The Clockwork Vampire


by Spirit




The scream sounded pretty happy by both Cordelia and Doyle's standards, but it was still kind of weird to know that the boss was down there having sex with another vampire and a male vampire at that. Although they were both pleased that there was going to be less brooding around the place, getting used to Spike was going to take some doing.

Another yell of delight.

'That's it,' said Cordelia, putting the magazine down, 'We are going to get insulation between his place and the office, or I'm not going to work when they go down there.'

'You work other times then, Princess?'

She leant over and hit him with the magazine.

'That's not fair, I work, I' she struggled to find something she could claim, 'I make the coffee,' she finished with a grin.

Doyle tilted his head. He'd tasted the stuff she called coffee, and so far, he only drank it when the whiskey had numbed his taste buds enough.

'Well anyway,' she continued when he didn't answer, 'I don't know how he can trust him after all he's tried to do.'

'Love's a funny thing,' admitted Doyle, 'It can hit you when...'

He broke off suddenly as his head started throbbing at an incredible pace. The pain, the intensity was killing him, he grasped around, his body losing control and the vision, the terrible knowledge of danger, that it was close, marching towards a horrific future. The powers that be sent him this gift but, he screamed within the confines of his head, why did it have to hurt so damn much?

He fell to the floor, Cordelia holding him tightly as the agony wore off.

'Well,' she said when his shaking stopped, 'What did you see?'

He looked up at her and the pain she saw there was more than just related to his migraine. He was suffering now, something she'd never seen after one of his visions.

'Doyle? What's wrong?'

'I saw them,' he breathed.

'Saw who?'

He looked up at her, his fear evident and scaring her slightly.

'The Scourge.'

*

'So these demons kill other demons, for fun?'

Doyle shook his head at Spike, wondering if he was asking because he wanted to help Angel, or because they sounded like people he wanted to join.

'They're purists, a race of pure bred demons who destroy anyone who's below them.'

'Meaning what exactly,' asked Angel. He'd never seen Doyle look so scared about any of his visions and whilst he wanted to find out, he couldn't be sure that Spike wouldn't tease the half demon crazy.

'Meaning half-demons, or worse. Big on pedigree. They systematically choose a race and annihilate them.' His head hung down, 'I've seen it happen.'

'They can really do this?'

'Angel, man,' Doyle sighed, 'They're extremist, they don't stop until every last one's dead. They're on a mission from... oh I don't know, they're relentless.'

'Fanatics,' growled Angel.

'Not against fanatics personally.' Said Spike lighting up a fresh cigarette, 'some of them throw good parties.'

'They hate vampires too.'

'Right then' he answered, spitting the cig into the bin, 'Let's go kick their shiny little demon hides.'

Doyle shook his head again, reaching for the bottle of whiskey he secured in Angel's office.

'You can't fight them, there's too many.'

'Look, mate,' said Spike, sneering, 'I've taken down whole villages by myself, I'm not gonna run away like a pansy just because some porcupine head says it's dangerous.'

'Who are they here for?' asked Angel thoughtfully.

'I saw some people hiding. It's gotta be them.'

'Any idea where?'

Doyle nodded.

'It's low rent district. They're scared, man.'

'Let's go,' said Angel and pulled his leather coat on. He looked at Spike, watching as he dressed and wondered if his coming was a good idea. You promised you'd work things out, he reminded himself. Let him come, if they're demons he could actually be helpful. You know he can hurt them and from what Doyle says, we're going to need all the muscle we can get.

He wished the Irishman didn't look so scared.

It was making him nervy.

*

'God, look at this!' said Spike, 'Even I wouldn't live like this!'

'You didn't have a home until recently,' pointed out Angel, 'These people are hiding.'

'Phuh!' answered the vampire, 'I'd rather be dead than live here.'

'Food's warm,' said Doyle, touching a plate, 'They must have left recently.'

'If they left at all,' said Angel and pulled up the wrinkled rug.

He opened the trap door and there they were, the collection of rag tag demons who Doyle had seen through the blur of a vision. Men, women and children, all huddled under the floor like some heart-rending flashback to the Nazi occupation. It had taken a while to convince them that they were there to help and Spike, lack of compassion not withstanding, had been rather morose about their condition. He didn't like seeing anybody unable to fight back.

