Who Can I Turn To? - 5
Angel glanced at his bedside clock, closed his eyes, opened them again - and saw that nearly fourteen hours had passed.
He wondered what had woken him, for it still seemed very quiet in the hotel. A small motion caught his attention. He peered down at Spike, wrapped and hidden under the sheet. He was … moving. Angel's eyes widened in disbelief. 'Spike! Are you….?'
'Fuck off, and go back to sleep.'
'You can't do that here.'
'And that would be because?'
'Spike! I'm just here! No fair.'
'Angel, I've been thinking over what you said last night, and I think I get it.'
'Good, you understand that I can't.…'
'I understand that you've lost your nerve - that you're thinking too much like a human, and it's my job to save you.' He sniggered. 'Get you lost again. I did it once, and I can do it again.'
'Stop doing that.…'
'No. 'Fact, I'm gonna let you watch.' Spike threw back the covering, and Angel saw the soft, smooth movements that Spike was making on his cock. The foreskin was pulled right back, and the red tip glistened in the early morning light. He had clearly been working himself for some time, for a steady stream of precum dribbled out of the slit that bisected the smooth knob. Angel groaned, and Spike chuckled. 'You can turn away if you want, Angel; I can't make you watch.' He turned on his back and sat up slightly against some propped pillows. He closed his eyes and began to concentrate in earnest on an orgasm.
Angel, he noted, did not move from his waking position.
Angel knew the feel of that cock almost as well as his own: the taste of it far better. His mouth began to water at the need to lick off the crystal drops. His jaw ached with the need to feel that fullness in his mouth; his throat dried from memories of that tip rubbing it during urgent, jerky blowjobs.
The temptation to let it all go began to overwhelm him: let go the control, let go his need for love, take the fucking that was being offered… but he couldn't. Like a man with a great prize just within his reach, he withstood the devil's game and thought only about the rewards of that denial.
He wasn't a saint though, and he allowed himself to watch.
Spike was clearly reaching orgasm, for he raised his hips off the bed slightly on each pull, and the pulling was becoming frantic. His face was screwed up with the effort of trying to bring himself off, and Angel wondered what he was thinking about - what images were flicking across his mind as he worked himself. He shivered to the thought that Spike was thinking about him.
Suddenly, Spike grunted, and his free hand shot out in urgent need to grasp something. He entwined his fingers into Angel's hair as he shot strings of milky white fluid onto his belly. Angel groaned and wanted to explain that the sound was just from the pain of having his hair ripped out, but couldn't speak for controlling the need to plunge his face into the small pool on Spike's skin.
Spike opened his eyes and tried to come back to earth. He looked over at Angel, seeing his hand for the first time. He raised an eyebrow and disentangled his fingers. He sighed theatrically. 'Enjoyed that. Did you?'
Angel turned onto his back. 'It won't work, Spike. You can do whatever you want, but I won't give up on you.'
Spike laughed. 'I don't bleedin' want you to give up on me; I want you to fuck me again like the old days. You have got some real twist going on in your head there, luv.'
'Spike. Think back to what we were like.' Angel turned and looked at Spike, his eyes were still dilated from his orgasm: pools deep enough to fall into. Angel shook himself and repeated his demand. 'Think back, Spike.'
Spike wrinkled his forehead. 'It were perfect like. We fucked and fed and fucked and … fed.'
'And what.' Spike began to bite his nails, and Angel could have groaned at the easy familiarity of that simple act.
'What else, Spike? Tell me; I'm curious.'
'We did stuff.'
'We went to parties and travelled and .…'
'What sort of parties?'
'Fuck off, Angel; I know what you're trying to get me to say.'
'Well say it then; admit it. We didn't 'go' to parties - we hunted at other people's parties. We didn't travel to broaden the mind - we left places where we'd outstayed our welcome.'
'So what? So fucking what, Angel? What are you trying to say?'
Angel suddenly, and shockingly, rolled on top of Spike. He slid effortlessly into place on the slick remains of Spike's cum. He pinned Spike with his weight, staring into the blue eyes. 'Think what we could do now, Spike. We could travel together; we could take holidays, have friends, go to parties - although, I'm not insisting on that - we could have a real life. We can shop - the twenty-four hour society here. You'd have someone to turn to who needs you. I'd be beside you, and we'd belong in the darkness together. Spike, we could do this….' He bent slowly, tantalizingly, fraction of an inch, by fraction of an inch. He placed his lips to Spike's, and it was as if they had never been apart. Neither soul changed the way their lips parted to each other: neither soul changed the taste of their tongues or the easy familiarity of the soft, intense kiss. Angel pulled away. 'We could do that every day, every night, every minute of every night for an eternity, if you wanted. But you have to want it enough.' He eased off and turned on his back once more, mirroring Spike's position.
