Written by: Skip Ewing and Donni Kees
Performed by: Diamond Rio
Every now and then soft as breath upon my skin I feel you come back again And it's like you haven't been gone a moment from my side Like the tears were never cried Like the hands of time are holding you and me And with all my heart I'm sure we're closer than we ever were I don't have to hear or see, I've got all the proof I need There are more than angels watching over me I believe, I believe Chorus That when you die your life goes on It doesn't end here when you're gone Every soul is filled with light It never ends and if I'm right Our love can even reach across eternity I believe, I believe Forever, you're a part of me Forever, in the heart of me And I'll hold you even longer if I can The people who don't see the most Say that I believe in ghosts And if that makes me crazy, then I am 'Cause I believe There are more than angels watching over me I believe, I believe
“What do you want?” Spike asked the ghost. He tried to snarl, but it came out tremulous and weak.
Spike was crazy. He knew that. Didn’t take a bloody genius to figure it out, after all. He was living in the basement of the new high school; right over the Hellmouth. Had been there for weeks now. Didn’t know where he’d been before that. He remembered Africa, and the demon, and the tests, and the pain. But he didn’t remember anything after that; until he woke up in the basement. He thought he remembered winning, but now he wasn’t so sure.
Yeah, he’d gotten the soul he’d gone after, but that had only served to prove the old saying correct; be bloody careful what you wished for. He’d gotten the soul for love. For the love of a Slayer. Proof right there that he was crazy even before he’d gotten the soul. But at least he hadn’t heard voices in his head before he got the soul. Now he heard them almost all the time; the voices of all of the people he had killed in the 128 years since he’d been turned.
Alright, 126 years since he’d been turned and before he got the soddin’ chip. Still 365 days a year for 126 years. That was...a bloody lot of people killed. Not his fault. He was a demon, they were food. Unfortunately, they didn’t see it that way. Demon, evil; killing people, bad. Yep, William was a bad boy. Except, William had never been a bad boy. Ponce, yes; bad boy, no. So why did the voices keep telling him that William was bad?
Ow, ow! It hurt to think things like that; to question the voices. Okay! William was a bloody bad boy! And did he mention, the bleedin’ soul burned? Worse than holy water. Felt like it was going to burn a hole through his chest and escape. Some days he wished it would. Between the voices in his head and the burning, searing pain in his chest, he was sorry that he’d ever heard of that soddin’ demon in Africa.
Worse yet, the voices sometimes took shape. The Master, Darla, Drusilla, and Angelus. They appeared to him, tormented him. They told him he wasn’t a proper demon; that he was tainted with humanity, with love. They laughed at him over the soul. Laughed that he’d been moved to get one, for the Slayer no less. Laughed as they laid their hands on his chest over his unbeating heart, letting their touch burn into him like acid.
But Spike barely felt it. Nothing burned like the soul did. He withdrew into himself when the ghosts materialized in his basement home; squatted in his corner, and covered his head and plugged his ears. But nothing helped. The harder he tried not to see them, not to hear them, the easier it was for them to invade his senses.
“Spike,” the ghost said, almost whispering his name. The ghost sounded...confused. But that wasn’t right. The voices were never confused, just confusing.
“Go away,” Spike said. It never worked, but he always tried it.
“Spike,” the ghost said again, as it squatted beside him, and this time it reached out to touch his arm. The arm that was curled protectively over his head.
“No touching!” Spike said, shrinking back, keeping his face averted from the ghost. Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look, he chanted to himself, covering his face with his hands.
“I’ve been looking for you,” the ghost said.
“Been right here,” Spike replied tartly, and then shriveled up, expecting the burning touch to return.
“I didn’t know...”
“You were just here!” Spike threw his arms away from his face and stared at the demon. Angelus! He covered his head and shook. He should never have looked. He should never have spoken. He should have ignored...
“Spike,” the ghost said, interrupting his recriminations. “What happened?”
Spike laughed, but there was no humor in it, only bitterness. “You can’t fool me,” he said, letting his eyes slide over to the ghost. “I know you’re not real. You’re just in my bleedin’ head. Every day. In my head. Until I can’t *think*!” He pulled at his hair until it was standing straight up.
When he looked up, the ghost was still there. “Go away!” he yelled, even though he knew it would bring punishment; the burning touch.
