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Time is the Fire in Which we Burn - Chapter 5

Spike jerked awake, disoriented.

He heard a small chuckle close against his ear, tried to rear back but couldn't. He opened his eyes to find Angel's face almost pressed on his, and tried to pull away but, again, couldn't. When he'd calmed, he realised they were suspended together from one of the roof beams, feet barely touching the ground, the chains around their wrists so tight that they could not move apart. He could put his face on either of Angel's shoulders, or on Angel's face, but that was the extent of his movement.

'Bloody fucking hell!'

Angel laughed and looked at him expressively. Spike tried to read the look and, with mounting horror, glanced down. They were both naked, their bodies pressed together just as effectively as their faces.

'She a fucking pervert or something? Where's me clothes?'

'I think this was to humiliate me, rather than you.'

It seemed to strike Spike for the first time that Angel now knew the full extent of his treachery. He wanted to look away, but there was nowhere for him to escape. He closed his eyes and took refuge in his own personal darkness. 'I'm sorry.' There was no response from Angel, so he opened his eyes fractionally. Angel was looking at him with an expression that made Spike's heart ache.

'Apology accepted.'

Spike saw, disbelievingly, that Angel meant this.

Angel put his face to the side of Spike's and asked softly, 'Is it all over? The madness? The self-destruction? Tearing yourself apart? Have you crossed over?'

Spike pulled back so they were almost nose-to-nose. 'It may be a bit late given,' he rattled the manacles around their wrists, 'but maybe.'

Angel grinned. 'Good, cus the guys'll be here in about ten minutes, I'm guessing. I'd like them to meet the new Spike.'

Spike narrowed his eyes. Angel raised an eyebrow and looked mysterious for a moment then chuckled. 'Lilah - that heartless bitch was Lilah by the way - is very vocal in bed… apparently. She's sleeping with an old….' He stopped and frowned. 'Acquaintance of mine. He told me she'd gone to Sunnydale to recruit one of my family to capture me. I'm a detective; I kinda worked out it might be you.'

'Uh huh.' It was extremely hard to be furious this up-close and personal, but Spike tried. 'You knew all along?'

Angel nodded.

'You let me take you?'

Angel nodded once more.

'Uh huh.' Spike brought his knee up, saw Angel's eyes widen in expectation of yet another kneeing, and let it drop. 'Fucking soul.'

Angel tipped his head back and laughed. Spike watched him through narrowed eyes for a moment. 'Why? Shit, Angel, I hurt you. Why?'

'Because you needed it. And I need you to find yourself.'

'You keep saying that. What do you mean?'

Angel closed his eyes as if to marshal his thoughts, but for the first time since Spike had begun to torture him, he made a small noise that was not just conversation. The tiny groan made Spike's eyes dilate a little. The groan and the dilation set other reactions in motion. They stared in horror at each other, willing the other not to look down. Angel broke first and flicked a glance down. Spike swore under his breath and did the same. Standing together, their erections winked obscenely at them, both cockheads peeking through wet, glistening foreskins.

Spike hissed, 'Is that your fucking answer?'

Angel cursed as well then added, 'For fuck's sake, turn around or something.'

Spike nodded, equally embarrassed, and tried to do as Angel suggested. The manacles were too tight to allow him to turn, but he tried vainly for some moments until, with a huge groan, Angel cried out, 'Stop, you moron, stop! You're fucking rubbing us together!'

Spike lowered his head, but that only ended up with his hair brushing into Angel's face. He jerked back up and tried once more to look away. Suddenly, he felt Angel go rigid. 'Shit! I meant it, Spike. Ten minutes - maybe only five now. They'll be here. Fred. And Gunn. Shit, probably Cordelia as well! Fucking do something! Will yours down.'

Spike gave him an outraged look. 'I'll think hard about you then.'

Angel nodded seriously at this suggestion. 'Good plan.' He closed his eyes and appeared to be thinking deeply. Spike did the same.

After a few moments, Spike began to move softly against Angel. Angel tried to arch his body away, stretching to the maximum allowance of the restraints. 'Stop it.'

Spike gritted his teeth. 'I - can't - help - it. I'm at the… needing to move stage.'

Angel groaned and nodded. Suddenly, Spike said, 'We could get rid of 'em in five minutes.'

Angel looked at him with slowly dawning comprehension, rolled his eyes skyward, but nodded. 'Shut your eyes.'

Spike did.

