The Clockwork Vampire


by Spirit




'I need a break.'

It was all Cordelia had been saying this morning and Spike growled and put his head down on Angel's desk. He hadn't healed completely yet, but, tired of the babying he was getting, Spike had made himself get up and move around. Unfortunately, as he didn't want to take on any of the demons who waited for him in the tunnels, he had to stay close to home, which meant, close to the ever active gob of Cordelia.

She was driving him nuts.

'Can't you just read one of your bloody magazines?'

She glared at him.

'What? And read about all the fabulous vacations every one else is taking? No thanks.'

'So, what? You're just going to sit here and mope?'

She didn't answer and instead walked over to the coffee machine and fiddled with the filter. Spike banged his head against the wood, wishing that his sire would turn up with some new Death defying problem. Or Doyle would have a vision, or Wesley would turn up and he could start annoying the Hell out of him.

Anything would do.

Hell, he'd even talk to one of Angel's odious clients.

Just let me get out of here!

Wesley walked to the door, saw Spike's face and turned swiftly on his heel.

Too late.

'Oi, Weasly, get your arse in here.'

Wesley sighed. His shoulders sagged and he turned back to Spike.

'I may be under Angel's employ now, but that doesn't mean you're my superior.'

'Touchy, Pet!' He grinned. 'And anyway, I wouldn't mind being above you.'

Wesley gaped for a moment whilst Spike winked, then closed his mouth.

'You really are.........I haven't a word for what you are, but I shall find one.'

'Vampire, Pet. Usually works.'

Wesley looked at him and shook his head.

'But you don't exactly *do* vampire things.'

Spike morphed and Wesley stepped back, instant terror sweeping his face. It didn't matter that he knew Spike couldn't harm him. Spike gave the impression of being able to cause damage just by thinking about it. And the way Spike thought.........

'Right,' said Wesley sharply, 'Is Angel around? I had a lady phone, not ten minutes ago. She seemed to require his services.'

Spike sat up straight and grinned wickedly. He was feeling a whole lot better now that he knew Weasly was still afraid of him. And the ex-Watcher had just provided him with the perfect opportunity to get away from the whining cow in the office.

He picked up the axe from under the desk, the one that Angel had annoyingly carved SID in the handle and got to his feet. Spike gestured to Wesley.

'Come on then, Pet. Let's go see what the Lady needs.'

Wesley raised his eyebrows alarmingly.

'Oh.........I really don't think that.........'

'What? You don't think I can do what King Pouf does?'

The demon hunter sighed.

'It's not that, Spike. Although.........taking an axe to someone who is already upset may not be quite the right tactic.'

