Beg to Differ

Beg to Differ

By Rabid/Raeann

Rating: NC17
Pairing: Spike/Buffy/Angel
Summary: This is a sequel to my ficlet Cliffhanger. It is PWP. The title is based on the whole S/B or B/A argument. Like there is no alternative but Buffy choosing either Spike or Angel...except her choosing Xander. I wrote this as a present for my buddy Mary who shares this site and set me a challenge: She wanted Post-Chosen S/B/A without Angel dominance, or Spike wimpiness or Buffy being turned into a vampire or anyone being vile. Since I believe Angel is a closeted gay man and I can't imagine him having sex with Buffy at all…this really WAS a challenge for me. But for the record...the love spoken of here is REAL, in my mind. Buffy loves Angel and Angel loves Buffy and the same goes for Spike...nobody is using anyone else and I hope that comes across.
Notes: Thanks to betas Skycaia & Zyrya
Previously: In my story CLIFFHANGER, Buffy came to L.A. to see Angel and he tried to keep her from seeing Spike. When she discovered Spike alive and well…Buffy set off into the L.A. night to marry Xander.

***

Part One

Hot rain fell at a sharp angle.  Sheeting down, it created a cataract-like dreamscape, softening even the garish offers of X-rated entertainment along the seedy waterfront streets. It drummed on the ground and in the gutter and off the hoods of parked cars.  Two hours after sundown, steam still puffed from the puddles on the slowly cooling pavement.  The clouds of rising moisture added to Angel's visual handicap.  An occasional car whooshed past, spraying its rooster tail across his shoes. Ignoring the splashing and the squish of his sopping socks, he paused to check the wind.

The muscles in his back coiled tighter.  He narrowed his focus, honing in on his prey until he looked like nothing so much as a terrier offered a strip of bacon.  The resemblance did not go unnoted. 

She was close, very close.  Angel was sure of it.  The night trembled with her.

Out of habit he knuckled across his eyes, attempting to check for on-coming traffic before he stepped into the street.  Tenting his palm to shield his vision, he squinted, hoping to pick out headlight beams from the neon prism deluge.  It was hopeless.  The rain blinded and nearly deafened him. His most reliable resource was scent and a predatory intuition. 

He didn’t need much more.  After two days of methodical searching, Buffy Summers was finally in the neighborhood.

The knowledge made the loss of her trail even more heartbreaking.  But Angel wasn’t ready to admit defeat.  He rotated ninety degrees, trying to pick up the delicate thread of the vanished Summers’ scent.  He’d been following it since sundown, tracing the Slayer through the rain and heat.   It hadn’t been easy.  This close to the river, the streets were filthy.  Any number of sickening smells assaulted his nostrils each time he inhaled. 

Angel’s mood deteriorated rapidly in the face of his failure. It was a miserable night to be out.  His three hundred dollar shoes were ruined, squeaking and uncomfortable.  The remains of wringing wet Armani silk clung to his skin.  Despite the heat, his body temperature felt crocodilian and he was desperate to shake a migraine inducing post-nasal drip.

The drip spoke.  “You’ve lost her again, haven’t you?”

“Spike,” Angel growled without turning around. “Fuck off!”

Launching himself away from the cub and the curb, Angel angled for an alley on the far side of the street.  The trail was no stronger in that direction but he had hopes of picking it up before Spike got too happy.  As it was, the boy practically skipped along in his grandsire’s wake.  Angel had never seen him so exuberant.  It was having her in town, of course.

‘And seeing her elude me,’ Angel thought. ‘I swear my misery makes him blissful.’

“Real vampires don’t get head colds, mate,” Spike informed in a distressingly jubilant tone as they entered the relative shelter of the alleyway.  Here the rain came down in a straight line rather than at a steep slant.

“It’s not a cold,” Angel groused. “It’s an allergy.”

Poofy hair gel?”

“Or that swill you have dabbed behind your ears.”

“It’s Dolce and Gabbana, you heathen...very posh.  And Buffy happens to fancy it,” Spike remarked with studied casualness.  Something caught his eye at roof level and he quickly looked in the opposite direction. “Not that you would know what she likes.”

“It will take more than toilet water, boy,” Angel muttered under his breath.

“Lucky I got a bit more then, idnit?” Spike said, bouncing on the balls of his feet and weaving from side to side like a boxer. “Unlike you.” He was smirking.  Angel couldn’t see him clearly but he could hear telltale raindrops hitting teeth.  “For example, I know where she is right now.”

The implication was too much to endure. Since pirating the Shanshu, Spike wasn’t even a vampire.  He was some kind of chimerical being, now…a living ghost.  The boy was a warm blood.  And, unless he was lying about his sense of smell, there was no way he could have picked up Buffy's trail.  Was he lying? The thought gave Angel pause. But, no. The best nose in the world couldn’t locate one girl in this deluge.  Angel suspected that Spike was just tagging along on the hunt, hoping to undermine his confidence. 

It was working. Sufficiently provoked, Angel shot one hand out from the shoulder to seize Spike by the throat.  Thrusting the young annoyance into the alley’s brick wall, he pressed his full weight into him and growled, “Where?”

His only answer was a Cheshire cat smile that glowed through the gloom. They scuffled, wrestling for the upper hand.  Slippery wet skin, silk and leather offered little purchase for their clawing fingers. A t-shirt ripped. Button-down buttons burst free of their moorings.  Only Angel’s superior height allowed him to gain a slight advantage.

“Get off of me, nancy,” Spike finally snarled, pushing out hard with both hands. “I don’t intend to kiss you.”

If Spike was no longer one of the undead, he was still supernaturally strong. Even so, Angel might have muscled through to a win if one of his leather-soled wingtips hadn’t slipped on the wet pavement.  He lurched backward, windmilling his arms for balance and Spike stepped into the breach, powering a haymaker into his jaw.  It was a solid punch.  Combined with the loss of equilibrium, it knocked Angel off his feet. He twisted like a cat in mid-air and tried to sight the ground but in the driving rain he misjudged.  The pavement hit him harder than Spike had. 

Spike followed up his left with a boot to the ribcage.  Angel rolled under the blow, catching at his opponent’s ankle.  Spike was too quick. He twisted free of the grip before falling victim to the same oily patch of mud that had claimed Angel.  He sat down suddenly with a grunt and thump.  Angel pounced on top of him.  As soon as they connected, they both started pummeling.  Angel went for the pin but Spike squirmed and spat and punched and cursed so much that neither of them gained any ground.

Perched like a gargoyle, Buffy watched the bitch-slapping brawl from her rooftop vantage point.  Angel’s attempt to get a firm grip on Spike resembled nothing so much as someone trying to gift-wrap a live orangutan.  When the mêlée threatened to become more than a harmless wrestling match, Buffy decided to intervene.  She vaulted over the eaves and dropped from the sky, blue raincoat forming billowing wings in her wake.  Ricocheting off the lid of a dumpster, she did a handspring into the center of the alleyway and made a perfect soft-kneed landing.  Neither combatant noticed her arrival over the drumming of the rain and the grunts of their fight. 

The storm had ripped heavy strands of Buffy’s hair free of all restraint and plastered them to her face and neck.  Her shell-pink blouse had gone translucent.  Hands on hips, she studied the tangle of limbs rolling around in the puddles before her.  There was a feral light in her eyes.  She took a moment to assess the situation, before striding briskly into the fray.  Her stiletto heels clicked on the pavement. 

An arm was the first body part that came to hand.  Buffy seized on it and pulled. Angel, a mastiff disturbed at dinner, reacted instinctively.  Snapping and snarling, he turned away from Spike’s charge to lash out at the perceived new threat.  Prepared for this response, Buffy wrenched his arm around as she danced sideways, easily avoiding his strike and sending him tumbling across the alleyway.  Unfortunately, her defensive move put her in the path of Spike’s forward momentum.  He hit her, slightly left of center, and the two of them went down in a splash of bottled blonde.

They rolled over each other for several yards, each vying to hold onto the top spot and both getting thoroughly scuffed and muddy in the process.  Buffy won.  On the third or fourth rotation they came to a stop with Buffy straddling a semi-reclined Spike at mid-thigh.  She braced a hand on his abdomen to steady herself as she sat up straight.  Spike's stomach muscles twitched under her splayed fingers.  Noting the slight shudder, Buffy let her line of sight drift down until she was staring in shameless fascination at Spike’s suddenly obvious erection. It held her attention. Her lower lip trembled and raindrops splashed from her lashes and the tip of her nose. 

Angel watched them from a short distance away, his face as dark and violent as the sky overhead. They were both gulping in air, chests heaving in sychronicity. A red mist danced behind Angel's eyes when Spike, tongue accenting his suggestive smile, let his own gaze travel due south.  Buffy’s raincoat had slid from her shoulders to her elbows.  Her drenched blouse and sheer bra, surrendering to the rain, did nothing but draw attention to her puckered nipples.  Spike drank in the view and Buffy showed no sign of girlish modesty. 

