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Time is the Fire in Which we Burn - Chapter 10

It was unbearably hot in the club - for a human. For Spike, it was perfect. His body animated to the heat. Borrowed blood stirred and made him hard. Hard was good in a place like this. The hands had had their fill of him tonight. So had tongues and fingers and other things that had rubbed on him and left small trails on his dark clothing. He reeked of others' desire.

The music was inside his gut now, handfuls of pills giving it access. It brought an easy forgetting, and he swayed thoughtlessly to the noise, held up and given meaning by warm hands.

…Somewhere, in that place the other side of the world, he'd lost his resilience. He'd lost many other things: delight in pain and death, the need to be evil, the ability to deny his intelligence, but most of all, the soul had taken away his resilience. He'd always bounced back. It didn't matter what shit life threw at him - he'd bounced. Angelus, death, Drusilla, the chip, Buffy - he'd survived them all. But he knew when this failed, he would not be able to come back again. He was all used up.

Spike lay against an anonymous warm body, hands on his backside holding him up and realised he'd been thinking. He turned off and listened only to the man's drug-exaggerated heartbeat. It was good; it was calming.

…Angel had been calming. As he'd suffered in that small chamber, as his body broke, Angel had told him to find himself. Angel had said that he believed in him. Angel had said it was all about choices. And he'd believed him. He'd come back from the hell he'd been in since getting his soul, and he'd become a man.

Spike cursed and pushed the sweating man off him. This one wasn't obliterating thought anymore. He needed someone new: new hands, new swellings and need. It didn't take long; someone else eagerly took the man's place. Spike rested against this new body and shut down once more.

…Angel had lied. He'd not meant any of it. He'd come to this place and revived ancient rules of vampire obedience. Mine. You are mine. Not a man. Not a man with choices. Not his own man. Mine. Everything he'd had tried to achieve with his soul had been swept away by that simple word: mine.

The music changed, and Spike pushed this man away too. He needed something stronger to find oblivion. He went blindly toward the bathroom, pushing aside needy hands. It was cooler out here in the hallway, darker and quieter. Spike leant against the wall and lit a cigarette. Someone approached him and bummed one. He eyed the man up and asked him what he had. Small samples were produced, and Spike spent the rest of his money on a promise of forgetfulness. He swallowed them there and then, tipped his head back to the wall and shut his eyes.

…If he lay down and let Angel take him, he would break apart, and there would be nothing left to reassemble. His old personality would shatter with that taking. This was what he once wanted, what he had once needed: a total catharsis of penetration and sex - but not now. Not now Angel had said mine. That had been his demon talking, not the man Spike wanted. Mine held no promise of a future.

Nothing seemed to work! Still the chaotic thoughts tumbled through his mind. He was about to go back into the melee when he sensed someone watching him. He didn't open his eyes. He wasn't here to see but to forget, and he was best off doing that in his own darkness. Once more hands slid up his chest. A button was undone, and he felt lips on him. 'Wanna fuck?'

He smelt alcohol on the man's breath, but felt his need as a hard bulge pressed into him. He didn't reply to the suggestion, but let the man think his silence, assent.

He snatched his face away from a kiss and pressed his cheek to the cool plaster on the wall as the man played with his nipples. Hands fumbled with his zip, and the stranger laughed softly. 'I'm all out. You got something?'

Spike hardly heard the question, let alone understood its import.

He began to sway to the sound of new music in his head, lights exploding, voices from his past surfacing.

The man fished through the pockets of Spike's jeans then began to explore his coat. He mouthed wetly to Spike's ear, 'Don't tell me you're a bareback rider? Jeez, man.'

Spike smiled and remembered the horse mother had bought him for his coming of age. He'd been so proud of her faith in him, although he'd not been a good rider.

'Fucking hell, man. Nothing.' Spike opened his eyes at last at the man's tone and watched, unfocused as the contents of his pockets were strewn over the ground: cigarettes, lighter, spare cigarettes, some change. With a final grunt of disgust the man untangled something small and grubby from his fingers and cast it to the floor. 'Fucking crap.'

