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Time is the Fire in Which we Burn

Episode 5 - Chapter 1

Spike sensed him as soon as he came in. Through the chemical fog that kept all others nothing but a pleasant blur, his scent was unmistakable. A feral grin flashed for a moment before he clamped it down, and he began to stalk the man. Spike had no idea why the human had come to this place: perhaps looking for him. He was definitely looking for something. So, keeping to the shadows, slinking through the throng like the predator he was, he followed the man into the back room.

Spike hung, grinning, on the threshold of the dark, intimate place. She'd been telling him the truth: the man did want to be taken. Spike swelled to this knowledge and pushed less cautiously through the figures fucking and sucking in the dark.

Something caught at his arm; he tried to turn. He was trapped, pinned to the wall, the human grinning at his own game. He spread-eagled Spike, crushing his face into the sweat-streaked paint. Warm hands cupped his cheeks, feeling him; fingers explored for his zip and lowered his jeans just enough for entry.

Spike wanted to protest, but it was too… good, too much what he'd wanted for so long. Nevertheless, he said weakly, 'She said you wanted me to take you - to make you mine.'

The human laughed darkly in his ear. 'You should know, Vampire; she lies about everything. I want you. I want you all mine.'

As he said the final, husky word, a finger probed Spike, and he arched back, pressing off the wall into the warm body. Something hard and damp trailed across his cheeks, and he knew what was coming next.

Spike turned his head to one side as he was taken. Everything he was fell away to this first human penetration: his demonic ferocity, his caustic defences - even his sense of himself as a man.

When the warm human shaft was fully embedded, Spike opened his eyes.

Feral amber ones held his gaze.

Spike grinned at his dark lover and pushed farther off the wall so he could slide in.

The human nuzzled into Spike's neck, signalling his pleasure at this addition. His face was seized by the brooding presence in front of Spike, and Spike watched as they kissed hard.

Every time the human thrust, Spike was crushed against the solid body in front of him. Sometimes his lips were taken; sometimes he watched demonic flesh brushing and playing with blood-swollen, human lips. Inexorably, the human rose to his orgasm. The thrusting got harder. Spike began to beg for his lover to take hold of him, work him too. 'Angel, Angel, Angel….'



'You were dreaming.'

'I was not!'

'Panting? Calling my name? Thrashing around? Yeah, guess you were just sleeping peacefully.'

'I called your name? Just you?'

Angel propped himself up on his elbow, amused. 'There was someone else, wasn't there? Who were you dreaming about, Spike?'

'Who do you bloody think?'

'Hmm. You finally got to slide into that warm body?'

Leaving Angel with this partial truth, Spike sat up, running his fingers through his hair.

'What time is it?'


'Oh. OH… I'm resting! I'm recuperating! I'm going back to sleep….' Spike turned his back to Angel with a smirk and snuggled under the sex-rumpled sheets.

'You're just going to lie there and dream about fucking my best friend while I go out to work?'


Angel slapped the sheet-clad backside. 'Just be sure that I make an appearance somewhere in your dream.'

''K, Pet. I'm inventive.'

'Hmm. Shall I say hi to the real thing for you?'


'You're gonna have to see him one day.'

'Make that the day I didn't shag his girlfriend, yeah?'

'I know Wes, Spike. He's not… affected… by Lilah. They just sleep together. There's no involvement.'

Spike turned over and gave Angel an incredulous look. 'Angel, if I ever break up with my CURRENT lover, remind me not to come to YOU for relationship advice. Just stick to being silent and beautiful; it's what you do best. Wes' heart runs deeper than either you or I can comprehend. He'll be pissed at me - I betrayed him - and I don't want you to say hi, okay?'

'You've been here three days, and you've not left this room yet.'

'I leave it - when you two are out.'

Angel gave up and snuggled closer to the warm, pliant body.

Spike tried not to smile. 'And you're doing what…?'

Angel smiled for both of them. 'I'm claiming worker's rights.'

Spike chuckled. 'Privileges, Mate. Just privileges. I can withdraw them at any time.'

'Do you want me to withdraw?'

Spike pressed his face into the mattress and lifted himself more to the penetration. Angel rested his forehead on the smooth back and relieved his waking erection.

'Don't go back to your place, Spike. Stay here with me.'

'You - pick - your - bloody - moment - to - ask; fucking hell, Angel, that's good.'