Spike prided himself on giving everyone he'd ever eaten a fair run before he'd fed, even though some had only been able to run. It was a good fight he liked, something to sink his teeth, excuse the pun, into. Not this, not hiding away scared. That didn't please him at all. And the silly buggers were just going to let the Scourge run through them all, killing each one in turn and it wouldn't matter to them that they were less than harmless. Doyle confided in them both, (well he told Angel and Spike couldn't help it if his hearing was rather sharp) that when he'd first discovered his roots, he'd been approached by another Brachen demon. Doyle had been confused and defensive, refusing to help. His first vision had been of the Scourge killing the entire clan.

Hence the worry.

It was also bothering them all that they seemed to think that Angel was their 'Promised One'. Spike had snorted when they'd said that, wondering how many times it had been said before. Vampire with a soul he may be, but the only promise Angel could make was the one he was on with Spike. Still, if it kept this daft bunch quiet.

As Spike mooched around in the background, silently urging the Scourge to come and get some, Angel and Doyle made their plans. There was a boat apparently, a way of getting these zombie faced worriers out of the country. He watched as they both angsted for a bit and then stepped outside, the goodwill irritating his temperament. He kept telling himself that he was here to kick ass and for the most part that was true. There wasn't an aspect of his ego that wouldn't love to get into a fierce fight, but he also admitted that he was here to make sure nothing happened to Angel. Being a hero was all very well, but not if it took him away from Spike.

He had promised.

He wouldn't leave.

Bullshit.

He wanted to believe him and he did believe that Angel wouldn't leave him on purpose, not after promising like that, but sticking up for the dregs of society was apt to get him killed and Spike couldn't take that. So, as against his better senses as it was, he was going to have to help him out. He was going to have to, he cursed himself to the centre of his being as he thought it, to help the helpless.

Garghhhh!

He started walking the streets, amazed that there was no sign of life at all. It was as though the streets had been deserted especially for this showdown, the Scourge getting centre stage for their homage to Hitler. Personally, Spike thought outright annihilation of any race was stupid. It didn't make any sense. If everyone was dead, you couldn't lord it over them, smug faced and well fed. These demons must be loonies, brainless morons from Hell's finest asylum.

Well at least no one's going to tell me not to beat the shit out of Them!

Cordelia showed up and it seemed they had a real plan to get the half-breeds out. Spike was fairly impressed. As Angelus, he'd been crap at making plans, his usual idea being to storm in and let his natural charm call people to his bidding. Of course, despite Angel's good looks, he wasn't exactly brain of the year and they'd had to fight their way out many times. That had been the bit Spike loved of course. Over the last few years and his fights with the Slayer, he'd tried to do the old plan routine, but it was so much more fun getting hands on with the girl. And Angel on occasion.

He loved it.

Angel came out of the decrepit building, walking with purpose. He caught sight of Spike and smiled softly, his lover's face lightening the horror that waited. Doyle was freaked beyond measure and Cordelia was more bothered about who to send the invoice to. Seeing Spike leaning against the wall, smoke billowing around his head, reassured him that not everything had to end badly. So yeah, he was outside because he wasn't keen on helping people, but he was a Hell of a fighter and his tongue was at least as vicious as his fists. He paused. There was a job Spike could do, if he'd agree.

Spike walked towards him and pitched the cigarette, a grin etched across his angular face. He knows the effect he has on me, Angel thought vaguely, he knows that it wouldn't take much for me to lose sight of what we're doing and just go into one of those buildings over there and just... bend him over the edge and oh fuck!

'So Peaches, what's the deal?'

Spike talking shop?

Oh man I'm hard. I need, oh God, I need...

Spike grinned.

'Listen love, much as I'd like to take you over there and make use of this,' he said, his hand squeezing the hard cock through Angel's jeans, 'You'd only stop half-way through and start worrying about the world again. So tell me when we go get these arseholes and we'll get to it.'

Angel blinked.

'You want to help?'

Spike frowned briefly.

'Don't think I'm with you on the saving the human race scenario. But these wankers have got the wrong idea.'

He morphed.

'And I'm just the man to point out the error of their ways.'

Angel couldn't help the twitch at the sides of his mouth as he listened to Spike's enthusiasm. Then he hung his head down, knowing it wasn't that easy.

'Spike, we're going to try and get these people out without coming close to the Scourge.'