'Then what, Pet?' Wesley sighed again. 'Why on Earth would you want to help anyone?' Spike paused and hefted the axe from one hand to the other. 'Who said I did?' 'Spike?' The blond vampire groaned and looked at the door. Angel stood there, a well packed grocery bag in his hands. Spike could smell the half demon as well, probably behind Angel's bulk. He swung the axe down to the floor and inclined his head, waiting for his lover's tirade. 'What are you doing up here?' 'Bugger all,' said Spike, 'I was bored shitless in bed.' 'You should be resting up. You'll heal quicker if you do.' 'Yeah, but I'll die from the boredom long before that.' Angel shook his head. 'I thought you were playing on your game thingy.' 'Done it.' 'You have not,' came Doyle's voice from behind Angel. 'You definitely didn't finish Soul Reaver.' 'Too bloody right,' said Spike. He hadn't enjoyed that game at all. Stupid bugger was trying to atone for his sins. He had to live with that. He didn't need to pretend. Wesley coughed and they looked at him, whilst he gave a nervous smile. 'Spike and I were discussing a matter which arose.' 'What matter?' asked Angel. 'A Mrs Pearson called - she was most agitated about her son's disappearance. It seems that he was frequenting a group of recreational vampires - something she'd found out after he'd left. And now there's no sign of him.' 'Missing persons?' suggested Doyle. 'Probably nothing we need to deal with at all.' 'Well she seems to think that several other boys have gone missing as well.' 'Runaways?' 'It's possible I suppose, it's certainly the opinion of the police,' said Wesley, 'But when Cordelia and I looked, it seemed that the boys had disappeared on consecutive days.' 'Some Bugger's taking them,' said Spike. 'How old are we talking? Virgin sacrifices?' Wesley shook his head. 'They were all under twenty one, but the youngest was eighteen. And at least three had girlfriends. I find it highly unlikely that........er.........' Angel half-smiled. 'It's okay Wesley, we know what you meant.' 'Quite.' 'How many have gone?' Cordelia brought in the freshly printed sheet. 'Five. All from the same area of town. All members of the same club.' Angel scanned down the list. All good looking, all from good homes, all way too normal to just disappear without trace. He sighed. The vampire thing though, that had to be a part of it. Maybe it wasn't as consensual as these police reports stated. Their investigation had questioned each member, but found nothing out of order. That is, as out of order as anything could be in a club where they drunk blood. Angel could never understand that. Back in Sunnydale they'd all dealt with Ford and his vampire wannabes. He'd known Byron, seen the fascination with the romanticized nosferatu. Their perception of what it was to be a vampire had changed over the years, myths and legends dying out and being replaced by Anne Rice and her ilk. But despite the terrible reality that was his existence, they seemed to think immortality was worth it. These kids.........they didn't have a clue what they were playing with. Dungeons and Dragons this was not. Maybe it was some sex thing, the other attraction of his lifestyle. He remembered how he had been at their age - the only thing that ever passed his mind was getting his leg over. Oh and drinking.........don't forget that. No innocent little virgin he. Perhaps these boys, suckered in by the horrible attraction of the club's promise had been used to fulfil a darker purpose. He looked at Spike, knowing the same thoughts, if not the same feelings, were passing through that unique mind. Spike shrugged and picked the axe back up, slinging it over his shoulder. 'I'll be getting my coat on then.' 'You don't have a coat.' 'Fine! I'm borrowing yours then.' 'It's too big on you.' 'Good job it's not your boxers then, Love, cause they're too tight!' Angel followed the vampire down the stairs. 'Just because you've got a big ass.' 'Big arse! Cheeky Fucker! Course, you talk out of yours most of the time.........' The argument was lost as they entered Angel's living quarters. Wesley sighed and turned to look at Doyle. 'Right then, I suppose you and I should go to the club?' Doyle shrugged. 'Angel calls the shots, man, and I don't think he's all that keen on taking Spike there to Mrs.........' 'Pearson.' 'Right. Anyway, let's just wait until he gets back up here. Okay?' Cordelia huffed. 'Oh please! He's down there now with a very healthy and horny Spike. They haven't done it in days.........' 'How did you.........?' began Doyle, but Cordelia pushed on. '.........and you think they're going to find their coats like good little boys and come straight up here?' 'Well that was rather the idea,' said Wesley. 'Ten minutes before they show their asses again,' finished Cordelia, 'And I'm betting Angel has a hickey the size of a Four cheese Special.' They looked at her and she grinned before sitting back down at her desk and reading through her magazine. Wesley leant over to Doyle and spoke quietly. 'Is it just me, or are you worried about her obsessive interest in their private life?' Doyle grinned and showed Wesley the whiskey bottle in his pocket. 'I don't think about it.' Wesley looked towards the stairs. 'I don't know how you can't.' 'And I thought LA was the party town?' They turned to the dark haired figure at the door. He grinned pleasantly at them and Cordelia leapt to her feet. 'Xander?' The boy smiled and she hugged him excitedly as Doyle and Wesley noted up their chances of Chase snoggage had just gone down. 'God! It's like, so good to see you!' 'You too, Cordy.' He looked up at the men, 'And you two guys.........nice to see you.' He double taked Wesley. 'The Watcher's keeping an eye on souled up vampires now?' Wesley blinked and then resumed his defensive pose. 'I am no longer with the Council Mr. Harris.' 'No? Not too thrilled with the Buffster's decision, huh?' 'On the contrary, I left the council to become.........' 'They fired him and he works for Angel now,' said Cordelia. 