Time is the Fire in Which we Burn - Chapter 14
Spike followed the human out of the bar in something of a daze. When they hit the cool night air, Wesley pointed at the car and said, 'My place.'
Spike gave him a small, sideward look, and Wesley said distinctly, 'She left the profile and other details there.'
Spike nodded and climbed into the passenger seat and was silent on the drive. Wesley cast him looks out of the corner of his eye as if debating something.
He invited Spike in gravely and went to the bar to pour them both a drink. Spike sat down on the couch and opened the large envelopes lying there. 'You not bothered by this then?'
'He's an evil, murdering demon, Spike. No, I'm not.'
'I'm thinking the poof wouldn't like it.'
'Best not tell him then.'
'You lie to Angel?'
'Semantics, I know, but that's not lying.'
Spike spread some photos on the table and murmured, 'Welcome to the world of the souled, Spike.'
Wesley sat next to him on the couch and pushed the drink over. 'Life isn't black and white for any of us, Spike. I've discovered that recently. I've done things, thought things, I wouldn't have thought possible before I came to America. But I like myself more now than I did then. Bad is not always bad.'
'Is that why you're debating whether to fuck with me tonight?'
Wesley hardly hesitated. 'Yes. It is.'
Spike turned and looked at him. 'Decided yet?'
Wesley pouted slightly and picked up his drink. 'No. I keep seeing Angel's face. It's distracting me.'
'Huh. I'd be seeing his size eleven connecting with your nuts, Mate, if I was you.'
'Are you saying you're afraid of him?'
'I'm afraid of his absence. As you are. I-I lov-like him. Need him. As you do.'
'I have him.'
'Ah. Good point.'
'Read the profile, Spike. The jury is still out.'
Spike sat sideward in the couch and picked up the papers. He read steadily and silently, aware that Wesley scrutinised every flick of his eyes, every move of his head. Eventually, Wesley said softly, 'Why so passive, vampire?'
Spike didn't look up. 'Cus I'm reading.'
'That's not what I meant, and you know it.'
Spike glanced up. 'Shit happens, human, whatever I do. I've learnt to sit back and let life flow over me.'
'There ya go. If I do act, I'm usually wrong, so I let others do the acting.'
'You have a soul now.'
'God, I'm sick of hearing that. What sodding difference does that make to anything?'
Spike put the papers down. 'Stop right there. I've had that speech, and I didn't understand it then.'
'Angel's view on these things is a little different to mine, I think.'
'Maybe. I'm still not gonna help you out with your dilemma, human. You decide what you want to do.'
'And you'll just accept my decision either way? You have no preference?'
Spike began to get angry and got off the couch, going over to the bar to refill his glass. 'It don't matter what I want. It never has.'
Wesley stood up. 'You're still on that cross, Spike! Climb the fuck down and join the rest of the mortal world. There are no guarantees, no certainties. Go for what you want and take it. Jesus. If you don't do something soon, you're going to lose him again.'
'No. That's exactly what I'm NOT going to do. Stop rocking my fucking boat, Wesley.'
'Oh, and coming here and wanting to fuck with me isn't rocking pretty bloody hard then? Christ, Spike. All the passengers have tipped out, and the sharks have bloody got them.'
'What the fuck are you…?'
'Okay, over-stretched analogy. But you need to stop being so bloody passive.'
'I'm not being….'
'There's an apartment for rent in this building.'
Spike hesitated with the glass to his lips.
Wesley came very close, almost touching him. 'Choices, Spike. Yes, you CAN make them now, but it's more than that. Don't you see? You will NEED to make them. It's what we all do… we band of happy souled. We make choices; we shape our lives - for good or bad. Without that, we might as well be soulless demons. Climb off your cross and make some choices.'
'Be a parasite under the same roof as you instead of under….' He didn't need to see Wesley's face to know they'd both finished that in their heads. Spike frowned and scratched hesitantly at his neck. He looked down and toyed the carpet. 'I want to be what he wants.'
