The Clockwork Vampire


by Spirit






Fingers crept slowly up soft skin, sensing its texture and moving over every spare inch. Possessively, as though to move away was to admit defeat, one body covered the other, stretching out to touch, to feel.........to own. And as they joined, the room seemed to spin, everything brought down to this one movement, a connection so firm every thrust was an affirmation. You're mine. 'God No! No!' Angel leapt up off the sofa before his eyes opened, Spike slipping from his grasp and falling onto the floor. As the cry increased, he ran to the bedroom door, a very disgruntled vampire close behind him. Through the early morning hours, the two vampires had spent time making love, talking and feeding, the knowledge that Cordelia slept in their bedroom becoming less important. Spike had been very keen on discussing the relatively new topic of Doyle and Wesley, Angel reminding him to quieten, lest they wake the girl. Several swift finger gestures had followed such a statement and Angel had reluctantly agreed to talk about their companions. 'He's always had a thing for men,' said Spike. 'You should have known that, the way he smells about you.' Angel looked confused. 'Doyle? You think he's always been gay?' Spike shrugged. 'Nah, wouldn't put it like that exactly, sends off the same stuff around tarts, but I'd say he had a yen for blokes and birds.' He nodded at Angel. 'Bit like us, really.' Angel shrugged. 'It's not the same though, is it?' 'Shagging a bird?' said Spike, 'Nah, you got different bits to mess about with.' Angel raised an eyebrow. 'That's not what I meant.' Spike leaned back on the chair, very much aware that Angel loved seeing him bare chested, and grinned at his lover. 'Go on then, Pet. Tell me all.' Angel frowned and tried to explain himself. 'Well, to you and me, sex isn't important.' Spike shot him a look. 'Yeah, chaste as nuns, us.' 'Very funny,' said Angel, 'You know what I mean - you could be a woman and I'd still want you.' Spike's grin widened. 'You telling me you got a thing for Megan?' Angel sat back, a horrified look crossing his face. 'God, no.' Spike nodded. 'Really? Well, everyone keeps telling me she's me as a bird, so how come your tongue's never fallen out of your mouth around her?' Angel looked at his childe, wondering why he was being so obstinate. Then he cursed himself for even thinking such a dumb question. Spike would argue black was white just for the fun of seeing you squirm. Did he really want to be drawn into that kind of an argument? 'Because she doesn't have your ass,' he admitted. Spike grinned. 'Yeah, so much for wanting me as a woman, Pet. Nice try there on the whole 'I love you for your personality' crap.' 'I don't just love you for your personality,' said Angel. 'Oh I'm hurt,' said Spike, 'It's just my ass then?' 'No,' said Angel, wondering why he didn't just let this drop, 'It's because of more than that.' Spike stretched up and winked at his sire. 'Wanna show me what else you love, then?' Several love bites, a quick shower and some seriously good sex later, the boys returned to the living room. Angel leant back on the sofa, Spike sitting on the floor, drinking beer and wearing nothing more than satisfied grin. 'So,' said Spike, 'What about Weasly?' Angel adjusted the blanket over his naked torso. Unlike Spike, he was slightly bothered by the idea of Cordelia coming in the room and catching them. The least he could do was cover his naked body with the woollen blanket - Spike had refused to let him put anything else on. Even so, the damn thing itched against his skin. 'You really shouldn't call him that,' said Angel. 'It's not nice.' 'I'm so bothered,' said Spike flatly, before picking up his smokes. 'He Bi as well, then?' Angel looked up at the bedroom door, grateful that Cordelia had insisted on keeping it shut. 'Do you even know what discretion is, Spike?' Spike lit the cigarette and nodded. 'Yeah, it's what keeps people from bragging about a good shag.' Angel closed his eyes at Spike's bluntness. 'Diplomacy was never your strong suit, was it?' 'No,' said Spike, running a finger down Angel's chest and sliding it under the blanket. 'I've always been better at hands on stuff.' 'Yeah,' said Angel, unwilling to stop the hand that crept down to his already stiffening erection. 'I know you are.' 'So, Weasly?' said Spike, using the tips of his fingers to brush through Angel's curls. 'What about him?' Spike grinned at Angel's attempt at nonchalance. How the vampire thought he could keep a straight face whilst Spike was working his dirty magic was beyond him. Hadn't he learnt his lesson from that dinner party? 