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Time is the Fire in Which we Burn - Chapter 9

Consternation greeted Angel's appearance when they got back to the hotel. He was taken off Spike and helped to his room. Spike watched blood bags being carried upstairs. He watched Gunn being dispatched to a pharmacy. He listened to Wesley and Fred discussing the injury. He waited downstairs until the last of them left, relieved at last that Angel was sleeping and healing.

He went upstairs and leant in the doorway. The room smelt of humans and their medicinal weakness. It almost took away the intoxicating scent of his sire's blood.

'Come here.'

Spike jerked up, suddenly realising that he'd almost fallen asleep. The strain of the battle and… subsequent exertions… hit him full force, and he rubbed a hand tiredly over his face. Angel repeated his command, and with a small sigh, Spike walked over to the bed. He sat down and looked at something just above Angel's head. 'You okay?'

Angel brought his good arm out from under the covers and folded back a corner. 'I will be when you're lying here with me.'

Spike's shoulders slumped with relief and wordlessly stripping off his foul shirt, he slid, still in his jeans and boots, alongside Angel. Unable to hold him as tightly as he wanted, Angel made a small sound of frustration. Spike turned, pushed him over and spooned him tightly instead. It seemed fitting to both of them somehow that this traditional role should be reversed as well.

Too exhausted to think, Spike let his thoughts go without regret. They would return soon enough. Now, he had this: Angel's warmed body full of borrowed blood, Angel's need for him to be here while he slept and the knowledge that Angel had been strong enough to let his demon go.

A dreamless sleep and he snapped his eyes open only too soon for it all to come flooding back. He swallowed the fear that hung around him all the time and nuzzled into Angel's neck to see if he could wake him. too. Angel gave a small smile, still in that warm, sleepy place between day and night then snapped his eyes open. He turned to Spike, but before he could speak, Spike said softly, 'Arm?'

Angel didn't appear to hear; his gaze didn't even flicker down. His eyes searched restlessly over Spike's face; he put a hand to the sharp cheekbones; he frowned then blinked slowly. 'Jeez.'

Spike chuckled and rolled onto his back. 'Yeah.'

'I-I…. You….'

'I know. I was there, remember?'

'I do. Very… there. Jeez.'

'How's it… feel?'

Angel rolled onto his back too. 'Considering I'm a master vampire who healed quickly from the torments of two hundred years in hell - kinda sore. Throbbing - good throbbing though.'

'So, you're okay…?' Spike was seized by a pair of strong hands and pulled onto the hard body. He hardly had time to register Angel's healed arm before his mouth was captured, Angel rising up to press lightly for entry then completing the joining by pushing his tongue deeply into Spike's mouth. Spike arched up, pulling Angel with him, lifting him, rubbing his thumbs into Angel's soft hairline. They began to moan and anticipation made them swell.

Suddenly, Angel held Spike off and blinked. 'Again.'

Spike frowned slightly before comprehension hit him. He moaned a soft curse and began to unbuckle his belt as Angel lifted his hips and striped off his own pyjama bottoms.

Suddenly, naked together, Spike lying on Angel's sleep-warm body, time seemed to slow down for them. The urgency of the last desperate taking dissipated in the warmth where their bodies touched. Spike slid down Angel, at every inch stopping to lick and kiss the smooth, sweet-smelling skin. He hesitated over the nipples, but Angel expunged the recent past, urgently pushing on the back of Spike's neck. Spike put regret aside and bent to kiss what he had so recently destroyed. They grazed his tongue with their hard peaks, gave him something to nibble and arouse. Angel arched to the pleasure and pressed harder, pushing Spike lower. Spike lifted Angel's thigh gently and knelt between his legs.

For the first time, he could see where he'd entered this enticing body. Touched, it twitched slightly, and Spike moaned, bending his face to the sleek, stretched cheeks. He wanted to feel that twitch more intimately, so rested his tongue to the small indentation and played with the tip in its shallow hollow. Angel made an incoherent sound, and Spike glanced up, pleased. He pressed a finger to the saliva-slick hole and eased it in, just until his nail disappeared from sight. He chuckled slightly at the odd picture and withdrew thoughtfully, working his erection to full hardness. Angel put a hand down to his thick shaft and began a slow stroking that make small trickles of precum leak down the side and glisten on his hard belly.

Some connection sparked between them at this shared pleasure. They watched the other speculatively, interested and aroused to see the different ways of playing. Spike glanced up at Angel's face, cursed and flung himself into a hard, urgent kiss. Angel sat up, pushing Spike onto his back, and they lost themselves to mouths and tongues and soft moans, rolling, raising and lowering on the other, bringing themselves off on the pure pleasure of matching, invincible bodies.

