The Clockwork Vampire


by Spirit


Angel stroked his way down Spike's naked back, pressing soft kisses against every bruise and running his tongue down the prominent spine. Beneath him, the dozing vampire groaned and squirmed each time he reached a sensitive spot. Angel chuckled as the skin moved smoothly beneath him, claiming him each time as his own.

He reached the soft cheek of his ass and started to press down, licking his way down to the entrance as Spike moaned deeper, lifting his hips and pressing back against Angel's mouth.

'Mmm, that feels so good, Peaches.'

Angel grinned and licked along the crease.

'Like that do you?'

'Oh yeah, Pet, keep doing that.'

There was a hissing sound and then coldness. Spike tried to pry round and see over his shoulder.

'What was that?'

'Squirty cream.'

Spike chuckled.

'You have become a naughty boy, Angel.'

'Had a good teacher,' murmured Angel with his mouth full.

'Oh God, yeah, mmm, yeah,' Spike gasped at the pillow, 'Oh yeah, Love, just do... that.'

'Angel?'

They let out a mutual groan as Wesley's voice echoed down into the apartment.

'Ignore him, Peaches, maybe he'll go away.'

It wasn't hard to do, the sight being what it was and Angel ran his tongue underneath, licking the saltiness of the soft sac that lay there.

'Angel!'

'Fuck,' said Spike, 'That was Doyle wasn't it?'

Angel groaned and sat up.

'Yeah, I think it was.'

Spike rolled over and reached for his boxers.

'Maybe we can sort this out quick and you can continue with that tongue bath.'

He grinned and kissed Angel.

'Well it was going to wind up a strawberries and cream bath.'

Spike wiggled his eyebrows.

'And where did you get that idea?'

Angel nuzzled at his neck.

'From Mr Carrot, the happy grocer.'

Spike laughed.

'I think that's veg Love.'

'Well okay, but do you want to look down the wrong end of a parsnip?'

*

The elevator was an easier way of reaching the office than the stairs, but whilst Angel liked doing the whole 'don't I cut a striking silhouette' entrance, Spike liked the fact that his approach was totally unannounced. That and he knew that Wesley tended to sit with his back to the top of the stairs, and making that boy scout jump was one of the pleasures in life that Spike had left.

He could hear the elevator clang into position and saw Wesley's chair swivel round to face Angel. With a grin, he swept silently into the room, and bided his time, waiting for the perfect moment to announce himself.

Doyle stepped forward to Angel, a worried look across his face and the smell of drying sweat coating his body. It was one of the key signs that he'd had a vision, something that was certainly going to lead to Angel going out and saving the day.........again.

It wasn't the whole hero gig that Spike objected to. He was self-serving by nature, not a big advocate of destroying the human race or any of the bum stuff that his fellow vampires were so keen on. Anything he'd done that people, (namely the Slayer and her ilk) had ascribed to Evil, had been because of a lesser service to Spike himself. Or Dru. God only knew how may weird and wacky end-of-the-world parties he'd thrown for his Princess. That whole fiasco with the Judge for example. That had been because of her. It was the type of damage she liked - mass scale chaos and ultimate carnage. She knew how to throw a party though and in some ways, he still missed her.

Spike was, he knew, growing used to human company. It had dawned on him when he had gone looking for Angel at Cordelia's request that he was actually listening to her and not just so that he could hurl an insult her way. He couldn't actually recall the day on which his perception had changed and he knew that he didn't actually care about any of them - only that their deaths would devastate Angel and that wouldn't be good for him - but he found himself wondering about them at odd times.

He had always been a perceptive bloke, long before he had been turned he had all the hallmarks of knowing everything that needed to be known. His life as a human hadn't been much more moral than that of a vampire and Spike had managed to make his way in spite of his upbringing. He'd read Oliver Twist a few years ago, when he and Dru had holed up in some unfortunate's house. There had been precious little else to read there, and once he'd bored of the sex mags the guy had hidden under his mattress, he'd moved on to real literature. Happy ending or not, Dickens had painted a far brighter version of the streets he'd known than anything that little orphan faced.

The problem, as he saw it, was that he was beginning to see Cordelia and co as people, a change that was more than dangerous for any vampire. When he'd been back in Sunnydale he'd deliberately not used any of the Scooby gang's names, using their title or role instead. Slayer, Watcher, Lunch, it had all been the same to him, as long as he didn't start to think about them as individuals, everything was fine and dandy in vampire land.

But here in LA, he'd become used to dealing with mortals again and his demon worried. He didn't have a soul like Angel, nothing to give him a reason to fight against the urge to destroy. What he did have was a veracious personality, strong enough to cause the demon to bend to his will. And if he and the demon agreed on something, so much the better. But his needs had changed, and whilst he had adapted, that creature within him was causing all sorts of assaults on his mind, asking him over and over how long he could exist like this.

He thought that Angel would perhaps understand about his difficulty, seeing as he existed in constant torment, but Spike really didn't want to go down that broody path. At the moment they approached each other as equals, lovers who wanted each other desperately. They'd grown used to a mutual comfort, in which Spike jollied Angel out of his moods and Angel made sure that Spike had enough bad guys to fight. It had worked quite well, the dark vampire seeming almost human every now and then and Spike wearing out his aggression on demons who seriously wished they'd never heard of LA. But if Spike told him that he was dealing with something similar to his own problems, he knew that Angel would look on him with pity and that was something that the English vampire just couldn't take.

Spike was musing on such thoughts when he realised that Wesley had spotted him. The demon hunter was watching him, waiting for the sarcastic comment that he was sure was only moments away. When no response came, Wesley raised his glasses, rubbed his eyes and checked to see if Spike was actually there.

'So, Spike, what do you think we should do?'

'Go get shagged,' murmured Spike before trying to recall what had been said.

He couldn't.

Okay.

'Wasn't listening.'

'So I gather,' said the surprised demon hunter, 'Dare I even inquire what you were thinking about?'

Spike grinned.

'You.'

Wesley blinked and Spike watched as his hand trailed instinctively to the axe he'd taken to carrying about. Spike looked up and saw Angel suppressing a smile whilst Doyle rolled his eyes. He reached into his jacket for a smoke and as he lit, gestured to the others.

'So what's this big important problem then?'

'Cordelia,' said Angel aptly.