'Dos he swing both ways, or is one side a fake?' 'I don't know,' managed Angel. 'I've always been under the impression that he was trying to be the son his father wanted.' Spike started etching a figure eight around Angel's balls, careful never to apply pressure. He could see that his sire was struggling not to react, but the slow pulse that throbbed near Spike's fingers betrayed that. Angel was as horny as Hell, and trying to pretend he wasn't. 'You reckon he shagged girls because Daddy said so?' Angel felt his hips want to thrust up into Spike's hand and bit down hard on his lip. He didn't know how Spike could carry on a conversation in such a reasonable voice when he was a hair's breadth from stroking Angel's cock. And, (Angel looked down to confirm this) how could he be so unconcerned about Cordelia coming in when Spike's erection looked ready to erupt? 'I don't know,' said Angel, 'Maybe he felt he'd be letting his father down if he admitted he liked men?' 'Hmm,' said Spike, crooking his fingers and rubbing the knuckles between Angel's balls and ass, pleased with the way his sire parted his thighs, allowing him easier access. 'That arsehole's dead though.' 'He is?' asked Angel. 'You know more about him than I.........oh yeah, just there.........do.' 'Chatty little bugger when he gets going,' said Spike. He withdrew his hand, much to Angel's dismay and slipped his fingers into Angel's mouth, coating them with the vampire's saliva. Angel sucked on them briefly, wondering what Spike was up to. He quickly drew in a breath he didn't need as Spike's hand crept back beneath the blanket and against his ass. The slick finger teased the puckered opening briefly before sliding inside, Angel's arousal relaxing the muscles in his ass. Angel groaned, all pretence at conversation past, concentrating on the finger that slid against the sensitive gland in his ass. 'Oh shit,' he murmured, 'Will.........' 'Shh,' said Spike with a grin, a second finger sliding against the first, 'Cordelia's just next door, you don't want to wake her, do you, Love?' Astounded at Spike's uncharacteristic and mocking worry, Angel moved to sit up, but Spike was already there, one hand on his chest, holding him down, the other slipped from his ass to grab the bottle he'd brought in from the kitchen. 'Chocolate syrup?' Spike grinned. 'Call me sentimental, Love.' Angel chuckled. 'I'm calling you crazy if you think I'm going to get that all over the sofa.' Spike pushed his tongue against his lower lip and paused a minute, the idea of filling his lover with sticky chocolate and cum suggesting things that his cock was beating a rhythm to. But it really wasn't worth the hassle if Angel was going to wince at the mess they'd make. Maybe when Cordelia had gone. Maybe he could suggest it to Doyle and Weasly. He chuckled and Angel looked at him in amazement. 'What?' Spike tossed the syrup over the back of the sofa and grinned. 'All right, Pet. What works as slippy stuff when you've got company?' Angel raised an eyebrow at him. 'Slippy stuff?' Spike stood up, his erection on eye level with the other vampire. 'The L word doesn't work for me. Makes my dick go floppy.' Angel looked at the object in question. Yum. 'Well we couldn't have that,' said Angel quickly. He looked round the room and found his eyes lighting on Cordelia's purse. Normally he wouldn't even consider using someone else's property, at least not for sex, but he didn't think he'd last much longer without feeling that cock imbedded deep inside of him. He reached over and pulled the purse into his lap, careful not to bang against his own hard length. Angel never understood why women were so capable and organised elsewhere, but kept their purses in such disarray. There were a couple of tissues in the lining, the contents of which he could smell and Angel wondered absently if it was Doyle. At last, after finding enough make-up to cover the whole of Spike's body - oh now there was a thought, Angel pulled out a small pot, passing it to Spike with a grin. Spike looked at the lip balm and smirked. 'And I thought you were such a nice bloke.' 'Yeah,' said Angel, need now of the essence. 'For a vampire, that is,' added Spike. Angel reached up and pulled his childe down on top of him, thrusting his hips up in what he hoped was a convincing argument. 'I'm done talking,' Angel deadpanned. Spike squirmed above him, rubbing his foreskin against Angel's hip. 'Feeling athletic, Pet?' 