Also Comes in Strange
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Title: St. Petersburg
Author: Tania
Pairing: Angelus/Spike
Rating: Hard R, soft NC-17
Setting: St. Petersburg, Russia 1881. Inspired by a line in A Hole in the World but the story has no spoilers.
Notes: Today (May 1st, 2004) is the 123rd anniversary of the assassination of Alexander II, how fitting.
Notes Part II: Thanks to Josey for the beta.

The days after York had been a whirlwind. The London papers were full of the reports; typhoons had taken hundreds of thousands of lives and we caught wind that the Slayer was heading for the Orient to play Bobby. It was all Darla could speak of and even Angelus was itching to see the carnage, but then the more exciting news arrived. Emperor Alexander had been assassinated on the streets of St. Petersburg earlier in the month. All of Russia was thrust into turmoil as the revolutionary factions planned their next move and the young Emperor ascended his father's throne.

The night we heard of the assassination, Angelus and I had gone on the hunt. Down in the West End we'd run into a couple from Greece wandering from street to street, stopping occasionally to take a cuppa or nibble at sweet pies before moving on to the next block. The woman was exquisite, her pale gauzy dress hung from her slender hips and little wisps of coal black hair peeked out from under the silken scarf she wore loosely over her head, landing in curls against her smooth olive cheeks. We followed them for nearly an hour and watching her body swaying in the night air had enthralled me much the way Drusilla did everyday. Her companion was small of stature, well dressed, not bad looking as far as Greeks went, and yet she never looked at him. She watched the buildings they passed, the people hurrying from place to place, anything but him. The bloke leaned on her, a bit drunk, waving money in the air everywhere they went. She carried her burden wordlessly, forcing him to hold his own weight every so often but eventually letting him lean onto her small frame once again.

As one hour of stalking them turned into two, I couldn't take the bored look on her face another minute. Nudging at Angelus' ribs just once as we walked, I nodded towards the next bend in the road, the streetlights hadn't yet been lit and the surrounding cafés had already closed for the night. Angelus took the man first and he went down without much of a fight, barely letting out a whimper as his throat was slashed.  Angelus' slumped against the nearest wall and pulled the dying body into his lap, sucking the man dry. The woman was a screamer though, she thrashed like an octopus, limbs flailing, scratching me up and down. It took three bites before she shut up, and even then she was still kicking and moaning as I drained her.

By the time I was done I was covered in blood from the waist down. I admit the rush was worth the cuffing I got from Angelus as we clung to the shadows on our way back to the rooms we'd taken while in London. I could hardly believe that less than a year ago I had walked these streets a mortal. The shops hadn't changed, the people were the same, and yet now each was completely different. My body filled with the scents of a hundred different peoples, each with their own distinct aroma, the Grecian nectar running through my veins that night had been nothing compared to taking down an Indian girl full of turmeric and cardamom or a young Spaniard tinged with cocoa and paprika. Each of them had a distinct flavor, and even at that young age I knew that I might never sample them all. Certainly not if we were never to leave England.

*****

At first I was angry that Angelus hadn't pressed the girls to come with us. We'd all had our bags packed for a trip to the balmy jungles of Indochina and Angelus had already righted our London affairs when we'd heard about Russia. Darla had insisted on going off to Indochina and dragging Dru as company in our stead, determined to join in the chaos. She had even gone so far as to dangle images of the Slayer in front of me, assuring me that she would be there by the Summer equinox, hoping to tempt me into joining them, but Angelus would have none of it. We were going to Russia, he'd said. He meant to tame me even if it meant staying until the chill of the North killed us permanently.

And so, reluctantly, I packed another trunk full of clothes, this time full of overcoats and thick woolen socks and joined Angelus in the carriage bound for the London train station and the long journey to Russia. We'd promised to meet Darla and Drusilla in Rome the following Spring if we hadn't found each other before. A year apart after only such a short time together seemed an interminable length, but Angelus promised that, within a fortnight, the adventures awaiting us in St. Petersburg would wipe any regret at leaving London from my mind.