'Figures. What's that dozy bint been up to then?'

Wesley raised an eyebrow.

'Miss Chase has become unavailable.'

'She's blown you out?'

Doyle laughed dryly.

'Well you could say that. Seems that Wesley here had the same idea as me tonight. Invite her out to dinner and a movie.'

'You both asked her on a date? Fuck me, does no one notice what goes on around here?' asked Spike with a grin, 'Getting killed by that slime demon was more enjoyable than one night with Little Miss Gobby and you two both want to get her knickers off!'

'Spike,' said Angel warningly, 'She's disappeared.'

'Huh?'

Doyle sighed.

'Neither of us got to ask her cause when I went round to her apartment, she wasn't in.'

Spike blew out a smoke ring.

'And what about you Pet?'

Wesley scratched his head.

'I telephoned her and, well, I got no reply.'

Spike chuckled and moved over to her desk, looking through the papers that lay on it.

'This isn't funny Spike,' admonished Wesley, 'She could be in real trouble.'

'Yeah, I must admit,' said Doyle, 'She usually leaves a phone number or something where we can get hold of her.'

'Something like this?' said Spike, brandishing a note.

Wesley pushed his glasses up and looked at it.

'Guys,' he read, 'Going out with Serena and the girls. Don't wait up. C.'

Spike chuckled and slapped Wesley on the back.

'Good to know those Watcher reading skills still come in handy, mate.'

Angel grinned and Doyle looked up at him, his own embarrassment annoying him.

'You've got something on your lip.'

'What?' said Angel flicking his tongue out. He tasted cream and caught Spike's suggestive expression, which forced him to look anywhere else if he was to keep a straight, ha ha, face.

'No man, it's gone right up the side of your nose. What have you been doing?'

Angel reached with his finger to wipe the excess away, hoping like Hell that Spike would for once keep his mouth shut. He saw the blond vampire walk quickly toward him and grin, before moving Angel's hand away. Spike moved his face closer and reached out his long tongue to lick off the rest of the cream.

'Oh,' said Wesley, turning away, 'That really is, I mean, couldn't you do that elsewhere?'

Spike trailed his tongue down and licked Angel's lips briefly, feeling the other vampire open his mouth before pulling away with a wicked smile. The look of pure longing on Angel's face was enough to carry him a little longer.

'Doyle? Oh honestly I know it was a little embarrassing, but there's no need.........'

The vampires looked and saw Doyle writhing on the floor.

'He's having a vision.'

Angel rushed over and tried to cradle the half demon whilst the vision passed. Doyle winced and fitted as the Powers that Be sent their message. He could see flashes of something birthing itself from an egg. Something big bad and ugly. He shuddered one last time and fell back, feeling the agony slowly ebb away as he came back to the present.

'Big baby, argh,' he moaned as his head gave one final pinch.

Spike looked up at Wesley.

'Didn't know Janet and John Books did vision analysis.'

'Spike, shut up,' said Angel, helping Doyle sit up, 'A baby what? Where?'

Doyle winced and covered his forehead with his palm.

'It was hatching from an egg and it looked pissed man, I don't think I wanna meet him when he grows up.'

'Okay,' said Angel, grabbing his coat, 'You show us where and we'll take care of it.'

Spike rolled his eyes and put his duster on, watching as Wesley picked up his fighting axe. The demon hunter slid it inside his jacket and made sure he had a crossbow under there as well. Doyle got to his feet slowly and reached inside the desk for a matching pair of knives, hiding each one up his sleeves and wincing slightly as one caught his forearm. Spike turned as Angel withdrew a nasty looking sword from the closet and moved toward the door.

It was too much.

'Oi! Where's my demon slicer?'

'What?' said Angel, sheathing the sword and making sure it was concealed beneath his coat.

'Well everyone here gets a weapon to play with except me. Anyone would think you don't trust me or something.'

They all turned in unison, sharing the same frank gaze.

'What?'

Angel sighed and opened the closet.

'Just don't take anything too big.'

Spike looked at the weapons stored in there and sighed in happy appreciation. He saw something that he liked and grabbed it.

'Now let's see the demon who can get past this!'

*

'I told you not to bring anything too big?'

Spike picked up the double handed axe and weighed it against Wesley's hand sized one. The watcher looked it up and down and then continued his stalk towards the address Doyle had directed them to.

'It's not too big. I can handle it.'

He hefted it between his hands and twirled it expertly, almost cleaving off Doyle's ear. The half demon blinked and then stepped forward, determined that nothing was going to cut him into bits.

'You can't handle that thing,' said Angel quietly.

'I bloody can,' growled Spike, 'I've wielded loads of weapons bigger than this.'

'What for?'

'Stuff,' said Spike. He sniffed. 'Anyway, I'm not the one walking in there with a bloody broad sword now am I?'

'It's not a broadsword,' said Angel, 'It's a bastard sword, see? Lighter than a two handed but it's got enough weight to..........'

'To what? To make you fall over?'

'You know what I mean.'

'Unfortunately I do.'

Spike sniffed and watched as Wesley kicked the door of some unsuspecting couple and brandished his weapons at them. He turned back to Angel.

'So have you got a name for your pet sword then, Peaches?'

Angel shook his head.

'No.'

Spike grinned, watching as Doyle tried to remove the over excited Wesley from the room.

'Oh come on, Peaches, every weapon worth its weight has a name. Excaliber, Mjolnir, Albion.........you forge it, they name it.'

'I'm not naming my sword, Spike, forget it.'

The creature Doyle had seen was emerging from its egg in the next apartment along and Angel started to walk quickly toward it. Spike laughed as Doyle and Wesley made their excuses and swung his axe over his shoulder.

'Think I'll name this axe though, not one of them poncy names though.'

Angel moved to open the door.

'What are you going to call it? Sid?'

Spike broke the wood with one blow.

'Not a bad idea, Love. Something twentieth century.'

He wrenched to pull the axe back out but it stuck, its head embedded deeply within the door. He pulled again, but this time the doorframe gave and Spike fell backwards, the door on top of him, whilst Wesley charged over the top, some kind of battle cry at his lips. Doyle hopped over and started laying blows on the disgusting demon whilst Angel pulled the heavy boards from his lover.