Spike pouted and blinked a few times to clear his vision. He crouched down and picked up this last small item and turned it over in his fingers: a tiny length of ribbon that had once been tied to a little girl's pigtail.

Spike shuddered in a huge breath of air. This, almost as much as seeing the ribbon, shocked him enough to stagger away from the angry stranger. He fumbled with his clothes and stumbled out into the blue light again, desperately needing to find the exit.

It was cool and quiet outside.

He was still breathing.

He was still clutching the little ribbon: the one he'd watched fall from dark curls, the one he'd deliberately kicked the trashcan to save, the one he'd been given because he'd cared enough to save a human family. All the fury and pain that had come after had been just lies: lies to himself and everyone else. He'd cared. It hadn't been Angel's torture, Angel's words or Angel's influence - he'd cared before that.

He had asked for his soul, and having it had not broken him. Even this, he had survived. Spike felt some of his old resilience returning, flooding into his body, making him feel powerful, but now, for the first time, this power was built on solid foundations. He was his own man, and he could make his own decisions. He had asked for his soul, and all other decisions would flow from that first, momentous choice.

For the first time since feeling an urgent, cool mouth press to him and take his life, Spike knew that he did not need Angel.

The sense of freedom that flowed from this realisation was intoxicating. He didn't need Angel. The insanity - the longing, the fucking up, the struggling, the feelings of inadequacy, the coming second to Angelus' better penetrations - was gone.

He did not need Angel.

For the first time, Spike saw a future that did not have to revolve around Angel. He would survive whatever unlife threw at him.

Spike stood straight and looked up at the night sky. His head was spinning, and he couldn't focus very well, but he felt… good. He laughed at himself ruefully. Good, was good. Good, was VERY good for him, given the generally shit nature of his life. Yeah, he felt good. The small smile turned into a grin. He wasn't used to walking along grinning. It was novel, but he liked novelty - in reason. He began to chuckle.

He took no notice of where he walked, letting the city flow past him, moving purely on instinct. When he got to his destination, he looked up. He grinned once more, choices playing out their heady temptation in his mind

With a small shrug, he jogged up the steps and went into the Hyperion.

Not needing Angel didn't stop him wanting him.

He'd take the things Angel was offering: a safe harbour, a strong pair of arms, a mentor while he needed one, and he would not break under their inadequacies. He'd let Angel take him, and now he would surrender nothing that was important in that taking. Love, he would have to find later, elsewhere. It didn't matter. It was his choice, and he would survive.

It was dark and deserted downstairs, but Spike sensed Angel's presence nevertheless. He ran up the stairs and went to Angel's room. He wasn't exactly planning to say fuck me now, but something along those lines played in his mind.

Angel was standing by an open window, staring out at the LA night. Bach once more filled the room. Piercingly beautiful, Spike suddenly heard his soul in the soaring notes and stopped to listen, entranced. Angel turned and gave him an intense look then turned back to stare out at the night.

Spike sat on the bed and began to unlace his boots, trying to ignore an alarming swaying in his head.

'Spike, what's the thing I can't abide more than anything else?'

Spike jerked his head back a little, disconcerted. This was his big scene; this was where he enjoyed the knowledge that he didn't need Angel, and he didn't want that ruined by twenty cryptic questions. Angel turned, watching his face and added deliberately, 'Think carefully here. I need for you to get this.'

Spike stood up and came over to join him, the light from the street lamps casting Angel's face in an eerie amber glow. He looked into the dark, penetrating eyes.

Angel suddenly saw that not only had Spike got it, he'd anticipated his next question and all that was to follow from that. Time slowed down as Spike said softly, 'Being laughed at.'

Angel knew he didn't need to affirm this, so only asked what had to be asked. 'What have you always done?'

Taking his cue in this strange, unearthly script, Spike replied, 'Laughed at you.'