They both began to move, rubbing themselves on the other. Angel, the taller and the one with less stretch, was able to dip slightly and come at Spike from below, rubbing his erection up Spike's, sending trails of precum down both their shafts. Eyes closed, they did not think too much about anything, other than their need for release, so when Spike's hair ended up once more in Angel's face, Angel didn't pull away, but rubbed into it instead, lost to his own imminent orgasm. Spike reacted blindly to the sensation and lifted his face.

Getting off on each other's bodies, it seemed a relatively small thing when Angel touched Spike's lips with his. It wasn't quite so small when he opened his mouth. When his tongue flicked against Spike's and a soft moaning accompanied each touch, Spike opened his eyes. He looked into Angel's dark, dilated pupils, and he shuddered a long, deep release. Angel felt it jetting up onto his belly. He increased the pressure of his rubbing and let his sperm join Spike's: two trails mixing as one and uniting their sweating flesh.

Their orgasms were over; their erections subsided, but Angel did not stop the kiss. He merely paused as he ejaculated then returned to Spike's mouth with renewed interest. Spike pulled away. They stared at each other with mutual confusion, and then they heard voices.

Tearing his gaze away from Spike's, Angel shouted for Gunn to come in on his own.

He didn't, and the vampires were unable to speak again over the general concern, considerable amusement, and obvious curiosity at finding them in such a position. Most of the wounds had healed, so Spike was spared some of Angel's friends' anger, but he got enough as they discovered the torture instruments. Dressed, they walked slowly back with the humans to the hotel.

Spike hesitated when he got back then said softly, 'Well, guess I've outstayed my welcome. Better be off.' He went slowly up the stairs to his room. He was not surprised when Angel followed him and stood in the doorway.

'Stay. You've been through a lot. I think you should stay.'

'You do think a lot, don't you Angel?'

'Where you're concerned I seem to, yes.'

Spike turned around, Angel's words still confusing him, the taste of Angel's lips and tongue still strong on him. 'I'm okay, Angel. I'm… over it.'

Angel nodded. 'I know. But I still want you to stay.'

'My own man, remember?'

Angel frowned. 'Yes. This is a big place, Spike - the hotel and LA - lot's of room for you to be yourself.'

Spike sighed. 'A few days maybe. I'd like to make my peace with you.'

'I told you that is all forgiven and forgotten.'

Spike pursed his lips. 'You seem to forget something. I have a soul that I'm actually listening to now, and it ain't forgiven or forgotten by me.'

Angel seemed secretly pleased at this and came further into the room. 'We have a lot…. What?' He looked puzzled at Spike's step back.

'Don't…. Just give me my own space, yeah?'

Angel stood his ground. 'We got interrupted. I didn't finish what I was trying to explain to you.'

'I think you did a pretty good job.'

'What's wrong, Spike?'

'I need to shower.'

Angel suddenly shook himself slightly. 'Sure. So do I.' He turned away, turned back as if to suggest something, but was met by Spike's cold, rigid back as he bent to take off his boots.

'Will we feed later?'

Spike only shrugged.

Angel left and went to his own room to tend to still bleeding injuries and puzzle over Spike's behaviour. He expected to see Spike that evening, but Spike was only noticeable by his absence. The following evening, he looked up from his paper to see Spike standing in the lobby. He took a long look but bit his lip and refused to let a sound escape. Spike was wearing obviously new clothes: faded fatigue-style pants and a black T-shirt with an ordinary jacket over the top. It radically changed his appearance and, while he liked the effect, Angel wasn't at all sure that he liked the… implications.

Spike came over. 'Can I order a taxi - a cab from here?'

Angel nodded, slightly bewildered by this. 'Why?'

Spike gave him a tiny 'duh' look but replied evenly, 'Cus it's too far to walk.'

'What's too far? I'm not with you.'

'No, you're not. I'm going out. Club I've heard of.'

'You're going out? Just like that? You have a profound transformation, a huge frigging road-to-Damascus moment, and you're going to a club?'

Spike tipped his head on one side and studied Angel curiously. Angel's bowels did a small dance at the look. 'What do you want from me, Angel? You were right. I was screwing up big time. It was too much for me: wanting you but not having you, needing you but, again, not having you. But I get it - I really do. It was making me weak, making me lose it. I thought I was doing what I wanted, but I was doing what I thought you'd hate.'