“Let me help you,” the ghost said sincerely, and Spike laughed again.
“Not gonna fall for that. Not again. Fell for it once. Learned my lesson. William always learns his lessons. William...is...a...good...boy!” he screamed.
“Yes,” the ghost replied softly. “William is a good boy.”
Spike looked up suspiciously. The voices never said that. Neither did the ghosts. It must be a test. “You’re testing me,” he said slowly. He looked at the ghost of his sire; stared into his eyes. “You know I don’t test well. The pressure. William tested well; I don’t have the patience for it,” he explained.
“Not a test,” the ghost insisted softly.
Spike was confused. The ghosts usually hurt him by now. Tore at his mind, burned his flesh. “Who are you?” he asked pitifully.
“Spike, William, it’s me...” The ghost reached out and cupped Spike’s face. He flinched away, but the touch didn’t burn. The palm against his cheek was cool.
Spike’s eyes grew wide and his mind cleared. “Angel?” he asked incredulously.
Spike pulled away from Angel’s touch and scrabbled backwards along the wall to the safety of the other corner. “No, no, no,” he chanted, over and over. “Not really here. Messing with my head. Hates me. Not really here...”
“Spike.” Angel stood and walked over to the corner where Spike was struggling to meld with the walls, and then squatted down beside him again. “It is really me. And I really do want to help you,” he said.
“*You* can’t be here.” Spike turned his face towards Angel. “You don’t have a pass.” He saw Angel hesitate, before drawing something out of his coat pocket and holding it out to Spike. Spike flinched away.
“I do have a pass,” Angel said.
Spike just stared at him in disbelief. No one ever had a pass, because no one was allowed down here. He breathed in relief. Just a ghost after all. Not really Angel. Not really the sire who abandoned him to Darla, left him to take care of Dru, and one hundred years later, relinquished him to the mercy of the Slayer. The ghost he could deal with.
“Sod off,” he said, and waited for his punishment. If he made the ghosts angry enough, they’d punish him, but then they’d leave. The mental torment was always worse than the physical, and Spike just wanted it over.
“You need to get off of the Hellmouth, Spike,” the ghost said.
“Sod off,” Spike repeated, covering his ears.
The ghost sighed. “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you,” it said, and Spike laughed maniacally. He knew *that* wasn’t true. It always hurt him more. He waited for the burn, but it never came. Instead his head flew back with the force of the blow to his jaw, and then all was dark and there was no more pain.
Fuck! Angel shook his hand. That hurt. He looked down on his seemingly insane childe, and wondered what had happened to him. He looked around the squalid little room, and didn’t see any possessions except a ratty old blanket. He grabbed Spike by the arms, hauled him up off of the floor, and threw the slight vampire over his shoulder.
Spike was skin and bone, weighed no more than a child, and Angel wondered whether he’d been eating. He carried him out of the basement and down the hallway to the side door he’d broken into. He deposited the unconscious vampire in the front seat of his car and buckled him in, just in case, and then walked around the car and slid behind the wheel.
He checked the sky to make sure they’d have enough time to get back to L.A. before sunrise; it had taken him longer to find Spike than he’d thought it would. He’d been frantic when he’d found another demon living in Spike’s old crypt, though the loose-skinned demon had insisted it was a friend of Spike’s and merely keeping an eye on the crypt for the blond vampire. And even more frantic when the demon, Clem, had told him that Spike had left Sunnydale months ago and hadn’t been seen since.
But Angel knew that Spike had to be there. He’d been drawn to his childe, and the draw had brought him to Sunnydale. He’d gone to Willy’s Place and threatened the sleezy barkeep into divulging the information that a crazy hermit matching Spike’s description was living in the basement of the new school. Angel couldn’t understand what Spike would be doing there, but checked it out, threatening Willy’s life if he was sending Angel on a wild goose chase.
Spike had in fact been living in the basement. But not the Spike Angel remembered. This Spike was insane, and Angel immediately thought of Dru. When Spike saw him, he hadn’t been surprised, but he had been afraid. Angel had watched the disheveled vampire disappear into himself and curl up in an attempt to make a smaller target. The signs of abuse were obvious to one who had once reveled in disseminating it, and Angel felt his stomach roil. William the Bloody, powerful master vampire, this was not.
