"Come home with me," he'd said, like it was that damn simple. God, after all these years he could still surprise himself with his own stupidity, sometimes. Spike was still a vampire. Unsouled, essentially evil, and, despite numerous setbacks, humiliations and defeats over the years, frighteningly used to getting his own way. Angel was tempted to blame himself for this, but he knew for a FACT that there hadn't been a thing Angelus hadn't tried towards the ultimate goal of beating the willfulness *ha!* right out of his childe. And a hundred years or so of complete autonomy hadn't helped a bit. Spike was driving him slowly insane. And they'd only been in the car for an hour. The black ribbon of highway was winding away under the tires and headlights, and Angel found himself pressing harder and harder on the accelerator, as if getting home faster would help. *You invited him to LIVE with you. NO sex is worth this...* "I am the anti-CHRIST! I am an anarCHIST!" There was headbanging happening. In Angel's convertible. The fact that the radio wasn't on didn't seem to have deterred the younger vampire a bit. He was reclining happily, dusty boots on the dash, cigarette hand dangling over the side of the door, blond head bobbing to music only he could hear. That he was busy translating for his sire's abused ears. Angel didn't know whether to laugh in relief that his Loki-childe was back, as annoying as ever and apparently not permanently scarred, or to reach over and smack him hard enough to make him SHUT. UP. He'd told him, no feet on the dash. He'd told him, no smoking in the car. And he'd DEFINITELY told him no singing. Spike had stared at him as if he'd gone insane. So much for proper deference. He contented himself with a hard glare. "Oh, wot? Not another ride in a car with some wanker what can't appreciate proper music..." Spike was grinning at him, but there was a dark memory there, Angel could hear it in his voice. "Another?" He asked mildly. Just wanting to know. "Slayer doesn't fancy the Ramones, much..." Spike trailed off into silence, and stared out into the night, quiet. Finally. "Well, I can't say as I blame her, really." "NATurally. Not your golden girl, oh heavens, horrors no." Angel almost winced at the bitterness. *Jesus, Spike, what HAPPENED to you? * "Spike...not THAT. The Ramones give me a headache, that's all." "Really?" Spike perked up again, swinging his gaze from whatever was so fascinating in the black emptiness at the side of the highway back to Angel. Who clenched his jaw and set his teeth, knowing what was coming, staring straight ahead. Had to concentrate on the road, after all... "TWENNYTWENNYTWENNY FOUR HOURS TO-GO-O-O, I WANNA BE SEDATED...NOTHING TO DO-" He actually had a nice voice. Angel decided to concentrate on that. ***************** His sire'd never been a great one for light conversation, but this was getting beyond boring. Angel was pretending very hard that he was makin' this road trip all alone, in his traditional broody silence. Spike was HAPPY. He wanted to play, and the poof wasn't cooperating a bit. Of course, he wasn't pushing TOO hard...he didn't want to end up chucked out on the side of the road, two hours to dawn an' noplace to go. Noplace else to go anyway, really, unless he wanted to head back to good ol' Sunnyhell and his bottle an' the Slayer an'...no. Not going back there, ever. He broke off the song, lyrics touching just a mite too close to home. Sighed, and dropped his feet to the floor. Angel actually looked at him, startled. No glare, this time. "Fine, you great sod. Since hells know you're too uptight to enjoy music, an' you keep sayin' no to THIS-" he reached over and cupped Angel's crotch with one hand, had that hand, predictably, swatted away, "-so talk. What's this nonsense about lawyers?" "It's...complicated." Spike could see those big white hands tightening on the steering wheel. *Oooh, complicated ain't the word...* "We've got nothing but time here, 'less you've figured out a way to make this crate go any FASTER with your foot on the floor." Angel flushed a bit, eased up on the gas, and relaxed. Just a little. "There's this law firm...Wolfram and Hart. They're demon owned and operated, and they've been around, well, forever, as far as I can tell. Basically, they brought Darla back as human, hunted up Dru, she TURNED Darla, they tormented me till I went a little insane, and I fired Cordelia and Wesley and Gunn, and then I set Dru and Darla on fire, then I fucked Darla, realized I'd almost lost everything, and now I'm trying to make it better." It was a good thing he didn't have to breathe, Spike thought. That was the most words together he'd ever heard out of Angel's gob. "Sweet fuck. So, what happened? Did you take 'em down? Fire an' lightning an' the wrath of Angel?" Maybe L.A. WOULD be fun. "No. I've given it up." "They screwed about with your head, an' all that, an' that's IT?" "Yeah. I've got to get back to basics." Angel sounded determined, and even a little wistful. "I'll give you basics...they oughtta die, slow an' painful." "A lot of them already did." Heavy guilt. Spike snorted, and leaned back again. WHAT a fuckin' nancyboy. *Oh, an' like you're any better? So damn pleased to see your Sire again, to have him want you around, that you practically wagged your tail when you saw 'im?