*****

The sun was setting by the time the train pulled into Moscow. The early-evening air still bore the chill of Spring and the railway terminals thronged with bundled men and women racing to get out of Moscow and away from the chaos leaking south from St. Petersburg. The trains going north were mostly empty, the exceptions being a few groups of soldiers, some in full dress, others looking haggard from ten weeks of policing the streets trying to hold back an outright revolution.

"Angelus, please," Spike begged as they squeezed through the cabin doors and dropped their trunks onto the floor. "Can't we spend a few days in town?"

"No." Angelus locked the door behind them and pulled the thick curtains closed before taking off his heavy overcoat and hanging it from one of the hooks on the wall.

"That's your only answer?" Spike glared at the other man across the small compartment as he shoved their luggage under the bed.

"Listen, William," Angelus said firmly, laying down on the lower bunk and stretching out until his toes pressed against the wall. "We've already been on a train for a week, I don't fancy losing this wretched feeling in my stomach just to get it back again two days hence."

"You really are a poncy bastard aren't you?"

"Better to just get it over with."

"That's what you said in Milan and Prague, and Minsk, and you recovered just fine. Prefer a private carriage, you would. With velvet seats and lackies to drive the sodding horses. Rather be shaken like rag doll for two months than rocked like a babe for two days." Spike slumped down on the hard bench lining the cabin wall and rested his feet on the bed beside Angelus. Not waiting for a reply, he continued, "Still, this ought to make for a cozy couple of days. Reckon one of those soldier boys'll make a decent meal?"

Angelus opened one eye and gave Spike a quick warning look. "Don't you dare. You are not to leave this room until we reach St. Petersburg."

"And once we get there?"

"We'll rest up and find ourselves an adventure."

"And until then?" Spike asked, setting his feet back on the ground and unlacing his shoes.

"Sleep."

Spike climbed into the top bunk, muttering imprecations to himself.

"Enough, William," Angelus warned again. "You are not starving. You don't know what starving is."

"We've not eaten for six bloody days," Spike replied from above, the flimsy wood creaking as he threw himself around trying to get comfortable. "I've never been so hungry in my entire life."

"You'll learn soon enough that six days is nothing. When you've gone months without a drop on your tongue and your body is weak and burning to taste the first idiot that crosses your path, then you'll know what true hunger is."

"Then let's make sure that never happens, eh. Won't see me going more than a week without feeding." Spike let out a determined sigh and crossed his arms behind his head before drifting off to sleep.

"We'll see about that," Angelus said with a knowing grin before slipping into sleep himself.

*****

"We're never going to find a house without killing the porter," Spike whined as they traipsed through the damp woods a couple of miles above the city.

"Then we wait," Angelus said in a raised voice.

"There's got to be other vamps we can stay with," Spike started to argue. "I'm so hungry I'd eat a baby to tide me over."

"Did you see any vampires in the city tonight?"

"I didn't see a bloody soul that wasn't dressed in the Ohkrana's uniform," Spike said, slowly getting Angelus' point.

"And do you intend to take down a police guard that has to report to three other men each hour?"

"No, s'pose not."

"And do you think you can take a house, leaving a porter alive to report to the guard each day?"

"No," Spike answered again.

"Then I suggest you stop complaining and hurry up. It won't be safe in town until people start returning. There's a reason the vamps all cleared out, I just don't know what it is yet." Angelus paused for a minute to readjust his grasp on the heavy trunk he carried, casting a quick glance at Spike's struggle to get the other trunk over the thick brush of the forest floor before renewing his own effort up the faint trail.

"Well this was a damned fine idea, wasn't it?" Spike pouted. "We could have been halfway to China by now, hunting that damned Slayer, fucking the girls," he muttered under his breath.

"I told you we'd find an adventure, and we will," Angelus replied without looking at Spike.

"Police aren't going to just go away, not after seeing their bleeding Emperor blown to bits right in the center of town."

"Having one's leg blown off isn't exactly bits," Angelus argued, stalking up the hill towards an abandoned cottage.

Spike sped up his pace to match Angelus' longer strides. "Still, horrid way to go."

"Certainly lacks artistry to just set a bomb in a man's path and run." The very thought of letting a machine do his killing sickened Angelus. It was one thing to put up with the railroads and their undulating cars to save a month on your journey, it was quite another to give a bundle of wires and metal the only power a man really has; that over life and death.

