Xander hit the rewind button on the answer machine, wondering why the tape had been filled with one phone call. He supposed that he should have been more vigilant about answering the thing, but he kept thinking that Buffy or Willow would call up, and he wasn't quite ready to talk to them yet. Too many things had been said, or rather unsaid back home. They hadn't had a place for him, letting the boy wonder who he was, alone. They hadn't had time for him, and Xander wasn't staying where he wasn't welcome. Not anymore. Cordelia had snuggled up to him in Angel's bedroom, and yeah, strike that on weird things he'd thought he'd never do. Xander had wondered the odd thing or two about vampire social habits, knowing that the whole coffin thing was a complete miss, but he'd never wanted to lay in Angel's bed. Except that time when he'd wanted Buffy and Willow to be in it with him. Without Angel of course. At least, he thought it was of course. In the light of recent events, Xander wasn't quite sure. He had to keep reminding himself that it wasn't something about LA that made men look at other men like that. And on the whole, he was cool with it, trying to take an Oz-type approach.........that is, Oz when he was Oz, not when he was Oz the wolf. Okay, really not managing to stay on track here, really not making an awful lot of sense. Nothing new there. The tape squealed to a halt and Xander flicked the switch, hearing Cordelia's cheerful and slightly cheerleady voice proclaiming that they helped the hopeless. Okay, thought Xander, I came to the right place! There was a click and then he heard a laugh, which he identified as Spike more quickly than he was really comfortable with. 'You're such a bloody stickler, mate.' Xander frowned. How had these two managed to phone up here? Why had they phoned up here? It didn't sound as though they were actually talking into the phone and................Oh my God! He hit rewind and listened to the section again. Oh yeah, oh yeah, that was what he'd thought. His finger hovered over the stop button as he heard Angel, a guy he'd never heard breathing, panting hard, growling and moaning like there was no tomorrow. Which, he guessed, there might not always be for these guys. Okay Xander, he thought to himself, these guys are fucking, you really don't want to hear this, You don't. And you are NEVER acknowledging that it might even turn you on a little bit. Shit, I'm hard! He hit the switch and yanked the tape out, picking up one of Spike's lighters and burning it in the bin. Xander watched it burn for a while, then doused it with some of Cordy's coffee. 'Oh yeah,' he said to himself, 'It's definitely LA.' *
'So do we just sit here in the smelly stuff or what?' Spike, suddenly feeling the full weight of his sire, ignored the girl, wondering if this little sojourn Angel, Xander and Wesley were taking in the spirit world was going to do anything other than squash him. They were sitting in a doubled up triangle, Cordelia holding Xander, Doyle supporting Wesley, and Spike wrapped round Angel. With several smelly herbs, they had managed to send them through less than ten minutes previous, but it was already feeling too long. 'Don't worry, Princess,' said Doyle, 'Wes seems to know what he's doing.' 'And you'd know,' said Cordelia absently. She neither saw, nor cared about the hurt that flashed across Doyle's face. She could accept that he had chosen the Englishman, but that really didn't mean she had to like it. And it certainly didn't mean she couldn't poke a little fun at it. 'This bloody sod's heavy!' said Spike, trying to shift as Angel's, literally lifeless body tried to slump to the floor. 'Didn't his soul go off somewhere? Shouldn't that make him lighter?' 'He's dead weight,' said Doyle dryly, realising that Wesley wasn't only taller than him. 'Very funny,' said Spike, 'Managed to come up with that one all by yourself?' Doyle nodded, and they all winced as the candle burned down to the Lavender layer, it's strong aroma filling Cordelia's bedroom. 'God, it smells like my Grandma,' said Cordelia, wrinkling her nose. 'It smells like everyone's Grandma,' said Spike, 'Universal bloody smell, that.' Doyle nodded, 'Yeah, only with my grandma you'd have to add pipe smoke to the mix.' 'Granny Doyle's a pipe smoker?' said Spike, 'Now there's a lady I'd like to see.' 