Feedback: Pretty please!
Distribution: Ask first
Disclaimer: None of these characters or the show belongs to me, I’m just borrowing them from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this is a nonprofit fanfiction, these characters are all the work & property of genius Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, all hail!
Notes: Sometime after the Boxer Rebellion, Angel/Spike/Dru
Spoilers: Hypothetical Fanged Four past
“All evil and wrong, and twisted like corkscrews…it’s so pretty.” Dru’s hands hovered over her gift, her eyes adoring and wide and her mouth working around the words with tangible delight.
“Do you like it very much, darling?”
She petted the woman’s broken arm as she spoke. “You make gorgeous things. Lovely little things. It’ll taste like mint and cream, all fresh and new.” She paused and look towards Spike, anxiety creeping up prettily on her mouth. “Will it be all right without sunlight?” Dru’s mouth formed into a perfect pout. “Should we get it some? The mint has been crushed.” Proffering the limb as she spoke, she dangled its broken length at an angle that only inhuman eyes could bear to watch.
“The mint is just fine, pet. Have a bite.”
“Oh, no, too pretty. I want to look first.” She picked up both the girl’s arms then, tossing them gracefully to one side and then the next, humming a tuneless song, dancing them like chained marionettes; occasionally the girl surfaced into consciousness and screamed before collapsing again into a gentler darkness. The fire played games with her dark green dress, the warmth of her golden cheek made darker by its flames. Dru sipped a bit from it in between dances.
Spike watched her with gentle eyes from time to time, but mostly, he was obsessed, for once, by everything that was not Drusilla. It was with venomous little glances that he watched every step in the aging decadent building, ran over every creak of its warm brown boards, studied the tracing echo of every town crier in the distance. He did not pace, but once he walked to the window, stared into the night.
“Why is my boy dancing?”
The tugging smile reinvented itself, the voice too slow for the eyes. “I’m not, love. Do you want to dance?” He walked over and picked her up quite without effort, cradling her over the speckled body. A little line of blood ran along the corner of her mouth, and he nipped at it affectionately.
“You were dancing without me. Dancing with sounds,” she accused.
“I’m making sure it’s safe, pet.”
“Isn’t it safe? Aren’t we safe?” Her voice turned to a child’s whisper, loud and hushed all at once. “Will the bad man try to get us?”
Spike opened his mouth to tell her that everything would be fine, that no one would hurt his precious girl, that the bad man was more helpless than they were. But he didn’t, and his smile faded, and the room somehow cooled.
“You had better finish eating, love.”
Carelessness gone, he laid her back down and went back to the window, surveying now with unshielded gloom. He never did well with questions, and so the only dance that remained was the flames’ reflection on the walls. It lasted for only a moment, though, for after a minute, it was clear that Dru had lost her appetite, only attempting a single timid bite on the woman’s ear after a chastising look from Spike. Spike gave up his watch then, broke the thing’s neck before it woke again, and whirled her off to a different corner of the suite, where Dru could not see it. Sometimes the bodies upset her - she didn’t like it when things stopped dancing.
They played the hour away, Spike’s eyes never resting all the while, until the dark turned gray and the corners of the windows had to be plugged. It was bedtime then, the sun almost up, and Spike’s nerves finally began to ease. The bed was perhaps part of that relief. Its feather mattress was smothered in silk sheets, the remnant of a man’s well-paying desire in the now abandoned brothel, and Dru cooed as he rolled her into its folds. The windows’ heavy shutters and rather overdone brocade curtains shut out the daylight admirably, barring a single spot or two that was inevitable with age; privacy was, or had been, of essence in a place like this. Dru had played dress-up for hours before dinner with the dresses left behind, left them scattered around the large corner dresser; but now, she lay in the bed rather quietly, back to stomach with Spike, moving only to finger the fabric.
“Is the bad man coming?”
“It’s almost daylight, pet. We’re safe now. And likely gone and lost in Rome long before he catches up. Two days and we’re on that boat and far from here.”
“I wish you weren’t.”
Spike’s brow furrowed, and he flipped her with a quick pull of an ivory arm. “Why would my girl say something like that?”
“I want to claw his eyes out. My nails are all sharpened.” She held them for inspection, newly pointed like lions’ claws, razor-edged and elegant.
He smiled and kissed her eyelids. “That’s my girl.”
“Would you too?”
