the Fire in Which we Burn
Episode 4- Chapter 5
'So… let's just go over your plan one more time, shall we? We sleep together so Spike can smell me on you. He gets instantly and insanely jealous and falls to his knees, begging you to come back to him and spilling all his woes - which will, of course, be trivial and easily kissed away, and you live happily ever after, spilling other things, but not too happily because you aren't lesbians.'
Angel was silent for a moment. 'You don't like it then?'
'Oh! I like it! Don't get me wrong. I like it because it suddenly reminds me just how fond I am of you, and why: who else could be so beautiful and so fundamentally stupid all in one perfect package? Leave the planning to me, Angel.'
Angel narrowed his eyes at the human, trying to remain humourless. 'You kinda twisted my words a bit there, Wes.'
'It's exactly what you said. Now, I have a much better plan.' He held up his hand. 'Don't get excited; there's no magic, no trickery; I'm not going to get Jordan to impersonate someone and trick Spike - NO! Don't even think it. This is a simple plan and therefore the best kind. You will take Spike somewhere he likes.' He sighed. 'No, not the back room at Babel, Angel. Somewhere quiet where you can talk, and that's what you'll do: talk. Scary, isn't it? Welcome the world of grown-ups, Angel. You need to do something neither of you are very good at: sharing your feelings and talking.'
'We share, we….'
'You share copious amounts of sperm, Angel. I'm talking about being vulnerable with someone else, taking a risk, opening yourself up and being honest. If you are, he might too. Then you'll find out what is behind this.'
'I prefer my plan.'
'Your plan wouldn't get Spike to open up.'
'That wasn't what I meant.'
Wesley narrowed his eyes back at Angel but laughed and patted him on the shoulder affectionately. 'I think I might start talking to you again now.'
Spike knew who it was before he answered the door and left it open for Angel to make his own entry, as he went to the kitchen to pour himself a drink. When Angel did not speak, Spike said softly, 'Did he tell you?'
'What are you doing this evening?'
Spike turned. 'I meant Wesley, about us. Me. Here. Everything.'
'Yes, I told you. He came to see me.'
'And all you can say is what am I doing this evening?'
'I want to go somewhere so we can talk….'
'There's nothing to discuss, Angel. I'm leaving. I was only waiting for him to tell you.'
'Why didn't you come yourself?'
'Because. Because I didn't want exactly this. I didn't want some bloody stupid plan of yours to keep me here. Are you going to tell me that you don't really want me and that I should just go? - hope to make me furious and stay? Why not try to make me jealous that you've got someone else anyway - Wesley. That might work.'
'Don't be dumb, Spike. I'm not that stupid. I just want the opportunity to hear it from you why you are going. I'm not going to stop you. If you want to leave, leave. We're free agents, Spike. We always have been. I've never….'
'If you want to talk, Spike, then we're going out - away from here. This place has too many memories for both of us. We need neutral territory. You can tell me to my face why you're suddenly tired of me, and then you can leave.'
Spike clenched his jaw. 'Let me change.'
'No. You come out like that. This isn't anything else but us, Spike. Jeans and an old T-shirt are what you decided to leave me in; well, wear that now.'
Stripped of his usual armour, Spike felt vulnerable as he followed Angel down the street. He'd thought he could maintain the lie until he got away from LA, but now he wasn't so sure. Angel's manner was cool, deliberate and challenging. He felt on trial, his defences not properly prepared. He almost stopped and turned back, but then he remembered something he had sitting on his desk, and it steeled him, enabled him to walk calmly with a degree of equanimity.
Angel didn't go far. He picked the first bar they came to and went in without a backward glance.
By the time Spike had calmed himself enough to face following him in, Angel was sitting at a table with a jug of… water. Spike raised an eyebrow as he sat down opposite him. 'I'm getting a….'
'No, you're not. No alcohol.'
'Jesus. Mind if I smoke?' He didn't wait for a reply and lit up, blowing a cloud of smoke between them. 'This is cosy.'
'Tell me about this job, Spike. I'm still interested in what you do, where you go.'