'Now tell me why you're here? How is everyone? Did Giles manage to get that bear poop out of the carpet?' Xander held his hand up. 'Slow down there. I think the answers were; the Initiative, hiding and I think Willow worked a spell on it.' 'Huh?' 'Apparently Miss Rosenburg performed a little magical stain removal,' offered Wesley, 'But who are the Initiative? And why would the Slayer be hiding from them?' 'There's this bunch of army guys who've been keeping a tab on the local demon population,' he began, 'And Buffy's been dating one. It seems they weren't too keen on having the Scooby Gang in on the secret.' 'Buffy's dating a soldier?' Xander looked at her. 'You really *have* been away a while.' 'So,' said Doyle, who'd been listening carefully, 'You've run away to hide?' 'Not run away,' corrected Xander. He shrugged, 'More of a prudent way to keep my body in one piece.' 'So you ran to Buffy's ex-boyfriend?' asked Cordelia. 'The guy you nearly staked on,' she paused and raised her eyebrows at him, 'every occasion you saw him?' 'You think he'll still remember that?' Doyle laughed. 'Well he's been fairly.........forgiving, lately.' Cordelia looked at Doyle, then to Wesley's uncomfortable face and then back at Xander. 'Oh that's right, you don't know.' 'Know what?' They heard footsteps on the stairs. 'You can't walk into someone's home with a big axe and expect them to just ignore it.' 'I don't want them to ignore it, Pet. I want them to go "Argh! What a bloody great axe!" And wet their designer pants.' 'We're supposed to help them, Spike, not scare them further.' Xander's mouth dropped open. 'Spike's here?' The trio nodded. He stared at them helplessly as the vampires came into view. 'You know, the army guys don't seem so bad after all.' Spike saw the bewildered boy and grinned. 'Look Pet, the Slayer's boot boy's turned up.' Angel locked gazes with the human. 'Xander? What are doing here?' 'Reliving the worst episodes of the twilight zone.' He picked up his bag and started to back warily out of the door. 'Okay, I'll just be leaving now.........and goodbye.........' Angel walked toward him. 'No look, it's okay.' He furrowed his brow. 'Why *are* you here?' Xander didn't stop his retreat. 'It's okay? Everyone is sitting here like happy little bunnies whilst Spike.........walks towards me with a great big axe!' 'Spike, put it down!' 'It worked! It bloody worked,' said Spike gleefully, putting the axe against the filing cabinet. Xander backed up and hit the wall. 'He does what you ask?' 'Not usually,' admitted Angel, 'But he's not going to hurt you Xander.' 'Angel,' snarled Spike, 'Don't spoil my fun.' 'You're going to stop him?' Xander gasped as a thought occurred to him, 'You're evil again and you've changed everyone into vampires!' Wesley and Doyle stepped very pointedly into the sunlight and Cordelia followed them after a moment. Xander looked from them back to Angel and saw Spike grinning like a loon in the background. 'Okay,' he breathed, 'Not vampires. But he is!' he yelled and pointed at Spike. Angel looked at Cordelia. 'Why *is* he here?' She waved her hands - psht 'Some soldier guys are trying to kill him.' 'Why?' She shrugged, 'They like hunting down demons and the Scooby gang are like excess baggage.' Spike snarled. 'It's those bastards who did me!' 'Huh?' 'Soldier boys? Hunting down demons and taking away their bite? How many of those do you think there are?' Xander stared at him. 'You can't bite?' 'Or beat any humans up, isn't it great?' said Cordelia. Xander blinked at Spike. 'He's harmless?' 'Oi!' Angel nodded and he felt Xander relax a little. Spike scowled at Angel. 'You're always doing that!' 'What? Making sure that people don't stake you accidentally?' Spike growled and moved towards Doyle. The half demon saw the angry look on the vampire's face and decided that he still didn't want to know whether he was human enough to be free from harm. Spike reached toward him and he squeaked. 'Calm down, Irish, I was just after your whisky.' Cordelia raised her eyebrows at Doyle. 'It's just for emergencies, I swear!' 'Yeah, right, Pet. Now pass it here.' Doyle sighed and gave over the bottle. The vampire unscrewed the lid and chugged it back. 'Do you know how much damage.........' began Cordelia, 'Never mind.' Xander uncurled himself from the wall and walked slowly toward Spike. 'If he kills me Buffy's going to be really pissed off.' Spike snarled at the boy and grinned as he jumped. 'And you lot kept spoiling all my plans. How did that happen?' He shook his head. And Xander prodded him. 'Hey!' 'Really Xander,' said Wesley, 'Spike is no longer a threat to humans. In fact,' said Wesley, 'He's been on the side, ha, ha, of the Angels for some time now.' 'Hey!' repeated Spike. 'I never said I was with the good guys.' They all looked at him. He sniffed and swigged back the remnants of the bottle. 'I just happen to want to kill some of the same people is all.' Angel smiled lovingly and Cordelia, realizing what else Xander didn't know, grinned and offered him coffee. 'You don't have soda?' She looked at him. 'No Xander, this place is for grown-ups.' She guided him through to the coffee machine and Spike raised his arms threateningly as Xander walked past. He chuckled as the boy jumped and flung the empty bottle into the bin. 'That cost money, Spike,' moaned Doyle. 'You're gonna have to start buying your own drinkies soon.' Spike just glared at him. Wesley caught Angel's arm. 'Whatever reason Xander has for coming here, we do still have Mrs Pearson to deal with.' Angel nodded. 'Right, so.........' he looked up at the others. 'Doyle, you and Wesley go to Mrs Pearson, try and find out what you can. See if she can introduce you to the other parents. It seems less intrusive that way.' He turned to Spike. 'I'm going to go investigate this club, The.........?' He looked at Wesley, who answered promptly. 'Club Ambrosia.' Angel nodded grimly. 'Food of the Gods, right.' He looked back at his lover. 'I don't want you out there.' 