“Claw his eyes out? I might have to go for a simple push-and-pop. My nails aren’t as lovely as yours.”
“Would you really?”
Her voice was serious now, almost touched with sanity.
“Of course I would,” he said irritably. “You saw what he did to me. What he did to us. Even what he did to the bitch.”
Dru made a little-girl sound. “Oh, that was fun. She was all sparkly.”
“Yes, she was that.” He laughed. “She hates being set on fire. He’d better have killed her, or he’ll get worse from her. You could see it in her eyes, or what was left of them.”
“Can I eat them?”
“His eyes. The little brown things. Can I?”
“If you like. I think it’d be more fun if he did, but we can talk about it later.”
With that, he kissed her, and fell to sleep.
It had been, Spike decided, an amusing idea to think they were safe with the sun’s arrival, but he had to sleep sometime, and silk sheets were rare enough to merit some risk. Still, as Angelus’ sword sliced his pillow in half where his head had been, he determined that next time, he’d have to be a bit more precautious.
“Angelus, did you ever consider knocking first? A bit rude to interrupt a man and his lady,” Spike grumbled as he tossed a gibbering Drusilla to the other side of the room atop the dresses, then dodging a few slashes before catching the sword with his own bare hand, leaving muscle gaping and blood sprinkling the sheets.
“Bloody hell, you’ll pay for that,” he roared. He managed a punch with his good hand, feinted another, and then threw his foot at Angel’s knee, not quite managing to cripple but getting a firm scream in return. It was returned with several showy little slashes to the air, but this new Angelus was a fool and had discounted Dru, sulking on the other side of the room for the quarter minute before she’d remembered the dagger, now plunged into Angelus’ lower back and twisting as Spike watched with wide and delighted eyes.
“Which did you decide on, pet? Do you - eat them - or does he?” Spike managed to spit out as he pulled together the pieces of his hand. Angelus’ flashing sword fell abruptly as he passed out on the floor, the enormous hole in his back pouring blood down his sides and onto the floor, unchecked. Dru started humming as she twisted the dagger in time. “That’ll be hell to get out,” Spike mumbled.
“The boy has been hurt!” Dru said, looking up with surprise, and moaning, she crossed the room to coo over his hand, licking it naughtily between whispers.
“My poor darling…we must fix the boy…the blood is so, so, bad, good,” she murmured.
“Darling,” said Spike, feet somewhat unsteady as his hand streamed red, “you could get me some bandages - or - something. And possibly a fresh snack…we’ll be needing something to keep him tied up…well, yes, those will work admirably.” She already had the cuffs in hand, and she smiled a daisy’s smile.
Four hours later, fed, bandaged, and bound, the evening just coming in with the cool, the three of them sat in a circle, two delighted and one destroyed.
Angelus’ lower lip was smashed, split, from the few times he’d tried to speak without permission, though it wasn’t quite clear how he could garner it. There were little scratches round his eyes were Dru had measured with knife-like nails, and his right eye was a blood-filled mess. The only mercy had been provided in order to obtain later satisfaction - the hole in his back had been staunched to allow him moments of consciousness. Though not too much, of course. Spike felt he deserved some fun.
Angelus lifted his eyebrows, though it cost him, the little cuts opening and weeping further red.
“Right, I suppose that was a bit pointless…moving on. Why have you been following us?”
The voice was muffled.
“What’s that, mate?”
“Can’t let you do this.”
“Do what? Tie you up? Torture you? The little kidney bit? Well, the last was all our girl. None of me.” He kissed her forehead for her trouble, and she smiled and played with his hair.
“Only on bad nights. I like to think of myself as an artist.” Spike snorted. “No, I don’t. But an excellent card player, I can say that. Care for a round? Oh, wait, bound and bleeding. Back to the questions, then.”
“I’m sorry I did this to you both.”
“Should’ve thought of that before you got excited with the sword. You never were over-keen on holding back.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Angelus whispered.
Spike grinned and leaned in to whisper back. “Well, you didn’t exactly make me though, did you? Though I wouldn’t put it past you to take credit for it, after the slayer and all. Never could stand to hear another praised.” He settled back, satisfied with the other’s flinching. This was even more fun than he’d hoped.
“Can I have the left one?” Dru peered over his shoulders, first one, then the other, taking the size and measure of each.
Distracted, he murmured “Of course, darling. But wait or he won’t be able to talk.”
