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Time is the Fire in Which we Burn - Chapter 15


Spike stood very still in the shadows of the alley, watching the building across the street. He had a dilemma. The man he was stalking did not seem to go out at night, but during the day he was ensconced in the depths of Wolfram and Hart. Being a vampire assassin was proving more difficult than Spike had anticipated. The only time the man seemed at all vulnerable was on the drive to and from work. He was collected in a company car and driven along a narrow coastal road until they turned into the city but, even then, he was ensconced in a bulletproof limo, cocooned from would-be attackers. Spike cursed his ineffectualness and stomped back into the sewers to reconsider his plan. The bike was fucking useless because although the man left home in the dark, by the time he reached the city, the sun had risen, and Spike had to break off his pursuit and hole up for the day. Two days now he'd wasted, drinking in a bar at the beach. It was hell.

He needed his car. At least then he'd be able to follow the limo during the day. He shrugged, settled down until nightfall and then rode back to Sunnydale.

The cemetery was no longer his. He didn't want it; so it didn't particularly bother him that it looked like a place for dead things. Before he made his way to the crypt, he smirked and stopped at a phone booth. It was answered at the first ring. 'Angel In….'

'It's me.'

'Where the fuck have you been?'

'Miss me?'

'No. I've got a freaking box the size of a coffin in the lobby. I need some muscle.'

'Hey! My TV!'

'Presumably. Could you have found a bigger one?'

'You'll love it. So, missing my muscles, are you?'

Angel chuckled, and Spike sensed him relaxing. 'Yeah. I am. What are you doing?'


'Oh. When are you…?'

'Tonight probably, later. That okay?'

'I'll wait up.'

'Well I might be….'

'No. Spike. I'll… wait up.'

'Oh. Tosser. Good.' Spike grinned and shuffled his foot. 'Tell me you're missing me.'

'You're missing me.'

Spike chuckled and put the phone down, already enjoying the serendipitous outcomes of being a vampire assassin.

He went into the crypt and down to the lower area to collect a few things he wanted. He looked around, seeing the true extent of the devastation himself for the first time. There were a lot of memories trapped in the detritus of his Sunnydale life, and he acknowledged that it had not all been bad. He glanced over at the blanket in the corner. Some of the things had been extremely… interesting.

Something nagged at the back of his mind, but before he could probe it and bring it forth, he heard soft footfalls above. He jogged up the ladder to find the slayer warily approaching the hole. She jerked back. 'Spike?'

Spike smiled and raised an eyebrow. 'In the flesh.'

'Where have you been?'

Spike resisted thinking about someone else who had just asked him that too and replied cheerfully, 'Around.'

'Are you…?'

'I'm okay, Buffy. What's up?'

She relaxed and began to walk back toward the door. 'Death, destruction, end-of-the world....'

'Same old same old then…?'

'Yep.' She turned as he followed her out into the soft moonlight. 'I'm glad, Spike. I- it's nice to see you like this again. I missed you.'

He chuckled. 'Yeah. Me too. So, what? One more patrol for old time's sake?'

She looked pleased and tossed him the stake she was carrying. 'The demons are quaking in their stolen boots. Come on.'

They only played at it, but they enjoyed the patrol immensely. Spike felt a sense of liberation from something he had not realised was still binding him to old ways of being. Buffy was just happy to have something reliable and normal in a world that was so rarely either of those things for her. They encountered one or two vampires, but they were easily dispatched without a break in their conversation. Buffy looked at the small heap of dust she'd created and shook her head almost sadly. 'It seems too simple sometimes.'

'Don't knock the simple ones, Pet.'

'Guess. They kinda have this stake-me-now look - all grr and the fangs.'

'Some decent togs might help.'


'You know… the leather, the hair?'

She smiled, but whatever she was about to say was interrupted by another hand thrusting up through the earth at their feet. Buffy rolled her eyes and sat on the gravestone to wait. Spike lit a cigarette. 'Why don't you give 'im a hand?'

'Why? Let him have a minute of unlife. Just to enjoy the… what did you once call it? Profound and powerful experience?'

Spike raised his eyebrow, impressed. She shrugged. 'That night kinda… sticks in my mind. Sorry.'

Spike gave a small, rueful laugh. 'I'm gonna go and get my soul for you at this rate. Careful….'

The vampire was almost free of the soil. Suddenly, Spike sucked in his breath. Buffy looked at him then down. She groaned and whispered, 'No….'