Angel spared one more glance at Spike’s drawn and angular features before starting the car and pulling out of the parking lot. The drive back to L.A. was quiet, but not peaceful. His mind kept playing different scenarios of what could have happened to Spike to bring him to this point. Not for the first time, he wished he’d been able to get there sooner. Damn Holtz and Justine! He slammed his fist on the steering wheel. And damn Connor. Their machinations had kept him from helping Spike when he realized his childe needed him.
He’d barely been in the water a week when the nightmares started. He saw Spike fighting for his life, screaming in pain, and then darkness. And always at the end of each nightmare was the mind-numbing fear. Fear for his childe. He hadn’t felt that emotion since Angelus had been souled and driven out by Darla; forced to leave his childe behind and try to forget him, let him get on with his unlife.
And the desperate need. The need to find Spike; to help him. The need of a sire for his childe. It nearly drove Angel mad, in that coffin in the ocean, to be unable to go to Spike; unable to care for him.
He looked at Spike again. The gaunt vampire needed to feed, that much was obvious, but Angel had to get him off of the Hellmouth as soon as possible. Why in hell was he living over the Hellmouth anyway? And they couldn’t stop now; the sun would be up soon. He’d make sure he was properly fed when they reached the Hyperion. He sighed, and turned his attention back to the road.
When Wesley had pulled him out of his watery grave, Angel had thought the nightmares would end. Thought that, perhaps they were brought on by the sensory deprivation and starvation he’d been forced to endure. But that hadn’t been the case. After his confrontation with Connor, they had fed him more blood, and he had gone to bed and fallen into a deep healing sleep; a sleep that was disturbed by another dream of Spike.
When he woke from this, his final dream, Angel had felt the unmistakable and undeniable pull of his childe. As soon as the sun had set, he left the hotel and followed the pull to Sunnydale. And now he had Spike, or what was left of the once-proud vampire, with him. Again, Angel wondered what could have happened to break Spike’s mind to this extent.
It was nearly time for the sun to rise when Angel parked the car outside the Hyperion. He unbuckled Spike and carried him into the hotel, where Fred and Gunn were waiting anxiously for him. He told them to heat up as many bags of blood as they could and bring them to him, and then carried Spike up the stairs to his bedroom. He laid the filthy vampire on the bed, and then stood back and removed his coat and unbuttoned his shirt.
When Fred appeared with a pitcher of blood and a mug, Angel took them from her and placed them on the bedside table. Fred and Gunn stood in the doorway, obviously worried. They had just gotten him back, after all. Angel explained that he needed to feed Spike and that the vampire would probably succumb to the same deep healing sleep that he had experienced the night and day before, when they were finished. He assured them that he would be all right; that he would be there in the evening when they returned, and sent them home to get some rest.
With intense reluctance, the two humans closed the door and left Angel with his childe. As soon as the sound of their heartbeats receded, Angel turned to Spike. He kicked his shoes off, removed his shirt, and then poured a mug of blood, drank it, then refilled the mug. He climbed onto the bed and sat next to the still-unconscious vampire, with his back against the headboard.
Angel thought about trying to awaken Spike, but was concerned about his reaction when he saw Angel. If Spike became afraid, it would be nearly impossible to gain his trust enough to feed him, and the starving vampire was in dire need of sire’s blood. Angel lifted Spike and held him gently in his arms. He drew his nail over his breast and watched at the blood welled up from the gash.
He held Spike’s head close to the wound, hoping the smell of the blood would rouse him enough to feed. When it seemed that wasn’t going to work, Angel ran his finger through the blood and wiped it on Spike’s lips. He dipped his finger in the blood again, and slipped it into Spike’s mouth. Spike’s reaction was instantaneous, and he began to suckle Angel’s finger. Angel withdrew his finger from Spike’s mouth, and Spike automatically followed it.
Angel reopened the cut, and gently pressed Spike’s lips to the wound. The taste and scent of the blood finally roused the vampire enough to respond, and he began to suckle at the wound, slowly at first, and then more deeply. When Angel felt it was safe, he let go of Spike’s head and reached for the mug of blood, drank it, and carefully refilled it. He needed to keep up his own strength as he fed his childe.
