Faded Photographs

by Saber ShadowKitten




Part Eight





Los Angeles, 2000





Spike glanced up, looked back at what he was doing, then shot his surprised gaze back to Angelus as the dark-haired vampire exited the bedroom. "Are you crying?"

"No," Angelus snarled at Spike, despite the tear tracks on his cheeks. "Is everything set?"

"Yeah," Spike replied cautiously. He gestured to the Circle on the living room floor. "You're good to go."

Angelus nodded, walked over and joined the Circle. He picked up the spellbook and opened it to the marked page. He could feel Tanner when the young man exited the bedroom and the vampire had to shut his eyes again to keep control.

"Who's the git?" Spike said at the same time Tanner gasped loudly.

Angelus swiped his hand across his cheeks, then looked over at Tanner. "Come over here, heartling."

Spike glanced sharply at Angelus as Tanner hurried and joined them in the Circle. The nearly invisible blond vampire curiously examined the human with huge blue eyes.

"An-Angel," Tanner stammered while staring at Spike. "What the bloody hell is-is going on?"

"Don't worry about it, Tanner," Angelus said, ignoring Spike's startled exclamation. "We have to start the spell to send you back. All I need for you to do is sit still and, before you know it, you'll be home again."

Tanner nodded. Angelus looked the scared boy over from head-to-toe and swore softly. "Tanner, go change. Your shirt and jacket are in the wardrobe closet."

The sable-haired mortal scrambled to his feet and hurried back into the bedroom.

"Angelus, what the bloody hell is going on?" Spike hissed, keeping his voice down. "You called that bloke 'Tanner.'"

"That's you, you moron," Angelus said. "The human you."

Spike's mouth fell open. Angelus rolled his eyes, put his finger under Spike's chin and snapped the blond's jaw shut. "Don't freak on me, Spike. I need you to help me work this spell so I can send Tanner back."

Spike jerked his chin away from Angelus's fingers. "I don't 'freak,' peaches."

"Watch it, Spike," Angelus growled. "You're not dealing with soulboy."

"You don't scare me," Spike muttered, shifting further away from Angelus.

Angelus smirked and returned to reading over the spell. It was a complicated one, which would send Tanner back through time minus his memories of the future. If the vampire performed it correctly, history would have nary a glitch and Angelus would keep his memories of loving the shy, handsome, sable-haired human who'd meant everything to him.

Tanner returned dressed in his nineteenth century clothing, and he retook his seat within the Circle. He kept his head down but stared at Spike from under his lashes.

"Are you ready, Tanner?" Angelus asked. Tanner nodded. The vampire looked at Spike, who was blatantly staring at the mortal. "Spike?"

"Yeah, mate, I'm ready," Spike replied.

Angelus took a purposeful breath and let it out slowly. With a final glance at Tanner, the vampire began the spell.

*****

Angelus stood in the bedroom, trying to keep his skyrocketing emotions under control as he held the shirt that Tanner had been wearing. The spell had gone off without a hitch and Tanner had disappeared with little fanfare. Almost instantaneously, Spike had became solid again and Angelus knew that meant history had been fixed.

The vampire lifted the shirt to his nose and inhaled deeply. Tanner's clean, purely male, human scent assaulted his senses, tainted with the scent of the young man's fear. He missed the boy already, even though he'd only gotten to be with Tanner again for a very brief time.

"Tanner's still here, you know."

Angelus glared at the blond in the doorway. "What do you mean?" he bit out, angry at being disturbed.

"Come on, Angelus, you can't be that stupid," Spike said, gesturing to himself.

Angelus snorted derisively. "You're not Tanner."

"I still have his memories," Spike said. "I still have his feelings and desires."

"Why the fuck are you still here?" Angelus said, not interested in getting into a fight with Spike. His emotional control was reaching his limits, and all he wanted was to be left alone.

"Why did you send him back?" Spike asked in reply.

"Damn it, Spike. Just drop it and leave before I end your worthless unlife," Angelus growled.

"I want to know, Angelus," Spike said. "From what I gathered when I overheard Giles, the souled-fuck wasn't going to do anything to fix me. So, why did you?"

"I didn't do it for you," Angelus said with as much distaste he could put into his voice. "I wouldn't do anything for you."

Spike winced as if he'd been hit, but he persisted. "Then why'd you do it?"

Angelus dropped the shirt and had Spike pinned up against the doorframe in two strides, his dark eyes spitting with anger. "Because I loved him more than you will ever know."

There was a brief pause as the two master vampires glared silently at one another, then Spike said something that shattered what was left of Angelus's control.

