It’s a Vampire Thing -

 

Buffy stared at Spike. “You came.”

 

“You called me, luv.”

 

“But you came.” She shook her head as if to clear it.

 

“Always will, Buffy. Now what’s going on that was so urgent you had to bring me back just when the bugs were molting?”

 

“Do I even want to know what that is?” She shuddered. “Never mind. I don’t.”

 

“Point, Slayer. Get to it.”

 

Buffy flinched at his single-minded concentration on why she’d sent out a signal on the communicator he’d give her before he’d left with his bugs. Why can’t he just be glad to see me? Why does he think I want something from him?

 

“It’s… it’s Angel.”

 

His face went as still as the corpse he was.  He didn’t respond, just waited as she rushed on.

 

“Well, it was Faith who called me. She’s… she’s taking care of him. Making sure he doesn’t kill himself, or go all Twilight again. But she said she can’t reach him. He doesn’t eat, or talk to her, or anything She’s afraid he’s going to dust and she doesn’t know what to do and she thought maybe….”

 

“She thought you could?” His face was still immobile and cold.

 

“What? Oh no. Not me! I can’t stand—and even if I could, Angel goes— No. No, she doesn’t want me there. It’s you she wants.”

 

“Me? Last time I saw the poof he was trying to kill me, as I recall.”

 

“Well, yeah. But that’s when he was all Twilighty… and you… I mean, you’re vampires. And you’ve known each other forever and you’ve tried to kill each other before, and then you were friends for a while, and all that stuff happened in LA and…”

 

“So she thinks what? That he’ll be glad to see me now that he’s not covered in pixie dust anymore?”

 

Buffy sighed. “I don’t know what she thinks. She’s just kind of out of ideas for getting him to talk to her or to take any interest in anything.  I guess she thought that you… with all the history and stuff. You know him better than we do.”

 

“I do,” he said, “and if you think that gives me any reason to give a rat’s ass what happens to him….”

 

She waited, but he didn’t elaborate.  Just stared at her until her eyes started to fill and she turned away saying, “I’m sorry. Of course you don—”

 

 “Oh for…” He snarled deep in his throat. “If it’s that bloody important to you.” 

 

She shook her head, giving him a tentatively grateful smile. “Don’t do it for me, Spike. Do it for Angel – for Angelus, if that works better for you.  Just go there. If you can’t reach him either, then—”

 

“I can reach him,” he said shortly. “But I’m guessing it won’t be pretty.”

 

“I think pretty kind of left the building when we—” She stopped as he snarled again and went into game face.  “Sorry. I didn’t mean to remind you….”

 

“Not necessary to remind me. It’s there in living color any time I close my eyes.” His jaw was clenched and his yellow eyes glared at her anguished face.

 

She flinched and squeezed her own eyes shut. “Spike… I’m so sor—”

 

“Skip it, Slayer.”  He shook off his fangs and sighed, putting his fists in his pockets to avoid the apologetic hand she was reaching toward him. They stood in uncomfortable silence for several seconds, regret an invisible, if palpable, presence around them.

 

“So you’ll go?”  Her voice was soft and barely audible. She didn’t meet his eyes as she asked, but stared at his boots as if they might answer her.

 

“I’ll go. Take care of yourself, Buffy.”  He brushed a hand over her cheek, then vanished in a swirl of leather before she could say or do anything else.  She felt rather than heard the whoosh of the ship as it took him away, and she stared at the dark sky for a moment before starting home to phone Faith and tell her he was on the way.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Checking his pocket first to be sure he had his communicator with him, Spike nodded to Bug Three and jumped out the door, landing easily on the rooftop several feet below.  He waited until the ship had lifted into the dark sky and disappeared before he looked around for a way into the building.

 

“Over here, blondie.”  The beam of a torch hit his face, causing him to squeeze his eyes shut and growl.  “Oops! Sorry! I forgot you don’t need—” She stopped herself and turned the beam on her own face.  “There’s a door over here, but I wanted to talk to you first.” Faith flicked off the torch and waited for him to join her.

 

“Slayer Two,” he greeted her. “How’s life as the keeper of the monster that was responsible for you inheriting this house and all that’s in it?”   He knew he sounded bitter, but found he didn’t much care. While Buffy struggled at another minimum wage job and still patrolled every night, Faith was surrounded by the physical trappings of the wealth Giles had kept secret from everyone.  Buffy may have been determined to keep any resentment to herself, but Spike felt no such need.

 

“Ouch. Guess that means a hug hello is out of the question.”  She stared at him, balanced lightly on her feet in case he was planning to follow up his greeting with something more physical.

 

“Not feelin’ all that huggable right now,” he said. “But you can stop wonderin’ if you need your stake. I’m not feeling particularly homicidal either.”

 

“Good to know,” she said, relaxing her stance and looking him up and down. “You’re looking surprisingly good for someone who lives with bugs.”

 

“It’s a healthy lifestyle.”  He waited. “So, what’s the deal here? The great poof is brooding more than usual? So what else is new?”

 

Faith slumped back against the wall. “I’ve never seen him like this.” She shook her head. “I mean, he’s gone all Angelus before and done things… but he always managed to deal with it, you know?  When he was himself again. He was sorry, but he dealt with the guilt—”

 

“He’s always Angelus, Slayer Two. It’s just sometimes he’s Angelus with a pesky soul to keep him unhappy, and sometimes he’s Angelus with a mask and a god complex. Same overbearing and egotistical demon either way.”

 

“Well this time, he’s Angelus who won’t eat, doesn’t sleep, and just stares at the ceiling all day.  I even tried leaving his door open, but he never moved.  He won’t talk to me, he won’t….”