'Try and stop me,' said Spike and moved to get past him. Angel grimaced and twisted the material across the slender back. Spike howled and dropped to the floor. He panted and looked up. 'That was bloody childish.' 'I know,' said Angel, offering his hand. 'But I can't be worrying about you as well.' ''Then don't fucking worry about me,' said Spike, standing up unaided. 'I can't help it,' murmured Angel. He smiled then and Spike's anger died a little, knowing that Angel had done more than enough lately to prove that statement true. He didn't like being coddled, but his back was agony......... 'Fine,' he sniffed, 'I'll stay and entertain the kiddies.' Doyle and Wesley stared at each other a moment, before making their excuses. Which left the two vampires. Spike twitched and took his coat off. 'You can't wrap me in cotton wool, Love.' 'I know,' began Angel, 'And believe me, in a fight, there's no one else I'd rather have by my side. But you can't fight right now.' Spike kicked the axe. 'I saw the carving, you know?' 'SID? Asked Angel with a grin. 'Yeah,' said Spike, 'Just so long as you never tell them wankers what it stands for.' 'I won't,' promised Angel. He turned to go. 'When I get back.........do you want to go and see that film?' 'Maybe Pet.' He grinned wearily, 'Maybe you can put some more of that lotion on my back.' Angel chuckled. 'You liked that?' 'About as much as you like dark corners and self loathing.' 'Hey,' said Angel softly, 'I don't brood that much any more.' 'Sure, Peaches, tell me another one.' 'I don't,' said Angel and turned back to his lover. 'I've got better things to do.' Spike looked into the fathomless eyes and cocked a grin. 'Duty. Lotion. Alabama Fudge cake.' Angel chuckled. 'Do you ever think about anything other than food?' Spike leant forward and bit his sire's lip, before sinking into a deep wet kiss. As Angel's tongue probed, he pushed at it, groaning as his lover's hips ground against his own. They stayed locked for almost a minute before Spike broke it. Angel panted. 'Duty. Lotion. Alabama fudge.' 'Too fucking right mate,' Spike grinned. * 'Did I just see that?' asked Xander, looking through the glass that separated the front office from Angel's station. 'See what?' asked Cordelia. Xander shook his head. 'I think I must have gotten hit on the head.' Cordelia leant past him and watched as Angel stepped away from Spike and walked toward the door. She looked at Xander's dazed expression and grinned. 'I don't see anything strange.' He gawked at her. 'Spike and Angel were.........biting each other?' 'Kissing' 'And you don't think that's strange.' 'Welcome to LA, Xander.' She passed him a mug full of something she claimed was coffee and he sat down in Angel's chair. Spike walked in and smirked as Xander twitched. 'Spike? How come you didn't go with Angel?' He sat on the desk and took off his lover's coat. 'He wouldn't let me go.' Xander sputtered into his coffee. 'You are taking orders from Angel!' 'Am not!' Cordelia raised an eyebrow at him and he shrugged. 'I got burnt, so I can't fight.........yet.' Xander threw his hands up. 'I'm lost. Buffy's dating someone who's friends want us dead.........again. Anya left at the first sign of trouble.........again. Cordy's a receptionist. Wesley works for Angel and you.........you are.........' 'Still dead, Pet?' mused Spike. 'Yes!' said Xander, 'No! That wasn't what I meant!' 'Well what did you mean?' Xander took a deep breath. 'Gay.........you and Angel.........gay.' Spike looked at Cordelia. 'Perceptive little bugger ain't he?' Xander leant on the desk, his head in his hands. 'I'm cursed. It's gotta be. Yeah, cursed. That would explain the last three.........no, that would explain my *whole* life.' Spike shrugged and walked over to the monitor. 'Come on then Love, tell uncle Spike where this club is.' Cordelia clicked on the address. 'There. I think I've seen it, it's next to 'Curl up and Dye'.' 'Your hairdresser's?' She looked at him. 'Okay, fine, not your hairdresser's.' He looked at the screen 'Right, print that out, Pet.' She hit the button before realizing she was obeying Spike. 'I'm not your slave, okay? You have to say please. Anyway, why do you want it? Angel said you couldn't go.' Spike pulled the over sized duster back on. 'This club takes young blokes?' 'Yeah?' The vampire grinned and grabbed Xander by the arm. 'Hey!' 'I say we go take them one!' Cordelia shook her head. 'Angel's not going to be happy.' 'What about me, hello? Just walked out of a life-threatening situation! Not happy with the going with Spike thing.' 'Shut up,' said Spike to Xander, then let go as the boy started struggling. 'Look, Angel's going to ask questions, but I don't see him getting much out of them, Pet. What we need is an insider, someone we can follow when they kill him.' 'Kill him? Me?' Xander got to his feet and picked his bag back up. 'I'm gonna go take my chances with Initiative.' 'Xander.........wait,' said Cordelia, and caught him by the arm. 'Weird as it sounds, Spike might be right.' 'About killing me?' She shook her head. 'About needing an insider. You've done it before - the swim team.........and that was okay.' He glared at her. 'I nearly became Fish Boy,' he shook his head, 'No, I'm not doing it.' She sighed. 'Why did you come *here*?' 'To tell Angel what was going on back in Sunnydale, about Buffy's new boyfriend,' he half smiled, 'oh and about the bad stuff too.' Spike snorted. 'You wanted to rub his nose in it.' Xander shrugged. 'Well, maybe a little,' he shrugged, 'But this Initiative thing's got us all spooked.' 'But you wanted to talk to Angel, right?' Xander nodded and Spike grinned at him. 'Well guess what, Peaches, Soul boy's at this club, and he's not going to be able to help you lot until he's cleared that up.' 'Oh no.........' said Xander, closing his eyes. 'Oh yeah,' said Cordelia. He opened them again. 'I don't have a choice here, do I?' They shook their heads. 'Right, Okay, good, glad I'm clear on that then.' He sighed. 'Okay Spike, take me to the slaughter.' 'Only in my dreams, Pet.'

