Divination Using Stones

Author: Mer

Setting: the second half of Angel the Series, season 5

Rating: R for Mature Themes and Cursing like a Sailor

Pairing: Spike/Angel/Dru

Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss.

Author's notes: For peasant_, written for germaine_pet's lynnevitational challenge

Summary: It'll be like neither of you were ever here, he'd said.


"I'm not doing this," Angel said.

Spike looked down at Angel's bed. At the body in Angel's bed, more specifically. Deathly pale skin, blank staring eyes, limbs sprawled akimbo beneath white translucent muslin – did they even make muslin anymore? Hair an artfully artless tumbled tangle. It served to highlight the spots of dark blood that road high on the column of her throat -- a match for the red rose petals scattered across the coverlet.

It would be a perfect recreation of a classic Angelus tableaux, except that Dru couldn't stop giggling.

"I'm not doing this," Angel said again. "She's not here," he added, in defiance of all the available evidence. "You're not here. I'm not fucking here."

"No," Spike said, pleased to find something he could agree with at last. "You're standing about making inane remarks."

Angel rolled his eyes. Spike passed him the bottle. "Don't say I never did anything for you, mate."

"You put my crazy ex in my bed?"

"I put my crazy ex in your bed!" Spike said, offended, then paused.

"Yeah, 'cause that sounds much better." Angel faux commiserated. "Some people send flowers."

"You always one upped my bloody presents," Spike said, sulkily.

"And you thought this was a good moment for revenge?"

"That's not the point!" Spike said.

"What is the point?" Angel shot back.

"The point is – give me that," Spike said and snatched the remains of the whiskey out of Angel's slackened grasp. He poured the last of it down his throat just as Angel grabbed for it, and made a big show of squishing the last drops around, daring Angel to come and take it.

Angel turned away, disgusted. "This is my apartment, Spike. With a full bar. Amazingly I'd prefer to open a fresh bottle than to kiss my annoying -- you for a mouthful of used booze."

Spike swallowed. "You won't kiss me, you won't shag her. You're getting awfully prudish in your old age, grandpa."

"I'm not... she's not – I set her on fire, Spike. What is she doing here?"

Both of the men glanced back at the bed, realizing Dru had been quiet for an unnaturally long time.

Probably because she wasn't there anymore.

"Crap," said Spike.

Angel shoved Spike back into the wall so hard the pictures rattled. "You idiot," he said, "she's out there somewhere, in my city, killing innocent people, just because you—"

A spray of water hit Angel in the face. He glared suspiciously at Spike.

A spray of water hit Spike in the face. As one, they turned to look at the open bathroom door. Dru lounged in the bath, naked as the day she was killed, and flicked a few more drops towards them with nails the color of old blood.

"Water beats fire," she told Angel solemnly. "I heard it in the schoolyard."

Angel met Spike's eyes and they shared a quiet shudder, picturing all too clearly what Drusilla would get up to in a schoolyard. His hands dropped back to his sides.

"Yeah, and paper wraps rock, pet," Spike said soothingly, "but come on out of that. There isn't room for three."

"Three?" Angel demanded.

Spike quirked an eyebrow. "You didn't think I was in it for my health."

Angel rubbed a hand over his eyes. "I don't know what you're in it for. I don't even know what 'it' is. All I know is, I've had the mother of all fucking weeks and for some god unknown reason you think this is a good time to resurrect a piece of my past and put her in my bed. Last time that happened I almost let someone die, Spike."

"You act like I know what you're talking about," Spike said.

"We, they, Wolfram & Hart brought Darla back and..."

Spike wandered away to stroke his hand appreciatively over Angel's 1,000 thread count sheets. "You act like I care."

"The knave fought the king of cups and now the king has only swords," Dru told Spike.

The one they called the suicide king. In spite of himself, Spike flinched.

"It wasn't a real cup," Angel protested. "Just Lindsay messing with me again."

"I'm Ophelia," Dru announced, and let her face sink below the water. Her hair rose up to obscure it, waving like seaweed.

"I'm leaving," Angel said. "And when I come back, it'll be like neither of you were ever here."

"There's a change," Spike muttered, not quite under his breath.


It took Angel a while to figure out what was bugging him. He'd come back a little drunker and a lot more brooding than he'd left, to find the apartment blessedly empty. The bed was neatly made and free of crushed flower petals staining the pillowcases. The bath was dry and empty. Best of all, there was no Spike or Dru to be seen or heard – not even in the closets, and yes, he did look.