* He looked over, saw that big graceful body, strong hands, perfect face...*No pride, me, but I'm still not complainin'. So. Don't make him toss you out before you even get home, Will...* "Right then. Best thing for 'em, I say. What about your pets?" "What pets?" "The HUMANS, you sod." "I, er...fired them, like I said." "And..." "And I was, well, unpleasant to them for a while." "So..." "They decided to take me back. Provisionally." "WHAT? THEY're takin' YOU back?" "Yeah, I'm kind of...working for them, now." Angel was hunched up even more than usual, ducking his head down between his shoulders. That kicked-puppy look on his face that Spike had only ever seen around the Slayer, before. *OK...no makin' fun, now. Might be nice to not be the only bollocksed-up one of a pair, for a change. Seems the ponce has been havin' troubles of his own, an' who are you to-" Nope. Didn't work. ********************* Angel looked irritatedly over at his convulsed childe. Spike was literally gasping for unneeded air, hooting, trying to make words. It wasn't THAT funny. "You're working' (gasp) for Cor- (gasp) Cor- (gasp) CORDEEELIA? BAHhahahahahah!" He lost it again. "She's matured a lot, you know. And there's Wesley, too-" *OK, obvious mistake.* Spike just howled louder. "Spike, knock it off. SPIKE." The younger vampire finally wiped tears from his face, giggled, and straightened up. Sniggered. Was silent. Laughed, once and hard. Silence. "Er, Peaches?" "What?" "Can't fault your stones for tryin', but do you really think that's gonna work out, an' all?" "What do you mean?" "Well...have you ever HAD a boss? Someone orderin' you around, tellin' you what's what? Never mind who, that dozy mare an' Wussly are just icin'." "There was Darla..." Spike scoffed. "Who was so busy ridin' you into the ground, she never had a chance to tell you what to do. No, like a REAL boss." "I guess not." "Hate to tell you this, luv, but you're not the sort to take direction well." Angel pondered that for a moment, still staring out into the night. He could see the lights of Los Angeles on the horizon, reflected off the bottom of the ever-present smog. Rather like Hell, he thought. Spike was right, this wasn't going to be easy. More like torture, in fact. He sighed. "Well, I'll just have to learn." Which sent Spike off again. "Spike, it's not FUNNY!" Spike unexpectedly sobered. "No, it ain't. Rather pathetic, but there you go. Dunno if you'll be able to swing it, but it should be interestin' to watch." He lit another cigarette. Angel hoped he wouldn't ash on the floor. "Um, about that, Spike..." He steeled himself. This would NOT be pleasant, but had to be said. "Yeah?" "I think it might be better if you...didn't. Watch." "What d'you mean?" "Well, things are a little...delicate right now, with Cordy and the rest. And if I show up for," shudder, "WORK, with you in tow...the last time you were in town you tried to kill us, after all. It would just make things difficult." *And there's no way I'm going to tell them I'm SLEEPING with you...* "You're gonna lock me in the cellar, then, an' drag me out when you got an itch to scratch, I take it?" Spike's voice was low, and he couldn't read it at all. "I was thinking a nice apartment...?" That little forgive-me smile had worked on Wesley, maybe it would on Spike... "Stop the car." "Spike, we're on the high-" "I said STOP the BLOODY FUCKIN' CAR." "Can we just DISCU-" Spike lunged for the door, hauling himself up over and bracing his feet on the seat *He WOULDN'T oh SHIT!* and was almost thrown out when tires screeched and burned as the convertible fishtailed to a halt at the side of the highway. He hopped over the side, and started walking. Towards L.A, true, but Angel wasn't counting on that meaning anything. Oh, he had really fucked this up. "Spike, get back here." He could hear the feet retreating, could still see the glimmer of blond hair in the lights of the occasional passing 18-wheeler. "Spike, I'm sorry, please?" *GodDAMNit.* "Spike..." He got out of the car and ran, catching up easily. Fell into step, shortening his strides. *Time was, I would have made him stretch...* "If something happens to my car, I'm never going to forgive you." Anything, just to say something. He got no reaction. He'd forgotten. Spike's priorities had always been simple, straightforward, and all-encompassing. Love, feed, fight, and entertain himself (by means other than the first three), in that order. And he'd never been able to accept, or understand, when those around him didn't quite live according to those rules. "Spike, you know I don't want to hide you away. I'm not ashamed of you." *Well, maybe a little when you sing in public.