'It was just a job. I thought you wanted to talk about….'
'I'm getting around to it. Where was the job?'
'Out of town… look, why are you…?'
'How much was it worth?'
'Two thousand dollars, but then the price changed. I don't want to talk about….'
'Who did you go with?'
'No one. Angel, I'm trying….'
'I don't think she'd like to be called no one.'
Spike stubbed his cigarette out and considered fleeing. 'Wesley told you.'
'No, I told him actually. I smell her, Spike.'
'Fuck you then.'
'It was her you were babysitting?'
'Yes. No. Look, I've told you….'
'Why were you so late coming back?'
'It got complicated.'
'How complicated? Tell me.'
'It wasn't what I'd expected. I got… I couldn't get….'
'Couldn't get what?'
Spike swallowed and rose. 'This isn't going to work.'
'No.' He stared at Angel. 'I couldn't get away. That's why I was late. I was trapped, and I couldn't get back to you.'
'Yes. No. NO! She kinda rescued me.'
'Fuck. Why is this…?'
'Come back to my apartment.'
'Sit down, Spike; we haven't finished.'
'No. We haven't. But I need for you to see something. So you'll understand.'
'Understand why you're leaving me?'
Spike took a breath. 'Yes.'
Angel rose. Spike nodded and stormed out of the bar. He flung the door of his apartment open and snatched something up from the desk. Bemused, Angel followed into the small TV room and perched on the end of the couch as Spike pushed a cassette into the video.
It took Angel a while to orientate himself to what he was seeing. At first, he just frowned, then he dropped onto the couch and lent forward as if his preternatural eyesight failed him. Spike stood to one side just watching Angel's face. He didn't need to watch the burning figure crashing from one side of the glass cage to the other, nor hear the screams.
Angel's mouth opened and closed. Spike turned the volume up slightly. 'Every month he was going to send you another like this, Angel. Every month you'd watch me burn and scream, and there would be nothing you could do. How long before you'd have taken some job that you knew you'd not come back from? How long before you walked out into the sun, perhaps to burn up like me - just to be with me one more time? How long, Angel? I have to go. I was stupid; I was careless; I trusted a human; I forgot everything you taught me, and I nearly got you killed.'
Angel rose and took the remote from Spike, dropping it to the floor. He took hold of Spike's T-shirt and began to pull it up over his head. Spike frowned and backed away, protesting. Angel ripped it off anyway and began to turn and examine him, his hands touching everywhere on the new, flawless skin.
'Angel… don't. I have to go and….'
Angel cupped his hand over Spike's mouth and placed him on the couch. With a look, he removed it, but Spike knew he was not permitted to speak again. Angel undid the button at the top of Spike's jeans. 'Take them off.'
Spike put his arm over his eyes and shook his head. 'Just turn it off, and let me go.'
Angel lifted him and slid them off. 'No. I want it on.' He pulled the arm off Spike's face and held him rigidly, forcing him to look. 'No nightmares about this, Spike. No flashbacks. This cannot harm you now. Look.' He nuzzled into the soft flesh under Spike's arm, licking at the salty taste, biting gently into its fleshy softness. He pushed Spike onto his back and rose over him. 'Perfect. You are perfect, and you are here.' He eased onto Spike's nipple, flicking his tongue over the nub.'
'Please. Turn it off, Angel.'
'No. This was meant to hurt me? Well, see its affect, Spike. Whoever that was has lost, and we've won.' He licked down Spike's belly, rolling the tip of his tongue around the small indentation. 'Maybe I will put it on every month to remind me how lucky I am, what I have.'
Spike tried to sit up but when Angel wouldn't let him, said resignedly, 'I won't let you get hurt Angel.'
Angel looked up from his intense concentration on Spike's belly. 'You can't stop that, Spike. What are you trying to be? God? You're just a smallish vampire with odd hair. Shit happens. Sometimes it happens to us… okay, it always seems to happen to us… but sometimes it doesn't, and then there's just us, and that's so… good… then nothing else matters all that much.'
'Just turn it off.'
