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Time is the Fire in Which we Burn

Episode 8- Chapter 1

Spike waited patiently, leaning back against the wall of a tomb, almost as pale in the bright moonlight as its marble walls. He smoked steadily, listening, half to the familiar sounds of the night and half to his reason for being in Sunnydale.

This all seemed so long ago; a different time, a different life, when he had been a different person. It was before Angel. He smiled a little as the thought of Angel flitted across his mind. Whenever he had a conscious thought of him, he realised that unconsciously, he was thinking about him all the time.

They'd not had time to really speak since they'd smashed the orb together the previous night - since he'd finally freed himself of the chip. So many things had suddenly become possible to him that he'd rushed headlong through the hours, trying to live a lifetime in their passing; so much to make up for; so many things missed. They didn't need to speak now; it was as if some connection, deeper than a common language or blood, bound them.

They were now a conscious choice.

He heard a sound and flicked his cigarette out in a small red arc. He straightened, touched his fingers lightly once more to the things he had brought to this place of painful memories and strode out to meet him.


'Jesus! Spike! Way to give me a heart attack. What are you doing…? Not seen you for… are you back?'

Spike turned and, by the tiniest of gestures, indicated that he wanted to walk. Reluctantly, Xander swung in step beside him. 'We heard you were in LA.'

'I am.'

'Oh. Nice cemeteries there too, I guess.'

Spike chuckled. 'Yeah. Just like living here.'

'Living in that you aren't actually… living?'

Spike gave him a look. 'Of course. That's what I meant.'

'What do you want here?'

'I'm helping Buffy for a night or two. Big nasties in town.'

Xander frowned. 'She hasn't said; why the out of loopiness?'

Spike shrugged then frowned. 'You patrol alone now?'

'Willow's sick otherwise….'

''What was that?'


'Nothing. Probably just a vamp.'


'In there…. Saw a light in the crypt.'

Xander looked hesitant, and Spike said neutrally, 'Better wait for the Slayer.'

Xander gave him a look then strode toward the small building. With a raise of an eyebrow at the predictability, Spike followed him and helpfully held the door as he went in.

Equally helpfully, he turned and locked it and pocketed the key when the human was inside.

Xander spun around. 'What the…? Hey! What are you…?' He watched, silenced, as Spike shrugged off his duster and laid it carefully over a tomb. He watched as the vampire began to delve in pockets and only then gave a small shake of his shoulders as if reminding himself of something reassuring about this particular vampire.

He came closer. 'If this is some sort of….' The needle-nose pliers silenced him once more. The small blowtorch made him swallow deeply. 'Spike…?'

Spike looked up cheerfully, spotted something on the end of the pliers and huffed in annoyance, scrutinising the small object. 'Huh. Bit of Angel.'


'Tooth root. Jesus, that took a long time to get out.'


'What, Mate?'

'What's the sitch?'

Spike looked down and pouted then brightened, fishing in his pocket once more. With a small rueful laugh, he said, 'Sorry, forgot the most important things. Here we go.' He produced some wide duct tape and a pair of handcuffs. 'Course, I'm outta practice with humans, but I guess it's like riding a bicycle: they say you never forget. Not that I ever learnt to do that, course.' He looked at the very pale human. 'You missed an opportunity for a jibe about me being dead then! You're slipping.'

Xander took a firmer grasp on his stake and began to back toward the door.

Spike laughed and bent to light a cigarette. With a grin at Xander, he then bent and lit the blowtorch. 'Okay, let's get started.'

The human flung to the door and began to shout, wrenching at the sturdy bolt.

'Now, Harris, give me more credit than that: I tested this place out this afternoon. No escape, and no one's gonna hear you scream… shit, I loved that film.'

The voice was chillingly close, and Xander whirled around. 'You've got the chip out - and you lost your soul.'

Spike frowned and looked puzzled. 'Why do you say that? Well, yeah, the chip, obviously, but why the soul?'