Wesley laid a hand on his arm. 'He doesn't know what he wants. How can you? Be yourself, and make him want that.'
Spike placed his hand over Wesley's. 'Let me start now then. I know what I want now.'
Wesley looked down at the pale hand on him, and time seemed to flow very slowly in the room. Wesley ran his thumb over Spike's rings gently. He turned the hand over and rubbed the palm. 'No.'
Spike sighed. 'Why not?'
'Because I want to.'
Spike laughed suddenly. 'I'm so lost. I can't do this. Who can I learn from when you are all so screwed up?'
Wesley let his hand drop. 'I'm sorry. If we do this then it would be for the wrong reason. You have issues with Angel; I just have issues. I'd be treating you like her. And that's not fair.'
'You can't just have a mindless fuck and forget it?'
It was Wesley's turn to laugh. He poured them both another drink and then turned back to Spike. 'That's exactly the point, Spike. I have the distinct impression that sleeping with you would be anything but mindless and that I would not be able, or want, to forget it.'
'So… think about the apartment - among other things.'
'Yeah. Shit. Bugger, I'm so wired now.'
This didn't seem to be what Wesley needed to hear. He groaned slightly and turned away. 'I suggest you leave that stuff and the money here. No need for Angel to know what you are doing yet.'
'Huh? Oh, no, guess. I'll be off then.'
'Not gonna change your mind?'
'Oh, I will, but a few minutes after you've safely gone.'
'What are you going to do now?'
'What do you mean?'
'Go back to Angel. Give him the benefit of the… wired thing, maybe.'
Spike turned to go, but as he did, he murmured, 'It's nice to have company on the cross, Pet, but God don't really reward martyrs; you know that.'
'We all find rewards in different ways.' Wesley watched Spike leave and wondered how long he would regret his decision for.
Spike came out of the apartment block and leant against the wall to light a cigarette. Choices. He thought back to the dark human. He thought about the clubs between this place and the hotel. Lastly he thought about Angel. He did it all again. Wesley… anonymous humans… Angel.
He ran lightly up the stairs when he got back, expecting Angel to be asleep. He wasn't. He was standing silently in the window, watching the night. Spike came in behind him.
'Where did you go?'
'Just out for a drink with Wesley.'
'I missed you.'
Spike grinned inwardly and folded his arms around Angel's waist. 'Good. You were busy though, Luv.'
'I always seem to be busy.'
'Would you want it any other way?'
'I have so much to make up for.'
'I know you feel that.'
'I was a demon. Do you blame wolves for feeding?'
'It's not the same.'
'Yes. It is.'
'I've done things with my soul that I regret. More atonement.'
'I almost did some things with mine tonight I'm not so proud of. But I'm here now.'
Angel turned. 'I'm not being a very good role model again. I was a crap sire when we just demons, and I'm an even worse now.'
Spike began to chuckle. 'Who cast you in that role?'
'What do you…?'
'No one's asking you to teach me anything, Angel. I asked for this soul, and it's up to me to make something of it. I need to step around the holes and make some marks of my own.'
'I have no idea what you are talking about.'
'Never mind me, Pet, I'm talking cryptic shit cus I'm tired, and I just wanna lie down and make love to you.'
Angel gave him a penetrating stare. 'Love? Make love.'
Spike did a double take, but pursed his lips and stuck to his original assertion. 'Yeah. Why not? I'm here by choice, Angel. You want me here; I know that really. So, why not?'
He began to tug on Angel's arm, leading him back to the bed. 'Lie down, Pet.' As Angel lay slowly on the bed, Spike shed his coat and then crawled over him. He hung over Angel for a while, just studying the beautiful face that he knew so well. He closed his eyes for a moment in a small, rueful smile. 'The choices only make the decision sweeter.' He leant down and kissed Angel, urging him to open and welcome him. Angel rose to the kiss and began to unbutton Spike's shirt, wanting to feel skin on skin. He flared his hands over Spike's nipples and then dipped them into his waistband.
