The Clockwork Vampire


by Spirit




'I could have had him.'

'Yeah, sure you could Angel.'

'I could!'

Spike grabbed tighter hold of Angel's wrist, balancing the larger vampire over his shoulders. Angel wasn't exactly drunk, but he was nowhere near sober either. They'd been in the bar for little over an hour when the drunks had come in. College boys by the looks of them. All balls and no brains, trying to get laid in the big City. It didn't look as though they'd had much luck so far, so they'd got drunker and nastier, trying to take out their aggression on anyone who got near.

By this time, Spike and Angel were growing merry down one end of the bar, talking about things they'd seen. Well, Angel was talking about the sights they'd seen, Spike tended to relate everything to who he'd killed whilst he'd been there. Not one for false modesty, Spike. By unspoken agreement they'd watched the football, Spike complaining that it wasn't violent enough for his taste. He only got excited when some poor sod in the crowd got crushed in the drama. Spike was the only one who booed when the paramedics came to take him away.

Angel had been rolling his eyes in a 'Children will play manner' when one of the college boys had walked past and laughed at Spike's haphazard ensemble. Spike hadn't noticed and was calling the bar tender to get another round in when the boy in question tapped him on the shoulder.

'Your Mom get you dressed this morning?'

Spike half-turned, it had been so long since a human other than a member of the Scooby Gang had insulted him. He looked the frat boy up and down and decided that since he couldn't bite him, he wasn't worth worrying about. Spike turned his back and leant over to get the bar tender again.

Sharp fingers prodded him in the back.

'I was talking to you.'

Spike sighed and tilted his head to Angel.

'Couldn't you just kill this one for me and I'll drink when he's dead?'

The older vampire shook his head slowly, no humour evident in his face. He was debating whether to get Spike out of there or beat the crap out of this boy. He glanced up and saw the boy's friends, drunk and more than happy to fight. He could take them out without them getting too hurt, although something in his head wasn't exactly bothered by the thought of that. But he was a little worried about Spike. He knew that the vampire couldn't kill anyone, but he had no idea if he could still fight.

Best not to find out just yet.

'Come on Spike,' he said, 'Let's go.'

'Oooh!' laughed frat boy, 'Your boyfriend taking you home?'

Spike raised an eyebrow.

'He's not my boyfriend.'

'No? Cause you two look all cozy there and...'

'He hasn't asked me yet,' said Spike with a grin.

Angel glanced at Spike, surprised. He'd expected some kind of comeback from the vampire, but this had taken him aback. Spike winked and he stuck his lip out, sucking on it and wondering how to respond. It had been so damn long!

He settled on the grin that shot wicked shudders down to Spike's roomy pants.

'Well I didn't know how you'd answer. I've been hurt you know.' He said, half-mocking something his childe had once said.

'Really? Well baby, you'd better let me kiss it better.'

Spike leant over and landed the softest kiss on Angel's mouth. Despite the situation and the knowledge that this was all for show, Angel responded with as much passion and desire as he could muster. His lips parted and he accepted the tongue that probed forward, tasting the slightly salty tang of his childe's mouth. He stroked Spike's face with the side of one hand, feeling the all too familiar throb in his pants as his own tongue joined in the kiss, swirling over and under the coolness of the mouth that kissed him.

Spike was lost in the moment, oblivious to anything other than the feel of Angel's kiss, something he'd never experienced. He'd kissed Angelus many times, but that had always been borne of hunger and desire. This was nothing short of tender, his sire stroking his face, responding not only to his plan, but to his touch and passion. He wanted Angel, it was that simple and he could feel his entire body beating to the same rhythm, wanting to show this man how good it could be between them, wanting to show him how much he loved him.

'That,' said frat boy with distaste, 'Is the grossest thing I've ever seen.'

Angel broke away briefly, his eyes opening and matching the desire he saw in Spike's.

'Matter of opinion boy.'

'Yeah? You fags make me sick.'

Spike grinned.

'Fags? We're not fags love.'

He turned to the group, his demon side very evident.

'We're something much worse than that.'

'Shit!' yelled frat boy and backed off. 'You're fucking freaks!'

