the Fire in Which we Burn
Episode 3 - Chapter 1
Spike watched the demon cautiously from his vantage point in the shadows. He'd been paid to kill her, and that demanded his utmost concentration. He jerked back from more distracting thoughts and honed in on her once more.
They had argued about this job, of course. They argued about everything these days, anything; the slightest excuse shattering the carefully constructed fronts of neutrality each maintained in the others' presence. Sure, they still fucked, but there was nothing other than release in those sweaty, hard, often brutal couplings.
Angel even occasionally made the effort to speak, as if his cold inquiries about cases could take the place of the love they had lost.
On this one occasion, Spike had decided to reciprocate the effort, and instead of a monosyllabic reply, he had said equally coldly, 'Gonna kill a Cauto Demon - one of their Goddesses. Good money.'
Angel sat up and looked at him. 'You must be aware that Cauto demons are utterly harmless.'
Spike shrugged. 'That's cus they've never been caught doing it, I reckon.'
'You'd murder an innocent creature?'
'No. I'd assassinate a demon.'
'Even if they aren't good now, they have huge potential to be. The Goddesses have been trying to….'
'Are you going to stop slaying vamps?'
'What's that got to do with it?'
Spike climbed off the bed and winced at the pain of Angel's brutal fuck. 'I got my soul back - so could every other vampire. We could make it our bloody mission instead of staking them.'
'That's dumb, and you know it.'
'Yep. That's me: dumb Spike. Rich, dumb Spike soon though. Fifty thousand dollars can deaden your mind to the morality of almost any act.'
'If I ever do persuade another vampire to go get a soul, I'll send them to a different place than where you got that one.'
'You do that, Angel.' He stepped into the shower and began to wash the traces of Angel off. Angel joined him and took another bar of soap, silently washing himself. 'Don't take the job.'
Angel pinned him against the tiles and opened his mouth to argue some more, but Spike only laughed unpleasantly. 'Self-fulfilling prophesy again. Wanna borrow one of my knives?'
Angel blanched. 'That was your fault. You made me like that.'
Spike banged his restraining arm away. 'I seem to do that pretty easily these days.'
Angel flung his arms up in disgust. 'Yeah, you do. Do what you like, Spike. Live with your own conscience.'
'Best company I've known recently.'
Angel went out, drying himself. He eyed his clothes on the floor, torn off in the heat of their endless physical need for each other. He went to the closet and rummaged for something else, clenching his jaw to the memories that assailed him. They dressed silently and parted until the next time lust overtook them and the relief that their meetings gave them seemed more necessary than the pain they evoked.
Spike shook himself again and tried to concentrate on the demon. She was stacking shelves in her magic shop - an ordinary, middle-aged woman. Spike lit a cigarette and shut his ears to Angel's angry words.
His cell rang, and he jumped, fishing into his pocket for the tiny instrument that had been a present in another lifetime.
'Where are you, Babe?'
'I'm at the shop. I wanna work out her timings.'
'Can you take a break?'
'Yeah. I've found some more stuff on her.'
'Jeez. It'll take me while; I'll have to use the….'
'I'm not home; I'm at the Hyperion with Wes.'
Spike sighed. 'Ten.'
Jordan blew him a kiss and put the phone down.
Spike stepped further back into the shaded alley and made his way to the sewer entrance.
He hadn't been to the hotel since his emotional estrangement from Angel, and the memories it evoked now were almost too painful. He shouted to see who was around, and a rumpled, sleepy looking Angel, dressed only in sweat pants, appeared from his bedroom.
Jordan came out of the office and waved a book at Spike. 'Forget everything. I've got some cool shit on the demon bitch.'
Spike looked at him but flinched and shook his head slightly as if trying to clear it. Angel began to come down the stairs.
Wesley appeared from the office behind Jordan. 'You wouldn't know it from looking at him, but J's pretty useful with the research.'
Spike rubbed the side of his head then shook it again. Angel had reached the bottom, and Spike looked over at him, frowning. Angel returned the look and appeared equally puzzled.
