The Two-Way Mirror
He thinks he talked to Wesley about a potential new prophesy. Approved an expenditures form from the science division. Said hello to Gunn in the atrium. Drank blood out of a chilled glass. Did the same things he does every day.
Doesn't quite remember any of them, though, because everything since sunset is caught in the ether of dream-memory. Frayed edges around the image, like old photographs that have been left out in the sun. Almost unreal, except the white noise of his soul tells him that it was real.
When he closes his eyes, he sees Spike's parted lips, hears the ghost of his voice.
He stays in his office until the every other soul has left the building. These walls have always felt like a prison, a tribute to his corruption. Tonight, though, they protect him from all the things he's afraid to face. From Spike.
The elevator ride is a slow slide into oblivion. He wants to rest against the walls, to stab the hold button and stay in this cell forever. If he can do that, nobody will find him. They won't know about what happened when Spike hit him as the sun set over the Pacific.
But he's never been about cowardice, has he? At least, not when it really counts. So he stands completely still in the elevator and watches the red-lit numbers fall.
He'll figure out where he's going when he gets there.
His hand stills over the light switch in the entryway. This is the point when he usually turns on the lights and walks around the condo, surveying his domain. Tonight, though, he lets his hand fall away from the plastic, keeping the flat in darkness.
Angel walks into the living room, staring into the shadows. His world is never really dark. A predator's gaze, spotlighting the hunt. In a vampire's eyes, the world always glows.
In the blue haze of the dying night, Spike shivers in and out of view, like a circuit not quite completed. He faces the window, staring up at the black sky instead of the city lights below. Ghostly faded to anyone else, but clear as day in Angel's vampire eyes. The air around him shimmers like an aura; Angel never learned how to read those, and he's not sure he wants to start now. Too many things there that he'd rather not see.
Instead, he stands completely silent, watching the other man's stillness.
So much goddamned need all around them. Spiraling like poison. Everything he craves fills the room. A look of recognition - hell, even respect - from Connor. Sunlight beyond the prison walls of his office and apartment. To be the footsoldier instead of the general. Buffy. Peace.
It grabs him. Chokes and slithers. Sends him back to those longago nights when it was all so easy. Take what you want, and enjoy the hell out of it. And if they scream? Even better.
Except now the memories expand in other directions, until he's seeing beyond himself. The way William had flinched and nearly sobbed as Angelus pushed inside him that first night. Then afterwards, when William reached over and tried to pull him close, his flesh sticky and cold from come and other things. Angelus hauled back and pummeled the brat's face until he passed out. Then he locked the door and went out with Darla, finding other young pretties he could just fuck and kill.
Now, all he has is this. He doesn't know who he hates more - Spike for touching him last night, or himself for craving it. But when he feels himself grow hard, the choice is made.
A look up over Spike's flickering shoulder, to the city beyond. The two of them separate from that simmering world, and they always will be. Sometimes, the resentment and loneliness drown him, eating everything away until his soul is a lump of coal in the pit of his stomach. All those idiots walking the streets, able to take whatever the hell they want. Kiss, fuck, drink, live. None of them will ever know what it means to be him. His friends try, but it's futile. On nights like this, Angel wants to grab one of them by the balls and force him to take over this existence. Make someone understand, so that he won't be the only one this way.
And now there's Spike.
Angel hates that he's the only one who can understand, but he'll take what he can get.
"Touch me, William."
Spike doesn't even flinch. No hatred, no smirk. Just a shell of a ghost-man, stripped bare of all pretense.
For once, Angel is going to ignore sense and let himself feel. That need blinds him, makes him walk forward until they're so close that all he sees is Spike.
When Spike's hand comes up to touch his cheek, it passes through Angel's face and to the other side, pausing over his lips. Fuck, so warm, so alive. And when it falls away, he looks down for fists that he doesn't find.
"Do you want this?" Sounds so pathetically needy, so stupid. Can't help himself, though.
Spike looks up, then past Angel. Face blank, but jaw twitching like restraint is all he has left. "Yeah. No." A long, harsh sigh. "Fuck all. I need something."
Before Angel can plan his next move, a ghost-hand shoots forward and grasps his cock. Except there is no hand, nothing at all but this fire and electricity, like he's being destroyed from inside. God, it's incredible. When he looks down, eyes unfocused and dazed, he sees Spike's hand disappearing inside himself, as if it's part of him now.
Whip-fast, they touch each other everywhere. Fists pushing into bodies, below the skin in places nobody has ever been. White noise, white heat. Somewhere there's a siren, except there can't be because they're on the fifteen floor, and the world has crumbled away. Everything is wild and blind and oh fuck he's feeling something, something for the first time in so fucking long that perhaps he's dust now and it's the end of the world.
He looks down with dazed eyes, sees his hand flashing in and out of Spike's body, flickering as he comes.
Then a slow slide into sated dementia.
Angel can feel the thud of his heart, but nothing beats against the hand on his chest. He collapses on the floor, lungs tricked into breathing hard.
The sight of Spike leaning against the window, a million city lights framing his slackened body, is a surprise. Through everything, Angel had almost forgotten the other man was even there.
"I still hate you," Spike mutters, but the voice is less anger than post-orgasmic daze.
"Never gonna change," he replies. And he does still hate the bastard. He really does. But he felt something tonight, let it spark to life all the deadness inside him. If feeling that means he has to have Spike around, then hell, he'll take what he can get.
Something makes him reach out to press his hand to Spike's arm. Just to feel that energy inside, the bizarre connection they now share. It's erotic and overpowering, but right now it lulls his body into feeling so good that something new simmers inside him. Not perfect happiness - fuck, no - but just this sensation of calm, as if the loathing and loneliness have gone to sleep.
Spread-eagled on the tile floor, he pillows his head with his other arm. In the corner of his eye, he sees Spike do the same. Two fucked up, beautiful souls, who can give each other something that neither wants to get, but which they need so damned much that a hundred years of history don't matter.
Harsh night in a cool apartment, with necro-tempered glass for which he'd sold his soul. Angel doesn't get up draw the curtains. The sunrise will come soon enough, and he'll let it flood the room. He can do that now, after all.
And maybe, for all that, giving himself over to the devil is worth the cost.