It was strange, but even lying under the rubble, an expression close to rage across his face, Spike looked as horny as Hell. Angel could feel his cock stir pleasantly against his thigh, and promised himself that as soon as they'd taken care of this demon, he'd turn the phones off, lock the doors and give the blond vampire his complete and undivided attention. He still had the strawberries in the fridge and he'd paid Cordelia over the odds to pick up and he'd bought in cream in abundance. He knew that Spike had been struggling with himself about something lately and he had an inkling as to what it was. He just didn't think that Spike would open up to him about it.

They had come a long way, or so Angel thought, since Spike had fallen onto his doorstep. They had established a compromise between Spike's feral nature and Angel's calling. In those early days they had both felt uncertain about everything except that definite attraction that had always existed between them. They had tried to work round the obstacles - Spike's desire to drink Cordelia's blood was still an issue, not helped by the fact that Angel frequently felt the same way. Spike was happy beating up the demons that roamed the tunnels below the city, and since he knew that the English vampire couldn't harm anyone human, it was something known and not discussed.

When they were alone together, (and recently that time had been too rare, Doyle's visions coming too thick and fast to prevent either vampire from doing the same) Angel couldn't manage to keep his mind on anything else than the tender skin of his lover's body. When Spike tumbled into bed at night, Angel generally got in next to him and within moments, hands caressed, teased and tempted until they made love with a frenzy that would deafen Cordelia. It was with Spike that he felt most comfortable, and that was something he wasn't prepared to question, adopting the blond's attitude for once. Spike wouldn't worry about their good luck, he'd just accept it and move on to deal with the next thing. It was a side of his lover that he treasured and he hoped that if something was actually troubling Spike, he would come to him before it was too late.

'Are you going to stare at me all night, or do we leave those two wankers to get eaten by Big Bird's rebel cousin?'

Angel smiled and pulled Spike to his feet.

'Actually I was trying to think of a name for that axe of yours.'

Spike shot him a glance and stormed inside the apartment.

'Something like "Gets stuck in wood" or.........'

'Shut up Angel.'

'........."Don't use with timber" or.........'

Spike grabbed hold of Angel's collar and hauled him to eye level.

'Listen Peaches, if you ever want me to lay hands on this,' he stroked the hard length beneath Angel's belt, 'I suggest you never mention that again.'

Angel grinned and kissed him briefly.

'Couldn't have that now, could we?'

Spike growled softly and swung at the baby demon. Angel unsheathed his sword and slashed at a tentacle which seemed to have Wesley cornered. Doyle was hacking away at a head which tried to bite at him. With the four of them working hard to destroy the creature, it was in several large and numerous small yucky pieces in no time. They were coated in embryonic fluid and other, un namable and disgusting things. Doyle looked down at himself and shuddered, before walking off silently into the night, mumbling things about never ever getting involved in anything that involved eggs again.

Wesley gave them all a hearty congratulation on cleaning up, if you'd excuse the pun, the demonic creature so quickly. He set off to his home with a big grin etched across his face, covered from head to foot in gore. Spike had drained his tension into the baby demon and had consequently been very up close when it exploded. The only bit of clean flesh was at the back of his neck and Angel bent down to kiss it. Spike leaned back into the caress and a globule of yolk dripped down from his hair onto Angel.

'Urgh.'

'Right Peaches, urgh.' He stood up and grinned through the mess. 'Still, we mashed the Hell out of it eh, Love?'

Angel wiped his mouth free of yolk and nodded.

Spike looked around and, seeing nothing else in the vicinity that required smashing into bits, slung his battle axe over one arm and headed out of the door. Angel wiped what he could off his jacket and wished he'd brought something less expensive to clean before following him. Spike was whistling something Angel took to be Punk and didn't inquire in case he got the full song. By the time they reached his apartment, Angel was so disgusted by the drying matter that he stripped off by the shower immediately and ran his clothes under the stream until most of the yuck had run down the drain.

He turned round to the sound of the bath being run. Spike was still dressed, but filling the tub with a load of bubble bath. As he realised Angel was looking at him, he grinned and pulled off his clothes, throwing them on top of Angel's own in the shower. Angel couldn't help but let his gaze travel down Spike's body to his thighs, seeing the stiffening mass of flesh that matched his own. He bit down on his lip and despite the fact that twenty minutes earlier they'd been up to their necks in demon mire, his cock was hard and his balls felt as though they were full of molten lead.

Spike grinned at the sight and whilst the tap was running, he stepped on top of the clothes pile and let the muck run off him. Angel watched with bated breath that he didn't actually need, as the water gushed down Spike's body. It took all his restraint to stop from touching him, but the sight alone was so damned good that he held back, driving his nails into his palms while he waited. The hollows of the English vampire's cheeks seemed to glisten under the torrent and his neck was stretched upwards, pelted by the blissful water that flashed down upon him.

He turned, and Angel moaned softly as dimples appeared in his backside, a lush expanse of flesh that he just wanted to sink his teeth (and his fangs) into. The tattoo flexed as Spike moved from side to side and Angel felt the blood squishing between his fingers as his nails cut the skin. The last of the muck washed off and Spike turned to get out of the shower. He wasn't exactly surprised, but he was pleased to see Angel standing in front of him, panting in that way he always did when he was excited, his cock hard and ready for some attention.

But Spike knew that Angel liked to tease and walked deliberately past him to turn off the taps, allowing his hand to brush momentarily past a firm thigh. He felt the shudder and heard the whispered gasp, grinning to himself and climbing into the bath. Angel turned to get in with him, but Spike held up a restraining arm. Angel's tortured expression was hardly to do with soul searching this time, but for once, Spike enjoyed seeing it.

'Will?' asked Angel, bewildered.

'Not yet, Peaches,' grinned Spike, 'You're not coming in here whilst you're dirty.'

Angel blinked.

'It's a bath, you're supposed to get clean in it.'

Spike grinned and stretched out.

'Well, Love,' his toe touched the tap and played enticingly with the faucet. 'I thought this might be a bath that we got dirty in.'

He shot Angel his best come-fuck-me smile and Angel gulped, turned and climbed under the running water of the shower. Spike was impressed at the speed with which he cleaned up. His hair, normally something the brooding one spent hours over, was given a quick cleansing scrub and left alone. Must have some magic, Spike thought to himself, must have hormones working on overload!

