught between shock and pleasure. 

Angel put a hand to Spike’s flat belly and heaved him closer, embedding his cock until he could feel his thick bush brushing Spike’s firm flesh.  He wrapped one leg over him and held them both still, nuzzling into the erotic stubble on the side of Spike’s head. ‘Only when you’re ready.’

Angel’s voice was a whisper on Spike’s scalp.

After all the bitter, defensive uses of his tongue over the last hundred and twenty years, for the first time, Spike opened his mouth and said exactly what came into his head—without thinking of the consequences.  It was said and could not be denied or taken back. It set the foundation for their relationship—for all that was to come.  He exhaled deeply and on that breath said, ‘You are so much bigger than Ingram!’

Angel’s face suffused with hot pleasure. Blood rushed to his cock as well, bringing forth a groan from Spike.

Angel didn’t wait any longer for permission to move. He eased the entire length of his cock back out of Spike until the greedy, sucking hole closed around the ridge of his cockhead. Then he made the equally slow journey home.

Spike’s hand came back to grasp his thigh, and the second spontaneous comment of the night escaped him. ‘Harder.’

Angel pushed him flat and braced either side of the slim body. He dipped slowly at the waist and ground from side to side. Ingram had screamed his delight at this. Spike bit his hand and remained silent. Angel heard far more genuine pleasure in this mute reaction than he ever had in the human’s vaunting noise.

He couldn’t stay as quiet; the intense tightness of Spike’s backside created friction the whole length of his erection.  He made soft grunts of enjoyment at each dip, moaning faintly as he withdrew.

Thoughtlessly, Angel raked his nails down Spike’s spine. It broke the almost trance-like mood between them.  Spike rose on his hands and knees, saying something incoherent, but scrabbling so frantically to reseat Angel against him that Angel didn’t need a translation.  He knelt to the offered backside and plunged in deep once more.

Spike was alive with pleasure.  He thrust back and dipped; he arched to every stroke of Angel’s thick cock.  He’d thought he’d enjoyed this with the human. He knew now he’d held himself back the whole time, unwilling to demean himself under such coercion. He held nothing back now. He let Angel know every nuance of his enjoyment: how each of the skilful strokes brought him so much pleasure. He could feel Angel swelling on the praise, filling him deeper and stretching him wider.  His whole channel felt sensitive to the pleasure as if that one small gland of desire had come awake and stretched lazily, entwining itself like a serpent around his entire rectum.  His insides quivered on the brink of orgasm, but he didn’t want to come. He never wanted to come again but, instead, stay hung—like this—suspended between Angel punching in and Angel pulling out. There was nothing more. 

He kept this thought for all of another minute until his whole body screamed with the need to shoot.

He flung one arm behind to Angel’s thrusting waist. ‘Now.’

Angel grunted and hung suspended against him.  For a minute Spike thought it was over too soon and that he’d not be able to…. Angel pushed back in so slowly that Spike’s rectum turned over with pleasure. It curled out and whimpered; it sat up and begged. These spasms pleasured Angel so intensely that he cried out, and his shuddering against Spike became frantic. All Spike could feel then was wave after wave of intense pleasure, set free and conducted by Angel’s commanding orgasm. 

Angel’s cum ran in rivulets down the backs of Spike’s thighs; Spike’s spurted to the floor—random jerks of seed from his dick, which pumped entirely free of any hand control.  Cum soaked Angel’s cock; clung in tiny, glistening droplets to his dark hair. Some cum shot from Spike; it dampened already sweat-dampened hair, which sparsely graced his armpits.  It didn’t seem to matter who it came from; sperm coated and joined them, giving their flesh and hair indistinguishable glistening.

For the first time, it hit them both what they were doing, and when they sank exhausted and sated to the floor, it was with a sense of rightness that no sexual experience had brought them before.  Men, they were already obsessed with their own bodies: cock and cum, flat chest and pebbled nipples, heavy balls and strong muscles—and now they had someone to share these obsessions with.

Angel began to laugh first, but his amused self-derision hit Spike, too, and he joined in, turning over, pulling Angel onto him, wrapping arms and legs around the broader form and now resembling a desperate beetle trying to right itself.

Angel nuzzled into one nipple, then slid his mouth over and pressed into Spike’s armpit, breathing in deeply.

