* Megan and Wesley stood at the door, waiting for the car. 'I'll miss you,' he said tenderly. 'I know,' she grinned. 'But I'll come back, and there's this thing called a plane. You can come see me, you know?' He nodded. 'I know.' She sighed and pulled him into her arms, nuzzling into his neck. 'Megan, I.........' he stopped, 'No, I'm sorry, you were saying.' She shook her head. 'No I wasn't.' She leant up and kissed him passionately on the lips, teasing him, making the Englishman want to throw caution to the wind and have everything in a moment. 'I love you,' he murmured against her ear. She snorted and Wesley looked at her. 'Was that funny?' Megan nodded. 'Oh yeah, cause I knew that.' 'Oh,' said Wesley confused, 'Oh.' She grinned. 'Very eloquent.' He paused a minute and then snagged. 'That wasn't what you wanted to hear, was it?' She kissed him again. 'Well I was kind of hoping you'd say you'd come over and see me and we can try out that whip cream thing Spike was talking about, but it'll do.' Wesley smiled softly and lifted her bruised fingers to his lips, kissing them gently. 'Well as long as it hasn't put you off.' She shook her head. 'Can't think of anything that would do that.' The car horn beeped and she picked up her bag. 'I have to.........go.' 'Oh, right,' said Wesley, looking out. 'So, I'll see you?' 'Yup.' Spike walked up to the doorway and stood next to Wesley. 'She off then?' Wesley nodded, watching as Megan approached the car. 'Yes.' Spike looked at him a moment and read the stress in his face. 'Oh for Gods sake, just go with her!' 'Hmm?' Spike gestured to the car. 'Go to England. Go have a fortnight's shagging or something.' Wesley turned, ready to tell him that it wasn't practical, that he hadn't got the money, that it wasn't that simple. But then he thought about Angel and whatever it had cost him to release Angellus in the Ring. Nothing was that simple, except when it was. 'Right,' he said. 'Tell Angel I'll be back in a couple of weeks.' He grinned in the dark and ran out after his girlfriend. Spike watched them leave and headed back inside, to where his lover was sleeping fitfully on the sofa. They'd only been back a couple of hours, but Angel had lain down, Spike pressed against his chest and slept, worn out from the events of the previous day. Spike had smelt Cribb all over him and from the way he flinched, he could only guess what else had gone on. Bullshit. He could tell what had happened and when he'd made sure Angel was well again, he'd find Cribb and kill the pointless little fucker. And Angel wasn't talking about it, which disturbed him more than anything. It was his fault, he guessed. His fault that Cribb had gone after Angel in the first place and nothing Spike could do would apologise for that. If he'd actually finished him off in the tunnels, none of this would be happening. Angel wouldn't be lying here, stinking of sweat and cum, too worn out to even shower off the smell of the demon who'd raped him. Spike closed his eyes against that. He couldn't change the past, he wouldn't even know how to start. He could only do what he could in the present, try to make it easier on his lover. Angel shifted uncomfortably on the sofa and Spike moved next to him, hearing the vampire whimper in his sleep. He picked him up and carried him to the bed, covering him with the blanket and shrugging off his own clothes. He left Angel dressed, unwilling to see the damage Cribb had wrought, smelling it all the same. As his arms moved round Angel's shoulders, the vampire pressed back against him, finding the comfort in sleep he didn't seek whilst he was awake. Spike held him tight, a single tear creasing his cheek, grateful for this small mercy. That Angel still loved him. He bent his mouth to Angel's ear, kissing over the healing wound. 'I'll never leave you,' he whispered. There was a twitch of a smile on the sleeping vampire's lips and Spike felt the knot around his heart lessen. There was something else he wanted to say. 'I love you, Angel,' he murmured and sank against the pillow, keeping guard against the demons that warred against them. *
