'Was that Angel?' said Doyle, towelling his hair, jeans slung low round his waist. 'Hmm?' said Wesley looking up from the book. 'Oh, yes, it was.' He looked at Doyle and swallowed hard, certain thoughts arising that he was as yet, unable to clarify. Wesley turned quickly back to his book, trying to find a match for the creature Doyle described. 'He seemed a little distracted,' said Wesley, 'I assume that he and Spike have made it up.' Doyle sat down on the sofa next to Wesley, warmth spreading through his body as he noticed the Englishman's admiring gaze. He'd seen that expression before, even seen it directed at him, but this was the first time Doyle had ever realised exactly what it was. God only knew what they were going to do about it, though. 'Well I knew they wouldn't be doing the separate bed thing for too long,' said Doyle, 'Can't usually separate them two with a big spatula.' Wesley looked at him. 'And I suppose you've imagined that, have you?' Doyle laughed. 'Well no, not really.' He shrugged. 'Not until now anyway.' Wesley smiled and ran his finger down the page, finding the last entry he'd been researching. 'I'm still not sure what it was you saw. I've been trying to find something that at least seems similar, but it's not all that easy.' Wesley ran his fingers over a rather sweaty forehead. 'I know it's not exactly ideal, but it would help an awful lot if she'd actually been attacked. At least then we'd have a less blurred idea of what we're looking for.' Doyle resisted the urge to touch that thin film of liquid, unsure if such an action would shake the ex-watcher more than he was already. After that kiss, (from which Doyle had emerged with a vision so painful that his erection had faded almost immediately) Wesley had moved from amorous lover to research man. It felt a little strange, considering how close they had just been, but this felt very new and Doyle was pretty sure that neither of them knew quite where this was going next. With Cordelia, it had been easy. He knew exactly which aroused bits went where, and although they'd delayed it a few weeks, the sex had been easy to deal with. With Wesley......... Although he'd read about what men did together, and had talked about it from time to time in a vague way with friends he'd grown up with, Doyle wasn't sure how things went where, or who did what, or when. If Wesley hadn't taken the first move with that kiss.........actually, he was pretty sure that he'd have managed to kiss him, whatever had happened. But now what? Hmmm. Doyle pulled out a T-shirt and put it on, figuring that he'd try and play this like he would with a girl - take things slow, go at Wesley's pace, see if he could get a fumble in here and there. Trouble was, and he watched Wesley turn the paper carefully, determined not to tear the page, he wasn't sure how fast Wesley's pace was. And Doyle was fairly sure that he'd lose the confidence to try this if he waited too long. Fools rush in where angel's fear to tread. Doyle grinned to himself. Technically, this was a place that Angel was more than happy inhabiting. Maybe he'd have to ask the man some tips. Maybe he should ask Spike. Nada. Now that *was* a bad idea. Doyle didn't think he could cope with the knowing grin on the vampire's face when he asked for suggestions. He could imagine some of them now. And not all of them were repellent. 'Doyle?' 'What?' asked the half-demon. Wesley pointed to a picture in the book. 'Is this what you saw?' Doyle looked at the sketches on the page and pulled a face. 'Yeah,' he said, 'That's the thing. It's gruesome.' He saw the size of the entry and frowned in confusion. 'How come there's so many pictures?' Wesley turned to look at him. 'Because it's an incubus.' Doyle looked puzzled. 'One of them things that comes in the middle of the night and.........does the wild thing?' Wesley nodded. 'That's almost correct. There's several theories on what it might have been. Some texts suggest that both Incubus and Sucubus, that's the female version, were fallen angels.' Doyle dropped a smile at that and Wesley let a little hmph of amusement slip out. 'Anyway, they form attachments to humans and appear during sleep to have sexual relations with their victims.' Doyle shuddered. 