Also Comes in Strange
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Title: Nothing as it Seems
Author: Tania
Rating: R
Summary: Takes place immediately after "I Only Have Eyes For You" (Season Two Buffy)
Notes: Thanks to skipthedemon & sangpassionne for giving me nummy ideas and encouragement and Angelus' leather pants for giving me inspiration.

The room's barely light enough to see into. The streaks of moonlight that come through the narrow windows cast diffused shadows over the walls, reminding Angelus of waves alongside ocean liners. Complete with the rat lying hidden in his bed.

He's not sure how Spike has managed to get from the wheelchair to the bed, he always seems to leave it across the room. Maybe he tests himself as he crawls to the mattress, weighing the strength of healing bones and muscle. Angelus doesn't really care, only wishes he and Dru had finished their hunt in time to see the struggle. But then nurseries are like sacks of potato chips. So very hard to stop at just one.

Running his tongue over now-blunt teeth he tastes the last remnants of blood and Drusilla, unsure which tastes more childlike. His skin still crawls, his veins itching beneath. He'd tear them out if he could, pull out the evidence that this body was ever human. He wonders if it's ever been done. Could a vampire live without the miles of dead blood swimming towards arms and legs. Staring at Spike, lying so helpless before him, he wonders if he has the patience for an experiment tonight.

Stepping closer, quiet as the corpse he is, he reaches the bed unnoticed. It is only the slap to Spike's head that finally awakens him. Arms jolting wide, nearly grasping his attacker as Angelus jumps back laughing.

The look in his eyes shows an evil honed beneath the surface of a hundred years of atonement, Confidence that no creature living could understand flows from his every move. He survived the indignity of being locked inside a knight so shining as Angel and came out stronger. The only thing worse than being a spectator in his own body was being possessed by a lovesick ghost satisfied with a kiss. That was the part that really burned. A kiss? Licking the taste of Dru from his fingers he wonders how anyone, human or otherwise could think that enough.

"What's the matter Spike? Dru wouldn't let you have tumble? I mean a lay. Is there a word for something stiller than laying?" Angelus pretends to ponder, cruel smile curling over his lips.

"I guess either way you're having sloppy seconds tonight aren't you? How about I tell you about the main course while the chef prepares," Angelus croons as he slides onto the bed, more slithering than smooth.

He lets a hint of something that could be called invitation slip into his words, but the accompanying touch is nothing but cruel. Harsh fingers digging into hipbones seeking a reaction. Spike bites his tongue to avoid offering up a scream, not quite what he was looking for. Angelus presses his nails into Spike's sides until a rim of gold pierces blue irises. He knows the same tinting is in his own eyes and makes no attempt to fight back dropping fangs and hardening cock.

"You really are pathetic, aren't you," Angelus says, pushing off of Spike's ribs to standing, bitter laugh echoing off of stone walls once again. "I don't think I've ever seen anyone take so long to heal from a couple cracked bones. I've known humans that would have been skiing by now."

Spike remains silent as Angelus slips out of his coat. It reeks of Drusilla, as well it should after serving as her mattress and towel after their earlier exertions. He tosses the coat to the bed, landing it just beside Spike. Laugh at his throat when Spike winces and turns his head.

"Darla and I were once thrown from a carriage in India, fell down a cliff and shattered both of my arms. We killed a Bishop and entire wedding party later that week." His blood splattered shirt hits the cold tile floor, leaving crimson stains in its wake. "Drusilla seems to be walking around just fine, and she was under there with you, of course she's got more than a little of me in her," hands at his waist, belt buckle clanking to the floor, "I mean, the things she does. I don't know about you but I'm thinking about writing thank you letters to whoever invented televised gymnastics," zipper teeth parting company, creaking leather dripping more stains on the ground.

Spike tries to look away, hide the hunger in his eyes behind lids suddenly incapable of closing beyond the half-way mark, but it's never long before his gaze is back on Angelus. Angelus keeps hissing truths at him like daggers. None of Dru's baby talk here. No 'mummy will kiss it better' or 'who's baby likes to watch' as he steps out of silken boxers and throws black socks to the pile with patent leather shoes. Angelus may hate him in kind, but he makes no pretense about why he's here. His aim is not to heal, it is only to maim in any way he can. Mind or body, forgetting the soul every chance he gets.

