Conduit

Conduit

Spike woke up to birdsong and the memory of his heart’s beat. He’d been having such a strange dream: Darla had been in it and Dru. They’d been coiffed to the nines, ready to hit the town. They’d been standing in the sunshine and Spike’s mouth had filled with the taste of ashes as they’d preened. Not for him, as it’d turned out. Never for him.

Angel was always impossibly big in Spike’s dreams. Big hands, wide chest, monstrous cock. Spike always knew when Angel was in the room because all the air- figuratively speaking, of course- seemed to evaporate. He heard Dru’s strange laughter and then he woke up.

Spike rolled onto his side and reached for his smokes. The pack was empty.

“Bugger all,” he mumbled. He narrowed his eyes and scanned the room for his coat; there was probably another pack in his pocket.

“You down there, Spike?”

“Bugger,” Spike said again.

Footsteps on the ladder and then Angel’s pale face.

“Got any smokes?” Spike asked.

“Those things’ll kill you,” Angel said.

“Whatever,” Spike replied. “What’re you doin’ here?”

“Came to see Buffy.”

It was the way Angel said her name that always made it feel as though Spike had glass in his belly.

“About?”

“Well now,” Angel said, considering. “I don’t think that’s any of your business.”

Spike swung his legs off the bed and said: “Slayer business is my business.”

Angel’s brow creased. “Not sure I see how,” he said mildly.

Spike stood. He didn’t like being at a height disadvantage, not that standing did him much good where Angel was concerned.

“I don’t know why you’re still here, Spike,” Angel said.

“Sunnydale’s as good a place as any,” Spike said. He walked across the room and reached into the pocket of his duster. Pay dirt. He extracted the pack of crumpled smokes and tapped one out.

“I wasn’t talking about Sunnydale,” Angel said. “I was talking about here.” He looked around Spike’s crypt with skeptical eyes.

“Sod off,” Spike said, flipping open the lid of his Zippo and flicking the wheel with his thumb. He sucked in a lungful of smoke, chewed on it and exhaled.

Angel shrugged.

“I don’t know why you care where I am anyway. You don’t bleedin’ live here anymore.”

“Doesn’t mean I don’t keep tabs,” Angel said.

Spike smirked. “You’re jealous.”

“Hardly.”

Spike pulled at his lip. “So if you’re here to see Buffy, what are you doing harassing me?”

Angel smiled a little. “Do I need a reason to visit?” He stepped a little closer to Spike. “Aren’t you glad to see me?”

“Tell you what, Angel,” Spike said, leaning back against the cool stone wall, baring his throat just a little, “I don’t miss you one bit.”

Angel stepped closer, crowding into Spike’s space. “I don’t miss you either, William.”

Spike turned his head and sucked on the last of his cigarette, letting the smoke curl out of his mouth before he turned his face back to Angel’s and parted his lips in invitation.

*

“She’ll bloody know you’ve been here,” Spike said petulantly.

Angel stood at the foot of Spike’s bed, buttoning his shirt.

“She doesn’t care,” Angel said.

Spike had a feeling the statement had more to do with how Buffy felt about him than anything else. It had been a strange few months: Buffy’s return from the grave hadn’t exactly been a walk in the park. Angel always hanging around was the icing on the proverbial cake; if the cake was made of mud and the frosting was shit.

Spike wanted another cigarette, but he’d be damned if he’d walk by Angel to get it. To make matters worse, his dick was still throbbing shamelessly and he wasn’t about to let Angel get a glimpse…and endure the smirk he knew would twist Angel’s stupid mouth.

Instead he covered his eyes with his forearm and said: “Are you still here?”

But when he lifted his arm to see, Angel was gone.

*

It might have worked out in the end. Buffy came back from the grave and once she got her bearings (if such a thing was actually possible) she actually seemed to settle into a version of the life she’d left behind.

But then there had been that one time, in the house…and a few more times after that. And then that bloody plonker had shown up and thrown a spanner into the works. It’d been a dog’s bleedin’ breakfast after that. Course Angel wouldn’t actually fuck Buffy, not that she wouldn’t have parted her thighs for him. Angel was too noble. There was a time when Angel wouldn’t have given a crap about the consequences of his actions: seemed like nowadays all he did was wallow.

A quick search turned up half a bottle of Jack and Spike unscrewed the cap gratefully. Two long pulls later and he could feel the beginning of relief in his belly. By the time half the half was gone, Spike was spoiling for a fight and he didn’t care who was on the receiving end: him or her. By the time he’d finished the bottle, he was lying on his bed, cock in his fist, jacking off to the remembered pleasures of having Buffy and Angel in his bed though, sadly, not at the same time.

*

Angel was waiting for him three nights later. Spike almost ducked behind the Wilson family tomb, but he knew Angel would have already seen him…or if not seen him, sensed him. It’s what had always made Angel such a cunning hunter: he seemed to know when the ripe, young virgin was coming around the corner, alone and vulnerable and just the teensiest bit wanting. It wasn’t any good, Angel said, if they didn’t want it just a little. He liked a little yes in his no.

Spike walked towards his crypt and tried to keep his face neutral. Bloody hell, though, it wasn’t as if L.A. was just down the road.

“Trouble in River City?”

Angel quirked an eyebrow.

“Never mind,” Spike said. “What do you want?”

“It’s the age-old question, isn’t it?”

Oh, it was going to be one of those sorts of nights.

“Sun’ll be up in a couple hours,” Spike said. “Shouldn’t you be heading back to Los Angeles? Wouldn’t want to burn that beautiful, pale skin.”

“I’m touched by your concern for my well-being, Spike.”

Spike smirked. “I couldn’t give a toss for your well-being, Angel.”

“Like-wise,” Angel replied. “Should we do this outside or would you rather go in?”