As Angel looked on in astonishment, she let the raincoat fall away entirely and inched forward into Spike’s lap, settling over the bulge of his manhood with a contented little sigh.  The sound Spike made in reply was designed to liquefy internal organs.  Angel couldn't help responding in kind anymore than he could look away. Spike's curls were storm tossed.  His face was transformed by an inner light.  He had never seemed so vulnerable, so alive or, frankly...so undeniably sexy. 

A kiss was inevitable. 

When it came, it left Angel feeling strangely detached. His fingers and toes felt numb. He couldn’t move or speak.  A tiny clinical portion of his brain continued making observations.  He was struck by the way Spike and Buffy fit together.  They were both small, bleached blondes.  Both witty and wild.  They suited. As the kiss deepened, Angel found he could easily imagine them having sex, cream skin and tawny. 

To his surprise, his cock stirred at the thought.  Sitting on the ground, knees drawn to his chest, Angel recalled the feel, taste and depth of both of them.  It wasn’t a comfortable recollection because he never thought of himself as a deviant.  Angelus was the one with unusual appetites.  He had taken a manly interest in Dru’s young pup.  It embarrassed Angel to remember how his mouth used to water at the thought of a night on the town with the boy.  And if Spike hadn’t been inclined to play along at first, he had shown remarkable talent after one or two nasty fights put him in the mood. 

Buffy also liked a good fight.

Angel could imagine them together. They would be unbelievable…fucking like hot butter sliding down the throat.

Angel caught himself thinking about it. If he could have blushed he would have as, all in a rush, it dawned on him how incredibly inappropriate his reaction was to the sight of another man playing free and loose with his girl.  He rushed to rectify the lapse. 

“Alright message received,” he rumbled angrily. “Now, please, just…go get a room.”

Buffy jerked away from Spike, a guilty flush staining her cheeks. “Oh…oh, god, Angel,” she panted.  Scrambling on hands and knees, she crossed the few feet of pavement separating them. Angel caught her out of habit, reflexively, barely listening as she babbled, “I didn’t think…didn’t mean to…oh…can you forgive me?”

“For making out with Spike while I am sitting right here?”

“Hey, nobody asked you to gawk,” Spike said. “In fact, you can move along any time now.”

“No,” Buffy protested.  She shot a stern glare over her shoulder before drawing back to stare into Angel’s face. There were tears in her eyes. “I just…I…”

“Don’t love him?” Spike prompted gleefully. As he popped to his feet, he gave his rival a faux moue of pity. “So sorry.”

“Right,” Angel breathed. He was having trouble speaking. It felt like someone was jumping up and down on his chest.  The rain had slacked off but there was still a watery film in front of his eyes.'I'm a champion,' he thought, 'I can do this. It won't hurt any more than...say...a dragon burning out my liver.' He forced out the words.“You finally decided. On Spike...You don’t love me any more. I understand.”

“No,” Buffy repeated.  “I love you more than anything.” There was a strangled cry of alarm behind her.  She cast a quick glance at Spike, her eyes pleading for understanding.

Bitterness marred Spike's beauty. “Oh, right, then,” he sulked.  Waving one hand at the spot where they’d just kissed, he nodded as if catching on that the joke was at his expense. “So all this was just you sayin’ ‘Hello’ I imagine.”

Seeing his hurt expression, Buffy was already amending her declaration, “More than anything except Spike.”

Angel and Spike spoke simultaneously, “You…?” “Wait…”

Buffy puffed out an impatient sigh. This was going to be harder than she’d imagined.  And that was saying something.  She’d been dreading this conversation for two days, ever since she’d learned Spike was alive.  To buy a little time, she stooped to recover her discarded raincoat. Everyone waited while she put it on again. She lingered over the action as long as possible, not knowing how to explain what she felt for her ex-lovers.  She loved them both, differently but with the same intensity.

“Why do you think I was considering Xander’s offer?” she asked at last.

“One too many knocks to the head?” Spike suggested.

Angel chortled in appreciation before recalling that, right at this moment, he loathed the boy.  And he wasn’t really fond of Buffy either.

'She’s mine. My soulmate,' Angel groused internally.  'What the hell does she mean ‘except Spike’? I saw her first.'  Spike was going to ruin things with Buffy just like he screwed up the Shanshu.  Angel didn't think he could take it. He would almost rather it was Xander sleeping with her…giving her fat grandkids… 'oh, fuck…If Spike can give her children…'

The wonder of the concept gave him pause.

'They would be my kids in a way,' he reasoned.  'Blood of my blood.'

 

Angel got a glow of what could only be paternal pride as he realized they were all related in blood.  Buffy’s blood had nourished him in his illness.  He could still feel it in the structure of his cells, trace the pattern of her DNA within his own.  Spike had shanshued back to life via Angel’s blood.  Blood made family. Vampires knew this.  They relied on it.  Angel’s blood had created Drusilla and Drusilla in turn had sired Spike.  Was that the attraction? He wondered.

'Am I drawn to them both by the blood in their veins?' Angel wondered. 'Does it call to me? Does it tie us all together?'

“She only wanted you because she couldn’t have me,” he’d once told Spike.  But perhaps the real reason was more complex.  What if Buffy couldn’t help wanting Spike?  Maybe they couldn’t help falling in love. If they all stopped fighting the attraction, if they let it pull them in, they could be one.

Spike and Buffy were arguing.  Angel made a conscious effort to follow the debate as he climbed to his feet. It seemed to be about who knew more about love. Angel started dabbing at the mud on his trousers.

“Because you had to have the last word,” Buffy was shouting angrily. “You couldn’t just accept what I told you and…”

“Accept that you loved me but were all over him?” Spike interrupted, stabbing a finger in Angel’s general direction but keeping a visual laser lock on the Slayer. “Not bloody likely! Tha’s not love.”

“Oh, yes right! I forgot. You’re the expert on other people’s feelings. It wasn’t enough for you was it?  That I loved you as much as him? You wanted all or nothing.  But I just can’t deliver that, Spike.”  Buffy sounded desperate now, pleading with him to understand. “I’m telling you the truth. I love you more than anything on this earth…but Angel. I loved him first. I never intended to love anyone else. I can’t choose between you, hurt one of you like that. All I can do is try to build a different kind of life with Xander.”

“There’s another option,” Angel heard his voice saying and almost started in surprise.

Buffy and Spike did.  They turned as one to stare at him.  Finding he was the center of attention, Angel cleared his throat.  He wondered what he would say next. The words tumbled out of his mouth without the conscious direction of his brain.

“Let’s just look at this logically." He turned toward Buffy.  "You say you love Spike.  I don’t see why, exactly.” Before either one of them could protest, he rushed on. “But I am willing to believe you when you say you do.  And you love me, too.  We belong together.  You say you can’t let go of Spike and you don’t want to choose between us.  And somehow this all adds up in your mind to…Xander?”

“He’s a good man.”

“He’s a prince,” Angel grumped. “But marrying him? It doesn’t make sense.”

“I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone,” Buffy explained, sounding as exasperated as anyone would who had already told Spike the same thing five times. “Why is that so hard to understand? I’ll never be able to replace what I have with you,” she looked back at Spike, “Or you.  I just don’t have enough heart left.  But I could have other relationships.  I want to have a family again…companionship.”

“Spike’s all oxygen dependent now,” Angel said. “He could give you children.” Honestly, he was just full of good ideas.  The light of hope in Buffy's eyes made him qualify the promise. “Maybe…at least, he could try.”

“You saying you’re going to step aside?”

Judging by his tone, Spike couldn’t believe his ears and before the words were out of his mouth, Buffy was shaking her head. “I don’t want that, Angel,” she said.  “I couldn’t bear it if you got all self-sacrifice-y and noble.  It would poison any chance I have for happiness. I have to leave. It’s the best thing for everyone.”

“I beg to differ,” Angel said firmly. Holding up a hand to forestall Spike, he turned a serious face to Buffy. “I’m not being noble here.  That’s not what I meant at all.” He paused before stressing his next point. “What I’m saying is: I won’t ask you to,” lifting his line of sight, he caught his rival’s eye, “choose.”

Spike blinked at him. Wha—?”  It took a few seconds for comprehension hit.  When it did, he pulled himself up sharply. “Oh, no…no, you nance…that would be…NO…I’m not sharing.”

“Don’t be so dramatic. It wouldn’t be the first time.”

“Buffy’s not some two-shilling salt, mate,” Spike reminded.  “And I don’t see why I should let you in at all.”

“Because if you don’t she’s leaving,” Angel snarled. “Look, I don’t like this any more than you do.  But I don’t see us having that many options.”

“I don’t see us having this one,” Spike returned. He shot a sidelong glance at Buffy. “Right, pet?”

Feeling clueless enough to body double for Alicia Silverstone, Buffy looked from one ex-lover to the other.  The shift in Angel’s bearing told her she was missing something important.  Spike was favoring her with an expectant stare as if waiting for an answer.  But Buffy didn’t understand the question.  She mentally went over Angel’s remarks.

He didn’t want her to be alone.  He wasn’t offering to bow out of the picture.  Spike could give her children.  But he didn’t want to share. She didn’t have to leave.  She wouldn’t have to choose between them.