Once they reached the dilapidated structure, Angelus pulled a few boards off the back entrance and broke the rusty lock with a swift kick at the handle. The inside was nearly empty, only a few wooden chairs and a broken table remained. There were the remnants of a straw bed in the one small room off the larder and a three legged stool leaned on its side in front of the cobblestone fireplace that nestled into the wall.

Spike stood in the center of the room staring uneasily at the un-shuttered windows. "This is not a good idea," he stated flatly when Angelus joined him.

"It'll do," Angelus replied,  righting the stool and sitting down to take in the rest of the cottage. "There'll be plenty of hares and such nearby we shouldn't have to venture to town for a few days."

"Why the bloody hell not?" Spike asked. "You mean we aren't even going to try to hunt?"

When he received no answer, Spike warily tested one of the ancient looking chairs and, finding it sound enough for the moment, sat down, relieved to be inside even if it was little more than a glorified chicken coop.

After a moment spent in silence, Angelus jumped up and grabbed some remnants of linen from the floor. "Get up, we'll block the windows and find something to eat before dawn."

"What's your hurry, it's only been dark for two hours."

"Aye, and it will be light in another two. You're not in England now, William, and you'll do well to remember it."

*****

The hunt had been short, and certainly not fun. Angelus had sniffed out a warren and rushed the occupants towards Spike, the ensuing chase through the forest leaving both men exhausted and in near hysterics once they collapsed on the dirty wooden floor of the cottage.

They had managed to get four of the animals inside the house alive, plus a half dozen whose necks had snapped during the chase. Spike quickly tied the live rabbits from the rafters with a worn piece of rope and settled back onto the floor with Angelus before snatching one of the still warm bodies from the heap.

"This is disgusting," Spike groaned, once he had drained the small amount of blood the rabbit had to offer.

"Tis better than going hungry," Angelus said, picking a tuft of fur from his teeth and letting his features slide back into their human form. "We'll try going into the city in three days."

"Why three days?"

"The anniversary of the founding of the city. They won't call it off over a little murder."

"What about a big murder?" Spike asked as he ripped into another of the conies.

"We'll see," Angelus laughed, grabbing another rabbit for himself and reluctantly taking a bite.

*****

The second day in the cottage found both men's patience wearing thin; without Drusilla's chatter or Darla's plotting to occupy them there was little to do or speak of. Thankfully Spike had the foresight to toss a pack of playing cards into his trunk while they were in London, but after Angelus beat him at cribbage for the twentieth time that day he decided maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all.

"I give up," Spike said, tossing his remaining cards onto the tally sheet. "I know you're cheating but I can't prove it."

"I've no reason to cheat, William," Angelus said as he scooped the cards into a pile and placed them neatly back into their sheath. "You should have spent less time with your prose book and more at the card table when you were still alive."

"Possibly," Spike agreed, staring hungrily across the room to the last remaining rabbit. He stood up from the table and walked over to where the animal dangled from the ceiling kicking futilely every so often in protest. Letting his fangs slip down, he reached out to touch the animal's foot.

"Leave it," Angelus ordered.

"Why?"

"Because there won't be time to hunt tonight and tomorrow we go into town."

"Damned sun," Spike cursed, swatting the rabbit hard enough to send it spinning in circles. "What kind of people build a town in a place where there's no night?"

"The smart ones I'd wager," Angelus smiled, letting his gaze rest on Spike's forehead.

Spike absently brushed a hand over the hardened muscle covering his eves before relaxing his face and retracting his fangs.

"I'm going to bed," Spike said, grabbing his heavy coat from his trunk and wrapping it around his shoulders.

"I'll join you."

"Great, only you know that whole body heat thing only works when you actually have body heat."

Angelus gave an agreeing nod and then smacked Spike in the back of the head with the palm of his hand.

*****

"For Christ's sake, William, don't get any blood on your jacket." Angelus grabbed the rabbit from Spike's hands and tossed it into the woods.

"Hey," Spike protested, his feet moving in the direction of the small corpse. "I wasn't done with that."

"You couldn't have got another drop from it."

"I'm starv..." Spike cut himself off mid-word and mid-stride when Angelus pivoted on his heel, fists clenched and ready to lunge at him, then walked past the other man, carefully navigating the thin game trail leading down to the Neva. "Come on then," he called over his shoulder, "let's go join the party."