Angel turned the shower off and began to walk over to the tub. Spike held up his hand again and Angel rolled his eyes in frustration.

'What now?'

'Now now,' said Spike, 'Don't get your knickers in a twist. I'm offering to wash your hair. Bring the shampoo over with you, Pet.'

Angel paused, wondering if Spike was being serious and then picked up the bottle, before finally, thankfully, climbing into the bath. It was so warm against his cold skin and as he moved to sit facing Spike, the blond vampire moved out of the way to make room. He sat in the steamy water, the head of his cock bobbing happily at the surface whilst Spike's legs slid over his thighs. He felt the hard length of his lover's cock press against his own and let out a happy 'Mmm'. Spike grinned and took the bottle, emptying a large puddle into the palm of his hand.

'That's too much.'

Spike raised an eyebrow.

'Excuse me here, Peaches, but who's washing whose hair?'

Angel grinned and scraped half off.

'What? You never learnt to share?'

Angel reached up to Spike's hair and rubbed the gelatinous liquid into the short strands. He felt Spike's arms come up and repeat the action with his own, moaning softly as the slender fingers massaged his scalp. Wanting to move forward and feel Spike's chest against his own, wanting to possess him, to be so connected with this creature who caused anger and desire in almost equal amounts.

As Angel reacted catlike to Spike's ministrations, the younger vampire realised how good it felt to have Angel pamper him. He'd tended to Angel's wants before. But he'd never had anyone wash his hair and he felt his cock twitch at every movement of Angel's fingers. He slid closer to his sire, letting out a surprised groan as the tender flesh moved against his lover's penis. Spike bent his knees and Angel moved instinctively closer, both wondering if the tub would take the pressure of the two vampires consummating this need.

Angel groped blindly for the jug at the side of the bath, missing by inches and knocking it onto the floor. He groaned in frustration and to his surprise, felt Spike shift his legs, pulling them off his own to a kneel, reaching over Angel for the jug. His thighs pressed so close to Angel's mouth, the dark vampire couldn't resist and bit down hard on the tender flesh. Spike threw his head back and growled as Angel suckled at the skin, not quite breaking the flesh, but raising a deep purple bruise, a true love bite on his childe.

Spike thrust his hips forward and Angel caught hold of the velvety flesh in his fingers, glancing up as he fed the slippery length into his mouth. The English vampire cried out and grasped his hands on Angel's shoulders, feeling the bubbles burst against his legs. Angel reached both hands round to his ass and pulled him in closer, feeling the steady throb of Spike's cock as it slid in and out of his mouth. He could feel Spike letting him dictate the rhythm and pulled hard, letting Spike slide past the natural defenses of his throat.

As Angel's nose nudged his belly, Spike let out a deep moan, feeling the pressure in his balls build. He felt the bubbles slip down from his hair and kept his eyes closed, knowing that he was going to cum, knowing that he wanted to see and that his eyes would sting if he opened them but.........Oh God Angel.........He felt Angel's fingers slide up and start nudging beneath his balls, stroking and nudging and sliding against his ass. He growled loudly, wanting, needing Angel to slide his finger inside and make him cum, give him the release he wanted to so much. As if reading his mind, Angel's fingers slid to his ass and slipped eagerly inside, finding the gland that Spike needed him to touch, feeling as Spike howled and the sticky liquid squirted down his throat.

As the last of the howl died away, Spike fell forward, supported by Angel as his cock slipped easily from his throat. He lay against Angel's chest for a moment, uncomfortable, but happy, flushed with pleasure. The jug clanked against Angel's neck and Spike picked it up, filled it and washed Angel's hair by touch alone. Angel purred at the caress and once the suds had washed clear of his hair, took the jug and rinsed his lover's. Able to open his eyes, Spike blinked and then reached for his sire, meeting his mouth with a kiss that promised to deliver the same amount of pleasure back.

Angel smiled against the welcoming mouth, feeling the tongue straining against his own, the strong hand reaching round his back and pulling him closer. Leaning backwards, to pull Spike up onto his chest, Angel lost his balance and they both landed with a colossal splash against the sloped edge. Spike broke off the kiss and chuckled.

'If you really wanted me to be on top, you should have asked Love, told you before.'

'Well I was really thinking that maybe we should go to bed and I'll give you that tongue bath I started earlier.'

Spike grinned and squirmed against the throbbing length, causing Angel to moan and buck his hips.

'Hmmm, much as I'd like that Pet, I think you could do with tonguing right now.'

He moved again and Angel had to lift him up to gain any kind of control.

'Bed. You. Now.'

Spike laughed and climbed out of the bath, grabbing the towel. Angel followed him and knocked the towel from his grasp. The younger man raised an eyebrow.

'How am I going to get dry now, Pet?'

Angel pulled him in for a deep kiss before picking him up into a firemans lift and carrying him into the bedroom.

'Angel!'

The vampire grinned, his eyes dark with lust and he threw Spike down on the bed, trailing his tongue up his leg, feeling Spike moan before he heard it. His hands were everywhere, touching and scratching and pulling whilst the English vampire squirmed and bucked beneath him. He slid up next to him and kissed him hard, letting his tongue work against the fangs, teasing and as Spike started his own finger exploration.........

The phone rang.

Spike groaned and fell back against the headboard.

'I'm going to fucking disconnect that bloody thing!'

Angel knelt up, listening to the mechanical tones before getting up out of bed. He looked at Spike, seeing as his face flickered between human and vampire, anger tempered by the knowledge that Angel always came back. That he had to share the man he loved with a world that denied their very existence. It was a harsh price, but Spike believed it was worth paying. Anything else paled in comparison to being with Angel.

The world was emptier.

'Go on, you'd best find out which tossers need your help tonight.'

He rolled over onto his side and listened as Angel rose quietly and headed out of the room. He listened as the ringing stopped and then turned his attention to the book he'd brought to bed - erotic nursery rhymes by Angela Carter - something he'd had no idea existed until he'd found one of her books.

He was just reading what red Riding Hood really did do with the wolf when he felt Angel kissing his way along his back. He half turned and found his sire smiling gently, a tray next to the bed, filled to the brim with strawberries. Spike frowned, wondering why his sire was still naked, but then he saw the wire on the floor, the phone lying useless at the table.