Angel watched the clock out of the corner of his eye. An hour passed, but Spike did not speak. Angel opened his mouth, just to ease the tension, just to say something, but Spike's hesitant voice stopped him. 'I'm scared that if I go back, Angel - if I think about all of it too much - I'll get lost, and I won't be able to find myself again. I'm not too sure where or who I am now, and I'm scared.'
Angel only put his hand out and found Spike's and gave it a small squeeze. 'How can you get lost, Spike? Even my blood senses you; I'd bring you back.'
'That's life. That's conscience. That's redemption.'
Angel laughed and swung his legs off the bed, rubbing his hand through his hair. 'I'll sort it then.'
'Oh, yeah, okay. And hey! Didn't you say shopping first?'
Angel gave him a look that sent shivers of need down Spike's spine. He put a hand out and caught Angel's arm just as he was about to stand. 'Does it ever stop, Angel? The pain - will it go away if I do this?'
Angel almost felt tears prick his eyes at the pain he could not just take away for his childe. 'No. It won't. It'll get worse… but it'll feel good, too, Spike. I can't explain it.' He looked up for a moment then looked back with a small smile. 'It'll be like having your reflection back, Spike. He won't give that back to you, but you'll feel like he sees you at last.'
Spike sank back on the bed and watched Angel getting ready for his shower. Someone to turn to who needed him… belonging once again to the darkness with his sire - with Angel. Facing his demons at home seemed a small price to pay for that.
Wesley was in the kitchen making coffee when Angel finally came down. He moved stiffly, and if Angel noticed he favoured one arm, he didn't comment on it. He sat down and nodded his thanks at the offered mug.
'I'm taking Spike back to England. Can you manage without me for a few days?'
Wesley sat down and didn't reply at once but watched the milk swirling around in the dark liquid.
'Do you think that's a good idea, Angel? It's an awfully long way away if it bring things to the surface that neither of you….'
'He's agreed to go.'
Wesley looked up surprised. 'You'd made some progress then?'
Angel tried to pout, but a smile crept around the edges of his lips. 'Yeah, we've talked - a lot. He wants to … get better.'
'Does he want you?'
Angel reared back at the unexpected, intrusive question. Wesley nodded. 'See? He may be willing to face his demons, Angel, but what about you? What if he comes through this soul-searching process to find he doesn't want you? You'd be a very long way away. I'd hate to have to run this agency without you, Angel. "Wesley Investigations" doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?'
Angel smiled at his friend's oh-so-English underplaying of his true emotions. He laid a hand gently on the warm human one. 'I'll be back.'
Wesley reared back. 'Good grief, Angel, please! Terminator impressions are utterly inappropriate.' Then he smiled and turned his hand over, taking Angel's firmly. 'I still feel you should not read what Spike was forced to do to get back here, Angel, but I do want you to be warned as to its effects.' He saw Angel's pained face and squeezed the cold hand a little tighter. 'If he were human, those events would have a profound and long-lasting effect on him that would emerge in all sorts of ways. I don't know how he will cope with it, but just be careful, Angel. Be wary of him. Please.'
He sensed Spike and turned. Spike was staring at their hands. Angel let Wesley's hand fall naturally from his and picked up his coffee. He looked directly at Spike. 'Hungry?'
Spike nodded, but did not come further into the room until Wesley left.
He sat down and watched Angel heating the blood for him. Finally, he said, 'What was all that about?'
'Wesley was warning me about you; I was telling him about the trip.'
'No, about the hands. Am I missing something here?'
'Missing what, Spike?'
'I don't know, Angel. You tell me.'
'Are you jealous?'
'Fu… should I be?'
'Well, I'd fuck him… he is remarkably fuckable, Angel.'
'You want Wesley?'
'Are you jealous?'
Their laughter was the best thing either of them had heard for a very long time. Angel leant back against the counter, ignoring the bleeping of the microwave, just watching Spike's beautiful face with pleasure. Anxiety did not suit his childe, laughter did, and he wanted to see Spike laugh more.
He finally passed the blood to Spike and nodded towards the office. 'I have to work. But I thought maybe later we could… I'll take you shopping?'