*****

The celebration was centered on Nevsky Prospect, the river forming an illuminated background. The palaces, theatres, and museums lining the banks all glowed from within and without, and the pale night sky barely dark enough to be called night framed the city's dozens of bridges with a clear blue luminescence.  The sight was breathtaking, even to those who didn't breathe.

Spike and Angelus stood on the wide expanse of the blue bridge and watched as hundreds of people made their way into the city and gathered around the very spot the Emperor had been killed.

"Well, this is just fascinating," Spike sighed. "When do we get to eat."

"Soon," Angelus promised. "We've only another two hours before the sun comes back over the horizon."

Pulling his coat tighter around himself, Angelus began walking. Spike kept his lazy pace and continued to study the crowd, hoping to spot some stray human wandering the celebration alone. The vampires continued along the banks of the river, both scanning the horizon with growing concern.

"The sky should not be blue this time o' night," Spike said, uncomfortably moving into the shade cast by a row of houses.

"Aye," Angelus agreed.

They'd nearly reached the center of the festivities when Angelus stopped walking and grabbed Spike's arm painfully tightly, pulling him back several steps and into a large stone entryway.

"What?" Spike mumbled as he shook off Angelus' grasp.

"Be still." Angelus sniffed at the air again, trying to block out the rank fishy smell of the Neva and catch the sharp scent that had alerted him to the presence of another demon nearby. He closed his eyes and focused solely on the subtle air streams swirling through his nostrils… And there it was again.

"What?" Spike asked again, this time in a quieter, worried voice.

"Demon."

"Vampire?"

"No. This way." Angelus pointed towards the row of factories that lined the east bank of the river.

Spike followed wordlessly behind the other man, struggling to keep up when the scent became stronger and Angelus picked up speed. They ducked under the eaves of a large warehouse bordering the naval wharf and peered around the wall, hoping to catch sight of whatever demon was calling St. Petersburg home.

Angelus looked first, quickly ducking his head back and whispering to Spike, "I don't recognize them."

"So, what's that mean?"

"It means, they aren't going to want to talk."

"God, Angelus, I'm so hungry I don't think I'll be much for standing up in a fight."

"You'll do fine," Angelus said, the comment more of an order than a reassurance. They slunk along the wall to the next building, coming to a door with a small grubby window inset into the top. Pallets of raw clay were stacked two and three high inside, stone kilns lined one wall and dozens of tables crowded into the center of the floor. Angelus reached back against the wall, easily snapping the door knob and pushing Spike inside.

"So we have a plan?" Spike asked, looking around for something that would serve as a weapon. He picked up a few flat bladed knives from one of the work tables and stuck them inside his coat pocket.

He jumped when Angelus was suddenly standing next to him. "We have a plan."

"Which is?" Spike asked, pretending he hadn't been startled.

"Hold this," Angelus said holding out a small wooden handle, which on further inspection Spike saw was attached to a long wire cable. Angelus wound the cable into a small ball and hid it in the palm of his hand, grasping the other handle loosely. "When they rush us you'll jump to your right, and be sure to pull it tight."

"They'll see it coming," Spike said, apprehension filling his throat.

"No, they won't," Angelus replied taking Spike's hand in his and flashing him a smile that did nothing to quell Spike's nerves.

"This isn't a plan, it's foreplay."

"See, you're learning already," Angelus leered, pulling Spike through the factory and back onto the street.

They stopped at the edge of the building, carefully counting the number of demons standing in the alley.

"I've got six," Spike whispered.

"Seven," Angelus pointed to a pale skinned demon with short horns and a nasty set of teeth perched on a stack of crates behind the others. He seemed to be holding court while the others argued and pushed a badly beaten soldier back and forth between them.

"Great," Spike cursed upon spotting the soldier, "as if the clock weren't ticking enough."

"It'll be fine, just hang on tight." Angelus stepped out of the shadows, dragging Spike with him.

The grasp on Spike's hand was crushing and the wire pinched into his flesh just enough to peak his senses. They kept walking slowly towards the demons, Angelus occasionally leaning onto Spike and pulling him closer.