'I want - you - safe. I like watching you - sleep with - good - dreams. Ughh, this is good.'

'You said it - fuck - yourself; shit happens. Shit, go deeper.'

'I know. But it could - hap….'


'Happen just - as easily… with us togeth… together! I want to come - together. Spike!'

'Yeah. Fuck. That's it - just there, Angel. Harder. OH… Jesus! Filling - and I'm - oh, coming… coming… fuuuuu - ck.'


Angel hated the long walk down the stairs every evening. He knew they knew what he'd just been doing, and he always let it upset him, always felt that flush of blood colour his face, and although his friends would not be able to detect it, he could, and it infuriated him that he couldn't just be nonchalant and calm like Spike.

He always made straight for the kitchen to delay the moment when he had to get close to them. He could smell Spike on him, despite showering and was convinced they could too, although, again, he knew they could not.

Knowing he was being irrational, he slouched to the fridge and pulled out a couple of blood bags. He turned when he sensed Wesley and nodded at him. 'Hi.'

Wesley nodded too and walked over to put the kettle on. 'I'm making headway with the map.'


Wesley sighed. 'Remember, Angel? I'm trying to plot all our recent cases. I'm convinced they are connected somehow. I want to investigate a place by the docks tonight.'

'Sure. Gather the troops.'

'How are things?'


'Do you want me to spell it out for you, Angel?'

'Yeah, do.'

Wesley gave him a look and went out to the lobby. Angel pouted for a moment, Spike's words coming back to him, and he did not follow the human, as he wanted to.

They tooled up and headed for the car. Wesley was putting the weapons into the trunk when they all heard an uncharacteristic curse and turned to find him bent over his hand, clearly in some pain. He looked up. 'Shut the damn boot on my fingers.'

Angel shut the offending trunk and came closer. 'Let me see. Are they broken?'

Wesley kept his hand carefully tucked away and shook his head. 'I'll just run it under some cold water for a while. You all go on. I'll catch up.'

Angel shrugged, and Wesley watched them drive away.

Spike waited until he heard the car pull away and then sauntered out of Angel's room. He went naked to the shower and stood under the water for a long time. Running water cascading over his body seemed particularly pleasant these days.

As he was alone, he left his hair plastered to his scalp instead of immediately spiking it up and drifted back into the bedroom, singing.

'Shit! Fuck! What the hell…?'

Wesley repressed a smile as Spike vacillated between grabbing something to cover his nakedness and sorting out his hair. He reached down to the bed and handed him a sheet. Spike snatched it and wrapped it around his waist with a pointed look. 'What do you…?'

'Why did you do it?'

Spike frowned and pouted at the same time, as conflicting emotions washed over him. He'd spent three days thinking of nothing else but this conversation, and now that it was here, he couldn't remember his script.

'Because I could?'

'Don't bloody play games with me, Spike. Tell me what happened.'

'No. You know enough; the details are… unnecessary.'

'Who initiated it? Tell me that.'

Spike gave him a look. 'Come on, Human. Who do you think? I've seduced the fucking dead; I've been seducing people for nearly two hundred years. She didn't stand a chance.'

Wesley looked relieved, and Spike turned away to give the lie more credibility.

'What did she…?'

'No. No more. I'm not telling you a damn thing more. Ask her.'

'I've not seen her.'

Spike turned sharply. 'Not since she came back? Jesus, Mate, didn't you think to go to her?'

Wesley was studying his remarkably healthy looking fingers with some concentration. 'I don't think she'd find me all that interesting now, do you?'

Spike came hesitantly over and sat a little way down the bed. 'Wesley….'

Wesley continued to study his fingers, so Spike slid closer and put his hand over them. 'I - I touched her for about two seconds, and then my chip fired off. All she enjoyed was watching me rolling around in agony.'

Wesley looked up, frowning. 'Is that true?'

Spike sighed. 'I lie about almost everything, Pet; you know that. But, yeah, that's the truth.'

'So, you're not going to - see her again?'

Spike pursed his lips. 'No. I am.'

'What?' Wesley stood up furiously. 'What kind of game are you playing…?'

'This is no game, Luv. For once, I'm not playing. I have a plan… no, that's the wrong word… mission. Yeah, I'm on a mission.'

'What the hell are you talking about? Fucking Lilah is now a mission?'

'I'm not planning to fuck her, Wes; I'm planning to save her.'