"I do know," Spike's blue eyes were unwavering as he finished in a low, steady voice, "because I loved you with my last mortal breath and I loved you with my first eternal one."

Angelus didn't know why Spike said what he did, but it caused something deep inside the dark-haired vampire to break. With an uncontrollable whimper, Angelus crushed his mouth to Spike's.

It felt like it was only yesterday, rather than a hundred years, since Angelus kissed the other vampire. Memories and emotions bombarded Angelus and dragged a feral growl from him.

He plundered Spike's mouth savagely, giving no quarter. His hands ripped at the blond's clothing. His sudden need for the other man -- the man he'd loved in both life and death -- was overwhelming in its intensity, and any remaining control he had was shred to pieces.

Angelus abruptly pulled his mouth away from Spike's, spun and threw the blond across the distance to the bed. Spike landed on his back with a squeak of the bed springs. Angelus was upon the younger man instantly, tearing at Spike's remaining clothes until he was fully naked. A tiny voice in the back of Angelus's mind prompted him to snare the hand lotion he kept under the bed.

The dark-haired vampire yanked his pants and boxers down far enough to free his hard member. He squirted a large amount of the lotion on his cock and dropped the bottle to the floor. Then, he grabbed Spike's legs, pulled the other man to the edge of the bed and slammed home.

Spike threw his head back and howled in pain at the abrupt intrusion the same time Angelus roared in pleasure. Angelus began to pound into the blond vampire without hesitation, the hand lotion lubricating the tight passage. The dark-haired man's fingernails dug deeply into the skin of Spike's thighs, creating small rivulets of blood that ran down the pale skin before dripping onto the bedspread.

The scent of the blood brought more memories to the foreground of Angelus's mind. Days and nights of violence and death and sex with William, the vampire Tanner had become, flickered like a movie against the dark-haired vampire's closed eyelids. Tendrils of long-forgotten emotions snaked through him, wrapped around his heart and squeezed.

Angelus unknowingly started to chant with each thrust, "Love... you... love.... you... love... you... love... you... love... you... love... you..."

The cry of "ANGELUS!" echoed off the brick walls of the bedroom, and the dark-haired vampire's eyes snapped open. Angelus's golden orbs focused on Spike as the younger man orgasmed by his own hand, the off-white, viscous semen spurting onto the blond's chest and abdomen.

The fire started low in Angelus's belly and expanded outward until he was engulfed by the flames of his orgasm. With an animalistic snarl, he bent forward and sank his fangs into Spike's neck. Blood exploded into his mouth, the thick, coppery taste setting off his climax the instant it hit his tongue.

Angelus drove his hips up against Spike's buttocks, burying himself as deep as he could into the blond's grasping channel. Wave after wave of mind-numbing pleasure slammed into Angelus and his entire body violently shuddered as his cold seed filled Spike's tender passage. A vibrant spectrum of colors swirled behind his tightly closed eyes until they formed a solid image of the man he had once and, he realized, he would always love.

Tanner.

William.

Spike.

Small trembles still shook Angelus's form as he raised his head, his ridged brow smoothing. His deep brown eyes met Spike's brilliant blue ones, and the world shrank until Angelus felt they were the only two beings in existence. The words came without hesitation, borne from a demon's heart that had stopped beating long ago, but could never stop loving.

"I had thought that greeting the sunrise would be the only way to stop the pain in my heart when Tanner died," Angelus said in a rough, emotion-filled voice. "Then, Drusilla gave to me, as a gift, a newly-created vampire she called William the Bloody."

Angelus shifted his weight, raised his hand and lightly ran his fingertips over Spike's cheek. "William slowly filled the gaping hole in my heart, and I allowed myself to love him as one vampire truly loves another...," his fingers brushed over Spike's lips, "...but I lost William as well, to circumstances beyond anyone's control."

The dark-haired vampire ran his fingers back along the younger man's jawline. "Years passed, and a new vampire came into my life. He calls himself Spike, and he is a master vampire, hardened by time and experience. An equal. My heart is telling me to allow him in and give myself to him in return."

Angelus's eyes never strayed from Spike's as he asked in a raw whisper, "Even though I won't be here for long, will you let me love you, too?"

Spike looked Angelus for a very long moment before he answered.

"Yes."

And then, he smiled.

It started as a small pinprick of warmth in the center of Angelus's chest. It spiraled outward from that spot and spread throughout his body like wildfire on a dry summer's day. For the barest instant, he stiffened, then he fell headlong into the greatest feeling next to love.

Happiness.