'No offence,' said Doyle, 'But I can't see me introducing you to any member of my family.' 'No,' said Cordelia, 'He saves that up for his gay lover.' Doyle turned and looked at her. 'That was a bit below the belt, Cordy.' 'Best place,' said Spike, huffing as Angel defied all logic and grew heavier, 'Certainly one of my favourites.' Cordelia grinned and pulled at Xander, her arms hooked under his shoulders. 'At least you two aren't holding the King of Twinkies here. I swear he wasn't this heavy last year.' 'Oh yeah,' said Spike with a grin, 'You and the lame brain were sweethearts.' 'He's not a lame brain,' said Cordelia with a frown. Spike grinned. 'But you were sweeties, right?' Cordelia glared at him a minute before another whiff of Lavender hit them. 'So how long is this supposed to take, anyway?' Doyle shrugged. 'Dunno - they've got to find the Incubus there and try and get it to go away.' 'Or kill it,' said Spike reasonably. 'They could always kill it.' Doyle looked at him. 'Are you a really violent vampire, or is it just your species?' Spike winked at him. 'I'm a fucking genius at blood sports.' 'So why aren't you in there with them?' asked Cordelia. 'It's the soul thing, Love,' said Spike, 'You need one to get in.' 'So essentially,' said Cordelia, 'You're holding Angellus - super bad guy?' They all looked at the sleeping vampire, aware of the size of the threat. After a minute, Spike shook his head. 'Nah, Peaches would never agree to anything that released the bad guy. He'd piss his sappy pants if he thought it was even a possibility.' 'You hear this, don't you Doyle?' asked Cordelia, 'Spike's always being mean about Angel - maybe you could keep up the trend?' Doyle raised an eyebrow at her, but he wasn't really offended - When he and Wesley had stopped off at their apartment before the ritual, the Englishman had shown him just how much he was wanted. Had they more time, Doyle was certain he'd have finally found out what was under that crisp white shirt. Holding him now, he could feel the clear shapes of his body, muscles relaxed as he slept the unnatural sleep. When they'd decided who would go and who would act as anchor, Doyle had been more than willing to try his hand at the spirit world. But Wesley had been insistent that Doyle remained here. He had claimed that his brachen side would worry the very creatures they sought for answers, but Angel had gone, and Doyle guessed that a vampire would act a whole lot more worrying than some half demon. Okay, so a vampire wasn't exactly a problem for the already dead, but still.........he could have taken his place. Xander had offered himself immediately, and, although he didn't mention it, Doyle was pleased that the boy cared so much about Cordelia. He understood the risk - that they might not be able to come back, that something could go terribly wrong - but he'd done it anyway. Doyle guessed that part of it was trying to prove himself useful, but from what he'd heard, and what Cordelia had told him, Xander had never hesitated to put himself on the front line. Whatever other inadequacies he had, lack of honour wasn't one of them. Wesley twitched in his arms and Doyle looked down, seeing out of the corner of his eye that the others were coming round as well. Be on your guard, Wesley had told him earlier, you must make sure you know who is coming back. He tensed, as the long body shook, afraid that things might be over before they'd even thoroughly begun. Spike stroked Angel's face, picking up on his sire's soul before anything else. When he met the dark eyes, he offered a grin which conveyed more than he'd ever say in public - welcome back, my own one. Angel smiled softly, but there was worry in his eyes that Spike recognised. 'It went badly, Peaches?' Angel struggled to sit up. 'Kind of good, kind of bad.' Spike frowned at him. 'Go on then, tell us what went wrong.' Xander groaned and pressed back against his comfy cushion. He'd never really been involved with anything that involved his mind being detached from his body.........well, aside from his personal achievements in daydreaming. Oh yeah, he was world class at that. But that had seriously been strange and it felt so good lying here, pressed up against such soft, warm......... 