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Shapinglight [userpic]
The Truce
by Shapinglight (shapinglight)
at December 7th, 2009 (01:13 pm)

Hi. It's my posting day today and I bring Spangel.

Setting: AtS season 5, post-the big Destiny smackdown and pre-Spike meeting 'Doyle' in Soul Purpose.
Pairing: Spike/Angel
Rating: NC17, with m/m sex and swearing
Beta: Beta'ed by hello_spikey, who went above and beyond to help me beat this story into submission. That I failed is entirely my fault.
Author's note: Another of those 'that one time' fics, or possibly the start of an AU with lots of Spangelly cuddling. And please forgive the crap ending.

The Truce



Angel had only gone into the bar to meet a contact, even though it had been the week from hell and he was due some R&R.

Of course, most weeks at Wolfram & Hart were weeks from hell, but in the run-up to Christmas, Angel was pretty certain his formerly – yeah, right! – evil employees were conspiring to make his life even crappier.

Case in point, no sign of the damn contact, but there propping up the counter near the cash register, a row of empty shot glasses lined up in front of him, was Angel's least favourite relative.

"Fill 'er up," Angel heard Spike growl at the bartender, as he turned and tried to sneak out again as quietly as he could.

Too late.

"'Oi, pillock. Where d'you think you're going?"

Angel froze, while all heads swivelled in his direction. It was a near thing, but he managed to resist the urge to put his head down and run.

Instead, he took a deep breath, counted to ten and turned around, in time to see Spike knock back his drink while the bartender watched him gloomily, like a man resigned to his fate.

"C'mon, Liam. Have a drink with me," Spike slurred. "S'Christmas, innit?"

Angel glanced up at the tawdry tinsel garlands festooned across the ceiling and the small, rather sorry-looking artificial Christmas tree behind the bar. There was no escaping it. Definitely Christmas.

"C'mon!" Spike turned back to the counter, almost falling over his own feet in the process.

Angel rolled his eyes. Again, he considered making a run for it, but the way his luck was going tonight, if the contact showed up now, the guy would blunder right into Spike, get drunk as a skunk with him and end up spilling everything to his new best pal. And that…wouldn't be good. Leaden-footed, Angel plodded across the room and propped his elbows next to Spike’s.

"Whiskey. Straight up."

"You got it." The bartender sounded relieved to be unloading the loud, tiresome drunk onto someone else.

"Make that two," Spike cut in. "Put it on his tab. In fact, put 'em all on his tab."

The bartender raised an eyebrow at Angel and Angel sighed and nodded. Meanwhile, the noise level had returned to normal as the other patrons got back to the serious business of drinking.

"Cheers." Spike raised his glass in a hand that shook very slightly. "Merry sodding Christmas."

Angel gritted his teeth, raised his own glass and clinked it against Spike's. The tinny sound struck him as the complete opposite of merry.

"S'an empty booth over there." Spike indicated with his head. "Wanna grab a seat?"

Angel nodded reluctantly. If he had to sit and listen to Spike mouthing off, he might as well do it in comfort. "Sure."

Spike snapped his fingers at the bartender.

"Bring the bottle."

The bartender gave Angel a pointed look, as if to say, "This is on you. He's your problem."

Angel nodded again, teeth still gritted. Story of his life.

He followed Spike over to the booth and sank down onto the worn naughahyde seat, while Spike sprawled beside him, knees spread wide and one arm stretched along the seat back. Angel hunched into the corner. Not for the first time, he wondered how such a small man could possibly take up so much room.

There was an awkward silence as the bartender thumped the whiskey bottle down between them and retreated. Then they both reached for their glasses at once. Angel hesitated, glancing sidelong at Spike, to see Spike glancing sidelong at him, sardonic eyebrow raised.

Angel looked away quickly, picked up his glass, took a cautious sip out of it and grimaced. But when he put it down – again at the same time as Spike– Spike's glass was already empty, his hand reaching out towards the half-full bottle.

"Woah! Woah!" Angel moved the bottle away. "Take it easy, Spike."

Spike lunged for the bottle.

"Why should I? 'M a vampire, you twat. Can hold my drink."

Spike's breath smelt like a distillery. Angel moved as far away as he could without falling off the seat, taking the bottle with him. "Yeah, right."

"Oh come on," Spike whined. "Can't you see I'm havin' an existential crisis here? Gimme the sodding bottle."

"Existential crisis?" Angel snorted. "Bet you don't even know what that means."

Spike gave him a drunken glare. "You bet wrong, then. M' questioning the very foundations of my existence, mate. Dunno whether it has any meaning, purpose or value." He heaved a deep sigh. "Dunno what I'm here for."

"And you think you'll find an answer at the bottom of that bottle?" Angel tried to keep his tone light, if heavy on the sarcasm. But it wasn't easy, since Spike's words had evoked an unpleasant feeling of deja vu. Hadn't he felt the same way for the last hundred years, give or take the odd decade?

Spike sighed again. "Nah, but it takes my mind off it." He made another grab for the bottle, and this time Angel let him have it. He watched, frowning, as Spike poured himself another shot, tipped his head back and downed it in one, then slouched back in the seat, a sour expression on his face.

"Thought you were okay now?" Angel ventured at last. "I mean, you're corporeal, aren't you? You're not tied to Wolfram & Hart any more. You can go where you like – do what you like. In fact, last time I saw you, you made it pretty clear where you were headed. Why are you still here?"

When Spike looked at him this time, his face was solemn and his voice had lost the drunken slur.

"Buffy ever talk to you about that time she died?"