*



I am in a car with a vampire. No. I got willingly in a car with a vampire. Still not right. I got willing in a car with Spike and he hasn't tried to bite me. Yet. Spike was routing through the glove box and trying to find something decent to play on the tape deck. He tossed out all of Angel's classical collection onto Xander's lap and scrabbled at the back, wondering if Angel had thrown out his 'Hard Metal' and hoped he wouldn't notice. Nothing. 'He bloody has!' 'Has what!' asked Xander in a voice that was trying hard not be hysterical. Trying, but so far - D minus. 'Thrown my music away!' Xander picked up the tape collection on his lap and looked at them. Amongst the Mozart and Beethoven, there was one labelled Leather and Lace, with no mention of Eine Kleine Nacht Musik anywhere. 'Is this it?' asked Xander, holding up the cassette. 'Yeah! Ta, Pet.' Spike thrust the tape in the machine and immediately the speakers by Xander's ears leapt in to life, deafening him in one guitar riff. 'Do you have to play it so loud?' Spike ignored him and Xander wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. His brain kept reminding his mouth that this vampire wasn't exactly known for his patience and to basically keep quiet, but Xander hadn't got where he was in life by thinking about what he said. And where had he got in life? Sitting in a car on the way to some human sacrifice with a gay vampire who played Hard Rock way too loud. Okay, point made. Mouth closing now. He looked over at Spike. Xander couldn't quite get to grips with the idea of Spike on the side of good. Admittedly, the vampire hadn't claimed to be one of the virtuous, had in fact denied it vehemently, but he hadn't attacked Xander at all, and Cordelia and the others acted as though he was one of them. And there was that whole Angel in major smoochies with Spike thing. Yeah. Xander wasn't homophobic or anything. He was quite cool with guys walking out with.........other guys. Look at Larry. Uptight fart until he came out and now he was quite the relaxed and groovy man. He'd always respected people's right to choose, and although he had that thing where he wondered if Larry was hot for him, the whole world could be gay for all Xander cared. Hmmm Well, make that all the males in the world could be gay. Women still held an attraction for the boy. Spike was singing along with the music now, and, Xander was surprised to see, looking quite laid back and happy. He was fairly sure that all the vampires he'd known, Angel excluded, had only got those big smiles under three circumstances - killing, maiming and generally causing mayhem. But Spike was sitting in the car with him, going to do something which, whether he admitted it or not, was on the good side of the fight. And that was something Xander would have bet his.........well, he didn't have much but, he would have bet it, whatever it was, against it happening. Spike being the good guy, that was. That kiss.........if he'd only known years ago that the way to get Angel to leave Buffy alone was to present him with a naked Spike he would have done it. Wrapped him in a big pink, no, strike that, black bow and said, 'There you are. One Spike to go!' and watched briefly as the pair skipped blissfully out of Sunnydale and away from the object of Xander's affection. Problem was that now, Xander just didn't feel that way about Buffy any more. Sure, he thought about her in that part of his brain labelled 'Never tell anyone fantasies', but they were buds, and he wasn't interested in risking that any more. He wondered how she'd feel about Angel's new love interest. He wondered if she even knew he dabbled that side of the track. 'Peaches?' Xander shook his head. 'What?' Spike chuckled and reached in his pocket for a smoke. 'You're either trying squeeze out a fart or you're thinking.' 'I didn't fart.........I,' began Xander, wondering if asking Vampires about their sex lives was considered rude. 'Let me guess, Love,' grinned Spike, 'You were wondering about the pouf and me.' Apparently not. 'It had.........crossed my mind. Along with whether I'm going to get out of this car a corpse.' Spike snorted and took a left. 'Look, Pet. Much as I'd like you and the rest of the Slayer's little team served up at a banquet with a nice bit of mint sauce, it isn't happening. I can't bite humans.' 'Well that's a relief,' said Xander, suddenly imagining being main course, 'I think.' Spike nodded and looked at the print out Cordelia had given him. He didn't slow down whilst he looked at the paper and Xander was glad the street was relatively quiet. When Spike had his attention back on the road, Xander thought of something. 'You said the Initiative did something to you.' 'Yeah,' nodded Spike, 'They put some bloody chip in my head or something.' 'What does it do?' Spike sniffed and pulled the car over to the curb, mounting it without any concern for Angel's newly acquired tyres. 'Every time I go to bite or kick the shit out of a human, I get these big steaming head aches.' 'Oh,' said Xander. 'That's got to be annoying.' 'Too bloody right,' said Spike, climbing out of the car and picking up the axe in the back seat. 'The number of times I've wanted to knock off that silly bint back at the office.........Here it is.' 'What?' 'The club, Pet. Now come on, look appetising.' Xander climbed reluctantly out of the car and ran a hand through his tumbling brown hair. He looked up at the building - it didn't look like a vampire's hang out. At least, it didn't look like any of the vampire hang outs he'd been to. There was a hairdressers on one side and a seedy looking bar on the other. Now that place, Xander admitted, that place looked like a vamp hang out. The brightly painted door with the 'Everyone Welcome' sign, wasn't what he expected at all. 'Are they just the most polite blood suckers you've met or is it just me?' 'Just get in there.' Xander pushed open the door, and instead of the gloomy reddish lighting he was expecting, had to blink at the ferocity of the lights. He paused before venturing towards the stairs, but as Spike prodded him with the butt end of the axe, he got his feet a moving. 'You don't have to push, okay?' 'Just go, Pet.' 