'Okay Xander, awake now, you can stop groping.' He sat up, flinching as though she's injured him. He was kind of surprised to see her cheeks high with colour. Maybe I wasn't the only one to like that, he thought. But there wasn't enough time to pursue the idea, as the door flew open and the air between it fluctuated, causing light ripples and distorting the room behind it. 'Okay, now that I don't like,' said Cordelia. 'Me either,' said Spike, getting to his feet. 'What in Hell did you bring back?' 'The Incubus,' panted Wesley, standing with Doyle's help, 'It wouldn't leave Cordelia.' 'So you killed it,' said Doyle, 'Right?' Wesley nodded, his breath seemingly stolen away. Angel assumed a fighting stance and spike growled. The older vampire looked at him briefly, aware that he'd need Spike's strength to defeat this. 'It had a mate.' 'A Succubus?' asked Spike with a snarl. Angel shook his head. 'Worse, Alouqua.' Spike raised an eyebrow at the name. He'd heard of it, the legendary mix between Vampire and Succubus - a demon created to drive men to suicide with it's relentless demands for blood and sex. He'd heard of it, yes, but he'd never believed it existed. Her power was legendary, capable of crushing men to her will by mind tricks and sheer physical strength. Spike had certainly never intended to meet her. It didn't seem as if he had the choice. 'I don't know what it was,' said Xander, reaching over for the cross Cordelia kept by her bed, 'But I'm thinking, not friendly.' 'You're not kidding,' said Doyle, 'I saw this bitch in one of them books you had me look at. Not pretty.' 'Except when she wants,' said Wesley, 'Then she's quite the site.' 'Lucky you're gay then,' said Cordelia brightly. They all turned to look at her. 'What? Am I not allowed to say it?' Xander patted her on the shoulder. 'Yeah, Cordy, you just don't have to include it in every sentence.' She glared at him. 'I'm dealing okay.' 'Deal later,' said Angel. 'Unless you really want to die in your bedroom.' 'Xander blinked. 'Okay now there's a fantasy I really didn't want to know I had.' Spike turned and grinned at the boy. 'I bet you're full of them, Sweetheart.' 'Don't look at me like that,' said Xander, 'It creeps me out.' Spike lay a hand over his chest, a look of mock offence on his face. 'Oh now I'm hurt. Really.' 'Spike,' said Angel, a hint of a growl in his voice, 'Alouqua?' A female form was materialising in front of them, taller than Angel and much less attractive. How this demon managed to get men into bed was beyond any of them, but they really had more to deal with than rating a demon from one to ten. Xander looked at her wrinkled face. 'As token straight guy, can I just say I'd rather go to bed with Spike than her.' Angel could feel Spike begin to say something and slapped a hand across his lover's mouth. Alouqua wasn't a demon he knew an awful lot about, and they didn't have any time to go into research mode. He didn't know how strong she was - or whether she was vulnerable to the same things as either of the demon types she represented. Still, he thought to himself, beating the Hell out of it can't do much harm. With a flourish, Angel kicked out at the demon, feeling his foot sink into her flesh. She didn't seem to have a solid body, and he lost his balance, rolling across the floor as he tried to get in for another shot. Angel was aware that Spike had started laying down blows on Alouqua's chest, his fists dipping inside her form as the demon tried to decide exactly how to materialise. It didn't seem to be too much of a problem for Spike though, as the vampire rained down as many blows as he could, driving her into the open space of the living room with sheer will power. Angel rolled to his feet, drawing a stake out of his sleeve and driving it forward into the demon's body. She shrieked, but didn't do the convenient exploding dust technique, and Angel groaned. If vampire tactics didn't work, what would? Xander came charging out of Cordelia's bedroom with a battle cry that sounded like 'Shit! This is gonna hurt!'