By Kita (Donna M.)
RATING: R for violence and M/M slash
PAIRING: Angel/Spike. Set in S2. Primarily Angel POV.
DISCLAIMER: Joss owns them both. But he never lets them do *this*.
AUTHOR`S NOTES: A long time ago I wrote this little thing called Closer To Sex which was inspired by a Nine Inch Nails song with a similar title. It never felt finished. Now it`s a big thing with a different name and a similar theme, and I`m still not sure it feels finished. But Lar and Lillith assured me that at least it doesn`t suck, and Jess beta`d its ass off. Much love to them all.
Written with the Improv list`s #2 word challenge: Indigo, Ice, Tremble, Faith (not the character)
DISTRIBUTION: Ok to archive to lists. Others, ask and I`ll say yes.
FEEDBACK: Oh what the heck.
The three hour drive is just long enough to ponder all manner of such stupidities. What would have happened to Angel's hands had he be called this way in those hundred years lost? Of course maybe he actually had been called, and Angel was just too deep in his own misery to hear. Too deep in the bramble for his palms to even sweat.
He pulls onto the interstate and wonders why the false lights on this side of town always seem to sputter like dying stars. Hundreds of rendezvous joints between Sunnydale and L.A Places covered in hideous pastel, cheap paint chipping off stucco walls and poorly tiled roofs. Neon signs with one letter missing ` OTEL! VA NCIES!` By some peculiar design, the exclamation points always work.
When he finds the correct one, he will loosen the grip on the leather steering wheel and wonder for the millionth time how his hands always know exactly where to go.
Pulls into the darkened lot, the wonder gone with the slam of a door. Turns the key in the lock and steps into the dimly lit room. Flips off the lamp, strips out of his clothes.
Disembodied voice in the darkness. No flash of gold eyes. Silouhette of bare back beneath tattered velour covers, as white shoulders rise easily with the words, ``Late from saving the world again, Peaches?``
Gentle swoosh of clothing hitting the floor. ``Yeah.``
Flicks on the ceiling fan, listens to the motor sputter and start, the whirp whirp twisting the stale air inside the room. Half a dozen cigarettes half smoked on the bedside table. Blue smoke sucked toward the whir of fan, disincarnate ghosts spinning in the pitch.
And he can shed humanity at the door like snakeskin. Layers and layers of too many skins finally, but the man in the bed only wants one. Wants to peel away the one closest to the bone, closest to the pit inside; wants to tear it back and let the juices flow from the cracks. Tear it back and swallow it whole, lick the dribbles of juice from his chin, and choke on the smallest of seeds.
Sheets cool and wrinkled, blanket of red, rough wool. Naked skin beneath them crafted from hail and cotton. Smooth, chilled flesh of cheek and thigh and chest to quiet angry palms. Kisses with eyes pressed shut and mouth wide open. Here, taste it, taste me from the inside.
Drink here and live forever.
The demon is in every cell, isn`t it? It must be, to keep the corpse walking. To keep it unchanged, unmarred and beautiful despite the passage of so much time. It animates blood, muscles and sinew; it sits, eternal and merciless in his every pore. The demon regenerates him, it animates him, but it cannot create. It cannot make him into something which was not present before. Some little seed of anger and rage which had always been thus. Had always been his.
Snapping bite to lower lip, draw First Bloode.
Grab for a length of hair that is no longer there, a sable braid, a chestnut tail, and growl at its lack. Grab a fistful of short blond locks instead, and pull...pull the head back and drink the absence of the past.
Dru used to say that Spike`s blood tasted of wild horses. Sweat and running. Chase and thrill. And even though Angel could never taste that, it saddens him now. Unable to race. At least horses get put out of their misery.
So take it, take it all, Swallow the feast, but know this: There is no fountain of misspent youth here. This is no chalice of forgetfulness.
It`s just blood. Familiar blood, sweet and cool and thick as maple syrup, but just blood. It has no inherent meaning, it changes nothing. It isn`t sacrament. Oh he wishes it was, wishes it was ritual and holy and full of ancient intent. Wishes the sacrifice would alter some grand design. Wishes it would soothe his soul and his heart. But all that is soothed here is the Hunger and the burn in his hands. And even that lasts only a moon.
Still, if he breathes deep and swallows fast, he can almost catch it. Almost smell sunshowers and fire on the man beneath him, because Spike has had only half as much time to acquire the scent of the dead.
He will remember this, much later. He will forget the name of this motel, and the scratch of dirty coverlets on his back, and the sound of the headboard banging against the wall. But some night, when he conjures the image of fair hair and gray eyes, if he holds his breath and sinks his fangs into his own tongue, he will smell blue flames and Communion Wafers.
Lying on his back now, arms tied above his head, leather belts digging into his flesh. Watching dispassionately as the white hand produces a sliver of silver. In the darkness; hair, eyes, teeth, razorblade. All smiling.
Short gasp and he is cut. Careful, neat lines slicing skin and skin and skin...creating a pattern of pain, and flash of light and blood.
Spike cutting and smiling, and Angel wishing he bled in colors. Yellow joy and orange disgust, golden rage and indigo lust. All the colors swirling onto the dingy gray sheets, a palette of his existence, his becoming, his creation. Let it all pour out, bleed it all, give it all.