'Why?' asked Angel, before remembering that he had sworn to be done with the talking thing. Still, Spike wouldn't ask unless he had something..........tricky in mind. You're not asking about that "both at the same time" thing again.........' 'No.' '.........Because I nearly put my back out doing that. And you moved.' Spike raised an eyebrow at him. 'That's supposed to be the idea, Pet.' 'Not the way you were moving.' Spike rolled his eyes. 'All this yammering's making me lose it.' 'I don't yammer,' said Angel, indignantly. 'I'm known for not yammering.' Spike bucked forward, pleased that the vampire moved instinctively against him. 'Think we'd better use that lip balm, eh, Love?' Angel scrabbled to open the pot, scooping out a load of strawberry smelling gunk and slathering it over the hard cock which was still nestled against his belly. Spike groaned as he felt Angel's hand sliding up and down his erection, coating it with enough gunk to make slipping into Angel's tight ass easy. Spike moved over his lover purposely, catching Angel's parted lips with his tongue. 'You're bad,' whispered Angel. Spike dipped his tongue inside before urging Angel's legs up. 'You know it, I know it, every bugger knows it. But you know what, Love?' Angel lifted his long legs and moved them above Spike's shoulders, his hips bucking backwards, feeling the slippery tip of Spike's cock pressing against him. 'Tell me.' Spike wiggled his hips, watching as his cock pressed against Angel's ass, the flesh parting as his erection demanded. Angel groaned as his ass was stretched, fitting over his lover's erection snugly, the younger vampire becoming a part of him once more. He could feel the warmth of the lip balm, easing Spike's movements, smelt the cum which leaked from his own cock. He knew Spike was watching himself fuck, knew that the vampire was something of a voyeur, and it only served to make Angel more aroused. He grabbed his cock in his still slick hand and started sliding his fingers up and over the head, its sensitivity seemingly at boiling point. God it felt good. He looked up at Spike. 'Tell me.' Spike grinned and pushed forward, his balls hitting Angel's ass as he sank deep. 'I only wear the white hat with you.' Angel groaned deeply and threw his head back, straining his body against the sofa. Spike's hand clapped over his mouth and he realised quickly that Spike didn't want Cordelia to walk in on them. He nodded in understanding and the hand fell away, only to cover Angel's now balm slicked cock and link fingers with his own. As both their hands formed a tunnel, Angel pushed up into it, the rhythm matching the pummelling his ass was taking, Spike slipping in and out as Angel's ass relaxed. The older vampire knew that he wasn't going to be able to hold out for much longer, and that he had grown too used to making a noise when he did so. Angel slammed his own hand up to his mouth, fangs appearing and sinking into the plump flesh between his thumb and forefinger. Coppery blood flowed into his mouth he felt Spike pick up the pace, no longer watching his cock slide inside his sire. Spike's head was thrown back, baring a neck that Angel longed to sink his teeth into. Gymnastics, Spike had practically said, are you feeling athletic? Was this show of submission a challenge for the older vampire? Bite me if you can? Angel didn't particularly care, but he could feel the familiar throb coming, and he wanted to be drinking Spike's blood as he did it. Reaching up, Angel slid his legs down and pulled Spike closer, vamped out yellow eyes blazing at him. Spike saw the desire etched clearly on his sire's demonic face and tilted his head, beating Angel to the post and biting him first. Angel moaned as he felt the skin tear, Spike sucking at his blood as though it would give him nourishment. His blood may be dead, but this act was as primal in its need and wanting as the hips that moved against him. With a deep trembling that seemed to come from a place deep within his body, Spike came, spilling deep in Angel's ass, the blood of his sire trickling down his throat. Angel writhed beneath him and the splatter across his belly and chest didn't really hit Spike till afterwards. He was too focussed the fangs imbedded in his shoulder, draining and being drained. My own private haven, Spike thought, and the pouf's mine. Growling, Angel pulled away, demonic visage stained with Spike's blood. He felt the fangs in his neck recede, Spike's climax driving away the vampire need, and Angel felt renewed, refreshed and ready to deal with anything. Spike pulled back a little, his cock still hard, but fading slowly. He grinned at Angel and touched his forehead to Angel's own, feeling very close to the older vampire, in mind as well as body. Which was when they heard Cordelia scream. Angel pushed open the bedroom door with enough force to crack the wood. Cordelia was sitting bolt upright in bed, panting hard and sweat dripping down her face. A look of absolute horror was plastered across her face and although she was staring in Angel's direction, he could have sworn that she didn't see him at all. 