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Spike sulked the afternoon away. It didn’t help that his apartment seemed cramped and ugly, and visions of a beautiful house in the woods kept floating into his mind. Mostly though, Angel’s bitter speech echoed so loudly in his head that he could think of little else.
Finally, with a strange sense of import, he went to the shop, picked a bottle of wine and then went over to Wolfram and Hart. It was the first time he’d been there since he’d taken Angel’s soul into his body.
Angel wasn’t in the office, so he rode up in the elevator, biting a nail.
He stepped out, and Angel turned from contemplation of the view. He was dressed only in a pair of old, faded jeans, and his hard, lean torso looked wet.
He turned back to the window and continued drinking from a crystal glass.
‘I’m sorry, Angel.’
Angel shrugged without turning around.
Spike put the wine on the bar and shed his coat. He came over to the window. ‘How come I’m here feeling like shit, when you’re the one who’s in the pooh?’
Angel flashed him a glance then his face relaxed. After a while, he said softly, ‘That’s a really unfortunate analogy, given the circumstances.’
Spike thought about this for a moment and replied slyly, ‘Be glad you’re a vampire, Angel.’
When Angel laughed softly, Spike added, ‘Am I forgiven?’
Angel turned to him. ‘I’m not sure.’ He turned back to the view. ‘Ask me again in eleven and half days.’
Spike bit his nail, lit a cigarette then said hesitantly, ‘There’s been a time shift. This is Wolfram and Hart, after all. Time’s up now.’
Angel turned away from the window and went into his bedroom to fetch a T-shirt. He pulled it over his head and padded back to the bar. ‘No.’
This caught Spike unprepared. He stammered, ‘W—What?’
Angel took a long drink, not looking at him. ‘I don’t want half-measures, Spike: time shifts, spells, tricks, half-truths, uncertainty.’
‘I’m not uncertain; I’m not….’
‘Huh!’ Spike came closer. ‘What? You do all this: the flowers, the hands, the fucking house, and now, when I capitulate….’
Angel only turned and stared at him. Spike heard his own words. Capitulation—it wasn’t what Angel wanted at all.
Spike helped himself to Angel’s glass and finished off his drink for him. He nodded. ‘Shit. Okay. I kinda had it planned for us to….’ He waved at the bed, not needing to finish his sentence. He glanced ruefully at the wine.
Angel laughed softly. ‘It won’t go to waste. Thanks for the thought.’
Spike looked at his nails, ruing the ugly bitten look for a moment. ‘I don’t want to go back to that damn place on my own any more, Angel. I’m sick of being lonely.’
Angel smiled. ‘Good. I’m sick of being here, in this place, having only this to come home to at night. I need something more than I have.’
‘What am I going to do for eleven days?’
Angel tipped his head to one side and said helpfully, ‘Jerk off?’
Spike snorted with laughter, and it broke the tension between them. He punched Angel’s arm. ‘You fucker. I’m gonna blame you if I get blue balls.’
Angel twitched up an eyebrow. ‘Hmm, nice image to use tonight.’
Spike looked interested. ‘You think about me when you’re…?’
Angel shook his head with disbelief. ‘What the hell do you think, Spike? I’m thinking about you now! I think about you all the time!’
Spike took a step toward the bed. Angel took hold of his arm. ‘No. I want you begging me. I want you to be crawling on your hands and knees, wanting me. No half-measures.’
Spike squared his shoulders. ‘Okay. Then I think I want to see you trying a bit harder, Angel. Flowers, millions of dollars, proposals, and a gorgeous house just aren’t enough, okay?’
Angel smiled deeply, hanging his head. ‘Okay. I’ll try harder.’
Spike went back to his apartment alone and refreshed the water in the flowers. He craved their scent now and planned to fill the new house with flowers, already picturing their bright splashes of colour and heady scent filling their new, shared space.
Angel lay on his bed, smiling. It was so rare for him to feel happy that he just lay there and enjoyed it, picturing how it would be, lying in the large bed he planned to buy for the bedroom.
The eleven days played games with them. Sometimes they sped by so fast that they were startled when they realised there were only seven left. Then they dragged so slowly that when they should have been over, there were still five to go.
Spike came into the offices every day. Angel usually went over to Spike’s apartment every night, and they went out—bars, to a movie once, to restaurants. Once, they went back to the dance club, but the tension was so palpable between them that they’d had to leave and part for the night. When they met the next day, they knew they’d both jerked off urgently to thoughts of the other the night before, and so the tension returned.
Before they knew it, it was the last day.
Spike arrived early as usual, and rode up, as usual, to watch Angel dress for the office.
Angel wasn’t even showered but was standing by the window in sweatpants, still rumpled from sleep.
Spike’s heart did a rapid descent, and he felt vomit rise in his throat. He could sense the tension radiating from the lean body. ‘What?’ His voice was croaky with panic.
Angel only took a small breath and said, ‘Wesley.’
Spike had been expecting this conversation since he’d returned Angel’s soul. He was surprised it had taken his sire so long.
‘Wesley loves you, Angel.’
Angel nodded. ‘I know that. It wasn’t me he was kissing though.’
‘How far did it go? Did you fuck him?’
‘But further than a kiss?’
Spike hesitated and knew this made him sound guiltier than he felt. Finally, he said truthfully, ‘It was the night we couldn’t get you to feed.’
Angel flushed slightly. ‘Oh.’
‘There was so much blood—mine and his. He… let me feed from him.’
Angel turned his head slowly. ‘He saved my life once by feeding me.’
Spike’s eyes widened. ‘He dreams about that.’
It was Angel’s turn to look guilty. ‘Yeah. Well. So, what do you and Wesley see happening…?’
