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{{Obviously, I was listening to 'Cryin' by Aerosmith, but there were several other songs that helped. (most of my inspiration comes from music) I just can't recall what they were at the moment.}}

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"Why am I doing this again?"



Rolling his eyes, Angel heaved a long sufering sigh "For the..what is it..the twelveth time now? You are doing this to prove that I can trust you. That your intentions are honorable." the corner of his mouth curled slightly "Well...as honorable as your intentions *can* be at any rate."



"See, now that's the problem with you Angelus." Spike pushed the door to Caritas open and stormed through "You know nothing about me. You never did."



"Enough to know that you'd turn on me if given half a chance. Oh wait..done that already. Um..try to beat the crap out of me? Nope, did that too. How about kill me then?! God knows you've tried often enough in the past, what with the chains and the hot pokers and everything. So enlighten me as to why I should trust you now?"



"Does all the hair gel you use rot what little brain you have?" disgust coloring his tone, Spike flicked him an icy glare "If I wanted you dead mate, you would be. Never even wondered *why* you're not, did you. 'S not like I've never had the chance to dust you. Yet there you lumber, in all your Dark Avenger brooding glory." gesturing to his companions frame with a sweep that ended near his face, Spike curled in two fingers and his thumb, giving the object of his eternal frustration a two fingered salute before striding to the bar.



Seating himself close to the stage, Angel sighed as he kept an eye on his errant Childe. Exausted with the constant war between them. Tired of the dance. Tracking Spikes' movements until he made his way across the club and dropped into the chair across the table. Shoving a glass of Guiness in Angels' direction, the blonde tossed back half the amber contents of his glass.



"So when is this happening then?"



"Hello tall, handsom and broody. Who's your pretty friend?"



"Got you pegged right doesn't he Peaches?!" Spike sat back and grinned up at the green skined, horned demon standing by the table "Think I'm pretty do you?"



"As a picture blondie. So Honeybuns, this is who you wanted me to read? Alright, the list is beside the stage, pick whatever you want, and hop your sexy self up to the mic."



Flicking an irritated glance at his Sire, the younger vampire gave one last attempt at getting out of performing "Come on now. You know how bloody long it's been since I *sang* in front of you?! Do I *really* have to do this?"



"Move."



Rolling his eyes at the monosyllabic response, the blonde snorted "Cave-vamp say UGH!"



"*NOW* Spike!"



Eyes gone yellow, Spike snarled at Angel, briefly flashing his fangs as he stood. Dropping his duster on his chair with a roll of his shoulders, he emptied his glass and stalked to the machine beside the stage. He read through the list, then paused to think about the reasons he came with Angel to begin with. Exactly what it was he wanted..no..needed from him. If he had to sing, if he had to be read, he figured he may as well make it worth the effort. He remembered the way things used to be. Not like he could ever forget. But for all the pain they'd put each other through, there had been some good times too. Bloody brilliant times if you asked him! Wished that some things were still that way. Wondered if Angel knew or even cared. His Sire might be a low-browed git of the first order, but he wasn't *completely* clueless..was he? Hmm. Quickly chosing the song before he could change his mind, the blonde vampire hopped onto the stage and wrapped his hands around the microphone. He might have to spill his guts, so ordered by Himself, but he bloody well didn't have to look the man in the eye while he did it! Taking a slow un-needed breath, Spike closed his eyes and gave himself over to the music. By the first chorus the bar was all but silent and all eyes had turned to the figure rocking slowly with the beat. Lorne gropped behind himself and eased into a chair.



