Three days sliding into four, and Spike has not come home.
Angel paces the Hyperion.
Three days ago, he went out for cigarettes, and Angel barely raised his head from his paperwork. Hardly acknowledged Spike's taking of his car keys and ten dollars from Angel's battered wallet, paid no mind to Spike's "Gotta get out for smokes" and instead just gave him a brief nod and turned back to his endless files.
Three days sliding into four.
+ * + * + * +
A week turns into ten days and Angel has not eaten for the last two of them, has not slept or changed his clothes, and has borrowed Gunn's car four times to scour the twinkling city for a sign of his childe.
He has prowled the dirty, stinking alleys. He has nudged the homeless with his foot on the off chance that Spike, for whatever inane reason bouncing around in his brain, may have decided to sleep on the street. He has gotten in two fistfights, both of which he won, though not without injury to himself. Angel cradles his left arm close to his body, wondering if the cracked collarbone is taking longer to heal than usual.
Ten days, and Spike is gone, with no reason or rhyme.
+ * + * + * +
Cordelia comes. She peers into the darkened room where Angel sits in the armchair, looking out over the city. "Anything?"
"If there were anything, you'd know," Angel says shortly, and doesn't watch her leave.
Wesley's turn a day later, and he is bolder, actually entering the room and coming to stand next to Angel at the window. He unconsciously mimics Angel's pose, standing with his feet apart and his hands linked behind his back. "Angel," he begins, not unkindly, "Spike may be dead."
Angel appreciates Wesley's honesty. He appreciates the fact that Wesley considers their relationship to be strong enough to withstand the truth. But if Wesley does not leave the room immediately, Angel thinks he may have to demonstrate unusual force.
When Angel turns toward Wesley with glistening fangs, Wesley leaves.
+ * + * + * +
The Hyperion is strangely silent. Angel has told Wesley and Cordelia to go home and not return until he contacts them.
//yes cordelia you'll still get paid//
Angel is living in the void created by Spike's unexplained disappearance, racking his brain for reasons
why Spike would stay away so long when he has never done so before.
//death is not an option spike is not dead//
Angel lies on his bed, stiff as a board. Stares at the ceiling. A tumbler of whiskey is on the nightstand.
The void looms.
+ * + * + * +
On the fifteenth day, the front doors of the Hyperion burst open and then slam shut. Angel hears booted feet clomping across the tiled floor. Overly sensitive hearing picks up the jingle of car keys being dropped on the counter.
Slowly, so as not to disrupt the white noise that is coating his brain, Angel sits up and swings his feet over the edge of the bed. He focuses bleary eyes on the rectangle of light in the doorway.
Up the stairs, muffled by carpeting. Angel can hear soft whistling now, some tuneless thing that is low and melodic. Still focused on the door. Somehow Angel thinks that if he peels his eyes away from the door the room will begin to spin like a mad carousel, and he won't be able to get off.
Silhouette in the doorframe, lean and lanky. Momentary pause as he squints in.
Into the room now, casually dropping his duster on the armchair that Angel has inhabited every night for fourteen nights. Past the bed, looking at Angel curiously, gesturing with his chin.
"Hey," Spike says, heading into the bathroom, smelling of tequila and cigarettes.
The white noise increases.
Some time later, Spike emerges. Angel smells clean, damp hair. He can hear Spike behind him, rooting around in the dresser drawer for a fresh shirt, mumbling under his breath when he finds only Angel's clothing because Spike has once again failed to put his soiled shirts in the laundry.
Spike gives up and yanks one of Angel's too-large shirts over his wet head, mussing his hair and causing his bangs to tumble over his forehead. Angel watches him with interest.
"There any blood down there?" Spike asks, pulling up a relatively clean pair of jeans and leaving the fly open at the waist. "Huh? Is there?"
Angel blinks at him owlishly, unsure of the answer. He hasn't eaten anything since day eleven, when Cordelia, against his wishes, returned to the hotel with a bag of blood.
//don't ask where it came from angel just drink it please//
It had been human, and still warm.
Spike rolls his eyes and gives up on an answer, leaving to discover for himself.
Angel hears him slamming doors in the kitchen and letting out a string of profanities when he finds an empty refrigerator.
Spike returns to the bedroom, disgruntled. "Whyn'tcha got any food, lameass?"
And then the white noise is turned off, and there is a terrible silence. At once Angel has to fill the quiet.
"Because there's been no one here to eat it!" he shouts, and suddenly he is rising from the bed and advancing on his startled childe, backing Spike into the corner of the bedroom and his voice just keeps getting louder and louder until Spike's brow is furrowed and he is turning away from Angel in confusion.
"Two weeks!" Angel continues to yell. "Fifteen days, Spike! Where in the name of Jesus Christ have you been for fifteen goddamned days?"