"Er…"Angel began, but before he could say any more, Spike went on,

"Told me she'd been in heaven. She'd done what she had to do– saved her sister, saved the world. She was finished – completed."

"Oh?" This was news. Angel scowled. Why had Buffy told Spike and not him?

Spike made a sour face. "Yeah. 'Course, her stupid friends dragged her back and she had to start all over again. No fun." He grimaced. "Guess this is my equivalent. Wore that sodding amulet, didn't I? Died to save the world, with her last words to me ringin' in my ears. Yet here I am."

He gestured around him, at the bar, the limp Christmas decorations, the bottle on the table. "My long, dark night of the soul. Nowhere to go an' nothing to do. And it's sodding Christmas Eve."

"I guess." This time, when Spike reached out for the bottle, Angel didn't even try to stop him.

"Not that I ever expected to end up in heaven," Spike muttered, as he raised his glass. "We're goin' to hell, you an' me. Always knew that in my heart of hearts. But I was done, see? Finished - like Buffy was. I did my one big thing – the thing she needed me to do. But now I'm back, and it's all so bloody pointless."

"Sorry." Angel emptied his own glass and poured himself another shot, if only to stop Spike drinking it. He wasn't much enjoying his turn as Father Confessor. Any mention of Spike's relationship with Buffy still made him feel like throwing things – preferably Spike – through a window. Plus it made him feel guilty – guiltier - because of…other things that Buffy would take a very dim view of if she ever found out.

In fact, he took a pretty dim view of them himself.

"Yeah well," Spike was grumbling, "you should be sorry. Got plenty of reasons to be cheerful, haven't you? The bloody enormous office, the fancy apartment, the nice shiny cars. Not to mention the adoring flunkeys. What've I got? Bugger all, that's what."

Angel felt his usual rush of irritation at this twisting of the facts.

"You really don't get it, do you? All those months hanging around in that place as a ghost– you've seen what goes on in there. You really wanna swap?"

There was a short, frosty silence. Then Spike said, "No. Well, maybe the Viper, but you can keep the rest of it. It stinks to high heaven, and so do you." He pulled a disgusted face. "There is something I'm curious about, though."

"What's that?" Angel glared at him – he did not stink -to find Spike looking suddenly stone cold sober.

Spike narrowed his eyes. "Wanna know why you sold your soul, that's all. Fuck it, Angel. S' the only thing that really and truly belongs to you. What d'you wanna do that for?"

Angel glared some more, to cover. No need to let Spike know how hard that one hit home. "How come this is suddenly all about me? I thought you were the one having the existential crisis."

"I am." And equally suddenly, the slur was back in Spike's voice. "Gimme that bottle."

A moment later, he'd snatched the whiskey bottle off the table, upended it, and was pouring the contents straight down his throat.

“Geez!” Angel stared, mesmerised by the sight of the prominent Adam's apple jerking up and down. He was almost impressed. William of old had never had half the capacity that Spike seemed to have.

At last, Spike banged the empty bottle down so hard it wobbled, tipped over sideways, then rolled off the table onto the floor. He wiped his mouth with his sleeve.

"Thas better."

“I'm not buying you another one.” Angel clutched his half-full glass protectively.

"Be like that, then,” Spike growled. “See if I care.” He slumped back into the seat, seeming to take up even more room. “Look at us. What a pair we are. You’re a sell out and a minion of evil and I’m a fucking waste of space. Should’ve stayed dead when I had the chance.”

Angel bristled. “I am not a minion. Not of evil and not of anything else. And I am not a sell-out. I – we, that is – are using Wolfram & Hart. Not the other way around.”

Spike snorted derisively. “Tell yourself that if it makes you feel better, but it’s not true and you know it.” He leaned closer, peering at Angel from bloodshot eyes. “That why you sold your soul, is it? ‘Cos if you ask me, you were robbed.”

Angel turned his face away. “As a matter of fact, I don’t remember asking you.”

“Well, maybe you sodding well should have.”

Angel caught himself wondering how Spike would have reacted if he had. Suddenly, horribly, he was filled with the wild urge to confess everything.

Hey, Spike. I sold my immortal soul to an evil, pan-dimensional law firm to save my insane son’s life. And while I was about it, I sold my friends' souls too. What do you think about that?

Angel's stomach knotted in panic. Had he spoken aloud? But to his relief, Spike didn't even look at him.

Angel picked up his glass and downed the remains of his shot. His hand was shaking. Missing contact or no missing contact, he had to get out of here quickly.

"Well, it's been great catching up." He half-rose. "But I have to get going now. Business won't run itself."

But Spike was still staring off into the middle distance. "You ever think about the old days much?” he asked, suddenly.

“Old days?” Angel thumped down into the seat again. Trust Spike to turn the conversation on its head. And wonder of wonders, just for once, his timing didn't stink.

“Yeah.” Spike gave the tinsel garlands above them a jaundiced look. “Dunno if it’s because it’s Christmas or what, but I keep thinking about how much simpler life was back when we were evil. Nothing to worry about except the three F’s -fighting, feasting and fucking. Was bloody brilliant. I always knew who I was then.”

“An evil little shit, you mean?” The words left Angel’s mouth before he could stop them. “Er –I meant, you did?”

Spike glared at him. “Yes, I sodding well did. What’s more, it felt good to be me– and don’t try and pretend you don’t feel the same. Can always tell when you’re lying.”

Angel opened his mouth to retort in kind, but then he shut it again. It was true, of course. Life had been simpler back then. No soul, no conscience, no guilt. No cares in the world. Nothing to do but indulge his considerable appetites. In fact, he’d indulged a few of them with the man sitting next to him.