'I thought you were going to go play hero?'

Angel smiled and moved nearer.

'Someone else can save the world tonight.'

Spike chuckled.

'I thought you had to put your good deeds above everything? Thought it was part of the deal, Love?'

Angel stroked his hand along Spike's cheek and kissed him softly.

'I had something important to do.'

'What?'

Angel picked up and strawberry and placed it in the hollow of Spike's shoulder.

'Can't save the day without a good breakfast.'

Spike rolled his eyes.

'Eat me.'

Angel grinned and licked along his collarbone.

'That's exactly what I had in mind.'

*

'Why the fuck don't you buy any good food in?'

Angel shot a hurt expression at his lover, wanting to point out that he had in fact, gone against all his normal 'Oh look at me I'm a vampire' fridge and actually bought some real food in. It had taken some doing, not only because Angel didn't normally taste anything stronger than a rare AB negative, but because it had involved asking Cordelia to help him out. Everything he'd asked for her assistance in purchasing had involved a casual raising of her left eyebrow. When he'd asked where he could by squirty cream in bulk, the finely arched hairs had disappeared somewhere under her hair-line, presumably never to be seen again.

Still, he had to give it to her, the woman had come through. His fridge was now full of everything a vampire and his lover might need to while away the small hours when the phone was off the hook. He'd promised Spike some time where it was just the two of them and though he still felt guilty, saving the world could wait a night. The reaction from the other vampire was worth it. Spike had reveled in Angel's ministrations, grinning like mad and groaning with gusto when the dark vampire had made him cum.

He'd practically had to fight to stop the blond returning the favour, wanting to spend his time making Spike feel good and loved and warm. He knew he wasn't all that good at talking about what dwelt in his unbeating heart. Wasn't all that good at talking about anything anyway, but his emotions were another matter. His soul had brought with it a capacity to accept his feelings, something, he was embarrassed to note, Spike didn't seem to require. His lover lived by his emotions, letting the passions of his very nature dictate the what and why. Angel practically tripped over himself everytime he'd even considered letting go.

When he'd broken vampire lore with Spike, that first time when he'd allowed his childe to make love to him, he'd felt a bloodrush flooding his body and he'd known then that this was something special. But the demon inside him had compounded the fears he'd had as a man. He could not afford to love, it would undo him and make him weak.

When he'd regained his soul, he'd spent years avoiding others, fearing their loathing and bitterly regretting he'd ever been born. He'd had time to consider his past deeds, not only those actions which had been instantly violent, but those which had taken time to burn deeply. What had prayed upon his mind, alongside his corruption of Drusilla, was the knowledge that love had been in his hands and he had chosen to walk away.

'Oi!'

Angel jumped, aware that frown lines had begun to assume their normal place on his forehead and that the Blond in the kitchen would not be happy. He stretched his face, trying to change his expression and was aware that he probably resembled something close to a clubbed seal.

Not good.

Spike stormed over, completely naked except for what appeared to be a pair of red legwarmers, holding a tray of things salvaged from the freezer. He didn't look best pleased, but Angel forgot all about being non-broody because he couldn't take his eyes of Spike's feet.

'What,' he asked incredulously, 'Are those?'

Spike put the tray down on the side table and stood there a moment, looking at the items in question.

'They're warm.'

'Of course they are, they're called leg warmers. What I don't get, is why you're wearing them.'

Spike raised an eyebrow.

'Because it's bloody cold in the kitchen.

Angel opened his mouth to reply and then closed it again, aware that Spike was very good at being obtuse and could make an argument like this last for days. He did however promise himself that he would find out why his lover had taken to wearing something other than black jeans and a T shirt before morning. Angel looked over at the tray and found that it was crumbs of what turned out to be the chocolate cake he'd bought in specially.

'Hey, you asked me to get you that.'

'And?' replied Spike, 'It's not inedible.'

'Not by anyone with the table manners of a pig, no.'

Spike snorted happily.

'Got big plans for that, Peaches!'

Angel shook his head.

'Do you know how long it takes to get stains like that out of these sheets?'

'No,' said Spike, walking up to the TV, 'Do tell me the delights of fluff and fold, Love. I'm riveted.'

'I'll rivet you,' said Angel, and flinched as he thought how tacky that last comment had been. He'd seriously intended, at some point over the next - he checked the clock, just after Eleven - eight hours to tell Spike how much he meant to him. With Buffy that part had turned out to be quite easy. She was young and inexperienced, his declarations of devotion had been the very thing she wanted to hear.

Spike was a completely different case.

They'd had their moments of tenderness, but what passed between them was unspoken for the greater part. It wasn't just because of their age. Despite the beliefs of too many poets, Angel did not belief that passion was devoted to the young. Although sometimes he wondered if that had been used as a chat up line by most of them in a prove-me-wrong kind of way. He'd just like to be able to walk up to Spike and say, "You know I love you", but he guessed that before he could get to the follow up line it would be swallowed by a reply on the lines of ".........but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth." Or, ".........but you've got a Hell of a lot to learn about rock and roll."

For some reason, he thought that Spike was afraid of admitting how much he cared about him. Only in moments of high passion had the English vampire professed his love, unfettered by their normal flirtations and insults. He guessed that Spike was becoming more bothered about his involvement on the side of The Powers that Fuck about. Powers that Be! Dear God, living with Spike had changed him in ways that even Cordelia had noticed and that HAD to be something big. Still, what she'd said was how much she preferred him in non-brood mode and since Spike had, accidentally saved her life twice, she wasn't too averse to having him around.

'Oi, brooding boy! Get your arse over here and watch this.'

'Watch what?'

Spike was sitting on the couch with his legs resting easily on the coffee table. Angel bit down a request for him to move them and sat down next to him. He looked relaxed in a way that Angel wasn't sure he could manage. It wasn't as though he could just slump back, wearing nothing but red leg warmers, (why? Why?) and brood. Not that he felt like brooding right now. In fact, and he glanced warmly down to Spike's thighs, he was feeling fairly up.

So to speak.

'Spike?'

'Shh, Pet, you'll miss the best bit.'

Angel blinked and looked at the screen. On it were several people dressed in large teddy bear outfits, gyrating and stretching to something that sounded like 'The Teddy bear's picnic'. He watched for a minute in sheer amazement before turning to look at Spike. The Vampire was mesmerized.