'Why!' Xander lowered his voice, keeping a wary eye on the small flame that wavered unnervingly closer and closer. 'Why? Because of this…!' He waved his hand around the trap as if it said all that needed to be said. Spike still looked puzzled, following where he indicated, but clearly not seeing what he saw. Exasperated, Xander said, 'This isn't you, Spike! You'd never have done… this!'

Spike looked even more surprised.

'Even before your soul - you wanted to help. You were trying to be of the good.'

'Huh. In what way?'

Xander looked like a man who was answering quiz questions in a nightmare, where the subject was so surreal that he didn't have a hope of getting them right. 'Well, you helped us all! You know you did! Jesus, you saved my life enough times… and Buffy's! Spike! This is NOT you.'

'I'm gonna cry in a minute.'

'This is SO not happening.'

Spike put the blowtorch down and hopped up on the tomb where he'd laid out his small selection of instruments. 'So, if I was such a good person, why all the abuse?'


'You. Me. How come this is the first I've ever heard this? Indulge me; I'm curious.'

Xander shook his head. He'd come through the first round, and now he was in the specialist questions and floundering just as badly. 'I-I…. Well, I guess… I kinda… well, you didn't need… I mean, you're a vampire….'

Spike smiled and waited patiently.

'I mean, I thought it, of course. We all did. Talked about you… how different you were, but…. ' He suddenly stood a little straighter. 'I don't know why I never told you.'

'Do you wish you had?'

'Right now I do.'

'No, without my toys waiting to feel you.'

Xander took a step closer, still clutching his stake. 'It's been very quiet here without you.'

'Uh huh.'

'And more dangerous - for us. And, yeah, I've thought about you once or twice, wondered what you were doing….'

'Being dead an' all.'

'No! I wondered if it had worked out for you.'

Spike hopped off the tomb and came very close - too close, but the young man stood his ground. Spike smiled and stepped around him. 'Fuck, but I'm dying for a drink…. Hey! I forgot - I'm already dead! See… without you telling me, I'm liable to forget.'

He went to the door, unlocked it and sauntered out, stretching in the night air. Without a backward glance, he left the painful memories along with the toys he'd never had any intention of using.

His next appointment was slightly different, and he grinned at his own nervousness. It was a leap of faith, but one with few consequences if he got it wrong.

He paced outside for a moment and then pushed the door open and strode confidently in.

The human looked up.

'Oh, bloody hell. Spike. What do you want?'

'Hello, Watcher. How's things?'

'Very quiet and pleasant without you.' Giles rose from the table and went to the bookcase to replace the book he'd been reading. He turned, polishing his glasses.

He looked up to make another caustic comment, but was flattened against his books, the glasses falling from his hand. With no preliminaries, Spike pinned the human by the shoulders, now able to use enough force to keep him there, and opened his mouth against the warm lips.

Spike had to give Giles credit: he fought to be free like a man possessed. It only made the kiss sweeter as, able to use his frightening preternatural strength, he was able to hold him still, open weak human legs, press to him and enjoy his mouth. Giles struggled, kicked, tried to head butt him, tried to wrench his mouth away, but all to no avail: the kiss went on.

The moment when it all changed was so sweet that Spike allowed himself a small smile of triumph. He didn't have to hold so hard. He didn't have to bruise and crush the man's arms and wrists. He didn't have to fight to possess the mouth.

Suddenly, it was all freely given to him.

With almost bewildering speed, Spike found himself pushed back against the stairs. Now fingers dug into his face and ripped at his hair. He relaxed and let himself be taken for a while, the man hardening against him, wanting more. Then, timed to perfection, he slid to one side and around to the other side of the table.

He grinned. 'I was right.'

The man opened his mouth to speak, but Spike spun on his heel and headed for the door. He strode out of the magic shop and gave a two-fingered, English salute to Sunnydale.

He went straight back to the hotel when he got to LA, stripped, and crawled in alongside the sleeping figure.