Wait, dry? Angel shrugged. Not like he knew how long it took water to evaporate off porcelain. Wes might, because Wes could be scary like that. But Angel had inherited from his evil twin a pretty damned good idea of how long it took for the stink of Spike and Dru having sex to fade, and there was no hint of that at all.

Well, maybe he'd actually managed to put Spike off his game for once. That'd be an achievement. Maybe Dru had flounced off in a huff because Daddy didn't want to hurt her properly. Or maybe Spike had taken her home to his Spartan quarters so they could lick each others'... wounds.

Angel absolutely did not find that an appealing mental picture, and his fingers absolutely did not itch to sketch it. That a blank piece of paper had somehow appeared in his hand was sheer coincidence. Angel resolutely crumpled it up and threw it away.

Into the empty wastebasket. Angel blinked, and then, feeling like an idiot, checked the bins in the bathroom and kitchen as well. No empty bottle of off-brand whiskey. No jumble of roseleaves. No damp towel in the hamper and none missing, either. It'll be like neither of you were ever here, he'd said. And it was.

Angel shivered.

What were the odds that Spike –- an injured, angry, tipsy Spike with blue balls –- had bothered to obsessively erase every last trace of his presence just to fuck with Angel's head?

Well, pretty high, if you put it like that. But what were the odds that Dru would hang around patiently waiting while Spike ran the tumble dryer?

Slim to none. Which meant either she was out there somewhere on her own, possibly with Spike in hot pursuit, or else something weird was going on.

What were the odds of that happening? In LA, To Angel, involving embarrassing explanations of shit he definitely didn't want to talk about, let alone to Wes and Gunn?

Pretty much a hundred percent.


Wesley had the headache which was peculiar to this sort of conversation. It began at the furrow between his brows and grew with every evasive answer until it encircled his head, giving him the impression of wearing a too-tight phantom hat. Or perhaps "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" would be more appropriate, since he was still in bed, in the half-dark of the streetlamp just outside his window. Though it would have to be the ridiculous kind of plastic crown they made you wear on your birthday at the more repellant sort of fast food restaurants, because it had been a long time since Wesley felt he'd been made quite this much of a fool.

"Let me get this straight," he said, "Spike brought Drusilla to your flat and proposed that the three of you, er."

There was a suggestion of a chuckle in Angel's voice down the phone. "Pretty sure Er was on the menu."

"You responded by leaving and telling them to go as well." As opposed to staking Dru, or restraining her, or at least finding out what she was doing back in Los Angeles, any of which, on the face of it, would have been a more responsible response.

But Wesley, quite frankly, could not be arsed to enter upon any of those subjects yet again. After quite literally sticking a knife into Gunn, Wesley somehow doubted his moral suasion would prod Angel into shamefaced apology as it once had. And in any case apology without amendment was pointless. When it came to those he considered family, Angel would do what Angel would do. And Angel had done. His own job was simply to try and pick up the pieces.

"And now that they've gone you want us to find them again. At 2 a.m."


Angel's voice was flat. Wesley could hear in it all the things Angel wasn't saying –- yet. That Wesley owed him considerably more than a little lost sleep, and that that debt could never be canceled. That Wesley should be bloody grateful Angel trusted him to find the haystack, let alone the needle. That Angel, when push came to shove, would shove anyone into anything to save someone he truly cared for. And that Wesley was not on that list.

"Twenty minutes," Wesley said, and hung up before Angel could.

He made it in fifteen.

The office wasn't completely shut: Wolfram & Hart maintained a skeleton round the clock staff of IT and MT (magic techs, and "empties" only to those who aspired to amphibian status) third shifters running patches and hexes, plus the emergency call center and the cleaning crew.

Nonetheless the executive floors were dark, and Wesley left them that way, preferring to pad along slick laminate and plush carpet by the scanty emergency lighting and the unearthly glow that was ambient LA seeping in through the wall of windows. It was far too easy, so high above the street, to forget that the city was moving out there, and it could see in. But Wesley couldn't afford it, not if he was going to find the needle in this particular haystack before it drew blood.


When Angel came in five minutes later, he found Wesley sitting at his desk, staring at a page of one of his magic books in the pool of light from his desk lamp. He set all the lights ablaze with a backhanded swipe, and the streetscape turned to glossy black, reflecting an empty doorway.