. He swung wildly with what appeared to be a curtain pole, whacking Spike on the shoulder as the pole struck Alouqua at chest height. It sunk in, and Xander had to yank hard to pull the pole back out, Spike growling as it banged against him again. The demon reached out for him and Xander yelped as it touched his skin. He'd touched the dead before, even touched slightly squishy demon parts before, but he'd never felt anything as spongily corpse like as this. When her fingers clasped round his wrist, he yelled again, struggling against a creature whose grip on him was strong, but resisted any attempts to be touched itself. Spike grabbed hold of the boy and yanked him backwards, Alouqua screaming out as the vampire's strength proved more than compatible. She reached out again, determined to feed on the boy, but Spike threw Xander back into the bedroom and got in Alouqua's way. 'What the Hell do we do?' he yelled to Angel. 'Keep her busy,' said Angel, launching another kick to the demon, 'She doesn't seem to understand language.' 'Probably doesn't have time, with all that shagging,' said Spike. He looked around for something that would work as a weapon on the demon, but aside from Xander's impromptu curtain pole staff, there wasn't really anything of note. Still, it might have potential. Spike picked it up as Angel tried to make some impression on the demon. She might not have understood speech, but Alouqua was perceptive enough to know when intangibility was a good thing. As a result, Angel was fighting as hard as he could, putting all his strength into the act, whilst the demon was barely moving under his blows. We're fucked, thought Spike, I don't know how to fight something like this. Wesley walked into the room, book in hand, a serious look on his face. For a moment, Spike felt a surge of confidence in the mortal and he watched as Wesley ignored the demon and moved to the corner of the room. Doyle appeared in the doorway, colour drained from his face, and Spike realised that whatever Wesley was doing, its chance of success had just gone down. He got up and grabbed hold of the Brachen demon. 'What's Weasly doing?' Doyle dragged his eyes away from the Englishman and looked at Spike. 'Banishment. He thinks it'll work.' Spike looked at Wesley, who had begun making a pattern with his hands, then to Angel, who was tiring under Alouqua's assault. There had to be something they could do. 'You reckon he can do it?' Doyle shook his head. 'He's no spell caster.' Spike grabbed his collar and shook the Irishman. 'We got to give the bugger a shot. You gonna wimp out here or come and help me give Angel a break?' Doyle swallowed hard, then nodded slowly. 'A chance. Okay.' He concentrated, and the spikes came through as his more demonic side presented itself. Spike grinned and vamped out, relishing the chance to beat the crap out of something. Okay, so said demon would probably be able to use his dust as snow grit within seconds, but he'd rather go out fighting. He'd rather not go out at all, come to think of it. He'd rather be in bed with Angel, arguing over whether chocolate syrup stains a bedspread. But there was no time for that, and Spike let out a growl and launched himself at Alouqua. Wesley panted hard, and wished the sweat wasn't dripping down his face and into his eyes. This was a chancy option at best, with no real assurances that it would have any effect at all. But if Spike and Angel couldn't fight it, and they couldn't stake it, this was the next option they had open. That or let it take one of them. And Wesley wasn't letting that corpselike creature lay one finger on Doyle. He heard the Brachen demon cry out behind him and wanted to turn, to do anything to help, but he bit down hard enough to draw blood, aware that he couldn't lose his concentration. 'Isis, Nature, innocent blindness!' he proclaimed to the world. Walking quickly, not looking at the violent exchange that was wrecking Cordelia's room, Wesley reached the corner opposite and raised his hands, hoping against hope that this would work. 'Horus, Warrior, the struggling soul!' He caught sight of Xander, struggling to the doorway, wrapping his arms protectively round Cordelia and willed them to stay out of the room. He could smell the demon's overpowering scent - it's clammy nature wiping out all but the smell of battle. Wesley didn't know if he was imagining the blood, if he was just overwhelmed with the moment, but he daren't look at Doyle, daren't discover if the demon had hurt him, or worse. He ran to the next corner and threw his hands up. 