Angel put a hand to each of Spike's shoulders, took a deep breath and began. 'Buffy told me about your soul and how it affected you. I thought about you all the time - wanting to help, not knowing what to do for the best, thinking it best I stayed away. This obsessive thinking wasn't good for me. There were issues here: Darla, Wesley, and I began to think about you in a different way… a dangerous way. But for each one of those disturbing thoughts, there was another that just reminded me of your laughter and contempt. Shhh… please. I promised I'd do this. Wesley told me about Lilah's plan, and I could have stopped it then, but I told myself - and everyone else - that I was letting it play out for your sake - that you needed it. I told them you needed to find yourself. Jeez, what bullshit that was. I wanted to know if you wanted me. I wanted you to stop laughing at me and want me too.' Angel tipped his head on one side a little and gave Spike a slightly incredulous look. 'Spike?'

'Yes, Angel?'

'Are you laughing at me again?'

Spike clamped every muscle in his face to repress the grin that threatened to break forth, but he could not maintain the fiction and buried his face into Angel's shoulder, putting his hands over his sire's to keep them fastened on him.

Angel looked down at the lowered blond hair and, despite his confession, smiled and seemed, for once, to be enjoying the gentle mockery.

Eventually, Spike lifted his head from Angel's shoulder 'Just tell me, Pet. I'm in the mood to hear you say it.'

Angel licked his lips and made to turn back to the window, but Spike held his face still. 'Tell me.'

'You aren't mine. You were once; I made you. But I don't recognise this you, Spike. You astounded me by fighting to have your soul restored - I snivelled in the freaking mud. You've come further in two months than I've come in almost a century. You're not mine - I want to be yours.'

Spike turned and took his coat off, throwing it onto a chair in one corner. He turned back. 'Make love to me?' It was not what he'd planned to say, but it seemed fitting - now that the want was reciprocated at last.

Angel moved gracefully, slowly, and lowered Spike back onto the bed. With infinite care he unbuttoned Spike's shirt. 'You smell… interesting.'

Spike put a hand to Angel's cheek. 'It's okay. You can be jealous, Luv; jealously is good when it springs from love.'

'Let me wash you? I don't want their scent on you.'

Spike nodded, and they undressed together and showered. Spike stood under the water and watched his fantasies swirl around and disappear. He had no need of them now and was glad to let them go. They played gently with each other's bodies, too in awe of what they'd been given, too afraid of its fragility to risk anything but the softest of touches. Unlike anything that they had shared before, this reciprocation of wonder made them feel almost human: breath beginning, warmth from the shower giving them the illusion of life.

Angel washed every trace of the clubs off Spike and then led him back into the bedroom. They lay on the bed, and this time when Angel reached over to kiss him, Spike was already halfway to the eager mouth, mutual need flaring between them. They kissed hard, watching with fascinated curiosity how the other's expression changed when lips were offered and accepted, how eyes dilated when tongues met and played. At last, Spike pressed his mouth to Angel's ear and murmured, 'Make me yours again, Angel.'

Angel reared back and looked at Spike's calm expression. Then he nodded. It would affirm everything they had once been but allow them to move on to what they could become. Angel gently pushed Spike over onto his belly and knelt up behind him. 'Every time I enter you in the future, I want you to remember this first time.'

Spike nodded. With a hand on one of Spike's thighs, Angel leant over to his nightstand. 'I bought something.' Spike twisted his head and looked at the lube. 'Pain is for demons.'

Spike sighed and stretched his arms along the mattress in a lazy, relaxed way. 'I'm going to enjoy this.'

Angel chuckled. 'So am I.' He squeezed the cool gel onto Spike's hard cheeks and smoothed it towards his crack, pressing it onto his hole.

Spike clenched and unclenched his fingers. 'Warm it up for me, Pet. I hear friction's good for that.'