The minute he’d thought the thought, Angel wished he hadn’t. It couldn't lead anywhere good. He inched away from Spike again, all of a sudden uncomfortably aware of Spike's knee brushing against his.

"Let's not go there, okay?"

But Spike didn’t answer, and when Angel turned to look at him he’d keeled over sideways.

"Don't feel so good," Spike groaned, before passing out altogether.

Angel rolled his eyes. He kept half an eye on a hockey game on the TV over the bar, while Spike sprawled on the seat, at first snoring softly and then not breathing at all. No one took any notice of them. It was almost peaceful.

At last, the game ended. Angel paid his tab and cast a final look around just in case, but there was still no sign of his contact. He would just have to hope that the guy's failing to show wasn't because Buffy had gotten wise to being spied on.

The bartender, meanwhile, was looking daggers at him, as if to say, "Do not leave me to deal with that asshole."

I wish, Angel thought. Squaring his shoulders, he went back to the booth, bent down and picked Spike up, then tossed him over his shoulder in a fireman's carry. Heads turned to watch, and as Angel made his way to the door, a scattering of applause broke out.

"Merry Christmas, man." The bartender sounded relieved.

"Yeah," Angel grunted. "You too."

*


Angel walked the few blocks back to Wolfram & Hart through streets that were quieter than usual. Now the Christmas vacation had begun, there was no one much around save beggars and drunks. None of them seemed to be interested in a tall man with a shifty expression (Angel knew he had one, Cordy had told him so often enough), carrying what looked like a corpse.

Spike lay over his shoulder, a dead weight, loose arms and blond head flopping from side to side. He was heavier than he looked, Angel thought, crossly. He shifted the inert body a little, only to realise his open palm was resting on familiar tight curves under moulded denim. Hurriedly, Angel snatched his hand away.

"Ohh no," he exclaimed, out loud. "That was Angelus's thing, not mine. Not going there. Just – not."

His outburst caused a homeless guy rummaging in a nearby garbage dumpster to turn around and mutter in disgust, "They letting all the crazies out this Christmas?"

Angel ducked his head in embarrassment. Just for once, he couldn't wait to get back to Wolfram & Hart.

He kept his head down as he walked past the security desk in the front lobby. "Goodnight, George -and Merry Christmas."

The guy on the desk just gave a bad-tempered grunt, or kind of roared actually, and when Angel looked up, he discovered that it wasn't George at all, but a huge Fyarl demon, which was glaring at him in outrage. Of course. All the human employees had Christmas off.

Angel tried to smile apologetically. "Sorry. Good night, Gr'glarg'rrrr. And happy Guernenthar's Ascension."

The Fyarl demon grunted again, maybe a shade less mucus-y and hostile.

Angel was glad when the elevator doors swished closed behind him and he was whisked up to the penthouse.

Once inside, he deposited Spike on the couch, sort of rolled him out of his duster and began to unlace his boots. He'd just gotten the second boot off, when Spike suddenly sat up with a jerk, looking bilious, and belched loudly.

"Oh Christ! Not in here you don't." Angel grabbed Spike's arm, hauled him off the couch and hustled him in the direction of the bathroom. Just in time, as Spike upchucked most of a bottle of whiskey into the hand basin under the mirror.

Angel half-watched him from the bathroom door. "Jesus, Spike! Next time, take it easy, okay?"

Spike was still bent over the basin, dry heaving and wheezing, while tears poured from his eyes. After a moment, he reached out a shaky hand and turned on the cold tap, rinsed out his mouth and then stuck his head right under it.

Angel's eyes went from the mirror, which only showed him the white tiles on the opposite wall, to Spike's bowed figure, to the stream of water flowing over the blond head. He was not looking at Spike's ass, Angel told himself. Oh no. Definitely not.

At last, Spike came up spluttering. He turned off the tap and straightened, water dripping onto his shoulders and soaking his t-shirt.

"Stop staring at my arse, you," he growled.

Angel flinched. "I wasn't."

"Sodding well were."

“Was not.”

Spike smirked suddenly. "Feelin' all nostalgic, are we? Never could keep your mitts off it back in the day."

"Hey!" Angel held his hands up, palms out. "My mitts never came near it."

Spike adjusted his weight onto one hip, crotch to the fore. His eyelashes fluttered and his long, pink tongue flicked out to moisten his lower lip.

"Wanted to, though, didn't they?"

Angel rolled his eyes. "Yeah, cuz watching you barf up your guts is such a turn-on."

Spike blinked, as if he'd forgotten that part. He deflated slightly. "'Spose I overdid it a bit."

"You think?" Angel retreated into the living room, feeling pleased with himself. For the second time this evening, he'd avoided making a horrible mistake. Sitting down on the couch, he picked up the TV remote, but he'd already sat through It's a Wonderful Life once. He didn't fancy it again.

Spike had followed him, rubbing himself dry with one of Angel’s towels. "Don't suppose you have any hair of the dog, do you?"

"What?" Angel gaped at him.

Spike shrugged, making wide, innocent eyes. His hair stood up all over his head in little white tussocks, like a halo, while the wet t-shirt clung to him, outlining every well-defined muscle. "Thought it might settle my stomach."

He didn't wait for Angel's answer but dropped the wet towel on the floor and began rummaging through cupboards, once again bent over and with his equally well-defined ass blatantly on display.

"S'okay, found it."

"So you have." Angel watched, uncomfortably turned on, then faintly appalled, as Spike came up clutching the scotch bottle and wandered off into the kitchen in search of glasses.

"You want one?" he called.