Spike swiped him across the head. ‘That’s too freaky.’

‘I like it.’

‘You like Proust; who’s gonna trust your judgement.  Shower?’

Angel shrugged, his mouth still exploring Spike’s sticky body. ‘Sure. Go first if you want….’

Spike shook his head affectionately. ‘I’ll try that again in my more seductive voice: shower?’

Angel lifted his face, his expression still creased with uncharacteristic humour. ‘Ahh.’

Spike twitched up an eyebrow. ‘Course. I’ve no poofy products….’ Angel leapt to his feet, wincing as his skin pulled free of Spike’s with an audible squelch.  He put his hand down.

Spike allowed Angel to pull him to his feet, overdoing, slightly, the theatrical groans and complaints of aching muscles and battered flesh. 

He led the way and turned the water on, testing it with one hand idly.  Angel watched Spike’s hand as the water ran over it, mesmerised.  Spike bent one leg up onto the shower wall and watched Angel watching him.

When the water was hot enough, even for them, they stepped in together. It was a little awkward at first, this being something they’d never done before with any lovers.  After a moment, Angel frowned and held Spike still.  ‘What’s…?’ He looked down at his own arms and let out a small, impressed whistle. ‘I don’t bruise easy.’

Spike looked at where Angel was indicating. On both biceps were the complete and perfect outlines of Angel’s fingers, as if he’d dipped his hands into mottled purple and yellow paint before grasping him.  His fingers ghosted Angel’s pale flesh. ‘Jeez. Guess we were desperate.’

Angel trickled his fingers over the bruises once more and then took the soap, lathering it and running the silky substance over Spike’s skin, covering every mark. 

He’d saved the best for last.

He rubbed the small bar vigorously and then put both hands to Spike’s head.  Spike laughed but obediently dipped his neck. Angel scrubbed his fingers deep into Spike’s scalp, wondering if he missed the long, blond locks. When the water ran over the hair, rinsing it, he knew he didn’t. He thumbed the incredible bone structure for a while; spread his hands on either side of the amazing skull. His hold was incredibly gentle, all the more erotic as they both knew he could crush it if he wanted. He didn’t. He pulled Spike into a wet kiss, his lips tasting faintly of soap.  With some licking and sucking, the flavour returned to normal, and he pushed Spike against the wall, spreading his arms, rubbing their cocks together again as they met tongue to tongue.

Angel let go one of Spike’s arms and held his head once more. Spike slid his hand around Angel’s waist and flared his fingers over one hard cheek.

He stroked and squeezed and fondled Angel as they kissed, almost unconscious of what he did, lost to the taste of Angel’s mouth on his.  It was only when Angel flinched and straightened that Spike realised he’d touched Angel’s hole.  He looked up but saw no hostility, only doubt and puzzlement. He didn’t push his luck, but turned the shower off and said casually, ‘Don’t worry about it, Pet. He said some people were just life’s natural tops. He was. He never allowed himself to be fucked.’

Angel took the towel Spike offered him and dried off silently, but as Spike was leaving the bathroom, he grabbed his arm. ‘But he did. I fucked him. You know that.’

Spike wondered what Angel was trying to say: whether this was affirmation that he would only ever be the top, or that people could change.

He took the towel and rubbed Angel’s hair for him, running a finger lightly over a prominent nipple.  ‘Do you remember what I said to you just after we found Wesley with his arm broken?’

‘When? When you were playing your latest let’s-piss-Angel-off game?’

‘Well… yeah… then.’

Angel smiled indulgently. ‘No, I don’t remember. Remind me….’

‘I said: anything you want, Angel—whatever you want. And, yeah, I was fucking around as usual, but I kinda meant that.’ He put the towel carefully back on the rack, pouting slightly with thought. ‘It’s always been like that for me: whatever you want…. Guess that’s why I’m still here, hanging around.’

Angel came up behind and slipped both arms around his waist. Spike twitched up an eyebrow and twisted around to confirm what poked between them. ‘Sheesh.’

Angel sniffed in pleasure but said softly, ‘I’m not sure I know what I want—in this.’

