He needn't see anything, his face between her soft, small breasts. His nose is full of scent, his tongue has tasted her blood and tingles still, his ears take in the blessed silence inside her veins. His skin is dry where he lies against her.
Dry and cold.
He doesn't open his eyes or pull away from her. He knows she drifted off to sleep right after. When he lets go of her, she will roll away from him. She always did. Her pleasure sated, she withdraws into unconsciousness, where she doesn't have to deal with his need to hold her and be held.
He can't quite remember why he expected her to drive away the cold. A vague memory of her trembling, human form pressed against his chest, maybe. He was always the prince of denial.
The sex was good. The blood-sharing that came afterwards was even better. Thoughtlessness and forgetfulness found under the twin pinpricks of her fangs. He wonders why he didn't look there sooner.
But how could he have known?
That he would find understanding and enlightenment inside her frozen core.
Yet here it is, the meaning of it all, the sense of his journey. Burden of his soul, this. This need for a reason, this need to find significance and explanations everywhere. A thirst for ties and tethers and fucking strings. A wish to believe and confront the puppet master at the end of the day. And as much as he would like to be free of that compulsion, he has been looking for a meaning all along, despite himself. He just didn't know.
And now the answer sleeps with her back to him.
Not because he's found that elusive perfect happiness. That's gone, forever. He wishes it wasn't, still hopes that when he wakes, a few hours from now, he'll have no cares left in the world. But that's not why he smiles now, or why he groaned his pleasure when Darla's walls enfolded his hardness.
It's the beautiful,
perfect irony of realization that lands like little bricks of knowledge
falling into place, building one ideal castle in
Holland's words, startlingly enough, pointed him in the right direction.
// See, we're in the hearts and minds of every single living being. And that, friend, is what's making things so difficult for you. See, the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. It works with us. It works because of us. You know that better than anyone. Things you've seen. Things you've, well - done. You see, if there wasn't evil in every single one of them out there, why, they wouldn't be people. They'd all be angels.//
He stifles a giggle, teetering on insanity.
When Darla came and yelled his name, *Angelus!*, he remembered her own words of merciless wisdom.
//Nobody could keep up with you - not even me. You don't learn that kind of darkness. It's innate. It was in you before we ever met.//
He should have listened then. But it all makes sense now.
He has spent so long pushing the demon away. Until he accepted the darkness, came to revel in it, acknowledged that it was an inherent part of him, yet still he attributed that power to the creature that shared his body.
Now he sees, that the darkness he needed to come to terms with was that primal force which had been with him before Darla, even before his birth, and that was returned to him with the Gypsy curse, with his human soul.
How perfectly ironic.
It took a bunch of lawyers and a resurrected Sire to show him, more than his true nature - his full potential. He has denied the primitive shadows of his soul, to preserve his sanity in an essential attempt at convincing himself that he could do good, that it was worth it, that he was different, *him* against *them*. And in doing so, in forswearing that primordial evil, he severed his ties to humanity.
He remembers what Cordelia, Wesley, even Kate made him forget a long while ago. It's not the Demon which shelters the oldest, most vicious Evil, it's the Man. He sees it now, inside himself, what Darla and Holland have been trying to show him all along in an effort to make him consider the futility of his struggle. But they had it wrong, and he wants to thank them now, although they wouldn't understand.
He is one of them - the victims, the cattle, the rulers of this world - he has been for a century, he just didn't know. He believed that he shared nothing with mortals, save maybe for a loose sense of right and wrong. But there was more.
He partakes in their Darkness, as they partake in his.
The Prophecy of Aberjian had it right all along.
He's becoming human.
Lost in the flow of the Perfect Syllogism // all Humans are Evil, Angel is Evil, ergo Angel is Human // he tugs the covers closer to his body, his realization further driving home his need to fight the cold, lending his body the illusion of life. He doesn't want much more at this point - the vague, drifting chimera of warmth and familiarity enough to lure him away from the abyss one sweet moment longer.
He almost reaches for Darla again, but lies back and closes his eyes instead. He needs more than she can ever give.
Her evil does
not speak to his any longer.
He has followed.
This place is as good a place to start searching as any.
He has followed the lilting echo of Dru's tethering laugh to L.A. but lost the feel of her somewhere in the heart of the city, and he has ended up here, an old building reeking of dust, history and his Grand Sire.
Could be fun.