Wesley stared at him, his eyes unnaturally wide.

'Sit down. Please.'

The soft plea got Wesley's compliance, and he sank onto the bed next to Spike.

'Why have you never tried to save her, Wesley?'

'What the hell are you talking about? She's a….'

'I'll tell you why, shall I? She's evil, and that attracts you. You like flirting with the dark side, and you're using her to explore that place.'

'Shut up, Spike. You have no idea what you're talking about.'

'It's the same with me and Angel. We're irresistible because we skirt the darkness you crave. Don't….' He put a hand on Wesley's arm as he tried to rise. 'I'm not criticising you, Pet. It's why you guys become watchers in the first place: all vampires know that!'

Spike knew his words would hold Wesley still. When he saw he had the human's full attention, he said softly, 'Stuff happened between us on this trip - nothing to do with sex, believe me. She saw me… burning. It's a long story - I got too close to the sun, that's all. But don't you see, Wes? That's why she's gone into hiding and won't see you. She's hiding from herself. She's terrified.'

'She's frightened of nothing. You don't know her.'

'No, I do. I know her very well. She looked into her own future, Wes, and it terrified her. Don't you see? She's sold her soul for all this wealth and power, and one day she'll have to pay that debt. I burnt for a day and a night; she will burn forever. Kingdoms will come and go, and she'll burn. The planet will crumple up as the sun gets closer, and still she'll burn. The universe will contract and start again, and she'll be writhing in agony in those flames. Her hell is eternal, Wes. Eternal. She's promised to the devil, but I want to save her.' In wonder, Spike put a finger to Wesley's cheek. 'Hey!'

Wesley dashed the tear away but caught once more at Spike's hand. 'I thought you wanted to fuck her. Will I never learn about you?'

Spike grinned. 'Nah. If you do, I'll just change again.'

Wesley chuckled and took a deep breath to calm himself. 'What are we going to do?'

Spike raised an eyebrow and looked down at his naked chest. 'Yep, Vampire.' He looked over at Wesley, theatrically puzzled, and shook his head as if confirming something in his mind. 'Watcher.' He shook his head once more and flashed Wesley a grin. 'I'm just the eye candy, Pet; you come up with the plan.'

Wesley slapped at him affectionately, and this time, Spike caught at his hand. 'I am sorry.'

Wesley nodded. When he saw he was forgiven, Spike added cheekily, ''Sides, you were snogging my boyfriend when I was away.'

'Spike. I'm not sure what horrifies me more: that Angel tells you these things and you both find it amusing, or that you've just called Angel your boyfriend.'

Spike pouted. 'I'm feelin' left out, ya know?'

'Stop edging toward me.'

'Wes! It's just a thing. People do it.'

'People do, but we don't. Stop it. Spike! Bloody hell….'

Wesley couldn't have resisted Spike's soft nuzzling against his neck if his own soul depended upon it. With a vision of flames flicking through his mind, he dipped and caught at the amused mouth with his lips. He ran his hands through the short hairs at the base of Spike's neck and opened his mouth. Spike groaned and took the invitation. They kissed so hard and so thoughtlessly that neither noticed they had fallen back onto the bed. Wesley's blood pounded in his veins; his ears began to ring. He felt Spike's hand exploring him and groaned, then groaned once more, puzzled, as something was waved in front of his eyes. He pulled off the enticing mouth, and Spike chuckled. 'You're ringing.'

Wesley snatched the cellphone and punched the button, bewildered. He glanced at Spike and mouthed, 'Angel.' Spike pretended to be spooked then flung back on the bed once more, chuckling and feeling over his lips. Wesley snapped the phone shut. 'They're coming back. They didn't find anything.' He lay down again and propped himself up on one elbow. Spike traced a line up his arm and around his wrist.

'What, Human?'

'Oh, nothing…. I'm just trying to decide whether I was more angry at you for having her, or her for having… you.'

Spike glanced away then back, clearly debating something. He clenched his jaw and then said in a rush, 'She smelt of you. It's why I wanted…. It was like fucking you.'

'Except for the boobs, I hope?'

Spike grinned and pulled his arm away so the human fell to the bed. 'We're okay then, Pet? Tell me I've not lost my number one fan and the only person I can share words like boob with?'

Wesley tried to look censorious, but they both knew it was a very weak attempt. He sat up and ran his hand through his hair. 'I'd better go. However open your relationship, I still don't fancy Angel actually finding me in bed with you.'