'Spike?'

'Wait a minute, Pet, they're about to do this roll thing, it's brilliant!'

Sure enough, the teddy bears got up and formed a shaky circle, a la 'Praise You' and started to do forward rolls. This was unfortunately hampered by their was dreadful coordination and as Teddy Bear with blue ribbon moved forward, so did Teddy Bear with Pink Bow. They crashed very slowly into one another and Blue's head fell off, revealing a rather sweaty man with a sour expression. He bashed out at Pink and there was a rather satisfying oof over the top of the twinkly music. Pink swung back, arm restricted by the lumpy suit and it was clear that sandwiches were off the menu at this picnic.

A kind of strange chaos ensued, with the teddy bears losing heads and arms as they beat one another up, various production staff members bashed out of the way as the fight gained momentum. Angel looked, bewildered at Spike. The blond vampire was laughing so hard that tears rolled down his cheeks. His head was thrown back, revealing a luscious piece of neck that Angel wanted badly to sink his teeth into and his arms were wrapped tightly round his waist, clutching his stomach as his hysteric convulsions continued.

Angel turned back to the screen. Pink was throttling spotty yellow with his own ribbon and Friendly purple was bashing green over the head with someone's arm. He heard Spike scream in amusement and felt a bubble of laughter in his own throat. The teddy's picnic massacre. He chuckled, and then it began to build, Spike's hand stretching out and falling on his leg as the blond Vampire let it all hang out. By the time Spike had fallen forward, his head shuddering with the giggles against Angel's upper thigh, Angel was laughing crazily, lust driven and teddy bear crazed. It was all just too silly for words.

Too perfect.

'I love you, Will.'

Spike snorted against Angel's thigh and felt saliva drip from his mouth onto the firm leg. He wiped it absently with his hand and smiled as Angel tensed beneath his fingers.

'What was that mate?' he managed.

Angel reached down and stroked his way through the close cropped hair.

'I just wanted to tell you that.........'

There was another snort and Angel took his hand off, staring anywhere but at the vampire who perplexed him. Spike sat up and stared at Angel's face. It was showing worrying signs of Gloom.

He lay one hand on Angel's neck and pulled him round to face him.

'I know, all right, I know. You don't have to say it.'

Angel leaned into the hand and smiled softly.

'I want to say it though. We leave too much left unsaid.'

Spike grinned gently.

'Some things don't need to be said, Love.'

He trailed his hand towards Angel's nipple and the older vampire snorted a giggle away.

'See, everytime we start having a conversation like this, it always ends up in sex.'

'And you have a problem with that?' said Spike, playing with the tiny nub.

Angel bit his lip and then lay his hand over Spike's, stilling it.

'No. But I wanted you to know that.........'

Spike leant forward, kissing him tenderly.

'I know Love, I know.'

Give me strength!

Angel moved quickly and pinned the quickly bemused vampire beneath him on the sofa.

'Um, Angel Pet, I can't see the TV from here.'

'Shut up! Just shut up for five seconds and let me talk.'

Spike clicked his tongue against the top of his mouth and grinned lazily at the seriousness on Angel's face.

'Is this gonna be a proposal, Peaches, cause you've got a funny idea of "on bended knee".'

Angel clamped his free hand over Spike's mouth and held his wrists above the blond hair, dimly aware that Spike had more than enough strength to break free.

'Right, now you have to just shut up and listen!'

He took a deep breath.

'I love you Will, I love you being here with me. I love the way you take up too much room in bed and sleep with the whole sheet wrapped round your waist. I love the fact that you drive me crazy for hours on end with your blasted music. I love the way you try and eat everything in the Fridge, including things that even mortals won't eat.

I love the way you drive me to distraction with lust. That you don't even intend to get me hot, but it happens anyway. I love the way you've adapted to this thing they did to you, that you haven't let it beat you, or change you. I love that you won't let me brood and that you make me see what a fool I can be.

I love that your decisions are always your own, and that everything I have to face.........that I don't have to do it alone.'

He paused a moment, watching as Spike's intense gaze softened with each passing word.

'I love you.........and I never want you to leave.'

He moved his hand away from Spike's mouth, feeling slightly embarrassed by the unusual length of his speech and a little foolish. Spike raised an eyebrow and ran his tongue out over suddenly dry lips. He looked at Angel's earnest, flushed face and smiled.

'Done now?'

Angel nodded, sitting up slowly and feeling more ridiculous than he had in a long while.

'Yeah, done.' He looked down at Spike, who was shifting slightly to lean on one arm. 'Sorry about that.'

'No, it was.........' Spike grinned. 'I liked it.'

Angel closed his eyes.

'I feel so stupid.'

'Protesting true love does that to a bloke,' agreed Spike, 'Especially when it's reciprocated.'

Angel opened one eye and looked at him.

'That's kind of polysyllabic for you.'

Spike sniffed and sat up.

'True love does that to me too.'

'The wacky,' agreed Angel.

Spike chuckled.

'Love, we're a couple of undead poofs who fight against the forces of evil with a half-demon, an ex-Watcher and the brain-dead snob Queen of Sunnydale. We passed Wacky about a month ago.'

Angel chuckled and bent his head to Spikes. He paused within a centimetre of touching his lips and stared into those impossibly perceptive eyes.

'Reciprocated, right?'

'Yeah,' grinned Spike, 'About everything except the bed hogging.'

Angel raised an eyebrow.

'You're shorter than me, and I'm always on the edge.'

'Not just talking about the bed there, Pet!'

'You take up all the room. You hardly ever lay on the pillow and you're always starfish across the bed.'

'Head's never on the pillow cause you flinch everytime I come near your bloody hair!'

'Well I wouldn't worry so much if you didn't use all my hair gel.'

'I don't wear hair gel,' Spike grinned.

Angel frowned.

'Then where does mine go all the time?'

Spike grin widened.

'The plants.'

Angel shifted his gaze to the plants Cordelia had bought for Spike after that incident with the Scourge. Spike, one of nature's brown fingered individuals, had decided to try something he called 'The Crowley approach'. Angel had stayed well out of it, but noticed every now and then that one of the plants would disappear and the remaining greenery seemed to thrive in its absence. Spike didn't discuss what he did exactly, but Angel had never suspected that hair gel was part of the mystery.