Angel knelt up and began to work his cock over Spike, bringing himself to full hardness with the sight of Spike's backside, spread and waiting for him. The lube made him slippery and delicious to his own hand. The need to be inside Spike began to overwhelm him. He pulled his foreskin back and rubbed his soft cockhead over the puckered skin. 'Fuck….'


Encouraged, emboldened by the pleasure he heard in Spike's voice, Angel pushed in. Spike lifted his backside to meet him, and they joined, wiry curls brushing pale, spread flesh.

Spike tipped his head back. Angel put a hand to his hair. 'That okay?'

Spike only nudged his head back into Angel's light touch. Angel pulled gently out until his tip threatened to appear then slid back in slowly. Spike grunted with pleasure and dipped lower at the waist, lifting his entrance higher for even deeper penetration. Angel picked up the pace and started deep, fast thrusting.

Spike gasped and buried his face into his arms. Angel began to pant again. He watched, fascinated as his shaft disappeared into Spike, as his balls hit the slim figure repeatedly.

Suddenly, Angel pulled out and flipped Spike over. Spike grabbed a pillow and stuffed it under his hips with a grin. Angel bent his thighs back. Spike lifted them and put his feet either side of Angel's head. Leaning in hard, Angel re-entered him. They both groaned in pleasure at the depth of penetration. Now Angel could see Spike's erection. Now he could play and work with it. Now he could lean in and meet Spike's rising mouth, his erection stiffening even more to the taste and feel of Spike's lips.

A painful throbbing began in Angel's balls. His brain shut down.

Spike saw the look and was nearly there himself. Then male oblivion hit him too, and they were just columns of blood that needed to be relieved, sacs of sperm that had to be propelled. Heaving into the cool body, opening up and clenching the cool shaft, short fast strokes, lifting higher - they shared the mindless need to release seed.

With a huge cry, flinging his head back, Angel hung as if electrified against Spike's cheeks, the surging from his balls making him shudder. Spike touched his penis, and it exploded, coating his hand and belly in thick, milky cum. His orgasm sent a spasm of pleasure to his rectum. Angel's impassioned cries rose, and he jerked open his eyes, focusing once again on the body beneath him.

Sweat coated them both; it dripped from Angel's forehead and ran down his cheeks like tears.

He lowered himself down so he lay on Spike's wet body. They lay with skin drying against skin, their mingled scents permeating the air.

Spike put a hand to Angel's hair and played with the silky, damp strands. Angel took the other hand in one of his and played thoughtlessly with the fingers and rings, just coming down from the intense place Spike's body had taken him.

Eventually, Angel rolled off and pulled Spike into his arms, spooning them together. He propped his chin onto Spike's shoulder and nuzzled into his ear.

Spike turned around and put a hand to Angel's face. He ran his thumb over the defined lines, closing Angel's eyes then opening them with soft pressure.

'I don't want to leave this bed. Ever.'

Angel rubbed his smile into Spike's soft hair, amused. 'I told Wesley that however it went, he wouldn't see me for a day or two.'

Spike frowned. 'You tell him a lot.'

Angel rolled onto his back and folded his arms behind his head. 'Yeah, I guess. I didn't realise how much I missed him until I got him back.'

'What was with that?'

Angel turned and glanced at him through narrowed eyes. 'He staked Darla.'

Spike's eyes widened. 'Fuck. I KNEW there was a reason I liked him.'

Angel nodded as if he'd been expecting an answer like that. 'She was almost as important to Angelus as you are to….' He trailed off and played with the sheet instead. With a small pout he finished, 'Me.'

Spike looked at him. The import of such a confession was not lost on him. He had lived Angelus and Darla's passion for decades. That Angel should now think of him like that was… good. Spike grinned and flung himself onto his back, stretching his arms over his head delightedly. 'Yessss.'

Angel huffed. 'That's mature.'

'I don't give a shit what it is; it's how I feel. And I'm kinda listening to how I feel these days. 'S interesting.'

Angel watched Spike watching the ceiling for a long time before he asked, amused, 'What are you thinking?'