* "I've just got...responsibilites. Besides you." "That what I am?" "You KNOW you're more than that." At least he was talking, no matter how short and clipped. *I have NEVER been good at this. I am SO BAD at this. Oh, help.* "I need you around. I need you to help me. I mean, who better than you to show me how to be the worst employee the world's ever seen?" Spike flashed him a grin, but kept walking. OK, more groveling? Much more of this and he was going to lose his spine entirely. This sucked. He HAD been dealing with humans for too long. He let his gameface flicker on, felt the rumble in his chest. "And, most importantly, I. AM. YOUR. SIRE. Boy. Get back to the car before I remind you of EXACTLY what that means." Spike stopped, stared at him for a long moment. Angel tensed for the strike. Spike just stared. Smiled again, and nodded. "Right, ducks. Just makin' sure you ain't a COMPLETE pansy, these days." And he turned around and strolled back towards the car. Whistling. Leaving Angel gaping after him. *Boredom. What was so terrible about boredom, again?* ****************** "I don't care WHAT your soddin' boss thinks, I am NOT gonna be put up in some flat like a high-priced whore! That was Darla's gig!" The rest of the trip had been fairly peaceful, what with his sire holdin' his hand the whole way, but the minute they stepped in the door and Spike admired the size of the place... "Cordelia is NOT my boss, Spike, and I...am not going to have this conversation with you." He stomped up the stairs, out of the lobby, and Spike looked after him. Right. Time to go shag some bollocks back into the bugger, before all this soul-boy crap made him heave. He chased Angel up the stairs, and burst through a closed door. Angel smirked at him from the bed. The giant bed with the wine-dark sheets and the black satin comforter...Spike swallowed hard. "Took you long enough." "Oh, you're a flamin' comedian tonight, you are." Spike paced nervously, found the bottle he knew Angel always kept around, unscrewed the top and took a long swallow. Single malt. Always the best. "William, come here." And there was that Sire-tone, drawing him over to the bed like he was on a string. Angel pulled him between his knees from where he sat, and rubbed long strokes up and down the backs of his legs, hips to knees, and back up. An' how long had it been, since a lover had known where to touch? Too bloody long. He sighed, capped the bottle, and set it on the floor, and pushed Angel back till he was laying flat. "Spike, I do want you here." "I want you here too, luv." Leer, because it was always easier to just get to the sex. "No, more than that. I'll tell Cordelia and Wes and Gunn you're here, if you want me to. And you can stay here if you want, though you WILL obey house rules. I want you to stay." "You always such a pushover these days, Peaches?" "I guess so." And Spike was drowning in smiling brown eyes, *bet he doesn't smile enough, lately,* and so damn happy he was afraid he was gonna GET a soul. Some backwards-magic shit that he couldn't quite think about clearly enough to work through. *Oh yeah, the Big Bad, me. Haven't felt this good in a hundred years, though Dru an' I tried. He's safety, he's home, an' he's not chuckin' me out...* He sighed a little, and leaned down, and pressed the softest kiss onto his Sire's lips. Lips that kept smiling, and parted, and let his tongue in to play. Hands came up and pulled lightly at his ears, moving back into his hair to clutch and bring his mouth closer. That sweet dance between his lips, as Angel sucked at the lower one, then ran his tongue around inside, and oh the taste. It had only been a few hours, but the TASTE... Spike heard himself making little kitten sounds, and couldn't bring himself to care. He was settled neatly between Angel's thighs, and those huge hands were holding his head still, and all he could do was rock and moan, rock and moan, against him and into his mouth. They were still fully clothed when Angel rolled him over and came down on top of him, still just pushing at each other with their hips, and this time there WASN'T a rush, and Spike felt himself relaxing completely, for the first time in a very long while. Almost boneless when Angel stripped him gently, kissing down his body with little nips that made him shudder and gasp and breathe. And pliant when Angel rubbed hands over his belly, hard enough not to tickle, how he'd always loved it. He felt sharp teeth just resting on his hipbone, cool breathless mouth against his skin, and just savored it, lying still for an instant. Then he was up and moving, rolling and