'The plants.'

'Yep.'

'You wasted my hair gel on the plants.'

'Not wasted, Peaches,' said Spike, kissing him lightly, 'They've reacted quite well to the stuff.'

Angel closed his eyes.

'Do you have any idea how many tubes you've gone through and how much they cost?'

'Stop being so anal, Pet. It's only to make your hair pretty. And it already looks fab without it!' he added in a falsetto, running one hand through the spiky mass.

'Don't touch my hair!'

Spike chuckled.

'See! You hate me being anywhere near your precious locks. You go all pouty!'

'I don't,' said Angel.

'You do,' grinned Spike, 'You're doing it now!'

Angel pulled his lips loose, and tried a stern frown.

It wasn't working, Spike was in too cheerful a mood and he was still on a high from Angel's romantic declarations.

'See, you're one step away from being as vain as that blond kid.'

'What blond kid?'

'The one on that bloody show Miss I-still-hold-onto-my-privileged-childhood always watches.'

Angel furrowed his brow, trying to remember. Realisation dawned.

'You mean Zack Morris?! I don't look anything like him!'

Spike grinned.

'Oh? How's that then, Peaches?'

Angel knew vaguely that he was being ribbed, but the hair gel thing had him on edge. Damn, Spike was right about that too.

'He's blond! Shorter than me! His hair's completely different to mine.'

'Better or worse?'

The 'worse' was out of lips before he could help it, and the puppy dog look he shot to Spike just afterwards was lost as Spike started chuckling again.

'So, one step beyond then, Peaches. You can't help being gorgeous, but you're really going to have to get this vanity shit in check.'

Angel gazed helplessly around, until his gaze hit on Spike's coat, the one thing the vampire had utterly refused to be parted from. He'd agreed to wear other things on occasion, as long as they were in a shade of black or red, but the well-worn duster had never been traded in for anything. It was like Angel's leather pants - something he knew he looked good in and saw no reason to change.

'Well what about your coat?' he asked, 'You're vain about that.'

'Burn it,' said Spike, 'Material crap just rots after a century or so.'

Angel stood up slowly and picked up the coat. He reached in the pocket for Spike's matches and stared at the blond. Spike sat back on the sofa, his naked body tense in every way, aside from the lazy grin on his face. He didn't look entirely worried, but Angel could feel his anxiety and lit the match with a grin. He moved it over the coat and Spike jumped up, knocking the garment out of his hand before it could catch light. Angel laughed as he shook out the match.

'I thought you weren't vain?'

'I like that coat, and I've had it less than a century.'

Angel grinned.

'It'll rot.'

'Eventually, and then you'll have to buy me a new one, Pet.'

Angel raised his eyebrows.

'You think we'll still be together in a hundred years?'

'Well you did say you never wanted me to leave.'

'That was before I knew what you'd done with my hair gel.'

Spike chuckled.

'True love doesn't last long these days.'

Angel grabbed him by the shoulders.

'Yes it does.'

Spike looked at him in mock suspicion.

'You're not going to pin me down to the sofa again Pet?'

Angel smiled.

'Not unless you ask me nicely.'

'Fuck that!'

Spike kissed him briefly, letting his tongue stray for a second inside that welcoming mouth for a second. He moved over to the kitchen and picked up the nearest bottle. After he'd started consuming some of Angel's treasured poncy wines, the brooding one had insisted on buying in something more to Spike's taste. His assumption that all Spike really liked was strong liquor had resulted in the purchase of several bottle of Absolut, a vodka that was as strong as it was cheap. He'd already had half a bottle this evening, but his vampire constitution absorbed that easily and it would take several more to get him drunk.

He walked back over to the front room, where Angel had turned off the Teddy video and was searching through the albums by the stereo for something he didn't mind listening to. It was a difficult choice, since Spike had populated the collection with his Punk tastes. There were some other tracks there, some that looked more like Doyle's choice than anything either vampire would buy, but Spike saw Angel pulling out what looked to be a Cure album and wondered whether Angel was harbouring a secret fascination with modern music.

'What is this doing in here?'

Obviously not.

'Not mine, Pet. You know my stuff.'

'Yeah, my ears are still ringing from your last singalong.'

Spike grinned. Angel had just about got used to the Sex Pistols when he'd changed to The Who. The whole collection of course. At full volume. Until that bastard dentist from next door had complained about the noise.

Some people have no taste.

Angel slipped the disc inside the machine and remembered to turn the volume down. The bitter sweet tones of Robert Smith's voice rolled out of the speakers and Spike raised an eyebrow. Angel tilted his head from side to side, weighing up whether he liked it or not.

'You know, even when you finally land in the Twenty First Century you're still back with Byron and the lacey gloved posse.'

'Hmm,' said Angel, enjoying the track, 'This isn't bad. It must be Doyle's. I wonder if he knows he's left it here?'

Spike listened carefully to the lyrics and let out a throaty chuckle.

'What?'

'It's us, you great Nonce.'

'What's us?' asked Angel, confused.

'Smith and his bloody cronies. They've managed to describe your I'm so tortured act to a tee! Listen!'

Angel obliged, aware after he'd obeyed that he was willing to do anything this vampire asked of him.

no i won't do it again, i don't want to pretend

if it can't be like before i've got to let it end,

i don't want what i was, i had a change of head

but maybe someday...

yeah maybe someday

Spike grinned at him and Angel failed to hide the smile that crossed his lips. Spike saw Angel's boxer clad hips swaying with the music and wondered if his sire still remembered how to dance. He'd seen him once or twice with that Slayer, her head pressed against his shoulder, swaying from foot to foot as they moved. That wasn't the kind of dancing Spike liked.

As a man, he'd been the wrong class to learn any formal dancing - no one he'd known, except from a few choice prostitutes had the time to beat out a rhythm. But once he'd been turned, Angel had spent several weeks showing him a few steps here and there. He hadn't really started enjoying himself until the fifties, when Drusilla had eaten a Teddy Boy or two. He liked the birth of rock and roll, had hung around Liverpool for a while when the Beetles had started up and avoided feeding on John Lennon simply because he wanted to know what they were going to write next. A groupie had sufficed that time and Spike had begun to like dancing the night away.