'I'm taking it that he doesn't turn into some stud then?' Wesley shook his head. 'No, I'm afraid this is his form.' Doyle looked at the grotesque again. 'So how does he get her to have sex with him?' Wesley ran his finger down the text. 'They only appear during REM, when the body is paralysed, unable to act out on dream experiences and therefore vulnerable. There have been cases where the victims have believed themselves to be subject to a particularly vicious nightmare.' 'And our boy's after Cordelia.' Wesley caught the worried expression on Doyle's face and was bothered at how hurt it made him feel. He should have expected it really, Wesley thought sadly, it was hardly as though Doyle had made a conscious decision earlier. Cordelia had been hurt by his indiscretion and Doyle had once again turned to the Englishman as comfort. Typical. His bloody role in his bloody life was to take on everybody's bloody problem and......... 'Wes?' Wesley blinked and looked at the Irishman. 'I'm sorry, I wasn't listening.' He tried a pleasant smile, but it felt false on his lips. 'What were you saying?' Doyle grinned and moved his hand over Wesley's wrist, stroking his finger along the bone. 'Okay, let me see if I've got this right?' He bent forward and licked along Wesley's bottom lip, a flush passing through him as he registered the man's surprise. Doyle slid his spare hand up to catch Wesley's neck, pulling him closer and feeling the Englishman's mouth open in welcome. Arms caught his back, holding him tightly, Wesley registering the kiss and responding passionately. Doyle felt the warm tongue slide in his mouth, catching it and suckling gently. There was something innocent about this, a quality that Doyle hadn't felt since he was a teenager, long before he'd known he was half Brachen. It felt right, somehow more honest than catching a quick snog with Cordelia. And from the way Wesley was moaning, Doyle knew he wasn't the only one enjoying the sensation. He broke away gently, keeping his arms round the Englishman. 'Was that okay?' Wesley stared at him a second before laughing. He hugged the Irishman before sitting back, one hand possessively remaining over Doyle's. 'Yes,' Wesley said. 'That was.........okay.' Doyle winked at him. 'Just okay?' Wesley grimaced and pretended to think. 'I'm not sure.' He gave Doyle a small smile. 'Perhaps we should try it again, just to be certain?' *
'I can't believe we're going to ask her to move in with us until this is over.' 'Well I'll ask for you.' 'What and have me sound like some bloody aggrieved kid? Not fucking likely, mate.' He pitched his cigarette. 'Good job I've already got my invite to this place, can't see her making with the hostess thing at this hour.' 'If it makes you feel any better, Spike,' said Doyle, 'I don't think she's going to be laying out the welcome mat for me, either.' Spike looked at the Irishman, smelling him, and all who sailed on him, he thought with a grin. 'Yeah,' Spike said, 'I bet she doesn't.' Doyle flushed and before Spike could launch a back-up attack, Wesley produced a book with a grotesque creature book-marked and passed it to Spike. 'I take it you're here to help Miss Chase with this problem, Spike, not merely to aggravate the situation.' Spike noted the protective stance and smirked to Angel - Spike scores on the money again. 'Cool it, lover-boy, just not keen on asking LMC to do me a favour.' Angel squinted at him. 'What?' Spike grinned. 'Little Miss Chatterbox.' He looked at Angel's still confused expression. 'You never read the Mr Men, did you?' 'Sure I did,' said Angel, 'Up there on my reading list between Hughes and Joyce.' Spike shook his head. 'You're gonna have to lighten up one of these days, Pet. Read Hollywood bloody women or something.' 'Go easy on him,' said Doyle, ready to knock on the door, 'Let him work up to it. He could always start with "The Cat in The Hat".' 'You're only saying that cause Weasly here talks like him.' Wesley rolled his eyes. 'Aside from a dislike of green eggs and ham, I have nothing in common with that character.' Doyle knocked on the door. 'There's no such thing as green eggs,' said Angel in confusion. Spike patted him on the back. 