Spike could see that Angel was itchin’ for a fight and, truthfully, if he’d shown up a couple nights ago, Spike would have been happy to oblige. But tonight he was tired.

“I’d rather you leave me the fuck alone,” Spike said bitterly.

“Where’s the fun in that, Spike?”

“You know,” Spike said, “I liked you a whole helluva lot better when you were the sulky, silent type. Ever since Buffy came back from--”

He didn’t even see Angel move, but suddenly he was dangling from the end of Angel’s hand, which was wrapped around his throat, choking him like he actually had air to lose.

“Don’t say her name.”

Spike lifted his elbow and smashed it into Angel’s ear: it wasn’t an elegant blow, but it had the desired effect. Angel loosened his grip and Spike dropped to the ground.

“Oh, I do more than say her name,” Spike said, “and on a regular basis, I might add.”

That did it. Angel flung himself at Spike and they tumbled in a graceless heap to the grass. Spike managed to land the first punch, splitting Angel’s lip. It was the only damage he managed to inflict before Angel had him flipped over, his pants around his knees and his cock was buried high and hard in Spike’s arse.

The worst thing about being fucked by Angel these days was that he was silent. It hadn’t always been that way. There had been a time when Angel would have poured a hundred vile sentiments into Spike’s willing ear, every one designed to make Spike harder, hornier. Now the only sound was the slide of skin against skin, and the grunts that Spike tried to swallow but never could.

“Bastard,” Spike said after Angel finished. He felt the slow ooze of Angel’s come leak from him and it made him angry.

“Yeah, I’m a bastard,” Angel said. “Sue me.”

Spike rolled over and yanked his pants up. Angel was leaning against a tombstone, staring up at the sky. Dawn was out there, stretching and yawning its way onto the purple horizon.

Spike dropped down beside Angel and offered him a smoke.

“Sorry about your lip,” Spike said.

“No you’re not,” Angel said.

“No,” Spike said. “I’m not.”

*

He liked watching her sleep. She didn’t do it easily anymore: memories of the grave, he supposed. Sometimes, though, if they’d fucked really hard and for a long time, she let herself go, lifted the oars from the steady upstream river of her life and drifted with the current instead of against it.

He wanted to protect her, but he didn’t know how. He could do this, though: keep silent watch.

Sometimes when she woke up, if he was lucky, her smile would be genuine and only for him. It was always worth the price he invariably paid because later, as she combed the tangles from her hair and admired the bruises he’d planted like a garden of peonies and roses along her breasts and thighs, her eyes would darken and lose their focus and Spike always knew she was thinking about something else- not the momentary relief his body offered.

“Stop staring,” she said. Her eyes were closed.

“You’re beautiful,” he said.

“I bet you say that to all the girls.”

“Only the ones I bed.”

Buffy opened her eyes.

“You know this thing between us, it’s not permanent or anything.”

Spike nodded, once. “You’re just using me,” he said. Rules don't say I can't use you back, he thinks.

*

Spike hadn’t meant to spy on them, but it wasn’t like they were hiding. There they were, like a shiny penny caught in the glare of the afternoon sun, just waiting to be snatched up by grubby fingers.

He’d been walking home after a night of drinking and not dining and he smelled her: a hint of brown sugar and underneath that, something musky and warm. He’d barely had a chance to imagine the forthcoming possibilities when he’d spotted them.

Goddamn it, was Spike’s first thought. Fucking bloody brilliant, was his second.

He stopped and took a small step sideways so that he was hidden by an alder. He had a mostly unobstructed view of Buffy’s ankles locked around Angel’s lower back. Spike didn’t think they were actually fucking, but it was only by virtue of the fact that they were, as far as he could tell from this vantage point, still wearing clothes.

It suddenly occurred to Spike that his place in Buffy’s life was dubious. Sure she’d told him that this thing they shared wasn’t permanent, but then he’d put his mouth against her quim and her words would falter and quiver to a stop. Standing here, watching Angel grind against that very spot made Spike reconsider whether he was really anything more than a willing dick to her.

The handcuffs and the bruises and the slide of his fangs on her inner thigh- those weren’t things only he could offer. He shifted a little trying to catch a glimpse of Buffy’s face, trying to figure out of Angel was hurting her or just moving against her without any real intent. That would be better. If Angel actually figured out that Buffy liked it a little rough, that would complicate Spike’s life.

He clenched his jaw and rubbed the heel of his hand against his erection.

*

“You sure about this?” Clem asked. “I mean isn’t leaving a little extreme? I know you have a thing for her and all, but seriously, dude, I’m not sure the vampire - Slayer thing would have worked out in the end.”

“Which shirt?” Spike held up two shirts, both red.

Clem deliberated thoughtfully and then pointed to the shirt in Spike’s left hand.

“Are you going to leave a note?” Clem asked. “No, probably no note.”

Spike stuffed a couple t-shirts into the duffle bag. “Dear Buffy,” he said. “Find someone else to shag. We’re through.”

“Concise,” Clem said kindly. “Say, weren’t you a poet back in the day?”

Spike shot Clem a withering look and dropped a bottle of scotch into the bag.

“There are other Slayers in the sea,” Clem said cheerfully.

“Watch the place for me,” Spike said.

*

While the sky was still a spilled ink stain against the sand and ribbon of highway, Spike considered his next move. He’d been there when she’d come clawing up out of the dirt, grime under her nails, smelling of decay and worms.

She said she didn’t want him with the same mouth she wrapped around his rigid cock. So he’d be back, of course he would.

Right now, though, he felt like paying a visit to an old friend. And when he’d got there, he’d see what sort of mood he was in.

The back tire of his motorcycle churned up dust and gravel before it bit into the asphalt and propelled him towards the distant glow of L.A.

THE END

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