Spike leant back for a moment, then indicated the whole thing was getting too slushy by stomping hard on Angel’s feet and twisting away.  He slapped the firm backside as he went into the bedroom. As if it were nothing special, in the spirit of his previous gesture, he said lightly, ‘Nothing to lose by trying, Pet. There’s only me here.’  He pulled on some clean jeans, amused himself by holding up another pair and offering them to Angel, then went into the kitchen to heat some food.

Feeling he ought to be annoyed by the jibe about his waist size, but not caring in the least (he was much bigger than Ingram—where it counted), Angel wrapped a dry towel tightly around himself and followed.  He mulled over Spike’s words as they watched the microwave plate turning its small circles, heating some blood.

Without consciously knowing what they did, they touched all the time: just small brushes of hands as they both reached for something at the same time, each leaning into the other for a moment as they passed.  Before they knew it, they were kissing, waiting for the blood to reheat, amused that they’d let it get cold while they kissed before.

Spike straightened first and collected the blood bags, taking them to the couch. He held one up to Angel, and Angel sat down, too, clearly tense.

‘We could just get into it and see what happens.’

Angel nodded then pouted, drinking his food, but not really tasting it.  ‘What if I don’t like it?’

‘Then we stop. What if I don’t like it…?’  The soft question hung in the air, and Angel turned with a frown.

‘That’s not possible—I mean….’ He frowned some more then added quickly, ‘Fucking you is the best thing I’ve ever felt.’

Spike sat back then after a moment, pulled Angel to him, the dark head resting on his shoulder. He stroked Angel’s hair and said distinctly, ‘And it’s not possible to not enjoy taking it as well, Angel. Trust me.’

Angel chuckled. ‘You almost had me there, but trust you? Jeez. Hell would freeze over.’

‘You know very well that somewhere there’s a frozen hell dimension. Hang on, that’s Sunderland in January.’

‘Be serious.’

‘I am! ‘Sides, who you gonna trust if not me? Least you know I hate you.’

‘Good point.’

Spike bent his head and kissed Angel’s face.  He put his hand to the warm thigh and ran it up under the towel.  ‘We don’t have to decide tonight, Pet. Sleep on it.’

Angel grinned. ‘Who wants to sleep?’ He grabbed Spike’s wrist and encouraged his hand higher. Out of sight, under the towel, Spike’s fingers met Angel’s hardness.  They both hissed and watched, fascinated, as the towel rose and fell, offering, in the gap, the occasional, highly erotic glimpse of dark hair. 

Angel tipped his head back on the couch and murmured, ‘Do you think every man fantasises about this?’

‘What? Me giving them a hand job?’

‘Not you specifically, Moron. Any man….’

Spike didn’t make his characteristic, snarky reply. He considered this for some time and then said, curious at his discovery, ‘I sometimes do. So… I guess… yeah. Maybe.’

Angel gritted his teeth in pleasure at the way Spike was pulling his foreskin, rubbing his palm over his swollen tip and pressing the heel of his hand into his balls. 

On a whim, Spike rearranged the towel, so the prominent erection stuck up between the fold.  He smiled at his own genius. ‘Glory hole.’

Angel groaned so deeply Spike knew beyond a doubt that he’d just discovered another of Angel’s kinks.  He bent his head and licked lightly over the tip, capturing the first taste of Angel’s clear fluid, a prelude, a teaser for the thicker release to come. 

To his surprise, Angel eased him off. ‘Just your hand. I wanna watch.’

Spike moaned and slid his free arm behind Angel’s neck, climbing up on the couch further and twisting to him.  He ran his hand up the solid, vertical shaft, deliberately dragging the foreskin up to its longest extent.  Just when Angel thought he could stand no more, Spike rolled it down, the cockhead popping out like a purple squeeze-up lolly.

Angel arched into Spike’s arm. ‘Christ.’

‘How often do you do this yourself?’

Angel made a small, embarrassed sound. ‘I’m not gonna tell you that!’

‘Uh huh. A lot then.’

‘Ahh….’ Angel sagged then rose again, tense.  ‘Oh… God….’

‘Who you thinking about?’

‘I’m not going to… oh… tell you… ugh… that!’

‘Uh huh. Me. Interesting….’

Angel cursed, but it wasn’t in response to the provocation. He shot a stream of cum into the air that arced gracefully like a thin, white rainbow before splattering on the floor.  He let out a long groan of relief, and another, smaller arc landed on his thighs.  With a small moan of completion, the final load bubbled out over Spike’s fist.