'Oh what!' yelled Spike. 'You're being a pussy!'

Angel raised an eyebrow.

'Look, we'll fight if we have to, but we need to get them out of here. As soon as we can. Cordelia's getting a boat organised. And I could use your help.'

'My help? What do you want me to do? Help them pack?'

Angel smirked and handed him a piece of paper.

'The harbour master owes me a favour. Go secure the ship, tell them to have it down as carrying medical waste or something.'

Spike looked suspiciously at the writing.

'And if he doesn't sign on the dotted line?'

Angel leaned in and kissed him.

'Use your imagination.'

*

'So Angel asked for this?'

'That's right Peaches,' said Spike, his grin at its most pleasant and deadly.

The harbour master, plump and seriously not needing the hassle this peroxide throwback seemed to threaten, shook his head slowly.

'I don't normally do favours.'

Especially for psychos like you he nearly added.

Spike just grinned wider and started to pick at his teeth, his gaze never wavering from the increasingly terrified man.

'I mean, I don't normally do them... you're not going to pay are you?'

Spike took out a cigarette and lit up, waving the match slowly as it went out, enjoying the fear he inspired in this human. Still got it, he thought happily to himself. Using your fists is fun, but you don't need it for this type. Listen to that - his heart's heading for a coronary just with me in the room! His veins are throbbing, mmmm. Got to get me a feed and a fuck after this.

Angel, he grinned, I am going to show you how much you owe me when we get home.

'No, we're not going to pay. In fact, since you know what I am.'

'Barney said Angel bit him.'

Spike shook his head maybe.

'Only if he was hungry, tends to prefer the younger meat, if you know what I mean,' he leered.

The fat man looked confused.

'So you're not...'

'Now me,' Spike continued, 'I just eat when I'm hungry. Matter of fact, I'm feeling a little rumbly in the belly now.'

'What?' gasped the Harbour master.

'So if I can't get out of here to grab a bite'

'Right, medical waste, tonight.' The man said, scribbling rapidly on the paper.

Spike pulled it out of his hands as soon as he was done, blowing dramatically on the ink.

'Thanks Peaches,' he winked, 'Be seeing you.'

He walked out of the door, a swing in his step and smoke blowing backwards over his shoulder. Big Bad and horny as hell.

The harbour master stayed still until he couldn't hear footsteps any longer, then flew to the door and bolted it. Next time Barney could handle his own Psychopaths.

*

Spike walked back into the district slightly uneasy, his earlier pleasure of terrorizing the sap going as he thought how his standards had dropped. So I terrified one little fat man, big whoop! I couldn't bite him and I miss that, I miss the veins popping under your fangs and everything. He sighed. Almost wish he had resisted, could have used some... pain like nothing else flooding my head. Maybe not.

He could hear footsteps ahead, a regular beat, drumming out a rhythm on the pavement. Sounds familiar, thought Spike, sounds military.

Shit!

Keeping in the shadows Spike watched as the troupe marched down the burnt out streets, causing the kind of chaos he liked, setting cars on fire and burning out windows. The problem was, that they didn't seem to be having any fun doing it and as far as Spike was concerned, it sucked big time. No point playing carnage if you aren't hard as nails and grinning ear to ear.

He followed them silently down the street, wondering if they were going to get to Angel's little squad before they left. Gritting his teeth, he readied himself for some action, determined that they wouldn't get to lay one hand on his lover's butt. Or anywhere else.

Suddenly someone else burst out of a doorway and ran down the street. It dressed like that little half-demon Doyle, but Spike wouldn't put that one down as heroic enough to lead the Scourge astray. Still, he bashed one of them to the floor and ran off down the street. The military types all shouted and gave chase. Terrific, he thought, cat and mouse with demon counterparts.

They reached the holdout where the Lister clan had been hiding, but it seemed silent. He could hear them inside, so self-congratulating and, hah, so in the wrong place. Looked like the others had managed to get the half-demons to safety. So that beggared the question, why was Doyle around?

'Keep looking.'

'For what? For this?'

Angel?

Spike leaned in to see Angel in full vamp out, holding Doyle by the neck, threatening anyone who came near. What the hell are you doing love? He could feel something close to panic settling around him, fear at the danger his sire had put himself in. These weren't exactly the odds Spike liked to play, but if you had to take this many on, you made a plan, you sorted out where your strengths and weaknesses were. He'd... he'd broken the little half-demon's neck and he sounded suspiciously like Angelus.