'Take them off.'
Spike nodded and knelt up to slowly remove the rest of his clothing. They were both at the perfect hardness: almost there, but still some swell to go, some affirmation of the skill of the other, some proof of the intense desire that sparked between them still needed. 'Where's the stuff you bought, Angel?'
Angel frowned and felt a ghost reach out from another lifetime. He could hardly remember that time of fear and confusion. Distracted, he reached over to the bedside table and passed Spike the small tube. Spike undid the cap with his teeth and squeezed some out onto his hand. He sat back on his heels, made sure he had Angel's attention, and then took his penis in his hand. Slowly, with great care and deliberation, he took himself to full hardness: small movements on the shaft that hardly seemed enough to feel, rubs over the tip that made it glisten with a mixture of oil and precum. Angel sat up slightly to watch. His body began to throb with anticipation, his penis leak heavily to the visual stimulation. When he was ready, when he knew he was slippery enough, Spike entered Angel. They both knew this was different from anything that had happened between them before. Spike looked up from where his reddened and flushed shaft entered the tight hole and captured Angel's gaze. 'I love you.'
Angel jerked his head back at the sheer unexpectedness of the declaration. He opened his mouth to reply. They both waited, and then Angel said almost too softly to hear, 'I guess I do too.'
Spike cupped his hand around Angel's neck affectionately. 'Lie back, Luv. I'll show you how much.'
Angel eased himself back onto the bed but kept a light hand on Spike's arm. Spike began to move gently inside Angel's body, feeling the tight walls enclosing him. He tipped his head back a little, stretching out his neck, allowing his eyes to focus on something less intense, and then he made good on his promise.
Time passed differently in Angel's room than in the rest of the city. Spike moved inside him for hours, bringing him to an almost desperate peak of orgasm, but never letting him tip over the edge to release. He had never heard Angel so vocal. Their voices blended in the softness of the passing time: begging for relief, amused reassurance, urgent pleading.
After a very long time of being so intimate, so close, Angel took a small breath for courage and said softly, 'Touch me? Here….' He laid his palm over his nipple briefly. Spike hissed his delight and took the tiny nub between his fingers, rolling it, making it flush. Angel arched back with pleasure, his fingers clawing at the coverings.
Emboldened, he showed Spike how he liked fingers trailed over his belly, how stroking his hair delighted him, how he wanted to be kissed and held as he was brought still closer to orgasm. Spike revelled in this new teaching, swelled to the knowledge that Angel was comfortable enough to tell him such things. His hands roamed restlessly over the perfect body beneath him, never staying long in one place before moving on to give pleasure to another. Angel began to moan, his head trashing from side to side. Moaning turned again to soft pleading for release. Spike put a hand to the back of Angel's thigh and just lifted slightly. Angel stopped the soft encouragement, looked at him and lifted both his legs to Spike's shoulders.
Spike groaned his pleasure at the position. Angel closed his eyes as if coming to terms with something in his own darkness and then swore loudly as the depth of his penetration was increased.
They didn't last long after this final capitulation. Spike was almost raw from the long shafting and desperately needed to release the pressure. He held lightly to the backs of Angel's thighs and turned the long slow strokes into rapid, hard ones over Angel's distinct swelling. Angel cried out and began to work his weeping erection. One touch, one short tug on the velvety shaft, and he came with a heavy release over his stomach. Spike gave way. His whole body seemed to fold into his orgasm and wash into Angel's body. It was the closest he had felt to being alive since his life had been taken. It seemed fitting to Spike that he should find this illusion of life deep inside his murderer.
Angel made no effort to take down his legs. He seemed incapable of even that small effort. They just slid heavily to the mattress and lay where they fell. Spike did the same; he crashed onto Angel and neither spoke or moved again that day.
When Angel woke, he stretched, frowned, turned, and found Spike was gone.
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