'All right, I'm going!' Spike looked at the pictures that lined the stairwell. Whatever he'd said earlier, Xander was right, vampires didn't tend to put fluffy prints along their walls. He'd had a picture of a cat once, but a few happy moments with a red pen and some black paint had changed it to something more appealing. Even Angel and his souled up spirit wasn't all that keen on these pretty pictures. Did this lot really want to be vampires? They reached a similarly painted door and Xander hesitated before opening it. 'Why am I getting gingerbread house out of this whole thing?' 'Scared of the wicked witch, Pet?' 'No, I'm scared of vampires with Welcome Mats.' Spike looked down. A home sweet home sign wasn't exactly what he'd been looking for. He pushed past Xander and opened the door. 'Bugger me!' The room beyond was decorated in similar pastels as above, sofas slung all along its length, draped with soft cushions and prints. There was a lemony smell to the air and Xander thought for a second that he was back at his grandmothers, so pleasantly bland was the décor. Then he saw the couple sitting in front of him with the syringes and the fantasy dissipated. Spike looked around the room and noticed two things. There were about thirty or so people in the room, all of them male. Angel was standing at the bar, talking to a young guy who was giving off obvious signals. Spike couldn't blame him totally, Angel was a babe by anyone's definition. But seeing someone else trying to lay hands on his lover brought him dangerously close to game face. Xander couldn't tear his eyes away from the couple in front of him. They drew blood from each other, kissing and groping as the intimate withdrawals were made. As the syringes grew full, they filled the crystalline glasses on the table and linked arms, drinking down the red liquid with little sighs and moans. 'Okay, now that is the grossest thing I've seen in a long while.' 'Nah,' said Spike, 'You haven't watched Wesley eat spaghetti.' The host walked up to the dazed pair with an ingratiating smile. 'Welcome to Club Ambrosia. If you would like to follow me to the office, we can provide you with all the equipment you might require.' 'Equipment?' gagged Xander and Spike discreetly hooked the axe under his coat, cursing at the propriety that Angel had forced on him. He grabbed the boy's hand and winked at the owner. 'He's just a bit shy at this.' 'Shy? I'm not shy! I just don't want to.........' '.........Feel like a newbie.' The owner nodded and gestured towards his office. Spike pulled Xander along and hoped that the boy wouldn't struggle. He didn't want to have one of those agonising headaches in here. Xander let the vampire pull him along and stared, unabashed at the nice, ordinary men who just happened to drink each others blood. Eww! He was suddenly aware that he was holding Spike's hand and tried to let go, but the vampire's grip was too strong. Spike looked back at him and Xander gestured towards his wrist. The vampire sighed and let go, shrugging at the host as he opened the door to the office. 'Kids, huh?' 'Right,' said the Host. 'Can't live without them.' * 'What can I say? Some guys come for the blood, some for the action and there's a guy over there,' pointed out Angel's new friend, 'Who just comes for the late night TV.' Angel laughed and sipped his drink. It was only water - he couldn't risk going vamp amongst this lot. He had too much to deal with first. 'So the guys who went missing? Did they all hang together.........ah?' 'Mike.' 'Mike, right. So, did they?' Mike shook his head, smiling inwardly at Angel's lean hips and broad shoulders. Didn't usually catch one in here *that* tasty. He looked back up to the vampire's face. 'Nah, they came here together, but once they were inside, they kind of mixed it up.' 'So they knew each other outside the club?' Mike nodded. 'Pete, he was the one who came here most often, but the others soon followed. They were kind of young though. Larson was a bit wary of that.' 'Larson, the host?' Mike nodded. 'Yeah, he's trying to create a nice atmosphere here and he thought they might rough it up. It's okay, I guess,' Mike shrugged, 'Most of the guys here are up for a little fun, but Pete was way into the blood scene.' He leaned forward, breathing in Angel's musky scent. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a taste of this one! 'Larson told me that he only used the vampire thing to make the club sound more interesting. Personally, I'm not all that keen on wannabe blood suckers.' 'Me either,' admitted Angel. 'So.........how many people come here to share blood?' Mike looked around. 'Well, I'd say that we had about 70, maybe eighty members and a little under a third bring their syringes.' 'Pete and James Pearson among them?' Mike nodded. 'Yeah, they were more keen on that than finding someone to take home. Then again, they didn't look old enough to *have* their own home.' He laughed and Angel joined in. Mike wasn't a bad guy and, despite the knowledge that he was trying to get in Angel's pants, he'd seemed quite open. In fact, everyone he'd spoken to, including Larson, had seemed like nice people. A little camp maybe, but not the kind of people who'd kidnap young men. He turned back to Mike. 'So were they in here the day James disappeared?' Mike nodded. 'They all came in together that day. Pete was acting all cocky. Said he had something big planned. That he'd be making it big time and he'd soon be lording it over all us losers.' 'Not a nice guy.' 'Not that day. When we heard that he and the other guys had gone missing, I can't say many people were sorry.' 'I bet,' said Angel. Then he spotted something. 'Would you excuse me?' 'Sure,' said Mike and looked where Angel was headed. Larson had just stepped out of the office with a nervous looking young man and a slightly older well-defined peroxide blond. Angel glared at the older man and Mike sighed. Never got *that* lucky. Spike spotted his lover and grinned. Angel's scowl answered him and Spike wondered whether the vampire would admit to knowing him, or let Spike go on with his charade. Angel walked straight past him to Larson, casting a lascivious eye over his lover. 