Not good.

He was acting, surely?

Spike watched them drag Angel backwards, he was laughing at something, sounding more like, well if he was honest, more like himself than either of Angel's incarnations. They were walking off now, leaving Doyle's body on the floor. He waited until the Scourge had left and walked in, bending down to Doyle as one eye opened.

'I don't think I liked that plan.'

'Is he okay?'

Spike turned to see a young Lister demon behind him, worrying about Doyle.

Wonderful, they all inspired such loyalty.

'He's still the same wanker he was before.'

'Thanks Spike,' said Doyle rubbing his neck, 'We should get to the harbour, see if we can get this one on board quickly.'

'Right,' shrugged Spike, 'You do that. I'll go find Angel, see if we can't do some damage.'

He walked out, following the scent of his lover. Doyle called him.

'Spike!'

'What?' he said, impatient and a little worried, not wanting to tell either of these things to Angel's sidekick.

Doyle gave him a troubled smile.

'Be careful.'

Spike chuckled and set off.

Doyle watched until he went round the corner.

'Is he going to be all right?' asked the young Lister.

Doyle couldn't take his eyes away.

'I don't know,' he whispered, 'I think he'd die for Angel.'

*

Spike trucked down the deserted streets, wondering at what moment he'd become bound to Angel. Was it when he'd fed him for the first time, or when he'd betrayed vampire lore to share with him, or after that, long after that when he'd taken him in again, been his sire and eventually, his lover. The past few days had passed so quickly, yet every event was etched in perfect detail into Spike's mind. The pain of hunger, the feeling of helplessness and his decision to come to the only person alive who would help him without making him feel more pathetic.

He could visualize the look on Angel's face when he'd discovered him, the bitter sweet tension when he'd pulled his frail form into his arms. He could, if he closed his eyes, which, given the proximity of such nasty boys as the Scourge, wasn't advisable, see the way Angel had shivered as Spike had brushed against him in the shower. It brought a lump to his pants to think of that.

He wished he was there.

Angel stood in the middle of the room, accompanied by the other crazies who formed this Apocalypse gang. He was wearing their uniform and it bothered him more than its corseness. It was a symbol of what they wanted to be, what they had been and what they would undoubtedly carry on doing after they'd obliterated the Lister clan. He couldn't let that happen. He couldn't stand by and let them destroy another race, as they had so many times before. Standing here, listening to that zealot talk about the purity of Evil, he had never felt so isolated. He'd become what no other vampire had been cursed with, a creature of conscience and regret, constantly striving to atone to his past existence. He was alone, a solitary figure of atonement in his part of the good fight.

Until Spike came along.

Spike didn't give a damn about the good fight, probably wouldn't have done even if he did have a soul, but he was such a force of nature that he rose above the average anyway. He was the first vampire Angel had ever met with the capability to love, to feel and he couldn't help but admire that. He was a far stronger man than me, he mused, wondering if it was because of his nature that Spike had been able to adapt. He loved the violence, anyone could see that, but Angel knew he would be as happy beating the living ha ha daylights out of any demon as he was feeding on humans. And now he couldn't do that either, something had been done to him and he couldn't even touch one without shooting pains in his head.

Look at this lot, cursing away like they actually knew anything, claiming that half-breeds, tainted with humanity weakened them. He had seen more than his share of blood shed, not all at his own hands and what sickened him wasn't the gore, but the insensible reasons they came up with to justify its use. Here he was, standing amongst a crowd of pureblood demons, craving the anarchy of a race, listening to this crap their leader was spouting, not knowing when he should make his move. If he stepped out of line with this lot.he guessed he was stronger than some of them, but there were too many and they would rip him limb from limb before he'd even made an indent on their ranks.

God but he wished he was back in his bed, his arms wrapped round Spike, tucked away from the harmful light of day. When this was over.if he got out of here alive, he was going to spend some time alone with Spike, show him how much he missed him... how much he loved him. I'll make sure that he knows that I won't leave him, that I'll keep my promise. God, let me keep my promise.