Angel was tempted to interject that he still was but kept silent. Spike saw the look, nevertheless. 'No. I'm doing what I want to do, Angel. For the first time ever. No human mother to pander to. No nightmare time after. No Angelus. No Dru. No slayer. No one but me and what I want. I have a soul; I can pass for a human, and I want to have a life for once. Now, what's the number for the cab?'

'I'll give you a ride.'

'Jesus, Angel! It's not the sort of place you have your daddy drive you to.'

'I'm not your….'

'Figure of speech, Luv. Although I think that's what most of this was about. I needed you to be there for me. My human father never was, and I guess I missed Angelus' domination. But I'm over it. I'll take a cab.'

'Father figure? You wanted me as a father figure?'

'Well, I didn't want you to buy me a bike or take me to the zoo on Sundays, but I needed you to show me how to live with the soul, yes. I wanted to be able to talk to you about it, I guess. So, yeah, guess father about sums it up.'

Angel watched as Spike punched the number from the useful numbers pad. He watched Spike leave.

He rationalised about the whole situation for about two minutes, and then he grabbed his keys and headed for his car. He trailed some way behind the cab, now quite good at the stealth thing. He parked up and watched Spike alight at the apartment block he'd gone to on his first night in LA.

Angel looked down at the wheel for a few moments, unwilling to analyse why he was following Spike or what he thought about this new development. He looked up when Spike and the human - whose name he hadn't wanted to hear - got into the car. He wasn't sure whether he was relieved that they didn't stay inside or not.

He trailed them until they got out at a club and went in. Angel sat somewhat stunned after this. Spike appeared to have called the human, arranged what could only be described as a date, and then gone with him to this… fuck-me club.

Twenty-four hours ago, they'd been hanging in chains together, sharing sperm, but now Spike was at a fucking club with another man.

Twenty-two hours ago, Spike had been up his own backside with need for him.

Now, he was probably dancing with a fucking human in this fuck-me club.

Angel peeled his clenched hands off the wheel and shook them slightly to restore feeling.

Twenty hours ago, he'd let his own childe torture him in many grizzly ways in order for him to come to terms with his soul, and now that childe was probably…. Angel's mind began to spin. He had no experience of such a place, or such a life, other than what he'd studied avidly on the occasional late night TV show. He had the impression of sweaty, multi-coloured bodies pressing into each other, bathrooms crowded with men fucking and sucking strangers. Now Spike was in there with his preternatural body and his fucking perfect cheekbones. Angel slammed his hand down onto the already abused wheel and climbed reluctantly out of the car.

He went in. He sensed Spike and hovered in the shadows where he could watch him. He was leaning on the bar talking to the human. He'd tensed as Angel had begun watching him, and Angel knew he knew he was there. He sent him some suitable thoughts and wondered idly if his childe could still hear him as he'd used to when he was newly turned. If Spike heard the evil interjections, he didn't show it but continued talking to the man.

Angel was somewhat at a loss now. This was not how he had expected Spike's conversion to be. Although he'd not actually counted on tears, hugs and great, longed for reunions, he'd had them in the back of his mind, informing his decisions, deciding his path.

If he'd known he was saving Spike for someone else to enjoy, he might have left him mad, sad and alone in Sunnydale. Angel saw the human lean close to Spike and say something in his ear. Spike nodded, and the man peeled away in the direction of the bathroom. Angel gritted his teeth at some implied intimacy he could not define and went and leant on the bar next to Spike. He ordered a drink.

'Why, Angel?'

'What? Why are you being such an arsehole? I don't know. You tell me.'

'Why are you doing this? Jeez, last month, I'd have killed someone for you to….'

'Come back with me.'

'No. Why?'

'Because I want you to.'

'And what, Angel? I told you; you were right. I needed to find myself, and now I have.'

'In this shit hole?'

'No, not specifically in here, just anywhere that I want to be without the pain. There's no pain anymore. Look, will you just go? We can talk later, if you want. I'm kinda into something here.'

'Fucking him in the bathroom?'

'He's just gone for a piss, Angel. You watch the wrong shows, I'm thinking. And you don't care what; so why ask?'

Angel pushed off the bar, debated just taking Spike's arm and forcing him to leave, but saw the foolishness of that, even if physically he was able to.

He turned once and saw the human returning, saw a concerned look and a glance in his direction, and watched Spike give a small shake of his head.

That small shake seemed a much larger denial, and he went blindly back to his car and drove off without seeing or caring where he went.