When the passion began to overtake them, Angel's face clouded and he hissed, 'Inside, now.'

Spike nodded and climbed around him to kneel at a raised backside. No soft preliminaries now: Spike needed to embed, and Angel needed that penetration to be deep. Sweaty, slick with precum and spit, Spike pushed hard into Angel, jerking in until his wiry curls brushed against the stretched flesh. It was far deeper than he'd managed before, and Angel reared his head back and let out a long, deep groan. Spike hardly dared to move, it felt as though he would pierce Angel's belly with his thrusting, but he needed to move, needed to drive in and find his release.

He started long, slow strokes, and Angel cried out in pleasure, burying his face into the bed. It only lifted his arse more. Spike cursed, knelt up and drove in with a furious passion. Angel continued to swear and curse, a muffled voice under Spike's louder exclamations of desperate need. He raked his nails into Angel's hips wanting more purchase, deeper penetration, more of Angel.

Spike tasted blood from a bitten lip; sweat rolled into his eyes and made them sting, but then all other sensation was overwhelmed by the orgasm that shuddered with full force out of his heavy sac. Sperm shot painfully down his shaft. The thick member swelled to accommodate the flood, and then with a huge grunt of mindless delight, he emptied himself into Angel's waiting body, only dimly aware of the sound of another man, somewhere in the room, crashing to orgasm himself.

Confusion over the sound of heavy panting brought Spike back into the room. He stopped breathing and collapsed onto Angel's broad back. Angel sank down onto the bed, and they lay utterly still and silent until Spike felt his soft penis slip out of the twitching hole. Even then, this only raised a small grunt from Spike and an incoherent curse from Angel.

Finally, Angel twitched his shoulders in a signal that he wanted Spike off, and when Spike slid to one side, he turned and propped himself up on one elbow. 'That was the best thing you've ever stuck in me.' He chuckled and sank once more on his back. Jeez, I wish I still smoked.'

'Why don't you?'

'Doesn't go with the new image.'

Spike was so tempted to add that being rammed up the arse by his childe didn't either but saw, with a small complicit grin, that Angel had just had this thought himself.

Spike made a show of getting his own cigarettes and smoking with intense pleasure in front of Angel until Angel weakened and shared his. They lay on their backs across the bed, quietly smoking.


Spike nodded faintly. 'Not enough to do anything 'bout it though.'

'I'll go.'

Spike turned his head. 'You going to work tonight?'

Angel twitched his lip. 'Work is cancelled due to lack of interest.' He climbed off the bed and pulled on his jeans and an old T-shirt.

Spike watched him thoughtfully and just before Angel reached the door, he said to the retreating back, 'You okay with this?'

Angel paused. He turned back to the deceptively nonchalant vampire. 'What you've done has subdued Angelus. He's very… quiet… this evening. I feel more human, more souled, than I have since I woke in Buffy's arms… and got all unsouled.'

'Perhaps Angelus is just biding his time 'til it happens again. He's a sneaky bastard.'

'He's a confused, scared bastard tonight. They're his orgasms too, ya know.'

Spike shivered. 'I'm splitting you now like everyone else. Jeez, you sure are a screwed up git, Angel.'

Angel came back and sat on the bed. 'I think it's because I didn't ask for this soul. It was forced into me, painfully, and to punish me. Angelus fought it; he was very, very strong just at the very moment when he was subdued. So I think the split sort of happened then. I don't know.'

'I wanted my soul, so it's still me - just more of a weepy wanker.'

Angel smiled. 'You beat the crap outta me last night.'

'Maybe kinda change the analogy there, Pet?'

Angel thought about this, and then laughed as he kissed Spike's very rumpled hair. 'I've got to speak to Wesley; I'll grab some food, and I'll be back.'

'Say hi for me.'


Spike gave Angel a look. 'It's just a thing to say, Angel. It don't mean nothing.'

'Oh. 'K.'

Angel went out of the room, and it was suddenly very silent. Spike tried to keep the silence at bay by thinking rapidly and deeply about any shit that came to mind. It didn't work, and on the silence, unwanted thoughts slithered around the edges of his defence. He got up and wandered around the room, found a CD player and turned it on. Even Angel's crappy music was better than the silence. It still didn't work, and Spike began to pace, talking to himself. That worked better, and gradually, the panic subsided.

Angel looked surprised but pleased when he heard Bach filling the room. He turned it down and handed Spike a couple of blood bags. 'Shower first?'