'No. Hmm… the best flesh of all….' He pressed his nose into the sweet-smelling hair and musky scent that was his childe's sex.
Despite his best intentions, Spike immediately swelled and lengthened at the touch of Angel's mouth on his soft penis.
Angel smiled and glanced up with an irresistible smile. Spike rolled his eyes then rolled entirely off the couch, catching Angel, forcing him onto his back and rising over him. 'You're determined not to let me save you, aren't you?'
'You want an eternity of misery with me.'
'And you're gonna lie there and listen to me scream.'
'What screaming? There's nothing here to hurt us, Spike. We're still invincible, still powerful vampires. In this room, for this moment in time, there's just us, and that will be the same tomorrow and the next day and the next until the day its not. Just like everyone else. No certainties. Shh. Don't.'
Keeping his face buried into Angel's chest, Spike put his hand down to Angel's jeans and undid the button. He slid it down to find the hard shaft waiting for his touch and let out a breath he had been holding since the flames had begun to consume him. 'I'm here with you.'
'Yeah. Now, stop acting like a girl and… well, act like a girl.' Spike flicked him a look and straddled the opening in Angel's jeans.
'You want me to… climb on?'
'I want you impaled on me - see if you can't rival that screaming.'
'Hmm. Are you hard enough?' Without looking, Spike eased the shaft out and felt around it. He chuckled. 'That's dangerous.' He rubbed it to his hole and then eased the head in through his newly restored, tight ring. Angel hissed and rose up at the waist.
'Fuck. You're so TIGHT!'
Spike was concentrating, memorising each inch as it slid inside his body, enjoying the feeling of coming home. He sat back and put his whole weight on Angel, embedding the rigid penis high up in his rectum. Angel bent his legs up to support him, and they sat looking at each other with amused expressions. 'Feeling better?'
Spike nodded. 'Can I turn it off now? He's getting on my nerves.'
Angel lazily reached over for the remote. 'No nightmares?' Spike obediently shook his head, making sure the movement made his whole body shake a little, drawing a small groan from Angel. 'No more lies?' Spike grinned and wobbled his hand. Angel chuckled and clicked the video off.
The silence was intense, and involuntarily, they both shivered as if the thing had more power to hurt them now that it was over. Angel rose up and caught Spike around the back of the neck. He looked long into the blue eyes and then kissed him, opening his mouth, moaning. Spike closed his eyes and kissed Angel back, the twitching of the responding erection in his body making him shiver with pleasure.
Unable not to move, he switched to kneeling and began to raise and lower himself on the slick, solid column. It was exquisite. Angel flung back and stretched out his arms, curling his fingers into the floor, arching his back slightly to meet Spike, to thrust himself just that bit higher into the sweet, tight rectum.
Spike spread his fingers on the broad chest, slipping them inside Angel's shirt so he could feel the skin.
Angel began to pant deeply, thrusting his hips up. He grabbed Spike's waist and used it to work Spike more on him. The sound of grunting filled the room as they used each other's body to find the blissful release they craved.
Knowing he was close, Spike put a shaky hand to his own neglected erection and gasped as the one touch brought him off, his milky release shooting out over Angel's shirt. At the smell and the sight of the ejaculation, Angel arched and stayed bowed, shuddering as his orgasm hit him. His fingers dug into Spike's skin until it bled, the red trails trickling down to meet and mix with the opaque fluid streaming from his body.
When he was done, Angel lay flat and, once more, brought up his legs. He stopped Spike lying down on him and pushed him back instead, so he leant back on the strong thighs. Spike brought his legs around and stretched them gratefully, taking care not to dislodge Angel from his body.
Angel pillowed his head on folded arms and just regarded Spike with eyes still dilated from his orgasm. Spike narrowed his eyes but returned the frank appraisal. It was shockingly intimate, even for them: Angel's penis still twitching and leaking slightly inside Spike's body; Spike still leaking, his own shaft red and raw looking, lying between them. Spike blinked slowly and said very distinctly, 'I love you.'
Angel didn't seem surprised and tightened his hand on Spike's thigh. Spike shook his head slightly. 'You don't get it, Angel. I-I love you enough to let you go!'