When he found himself in front of a familiar apartment block, he looked up, surprised. He didn't want to go in but, nevertheless, something drew him. He felt as if he wanted to slough his skin off and start afresh somehow. He felt wrong: soul wrong, demon wrong, man wrong. With a deep sigh, he knocked on the door. It was answered, and Wesley stood for a moment as surprised to see Angel as Angel was to be there. Nevertheless, he stood to one side and beckoned his head for the vampire to enter.

He watched Angel's back for a while as the dark figure stood at the window looking out over the LA night then went to make them both a drink, sensing Angel needed some space. When he offered Angel the drink, it was taken silently, but all that the closed-off vampire offered to Wesley was his tense, angry back. Wesley leant on the counter and, sipping his drink, said softly, 'She went through with it.'

Angel nodded. 'She offered him ten thousand dollars for me.'

'Are you flattered or annoyed at the amount?'

Angel turned, his eyes dark and hooded. 'Don't make a joke of it.'

'I'm not. I'm resisting asking you why you are here and making foolish small talk to fill the gap.'

Angel turned wordlessly back to the window.

Wesley gritted his teeth. 'So? Are you going to tell me what's happened? I passed on what she told me, after all. I had no particular reason to save you and piss her off in the process.'

At that, Angel turned. 'She's pissed?'

'Put mildly that might sum up her attitude when she came here yesterday, yes.'

Angel laughed with no humour in the sound. 'Not getting off then, Wesley. My heart bleeds for you.'

'Actually, Angel, we both did - most satisfactorily. You don't have a heart, and I'm guessing you're the one who's not getting any.'

Angel came forward and shoved Wesley back into the counter. 'Don't presume a level of friendship we don't have anymore. You don't get to piss me off. I reserve that privilege for people I like.'

Wesley shoved Angel back, and the vampire staggered slightly in surprise at the force of the attack. 'Why are you here? I did you a favour for old time's sake. You had your little staged scene with Spike, and now you're out of Lilah's clutches. Why here?'

Suddenly, Angel put a hand over his face and lowered his head. He just stood that way without moving or speaking. Wesley frowned deeply, worried by the silence as much as by the obvious emotion wracking the demon.

He felt utterly unable to act, not knowing what was wanted or needed. As if on autopilot, he just laid a hand on Angel's shoulder and gave it a small squeeze. 'Sometimes it's easier to talk to an enemy than a friend. Talk to me, Angel. It's something I can still do: listen.'

Angel moved swiftly past him and leant on the counter, but not before Wesley saw the glistening in his eyes. It bemused him that Angel should feel so strongly about something that he had come here to his bitter enemy. He watched Angel's back then went and stood behind him, once more laying his hand on the tense shoulder. 'Angel, I'm sorry, but I think you need this….' He punched Angel hard where his kidneys would have been. It was a painful blow even without vital organs to damage. Angel sank briefly into the counter with a grunt then swung around and caught Wesley a backhanded blow to his jaw. Wesley reeled over, tripped on a low table and landed, winded on his back. He swiped at Angel's legs though and, unexpectedly, brought him down. He scrambled away from the vampire's reach and smashed a bar stool over Angel's head, dashing away from the roaring anger and into the bedroom. He had just reached a baseball bat under his bed when Angel flung into the room and flattened him. Wesley attempted to ward off the blows, but two viciously hard slaps made his head reel, and he feared loosing consciousness. He put a hand up to Angel's face and just rested it on his jaw. 'Please.'

Angel seemed to come back from a very long way away. He looked down at Wesley as if at a complete stranger, wondering why he was there and why he was bleeding. He seemed to waver for a moment then rolled off his victim and lay face down on the bed, not moving or speaking.

Wesley watched him for a long time, and then, with a huge leap of faith, leant over and began to stroke the tousled brown hair. After an even longer time, like a cat, Angel turned his head to the stroking. Wesley shifted position on the bed so he lay alongside the silent vampire and began to caress Angel's neck: deep penetrating thumb movements trying to break down the barriers that separated them. He leant down and whispered, 'What's wrong, Angel?'

Angel suddenly lifted up. He put his finger to Wesley's lips as if to deny all speech, but then replaced it with his lips. Wesley drew back, revolted, shocked, confused - then plunged back onto the cool mouth, banishing all emotion except need for the acceptance.

It was surprisingly easy to kiss Angel, and Wesley had enough self-awareness to know that he'd thought about doing this many times before. Angel was as brutal in his passion as he had been in the fight. He rose over Wesley, plundering his mouth, tearing at his lips, heedless of the softer human flesh under him. He ripped at Wesley's jeans, trying to tear them off, but at the frantic hand on him, Wesley fought away. He dragged himself to sitting against the headboard. 'No....'