She pouted prettily, but when he failed to appreciate it, she got up and went to look for demitasse cups in the remnants of the kitchen. Spike smiled as her footsteps faded, eyes still focused on Angelus.
“She’s going to eat your eyes out. Well, one of them, apparently. ‘m not sure if she’s feeding you the other one or giving it to me. Selfless little angel. Now, why were you following us?”
“I’m not like you.”
“No, you’re bound, bleeding even more than I am, and a good deal weaker. You have no power, no hope of escape, and absolutely no looks left. Oh, and your eyes are on the casualty list and are you even listening?”
Irritated, Spike kicked off the walls and circled his victim, reappraising the figure. Angelus was no longer enjoying his clothes; from rich brocades and thick leather boots he’d moved to drab cotton black, the deep shades he’d used to offset his lover’s red apparently no longer the fashion. Mud caked his once-glossy boots. He bent over himself, too, like a human, weak and unaware.
“God, you’re pathetic. Nothing at all like the man I knew,” Spike said tiredly as he observed him carefully. “Did they torture you, break you? Would’ve thought you’d have enjoyed it, but you always were changeable. Darla never would tell us, you know, what happened to you, and she certainly wasn’t talking after the flambé.”
Spike paused in his circling, kneeling to run his fingers down Angelus’ back to the poorly bandaged wound. “Time was I would’ve licked it clean,” he said softly. His fingers rested there a moment longer, stroking almost imperceptibly. “How times change.”
Abruptly, Spike stood and backed off, watching Angelus now from the corner of his eyes only.
“It’s inside,” Angelus whimpered.
“It’s…what’s different. Inside. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” A tiny red tear trickled down the edge of Angelus’ face.
It made him nervous watching this, made him swig a bit from the whiskey bottle that found its way to his hand, the chipped edge biting at his lips and adding to the taste. Angelus had always enjoyed a good game of play the innocent, but he’d never really been good at it. The only people who ever believed those games were the young and foolish type, or at least the young and hungry type. He was a brilliant manipulator, a consummate mental sadist; but even at his best, Angelus had never been soft, and he had never, not even once, cried.
Angelus didn’t, of course, although he lowered his face, which was strangely more irritating.
“Did you hear me, you bloody wet worm? I told you to stop it.” Angelus’ shoulders began to shake, and Drusilla began to sing in the far-off recesses of the abandoned bordello. Spike walked out of the room.
He did not return for a day.
Angelus grew weaker in the interim, Spike stronger; Drusilla made up a story about a centaur and a griffin, and she told it to him with little napkins and tin foil cutouts while Spike was out getting dinner. They ate in front of Angelus, laughing over the body and feeding one another with great delicacy; it had been at first out of necessity, not wanting to leave him unattended, and then, as they gradually realized his strange, even quaint, aggravation, it had become a charming game, finger by finger, touch by touch, garnet lick by lick. The only black spot was when Dru, in a moment of pity, cut off a piece for him to suck on. “He’ll be no fun at all if he’s too weak to talk,” she’d said, so Spike had let it go.
Yet Angelus had not drunk, despite his thirst, only holding the bits Dru has tossed him awkwardly. Spike would have labeled it defiance, except that Angelus no longer seemed capable of it. He was losing patience. Part of him wasn’t even sure this was his grandsire any more. It really was a pity Darla wasn’t here; she had such a talent for dealing with Angelus. She would have known what to do, or if this creature was really Angelus. Spike wondered briefly if perhaps that was why he’d had to kill her, and if Angel had really managed it.
“Why did you burn her, Angelus?” Spike asked lazily, coming up from a long drink, Dru in his lap and blood soaking his clothes. Her hand slipped underneath Spike’s trousers and stroked him while he talked. “Was she ill-behaved?”
But the only return his voice received was the quiet, and Dru waited patiently with eyes as dark and edgeless as new moons, wetting her lips in anticipation as she played him. Spike continued to watch Angelus as she worked, his eyes saying what his hands did not. Angelus did not look away, but his face was filled with something Spike did not understand: neither simple lust nor anger, but something deeper, thicker, tinged with the strangest hint of – regret? Dru moved to lower her head into his lap, at last, purring with pleasure, and Angelus’ eyes finally fell from their connection. Spike lay back as she began to work, feeling curiously imperial, and he watched Angelus trying not to watch as his hand bit into Dru’s shoulder with each increase in speed. She whimpered gratefully whenever it tightened. “Angelus,” he purred prettily, “why won’t you join us again? You must be thirsty.” Watching him through lazy eyes, marveling at the lines of his figure, he could not help but ask.