Spike nodded, thoughtfully. 'Bring yer credit card then, luv; if I'm going home, I wanna do it in style. An', ya know, new dusters don't come cheap.'
Wesley was pouring over the computer screen when Angel got into the office. 'What's up?'
'I'm trying to find you a flight that won't immolate you both. Not going to be easy. Where are you going when you get there?'
'Straight to Devon, why?'
Wesley turned, frowning slightly. 'Angel, I've been wanting to ask. Why did you … oh dear; I hate this. Why did Spike's mother get buried there and not in London where she lived?'
Angel turned away, and Wesley noticed that his hand shook slightly. 'We hounded her for days before we killed her. She fled to her family for protection, and we followed her there, too.'
'Ah. Nasty business.'
'What for? You didn't torture and murder your own mother, Wesley, so sorry for what?'
'For not being able to take your pain away, Angel - as much as I want to.'
Angel turned back and studied the familiar face. 'Spike is jealous of us.'
Wesley jerked back. 'Why? What have you told him?'
Angel smiled. 'Don't worry, Wes; I'm not going to use you as some sort of game between us. I just don't think he had realised that you could have a relationship - an intense relationship - with someone that did not involve sex. I think he's shocked.'
Wesley laughed. 'He probably thinks you're shagging Cordelia as well.'
'No, he'd have seen I'm not bruised anywhere.'
Wesley paused at what Angel had meant only as a joke. 'So, your relationship is improving.'
'He's seen me naked, yes.'
Wesley continued to stare at the screen. 'Wesley?'
'Are you jealous?'
Wesley looked up at Angel thoughtfully, and then smiled. 'He's been good for you already, Angel. You'd never have asked that before he got here. Not having a mirror has made you too reticent for your own good. And no, I'm not. I have all I want of you, as you do of me.'
Angel nodded. 'I want this for him, Wesley. I want him to live like this in your world, in this human world. I want him to have real friends.'
Wesley frowned. 'He's been working with the gang in Sunnydale quite closely already.'
Angel gave him an intense look. 'I want him to have people that like and respect him, as I have.'
Wesley blushed and went back to planning the trip.
'I only hope you are right about this, Angel.'
'It's all I can think of to do.'
'I think I have a flight for you, here, look. How long does it take to get from London to where you are going in Devon?'
Angel laughed. 'I don't know, Wesley. You tell me.'
Wesley frowned. Angel laughed again. 'Wesley, I haven't done it since the combustion engine was invented! Last time it took us four days; I'm hoping to improve on that a bit.'
Wesley's planning enabled them to travel safely, but the trip was excessively long and boring - stopovers to avoid the day, flights at night. They arrived one evening in late October and stepped out of the airport to catch the shuttle bus to their hire car. Angel consulted the piece of paper with his instructions from Wesley for the hundredth time. He didn't need to read them again - he had the journey imprinted in his mind - but it gave him something to do and a reason not to look at Spike. He'd not been able to take his eyes off Spike for most of the journey and knew that Spike was enjoying the attention too much… but he hadn't travelled with his childe for so long he had forgotten the impact Spike could make. Eyes turned to him; people flattered him with their notice and time, and Angel felt warmed being in the periphery of that attention. Every time he glanced at someone admiring Spike, he felt a frisson of jealous delight course down his spine that Spike was his creation - his choice - of his making - and the demon in him laughed.
Once more, Angel picked up both their bags and climbed onto the tiny bus with the rest of the tired arrivals. Spike duly followed, and they were squashed unnaturally close into the tiny double seat. Angel looked morosely out at the rain and cold darkness, shivering slightly, despite having no real body temperature. Suppressed memories of perpetual coldness and never-ending darkness had begun to creep in to dampen his mood. He felt a slight pressure on his thigh and looked down. Spike was kneading him gently, swirling a finger around on the sensitive skin of his inner thigh. Angel's eyes widened, and he tried not to look around, but felt all eyes on them, nevertheless. He hissed at Spike to stop, so the hand only moved higher. Finally, he excused himself to people standing and pushed up to the front to wait by the bags. When they got to the hire car office, he grabbed both bags and swung off angrily, pushing open the swing doors and making the arrangements without looking back to see if Spike was still with him.
Taking his keys, he made his way to a nebulous car parked by the exit and climbed in, familiarising himself with the controls from the handbook. Spike leant into the driver's window. 'I'll drive.'
'No. Get in.'
'Angel, come on; it's dark; it's pissing down with rain, and it'll be on the wrong side of the road for you. Let me drive.'