 

To Spike’s surprise, her voice choked off on a sob.  He didn’t really know Faith all that well – no more than you would anyone else you’d shared an apocalypse with – but he didn’t need to have known her long to know that crying was totally out of character for her. And crying in front of a vampire?  Not even on her radar.  In spite of himself he stepped closer to her and held out a tentative hand, halting when she raised her head and glared at him. 

 

“Right then. Less with the sympathy, more with the Angelus – fixing. Got it.”  He stepped back. “So, where is the god wannabe?”

 

Her glare increased, but she straightened up and moved toward a small shed jutting up from the roof.  Clearly having been added many years after the house was originally built, it contained heating and ventilation equipment and a set of metal stairs leading down into the attic of the house.  He followed Faith as she descended two more sets of narrow stairs that took them all the way to the kitchen of the big house.

 

“Where is he?”  Spike looked around, feeling just the barest trace of a family member.

 

“He’s in the basement. At first it was because we didn’t know if he was going to stay… himself. So I locked him in, but now…” She shrugged. “It’s like he thinks he’s just going to stay there until he….”

 

“Dies? He’s already dead, pet. All he can do is make himself weak and skinny.”

 

“He can’t dust from lack of food?”

 

Spike shrugged. “Not sure I really know about that.  I remember he chained a minion up one time and didn’t feed her because—not something you want to know about, I guess. Point is, she got weak, and skinny, and went a bit crazy – but she didn’t dust.  Don’t know what would have happened in the long term, she was still there when we moved on. Suppose it’s possible she dusted eventually…”

 

“Thanks for that reminder of how important his soul is,” she glared.  “And yours.”

 

“Wasn’t my doing,” he said, his face expressionless. “That sort of dragged out torture was Angelus’ thing.  Didn’t need my soul to think it was… Never mind. Forgot which slayer I was talking to for a second.” He shook himself. “What have you got around here in the way of blood?”

 

“I told you he won’t eat,” she said with a glare.

 

“Not planning to give it to him,” he growled back.  “I’m gonna need it. Want some now, and want to know that there’s plenty waiting for me when I need it.”

 

Faith frowned, but refrained from asking questions.  She gestured at the refrigerator, saying, “Help yourself. There’s plenty.”

 

He opened the door, blinking at the containers of pig’s blood lined up in neat rows as well as the bags of human blood with expiration dates on them.  He grabbed one of the bags with a hospital label and with a nod of thanks took the mug she was holding out.  As he poured the blood into the cup and set it in the microwave he said, “Not much in the way of people food in there, is there?”

 

“I’m not the domestic type. Got my beer on the bottom shelf and my pretzels in the pantry. I’m good.”

 

He raised a skeptical eyebrow. 

 

“And there’s a McD’s just down the street. And a pub-restaurant on the corner,” she added with a scowl.

 

“That sounds more like it.” Spike ran a critical eye over her body and frowned. “Doesn’t look to me like you’ve been hitting those places as often as you might,” he said. “Not seeing all those curves you used to have.” He gave her a half-hearted leer as he studied her thin body and face even closer.  “You’re letting him pull you down, luv,” he said gently. “You won’t be any good to anybody if you let that happen.”

 

“I’m fine,” she said, glaring at him. “Mind your own business.”

 

“I think my business was to come here and try to help,” he said with shrug. “If that means nagging you to eat too…”

 

“Buffy didn’t send you here to get on my nerves,” she snapped.  “Just do what you’re supposed to do. As soon as I don’t have to worry about what he’s doing while I’m gone, I’ll be—“

 

“Don’t have to worry about it while I’m here,” he said, draining his mug and rinsing it out.  “Go out. Eat food. Kill something if that’s what you need to build up an appetite…” He grinned at her narrowed eyes and suspicious glare.  “Know my slayers, luv. Know what makes you tick. Go, kill something. Eat a big meal. You’ll feel much better.”

 

“A big meal is only half-way to feeling better,” she said with a trace of her old cocky self. “Didn’t B teach you what else it takes to work off a good kill?”

 

He lost his grin and shook his head. “Not on the menu, pet.” He shrugged out of his coat, then opened the fridge and took out an armful of bags of blood. “Just show me where to find grandpa and then go out and enjoy what’s left of the night.”

 

She led him to a sturdy door in the small hallway leading from the kitchen to the back door.  Opening it with a key, she flicked on a light and indicated the stairs leading down.

 

“You won’t need the key,” she said when he held out his hand. “I haven’t bothered to lock him in for weeks. I’m not sure he could even walk up the stairs at this point. But if he could…” She indicated the thick oak door and the heavy deadbolt lock.

 

“Lock it behind me,” Spike said as he started down the stairs, hitting the light switch on his way past. 

 

“But….”

 

“Just do it. I’ll let you know if and when I want out.”  She was left standing alone at the top of the stairs, biting her lip and turning the key over and over in her hand. With a final worried look into the now dark space, she closed the door and relocked it, placing the key on the kitchen counter. 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

Spike’s vampire eyesight had no trouble seeing his way down the stairs and into something that reminded him of the old basement under the L.A. Wolfram and Hart building. Built into the sides were what appeared to be damp, bare cells, the heavy doors having only small windows with bars across them.

 

Interesting set up for the old man to have in his basement, although I guess if you come from a family of watchers…. No wonder Rupert used to keep chains in his flat.