'So, Larson, I see I'm not the only one intrigued enough to come here today.' 'Indeed,' said the plump owner. 'Mr Harris and Mr Jennings are deciding whether Ambrosia is the venue for them.' 'Really?' said Angel huskily, turning his gaze to Spike, 'Perhaps you can show us all the bed chambers you told me about earlier?' Xander stared at his feet, the contents of Larson's office freaking him out in ways he hadn't quite envisioned yet. He was vaguely aware that Angel had joined them and was acting like stud of the month. But he really didn't want to see that. He was still coming to terms with the knowledge that, within three hours, he'd left his home, come to LA and was now in some kind of Psycho gay bar, where Angel was arranging a threesome. He looked up at Spike briefly to see the wicked grin etched across his face. He didn't come here for the greater good, he told himself. He came here to shock me to death, so that he could feed from my corpse! 'Um, guys?' said Xander, 'I don't.........' 'Know if the rooms are big enough, for three people.' Larson laughed. 'On the contrary, we have certain bedchambers able to host an army, should that be your taste.' Spike sniggered and Angel ran one hand up Spike's arm. 'I think three will be sufficient.........tonight.' Larson laughed in what Xander assumed to be a conspirational way. He felt as though the fat man was about two skips away from ruffling his hair and saying what a good boy he was. Xander didn't really care to find out what kind of boy Larson thought he was. Ironic though it seemed, he felt safer going into a locked room with the vampires than spending time in the bar with their host. Something about that jovial manner just didn't sit right. Hey, thought Xander, I'm investigating, I'm making conclusions. Okay, that's good, that's kind of helpful even. So, okay, what conclusions have I come to? Larson is a big fat fart and his taste in sex toys scares the shit out of me. Okay, not exactly helpful to finding out what happened to Mrs Pearson's son, but at least I've got an add on to 'Xander's list of terrifying things'. Oh, and you can also add on the scary that I'm actually choosing to go into a room with Spike and Angel. Don't think the brain can actually cope with that one. He was being edged towards the corridor at the back of the club. Larson leading the way and talking jovially about en suite televisions and various provisions by the bed available for an extra fee. Angel was making a good job of that stud role. He kept grinning in a way Xander hadn't seen in.........well, ever. Perhaps Spike was having an effect on Dead Boy as well. 'And this is our King Suite,' said Larson, 'It is payable by the hour, rather than the night. This is, after all, not a hotel.' He smiled and Angel withdrew his wallet. 'I'll take it for,' he turned and looked both Spike and Xander up and down, 'A couple of hours?' Spike grinned. 'Three, Pet.' Angel nodded and turned back to Larson. 'Three hours then.' Larson took the money off the vampire and pointed to the side cupboard by the bed. 'There's some good stuff in there, but as I said, it is extra.' Angel dropped a further twenty into Larson's outstretched palm. 'Okay, I'll just leave you gentlemen to your, ah, pleasure.' The fat host gave Xander one more frank appraisal and hurried back into his club. Spike sat down on the bed and pulled a bottle of vodka out of the drawer. Xander loped reluctantly to the chair and sat down, hoping like mad that the remnants of his dignity would not be shed over a His and His Bedspread. Angel locked the door and turned back to them both. 'What the Hell are you doing here!' Spike just grinned and swigged from the bottle. 'Take it easy, Peaches. The kid and me came up with a better plan.' He stuck out his tongue and Angel, despite the stupidity of the situation felt a stirring in his far too tight leather pants. Damn Spike and his bloody, irresistible charm. He doesn't have to do anything and I'm practically gagging for it. Okay, be calm, he said he had a plan. Doesn't sound likely though, his plans tend to be well thought out and then blown utterly (blown.........now there's a thought.........stop, stop! No!) because he doesn't have a patient bone in his body. Ah and what a body.........okay, stop, think, ask about the plan. 'What plan?' Xander looked up from the floor and smiled uncomfortably at Angel. 'The one where I get to be a human sacrifice.' 'Oh that plan,' said Angel, 'Now why didn't I think of that?' Spike chuckled and Xander stood up. 'Okay, you've had your fun, and played how well can Xander humiliate himself and I'm done now. Had enough. So I'll just go, I'll leave you both to your little vampire sex games.........or whatever.' Angel shook his head. 'I'm sorry Xander, Spike shouldn't have brought you here.' 'Thank you,' said Xander, relieved, 'Now about the going.........' 'But he does have a point.' Xander groaned. 'Does everything have to come to a point?' 'Well you sure as hell never do,' said Spike. 'I brought him along, Peaches, because he's the right age.........' 'To stay alive, remember that!' '.........and he's the sort of cute assed virgin these guys go for.' 'I am not a virgin!' protested Xander. They looked at him. 'Okay,' said Xander slowly, 'Not, I admit, something important here, but I don't want to be bait, guys. I'm done with being spare victim.' 'Buffy had you down as monster bribe, huh?' Xander nodded. 'I just came here for a few days, without that whole people trying to kill me thing and look!' The vampires looked at him. 'And okay, people aren't trying to kill me.........yet.' Spike passed the vodka over to Xander. 'Drink some of this mate. Peaches here isn't about to let anyone mark your shiny hide.' Xander picked up the bottle and drank deeply. 'Haztafigl!' Spike nodded. 'Good stuff, ain't it?' Xander inclined his head. It was alcohol, all the same to him, and it had no effect.........who was he trying to kid? He felt woozy after one glass and he'd just slurped.........he looked at the bottle.........okay, some, was a good word. Too much was probably more accurate. He had to go pee. 'Xander?' asked Angel. 'Are you okay?' 'Pee,' said Xander, "I gotta, go.........' Spike gestured to the bathroom door. 