Spike looked at him speculatively. 'Together?'

Angel replied by pulling him against his hard body and kissing him. Spike responded to the kiss - he would always respond to the kiss - but the Bach now seemed to mock his fear.

Angel went ahead and turned on the water, holding his hand into the stream until it was hot enough and then stepped in. Spike watched him turning, his skin beginning to flush from the borrowed heat. Once more, Spike's more seductive fantasies began to cloud the reality of the moment. All this was beginning to seem exactly what he had wanted for so long. He stepped into the water with Angel to see if he could lose reality completely - wash it down the drain with the unwanted water, for he preferred his fantasy. With a sense of impending doom, Spike allowed Angel to wash him, smiling when he was expected to smile, laughing if heard the cue for that. Finally, Angel seemed to sense Spike's mood, for he turned off the water and handed him a towel. Spike made a small apologetic pout. 'Sorry, Luv. Tired. Didn't sleep.'

Angel smiled. 'Good. Because we're going back to bed.' If he expected this to cheer Spike up, he was disappointed, but he padded back to the bedroom and climbed in himself, watching thoughtfully as Spike entered, still rubbing his hair. Once more, Angel folded back the covers, and Spike slid in alongside him. Angel smiled and began to kiss into Spike's wet hair. He murmured his appreciation of the smell of his childe and began to play gently with Spike's cock, pinching the foreskin lightly then cupping his balls whilst kneading the root with his thumb.

Spike's body responded to the stimulation, and his shaft began to swell and lengthen. He arched back a little on the bed to raise his hips and increase the pressure of Angel's hand.

Angel smiled and knelt up, parting Spike's legs, working his cock from below, stretching the delicate skin around his root and pressing hard. Spike sat up to change their positions so he could bring himself off once more deep in Angel's body, but Angel held him down with one hand. He kept Spike's gaze and pressed one finger of his other hand to Spike's hole. Spike clenched his jaw and made to sit up anyway. Angel held him down in earnest and inserted the finger. Spike hissed and hit at Angel's restraining arm, knocking it off. He sat up against the headboard, glaring.

Angel sat back on his heels. 'This is one of your pissant games, isn't it?'

Spike looked at him through narrowed eyes then climbed off the bed and fetched his cigarettes. He made to bring one back to the bed, but swerved and went instead to stand at the window with his back to the bed. Angel climbed off too and joined him, slipping his arms around Spike's waist, sharing his cigarette. Before long, a hand began to squeeze and knead Spike's buttocks, and Angel moaned softly in his ear, 'Shit, I really want you.' Once more, he began to play with Spike's hole, just pressing it with his thumb. Spike extracted himself and went back over to the CD player. Angel followed him, dragging at his arm, playfully pulling him back onto the bed. 'Come on; you'll love it.' He rose over Spike then, with a grin, lowered his face and opened Spike's legs with insistent hands.

Spike shoved him off so hard, Angel's neck cricked, and he bit his tongue in surprise. Spike began to dress, his hands leaden and fumbling.

'What the fuck is this?'

Spike didn't reply.

'Hey! You answer me when I….'

Spike wrenched the door open and stormed out. Angel flew over and slammed it shut then yanked it open and screamed, 'Bitch!' before slamming it shut once more.

By the time Angel got into the lobby there was no sign of Spike. He looked in the kitchen and then strode into his office, not really expecting to find him there. Wesley and Fred were leaning over some books, deep in conversation, their pleased greetings dying on their lips when they saw his face. He glared at them then said curtly, 'Go home.'

'It's a bit early to….'

'Get out. Go home. Now.'

They gave each other a quick glance and left the office, not before Wesley made a show of carefully closing every book they had open.

He glanced back at Angel as he left and sympathy for the vampire warred with fury at being so dismissed. He fumed about this all the way home and was in a foul mood by the time the elevator doors slid open to his floor. He almost didn't notice the dark figure leaning on the wall outside his apartment, so much part of the shadows had he become. He stopped, surprised. Angel turned his head. 'I needed to talk.'

Wesley felt something shift deep in his belly at the expression on Angel's face, and he unlocked his door and went straight to the bar and poured them both a large drink.

Angel polished off the whisky in one go and helped himself to another without asking. Wesley looked at him through narrowed eyes. Drunken Angel was not a prospect he relished much.

He allowed Angel one more refill then, with a pointed look, put the bottle away. Angel frowned, but Wesley sensed he was thinking about something entirely different. The vampire glanced up at the human, and then said softly, 'It's all wrong.'