Spike turns sullen, and his mouth tightens. "You ain't my keeper, Angelus."
Angel's initial relief turns to fury, white and hot. The demon comes to the fore with a snarl. "You're fucking insolent," he bites out.
"And you're fucking pathetic," Spike shoots back, pushing away from the prison of Angel's body blocking him against the wall. "Wha'd you do while I was gone, Angel, sit and brood? I'm shocked outta my knickers that you even noticed."
"I looked for you, William," Angel says in a dangerously low voice. "I looked all over this damn city for you. I looked for two weeks."
"Well now," Spike says with a grin, "ya found me. Am I in trouble?"
Angel is nonplussed. He has expected an explanation, even an apology. He has not been prepared for casual, indifferent Spike.
This disturbs Angel on a level that he does not care to examine.
But Spike is home. He is whole, intact. He is solid, standing before Angel with his hands on his hips, a muscle in his jaw jumping.
The fury abates into relief once more, and to the surprise of them both, Angel reaches out and pulls Spike into a hard embrace.
Spike stands still momentarily, arms at his sides, while Angel nuzzles his hair and pushes his nose into the hollow below his ear. Then when it seems that there is no immediate danger, Spike raises his hands to Angel's waist and rests them lightly on his hips, unconsciously tilting his head the slightest bit to allow Angel greater access to the smooth flesh of his neck.
"Wasn't gone that long," Spike murmurs, his voice a bare whisper in the dark.
Angel does not answer him, he is reveling in the feel of the flesh under his fingers, willing his worry away and tamping down the panic that has been choking him for a fortnight. Spike is home.
A tug on his shirt, and then Spike is bare-chested before him. Angel looks. Examines. His gaze skates over Spike's sculpted abdomen, searching for wounds, looking for signs that he has been injured while out of Angel's sight.
There are none. Spike is unaltered, his appearance exactly the same as when he casually walked out the door fourteen nights ago, except for the fact that he appears slightly thinner. But the rakish grin is still the same, the dancing blue eyes are not dimmed in their mocking. The corner of his mouth still curls in an disrespectful sneer.
It suddenly becomes less important to Angel to find out where Spike has been than to ensure that he never does it again.
Angel stares down at his boy, who either by will or by choice is not cowed and does not look away. "I was worried," Angel says succinctly.
Something flashes behind Spike's eyes and is gone. "You want me to say sorry? I ain't gonna."
No, Angel realizes, he won't apologize. It is foreign to his nature. Angel is sure that in Spike's own convoluted way, he thinks that Angel should be the one to apologize for whatever imagined slight has occurred.
Instead, Angel just leans in and brushes a kiss across those hard lips, putting his hands on either side of the sculpted face and waiting for Spike's mouth to soften into the embrace.
It takes perhaps three seconds for Spike to melt into the kiss, fitting his lips to Angel's and darting a soft pink tongue out to swipe over the indentation in Angel's upper lip. Then Spike's mouth is open and wet and cool, and his hands are fisting in Angel's hair and Angel indulges in the tiny, sharp pains that are caused by the tight grip on his scalp.
There is a slow, erotic descent to the floor, marked by many kisses and low growls and tiny drops of blood welling up from small nips to the skin. The light from the doorway shows smears of Spike's blood across his chest, and Angel knows there are identical smears on his own cheeks where he has kissed and licked at his childe.
Spike's recently donned clothing is discarded, and Angel somehow kicks away his own pants and shirt so that they lay naked together, small dots of blood still marking both of their white skin, one or two cuts deep enough for the blood to form a little trail down Spike's chest.
It is manna to Angel, and he can't stop licking at it, can't stop from swallowing his childe's thick blood and listening to the resulting purr. Angel coats his tongue with it, rolls the coppery ginger taste around the inside of his mouth, and then slides down Spike's body to engulf his straining cock.
Only once, twice, three times does he bob his head over the engorged shaft, barely hearing the grunt Spike emits, and then raises himself up on his forearms. Spike opens heavy-lidded eyes and glances down at his own glistening erection, understanding at once what Angel is asking him to do.
Angel is asking Spike to fuck him and has prepared him to do such. Angel knows that Spike would not take the initiative on his own and so he has nudged him in the direction of dominance, wondering even as he does it why he feels the need to have his power taken away, if only momentarily.
It doesn't matter. Spike is home, and Angel can only feel relief.
Putting two hands on the small of Angel's back, Spike rises up and out of Angel's line of sight, and suddenly it is wrong, all wrong.
Spike becomes faceless, nameless, almost as if he is not there at all, and Angel feels the panic returning when he thought that it had left for good.
"No," he says, and it does not come out loudly enough because Spike still has not reappeared in his vision, so he says it again.
Then Spike is leaning down over his shoulder, his strong, hard frame pressed to Angel's back. Angel can feel his beautiful thick length pressing into the crack of his buttocks. "No, what?"
