Two Fusiliers


Author: Tabaqui

Spoilers: All the way to the end.

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: Spike/Angel

Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss

Author's notes: The title is from the poem by Robert Graves, Two Fusiliers.

Summary: Spike and Angel, after the end.


~~~


Sometimes, being drunk just wasn't enough. Not nearly bloody enough. Spike looked down with blurred satisfaction at the dead demon at his feet. Kicked out with his left boot, shaking off the bit of viscera that clung to its toe.

Won't be makin' cracks about... whatever the fuck he was makin' cracks about, Spike thought, and turned in a slow half-circle. "Anybody else? I'm up for all you bastards." A mini-skirted vamp gave him a sultry look and Spike grinned. "Especially up for you, darling. It's fight or fuck time."

"How about it's bedtime?"

Spike turned more, toward the voice. "Bedtime I'm all grown up, mate not nearly late enough for... Oh. It's you."

"Yeah, it's me," Angel said, little quirk of his lips upward and Spike snorted.

"I already had you." Spike stepped away from the demon corpse and pushed out of the ragged circle of on-lookers, heading for the bar. Angel grabbed his arm.

"Spike, we need to talk."

Spike jerked his arm free. "We bloody well do not." There was already a shot waiting for him at the bar and Spike drained it in a gulp, setting the glass back down precisely in its little wet circle.

"Spike stop being a stubborn ass and "

"Angelus, stop being a pain in my arse and piss off! Unless you're angling to have a pain. Like I said, it's fuck or "

"Fight time. Yeah, I heard you. It doesn't get any better with repetition." Angel leaned against the bar and Spike leaned away from him gestured for another shot. The bartender obliged shot Angel a look. Angel shook his head.

"Oh, not drinkin'. Of course you're not. Just here to get on my last bloody nerve." Spike downed the waiting shot and then growled when Angel lifted the glass out of his hand turned it upside down on the scarred wood of the bar.

"I said we need to talk, Spike. Not fall face-first into the gutter."

"And you'd know a lot about that, wouldn't you, you drunken Irish sot," Spike snapped, and Angel's chin went down and his eyes flashed fire.

"Spike. I will drag you out of here by your fucking ear if I have to," Angel growled, and Spike laughed.

"You'll bloody try. Christ." The crowd had gotten quiet watchful and Spike curled his lip in disgust. "You know how to suck the fucking life out of every sodding thing under the sun, don't you." Spike dug into an inner pocket and came up with a wad of bills scattered some onto the bar top. Turned on his heel and strode out. Angel, of course, followed. Like a bloody stray dog.

It was drizzling outside rain like a fine mist, making the edges of things sparkle making the city shine. It actually made the air smell almost good, ozone and cool air sweeping in from the sea, dirt and exhaust weighted down and coating the roads instead of riding the breeze. Spike headed downtown, toward his flat, and utterly ignored Angel. Or ignored as best he could a six-foot-whatever hulk of black leather and gloom. He lit a cigarette instead and smoked it rapidly, flicking the butt away into the fire-stained rubble of a collapsed shop. When he got to his building, he took the fire escape up instead of using the door, because he just wasn't in the mood to confront the whack-job junkie who inhabited half of the fifth floor.

Spike's flat was most of the seventh floor. Nine was too damaged to be habitable and eight was a much-needed buffer between the two. Spike shouldered the floor-to-ceiling window open and stepped inside, knowing Angel could follow but hoping that maybe

"Ow! What the hell?"

Gotcha. Spike grinned turned around to see Angel rubbing the back of his neck and looking bewildered. "Ward or two protection spell. If you were human, you'd be flat on your back."

"Huh." Angel came all the way inside stood there, surveying his surroundings. Spike saw his eyes widen and then narrow and Spike snorted softly and went over to his 'bar', fishing a bottle of whiskey out of the cabinet and finding a glass. The walk his anger had sobered him. After a moment, with a sigh, he got another glass.

"Come on and have a drink, then, instead of standing there and staring about like a great lummox."

"Spike..." Angel said, and his voice was just... tired. "Jesus, can you just "

"No. Really can't," Spike said. He put bottle and glasses down on his table, a salvaged Hepplewhite from some gallery uptown. It was a little scarred, but the inlay still looked good. Angel moved over slowly as Spike eased out the cork and poured them both a drink. Angel picked his up and swirled the liquid around in the glass for a moment, taking a little sniff before he drank it down. Spike just tipped up his glass and gulped because fuck, he was just not in the mood for...

Anything. Any of it. Spike felt his fingers tightening on his glass and he forced himself to relax. "Come back to the scene of the crime for a reason, Angelus, or are you just slumming these days?"

"Don't know why I even fucking bother," Angel muttered, putting his glass down with a crack.