Angelus threw back his head and laughed as complete and utter joy suffused his heart, all because of Spike's smile. He knew, without a doubt, that his soul had just taken a permanent holiday. Uncaring of how ridiculous he was acting, he rained kisses down on Spike's face, punctuating each one with words of love.

"I'm," kiss, "going," kiss, "to," kiss, "love," kiss, "you," kiss, "my," kiss, "sweet," kiss, "Spike," kiss, "with," kiss, "the," kiss, "tightest," kiss, "ass," kiss, "in," kiss, "the," kiss, "universe," kiss, kiss, kiss.

The dark-haired vampire giggled maniacally when he raised his head and found Spike staring at him like he'd gone off the deep end. He rolled the two of them so Spike was on top, Angelus's soft penis slipping out of the younger man's body.

A broad grin slashed across Angelus's face, lighting up his eyes, and he proclaimed loudly, "I am the happiest vampire in the world!"

"You mean you're the bloody insanest vampire," Spike countered, a frown marring his brow. "And isn't the line: 'I'm the king... of... the..."

Angelus waggled his brows as Spike trailed off. Comprehension flashed across the blond's features and his mouth fell open as he stared down at the older vampire.

"If you keep doing that," Angelus reached up, put his fingers under Spike's chin and closed the other man's mouth with a snap, "I'm going to think you want me to stick something in your mouth." Angelus winked. "Of course, I'm planning to do that anyway..."

"Angelus!" Spike exclaimed.

"Spike!" Angelus exclaimed with the same inflection, mocking the younger vampire.

Spike scowled at him. Angelus laughed, snagged the back of the blond's hair and dragged Spike down for a searing kiss.

When they parted, both vampires were panting heavily and wearing matching foolish grins. Angelus dropped a final kiss on the tip of Spike's nose. "Off," he instructed, giving Spike's ass a smack.

"Oi, don't smack me bum!"

In a second, Angelus was transported back more than a hundred years, to when Tanner had exclaimed that very same thing the first time they'd been intimate. A smile spread across his lips when he remembered that William had also repeated that exclamation the first time they'd been together. It was only fitting that Spike said it, too, on this, their first time.

"I going to love you, Spike," Angelus promised, looking up into the blond vampire's eyes. "Like I loved Tanner and I loved William, I am going to love you, too."

Spike's lips twisted into an amused smile. "I think you've been soulboy too long, mate. You're starting to get all flowery."

Angelus gave Spike a solid shove, and the blond vampire tumbled to the floor. Sitting up, the dark-haired vampire shook his head. "Spike, Spike, Spike. Don't you know it's not wise to tease your betters?"

"I know that," Spike said, climbing to his feet. He dropped into a loose fighting stance, his naked form glistening with sweat, blood and come from their coupling. "But none of my betters are here right now..."

Angelus stood and yanked up his pants as Spike let his insult trail off. Then, Angelus launched himself at the blond, just as the older man knew Spike expected.

The sounds of two master vampires fighting echoed throughout the apartment until they were replaced by soft sighs of pleasure and purrs of contentment that needed no explanation at all.





Epilogue



London, 12 August 2045



Angelus slid his arms around his lover's waist and rested his cheek against the blond's hair. "What're you thinking about, Spike?" he asked quietly.

Spike sighed and leaned back against Angel, his eyes focused on the flickering fire in the fireplace. The bright lights from the London city street shown through the open window of their flat. Boisterous voices from the pub a few doors down floated to them on the late summer breeze.

"I was thinking 'bout those pictures we saw at the gallery you dragged me to the other night," Spike said.

Angelus smiled. "You mean, the ones of us in the 'Gay Pride, A Pictorial History: 1845 to 2045' exhibit?"

"Yeah, that one," Spike said.

"What about it?" Angelus asked.

"Do you miss him?" Spike asked in reply.

"Tanner?" Angelus said. Spike nodded, his hair rubbing against Angelus's cheek. The dark-haired vampire sighed softly. "Sometimes. Usually when I smell honeysuckle."

Angelus kissed Spike's tensed, bare shoulder. "But Tanner's not with me anymore. He's only an image in a few faded photographs that are part of the tackiest display I've ever seen."

Spike snorted and relaxed again in Angelus's embrace. "Tacky doesn't begin to cover it, mate."

"I have an idea," Angelus said. "Why don't we hunt down the people in charge of the exhibit and torture them to death?"

"Can we shag first?"

Angelus chuckled and turned Spike so the younger vampire was facing him. He brushed a soft kiss on Spike's lips and murmured, "Of course, my love."

Wearing a blush caused by the firelight staining his skin, Spike smiled happily, and Angelus fell in love with the other man all over again.



End