"Does that sound like Russian to you?" Spike asked quietly once they were within earshot of the demons.

"Italian," Angelus whispered.

"What the hell are they doing here?" Spike asked.

"I don't know," Angelus pulled on Spike's arm once again, using his other hand to reach inside Spike's overcoat and slide one of the knives out of his pocket. He kept his hand hidden behind the thick material, holding it close to Spike's body and letting what little body heat radiated there warm his fingers.

It took only a moment for the demons to notice the two men walking towards them.

"Not a word," Angelus breathed against Spike's neck. "They must make the first move."

Spike nodded his agreement slowly and let Angelus continue whispering into his ear, chills forming on his spine as the cool air accompanying the words danced over the tender lobes of his ears. He watched out of one eye as the demons slowly left their leader and moved towards them, letting the soldier drop to the ground in a bloody heap. He felt Angelus' hand clench around the knife and the muscles in his arms rippled as he prepared to jump back.

Angelus held Spike close when the first demon lunged, only when a second demon joined him did Angelus push off of Spike's chest and bolt to the other side of the sidewalk. The first two demons were instantly decapitated as the wire stretched taught and sliced through their throats.

"Better than a garrote," Spike shouted with glee as they circled two more of the demons, quickly racing towards each other and crossing the wires. Again the wire acted like a pair of scissors and sliced through flesh and bone as easily as the clay it was designed for.

The two remaining assailants rushed at Spike, correctly gauging that he was the weaker of the pair. Spike dropped the wire and held one of the blades in front of him. He tried to slice the first demon to lunge at him, but he was too close to put much force behind the thrust and the impact of the attack nearly knocked Spike to the ground. He struggled to catch his balance and stave off the attack when he realized the other demon was completely ignoring Angelus and charging at him. Spike readied himself for the second attack but was quickly distracted by a scrape of claws digging into his side. He howled in pain and turned to his attacker trusting that Angelus would take care of the other.

The second demon dropped to the ground when Angelus flung the knife into the middle of its back, following up the blade with a kick to the back of the head. The crunch of the demon's horns against the cement put a huge grin on the vampire's face and he couldn't help but give him a second kick to repeat the sound. Satisfied the demon was dead, Angelus swooped down and grabbed the wire from the ground. He rushed to Spike's side, quickly looped the wire around the demon's head and threw him to the cement. Spike staggered at the sudden loss of his opponent and then watched as Angelus pulled the wire taught and placed his heavy foot between the demon's shoulder blades, forcing him to arch his head back in an unnatural position.

"So then," Angelus called to the demon still sitting on his throne of pallets. "Name's Angelus. My companion and I were out for a stroll, taking in the scenery, and your men here quite rudely attacked us."

The demon gave no reply other than a nod.

"We'll be going now, and you'll do well to leave us be the rest of our time in the city." Angelus gave a swift yank to the wire and pulled the demon's head off before dropping the wire and brushing a loose strand of hair out of his face.

Spike started to follow Angelus as he turned to leave, but the smell of the soldier's blood drew his focus back to the alley.

"Leave it."

"He's already half dead," Spike complained.

"And we aren't about to get into the middle of it."

"Vampire!" The demon called after them just as Spike and Angelus rounded the corner back towards the Neva.

Angelus turned back around, pulling another knife from his jacket pocket.

"I told you," he sneered, "the name is Angelus."

"I know of you," the demon shouted back over the alley, his accent making each word lisp through his long teeth. "Although I'd heard Angelus was usually in the company of women, not boys so freshly turned they still stink of dirt."

Angelus placed a hand on Spike's shoulder before the younger vampire had a chance to lunge at the demon, who had slid from his perch and was now nearly upon them.

"I'm sure you can appreciate how tiresome it is to always have women about, sometimes you just need a firm ass to back you up."

Spike winced at the reference, unsure of Angelus' reason for being cordial with a demon who had just watched him execute half a dozen of his men.

"How is it that two vampires find themselves in St. Petersburg the day before Beliye Nochi?"

"An ill-timed search for an adventure," Angelus laughed. "We didn't think we'd be the only vampires in the city."

"Oh they came, dozens of them," the demon said. "The first weeks after the assassination they were everywhere."

"What happened then?" Spike asked, taking a jab to the ribs from Angelus.