'Shh, quiet, Pet. You're shattering Doyle's beliefs.' They could hear Cordelia groaning about not getting any sleep, her footsteps pounding on the floor. 'I know it is dark and the sun is not sunny,' murmured Wesley. 'But them two are vampires, and they like their blood runny,' grinned Doyle. Spike raised an eyebrow at him and withdrew another cigarette. 'This chip here, not sure how it works on half breeds.' Doyle didn't look at him, but the shiver that ran down his back confirmed what he'd always believed - he wasn't the only one who'd thought about his vulnerability to the vampire. He didn't know if it was better or worse that Spike hadn't tried anything yet. He had a feeling that the waiting might be worse. Cordelia opened the door and stared at them all, hair mussed up and a very sleepy expression on her face. She didn't look as though she'd managed to drop off though. 'Great,' she said, 'A committee. I take it I should be worried?' Wesley looked around and gestured inside. 'May we come in, please. I really don't think this is something you want to discuss within earshot.' He gestured to her neighbours and Cordelia rolled her eyes. The last thing she needed was the people she lived next to thinking she was weird as well. With a sigh, she gestured them inside. 'This had better be something important,' she said, 'I was trying to sleep.' 'It's five in the morning,' said Angel, 'You're supposed to be at work by eight.' Cordelia glared at him. 'I'm taking the day off. Excessive bad Angel behaviour.' The vampire was immediately contrite and Spike squeezed his hand, before walking inside. He flicked his lighter, ready to set up his smoke. 'Not a bad pad here, Love,' he said, looking about, 'Could use a little less of the old.........' A breeze passed his face and blew the flame out. 'What the Hell was that?' Cordelia rubbed her hands over her face. 'Phantom Dennis! Enough!' She shook her head and looked at the others. 'Everytime I've managed to get my head down, he's done something.' 'Something?' asked Doyle. 'Not that blanket thing, again?' Wesley shot a look at his flatmate, uncomfortable with his familiarity here. Part of him wanted Doyle to make a full confession to Cordelia right now. The other part, his better half, he tried to imagine, thought that silence was the better part of valour at the moment. Save the damsel, deal with the emotional repercussions later. If there still were any. Doyle turned to Wesley and smiled, brushing a fraction of the Englishman's fears aside. One down, ninety nine to go. 'No,' said Cordelia, 'But he keeps turning things on - like the stereo, and the blender. He won't let me sleep.' Wesley nodded. 'It may be that he's actually doing you a favour.' He laid the book down on her table and she looked at the sketch. 'Eww! What's that?' 'It's an Incubus,' said Angel, 'We think you have one.' She looked at him. 'Can you get cream for that?' 'An Incubus, Pet,' said Spike, trying and failing to light his cigarette, 'It's a demon that likes to have sex with women.' Cordelia shot Doyle a look. 'That would be new.' As the half-demon looked away, she turned her attention back to Spike. 'So I just say no, and that's it, right?' Spike shook his head, grin firmly entrenched. 'Nah, that's not the way it works.' He stepped closer to her. 'See, your Incubus only has sex with you when you're paralysed in dream state. And there's nothing you can do when that happens, Love. Just let him ride it out.' She stared at him for a moment, mouth open, before turning to Angel. 'He's horrible. Why do you have sex with him?' 'Cause I'm not an Incubus,' said Spike. He sighed, 'Peaches here thinks that.........' 'You should come and stay with us for a few days so we can protect you,' said Angel. 'I'm not sure if it will come with you, but at least we can stop it before it does anything.' She looked them all, registering their various expressions of concern and sighed. 'I'm not moving out of here. I already have one Casper to deal with, I can handle a second.' 'An Incubus isn't a ghost, Cordelia,' said Wesley, 'It's much more capable than Dennis, and if it gets hold of you, it will hurt you.' Cordelia flashed a quick look at Doyle. 'I guess all men are like that.' Doyle shook his head. 'That's not fair, Princess, we're just here to try and help.' 