Only a shudder replied, and Spike inwardly rolled his eyes.
“Why did you burn her?” Spike asked again, less casually.
“She had to die.” The voice came, cracked and dry.
“Well, no actually,” said Spike, voice turning breathy, “that’s the good part of being immortal, you know. You don’t have to.” He tilted his head back, smiled. “Try again.”
Some moments passed before Angelus spoke again, the effort audible. “I had to end it for her,” Angelus finally whispered. A tiny cut at the corner of his mouth broke, and a gentle thread of blood fell from it. “It wasn’t right.”
“You didn’t – seem to mind – so much – before,” Spike murmured. Spike was no longer watching; he trusted the chains to do their job, or didn’t care, and smiled at the thought of how the old Angelus would have loved this, how it would have been the other way around.
“She was evil – ” spat Angelus, in a sudden fit of energy, his eyes finally coming up from his own blood-spattered feet.
“We’re all evil, you pathetic little pansy,” Spike growled, suddenly irritated by the voice that was and was not Angelus. He pulled himself up to one side as Dru moaned incoherent little things and turned to meet those eyes again and say, “Why now? Why the bleeding heart and the poor me stares and the bloody vindictive search to kill your children?”
Angelus said nothing, and merely looked away again, neither shy nor angry nor even afraid – but, Spike finally realized, disgusted.
“Angelus, you will answer me – ” Spike roared, launching forward and pulling Angelus up by his hair, holding him at kissing distance, and knocking Dru off in the process. She sat at their feet, panting and whispering “Oh, yes, pretty games, more pretty games,” with black shining eyes and a hand that slithered aptly between her legs.
“I’m not Angelus,” he said, and promptly passed out.
They had to force-feed him in his moments of consciousness the next day and some odd hours, and Spike, irritated by the bloody nursing, exited once again to collect fresh clothes for himself; the smell was too distracting, like that of chocolate in a classroom. He didn’t understand, and would’ve torched the imposter except that Angelus had been hard and he’d seen in his eyes how he ached to kiss him, and somehow he couldn’t do it, too much familiarity despite all that was wrong. He’d always been a sucker for puppy-dog eyes; he just hadn’t known Angelus could do them.
Not to mention Dru had threatened to rip his own eyes out if he touched the poor defenseless Angel. She’d even made a few swipes with the dagger. Spike would have been mildly disturbed, except that afterwards she went back to marking Angelus’ hands as to where she would break them the next time he woke, and so he whistled as he exited the doorway onto the thickly dusty streets.
Angelus had always been something he did not understand. He was moody and irritable, dramatic and epic; he preferred blondes to brunettes, big to little, knives to blunt objects. He liked what he liked and destroyed what he didn’t, and Spike knew Angelus would have killed him long ago except for that he provided something that Darla simply couldn’t, despite Angelus’ less than charming evasion of Spike when he wasn’t craving sweets. Dru was the one unexplained part of the equation; for all that he had supposedly sired her for her powers, Angelus hardly listened to her when she spoke. At least – before; now he seemed to listen to her, and never Spike himself.
The thought irritated him as he paused to regard the night sky; the fact that he hadn’t really understood him even before was hardly a comfort now. There were games that Angelus had the patience for that Spike never would. He only wondered that Angelus hadn’t realized that already.
Setting off at a brisk pace, Spike left his thoughts and the night sky both behind as he set out from the bordello’s aging steps. The few out at this time of night in this part of town generally meant good to no one, but before Spike’s flaunting walk they parted, wave-like, around his acrid whistle, his blonde curls waving with each step. A girl tonight, he decided; an aristocrat, perhaps. Something soft and sweet, such a sweet tooth lately, something young and pert. He continued down the gutted alley, beyond the twists and rocking cobbles of the backstreets, and made his measured way to the main road, where a few tardy girls were being walked home by gallant gentlemen with shiny smiles or more cynical escorts with less charming teeth.