Spike finally turned to Jordan. 'Where is this?'
Wesley frowned and stepped forward. Angel came into the middle of the lobby and looked at Spike. 'Who are you?'
Spike gritted his teeth. 'Stop asking me stupid questions. Who are you?'
Angel turned to Wesley. 'Do you know who you are?'
Wesley raised an eyebrow. 'Well, yes. I know who you are too.'
'I know who I am!' Jordan grinned and added, 'If anyone's interested, that is.'
'So… it's just me and… him.'
'What do you mean, Angel?'
Angel suddenly seemed to notice that he was only half-dressed. 'I don't know who I am, or why I'm here - wherever here is.'
He looked at Spike. Spike just shrugged. 'I couldn't have said it better myself. Possibly with more swearing but not better.'
Wesley turned to Jordan. 'Who hired Spike for this case?'
Jordan glanced at Spike and said, 'Our clients are kinda top secret. He'd kill me for telling.'
'Hey, Mate… I don't have a friggin' scoobie who you are; so, tell away.'
Jordan shrugged. 'Wolfram and Hart.'
Wesley gritted his teeth. 'Oh, deep joy. Another session pumping Lilah - for information only, of course. However, first things first… let's assume this is only temporary - very temporary. Will you two come in here for a moment?'
Spike glanced at Angel, and he shrugged, so they both followed Wesley into the office. He put two chairs out for them, and they sat down in front of the desk. He sat down and stared at them over its expanse. He had to stifle a very inappropriate giggle at their earnest, obedient looks.
'Right. Well. Let's assume that this is some kind of temporary amnesia. How much can you remember?'
Angel began to speak but suddenly shut up and frowned. He glanced at Spike and then said morosely. 'Nothing.'
Spike nodded in agreement. 'Nothing.'
Wesley sighed. 'Okay. Good start. Right. You are called Angel, and you are called Spike. There, now you know who you are.'
'Kinda funny names, Mate. Spike what?'
Angel gave him a penetrating look. 'Ah what?'
'Well, that kind of leads me onto my next point. Now, this is going to come as a bit of a shock to you, I should think.' He glanced helplessly at Jordan who just gave him a sympathetic thumbs up. 'What I'm trying to say is… not that you must jump to immediate conclusions, and I don't want either of you to take this the wrong way, but… well, you are both… do we have to tell them this? Of course we do. Sunshine. Right. Angel. Spike. Don't panic, but you are both vampires.'
There was a long silence in the room broken finally by a snort from Spike. Angel turned to him and rolled his eyes, and they both laughed. 'I think he's a shilling short of a quid there.'
Spike laughed again. 'I've no idea what I just said.'
Angel looked at Wesley. 'Come on; tell us another.'
Wesley frowned then rummaged in the desk drawer. When he couldn't find what he wanted, he went out to his desk and came back with a small vial. He uncorked it and poured some over his hand. 'Holy water. Has no affect on me. Jordan?' He poured a little on Jordan's hand. 'No affect.'
He came over to the vampires. 'Hold out your hands.'
Like obedient schoolboys grinning at each other, they did as Wesley commanded. He poured it across both of them, and they pulled back, hands smoking, yelping in anger and shock.
Spike sucked his hand and said petulantly, 'It's a trick.'
'I assure you, it's no trick. But please, forget Bella Lugosi or Dracula… you have heard of… okay, good. You both have souls. You are good vampires - if you want that very simplistic view of your ensoulment.'
'Souled. Vampires.' Angel shook his head and looked at Spike. 'You don't look like a vampire.'
Spike obediently made a grrr face at him, and they both laughed, Angel casting Spike another shy, but amused look after Spike had looked back at Wesley.
'I've only told you this - assuming your amnesia is temporary - because obviously you can't go near sunlight.'
'Fuck!' Everyone jumped, and Spike said contritely, 'I'm not sleeping in a fucking coffin, and I'm not turning into a bat.'