Angel's eyes were totally blank, like a man acting only on instinct. The look made Wesley shiver, and he put a hand to the cool cheek. 'No.'

As if reanimating, Angel came back, and his look focused. He frowned and stared at Wesley with slowly dawning comprehension. He sat back on his heels and looked down at his hands as if seeing them with new eyes. 'Shit.'

Wesley chuckled. 'I couldn't have said it better myself.'

'I'd have….'

'I really don't want to know the grizzly details, Angel. Save them for the one you thought I was.'

Angel looked up.

'Jesus, Angel. Save it for Spike.'

Angel jerked his head back and opened his mouth to protest. Wesley shook his head. 'Too late. I've tasted you now. Hell, I knew before, I think. It's why I told you.'

'He doesn't want me.'


Angel sat back, cross-legged, rubbing his face tiredly with one hand. 'He was utterly lost. When Buffy told me what he'd said, how he'd acted, everything I was - demon, sire, man - ached to go to him and help him. But I couldn't. It was like when I turned him - he had to learn for himself, or he'd be… weak'

'So you abandoned him… or that's how Spike might see it.'

'He got the soul for me - or says he did. I think Buffy had more of a part in his thinking than he's going to admit to me, but he says he did it for me.'

'And now?'

'Now he wants me to make model aeroplanes with him.'

'I'm sorry, I don't….'

'He says I'm his father figure.' Angel's face was so morose that Wesley couldn't help a small chuckle. 'This is not funny.'

Wesley kept his eyes focused on Angel and took his second leap of faith that night. 'Actually, it is rather.'

Angel began to look outraged, his brow lowered dangerously, but he couldn't maintain the fiction and began to chuckle as well. He gave Wesley a wry look, and they both knew that Wesley had regained a large part of his position with his former friend.

Angel sighed and stretched out on the bed, folding his arms behind his head. 'This is not what I planned, Wes; he was to be….'

Wesley, still reeling from the familiar use of his name between them once more, also sighed and made himself more comfortable. 'Tell me everything.' If he wondered why he had to lie alongside Angel and hear of his devotion to another, he didn't let the thought distract him for long. He felt he owed Angel some suffering and was willing to do it here and now.

Angel seemed deep in his own thoughts, his face creased, his brow lowered and, as if talking more to himself than to his audience, he said softly, 'I'd kinda pictured a lot of tears and….' He gritted his teeth and could not continue.

Wesley turned and propped himself up on his elbow, wincing slightly as his jaw ached to the touch. Angel heard the small sound and turned too, and they lay side by side, only inches apart. 'Sorry.'

Wesley gave a tiny negative shake of his head, and they let the fight drift into the past. 'What did he say when you told him you wanted him? That all this had been about wanting him?'

Angel frowned some more but, more importantly, looked slightly shifty. Wesley, something of an expert on all Angel's moods and expressions, made a small incredulous huff. 'Angel! You did actually tell him?'

Angel tried outrage as his defence. 'Duh, Wes! I told him….'

'Looking forward to this….'

Angel gritted his teeth. 'I told him I'd never wanted him…. Shut up. I'm working up to how I told him, so you can see its import. Like he did. I'm sure he did.'

'Jeez, I'm seeing a pattern here, Angel. I wonder what that could be.'

Angel ignored the sarcasm. 'I told him he had to be his own man. See? I did tell him. Well, okay, maybe I didn't in so many words. Hey! I kissed him! What more could I frigging do?'

'Like you've just kissed me for some totally unknown reason.'

Angel looked at Wesley. 'That was kind of a spontaneous-vampire-in-pain-induced-passion moment, Wes. You got that, yeah?'

'I got something…. But when you kissed Spike, I'm guessing there was also blood and pain and some kind of extremity?'


'Uh huh. And he's a vampire…. He would know about… how did you put it so charmingly? Spontaneous vampire shit?'

Angel smiled faintly at Wesley's expression. 'Close enough.'

'So, Spike could be thinking what I'm thinking now: nice, sorta enjoyable, but not buying the engagement ring just yet.'

Angel looked down at the bed for a moment, pouting. 'Fuck.'

'I sincerely hope that's just an expletive and not an expression of intent.'

Without looking up, Angel said lowly, 'I've missed you. I need your input. You're good for me.'

'Hmm. By the sounds of it, I think Spike needs you more.'