They stood together looking at the child, desperately trying to claw her way out of the coffin that her parents had lovingly laid her in. Buffy looked at Spike. 'I-can't. I won't.'

Spike pouted. 'Shouldn't make any difference, Luv. It's just their casing. Inside, it's a demon - no different.'

As if to make the whole enterprise even more difficult, the child was in human form and stumbled over to them. 'I'm hungry.'

Buffy took a step back, bumping into Spike. He let her stay behind him but with almost no hesitation, knelt and took the child into his arms. 'Shall I take the hunger away?'

Feral eyes glinted at him, and the child nodded greedily.

The dust settled on Spike's arm, and he dashed it away as he rose. Buffy looked at him. 'Don't go away, Spike. I need you here.'

'You'd have done it, Pet. Soon as she'd changed, you'd have….' He trailed off and looked puzzled at the ground for a moment.

Buffy looked too. 'What?'

'Nothing, Pet. I was thinking 'bout something else. Come on, I'll buy you a drink. I'm in funds. Oh, an' if you're real entertaining, I'll even buy you some buffalo wings.'

She gave him a look, and he chuckled. 'You're forgiven, promise. And I won't talk about eating slayers… tasty as you all are.'

She slapped him, and they went happily to the Bronze, Spike now distracted and piecing together the intricacies of his new plan.


Good as his word, Angel was in a very enticing state when Spike slid into the bed alongside him. Deeply asleep but engorged and weeping… it was an impressive trick, and Spike rewarded it by taking the soft, wet cockhead in this mouth.

Angel woke, sighed and put a hand down into the soft blond hair. 'Hi.'

Spike only nodded.

'Missed ya.'

Spike nodded again, pleased.

'You got that business done?'

This got a small shake of the head, so Angel eased him off reluctantly and pulled him up. 'Why not?'

'Almost done.'

'Well… I've freed up some time. Thought we'd go somewhere tonight.'

'Sorry, Pet. I have to work.'


'Yeah. Maybe at the weekend?' He returned to the soft bulbous knob with a smile at Angel's expression.

'Tell me what….' Angel didn't finish; Spike didn't let him - he inserted a finger into Angel's tight hole, and the sensation made Angel bite down on his words and moan faintly. Spike shifted so he could probe deeper and swirl his fingertip over the place where he felt Angel would appreciate it the most.

The weeping in his mouth intensified: a steady stream of clear, almost sweet fluid making his saliva flow in response. He swallowed and ran his tongue up the prominent vein under the erection, rubbing intently over the swelling nub in Angel's rectum. Angel began to curse softly, lost to the sensation.

Spike slipped his free hand down to his jeans, released his erection and eased it in instead of his finger. Angel's eyes flew open, and he watched as Spike let his penis drop away from his lips. He closed them again as Spike began to work him with almost no preparation, just hard, swift thrusts in, and long, slow pulling out.

Spike couldn't believe how hard he felt. He couldn't decide if it was the trip to Sunnydale and seeing Buffy, the killing, or the coming to fruition of his plan. Whatever. He made the most of it in his very favourite place now for ejaculation.

He surprised himself with the power and pleasure of his orgasm. It rocketed into Angel and shuddered them both, creating a similar spill from Angel's cock. Uncontrolled, the solid member rose and swung around, spurting cool sperm over Angel's chest and belly.

Spike grunted and rolled off when he'd finished. He waited a decent time, then zipped himself up and gave Angel a quick kiss. 'Gotta go 'fore it gets light.'


'Work. Told ya.'

'Are you feeding and sleeping properly?'

Spike kissed him again. 'Yes, Daddy, I am.'

Angel looked at him through narrowed eyes. 'Are you taking the piss again?'

Spike snuggled up for a minute. 'Now, Angel…. What's the thing you love most in the world?'

'I don't know. You tell me. And… I'm riveted here, Spike.'

Spike swung away out of reach and said cheekily as he left, 'Me loving you enough to take the piss. See ya.'

He grinned as he headed into the tunnels.


Bernard Dants left home the same time he did every weekday morning. The car was waiting, the driver standing smartly to attention as he came out of the door. His case was taken from him and the door opened. Everything was the same - everything as it should be after a lifetime's dedication to evil. He smiled as the limo crunched over the gravel in the drive.

He settled back for the familiar drive to the city and got out some papers to scan. It was still dark, and the moon reflected off the ocean, but he did not lift his head to look at it.