He felt guilty.

He knew he was a bad man.

But, hell, even saints had off days.

They had still to tell Wesley. Predictably, Spike wanted something visual - a small demonstration that he could now hurt him. Even more predictably, Angel had forbidden this and said he would tell him quietly that day. Angel was discovering a very interesting side effect of having Spike as an equal partner: he was listened to and obeyed more.

Spike glanced at the alarm clock with a fond smile and decided it was time to wake Angel up for some pre-wake-up-time recreational sex. Kissing Giles had made him very horny. Hell, everything since he'd gotten his chip out made him horny. He was in a constant state of arousal, like a man coming back to life

He was about to lay his hand on the smooth shoulder, when another, very interesting thought occurred to him.

He groaned slightly as possibilities went through his mind; options were considered and discarded. He stretched with anticipation and suddenly found himself pinned down and scrutinised closely. He put on his best innocent expression but saw immediately that this was a waste of time. Angel only chuckled at the obvious deception and took Spike's lower lip lightly in his mouth for a moment. He let it go, still close enough to bite it savagely if he wanted. 'Where have you been?'

Spike raised his hips so they brushed together. 'I went home to see the folks.'

Angel lifted his hips higher so their erections were separated once more. 'Was everyone well?'

'When I got there, or when I left?'

Angel narrowed his eyes, and Spike lifted his legs and wound them around his back, effectively pinning them tightly together. 'Stop worrying, Luv; they were all well and….'

'I'm not worried about them; I worry about you. I know what the constant denial is like.'

Spike caught at Angel's lip this time and mouthed as he kissed him, 'What denial?'

Angel ran his hands up Spike's arms, until he had the strong wrists pinned together. It was something of an impasse, for Spike only tightened his legs and grinned. 'We're gonna have to decide who's top in this relationship one day.'

'I'm still your sire.'

'Ohhh, and that means…?'

Angel grinned. 'Fuck all really - but I'm stronger than you.'

'Good basis to decide roles on, and we've never really put it to the test, except for that first shag, of course, when… huh… I took you.'

Angel pouted. 'A fluke and I was distracted. I'm older than you.'

'More years dead, yeah, still not sure that counts.'

Angel lowered his mouth very slowly to the soft lips. 'You're-just-so-infinitely-fuckable….' Put like that, Spike could only agree. He arched back with pleasure as Angel found him, entering with a swift certainty of his welcome. He ducked his head in gratitude at the groan of pleasure from Spike, still in awe that they could share their bodies in this intimate way.

They were so hard, always so hard these days that the pleasure was never drawn out for long. Angel braced his hands on Spike's chest and looked down to watch his rapid jerking, loving the way it made Spike's cock bounce and wave around, small beads of precum dislodged to trickle freely down its swollen length. He glanced up at Spike and snagged him closer for a kiss, their tongues finding as much pleasure from this small contact as their bodies did in the more vigorous one. Angel licked over the soft walls and murmured, 'I smell the breath of an Englishman.'

Spike humped up harder at the memory of the long kiss in the Magic Box and Angel groaned at the increased depth of his penetration. 'But he's not who you were thinking about earlier….'

Spike's kisses turned into small bites, and Angel felt his balls swelling at the pain. 'Tell me….'

Spike arched his whole body like a bow strung too tight and shouted as he came, cum propelled out between their sweating bodies. Angel smelt the release and like a tide reacting to the pull of the moon, his body ejaculated without any conscious effort on his part. He cried out, an unusually loud shout of intense pleasure and leaned hard on Spike, spreading the slim legs wide and filling the supine body until his semen spilled out and ran sluggishly to the sheet.

With a grunt, he lay heavily, still embedded, still twitching lightly, just clenching and unclenching his buttocks to milk the last of his pleasure deep in Spike's body.

Spike glanced at the clock and pouted. 'Sodding hell! Five fucking minutes. Five minutes fucking! Angel!'