'I know. I do get it.'
'I've never felt like this before - never wanted to. Love was always blood, Angel. It was pain and making someone suffer because they could never love me enough. Not this. Not this fear all the time. I love you too much, and I'm afraid.'
Angel pursed his lips and made to reply, but Spike clenched his jaw as if he had to force the words out but added, 'I wasn't going just for you. It was for me, too. I was… I'm scared, Angel, and I've never felt this before. I've felt anxious; I've felt nervous, I guess, but this is like… terror. I'm going to lose you someday so I….'
'Brought someday a little closer?'
'Yeah. So I could go back to what I was.'
'The Big Bad.'
Spike's eyes widened. 'Shit, it's SO long since I was that. I was kinda just gonna go for chip-boy.'
'Someone I could never love.'
'But isn't that better for both of us? This thing between us is too… all-consuming. It's….' he shivered but continued, 'like those fucking flames.'
'Without the camera, maybe.'
Spike jerked his head back then tilted it to the ceiling and laughed. It was the first time he'd laughed for far too long, and he felt a little of his old bravado returning. He gave Angel a sly look. 'Bed?'
'I'm very comfortable where I am.'
'Hmm.' He leant forward, right down to Angel's lips. 'Turn over then.'
Angel reared up and caught Spike's face, capturing him for a kiss. 'You win. The bed.'
He shoved Spike off hard and stood, unbuttoning his damp shirt and peeling off the rest of his pants. Naked, they kissed all the way into the bedroom, falling onto the bed in a tangle of limbs. Spike's entry into Angel was so welcome to both of them that they were very quiet for some minutes as he worked the tight hole gently. Angel dipped at the waist, raising his backside, and Spike slipped backward off the bed so he could stand and take full advantage of the position. He was so hard he could withdraw his cock to the very tip and then ride it back into the waiting body. He could feel every inch of Angel's rectum as he slid up it, every tightening of the muscles around the hole as he held himself, quivering on the edge before plunging back in.
He couldn't take his eyes of the slick, beautiful skin of Angel's flawless cheeks. He ran his hands over them as he thrust in and out; he cupped Angel's soft, vulnerable balls and played with them; he slid his hands down the backs of the hard thighs. His thighs betrayed Angel's orgasm. Spike felt them tremble, deep muscle preparation for release, and he gasped, grabbing Angel around the waist and pummelling him with the power of his penetration. Angel made small sounds of pleasured pain as his anus split to the hard thrusting, but the throbbing sting brought a rush of sperm to his shaft. It shot out, his penis bouncing wildly around, releasing it into the bed. Spike cried out, and then his whole body clenched to stillness as he just let go. All tension flooded from his body as he filled Angel with his sperm. When he was done, he collapsed and slid from the cum-slick hole, falling to his knees alongside the bed.
He put his forehead to the mattress and stayed like that until he heard an amused voice by his ear. 'Taken to praying as well, my little soulful childe?'
Spike gave a muffled chuckle.
Angel dragged him up to lie alongside him in the bed, and they entwined in their familiar manner.
Angel began to stroke Spike's hair, kissing the damp forehead as he tangled the sticky strands away. 'Don't ever leave me.'
'I love you.'
Spike shifted his head and looked at Angel. Angel smiled. 'I was gonna give you up too. Guess I must.'
He put his head back down on Angel's chest and replaced the hand on his hair. Angel chuckled and resumed his rhythmic stroking.
'Why does everything have to be so difficult all the time, Angel? Why can't we just be left alone?'
'Because we aren't meant to be, Spike. Souled demons? I think we offend the order of things, and the universe abhors paradox.'
'You've been spending too much time with the watcher. Time we got back to having some vampire style fun, I'm thinking.'
Angel's other hand began to trail small circles on Spike's back. 'Guess I'll start now.' With a grin, he dislodged Spike and pushed him onto his back. He lay on him for a moment, smirking, then slid down slowly, licking and nibbling the supine body as he went. At every place of interest, he murmured his approval, until he had reached the sticky, musky place he wanted. Provocatively, he lifted Spike's legs in turn and placed them on his shoulder. Spike watched with interest, a small smile flitting around the corners of his lips at Angel's flaccid optimism. With an almost demonic grin, Angel suddenly swooped down and sucked deeply on Spike's hole.