Wesley stifled a grin and, biting his lip, said seriously, 'You have a very nice apartment in the same block as mine, and the only thing you turn into is a grumpy fuckwit when you haven't had a cigarette.'
Spike huffed then raised an eyebrow and patted his pockets. 'Knew there was something I needed.' He lit up then offered the pack to Angel. Angel shrugged and took one.
'You don't smoke, Angel.'
Angel looked at the cigarette for a moment. 'I do now.'
Spike patted him on the leg, pleased to have a smoking companion. Angel frowned and said, 'So, he has an apartment; where do I live? - and DON'T say underground, because if I do then….'
'You own this place, Angel. This is where you live.'
Angel glanced around and looked smug, casting Spike a small glance out of the corner of his eye. 'My place is bigger than yours.'
Spike laughed and patted him again. 'I'm betting that's the only thing of yours that is.'
As if this had only just occurred to him, Angel suddenly said, 'Hey! We're both vampires and both souled. Do I know him?'
Wesley opened his mouth to reply in the affirmative but saw Jordan frantically shaking his head behind them. He narrowed his eyes at the demon and thought through all the permutations of his reply. Finally, he said carefully, 'You met once before this. It was a very brief meeting to do with a case.'
Angel blanched. 'Tell me you're not all lawyers.'
'Do you remember lawyers, Angel? That's good if you do….'
'No… I just thought… case…..'
'Oh. Pity. No, you are a Private Detective.'
Once more, Spike snorted. He stretched his legs out and waved his cigarette at Wesley. 'I've fucking heard it all now. Vampire. Souled. Detective. I've never heard such bullshit. Well, I don't remember ever having heard anything but….'
He trailed off lamely, and Wesley said flatly, 'Shall I add then that you have a government chip in your head that prevents you hurting humans. And kittens.'
It was Angel's turn to laugh, and he poked Spike in the ribs. 'You can't hurt me… hah.'
'Humans, Angel. You're not human. You're a demon.'
'Oh.' Angel pouted and looked down at his fingers. 'I look human. I feel human.'
Spike smirked for a moment then looked serious. 'So, what are we going to do? What's caused this?'
'Unfortunately, I have no idea. But I know someone who might. I suggest you two stay here - I urge you NOT to go out. You have no idea how to cope being vampires….'
'So, can we fly?'
'Yeah, and do we have fangs?'
'I kinda feel I like garlic; guess not?'
'How come we aren't underground now? It's day….'
'Enough! Enough! Look. Angel - you were asleep in bed; I suggest you go back to doing that. Spike - you were…. God knows what you were doing, but I think you should also go to bed. Frankly, it's the safest place for both of you at the moment. There's another room… err… habitable… used to be used by a friend of Angel's.'
Spike nodded and looked at Angel. 'Beddybyes for the bad boys?'
Angel got up and stretched, and he did not miss the quick, appreciative look that Spike gave his naked chest. Pleased, for no reason he could fathom, Angel looked up the stairs and said, 'That room with the open door's mine?'
'Yes, and Spike's… I mean, the room you can use, Spike, is two down on the left.'
Wesley sighed at their lost looks. He came around the desk and put an arm around each shoulder. 'By the time you wake up, I may have found the cure. Try to relax; don't stress yourselves out trying to remember. Just sleep and recharge.'
Angel frowned. 'Recharge?'
'Well, it's only an expression….'
'I remember someone saying that.'
'Where? When? Sorry, I said not to try and remember. If we can't find out how this happened, we'll resort to more… magical cures. But one way or the other, we'll get you back. Bed.'
The vampires went up the stairs together silently. Spike was about to move down the hallway to find the other room when Angel suddenly grabbed his arm and wrestled him toward his room. Laughing and tickling his captive, he said, 'I don't feel like sleeping. Let's talk - see if we can't figure this out ourselves.'
Spike slapped at him but agreed readily enough. They went in and began to rummage around. 'Do you believe any of that shit he's just told us?'