They passed him by, unnoticed in the shadows, or perhaps simply ignored; purple dress, shiny hat, noble cane, thinning crowd as the last respectable hour of the night approached its death. Yet despite the small number that remained, Spike waited; he did not like second best, least of all in a week like this. The minutes passed; the fountain settled softly, water turned down for the unobservant dark. Spike settled back, silent and tense in the building’s shadow. Distant sounds faded, and the moon peaked out and brightened, shone; at last, the street emptied into the hollowness of night.
Then, strangely, turning in from the corner, one last girl came, tossing back her head and laughing at something the gentlemen next to her had whispered, strolled before the fountain across the way from him. A gold ringlet fell from her elaborately piled hair as she did so, her laughter thick and ringing, her mouth a perfect bow caressing the bell tones of her voice.
Spike smiled and turned to approach them from the other side.
Dru watched her Sire with cautious eyes, surveying him like so much meat. Awake at last, he watched her, when he bothered to, with resigned and swollen eyes. She reached in, abruptly, to poke him.
“Looks like poor eating,” she announced to the invisible throngs surrounding them. “He is hardly worth the bite. Should we grant mercy, or pickle his brain like so much herring?” As if to listen to a whisper, Dru leaned forward a moment with a cautiously raised eyebrow, and then stepped back, nodding, satisfied. “It’s true,” she said. “Daddy has been terribly naughty. He does not deserve herring.”
Angelus turned to her, unexpectedly, and smiled. “I missed you,” he said. Dru blinked at him, and smiled, bent over to kiss his cheek. “Good boy,” she purred, then bit.
Angelus howled and arched his back away from her, and would have torn his cheek to pieces but for that Dru lightly opened her mouth almost the instant she bit, letting his skin slide delicately off her fangs. Licking at the warmth, she stood over him as he, in turn, blinked at her.
“Such a good boy,” she murmured. “Would you like some tea?”
Angelus stared at her for some seconds before he whispered “Yes.” As her footsteps trailed away from him, his chains rattled as he lifted his hand to touch his newly bathed face, and he smiled for the first time in days. “Poor Dru,” he whispered quietly.
Almost an entire hour passed before Dru returned with a shining tea set, including milk and sugar and biscuits and honey and cream obtained from only God knew where alongside the gleaming porcelain. She set it down with all the ceremony of a six year old, grave and thin and pouty. Dru placed it between them before settling herself next to him, pulling out a stained wet handkerchief that she immediately began to wipe across his face, removing the dirt and the excess blood with strangely industrious strokes. He sat quietly as she did so, even when she shook her head petulantly over her teeth marks in his cheek.
“You must take better care, my Angel,” she murmured. “Pit-pet, pit-pet, all-a-wet, all-a-wet.” She finished off with his nose and then tweaked it delightfully before setting the handkerchief down.
“One milk or two?” she asked politely.
“Isn’t that sugar, Dru?” whispered her Daddy.
“Not at all. I keep my secrets separate,” she said, nodding carefully. She poured the milk in cautiously, then topped it off with tea. “That’s mine,” she said. “Can’t have you eating all the goodies, dear Angel.” Pushing the teacup to the side, she began the next one, this one made with four large sugar cubes and a splash of tea. He received one teaspoon of milk, which she measured jealously, watching him out of the corner of her eye. Assured of his behavior, she laid the teacup next to him, with two thick biscuits and a small napkin besides.
“Why do you call me that?” he asked softly.
“Because you were dead, and now you are not,” she replied. She sipped at her milk, and then shook her head at him. “You like your sweets so – such sweet things – sugared lips and milky skin and honey hair. We will never trust you now.” Looking down at her cup, she mewled prettily, upturning her eyes only once, to be sure of his attention.
“We have no reason to trust one another,” he said, his back bending subtly with the statement. She shook her head, and looked at his cup. Finally she pushed it to him with a happy, wicked grin.
After a moment, he took the teacup in his hands, somewhat clumsy for their bruises, and sipped at the sugar which sloshed heavily in the cup. Dru waited with expectant eyes, and so he took a biscuit too. “You make an excellent tea,” he said. She smiled happily.
“Dru,” he said suddenly, “will this ever end?”
“Several times,” she said, nodding helpfully. He smiled again, a twisted mouth and down curving eyes, and half shook his head. Silent, he sat there, opened his mouth as if waiting for someone else’s words.
“I don’t know what to do,” he said, finally.
“You must go to a land far, far away,” she said, her eyes dreamy. “A land of milk and honey and palms…blonde hair and palms, yes. You go there, to the pretty beach and palm trees. We are all very happy there.”