'Set, Apostate, seeking the spirit!' Wesley thought he heard Aqoula howl behind him, wary that it may not be due to the spell, and ignored the tiny hope that rose in his belly. This could work, it whispered, you may have finally done something right. With a tired cry, he panted out, 'Thoth, the Wise One, encompassing all!' This time the demon howled on queue and Wesley risked turning round. Doyle was nowhere to be seen, but Angel and Spike stopped fighting her as Aquoula winced hard. Wesley swallowed and raised the crucifix he'd been holding, hoping the vampires would have the sense to get out of the way. He walked forward, intending to back Aquoula back towards the markings on Cordelia's bedroom floor, but Spike watched him, seemingly transfixed by the Englishman's spell. Before Wesley could come too close, Angel rugby tackled the vampire safely to the side of the room, covering them both with his coat as magic began to ripple across the room. Xander saw the demon backing toward the door and pulled Cordelia, screaming, back into the room, bundling her onto the bed and drawing the covers round them both. He had enough time to realise how childish this was - that, despite knowing what walked the dark, he still believed instinctively that if you can't see it, it won't hurt you. With a silent prayer that Wesley knew what he was doing, Xander closed his eyes and pressed Cordelia closer to him, her arms wrapping round his back as she sobbed. Wesley moved forward, Aquoula wincing as he raised the crucifix. Something had happened, the spell having some effect, but as yet, Wesley was unsure what. He knew what he had to say next, but his mind was losing its concentration, he was too worried about Doyle, and he needed every ounce of strength to pit his will against the demon's own. Aquoula seemed to sense the weakening of the man and howled, standing still and pushing back. Hope was draining away, and Wesley began to wish that the cup had not passed his way. 'I'm sorry,' he murmured. 'For what?' came the faintest sound over his shoulder. Wesley felt a warm body pressed against his own, felt the strength in the mottle hand that came round and wrapped round his own. With a surge, he felt his confidence come back, and saw the demon wince under his regained power. 'Send it to Hell, Wes,' yelled Doyle over the demon's howls. Wesley nodded and searched his mind for the words. 'By the laws that bind one to another. By nature's way. By everything I am and everything I will become, I banish thee!' Aquoula howled and Wesley felt his nose begin to bleed. 'I banish thee!' he repeated and felt the last of his strength leaving him. If it didn't work now......... 'And I banish ya too!' said Doyle, 'Now get to Hell you scary psycho bitch!' With that, there was shimmer of light and the demon started to break up in tiny segments of light. Wesley sagged in his arms, and Doyle was the only one watching as Aquoula made her final departure from this dimension. 'And don't come back!' came a voice under the bedclothes. Doyle sat Wesley down gently in the wicker chair and stepped toward the bed. 'You okay there, Xander?' 'We're both fine,' said Cordelia from under Xander's arm. 'Thanks for asking.' Doyle grinned. 'Glad you're safe too, Princess.' Cordelia pushed the cover back and smiled up at him. 'Next time you have a vision, can't you just phone it in?' Doyle shook his head and moved back over to Wesley, who was awake, but seemed very drained. Doyle ran his fingers over the film of sweat covering Wesley's brow, promising himself that when they got home, he'd run the man a bath, make him dinner, do whatever it took to make him feel better. And if that included helping him towel off, Doyle wasn't going to argue. 'Weasly did it then,' said Spike, supporting Angel's battered frame in the doorway. 'Sent the bitch back?' 'Your thanks are completely unnecessary,' said Wesley, his eyes still closed. 'Wasn't thanking you,' said Spike with a grin, 'Wasn't my arse she was after.' 'Enough with the ass speech,' said Xander, 'I think sex is the last thing I want to think about now.........and again with the first time speeches there.' 'Never mind,' said Angel, testing out his newly blackened eye, 'We can always find you a succubus to play with.' 'He's got one, Pet,' said Spike. 