'What's this?' Angel looked at the sponge cake in front of him. In the past, Spike had brought home various deserts and shown him how they could be put to better use, but this one didn't look as though it came in that category. It was simple sponge cake with a lemon drizzle frosting and didn't look to have any slippery bonuses at all. And the bits of lemon and lime rind that Angel could see only looked as though they might get in uncomfortable places. Spike lit one up and sat down next to Angel at the kitchen table. 'It's a lemon and lime cake.' 'So I see. Why've you brought it home?' Spike blew the smoke out and chuckled. 'Cause they'd get pissed off if we ate it in the shop. Have a slice, Pet.' He picked up the cake slice, which in itself was disturbing to Angel - Spike didn't bother much with cutlery at all and when he did it was usually to make some threat with the knife - and cut a huge chunk from the cake, offering it to his lover. Angel just looked at it for a moment before taking it in his hands. He didn't eat it though, waiting to find out what Spike had in mind, what dirty thoughts were forming in his delicious British mind. 'You gonna wait for it to go mouldy, Love?' Angel looked at him, confused. 'I thought that you.........' he stopped as he realised that a cake was all that this was. Spike didn't have any ulterior motives with it at all. In fact, Spike had done little more than hold him these past few days. He'd taken it for granted, Spike's consideration, needing the space, the time to recuperate from.........that, so he'd accepted the tenderness from the vampire easily. He'd told Spike that he'd taken a lot of punishment from the fight, and needed some time to recover. Spike, the usual victim in these cases, had laughed and called him a poof, but been surprisingly helpful and considerate. Of course, he'd sworn like a trooper when Angel had asked him to go out and buy things, still unhappy with the idea of parting with his money. Angel had pointed out that it wasn't Spike's money he'd be parting with, and the vampire had growled softly and left. He'd returned with Angel's shopping, a huge packet of fags, beer and this cake. Angel's strength had been returning to him, and he was aware that he'd healed elsewhere as well. When Spike had been out, the vampire had taken the opportunity for a hot bath, relishing the warmth, feeling the steam clear his mind. What had happened......... He knew that Cribb's attack had been due to Spike in some way. He'd guessed, quite accurately, that Cribb had been one of the demons Spike had taken his energy out on in the tunnels, and that the demon had been anxious to deliver some payback. He was, in spite of the situation, impressed with his lover that he'd been able to deliver any damage to Cribb. He was big mean demon with strength that rivalled Angel's own. Spike, though powerful, was not a match for Angellus' cunning and cruelty. Besting Cribb must have come on a really rough day for the vampire. But the consequences of that action were severe. Angel wanted to forget about it, to push it from his mind and tell himself that it didn't matter. Physically, he'd suffered much worse over the years. Hell was a particularly fine example of things that suck your brains out and tear at your insides, but Angel was beginning to feel that it didn't come close to this. He didn't blame Spike for the act. The vampire had sacrificed a lot by staying with him, acts and emotions that neither spoke of. Knowing that if he returned to Sunnydale, he might find a way to remove the chip from his head was something that Angel thought about frequently. Both vampires knew that such an event might be the end of them and if Spike began killing again, one of them would end up dust. So because he'd taken his pent up aggression to the tunnels, Angel was thankful, despite the couple of near misses it had wrought. Spike was no longer just his bed mate, he was one of them, a part of the team. He'd laughed a moment in the bath, sending ripples through the water, watching as the bubbles coated his skin. And then he'd thought of Cribb and his usual watery habitat and the water hadn't seemed so welcoming after all. Sitting at the kitchen table with a towel wrapped round his waist, Angel had allowed himself to think about Sunnydale, and the occupants he had once cared for. Xander had nicknamed them the Scooby gang, though which member he considered himself was never clear. He'd watched precious little television in his existence, but Willow had taken time out one evening to point out to the vampire what Xander was talking about. He'd watched the whole show, smiling as he finally understood what Xander had been rattling on about, seeing each character come to life. There had been a role there for everyone, including the annoying nephew and the laid back cousin, (though he suspected that Oz as Scooby Dum was stretching the point a little). And he had been