“You can see that?” he asked.
“Written in the stars,” she said. “It’s all written in the stars with milk and honey.” She kissed his forehead and pursed her mouth affectionately.
“Have another cup,” she said decidedly, and filled the second entirely with honey, placed it in his hand like a diamond into velvet. He smiled, and drank it slowly, relishing its flavor.
Spike was not best pleased. The girl had turned out to be surprisingly full of fight; he’d almost have mistaken her for a slayer, the way she fought even hindered by her skirts, but for that her kicks held no real power, her blocks no real style. He was quite disappointed, on both counts, even more so when he knocked her down and out, her skull clattering on the cobblestones like tuppence in a tin cup. It was a far cry from the languid seduction he’d intended, or even a simple cornering.
He wondered who had told her about vampires; the blonde had hardly given him a half glance before she’d tried to escape, two seconds longer before her gallant escort had abandoned her. Some hero that; the girl should have been escorting him. Spike tracked him and broke his neck with something akin to disgust before returning to the beaten girl. Then he lifted her into his arms and began the twisted walk through alleys now abandoned, her weight light in his embrace.
Despite the relative quickness of the hunt – a mere half-hour’s wandering from their current residence – it was well into the fifth hour of night when he returned, still irritable at the necessity of killing the boy; too many bodies, too many clues, too many days before they got out of here.
“Dru,” he called softly from the front room as he closed the door behind him, laying the girl next to the door. “Dru, pet, I’m back.”
Wiping the blood that had leaked from the back of her head from the door, he double checked the porch for any further drops; but it appeared only to have been enough to mark the door as she brushed it, not to make a trail, and he smiled, satisfied, as he shut it for the final time. Not finding the spare handcuffs, he gagged her and bound her wrists and ankles in rope, quickly and efficiently, then left her there as he strode back further into the building, stretching his hand reflexively as he walked. It was almost mended; tomorrow he could take off the bandages.
“Darling,” he murmured gently as he rounded the corner, “have you –” Spike stopped short, the syllables catching in his throat. Drusilla was humming something pretty across the room in front of a crackling fire and tending to the intricacies of an enormous tea, sitting amiably with a tidied version of Angelus, who was smiling at her in what could only be described as an intimate way. She laughed at something he said, petted his head, and poured him a new cup of tea all with a coy grin. Spike’s mouth twisted into a sour grimace for a single moment before clearing away completely. Spike then walked into the room, and Angelus’ expression went from indulgent and soft to blank and submissive in the space of an absent heartbeat.
“Dru, dear.” Spike said across the room. “Would you mind getting dinner ready? I can’t seem to find the extra bracelets. The pair by the door seems to have walked off. And if you could grab some dozen nails, for later.”
Dru bounced up prettily, walked over to Spike with an almost blushing cheek, placed a child’s kiss on him, and then waltzed out of the room. Spike refused to turn to watch her exit, although he felt her linger at the door. When her footsteps faded – he had to strain to hear them over the fire and the boards creaking under his own feet – his focus solidified on Angelus.
“You look quite comfortable, old Sire. Tended wounds, washed cuts, kisses on the forehead and tea-time at midnight. It’s a wonder she didn’t suckle you as well.”
An acid smile slipped from Angelus’ lips. “Not a single suck on my part, Spike.”
It was curious, seeing that look on this not-Angelus; this expectant look of a fight, this curling, thick, craving emotion playing across his face under the ruse of a smile and a poor excuse for a beating. The old and new Angelus had some things in common.
The look faded as Spike stood there, watching him, failing either to attack or flee; it turned into something wormier, sicker, angrier, the longer he watched with silent eyes. Minutes passed, and Angelus returned his eyes to the rest of the room while Spike simply stared on and on. The building creaked eerily around them, the fire crackling gleefully, the silence weighing heavier with each moment.
“Dinner will be here soon,” Spike said, finally. “Best behave.”
After some ten minutes’ wait, Spike went to investigate Dru’s disappearance; he found the girl unconscious, her hair cut raggedly, and the door cracked open with a cold breeze chasing in. Of Dru there was nothing to be seen. Irritated, he piled the girl into the spare bedroom off from their own, and returned to Angelus both hungry and in unpleasant temper.
“It appears dinner is postponed,” he announced, sliding into the ragged silk fainting couch and leaning comfortably over Angelus. “I suppose this is where we extend the party conversation.”