"The Duma, the Ohkrana, the sun, many things, but there are no more here now, and were I you, I'd leave tonight, because after the Beliye Nochi starts you'll be trapped in whatever fox hole you find for yourselves."

"Not trying to get another jab here," Spike interrupted, putting a hand up to block Angelus' punch, "but what the hell is the Belly Natchee?"

"The White Nights," the demon answered, pointing a clawed hand to the pale blue sky. "For the next three weeks the sun will not set. The city will warm and the streets will crawl with humans, but you will not see the night, and if you stay here you will most likely never see it again."

"Why are you here then?" Spike pressed.

"Much the same reason as you, I suppose. There is much enjoyment to be had here if one can avoid the police and stay away from the palaces."

"Bit harder than all that." Spike found himself staring hungrily at the soldier again. "Are you going to eat him?" Spike asked, not taking his eyes from the bleeding man.

"Eat him?" The demon asked, a disgusted look  spreading over his face. "We were just trying to find out where the Tsar would be tonight."

"And did you," Angelus asked.

"No, they tell these bambini nothing. By all means eat him, and then leave St. Petersburg while you still can." The demon gave a sigh as he passed over his dead compatriots and headed further into the industrial district.

Spike didn't have to be told twice, he was digging into the man's throat in seconds.

"Oh god, that's good," he moaned as the tastes of saffron and garlic filled his mouth. "Angelus, you've got to taste this."

"I'll have to take one for the road," Angelus said as he pulled Spike off the soldier and thrust his tongue between Spike's lips, stealing a taste of the blood before pulling Spike out of the alley.

Spike followed, but reluctantly until he saw the cause for Angelus' hurry. No fewer than twenty Ohkrana had descended on the dead demons and the soldier in the alley, and their cries filled the surrounding blocks.

"Train or woods?" Angelus shouted back at Spike as they rounded a corner and the bridge came into sight.

"What?" Spike yelled, trying to keep up.

"If we catch the train we leave Russia with nothing more than what's on our backs,"

"And if we miss the train, we're here for a month," Spike answered. "Well bollocks to that, let's catch the train."

"Fine," Angelus called back, a hint of regret in his voice, "train station."

The station was nearly in sight. They had followed the tracks across Nevsky and managed to avoid the worst of the crowds, but the sky was getting painfully bright already, not more than an hour before the sun would be above the horizon of the northern hemisphere to stay.

Spike was nearly shaking from the exertion, not wanting to admit that he was slowing he called after Angelus to wait.

"We've not time to pause," Angelus shouted, backtracking to grab Spike by the coat.

"Just give me a second to catch my breath," Spike begged, "and don't say I don't breathe. My body knows that, my brain's a trickier thing."

"You make it so easy," Angelus chided. "You'll be stronger if you live long enough, all vampires are weaker in the beginning, and when you have nothing to start with it takes even longer."

"You knew what I was when Dru turned me, didn't you. Not my fault I wasn't born a great bollocksing oaf."

"We'll miss the train," Angelus said, heading up the street at a slightly slower pace than before."

Spike caught up and leaned on the other man as they walked. "So, is this your idea of taming me then?"

"Not the plan I'd had, no," Angelus answered.

"And did this plan include more hand holding?" Spike asked, stopping Angelus.

"Might have, guess we'll not find out now."

"Woods."

"Woods, eh?"

*****

The first week hadn't been so bad; the trees around the cottage lent enough shade that there was nearly an hour of each night where they could hunt rabbits and on the third they managed to take down a wolf. Spike had come away from the battle with a few bites up his arm, but nothing that wouldn't heal in a day or two.

Finally having an animal large enough to feed them both was a relief, and once it became clear that there wouldn't be another night's hunt anytime soon they were even more grateful to have the extra blood running through their veins. The soft rug they made out of the hide was a nice touch to the barren house as well.

*****

"That's it, I'm just gonna wrap myself in a blanket and go find something to eat."

"No you're not," Angelus said, tearing the cloth from Spike's hands.

"I have to eat soon, or I'll lose it." Spike tried to pull the blanket from Angelus' hands, but decided he didn't even have the energy to even do that. He threw himself down on the wolf skin and covered his eyes with his arms. "How is it possible that you still have the energy to fight when you've eaten less than I have?"