"I'll pass." Angel shook his head, wondering why he didn't stop Spike before it was too late. Oh yes, that would be because bitter past experience told him it was pointless. Instead, he gave himself a good talking to, picked up the wet towel and threw it in the laundry basket. Some people were born in a barn.

To Angel’s surprise, when Spike came back out of the kitchen, he'd left the bottle behind and his glass contained no more than a single measure of scotch. Flopping down onto the couch next to Angel, he sipped it and made an appreciative face.

"Better'n that stuff at the bar."

Angel was trying not to stare at Spike's very kissable mouth. He focused on the blank TV screen instead. "Yeah. Laphroaig. Single malt."

"Whatever."

Out of the corner of his eye, Angel could see Spike swirling the amber liquid around in his glass. He looked away again quickly.

"So, do you ever think much about the old days?" Spike asked.

"Um – in what sense?" Angel cast Spike another sidelong glance, to see Spike's speculative gaze fixed on him.

"You know, back when the four of us carved a bloody swathe through Europe, or whatever? Isn't that what they used to call you – the scourge of Europe?"

Angel thrust his hands hard into his pants pockets. "Might have been."

Spike sighed. "God, I admired you back then. 'Course, you were a total arsehole – even more than you are now – but that was why I admired you."

"Gee, thanks." Spike was still looking at him, but the subject matter made Angel very uncomfortable so it was back to staring at the blank TV screen.

"Haven't we been over this before?" he muttered. "And not that long ago either."

Spike turned his glass around and around in his hands. "You mean the Cup of Perpetual Hah, Fooled You? Nah, this is different. For one thing, you're not being an enormous wanker this time. Or not yet anyway."

Angel's jaw dropped. "I'm not?"

"Yes, you." Spike glared at him. "All that bollocks you were spouting about me and Buffy. You know sod all about what happened between us."

At the mention of Buffy’s name, Angel felt the familiar prickle of irritation mixed with jealousy. Way to break the mood, Spike – and a good thing too, of course.

"What makes you so sure of that?" he gritted. "And can we not mention the 'B' word?"

Spike gave him a disbelieving look. "The 'B' word?"

Angel shrugged irritably. "Just answer the damn question."

"All right, all right." Spike eyed him over the rim of his glass. "I'm sure 'cos I know her, you pillock. No way she would’ve told you anything. Girl's almost as repressed as you are."

Angel opened his mouth to argue the point, but Spike ploughed on, unstoppable.

"As it happens, don't wanna talk about her anyway– " Well, good, Angel thought – " was talkin' about the good old days before I was so rudely interrupted. You remember the Christmas when Darla blagged her way into that country house in Yorkshire? Good times. You, me, Darla and Dru, gathered around a roaring fire in the upstairs parlour while the snow fell thicker and thicker outside, a full decanter of brandy on the side-table, din-dins warming nicely by the hearth…"

"By which you mean one of our latest victims, the owner of the house, his family and servants," Angel reminded him, grimly, but Spike just heaved a nostalgic sigh.

"Yeah. Was nice – cosy, like. A proper family Christmas." He smirked at Angel. "And then later on, there was that huge bed with the feather mattress big enough for four, remember?"

Angel chewed his lip, trying not to picture the image Spike had conjured. "I remember."

He closed his eyes, telling himself to think of something prosaic, like tax returns, but at once orange firelight gilded the insides of his eyelids. The air was rich with the scents of mulled wine and fresh blood, while a tangle of pale limbs writhed on the bed – himself and Darla, Spike and Drusilla, all wound up together like a brace of hunting dogs after the chase. And strange how so many times, their tussling would end with the body panting beneath Angel’s being hard and angular and masculine.

Spike sighed again, and Angel started guiltily. He had to stop thinking like this, because one thing was for sure, no way did Spike share his sentiments.

"All gone now – or almost," Spike muttered. “No family any more.” He tipped back his head and drained his glass. "And truthfully, I wouldn't go back, even if I could. Wanna fuck?"

"No, thanks," Angel said, automatically, this being Spike, to whom you just did say no. Then the words registered. "Say what?" There was a dull thunk on the carpet and Angel realised he'd dropped the TV remote.

Spike had jumped to his feet. "Never said nuthin'."

Angel rose more slowly. "You did not – say nothing, I mean. You definitely said something. I heard you."

Spike was looking defensive now.

"Must've imagined it, mate. Old age creepin' in, probably." He glanced at the digital display on the TV. "Blimey, is that the time? Better get going."

"Going?" Angel frowned, as Spike edged past him, not meeting his eyes, to snatch his boots and duster from where Angel had put them and hurry towards the elevator. "Spike – wait."

Spike had already pressed the call button. He didn't turn around and his shoulders were hunched, almost as if he were expecting a blow to the back of the head.

"Why?"

"Because…" Angel floundered for a moment. "Are you still drunk? Or is this part of your existential crisis?"

"None of your sodding business," Spike muttered. His fingers beat an impatient tattoo on the wall next to the elevator button.

"Okay, if that's how you wanna play it." Angel scowled at Spike's stiff back. "Next time, I won't bother hauling your sorry ass home when you pass out in a bar. Sunrise'll wake you up soon enough."

"Fine," Spike gritted through clenched teeth.

"Fine."

The elevator doors slid smoothly open and Spike set one foot inside.

"Wait!" Even as he spoke, a panicked inner voice asked Angel what the hell he thought he was doing. "Since you ask, I do wanna fuck."

"Yeah?" Spike half-glanced back over his shoulder, but he didn't turn around. "Go on, then. Bathroom's over there, and last I looked, there was nothing wrong with your wanking hand. Bloody get on with it."

"You," Angel said, hurriedly, because suddenly he couldn't think about anything else. "I wanna fuck you."