“Oh.”  It was a single syllable on a soft breath.  “You mean the three of us could—? I…” A deep blush poured from Buffy's hairline to the soles of her feet and she shuddered.  “That would be…that’s…”

“Sick,” Spike pronounced, taking his cue from her evident mortification. “And shocking.” He glowered at Angel in a good imitation of indignation. “I’m surprised at you.”

Angel was a little surprised, too.  Feeling the burn of shame, he stared at the ground as he mumbled, “It was just an idea, really.  Thought if we could…compromise…it was worth a shot! You wouldn’t have to leave.  I mean…if we all…but…of course, that would be wrongOOOOF!”  His arms were suddenly full of Buffy. She had launched a flying leap at his torso and latched on with every limb. 

“That is the sweetest…most wonderful…giving…loving…perfect thing…” Words failed her but she kept on expressing her delight. 

With her legs wrapped around Angel’s waist, she kissed him randomly between each phrase until she happened on his lips.  Her vitality caused a candle of warmth to flicker to life in his dark heart.  It was nearly extinguished a moment later when Spike joined them. 

He made his presence known by fisting up a handful of Buffy’s wet hair at the nape of her neck and pulling her halfway off Angel.  Buffy held on with her knees, applying fierce pressure as Spike bent her body like a bow.  When he had her partially in his arms, he delivered another tonsil-snog. 

“I thought you were shocked,” Angel grumbled, put out by Spike's interruption.

“Was,” Spike admitted when he and Buffy came up for air. “Over it.”

That said, he returned to the Slayer’s lips, making her squirm in delight. Angel didn’t like it but he didn’t complain again. Chiefly, because Buffy was rocking a hot slickness against his belly as she bridged back to her other lover.  Also, her breasts were bobbing and bouncing and practically begging for Angel's attention.  He slid a hand up under her shirt to oblige.  At first, he was gentle, swirling the cup of his palm over the swell of softness.  But as Spike applied more tongue, Buffy’s nipples hardened and she began to buck and shimmy, emboldening Angel to pinch and tug at the tiny peak.

“Oh, Angel,” she panted at the next break for breath. 

He couldn’t help flashing a triumphant grin at Spike, who responded by reaching around to slap his grandsire on the flank. “Don’t get cocky, peaches.  The night’s still young.”

“And before it is too much older I am going to have both of you moaning my name,” Angel growled.

Buffy went rigid in astonishment.  She started struggling against her united lovers, turning her cheek to hot kisses as she tried to think clearly.  What could Angel mean by…?  It almost sounded like… She braced her hands, one on each man’s shoulder, and pushed away, letting her feet find the ground.

“What do you mean ‘both of us’?”  There was a look of incredulity on her face. “Angel? You’re not…?  I mean…you and Spike don’t…?”

“Perish the thought,” Spike gasped. But she could see he was making an effort not to smirk. She knew that expression, intimately.  It was his ‘Now you’re catching on’ face.

“Of course not,” Angel quickly denied. Spike made a derisive hissing noise. “That is…we have…but not lately…not recently…not now.”

“But…but…you’re not gay.”

“Well, I’m not,” Spike said.

“Yeah,” Angel snorted facetiously. “Funny, I don’t remember holding you down.”

“You did,” Spike insisted, before hedging, “At least, at first. You drugged the blood, too.  And there were chains, as I recall.”

“Chains,” Buffy said in a small voice as her worldview took another body blow.

“He was a little repressed,” Angel said with a shrug.

“Got you back for that. didn’t I?” Spike said. He was eyeing Angel with a touch of real animosity. “You and Dru both.”

Buffy T-ed her hands. “Okay, time out for the incredibly wigged to go ‘ewww’!” She sucked in a deep breath and then, holding her arms rigid to her sides and squeezing her face into a pucker, went, “EWWW!”

“Oh, come on, pet,” Spike puffed. “We were vampires, not cub scouts.  I mean. you knew we lived together.”

“But I didn’t think you…well…I guess I didn’t ever consider…”

“It’s not like I prefer men,” Angel said.

“Right,” Spike drawled eyeing him up and down. “That would be Angelus?”

“So you never…?” Buffy said, addressing Spike. “With men, I mean…other than Angel and…with the chains and…okay, bad scene in Buffy’s head.”

“Some women fancy it, luv,” Spike said deciding not to mention her friend Webs until a later date.  His tone was conciliatory and thankfully Angel kept his peace, giving him working room.  If there was one thing Spike excelled at it was getting around Buffy’s aversions.

“Women were involved?”

Spike nodded. “Quite a few of them get off on seeing two men going at it.  Angelus and I would run across that sort all the time.  And then there are loads more that just fantasize…write stories.  I caught Andrew downloading one once: Mulder and Krycek shag ‘til one of them busts a nad.  Hideous writing.  But there are some good ones too; from Harry Potter to Horatio Hornblower.”

“You’re kidding?” Angel couldn’t help saying, stealing the words right out of Buffy’s mouth. Spike gave his grandsire a ‘you are not helping’ look before returning his attention to their beloved.

“Point is: I don’t think it’s unnatural…one woman and two men.”

“Usually the men are…doing it...doing things to or with the woman though, right?” Buffy was remembering the nasty videos Spike had introduced one night during their affair.  It was the day before their mind-altering excursion to the waterfront, the day he had familiarized her with the concept of double penetration.

“You’re a woman, luv.  We wouldn’t do it without you.  You might enjoy it, watching me and the poof tussle. Remember when you said you wanted to see us wrestle naked in oil?”

“Excuse me,” Angel barked, shocked to his core.

“I never said naked.”

'Thought it, maybe,' Buffy mentally added, 'But I definitely didn't say it.'

 

Perforce, she was thinking about it again.  Angel’s heavy body and Spike’s sleek one.  The thick, twisted shaft and the longer, thinner one, both so very talented.  She could see them in her mind’s eye, slick and shiny with oil, plunging…straining…quivering…spewing cream.  Manly fingers grasping, manly lips parted in gasps of ecstasy.  Her heart beat a little faster and she frowned over the reaction.  She was usually possessive.  The thought of Angel with Faith or Spike with Anya made her furious. But somehow this the idea of them together didn’t engender jealousy.  It made her reflect on a hundred other dirty things they might all do to one another. 

Seeing her thaw, Spike sidled in close to nuzzle her neck. “We can play any game you want, baby.  I’d only be doing it for you.”

All remaining stiffness melted out of her.  Clawing into Spike's duster, Buffy wriggled around to face him.  Her mouth found his and they merged, love radiating from them. True love, Angel realized.  It was as real as anything he had ever witnessed.  He watched in awe as they broke the kiss, leaned their brows together and stared into each other’s eyes.

‘How the hell does he do that?’ Angel wondered. Feeling vaguely uneasy at being shut out, he cleared his throat.  There was a gratifying reaction.

“Sorry, peaches.” “Sorry, Angel.” They said in tandem, both backing off.

“So it’s settled?”

Buffy couldn’t seem to stop blushing, but she grinned and nodded. 

Spike, too, gave a grudging dip of his head. “Only to keep her here, mind,” he said. He shot a shy glance at Buffy. “Make you happy.”

“Oh,” Buffy stiffened. “Happy!” She turned toward Angel. “What about the…happy?”

“The curse?” Angel asked. He shook his head. “Not a problem.  I can…perform.  But I’m not about to get all blissful seeing you and the grooming-tip-deprived cuddling and cooing.”

“I’m shagging for the good of all mankind,” Spike said. “Makes you stop and think.”

“Makes me gag,” Angel muttered, as they started for the street arm in arm in arm.

Part Two

The uneasy truce lasted all the way to the street and half-way down the block before disintegrating in a disagreement about their destination.

“The office?” Spike yelped, coming to an abrupt halt. Angel and Buffy were forced to stop as well. “Are you very drunk?”

“We both live there, Spike.”

“Right, ‘cause we had no life. Now we do, maybe it’s time for a change.”

‘Give me strength,’ Angel thought. After cutting his eyes to the sky for a second, he huffed, “Fine.” He glanced at his Rolex. “It’s nearly ten. Why don’t you go register for the china and linens? Buffy and I will find a nice little bungalow somewhere. Course, I’ll have to run by the ATM so I can pick up a sizable down payment.”

“There’s no need to get shirty,” Spike said, winking at the Slayer. “I’m saying we haven’t been exactly subtle the past few days. The office is on full alert for Buffy. I don’t see the three of us traipsing back into the building, straight under Harmony’s nose, without raising a ruckus. And frankly, I’m not up for twenty questions right at the moment.” He leered at their girl. “Up for something else entirely.”

“Spike’s right,” Buffy said. Her voice caressed the name. Though she clasped Angel’s hand tighter and batted her lashes at him, he couldn’t help but grimace slightly. He was already sick of hearing that particular phrase.

“Right in what sense?” He asked innocently.

“I don’t think I want to deal with lots of people or questions. Maybe…” She glanced around, hoping for inspiration.

A garish neon sign blinked on and off just to her left.

Weekly, Daily, Hourly Rates.

“Maybe we could get a room.”

“Now you’re talkin’, luv,” Spike purred. Seizing her free hand, he started for the door of the seedy flophouse. A protest was forming on Angel’s lips but it was Buffy who put the brakes on.