Angel dumped a cardboard tray on the desk containing three grande –- venti -- whatever the fuck was Italian for damn big coffees.

"Wake up, Wes," he said, as kindly as he could with the bad vibe in the back of his head humming louder all the time.

"Get a picture of Spike and Dru out on the –- thingie." He gestured at Wesley's computer. "Maybe we'll get lucky, some grunt will spot them while you're still setting up... whatever it is you're setting up, and we can all go back to bed. To sleep," he corrected himself hastily.

Wesley didn't even raise an eyebrow at the double entendre. "I can't," he said.

"So call a guy," Angel said, as impatiently as if he didn't have to have Harmony turn the machine on for him every morning.

Wesley shook his head. "Files and Records has no photographs of Spike or Drusilla whatsoever." He raised a hand to forestall Angel's next remark. "Nor security footage. But that's the least of it."

He mumbled "Watcher's Diaries" into the book's spine. Angel made a mental note not to keep a diary, ever.

Wesley turned the volume around and slid it across the desk so Angel could see for himself. Under "sired by Angelus" there was Penn and a couple of other mistakes of his salad days. Under William the Bloody there was no entry.

The hum in Angel's head became a dull roar. He started turning pages so fast they tore.

"Angel!" Wesley slammed his hand down on the open page, wincing as he heard the spine crack. "What are you looking for?"

Angel had to lick dry lips and swallow hard and even then, he couldn't say it right out.

"Last year," he said. "In Sunnydale. I'm still here."

Wesley nodded, absorbing the implication: As was the world. And the amulet had to be worn by a champion.

"Buffy Summers," he said to the book, and page after page of Giles' handwriting poured itself between his fingers. Wesley hastily removed his hand.

"It's okay," Angel said when he got to the end. "She's alive." His fists unclenched.

"Then who?" asked Wesley. Angel thought that was pretty vague, considering that the computer needed you to say stuff like "run pconsole", but the text shifted and Wesley practically snatched the book back.

"The hellmouth was closed through the courageous sacrifice of Kendra the Vampire Slayer," Wesley read aloud. "But didn't Drusilla...?"

Angel shook his head somberly. "Not any more."


"Don't say anything about the clothes," Gunn announced from the doorway. The sweatpants were too small for him. The t-shirt was pink. And the gentle suggestion of scent that wafted from it was a little more... floral... than his usual aftershave, even if it hadn't been apparent that he hadn't shaved at all.

Two years ago this would have been Wesley's cue for a little affectionate ribbing. Two months ago he would have burned with rage that Gunn could kill the woman he'd never had the chance to love and then have the gall to seek affection elsewhere. Now he simply nodded and gestured toward an empty chair.

The yellow legal pad in front of him was covered in scrawled notes and names. "Faith was only called a year ago. She never assisted us with Angelus. Spike never confronted the mad Slayer who took his hands."

Gunn shrugged. "Faith never went villain of the week. Dru never ate anybody. Seems like a fair trade to me."

"Didn't know we were still making trades for people's lives," Angel grated, and Wesley nearly cheered at the reassurance that Fred's fate was not forgotten.

Gunn fixed him with a level look. "Since when do we do anything else, anymore? Greatest good for the greatest number, right, Wes? You know I'm cool with Spike, but redeadifying thousands just to get my drinking buddy back..."

He didn't say anything more. He didn't have to. Wesley recognized the argument with which Spike and Angel had returned empty-handed from the Deeper Well. But at least they had had the grace not to throw his words back at him and smile.

And this case was different. "Until we trace all the consequences, which could take weeks at best, we have no way of saying whether the new status quo represents the greatest good. It's entirely possible all those victims simply got eaten by a different vampire, and now we've lost one of only two with a soul."

"Did okay with one before," Gunn said.

"No." Angel had been staring at the black window for so long Wesley had assumed he was no longer listening. He and Gunn both looked inquiringly at Angel.

"We didn't," Angel amplified, which added exactly nothing to the sum of human knowledge. But it was obvious he wasn't going to explain himself further. Wesley repressed a sigh.

"Anyway," Gunn said, "if everything they did is gone, how come we can remember them?"

Wesley blinked. "Excellent question, Charles," he said. Which meant he didn't have an answer.

"I got a follow up," Gunn said.

"Yeah?" Angel asked.

"What if we stop?"