Angel grunted again then roused himself to say, 'Stop being so fuckable then.'

'But five minutes….' He sensed Angel wasn't really listening and just ran his hands over the broad back as he went back to his pleasant fantasy. A small memory surfaced and he began to laugh. When Angel grunted again, he just patted the heavy body and murmured, 'After all, Pet, you've got a reputation to maintain.'

Blissfully unaware of schemes being made on his behalf, Angel went back to the deep sleep he'd been in before he'd sensed his childe sliding into the bed beside him.

When he awoke to the shrill ring of the alarm, he was still in Spike and they smiled, both at the pleasant feeling of this, as well as at memories of the recent spell. Then Angel frowned. 'I need to tell Wesley.'

'He's gonna get all dark and bleak 'bout it; you know he will. Crosses will be gathered; holy water will be shipped in.'

'He's got no less reason to trust you than me.'

'He's known you longer. 'S only understandable - don't give him a hard time if he's a bit wary of me at first.'

Angel brushed a lock of hair off Spike's forehead. 'I wish I could ease your way for you.'

'You can't do that for yourself. I'll be myself, and he'll come round.'

Reluctantly, Angel drew out of the comfortable body and sat on the edge of the bed, running his hands through his hair. 'What was I asking you?'

Spike sat up too. 'When?'

'When we were….' Angel waved his hand at the damp stain on the bed.

Spike gave a blank stare and shrugged then followed behind his sire to the shower with a small, evil grin.

Wesley watched the vampires come down the stairs. He'd sensed a huge change in both of them in the last two days, and although he accepted Angel's assertion that he'd missed some of the vital action, nevertheless, the change was startling. There was a new, easy confidence between them. Spike only appeared more troublesome and challenging to him, but Angel had never been more relaxed or off-hand about Spike's whereabouts.

He nodded to them as they reached the lobby, expecting them to head straight for the kitchen to feed. He eyed them warily as they came up to him, nodded toward the office and went in together.

He followed them in and raised a questioning eyebrow at Angel. Angel perched on the edge of his desk, folded his arms and said bluntly, 'Spike's chip is gone.'

Wesley nodded wisely as if he'd actually taken this in, then the words actually began to make sense and he turned and stared at the blond vampire. Spike was watching Angel and didn't seem to notice the intense scrutiny.

'I see. How?'

'We got it taken out.'

Wesley turned back to face Angel. 'We?'


'Ah. Well, good.'

There was a long pause, and when Wesley turned back to look at Spike once more, the vampire was now staring intently at him. 'Good?'

Wesley nodded. 'You were in a most unfortunate predicament and very vulnerable. I think it's excellent news, yes.'

Angel glanced at Spike. 'Maybe I should have let you celebrate like you wanted to. Still wanna make it two all?'

Wesley frowned and looked askance at Angel. Angel smiled and came up to him. Looking as if he was going to go past, he bent and swiftly kissed the startled man. 'I love you too, by the way, Wes. I was kinda busy when you told me.'

With a chuckle, he went out to feed. Wesley shut the door behind him and turned to Spike. Spike looked down at the floor. 'What do you really think?'

'I'm not sure. How has it made you feel?'

'Like a master of the universe.'

Spike's reply was so genuine that Wesley could only nod. 'I can imagine.'

Spike glanced up but then immediately back down, and Wesley sighed. 'It's a huge change so soon, Spike. I'm worried for you.'

Spike nodded.

'A lot of people pissed you off when you were chipped. It would take a very strong man not to want to exact a little bit of revenge on them.'

Spike's innocent blue eyes fastened on him. 'Really? I hadn't thought about that.'

Wesley grimaced and perched where Angel had earlier. 'Your soul is strong, but a soul is not like a device: reliable, predicable. Even the best of men can become evil given the right provocation.' He got no reply, just another swift, thoughtful look. 'I don't know why I'm not glad - I am really. I think. No, I am - definitely. But…. Jesus. You, without a chip.'