"I really don't either, mate." Spike jerkily poured himself another drink, angry that he was angry angry that he could still, after all this time, feel... Betrayed. Abandoned. Cheated, by god. "Why not just fuck off back to wherever the hell your batcave is and leave me be."

"I'm not here for me, Spike. I'm here because Buffy "

"Oh fuck you!" Spike hurled the glass at the nearest wall, taking no satisfaction in the chime and shatter of heavy crystal. He took two quick strides around the table and was all but on top of Angel, chest to chest and his hands balled into fists. Glaring into dark eyes that glared back, flare of gold in their depths that matched the surge of rage that flared, hot and sharp, in Spike's chest. "That doesn't work anymore, Angel. And you bringing her up just makes me think you're more desperate than you look."

"I'm not look, Spike, I wouldn't have even come here if "

"If Saint Buffy hadn't pouted her pretty mouth at you? Christ, you're pathetic." Spike turned his back on Angel and picked up the other glass filled it and drained it and considered throwing it, too, but he actually liked these glasses, and he'd be damned if he was going to break them all over Angel. Had enough of that three years ago...

"Spike, just shut up and listen, for once. There's something big coming. A whole new level of evil. Worse than "

"Wait - let me guess." Spike stalked to the fireplace that bulked against the far wall, staring blindly down at the shimmering bed of coals that was all that was left of his afternoon's fire. "This is worse than the First? Than the Circle of the Black Thorn? Worse than some sodding wanker of a worker bee bringing his favorite Old God back to life? Been there, Angelus, done it, got the bloody scars to show for it."

"This is different, Spike! This isn't some apocalypse we can fix by by killing the right thing or chanting the right spell. You know that the Slayers are getting more... organized. Starting to use military tactics "

"Yeah, I've heard it," Spike snapped. He'd heard more than that. Heard that they were sidling up to the government heard that they were starting to take on the trappings and tricks of a certain secret military organization and Spike... did not approve. For a lot of reasons. He kicked at a sliver of wood that had fallen onto the grate and turned to face Angel. Was a little dismayed to find him not five paces away. "They're making themselves damn unpopular, too. What's your point?"

"The point... my point is that the demon world is starting to organize, too. It's going to be war, Spike, and she - they - need every soldier. Every champion."

God. He really believes it, too. Look at him like a school boy asked to lead the bloody procession... "That right, Angelus? That what they need? Soldiers and champions... Heroes." Spike took a long breath let it out on a short, shaky laugh. "Well, that's too damn bad, Angelus. Just too bloody bad, 'cause I'm not either of those." He pulled out a cigarette and lit it blew the slate-blue smoke in a plume up over his head. "And neither are you."

"What is it about 'organized demon armies' that you don't get?" Angel snapped, and Spike heaved a sigh and poured out the last of the bottle stared at it morosely and then drank the mouthful in the bottom of his glass.

"I get that you've all got your knickers in a twist over this, and I get that the people who helped save the world a time or two but aren't good enough to talk to are suddenly the lynch pin of the whole save-the-world-again plan. What I don't get is why in fuck you think I'd give a damn!"

Angel looked utterly bewildered and Spike laughed stood up with a lurch and went back to his bar to fish out the last bottle. Squatty brown thing, some special hand-made bourbon from Kentucky that tasted like... Well, it tasted damn good and, for a moment, Spike hesitated to give any to Angel at all.

"Because you care!" Angel said, somewhere behind him. Little slur to his words and Spike hauled the bottle out and brought it back to the table, falling heavily onto the ratty upholstery of the La-Z-Boy he'd salvaged. Angel had the old straight-back, and serve him right.

"No, see, there's where you're wrong. I bloody well don't care. Not about wars, and not about Slayers, and not about whatever bloody suicide mission the redoubtable Miss Summers has conned you into signing up for." Spike poured they drank.

Angel licked his lips and stared at his glass. "That's... really good."

"Damn right it is. Dunno why I'm sharing it with you. Poof."

"Idiot."

"Poncey git."

"Deluded fop."

Spike squinted at Angel and poured out more bourbon. "Puppy rescuer."

"Babysitter."

"Rat - hey! Babysat Dawn, me. Very important job."

"You just did it "

"To what, get into a dead girl's pants? Please."

Angel looked shifty. "Could have been."

"Could have been, wasn't, and that's all water over the bridge, mate."

"Under the bridge," Angel said, draining his glass and Spike squinted at him.

"What?"

Angel made a complicated gesture with both hands. "Under, not over."

Spike copied the gesture sloppily, spilling his drink. "Well, nobody's crossing that bridge again, anyway, so it may as well be over." Over and done. God, feels like that was all a hundred years ago...

"Huh."

"Yeah."

They sat in silence for a long moment, and then Spike fumbled a cigarette out of his pocket and stuck it in his mouth. It was bent, and poked upward at a jaunty angle. Spike scowled at it, going nearly cross-eyed, but lit it anyway and took a long drag. Time to end this. "So, wanna shag?"