Spike slid off the chair and walked to the door, his adrenaline, what there was of it, pumping. He held it open for Angel, waiting for the tall vampire to follow him. Angel, who had still not recovered from the intensity of that kiss, stood up and walked toward Spike. He was so preoccupied, that he didn't hear someone behind him pick up the stool he'd been sitting on. He didn't see as it flew through the air, heading toward Spike. He only saw it when it hit and forced Spike into the doorframe.

Angel growled as his mate was hit and he turned back to the boy who had thrown it, game face firmly in place.

'You shouldn't have done that.'

'What? Worried we hurt your boyfriend?'

'He's a vampire, he'll heal.' He picked up the offender in one hand, 'You. Won't.'

Spike rubbed his side as he watched Angel start throttling the boy. His smile grew at the sight, he loved violence and his sire defending his honour, sort of thing, made grin beyond measure. Then his goodwill sank, as he realised the angst Angel would go through if he killed him. As much as the little shit deserved it, he wasn't going to have Angel brooding about the worthless thing's death. Angel didn't deserve it.

With a groan and a mumbled, 'I don't believe I'm doing this', Spike stepped up to Angel and laid a hand on the arm that choked frat boy. Angel looked at him and Spike read the anger and hurt that rested there. He gestured to the struggling youth and shook his head.

'You want me to let him go?'

'Not worth it mate.' Spike said flatly, hoping that his reasoning was clear to Angel. 'He'll just give you indigestion.

Angel blinked at Spike, wondering where this humanity had come from. It just wasn't like his childe to stop aggression. He had always been the first one in a fight and the last one out. Then it hit him. Spike wasn't worried about the boy at all, he was concerned about him. He didn't want Angel's soul to suffer. Touched and aroused at such consideration, Angel lowered frat boy down and dropped him to the floor.

'Come on mate, let's go home.'

Angel nodded and they walked out of the suddenly quiet bar.

Which was when the flashy sports car had soaked them both as it drove through the puddle.

Angel had been quite pissed off after that and more than willing to go back inside and beat further amounts of crap out of the frat boy and his friends. It had taken all of Spike's strength to get him back to the apartment without beating anyone up.

He was still ranting as they passed through the office, the usually silent vampire uncannily verbose as the alcohol passed through his system. Spike had listened to most of his ravings in good faith, still high from Angel's automatic defense earlier. They were both soaked to the skin with the dirty water and Spike, normally happy to have a wash a couple of times a week, found himself considering his second shower in the past six hours.

Of course, this time he could take Angel with him.

Which made all the difference.

'Shower mate?' asked Spike as Angel touched the griminess of his hair.

'Urgh, yeah, I hate this. It's what's bad about this town. The dirt and all. You can never get it out of your hair or off your body, or your clothes.'

'Angel, shut up!' said Spike as he sensed another tirade beginning. 'It doesn't bloody matter!'

Angel paused and looked at his childe. He'd been feeling quite light headed from that kiss and he suspected he might be over-compensating by talking too much. But that kiss... It had been so good, so intense and he had wanted so much out of it. However much Spike flirted, he thought that he was simply reacting to his memories of Angelus and he was neither able nor wanted to be that vampire again. He didn't want to be a substitute for someone else. He didn't want to make love to Spike and have him thinking about Angelus.

But if Spike kept looking at him like that

'The shower,' he mumbled, 'That was what you said, right?'

'Yeah,' said Spike, 'So that your beautiful hair can regain that perfect shine' he added in falsetto.

'Very Cordelia.'

'Very you.' Pointed out Spike, 'But since I don't fancy watching you fall into a drunken stupour in there, I'll wait in here until you're done.'

'I'm not that drunk,' complained Angel.

Ummm, hello Angel, what the hell are you talking about? This is your opportunity to see if he really wants you. Don't you think he knows that you're not that drunk? He wants to get your kit off and he's as horny as you. Just, for once in your existence, let it go. Let the night go where it wants.

I can't.

I can't risk it. I might lose my soul.

He'd make you that happy?

Angel paused and considered it.

He'd make me that happy.

His inner voice quieted a moment, before reminding him quietly, the powers that be wouldn't lose you so easily again. If you had been in danger, they would have told Doyle.