***"There was a time

When I was so brokenhearted

Love wasn't much of a friend of mine

The tables have turned, yeah

'Cause me and them ways have parted

That kind of love was the killin' kind

Listen..All I want is someone I can't resist

I know all I need to know by the way that I got kissed

I was cryin' when I met you

Now I'm tryin' to forget you

Your love is sweet misery

I was cryin' just to get you

Now I'm dyin' 'cause I let you

Do what you do...down on me

Now there's not even breathin' room

Between pleasure and pain

Yeah you cry when we're makin' love

Must be one and the same

It's down on me

Yeah I got to tell you one thing

That's been on my mind

Yeah I gotta say

We're partners in crime

You got that certain something

What you give to me

Takes my breath away

Now the word out on the street

Is the devil's in your kiss

If our love goes up in flames

It's a fire I can't resist

I was cryin' when I met you

Now I'm tryin' to forget you

Your love is sweet misery

I was cryin' just to get you

Now I'm dyin' 'cause I let you

Do what you do to me

'Cause what you got inside

Ain't where your love should stay

Yeah, our love, sweet love, ain't love

'Till you give your heart away

I was cryin' when I met you

Now I'm tryin' to forget you

Your love is sweet misery

I was cryin' just to get you

Now I'm dyin'... to let you

Do what you do what you do down to me, baby, baby, baby

I was cryin' when I met you

Now I'm tryin' to forget you

Your love is sweet misery

I was cryin' when I met you

Now I'm dyin' 'cause I let you

Do what you do down to, down to, down to, down to

I was cryin' when I met you

Now I'm tryin' to forget you

Your love is sweet...

I was cryin' when I met you..."***



The second the last note died Spike jumped off the stage. Studiously ignoring the glittering yellow eyes boring into him, the blonde vampire made a beeline for the bar and the strongest alcohol he could get.



"..looo! Earth to Angel! Hmm..Earth Angel..now there's a sweet song..*ahem* Angel hun, you in there Sugar?"



Fingers snapping near his face finally broke through the roaring in his ears.



"Aye. I hear ye." Angel blinked then shook his head hard. Trying to ignore his demon howling in his head, the en-souled vampire turned to look at his friend.



"Well Lorne?" Angel cleared his throat in an attempt to dispell the husky note in his voice "What did you see?"



"Well Big Guy, you know I can't tell you everything." taking a deep breath, the Anagogic demon tried to order the images he got from Spike "Lord! He doesn't do things by half measures does he?! Ok what I *can* tell you is to be very carefull with that one. He's on the edge and it won't take much to push him over."



"Damnit! I knew it was too good to be true! I knew he hadn't changed. Who's he going after this time?"



Blinking red eyes at the growling vampire beside him, Lorne shook his head "No no Angelcakes. You misunderstand me. The only one he's a danger to right now, is himself. That boy is in serious pain. A huge peice is recent, but most isn't. It's old and on-going and runs so deep he can barely breath around it. The fact that he's still here is a testimony to his inner strength. It's nothing short of a miracle he hasn't taken a walk in the sun yet. Almost did a year or so back, but someone saved him. Still might happen if you don't handle this right."



"What? But.." Angel blinked at his friend in shock then turned to stare at the hunched figure at the bar "Old and..? Dru? He's still hurting over *Dru*? Enough to want to dust himself?"



"There was a girl, but the pain isn't directly tied to her. She didn't hurt him, well, not much, she was *used* to hurt him." Lorne watched the expressions flitting over his friends face face closely "It's centered around someone else. Someone's worked your boy over in almost everyway imaginable."



Sudden comprehension swiftly changed to a pensive sorrow as Angel looked down. Staring unseeingly at his hands playing with his glass, his eyes were shadowed with the past.



"Me."



"I'm sorry Sweetie, what was that?" Lorne leaned closer to hear the whispered reply



"Me. It was me you saw wasn't it. God the things I did to him. I..Angelus..He.." breaking off with a frustrated growl Angel shook his head sharply to drive back the demon trying to shift his features, and started again "I took him from Drucilla and turned him. I raised him, trained him, made her his responsibility to care for, then once I knew he loved her, repeatedly sent her away with Darla. I hurt her, did things to her and made him watch. When I discovered he loved him..me, he..I was enraged. I bound him in chains and locked him in a tiny windowless room for two weeks. I abused him and explioted him and starved him purely for *en-ter-tain-ment*. I beat him for being too human, or on a whim beat him for not being human enough. To see how far I could push him before he broke. But he never did. He never did. And I hurt him more for that. I tortured him and ra.." breaking off sharply Angel scrubbed his hands over his face. "Almost twenty years. And then I got my soul and just up and left. Disappeared. No warning, no goodbye, just gone. God is it any wonder he hates me. I don't know how he can stand the sight of me! Of all the vile things I've done, the countless lives I distroyed, William was my greatest masterpiece."



"Driving the Postulate insane?"



"A distant second."



"Corrupting the Puritan?"



"Doesn't even compare!"



Lorne tilted his head to one side "He doesn't hate you, you know."