The elevator doors whooshed gently closed with Spike still this side of them. He let his duster and boots drop to the floor and turned around.

"Make your sodding mind up, can't you?"

Now he'd uttered the fatal words, Angel found himself struck dumb. He stared at Spike and Spike stared back.

"Is this part of your existential crisis?" Angel asked, at last.

Spike smirked and raised an eyebrow. "Is it part of yours?"

"I’m not…" Angel began, but before he could finish, Spike was across the room and right up in his personal space. He stared at Angel, nostrils flared.

"For a bloke who smells like a randy ferret, you don't seem that eager."

"It's…it's just a bit sudden, that's all." Angel swallowed. Never mind the randy ferret crack, all he could think about was that Spike was right. Not everything about the old days had been bad.

Suddenly, Spike grabbed Angel’s crotch and squeezed – hard enough to make him yelp. "Real, though."

He rose onto the balls of his feet and Angel felt a hand at the back of his neck that drew him down for a kiss.

Spike's mouth was hard, the skin of his cheek and jaw very lightly bristled. He tasted of whisky. His hand was back at Angel’s crotch, the heel of his palm grinding over and over the rapidly swelling bulge.

“Oh Christ!” Angel grabbed Spike’s face between his hands, cupping the flared cheekbones, thrusting his tongue into Spike’s mouth, desperate suddenly to deepen the kiss. Spike reciprocated, until their mouths ground together, neither willing to yield. When they fell apart at last, they were both gasping for breath.

“What is this?” Angel panted. “What is this?”

But Spike shook his head. “Don’t ask, you pillock. Just go with the flow.”

He grabbed the front of Angel’s silk shirt and ripped it open.

“Hey! I liked that shirt.” Angel bunched his hands in Spike’s t-shirt and tore, revealing the slim, wiry torso with its prominent ribs and pale, milky skin. The sight brought back yet more pleasant memories of that long ago Christmas– the boy William blindfolded and tied to the bed with silk scarves at his wrists and ankles, while Angelus teased him into a frenzy of unrequited lust.

Good times.

Spike cocked an eyebrow at him. “Fucking perv,” he muttered.

But he didn’t object when Angel’s hands flew to his belt, then his flies, finally peeling the worn denim away to grab his ass and squeeze.

There was a shifting and jerking about – almost a kind of dance – and somehow they were in the bedroom, and then on the bed, with Spike underneath.

“Gonna be like that, is it?” Spike half-laughed, but again he didn’t protest – not even when Angel took his hands at the wrist, and made him grab the headboard.

“Hold that thought.” Angel scrambled back off the bed and dived into the bathroom for the tub of hair gel, tearing off his pants as he did so, frantic to get back before Spike changed his mind.

It didn’t look like he was going to, though. Instead, he lay where he'd been placed and when Angel grabbed his legs behind the knee and bent them back, he let him.

Soon, he was bent double, his knees almost touching his ears, while Angel prepared him, fumbling in his haste, the intimate little squelching noises his fingers made seeming shockingly loud.

Spike cocked an eyebrow. "Can take your time, you pillock. Not plannin' on running away."

"You're not? Er – that's good." Angel drew in a deep breath and forced himself to slow down. He gave Spike what he knew was a shaky smile, which caused the eyebrow to cock even higher.

"Would've offered before," Spike smirked, "if I'd known you were that desperate."

"Hey!" Angel gave Spike's upturned rump a resounding smack. "I am not some charity case. If anything, I'm doing you a favour?"

"Like hell!" Spike tensed and made to pull away, while Angel winced at his own stupidity.

"I didn't mean it, Spike, okay?” he soothed. “Let me see to you."

Spike glared at him, pouting that delicious lower lip. But then he shrugged. "Have at it, mate."

He allowed himself to be bent double again, feet next to ears, grunting slightly as one finger, then two and three, penetrated his body.

Angel kept his gaze on Spike's expressive face, fascinated by the fleeting emotions that crossed it, like clouds crossing the moon. When he crooked his fingers and jabbed, he was rewarded with a hitching of breath and dark lashes fluttering closed over drowned blue eyes.

He grinned to himself. He hadn't lost his touch.

He played with Spike for a while, rubbing his slick cock along the vulnerable seam of Spike's body, the wet tip getting closer and closer to where Angel's fingers were buried inside, scissoring and stretching and stroking.

Spike's eyes remained shut, his chest heaving, the muscles in his arms starkly delineated as he gripped the bed frame, which was creaking ominously. Spike's cock lay trapped between them, clear fluid pooling on his flat belly.

Angel couldn't quite repress a sigh of pure pleasure. This was Spike – the loudest, most annoying vampire in the whole world – reduced to a quivering jelly of desire, who could only moan and whine, lips shaping the word 'please' even though he would never say it -and all because of him.

Filled with an odd mixture of tenderness and triumph, he bent down and kissed him.

"Ready?"

Spike's eyes flew open, blue and clear. He moaned again, but he seemed bereft of speech.

"I'll take that as a yes." Angel grabbed Spike's legs behind the knee, positioned himself, and began to push.

"Nnnh!" Spike shut his eyes again. His lips drew back from gritted teeth. "Fuck, that hurts."

"You can take it." Angel pushed for a second time, but more gently. More of a nudge. "Just relax, William. Like the old days, remember?"

Spike's eyes opened. He stared at Angel solemnly. "No, not like the old days at all."

But he relaxed all the same. He even bore down between pushes, keening at the back of his throat as he did so, until Angel was balls deep inside him, with Spike's knees hooked over his shoulders, and powerful internal muscles clamping down on him.