“Never was much for that,” Angelus murmured.
“You never were much for postponing dinner, either, but Dru appears to think an interlude is necessary. I’d start without either, but I did get her the girl especially.”
“Could be Darla’s sister. Dru misses her, you know. Darla wouldn’t talk to us even before you – spurned her, shall we say? You really hurt her.”
“I would never have guessed.”
Spike laughed. “I meant before the fiery vengeance. It was quite the surprise, really. I thought you’d be the one facing down the demon, not her.”
“I don’t have any demons left.”
“My, my, aren’t we special. Sullen Angelus, King of Pouty Purity.” A sour grin appeared on Spike’s face, and Angelus, for a moment, looked as if he would join him, before his mouth settled into a thin line.
“Oh, dear,” said Spike. “Poor wretched Angelus. He’s been teased into a smile. Time to sulk immeasurably over this great sin.” He sighed, annoyed, and began searching for the bottle that he was certain had been there only last night. “You know, for a moment, I thought you were going to be bearable.”
“God forbid I should cease to entertain you.”
“Since when has God meant anything to you?”
Angelus shrugged. “Since when were you so chatty?”
“I’m bored. And hungry. And my hand itches where it’s healing. And you used to be much less tiresome.”
“The poetry of your words leaves me inclined to sleep. Don’t you need to find Dru before she gets us all killed?”
“You never did trust her. More fool that - she’s better at staying hidden than I am. If she’s out, it’s for a reason.”
Angelus all but rolled his eyes, but he said no more.
The hours began to pass.
The break of morning and its accompanying glare had long since come and gone by the time Angel woke, to find Spike curled curiously on the couch, delicately, even. He looked softer in the faded light of the flames, boyish, his face peaceful, arms surrounding himself protectively. Angel meant to stand and go check on the girl, try to escape; but his limbs seemed to contest any movement, and he found it strangely difficult to draw his eyes from Spike’s calm features. Occasionally Spike would take a great breath in his sleep, or sigh, as if he had never quite become accustomed to his own death, to the stillness of immortality. Angel watched Spikes’ tiny protests until the last flickers of the dying fire went out before he stood to check on the girl.
Spike’s eyes shot open, the vulnerability of his sleeping form vanished as Angel’s chains clanked loudly.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Spike snapped.
“The girl,” Angel said quietly.
“Oh, come to your senses, have you?” Spike said, a pleased and hopeful expression creeping in; but Angel failed to reply, and walked heavily out of the room.
But there was no one in any of the rooms, neither hidden in closets nor politely dead on the floor, despite copious bloodstains. After some five minutes’ search, thoroughly annoyed, Spike pointed back to the parlor, and Angel obediently began to shuffle his way back. The chains dragged at him more forcefully than they should have; his wound, with the lack of fresh blood, had not healed as it should have, despite his metaphysical state. He was only capable of standing because of the little blood Dru had managed to force down his throat before.
When Angel tripped at the second doorway, the chains tangled, barely catching himself before he began moving again, Spike was unable to continue to feign ignorance.
“You’re going to have to eat, you idiot,” said Spike.
“Well, we do seem to be out of hors d’oeuvres, now, don’t we?” Angel muttered.
“You wouldn’t eat them if we did,” Spike said petulantly. “Won’t even bite the hand that feeds you.”
“Maybe later,” Angel said tiredly, now just feet away from the couch. It seemed strangely far away, and dance-like in the firelight, only hadn’t the fire gone? And the floor was rushing to meet its dance partner in the flicker, flick, flicker, and then blood trickling into his mouth, beautiful blood, pouring down his throat and he could do this forever, could drink red waterfalls of this, could drink the world of it, colors fading in and out as life slipped sweetly down his throat –
Angel’s eyes opened to find Spike looking at him with a strange softness. “You fainted,” he said. Angel tried to protest and found he couldn’t, despite the new wetness of his throat and the freedom his now unchained limbs enjoyed. Spike laid his head down – Angel had not realized he had been holding him up – and began to roughly bandage his own inner arm, where tiny, elegant puncture marks now decorated it.
“You seemed thirsty,” Spike said. “I’ve eaten more recently than you, anyhow. You’ve got some nice sturdy banker in you, as I recall, now.”