Roused, Spike glanced over at him, slightly abashed. 'Me fags. Left 'em somewhere. I was trying to work out if this was the first time I've ever not smoked after a good shag.'

Angel looked down and caught at Spike's fingers. 'Was it good?'

Spike raised his eyebrows slowly and made a show of deep consideration. 'Do you know? Now you ask like, I'm not sure. How's about we go again and give me a….' He finished in a mumble against Angel's urgent mouth. Spike wrapped his legs around Angel's waist, and Angel entered him in a swift, easy, shockingly intimate assumption of what was to be given and taken. Spike flung his head back in intense pleasure. Angel cried out as his penis swelled, filling the tightly clamping walls of Spike's rectum. They began to roll and thrust, bodies flung around, kissing, biting, soft groans and sharp grunts of pleasure-pain filling the air. Angel thrust hard; they fell off the bed; Spike rolled on top. He looked down and then once more things slowed and became exquisite where they had been frenzied, quiet where they had been raucous, loving where they had been needy. Spike splayed his fingers over Angel's chest and leant on him for the rise up, then sank deeply down, until he could feel Angel in his body as deeply as he could feel his own soul.

Angel stretched his arms over his head and clasped one wrist lightly with the other hand as if manacled for this joining. Invisible though they were, they both knew that these restraints were the strongest that had ever held him. Spike focused and found Angel's eyes. Angel blinked when he felt the intense scrutiny and stared back. Keeping their eyes locked, Spike began to ride Angel, blurring the distinction between the taking and the giving.

Spike's penis bobbed hard and swollen at every jerk. Small drops of milky fluid bubbled out and clung precariously to the red tip until they flicked off and wet Angel's sleek belly and chest. Eventually, as if mesmerised, Angel put his hand down to Spike's shaft and caught it, letting Spike's raising and lowering thrust it through his clenched fist. Spike grunted at the novel sensation of being fucked and fucking and stretched around until he could reach Angel's balls. He played with them for a while until with a little more stretch, he reached lower. Angel groaned at the clear intent and opened his legs wider. Spike found the small entrance and pressed his finger in, working it in on the slick sweat and precum that covered them both. They locked eyes again, both seeing the wonder in the other. Suddenly, Angel reared up and joined their mouths as well. They kissed as the intense, shared pleasure flushed their skin and almost brought them back to living, Spike's rhythm like a heartbeat between them. With his spare hand, Spike held Angel around the back of the neck, pulling their mouths together until lips burned and tongues reached as deep into throats as erections and fingers reached elsewhere.

Angel came first. He pulled back from Spike's mouth, his neck arching in the strong hand, his whole body a bow of agonised pleasure. Spike held Angel as the strong body bucked and rode out an intense orgasm deep in his body. He could feel the jets of cool sperm splashing against his warm walls, coating them briefly before gathering and running out in rivulets between them. In his spasms of delight, Angel's fist tightened involuntarily on Spike's erection, and the pressure milked the orgasm from his childe. Crying out, Spike rose up and arched too, his graceful body making a slim curve of shuddering pleasure in the soft light. His finger slipped out of Angel, and he leant back on both hands, his penis bouncing and shooting sperm in random jets around their bodies. He did not attempt to rise again, but lowered himself to the floor and lay on his back, legs bent under him as if he would not rise again. Gradually, Angel softened and slid from the tight hole that had brought him to such intense pleasure. He groaned, but turned over and pushed himself to his feet. Spike straightened his legs, but made no attempt to rise. Angel grinned and reached down, dragging him up and shoving him to the bed. He climbed in after and pulled the covers up over them both. Wordlessly they came together in a tangle of still twitching limbs, their cum and sweat forming a seal between them where they touched.

Spike buried his face against Angel's chest and curled into a foetal position, Angel laid his leg possessively over him. He stroked the curled back for a while then murmured softly, 'Mine.'

Spike took it neither as wholly a question nor entirely a statement and replied to the soft complexity with an equally all-encompassing, 'Mine.'


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