When the blood in the pitcher was gone, Angel disengaged Spike from his breast. The blond vampire protested, and then immediately fell into a sated slumber. Angel laid Spike back down on the bed and began to undress him, and then drew a bath. He carried Spike into the bathroom and gently lowered him into the warm water. Angel washed his hair and bathed him, noting the longer, light brown hair, the prominent ribs, and the cuts and scratches covering his chest. The younger vampire slept through the proceedings.
After he had been dried and dressed in a pair of sweats, Angel placed Spike in the bed and covered him with blankets, and then stripped to shower. He pulled on another pair of sweat pants and joined Spike in the bed. Reaching for his childe and holding him close, he followed Spike into sleep.
Spike woke up that evening, fully rested. That’s when he knew something was wrong. He hadn’t gotten a good day’s sleep in...months. He catalogued his surroundings without opening his eyes. Soft bed beneath him, warm blankets over him, cool hard flesh behind him... Spike’s eyes shot open.
He was no longer in his home in the basement. Unless they’d changed the decor while he’d been sleeping. He sniffed the air and smelled blood. Pig’s blood. And sire’s blood. With a small moan of terror, Spike rolled out of the bed and hit the floor hard. He scurried into the corner and pressed himself against the wall.
“Spike?” He heard his sire’s voice. But it wasn’t real. None of this was real. He was in the basement. Alone. Except for the voices. He hit his head with the heel of his hand. Where were the soddin’ voices?
“Spike?” the ghost called his name softly, and Spike heard him shift on the bed. “Spike, it’s all right; you’re safe here.”
“Where am I?” Spike stopped hitting his head and asked suddenly.
“L.A.,” the ghost replied.
That wasn’t possible. It was another test. He couldn’t fail again; it hurt too much. “This isn’t real,” he said, trying to keep the tremors out of his voice.
“It is real, Spike. You’re in L.A., in my home, with me,” the ghost insisted, its voice gentle.
Ha! Dead give away, no pun intended. Neither Angel nor Angelus would treat him this kindly. It was a trick. “I don’t believe you,” he said. “You’re not Angel. You’re not even Angelus. They wouldn’t come for me. They hate me,” he said triumphantly. “Everyone hates me. William is a bad, bad boy,” he finished, his voice breaking.
“That’s not true,” the ghost said, its voice much closer. Spike peeked under his arm and saw the ghost sitting right in front of him, reaching for him.
“No!” he cried, trying to throw himself away from the burning touch. But the ghost anticipated his move and grabbed him by the arm, and then wrapped both arms around him. Spike thrashed in the ghost’s grip.
“No, please, I was good,” he pleaded, though he knew it would be to no avail. Better to accept his punishment like a man. No, that wasn’t right. Like a demon. But that didn’t sound right either. He wasn’t a proper demon, everyone told him so, and he couldn’t be a man, despite the burning in his chest. He was worthless.
He stopped struggling, and closed his eyes. He didn’t want to see the triumphant pleasure in the ghost’s eyes when it placed its hand against his chest. He waited, but there was no burning. He opened his eyes to see the ghost staring down sadly at him.
“What are you waiting for?” he asked snarkily.
“I’m sorry,” the ghost said sadly, and then pulled him close and held him tight.
Okay, the ghost had never done that before. Another test? He’d have to tread carefully. “Who are you?” he asked.
“Angel. Your sire, Childe,” the ghost responded with a low grumble.
“Why am I here?” Spike asked, trying to control his trembling.
“Because you needed me,” the ghost replied, its breath ruffling his hair. Breath?
“Why’d you wait so long?” Spike asked, wondering how long the ghost would let this go on.
“I’m so sorry, Spike,” the ghost said. “I would have come sooner, but I was...tied up.”
“Ha!” Spike laughed bitterly. “Too busy for Spike,” he said. “Gel hair, help Spike. I think I’ll gel my hair today,” he muttered hysterically. The ghost shook him.
“Stop it! That’s not it. I meant literally, tied up. Knocked out, thrown in a box, chained up, dumped in the ocean.” The ghost punctuated his words with more shakes. “I just got out yesterday...or the day before. I came as soon as I could,” the ghost insisted.