Spike scratched his ear for a moment and replied truthfully once more, ‘I’ve not thought about him since you came back to me, Angel. I’m not sure I’ve even spoken to him….’
Angel suddenly took Spike’s chin and tipped his face to the early morning light. He studied it for a long time then nodded, satisfied by what he saw. ‘I’m a jealous man, Spike. It would do you well to remember that.’
Spike nodded. ‘I don’t have to. I’m not confused anymore.’
Angel suddenly grinned shyly, and the expression rather belied the masterful tone he’d been going for before. ‘Good.’
Spike put his hand on Angel’s naked chest, brushing his thumb over the nipple. ‘Get dressed, Wanker. Go play boss with people who don’t know you better.’
Angel nodded obediently and went to dress.
Spike felt so guilty after this conversation that as soon as Angel was stuck in a meeting, he made his way down to the lab.
Wesley was leaning over a book. That was so familiar that the unfamiliarity—Illyria leaning over it with him, his hand on the small of her back—seemed even more shocking.
He coughed, and they turned as one.
Wesley smiled and rose. ‘Welcome back, Stranger.’
This didn’t help Spike’s guilt, and he lit a cigarette to cover.
‘I don’t know what you’ve done to Angel, but the change has been rather dramatic.’
Illyria answered for Wesley. ‘He sang. It was most unpleasant.’
Spike looked between them and narrowed his eyes. ‘Am I sensing there’s been some… singing… going on between you two as well…?’
Wesley blushed and turned away. Illyria frowned. ‘Why would we sing? Explain.’
Spike laughed and went to stand alongside Wesley, purporting to look at the book with him. He took a puff on his cigarette.
Wesley turned his head and caught his eye. They smiled shyly at each other, nodded with complete understanding, and went back to loving their respective demons.
It proved to be the hardest day.
Spike tried all the things he could think of to make it go faster—indulging in a game of poker for a few hours in the afternoon—but nothing worked to take his mind off Angel. His eyes roamed over the cars as they sat in the small office, and suddenly, he threw down his cards and left, snatching a set of keys off the hook.
It took him hours to find the place, as the first time he’d been there he’d not been concentrating on the route, but had been watching Angel’s profile, watching the muscles in his thighs move as he’d driven, watching his ring, watching any damn thing that would fill his senses with Angel.
Eventually, he pulled up outside the old house, just as the sun was setting.
Within a couple of minutes, he’d broken in without causing any real damage and began to wander through the empty spaces by himself.
It already felt like home. It only needed them to occupy it.
Feeling a sense of peace that he’d not felt for so long that he couldn’t actually work out whether he’d ever felt it, or only imagined it, he went out onto the deck. The night was still and hot, the air filled with heady oxygen thrown up from the forest beneath him.
The trees stirred faintly, leaves rustling, preparing to change and drop soon. The house creaked around him, wood breathing and settling. Standing on the deck of their new house, he had a sense of rightness that startled him. The definition of life seemed blurred in this place. The trees seemed no more alive than the house, yet they had been sacrificed to build it. They were in harmony—the trees and their wood within the house—one a testament to the strength and durability of the other but making something of it, providing something new and beautiful out of their sacrifice.
He was pleased they would be living here, in this house, amongst these trees, with their unique definition of life. He dared anyone to say, given the intensity with which they loved, that they were not alive, too.
He tipped his head back and reeled at the power of the universe above him. Had Angel wanted this house because it was beyond the range of city lights? Had he wanted to see the stars as he had once seen them? Both of them had been born and died and lived again under these same stars. They were constant where all else changed. Now they would live here and share in this constancy.
He carefully hid signs of his entry and bade the house farewell for a few days. If the trees dipped their heads at his passing, it seemed fitting. If they didn’t, and he was just on a nicotine and happiness high, then that was okay, too.
By the time he got back to the city, it was three am. He went straight to Wolfram and Hart, up in the private elevator, and into Angel’s apartment.
He shed his clothes, and as if he belonged there, as if this were something he’d been doing for a lifetime and would do now for eternity, he slid in alongside the sleeping figure.
Angel’s body went tense.
Then it went fluid, soft and welcoming.
One arm snaked back to entwine around Spike’s waist, but he made no other sign that he knew Spike was there.
Spike smiled into Angel’s back. Angel understood: they would start this coming day as they would start every day of their eternities—waking together.
Angel curled into Spike, his back pressed firmly against Spike’s hard belly.
It grew warm.
The inevitable began to happen: a twitch turning into swelling, becoming throbbing. Spike eased their positions so his erection could lie comfortably between them, but as he did so, Angel lifted his thigh and spread his limbs into the warmth of the bed.
After that, it happened naturally and quickly. Spike lifted up on one elbow and guided himself in. Angel twisted his head around and locked eyes with him.
Spike pushed in on his own pre-ejaculate, the hole so tight he screwed his eyes shut with an intensity of pleasure.
He pushed Angel face down and leant over him, sliding in.
He pushed into the demon that had taken his life, and it was banished. He pushed into the domineering sire that had kept him prisoner to his insane passions for over twenty years, and he dissolved into memory. He pushed into the dark, brooding soul, which had destroyed Angel’s spontaneous love of life, and he weakened its hold. He pushed into the CEO of Wolfram and Hart and all his vaunting power, and reduced him to this: a man who surrendered his body to another man.
Spike took the surrender, demanded reparations, and was given them: Angel begging him, murmuring his name, obeying every command.
Finally, Spike could hold it in no longer, but this time, it wasn’t Angel’s soul that he released in his thick ejaculate; it was something just as important, though: love. He implanted his love for Angel high up in the invulnerable body where it would stay. He flooded Angel with his love, and as with the soul, love was sucked in by the arid body, rippling in crazy rivulets along his dry paths with a bubbling sound like laughter.
Feedback is always very welcome: jenny
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