'Cordelia?' he asked, looking around the room for the source of her horror. 'Are you okay?' 'Get him away!' she yelled, 'Get him away!' Spike pushed past Angel and walked over to the bed laying one hand on Cordelia's arm. She barely flinched. 'Nightmare,' said Spike. 'She's having a bloody dream.' Angel approached cautiously, still listening out for anything. Something seemed to echo on the edge of his hearing, but he couldn't pin it down. He had to deal with the more pressing issue of the freaked out girl in his bed. She was definitely asleep, but Angel couldn't remember whether you were allowed to wake someone from a nightmare - didn't it do damage, or was that sleepwalking? 'Oy, Blabbermouth, wake up, you're screaming the place down!' Well Spike didn't seem to care. Cordelia whimpered and tried to curl up, trying to make her body as small as possible. 'Get him away,' she sobbed. Angel looked at Spike. 'We're going to have to wake her up.' 'You get your filthy vampire hands off her!' Spike and Angel turned to the door, where the noise Angel had heard earlier revealed itself to be the footfalls of an angry young man. One who happened to be carrying a big cross and what looked to be half an egg and cress sandwich. 'Xander?' said Angel. 'What are you doing here?' 'Arriving in the nick of time,' said Xander, holding the cross out and walking towards the bed. 'I don't know what vampire sex games you've been up to with Cordelia, but it stops now!' He held the crucifix at arms length and walked past Spike as the vampire raised an eyebrow at him and stepped back. Angel shook his head at the boy. 'Xander, it's not what you think.' 'Oh no?' said Xander, sitting on the bed and wrapping the blanket awkwardly round Cordelia. 'What else do you do when you're naked and got a helpless girl.........a Cordelia in the room, huh?' Angel registered his nakedness and reached for the robe hung on the back of the door. As he struggled into it, Spike chuckled to himself and grabbed a pair of boxers out of the drawer, wiping off the stickiness on his belly and tossing the pants casually into the laundry bag. 'Honestly, Xander, we haven't been doing anything with Cordelia.' 'Oh yeah?' said Xander, vaguely registering that she was asleep. 'So how come she's in your bed, you bad, bad man?' 'Incubus,' said Spike, trying to choose between a pair of black silk boxers and (surprise!) black cotton boxers. 'What bus?' said Xander. 'Doyle had a vision that an Incubus was preying on Cordelia,' said Angel, 'It's a type of demon that.........' 'Has sex with you when you sleep,' said Xander, 'Yeah, I know what they are.' 'You read?' said Spike dryly, settling for the cotton pair. 'Yeah I read,' said Xander, 'It was about the only demon I ever wanted to meet.' 'Still no luck with shagging, eh, Pet?' 'I've shagged lots,' said Xander, 'I'm a shag magnet. And don't try and change the subject. You've still not explained why Cordelia's in your bed.' 'So we could protect her from the demon,' said Angel, aware that cum was sliding slowly down his belly and attempting to glue his robe to his skin. 'Oh,' said Xander, 'Okay, that explains that. Doesn't explain why you two were naked, though.' 'We ran in,' said Spike with a grin. 'Ran in from where? A late night naturist club?' 'From the living room,' said Spike. 'Peaches and I were getting fruity on the sofa.' 'Okay,' said Xander, holding his hand up, 'I really did not want to know that.' He stared at the vampires. 'And why am I always here when you have sex?' Spike smirked and picked up his cigarettes from the bedside table. 'You want to join in?' he suggested. Xander shot him a look and then turned back to Cordelia, who was finally waking up 'Xander?' she asked quietly, 'Is that you?' 'Yeah, Cordy, it's me,' said Xander, 'You okay?' She shivered, appreciating the warmth of her ex boyfriend's hug. 'Yeah, I think so.' Angel moved forward, his mind searching back to the problem at hand. 'The Incubus, was he here?' Cordelia shook her head, before registering that Xander was here in LA. 'You're here,' she said pointedly, 'What are you doing here?' 