'Yeah.' Spike came closer and stood toe-to-toe. 'I can do things to people that hurt.'

'That's exactly….'

'Not all painful things are bad, Wes. You know that.'

Wesley pursed his lips. 'Why have I had the impression since yesterday that I was part of a very interesting conversation of which I now have no recollection?'

Spike chuckled softly, then stepped back and added in quite a different tone, 'Hey! I've not told the poof this yet, but I'm giving up the assassin business.'

Wesley looked at him questioningly and Spike added, 'I thought I'd stick to bodyguard kind of stuff.'

'Because that worked out so well for you last time?'

'Pillock. But yeah, in a way. Why not? Lot's of people need protecting.'

'At night….'

'Jesus. Yeah, why not? Guess they have regular ones during the day - they need a bloody break sometimes, don't they?'

Wesley shook his head. 'I have no idea.'

Spike began to look genuinely annoyed and turned to leave. He felt a hand on his shoulder and Wesley said softly, 'I'm sorry. I-I….' He stood in front of Spike and said carefully, 'I once told you that you were nearly perfect and you didn't believe me - God, there was so much pain then, do you remember?' Spike nodded dismally. Wesley held his chin. 'I was so wrong - you were chipped and anything you did then that was good was compromised by that fact: it was not to be trusted, do you see? But I'm going to repeat it, Spike. I mean it: you are bloody incredible, and I am very, very pleased that you are finally free of that damn thing.'

Spike tried a variety of expressions, found the one he wanted too embarrassing and just pushed past the human with a small brush against his arm and went to bury his pleasure in some cold blood from the fridge.

Spike went home as soon as the other humans arrived for work. He knew their reception of the news would not be as generous as Wesley's had been.

He was pleased to be back. As much as he liked being with Angel full time, he would always be Angel's childe, Angel's sidekick, when he was at the Hyperion. Here, he was his own person, and that had an incredibly sweet feeling to it now.

He couldn't help grinning. He'd been truthful to the human: he did feel like he could conquer the world. Instead, he did some laundry and watched a bit of telly with his feet up on the couch, drinking tea and dunking biscuits.

When the evening came, he got ready slowly, choosing soft, faded and fashionably ripped jeans with a dark, chocolate coloured shirt. He added some jewelry, and stood for a moment in front of the mirror in the bathroom. He grinned at his missing reflection. He felt so powerful he was sure it would be good.

As he sauntered through the warm night air, he punched a number on his cell. It was answered almost immediately.

'Ah. You're not coming back here this evening.'

'Maybe I'm just calling to tell you I'm on my way.'

'Yeah… likely. Do I want to know what you're up to? And do I need to rephrase that?'

'No, and no.'

'Fucking hell.'

'How did they take it?'

'Crosses were produced.'

'Oh. So….'

'Wesley got… stern.'

'Huh. I'm hard just imagining that.'

'Spike, you're always hard. Be here when I wake up.'

'Make it a request.'

'Be here when I wake up?'


'Be in me when I wake up….'

Spike just made a soft sound of acquiescence and hung up.

He pushed in through the crowd and made his way up to a higher level so he could scan the floor. His prey was nowhere in sight, but he knew where he'd be. With a grin at the convenience, he went down and into the backroom, his eyes not needing to adjust to the deep gloom. He was easy to spot: the most beautiful man there, the one the others watched enviously, greedily.

Spike went up to where the human was pressing himself into another beautiful body and wrenched him away.

Sam punched out with a cry of justified anger, and with a deep sense of satisfaction, Spike deflected the punch, causing the human to cry out a little in pain.

He was slow, but he got there eventually. Sam looked down at where his arm hurt then up at Spike's gleeful face. He glanced up at Spike's head, frowning. Realisation hit him and then with eyes widening, he got why Spike had picked this place and this way to tell him. He swallowed, pushed his ex-fuck away dismissively and came to Spike, standing toe-to-toe. 'Not here.'