'Get in, Spike, and shut up.'
'It's a manual, Angel.'
'Oh. You drive.'
Angel slid neatly over to the passenger seat without getting out, and Spike shed his wet coat and climbed in to drive. He sat for a while, playing absentmindedly with the gears. 'What's next?'
'Straight to Exeter. We should be there in three hours, according to Wesley.'
'We'll head on to the church, Spike. We should be there by nine.'
'No, Angel, I'm not interested in the travel arrangements; we'll get there when we get there. I mean what then? How does this play out?'
Angel turned to him. 'I don't know, Spike. Honestly, I'm as in the dark as you. I think we should just get there, yes?'
Spike nodded, turned on the radio and took the car out of the carpark. They hit the M3 with very little traffic and made good progress, but after an hour or so, Angel could sense the tension mounting in Spike. He varied between driving too fast and venting his rage at all and sundry on the road, and crawling along in the inner lane, pretending to be listening to the programme. Eventually, Angel laid a hand on his arm. 'So, do you want to stop for a night before we get there?'
'Okay. Take the next exit.' He glanced at Spike to watch the effect of his next words. 'We'll stop in Devizes.'
Spike gave him an impenetrable look but deliberately drove past the indicated exit. Angel sighed and turned to face him properly. 'It's no good, Spike. You have to face this. Take the next one then.'
'You're a bastard, Angel. I don't notice you going back to Galway and visiting the scenes of your debauched, violent turning.'
'I'm here, aren't I? I hunted her down for you; I drove her insane, and I showed her what I had recreated in her beloved son. I'm in this with you, Spike.'
Spike turned to him. 'But you didn't love her more than life itself, did you, Angel?' He swung the car violently across two lanes and took the exit Angel wanted.
They drove in silence through the lanes that they both pretended to recognise, but could not, given the changes to the countryside since they had last been there. The town centre was a different matter. They parked and looked around at the familiar buildings in horror. Spike got out, staring at the front of the small hotel. 'Fuck.'
Angel looked up, nodded, and echoed the sentiment. 'If a horse and carriage comes around that corner, I'm out of here.'
Spike laughed and they gave each other an amused glance. 'Come on, Master Vampire, Scourge of Europe, and Fearsome Warrior for Right. Get us a room, hey?'
Angel grumbled as he got the bags once more, but as he passed Spike, he said quietly, 'A room?'
Spike hesitated. 'Oh, yeah. Two then,' but his face was thoughtful as they went into the dark, low-ceilinged hall.
Angel booked the rooms and watched Spike's increasingly anxious expression. He put a hand on his arm. 'Come on, bags up and then a drink, okay?'
Spike nodded, but still hesitated. 'Angel…?'
Busy negotiating the small, winding staircase, Angel didn't stop. Spike jogged to catch him up and caught at the hand carrying the bags. 'Angel!'
'You haven't actually booked the room… she stayed in… the room where we….'
Angel sighed. 'Spike, I'm not that cruel. We're on the top floor, come on.'
The rooms were adjoining, although the door between them was locked with no key provided for them. Angel handed Spike his key and bag and went gratefully into his own room, flinging himself on the bed with a deep, unnecessary sigh. He hated flying and small cars and the cold and the rain: this was proving to be less enjoyable that he'd anticipated. He heard a sharp sound and sat up as Spike broke the lock between their rooms and sauntered in.
'Fucking crap rooms, mate. Where's the cable?'
'You're lucky to have electricity. This is England, remember?'
'What?' Angel flung himself up and peered around. 'Where's the bathroom?'
Spike laughed. 'In the wardrobe.'
Angel opened the door to the tiny space indicated and jerked his head back at the size of the bath. 'Jesus.'
Spike peered over his shoulder. 'He'd 'ave got his feet in there, at least.'
Angel swiped at him. 'Don't blaspheme. Come on, down for a drink?'
'Oh yeah. And hey, Angel?'
Angel was heading out for that much needed drink and stopped at Spike's question. 'What?'
'What we gonna do for food, mate, cus I'm getting hungry, and I bet Devizes is a great place for evildoers to meet their just desserts.'
'We go hungry until we get to the hotel we're supposed to be staying at tonight, Spike. Wesley's sorted it for us there. So, suck it in or fill it with alcohol. Are you coming?'
Spike grinned and followed Angel down the stairs. He stopped smiling when they passed the first floor. He peered along the dark corridor and shivered slightly. Angel saw the look, but ignored it and carried on down.