What knowledge or passion disappears into the ether with this cut? What small part of him is leaked out through the skin and the pain, never to be reclaimed? His faith in humanity? Wesley`s shirt size? The way Doyle tasted? Or a memory of childhood so distant it appears only in stilted pictures, an ancient reel of video dancing unevenly in black and white and dust. Small particles of decay swirling in the light, and he can`t recapture them, he can never call them back. Once they are gone he can`t grab hold anymore, lest that damned light burn the tips of his outstretched fingers.
Squeezes his eyes shut and surfs the pain. Skims along the waves of it, toes and curls of dark hair in the water. Waits for it to tell him something. But the pain is silent, an ivory haired phantom, and it teaches him nothing he did not already know.
That his body will respond to pain the same as pleasure, that his nails will clench around the leather straps and his heels will dig into the mattress. That his throat will close and his thighs will tighten. That he will give in to breathing, and panting, and moaning finally, calling his offering to some god who never hears. That his cock will swell and quiver in the cool grip of one hand, while the other brands him with mystical symbols that have no meaning at all. Slashes and backwards crosses, letters and numbers and nonsense. Until his arms, legs, chest, neck and belly are covered in blood, and sweat and spit.
Until every drop of what has been spilt here is gone. Never speak it aloud, this hidden design. Never even whisper of what it brings close...
Until he kisses him, mouth open and tongue inside, and Angel tastes it on those lips...orange...vanilla..a creamsicle of girl and death and Illneverforget. A groan deep in his chest where Spike`s fingers play, pulling open the wound above the heart and pressing black tips inside.
Re-opens all the wounds now. Makes him grind his hips up into the sharp curve of bone and inhale... makes him hear the whisper of skin drums in the distance. Slippery fingers around his cock, and arch again...but not yet...not yet...
He wants to see what it looks like, all of it, the decadent pattern of blood and cut, of hate and fear and demon`s lust. But tilting his head down he can see it only from an angle, only from the top. And that`s not right, he needs to see it as it was made, the view from the other side. What does he look like, he wonders, and it seems so long since he last wondered, so long since he even cared. What does the tattoo do to his neck, chest and arms that he cannot see, here, from the inside.
Spike lays against him, presses skin to skin, rough friction against all the open cuts and wounds making him cry out and struggle against the leather bonds, until suddenly he does not. He lets the blond lay there, smoothing, constraining, perfectly still. And when Spike gets up at last, it is there, on his skin as well; the tattoo, the mark, in an opposing pattern on his own body. As a mirror would show him. It is there.
Won`t feed-can`t feed, implanted souls-implanted hardware, shadow- platinum, Sires and Slayers.. and it`s all the same. Reach your hand into the looking glass, come here, and feel it from the inside.
Restraints are torn and the lean body is thrown onto a dresser, the mirror above shattering like an ice sculpture and tinkling like metal bells. No reflection in that glass, nothing to preface its breaking. An unseen hand. Oh, he wishes that he could see it, that the glass would bear silent witness to his tantrum, that Spike and the room and the *world* would know he did it.
Arms hooked under knees, fair head in the shattered remnants of reflection, back against wood and glass and the wall. Find the rhythm, do it, do it harder, make it mean whatever you want. Yellow eyes in darkness speak only in dares now. Create something from chaos. I. Dare.You.
Until suddenly, he does. There is beauty in the gold eyes rolling back, there is order in the long fingers loosing the blood-soaked blade, there is *meaning* in the taking, in the rutting, in the claiming, in the coming.
It`s being mounted by the spirit, finally, it`s riding and being ridden; the bit chafes his tongue, but it`s good to bleed. And around the howling and the keening and the wails he paid in cash to have ignored, listen. Listen to the crumpling of rice paper, it`s the angels crackling on the ceiling.
Later, Angel pulls the slivers of silver mirror out of Spike`s back, licks the wounds clean, feels him tremble. Spike doesn`t bleed in multi-color. It`s all red. Red for anger. Red for love. Red for rage. Red for hate. Red for death. And it`s kind of Zen, really. Ever the same. Now is the time for red. Not sacred but certainly pure. He is simple and absolute and it is only right that Angel should suffer like a child to come unto him.
Later still, he awakens on the cusp of evening, knows by smell and by memory that he is alone. Reaches under the empty pillow and pulls out a splinter of mirror, still coated with Spike`s insides. And it seems to him that there must be some way to *make* the thing work..if he could turn it just so, could force it to refract the light and send him a glimmer, just the faintest hint of himself.
But there is only blue and silver and dark. The broken headboard. The peeling wallpaper. A spider the size of a man`s fist.
Humanity and the world; they are always changing, growing, breeding, making more. He makes no more, there is no more. Just bloodied sheets, healing skin and a handful of people who will miss him, will be wondering where he is gone. So he will make up something pretty for them, tie it up with bows and with tinsel. He will hide his chest from their eyes until it is smooth again.
He will keep walking. Keep waiting for the next evening when his palms itch to distraction. Keep the bit of crimson covered broken glass in his pocket until then.