Of course, he spent half the night trying to find Dru again, usually locked in the arms of some unfortunate who'd thought he'd struck lucky. They were always half drained by the time he'd got there. But his Princess had liked sharing, and they'd frequently performed their own private dirty dancing in the glow of someone's corpse.

Angel looked damnably horny and Spike wondered how the vampire would feel about dancing with him. Not to this music though, Spike preferred something more upbeat. Still, he conceded, it should have a little romance to it, not quite this much though! He moved to the CD's and picked up a Def Leppard track.

Compromise, right?

'Spike?'

Angel looked at his lover, wondering why he was hearing something that sounded suspiciously like soft rock coming out of the speakers. He didn't know Spike even owned anything that was soft rock, let alone wanted to play it now. And then as Spike slid the silly leg warmers off and walked over to him, Angel caught the look on his face. Spike, for all his violence and aggression, was also the owner of a romantic streak. He wasn't a hearts and flowers type of man, but Spike did like to give his loved one what he thought they'd want. Drusilla had received all manner of things over the years, but each and every one was given with love and affection, something Angellus couldn't and Angel struggled to manage.

As the vocals kicked in, Angel realised it was definitely a love song and as Spike slung one arm round his waist and the vodka clasped hand over his shoulder, the dark vampire closed his own arms around Spike's torso and pulled him close. Despite his earlier assertion that he didn't like the way Buffy and Angel had danced, he found himself leaning into Angel just so, his head resting neatly against the strong neck and his body pressed tightly into his sire's.

Why save your kisses for a rainy day

Baby let the moment take your heart away

Have you ever needed someone so bad, yeah

Have you ever wanted someone

You just couldn't have

Did you ever try so hard

That your world just fell apart

Have you ever needed someone so bad

Angel rested his chin on Spike's hair and closed his eyes, relishing the closeness of the younger vampire. He was almost afraid to question their luck. It had held out for far longer than anyone had any right to, but he wanted Spike so badly. Oh that's so funny, Spike knows exactly what he's doing playing this track. And maybe he's wrong about not needing words, but maybe he doesn't have to be the one to say them. We're both afraid that this will end, but God I don't want to lose him. I'll fight everything you throw at me forever, just let me keep this, this closeness, this love.

Every dream I dream is like

Some Kinda rash 'n' reckless scene

To give out such crazy love

You must be some kinda drug

And if my time don't ever come

For me you're still the same

Damned if I don't, damned if I do

I gotta get a fix on you

Damned indeed, and I don't care. He felt Spike nuzzling against his neck and thought again that Spike was at his most affectionate when he was silent. It was an odd state for the hyperactive vampire, but Angel loved it, loved him and.........

Smash!

'What was that?'

Spike jumped back, the vodka now missing from his hand.

'Shit!'

Angel turned and saw the duster Spike had saved earlier swathed in vodka. Unfortunately it was a little too near the candles Angel had lit to set a romantic mood and the whole thing was going up in flames. Spike growled and started beating out the fire as Angel stood back, trying hard not to laugh, unable to do anything to help his infuriated childe.

'Don't pratt about Angel, help me!'

Angel reached for the fire extinguisher and passed it over. Spike squirted its contents over the charred coat and it let a damp puff of smoke up as it surrendered to its horrible death. Spike stared disconsolately at the remains and slowly registered Angel's low laughter.

'It's not bleeding funny!'

'No, right, sure,' said Angel, trying hard to keep a straight face.

Impossible.

'Right!' said Spike walking over to the closet. 'Laugh this one off then!'

He pulled out Angel's favourite leather pants and tore them into three shredded pieces, exerting his vampire strength in a previously underused way.

'Hey!'

Spike grinned.

'Laughing on the other side now, Peaches!'

Angel took a look at his leathers and growled.

'That was childish.'

'That was retribution.'

'No, retribution is when I tell Cordelia you were wearing her legwarmers.'

'Well gee,' said Spike with a grin, 'Wouldn't that be a shame!'

Angel frowned as Spike picked up the wooly items and dunked them in the vodka that was left. He draped them over the table and Angel finally figured it out. Cordelia was meant to know that Spike had been parading around in her gym equipment. She just wasn't supposed to find out before she'd worn them again.

'You are a sick little man.'

'It's my upbringing.'

'You weren't brought up, you were dragged.'

Spike grinned and walked toward him.

'Oh yeah, and this is coming from the bloke who was born in the land of the potato people?'

'We're over the famine now, thanks.'

'Yeah? Well how come your prize asset is selling his butt off selling cereal?'

Spike closed the distance between them and Angel grinned, stepping backwards to the bed.

'You're just after me lucky charms.'

Spike gave a predatory growl.

'Very rural Love, keep that accent up and I'll be shagging you until your lot go through another potato famine.'

Angel kept moving backwards and felt the bedside table against his legs.

'You haven't got the stamina.'

Spike was very close.

'Try me.'

Angel stumbled and sat down.

Right in the middle of the chocolate cake.

'Oh fuck!'

'Language Peaches! You're supposed to say it's magically delicious or something.'

Angel looked up at Spike and frowned.

'I've got chocolate fudge all over my ass and you want me to be a Leprechaun.'

Spike pulled him to his feet and slowly turned him round.

'No ducks. They're a little short for my liking.'

He looked at the chocolate plastered to Angel's firm ass and felt his cock come to full attention. He heard Angel's laugh in his voice.

'I thought I was supposed to be eating you?'

Spike bent to his knees and bite down, nipping the skin.

'Sue me. I've never had Angel cake before, Pet, and I'm not missing the chance now.'

Angel did laugh then, and then cried out as Spike proved that eating like a pig might be bad manners, but it was a hell of a lot better than practicing Miss Manners. As Spike gorged himself on cake and ass, his heart soared and he stopped eating a moment.

'Angel?'

A deep moan.

'Yes, Will?'

'I love you too.'

A low chuckle.

'I know Will, I know.'

Silence.

'And Peaches?'

A slightly more frustrated groan.

'What Will?'

'Can we get sticky toffee pudding next time?'

'Next time? You think I'm sitting in desert again?'

Spike bit down hard on a fleshy cheek, eliciting a wild cry from the dark vampire. He grinned.

'And you say it like it's a problem, Pet.'

Episode 11

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