dragging a startled Angel fully onto the bed, and the peace disappeared as he just threw himself at his sire. He spared a brief moment to wonder if it would always be like this, desperate and a little insane, and then he was lost. **************** Even when he'd been just-turned, Angel didn't remember Willian NEEDING him like this. His small hands were everywhere as he pulled Angel down into him, running down his back in quick strokes, fingers digging into his buttocks and leaving marks, then curving around to hold his waist, grab at his arms. Legs twining with his hard enough to hurt, a sharp heel digging into his calf as Spike tried to bring him closer still. Spike's eyes were a little wild, blue almost filled with black, now, and his hair was standing on end in white-blond curls...he looked about fifteen years old. "Will...easy now..." He gentled his childe with his voice, like he'd always been able to, and reached down between them to where their cocks were rubbing together, burning him. Held them both together. "I wilna leave you again, Childe, I swear it." And he knew he wasn't Angelus, knew he wasn't the sire Spike remembered, but maybe this would do, maybe it would be enough... It seemed to be what Spike needed, because he unwound again, just a little, and let himself be kissed. Angel ran a tongue down his long throat, feeling the absence of pulse under his lips and how that felt just RIGHT, letting his weight bear down and press the smaller vampire into the mattress. He stroked the throbbing lengths in his hands, hard and sure, and caught the up-BUCK of Spike's hips in the cradle of his own. "Aye, boy, that's it now. Let me in." He was talking the Irish again, and couldn't help himself, not with his cock in his hand and his boy underneath him, and he needed this as much as Spike, he knew suddenly. Needed to be needed, needed to be understood and accepted, and *FUUUCK oh FUUU-* needed to be let in, just. like. this. Years of practice, and he knew that body better than he knew his own, and apparently it went both ways, since Spike had managed to lift his hips and guide Angel into his body in one long move. The cool, tight slickness around him, not burning him like a human but perfect, taking his whole length in a push down that had Angel's hands fisting in the coverlet, his weight on his forearms, as Spike pulled and clutched with both hands at his hips. He reared up, eyes burning gold, and grabbed those clever little hands, pinning them to the bed above their heads. Spike wanted to be fucked? Far be it from Angel to deny him that. He slammed himself home and Spike yelped, fangs dropping as he twisted, helpless underneath Angel. *Sometimes it is SO good to be the bigger one...* He hauled Spike's legs up over his shoulders, opening him completely, angling him right...and started the rhythm. Decades of fucking Spike, and this never got old. In and out, and the tight muscles pulling at him, holding him like he belonged there...out and IN and IN and oh jesus Will was making that noise again, the high, animal one he always denied, after, but which made Angel hard, harder, was that even POSSIBLE? "Sire...Angel...ohgodohFUCKANGEL! Angelussss..." Hissed through sharp teeth, and Spike was stroking himself because Angel couldn't remember how to move his arms, just his hips in this in and out and sweetness...strong pale body under him, so beautiful, muscles rippling and bunching as Spike tried to sit UP under the force of his strokes, and pulled hard at his own jerking, dripping cock--looked hard enough to cut glass--and Spike was staring into his eyes and clamping down inside and spurting and howling and Angel was drowning in gold snapping teeth shut in that white throat and commmmiiiinnggggg.... ********************* Christ in a racecar, he thought he'd lost his mind. Last one was good, this one much better, an' if they kept on improving like this, Spike was gonna end up fucked literally to death. He just knew it. He purred a little, complete satisfaction rolling through him as his Sire hauled the covers up around their bodies, still touching, and curled himself around his childe. His. Spike knew it, had always known it no matter how he kicked and screamed and battled against it. Soul or not, blood was blood, and he was fully owned by the demon currently petting him like a cat and lapping at the holes in his throat. He knew it, the demon knew it, and for the first time in a hundred years, all was right in Spike's world. "Angelus?" "Hmmm?" Still licking at his throat, and he could feel a deeper purr starting behind him. Oh yeah, the ponce was lovin' this too. "I still say you're gonna be a piss-poor workin' man." And this little exercise in domination was Exhibit A... "I'll have to get promoted fast then, won't I?" And Spike grinned, and laughed a little, and curled into strong arms, to sleep the day away.