“I didn’t mean right here,” she hissed. She wrenched away from him and glanced left and then right to see if anyone was eavesdropping before whispering, “Somewhere nicer.”

A chastened Spike turned a look of appeal on Angel.

'Terrific!' Angel thought. After mentally fumbling for a few seconds, inspiration hit. “What about your place?” he asked Buffy. “Are you staying with Sharon,” he frowned over the name and tried again, “Shannon…Karen,” he gave up, “the L.A. Slayer? Or in a hotel?”

“Doreen,” Buffy said, supplying the name. “And no,” She hunched her shoulders, avoiding his gaze. “I’m at the Hilton South.”

Angel waited expectantly through too long a pause. Buffy seemed uncomfortable. Unwilling to meet anyone's eyes, she shifted from foot to foot. Then, staring off down the street, she mumbled something completely unintelligible.

“What’s that again, pet?” Spike asked.

Heaving a great sigh, Buffy let go of Angel’s hand. There was no getting out of the coming confrontation. She straightened her spine. Turning to face Spike, she forced her chin up to make eye contact.

“I said, ‘Xander’s there’. He’s in my room…our room. He came over with me for the book tour.”

Though also hurt by this news, Angel was surprised at the abrupt change in Spike’s demeanor.

“Bloody hell!” Spike exclaimed. Frustrated beyond measure, he made a sharp, helpless gesture at the heavens.

“It isn't like we didn't know about Harris,” Angel began in a reasonable tone.

But Buffy’s confession had flipped a switch and Spike had gone from gleeful to spitting mad in a heartbeat. He was the picture of barely controlled fury as he paced off a few feet of sidewalk. When he spun around to face Buffy, his blue eyes flashed silver with angry tears.

“Oh, this is so typical of you,” he snarled. “You been sleeping with him…” He pointed up the street, theoretically toward Xander but, as it happened, in the wrong direction. “...And coming to see Angel…keeping us all in the dark! Xander all unawares... probably wanking off at the hotel. When I think about all that horse spittle you were selling us...about ‘love’.... That’s just a way to set everyone dancing to your tune, isn’t it?”

“No,” Buffy said on a gulp. She stared at her accuser with wide, doe eyes and repeated very softly, “No.”

Spike wasn’t moved in the least by the tremble in her lower lip. “What really happened?” he asked with mock interest. “You get cold feet on your wedding night? Get an itch to sweat up the sheets with the undead one last time?”

“That’s enough,” Angel warned. “You need to settle down.” He stepped forward shouldering protectively between Buffy and the volatile Spike when it seemed certain they would come to blows.

“Sod off, you berk,” Spike snarled. Transferring a measure of his rage to his grandsire, he shoved him. “You think she wouldn’t play you? Think again. She has no intention of owning up to this bit of illicit pleasure…you and I are her toys.” He favored Buffy with a bitter sneer. “Just like old times, huh, pet? Just like.”

“I mean it, Spike, watch your mouth.”

“Or here’s an idea,” Spike countered conversationally as he dropped back a step, “Watch my fist.”

It was a wild punch. Angel avoided it easily. Leaning slightly to one side, he let it swish harmlessly by his nose. Before Spike could regroup, he seized the boy’s arm above the elbow and used the momentum of the punch to carry them both onto the hood of a car parked at the curb. All in the instant, Angel decided he’d had just about enough of being the reasonable one.

The vehicle they landed on was a cherry red Miata Roadster, too shiny to be native to the neighborhood. Its alarm gave a startled tweet and then started honking for attention. Angel ignored the noise. He kneed into the small of Spike’s back and used the heel of his hand to press the boy's head into the hood. Unlike in their alleyway tussle, Angel had leverage this time and he wasn’t going to let it go to waste. Spike bucked up violently and was smashed down again. The hood buckled and popped under their shifting weight. Finally, Spike stilled.

He lay there panting for a moment, head turned to one side, glaring across at Buffy.

“This is never going to work,” she said, addressing them both. “I don’t know what I was thinking.” She stared directly at Spike as she asked, “Are you ever going to trust me?”

As if fighting for calm, Spike took a long shuddering breath. When he spoke again his voice broke with feeling. “Lord knows I love you like life and breath, Buffy,” he said. Angel rolled his eyes at this maudlin tripe but it appeared to move Buffy. Though her exact emotion was difficult to determine. “If you ask me to,” Spike went on, “I’ll put up with Possum Hair, here, sharing our bed. But I’ll be buggered if I’m going back in the closet with you.”

Before Angel could comment on the irony inherent in that statement, Buffy closed on them in a furious rush. She used her hip to muscle Angel to one side and dragged Spike to his feet by grasping his coat collar. Her eyes blazed as she lit into him.

“For your information, just this morning I told Xander you were alive and not to wait up for me. He’s not stupid, Spike. He knows we're together.”

“Ten minutes ago the engagement was on,” Spike snapped. He was struggling to be free, shoving impotently at the Slayer.

It was close quarters for a fight. The three of them were sandwiched together between the curb and the Miata. Their proximity continued to alarm the Roadster. Flailing against Buffy's grip, Spike elbowed into Angel’s gut. Attempting to strike back, Angel bounced off Buffy’s hip. She squirmed between them. Luckily the twenty pounds she’d put back on since leaving Sunnydale cushioned Angel's delicate parts. He helped her subdue Spike and she eventually established a firm grasp on the young drip’s upper arm.

“You bonehead,” she snarled, shaking him. “Why are you always like this? Why?”

“Me?” Spike said in amazement.

“Yes, you. You don’t see Angel losing his mind in the street.”

“Maybe Angel,” Spike spat the name, “Just doesn’t care about you.”

Reaching over Buffy’s head, Angel cuffed him on the ear. “I’m going to make you regret that, boy.”

“And I’m going to make you irrelevant, old man,” Spike returned, shoving the heel of his palm into his grandsire’s shoulder. “Bloody Xander, too.”

As he spoke, he wrenched free of Buffy’s hold. But instead of scampering up onto the sidewalk, he wrapped one arm around her waist and lifted her off her feet. They locked eyes for a long breath and then they were kissing ardently. Their mutual aggravation cascaded into the embrace. They clawed into one another. Without letting Buffy's boots touch the ground, Spike rotated a hundred and eighty degrees and started grinding her into the side of the parked car.

“I thought you two were fighting,” Angel pouted, staring in amazement and grudging appreciation at what could only be described as public foreplay. “She’s a user,” he reminded Spike. “He’s a bonehead,” he prompted Buffy. “Plus he’s judgmental, yelling at you like that. And he has stupid hair. He must get up in the morning and think, which is it today - Ken doll or Brillo pad.”

Neither of the lovebirds took much notice as Angel went about his half-hearted effort to separate them. They pretzeled around each other, humping and biting, while he alternately tugged and pushed against the slick surfaces of their coats. His palm slipped on Buffy’s blue vinyl rain wear. Propelled unexpectedly forward, he made a wild grab for Spike’s waist but still thumped hard against his backside. The collision forced an appreciative grunt out of Buffy. Angel grinned at her over Spike’s shoulder. When her eyes sparkled in return he repeated the thrusting motion. Spike didn’t seem to mind. He was too busy with blouse buttons to bother about a little homoerotic stimulation.

“Excuse me,” a diffident voice said a half-second later. “What are you…? I mean…I don’t want to interrupt but…. That’s my car!”

There was a bleat of acknowledgement from the vehicle as the speaker pointed his keychain at the Miata and pushed a button. The silencing of the alarm went largely unnoticed by Angel and Spike but it caught Buffy’s attention. Huffing and puffing, she shoved free of the male limbs surrounding her. As she surfaced her blouse fell open and she was forced to clutch at the traitorous garment, leaning forward. A tangle of wet hair cascaded over her face. With a toss of her head, she flipped the heavy tresses out of her way and pulled her shoulders back so she was standing tall. There was a thin, balding man on the sidewalk facing her. He was brandishing a set of keys.

Forcing a 100-watt smile, Buffy tried to appear interested and urbane. “Hello,” she said, twiddling the fingers of the hand not engaged in protecting her modesty. The gesture made her stagger a bit as she was simultaneously trying to step up the curb and shrug her raincoat back onto her shoulders. Angel steadied her at the elbow as Spike helped her into the slicker.

“That's my car!” Baldy repeated.

The Slayer glanced behind her. “Oh, yes?” she said, as if just now noticing there was a car in the street. Her face a mask of desperation, she mouthed “Help me” at Angel and Spike before turning back to the newcomer to confide. “It’s very pretty.”

The Miata owner had a puzzled, slightly dyspeptic expression. It worried her, and rightly so.

“Hey,” he exclaimed suddenly, his eyes lighting up in recognition. “I know you.”

“Oh, no…I don’t see how you could.”

He pointed his alarm muting keychain at Buffy. “You’re that Slayer chick from TV.”

“Radio,” Buffy corrected without thinking out the ramifications of confessing her celebrity to strangers. Especially ones who’d just found her making out with two men in the street.

“No, no,” Baldy insisted. “You’re the one! You cold-cocked Howard Stern last year.”