He tapped on the glass partition, and the driver wound it down. 'Turn on the news.'

He listened to the financial headlines and tapped again for the radio to be switched off. He remembered the driver bending down to find the button, and then all was a confusion of cursing and skidding. When they came to a halt, Bernard was in a huddle on the floor, his papers drifting like large confetti through the air. He dragged himself back onto the seat and slammed down the door locks, effectively cocooning himself in the rear. His driver was picking himself off the road where he'd been thrown, looking pale and shocked. 'I didn't see them.'

Bernard wound down a tiny gap in the window. 'Who?'

He followed the driver's look and saw two bodies on the road, one tangled in a motorcycle, one thrown to the side. The driver bent anxiously to the first body and felt for a pulse. 'Oh, shit! He's dead.'

Bernard glanced around automatically… no witnesses… still dark… an ocean cliff just to one side. 'Check the other one.'

He heard the driver moan.


There was no reply. He could see the man bending over the body. 'What?'

The driver turned to him, his face anguished. 'A kid! She's just a little kid!'

'Is she dead?'

'No, thank God.'

With a clench of his jaw, Bernard repeated, 'Is she dead…?' He got the emphasis right that time, and the man turned to him, even paler.


'Yes. Now.'

The man staggered to his feet and seemed about to try and flee the scene. With a curse, glancing around one more time, Bernard climbed out of the car and came over. He didn't spare a glance to the dead man twisted up in the bike, but strode over to the girl. She looked about eight and was lying still, but watching him through huge eyes. He knelt to her. He put a hand to her throat. He began to squeeze.

Expecting dust of some kind, the girl looked disgusted when Bernard exploded into a brackish slime all over her. She gave Spike a furious look and slid back into a preferred from. The driver, who had seen the dead man rise up and kill his boss, who had seen his boss… explode, only now slumped unconscious as the little girl... changed. Spike tutted and dragged him over to the side of the road.

The young man came and stood alongside him. 'Help me get the bike in the back.' Together they struggled with the bent machine until it was sort of in the limo, then they climbed into the front. Spike turned to the demon and grinned. 'Good job.'

The young man looked pleased. 'You owe me a thousand dollars.'

Spike fished it out of his pocket but held it back at the last minute. 'It's a better way to earn money than your other way, I'm thinking'

The younger man looked at him. 'But I enjoyed that more.'

Spike gritted his teeth, unwilling to go too far down this road. 'In general I meant.'

'Oh. Yeah. Guess. Beggars can't be too choosy and all that….'

'What's your name?'

The handsome demon looked at him speculatively. 'Jordan. And…?'

'Just keep in touch, Jordan, yeah?' He glanced at the notes and handed them over. 'I'm thinking they'll be a lot more of these.'

The young man grinned and put his feet up on the dash. 'Home James.'

They both laughed; Spike turned on the radio, found some suitable music, and they cruised back to LA.


The music made Angel wince, but he had promised: something that Spike would like. He would have given anything to be in a quiet bar, a gallery, the theatre - anything but lose Spike that was.

Spike seemed gleeful about something, high, dangerous, a glint in his eye that Angel distrusted from experience. He'd slept heavily all day, curled exhausted in his own bed, not waking to receive Angel's occasional visits, and now he seemed wired, sparking with life. Nevertheless, Angel allowed himself to be led to the bar and accepted the large drink he was offered.

Spike turned to face the floor and hooked his elbows over the rail. 'Wanna dance?'

Angel didn't even bother to reply and turned his back to the dancers. Spike pouted for a moment then grinned. 'Band'll be here soon. They're supposed to be cool.'

'Will it get louder?'


'I need to make some calls.'

'No you don't. Be brave, Angel.'

Angel swallowed the drink in one go and ordered another for them both. Spike patted him on the arm and stood slightly closer. 'Wanna go in the back and fuck?'

Angel reared back. 'I'm leaving.'

Spike smiled. 'Okay then. Wanna go to the ocean and swim?'


'Angel! I want you! Where do you want it to be? Cus I'm kinda desperate here.'

Angel suddenly took his arm and guided him out through the throng to the cooler air outside. He continued to pull Spike to the car and thrust him into the passenger seat. He screeched tyres, took off for about a mile and then pulled in at an old warehouse. He glanced at Spike. 'Get out.'