"Might do," Angel murmured and then blinked hard. "What?"

"You're here, I'm bored why not? Got some warming lube somewhere..." Spike felt down into the depths of the recliner and Angel watched, horrified, as Spike pulled out a crushed packet of crisps, three empty cigarette boxes, a bong with a scummy high-water mark etched into its purple-glass sides and a mummified mandrake root. "Bugger. Well don't really need it, do we?"

"Spike! What the hell is wrong with you!" Angel lumbered to his feet, knocking the straight-backed chair over in the process.

Get up and run, Angel curl your lip in disgust and go home. Leave me be... "Only the usual." Spike flicked ash in the general direction of the fireplace and watched Angel straighten his jacket collar and run a hand back through his hair. Angel's gaze darted around the room and finally settled somewhere to the left and up of Spike.

"Listen, this is serious, Spike. They need us to stop this thing before it gets out of hand."

"Do they now?" Spike pushed himself wearily to his feet, feeling... Well, feeling every fucking year he'd lived and unlived. He grabbed a fistful of Angel's coat and towed him to the window, shrugging a little when Angel snarled and swatted his hand away. Spike pulled the dusty curtain back and gestured with his cigarette. "Take a look, Angelus. Take a good look tell me what you see."

"Spike, what are you ?"

"Just look," Spike snapped, anger replacing exhuastion and Angel subsided, taking a step closer and peering out through the dingy glass.

"It's... LA, Spike. There's some burned up buildings and some dead spots but..." Angel shrugged, turning to Spike and Spike wanted to punch him. Flexed his fingers and contemplated it and then just did it, taking Angel by surprise. Angel reeled back a few steps, his head snapping sideways with the force of the blow.

"Yeah, it's LA, you wanker." Spike stalked closer to Angel, pushing right up into his face, chest nearly touching chest. "The city you bled for? The city you said was yours. The city you bloody well abandoned after that last, ridiculous... mess you made!"

Angel took a step back, looking agitated. "I didn't abandon - look, Spike, when I beat the Black Thorn "

"When we beat them. You weren't the only one bleeding in that alley, Angelus."

"I know that! When we it was over. Wolfram and Hart moved out of here, the Black Thorn was gone... I needed to move on, Spike!" Angel leaned against the wall, staring blindly past Spike. Staring at but not seeing the pocked landscape the fires that refused to go out. The wreckage left in the wake of an army and a dying dragon. "I needed... after Wes died, and Gunn..."

"We all needed, Angelus. Looks like you're the only one that got." Spike walked over to the table and stubbed his cigarette out kicked his boots off and started emptying his jeans pockets. Roll of bills, straight razor, keys to the place odds and ends. He knew he was being unfair but right at that moment... he just didn't care. You left, Angel. Left after all that mess and madness and pain... But I couldn't. Wouldn't.

"What are you doing?" Angel asked, and Spike sighed tipped up the last of his drink and set the glass down.

"I'm going to bed, Angelus. I'm just... I'm too tired to argue. You tell the Slayer..." Spike walked over to the fireplace and stood there, gaze on the rippling coals. "Tell her whatever the fuck you want."

"Spike " Once more, Angel was right there, scent of iron and whiskey, of spice and cream and smoke. Spike just looked at him watched the anger and bewilderment in the brown eyes fade. Watched Angel close his eyes for just a moment, taking in a long, long breath. "I didn't come here to fight. I never... I'm sorry I left. I'm sorry Wes died, and Gunn... I'm sorry that Illyria... went away."

Spike shrugged, curling his bare toes into the worn rug. "Sorry, always sorry. I'm not your confessor, Angelus. I don't care what sins you think you've committed." Spike looked up at Angel and smiled slightly. "Was there for most of them, if you recall."

"I know." Angel leaned against the mantel. Reached out and ran his finger down Spike's lapel took a fistful of the leather in his hand and tugged, just a little. "Why do you still wear this? Aren't you... wouldn't you rather have something... new?"

Spike raised an eyebrow, smiling for real, this time. "Not all of want to shed old skins. This is... This reminds me. Better times."

"You murdered someone for this coat," Angel said, and Spike lost the smile.

"It wasn't murder then, was it? It was... Darwin. Survival of the fittest, and that was me. Things were... they were black and white, then. Didn't have to... weigh every bloody choice and action and... word." Spike stopped and Angel's hand slowly let go of the coat slid up and pushed one side back, off Spike's shoulder.

"Well then... let's not talk for a while," Angel said.

Spike just stared at him a moment laughed softly, shrugging and letting the coat slip away to the floor. "God, how in hell did you ever get laid?" Angel laughed too, letting his own coat hit the floor with a soft slither and thump and Spike pushed him flat to the mantel, the heat of the coals stinging on his shin.

"Just shut up, Spike."

Angel tasted like whiskey and honey and blood. Just like old times...