'Take your time, Pet.' Xander stumbled into the bathroom and locked the door. Spike turned back to Angel, who shook his head. 'If this gets dangerous, you can't fight, and I don't know if I'll be able to save your ass.' Spike snorted. 'You've seen this ass, right, Pet? There's no way in Hell you'd let anything happen to it!' True, thought Angel, but he doesn't have to be so right all the time. 'Look, Love,' said Spike, 'Pretty as you are, you're just a touch old for these boys tastes. Xander there is what they're after.' 'We don't know if they're after anything,' pointed out Angel. 'They seem above board.' 'Oh yeah? They didn't even ask Xander's age back there.' 'So?' 'Oh come on, Pet. This club has organised blood sharing which is,' he said, searching for a new bottle, 'an over twenty one activity.' 'Hmm,' said Angel, sitting down on the bed. Spike knelt down in front of him and grinned. 'What?' The blond vampire took a swig of the new bottle and leant forward, his lips a hairs breadth away from Angel's. before he could kiss him, Angel pulled back a little, looking at the bathroom door. 'Xander's in there.' Spike swallowed and grinned. 'Right, Pet, so let's not waste any time.' Angel frowned and Spike ran his long fingers over the lines on his forehead, smoothing them out. 'We're here on business, Spike.' 'Right,' said the vampire and started to trail his hands down to the collar of Angel's sweater. Angel moaned quietly and tilted his head, unconsciously offering his neck to his childe. Spike grinned and bent his mouth to the veins. 'Will.........we can't.........' Spike bit down hard and felt the skin part beneath his teeth. 'Xander.........' '.........can bloody join in if he wants, now just moan a lot and let old Spike take care of you.' Angel giggled. 'I'm older than you.' 'Duh!' Spike licked at the wound and moved his hands to Angel's belt. His nimble fingers unfastened it and he grinned as Angel leaned back. The warmth of the blood he'd tasted in his lover's neck was throbbing in him and he could feel the gentle pulse of Angel's cock beneath his fingers. He bit down again, feeling rather than hearing Angel moan, and as the blood seeped into his throat, he pulled the zipper down and freed the throbbing erection. 'Oh.........Will.........' Spike growled against his sire's neck and drank more fiercely, aware that the hard cock in his hand was beating to the same rhythm as his sucking. When he felt Angel's hands creep to his shoulders, he drew away from the wound and sat back on his knees. 'Let's get some of those clothes off,' said Angel, with a grin he only used for sex. Spike laughed and lifted his arms, letting Angel pull the black T-shirt from his body. Angel tossed it backwards onto the bed and stood up, lifting Spike and sitting him on the soft mattress, which was indeed, big enough for an army. As long as it was a small army, Spike thought, a small squad or something. But still, it's a big fucking bed. He heard the soft swish of fabric, and when he looked, Angel's pants were round his ankles and there was a hard cock in his face. He looked up at Angel's strained face and thought how much he had changed since those precarious days when he'd first arrived. 'Bossy fucker aren't you?' Angel laughed and urged his hips towards Spike's educated mouth. 'I paid for a full three hours, don't you think I want something other than Xander's use of toilet paper out of it?' 'Yeah, Pet? And here was me thinking you were after him for other stuff.' 'Xander? Nah, he doesn't have your.........qualities.' Spike grinned and licked the glistening tip of Angel's cock. 'And what qualities are those then?' Angel moaned. 'That you don't shut up even when I have my cock in your mouth.' Spike slid his mouth down the long length and then back off again, to Angel's twitching approval. 'Oh I bet Xander wouldn't be quiet either, Pet. He's got a big gob on him. Maybe that's why he and little Miss Blabbermouth back at the office got together.' Angel curled his fingers in Spike's hair. 'Just suck me.........please?' Spike winked at him. 'Anything you say, Pet.' He slipped his mouth over the head and started a teasing, flickering pattern with his tongue, feeling Angel twitch and buck as he hit a new sensitive spot. As Angel's hand tightened in his hair, the other slipped to the back of Spike's neck and pulled, wanting more, needing to be deeper. The blond head suckled and Angel hissed in pleasure as his cock disappeared down the welcoming throat, thrusting with abandon as the tongue still strayed over his shaft. Bucking with a fury, Angel promised himself that he'd repay the favour, that he'd let Spike fuck him until the younger vampire had his fill. That he wanted to feel the slender body against his own, the touch of his lover's skin and oh................God, he's good at this.........he's so.........fucking........good and I..........can't take much.........more......... He yelled as he spilled deep in Spike's throat and thrust forward hard as the last of his orgasm left his body. Panting hard, he stroked his lover's hair as the throbbing left, offering a quite prayer to the Powers that Be, that he had this. Angel slid out of Spike's mouth with a final moan and nearly laughed at how good he felt. Spike grinned. 'You're one noisy bugger when you cum!' 'Yeah,' panted Angel, 'You make me that way.' 'Sweet,' said Spike, 'Now how do you feel about.........' There was a noisy yell from the bathroom. 'Shit! Xander! I forgot about him!' Spike stood up and rattled the bathroom door - it was locked. 'That was the idea, Pet.' Angel tried to pull his pants back up with fingers that quivered. He couldn't do it - his body was still shuddering from climax. He gestured to Spike. 'Open the door!' 'It's locked.' Xander yelled again. 'Break it!' Spike grinned. They'd save the boy, break the door and Angel couldn't pull his pants up. Add in a bottle of vodka and a good shag and this went down on his 'greatest days ever' list. 'Hang on, Pet, we're coming!' 'That's not what I'm afraid of!' was the reply from behind the door. 'Get in here, now!' Spike chuckled and broke the lock. 'Isn't he cute when he's afraid?'

Continued

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