True.

'Oh for God's sake!' said Spike, 'Just get in the bloody shower!'

Angel moved to pull his coat off, then glanced suspiciously at Spike.

'Don't worry Peaches, I won't watch.'

Angel felt his heart sink and growled quietly to himself. He shouldn't be so bothered. It was only Spike and it was only a shower. Just a way of getting cleaner dirty, the little voice suggested. I am not going to think about that, I'm just going to have a shower.

Wash that man right of my hair.

Great - show tunes.

I am so not good at this.

Angel stripped off his clothes as Spike stared pointedly at the door. He dumped most in the basket and draped his coat over the chair in the bathroom. He stepped into the cubicle, denying like mad that he'd just calculated whether it was big enough for two as he turned the water on. Hot water soon gushed out and he felt his tension ease slightly as soapy water pulsed down his body. God, that felt good. It would feel even better if it was Spike's hand instead ofI'm not thinking about that!

He heard the wolf whistle as he started to soap down his cock.

Angel opened his eyes, and saw Spike watching him, naked as the day he was born, his cock hard and throbbing. Oh man!

'I thought you weren't going to watch?' he managed.

Spike grinned, almost wolfish in his desire.

'I got bored.'

Angel smiled at that.

'You always were impatient Will.'

Spike let out a sigh - it had been so long.

Angel bit down on his lip and then raised a hand to his childe.

'Come on then, let's get you cleaned up.'

Spike stepped easily into the shower, feeling the larger man pressing against him in the small cubicle. He grinned again as he heard Angel moan gently, suspecting it had been a long time between intimate caresses for him as well.

'I don't usually wash as much as this.' He said casually.

'I can tell.'

'Oi! Just cause I'm sharing a shower with does not mean you can get all personal with me!'

'Really?' asked Angel as he turned, 'I thought that was exactly what it meant.'

Blimey, he really is a big bugger, thought Spike as Angel's mouth descended on his once more and he stretched his arms up to hold the vampire closer. Angel pressed against him, his need all consuming and the desire to take Spike in his arms greater than anything had been before. He sunk his tongue deep within his childe's mouth, kissing and caressing the lithe body as if there was no tomorrow. He could feel Spike's hard cock pressing against his belly and wanted to touch, to taste, to make love to this creature who he wanted so badly.

Spike felt Angel's hands caress his waist, stroking and squeezing and teasing at the flesh that tensed under his touch. He wanted more, so much more from Angel and thought with a certain amount of wonder that he had never felt anyone make love to him like this. Not even Angelus. Stroking his fingertips down the sides of Angel's face, Spike drew his mouth slightly away and kissed around the lips which tried to recapture his at every contact. His cock pulsed hard, feeling the hot liquid slide down both their bodies. His balls throbbed and he had never felt so bloody good in his entire existence. Making love to Angel was erasing the loss of Angelus with a fierceness he wouldn't believe.

Angel spun him round suddenly, his hands playing lightly with the supple skin. Spike smiled softly as he guessed what Angel was looking for and put his hands on the wall, enjoying his sire's inspection. Angel traced little patterns down his lover's body, each detail learned anew, seemingly perfect under his fingers. He ran his thumb down the prominent backbone, watching with pleasure as Spike shuddered. As he reached Spike's waist, he drew both his hands down and heard the huge gasp as he stroked the lines of his ass.

And there it was.

His mark.

The matching tattoo to his, etched across the cheek of his favourite childe.

'You're mine' he had once told him and it still made sense to the dark vampire. And Will had agreed. He'd taken him to some frightened tattoo artist as Angelus watched his mark being drawn across his ass. When it was over, Angelus had sucked the tiny droplets of blood and they had left the frightened artist alone as payment for such fine work. He'd loved seeing it then, and he laved it with his tongue as he renewed his claim.

'Mine', Angel murmured.

'Yours' came the breathless reply above him.

Angel paused as he kissed the tender tissue, wanting to make love to Spike, but desperate not to be like Angelus, not to just take. He stood up, his erection brushing against his childe's ass, enough to entice, but not to enter. He had something he wanted to say before that. Angel turned Spike around slowly and lifted his hand to cover Spike's. Water cascaded over the blond hair, the puzzlement along with the desire in the blue eyes. Angel drew Spike's fingers up, resting them gently over his still heart.