'Oh really,' said Cordelia, 'What happened? You were licking your wounds when you figured this was a good way to talk to me again?' Wesley shifted a little in embarrassment. 'Cordelia, this really isn't the time for this. Doyle had a vision, we came to help. That's really as far as it goes.' He waited to see that she was listening. 'Now I'd suggest that you take Angel up on his offer. Incubi become very attached to their victims and very rarely leave willingly. Until we know how to get rid of it, you're going to need all the protection you can get.' A large duffle bag floated into the room and to Cordelia's hand. She sighed, then picked it up. 'I'm walking out of my nice, warm apartment to move in with a couple of vampires,' she said. 'Isn't that a statement somewhere that I've hit rock bottom?' Spike grinned. 'Nah Pet, that's when a spook gives you your marching orders. * 'And why don't you have a mirror?' Angel looked at her and she shrugged. 'You must know you have humans round sometime, why don't you get one?' Spike looked up from the sofa. 'Because he has humans round, Pet. They tend to freak out a bit when we don't show up in a reflection.' Angel nodded. 'If you want one, you can go get one, but I really think it can wait till morning.' He gestured to the sofa. 'Why don't you try and get some sleep.' Cordelia glared at Spike. 'I'm getting the sofa?' Spike grinned and got up, passing the girl a couple of blankets. 'Now you wouldn't expect Peaches and I to sleep here, would you?' 'You're vampires,' said Cordelia, 'You're supposed to be able to sleep anywhere.' 'Can do,' said Spike, 'Don't want to.' Angel looked at them both uncertainly. 'I don't know, Spike. Maybe we should.........' 'Great,' said Cordelia, 'Thanks Angel!' She tossed the blankets back at Spike and hurried into the bedroom, leaving the tall vampire to deal with the very annoyed shorter one. 'I think I liked it better when you were known for being laconic, Love.' Angel scratched the side of his head. 'You think I did the wrong thing?' Spike shrugged. 'Depends how much you like the floor.' Angel dropped a grin. 'You mean you won't share?' Spike looked at the narrow sofa and back up to his sire. You've changed, he thought, you worry less. He grinned. And that's definitely a good thing. 'You taking top or bottom?' 'What?' said Angel, wondering what his childe meant. 'I mean, what do you mean?' 'I mean,' said Spike, Are you gonna lie down and I get to lie on you, or am I lumbered with your hulking body all night?' Angel let out 'ah', before nodding. 'I'll take the bottom.' Spike grinned. 'And that answers my other question as well.' Angel shook his head, amused, and picked up the flask full of salt. He headed towards their bedroom and knocked on the door, watching as Spike began stripping off his clothes. Now that was always a sight worth seeing. 'Yes?' said Cordelia, opening it a crack. 'What now?' Angel gestured to the salt. 'I really think we should make a circle round your bed. It should help ward off evil spirits.' She looked at it and then back up at Angel. 'The only evil in this house is taking his clothes off in your.........Oh God, Spike. Not the pants, yet!' Angel didn't dare look back, knowing that he wouldn't be able to concentrate at all when his lover was naked. 'Anyway,' he said, 'You should leave the door open, so you can call out if.........something happens.' 'And listen to you two going at it all night? No thanks,' said Cordelia. 'Aren't you supposed to have super hearing or something?' 'Yeah,' said Spike. 'Only Angel snores so loud you can't hear anything above that racket.' Angel blinked at shrugged at Cordelia. 'You can keep it open, we'll be good, I promise.' 'I'm not bloody promising!' Cordelia took the salt and backed into the room. 'The door's staying closed. If you want to come and do this little ritual, do it now, cause I'm so tired, the bags under my eyes have bags.' He smiled nervously at her and walked inside the bedroom, performing the short spell that would act as a ward. As he turned to leave, Angel lay a hand on her arm. 'If you need anything.........' 'She bloody won't, now get your arse over here, Peaches!' Angel shrugged an apology and Cordelia closed the door firmly. He turned to see Spike, stripped completely, a blanket draped over his thighs. 