"Yes he does. Reminds me every chance he gets. And I don't blame him, he's the one who lived through it all. William *loved* me, and I distroyed him for it. He was right. I made him a monster. *I* created Spike. Of *course* he hates me. Hell, *I* hate me. And he thinks I hate him too."



"Listen to me Angelpuss. Listen to what I'm saying, and I hope you hear what I'm not saying, cause I really can't tell you much more then I already have. You think he hates you. *He* thinks he hates you. But he doesn't. He didn't then, and he doesn't now." hiding a smile at the images that came when Angel hummed through a closed mouth sigh, Lorne nodded slightly "He was your favorite wasn't he. That explains alot."



Giving his friend a sharp look, Angel nodded once "Yes he was. As horrific as I treated him most of the time, there were times that..when it was good. Better than. When I didn't hurt him. When I allowed us a little time togeather to just..*be*. Will showed me things, felt things, made *me* feel things that I thought a demon shouldn't feel. That was part of the problem. Angelus could be a right bastard if he though something or someone was making him less. To him, love was a human emotion. Will loved him, so that had to be changed. But the main reason he did most of what he did, was because.."



"Because Angelus loved him too?"



Sighing again at his friends' perceptive question, gold flecked brown eyes met red "Yeah. He does. The one he should have hurt the least was the one he hurt the most. I blamed Will for making me feel that way. For *making* me fall in love with him. I couldn't accept such *human* feelings. It was the most unforgivable thing William ever did."



"When did you accept it?" chuckling at the startled look Angel gave him, Lorne waved a hand in the air "Don't give me that look. I caught your little faux pas. You didn't say Angelus *did* love William, you said he *does*. I can see that you are connected to your demon, more comfortable with each other then you've ever been since I met you. You don't always refer to Angelus as a seperate entity anymore. The merge is important Angel, try to complete it. That aside, you need to talk to your boy. Really talk. Be honest, about everything. Connect with him and soon. You'll regret it if you don't."



A complicated look settled firmly in place, Angle nodded slowly "Yes. Angelus and I have come to an..understanding of sorts. I let him out to play sometimes and drink human blood once in a while, in return he keeps the taunting to a minimum when I go to help someone and doesn't try to force me to eat them instead of saving them. Well.." Angel paused with a brief smirk, gold flecks apearing in his eyes "I don' try *quite* so hard anyway. St'll be a demon after all. Bu' ye're right. I have t' talk t' William. I..*we* owe him a'least tha' much."



Glancing at the bar, Lorne stood up and cast a searching look around his club "Well, oh ye of the personality swings, you'd better hustle those cute little buns of yours then. Cause your boy has gone and pulled a runner on you."



"Without his duster? He hasn't willingly left that anywhere for twenty years!" shock driving Angelus back to his cage, Angel shot to his feet and grabbed Spikes' leather coat.



"Wait Angel! One more thing. There was someone else.."



"I know. That's the main reason I needed him here. I'll take care of it." Heading for the door, Angel called back over his shoulder "Thanks Lorne! I owe you one!"



Tracking Spikes scent led the brown eyed demon through several cemetaries. Cemetaries which bore evidence of recent -and violent, if the broken headstones and torn sod were any indication- fighting. Numerous piles of chalky dust and several non-discript demons who had been viciously torn apart littered the landscape. Eventually he found himself standing outside the Hyperion, staring at the doors hanging open, one of which was torn half off it's hinges. Striding through the lobby of his converted hotel, he took note of the trashed furniture and resulting glares of his heavily armed friends.



"Where.." an outflung arm from Cordelia cut him off mid question. Following her ridgedly pointing finger, Angel headed up the stairs at a run, folowing the leathersmokewhiskywilliamfamilyhome scent that was Spike to the door that opened onto the roof. Taking an un-needed breath, Angel opened the door and stepped out and quickly looked around.



"All sorted then?"



Turning, Angel scanned the thick shadows of the far corner. Seeing the blackest shadow shift then grow as Spike stood, the older vampire drapped Spikes' duster over a nearby rail and sighed "I had to know Spike. Had to make sure."



"And?" strolling slowly into the moonlight with seeming nonchalance, light flared brief and bright over his lowered features as Spike lit a smoke.