'Yours.' He said slowly, deliberately.

Spike blinked a moment, unsure what Angel was saying, not daring to guess what he'd just meant. But Angel's eyes were clear and open. It was all there in his expression, something he was one of few people to see. He swallowed deeply and then looked at Angel again. There was something close to contentment in his eyes and Spike wondered absently if this little encounter might end with him losing his soul.

Better make the most of it then.

'Mine.' He said firmly.

Angel grinned.

Spike smiled and kissed him lightly.

'Now will you fuck me?'

Angel threw back his head and laughed, the directness thrilling him.

'Yeah, let's have a little fun.'

'A little fun? Angel love, I've always had all the fun going! Otherwise, it's just not worth it!'

Angel grinned again and leaned forward.

'Turn around,' he murmured breathlessly.

Spike grinned.

'You just want to look at your handiwork.'

'True, but I'm going to do far more than that.'

Picking up the soap, Angel watched carefully as the water ran down Spike's back. He lay the smooth bar on his lover's back and let the suds build up. He could feel the tension gathering as Spike shifted from foot to foot, his ass bobbing appealingly in the wetness. As he judged his childe couldn't take anymore, Angel slid his soapy hand down the slick cheeks, reaching for the puckered hole he'd not been near in nearly a hundred years. Spike moaned hard against the ceramic tiles, his desire rising and his hips tilting back for more.

Angel slid a finger against him, wanting to move slowly, wanting to prolong this intensity. The digit slipped inside and both men groaned at the tightness. Sliding it in and out of the throbbing passage, Angel let his other hand stray to the heavy sac under Spike's cock. He let it roll between his fingers, easing a second one inside his lover, wanting to please and be pleased. Spike pushed back against Angel's hand, wanting to be as open as he could be when he felt his sire push inside him. He hadn't expected the care and attention to his body and smiled as he was reminded again that it was Angel who was making love to him.

As the third finger slipped into the tight hole, Spike groaned loudly, pushing back as hard as he could, feeling it nudge against the sensitive gland in his ass. His balls were being manipulated with a careful skill, one he wouldn't have expected Angel to use. Angel's hand slid up, stroking the tender length of his cock, rolling the tips of his fingers up and over the head, eliciting moans of pleasure from his childe. Spike felt the fingers slip away and sighed softly, trying to spread his legs a little, waiting for the thick cock to slide inside him.

Angel kissed the delicate flesh of his lover's neck and stroked Spike's cock in rhythm with his own. He didn't think he'd last long, so strong was the desire to cum, but he wanted to wait, to make this last as long as possible. As the tip eased into the tightness of his ass, Spike howled with pleasure, a sound he hadn't made since the last time he'd been so intimate with this body. No one else had ever come close. With one long push, Angel felt his balls slap against Spike's thighs and moaned gently into the slender neck. It felt so good!

Spike grinned.

'You like that huh?'

Angel pushed into him deeply.

'You talk too much.'

They both groaned and Angel began to build up a rhythm, matching each stroke with one on Spike's cock. He experimented a little to find what speed Spike liked best and found that slow but firm seemed to suit him perfectly. He could feel all the tension of the past months leaving his body, flooding away with the water that still soaked them. As he felt the end approaching, he prayed silently that his soul would not leave him. He wanted to do this again, he wanted to be able to love again, giving back to his childe what he had once so cruelly taken.

He felt the pressure in his balls build up and started working faster, hearing Spike beat out the same tempo with breath he didn't need. He felt the cock throbbing in his hands, a smile crossing his face as he brought his lover to orgasm, climaxing himself moments afterwards. He let out a throaty growl of pleasure and felt Spike buck against him, milking his body for everything he had.

Paradise.

As they tried to recover, Angel slipped out and turned the water off. He reached out for a towel and wrapped it around Spike's lower body. He kissed his shoulder softly and wrapped a similar towel around himself. Spike turned, a rare flush covering his cheeks as he stepped out of the bath. They dried in silence, but they both knew what was on the other's mind. Had their moment of passion caused Angelus to re-emerge?