Grab a few fleeting memories of old times and chip-less nights, exchange a few blows and trade witty comebacks - well, mostly on his side - come away with a few bruises which he will keep like mementos. Tokens of the past, when pain meant crimson pleasures shared in a lair with his family rather than solitary hours staring at the walls of a crypt, fantasizing about a Slayer to distract his mind from the absence of thought and his body from the want of touch.
The front door is open, which is sort of odd coming from his anal retentive Ancestor, or maybe not - if what he has heard about Angel is true. If the older vampire is indeed on the warpath, doesn't matter who's the unlucky target, he will invite his enemies into his lair, he always did. Brazen, and self-confident, full of useless panache and scornful bravado. And style. Only Angelus would lure in the prey by simply opening his door.
And it will work, too.
can recount countless hours spent standing uncharacteristically still in
front of Angelus' door, wanting to catch a
Some of that same old thrill courses down his marrow when he challenges the darkness and walks inside the old hotel.
The Ice Queen is here.
He hadn't counted on that.
He feels his hackles rise, but can't help the tight grin, which distorts his mouth just the same.
Himself, his Dru, the Cold Bitch and Angelus... in the same town - three of them, right now, under the same roof, and it's the aroma of sex he smells tumbling down the grandiose flight of stairs.
He feels the growl build, rumbling, and he tightens his jaw to keep it from spilling out - call of the wild, the pull of his pack, irrepressible acknowledgement of bloodline and family.
The old rebellion wars with months of ostracized, slow lunacy and dreams without substance, like runes offered to the waxing moon.
Calls out. In sing song.
"Daddy, Mommy, I'm hooooome."
Stands in the lobby with a cocky grin, hands on leather-clad hips.
Whatever happens next, at least he won't be bored any longer. And he's pretty sure the Ponce won't come up with trite lines like "you're beneath me".
Frosty the Snow Whore might, but it's not like he actually cares.
He takes a minute to look around - make sure the Bat Collective aren't waiting to ambush him with a toothpick.
When he raises his eyes to the top of the stairs, he stares.
Mouth unappealingly hanging open.
He's expected a lot of things - a stake, a lecture, an invitation to join his elders in bed - but the Great Poof has outdone himself.
Sure knows how to make a guest feel welcome.
Spike can't help himself. He takes a few steps forward. He could very well be walking to his doom, like so many gullible, spellbound mortals before him, entranced by the sight, but he is helpless to stop.
Angel stands at the top of the stairs, legs spread, head cocked to the side, naked.
His face is wrapped in a veil of shadows, which flows down the broad shoulders like the dark-haired vampire is bloody Salome. The thin darkness is all that hides him from Spike's stare. What little light crawls out of the corridor clings to the dark-haired vampire's frame like a golden lover, petting smooth, strong curves, stroking perfect arcs, snaking around long columns of alabaster flesh.
Spike's gaze strays to Angel's narrow hips and the proud hardness standing at attention, glistening and swollen.
He can feel himself literally salivating.
Angel has yet to make a sound, as he makes his way down the stairs, lithe, almost so insubstantial that he is finally deserving of his name, unmindful of his nudity, which wouldn't have been so mind-boggling if it had been...
...standing there in front of Spike, voluptuously uncaring, expression blank.
The bleached vampire links his fingers behind his back to keep from reaching for the wide cock bobbing an arm-length away, but remains on alert, balancing on the balls of his feet.
He can see the dark-haired vampire's face now, the half-lidded eyes, the moist mouth, and he reconsiders his first assumption.
Not Angelus. Still Angel?
Then what the fuck is going on?
"Hey, mate?" Spike smiles cautiously like one facing down a gun-totting lunatic. "How've you been? Uh... Lady Antarctica's around?"
Angel cocks his head the other way, as if Spike is speaking some kind of dead language, then shrugs, slowly.
The younger vampire frowns.
Is that dust on Angel's forearms?
Spike backs up one step, fighting the nervousness, knowing Angel will smell the fear just the same.
Contrary to popular belief, Spike is not one for unpredictability or uncontrolled circumstances, which is why he usually spends so much time and effort figuring out the motivations and weaknesses of the creatures revolving around him. But this Angel... he cannot read.
Angel keeps coming at him, until his bare chest almost grazes Spike's, until his cock almost teases the blond vampire's hardness through the layer of denim.
"You smell..." Angel pauses, as if surprised to hear words coming out of his own mouth. "You smell... like them."
There's childish wonderment in his voice.
Angel frowns a little. "Humans."
This time Spike freezes, steels himself for the attack. If Angel smells Buffy on him...