"Jesus Christ, you're tight!" Angel felt tears sting his eyes.

"Well, you're fucking enormous." Spike squirmed. "Get on with it then, Liam. Don't have all sodding night."

"Yes we do." Angel smacked him again, enjoying the hollow sound of his cupped palm striking firm flesh. "It's Christmas, remember? We're on vacation."

Spike's eyes widened. "Oh yeah." He smirked. "Bet I'm the best Christmas present you ever had."

Angel thought fleetingly of miraculous snow and Buffy's small hand in his – of baby Connor's only Christmas, lying wide-eyed and kicking in his bassinet while Cordy teased him with a piece of tinsel.

Not quite, he thought. Aloud, he said, "You come pretty close."

It was true enough. As he pounded into him, Spike's body undulated, yielding and pliant – a gift that never stopped giving.

God, you're beautiful, Angel thought, as the blue eyes fluttered closed again. But he didn't say it aloud. If anything was destined to be a mood breaker, that kind of talk was it.

Instead, he snapped his hips, harder and harder. "Fuck! Fu-uck! You. Are. One. Fine. Piece. Of. Asss!" And on that last word he came, spurting and jerking and cursing under his breath.

As Angel shuddered down from his climax, every muscle seemed turned to taffy, but he couldn't allow himself to relax yet. Letting Spike's legs flop back down onto the bed, he pulled out all in a rush, then bent down to clean him with long, tender swipes of his tongue, the last swipe taking him up the length of Spike's cock to suck it into his mouth.

It wasn't long before Spike's hard hands grabbed the sides of his head and Angel felt a gush of bitter fluid down his throat. He shut his eyes and swallowed quickly.

A moment later, he'd swarmed up the bed, spooned Spike into his arms and pulled the comforter over them.

He licked the side of Spike's neck, tasting sweat, biting him gently with blunt human teeth.

"Nice?"

"Fucking brilliant." Spike sounded sleepy. He wriggled, fitting the curves of his body into the hollows of Angel's. "Merry Christmas, Liam."

Angel nuzzled him again. "Yeah, you too, William."

*


Angel woke to find himself alone in the bed. The TV was on in the living room –a choir singing Christmas carols, accompanied by a low, rough voice that wasn’t on the TV at all.

Angel lay still for a moment, staring up at the ceiling. This got weirder and weirder. Last night he’d had sex with Spike for the first time in over one hundred years, and it had been really, really good, and he felt more relaxed than he had in months. And now Spike was singing Christmas carols?

He’d gone insane. There was no other explanation.

Suddenly, there was a muttered, “Sod this!” and the singing stopped. Angel heard Spike get up off the couch and go into the kitchen. Then the refrigerator door opened.

Angel slid out of bed. He put on a robe and padded through the living room to the kitchen door, in time to see Spike, dressed only in his jeans, with the belt and flies hanging open, placing a tall glass of blood into the microwave.

It was a tough call which of them looked more delicious, and suddenly parts of Angel didn’t feel relaxed at all.

“Was that you singing?”

Spike folded his arms across his bare chest. He scowled, not looking at Angel.

“Dunno what you’re talkin’ about.”

Angel poured himself a glass of blood from the bottle in the refrigerator. “Sounded like you singing to me.”

The microwave pinged just as Spike heaved a put-upon sigh. He opened the microwave door and fished out his glass, then changed places with Angel at the counter.

“Oh, all right, then. I was singing. Was an experiment, if you must know.”

“An experiment?” Angel blinked at him, while inside the microwave, the glass of blood whirled around and around.

“Yeah.” Spike took a deep swig and licked red foam off his lips. “Wanted to see if my mouth would burn if I sang carols. I mean–"- he took another swig and banged the empty glass down – "– stands to reason, I would’ve thought. After all, holy water burns us, doesn’t it? Nothing happened, though.”

The microwave pinged again and Angel took out his glass.

“Still having that existential crisis, huh?”

Spike’s face fell. “How’d you know?”

Angel ushered Spike back into the living room. "Nostalgia trips, plus attempts to connect with something bigger than yourself? I’ve been there, Spike, remember? Didn’t work for me either."

Spike smirked. “Thought we connected pretty well last night, you big lump." The smirk became a frown. "Not that I'm sayin' one round of hunt the sausage with you was enough to cure me. Not that shallow, no matter what you think."

"Hey," Angel protested, "I didn't say that."

Spike's frown bit deeper. "Well, good."

He gave Angel an unreadable look and wandered over to the window. Outside, it was another bright California day, the sky overhead a cloudless azure blue. Nothing like Christmas was supposed to look.

Angel sipped his blood, eyes feasting on the slim dark shape outlined against the light.

"Still," Spike said, gaze firmly on the view, “I do feel better than I did. And as it turns out, wasn’t nostalgia at all." The muscles in his shoulders tensed as he wrapped protective arms around himself and gave Angel an accusing glare over his shoulder. “Was nothing like how it used to be. You were nice, for one thing."

"I was?” Angel realised his mouth was hanging open and shut it in a hurry. “Er.. sorry?"

"Wasn't complaining, was I?" Spike looked away again. "Liked it, if you must know," he said, to the view. "Wouldn't mind goin’ again later s'long as you were up for it too."

"You wouldn't?" Angel's jaw dropped again. "Er…you wouldn't? Really?"

"For fuck's sake!" Spike muttered. "That's what I said, isn't it?" He looked back over his shoulder again, eyes narrowed. "Doesn't mean I like you.”

Angel held up his hands in surrender. Somehow or other, he kept his expression solemn. “I get that. I don’t like you either. Christmas truce, okay?”