With a grin, Spike said provocatively, 'Especially when I'm naked…' and proceeded to make himself just that. Wesley blushed and stood up.

'Get dressed. 'We've work to do.'


'Yes. Lilah.'

Spike stretched out on the bed with a sigh of pleasure, and Wesley fled from the blatant display.

Angel couldn't have been more pleased when he returned to find Spike and Wesley drinking tea together in the kitchen. He turned away to hide his grin, not wanting to provoke his volatile lover. Spike got up, nevertheless, and leant against him as he waited for some blood to heat. He didn't speak; he didn't allow Angel to catch his look and then sat back down as if nothing had happened, resuming his conversation with the human.

His face burning with pleasure at the intimacy Spike had displayed in that small gesture, Angel straddled a chair and sat with them. 'What are you talking about?'

Clearly excited by something, Wesley put down his tea and said almost breathlessly, 'It's rather fascinating. We started talking about restoring - or rather saving - a soul, and then we got to talking about souls in general: what they are, where they reside, what they mean.'

'Oh. Great. So, I'm heading for a shower. Spike…?'

Spike gave Wesley a look and grinned. 'Well, that proves where Angel's lies.'

Angel ignored this and frowned down at the book open on the table. 'Why souls?'


'I asked Wes about mine. And yours. You know - the curse thing an' all. Now you're so happy like….' He poked Angel in the ribs, and Angel's embarrassment, as it was intended to do, distracted him from probing this lie too closely. Wesley kept his eyes fastened on Spike until Angel left, and then he let out a soft breath.

'I shall never believe a word you tell me, Vampire. You're spooky the way you do that.'

'Years of practice, Luv.'

'Why didn't you want to tell him? I'd have thought if anyone would have insight into Lilah, Angel would.'

'But Angel wants to kill her.'

'No, he doesn't.'

'Yes, he does.'

Wesley mulled this over, doubt sliding in as he considered Spike's superior knowledge of Angel. His eyes suddenly opened wide. 'What did she really do to you, Spike? On this job?'

Spike's unique talent in lying suddenly seemed to desert him, and he clenched his jaw and looked away. Wesley kept staring at him. 'She hurt you, and Angel knows it, doesn't he?'

Spike looked angry. 'She saved me, and I told him that.'

Wesley continued to stare. 'But there was more to it than you're telling us - this mission of yours is confusing you. But Angel isn't confused. He knows. Spike, tell me what happened. I can't help you with this until I know.'

'It was a misunderstanding, that's all. She got her priorities confused.'

'Have you ever heard the expression blood out of a stone?'

'Nope. Seems kinda unlikely - not gonna happen, ya know: blood; stones - not likely.'

'So, you're telling me you're not going to… tell me?'

'Stone. Blood. You said it yourself.'

'Then you'll have to do this thing on your own, Spike. My priorities are very clear: Angel, you, the rest. And sometimes, depending on how much you two piss me off, I reverse the order of the top two. If Lilah tried to hurt you, then I'm sorry, but I'm with Angel on this one. Let her rot.'

'Wesley! Fuck you! You can't mean that! You can't fuck someone and not care about them. 'S not possible.'

'I didn't say I didn't care about her; I just care more for her enemies. Now, I'm tired; I'm going home. Why don't you come too? I'll rephrase that… do you want a lift to your apartment?'

'You know I'm staying here.'

'Hmm. I'd noticed.'

'Oh, don't tell me that you don't approve or something. Or are you just jealous cus I get to wake up alongside him?'

Spike smirked at the wind-up but saw that his jibe had hit a little too close to home. With a curse, he watched Wesley leave then ran out and caught him up. 'Hey.'

Wesley pursed his lips and gathered his things from the desk.

'I'm only here for a few days, Wes.'

'Because you got so frightened you couldn't stay on your own? That sounds rather pathetic, Spike.'

Spike caught at his arm. 'No. I've got my priorities right as well, Watcher. I'm here because Angel nearly lost me, and he needs me close for a while. I'm his childe.'

Wesley's head sagged a little, and he nodded. 'I just don't want to see you going backwards, Spike. You've come so far. I'm sorry. This incredible streak of altruism you seem to have adopted still catches me out.'

Spike gave him a look, and Wesley laughed. He could see that the vampire was not denying the horizontal benefits of being an altruistic demon.


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