“Oh, yeah…uhm…that was….”

“Not her,” Angel inserted, taking a firmer grip on her arm. “Good likeness though.” He looked to Spike for confirmation.

“Yeah,” Spike nodded, picking up on the body language. “Some luck finding her.” He took Buffy’s other elbow and started steering her toward the nearest doorway.

“She sure looks like….”

“No fun if she doesn’t,” Angel said with a conspiratorial leer. “This one’s not a natural blond, though.” Before Baldy thought to ask if he could join the romp, the three of them scooted inside the nearest low-rent hotel.

The bell on the door jangled, exacting a Pavlovian response from the corpulent black man seated behind the smudged service window. Without looking up from his paper, he went into an immediate monotone litany.

“Forty dollars an hour for the three of you. Two-fifty a night. Clean sheets in the closet at the top of the stairs. There’s no maid service, make up your own bed. For the all-nighter, we take MasterCard or Visa. Hourly is cash only and payable in advance. We don’t want trouble and we charge for damage. No spitting. No shitting. No excessive bleeding. And no breaking the furniture.”

He paused for breath, and it was on the tip of Buffy’s tongue to say they’d just come in to use the phone when he started up again.

“In-room restraints have a three hundred pound limit,” he warned. “That means you don’t swing on them. There’s a vending machine in the head with lube and condoms. If you want something special, whips, vibrators, whatever, we have a wide selection of novelty items: toys, costumes, everything new in the package. Available for an additional fee, of course. Will this be cash or charge?”

“Exactly…w-what kind of…restraints?” Buffy asked, before Angel or Spike could respond to the man’s question.

The fat clerk set aside his paper, taking her for a serious customer. “We sell ball gags and nylon rope. Each room has a bolt over the bed with a six-foot double length chain and adjustable leather bracelets. There are four sets of manacles, secured to the bed frame head and foot. All restraints have sliding bolts or buckles. Use them. Don’t add your own locks. We will charge you for locksmith services.”

“N-no,” Buffy said, her mouth very dry. “We won’t need…tha-t is... It…that should be fine. Two hours please.” She started fishing in her jeans’ pocket for her mad money.

“Uh, Buffy?” a thoroughly shocked Angel said under his breath. “Can I talk to you a sec?” Buffy looked up dazedly from her preoccupation with cash. Without waiting for reply, Angel dragged her to one side and whispered heatedly. “I thought you wanted someplace nice.”

“Nice is a relative term,” Spike remarked, once again dropping in unannounced on a private conversation. “For example, there’s crypt nice and then there’s abandoned building nice. You don’t need mints on the pillows if you…”

“They’re all restrainy,” Buffy interrupted, latching urgently onto Angel’s arm. “Shackles, chains. Already bolted to the wall and part of the bed and everything.”

“I bet that’s not the only thing that's a part of the bed,” Angel grumbled.

“Come on, sweet cheeks,” Spike encouraged, nudging Angel gently. “It doesn’t look that bad. A little run down…but think of the time we’ll save. No stopping off at the mall, drugstore, hardware supply place….”

As Spike ticked off shopping venues on his fingers Angel could feel his resolve crumbling. He tilted his head slightly to see up the stairs and sniffed experimentally. There was a faint odor of sweat and semen wafting down from the second floor but the aroma was no worse than in any other brothel. Angel puffed out a put upon sigh and tried to envision the night ahead. He liked a good three-way fuck. Truthfully, he liked to watch and it had been a long time since he'd watched Spike. But this wasn’t the way he’d imagined having Buffy back. In his dreams she always wore white lace and blushed when he introduced her to some new perversion. Pretend Buffy didn’t enthuse over the arrangement of bondage gear.

On the other hand, imaginary Spike spent a lot of time in shackles, generally spread-eagle, always naked, often in combination with an experienced woman sucking him off…while he, in turn, sucked…

'Okay,' Angel mentally conceded. 'Chains had a definite appeal.'

He noticed the sudden quiet. Both Spike and Buffy were waiting on him to agree to the plan. Ignoring the intense pulse in his groin, Angel focused on the issue at hand. Buffy and the boy were staring at him expectantly, they looked eager and willing to comply with his decisions. Angel looked beyond them and addressed the desk clerk.

“You got a bridal suite?”

“Twenty an hour extra gets you a white dress and veil.”

“Skip it,” Angel said. It was just a schoolgirl fantasy. Going to the payment window, he handed over his credit card. “Add on an eight inch vibrator and we’ll take it for the whole night.”

Whooping, Spike swept Buffy into a bear hug, lifting her to her tip-toes. She giggled, clinging to his neck, and he showered her upturned face with kisses. His hands stroked repeatedly through her wet hair as she shimmied up and down his body. Even the jaded desk clerk paused in his work to stare.

“He’s been dead,” Angel said. Even as the words left his lips he wondered why he felt compelled to explain anything to a man who had probably seen it all. “Or she thought he was and…”

He stopped talking. The Visa approval had chugged through and the clerk was no longer listening. Trying to block out the jubilant sighs behind him, Angel hummed an off-key version of Copacabanaas the fat clerk search for a vibrator.

The man held up a blue gel number of the requested length. “You want the rabbit ears?” he asked over his shoulder. “Or just ribbed?”

Ribb…ED,” Angel croaked. His face smashing into the Plexiglas divider.

After losing their balance in a fit of exuberance Buffy and Spike had careened into Angel just as he leaned over to sign the credit slip. The bump was intimately suggestive. Angel pushed off the plexiglas and turned to give the dynamic duo a nasty glare.

“Can I get you anything, Spike?” he asked spitefully. “A cock ring? Natural Viagra? Snug fit condom?”

“Cowboy hat,” Spike said after peeling free from Buffy's lips. Panting, he half-fell, half-leaned into the wall, holding her at arm's length. His head lolling toward the once again entranced clerk. “You got something unisex?”

Taking advantage of proximity to change horses, Buffy reached for Angel. She snaked an arm around his neck and transferred her strumpety attention to him. Spike let her go. When she had slithered from his grip, he arched his back like a fire-warmed housecat and stroked a hand over his belly. Then he rolled lazily onto his shoulder before pushing away from the wall. He straightened his clothing with a drunkard’s meticulousness as he swayed in front of the window. His knees felt weak.

The clerk was staring past him, now fixated on the Slayer/Vampire floorshow. Spike snapped his fingers. When that failed, he rapped on the glass with a knuckle. The fat man blinked and Spike flashed a sliver of tongue.

“She's amazing, huh?” he said. “She lost her cherry to my grandpa and she’s shagged a soulless fiend but she’s never gonna do you, mate, so let’s get to business.”

“You’re in 2-C,” the clerk sneered, feigning indifference as he snatched a key from the board to his left. He thrust it through the cash slot in the window sill.

“The vibrator,” Spike reminded. “With batteries, Hondo. And a hat.”

He paid the additional fees and waited as the clerk, who came back first with a fedora, searched the costume stores. It took longer than Spike had anticipated. During the delay, he drummed his fingers on the smudged window, doing his level best to ignore the sounds behind him. He didn’t know what was worse: Angel’s loud slurping or Buffy’s accompanying moans and girlish gasps.

'What the fuck is he doing?' Spike wondered. 'Sucking out her lung? Gonna have to get used to it, I suppose. Maybe I could buy one of those personal white noise gizmos or chant something over and over in my head…like a mantra…something appropriate…Ponce? Poof? Chutney Ferret? Hope your tinsel-dick goes missing in your short-hairs? Tinsel-dick…tinsel-dick…tinsel-d-'

The clerk returned at last, clutching a dark brown cowboy hat. He transferred it, the batteries and Angel’s ribbed vibrator from the office to the lobby via a banker’s drawer. There was a ding when the bin opened on Spike’s side of the payment window. He scooped up the toys before the lid could slam shut. He suspected the clerk was intentionally trying to sever his fingers, and smirked in triumph as he settled the hat on his head.

Muttering something about anal whores and their monkey boys, the fat clerk waddled away from the window. Spike ignored the man's implication. He had pressing business with a certain maverick bovine. With room key in hand and extra c-cells in his duster pocket, he set about the task of steering the beast with two backs across the lobby and up the stairs.

“Will you stop prodding me with that?” Angel snapped when they reached the second landing.

A moment later the jellied tip jabbed into his ribs again. From the corner of his eye he saw the vibrator’s discarded packaging near the top of the stairs. He looked down at the quivering instrument in Spike's hand.

“Get along there,” Spike gleefully suggested, smirking as he added, “Little doggie.”

Angel set Buffy down so he could have both hands free to break Spike’s neck. But before he could do anything constructive along those lines the Slayer targeted her other lover. The instant she broke free of Angel’s embrace Buffy became a different woman: Spike’s woman. Angel was amazed at her smooth shift of gears. She went from weak-kneed ingénue to practiced dominatrix.

“Key me,” she ordered, thrusting out her hand.

The stern set to her features demanded obedience but Spike wasn’t easily cowed. Holding his ground, he leveled a cocky gunslinger stare. But when Buffy touched him, he shivered. His nipples peaked, hard buttons under his t-shirt. Buffy fingered one as she glared up at him. She moistened her lips and Spike gave up the key without argument. As soon as she had her way, Buffy turned her back on him, apparently losing interest. She compared the tag number on her keychain to the nearest door. It didn’t match.