Looking vaguely surprised, Angel nodded and fell back into oblivion without a word. Spike watched him for a moment before standing again; he would wait for night in the front room. Which did not explain at all why he sat down across from Angel, eyes focused fast before him, and waited patiently as the day began to fade.
When Angel woke again, there was a great deal of confusion: first, as to why he seemed to be experiencing a very strong form of dejas vu, Spike easily slipping still-warm blood into him, second, why this version now played in utter darkness, and last, best, why it was so much better, so much clearer, so much more – like sometime much longer ago –
Angel tried to push Spike’s arm away, but Spike held it there for a moment longer, perhaps merely to prove he could. Angel acquiesced, and drank a moment longer, before Spike pulled back tenderly. The room was thick with the night; the smell of Spike’s all-too-obvious fresh kill lay heavy in the air, drops of blood still peppering his mouth like little love-bites, the scent of it rich with promise.
“You’re so beautiful,” Angel said, the words out before he could remember to stop himself. “I forgot,” he said, the words hanging in the air, inexplicable in their meaning.
“You’re not Angelus,” Spike said, the pain on his face breaking something inside Angel in the second before Angel pulled Spike to him, and all words stopped.
To call it remembering was not right; it was too heavy with scent and weight for that. But there was something inevitable about the pull between them, about the slide of material, about the almost school-girlish bite Spike gave Angel when he was finally freed of clothes. Angel’s hands moved without any source of direction, certainly, some kind of mystic guide in his skin, the way they found and ripped off the buttons and slid their way to Spike’s cock. He tasted like sweat and need and thick wet promise, filled his mouth the way nothing did, let Angel find taste again in a way he hadn’t felt since everything had changed, since the world had changed from buttercups and blood to pale gray paste. It was almost something holy, feeling full somewhere again.
It might have been that Spike was discomfited by Angel’s newly over-willing self; it might have been he wanted it to last. Spike turned and pushed into Angel’s stomach, back to cock, slippery newness up against his skin, pulling one hand of Angel’s over his stomach in a clawing motion. Angel wanted to suck him dry right then, wanted to feel him empty himself over and over into a limitless, endless come, but Spike would not let him, was, for the first time, in too much control, was holding Angel back, was being held too, too softly in arms that were too warm. Even fresh sweet human blood should not have made Angel so warm.
Spike let himself scream when Angel entered him, bloody and hot and still so fucking painful he nearly came then, and then, he didn’t care, all too perfect and lovely, and Angel whimpering, could Angelus whimper? Spike wondered, as Angel pushed so deeply into him, God fucking God like the first time and the nails piercing layers, and laughing over Darla, and Dru, because he knew Angelus would never fuck them this way, and because he was thankful to Darla for doing whatever she had done, for leaving this, even if it was only for the night, this piece of broken Angelus that was begging to fuck him and didn’t know how to take any more. Bites at the neck and a hand reaching around and holding him like a fucking grail. Angelus really had fucking bought it.
Spike didn’t even bother to wait to come, he knew Angel was so close behind. He was right; Angel collapsed around him seconds later, licking the bloody trails on his neck and shoulders that his teeth and nails had left, all but shaking in his satisfaction. Spike smiled, and Angelus, or Angel, or whoever was left, cried, and the sun rose.
Night came with very few changes: the dark, and the cool, and Dru, licking her fingertips and combing her matted, kill-bespeckled hair. “Is he gone, Spike?” she asked, flicking each nail after her decontamination of it. Spike did not bother to look around; the room was as empty as the night, as cold as Drusilla’s vacant eyes. “Yes, pet,” he murmured. “Yes.” Pulling on the remnants of his clothes, he walked to the door with heavy steps, pulled the heavy wood open, and stared out into the empty streets.
“Angel, poor pet. He has flown away from us,” she murmured, quite unsympathetically. “I wonder why.” She flicked a speck of blood in Spike’s face before falling to her knees dramatically before the unlit view.
“Why do you call him that, pet?” Spike murmured, eyes wandering into the empty distance, searching for a shadow that could not be seen.
“It’s part of his punishment. He doesn’t get a name,” she said, mournfully now. “Michael and Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael, even Lucifer had a name. He has none. Only an Angel, an Angel, for him that was born and died again, for him that left us here alone.”
Spike paused at that, turning from his watch of the slowly graying morning. “It’s all right, pet,” he said quietly, kissing her forehead and pulling her from the doorway. “We always find him eventually.”