The bar was small and dingy, but a log fire roared in one corner raising the temperature nicely for the dead needing a drink.
Angel bought a bottle of wine and sat at a small table near the fire. Spike eyed the small uncomfortable looking stool opposite him, and opted to squeeze in on the pew shaped seat with Angel. Angel moved over slightly, but there wasn't really room for them both and felt Spike pressing hard against his leg. He looked down. 'I'm tired, Spike. I'm not sure that was a good idea.'
'When I'm tired, my … resistance to you falters somewhat.'
'Hey! Shagging tonight then!'
'No, that's not going to happen. I need to stay focused, for both of us. This place has unnerved you - just like I hoped it would. I don't think you'll have an easy night.'
Spike turned to look at him, then got off the seat and sat pointedly on the stool. Angel nodded. 'Thank you.'
Spike lit up and poured them both some wine. The dark red liquid glinted at them from the glasses, and Spike raised one eye. 'Should 'ave made it white, pet.'
'I like red.'
'So do I.'
They drank in silence for a while until, looking at the lowered blond head, Angel said, ' So, do you want to talk about it now?'
'What do you reckon, Angel? Do you think I don't remember every sound, every smell, every feel of this place?'
Angel was pleased, and did not reply, letting it flow from Spike in his own time. He got up and bought a bottle of whisky and poured Spike a generous drink.
'I'd been dead a week. She was still in heavy mourning, remember?'
'She'd seen you that week though. While she was still in London.'
'I let her see me, you mean. I hovered at the edges of her vision and drove her mad.'
'No, not that yet, Spike. When we caught up with her here, she was still sane; don't you remember how she plucked up the courage to speak to you?'
'But she hadn't really… seen me, had she? I hadn't shown her my true face yet.'
'No. You did that for the first time here, in that room just above.'
Spike laid his head down onto his hands on the table, and Angel just brushed his fingers over the blond hair.
'I'm here, Spike.'
The lowered head nodded fractionally then Spike raised his face. 'Can we take this upstairs, pet? I mean… all the way up… our room, my room, your room, fuck, any room… but not her room or here. Fuck, can we just.…'
'Spike. Come on. I'll buy another bottle. Go up.'
Spike left Angel buying the supplies and strode back towards their rooms. Again, he paused on the first floor landing. Without Angel's solid, reassuring presence, the long corridor only looked darker and the haunting memories only had more power to hurt him. The end room called to him, and he began to walk slowly towards it.
She hurried ahead of him, a small blond figure dressed all in black in the Victorian style. Her heart was broken, but fear had driven her to leave London and return to her mother in Devon. Not yet forty, but she had already lost her husband and her only child. She had never stayed in an inn on her own but, deep in her grief, she had received nothing but kindness from the people she met on her journey. She glanced behind her in fear. She'd seen William again that night. She'd hoped to leave his ghost in London where it belonged to the dirty, crowded streets and teahouses that had taken him away from her, but he was here, in this inn with her. He'd smiled at her through the window as she had taken some refreshment. He'd whispered to her as she had stepped out to take the evening air. She'd said a tentative, 'William,' but the ghost had only laughed. Now he followed her down the dark hall. She fumbled with her door key and stumbled gratefully into her room, the darkness fearful, but more welcome than the phantoms outside it.
When the candle flickered its illumination into the small room, she had seen him for the first time. She had seen the demon, not the ghost of the dead son. He had smiled at her and winked, then slid back into the body of her son before fading into the blackness. Her screams had woken the entire house. She had been sedated, but he was there when she woke, groggy and afraid… and this time there was another: two devils staring at her. Then William had returned, his beautiful face peeling out of the evil, and he had turned to the dark-haired devil and … kissed him. They had flicked their tongues together in a demonic parody of pleasure. They had opened their mouths and fed on each other's mouths and made her watch; they had done, other, unspeakable things and made her watch them, too. Her final scream had heralded the onset of irreparable madness.
Angel was puzzled when Spike was not in his room when arrived with the bottles. He'd only been a moment behind him. He put the drink down and briefly checked his room and the bathroom. Then he turned slowly and with a deep frown. He ran back down to the first floor and along the corridor. The empty room had been broken into, and Spike lay face down on the bed. Angel sat alongside him and put a hand onto the small of his back. Spike turned over. To Angel's surprise, his face was calm and did not betray the intense emotion he knew was inside. He put his hand back, this time to Spike's hair. 'You okay?'
Spike nodded. 'I need that drink.'