With a howl of pleasure, Spike rose off the bed, his back arching, his neck straining. Angel alternated deep sucking with licking and blowing over the sensitive ring until, just before Spike thought he could take no more, a cold tongue plunged into him.
He grabbed Angel's hair, tugging it painfully, pulling Angel closer to him. Angel gave a last thrust with his tongue then stabbed two fingers into the wet channel, hooking them around the tight ring of muscle and flexing them against the soft walls. Blindly, he sought Spike's mouth, and they crashed together in a furious kiss, as Angel's strong fingers brought Spike to another orgasm. He knew when it was coming, for Spike's mouth tensed against his. Angel pulled off, and as Spike arched back once more with the imminent release, Angel caught the swaying shaft in his mouth. He knelt up to get a better position and pressed his fingers to Spike's swollen balls from deep inside his tight hole.
Spike howled; Angel's mouth flooded with sperm; he swallowed in rhythm to his strong pressing on the walls of Spike's rectum.
Spike was not released even when the last few drop of cum had long since slid down Angel's throat. Angel sucked gently at the softening member in his mouth. He licked around the root and nuzzled into the soft skin. He returned to Spike's slightly stretched hole, easing his cool tongue in and out as it returned to shape. Only when he heard deep, regular breathing did he pause and glance up.
He knelt up and looked down in wonder at the sleeping figure on the bed. Sex-rumpled hair, arms flung to the side and left where they lay, Angel could sense the deep, dream-free, healing sleep that Spike had finally tipped into. He tilted his head to one side, wondering if, after everything they had shared together since Spike had arrived in LA, he had ever loved him more. He climbed stealthily off the bed so as not to disturb his sleeping lover.
Spike jerked awake, every sense alert to the fact that he was alone. He felt disoriented for a moment until the events of the night flooded back. Before he could call out, he heard an odd noise. Cautiously, he rose off the bed and slipped out into the office.
Angel was in the TV room with his back turned. Spike slid in behind him and pinned his arms. 'Don't. Please.'
Angel ignored him and continued to rip and tear at the tape that was tangled around his hands. He kept it up until there was nothing but shiny brown confetti around their feet; Spike held him the whole while so felt the moment when the fury turned to impotent despair. He lowered Angel to the couch and still held him, kissing into the pain, until with a last choked sob, Angel sat up and ran a slightly shaky hand through his hair. 'What was it all for, Spike? Tell me that. I need to know.'
'He was Russell Winter's sire.'
Angel went very still and let out a breath. 'Fucking vampires.'
Spike sat back and laughed, well aware Angel was only making an effort for him, but grateful for the pretence anyway.
'I think I'll have to send the sire the way of the childe.'
'No need, Pet. 'S all taken care of.'
Angel gave Spike a look. 'What did you do?'
Spike raised an eyebrow and glanced down at the mess on the floor. 'Let's just say he's gone from directing to a staring role. Now, can we go back to bed?'
'I left you asleep.'
'No, I was faking it. I never sleep unless you're lying next to me, you know that.'
'Come and live with me at the hotel, Spike. I know we've been down this…'
'Yeah - for a week or two, anyway.'
Angel smiled with pleasure, but his heart ached at the realisation of just how profoundly Spike's experience had affected him. 'Good. Just for a week or two. I don't want you to work - just rest.'
'I'm cheering up already. Bed now?'
They slid alongside each other and wrapped their limbs into their favourite tangle. Spike's head dipped into the hollow of Angel's shoulder; Angel's chin came down to rest into the soft, blond locks, and their bodies began to warm together, shared heat creating a womb-like den under the covers.
Spike stretched to the warmth that pervaded all his senses and slid gratefully into oblivion.
Angel lay picturing a figure twisting and burning as it fell to a hell of its own making, and contemplating the power of the love between a sire and his childe.
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