Shaggy, or so Willow implied. At least they got the appetite right, he'd mused, and the fear. I bet there wasn't an episode where Shaggy lost his soul and started trying to eat the rest of the gang. I bet he never tortured Scooby. So he was no longer a part of that life. No longer part of that gang, his role filled by some guy who wouldn't flip out if he got close to Buffy. Someone normal, who could give her a normal life, with normal sex and normal, mundane, average love. He wouldn't trade Spike in for the world. What he wanted now, was to be able to make love to the man without Cribb haunting his thoughts. He'd thought that it would be okay, knowing that this had been done to him before, that he'd been forced into sex more times than he ever wanted to recount. He never even thought about the brief days he'd spent with the Master. Nothing, not even Hell had been as brutal as that. Angel wanted to relax in their bed, feel Spike's straying fingers creep up and down his spine, teasing him until he could bear it no more and then.........
.........Angel shuddered and any semblance of arousal disappeared in seconds. He needed to know if that was going to happen in reality, but Spike hadn't been near him. Not like that. 'Oi, you great Poof!' Angel shook his head and looked up at Spike. The clarity of those blue eyes was inescapable, Angel could read his soul in their embrace. He reflected in no mirror, their once silver backing rejecting the impurity of his existence, but the brief glances he'd had of himself had come from the impressions of those he affected. Buffy's had been misguided, a belief in something he could never be, perfection in his dark, beautiful form. But Spike never offered any soothing lies, giving him his flawed reflection without any pretence. And Spike loved him anyway. The vampire regarded his lover a moment, reading the impression in that gaze. 'You know,' he almost whispered. Spike seemed to hesitate a moment, then nodded. 'How?' Spike stubbed out his cigarette and walked to the fridge, bringing a couple of beers back to Angel. As he opened them both and passed one to Angel, the older vampire guessed that he was actually thinking about what he wanted to say and it touched him deeply. Spike was many things, but he wouldn't lie to save your feelings. That he was trying for some subtlety at all only reassured Angel of the depth of Spike's emotions. 'You don't let Angellus out. Ever.' Angel nodded and watched as Spike took a big swig. 'I recognised Cribb, saw you fight him and I knew something had happened.' 'He could have just fought me,' managed Angel. 'How.........?' 'I smelt it on you,' said Spike simply. 'I smelt that little pisser on your body and you let Angellus out.' He drank again, but Angel had heard his voice crack. This was the bottom, this was where you knew what was what and how things worked out. Angel had heard the English vampire break twice - when Dru had abandoned him and when he'd told him, so long ago, that vampires don't love. He'd lied then. He was damned if he lied now. 'He wanted to hurt you, Spike. Give you payback.' 'Then he should have taken it out of me!' Angel almost laughed. 'Doesn't work like that. I was there, you weren't.' Spike drank from the bottle, nearly finishing it. 'It's so fucking stupid.........I beat him up, he shouldn't.........He could have come after me, I would finished the fucker off.........I would have.........' Angel put his hand on Spike's shoulder, sliding it up to his neck and pulling him close, his forehead touching that of his childe. 'I'm so sorry, Angel,' Spike breathed, 'I.........' 'No!' The scream tore through Angel's body. Spike sat backwards and watched as Angel leapt to his feet, angry as Hell and not about to spare feelings. 'You didn't cause this!' 'I beat him up. I should have.........' Angel grabbed him by the neck and lifted him up. 'You're always telling me to live in the present. What's done is done.' Spike stared out the vampire. 'This is different.' Angel shook his head. 'How, Will? How is this different?' Spike paused a second, Angel's blazing eyes needing something, needing him to take this away. 'Because it's you,' he whispered. Angel dropped his hold and stepped back, hands dropping to his side, the fight knocked out of him. He banged against the table and his eyes dropped to the floor. Spike moved to him, for once his perception gone, not knowing what he could do to make this.........different. 