'You're a rude man, Spike.' The younger vampire shrugged. 'Yeah, I'm a terrible influence on you. Can we get some sleep now?' Angel started to pull his sweater off. 'We should stay awake and make sure she's okay.' 'Yeah,' said Spike. 'Sooner we deal with that thing, the sooner I get my bed back.' 'Your bed?' said Angel. 'You haven't got your name on that too?' Spike winked at him. 'Third slat up from the bottom.' Angel shook his head and laughed as Spike stood up, letting the blanket fall away and allowing Angel to lie down on the sofa. 'I wonder if Doyle and Wesley have been able to come up with anything?' Spike shrugged. 'Shouldn't have thought so, Pet. The only thing they'll come up with is.........' Angel stopped him talking with a kiss. 'Sh, remember - Cordelia.' 'Ah, she'll find out,' said Spike, 'Them two are sending out pheromones like nobody's business.' 'Yeah,' said Angel, 'But I think it should come from them, not you.' Spike thought for a second and then kissed Angel's mouth, sucking lightly on his bottom lip. 'Yeah, okay. I'll keep schtum for the while.' Angel smiled. 'Thanks.' He walked into the kitchen and pulled open the fridge, bemused to see a couple of bottle of nail varnish and an eye mask next to the bags of blood. Angel shrugged, picked up a couple of the sacks and emptied them into the mugs, warming them in the microwave. Spike followed him in, his jeans slung back round narrow hips. 'Shouldn't you say something to them?' asked Angel. 'Who?' 'Wesley and Doyle,' said Angel quietly, 'Isn't Wesley supposed to be dating your.........er.........Megan?' Spike laughed dryly. 'Yeah, my er-Megan. I dunno. Not my problem.' Angel set the mugs on the table and looked at his lover. 'It really doesn't bother you, does it?' 'Why should it?' asked Spike. 'I'm a vampire, we're hardly family people.' Angel raised an eyebrow at him and Spike relented. 'Well, not human people anyway.' 'So.........what? If you had that chip out of your head, you'd feed from her?' Spike shrugged and took a sip of O-positive, wondering what Angel was getting at. 'You asking if I'd give up the neck for this the whole time?' Angel nodded slowly. 'Just wondering. After that Reb.........actress thing.' Spike watched his sire for a moment, playing idly with his cup. He swallowed briefly and looked at Angel. 'I love you,' he said simply. Angel registered the words, aware that Spike had never said it before, not without it being a joke, or a put down or something else. But this was pure, simple and direct, a bolt of lightning within his kitchen. He'd known how Spike felt, aware in his every nerve that the younger vampire loved him. They'd done too much, seen too much for it to be any other way. And despite everything, they stayed together, two crippled halves of a whole. He thought he understood why Spike had said it though. The reasons why Spike had done anything, and, for that matter, why he had acted the way he did, were complex in many ways. But it all boiled down to that phrase, and all the implications it gave. He hadn't killed Rebecca because he loved Angel. He hadn't allowed Angellus to take him as favourite childe once more because he loved Angel. He was sitting in the kitchen wearing pants because he loved Angel. The sky is up, the Earth is down and Spike loves me. Angel smiled. I can live with that. He looked back at the English vampire, watching as his hands curled possessively round his mug and lifted it to his lips. 'I love you too, Will.' Spike snorted. 'Yeah, I know.' He grinned wickedly at his lover. 'Just making sure you knew.' Angel slurped down the rest of his drink. 'Yeah, always knew you were a romantic, Spike.' Spike finished his blood and took it to the sink, washing it out. 'Yeah, bloody Mills and Boon, me.' 'No,' said Angel, 'They don't let you have sex before page 75.' Spike chuckled. 'I knew you read crap sometimes.' 'Yeah,' said Angel, 'Just don't let Cordelia know who's got her copy of Cosmo.' 'Lifestyle section?' 'Something like that,' admitted Angel. 'There's four pages dedicated to giving better oral sex.' 'Any good?' 'Not sure,' said Angel. 'Feel like practicing?' Apparently he did.