"And like Dru," the dark-haired vampire continues, his expression darkening, "but mostly like them. It's..." he licks his lips and Spike is mesmerized - //is that what the rat in the labyrinth feels like?// "nice..." Angel concludes with a small sigh.
"Well, mate, you start spending enough time around them mortals, you start stinkin'. You should know that better than me, shouldn't ya?"
Angel blinks slowly. "I don't... remember."
Spike arcs a scarred eyebrow, not masking his disbelief.
//Someone's just gone off the deep end.//
When Angel lifts his hand, all the muscles in Spike's body tighten, and he is ready to pounce.
But the touch is light, almost reverent, brush of fingers against his collarbone - which wrenches another puff of air from Angel.
"And you're warm..."
It's Spike's turn to shrug. "I just fed, man."
Angel doesn't have him in a stranglehold demanding to know if he's been killing humans again - Angel knows about the chip, he has to - and Spike relaxes a little.
Elder crosses the last few inches separating them to nuzzle the younger
vampire's neck, and the blonde decides that he likes this naked, incoherent
incarnation after all.
Spike is afraid to break the spell and stands still as stone while Angel tentatively traces his jawbone. Angel's patrician nose is still buried in the hollow between Spike's neck and shoulder and his hand has stilled on the sensitive spot behind his ear.
The blonde can't help it, he tilts his head, just a little. Just enough to give Angel more access to the expanse of blood-warmed flesh.
The younger vampire is startled by the response.
Angel melts into Spike, seeming to flow over him, his intensity and purpose at once overwhelming. The blonde watches in awe as Angel picks up his wrist and darts his tongue out, laving a wet path over the place where a pulse once beat.
What kind of Angel is this?
What went on upstairs?
And then even though Spike has a moment of panic, a brief second of wanting to step back and clarify just what is going on in this place that smells of //Darla// recollection, Angel is not giving him a chance.
Too many nights of wanting //Angel// recognition and praise have taken their toll on William the Bloody and Spike figures, what the hell.
Even a kicked dog still takes food from the hand that beats it.
Time enough later to puzzle it out.
A deafening thunderclap diverts Angel's attention, and he lifts his dark head to gaze in awe at the rain. Spike watches him carefully, gritting his teeth at the feel of nakedangelflesh against his own clothed body, not willing to risk Angel's flight by moving.
Proud, uncaring of his nudity, Angel strides toward the great double doors and flings them wide open. The storm howls a warning. Spike flinches a little as the rain buffets Angel's bare skin and the wind drives inside the warmth of the lobby, swirling around them both. Taunting.
briefly, not for the first time, if perhaps there is aristocratic blood
mixed in with the dirt-poor Irish genes, thinks that
Angel holds himself as such.
All it took was the distraction of the rain for Angel to forget him, Spike realizes. Nothing has changed. Anything and everything was always more interesting, more challenging, more fascinating than Spike himself.
Stupid, stupid boy.
And then the dark-haired man turns, and Spike has a moment of utter and complete surprise as he understands. Angel is pointing to the steps beneath which he stands.
Through half-lidded eyes, Angel sees Spike hook his thumbs through his belt-loops and swagger forward. He stops at the foot of the entry steps and glares up at Angel defiantly.
Angel would laugh if it weren't so damn sad.
He doesn't want to laugh at Dru's Childe, scowling at him with azure eyes, because then Spike would leave and take the ephemeral warmth away, the fever Angel has spent the night chasing after but not finding.
It's here, that heat. It came looking for him.
He descends two steps and fists his hand in the front of Spike's T-shirt, dragging him down to the biting marble of the steps. Other than a grunt of surprise, Spike is silent.
Angel bites and licks and nips without care, and all at once there are too many clothes that block the warmth from Spike's body and so Angel rips them from the smaller man without hearing a complaint.
The rain soaks them both.
Hard angles and sharp planes are lit up briefly by lightning and Angel realizes he has shoved Spike underneath him.
Dominating Spike will not make up for what the dark-haired vampire has learned and seen and done tonight, but it goes a long way in soothing the hurt.
And Lord knows, he hurts.
Spike has closed his eyes under Angel's feverish onslaught and the rain has made points of his dark lashes. Gently, Angel lowers his head and sips a drop of water from the blonde's cheek, causing those lashes to flutter slightly and a muscle to clench in the defiant jaw.