Angel stepped into the bedroom, the stake more visible than ever to him. He put it under the bed and got into it, holding back the covers for his childe. Spike climbed in next to him, wrapping his arms eagerly around his sire, not wanting to talk about the horrific possibility that was oh so real. Angel held him closely and as fatigue overtook them again, a post coital rest that they deserved, prayers were on the lips of both men that nothing would change by morning. And when Spike woke up a couple of hours later, he thanked a God he no longer believed in, that his lover lay at his side, body still entwined with his, a faint smile on his lips. Angel was still Angel and that was enough for him. Although secretly, he confided to himself that it was as he had expected.

It was the stake pressed against his heart that threw him.

*

Spike followed the line of the stake up to the shaky fingers that grasped it.

'What the Hell?'

'Shut up! I've had a rotten day and I'm not going to have you killing Angel on top of it!'

Angel rolled over at the noise, his sleeping mind shaken visibly. He'd been having this sweet dream that Spike had come to him, almost innocent, needing him. They'd made love andthere was Spike. In his bed. Naked. With a stake to his heart.

No!

'Cordelia?'

Cordelia blinked as if she'd noticed Angel was there for the first time. Probably has, thought Spike, it's not like she thinks the boss is gay or anything. She's probably harboured a few fantasies about the guy herself. He's hardly vicious on the eyes. Despite the wood against his chest, he found a dreamy smile capturing his lips and fought back hard to suppress it. Let Angel decide how this one goes down, he thought to himself, anything I say is likely to wind up with me becoming next Winter's snow grit.

True to Spike's thoughts, Angel sat up and grasped Cordelia's hand. She shrieked and tried to pull away.

'Oh God! You're him!'

Angelus?

Angel shook his head.

'I'm not evil Cordelia. I just don't want you staking Spike.'

She frowned at that.

'Excuse me but wasn't he into torturing you to death the last time he got this close?'

'I wanted the ring,' muttered Spike.

Cordelia's eyes flitted between the concerned face of Angel and the increasingly relaxed expression on Spike's. it was clear that she was having a hard time figuring out what was going on and Angel looked equally as unwilling to explain. Probably embarrassed thought Spike, his mood falling.

And then - surprise.

'Spike's with me. He's not going to hurt you. He can't.'

'Thanks mate, just tell the world Big Bad's incapable!'

Angel's gaze shifted to that of his lover.

'Do you want her staking you?'

Spike looked down at the wood. She could have killed him whilst he slept and he would never have known until he was dust. She could have done, but the illogical position he was in probably threw her. So she'd hung on. To kill him whilst he was awake?

Not having that.

He shifted so that he was sitting up slightly, feeling the soft graze of wood on his chest, looking at Angel's large hand covering her little one. He wondered why Angel didn't just take the stake away himself, but the big guy didn't like forcing anyone he liked to do anything they didn't want. He hoped that didn't include letting her stake him so that she would feel better.

'Look love, he's right. And you have no idea how much I hate saying that, but I couldn't hurt a fly.'

'You mean that?'

Cordelia's eyes searched his own and Spike caught the real concern for Angel in them. He was quite touched.

'Oh yeah, I mean if I could, I'd be eating your heart out with a Caesar salad, but it's' he gestured vaguely, 'just no go!'

'He can't go grr?' asked Cordelia, miming a vamp out to Angel.

'Oh he can, he just can't bite you.'

'Oh, Ah!' she said and pulled the stake away, letting it fall limply at the side of the bed. Then she grinned.

'So, is this how you treat everyone who's helpless, because our client list would grow sooo big if they know they get to sleep with the boss.'

Spike chuckled as Angel sat there looking embarrassed at Cordelia's perception. He looked bewildered at Spike, wondering how he could lie there and laugh when his unlife had been on the line only moments before. His childe shrugged.

'Well she's right love, only I don't intend sharing this body with anyone.' He said, giving Angel an affectionate slap on his firm ass. Angel's eyebrows shot up, unused to such displays of affection in public.

'Cordelia?'