Spike gave him another suspicious look, but then he nodded. "Truce."

Angel was admiring the way the soft morning light from outside gilded Spike’s silver hair with gold. He wanted to run his fingers through it. There were other bits of Spike he wouldn't mind getting his hands on too.

"Well, now that's settled,” he said, eagerly, “You wanna…?” He indicated the bedroom.

And just like that, Spike was back to glaring. “Pillock. Not finished yet. Just wanted to say, turnabout’s fair play, right? How about I show you what you’ve been missin’ all these years?” He cocked an eyebrow. “Gonna grab your ankles for me, Liam?”

Angel stared at him. Whatever he’d thought Spike was going to say, it hadn’t been that. He opened his mouth to say no, but instead heard himself say, "Okay."

Spike's eyes widened, then narrowed again.

"You're having me on, aren't you?"

I could say yes, Angel thought. "No," he said, firmly.

Spike tilted his head. "What's brought this on?"

"It’s Christmas,” Angel shrugged. "I haven’t given you a present yet."

"Yeah?" Spike bellied up into Angel's personal space again. A hard hand grabbed Angel's ass and squeezed. "You won't regret it."

Angel felt a frisson of excitement run down his spine, while the part of him that hadn’t been relaxed before was now very tense indeed. "No. Don't imagine I will."

Spike backed off a step. “Don’t go gettin’ any funny ideas, though. This is just a one-off, yeah? Casual. It doesn't mean anything.”

“If you say so.” Angel kept his voice neutral, while Spike gave him yet another suspicious look.

"Good," Spike declared at last. "Glad we got that sorted. And just so you know, come tomorrow, truce is over and I'll be back on your case. Still want to know how you ended up boss of Evil Incorporated, an' I will be mentioning the 'B' word whenever I sodding well feel like it, so there."

Angel scowled. "And I'll be back to calling you an idiot."

They almost-bristled at each other for a moment, but then Angel held up his hands again. "Truce, remember?"

"Truce," Spike agreed. There was a strangely tentative expression on his face. A finger stole out and ran its way down Angel's chest, a shiver of growing arousal following in its wake.

"So, while we're havin' this truce," Spike purred, "you reckon you’d be up for not having sex too? In a completely casual way, I mean?"

"Er…” Angel blinked at him again. It was hard to concentrate with Spike's hand splayed across his chest, the heel of his palm resting just below Angel's sternum and kind of…massaging its way downwards. “How d’you mean?”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Do I have to spell everything out? I mean, we could have another drink, watch telly. I dunno. Whatever it is people do at Christmas.”

Angel pursed his lips, as if considering. “I don’t know, Spike. There’s never anything good on TV at Christmas.”

Spike’s face fell and his hand dropped to his side. “Oh.”

“You could always recite some of your poetry,” Angel suggested, while he tried manfully not to smirk. And at the look of outrage on Spike’s face, “Hey, I like it. I told you.”

Spike huffed, but he looked mollified. “We end up playin’ any music,” he growled, “I am not listening to any sodding Manilow.”

“Fine by me."

Spike tilted his head. "This is gettin’ weird. Next thing you know, we'll be pickin' out china patterns." But his face was soft with pleasure. Both arms snaked up around Angel's neck, fingers linking at his nape. "You absolutely sure about this?" he teased. "Can still go, if you want."

Angel smiled. "One hundred per cent sure." He leaned down and kissed him.

"Stay."

Comments

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Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)

Aww that was wonderful! What a marvelous picture you painted of Spike and Angel going down memory lane in more then one way.

"Bet I'm the best Christmas present you ever had."

Oh that he was. *g*

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
Winter Spike

Thanks, Sue. Glad you liked it.

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)

Posted by: kidcyclone (kidcyclone)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)

I am a sucker for a happy ending, and I thought this was nicely understated and just right for Christmas. Spike and Angel's mutual guardedness and cynicism was just right, and the snark kept it nicely acerbic and well away from straying into any sort of 'too sweet' territory.

The dialogue was great too, very in character and spot on. I was very happy that they spent Christmas together and the guarded vulnerability was almost tangibly present beneath the surface, making the whole thing really poignant.

I also loved the reminiscing, and Spike's remarks about existentialism- also that he can appreciate good whiskey.

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
grumpy old men

and the snark kept it nicely acerbic and well away from straying into any sort of 'too sweet' territory.

Heh! That's a relief. I was afraid it had got a bit fluffy at the end there.

Thanks so much for reading, love. Glad you enjoyed it.

Posted by: hello_spikey (hello_spikey)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)

Very sweet, darling! Like a hot cup of cocoa with a candy cane. :) I like it. I think you made it much stronger by putting more of Angel's thoughts in there. But, like I said - it was never a bad story! *noogies your insecure little head*

"Can take your time, you pillock. Not plannin' on running away."

"You're not? Er – that's good."


Hee! That's your interaction, right there. Angel's insecurity and pessimism and Spike's blunt hope make a great combo. :D

*happy sigh*

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
Winter Spike

But, like I said - it was never a bad story! *noogies your insecure little head*

Thanks for all your support. Believe it or not, I just re-read it and for the first time ever it didn't seem so bad. Maybe I just needed to post it?

:smooch:

Posted by: ubi4soft (ubi4soft)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)

I'm not very good at reviews, but I'm glad Angel puts his hair gel to good work

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
Winter Spike

but I'm glad Angel puts his hair gel to good work

Heh! Yes, he remembered his boyscout motto: be prepared.

Thanks for reading.