When the ghost stopped shaking him, Spike took a moment to study him. Chocolate brown eyes glinting with anger and moist with unshed tears, full lips drawn in a tight line, hard, naked chest... Spike had a sudden vague memory of suckling at that chest. He reached up with a finger and poked at it. Solid. Fuck!
He started struggling again and the ghost, caught by surprise, let him get away. When he had placed some distance between them, he turned back to look at the ghost - vampire - still kneeling on the floor.
“Angel?” he asked.
“Yes, Spike,” Angel replied.
“What am I doing here?” he asked again, now that he knew this might be real.
“You needed me...,” Angel repeated.
“Needed you before,” Spike interrupted angrily. “Never came *then*.”
Angel didn’t reply to the accusation right away. “No,” he finally said. “I didn’t. You reminded me of a past I wanted to forget.”
Spike’s face contorted in anger. “I don’t need you,” he spat. “There’s no need for you to look on some - thing - you’d rather forget about!”
“Sod off!” Spike cried. “Just leave me alone!”
“If you want, you can leave when you’re well,” Angel said sadly.
“I’m not crazy,” Spike insisted. Angel just raised an eyebrow.
“Be that as it may,” he said, “I meant, once you’ve gotten your strength back. You haven’t been feeding properly.”
Spike stared at the floor. “Oh,” he said.
“I gave you my blood last night, er, this morning, but you probably won’t want to do that again. But you do need to heal, so I could get you some human blood to...”
“No!” Spike yelled, and then looked up at Angel angrily. “You bastard!”
“What?” Angel asked, sounding confused.
“You buggered, soddin’ pillock!” Spike screamed as he darted across the room and attacked Angel. “Bloody,” punch, “wankin’,” punch, “Irish git!” Spike’s voice turned to a screech as Angel threw him off, and he flew through the air.
“What are you doing?” Angel asked, rising to his feet, wiping the back of his hand across his bleeding lip.
“You never told me it would *burn*!” Spike cried, scratching at his chest. “You should have told me!”
“What the...? Stop that!” Angel grabbed Spike’s wrists. He lowered himself beside Spike and pressed his wrists against the floor. “What are you doing?” he asked again.
“Trying to get it out!” Spike cried. “It burns. The bleedin’ spark...burns,” he moaned. “I wanted her to love me,” he said, staring at the ceiling. “But I was a monster. Without the spark. I needed the spark to be a man. A man she could love. Like you. But you didn’t tell me it would *burn*!” Spike started to struggle again.
Angel let go of Spike’s wrists, sat up, and pulled the other vampire into his arms, rocking him like a baby. “Shh,” he said. “It’s all right.”
“Not...not all right. Hurts all the time. Burns. And the voices. Will it always hurt this much? How do you stand it? Need it out,” Spike rambled, even as he curled into his sire’s arms. “Help me get it out,” he begged.
“Get what out, Spike?” Angel asked.
“The *spark*!” Spike replied impatiently. “You’ve got it.” He placed his hand on Angel’s chest. “You know. Now I’ve got it.” He moved his hand to his own chest. “But I don’t want it anymore. Burns. Didn’t know it would burn. And the voices never *shut up*!” he cried, and covered his ears. “William’s bad, William’s bad,” he chanted softly.
“Spark?” Angel repeated stupidly as realization hit. Spike had a soul. He didn’t know how, other than Spike’s garbled explanation, but somehow, Spike had regained his soul. And it burned. Angel remembered how much the damned soul had burned. And he remembered the voices.
He held Spike tighter. “Shh,” he whispered as he rocked him. “It’s all right, I’ve got you.” He covered Spike’s lips with his finger when his childe opened them to speak. “It will be all right. I’m here, and I will help you.” Spike quieted and let Angel hold him.
The bedroom door was pushed open slowly, and Fred peeked her head in. “Sorry to bother you,” she said. “Everything all right?”
Angel almost laughed at her wording. “We’re fine,” he assured her. “Everything will be fine. Do we have any more blood?” he asked. “I want to feed Spike again.”
“Not a bleedin’ child,” Spike muttered.
“We picked some up on the way over,” Fred said, ignoring the younger vampire. “Can I just...” She indicated the empty pitcher and mug.
“Yes, thank you,” Angel said. As she skirted them to get the items off of the bedside table, Angel lowered his head to Spike’s ear and whispered, “You’re *my* childe.”