Wesley frowned, not sure how to reply to this. Angel saw the confusion and added, 'He won't let me….'

'Bloody hell, Angel! Spare me any groiny details!'

Angel gritted his teeth and said distinctly, 'Reach - him. I was going to say reach him.'

Relieved, Wesley perched on the arm of the couch and made a small apologetic wave for Angel to sit too. He did, but then sprung up and began to pace. 'I've done weak. I've the done the fucking vulnerable thing. I've done vulnerable 'til vulnerable's my middle fucking name. I've done emotional! Shit, I've fucking laid down and….' He trailed off and glanced at Wesley, finishing lamely, 'done other things.' He paced some more, and his anger boiled over once more. 'Fucking hell! What the hell does he want from me?'

Wesley tried to keep his voice calm, so at least one of them would be. 'He told me you were the one to speak first. That's good, Angel.'

There was a significant pause, and then Angel gave him a penetrating look. Wesley's belly did its strange flip once more, and he looked down at his drink.

'You discuss these things with Spike?' Angel's voice was deceptively quiet.

Wesley looked up, a little annoyed. 'Are you jealous? Jeez, Angel, grow up!'

Angel looked abashed but murmured, 'You're MY friend.'

Wesley was silent for some time, but then he said softly, 'I meant jealous of me, but thank you for that.'

Wesley literally saw the tension drain out of Angel at this. His shoulders sagged, and he sat heavily on the couch, hanging his head and running his fingers distractedly through his dark hair. In his mind, Wesley ran his fingers though that soft hair as well, as he asked softly, 'What did he say when you told him how much you needed…?' He paused, watching the lowered head carefully. Suddenly, he reached over and lifted Angel's face by the chin. He studied the guilty expression. 'Bloody hell. Tell me….'

Angel winced and sounded petulant. 'It was the freaking blue that did it.'

'Uh huh. And… what?'

'When I found him, he was in some fucking club, and it was all blue and… well… so… it freaked Angelus out.' Angel finished on a rush and made to stand up once more as if he could leave this conversation with Wesley on the couch.

Wesley snatched at his arm. 'Sit down! Angel, are you seriously trying to tell me that you messed this up because you got scared you'd be touched up by a gyrating sodomite?'

Angel winced. 'Yes.'

'Oh! Bloody HELL, man! How long have you been in existence? How evil were you? So, you freaked out, and Spike got the brunt of your bloody cowardice. Oh… no… Angel, tell me you didn't treat him like a vampire?' He didn't need a reply; he saw Angel's expression. 'So, let's just get this straight, shall we?' He ploughed on without waiting for a response to this rhetorical question. 'Spike makes the greatest leap of faith ever made by a demon - he asked to be given his soul back. He was willing to go through hell to be worthy of it - for you, to be like you, so you would want his goodness and his humanity. And then he goes through hell again when you abandon him, dismiss him and tell him you never wanted him - oh, and hit him; don't let's forget that. Shut up. And then, THEN, when you finally take a bit of good advice from yours truly and go to him, supposedly to tell him all his struggle's been worthwhile because you want his soul and all the great goodness he has to offer, you say…. Oh, I'm going to enjoy this…. Indulge me, Angel…. You say…?'

'Get fucking home. You're mine. I don't give a fuck about your soul or you being a new man. Well, kinda along those lines, anyway.' He gritted his teeth at Wesley's expression. 'It was very BLUE! I don't remember! SHIT!'

'Sit DOWN!' Wesley got up though and poured them both another drink, thinking now that drunk Angel would be a vast improvement. He handed one over with a furious look, and they both drank silently for a while until their anger lessened.

'He's staying strong.'

Angel turned and looked at him, and Wesley's heart melted slightly at the expression in the dark eyes. He softened his tone. 'He's staying strong, Angel. He's staying the Big Bad - or as much as he can. It's his emotional crash mat, I think.'


'For when it all goes pear-shaped for him again. For when you decide that you don't want vampire shit anymore, when he disgusts you, when he's not good enough for you, hell, maybe when he'll just look at you funny one day and you'll tell him to piss off.'


'He's not letting you shaft him one way, because he's afraid you're going to do it another.'

'Jeez! Wes! Too much detail there maybe?'

'Don't! Don't look at me like that. I told Spike you were an emotional retard. I was too bloody generous. You're a fuckwit, Angel.'

Angel pouted and ran his finger around the rim of his glass, making an irritating squeaking noise that made Wesley grit his teeth. Finally, he cast the human a small furtive look and asked petulantly, 'Do I have to do the talking thing again?'


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