True to form Angelus straddles Spike's lap, ripping his shirt from his arms so hard Spike rises from the bed, falling back with a thump. The pain is still there, not near what Angelus would like, but the cry that spills from his mouth is almost music enough. The action is repeated as Spike's t-shirt is pulled over his ears, head twisting to the side as Angelus loses patience with Spike's lack of cooperation. Spike tries to push up on his elbows as his jeans are undone, Angelus slaps him back down to the mattress, pressing the material close enough that it scrapes at the bare skin beneath as it passes his hips. It takes more concentration than Spike can manage to ignore the pain as Angelus lifts his legs and pulls the jeans over his heels. There's a tremble that does not go unnoticed when Angelus bends them beyond ninety degrees, nearly folding Spike in half.

"May be hope for you yet," Angelus says, enjoying the fight no matter how mild. "It's about time," he adds before Spike can reply.

He drops Spike's legs to the mattress again, smile returning as another muffled scream fills the room. Reaching over to light a candle on the nightstand, pressing full weight onto Spike's stomach as he fumbles for a lighter. He gives a little extra wiggle, teasing his reluctant lover just enough to incite a whisper filled plea to get on with it. After a moment's struggle the wick engages and mixes orange light with the pale glow of the receding moon.

Angelus isn't sure how much of the tinting on Spike's chest is evidence of the hunt and games with Dru and how much is candlelight. He is reminded of cave drawings, remnants of pagan dances and blood sacrifices. He is the painted warrior come to claim his birthright, carving with nails instead of flint knife, but raising his insignia in flesh all the same. Spike's toes curl at the attention, sharp touch followed by cooling tongue as he is made a meal and lover in the same breath.

Angelus is almost silent as he clenches his fingers over near-opaque skin, still wondering at the veins beneath. His skin is stained burgundy, visions of blonde-haired babes and wailing mothers dying at Drusilla's hand still filling his mind even as he worries at his present occupation. Drusilla whispers passion and echoes his words as he fills her, but here lies a different pleasure. Taking Spike is more satisfying on every level. He feeds the desire of the demon where Dru feeds the man, not that she doesn't willingly take it the same way Spike does, but there's never a moment of silence to just engage the carnal and forget that words exist.

It's only moments before the scent of fresh blood is overbearing. Spike shows his fangs, even when it's his own blood clouding the air, he craves the taste, as they all do. Angelus indulges him, letting Spike taste the intoxicating mix of family and lust that rolls over their tongues as they entwine.

The only sounds now are guttural moans, need that wells up from some unknown place inside, driving them closer, harder, fingers gripping, teeth knocking in desperate attempts to be the master of their kiss.

Spike claws at Angelus' back, every bit of strength focused on painting streaks of red that blend with black ink, nipping at his lips, suckling at his neck, so near to biting. Angelus' vision turns hazy as Spike's skin glosses over, the simplest of exertions covering his body with a sheen of sweat, tingeing their kiss with saline.

At long last Angelus can resist no longer, all thoughts of earlier pursuits with Drusilla fade with the moon, he shudders and bites into Spike's neck. Mocking words on his tongue turn to hunger-filled words of thanks, muffled by the torturous draw of stale blood from cold skin. This is as the day should be; pale legs wrapped over his shoulders, pained moans mingling with the cries of pleasure in a language that only they two can understand. His thoughts still drift to what lies just below quivering, friction heated skin. Angelus thinks maybe some of Dru's enchantment passed to the boy a century before. He can think of no other explanation for the way he craves this half-lifeless body beneath him.

Or maybe it is just the claws at his back and push from legs so weak that it must leave Spike exhausted for hours to exert even such a passable resistance. He can't help but reach a hand between their bodies, crushing a little less, stroking a little more. Spike's right, he won't be in the wheelchair forever, someday he'll seek his revenge, and Angelus thinks that maybe that night will be a culmination of all these too quick games they play. A true moment of inhuman passion, just animal to animal.

Until that night comes he will continue to wash himself of humanity in this well of hatred and wait for the end of the world.

******

Spike watches the two of them leave, hand in hand, no thought of him as they go. Left alone to sit and spin, or so they think. They've underestimated his strength for, well, forever. He's killed two slayers, and still they think him weak. The hardest part hasn't been sitting in the bloody chair, watching as they crawl over each other like maggots on shit. The hard part has been sneaking out to feed unnoticed and then draining himself enough that they can't taste the strength in his blood. Tempting as it is to stop offering up his neck, he knows they would suspect the truth if he did. In the end his games help in the deception. He cuts the many gashes in his legs and sides open after feeding, refusing to allow them to heal. He takes their sighs and heads shaking in disappointment, laughs once they are gone. He'll have his revenge on Angelus, and his prize of Drusilla soon enough.