"I've told you, I'm older and stronger." Angelus sat beside Spike, leaning against the wall, "and Darla locked me in a room smaller than this one for a month after she turned me and fed me nothing."

"Sounds like something Darla would do."

"I wouldn't have survived this long if she hadn't. The demon only gives you so much strength. If you never make it starve and show it that you're in control it will eat you alive, make you beg, take stupid chances. You'd be no more than this dead dog if you don't learn to control it now."

"I'm starting to think you brought me here on purpose," Spike said, rolling onto his side to look Angelus in the eye.

"I did. I admit I had intended to hold you here, not be forced, but it serves my purpose. I can make you stronger if you'll let me, but that means no more wasting time." He stood up and reached a hand down to Spike, pulling him up until they were nearly nose to nose.

"Make me stronger," Spike said, the lust for power consuming him.

"You're ready?"

"I've always been ready."

Without warning Angelus pulled a knife from his boot and sliced into Spike's wrist. He let the first few drops of blood hit the floor before taking the wound into his mouth and sucking until Spike gasped. He had let Spike take more of the animals they'd caught since hitting Russia, knowing that he would need it more, but even Angelus had to admit he was hungry. Other than the quick taste of the soldier from Spike's mouth he hadn't had a proper meal since they left Minsk nearly a month earlier. He was so dizzy from the rush of blood through his body he barely noticed Spike's knees start to buckle, taking both of them to the ground with a thud that resonated from the walls.

"Enough, stop," Spike begged, trying to tear his arm from Angelus' probing mouth.

Finally sated, Angelus released his grip and rolled onto Spike's empty body. Even as Spike lost consciousness from the lack of blood, Angelus fell into a deep slumber that only comes when the belly is warm and the mind full of plans and schemes.

*****

"William, wake up," Angelus whispered, gently pushing his foot against Spike's ribs. When he received no response he shoved his foot between Spike's parted knees and ran his toes along the contour of the large vein that ran up the pale thigh.

Spike barely registered the touch, only aware that he was not alone and that the room was finally warm enough that he didn't need to be wrapped in fur all day. He let soft moans escape his lips as Angelus rubbed over his body trying to wake him. After a moment though the soft touch became a jolting kick to the ribs.

"Dammit," he cried out, pulled out of the daze that had consumed him for nearly three weeks.

"It's time, William. Wake up," Angelus barked, all traces of patience gone.

"Why?" he asked, trying to roll away from Angelus, quickly realizing there was nowhere to go.

"The White Nights are over, it's time to leave."

That was enough to bring Spike back into the now. He tried to sit up, but it made his head swim and he was forced back onto the bed of straw and wolf's skin. "I can't get up," he lamented in a defeated voice.

"You're weak, but it won't last much longer." Angelus went into the larder and came back with a young man in tow. He set the boy down next to Spike, undoing the boy's high collar and peeling off the dark summer vest he wore. "You've shown your body that it can survive on it's own, now it's time to remind it why it must obey you. Give it what it needs."

The boy trembled under Angelus' touch, not sure exactly what he was expected to do and, not understanding a word of English, he reached a hand out to touch Spike's bare chest and recoiled at the touch of cool flesh.

The hand burned Spike's skin in a way that Angelus' touches could not, his eyes flashed open and it finally registered what was before him. With a helping hand from the other vampire he was able to sit up. He pulled the boy closer to him, resting his mouth in the crook of the boy's neck and taking in his scent. More saffron, but this one also smelled of vodka and mace, when he leaned into Spike's touch the vampire bit down hard, piercing the soft muscle where the neck and shoulder met. The boy screamed out and tried to cross himself but Angelus caught his hand and bit into his wrist, letting the hot blood linger in his mouth for a moment before swallowing.

Spike grunted and thrust his tongue into the gaping wound he had inflicted, tearing it wider and wider as the nectar filled his senses. The blood affected him in ways he had never felt before, life was renewed in each inch of muscle, making him spasm as violent shocks of energy sparked his organs.