Wordlessly, Spike followed Angel into the gloomy interior. He was pushed against a pillar, and Angel fastened onto his neck, licking where they both knew he needed to bite, moaning where he wanted to howl. Spike bared his neck then ripped his shirt off entirely. Angel moaned his appreciation and turned him. He slipped a hand down inside Spike's jeans and roamed over the cool backside for a while. 'I missed you.'

'So you say.'

Angel pulled away frowning. 'You don't believe me?'

'I think your cock missed me, yeah.'

'There's more to….'

'I think your tongue missed me.'

'Look, I don't….'

'I think your hands missed me.'

'I missed you, Spike. Me… or whatever that is. I'm not too sure after any time spent with you. I missed you. Whatever makes me the person I am: the thought, the feelings, the need. I missed you.'

'Then show me.'

'I was gonna until you….'

'Your cock was doing most of the talking, Pet.'

Angel flung off him and began to pace angrily. 'I'm not doing this with you. If I wanted a whiny bitch, I'd find one.'

'Is that what you think I am?'

Angel turned with a slightly more moderated expression. 'I think you've been sulking, pretending to have some BIG job on and punishing me, yeah.'

'Sulking? Pretending… huh. I actually did have a job on and….'

'You? Yeah, like… right.'

'I can't work?'

'I don't know. Can you? Never seen it. Can't judge.'

Spike picked up his shirt and buttoned it. He toed the ground for a moment then turned on his heel and left.


The door was opened on the tenth knock. A bleary-eyed Wesley looked at him furiously. 'It's five in the morning. Go away.'

'Let me in, Pillock.'

'No. Go away.'

'I wanna see the other apartment.'

Wesley narrowed his eyes but stood aside for Spike to enter. 'Obviously, I'm not waking the janitor at this time. You'll have to wait.'

''K.' Spike sat and gave Wesley a long, slow appraisal.

Wesley wished he'd put on more than boxers to answer the door and, with a sigh, went to put the kettle on. 'What's made you change your mind?'

'I haven't.'

'About the apartment, Spike. Anything else is still off the agenda.'

'Sure it is. And I don't know. I just have. You making tea?'

Wesley sighed again but, secretly pleased, he made them both some They sat companionably on the couch, until Wesley said amused, 'I though about you as soon as this apartment came free.'

'Uh huh. Cus it's so beautiful and sexy?'

Wesley gave him a look. Spike smirked slightly. 'So, what we gonna do now?'

'I'm going back to bed; you can watch the telly or read.'


'I'm not sure I'd survive your kind of sport.' He handed Spike the remote control and went purposefully back to his room.

Spike watched the cartoons mindlessly. When a suitable amount of time had elapsed, he went to stand in the doorway to Wesley's room. The human was asleep. He could hear the deep, even breathing and could see the dark chest rising and falling. He went in and sat lightly on the edge of the bed, watching him. The human fascinated him. He was like a magnet, drawing him closer all the time. He knew Wesley wanted him, but why he resisted, he didn't understand. He wanted to understand; he wanted to know what made the man tick, what he thought when he looked at them all through those deceptively calm eyes. Spike felt Wesley's pain. He felt this man's great struggle, and it disturbed him in some way.

He wasn't used to being disturbed by how humans thought. Empathising with the food was not good policy. Spike tried to compare the feelings to others he'd had. He roved in his mind over his long life as he looked at the dark eyelashes spread over the high cheekbones, as the carefully cultivated stubble rasped slightly on the pillow as the man shifted in sleep.

It seemed incredible to him, but Spike finally came to the conclusion that he wanted this human in his life. He had not fully worked out in what way this connection was to be when Wesley opened his eyes. Spike expected him to recoil. He gave him credit for just blinking once, slowly, and then he said distinctly, 'Did I talk in my sleep?'

Spike shook his head, and Wesley seemed relieved. He sat up and groaned. 'I'll call the janitor. Go away while I shower please.'

Spike nodded and wandered back to the living room. He listened to the water running and pictured the warm body under the stream. He pursed his lips to the almost overwhelming desire to go and join him under that warm envelopment. He had no doubt whatsoever that, given the state Wesley had woken in, he would be welcomed.

With a grin, he picked up the telephone.


'It's me, and what kinda answer is that for a professional…?'

'Where'd'ya go?'

'I'm at Wesley's.'

'I'm sorry about…. And that would be why?'

'Cus he's helping me with this thing I'm doing.'

'Look, I'm sorry…. I'll help. I'll come over.'