As she set off down the hallway, hips swaying seductively, Spike broke out of his bowlegged stance, twirled the blue jelly like a six shooter and holstered it in his duster pocket. He shot a smug look at Angel. Seeing the exchange peripherally, Buffy tried to suppress a grin. God, she wanted him inside her. It had been years too long. Her fingers clenched tighter around the key as she spotted the right door. She glanced over her shoulder, catching Angel’s eye.

‘Oh, I want you, too,’ she thought. ‘And it’s been even longer since you and I…' Her mind was a whirl of conflicting thoughts. 'Is this fair? Why do I have to choose? Angel…Spike...I have to start somewhere. And Spike is so…not that you’re not…you ARE…and sweet and gentle…and I loved our time together…but Spike? He is beyond good in bed. And he won’t wait like you…he’s all ‘idle hands are the devil’s workshop’ poster boy…and anyway…I want you both…but I can’t. Well…okay technically…biologically…I CAN. It’s possible…but then there’s the conversation…hello, boys…mind if I get all slutacular

Focused on the night ahead, Buffy was having trouble gaining access to the room. Her fingers were trembling so badly she could hardly fit the key into the lock. Spike came to her rescue. He stepped in close, folding her into an embrace and dropping a chaste kiss on her cheek. As usual, he’d followed her thought process with ease.

“You ready to ride the range, luv?” he whispered next to her ear. Buffy shivered in his arms. When she gave a slight nod, he said, “Got to start somewhere, then.”

His hand covered hers on the knob and they turned the key together, letting the door swing in to reveal an iron bed with a bare mattress. The promised chains graced the wall in lieu of artwork. The décor was utilitarian, definitely not Martha Stewart. A wide, floor-to-ceiling mirror decorated one wall. There was a single bedside table dominated by a faux Ming lamp. The fringed lampshade was an improbable mauve. A green oversized chair completed the furnishings. It looked as solidly made as the bed.

Well-built furniture was a plus to a Slayer. Buffy let Spike herd her forward. As they started across the threshold, Angel shouldered by, briefly blocking the way. Spike bristled almost baring his teeth. But before he could comment on the rude behavior Angel retreated into the hall.

He was waving the key in the air and in response to their startled looks said, "I’ll get the sheets.”

“No,” Buffy protested. She scrambled free of Spike and started after Angel. “Please, I-didn’t.”

Already poised to depart, Angel wafted a hand, dismissing her concern as he backed away. “I know,” he said, “It’s alright. You need to get out of those wet clothes.” A puzzled Spike lifted a suggestive brow. Angel caught his eye and dipped his head meaningfully. His gaze carried Spike’s toward the full length mirror. “You two can start without me. Right, Spike?”

Spike almost didn’t catch the drift. When he did, his face lit up and his mouth formed an ‘O’ of understanding. Message received. Angel gave a small nod. He spun on his heel, making for the linen cupboard. Buffy, feeling rejected, huffed in dismay. Confused, she looked to Spike for answers. He crooked a finger at her, drawing her back to his side.

“It’s a kink, pet,” he said when she was close enough to hear his whisper. “Angelkins wants to catch us unawares. Stumble into our room while we’re deep into each other and pretend we don’t know he’s there. I don’t suppose you ever noticed but he's a troilist.”

Buffy puzzled over the unfamiliar word before guessing at its meaning. “Turned on by Judge Judy?”

“Turned on by sharing,” Spike said. Pulling her against his hips, he rubbed his erection along the curve of her thigh. “I didn’t get it at first, but tha’s why we’re all here. Angel’s bent is family.”

“Excuse me?” Buffy's face twisted in disgust.

“Okay, loved ones, then. People he considers his. He likes to direct the action, have his people get off while he looks on. Question is: are you in the mood to humor him?”

He was snuffling her neck, as he spoke. His warm breath tickled the sensitive skin behind her ear. It was, for her, an erotic caress and it elicited a sharp gasp. The hairs on her arms stood on end. Casting a final glance after Angel, Buffy let Spike steer her into the room. He used one booted heel to bump the door closed. It clicked firmly shut.

With the world locked out, Buffy dropped her remaining inhibitions faster than her clothing. The damp material had to be peeled from her wet skin. It was like unwrapping semi-melted chocolate kisses. Spike was careful not to tear the delicate fabric as he worked her blouse off her shoulders. Buffy didn’t seem to appreciate his efforts to spare her wardrobe. She was grinding urgently against him, desperate to reconnect.

“Baby,” she whimpered. “Come on…love you…need you inside…need it.” Spike unfastened her bra, letting it drop, and she immediately pushed his shirt out of the way so they were touching skin to skin. “Spi-Spike,” she gasped, savoring the brush of her nipples against his.

Buffy loved being so close to his height. Riley and Angel were both massive men. She'd had to crick her neck to kiss them. There were advantages to the difference in stature. Tall men made her feel small and fragile. With Angel it was a turn-on. With Riley it always felt awkward. But there was definitely something to be said for equality. Spike allowed her to be powerful, enticing, with Spike Buffy felt like an irresistible force.

He made no attempt to resist. His duster followed her top and bra to the floor. He lost the hat and then his T-shirt. Wrestling the wet denim down, he got Buffy's slacks over the swell of her hips and she kicked out of them. His fingers loitered where her bum met the back of her thigh, tracing the pattern of roses on her lace tanga. He looked down at the unusual undergarment. It was a sexy Victoria's Secret number; a delicate micro-short, like menswear only skin tight. The scalloped edges of the waistband formed a vee in the front, pointing the way to paradise.

Spike didn’t need directions. He started to undo his jeans, thought about removing his boots and gave up. Bugger it. Seizing her wrist, he pulled Buffy along in his wake to the full length mirror. His new reflection gave her a moment’s pause. But the wonder of it couldn’t hold off her desire. They were both too horny to appreciate the miracle of appearing together in glass. Spike set his back to the mirror with no regrets and finished unsnapping his jeans. As he eased out his shaft Buffy cooed in appreciation.

She sank to her knees before him, taking him in both hands. She rolled his balls in her palm. Her pink glossy lips parted. When they closed, Spike offered up a contented sigh. He closed his eyes, arching off the cold glass. His hips jerked helplessly. Buffy got him slippery wet all the way to his wiry curls. Her tongue wrapped him in sucking velvet. She probed and flickered and lapped along sensitive flesh. Bracing his feet a little wider, he took her head in his hands. And she pumped up and down, up and down until Spike was sure he would die from the fire stoked in his belly.

By the time Angel returned they were too far gone to notice. He entered quietly and stood very still for a minute, clutching the sheets to his chest. Buffy bounced and bobbed before the mirror. Rivulets of water trickled between her shoulder blade. Spike was wringing out her hair with a clutched fist. Angel took a long moment to study Spike's enraptured face before turning his attention to the smooth curve of Buffy’s behind. He admired the play of muscles in her back. Her ass was extraordinary, full and smooth. The champagne-colored tanga set off the warm honey glow of her skin. It combined with the half-boots she still wore to create a more decadent picture than complete nakedness.

Stealthily, so as not to disturb Spike and Buffy at their play, Angel crossed to the bed. The new angle allowed him a better view of the action. He could see Buffy’s small, high breasts clearly reflected in the mirror. Their uneven quaking kept time with her pumping action. Pre-cum and saliva glistened on her chin and chest. Her slick hands were everywhere, tugging and fondling.

Angel had to suppress his own moan as Spike’s balls turned pink and pulled tight. The boy was breathing raggedly, groaning and about to come. His head whipped from side to side. Buffy obligingly settled back on her haunches, holding his cock tip on her extended tongue. This gave Angel an unobstructed line of sight as Spike creamed into her open mouth. The spray went wide, spattering her face and hands and she giggled in evident delight.

“Fuck,” Angel whispered heatedly.

It wasn’t a suggestion. But Spike seemed to take it that way. Allowing them no recovery time, he seized both Buffy’s wrists and yanked her to her feet. His tongue thrust into her mouth as if desperate to retrieve his seed. Buffy didn’t seem to mind. She slithered against his chest, laughing deep in her throat. Spike mumbled some direction.

Pushing off the mirror with the toe of her shoe, she used the afforded leverage and her mystical agility to squirm into a more easily accessible position. Her legs locked around her lover’s hips and Spike took instant advantage, smoothly switching his grip to her bottom. He thrust her toward the ceiling and nuzzled into her presented cleavage. With her wrists free, Buffy sent one hand behind Spike’s neck to hold him steady and busied the other somewhere between them. She fingered the crotch of her tanga aside, grunting from the effort of working in such tight quarters.

‘They’ve done this before. They’ve done this a lot,’ Angel thought.

It was the last coherent thought he had for awhile. Just as it formed in his mind, Buffy impaled her pussy on Spike’s punishing phallus. Angel, fully aware of the inches involved, ducked his head and saw the shaft slide in all the way to the nads. Impossible as it seemed, she took him entire. Clutching his upper arms, she arched back so the rope of her hair swung free. Spike cried out like a tormented soul. Buffy growled. It was a low rumble in the back of her throat, a dangerous sound.