They all jumped at Doyle's voice in the outer office. Cordelia automatically pulled the outer cover over herself, a left over from childhood. Angel shifted so that the sheets covered most of his pale frame and Spike lay there, grinning as he silently calculated the deductions the little half demon would make when he saw this little tableau. This day is getting more interesting by the minute, he thought.

'Angel?'

Doyle looked left into the kitchen and then turned to see the trio lying in Angel's bed.

'Oh God!' he yelled and went to leave.

'Doyle!' shouted Angel as he got up, pulling the sheet around him, 'Doyle! It isn't what you think!'

'No? You aren't in bed with Cordelia and that-that-that vamp who almost killed you a few weeks ago?'

'I'm not sleeping with Cordelia.'

'Oh, but you are sleeping with...urgh!' he said, in place of Spike's name.

'Spike,' said Spike helpfully.

'Thank you! So you are with him?'

Angel gaped, seeing Doyle's mouth running faster than his brain as usual. He wanted to be able to say yes, that he was with Spike, but what they'd had last night, had been so special, so perfect, he didn't want to knock it down to the black and whites that Doyle was demanding.

Spike apparently felt differently.

'Yeah Peaches, Angel boy's my sweetie. We're getting hitched next year and he's so tongue tied right now, because he's trying to work out how to ask you to be his best man.'

'Spike,' said Angel warningly, unsure that mocking the half-demon was the way to go. He turned back to Doyle. 'Somebody's done something to him and he can't hurt humans anymore.'

'Bloody Hell!' exclaimed Spike, standing up, 'Is there anyone you don't want to tell about my problem?'

'It's a problem?' asked Cordelia.

'Well not from your point of view, obviously,' said Spike, 'But do you have any idea how embarrassing it is, not to be able to perform?'

'Oh yeah,' said Doyle. He glanced up quickly at the surprised expression on Cordelia's face, 'I mean, I've heard about it from blokes who've a guy I once knew I,' he paused, his fast tongue getting away from him, 'So,' he said finally, turning to Spike, 'You can't bite then?'

'Not if I don't want excruciating pain in my head, no.'

'Oh,' Doyle looked up at a very naked Spike and looked away quickly. Cordelia caught his glance and took a good eyeful before she too turned the other cheek. Angel wrapped the sheet around his lover and let the smile touch his lips as the soft skin flexed under his fingers. For all he was aware of today and everything it brought, most of his mind relived the previous night, the feel of Spike's skin under his, the incredible rush of being able to touch. Nothing had come close to the temptation that had lay before him with Spike. Not even Buffy. Because even though he had wanted the Slayer, he had been able to resist.

He couldn't even think of turning Spike down.

Dear God, he was getting hard again!

Spike looked down at him, a faint grin across his face, reading Angel's desire accurately. He'd never been one for angsting and wasn't about to start now, but he knew that his sire felt more comfortable if he was wearing sackcloth and ashes. After Angel's acceptance and passion last night, the way in which he'd welcomed him in and cared for him, Spike didn't care if the whole fell down. For Spike, the future looked rosy. He had his sire back, his lover and for the first time in his painfully long existence, things were going his way.

He wasn't going to let Angel start regretting it now.

If he could only get these two pratts out of here, he'd show Angel just how happy he was. Spike could just imagine stripping the sheet from Angel's body, caressing every inch with his tongue, laving that toned flesh as Angel crooned above him. He wanted to worship that body with his own and stop soul boy ever thinking that they'd made a mistake. And Spike would certainly start by taking that hardening cock between his lips and...

Cordelia interrupted him.

'So, you and Spike have been groiny?'

Doyle flinched and Spike shot him a look. Angel sat down on the bad and looked at his childe. He looked so perfect, his hair slightly ruffled and his face still a little sleepy. He was a beautiful man and he belonged to him, to that home he had built within his ancient heart. And after last night, he belonged to Spike as well. The smile that appeared to be wedged on his mouth widened and Angel realised that he had never felt this happy with Buffy. Had he ever really felt true love before, then?

Love

Spike

I love Spike.

'Yes, Spike and I have been,' he paused at the synonym that Cordelia had used, 'ummm...'

'We shagged,' added Spike helpfully.