'I'll tell you later,' said Xander, 'Let's just make sure you're okay, first.' She nodded and looked up at Angel, confusion covering her face. 'There *was* something in here. There was something.........' She shook, and Xander hugged her again, sliding his hand up and down her arm, warming the girl and reassuring her in one move. Spike pulled out yet another secreted bottle of Whisky and passed it over, Cordelia gulping down as much as she could in one draught. As Xander comforted the girl, Angel gestured to his lover and they walked out of the room, pulling the door to. Spike lit up a smoke and regarded the worried vampire. Something wasn't right here, but they'd run straight in there as soon as she had started screaming. How could they fight something they couldn't see or smell? 'You know,' said Spike, inhaling the smoke. 'She could just be imagining the whole thing.' Angel shook his head. 'Cordelia never said anything. Doyle's the one who told us about the Incubus.' 'Maybe he was wrong,' said Spike, 'Or maybe Weasly picked out the wrong thing.' 'I don't know,' said Angel, 'Visions come courtesy of the Powers that Be. They're not going to send one about Cordelia's nightmares. That's too petty.' Spike raised his eyebrows. 'Yeah, the forces of good mucking people about. Like they'd even think about such a thing.' Angel glared at him whilst Spike grinned. 'Angel?' Xander had closed the door behind him, satisfied that the only danger Cordelia was in didn't come from the vampires before him. For the first time, Angel registered how sleepy the boy looked, a faint smell of salt across his skin. He hadn't been crying had he? 'Look, Dead boy,' he added, as though he'd forgotten the nickname and all the hostility that went behind it, 'I really don't feel okay about leaving her in there alone, so if it's okay with you guys, I'm gonna stay with her.' 'Sure,' said Angel at the same time as Spike gestured to the huge bag near the stairs. 'You planning to stay a while, Pet?' Xander paused a second before nodding slowly. 'I've kind of left Sunnydale.' Angel raised his eyebrows. 'You're kidding, right?' Xander shook his head and Spike picked up the blanket Angel had been lying under and tossed it at the boy. He caught it, and lay his hand back on the door. Angel was still staring at him and nobody could look at you with that much intensity. Xander sagged. 'So, after you guys figure out what's the prob with Cordy, can I see you about the job thing?' Spike chuckled, but Angel's expression didn't change. 'You're asking me to employ you?' 'Yeah.' 'After everything you've ever said about me, every time you've tried to kill me, or come between me and Buffy?' Xander squirmed, uncomfortable under this scrutiny. 'Yeah.' Angel nodded slowly and walked to the kitchen. 'Okay, then.' 'You're giving me a job,' said Xander in disbelief. 'Looks like it,' said Angel. 'Then why did you say all that?' The vampire shot him a grin that went straight to Spike's groin. 'Because I can.' The boy looked confused for a second, before ducking back inside the bedroom and shutting the door. Spike laughed loudly and kissed Angel hard on his cheek, pleased with his sire's decision. 'Nice one, Pet. We steal another one away from the Slayer and.........' 'This isn't about Buffy,' said Angel opening the fridge and pulling out eggs. 'No?' said Spike, 'What's it about then?' Angel heard the slight tone in Spike's voice, aware that the Slayer was still a touchy subject. He was hiding it well, which Angel took as a good sign. At least it meant that the younger vampire was more secure with his feelings, knowing that he came first, and that whilst Buffy was a big factor in Angel's past, that's precisely where she was going to stay. 'We're in the business of saving souls here, Spike.' 'Don't have one, don't care,' said the blond. 'Yeah,' said Angel, 'Well we could always use another hand around the place.' Spike picked up the pan and passed it to his lover. 'Why do I get the feeling that young Xander's going to be cleaning the privys?' Angel grinned again and cracked the eggs into the bowl. 'I think he's going to have to work up to that.' Spike chuckled. 'Sometimes, Love, you're a devious old bugger.' Angel took a fork and started working the mixture. 'Sometimes,' he agreed. There was a clank and the vampires turned as the elevator started to descend. Angel took more eggs out of the box and added them in, before gesturing towards the bread. 'Better get the toast on, Spike, seems like there's going to be more for breakfast.' Spike grumbled and put the bread under the grill. 'A bloody lackey for humans, I never thought I'd see the day.' 'Humans who can work out how to get Cordelia out of our bed, remember.' Spike nodded. 'Well Weasly had better have come up with something good, then.' 'Let's hope so.' *