As a predator, Angel recognized it. But he didn’t associate the noise with his girl. He’d faced that side of her only once, when her sword ripped into his heart. She had sent him to hell and, as often as he tried to forget, he could still remember the resolution in her face. She’d presented the predator to him on his return and he’d rejected it. It had come between them in the end.

He’d wanted her to be pure, to be his abiding innocence, his light of love. His Buffy had no malice in her, no dark fire. She provided balance for the demon always threatening to consume him. Seeing her with Spike, Angel acknowledged Buffy in a way he never had before. And he found he could let go of his jealousy. This woman, clawing at and tenderly consuming her lover, this glowing creature, was Spike’s Buffy.

Seeing them together, Angel finally saw Buffy and Spike as soul-mates. He still loved her. But he could accept that he would live on long after she and Spike died. The two of them would be united forever, the way they sought to be united now. They were identical in this aspiration. Their eyes locked, bodies straining. Filled with wonderment, they rocked in a frenetic rhythm. Filthy and adoring words poured from their lips as they lovingly battered one another, attempting to transcend flesh. They fucked but also made love. It was confusing, the savage sweetness of it.

Some time later, Angel was reclining on the recently made bed, one leg dangling off the edge. His left arm supported his weight on a bent elbow. Fingers, pinching at his nipple, rolled the damp silk of his shirt back and forth against it. His other hand was jerking his cock at speed as he tried to keep pace with the pair on the floor. Buffy was facing him, straddling the supine Spike at the hips. She was wearing the hat. It gave her a rakish air. Her back was to her partner as she rocketed toward her fifth orgasm.

For the last ten minutes, Buffy's hungry gaze had held steady on Angel’s engorged manhood. Her mouth was watering, craving a taste of him. She was shocked, of course, but also extremely aroused by the sanguine way he had made the bed and stripped to his shirt all the time watching her bounce on Spike. When he’d started masturbating, Buffy had paused for a moment. She’d thought about what she was doing. She was naked, in a room with two men...males...lovers. One of them was pleasuring himself, his eyes never leaving hers, while she screwed the stuffing out of the other. It made her flush and tremble. But she didn't plan to stop. She needed more.

Her obvious desire left Angel torn, wanting to go to her and yet wanting to watch her come again with Spike. The boy was nearly spent. One more spurt ought to finish him. Then, Angel would have his turn at her. He would wipe Spike from her mind. He let the certainty of that show in his face as he and Buffy built toward climax.

Remember how this felt? I remember you…everything about every time…things you’ve forgotten…

She was panting, whipping her body from side to side. Her hat flew off, leaving her hair a tangled halo. Harsh grunts punctuated the banshee whine escaping from her partially open lips. Sweat beaded between her breasts. Spike’s knees twitched as she leaned forward to brace against his thighs. A grimace of effort twisted her features.

Here it comes…

Spike sobbed. Angel almost sympathized. He could tell she was approaching the pinnacle, tightening around Spike’s well-used cock. He shuddered beneath her. Buffy tossed her head back, kneading her breasts with both hands. She danced, hips gyrating. Her radiant smile caught Angel unaware.

Look at her…she’s shimmering…she really enjoys this…really loves doing him.

The joy brought Angel to her. He wanted to feel her happiness enfold him. It would almost be his. He slipped out of the bed and closed the gap between them in a few quick strides. When he reached her, Buffy took him into her mouth and started roughly sucking. He was thick, though not as long or well shaped as Spike. Her jaw stretched wide to accommodate him. He could see the possibilities excited her. Her eyes rolled up to meet his and she came. Spike yowled.

Instantly contrite, Buffy turned her head to murmur an apology. She eased out of the straddle, letting the boy’s flaccid, unnaturally purple member slide wetly from her core as she shifted her weight back. When she was settled over his abdomen, she reached again for Angel. The vampire could have done without the view of his rival’s overworked equipment but he was able to block it out. Spike was a living being after all, served him right for showing off.

Unlike her frenzied, no holds barred union with Spike; Buffy approached Angel timid as a supplicant. Her fingers fumbled. Her tongue coyly sampled his foreskin. She kept darting glances at his face as if unsure of her methods and craving feedback.

“That’s right,” he whispered, guiding her. “hold it tighter…like a weapon…uhh-oh…yes…like that.”

If he’d had a smidge more energy, Spike would have sniggered at the naïve remark. As it was he could only look on through half-closed lids as Buffy submitted to Angel’s directions.

After a time, he guided her to the bed. As she perched on the lip of the mattress, he continued to offer blowjob tips in a pompous, man-of-the-world tone of voice.

‘As if,’ the sleepy Spike thought wryly. ‘She could circumcise you with that tongue if she had a mind to.’

The feigned shyness irritated him. His Buffy didn’t have a bashful bone in her body. He wanted to shout at her to let go. He had despised this very thing in Drusilla, this childish need to please. Darla, the big poof’s true soul-mate, had never indulged in it. So Angelus had been compelled to turn Dru, driving her mad in the process. He didn’t want an equal. He craved a disciple. Drusilla was perfect. Her mercurial temper presented a constant challenge. If Spike’s devotion gave Dru a center of sanity, it also led inevitably to conflict. In the end, her sire’s allure had proved stronger than her dead heart’s fidelity.

Buffy, however, wasn’t Dru. Spike knew she loved him from the depths of her soul. He had doubted it once but was sure of it now. She would never cast him aside in favor of another. Given her freedom, she hadn’t gone to Angel. She hadn’t slept with anyone in fact in a very long time. Their recent lovemaking had banished the specter of Xander Harris. Buffy had remained faithful to Spike even after his death. Though he longed to intervene in Angel’s pleasure, that truth and his physical exhaustion conspired to keep him silent.

He drifted in and out of a dream state. Each time Buffy climaxed he surfaced, checking on her. Despite the fact that, in his place, Spike would have been bored to tears, Angel was obviously enjoying Buffylite. It was almost funny how she coddled him. And as Peaches persisted in his manly posing, Spike started to see the beauty in her timorous responses. This was Angel’s girl, this shy, awkward creature. She was pretty and sweet. He could almost be happy for them.

Well…not happy, exactly. But it’s good to see her have a bit of fun…as long as I’m too banjaxed to murder the ponce. She looks… young…lighthearted…

He felt a twinge of regret.

She never really shows me that…it’s ‘cause there’s no pressure with him, I imagine…Buffy and I…we always challenge each other…push the buttons…I get in amongst her and fuel the fire…but she might need a rest from it every now and again…I can see that…as long as we can make this work…let Angel take control…she’ll never trust him like she trusts me…

It was a consolation. If Spike couldn’t have all of her, at least, he had the part he most admired. He had her honesty, her wit, her fire; he had her complete faith. Seeing her with Angel, he caught a glimpse of another Buffy. Someone he barely knew and seldom interacted with but still loved. Maybe even the girl Giles and Xander always saw. She was coltish. The artlessness didn’t stir him the way it seemed to stir his grandsire but it made him smile.

Buffy had mewed through a few more climaxes before Spike gathered enough strength to roll to his feet. He swayed a bit before stabilizing. Head tilted quizzically he considered the Slayer and her undead lover.

Angel had tossed Buffy across the bed. She was half off of the mattress, bridging up into his hands. He stood, her left ankle resting high on his shoulder. Her other leg formed a perfect eighty-eight degree angle to her own chest. She was gazing raptly up at the poof as he pounded into her tight cleft. Spike snorted derisively.

He could see his assistance was needed. Weaving drunkenly, he steadied, hand over hand along the foot of the bed and clambered in, opposite his grandsire, very near Buffy’s head.

Angel tried to warn him off, “Spike,” he rumbled, “you had your turn.”

“And you’ve had half the night. Time Buffy got some satisfaction.”

“She’s satisfied.”

“She’s sore, maybe,” Spike conceded. He slid a hand down her torso, over her belly to the weeping slit of her cunny. “Had enough, pet?” he whispered, his eyes dark with concern.

“No,” Buffy gasped. “Need…need y-you.”

He wriggled his fingers in her slippery folds, smiling smugly up at her current lover and then beatifically down on his girl before kissing her soundly. The resultant shockwave ripped through Buffy’s body, making her inner walls constrict around Angel’s cock.

“Oh, JEHOSAPHAT!”

“Yeah, peaches, that’s what I’m talking about. Baby wants to play.”

“Look…it doesn’t need to be that tight!”

“Oh, I beg to differ, sweet meat.”

“And could we just stick to ‘peaches’ or ‘pet’?”

A muffled giggle was the only response to this request. There was a sense of movement near knee level. She was sucking the boy off again, he was sure of it. On the radio in another room, Christina Aguilera was confessing her need to get Dirrty but Angel’s attention was focused on an altogether different bleached blond.

The driving beat of the music didn’t block out every sound. Snatches of conversation came to Angel’s ears from time to time. He heard bare feet slap across the floor and into the bathroom. He felt the bed shift as someone jumped off or possibly climbed on. To his dismay, Buffy’s giggle was followed by loud squeal and a violent shaking. The upheaval resulted in an aroma so sweetly musky it made his mouth water.