Watching the blonde, Angel saw a faint tremor in his hands which gave lie to the tone of bored indiference in his voice. Sighing again, he moved forward until he came to a stop in front of the unnaturally still younger vampire. Scrutinising the carefully blank countenance staring at the ground for a moment, Angel reached a hand to Spikes downturned face, ignoring the slight flinch. Resting fingertips along a prominant cheekbone, the brunette lifted his Childes' head using the thumb lightly pressed under his chin.



"And you're right. I never really did know you, did I. I still don't. Back then I didn't want to know you, I didn't *care* who you were. That you were mine was enough. But the difference is, that now that it's too late, I *do* want to know. So my answer is yes. I'll do this for you."



"Just like that." flat tone rising, Spike jerked his head away and chucked the unsmoked cigarette "Couldn't just trust me for once in your miserable unlife could you. Oh no! Not the great Angelus! Laughing stock weren't you. Went and turned a sodding *POET* of all things! Never mind that I never really lost my bloody nancy-boy humanity no matter what you or your bitch of a Sire did to beat it out of me! Couldn't just believe that I love him could you! No! *YOU* have to get all broody about it and complicate an uncomplicated issue! Need *outside* help! Gotta have someone else tell you what you should *KNOW*! You're a *VAMPIRE* Angelus! My bloody fucking *SIRE*! You should *KNOW* what I feel, what I know, what I *AM*!! You bog-trotting whore-son *bastard*! *YOU*! *SHOULD*! *KNOW*!"



Angel jerked back, barely ducking the fist punctuating the last word that was all but screamed in his face, then lunged forward again. Grabbing Spikes' fist as he hauled it back to take another swing, the older vampire spun him around and pulled the blonde tight against him.



"Let go of me you wanker."



Hands tightening further, Angel shook his head "No. That's what I've always done. Let you go. Turned away. I can't do it anymore. I won't"





"Well bally-hoo to you mate! Congrats on your epiphany and all, now let me the bloody buggering fuck *go*!!"



Sucking in a sharp breath at the sensations produced when Spike twisted against him, the brunette demon burried his nose in the bend of his Childes neck and tasted the scar that marked his turning. The younger vampire jerked and gasped as a bolt of lightning shot from the silver scar straight to his groin. Arched his neck to grant his Sire better access, the blonde froze a moment later when he realised what he was doing.



"Fucking hell..don't." Spike tried to pull away again. To put some distance between himself and the man that he wanted to posess and be posessed by.



Angel moved with him, easing the slighter vampire back against his body. Reveling in the scent and feel of this man, this vampire, his Childe. HIS! How many nights had he spent alternating between forcing himself not to think about, and brooding over, his favorite Childe? How many days had he spent dreaming about him while he slept? The way he felt against him, flushed warm from a fresh kill. The way Will looked after a long, slow, torturous screw, sprawled slumberous and sated across his bed. Like a fallen angel. The desperate, needy sounds Spike made when being fucked through the mattress, or floor or wall, what ever was handy, right before screaming his name. More devil then angel then. The feel of his hands. The taste of his mouth. The scent of his skin. The sweet burn of his blood. How could he have turned away from this? How can he now?



"Don't what? Don't hold you? I have to." Angel rolled his forehead against the bend of Spikes' neck, mapping the contures of the body under his hands "Don't touch you? I can't help it. I need to. I need you."



Spikes' head fell back against Angels' shoulder, arching helplessly into the sure strokes making his skin ache "Ahhh...Christ Angel please! You h-have to stop. I c-can't...!"



"Can't what Will?"



Wrenching himself out of the older vampires' arms, the blonde scrambled across the roof "Don't call me that! I'm not him anymore! Bloody hell Angelus don't *do* this to me! I can't! I just *can't*!"



"What is it Spike? You can't what?" steping closer, Angel stopped when the younger vampire backed away from his out-stretched hand "I'm trying here, I really am. Talk to me Spike, please."



"Can't do this. Can't go through that again." shuddering, Spike wrapped his arms around himself "I gave you all I had in me to give and you *left*! I won't survive it a second time! I can't have you only to lose you again!"