'I'm so sorry, Love.' Angel's arms moved to hold him and Spike sank willingly into the vampire's embrace. He moved his hands up to stroke Angel's back, feeling the older vampire shudder as Spike rested his head on his shoulders. The first of many tears slid down Angel's face and pooled in the hollow of Spike's neck, the younger vampire willing with his entire body, his entire being that he could take this back, change the past, do something to right this wrong. He couldn't. But he could change the future. 'Angel,' he whispered, then heard the weakness in his voice. He had to be strong now. 'Angel?' 'Yeah,' came the breathy response. Spike paused a moment, thinking of the gravity of what he was about to suggest. He didn't want Angel to believe it was something just to make him feel better. He didn't want Angel to connect this with Cribb.........But if he didn't ask him now, he didn't know if he ever would. 'You remember that ritual I told you about, Pet?' Angel sniffed and rubbed his face against Spike's hair. 'Which one? Not the hypnotism thing for humans?' Spike snorted and pulled backwards a little bit, feeling the wetness slide down his back. 'Nah, not that one, Love.' He wiped the remnants of tears from Angel's face, sucking his fingers, tasting the salty liquid and wondering why everything about this vampire tasted so good. 'What ritual?' Spike reached for his cigarettes and then stopped. He'd never considered this before, but it seemed right to him and......... 'The rite of Arawn, Pet.' He bit his lip. 'You game?' Angel looked at the vampire and racked his brain for a reference. He'd heard the name, but it had been so long. 'God of the dead?' Spike nodded. 'The dark one. Not exactly fond of vampires in general. But he fights for the dead.........if the dead are worth fighting for.' Angel had heard something of the ritual. The Master and Darla had once bound themselves together by such a rite, spending an entire day alone, connecting themselves in a way Angellus had found pointless. Darla had never been in love with her sire, but the respect they shared, the passion for the kill and the sheer blood rites and pleasures that had come with the act had drained them both for days. She spoke afterwards of heights Angellus could only dream about and had shown him the wounds in her body, matched by those in the Master. They had taken an antithesis of the rite, using Arawn's power against him to increase their vampiric ways. They were connected by the blood and by the desire, a powerful form of telepathy available to them, briefly. It was delicious, she'd breathed. I could feel what he could feel, hear what he could hear, see what he could see. And when Darla had died at Angel's hand, the Master had felt her pain and disbelief, the bond re-enacted when either was in danger. If they did this, they would be linked for all time, their greatest pleasures and their darkest failures doubled, shared. If Angel's soul was lost, if Angellus came back, Spike would be at his disposal in more ways than either could believe. If Spike became an active vampire once more, Angel would feel every pleasure he gained from the kill. It was dangerous and if it hadn't been for one thing, the vampire would have turned Spike down instantly. This was the closest thing vampire had to betraying the lore, admitting more than just a desire to share power, but a conscious decree of love. Few sires ever attempted such a thing, preferring to keep their secrets their own, their lives private, concentrating only on their own gratification. But for the able few, they learned that sharing pain and pleasure was a more intense experience than anything else. And Spike had asked him. 'I don't know how to do it,' admitted Angel. Spike laughed. 'Is that a yes?' 'It's an "I don't know how to do it",' said Angel, some of his usual gravity returning. 'I take it you do?' Spike nodded. 'Got a book. One of Dru's.' He sniffed and grinned slightly. 'Course, she's crayoned in the margins, but you can still read it, Pet.' Angel nodded. 'Can I have a look?' Spike shrugged. 'If you want to. Doesn't seem like there's a lot to it.' Angel watched as the moment started sliding away. Spike was hurt that he hadn't said.........well, for all intents and purposes, 'I do' and he wanted to say yes. He so wanted to say yes, but he couldn't risk anything happening to Spike. Couldn't risk Angellus using the ritual against him. 'Spike,' he said softly, 'This isn't that simple.' Spike picked his cigs up and lit one, aware that he was hiding behind his vices again. 