 

He walked down the corridor between the cells toward a faint light, which turned out to be coming from the open door of the last, much larger and warmer appearing cell.  Spike stopped in the entrance and surveyed the scene, shaking his head when he saw his grandsire’s inert body lying on the bed, hands folded like a corpse in its coffin. He never took his eyes off the older vampire as he set the blood bags down on a bench outside the door.

 

No wonder Faith was calling for help. Must be a treat to look at that every day.

 

Angel was immobile, his face drawn and paler even than normal. It was easy to see that the large body on the bed had less flesh covering the bones than it should have. Without speaking, knowing if Angel was conscious he would be well aware of his arrival, Spike entered the room and approached the bed.  He glanced around, noting the shelves of books, the lamps, the untouched cup with clotted blood sitting on the table, and the few, but plush, other pieces of furniture. Faith had obviously made an attempt to make the cell comfortable for its inhabitant.

 

He glanced down at Angel who had not even turned his head to acknowledge Spike’s presence, even though his eyes were open.  There was no movement of Angel’s chest, no heartbeat, nothing that would have indicated life in a human, but a flick of Spike’s hand toward Angel’s eyes brought an involuntary blink, albeit one slower than would have been necessary to prevent damage if it had been a real attempt to put an eye out.

 

Fuckin’ drama queen,” Spike growled, kicking the bed. “Haven’t you given those women enough to deal with lately without spoiling their well-deserved rest with your ‘Oh poor me” act’?”  There was no answer, nor did Spike expect one, but he kept talking.

 

“Don’t know or care why dangerous, dark and sexy wants to worry herself to death over you, but when she drags my girl into it—” He grinned with satisfaction when Angel responded to hearing Buffy referred to as “my girl” by snarling deep in his chest.

 

“Yeah, you heard me right, pillock. ‘My girl’. Has been for years.  Took you two years of making her fight invisible evil every day, a pack of lies and magic pixie dust to lure her back to you. And look how well that turned out…” He smirked as Angel rolled his head over to glare at him.

 

“What are you doing here, Spike?” Angel’s voice was hoarse and rusty from disuse. “Have I dusted and gone to hell?”

 

“You wish,” Spike said. “Hell, I wish. Everybody wishes that’s where you were… except maybe for Slayer 2.0.  Don’t know why, but she seems to care what happens to you. To the point where she called for help from the two people least likely to care if you dust or not.”

 

“She called you? And you came?”

 

“She called Buffy.  Buffy called me.”

 

“And you came, like a good little pet doggie.  You don’t have an ounce of pride, Spike.”

 

“I’ve always admitted to being Love’s Bitch. The girl asked me for a favor. I’m giving it.” Spike shrugged, then sneered.  “An’ that was a pretty lame attempt to make me dust you.”

 

“I can do better,” Angel wheezed. “Give me a second.”

 

“I’d give you the whole bloody century if it was up to me, but I don’t think the slayers have that long, and they want you to stop wallowing and get your ass off that bed.”

 

“I matter to them?” There was no missing the tone of wonder in Angel’s weak voice.

 

“You matter to one of them. Not sure Buffy’s quite as much with the program as you might like.”

 

Angel gave another growl, but made no other response.

 

“She loves me, you know. Moved on from you years ago. You just caught her at a low point—”

 

“She still loves me,” Angel said as best he could. “As much as you might try to tell yourself she doesn’t, Buffy loves me. And when she gets over being angry about—”

 

Spike’s throaty snarl brought a sneer to Angel’s face, a sneer that faded back into apathy when he realized the younger vampire wasn’t going to act on his anger. Instead, Spike shrugged.

 

“A bit better attempt, but it’s still not going to work.”  He sighed. “Dozy bint loves too much. Always has. Loves her friends, loves her sis, loved her watcher – even loves a couple of old vamps what don’t deserve it. Telling me she loves you… fuck, been living with that for years, haven’t I?  Give it up, Gramps, you’re not going to goad me into killing you. Not what I’m here for.”

 

“What are you here for then? I don’t want to talk to you.”

 

“Don’t have to. I’m just gonna talk to you until you get so tired of it you start eatin’ just to get strong enough to try an’ kill me.”

 

Angel shut his eyes and appeared to be blocking Spike out.  Unperturbed, Spike sat down in the only chair, rested his feet on the bed, and began to describe in great detail what a raging moron Angel had been to believe for one second that he was destined to be a god.  He was describing how devastated Buffy had been at losing so many slayers when Angel opened his eyes and glared at him.

 

This is your idea of making me feel better? Reminding me of all the deaths I’m responsible for?”

 

“Who said I was trying to make you feel better? You’ve been a first class arse and hurt a lot of people I care about. Don’t give a flying fuck about making you feel better; I hope you’re miserable for the rest of your unlife.  All I’m going to do is see that you live it instead of making that girl who – for some reason that completely escapes me – cares about keeping you in the world… instead of making her watch you brood yourself into a pile of dust.”

 

When there was no response, he sat back and continued as though he hadn’t been interrupted. “Course, we don’t know if you’d be a pile of dust, do we? I mean that vamp that brassed you off way back when, we don’t know if she’s dust or just still hanging there, nothing but a bag of skin and bones… Nothing but a vamp, though, so I guess you don’t really need to have that one on your conscience… not ‘less you vamped her in the first place, anyway.  Oh wait! You probably did, didn’t you? Killed her, vamped her, then didn’t like the kind of vamp she was and decided to starve her to… well, to whatever she starved into.”

 

He went on in that vein for some time, reminiscing aloud about Angelus and all the evil he’d done before he got cursed with a soul.  He paid no attention to the passing time, just continued to talk. He had to pause at one point to take a few swallows of blood to wet down his throat; then he moved on to all the things Angelus had taught him. The things they’d done together. The things they’d done to and with each other.