Sweating, hard himself, Spike brought his hand to his lips and licked at the salty fluid. ‘Do you know, this is almost blood. One tiny change to its molecular structure, and it would be: blood.’

Angel lolled his head over. ‘That’s sounds like a little Ingram lesson to me.’

Spike blushed faintly. ‘Well, yeah. He liked to combine all his passions: science, fucking….’

Angel smiled and grabbed Spike’s wrist. Tentatively, he licked at the tacky substance and made a face. Spike crowed with delight and said in a theatrical voice, ‘You have man-juice inside you now….’

Angel winced at the term but said distinctly, ‘It’s a start.’

Spike nodded. ‘So… what you gonna do? About….’

‘Going home?’

‘Well, yeah.’

Angel cuffed him affectionately. ‘I’m not. Let’s tackle that plastic.’

Together they unwrapped the new mattress and dragged it into the bedroom.  Seeing it there made them both suddenly very weary. An initial embarrassment overcame them at the actual mechanics of getting into bed together, but Angel went for another shower; Spike stripped and dived under the sheet, and Angel was then able to join him without the need to discuss who went where or what the hell they were doing climbing into bed side by side.

Angel folded his arms behind his head and stared at the ceiling. 

He knew sleep would not come that night. He never slept well as a rule. The intense changes to his regimented, almost monastic life over the past twenty-four hours were guaranteed to keep him tense and thoughtful.

Spike, he noticed, tipped over into a deep sleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow.  The temptation to run his fingertips yet again over the soft fluff that now covered Spike’s scalp was almost irresistible—almost. He enjoyed watching Spike sleep and did not want to disturb him.

His mind ran over the things they’d done: the sounds and feelings, the aromas and tastes. He stiffened automatically, his mouth watering at the memories.  Half way through recalling the slow fucking—his cock, red and engorged, soaked with cum, sliding in and out of the Spike’s stretched, clinging hole—he reversed them: Spike now behind him, thrusting, his body stretched open and… clinging.

Very quickly, he swapped things back and continued enjoying the memory of fucking Spike. Gradually though, the other version crept into his mind, and he toyed with it, touching himself as he pictured Spike’s body braced over his, heard Spike’s grunts of penetration, felt the rug burns on his back as he was jerked and humped.

He came as quietly as he could. There was very little release, just a small shot of thick cum onto his belly, which he left there to dry. He wasn’t too sure that he hadn’t swapped the fantasy back at the last minute—couldn’t say definitely whether he ejaculated to thoughts of Spike in him or him in Spike.

Pondering this kept him awake for the few hours remaining of the night.

At six o’clock, he gently shook Spike awake and said sadly, ‘I have to go.’

Spike didn’t reply. He hardly appeared to wake, but patted around with one hand, found what he was looking for, punched speed-dial, waited for a moment, and then said in a croaky, just woken voice, ‘It’s me…. I know that, it’s the same bloody time here, you bint. Calm down, you twat! When you get in, tell Wesley that Angel’s not coming into work. Case. Saving the world. Whatever you fucking like. Byeee.’

He dropped the phone, curled into a tight ball in his warm spot and lay still. After a moment, he said brusquely, ‘Go to sleep, Angel. I haven’t got a bloody wink listening to you brood all night.’

Angel let go over a hundred years of anxiety in the time it took him to pull Spike into a tight spoon.  He slept so soundly that he didn’t hear or feel Spike slip out of the bed a few hours later. He slept the proverbial sleep of the dead, not because he was dead, but because he felt alive for the first time. He felt safe, and he felt wanted and, for some odd reason, that enabled him to lie utterly vulnerable for over eight hours of solid sleep.



Spike woke with one of Angel’s heavy, sleep-leaden arms draped over his waist.  He took the opportunity to glance at the expensive wristwatch and saw that it was only eight.  He wouldn’t get up this early if he were going into the office; to do so on a newly wangled day off was almost obscene.

He pictured himself lying there, snuggled into Angel’s sleeping body all day, and the picture held so much allure that it took him another hour to actually slide silently from the bed.

He wouldn’t have admitted it to anyone, although they might have guessed it from observing his movements for the rest of the morning, but he wanted to watch Angel. He wanted to watch Angel in his bed.