Angel reached over and ripped Wesley's list off the top of the pad. "We don't have weeks," he said. "Get them back." He stood up.

Wesley rolled his chair back. He declined to be loomed over at 3 in the morning. Angel didn't notice; he was too busy shrugging on his coat.

"Where are you going?" Gunn asked.



Angel wished that vengeance demons had their own bars, like everyone else in LA. He even wished it out loud, just in case they had a sense of humor. But either they didn't, or it ran more to practical jokes.

Angel had to visit six demon bars and drink five shitty cocktails and a pint of O neg before someone came across with the goods, and even then it was just an address on a crushed napkin. What Angel really wanted to crush was a throat. Preferably one with a magical necklace on it that could undo this fucking evening at a stroke, but at this point he wasn't feeling fussy.

He was expecting a warehouse, because let's face it, wasn't it always a warehouse? Lucky for the demon population that LA was one of the busiest shipping ports in the world. What he actually pulled up in front of was a tastefully bland stucco box in an office park, with a small swinging sign that read "Letitia Freedman, MSW."

Angel rammed his shoulder into the door... and then tumbled into the room, since it hadn't been locked. A circle of women sat on grey plastic stackable chairs, some of them balancing paper plates of cookies on their laps. A sign blue-tacked to the wall read "Wishful Thinking".

They stared at him. He stared at them. They stared at him some more.

Finally a middle aged black woman in a striking orange pantsuit stood up. "I'm sorry," she said in a pleasant, firm voice. "I'm afraid Hemoglobin Anonymous is tomorrow evening."

Angel shook his head like a wet retriever. "I'm not here for -- they have meetings?"

"We certainly do, and you are welcome to join us. However I'm going to have to ask you to come back another time. Confidentiality, you know."

"Nobody told me they had meetings," Angel said.

"And yet, you're here," she pointed out. "Perhaps you were meant to find us. Fate sometimes works in mysterious ways."

She didn't know the half of it.

Angel sighed. He would have liked to have a meeting. Slogans, cookies. People who got it, who'd been there, to talk to when things got hard.

But there was only one person in the world who'd been where Angel was, and he wasn't in the world anymore.

"The first step," Angel said, "is realizing that you're not powerless unless you let yourself be." He kicked over the refreshment table. "The second step is admitting that the Higher Powers are crazy assholes, and you can't count on them to save you." He caught the nearest woman by the necklace she wore and hauled her to her feet.

Her face turned into the veiny mass that Anya used to wear. "And the third step?" she spat. Angel punched her in the jaw so that her head whipped back and the chain cut into her throat.

"Save somebody else."

The black woman stepped up and laid a hand on his arm.

"What do you think we're doing?" she said, calmly. Angel cut his glance sideways. All around the circle, vengeance demons stood glaring at him, their refreshments crumbling into the industrial carpet. But the doctor's face hadn't changed at all.

"Having a tea party with a nice bunch of folks who'd like to play jump rope with your intestines?"

"Saving someone else."

"Such as the people whose lives they ruin?" Angel demanded.

Angel felt the chain in his hand go slack. The woman he'd been holding prisoner had unfastened it while his attention was distracted.

"They can do that, doc? I thought they couldn't do that," Angel said querulously to the doctor.

"I'm not a doctor," she said, "and they can hear just fine."

The necklace-free woman sat down again and folded her hands in her lap. Angel noticed they were shaking.

The demon next to her reached out and rubbed her shoulder in a soothing circle. "That was brave, Susie," she said.

"You can do it," another contributed from across the room. "You are more than your powers. Your wrath does not define you."

Angel had the weirdest feeling he'd gone invisible. He looked down at the necklace in his palm.

"Answer my questions or I crush this to atoms," he threatened.

The shrink loosed her grip on his arm. "Why don't you try just asking them?" she suggested.

"Fine." Angel glowered. "I wished Spike and Dru gone. Now I wish them back. You tell me which of you ladies I de-accessorize and I'll be on my way. Otherwise I'll just have to bring enough for the whole class."

"Spike and Dru are?" It was the not-a-doc again.

"My daughter. And my grandson."

The woman whose necklace he held let her face relapse into human form. "I don't do parents and kids," she said. "Too complicated."

Angel shrugged uncomfortably. "Also my enemies. And my ex's other ex. And Spike kind of works for me now. Oh, and they wanted to sleep with me tonight."