'Do you think I can't handle it on my own?'

'No, of course not, and I'm sorry…. Where's Wesley now? Put him on.'

'He's in the shower.'

'Oh. Spike, about earlier - I really am sorry that…. I'm coming over.'

'I'm handling it.'

'That's what I'm afraid of. I am sorry by the way….'



'Just trust me, yeah?'

There was a very long pause. Angel switched the receiver to the other hand. 'I do.'

'That's good.'

'It's hard, ya know?'

'Relax, Angel. I'm talking to you, aren't I?'

'Okay. Relaxed. What's that noise?'

'Wesley singing.'




'Why does Wesley put up with you?'

'Thanks, Spike.'

'Seriously, why does he stay? What does he get out of it?'

'The work…. He takes it as seriously as I do. Spike? What? Spike!'

'Uh huh. The work….'

'He-I-it's complex. It was never about Darla - the staking. It wasn't to get her away from me, but me away from…. It was about me, not her.'


'I'd rather we did this with you here and with him there. Alone.'

'Or maybe with him there… with us…?'

That got an even longer pause and several shifts of the receiver's position.

'You can't deny you've thought about it. Angel?'

'Is yours actually the human variety of soul, Spike? Because you argue like the very devil himself.'

'I wouldn't know. I've never met him.'

'Well, I have; you'd give him a run for his money.'

'I'm not hearing the word no.'

'Maybe because I haven't said it.'

'Uh huh. Now, that is interesting.'

'What's that noise now?'

'Wesley drying himself off.'

'Fuck. Spike….?'


'Can we talk about this when you get here? Please.'

'Relax, Pet.'

'I'm trying. Not doing well, but I'm trying.'

'Love you too.' Spike put the handset back very gently just as Wesley came into the room. He was dressed in jeans and a white shirt. Spike began to chuckle.

'What? Spike, don't; it's unnerving.'

'Nothing, human. Only I had the vision of you circling the wagons.'

'Oh. Am I in danger?'

'Call the janitor, yeah? I want to see this apartment.'

Spike hung back and watched the two humans as they discussed keys and access. He followed them to the door and then stood back as they entered. Wesley murmured a quiet, 'Come in,' but still Spike hovered. Wesley then turned to the janitor. 'What happened to the previous occupant?'

The rather greasy man turned. 'Didn't have one… used it as my office 'til the bastards at head office decided….'

'Can he come in?'

Surprised, the man nodded. With an amused smile at Wesley, Spike went in.

It wasn't what he'd been expecting. The janitor began to apologise for the gloom, explain about the apartments across the way blocking the light, mention once more that it was only fit for offices, but Spike only half heard him: it was perfect.

The building opposite blocked most of the early morning sunlight and, north facing, he knew there would be no more for the rest of the day. The front room had been converted to office space: a desk and comfortable looking leather chair commanding the space. There were two rooms in the back, one clearly a bedroom next to the small shower and toilet, the other barely more than a closet. To the other side of the main room was the kitchen. Leaning on the counter, Spike could see through the whole apartment to the bathroom: compact, gloomy and his. He grinned and looked at Wesley. 'How much?'

Wesley gave him back a pleased, intimate smile. 'You can afford it. Now. If you can't, I'll sub you 'til you can.'

They both saw the look the man gave them: a heavy tinge of envy mixing with badly faked contempt. Spike raised an eyebrow and sauntered over to Wesley. He nodded gratefully. 'Ta, Luv, I'll pay you back.' He made to turn away but then kissed him - open mouthed, hand around the back of Wesley's neck, pulling him close. Before he could protest, Spike let him go and gave him a small smack on his backside. He gave the slaw-jawed janitor a pleased smirk and wandered into the larger empty bedroom.

Wesley coughed and looked anywhere and nowhere.

Spike came back in and looked at them both. 'I'll take it.'

Embarrassed, the man mumbled about leases and paperwork and left. Spike went to Wesley and gave him a small poke of apology in the belly. 'I don't have to take human disapproval.' They both heard the unspoken, "I get enough of that from fellow vampires."

With a sympathetic look, Wesley said softly, 'I'll buy you a bed as a warming present.'

Spike raised his eyebrow. 'Make it big and deep and cosy, Mate. I'll be having visitors.'

Something in Spike's look made Wesley flush, and he made for the door. 'I'll leave it to you to tell Angel.'

Spike rolled his eyes. 'Yeah. I'll look forward to that then.'


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