He went for a shower and then stood drying himself in the bedroom, staring down at the sleeping figure.

He tidied around, pausing in the doorway to the bedroom every time he passed, studying the smooth features.

All his life, he’d accumulated things. In funds, the things came from shops. Broke, he salvaged them from dumps. He didn’t give himself a hard time about this quirk in his personality. He’d liked his home when he was human, and he guessed he just tried to recreate that sense of security and peace now that it was gone.

By lunchtime, therefore, he’d decided that he liked having Angel in his apartment and in his bed. (He liked having him in his body, too, but that was more difficult to admit than this slightly poofy interest in home decorating.)  Angel was the best thing he’d acquired in a very long time.  

He suddenly had the absurd desire to cook something, to have a meal waiting for Angel when he woke. He utterly ignored the fact that Angel purported not to like eating; he knew different. He had no trouble at all recalling their first meal in Rome—another century, when they were other people—unfamiliar food that slipped and wriggled on their forks.  He remembered a waiter laughing at Angelus’s attempts to eat the stuff. He hadn’t laughed for long, and his entrails had soon resembled the spaghetti—longer, more bloated, but just as slippery. The impression the derisive laughter had made on Angelus had lasted a lot longer. Over a century later, and still Angel purported not to like eating.

So… not spaghetti. Spike knew he couldn’t cook, so his options were limited.

He wrote a brief note for Angel should he wake and slipped out.

The owners of the Korean shop on the corner were used to Spike appearing from their basement. Their more generous acceptance of demons and their respect for ancestors, gave him an honoured status in their eyes: this demon with God inside.

Spike took their awed glances in good part and hoped they never saw him the day after one of his drunken binges.

His first ingredient was easy: alcohol. He bought half a dozen bottles of Angel’s favourite wine, which he reckoned could soon become his favourite, too.  Ice cream followed the wine into the cart, and he tossed in some chocolate as well.  He reckoned that was probably the limit of his culinary expertise and wheeled the cart to the checkout, realising, just in time, that he was leaning on the handle and skating along like someone who was absurdly happy.

Straightening and remembering that he was, indeed, a demon (and very ancient and worthy), he paid for his purchases and left with a cool nod at the wizened old man grinning inanely at him from the counter.


He hugged the bags to his chest as he negotiated the tunnels that led to his apartment.

As he hoisted up into the basement, he had a startling moment of complete clarity that Angel would not be there when he got back. 

His note would have been moved and would now be on the table where he would see a scrawled addition as soon as he walked in; or by the microwave, as Angel knew he’d gone for food, and by putting it there he’d be guaranteed to see it. He took his mind off the location of the note—that wasn’t the moment of clarity. The clear thought was that the bed would be empty and Angel would be gone. It didn’t really matter why—business, a telephone call, guilt, bored with him, disgusted by him…. None of that mattered; what mattered was that Angel would not be there.  He got it; he really did. It was a like a script in a predicable show: build the audience up with the expectation of the heroes finally getting together… love starting to blossom…. Have one of them go to the store with this dumb notion that they could be like real people and have a life that involved waking up together, going to bed together, eating, sleeping, fucking. Build up all that expectation, but the audience knows what it really is: false hope. When the hero gets home, his lover is gone. Dramatic irony. It’s bound to sell.

He stood for a long time in the dark of the basement, until the ice cream began to drip between his fingers, until the bag got so soggy that the chocolate fell out. He wanted to drop the wine, hear the bottles smash like all his bloody foolish plans, but he didn’t want to add to the fucking script writer’s dramatic irony: red wine, splashing like blood around his feet.

He went slowly down the hallway and elbowed open his door.

Angel lay stretched out on his belly in the bed. Spike could not detect that he had moved even an inch since he’d left.

He was still beautiful, but more importantly, he was still there.


Spike grinned at nothing in particular, and then cursed softly as the sticky mess in the bags began to ruin his tidy apartment. He put everything down on the counter and watched, fascinated, as Angel turned over, spreading his long limbs once more and parting his lips, as if he wanted to call Spike a moron, even in sleep.

Spike grinned again, realised he hadn’t stopped grinning from the first one and just let his face remain in that position as he uncorked a couple of bottles to let them breathe. It was nice something in the apartment needed to.

Go to Chapter 11


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