Spike snorted, but Angel let it go. After Fred left the room to heat the blood, Angel shifted. “Perhaps we’d be more comfortable on the bed,” he suggested.
Spike raised his eyebrows expressively, but didn’t say anything.
“You really are a pain in the ass,” Angel said, pushing Spike off of him so he could stand. He pulled a compliant Spike to his feet and led the way to the bed. Angel sat against the headboard as he had that morning. Spike stared at the bed, and Angel could see him weighing his options, and then he sat down on the edge of the bed.
A minute later, he slid back and sat beside Angel. Angel watched in silence as Spike fidgeted, his fingers pulling at the sweat pants, snapping, rubbing together, and then Spike turned suddenly and laid his head on Angel’s shoulder. Angel put his arm around Spike’s back, and the younger vampire slid down and cuddled up against him.
“What’s wrong?” Angel asked softly.
“The voices aren’t so loud this way,” Spike admitted. They stayed that way until Fred reappeared with the refilled pitcher and a clean mug. She placed the pitcher and mug on the bedside table, and then looked at Spike.
“What?” Angel asked.
“He looks like a lost puppy,” Fred said.
“Hmm, sounds like a puppy, too,” she said with a smile. “Everything really okay?”
“It will be,” Angel said. “Thanks, Fred.”
“Welcome,” she said. “Charles and I will just be...downstairs.”
“Okay,” Angel said, and watched her leave, pulling the door shut behind her.
“Who was that?” Spike asked, as Angel poured some blood into the mug.
“Fred,” Angel replied.
“No kidding,” Spike responded dryly.
Angel grinned. “Being off of the Hellmouth seems to agree with you. She and Gunn work for me. Well, for Angel Investigations,” Angel explained, and then drained the mug.
“Hey!” Spike watched in disbelief as Angel drank the blood. “Thought you were feeding me?”
“I am,” Angel said, as he refilled the mug, and then turned to Spike. “Neck or breast?” he asked.
“Huh or what?” Spike asked, blue eyes wide.
“Neck or breast,” Angel repeated. “You drank from my breast this morning,” he said, softly running his finger over the spot Spike had suckled at. He saw when realization dawned in Spike’s eyes.
“Oh, uh, I guess I, mmm...”
Angel didn’t wait for Spike to decide. He slit the skin over his breast and watched as the blood welled up. Spike stared at it, hypnotized, and then struck like a snake. Angel moaned as Spike’s tongue worked the wound open, and then groaned as he suckled at it, drawing the blood from Angel’s body.
Angel reached out blindly for the mug, and almost knocked it over before getting his fingers around it and bringing it to his mouth. He drained the mug quickly, and then replaced it on the bedside table. He slid down on the bed and pulled Spike on top of him, his hands caressing the smaller vampire’s back.
The touch of Spike’s lips, and tongue, and teeth working at the wound on his breast, and the feel of the blood being pulled out of his body as Spike suckled, were arousing to Angel. Last night, he had been too worried about Spike to feel any arousal from the nearly comatose vampire’s suckling at his breast; but tonight everything felt different, charged.
He grew hard as Spike held onto him, one hand on his shoulder, the other on his waist, and moved his slim hips against Angel’s thigh as he suckled ravenously. Angel knew that the taste of sire’s blood would be stimulating to Spike as well. He grabbed Spike’s hips and moved his own hips, trying to find friction against the other vampire.
He fought down the urge to remove Spike from his breast and align their erections, knowing that his childe needed to feed; needed sire’s blood more than he needed release. He placed his hand in Spike’s hair, and pressed his head more firmly against his chest. Angel felt himself getting weak from loss of blood, and reached for the pitcher of pig’s blood. Instead of trying to pour it into the mug, he drank straight from the pitcher.
When the pitcher was empty, he fumbled to replace it on the bedside table, and then ran his hand over Spike’s back, enjoying the feel of his childe beneath his hand. Spike started making animalistic noises in his throat, and Angel knew he was near climax. He slipped his fingers beneath the waistband of the sweats covering Spike, and reached in as far as he could to touch the top curve of Spike’s buttock.
With a growl, Spike released his hold on Angel’s breast and arched his back. His erection pressed painfully into Angel’s thigh, and he could feel the pulsing of that hard flesh as Spike came. Spike fell back down onto Angel and darted his tongue out to languorously lap at the seeping wound.