Posted by: brunettepet (brunettepet)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)

Wonderful, in voice dialogue in this vivid, entertaining piece. The way these two dance around one another was beautifully captured, and I enjoyed being in Angel's head as the dance became more and more intimate. Spike's existential crisis finds him more lonely and vulnerable than usual and the drink certainly didn't help his maudlin mood. Angel's lonely, too, and though they never say anything, the comfort they seek in one another says it all. It all made for an emotionally satisfying, erotic read.

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
Winter Spike

I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for your lovely comment. I always wanted to knock these two's heads together in the show and make them see they were perfect for each other, but sadly, no one listens to me.

Posted by: DebW (deborahw37)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
applause bendy1

Awww , hot , sweet and angsty with a side order of snark

Lovely

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
grumpy old men

Thank you. :) So glad you liked it.

Posted by: spikes_evilbint (spikes_evilbint)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)

Great fun read. Really had to chuckle at this - could really picture the scene.
Spike blinked, as if he'd forgotten that part. He deflated slightly. "'Spose I overdid it a bit."
Bless him.

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
Winter Spike

Glad you enjoyed it, love, and thanks for reading.

Posted by: whichclothes (whichclothes)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)

Well, of course that was thoroughly enjoyable. Their interaction was sweet and yet in character. Very nice indeed!

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
grumpy old men

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. Must admit, after all the angsting and thinking it was terrible, it's turned out a little better than I thought it would.

:is relieved:

Posted by: Rebcake (rebcake)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
ats_spangel

"For a bloke who smells like a randy ferret, you don't seem that eager."

"It's…it's just a bit sudden, that's all."


Well, "sudden" in the sense of a 100 years of slow simmer turning to a boil. Heh.

I'm glad they found some family comfort at a time of year when lots of people feel a little blue. And they do seem to get on in much the same tentative way lots of families do. With the addition of intergenerational schtupping, of course. Nifty.

I also quite like Angel carrying Spike out of the bar to applause. I'd have like to be there for that!

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Winter Spike

Well, "sudden" in the sense of a 100 years of slow simmer turning to a boil. Heh.

Heh! Well, it doesn't do to rush.

And they do seem to get on in much the same tentative way lots of families do. With the addition of intergenerational schtupping, of course. Nifty.

Yes, it's very handy that if they find they're getting on each others' nerves again, they have this perfect way to shut each other up. :)

I also quite like Angel carrying Spike out of the bar to applause. I'd have like to be there for that!

I agree. Would have made a great scene in the show.

Thanks so much for reading. Very glad you enjoyed.

Posted by: missus_grace (missus_grace)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
my boy

That was lovely! The snark and the tenderness and longing and nostalgia and existential crises...you packed a lot into this great little fic. I loved it all, especially Angel wishing the Fyarl a Happy Guernenthar's Ascension :)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
grumpy old men

especially Angel wishing the Fyarl a Happy Guernenthar's Ascension :)

Heh! Yes, I think W&H have made him undergo some Equal Opps training.

Glad you enjoyed it and thanks very much for reading.

Posted by: brutti_ma_buoni (brutti_ma_buoni)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
pic#95737582

Aw, there's lots of fun here; their silly bickery affection for each other, and occasional bursts of ravenously hot sex... that's a nice Christmas package!

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
Winter Spike

Glad you thought so. their silly bickery affection for each other

That's what I was going for, so very pleased it came out. Thanks so much for reading.

Posted by: Serialbathera (serialbathera)
Posted at: December 7th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)

Great job :)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
grumpy old men

Thank you. Glad you liked it and thanks for reading.

Posted by: Trepkos (trepkos)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)

Really enjoyed this.
Drunk Spike and Clueless Angel are always fun.
I'm very glad you managed to get them together.

"... Like the old days, remember?"

Spike's eyes opened. He stared at Angel solemnly. "No, not like the old days at all."

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
Winter Spike

Drunk Spike and Clueless Angel are always fun. Heh! More or less their default positions.

I'm very glad you managed to get them together.

Me too, though they were very stubborn about it. Angel kept begging me for cocoa. But Spike kept telling him no one drinks cocoa any more and they should have hot chocolate with marshmallows instead. And then they'd start fighting again.

Thanks for reading, love. Glad you liked.

Posted by: Shy (shylahmask)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
perplexed Angel

I never hate my fics more than just before and after I post them. Then, given time, I can go back and re-read them and figure if they were really bad or if it was just because I was down on myself and just about to post.

That being said, I enjoyed this fic, and Spike's characterization, especially. You write soulful depressed Spike very well -- that is, I could very well envision him saying/doing these things in the series.

He and Angel are two peas in a pod. Glad they were able to get past their insecurities and give each other a bit of peace, even if Angel was a bit thick about it. *g*

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
grumpy old men

I never hate my fics more than just before and after I post them

I've hated this one for weeks, in fact. I only stopped hating it after I posted it. Very odd.

He and Angel are two peas in a pod. Glad they were able to get past their insecurities and give each other a bit of peace, even if Angel was a bit thick about it. *g*

He was really, wasn't he? Silly old Angel, thinking life has to be miserable all the time.

Thanks for reading, love. I'm glad you liked it.

Posted by: Shy (shylahmask)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 9th, 2009 08:42 am (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 09:01 am (UTC)

I love your story! Spike and Angel will never admit their mutual attraction. They are so insecure in their desires and needs. But sometimes they allow themselves the luxury of being weak.

"B-word" is priceless idea. Poignant and, at the same time, hysterically funny - as well as Spike's explanation of why he sang carols.

Great read.

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: December 8th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
Winter Spike

But sometimes they allow themselves the luxury of being weak.

Yes, that's probably the way they'd both see it. Silly boys!

Glad you enjoyed it, Elena, and thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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