'Whatever, Pet. If you don't want to do it, it's no skin off my nose.........' Angel caught his arm. 'I love you, Cribb didn't change that.' Spike winced at the demon's name. 'He changed everything.' 'He did not!' 'No? I'm asking you to.........be mine for all eternity and you're hesitating. I'd say Cribb's a wide splat on a tunnel wall when I get hold of him.' 'It's not why I'm hesitating,' said Angel, sternly. 'No?' asked Spike, 'Cause I've never asked this before and you're dropping my bloody ego a bit here, Pet.' 'It's not that at all. The reason I don't want you bound to me forever is.........' 'Buffy,' snarled Spike. Angel shook his head. 'Angellus.' Spike rolled his eyes. 'The curse is fine, Love. You don't even have to worry about it when I make you come so hard that your eyes pop out!' 'I don't worry.........and my eyes have never popped out.' 'It's a bloody metaphor!' 'So's this!' Angel realised he was shouting in Spike's face and backed away a little. The younger vampire felt his cig burning up and inhaled quickly, stubbing it out afterwards. 'A metaphor, eh? I try and do something a bit special and I'm a bloody metaphor. Great.' Angel looked up at Spike and couldn't hide his grin. 'Well maybe, but you're my metaphor.' Spike rolled his eyes. 'That was crap, Pet.' Angel shrugged and pulled him close. 'Too crap to stay with me forever?' Spike tilted his head up and Angel felt his whole body tingle at the English vampire's grin. 'Depends, Love.' 'On what?' Spike moved his head slightly, smelling Angel's now beer-tinged breath, the heady tang of blood lingering on his lips. He smiled. 'On whether you're coming to bed with me right now.' Angel could feel his body already urging him to take Spike up on the offer, but he wanted to say something first. 'You're not going to get broody on me again?' The dark vampire grinned. 'I..........I don't want to do the rite.' Spike shifted and shrugged. 'Fair enough.' He moved to leave the room, but Angel pulled him back into his embrace. 'Because I don't need it. Because I'm yours anyway.' He held up his hand, the heart on his claddagh ring turned inwards. Spike shook his head. 'The Slayer.' 'I don't love her.' Spike stared at the vampire, aware that he'd never actually spoken about this. 'I love you.' Angel ran his hand down Spike's face. 'I love *you*.' Spike grinned and shook his head. 'You're a big poof, you know that?' Angel smiled and nodded. 'Yeah, but I'm your big poof.' 'Yeah, right.' Spike rooted in the shopping bag and pulled out a big bottle of baby oil. 'Let's have a go at it the human way, eh Love?' Angel picked up the beer and walked into the bedroom. He stripped off his clothes and opened a bottle, sipping the amber liquid as he climbed into bed. Spike walked in and threw his coat on the chair. 'You're untidy.' 'I'm an animal, Pet. I don't go in for the Mr Sheen treatment.' Angel grinned and leaned back against the pillows, spreading his broad shoulders and feeling incredibly territorial. 'Get in bed, Will.' Spike grinned and pulled his T-shirt over his head. 'Maybe I want to take my time.' Angel let out the barest growl. 'All right, Pet. Keep your hair on!' Angel suppressed a chuckle and waited whilst Spike removed his pants, his doc martins having got lost somewhere between the kitchen and the bedroom. 'You should wear socks you know.' Spike snorted. 'Hardly crumpet material - socks.' Angel grinned, and Spike licked his lips, aware that the dark vampire was hungry for more than just blood. 'I'll give them a go if it turns you on though, Love.' Angel chuckled then and pulled the covers back. Spike felt his entire body twitch at the sight of Angel's thighs alone. That they were accompanied by the rest of the vampire's body was an added plus. That Angel was hard at all, was a relief to the Englishman. He'd half expected that Angel would back out of actual sex, still needing time to heal from Cribb's attack. He hadn't expected the throbbing shaft that caught his attention. 'You going to look at it all night?' Spike grinned and sat on the edge of the bed. 'I might do that, Pet.' Angel leaned forward and pulled Spike up into his embrace. 'Then again, I might just lie here and see what you learned in that extra hundred years.' 'I learned when it was better to be quiet.' 