'I think maybe it's him and the other one.'
Spike gave him a look. 'What? They've wiped our memories and then sat us down and tried to convince us we were vampires?'
'Yeah. Why not? That's more likely than being a vampire.'
'Okay, then come and explain this, Mate.'
Angel went to stand beside him at the fridge and eyed the bags of blood. 'Oh. Shit.'
'Guess they could be planted to make us….'
'What do you think when you look at them?'
'Oh, fuck, yeah. I wanna….'
They tore into the bags and drank the foul liquid cold, licking their lips and frowning at each other.
'Maybe we're really evil vampires, but they're tying to fool us into thinking we're good so we don't kill them.'
'Again… what do you feel when you think about killing them?'
Spike raised his eyebrows. 'Not a lot?'
'Hmm. What about me? Could you kill me?'
Spike jerked his head back then grinned. 'Leave me this cool place, and I'll do it.'
Angel grinned too and jabbed at Spike. Spike was quick and dodged the attack. Angel licked his lips. 'I think I like fighting. I feel like….' He flattened Spike and rolled him on the floor. Spike escaped and flipped to standing. Angel whistled and then did the same himself. They howled in delight and began to fight seriously, wrestling and crashing around the room.
Eventually, warding Spike off, Angel sat heavily on the bed. After only a little hesitation, Spike sat next to him, and they turned to each other, very pleased with their new discoveries. Angel frowned, and his eyes wandered over Spike's face. Spike held his gaze on Angel, and they went quiet.
Suddenly, Angel's gaze shifted, and he said, 'There's a wall safe.' He got up and went to the small dial, frowning. Spike came up behind him, and Angel was distracted for a moment by how close he stood, feeling the slim hardness of the body behind him. Spike put his hand to the dial to test it, and after only a tiny hesitation, Angel put his there, too, as if just testing the combination. Neither withdrew from the touch. Spike only stood a little closer.
'Guess you can't remember the combination.'
Angel shook his head. 'It's probably got everything we want to know in there.'
'Yeah. Bummer. Or it could just be your sex toys.'
Angel gave him a look over his shoulder and saw the unmistakable invitation in the amused, blue eyes.
He hesitated then said very softly, 'Do you think this is also vampire stuff?'
Spike shook himself slightly. 'What?'
'This feeling that I really want you to kiss me.'
Spike nodded slowly. 'Yey to being dead then.' He put his lips softly to Angel's.
Suddenly, he flung himself on Angel, rolling him over the bed, kissing and biting and licking. Angel tried to hold him still and eventually managed it long enough to open his mouth to the cool lips.
That was very different.
They pulled away in surprise then returned with renewed passion. Hands began to explore over hard bodies, but Angel broke free and said almost breathlessly, 'What are we doing? Why are we…?'
Spike ran his hand through his hair and chuckled. 'It must be a thing vampires do - like the blood. You call to me like blood. I want you like I wanted the blood.'
'I know, but I mean, we're both… men.'
'Well, yeah. There is that.'
'Do you feel gay?'
Spike tested his wrist, laughing. 'Nope. Not limp at all.'
'I'm too confused to know what's happening here. They said we didn't know each other, but maybe we're in relationships with other people, and then this would be… wrong.'
'Vampires? Nah. Vampires don't do relationships, Mate; they crawl upside-down outside windows and kill virgins.'
'It's a pity you can't remember something more useful. What I mean is, if we'd asked him, he could have told us if we….'
'Fucked men or women?'
'Maybe we fuck him.'
They were both silent at this for some time until, with a grin, Spike nudged Angel. 'You're hard now.'
Angel punched him back. 'I was hard before.'
'So… do you wanna have some fun?'
Angel cast him a look, hissed in pleasure and flattened Spike once more to the mattress.
'I want to undress you.'
'Okay, I'm gonna say this once, and then you can assume it said at all suitable occasions: poof.'
Angel only raised an eyebrow and slowly popped Spike's button undone. 'You let me know if there's anything you find too poofy here, and I'll stop.'