~~~


Spike ground himself down, slowly. Watching through half-closed eyes as Angel bit his lip lifted his chin, taking in a quick, hitching little breath. Spike flexed his fingers on Angel's chest and Angel's hands slid from Spike's ribs to his hips curled around them and pulled Spike down a little harder a little closer.

"Ah, Jesus... Spike..."

"Yeah... c'mon " Spike rubbed his thumbs over Angel's nipples dragged blunt nails down Angel's sides and leaned back, bracing one hand on Angel's thigh. Angel shifted under him and arched up, and Spike took his own unsteady breath lifted his hips and then drove himself back down onto Angel's cock. Heat and pressure and the ache of muscles pushed a little too far and it was... "Fuck..."

"Doin' my best," Angel murmured and Spike laughed softly let Angel lift him and pull him back down, thighs flexing.

Spike had people. He had men and women who welcomed him with open arms open mouths. Hot human kisses and cold vampire ones demonic rutting in alleys and bedrooms and back rooms. But it was never the same. He could never let his guard down never just disengage and sink into it. Turn his brain off and become nothing but nerve endings and skin. At least I could always trust you, Angelus... most of the time. Trust you to want this as much as me... Spike hitched himself up and sank down again, head falling back, back arching hips rocking.

"Spike..." Angel's hand ran up Spike's chest curled around his neck, tugging him down and Spike went easily, folding over Angel, thighs slipping wider cock pushing into the hard flatness of Angel's belly. Kissing like Angel was oxygen and Spike actually needed it, taste of bourbon and blood on his tongue. "I missed you... missed this so much..." Angel said, lips against Spike's, moth's wings.

"Not enough to stay," Spike said. Said before he thought, really and wasn't that the case so much of the time, when it came to Angel? Angel's hands ceased their slow sweep down Spike's back and Spike sighed.

"Don't start, Spike. Why can't you ever "?

"Just not built that way," Spike said. Abruptly he sat up got up, his body giving a little shiver as Angel slipped free of him. He stalked over to the window and leaned there. Forearm on the grimy glass, head on forearm. Staring out at the patchwork of nighttime L.A. The chunks of darkness burnt out buildings and blocks seemed to be bigger. Seemed to have grown, edging out the places where light and life still existed. Christ, I need a cigarette. Need a drink and need my fucking head examined.

"Why is it always my fault?" Angel muttered, and Spike almost laughed.

"'Cause you take the blame so fucking well. Wear your guilt like a Cartier's crown of thorns, you do."

"Oh, fuck off." Spike listened to Angel shifting around getting up and doing something and then walking over to join him. Familiar snick and Angel's fingers, holding a lit cigarette, appeared. "Thought you quit?"

"Once every century," Angel said, and Spike grinned took the offered cigarette and lifted it to his lips.

He could taste Angel on the filter and he took a long drag and then turned, leaning his shoulder into the thick fall of faded cotton curtains. Angel leaned on the other side of the window, his own cigarette a fire-fly glow in the gloom. They smoked in silence for a moment. "Didn't mean to say that, you know. Just... slipped out."