Spike walked slowly up the side of the room, his eyes glued on his lover and the spazzy hairstyle he wore. Angel looked to have no way out without one of these gits noticing and tearing him down. No one was focussing on Spike at all. They were watching as some poor bugger got fried for being a traitor. He'd sold his information at the highest cost and the rumbling in Spike's belly reminded him that he hadn't eaten today. He bit down on the urge to complain at the waste, but then the human got fried and all from a suspiciously nasty glowing box. Hardly high tech, but apparently effective. A waste, Spike murmured to himself and picked up the two by four, wondering if he could get as far as the front before he was noticed.

'What are you doing here?'

Apparently not.

He swung round, bashing the split skulled demon over the head as the cheer went up over the 'Beacon'. In the general chaos, no one seemed to notice the roar as split skull went down, all too caught up in impending triumph to pay attention. Spike wasn't having that. If you're going to cause injury, you have to be seen! He swung again, the nearest acolytes knocked off centre and noticing the vampire with the big grin. He whacked them both, using the arc of wood to keep anyone from coming too close.

'Come on!' he yelled, 'Come on you wankers!'

He smashed again and again, the wood splitting as others noticed his presence and started to join in the vampire bashing. He could feel feet connect with his ribs, panting as he fought back, feeling the impending crowd closing in, ready to take him down with their sheer size. He didn't care, at least it would give Angel a chance to get away and warn the others. Hold it, was that a nice thought coming through? Fuck that! He was becoming a bloody wuss in his old age, thinking of others. He hadn't even done that when he was alive.

Spike fought hard, landing blows where he could, feeling the rush as the demons crumpled at his hands, but it was becoming too much. There were too many and he was going to go down, crushed under this lot of purebloods, destroyed by demons who though he was beneath their worth. The pain intensified and he heard rather than felt, bones snap. His hands flailed, his punches growing weaker as he was swamped by them. He growled, demon features at the fore as he felt the tugging on his arm, waiting for the limb to be torn away.

Waiting for the end.

'Dammit Spike, just come with me!'

Spike opened his eyes and couldn't see anything, but the grip on his arm was tight and he went with it, sliding out from the hoard as Angel pulled him. He groaned as he felt his shoulder dislocate, wondering why in Hell Angel hadn't used the opportunity to leave. Why he hadn't done what he needed to do. But there was no time to ask, as they were almost on him again and his legs wouldn't work, the beating he'd just taken putting him out of the fight for the moment. Angel grabbed hold of him and pulled him onto the bike, roaring away from the Scourge as he headed for the docks.

There was no time, no time to ask questions and the words he wanted to ask his sire vanished into the wind as they rode.

Doyle and Cordelia were standing on the deck, deep in some discussion about something. Perhaps the little tit had finally mustered up enough courage to ask her out. Anything to get rid of that bunch of pheremones that clogged up the office as he walked around, permanently hard, desperate to shag the yappy bitch. She was a looker, Spike wasn't knocking that, but she was hard on the ears, and Spike liked the sound of his own voice too much for that.

He could feel his strength returning, but the sound behind them was stronger and he knew without looking that the Scourge were behind them. With that bloody beacon thing. Lethal to anyone with human blood apparently, which was just about everyone on the ship. They couldn't let that thing be loaded. Oh great, fighting for good... again!

Angel climbed off the bike, holding Spike to his side. He ran up the gangplank, Spike's recovery swift enough that he didn't hold him back. He waved towards them all, ushering the boat to leave. But the Scourge were so close behind, he yelled to the captain to leave, that the first mate wasn't coming.

Everyone ran.

Leaving Angel and Spike at the head of the gangplank, determined that no one else was going to get past. Spike gestured to him to fix his arm and he winced as it slipped back into place.

'You should have left when I took them on.' Spike yelled above the wind.

'I told you, I'm not leaving you - ever.'

Spike grinned, the pain somehow feeling warmer.

'Right then love, let's send this lot back to Hell.'

'Not Hell,' said Angel, 'They'd enjoy it too much.'

'Somewhere worse then?'

'Yeah.'

'France it is then.'

The soldiers came scurrying up the gangplank, meeting with the agility and strength of the vampires. Tumbling into the rather more vicious commander's melee, they were both forced backwards into the hold.

'Spike, above you!' yelled Angel and he saw it, that damned beacon that could kill them all.

'Right people!' yelled Spike, letting Angel deal with the demon, 'Let's move it! Unless we all want to end up ashtray filling!'