 

“Made you feel all manly, didn’t it? Rogering my sexy little bum and trying to make me scream. Remember that, Angelus? Remember how you tried to pretend that you were only doing it to ‘discipline’ me? Weren’t fooling anybody. Not the girls, not me… only yourself. You wanted me. And you took me. Any time you wanted until I started fightin’ back.  Had to ask nicely for it then, didn’t you? Had to make those puppy dog eyes and tell me how pretty I was and how badly you wanted me to—”

 

Spike stopped and watched with interest as, without Angel showing any other signs of life, his cock began to stir to life and tent the front of the sweat pants he was wearing.

 

“Well, lookie there, would you.  Looks like some parts of you aren’t as willing to waste away as you’d like them to…” Spike licked his lips and leaned forward. “Got your attention that time.”  He shifted uncomfortably on the chair and adjusted himself. 

 

“Let’s get back to what a berk you were—are.  Where was I? Oh yeah, I was remindin’ you of how you used to bugger me every chance you got and then pretend it wasn’t ‘cause you wanted me, it was just to teach me.   S’pose that’s what you told all those nuns while you were raping them. That you were doing it for their own good, so they wouldn’t die wondering what it was like or something.  Never tried to make it good for anybody, did you? Not ole Angelus. Just rip into ‘em and leave them bleeding and dying…”

 

“That wasn’t me… it was Angelus…”

 

“Ah, it lives… so to speak…” Spike watched with interest, but when Angel made no other comment, he continued his monologue.  Yessir, was a big disappointment for everyone when you got that soul.  No more coaxing ‘your Will’ for a little in and out; no more asking for my mouth on your dick.  Gotta admit, I kinda missed it.  Didn’t miss being buggered until I was bloody, but missed the coaxing.  Think the girls missed it too.  Whatever they said about us, seemed like they always managed to be where they could watch, didn’t it?  Made them all hot to trot, too. Had Dru begging me to ‘make it hurt like Daddy does,’ and the whore dragging you off to prove you were still a man…” He gave an exaggerated sigh. “Ah, good times…

 

“Course I got over missing it right fast. Had over a hundred years after Darla ran you off to get used to being top dog. Dru’s ‘bad doggie’. Had no plans to go back to being anybody’s nancy boy, I didn’t. Didn’t count on the Slayer shagging the soul right out of you. Can’t say I was happy to see your old self make an appearance, or that having that soul all that time did much for your demon’s sanity… Bet if Buffy’d had any idea what was going to happen, she’d have kept those dimpled knees pressed together with every bit of slayer strength she had… But she didn’t know, did she? Thought she was giving it up for the love of her teen-aged life and was gonna live happily ever after with him.”

 

He paused, his eyes cold as he forced himself to go on.

 

“Nobody knows better than I do how passionate she is, how good she can make it, but hard to believe she was that good when she was a little teen-aged virgin – not when I think about all the things I had to teach her about— oh wait, that was it, wasn’t it? It was that you popped her cherry. Just like all those nuns you raped, all those other little girls you raped before you killed them. That’s what made you so happy, wasn’t it? Not Buffy’s wonderful, strong little body, not the way she squeezes your cock and screams when she comes… it was that you got her cherry. Big bad Angelus. All it took to bring him back was fuckin’ a good girl.”

 

A steady rumble was coming from Angel’s chest and his hands were clenched into helpless fists, even as the bulge in his pants grew larger.

 

“I didn’t get her virginity, I’ll give you that. You and that soldier wanker got there first. But I taught her how to use that amazing body, showed her how many ways there were to find pleasure. Let her use me and abuse me, and loved every second of it. Took to it like a duck to water, she did. Wasn’t anything she wouldn’t try if she was in the right mood.  Had to dig pretty deep into my bag of tricks some days just to keep up with her.” He narrowed his eyes at Angel’s tense body and shifted slightly in the chair, putting his feet on the floor in case he needed to move quickly.

 

“Yeah, got to wonder how you felt when you found out what a good shag she is. Did you ever wonder who taught her all those tricks? I’m guessing she wore you right out.  All that anger at Twilight mixed up with the way she used to feel about you…  And of course, she thought I was dead, so it’s not like her feelings for me were going to get in the way—”

 

“She never thought about you!” Angel’s raspy snarl brought a small smile to Spike’s face.

 

“Get over yourself, Angelus. The girl loved-loves me.  Even with her thinking I was dead and gone, you needed help from magic mist to get her out of her knickers and into whatever the hell you got her into. And of course, it worked out about as well for the world as it did the first time she let you have her.  Just something about shagging Buffy that makes you go all ‘end the world’ happy.”

 

Spike watched with almost clinical detachment as Angel gathered himself. He continuing his needling with crude references to things he’d done with Buffy – things that, under other circumstances he would never have told another person, and certainly not as crudely or explicitly as he did now, things that he knew Angel’s soul would find as abhorrent as his did, and that his grandsire’s demon would find infuriating.  He went into salacious detail of one particular night he and Buffy has spent – alternately trying to hurt each other and seeking to bring each other tonew heights of pleasure – until they were both exhausted and bloody.

 

“Bit like one of our goes, yeah? After I got the courage to fight back and make you work for your pleasure.  Fightin’ and fuckin’ all night long? Just the ticket for a—”

 

In spite of how closely Spike had been watching, the speed with which Angel moved caught him by surprise and he was on his back with Angel’s teeth in his throat before he could do anything about it.  He made no attempt to throw off the older vampire, in spite of it being obvious that Angel had used his entire store of energy and strength to attack him, but simply lay still, feeling smug, while his grandsire began to feed. 