A tall woman with curly hair and curly horns laughed. "Honey," she said, "we'd have to go to war first to figure out who got jurisdiction. You need to meet some new people."

Angel shrugged. "I don't make friends easily."

"Can't imagine why," someone muttered from behind him.

A girl in a Laura Ashley dress and a ruff of ridged bone tentatively raised her hand. "I think I remember them. She had long hair and acted sort of... wispy? He had an accent?"

"Yeah," Angel said.

"It wasn't your wish," she said. "It was his."

Angel tossed the necklace at the feet of his first victim and rounded on the girl, who shrank back in her chair. "What do you do?" He growled into her face. "Jealous lovers? Disgruntled employees?"

"Second chances," she said.

"What the hell kind of vengeance is that?"

She shrugged. "I'm a mercy demon. That's why I didn't have to win the coin toss."

"I've been kicking around for a few centuries," said Angel, "and I've never even heard of a mercy demon, let alone met one."

She met his eyes. "That's what you think."

"Then what the hell are you doing with them?" Angel's gesture took in the rest of the head-tossing, eye-rolling circle.

"Assertiveness training."

"Whatever," Angel said. "Give me your necklace, or bracelet or nipple ring or whatever the fuck mercy demons use, and I'll step on it and we'll all get out of here with our spleens still on the inside."

"Sorry," she said. And it was the sincerity in her voice that made Angel sincerely want to put her through a wall.

He made himself turn and walk away.

"Come back tomorrow!" the counselor shouted after him. "Or Wednesday, for anger management!"

"A demon therapist," Angel muttered. "Sometimes I hate California."


With the ease of long practice, Wesley and Gunn spread out the tarp on the office floor and poured a ritual circle of silver sand. Candles burned at the compass points; Gunn pointedly placed a fire extinguisher on the desk.

Wesley was chanting something that sounded like a cross between Hindi and Basque off of a scroll. In the center of the circle, spread out like the chalk outline of a body, lay a long leather coat.

Angel burst in the door, then stopped short. "You found Spike's coat? Where?"

Wesley carried on chanting. "Sort of," Gunn explained. "We borrowed it from a Watcher named Robin Wood."

Wesley finished by ringing a small bell three times, and let the scroll roll up again. "It belonged to his mother."

Gunn slapped Wesley on the back. "And by borrowed, Wes means I stole it while he distracted the guy with a really old, really gross book on demon mating rituals."

Angel didn't have time for moral dilemmas; he nodded sharply. "Good." He glanced at the circle. "Is something supposed to happen now?" Like Spike reappearing in the coat? With or without the rest of his clothes.

"The coat should resonate to him. We should be able to follow the trail."

"We're gonna chase a disembodied stolen coat all over LA?" Gunn clarified. "How Dr. Seuss."

"Or all over the world." Wesley sighed. "Anything with such a strong emotional significance should have established a connection regardless of distance." All three of them looked at the completely motionless garment. "Spike must be gone from this plane."

"Not necessarily," Angel said. "Turns out Spike might have had himself brainwashed. If the coat doesn't mean anything to him..."

Wesley leaned against the desk and slumped his shoulders, looking old. "I'm sorry, Angel. We have nothing left to form the link."

Gunn shook his head. "We got one more thing."

Wesley raised his head. "What?"

Angel stepped into the circle. "Me. My blood is in their veins whether they remember it or not."

"It’s always about the blood with you," Gunn cracked.

"Vampire," Angel said, deadpan. "Have we met?"

"Angel!" Wesley said. "The spell isn't meant to be performed on a living being."

"Isn't gonna be," Gunn pointed out.

"A sentient being, then, Charles," Wesley said. "I can't guarantee your safety."

Angel settled cross-legged on the floor. He pulled the coat into his lap and started absently stroking it. "Start reading," he said.

It was a really long scroll, and it had been a really long day. Angel fell asleep after about twelve minutes, curled up to fit into the circle with Spike's coat draped over his shoulders. But when Wesley's bell chimed softly, he sat up as if he'd been alert the whole time, and simply waiting for this moment.

"This way," he said.

Wesley and Gunn had to run to keep up.


There were a few glitches in the spell –- like, Angel's blood was apparently more literal even than he was; when something got in the way of the most direct path, such as little things like walls and freeways, Wesley and Gunn had to combine forces to drag him to the side. They exchanged a speaking look when they finally got Angel to the car.