'Can't' screamed Cordelia, yanking on a door, 'They've sealed us in!'

'Fuck,' yelled Spike and ran up towards the railing near the Beacon. Angel dispatched the commander and joined him, Doyle and Cordelia forming a close circuit behind them.

'That thing's going to bloody blow!' said Spike, 'We've got to get it out of here.'

Angel shook his head.

'Can't do that in time, it's counting down as we speak.'

'What does it do?' asked Doyle, scared of the answer.

'Its light kills anything with human blood,' said Angel.

'Which includes just about everyone in this entire room. How bloody wonderful!' said Spike reaching for a cigarette.

'Well it's getting brighter,' said Doyle 'and that Doohickey - it's fully armed isn't it?'

'Almost,' said Angel looking into the beam, 'If I can pull the cable out I can still shut it off.'

'Fuck that!' said Spike, the cigarette falling from his mouth, 'You'd kill yourself!'

'There's no other way,' said Angel flatly.

'It's suicide!' said Cordelia, suddenly aware that they might not all be going out of this hold. Hell, none of them might get out.

Angel looked at the indignant face of Spike, reading the concern, the pleading there and smiled sadly. He knew that it was all right, that he would understand. Some things were worth dying for. He turned back to Doyle and squeezed his shoulder.

'It's all right.' He said.

Doyle looked at him blankly, understanding and knowing somehow that this couldn't be. Angel couldn't die. He was too valuable, too important to lose in this battle.

'The good fight, yeah? - You never know until you've been tested. - I get that now.'

He pulled his arm back to deliver a good right hook but they were both barged out of the way as Spike leapt past them, his leather coat flying in the breeze.

'Spike!' Angel yelled, watching his lover land on the lethal thing, 'Get the Hell off there!'

'Sod off you great Poof!' came the reply, 'Human blood, right? I haven't had any of that for weeks!'

Spike bent studiously over the box and felt the light flushing his system. He moved his hands to the cable and started pulling as he felt something pulse through his skin. It seemed to sear his bones and Spike realized that he was more human than he could ever have imagined. He was going to die like this, saving the blasted helpless he despised so much. Saving the only man who mattered to him.

Better make this last act memorable then.

He started to sing, the skin crisping on his fingers as he pulled at the wires. Isn't that ironic, he chuckled to himself - More human than human. He screamed out the words to the first song that came to mind.

'And so I face the final curtain! But more, much more than this, I did it my way!!!!' he yelled above the pain.

Forget Frank, he was going out with Sid every time!

Everything felt so hot, he was burning he swore it and he could actually feel his bones, almost malleable in the white light that corrupted his body. One name beat through his head, through his heart and he hoped like mad that when this thing went dead and his body was gone that the be-souled vampire would remember him. Angel, he moaned as the cables finally started coming apart, God dammit man, I love you!

'Not dying today lover,' came the pant behind him and then firm arms covered his, the cables snapped and the feeling of falling was overwhelming. He felt the floor beneath the body that held him and he closed his eyes, exhaustion flooding his body.

Saved the bloody world was the last amused thought that passed through his head and he let go then, embracing the darkness which called to him.

*

'And weetabix.'

'Right, weetabix,' wrote down Cordelia, 'Is that it, or is there anything else you apparently need to heal?'

Spike bit his lip gently, thinking hard. She'd been super nice to him since they'd returned from the cargo hold and he wasn't going to waste it.

'Jaffa Cakes?' he finished, wondering if they had them in this country.

'What cakes?'

'Relax Princess, I know what he means. We'll get them before the film starts, right?'

Doyle appeared in the doorway, in slightly less worrying clothes than usual. It was obvious that he'd made some attempt to get dressed up and Cordelia looked him over once before shooting him a wide smile and standing up.

'Right,' she said brightly, 'You changing before we go out?'

Spike chuckled at the confused look on the half-demon's face. He paused as the burning sensation in his throat caught and choked him. God but that hurt! He reached forward and picked up the mug in his bandaged hands, wondering how long it would take his vampiric recovery to bring him back from the mess he was. He couldn't remember getting away from the ship, but Cordelia had raved about how impressive he was and he had managed a leer before the pain at the side of his mouth stopped him from bragging.