 

As Angel gulped down the blood flowing freely from Spike’s torn throat, his hard cock pressed against Spike’s thigh. Spike responded immediately and was enjoying the familiar feel of Angel’s body on his until he felt himself growing weak. He began to struggle to push Angel off, only to find that his blood had restored more of the other vampire’s strength than he’d anticipated and Spike was trapped beneath Angel’s large body while his own was being drained of the blood he’d stocked up on before coming downstairs.

 

Chapter Three

 

He was barely conscious when he felt Angel pulling off his jeans and turning him over onto his stomach. The abrupt intrusion caused his body to convulse, almost throwing the larger vampire off, but Angelus hadn’t spent the first several months of Spike’s life as a vampire using his greater size and strength to take what he wanted without learning where and how to hold him.  He put one arm against the back of Spike’s neck and with the other he pulled Spike’s hips up where he wanted them.

 

Spike drifted in and out of consciousness as Angel pounded into him until he came with a triumphant roar, sinking his teeth into Spikes shoulder as he did so.  Spike never felt Angel collapse on top of him, nor did he notice when Angel got up and staggered to the door.  He awoke only when he felt the cold blood trickling down his throat and realized that Angel was feeding him from the extra bags he’d left on the bench.  As soon as Spike could hold the blood by himself, Angel moved away and began to guzzle from another bag.

 

Spike finished his blood and dropped the bag to the floor, wincing as he tried to reach for another one. Without speaking, Angel handed him one of the last two bags he’d brought in and began to drain the other one himself.  When they were through, they lay on the floor, naked, bloody and still hungry.  The sound of a key in the door at the end of the hall brought Spike staggering to his feet.  He managed to reach the door in time to yell at Faith, “Don’t come down here!” He remained behind the open door, saying, “I mean it. Don’t come down, jus’ put the rest of the blood on the stairs.”

 

“Are you all right? Where’s Angel?”  Faith didn’t sound like she was planning to follow orders, and he could hear her continuing down the stairs, so Spike stepped out and let her see his naked, bloody body and the gash in his neck. He used the door to help him remain on his feet, swaying slightly.

 

“Do what you’re told, Slayer,” he growled. “You wanted me to help, I’m helping. Leave me to it.”

 

She narrowed her eyes, then, without other response she turned around and went back into the kitchen, coming back shortly with several more bags of blood that she carried half-way down the flight of stairs before putting them on a step and retreating to the main floor.

 

“I’ll give you till noon, then I’m coming down there… with stakes.”

 

“Go to bed, pet,” he said, leaning against the doorjamb for support. “Feel free to sleep late.” He waited until she had gone back up and closed and locked the door behind her, then grabbed the last of the blood from the bench and carried it back into the room where Angel was still sprawled on the floor next to the bed. He threw one bag onto Angel’s chest and fell onto the bed, biting into the other bag as he did so.

 

“Nice to know you haven’t lost that lovin’ feeling,” Spike said, draining the bag and tossing it onto the floor with the others.

 

“You asked for it.”

 

“Bet you say that to all the nuns.”

 

“You’re no nun, Spike.”

 

“Bloody good thing,” he growled, shifting uncomfortably.  “As it is—”

 

“I’m sorry.” Angel’s voice was so soft, even Spike’s enhanced ears barely heard him. He turned his head and stared down into Angel’s sorrowful eyes. “I know you weren’t trying to goad me into that. I know you just wanted to make me mad enough to bite you. But you know what taking your blood does to me!”

 

“Right. All my fault.”

 

“Dammit, Spike, I didn’t mean that!”

 

“Funny. That’s what it sounded like to me.” Spike turned his head away and stared up at the ceiling.  “Seriously, Peaches, what the hell have you been looking at up here all this time? Even for a ceiling, it’s bloody boring.”

 

Ignoring Spike’s attempt to change the subject, Angel asked, “Did I hurt you?”

 

“Nothing that won’t heal in a day or two. ‘Course, if you wanted to volunteer to kiss it better….” There was no response but a growl.  “Didn’t think so.” He shrugged and went back to studying the ceiling.

 

The bed dipped as Angel sat on the edge and put a tentative hand on Spike’s shoulder. “I know you didn’t…” He stopped and slid a hand down to Spike’s thigh and the flaccid cock lying there.  “I could take care of that for you.”

 

Eyes almost comically wide, Spike turned his head to stare at his grandsire.

 

“Case you didn’t notice, there’s nothing to take care of. Any interest I had in participating went away when you almost drained me. Had more need of the blood in my other head, what with trying to stay conscious and all.”

 

“But you’ve replaced it now. Most of it. Let me do it. Let me get you off.”

 

“The great Angelus is asking permission to suck my dick?”

 

Angel took a deep breath and visibly tried to control his temper. “Yes, Spike. I’m asking permission.”

 

“Oh, well, that’s alright then. Whatever you want.” He lay on the bed, feigning indifference while Angel leaned over him and began licking.  To Spike’s surprise, Angel first licked the bite on his neck, cleaning it up and kissing it softly before moving down Spike’s body.  By the time Angel’s mouth reached the bottom of his abdomen, Spike’s cock was already twitching in anticipation, filling quickly when his grandsire’s hand cupped the balls beneath it.