'What? You've shagged him!' exclaimed Doyle, he paused as Spike threw him yet another "yeah-so?" look and looked at Angel, who looked, for all intents, happy. Doyle didn't think he'd ever seen the big vampire without that brooding expression. And before he and Cordelia had left for Sunnydale, the anguish about the Slayer was so evident that he'd been relieved to get away from his pain. He'd worried that they'd all spend the next few weeks on tiptoes, trying to get away from Angel in a mood.

He hadn't expected this.

Not only was he not in brooding mode, but the reason for his happy disposition was a vampire. Another man. Someone who'd recently been enjoying himself trying to kill him. Another man.

Angel was gay.

But he looked damned happy.

Too happy.

'How come you still have your soul?' asked Cordelia suddenly.

'What?' asked Angel, his thoughts straying elsewhere. Elsewhere being what lay behind the sheet Spike was wrapped in.

'Your soul. I thought if you had awhat was it called?'

'Moment of true happiness.' Uttered Doyle, as if actually thinking about it disturbed him.

'Yeah, right. If you had one of them, I thought you'd lose your soul?'

She looked at the nearly naked vampires and saw Angel's hand resting unconsciously on Spike's thigh.

'You did have a moment of... what am I talking about? Of course you did.' She added with a grin.

'Yeah,' nodded Angel, 'So why do I have my soul?'

Spike threw his arms up in exasperation.

'What does it matter? It didn't happen. Leave it be!'

Angel shook his head.

'I can't. I can't risk it. What if this was a one off? If the next time I turn back and Angelus gets out. I can't do that.'

'Well, the Powers that be haven't sent me one of their migraine specials, so I'd say you weren't at risk just yet,' said Doyle realistically.

'The Powers that be, that's it,' said Angel, deep in thought, 'You have to take me to them Doyle, I have to know.'

'What? Wait,' said the half-demon, 'You don't just go messing with them, you never know what they'll do to you, you could come out of there less of a man than you went in. These aren't things to play around with Angel. You don't just see them on a whim.'

'This isn't a whim,' said the dark vampire, reaching for his clothes. Cordelia held up her hands in an I'm-not-getting-into-this fashion and walked out, Doyle following her close behind, giving the boss the privacy they should have exercised earlier. Spike picked up the boxers he'd worn earlier in the evening and slipped them on, watching Angel carefully as he dressed.

'Don't try and stop me Spike.'

'Never said anything,' the blond replied, 'you don't need me to tell you what a wanker you're being.'

'How can you say that?'

'The trouble with you, is that you don't know when to question something and when to let it ride.'

Angel shook his head.

'I can't risk becoming him again.'

'You weren't all that bothered last night!'

'I was stupid, I should have thought.'

'Well guess what Peaches, you didn't,' said Spike, easing the vest over his head. 'And you had a great time.'

'Modest?'

'Not about last night, no.'

Spike grabbed hold of Angel and kissed him hard. He could feel his sire's tension once more ready to pop, all his muscles clenched at the prospect of losing his soul. Don't you see, he willed him to notice, don't you understand that you and I can be so much more than enemies. We can have this, be more than we once were. This can work, Angel.

Why won't you see it?

He broke away reluctantly and looked at Angel, his cock hard and ready, needing the release he'd got from him the night before. Angel's eyes reflected his desire, but the pain was back and Spike wondered if it would ever be enough, if he could ever persuade him that happiness was possible.

'I have to go, Spike, I have to know if we can be this way again.'

'And if they say we can't?'

The blue eyes were pleading, needing Angel to say it didn't matter, that he would be his anyway.

That he loved him.

'I'll come straight back,' Angel promised, pulling away.

Spike watched as the tall frame walked out, shoulders once more hunched against a world in which he had no place. As much as he longed to pull him back inside and show him where it could be, Spike sat on the edge of the bed, looking at his feet, wondering how long it would be before Angel would leave him again. He pulled a pack of crumpled cigarettes out of his battered duster and took one out. Lying back on the bed that he had oh so recently shared with his lover, he puffed out smoke, calling to everything he still believed in to bring Angel back. He prayed that Angel would get his answer and that Gods do sometimes listen to the prayers of vampires.

Episode 4

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