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Fiction by:  Title Author Pairing Rating

Title:
Reciprocity
Author: femmenerd
Characters/Pairing: Angel, Spike/Angel
Rating: NC17 for guilt, despair, low quality booze, and back alley shagging. Oh, and blood.
Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss and Mutant Enemy, et al. Not for profit.
Summary: Set during the 1970s, just after the events shown in the memory sequence in AtS 4.15 "Orpheus." Also, makes more sense if one has watched BtVS 5.7 "Fool for Love." But really, are there people reading S/A that haven't seen those eps? Although there is sex in this fic, it's not really shippy—it's a character study on a souled, disillusioned Angel. But y'all know that *I* ship Spike/Angel, right?
Author's Note: This fic is quite a departure for me. You know that wistful!happy thing that I do a lot of the time? You won't find that here. [See: Rating description] This is also the first BtVS/AtS fic I've ever written that Buffy is not in and officially sounds the death knell on that thing that was my boyslash virginity.
Acknowledgements: Beta credits go to the ever-loyal amybnnyc and to kita0610, who once again graciously offered to hold my hand as I wrote Angel fic. Kita also gets special mention because back when I whined expressed how I wanted punk!Spike/Angel but wasn't sure if it was plausible, she pointed out the whole donut shop era guilt and misery thing.
Word Count: Just over a thousand.


Angel doesn't quite know where he is, but he knows enough to be sure that he's in the wrong part of town. And so naturally, Spike is there.

When he walks into the dingy, downstairs watering hole, Angel immediately fixates on the lean figure at the bar. He'd know him anywhere—bleach jobs and costume changes don't matter. Fuck, who's he kidding? Angel knew half a block away what he was walking into, measured pace quickened by anger and desperation and the need for something—anything—familiar.

So he walks in the direction of the barstools, making sure that his footfalls are heavy. Angelus shouldn't need to announce his presence. That much is still true.

Spike doesn't even lift his head, just shifts his gaze to the side and polishes off his drink with a one-handed thrust, pinky finger lifted a tiny bit up—almost imperceptible to anyone else—and an image wafts up of a Victorian gentleman that Angel never knew sipping Ceylon in the afternoon with ladies and parasols and genteel conversation.

"Christ, mate. Shoulda known you'd be sportin' polyester. Hasn't anyone informed you that disco's dead?"

The boy's had a few more decades to perfect his sneer. Still as pretty as ever, even if he's covered himself in a shiny, "fuck you" veneer. Spikes and safety pins and tattered denim. Spike looks even younger than William on the day he was turned. He tilts his head and finally meets Angel's gaze, shooting lust deep into the recesses of Angel's bitter shame.

Angel just wants something simple again—for something to be clear-cut—a moment of transcendence, be it through death or sex or pain.

Whisky will have to do for now.

For more than a century he'd been liberated from guilt and now it's everywhere, suffocating him, making him throb in all the wrong places.

He already knows that the sting of alcohol on his lips won't erase the taste of that kid's lukewarm death on his palate. Won't sate the renewed craving for the blood of something higher up on the food chain than vermin.

Angel just wants it to stop.

"So are you going to buy me a drink or what?" he half-grunts, the words like sandpaper in his mouth.

An eyebrow goes up, and Spike grabs the barkeep by his upturned collar and demands an entire bottle. Whatever it is, it's brown, tastes like acid, and sure enough, it isn't enough. Not by far. The only thing that will dull this pain is more of it.

"Where's Dru?" An economy of words is all Angel's willing to spend.

"Off tarting about with Darla," Spike says and gulps down another shot. They both know he won't be telling the girls about this little encounter.

Just the mention of his sire's name makes Angel remember just how much he's all wrong. No longer a functional monster; and still not a man. So he drinks more and feels the burn. Wishes it were hotter.

Spike's chattering and posturing. Still trying to impress Daddy. He killed another Slayer and wants Angel(us) to care.

Before they know it, the bar's closing and there's nowhere to go but out, into the stinking, sweltering heat of the city.

They make it to the nearest alleyway and Angel takes the first punch. Spike ricochets into a brick wall, stunned expression clinging to his face until he grins. Fists out but no fangs...yet. There's a tenderness in those pretty blues that Angel resents. He doesn't want to be loved. Not now. Not like this.

Angel slaps Spike into game face.

He's going to get what he wants. This time.

Bouncing back and forth on the balls of his feet, Spike swings at the air. As they circle one another, Angel finally gets a chance to really look at how his protégé has remade himself. Handsome and deadly, muscles taut and protruding from his fashionable rags now that the trophy leather has landed in a muddy puddle—this Spike is something that Angelus would be proud of—unrepentant and joyful in his power.

I made this monster.

Soon they're wrestling and grappling and it happens organically, without comment, and for that Angel's glad.

When Angel drops to his knees on the dirty concrete, it isn't surrender—it's a demand. But also a plea he refuses to speak out loud.

The gob of whisky-tainted spittle applied by Spike with nervous hands isn't enough and this hurts but Angel wants it, wants his knees to bloody, wants to forget.

He remembers the curve of Spike's cock under his hands, vicious caresses doled out from time to time when Angelus was feeling benevolent. Now that bent prick is hammering him good. Angel doesn't want to like this.

"Is this the best you can do? I thought I taught you better, boy."

Like a good son, Spike responds to his demands and increases the pace.

It is good in the worst possible way, and each of Spike's thrusts echo in Angel's own cock. Getting harder by the minute and rubbing against brown polyester, itching for release.

Spike finally comes, grunting and heaving and Angel feels the first splash of his own orgasm as well. Then the whole world goes quiet except for the rhythm of the shallow breaths that Spike still can't wean himself off of completely.

But the silence only lasts for a moment and they detach like this never happened.

This was a mirage, a brilliant spot of pleasure-laced pain in a sea of dull ache and repentance and the blood of rats. The dubious comfort of Barry Manilow tunes and pretending to be human. Feeling like refuse.

Angel wants to taste death again—the aftertaste is not enough.

When he fastens himself to the long expanse of white throat, Angel can taste Drusilla and every other mistake he's ever made in the churning sweetness of Spike's blood. He suckles and gorges, spilling crimson on his chin, and this is more intoxicating than the lousy well booze.

A moan from Spike rouses him from his reverie and Angel stumbles back, shaken and in disbelief.

"Did you get what you needed, old man?" he hears Spike gasp.

"Of course not," Angel mutters and fastens his belt.

And with that, he walks out into the street and doesn't look back.

~finis~