'Have you got all the books?' Doyle looked at Wesley over the top of a huge pile of tomes and although the watcher could only see the long lashed eyes, Doyle's sarcasm was unmistakable. 'Right, fine, all the books,' said Wesley and got into the elevator. Doyle walked in behind him, trying to close the doors with his one remaining spare finger. As he strained, Wesley stepped in front of him and pulled the heavy iron doors across, before hitting he button that sent them down to Angel's apartment. They'd spent the few hours that were left of the night trying to find some way of ridding Cordelia of the Incubus. They hadn't had an awful lot of luck, party because half the books claimed an Incubus was just the projection of a sleep disorder, mostly because of one another. Wesley had been trying his hardest to read the words in front of him, but his eyes blurred the text and the image of Doyle's half-smile kept blocking out anything else. It hadn't helped when he'd looked up, trying to see if Doyle was having the same problem, wondering if he was just getting in too deep again. Doyle had raised his head, desire written across his face and all attempts to read went out of the window as the kissing started again. For Doyle, it was a relief to be able to admit to feelings he'd had for a long while. He'd seen men before, noticed their attractiveness and told himself that he was just being liberal, acknowledging someone else's handsome face. It hadn't actually crystallised into a desire until he'd met Wesley, and even that had come upon him slowly, the Englishman's gentle ways eventually proving irresistible. The idea of research had started to appeal to him, and it wasn't until now, with Wesley's arms wrapped round him, leaning on a pile of books, that he realised why. If he had his way, Doyle would be volunteering to look for clues every time. The glasses had been tricky to deal with, as there was nothing particularly gentle about each kiss. They started out tender, lips gently teasing and suckling, but within minutes, both men had forgotten all about propriety and ached to taste more of the other. Wesley kept running his tongue over Doyle's lip, tasting it and storing the sense away for later consideration, whilst the Irishman ran his fingers up and down Wesley's neck, feeling the short strands of hair at the base, liking the way he leaned back into his hand. After being poked in the eye with a wire frame, Doyle had reached up and snatched the blasted things off, dumping them on the sofa and pulling Wesley in tighter. When, later on, they'd managed to get up off the floor, Doyle had made sure to hand the glasses back, wondering if Wesley would notice that one arm band was slightly bent. Wondering if he'd care. Standing in the elevator, those feelings still lingered, and neither man had kisses enough to sate their desire. And that was partly the point, wasn't it? For the moment, neither Doyle nor Wesley knew how to do anything other than kiss, unsure if they were ready for anything more than the mild caresses they'd given one another. It had got to the point where Doyle had pulled away, unwilling for Wesley to feel the erection that throbbed through his jeans. I want you, he'd wanted to say, but I don't know how to want you. Wesley had excused himself soon afterwards, closing the bathroom door and wondering what in Gods name he was gong to do about the thundering hard on he was sporting. Nothing had been said to Cordelia, and whilst Doyle had assured him in action and word that it was over between them, she didn't know, and Doyle didn't seem in a hurry to tell her. Wesley knew why, or at least he thought he did - it was difficult enough to acknowledge that they were attracted to one another, to tell other people, especially the woman they'd both wanted at some point, was well nigh impossible. Plus, Wesley knew that Doyle didn't want Cordelia hurt, her bitchy persona covering for a well-rounded and easily wounded personality. Angellus' revelation that they had kissed was one thing, something that could perhaps, have been explained through alcohol, (true) and the atmosphere, (also true). There was a possibility that Cordelia and Doyle could have patched things up, something that Wesley still thought might happen. However, all that seemed to be on hold until the Incubus was dealt with, and Wesley had brought all the relevant material over to the vampires' residence in the hope that he'd be able to concentrate better there. From the looks Doyle kept shooting him, it wasn't going to be that easy, and if Spike started up with his taunting, Wesley was unsure he'd be able to do anything but blush like the damn buffon he felt. As the elevator hit the basement, both men could hear the present residents talking in the kitchen. Doyle picked up on the extra voice before Wesley did, raising his eyebrows to the ex-Watcher as he realised Xander had joined them in LA. Wesley watched Doyle's face carefully for a sign of jealousy, but he could only see something he ascribed as relief crossing the Irishman's face. He hoped it wasn't just wishful thinking. 