 

Spike gave a soft sigh as Angel’s mouth settled over him and began a gentle sucking action that became rougher and stronger as Spike’s breathing increased and his sigh turned to moans of anticipation. He arched into Angel’s mouth and growled his release, his hips pumping until Angel let go and fell back onto the bed beside him. They were silent for several minutes, each processing what had happened, and how much it varied from anything they’d ever done before.

 

“Well, that was a bit of alright,” Spike finally said, rolling his head over to meet Angel’s somewhat embarrassed expression.  “Was it good for you too?”

 

“I… I nev—not that it—maybe if we—”

 

“Relax, Peaches. I wasn’t serious. Just offerin’ a bit of post-blowjob humor.”

 

“You know,” Angel said, growling under his breath, but edging closer until their bodies were touching. “If you’d just keep that mouth shut, you’d be almost….”

 

“Loveable?” Spike sneered as he said it. “Save it, Grandpa.”

 

Angel growled and rolled over to pin Spike to the bed. “I was going to say ‘tolerable’.  You’ve always been easy to love, just too big a pain in the ass to keep around.”

 

Spike just blinked at him, rendered temporarily speechless by Angel’s confession. They stared at each other, their still nude bodies held tightly together by Angel’s weight on him.  Spike flinched as he felt Angel’s cock swelling against his, even as his body responded.

 

“I don’t think I can—”

 

Shhhhh,” Angel said, nuzzling the bite on Spike’s neck.  “Wouldn’t do that to you. Not unless you wanted it.” He licked the already closing wound, sending shivers through both of them.  His hands moved down Spike’s body, soothing and exciting at the same time.  He groaned when Spike squirmed under him, arching his body up into Angel’s and putting his arms around the other vampire’s broad back.  They writhed together, their cocks rubbing against each other, their fangs descending to take little nips of each other’s necks and shoulders, leaving drops of blood to be licked up and savored. Groans mingled with soft growls as their hips moved faster and the urgency grew.

 

“I think… I think I might want it…” Spike whispered, opening his legs.  “Just take it easy, yeah?”

 

“Won’t hurt you, Will,” Angel said against his neck. “Promise not to hurt you.”  He reached down for one of the empty blood bags, squeezing as much of it as he could onto his hand and using it to coat his cock. “Not exactly KY jelly,” he said as he positioned himself, “but it should serve the purpose.”

 

Rather than the brutal pounding he’d indulged in the first time, he took his time working his way into Spike, pausing every time he felt the other vampire flinch from unhealed tears.  With an impatient growl, Spike brought his knees up wide and pulled Angel into his body. “Vampire, here, you git. We like pain with our pleasure, remember?”

 

There was no answer but a deeper growl and increased motion of Angel’s hips as he took Spike at his word and worked to bring them both to a mutually satisfying finish. Spike’s final roar was muffled as he bit down hard on Angel’s shoulder and swallowed several mouthfuls of blood before dropping back into his human face. Angel removed his fangs from where he’d gently slid them into his earlier bite, taking care not to retear the flesh as he licked them closed again.

 

After a moment, he rolled off and they lay side-by-side, human faces to the fore.  Angel rested quietly, then sat up. 

 

“Stay there,” he ordered, although Spike was making no attempt to move.  Angel went to the door, peering around the corner to be sure Faith hadn’t come down again, then went to the stairs and picked up the additional blood she’d left for them.  He carried it back to the room, pausing to admire the body lying on his bed before joining Spike and handing him a bag of blood.

 

Spike bit into the bag and drained it quickly, his eyes drifting shut before he’d even thrown the bag away. Angel took the empty bag from Spike’s limp hand and dropped it on the floor before joining the younger vampire in a restorative sleep.

 

Chapter Four

 

A gasp from the doorway snapped the two vampires awake, and they sat up, snarling until they saw Faith’s pale, shocked face staring at them. Spike groaned and fell back onto the bed.

 

“Told you not to come down here,” he said, shutting his eyes to block out the sight of her wide eyes and disgusted expression.

 

“You should have listened to him, Faith,” Angel agreed, getting up and making no attempt to hide his nudity.  “You don’t belong down here right now.”

 

“Seems not,” she said, trying to recover her equilibrium. “Not unless you need some meat in that sandwich.” Her attempt at looking appreciative of their naked bodies was belied by the slight tremor in her voice and neither vampire bothered to acknowledge her remark. The bite marks covering both of them made it more than obvious why she was better off out of the basement.

 

“You don’t want to even think about that,” Angel said quietly. “Go back upstairs. We’ll be up in a little while.”

 

Her expression indicating that she, indeed, didn’t want to even think about it, she whirled and walked as fast as she could without actually feeling like she was running away, down the hall and up the stairs, slamming, but not locking the door at the top.

 

“Well, that went well,” Spike said, reaching for his jeans to the accompaniment of Angel’s steady cursing.

 

“You know who she’s going to tell,” he said, throwing Spike’s shirt at him. “Neither one of us will be able to face Buffy again.”

 

“There you go, old man. Thinking the Slayer is still that innocent little girl you knew.  She’s tougher than you think.”

 

Angel just glared at Spike until he dropped his eyes and shrugged. “Not sayin’ I’ll be running back there right off to tell her ‘job well done’,” he admitted. “Probably be a good idea to give her some time to start missing me before I show up again.”

 

“What makes you think she misses you when you’re gone?” Angel’s voice didn’t hold the venom it had earlier, but an honest curiosity.

 

“I know she does. She thinks I can’t tell, that I don’t know what she’s thinking when she looks at me with those big eyes, all yearning but too proud to say anything. But I know. I know she’s expecting me to make the first move, and I… I just haven’t decided what I want to do about it yet.”