Angel shrugged. "It's okay. I... kinda deserve it." Angel took another drag of his cigarette and made a wry face reached over and slipped it into an empty beer bottle that was sitting on the window sill. "I guess... I don't like thinking about it, you know? I said I'd fight for the city protect the people..." Angel looked out the window, his fingers tapping lightly on the glass. "And I didn't. I failed. We beat the Black Thorn but that just opened the city up to all the other little gangs and factions the Thorn was keeping in line. I was so focused on one thing... I didn't see the bigger picture."

"Wasn't anything you could predict," Spike said finally, absently tapping ash onto the floor boards. Not meeting Angel's gaze because here he went again, giving in. Finding excuses and letting Angel off the hook. And why? Because I'm fucking lonely, and there's no one left, and I don't want to do this anymore. Not by myself.

"Maybe. But I could see it happening before I left and I just..." Angel leaned against the window frame, arms crossed. Studying the floor or his toes the hard-on that hadn't subsided for either of them. "I was just... sick of it, Spike. So damn sick of it all. Cordelia and Wes and Gunn... Fred..." His voice cracked a little and he swallowed. Spike felt his own throat ache at her name at their failure. "They all suffered because of mistakes I made. Because when it comes right down to it, I'm not... I'm not a leader. I never was."

"Didn't do as bad as all that " Spike protested, and Angel shook his head, sighing.

"Yeah, I really did. I got so caught up in my fate, or destiny, whatever you want to call it I forgot about the consequences. I forgot there were consequences. Or I just... wanted to ignore them. After that night..." Angel picked at the hem of the curtain, every line of his body eloquently speaking of sorrow and regret. "I just couldn't anymore."

Spike felt the corner of his mouth quirk a little in a crooked smile and he leaned down and let the butt of his own cigarette slip into the dregs of beer, hearing the tiny hiss as it landed. "Could have used you, you know," Spike said. He mirrored Angel's pose, arms crossed, and Angel stopped fiddling with the ragged edge of the curtain and looked up at him. "It was bloody difficult, being the only white hat with the balls to fight."

Angel's eyebrows went up and he looked searchingly at Spike. "That's it? You're not going to tell me I deserve to to burn in hell or that I've ruined everything, fucked it all up, made your life miserable?"

"No point in repeating what you already know," Spike said, chuckling, and Angel scowled. "Oh, don't be like that. You did what you had to do, Angelus. Sometimes things just need to sift themselves, when all's been said and done. They wanted you to fight the good fight and all that " Spike waved his hand. "All that bollocks, and you did your best."

"Maybe. Maybe not. Why'd you stay, Spike? Why didn't you take off to some other place? Like Rome."

Spike snorted softly tipped his head against the window, gaze seeing distant fires and city lights, almost indistinguishable. "After you've lived a few years, you finally get to know when a thing's over, Angelus. And that's over and done. Hell, it was done that night. No coming back from a betrayal like that." Angel made some soft noise and Spike looked over at him. "I wanted... hell, I don't know. I wanted to do what you couldn't. What you wouldn't. Wanted to prove... something." Spike sighed and turned so he could press his forehead against the cool, gritty glass. Let his eyes fall shut, blocking out the ruins of the city that wasn't his never would be. It had just hurt, so much, when Angel had left. Hurt so much that the battered city had seemed the only refuge he had. "Proved I'm a stubborn git, I suppose. Proved I can hold a grudge. Haven't done a bloody thing else."

"That's not what I hear." Spike made a little noise of protest shivered when cool hands dropped onto his shoulders. "I hear you've been kicking ass and taking names." Spike laughed at that at those words coming out of Angel's mouth, and he could feel Angel laughing silently behind him. Angel's hands rubbed Spike's shoulders, fingers digging into the muscles beside his neck . "I hear you've been brokering deals and setting up safe zones and... doing what I wanted to do. Making L.A. safe."

"Half the city's in ruins, Angel. There's always fighting people leave and demons move in and..."

"And they respect you," Angel murmured, his mouth brushing against Spike's ear. His breath cool, his hands slipping down to stroke over Spike's ribcage. "They count on you."

Spike pulled in a deep breath, opening his eyes wide. Angel felt so... solid, behind him. Felt more real than Spike did, half the time. Felt like something he could rest against. For just... a moment. Just for a night... just tonight... "I scare 'em, is all. They know I'd kill every last one of them if I had to."