Everywhere, warm. Spike's entire body is warm, and Angel wants to drink him in, to have some of that warmth inside where he is coldest of all, so he begins to work his way around the expanse of taut flesh that lies beneath him. Spike lifts his hips slightly off the wet stairs, looking for something to push against, and Angel complies, lowering his weight onto the smaller vampire.
Angel is now nuzzling the hard abdomen that flinches with each swipe of his tongue, each nip of glistening canines. Lower still, where the soft black thatch of hair has tiny droplets of rain and sweat shimmering, where Spike's cock stands at full mast and is colored a sensitive shade of purple.
This is the warmest place of all.
Like true north, it beckons. Angel envelopes only the tip, sucking and licking at it, bringing all of its borrowed blood to the surface. He only distantly hears Spike begin to breathe heavily, and looks up to see the blonde banging his head on the step behind him while his fingers grip the edge of the marble stair.
The wind momentarily dies to a murmur.
Now is the time to swallow his Grand-Childe whole, the wind grants permission, so he does, taking Spike's length to the back of his throat and trying to let the heat infuse him.
The cock in his mouth leaps to life, pulsing and straining, and it's all Angel can do to start a steady rhythm. His own shaft is shuddering as he swallows and withdraws, swallows and withdraws, and he can't help but grip his own hardness in an iron fist and will himself not to come.
Not until he is buried in scalding flesh.
Spike is groaning out loud and the wind has started up again, competing. Jealous.
"Now, Angel," Spike gasps, and Angel braces himself as the blonde arches up from the stair and comes in Angel's mouth. It seems to go on and on, hot spurts of liquid, and Angel catches it all. To waste a drop of the heat would be sinful.
Spike has been milked clean.
Angel knows his time has come.
His cock is rigid and weeping and a pliant body lies under him.
A *warm* body.
The look in his eye is enough to make Spike turn over without question and Angel is proud of the blonde for remembering centuries-old ritual without being asked.
Spike kneels on the floor with both hands on the second stair, legs spread apart. His tight buttocks quiver only slightly, and the small pink hole in the center beckons.
Angel covers the younger vampire, his chest to Spike's lean back, his cock probing blindly for the opening. He can feel it, the little, tight center, and though he knows there has been no preparation nor lubrication, Angel can't help but ram himself inside.
Spike lets out a short yelp of pain and then is silent.
It is so much hotter than Angel had anticipated, he can't move.
The warmth crawls along his flesh, starting at the point where his cock is buried and traveling outward, moving into his stomach and up into his chest and then finally spreading along the arms that cover Spike's.
Only slightly at first, just a gentle rocking motion that serves to send a prickle of heat along his spine. He can feel Spike rocking too and notes that his erection has not diminished.
Then a little more, pulling out a small way and thrusting back in, hoping to draw out the exquisiteness of it all.
The rain has not stopped.
Driving with more force now, Angel races the wind, knowing that when the storm ends the relief will vanish too.
Through it all, Spike kneels compliantly on the steps of the lobby, letting the rain bathe him.
Angel pounds into the younger man, feeling Spike's thin walls clench him as he withdraws and open for him on the downstroke, and he grips the tight ass before him with punishing fingers.
He is still. So. Warm. Blood humming with the remembrance of stolen life.
Faster now, Angel can feel his climax approach but can't seem to obtain it, his cock is throbbing almost painfully. His breath hitches in his chest and he clenches his teeth over a sob, loathe to let Spike hear his distress.
Somehow, Spike must hear. The blonde begins to thrust his hips backward to meet Angel's downward lunges, sending Angel deeper and harder than ever before. Preternaturally strong internal muscles clench and relax, clench again. The older vampire is so grateful that he nearly cries out in thanks.
One thrust, two... Angel is coming in potent shudders and waves and gasps of arid breath, his body claiming dominion away from his mind.
His climax leaves him nothing more than a boneless puddle along with the rain.
His fourth orgasm in as many hours - useless, sterile seed spurting out of him - and still it doesn't feel like enough, like he can ever rid himself of that despair, riding successive crests of barren pleasure.
His forehead still pressed against the hollow between Spike's shoulder blades, Angel can feel the blonde take hold of his own cock and begin to jerk it quickly, almost painfully.
Angel counts the strokes.
One ... two ... three ... and then on the fourth, there is a barely audible grunt and a shudder, and Angel hears the soft patter of semen spilling onto the dark marble beneath them.
Spike's arms begin to tremble with the strain.
Both of them lay on the cold steps.
The storm croons
its mournful lament.