Angel begins to breathe through his nose, a sure sign of impending hysteria, and he reaches back to grab hold of something solid. His grip connects with Spike's neck and before Spike can even let out a startled "Hey!", Angel has flipped him over his shoulder to once again land on the ground in front of him.
Annoyed blue eyes meet frenzied brown. "What's that all about?"
"Can't see you," Angel says, and thinks it sounds rather insane even to his own ears.
"But I'm right there," Spike says slowly. "You gone daft or somethin'?"
But Angel takes Spike's hardness into his hand and begins a slow, steady rhythm, that shortly has Spike forgetting about Angel's momentary foray into terror. Angel watches his childe as he pumps him, using the slick lifeblood that marks them both, and before long Spike is arching his back and groaning without reserve.
Angel's own cock throbs, and he realizes he has almost forgotten about his own desire in his brief moment of fear.
Without embarrassment he reaches down and places one of Spike's capable hands on his own cock, knowing that Spike will unselfishly comply with Angel's wishes.
Spike doesn't disappoint. Angel sees him smile, his whiter than white teeth glinting in the light from the doorway, and he grips Angel's cock and starts to stroke.
Is it shameful or a miracle that sex brings them together? Angel thinks, his nostrils flaring with each sure pump of his childe's hand. Why does it always come to this, the two of them in the darkness, pushing away whatever misunderstanding led them down this path to begin with?
Shameful ... or a miracle?
But Angel doesn't want to think any more, his brain is hurting from all the thinking the last two weeks have caused, and he only wants to concentrate on Spike.
Bringing his other hand to Spike's cock, Angel grips the head between his thumb and forefinger while holding the shaft the same way with his free hand. Spike begins to arch in anticipation, knowing that Angel's technique is fast and hard and the surest way to pleasure, and some of Angel's inner hurt is soothed at the sight of his childe lying spread before him, trusting and open and waiting for his pleasure, one of his own hands still holding Angel's dick.
Angel rubs, and Spike nearly rises off the blanket beneath them, a whispered, "holyjesusangel" the only sound he makes.
Again, Angel rubs with two hands, sliding the thin foreskin back and forth, watching as Spike's cock becomes even heavier and more infused with blood, and then he stops.
Spike pants and swallows once but does not open his eyes, waiting.
Again, Angel rubs, and Spike jerks with the force of it, his buttocks tightening and his bottom lip disappearing between his teeth.
He never relinquishes his hold on Angel's cock.
A third time, Angel rubs Spike's aching erection with two hands, and this time he doesn't stop. Again and again and again, stroking the foreskin over and back, and finally the silence in the room is broken by Spike's guttural growl when he comes in thick spurts, the lifeless semen spattering on Angel's hand and chest.
He still holds Angel's throbbing dick in his hand, and now Angel is tense with his hunger for orgasm. He knows Spike has not recovered but he can not help pushing into his childe's hand the slightest bit, seeking pressure and friction and release.
Spike reacts instantly, tightening his fingers around Angel, and leaning up on an elbow for better positioning. He is fast and thorough, using the semen that coats Angel's chest for lubrication, and Angel suddenly finds himself on his back with his childe straddling his hips.
Angel lets go.
There is only Spike and this room and his impending climax, and finally all the worry over Spike's disappearance has taken a back seat to something else, and Angel finds his release with a roar, his head thrashing on the blanket beneath him and his body shuddering helplessly under his childe's talented touch.
Spike is the one to retreat to the bed some time later, yanking the blanket out from under Angel's sleep-heavy body.
Angel willingly follows.
He lies next to Spike, both of them awake and wide-eyed in the dark.
Angel turns his head in silent question.
"That's where I went. Down to TJ for a few days." Spike shrugs, as if this explanation makes things right.
Angel ponders any number of answers he could give, none of them calm. He decides to focus his gaze again on the ceiling.
He feels rather than sees Spike's frown.
"You're really that jacked up about it?" Spike asks, after another long silence.
Angel turns to face him once more. "Yes," he says carefully, "I'm really that jacked up about it." And then Angel gets up and leaves the room.
Down the wide staircase, unmindful of his nudity, into the darkened lobby where he finds a comfortable chair and sinks into it.
Night glides into dawn.
At daybreak, there is soft padding of feet behind him.
"Umm ... Angel?" Tentative question, not typical of his boy. His boy is usually brash and tactless.
"Ya ... ya shouldn'tve worried."
Angel keeps staring straight ahead. "It isn't something I can turn on and off," he says shortly.
Spike is very close now, Angel can feel him standing directly behind his chair. He hears Spike take a deep breath of courage.
"Sorry, man. Didn't know you'd get your shorts in a knot over me ... it."
Then Spike is gone, back up the stairs.
Angel watches the dawn stretch pink fingers across the floor.