 

“Well, while you’re deciding she might just find herself somebody who cares enough about her not to keep going away, you know.” Spike’s narrowed eyes and low growl brought an exasperated sigh from Angel. “Not me, you moron. I’m pretty sure she’d stake me on sight – and rightfully so.  I’m just saying, she’s a beautiful woman and she deserves to be loved. If you’re not going to hang around to do it, she might find herself somebody else.”

 

Spike stopped what he was doing and gaped at Angel. “Who are you and what have you done with Angelus?” he said.

 

“Very funny.” Angel sighed and stopped buttoning his shirt.  “Look, Spike. I know… I know what it took for you to come here, and I… I appreciate it. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have snapped out of it myself eventually, but you were right. It was pulling Faith down, and I had no right to do that.  I don’t know how or even if I can ever…. but that’s my problem, not yours.”  He shook his head.  “But I know I wasn’t making anything better by lying there letting Faith worry herself to death over me.  I owe you.”  He took a deep breath and exhaled through his mouth. “And I owe Buffy.  God knows I owe Buffy.  If you’re what makes her happy, then you’re what I want her to have.” 

 

“That’s big of you,” Spike said with a sneer. “But you don’t make those decisions for me, Angelus. And you don’t make them for the Slayer either.  We’ve managed to fumble our way along without you up ‘til now, I reckon we can figure it out on our own.”

 

Without further discussion, they walked out and found their way back to the kitchen where Faith had two mugs of warmed blood waiting for them.

 

“Just so you know, this is the first and last time I’m cooking for either one of you assholes,” she said, shoving the cups toward them. “This is not in my job description.”

 

Spike took a big gulp and made a face.  Faith narrowed her eyes at him. “It’s pig. You two have gone through every bag of expired blood I had in the fridge. And I wouldn’t have had that if I hadn’t thought it might coax Mr. Broody-pants here into eating.”

 

Spike smirked at Angel’s pained expression.   “Mr. Broody-pants, huh? Guess the honeymoon’s over.”

 

“You’ve got that right. I’ve got work to do. Vampire-sitting is just a small part of it.”

 

“So, you’re not watching him anymore?”  Both vampires looked at her, Spike with mild curiosity and more than a bit of trepidation. Angel just waited for her answer, his face expressionless.

 

She sighed. “Yeah, I’m still watchin’ him.  Till I’m sure he’s not going to go all Twilight on me….” She stared blatantly at Spike’s neck. “Or all Angelus…. I’m going to keep him where I can get a stake into his heart if I need to.”

 

“I’m fine, Faith,” Angel said, his shoulders slumping. “But I understand why you—”

 

“Why I might think you’re trying to be a god again? Or the devil himself – depending?”

 

“Think that might be my cue to get out of here,” Spike said, pulling out his communicator and signaling the bugs to come pick him up.  He took his coat off the back of the chair it was still hanging on and shrugged into it. “You two kids have fun and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

 

Spike’s wince when putting on his coat didn’t go unnoticed. As he headed for the stairs, Faith said, “I’ll walk you out. Hold on a sec.” She gestured with her head toward the basement and held up the key.  Angel sighed, but nodded and took his mug of warm blood with him.  “I’ll be in my room,” he said with a sad smile.  He paused to look at Spike. “Remember what I said. Don’t be a stubborn ass.”

 

“See you at the next apocalypse,” Spike responded. “Maybe we can go back to being on the same side for a change.”

 

Angel continued down the stairs and Faith locked the door behind him.

 

“You know, pet,” Spike said as they made their way to the roof, “if Angelus wants out, he’ll get out.  You and that door aren’t going keep him in.”

 

“I know. If nothing else, he’d probably be able to trick me into trusting him. Maybe not if he’s Angelus – I know what that bastard sounds like – but I don’t know about Twilight. I mean, he had his soul all that time and he still….  But this is the best I can do. It’ll work or it won’t. I’ve got the coven working on anchoring his soul, but until then….”

 

“Until then, watch yourself, yeah?” Spike looked down at the floor of the roof. “Did you… uh… Buffy….”

 

“Did I call Buffy and tell her what it took for you to get Angel’s attention?  Nope. Don’t plan to share that little scrub-my-brain sight with anybody.  I don’t know exactly what you did, or how you did it, but you got him to eat and talk and move around, so it’s all five-by-five… as long as I don’t have to think about what went on down there.”

 

“It’s a vamp thing. You wouldn’t understand.” As he spoke, he remembered the times he and Buffy had left each other bloody and sated and wondered if that was true. Maybe a slayer would understand….

 

“Don’t think I want to understand,” she said making a face. “I sent you down to resurrect a corpse and you ended up looking like you should be the dead one.”

 

The ship hovered overhead, dropping a ladder that hit Spike on the head. He cursed and grabbed it, glaring up at the open door.

 

“Are you planning to spend the rest of your life travelling with bugs? Cause, you know, I don’t think Buffy’s all that crazy about things with a lotta legs and wings.”

 

“She’s not the one living with them is she? It’s not like I bring them with me when I stop by her place.”

 

“You really are as dumb as you look, aren’t you?” Faith gave an exaggerated sigh. “She asked me if I knew when you were coming back. I think you need to ditch the bugs and spend some quality time reminding her of which vamp she really wants in her life.”

 

He gave her a sharp look. “You too?”

 

Faith laughed. “And everybody else who knows you. If you two keep dancing around each other, I’m going to start a betting pool. People can guess whether you’ll make a move before Buffy does, or if you’ll fart around so long that she gives up and finds herself a new honey.”