"I'll drive," said Wesley. "You point." He plucked the keys from Angel's hand. It was a measure of Angel's singlemindedness that he didn't even protest.

"I'll sit on Angel and make sure that's all he does," Gunn volunteered, bundling them both into the back seat.

Fortunately for the remaining shreds of Wesley's patience, Spike and Dru had not chosen to begin their new life in Sandusky. With Gunn interpreting the gestures Wes couldn't, of course, see in the rear view mirror, they finally pulled up in front of a craftsman bungalow near Baldwin Hills.

Angel was out of the car practically before Wesley had it stopped.

"You sure we're in the right place?" Gunn asked. "Seems awfully normal."

Angel sniffed the air. The scent of night-blooming jasmine drifted from the garden.

"I'm sure," he said. "You can go."

They stared at him.

"We can't just abandon you in the middle of suburbia. They don't remember you. What if they call the police?"

"What if they just don't open the door?" Gunn added. "Not that long till morning."

Angel didn't answer. His eyes were on the light in the tiny, high windows of the door. "Go home," he said again.

Gunn shrugged. "He's lasted this long. He can always camp out in a shed or under a swimming pool cover or something."

Wesley nodded reluctantly. He tried a half-hearted wave, but Angel wasn't looking in their direction.

"I get to drive."

"Oh no you don't, Charles."

"You drove on the way here."

"Yes, and for that I deserve a reward. Or possibly some sort of medal." Their voices blended in to the purr of the car motor. Angel didn't even hear them go.

He broke off a sprig of jasmine and stuck it in his pocket, and then he knocked on the door.

Drusilla answered it: a smiling Drusilla in jeans and a t-shirt the color of brandy.

Angel's fist clenched in his pocket and the scent of jasmine got suddenly stronger.

"Sorry," he said. "Wrong house." He turned to walk away from the lighted doorway, trying not to think of the times he'd done it before, from Connor, from Buffy. Trying not to think of anything.

"I don't think so, mate." Spike was standing behind Dru, his hands on her shoulders. "Angel -– come in."

He didn't remember crossing the threshold, didn't remember sitting down in a living room full of earth tones and warm light glinting off honey colored wood. As far as Angel was concerned, he blinked and then he was on a cream-colored couch, with a glass full of whiskey and clinking ice painting wet circles on his knee.

Dru was talking but Angel couldn't comprehend the words. He broke in. "I thought. I met this girl. She said..." he trailed off again, and took a gulp of his drink.

"You met Mercy? Nice kid, huh?"

Angel downed the liquor in one burning swallow, like a live coal. "She said you wished for a second chance. I thought you didn't remember -- anything."

Spike took the glass from Angel and handed it to Dru. "Be a love," he said, and she carried it away.

Once she was gone, Spike finally met Angel's eyes. "I didn't," he said. "Till I saw you. You never did ask the right questions."

"What's the right question?" Angel asked.

"A second chance for what?" Dru stood in the doorway –- his Dru, wild and wicked in a translucent nightdress like something from another century.

"Horatio gave you back the queen, but you would not take her, and so he gave you back the cup instead, and the hanged man. He isn't the knave any more."

"Who is he?" Angel spoke to Dru, but he kept his eyes on Spike.

Spike chuckled. "Just the fool, mate. Just the fool."

It occurred to Angel then that another right question might be, "a second chance for who?"

He caught Dru up in his arms and carried her, shrieking, up the stairs.

Spike followed. "What the hell are you doing?" he demanded. After a few false starts kicking open the doors of closets and bathrooms, Angel managed to find the bedroom.

"Putting my crazy ex in your bed," he said, grinning. He dropped Dru into the middle of the mattress and she bounced, giggling.

"Why?" Spike said.

Angel shook his head. "Your line is, what is she doing here?"

"What is she doing here?" Spike repeated, rolling his eyes.

"Waiting for us," Angel said, and pulled his shirt over his head.

"I thought you weren't doing this," Spike said.

"I'm not," Angel said. "You are."

He caught one arm and Dru the other and they pulled Spike down between them.

"We don't. Not like this," Spike protested. Angel knew what he meant. Dru, yes, Angelus, often, but never Spike in the middle, with nothing to do but arch and stretch and take.

"Ssssh," said Dru, "paper wraps rock."

"Of course it does, pet." Spike stroked the dark hair that tumbled over her face.

On Spike's skin, a delicate tracery of jasmine scent followed Angel's hands.


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