'Goes by the name Cordelia.' * 'Ummm, Cordy?' Cordelia closed her eyes in the bath and relaxed under the bubbles. After they'd made sure that Aquoula was definitely not coming back, everyone had stayed back to tidy up her apartment. Whilst the others were busy trying to get chalk off her stained floorboards, she had taken the opportunity to hug Wesley. He had been surprised, but responded quickly, holding her close for a moment before she pulled away. He opened his mouth to say something, an apology which would have spoilt things, but closed it and nodded at her, offering Cordelia a smile she hadn't seen in a long while. Spike had enjoyed himself by moving things that hadn't particularly been damaged or disturbed, hiding them in places that would surprise his bitchy little friend at inopportune moments. He longed to be there when she found the spiky statuette under the cushions in the front room, but instead, satisfied himself by removing all the lids on the bottles under the kitchen sink. Eventually, Angel had picked up on what Spike was doing and had carted him off, the younger vampire muttering something about a bet that had to be played out when they got their strength back. Shortly after that, Doyle and Wesley had departed, Wesley having been fairly disabled for most of the night. Cordelia had watched as Doyle had deliberately not given the ex-watcher the physical comfort she guessed he wanted to. She knew it was mainly for her benefit, and whilst she appreciated it, some part of her didn't like it. Cordelia Chase had been accused of many things, being a liar wasn't one of them. When the men had left, Xander had raided her kitchen for popcorn, and, on finding none, had gone to the buy a load of the junk food he lived on. Whilst he was out, Cordelia, wondering at what point she'd agreed he could spend the night on her couch, had run herself a bath and leaned back in the warm water. It had been an exhausting week, and just about everything she knew had undergone some kind of change. Whether it was for the better, she was reserving judgement until she'd had a full night's sleep, and.........actually, she wasn't really thinking beyond that. Xander had come back once she'd got relaxed, calling to her as he went about making something he called 'A slob's good night out'. It seemed to comprise of everything that put as many pounds on as possible, but Cordelia figured she was up for a little indulgence. Besides, she was actually enjoying having Xander around. He reminded her of Sunnydale, a taste of her childhood, and of what she had once been. On the other side, the side she wasn't really ready to look at, there was something very comforting about the boy, a feeling that he'd do anything to protect her, and it fit in well with their little group. They weren't the Scooby gang anymore, they'd moved on a long way since that, but they were definitely something, a force to be reckoned with. Misfits, the lot of them, (even herself, conceded Cordelia privately, she wasn't the prom Queen here) fighting against forces the rest of the world didn't even care about. But they made a difference, they mattered. She smiled to herself as a bizarre image came to her mind - Snow White and five dwarfs, Grumpy, Horny, Boozy, Uptight and......... 'Cordy?' Oh yeah, here came Dopey. 'What is it Xander?' she asked, making sure she still hit that "what you have to say better be important" vibe. 'Are you gonna be long in there?' 'Why?' 'Because.........' he paused and she guessed what he was going to say, 'I need to pee.' 'Can't you wait?' she huffed. Cordelia almost grinned at the frustrated moan from outside the door. 'No, I really need to go,' he stressed, 'Please Cordy?' She slid down into the bubbles and made her mind up. 'Okay, come in, but no peeking.' She grinned at his pause. 'But you're.........you're.........' 'In the bath, Xander,' She bit her lip, 'Think you can cope?' The door opened and Xander walked in, steadfastly staring at the opposite wall. He approached the toilet and Cordelia managed to keep a straight face. He seemed to pause again. 'You're watching me, aren't you?' She smiled, but her tone was scoffing. 'Why would I want to watch you pee? Get over it Xander.' 