 

Spike sighed and shrugged his shoulders.  “Might be the best thing she could do,” he mumbled. “She deserves better than—”

 

“You know, if I repeated that stupid remark, she’d kick your ass from here to Sunday for making decisions for her.” Faith straightened her shoulders and moved a little closer, staring into his eyes.  “Can’t tell you what to do, blondie, but speaking as somebody else who’s looking at a short life-span, I’d say don’t fuck this up for her. If she wants you and you want her, one of you has to make a move.  No reason it can’t be you.”  She put her arms around his neck in a quick, but sincere hug. “And thank you for coming and fixing things.” She stepped back quickly before he could reciprocate.

 

Nothin’s fixed, luv.  He still has to live with what he did, and if you’re not going to let him brood himself to death, then I’m guessing he’s going to be all about making up for it somehow.  Things could get real interesting…”

 

“I know. I’ll deal with it.  We’ll deal with it. At least he’s talking and eating again.”

 

“Right. Job well done, then.  I’ll just be off.” He leaned in and whispered in her ear, “You know that advice you just gave me? Might want to think on those words a bit yourself…” He gave her earlobe a little nip with his blunt teeth and jumped back to avoid her punch. 

 

He leapt up and grabbed the ladder several rungs up, scrambling up so quickly he was almost a blur. As soon as he’d disappeared into the ship, it vanished into the darkness leaving Faith standing on the roof and mulling over Spike’s final words.

 

“Damn stupid vampires,” she said, turning her back on the empty roof and returning to her house and the vampire she had vowed to care for.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Buffy jumped when the communicator in her pocket vibrated against her hip. She snatched it out with one hand, continuing to fight the fledgling vampire with the other.

 

“Spike?”

 

“Who else were you expectin’?”

 

“Faith said you left three days ago. I thought… Ooof!  Sonofa— Hah!... I thought maybe something had happened to you.”  She glared at the dust in front of her as if it had been responsible for her concern.

 

“Missed me, did you?”  Spike’s voice came, not from the communicator, which was now dead in her hand, but from right behind her.  Buffy whirled and threw the small device at his head, glaring when he laughed and caught it in one hand.

 

“That’s not a very friendly greeting, love,” he said, walking closer, seemingly unperturbed by her heightened color and still angry expression. He got into her personal space, meeting her glare with a gentle smile. “Was hoping for something a little more… affectionate.”  She remained stiff, but leaned toward him just enough to encourage him to put his hands on her shoulders. 

 

“Where were you?” she said, her glare softening into a pout.  “I thought you’d be here two days ago.”

 

After a quick debate with himself, he decided to forgo telling her he hadn’t wanted to see her until his visible injuries had healed. He dropped his head to nuzzle her hair.

 

“Had some things I needed to do, love.  Thought when I got here this time I’d…” He shrugged and stood up straighter.  “I was hopin’ you’d want me to stay a while, Buffy. Told the bugs to go about their business unless I call for them.”

 

“You did?” Buffy’s whole demeanor changed and she moved into the arms he had dropped from her shoulders to wrap around her waist.  “You’re going to stay?”

 

“If you’ll have me.  Been stubborn about this way too long.  I love you, you know.  Never stopped, I was just playin’ hard to get, but I think that’s been harder on me than it has on you…”

 

She shook her head. “No,” she said softly. “It’s been killing me a little bit at a time. I thought you really had moved on and we’d never—”

 

“I don’t think I’ve got that in me, Buffy.  I’m gonna be yours till I’m dust. Won’t matter if I’m with you or not – I’ll always be yours.  I’ve been a wanker. Should have told you so the first minute I saw you again.”

 

“I could have said something,” she mumbled into his chest. “Instead of trying to pretend it was all peachy keen and we were just old friends. I could have told you how much it hurts when you keep leaving and leaving and—” She shuddered. “I could have told you.”

 

S’pose we could stop the apologizing and just start snogging? It’s been too long since we—”

 

Buffy’s head came up and she had her mouth on his before he could finish speaking. Their long, desperate kisses were reminiscent of the ones they’d shared in Sunnydale when Buffy was using his mouth and body to make the world go away, but they soon softened into deep, sensual expressions of the emotions they’d been hiding for so long. When she finally pulled away, she leaned back in his arms and smiled up at him.

 

“You’ve got no idea how much I’ve missed kissing you. I thought it was never going to happen again.”

 

Gonna see that it happens every day from now on,” he said, smiling down at her. “We’ve got a lot of lost time to make up for.”

 

“We do, don’t we?” She frowned and snuggled back into his chest, her voice muffled against his shirt. “Not that I don’t want to… but… and then there are my roommates… and I don’t think… but I do want to! Just… maybe not right now? Not yet?”

 

He nodded and kissed the top of her head. “Wouldn’t push you for anything you aren’t ready to give, love. Need to spend some time getting to know each other again, don’t we? Do it right this time.  Dinner, dancing… boring chick-flicks….”

 

He laughed when her nods of agreement turned into a head butt.  She leaned back again and tried to glare at him, but the twinkle in his eye brought an answering smile.

 

“Smart ass,” she said. “But that sounds really… nice.  Dating. Like normal people do.”

 

“You and I will never be normal, Slayer. Or ordinary.  But we can do what other people do and try to have fun at it. And if we get bored, there’ll always be a demon bar somewhere that could use a good cleaning out.”

 

They started walking toward her apartment. “There went my plans to wear good clothes when I go out with you,” she said, linking their fingers as if they always strolled through town hand in hand.  His only response was a quick squeeze as he accompanied her home.