Spike narrowed his eyes but arched slightly as Angel unzipped him. Before he continued with Spike's jeans, Angel grinned and slid up further, beginning to unbutton Spike's shirt. 'You are so fucking pretty.'
'Hey! I'm an evil demon, apparently - less with the pretty!'
'You're a… what did they call it? Chip. You're a chipped demon with a nice, angelic soul. And you are very, very pretty. Jesus, thin though. And you have a scar, just here.'
Spike caught at Angel's finger. 'Do we live forever?'
'Like the Highlander?'
'Huh. I know that show too.'
'Can you remember where you watched it? I can't. How can we know things and not know how we know them?'
'Like knowing I want to fuck you now?'
Angel smiled. 'Yes. Like that, Methos.'
'I like that better than Spike. Spike's a dumb name. Wonder why I'm called Spike.'
'And Angel's so cool? Jeez, what a fluffy name.'
'So, McLeod, what are you waiting for?'
'Nothing.' Angel ripped the rest of Spike's shirt away and yanked his jeans down to his knees. 'Oh. Fuck.'
Spike kicked them off and hooked his thumbs in the waistband of Angel's sweats. He pulled them down.
They stopped talking.
They had no need for it.
All they wanted was to taste and feel the other's body.
Spike began noisy, gleeful biting down Angel until his face was buried in the scattering of wiry curls. He breathed deeply, inhaling their essential male fragrance then, with a deep sigh of pleasure, slid the weeping tip of Angel's erection into his mouth.
Angel let out a cry of appreciation and, laughing delightedly, tried to push him lower. Spike batted his hands away and began an enthusiastic, loud blowjob, his groans and moans of enjoyment echoed as Angel felt his tight need being relieved in such a delicious place.
Before too long, Angel's whole body tensed like a cable wound tight. He arched, but before he could shout a warning, he unloaded his balls into Spike's mouth. The appreciative moans only increased. Spilling sperm out of his mouth, Spike licked and encouraged the open slit with his tongue.
Angel was shivering and laughing when he finished. He stretched, cracking his knuckles. Spike rose slowly up the hard body to the smiling mouth, teased it open with his finger and then deposited a large quantity of the sperm back to its previous owner.
Angel screwed up his face and tried to pull away, but Spike straddled his chest and pinned him down; Angel conveniently forgetting his superior weight and probable strength for the purpose of the game.
Angel pretended to snatch his mouth away. Spike let him pretend but finally captured his face and kissed him deeply, their tongues playing their own dance deep in the intimate embrace.
Angel murmured something into the kiss, easing Spike away. He repeated it with the raise of one eyebrow. 'Your turn.'
Spike's eyebrows flew up in response, and he shuffled further up Angel's chest. It was a bad angle. Angel grabbed him and pulled him forward. Spike ended up on his hands and knees over Angel's face, and his erection hung down, heavy and waiting.
Angel sighed and caught hold of it, brushing his thumb over the weeping tip. Spike arched his spine with his head flung back. 'Oh, this is gonna be good.'
It was. At that angle, Angel took the solid penis to the back of his throat. Spike was able to raise and lower his hips, fucking the willing mouth. He couldn't hold out - as much as he wanted to draw out the intense pleasure, his need betrayed him. Suddenly, he half-pulled away, braced himself with one hand on Angel's head, and with an almost agonised look, shot his orgasm into Angel's mouth. Angel swallowed it with no intention of sharing at all.
When Spike's orgasm was finished, he hung over Angel, unable to move until a small cough dragged him back. He glanced down apologetically and laughed as his penis slipped soft out of the beautiful mouth.
He flipped onto his back and stretched with pleasure, just as Angel had done. After a few moments though, he sat up and sighed. 'Nice as this has been, I guess I'd better find that other bedroom and get some shut eye.'
Angel nodded but did not move out of the way.
Spike began to climb over him but strong arms came up to hold him still. 'Stay here with me.'