Across the city, Spike also lay in bed, talking quietly with a dark-haired man. He was desperate. The madness had finally dissipated in the silence of Angel's torture. His soul had been roused enough to throw over the demon, asserting its pity for the mute victim.

Now Spike was finding out how hard it was to live with a working soul.

Where he had been filled with chaotic madness that did not give him time or space to think, now he was filled with a desperate dread. Fear consumed him: fear for his future, fear of loneliness, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being brave enough - fear of just not being enough.

Where he had wanted Angel to cover him with his safe darkness, now he needed someone to lead him through these bright places. His demon cowered in abeyance, but the man he had once been had no experience of life to draw upon. He knew now though that his guide was not to be Angel. Angel did not want him; Angel had never wanted him. He'd heard them at last - the words he'd seen in Angel's look so many times in the past but had ignored: "I don't want the demon who got a soul for me."

They didn't leave anywhere for Spike to go. The words left no hope in their wake, and although he'd never had Angel, he'd always had hope.

Spike lay in the warm human arms, knowing he had confused and annoyed this man. He'd called him; he'd suggested the meeting; he'd raised expectations that had flared into urgent need when they'd returned to the apartment. Spike had almost laughed at his own coyness: suggesting food, suggesting TV - suggesting anything just to delay the moment when he would say no. The no had not been received too well. No had been argued over for quite some time until, threatening to leave, Spike had forced Sam to settle for no - anything, just as long as he stayed.

Spike took. He took the human's warmth; he took the comfort being offered, and he felt guilty that he gave nothing but his dubious company in return.

A few miles away, Angel took as well, but Wesley gave of his time, attention and advice gladly, and wanted nothing in return but that this adored vampire spoke to him and was his friend once more.

After a long time of silence, both lying on their backs looking at the ceiling, Angel roused and said, 'Is she coming tonight?'

Wesley turned to look at him. 'She's out of town, atoning for her mistake.'

Angel smiled. 'I'd like to watch that.'



'Souled though.'



Angel turned to face him. 'What am I going to do?'

'Tell him. It's really very simple.'

'Not good with the talk, Wes.'

'Really? I hadn't noticed.'

'Not good with having the piss taken either.'

'No, sorry. And you're such an easy target; it's almost like bullying. Can you bully a demon? Interesting thought....'

Angel turned back to stare at the now quite familiar ceiling. 'I speak… he tells me to fuck off… then there's nowhere to go. This way, I can maybe work him round.'

'I think he's working around other things at the moment, Angel. Subtle may not be what he needs.'

There was a significant pause. 'Thanks for that image, Wes. Appreciate that.'

Angel would have been surprised - pleased but surprised - to see Spike lying far over on one side of the bed, watching the sleeping human. He was thinking about guilt, feeling it now, thinking he ought to have given this man what he wanted, wondering why he had not. It did not bode well for his future that he could not take what he wanted and needed from others, because it was still all about Angel. At least as a vicious demon suppressing his soul, he'd found other outlets for this obsessive need. Now there was nothing but need. He put a hand out and stroked it down the warm arm but wanted it cool like his. He entwined his fingers in the dark hair and closed his eyes. It was so close to what he wanted. A hand lay lightly on his naked thigh, and he opened his eyes wearily. Sam slid down in the bed and looked up at him with eyes full of need and desire. Spike lay on his back and closed his eyes and guided the human onto him. He folded his arms under his head, and the only sign he was noticing the blowjob was a slight rise and fall of his hips to the sucking. Only at the very end did he embed his fingers deeply into the soft hair, only when his balls tightened and his sperm erupted into Sam's mouth, did he make a sound. He managed to restrict the noise to a moan, and tried not to hear someone's name in that small sound. There seemed little point speaking his name, as they were now separated more effectively than when only one soul lay between them.

Sam slid up the bed and came to Spike's mouth. He opened warm lips, which tasted of the salty fluid he'd taken in. He ground his fingers into Spike's hair; he moaned, and Spike tried to respond - one last-ditch attempt to make it Angel. The kiss failed, and eventually he turned away and swung his legs off the bed. 'I'm sorry.'

Almost at the same time, Angel sat up and ran his fingers through his hair. 'I'd better go.'


He looked at the dark, unshaven, slightly ragged human and took an uncharacteristic, slow breath. 'Because.'

Wesley felt the look like a stab in his bowels but managed to say, 'Tell him, Angel.'

Angel did not reply but stood up, stretched and left the bedroom without looking back.


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