"Course you would," Angel whispered. "But you'd run through fire for them, too. They know it. I know it." Angel's chest pressed tight to Spike's back and Spike let himself be tugged back let himself lean into the dense muscle and satin skin. Let his thighs slide open a little and moaned softly when Angel's cock pushed slowly back inside him. "They know what I know," Angel said, his voice a low purr his arms around Spike. "They know that once you've set your mind to something, you'll do it you'll never give up. They know that you've taken this place for your own and you won't let go." Angel's hips rolled slowly pulled back and pushed forward and Spike leaned his head back against Angel's shoulder, his hands slipping off the window and finding Angel's hips gripping tight.

"I can't just... leave the poor bastards. Not after what we did," Spike whispered, and Angel nodded against his skull found a rhythm with his hips and settled into it.

"I know you can't. You're such a fucking romantic, Spike... trust you to fall in love with a city..." Spike laughed something a little closer to a sob and turned his head. Pressed his lips into Angel's throat, tasting the spice-iron tang of his skin, the cool flesh warming under his tongue.

"You bastard," Spike said, and Angel's mouth touched Spike's in a long kiss. "Why'd you come here?" Spike asked, finally getting space to breathe as Angel's thrusts came faster and harder as his hands shifted to grip Spike's hips in a bruising hold. "Why'd you you knew I wouldn't leave, you knew... fuck, 'Gelus, god "

"Wanted to know for sure. Wanted to... make sure..."

"What? Sure of what?"

"Sure you'd still oh, god, Spike " Angel's left hand snaked up, curling over Spike's shoulder and jerking him back his right wrapped around Spike's cock, stroking hard. Spike arched, cursing, his own hands going up to knot in Angel's hair to yank his head down. They kissed, sharp-edged and desperate, iron taste of blood on Spike's tongue and a curling, tingling heat sizzling all through his body knotting in his belly. They came almost together, shaking. Lungs dragging in useless, ragged breaths bodies thrumming with arousal and satiation, almost as if a heart beat inside. Spike let Angel hold him up for a moment and then he braced against the window, pressing his forehead to the cool glass.

"Make sure I'd still what, Angel?" he asked, surprised to hear his voice come out a little hoarse a little cracked.

Angel's mouth pressed wetly to the back of Spike's neck, little scrape of tooth and the rough-silk lap of his tongue. "I wanted to make sure you'd... still be here. When... when I came back."

"Came... back?" Spike felt himself go still felt his muscles lock tight and Angel felt it, too. He sighed and stepped back, breaking their connection, but then putting his hand on Spike's shoulder and tugging him around. He looked mussed and anxious and sleepy all at once, dark eyes blinking, his mouth soft and a little swollen.

"When we win. When we beat the demon army. They're a pretty sorry bunch probably take about a week."

"You miserable, lying bastard," Spike said, but it didn't come out nearly as vicious as he meant it. It came out rather like an endearment a verbal caress. And Angel all but purred, a slow smile tugging his mouth wide.

"Yeah, I know. I practiced all the way here. Guess I did pretty good, huh?"

"Wanker. Sodding Irish git. Fucker." With every insult, Spike shoved Angel backward and Angel stumbled across the floor and onto the bed, lying there flat on his back and laughing. Spike straddled him, pinning his arms to the bed. "I don't need your bloody help, you know."

"I know. I know you don't," Angel said, but they both knew it was a lie.

"I'm the one as gives the orders," Spike added, leaning down and nipping un-gently at Angel's collar bones, and Angel arched up a little, gasping.

"I know. You're the... vamp in charge. Big vamp on "

Spike's head snapped up. "You've been talking to Harris."

"Every day," Angel said, making a face, and Spike laughed.

"Serves you right." He leaned there a moment above Angel, studying him. Taking in the familiar face that was... just the same. Ever the same. Eyes that danced with a not-so-secret glee mouth that twitched and tried to stay sober. "Why, Angelus?" Spike asked softly, and Angel's gaze softened his whole face relaxed into that rarest of expressions. Happiness.

"Guess when you've lived a few years, you know when a thing's... still there. Know it really never ended, and it never will."

Spike watched Angel for a moment longer and then he leaned down and kissed him, wrapping himself around Angel and feeling Angel's arms come up to pull him close his legs tangle with Spike's. "Love you too, you old bastard."

"I know."



End.



~~~
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