'Ah.' Angel nibbled his way along Spike's collarbone, feeling the point where even vampires' blood seemed to gather. He had no idea how his body functioned, and didn't relish the idea of finding out. They were magical beings, he and Spike. And sometimes, you just had to trust that the magic worked. Spike ran his fingers gently up his sire's back, feeling the nubs of his spine under his hand. The vampire seemed so strong, his lean body much broader than Spike's, firm shoulders that bore the weight of his curse. He stroked a hand past Angel's thigh and when the vampire flinched, pulled back and sat up. 'We don't have to do this, love,' he said. 'I know,' said Angel. 'But I want to.' He smiled and Spike kissed his lips, eager for a taste of his lover, wanting so much, but unwilling to take. He couldn't do that. But if Angel was willing to give an awful lot......... And then Angel's hands were sliding down his sides, pulling him against his body, slick with sweat that had come out of nowhere. The older vampire reached for the baby oil and struggled to get the cap off with one hand. 'Damn!' Spike looked over to where Angel had knocked the bottle on its side, the contents of which were pouring onto the floor. He grabbed at it and its slick contents dribbled all over both vampires. 'Well that's clever, pet. We going for an all over body rub?' 'Shut up Spike,' said Angel, but as the vampire slid beneath him and started.........oh God.........rubbing, he wasn't thinking to clearly. 'I like this,' grinned Spike, slipping up and down against Angel's torso. 'We could try the whole bottle next time and slide all over the living room!' 'Don't you ever shut up?' asked Angel, aware of the friction beneath his hips, wanting a little more intimacy. 'Not often,' admitted Spike, 'But you'd be bored if I kept schtum.' 'Probably,' admitted Angel. 'But right now, what I want.........is.........' Spike slid his hips up and lifted his legs high, resting his knees over Angel's shoulders. He grinned at his sire. 'This something like?' Angel almost laughed. 'Pretty close, yeah.' The dark vampire bent down and kissed Spike tenderly, hearing him grunt as his body was squeezed. He knelt up and felt his slick body sliding on the sheets. 'I can't get a grip,' he almost laughed. Spike grasped his hands and pulled him forward, lust covering his face. 'Try it now.' Angel looked at him and let out a faint groan. Then he eased forward, the slippery oil aiding his entrance. Spike huffed as Angel buried himself in his body. 'That's a big cock you got there, Love.' Angel snorted in amusement. 'Like you didn't know.' 'Bear with me Pet,' said Spike, happily wiggling his hips against Angel's. 'I'm doing that ego bolstering thing.' Angel laughed and pushed forward. 'Are you saying that making love to me is funny?' Spike hissed through his teeth. 'Not the first thing that springs to mind, Love.' Angel shifted, sliding in and out with more ease, gaining purchase with his knees on the sheets. He could feel the slickness along his cock, aiding his passage, Spike's body gripping him tightly. He kept Spike's slippery fingers entwined with his own, but the heat, the strange heat that the oil produced was driving him closer to an orgasm which had been too long in coming. 'What's the first thing?' Spike grinned and started bucking his hips against the vampire. 'Fucking you silly.' Angel groaned and pushed forward, several beats away from filling his lover's body with his sticky cum. And Spike wasn't even trying to hold back, Angel's pleasure somehow way above his own. He's trying to please me, Angel thought as he moved inside him, he's putting me first. God it feels good! He squeezed harder on Spike's hands, feeling their slipperyness, the easy with which they could slide out of his own and he could lose this touch. Not happening. 'I love you,' he breathed and threw his head back, the release with which he came freeing him from Cribb's memories. Spike growled in pleasure and clamped down, squeezing every last drop from Angel, thankful that he could still make love to the......... He looked up at Angel's blissed out face. .........To the love of his entire existence. Angel panted hard and moved to Spike's side, sated, yet passionate enough to stay for more. Spike's arms round him, snuggling into a sleeping position were unexpected. He stroked his lover's arms and closed his eyes, tired, but not wanting Spike to suffer frustration. 'Don't you want to.........' Spike kissed his ear and closed his eyes. 'I got everything I need right here, Love.' 'But you didn't.........' Spike kissed him again and curled more protectively round Angel's body. 'Save it, Pet. We've got time.' Angel was about to protest, then lay back and closed his eyes, feeling sleep wash over him. They had time. They had forever. *