'So you're cooking now? I thought that you did blood in a bag these days?' 'Watch it,' came Spike's gruff voice. 'Can always work on Xander-ding instead.' There was a short chuckle, and Xander's voice seemed to struggle to keep the laughter down. 'You can't lay a finger on me, Spike, my boy, how are you going to bundle me in the microwave.' Wesley heard a growl and the laughter stopped. He could almost see the grin on Spike's face. 'Cause Peaches will do it for me.' Doyle and Wesley stepped round the corner to see Angel casually pinning Xander to his seat with one hand, serving up toast to Cordelia with the other. 'And I thought domesticity was dead,' said Wesley dryly. Spike looked up at the pair and sniffed lightly, catching the mixed pheromones they were emitting. To Wesley's surprise, he said nothing, but gestured to the remaining two chairs at the table. 'Let him go, Angel,' said Cordelia. Angel shrugged and released his grip, Xander falling forward and rubbing his throat where the vampire had held him. 'I knew this soul crap was.........crap.' 'Nah, he's got a soul, Pet.' Spike winked at the boy. 'But he's got me as well. And I'm worth keeping.' 'It's good that you have that humility thing down as well,' said Xander. Cordelia looked up to see Wesley and Doyle. Her face dropped a little, but she saw no reason why Xander had to know about her problems. And if Spike could just keep his mouth shut, maybe the whole issue would go away. She'd talk to Doyle later on and admit that she'd been a bit.........judgmental about the whole thing. Then maybe they could sort something out. Maybe she'd stop feeling like such a bitch. 'Hey Wesley, Doyle,' she said, 'You remember Xander, right?' Wesley nodded and held his hand out, waiting for the boy to shake it. 'It's good to see you again,' he said, 'Trouble in Sunnydale?' Xander shook the ex-Watcher's hand and looked a little uncomfortable. 'It's been kind of.........weird lately. They're all with the college thing, and I'm kind of.........not.' 'You grow up, life changes,' said Cordelia. 'Not exactly news.' Xander leaned back in his chair, a slice of toast in his hand. 'Yeah, well I kind of thought we'd always be friends. And with this whole Riley thing, and the witch stuff.........' 'Riley thing?' asked Angel looking interested. Spike caught his lover's change of expression and decided to take over before the vampire could go all broody about his past life in Sunnydale. He gestured with a piece of particular sharp toast at the teenager. 'Initiative, right? Bastards who messed with my head.' 'Turned you into the pussy cat you are today,' said Doyle before he could help it, aware that Spike could change his benevolent manner at any time. The vampire merely raised an eyebrow at him. 'Yeah, made me change the bloody habit of a lifetime.' 'You're dead, Spike,' said Cordelia absently. They all turned to look at her. 'It's true,' she said. 'At least he doesn't smell like it any more.' Angel smiled at his childe, the scent of his own cum still lingering over the lean body. 'That's not what he smells of now,' he murmured. 'What was that, Angel?' asked Wesley. 'I didn't quite catch it.' Spike gazed at him, wicked satisfaction written across his face. 'He said I smelt like you do, Pet.' Wesley felt the red want to rise in his cheeks and took a sudden interest in his eggs. Not that he really had anything to be embarrassed about - he and Doyle hadn't actually done anything. Well, not together anyway. And he had washed himself down after he'd masturbated in the bathroom. Spike couldn't really tell anything, so why was he blushing? Maybe it was because the image he'd held in his head whilst his slick fingers caressed his penis was of Doyle. That half-smile. The naked chest he'd glimpsed earlier. All that hair. Oh yeah, Wesley knew why he had red cheeks. Xander munched his way through his sixth piece of toast, wondering why Wesley was all bothered by Spike. The vampire hadn't lost his sarcasm along with his biting teeth, but that didn't explain why the ex-watcher was staring at his eggs as though they held the answer to Cordelia's problem. Doyle noticed the boy watching Wesley and felt a flush of protectiveness come over him. 