Spike jerked his head back. 'Sleep together?'
Angel gave him a 'why not' look.
Spike narrowed his eyes but slid back down to lie alongside him. Angel turned on his side and, after a tiny hesitation, pulled Spike into his arms. He burrowed his face into the sweat-slick hair and wrapped his arms tightly around Spike's chest.
Spike ran a finger idly up and down Angel's forearm, and Angel felt him relax entirely to the embrace.
When Spike began to play with his fingers, Angel said softly, 'What is this? I feel like you belong here with me.'
'Yeah. Like I never want to sleep anywhere but next to you.'
Angel kissed into Spike's neck, and Spike turned and let out a small cry of pleasure.
Once more, all talking stopped. Angel kissed down Spike's spine until he reached his cheeks then, with no hesitation, parted them and kissed Spike's hole, sending quivers of pleasure through them both. Spike rolled onto his belly and lifted one leg. Angel lay over him and guided his newly restored erection into the waiting body.
They both made soft grunts of pleasure at the entry. Angel lay down on Spike, propped up just enough to allow the slow, draw- out penetration.
Their sex-warm bodies fitted together perfectly, sweat making the contact slick and pleasant. Spike stretched his arms up, and Angel ran his fingers through the underarm hair then rested his face in the soft hollow as he worked himself in the tight rectum.
He slipped a hand around Spike's waist, finding his erection. He turned them slightly to free it and played with it gently as he eased in and out, a closed circle of intimate pleasure.
The only words spoken were a soft, 'Come with me,' before Angel tore his face away from Spike's soft skin and cried out as an orgasm ripped through him. Spike felt the penis in his body swell and thicken as it rubbed repeatedly over his soft walls, and he let a blissful orgasm overtake him, watching his shaft twitch and shoot milky strings of fluid over Angel's fist.
As soon as he was empty, Spike put a hand behind him and gripped Angel's hips. 'Stay in.'
Angel sighed with pleasure, and they sank replete, sated, into the hot, damp sheets.
Angel twisted Spike's hair around his fingers; Spike stroked his fingers over Angel's hip. Spike could feel the penis in him twitching and chuckled softly. Angel murmured, 'What?'
Spike shook his head fractionally but said, 'Whoever we are when we get back to ourselves, I'm still going want you as much as I do now.'
Angel kissed the strands he was spiking. 'Maybe we were sworn enemies. That guy was pretty cagey about us - he was going to say something different, but the other one persuaded him not to.'
'I didn't notice that.'
'I noticed everything.'
'Huh. Enemies. Maybe we tried to kill each other.'
'I don't care. This is the real us. I know it, and you know it.'
Angel hugged him closer, and gradually they fell in to deep, dreamless sleep.
Wesley waited some time after the sun set then went up to Angel's room. He stood alongside the bed, looking down at the figures wrapped under the sheet.
He wasn't surprised but couldn't decide whether this was a good thing, or just another complication in this already complicated scenario. Sensing his presence, two rumpled heads appeared from under the sheet. Spike twitched up an eyebrow. 'Woops.'
Wesley shook his head censoriously and said ironically, 'This is really going to help matters.'
'It helped us.'
Wesley frowned at Angel. He'd not heard amused, playful tones like that for a very long time. He looked at his two friends and felt an overwhelming sadness that he had to restore their memories.
'Get up. Get dressed. We've some leads to pursue.'
Angel swung his legs out and sat running one hand through his hair. Wesley noticed the other hand was still under the sheet and that Spike looked distracted.
He blushed. Angel began to speak but faltered, turning to look at Spike. He moaned slightly, and Spike's hand slid out of sight under the sheet too. Wesley murmured something, but he knew neither vampire heard him. He looked over to Angel, had a glimpse of dark hair and something red, swollen and angry looking, and then Angel turned away from him, and lay on Spike.
Wesley stood with some difficulty and as he made his unobserved departure, whispered, 'If I could, I would let you stay like this.'
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