He paces the mansion's deserted halls, strengthening his legs; learning every nook and cranny, hidden weapon, weakness. He takes mental notes and writes volumes, languorous death scenes, dashing escapes, murderous nights at his goddess' side. Enough plots to fill the London Library to the rafters.

His wanderings lead him to Angelus' room, cold and dark, nothing like the gardens or Drusilla's doll filled nursery. There are a few unlit candles placed at random on tables and in sconces, little else. An ancient bureau chest leans against one wall. Spike is unsure whether it holds poncy silk shirts or weapons, but he's betting on the latter. Pillock couldn't resist going back to his alter-ego's flat and pulling out his pretties before the Slayer made trophies of them. Spike can't hold back a smile at the thought of Angel's weapons collection. Pears, manacles, branding irons. Old habits die hard, even amongst the dead.

Taking a rest in the blasted wheelchair, Spike stares at the light filtering through the windows, the darkest hour just before dawn. He knows Angelus will bring Dru home safe, if a little less sound, but Spike worries all the same. Just when he's ready to start circling the main hall, he hears the laughter and wet kisses that echo against the walls as they return. Kicking the chair away Spike lays down on the bed, head resting on his hands as he feigns sleep. He's in no mood to taste the bastard on her lips. Better to face Angelus than to try and stomach whatever stray rodent Drusilla's brought him as a present. He thinks of the beautiful girls that he gifted her with during her convalescence and the fur-lined sacks she brings him, struggling to keep bitter thoughts from his mind. He'll save that emotion for her sire.

It's only moments before Angelus is at his side, familiar taunts on his tongue, snarling laugh ending every devious thought. Spike has to choke back a laugh of his own as his jeans are torn from his body, cold fingers tracing over cuts, nails into bruises. His legs want to rise, kick, stomp in protest of his abuse. Soon enough, he thinks, the faintest of smiles twitching at his cheeks. He lays as still as he is able, the only betrayal to his healing spine the wrinkling of his forehead that Angelus has long come to expect.

The pain is passable now. He still grimaces at the worst of it, piercing his lips together to hide fangs and snarl as fresh patterns are carved into his skin. He watches as something resembling Victorian script spells out 'servant' over his abdomen. He clenches his fist, but for the most part he has to fake the screams. Angelus doesn't seem to notice, so lost in whatever it is that brings him here each night. The thought sends Spike's head spinning, he doesn't think he wants to understand the full extent of the plans behind that smile. Not now or ever.

"Drusilla's brought you a pair of cross-eyed cats for dinner. Maybe I should let you stay with her tonight," hands on his knees, lifting them higher, stretching muscles far better than Spike could do on his own. "She's turned a football player, he'll make a nice substitute for you," hot oil coats his fingers, plunging inside, no pretense of pleasure. "You'd be amazed how useful an extra pair of hands is, you should have seen her tonight, the man was barely dead, still warm," cock pressing within, searing pain, thighs pushed to his chest as Angelus kisses him.

The words burn in his ears. He tastes Drusilla on every kiss and can't help himself from burrowing his tongue into Angelus' mouth, digging claws into his back, pulling him closer in the effort to savor more of her flavor. He wants to taste only her, but Angelus remains, deadly and bitter. Spike greedily takes more - fangs sliding into place, drawing blood, sucking harder as he is bent and shattered. Bones unforgiving of such an angle for long, the cries become real. Reminding him that all is not yet well.

Angelus has stopped talking, moves from mouth to neck, backing off just enough to lick at the sweat that pools in awkward creases. Angelus bites down, Spike arches in pain from head to ass to numbing toes, but still he lets him in. He swears it will be the last time he opens himself up, waits for the perfect moment to flip Angelus over, take back all that's been took. It doesn't come. Instead Angelus' hand grips his cock, backing off just enough to make Spike long for the borrowed warmth. With a moment's stroking and final kiss, Angelus forces a shuddering orgasm from him, adding to the collection of scents, long-dead and fresh, that permeate the room.

Truths still drip like acid from Angelus' tongue. He abuses the body below him, pounding harder with each thrust, all the while praising and damning Spike's weakness. He only releases when Spike agrees with a whisper, "You make me weak." Angelus smiles, gripping at shoulders, nails digging deep as he quakes again and again, finally cleansed enough of love to sleep the day away.

And Spike bides his time. Waiting for the plans behind the satisfied smile to eat their maker whole.

~Finis~