"I'm not going anywhere Spike. Not this time. Not ever again. I don't want to lose you again either. I'm so sorry for leaving you. For everything I did to you. I can never tell you how much I regret it, but I can't change the past. All I can do is try to make the future better. And I want my future to include you. I love you Will. I always have. I loved you back then and I never stopped. I should have told you. I wish I had, but I was different then. Then I got my soul, and I was so messed up. I was so ashamed of everything I'd done. Penn, Dru, you. Countless others. Everything I did, everything I was. Suffocating under shame and fear and pain and regret and guilt. Terrified of seeing the same hatred and disgust in your eyes that I saw in Darlas'. I just ran. I wasn't thinking straight. I haven't been for a long time. I hated myself, how could you not hate me too?!"



"I *loved* you Angelus, with everything I was! Hate you? I bloody well tried! Hated *myself* because I couldn't hate you! You're in my head. In my heart. In my soul. In my sodding *blood*! Can't get you out no matter how hard I try." shaking his head, Spike gave a slightly histerical sounding laugh "*Hate* you?! I *LOVED* you, you pillock! Loved you then, love you now. Loves bitch, remember? I'll love you till I'm dust."



Slowly aproaching, Angel enfolded his trembling Childe in his arms and burried his face in his hair whispering "I'm done running Spike. Of all the things I regret, you were never one of them. What I did to you, yes. God yes. But never you. Stay with me. I need you. Gods I love you so much. I'm *sorry* it's taken me so long to tell you. I'll no' leave ye again Little One I swear i'. Let me try t' fix this."



"Can't stay. You know I can't. I can't have you both and I love him too." pressed against his Sires' throat, Spikes' muffled voice broke "So much it's killing me not to be with him."



"I know Will. I know." running soothing touches over as much of the body in his arms as he could reach until the younger vampire stilled, Angel leaned back to look down at Spike "I'll make that call first dark tomorrow. I'll talk to the Watcher, and work this out alright?"



"Could you stay with me tonight?" wincing at the needy tone in his voice, Spike looked away with a frown "Just for..just until.."



Angel turned the averted face back to look into troubled blue eyes and pressed his forehead to Spikes' "As long as you need me too Will. Whatever you need me for, for as long as you need me."



"I've always needed you, you silly git. Haven't you figured that out by now?" rolling his forehead against Angels, Spike brushed their noses togeather then kissed him gently "Doesn't matter where I go, how much time passes or who I'm with. One way or another, I'll always need you."



"Good 'cause I think I've always needed you too. But you know me.." flashing a small grin, the older vampire rolled his eyes in an attempt to lighten the mood "deny..repress..brood. It's what I'm good at."



"Got that right! But as I remember it Peaches.." Spike allowed it and grinned back "That's not all you're good at."



Wiggling his eyebrows, Angel licked Spikes' bottem lip "So glad it was memorable. And here I was thinking you'd forgotten. Lets get you back to him, then we'll see if..well, I don't share very well, but I'll force myself if it means we can...spend some time togeather again."



"Still a randy ol' bugger are you? Good on you mate. Tell you what. You make that call, fix this for me, and I'll do everything I can on my end to find a way."



Lowering his head, The older vampire scented his mark, hidden just under the colar of Spikes' shirt. Giving it a light nip, Angel grinned against the pale skin when Spike gasped, wriggling closer. "*Who's* a randy bugger? Lets go in. Sun'll be up shortly and we need to get to bed."

Slapping Spike on the back of the head when he snickered, Angelus growled in mock exasperation "T' *sleep* idiot Childe! T'morrow nigh t'is goin' t' be hell, an' we are both goin' t' need t' be well rested." giving the scar one last nip, Angelus pulled away. Threading his fingers through Spikes, he led the younger vampire back inside, pausing only to grab his leather duster on the way by.



"Yeah yeah. I know what you meant. Always were a kill-joy Angelus. But no matter. You get me there, and I'll get this put to rights."



After stopping briefly to feed, they made their way down to Angels' apartment. Stripping off, they climbed into the big bed, curling togeather. Easilly finding their old favorite possition. They had almost driffed off when Angel heard Spike whisper in a voice so faint, he almost didn't hear it "He misses you you know. He never said anything, never talked about it, but he does."



Shock kept Angel awake long after Spike had drifted off. Angelus paced the confines of his cage, muttering to himself. Gradually, sorting through the memories, a sort of contented peace washed over him. Angelus sighed and stilled. Feeling for the first time since his youngest Childe died on the Hellmouth that maybe, just maybe everything would be alright. Surrounded by Spikes' scent, and the familier yet new feel of his body draped over his, Angel followed Spike in the realm of dreams.
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