Also Comes in Strange
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Epihpany the Second

The muck draped from Angelís body in way that made him resemble the Thing or some other ooze covered villain from a 3-D B-movie. He winced as he stepped out of the elevator, the thought of his carpet taking the smell of fruit gone bad into the fibers made his stomach churn, and for more than a brief moment he was tempted to go back downstairs and wash off in the lab showers. A little too public, he thought, and decided heíd just have to make a dash for the bathroom and hope the worst of it was clinging to his body.

He unlocked the door and took in a short breath before dashing into the penthouse and running for the half bathroom off the kitchen. Heíd only made it three steps in when he realized the carpet was crunching. Oh great, he thought, the goo has some sort of transitive property that turns wool into twigs. With a defeated sigh Angel looked down at his feet and to his amazement saw newspaper. Dozens of sheets lining the path from the door to the bathroom and another trail down the hall to his bedroom.

"Wasnít sure which one youíd wanna use." A voice called from the far side of the living room.

It was only then that Angel even registered the low hum of the television and candles lit throughout the room.

"What are you doing here?" Angel asked, taking slow steps back across the newspapers, careful to not let the slime drip off the marked path.

"Watcher called to say youíd met somethiní nasty, wanted to know if I could come help." Spike, kept his eyes on the television, pretending to ignore Angelís clenched fists and jaw.

"Spike," Angel took a calming breath, "if he asked you to come help why are you *here*?"

"Figured youíd handle a little Slifullis on your own just fine, but that once you got home youíd need my help. Canít have your precious abode all stinky and such."

Angel moved his mouth up and down fishing for a response, but none came.

"Put a couple extra towels in both loos, so how about you get cleaned up and Iíll warm up some blood." Spike pushed up from the deep cushions of the couch, fumbled with the remote until the television was silenced, and walked into the kitchen. "Oh, I put a trash bag in there too. Might be able to save the coat, but that smellíll never come outta the shirt."

"You, you," Angel continued to flounder.

"Angel, you, shower, now." Spike made a little shove off gesture with one hand and went back to rummaging through the refrigerator for a suitable vintage of blood.

Completely flummoxed, Angel made a slow path for his bathroom and stripped his clothes off, letting each article fall into the black plastic bag with a wet slop. The steam of the shower helped calm his nerves somewhat, the musky smell of soap replacing the sickly smell of worm gutted apples that had filled his head for most of the night.

Once he was slime free, Angel toweled off, grabbing a pair of dark sweat pants which were nicely lain out on his bed, along with a ribbed tank top. This is too much, Angel thought as he pulled the shirt over his head, a quick shake of wet hair sending droplets of water onto the comforter. With a short look over his new outfit Angel headed back into the living room just in time to catch Spike setting a stuffed garbage bag out into the hall. The newspapers were all gone, and the air smelled of nothing but the vanilla that wafted off the dozens of candles, strategically placed to catch the air streams that came from the cooling vents, sending a swirl of aroma throughout the vast living area.

"Here," Spike shoved a warmed glass into Angelís palm and guided him towards the love seat, throwing himself next to Angel, legs spread wide. Spike grabbed the remote from the coffee table and suddenly the wide screen flickered back to life.

"What?" Angel asked, warily sipping at his drink before continuing, "just what?"

"Itís The Agony and the Ecstasy, now shut up," Spike said, taking the glass from Angelís hand and taking a drink before handing it back.

"The what? You mean with Charlton Heston?" Angel asked, still waiting for the catch.


"But why is it?"

"Darla always liked it, figured you might too."

"I mean, why are you picking out movies Iíd like and cleaning my house, and, I mean, what are you even doing here?"

"Well I thought I made that obvious didnít I?"

"I wouldnít be asking if you had."

"Iím moving in," Spike answered with a grin that forced Angel to take another drink.

"No. Youíre. Not."

"Yeah. I. Am." Spike said, laughing now. "Nowhere else to go now, so Iím just gonna stay here."

"Are you high or something?"

"Nope, just had me one of them epiphanies Iíve heard so much about."

"Well go have it somewhere else."

"Doesnít work that way. See, I figure Iím back here for a reason."

"To make me insane?"

"Donít interrupt," Spike warned, "I went to the ends of the earth for this bleediní soul. I did it for love, Iím not so noble that I donít see there were selfish motives there, but I did it none the less. So the way I see it I deserve to get something back."

"So what youíre saying is that you want a reward for getting your soul? Youíre an idiot."

"Well, public record that, but thatís not what I mean. What Iím saying is that I deserve to be loved a bit. I mean itís been a few years now since anyone even said the words, let alone meant it."

"Youíve lost me, why are you here again?"

"Because youíre the one to give it me."

"Give you what?"


"You are high."

"No I told you, I had an..."

"Epiphany, I heard. Iím just not clear on the you and me and the love part."

"Which part isnít clear? Not like we havenít shagged before." Spike trailed his fingers down Angelís arm, watching the gooseflesh form under his fingertips before Angel pulled his arm away.

"Okay, are you talking about Ďshaggingí or love now?"

"Well, both." Spike beamed. "You up for it."

"Iím sure Iím not."

"Donít lie."

"Thatís not what I mean," Angel set the glass in his lap in a futile attempt to hide his fib.

Spike pulled his t-shirt over his head and ran a hand through his hair, setting sharp curls on end. Standing up, eyes dead set on Angelís, he unbuckled his belt and slowly undid the buttons of his fly before pressing his jeans to his ankles and sliding them over his bare feet. Once nothing but a pair of black briefs separated him from Angel, Spike went back to describing his epiphany.

"Thing is, you want me, so donít bother denying it. You want me and everyone can see it. Everyone knows. Youíre not hiding a thing, and the fact that you pulled your trousers on just now without pulling any pants on first proves it." Spike stalked forward, straddling Angelís lap, setting the glass of blood on the end table. "You have wanted me since the moment I came back and before and now Iím here, and Iím making it easy for you, so no more fighting. No more telling me to bugger off unless youíre the one doing the buggering. I want you to walk through those doors every night and bend me over the mattress," Spike kissed at Angelís neck, delighting in the hardness that pressed against his thighs, "and then I want you inside me. I want you to come home every night and fuck me Ďtil the sun sets again."

"One of us has gone insane," Angel breathed into Spikeís kiss, "and Iím honestly not sure which of us it is."

"Tell me you donít want it," Spike moaned into Angelís mouth, tongue dancing over lips and teeth. "Tell me that right now, you donít want your cock inside me."

"Ummph," Angel groaned, hands clutching at Spikeís hips, grinding him over swollen flesh and cotton.

"Tell me you donít love me and want this every night."

"I do," Angel whispered, closing the gap between their bodies and pressing hard lips together in a kiss more possession than tender.

"Tell me," Spike gasped, "that these people wonít believe Tania would write this schmoop."

Happy April Foolís Day.