The bed kept jostling. Blindfolded and shackled, he was left to swing in dour isolation. His nose was pressing against the wall. The loss of external body heat made him shiver. It was beastly hot but he was naked and feeling vulnerable. Frustration had him rattling his chains.

“Patience is a virtue,” Buffy whispered, so unexpectedly near she made him jump. The rap chorus and Spike bounding on the bed had covered her approach. “Remember you wanted this.”

“Now, I beg to differ,” Angel grumbled.

“You didn’t do what I asked,” she said reasonably.

A veil of silken hair fell briefly across his right shoulder, spilling onto his chest. Stiff nipples bobbed up and down against his back as Buffy climbed up his torso. There was a light kiss of coarse curls along his straining foreskin when she maneuvered around to face him. She surrounded him, reaching up. Her inner arms and the flesh of her belly were as soft as eiderdown.

Angel felt the chains give a little as she grasped them somewhere above his manacled wrists. She braced a knee against his stomach, obviously leaning into the wall. Then she pushed up. The peak of one breast nudged open his lips. He suckled obediently. He could hear her heart pounding behind her breastbone. Smell the slippery core of her and the medicinal tang of lube. Spike’s rough hands seized his cock, smearing it with the oily gel. He tried to jerk away but the two of them conspired to hold him steady.

Buffy waited for Spike to finish and then ever so slowly, she lowered onto Angel’s shaft.

Shock coursed through him.

“Tight! Fuck! Not? Oh…Buffy…”

The passage squeezing the resident evil out of him was far too tiny. Angel tried to shift back but Spike was there, blocking retreat. His body pressed Angel toward the wall and into the Slayer. His arms embrace Angel to take some of Buffy’s weight. He helped guide her down, chuckling at his grandsire’s evident astonishment.

“Told you she was sore.”

“It’s not…OHHH!” Spike was poised at his threshold, lube slicked tip nudging rudely. Angel didn’t have time to formulate a protest that might stop him. As Buffy completed her descent, Spike pushed up in a slow measured thrust.

“FUCK ME!” Angel shouted, climaxing immediately.

“I am fucking you,” Spike pointed out, his mouth very close to Angel’s ear. “If you don’t mind me saying, you really haven’t got the hang of this submissive thing.”

“We can’t all be naturals like you, Spike,” Angel ground out when he could speak again.

“You’ll notice I got my treat.”

This a treat?”

“It’s not so bad,” Spike purred, after kissing his neck. “Me and the missus doing something together.”

Angel tightened around him in an intimate squeeze. The resulting gasp was very gratifying. Despite his protests, the vampire was a willing prisoner. The insecure bolt in the wall told him he could have his freedom anytime he wished. A small part of his mind was still debating the option. He wasn’t comfortable. He was aroused but simultaneously appalled by the situation. If anyone had approached him three days earlier and told him he would end his week in chains making strange love to Buffy and Spike in a seedy adult motel, he would have backed away slowly and cast about for a weapon.

It was completely improbable. Buffy, after all, should have never agreed to such a thing. She was a sweet girl. The kind of a girl a man might marry. In Angel’s experience, girls like Buffy were not the first choice for S&M adventures. Certainly, they would never dream of suggesting a three-way anal free-for-all with two ex-lovers.

And Spike? Spike was the jealous kind. He wasn’t a team player.

Besides, Angel didn’t like Spike. He was sure of it. Exquisitely crafted shaft and mind-blowing technique aside.

He didn’t like men. Not in that way.

Angelus did.

But Angelus was evil. It was okay, he reasoned, to be ‘that way’ if you were already evil. Angelus also liked pain and leather and the so-called ‘music’ of someone named Missy Elliot. He had no morals, no sexual ethics. Angelus would hump a dead horse if the mood took him. Spike on the other hand, had always been finicky. Not about putting out exactly but about who he would screw. Yet, here they both were, dancing to the Slayer’s tune.

It gave a man pause. It made him want to…want to…possibly beg her to…

“Alright…I give…just let me…just,” Angel groaned as they assaulted him from both sides. His chains clicked against the wall keeping time with the pounding. “He can be on the…he can be…Spike…okay…like you said.”

Buffy took his meaning but she didn’t release the restraints until both she and Spike had their fill of him.

“Debauchery,” Angel huffed, when she freed his wrists, “that’s what this is.”

But he didn’t grumble when the Slayer set out her requirements for the next double penetration. He took it like a man, used the vibrator to advantage and was rewarded with his own treat.

If his choice was a bit more traditional, it went amazingly well. Afterward, all three of them collapsed in a sweaty, panting heap. Bright flecks of light danced a slow waltz behind Buffy’s eyelids. She couldn’t move. Her muscles had turned to jello. Luckily, Spike had enough energy left to slip out of and off her. He trailed a wet softness along the back of her thigh as he rolled to the left.

Awwwwooohh,” he breathed as his exhausted head settled into a pillow.

MmmmHmmm,” Angel concurred, his mouth still full of soft flesh.

Uhmhuh,” Buffy sighed in blissful agreement.

Lacking the energy to uncouple from Angel, she simply flopped to the side and allowed gravity to pull her into the valley between her lovers. She landed face down, half on top of Spike, legs still interlocked with Angel’s. The vampire shifted his hips slightly to give her more room and she spilled over onto her back.

All three of them stared at the water splotched ceiling for a time.

Idin this nice?” Spike said at last. “Peaceful like.”

“And the lion shall lie down with the lamb,” Angel quoted, reaching an indolent hand over to ruffle Spike’s wooly hair.

“And the other lamb,” Spike added, half-heartedly slapping him away.

“I’m a lamb?” Buffy asked sounding less than flattered. “Is this because of the bleating? Because, you couldn’t see, but Angel was doing things with his teeth.”

“I think you’re the lion, pet,” Spike reassured.

Satisfied, she snuggled into him with a contented murmur.

Angel found he didn’t mind. Maybe it’s the fatigue.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt so,” he started to say and then he jerked upright, scooting sharply sideways. “OWWW,” he yelped, “Fuuhhhhck…SPIKE?!”

“Sorry, Angel,” Spike smirked, bracing up on an elbow. “I thought you were going to say…’happy’. Wanted to nip that in the bud.”

“TIRED,” Angel snarled in disgust. “I was going to say ‘tired’ and you can just stay the hell away from my buds.” He gingerly rubbed at the red weal an inch to the north of his right testicle.

“Well, okay then,” Spike said, sighing as he spooned around Buffy, “Anywho…I’m blissful enough for both of us.”

“I’m tired and happy,” Buffy admitted, favoring them both with her patented shy smile. The smile faded and she squirmed uncomfortably, adding, “Also sore…and astoundingly sticky.”

“I should get clean sheets,” Angel said, examining the mess surrounding them.

“And a French maid’s outfit,” Spike teased, still lazing like a contented tabby.

“Oh,” Buffy brightened, bounding up despite her claimed languor, “something with fishnet hose.” Both her lovers groaned. Spike covered his eyes with his forearm as if about to pass out and she relented with a giggle. “For the morning,” she said. Angel continued to stare at her. “And for me, I mean, not you…because…kinky.”

Spike snorted at the irony and she poked him.

“Seriously,” she insisted. “I’m done for tonight. All I want is a shower. And as soon as I’m defloozyfied, I intend to sleep for a bunch of hours.”

“Fine,” Angel said, nodding her toward the bathroom. “You go freshen up. Spike? You want to move your over-bronzed ass to the chair so I can make the bed? I mean, since I can’t see you actually helping.”

“I could help Buffy with her shower,” Spike offered.

“No,” the Slayer and Angel said together. She tumbled out of the bed and started backing away. Her eyes darted, looking for some distraction and fell on the cash-operated T.V.

“Maybe you could watch some slut-toons.”

She picked up the laminated channel guide and gave it the once over. “Hmmm…skank on skankperv-o-vision…kink-cam…vixen-cam…not much I want to see.”

She tossed the guide to Spike but he ignored it, letting it land on the floor, and reached instead for the bedside clicker. “I’ll find us something, luv. Be a dear and cough up a fiver, Angelkins,” he said.

p>

Angel gave him a look but, for Buffy’s sake, didn't argue. He located his wallet and started the set before heading for the door. Spike had plucked the cleanest towel off the bed and wrapped it around his waist. He made one or two references to needing his own shower but he didn’t make a move in that direction. Instead, he padded over to perch in the easy chair. Seeing he was waiting for his turn at the bathroom, Angel felt better about leaving. As he walked down the hall, he was further comforted by Spike’s running commentary on the channel-surfing.

“Andy Griffith…Sunday Sex Talk…Trollop…Trollop and her dog…Andy and Barney and a…what is that? A horse? Infomercial…MTV,” Suddenly, Spike’s voice rang out with carrying, bell-like clarity. “Oh, here’s something: Inside the Actor’s Studio with Missy Elliot. You’ll like that huh, peaches?”

“I’m never, ever gonna be blissful,” Angel muttered, making it sound like a mixed blessing at best.

The End

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