'Okay,' he said, 'But don't watch.' Cordelia raised her eyebrows and smiled to herself. Doyle may no longer be interested, but she still had an effect on Xander, and, despite the fact that she was so over him that he'd gone into ancient history, it felt good. She could sleep on a thought like that. * Doyle swirled his hand in the bubbles, wondering why Wesley liked the water at scalding heat. Personally, he preferred it to be just warm enough, so that he never had to do the "going past your waist thing" he used to watch Harry do. But this bath wasn't about what he wanted, and since they'd got back, Wesley had expressed a wish to do nothing more than relax in a mass of "Very hot sandalwood", which Doyle had duly tried to provide. Wesley had appeared quite touched and a little surprised by Doyle's offer. He knew that Doyle had been married before, and was vaguely aware that married couples did things for one another, but in the scope of all his past relationships, of which there were frighteningly few, he'd never really got to that stage. That he realised he was now in a relationship was another revelation - he'd longed for something to happen for so long, that when it finally did, he could scarcely believe his good fortune. Doyle, on the other hand, was more than happy with the way things were working out. Relieved that he no longer had to keep things quiet, he was relaxing into just being with Wesley. The Englishman was very undemanding, every favour Doyle did received with quiet pleasure and some disbelief. It was a change for Doyle after Cordelia's definite needs. They were both finding their feet this time, and both men felt quite happy that they were cared for, that desire came in equal measure. 'Is it done yet?' Doyle turned to see Wesley, stripped to his pants, barefoot on the bathroom floor. With a little intake of breath, the Irishman nodded, turning off the water and standing up. 'It's hot though, I don't know how you can stand to get in.' 'Not quite sure how I can stand at all,' said Wesley, 'I've never cast a proper spell before. I didn't realise how draining it could be.' 'Took you out, huh?' said Doyle, trying not to think too hard about the firmness of the body in front of him. Wesley nodded. 'I think you can safely say that spellcraft is not for me.' Doyle smiled a little, and Wesley felt a familiar twitching south of his belly. If he didn't regain some control, he'd wind up making a fool out of himself. Again. One of them had to make a move here. 'So,' said Doyle standing up, 'I'll leave you to it. Do you want something to eat, or something?' Wesley shook his head. 'I think my appetite's awol at the moment, hopefully it'll come back tomorrow.' Doyle brushed his hand against Wesley's waist and moved out of the room, half shutting the door, but not closing it completely. After all, he told himself, he's weak, he may need my help. Yeah, right. Your motives are that pure. He listened as Wesley undressed, aware that every sound was getting him hard, imagining what lay beneath Wes' "Englishman on safari' clothes. He knew Wes was well built, had felt the strength in his body many times now. A blissful number of times, where he'd been able to taste Wesley's lips, each kiss nullifying any worry he'd had about this choice. Doyle heard the water swish and heard an 'Argh!', followed by a bit of a sploosh sound. Unable to resist, he moved to the door. 'Y'okay in there, Wes?' There was a bit of a pause. 'Um, yes, yes I think so. It's bloody hot.' Doyle chuckled. 'Well you asked for it hot.' 'Mmm, well yes, I did,' said Wesley, 'This is very hot though.' Doyle grinned and moved to walk away. 'Doyle?' He moved back to the door. 'Yeah?' Afterwards, Doyle would swear he had heard the smile underneath all the uncertainty in Wesley's voice. 'You could always.........run a bit of cold in.' Doyle hesitated. 'Come in the bathroom, you mean?' 'Yes?' asked Wesley awkwardly. Doyle grabbed the towel off the top of the sofa. 'Okay, but I'm not scrubbing your back.' He opened the door, and was met by a warm grin on a very naked Englishman. 'I hadn't asked you.........yet.' * 'Why do you always lose the soap?' Spike chuckled and groped around under the water, sending about a quarter of its contents out onto the floor. He grabbed under Angel's leg and the older vampire let out a laugh as ticklish fingers brushed his thigh. 'That's why, Pet,' said Spike. He reached outside the tub and picked up the soap he'd left on top of his towel, before they even started. 'You had another bar?' Spike grinned. 'First rule in any game, Peaches, always have an ace up your sleeve.' 'You haven't got any sleeves.' 