The Lister demons had gotten away successfully for some supposedly brighter future, somewhere that Spike didn't care about. The only thing that had happened was that they'd decided that his actions made him the chosen one, the saviour of their people. Doyle had struggled hard to stop laughing when the bad ass demon had pointed out that a) he wasn't doing it for them, b) he'd kick any of their arses if he saw them again and c) he was the Big Bad, vampire who'd killed thousands and if any of them let one word, just one... Angel had carried him away at that point and they had left, an annoyingly grateful smile on each and every face.

He'd spent the last few days in bed, the other three bringing him what he asked for, which at some times had been suspiciously difficult to get hold of. He'd enjoyed having the sex pistols blasting out, watching Angel's face wince each time. The older vampire's tastes had always been far too serene. Spike hoped after a week or two of Johnny and Sid, he'd at least listen to something that was written this century.

He had quite honestly expected to die. The pain had been so intense and his latent realization of his own humanity had brought with it the knowledge that he would die to save Angel. The others had managed to convince themselves that their was a spark of goodness in him, which, whilst they were bringing him treats, he wasn't going to deny. But Spike knew that if it had been for anyone else, he would have been out of there.

'Okay then, Spike, we're off,' said Cordelia, 'I'll bring everything back in the morning, okay?'

'What, hmmm? Oh right, okay,' he said and then turned his attention back to the video game which was still bearing the sold sticker. If he couldn't actually hurt humans physically, he could always amuse himself by kicking the crap out of these little annoying characters.

'Bye.'

A knee kick, flick flak and yeah! Roundhouse followed by uppercut!

'And he scores!'

The door clicked and Spike looked up, almost surprised that they'd left him alone.

Almost alone.

'You comfortable?'

Angel came through from the kitchen, his bathrobe tied tightly round his waist, a mug in hand. There was a bandage across each arm where he'd pulled Spike free from the Beacon. Concern was etched across his face, but it was pleasant to see for once, because he knew, he absolutely knew that Angel wouldn't leave him. They hadn't really said anything about it, but neither had moved far apart over the last few days. They didn't want to be apart for longer than it took to make toast.

'Yeah, I'm comfortable,' said Spike and grinned, ignoring the tightness round his mouth, 'Come over here.'

He patted down on the side of Angel's bed and stretched over to put the game down. Angel moved toward him, unfastening the robe and letting it slip from his shoulders. He heard Spike growl in a seductive manner and kissed his forehead, thanking whatever forces existed that he hadn't lost him.

'You know,' he said as he pulled back the covers, 'Sooner or later Cordelia is going to decide that she's been grateful enough and you'll have to buy your own snacks.'

Spike shrugged.

'Well then, Peaches, I'll have to sweet talk you into going out and'

'Oh no!' smiled Angel, slipping down next to Spike. 'You're going to have to learn how to buy things.'

Spike sniffed.

'We're vampires love, we take things.'

'Pay for them,' said Angel, tracing a pattern on the un-bandaged skin by his thigh. Spike groaned and shifted so that he could access more of his rare undamaged skin. Angel grinned and pulled his lover down so that he was lying flat in the bed.

'Take,' breathed Spike and Angel bent his head to kiss him.

'If you insist,' he murmured and his lips met Spike's, telling him with every caress that he belonged to him, that he would never leave him and that he would walk through the doors of Hell itself to bring him back. Loving this vampire would never be easy, but the connection they had built was growing stronger by the minute. With Cordelia and Doyle seeing him in a different light, the atmosphere around the office had lightened somewhat, even if Spike had growled at not being seen as the Big Bad.

'Mmmm,' murmured Spike as Angel's touch lingered lower, 'that bit needs rubbing better, Peaches.'

'Here?' asked Angel, covering the unblemished skin with his lips, his fingers trailing eagerly around the sensitive flesh.

A firm grasp.

'Oh yeah, there!'

Angel chuckled and turned the lights off.

'Huh, you just don't want to see me.'

'Spike, vampires remember? We see better in the dark?'

'Oh yeah.'

'Hey!'

'Well you don't need THAT sheet, it's warm enough.'

'But I'm naked now!'

Spike grinned in spite of the pain.

'Yeah, I can see.'

'Bad Spike!'

He captured Angel's mouth again, searching fingers stroking the firm body.

'Always bad, Peaches, always.'

Episode 6

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