“Enough.” Angel gently batted Spike’s head, and the younger vampire pouted.
“Needs cleaning,” he insisted, and proceeded to lick the blood off of Angel’s chest until the wound was closed and no longer bleeding.
“Impertinent childe,” Angel muttered, allowing Spike to lick him clean.
When he was done, Spike curled up against Angel, and his leg brushed Angel’s erection. Spike looked up at him in surprise. “You didn’t...?”
“No,” Angel replied, gritting his teeth. The touch of Spike’s knee against him had sent a surge of blood to his slowly-deflating erection, strongly reminding him of its presence.
Spike buried his face in Angel’s chest. “I could...”
“No!” Angel said, and then realized the mistake he had made when he felt Spike draw back into himself. “I didn’t mean it like that,” Angel soothed. “You need to rest, Spike. I’ll be fine.” Spike didn’t react. “Talk to me, Childe,” he commanded.
Spike stirred against him. “You could bite me,” he offered.
“You need all the blood you have,” Angel said. “I can wait. I want you to be well. I need you to be well, Spike. The fact that you have accepted my blood and offered me your blood means more to me than you will ever know.” Angel cupped Spike’s face and tilted his head so that he was looking at him.
Spike looked into his eyes, and Angel felt as if he were completely exposed to the younger vampire; as if he could see into his very soul. And maybe he could.
“Sire,” Spike breathed, and then shimmied up Angel’s body until his face was buried in Angel’s neck. “Sire.” He nuzzled Angel’s neck, licking and sucking the soft skin into his mouth, worrying it with blunt teeth.
Angel groaned as Spike’s touch sent little jolts of electricity to his groin. He grabbed Spike’s hips to push him away, but the younger vampire was gently moving against him, rubbing their groins together, and Angel no longer had the strength of will to stop him. Spike lifted his head and placed his neck near Angel’s mouth.
“Sire,” he moaned. “Please...,” he begged, and Angel realized that this offer was as much for Spike as it was for him. Spike had tasted sire’s blood, and now needed to have his sire claim him, to complete the bond. Angel sniffed at Spike’s neck, scenting the blood flowing just below the surface of his skin, smelling the scent that was purely Spike.
His face changed, and his fangs elongated. Spike looked up at him, blue eyes gazing into amber, and moaned again. “Sire...”
Angel held Spike’s head, sank his fangs into the soft skin of his neck, and then sucked, drawing the younger vampire’s blood out of his vein and into his mouth. It had been so long since he drank from his childe, and Angel was quickly undone by the taste of the blood, the feel of the renewed sire-childe bond.
He bucked his hips, pressing his erection into Spike, and felt the other vampire’s hardness pressing back against him. Spike growled, and dug his nails into Angel’s chest. The scent of his own blood combined with the taste and feel of Spike, over him and in him, was too much. Angel withdrew his fangs from Spike’s neck and roared his release as he came.
Spike growled softly in Angel’s ear as he followed him over the edge, and then slumped against him. Angel pulled Spike down so he could cradle him in his arms, and pressed his face to Spike’s hair. He grinned to himself as he heard a rumbling in Spike’s chest. Not so much a puppy, he thought, as a big cat. A leopard, perhaps.
“Why?” Spike asked. “Why did you come?”
“I had a dream,” Angel replied. “Nightmare, really. Every time I closed my eyes, for months. I saw you fighting, and then you screamed, and then everything was black, and I felt fear. My fear for you. I needed to find you. To make sure you were all right.”
“Not all right. Never all right again,” Spike said softly, burrowing against Angel.
“No, you will be all right, Spike,” Angel insisted. “I’ll make sure of it. I am sorry,” he whispered. “That I wasn’t there for you. Not just for the soul,” he said, placing his hand over the scratches on his childe’s chest, “but for everything. I shouldn’t have left you. I’ll never hurt you again, Spike,” he said, as he ran his fingers through Spike’s hair, “not like this. And I’ll never let *anyone* hurt you, if I can help it. Please believe me, Childe.”
“I do believe you, Angel. Sire,” Spike replied, his voice faint with exhaustion, as he drifted into sleep. “I believe...”