'Haven't got an ace either,' said Spike, 'But the theory's sound.' 'It's cheating,' said Angel, 'Not that it would bother you in the least.' Spike knelt up in the bath and wrapped his arms round Angel, half pretending to scrub the vampire's back, the other half just enjoying being this close to his lover in this warmth. Angel's mouth parted before Spike's lips touched, and he suckled in the long tongue, running his own over and over it, tasting the blood they'd drunk so recently. 'That was hard,' Angel said when Spike eventually pulled away. 'Nah, this is hard,' said Spike, grasping under the water. 'Quite a stonker you got there, Love.' Angel laughed loudly and wrestled his childe underneath him, feeling the warmth of the water heating both their bodies. It was as close to the feel of a human as either could come, and Angel knew that Spike enjoyed it as much as he did. He also knew that when he slid inside Spike's body this time, the tightness would wrap him in a hot cocoon, their injuries already healing from the fight earlier. 'So,' said Spike, 'You reckon they're all at it?' 'Making Love?' asked Angel. 'Hot, wet sex,' grinned Spike, and Angel felt his hips shift in spit of himself. 'No,' he said, aware of an excited squeak to his voice. 'No,' he repeated. Spike slid his hands to Angel's ass and started pulling him against his own body. 'In other words, you don't care and you want me to shut up.' Angel snorted. 'Like that would ever happen.' Spike grinned and started playing his hands all over the firm flesh of Angel's ass, slipping his fingers down to the crease and teasing the shifting muscles. Angel groaned and pushed forward, his cock pressing into the pool of Spike's belly. Every moan that Angel made was met by a kiss, Spike's tongue licking his lips, tasting the sweat they'd built up in the bath. 'Oh God.........that's good.' Spike grinned and pushed Angel backwards, the vampire splashing against the bath and tipping the water out. He slid forward and sheathed Angel's cock inside him, letting the warm water aid the vampire's passage. Angel let out a deep growl as Spike's tight ass slapped against his hips, his cock twitching inside the warmth. As the blond's fingers started stroking his chest, Angel shifted his hands to Spike's hips, pulling himself deeper inside, feeling the tension build, the heat rising between them. Angel grabbed at the soap, covering his fingers and beginning to pay attention to the warm length in front of him. As he started sliding his fingers up to the tip, he noticed that Spike was biting his lip, warm blood slipping down his chin. He wondered what his childe was concentrating on and the.........nothing mattered, because Spike was squeezing him, moving up and down on Angel's cock, his foreskin pulling back and sliding forward, the head growing ever more tingly, his balls beginning.........and it just felt so.........good.........he needed.........he wanted......... 'Will,' he moaned. Without a word, the younger vampire leaned forward and sank his teeth into Angel's neck, feeling fangs sink into his own. Spike felt the explosion in his ass, Angel's movements growing ever more frantic as he came. The fingers covering his own cock seemed to tremble, then Angel picked up the pace, still thrusting gently into Spike's ass, pressing against the sensitive gland, making the blond lose all control. With a loud growl, Spike broke away from Angel's neck and came hard, sticky fluid coating Angel's chest, some floating away in the water. He closed his eyes and licked off all the blood from his teeth, the last of his cum sliding off the tip. Grinning down at Angel, Spike waited for his sire to concede the point. 'Okay,' panted Angel, 'I think you not talking is almost as good as you making a load of noise.' 'Prefer me with my gob open,' said Spike, smiling. 'Something like that,' said Angel. He looked around at the waterlogged bathroom and the various white floaty bits in the bath. 'Shower?' he said with an innocent half grin. 'Yeah,' said Spike, 'And this time I'm gonna make you scream.' Angel eased Spike off him and stood up slowly. 'I think all you need to do is let me know how long it's going to take to clear this lot up.' Spike pulled him into the suddenly warm flow. 'I think I can figure out a better way to do it, Peaches.' Angel grinned and kissed him. 'You always do.'