Eternity III - Revisited

by Saber ShadowKitten
Revisited 15

For three days Angel sat in the chair beside the bed, only moving to feed himself, feed Spike and the single time he'd pleasured his Childe. Spike mostly slept, allowing his body to heal from the torture Angel had inflicted. The dark-haired vampire had neither seen nor heard from Cordelia or Wesley the entire time.

Angel was leaning forward in the chair, with his forearms resting on his knees and his head bowed. Guilt and shame radiated from his still form, reflecting the thoughts and images running through his mind.

Spike screaming out in pain as he was impaled by the barbed short-pike.

Spike lying face down on the floor in the bathroom, his back adorned with macabre decoration.

Spike's eyelids stapled open, his shriveled yellow eyes staring sightlessly at the ceiling.

Spike's pain-filled voice when he'd asked why.

Spike's seeming forgiveness of his Sire.

It was the last thought that cut Angel the most. How could such a heinous trespass be forgiven? Even at his worst, he'd never tortured Spike. Violence was a common part of vampiric life and the line between pleasure and pain was thoroughly blurred, but domination was worlds apart from torture.

Dominance was a way to control.

Torture was a way to kill.

A lone tear fell from Angel's eye and landed on the side of his hand. He clenched his jaw and reigned in his control. He didn't deserve the luxury of releasing his pain through tears.

Angel looked up sharply when he heard the clearing of a throat. Wesley and Cordelia were standing in the doorway to the bedroom, with matching inscrutable expressions on their faces. He pulled his gaze from the two of them to the vampire sleeping on the bed before returning his focus on them.

"I had a vision," Cordelia said, holding out a slip of paper towards him.

Angel swallowed and nodded. After rising to his feet, he bent and brushed a kiss on Spike's ridged brow, then walked over to them.

"I take it that is your victim?" Wesley said, gesturing towards the bed.

The dark-haired vampire felt the sting of tears behind his eyes caused by the term Wesley had used. Spike was his victim. He had victimized his Childe with intent to destroy. The black, searing pain of guilt struck his heart faster than a cobra.

"Spike," Angel informed them in a raw voice. "It's Spike."

Cordelia looked past Angel's shoulder at the still figure on the bed, a frown marring her brow. "The vampire?"

"I... he..." Angel hesitated. He knew he had to provide answers about Spike's presence, but he loathed the fact that it would make them disgust him even more. Then again, he deserved their disgust and then some. "We've been... together... for awhile now."

"Together how?" Wesley said. Angel just looked at him until his face reflected understanding. "Ah. Right."

"So, you didn't kill anyone," Cordelia said, forced cheeriness in her tone. "That's good. I can't picture you in one of those orange jumpsuits."

"No, I didn't kill him," Angel said harshly. "But that doesn't make this okay."

"I don't recall either of us suggesting that it was all right," Wesley said. "The fact that you have kept secret an affair with another vampire only compounds on how wrong things still are."

Angel flinched, but Wesley was non-relenting. "I take it you are dominating him then?" the ex-Watcher surmised.

"Yes," Angel dropped his eyes to the floor in shame, "and before you ask, he's been with me since October."

"October?!" Cordelia exclaimed.

Angel darted a glance back at the sleeping man on the bed then ushered his coworkers away from the room. He closed the door partway before leading them to the kitchen.

"Angel, October?" Cordelia repeated impatiently.

"He arrived the day after Oz delivered the Gem of Amara," Angel explained, taking a seat at the kitchen table. He lowered his eyes again as he continued. "Spike wanted the ring back and started to fight me, and I... snapped."

"Where has he been all this time?" Wesley asked.

"In the tunnels," Angel replied. He hesitated again, unsure as to how detailed an explanation he should give. Wesley made the decision for him.

"And...?" Wesley prompted, his tone indicating he knew that Spike hadn't stayed the entire time by his own choice.

"And I kept him chained to a cot down there until he accepted his place and me as his master."

"Master?" Cordelia said. "Like those perverts who are into all that S&M..." Angel received a disgusted look. "Eew. I so didn't need to know that about you."

"Cordelia, vampiric culture is based on dominance and submission," Wesley said. "Sex and violence is go hand-in-hand, and it is the only way they know how to assert control."

"So they don't buy their way to the top, they fuck their way," Cordelia said. "Sounds like show business."

Angel suddenly began to laugh, both at Cordelia's comment and at the surreal nature of his situation. Wesley was talking about vampire life -- Angel's life -- like he was a PBS presenter, while in the other room, Spike was slowly recovering from being tortured.

Soon, he was in hysterics, laughing so hard it hurt. His arms were wrapped tightly around his stomach, his forehead rested on the table and tears were streaming down his face. He couldn't stop, couldn't get control of himself. His hyena-like laughter echoed throughout the apartment, the eerie sound making both Wesley and Cordelia cringe.

Angel felt two hands on his shoulders and he was pulled upright, still laughing wildly.

A second later he received a solid right hook across his jaw.

He shut up.

"Pull yourself together, Angel!" Cordelia snapped at him, rounding the table to stand beside Wesley, who was rubbing his fisted hand. "You have hopeless to help. My migraine says so and, unlike you, I don't get off on the pain."

Angel winced at her words. He closed his eyes for a long moment, then reopened them and held out his hand. "Where am I going?" he asked with no emotion in his voice.

"Hollywood Hills," Cordelia said, giving him the slip of paper she'd put into her pocket. "There's a mermaid stranded in one of the pools."

The dark-haired vampire nodded and rose. "We'll need a tarp to carry her in..."

"It's upstairs in the closet," Wesley said, heading for the stairs. "I shall retrieve it and meet you in the car."

"Cordelia, can you go wash out and fill one of those large spray bottles with water?" Angel asked.

"I'll give it to Wesley," Cordelia said. She turned and hurried after the demon hunter.

Angel took a purposeful breath then headed back to his bedroom. Spike was still asleep, much to Angel's surprise, considering his loud bout of histrionics.

The dark-haired vampire scribbled a quick note and propped it on the night-stand, hoping that if Spike awoke he'd be able to read it. Then, Angel reached out and brushed the back of his fingers across his Childe's cheek, his eyes tracing over Spike's peaceful vampiric features.

"I'm sorry," he whispered, repeating what he'd said hundreds of times in the past few days. "I'm so sorry."

In his mind, however, Angel felt that the words would never be enough.