Angelus released the boy and watched as Spike lost himself in the boy. He was sure Spike wasn't even aware of the orgasmic moans that spilled from his mouth as he fed. The sounds had Angelus hard to the point he had to unbuckle his trousers and release the pressure on his cock. When Spike started to slow his feeding to long delicate licks over the boy's neck, Angelus bit into the other side, letting a small trickle of blood run over his lips. He licked over the boys dying lips, letting him taste his own blood as he took his final breath then moved his mouth over pallid cheeks and back down to the gash Spike had made on the other side of the boy's neck. There he met Spike's mouth in a hungry kiss, convinced that Spike was still so lost to the ecstasy of the blood after so long that he wouldn't even notice Angelus taking his tongue into his own mouth.

He was wrong.

Spike roughly pushed the boy off the wolf skin, forcing his limp body into a heap on the floor. Grabbing Angelus in his stead, Spike ripped at Angelus' shirt and trousers, quickly having the older vampire as naked as he was himself. He had no time to stand on ceremony, as the long forgotten moonlight streamed through the windows and the hot summer air swirled over their bodies Spike clutched at the body before him.

"Make me stronger," he commanded, taking Angelus' nipple into his mouth. "Make me powerful."

Leaning back on the soft fur of the bed and pulling several coats behind him to serve as a pillow, Angelus reclined, stretching long limbs out for Spike to inspect. Spike hungrily attacked Angelus' swollen cock, taking the length into his mouth, willing Angelus to cry out as he ran tongue and lips over the sensitive flesh, giving him no respite. Angelus couldn't help but buck his hips wildly as Spike milked his orgasm from his body, greedily swallowing the evidence, begging for more once Angelus stopped shuddering.

Angelus struggled to come down from the luscious feeling that encompassed his body.

"More," Spike whispered again.

"In a minute," Angelus said, trying to soothe him.

"More," Spike begged again, taking Angelus' wrist to his mouth and looking for approval before biting down, wrenching a soft cry from Angelus' mouth.

Angelus let him feed for a moment, waiting for his body to recuperate from Spike's attack. As Spike moved his attention to licking the blood from his fingers, Angelus felt the twinge of renewal building again. He lightly stroked at his cock, willing it to rise as Spike began to whisper again.

"More. Make me stronger. Show me where the power is."

Angelus sat up, pulling Spike off his body and pushing him onto the bed, spreading his thighs apart.

"This is where the power is," he breathed over Spike's back, making the skin jump with each syllable. "Here, in your body, where you can give or take life, where the border between bliss and despair is only a thrust away, this is what we've given you. This is what you give back to us."

Running his wrist over his cock, coating it with the blood that meant everything to a vampire, Angelus spread his lover open and pressed inside, slowly filling him, biting down on his lips as cries were forced from Spike's lips.

"Make me stronger," Spike begged, even as his body was racked with pain and pleasure in equal measure.

"When you learn to love the pain you'll be stronger," Angelus promised, thrusting deep inside, stretching Spike open. "Learn to love it and know that you can endure anything. You cannot die, you cannot be lost to any of the vices known to man. You are a vampire, you are powerful."

Spike threw himself against Angelus' body with each thrust, wincing as the pain did indeed turn to pleasure.

"Show me your power," Angelus ordered, renewing the strength behind each thrust. He reached under Spike's body, pulling on Spike's cock in time with his every movement, "show me."

Spike impaled himself on Angelus' cock, feeling his body break and tear, crack and bleed, and yet through the pain there was always the pleasure, each advancement landing Angelus' length in some deeply hidden well that Spike had never known existed within his body.  His orgasm flashed white behind his eyes, nearly rivaling the earlier reaction of warm blood coursing through his veins. This was power, and as Angelus screamed into the hot Russian night, Spike knew that this was only the beginning of that power, that Angelus had immeasurably more to teach him.

*****

That night we left Russia, leaving the turmoil of St. Petersburg behind and venturing into the east to find Darla and Drusilla. We took our time, stopping in a dozen countries, tasting the locals like a connoisseur might taste wine. Each week my power grew, Angelus showing me new tricks and plumbed depths  unknown to any who had not lived as long as he and his sire. He made me strong like never before, and when we rejoined the girls in Eastern Africa six months later, it was with a renewed sense of family and finally, I was close to becoming one of them.

~Finis~

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Copyright Tania 2004
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