Spike blinked and said pointedly. 'Of course not.'

They left together, walking side-by-side, the sense of anticipation between them too great to allow speech.

They entered Sam's apartment and immediately, Spike turned to him and pressed him roughly back against one of the pillars. Sam aggressively batted his hand away. 'I don't do bottom, so….'

'You do now.' Spike ground himself into the beautiful human and caught his breath at the low sound of pain. He opened his eyes to watch Sam's expression as they kissed and saw the deep need for this in the dilating pupils. 'I'm going to split you wide. Fuck you for hours. I've thought about nothing else since I got this sodding chip out.'

'When! Jesus, Spike, you were only here….'

'Shhh. I'll tell you later. Take your clothes off - slowly. I wanna watch.'

Sam stood a little away from him and unbuttoned his shirt provocatively.

Spike grinned: they were well matched. The pants came off equally slowly, and Spike glanced at the heavy swelling behind the man's soft boxers. He came closer and cupped him slightly, then without warning, flung him face forward into the wall. He ripped the shorts just low enough to give him access then pressed his thumb hard against the sensitive nerves around Sam's anus.

'I want you on your back like a woman.'

Sam spun around and shoved Spike hard until he connected with the pillar. 'Then you'll have to take me by force cus no way am I….' He found himself flat on his back on the wooden floor: the breath knocked out of him and the vampire pinning him down.

He grinned at the pleasure he was giving Spike and struggled with all his considerable strength to be free, ignoring flaring stabs of pain where the vampire forced him down.

Eventually he stopped struggling, his ragged panting loud in the apartment. Spike smrked and let go, watching warily to see if he would flee. He pouted a little. 'I dunno. I think I wanna degrade you more. Turn over. Crawl to the bed.'

Sam's eyes widened. He'd never done bottom and he'd certainly never been submissive with anyone. Spike saw the hesitation, raised his hand and swiped it hard across the man's face. They both groaned and Sam put a hand to his burning cheek. To Spike's surprise, instead of capitulating, he fought back once more, suddenly bringing up a leg and throwing him off. Before he could catch him, the man scrambled to his feet and made a dash for the bathroom. Spike flipped to standing with a whoop of glee and brought him down in a flying tackle, the breath going out of his victim in a low, painful moan. Spike lay on Sam's back and nuzzled into his neck. 'I said hands and knees. I said crawl.'

Nodding, Sam did as he was told. Spike stood up and watched him crawl. It only lasted for a few seconds, because the sight totally undid him. With a soft expletive, he fell to his knees behind the obedient figure and unzipped his pants. He wrapped his arm around Sam's neck and pulled him upright. He put his lips to the urgent pulse in the soft, warm neck and whispered, 'First times for both of us.'

Sam couldn't speak for his arousal, for his desperate need to explore this with Spike. He just nodded and put his hands on the solid forearm around his neck, stroking gently with his fingers through the soft hairs. Spike nodded. ''S gonna hurt, I think.'

Once more the human nodded.

Spike found him with a finger and worked him for a while, but they both wanted more. Sam's breathing changed from a panting reaction to the fight to long, slow breaths of deep arousal as he felt the gentle intrusion. Then it became short, jerky breaths of pain as the finger was gradually replaced by a hard, tearing shaft.

He gasped and dug his fingers into Spike's arm, but that was a mistake. Hearing and feeling the evidence of the human's pain made Spike swell more, and by the time he was in past the tight muscle, he rode on blood. Pain and blood. Spike felt that sense of power once more and relished it as he rode in and out of the soft, human tissue. He put his lips to Sam's neck again and kissed him gratefully, and the human opened his legs a little wider to give him more access.

Spike was about to take his arm away, to lower the man to all fours so he could pound into him, but he felt the hands on him tighten. He paused for a moment to see if he had understood right and then when he was sure he had, he let out a cry of deep pleasure.

He tightened his hold around the man's neck.


Go to Chapter 2

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