'So, Xander, you came to LA because you fell out with your mates?' Xander looked up, as though he were noticing the half-demon for the first time. He'd believed that Doyle was involved with Cordelia - she'd more than hinted as such on their many phone calls. The twinge of jealousy he'd felt had been replaced by a warmth of knowing she was with someone who cared for her. They'd never been able to clarify what they had together, he and Cordelia, some of it was lust. Okay, almost all of it was lust, but they'd had their moments, quiet times when they'd neither been kissing nor fighting. If he closed his eyes he could remember one morning after a big Slayer fight, when they'd been too tired to do anything but lie next to one another, and he'd thought, 'This is what heaven's like'. Now those moments didn't come too often. 'I wouldn't say we've fallen out, cause, you know, we're all.........' 'Critically deprived of any kind of social standing?' asked Cordelia. 'The Scooby gang,' said Xander, glaring at her. 'And there's bad things to deal with. I'm needed there.' Spike layered marmalade on a piece of toast, seemingly involved with task. 'You're needed there.' 'Yeah,' said Xander, defensively. 'And you're here as part of the Slayer's attack strategy - keep all idiots as far away as possible.' 'Hey,' said Xander, 'You can't hurt me you know.' Angel looked up at the boy briefly and Xander cringed. 'Because you have your big mean boyfriend over there can.' Cordelia rolled her eyes and lay her fork down on her plate. 'All this crap is making me lose my appetite.' 'Oh yes,' said Wesley, 'heaven help if you manage to eat more than four mouthfuls a day.' She slapped his arm and gestured to Xander, who was reaching for pancakes. 'Not all of us are a whole garbage can on legs.' 'So that's why the Slayer keeps you around,' said Spike with a grin. 'After she kills them, you eat the poor sods.' 'Enough, okay,' said Xander. He put all the food down and looked at the other occupants of the table. 'You really want to know why I'm here?' 'Well, duh,' said Cordelia. He nodded slowly and then sighed. 'They don't need me any more.' 'Well, duh,' said Spike, shutting up with a growl as Cordelia kicked his shin. Xander carried on oblivious. 'Buffy's got Riley to kill the bad guys with. Willow's doing all her wicca thing with Tara.' He shrugged. 'There's no place I can fit in anymore. So I decided to up sticks and come here.' 'Because you want to fit in?' asked Cordelia. 'Yeah.' 'In LA?' Xander looked at her a minute, in confusion. She looked at the others and then back to Xander. 'I guess we take all freaks,' she said with a shrug. 'You want to be useful,' sad Angel carefully. Xander nodded. 'I figured we didn't make that bad a team last time.' 'And you hadn't the moxie to think of anywhere else,' put in Spike. Xander glared at him and then spread his hands. 'Idiot Jed strikes again, huh? I guess I'm no use here, either.' Spike chuckled at Xander's dismal expression. 'You really are a wanker, Pet.' 'Gee, thanks,' said Xander. 'And when you're down and out I'll find a nice name for you too.........Stinky.' Spike laughed hard and Angel lay a hand on his childe, relaxing the vampire almost instantly. 'I offered you a job, Xander.' 'I know,' said the boy, 'And whilst I appreciate the offer, working for Billy Idol's psychotic twin just lost its appeal.' 'Oy!' 'And you can stay here until you find somewhere else,' said Angel. Spike turned and glared at him. 'What are we? The bloody YMCA?' Angel turned to his lover and met Spike's blazing eyes. Don't invite someone else in, Angel read, don't make it so we have no time alone. Let someone else take the blighter on. Saving poxy souls is one thing, taking Slayer rejects in is another bloody matter. And Angel willed Spike to understand that this wasn't about that. It wasn't about taking anything away from the Slayer, it was about offering a hand to someone who could go either way. Without direction, there was always the possibility Xander could get himself in some serious trouble. And that didn't happen in Angel's town. Ever. Spike nodded and slowly turned back to the teenager. 'All right then, Pet. You're staying with us.' He gestured to the sofa. 'And you'd better not snore.'

Continued

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