Rating: R (sorry, I tried, but I'm not so good at the smuttiness)
Disclaimer: Not mine....sigh
Author's Notes/Summary: This is set season 5 Ats. In my version of the story, Angel is the one Spike comes to for help when he begins to disappear.
Beta: the indomitable kitty_poker1. Thanks for the help!
Author name: angelspike69
Preferred rating and genre (ie NC-17, H/C, schmoop, angst, etc): NC17, angst or h/c, but then a happy ending
Preferred pairing: Angel/Spike (I'll take any of their incarnations)
Second pairing choice (just in case your first one can't be done): Angel/Wes or Angelus/Wes
Song: “You do something to me” sung by Ella Fitzgerald
I've never written Spangel before or really Angel at all, so please everybody be kind to the Lorraine
You Do Something To Me
I was mighty blue
Thought my life was through
'Til the heavens opened
And I gazed at you
Won't you tell me, dear
Why, when you appear,
Something happens to me
And the strangest feeling goes through me?
Angel stood under the sluice of water in the shower, heat pinking his usually pale skin. He rolled his neck from side to side, stretching muscles that grudgingly loosened and became more elastic. I can’t believe I’m this sore from hunching over a desk all day and shuffling papers. I’m getting soft. And useless.
Angel poured a small amount of bath gel in his hand and slowly began lathering up his body, sighing as he dug strong fingers in at the muscles of his lower back and the tops of his thighs. My body used to hurt because I had done something real. Something with fists, that made a difference. Now the only exercise I get is negotiating contracts with demons whose necks I’d rather break. He watched the soapy water swirl in a lazy spiral at his feet before slipping down the drain.
“Hey, Peaches. Turn to the side a little, mate. You’re just about to scrub the good bits.”
Angel sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, hard. One hundred years, and the script’s still the same. You’d think this is all we ever were to each other. Just ignore him. Ignore him, and he’ll go away. He always does, eventually.
“I’m bored, Angel. You could at least make yourself useful in there. Put on a little show for Spike.”
Angel gritted his teeth and turned around. Spike was leaning against the bathroom door, a lascivious grin plastered on his face. Or he appeared to be leaning. Angel knew that if he tried to touch Spike, his hands would fall through his body like rain through smoke.
“Spike. Get out.”
Spike raised an eyebrow. “Make me.”
“Whatever.” Angel turned back into the shower and stood directly under the stream of water, letting it run into his ears and muffle Spike’s voice.
“You know, Angel, I haven’t seen you naked in over a century. Not since those bloody Gypsies stuck that soul in you. You’ve got quite the gut on you now.”
“I do not have a gut!” Angel protested. He knew Spike was smirking behind his back. He could feel that grin, that eyebrow raised like an exclamation point or maybe a dagger. Angel had mapped out Spike’s expressions long ago; he had sketched the planes of Spike’s face often enough in the past that he could do so now if he wished even without the presence of the original model.
I remember the last time you saw me naked. Your blood thrumming, hypnotic; body wet with it and spread out underneath me like I was a god. You were begging me to fuck you, wrapping your legs around my waist and straining at the ropes around your wrists. That was the last time you said you loved me. Or not me. Angelus. You’ve never loved me. The tendrils of desire that had begun to snake through Angel’s belly and down to his groin at the memory chilled at that last thought.
Suddenly Spike let loose a stream of curses, seemingly apropos of nothing. “Angel! Angel! Something’s wrong. Turn around, you ponce!”
“Whatever, Spike. Go pester somebody else about it.”
“Angel, please! Something’s happening to me.” Angel could hear the barely restrained panic in Spike’s voice. Alarmed at his use of the word ‘please,’ Angel turned back around.
Spike was still leaning against the door jamb, but now he was holding his hands in front of his face, his blue eyes wide with horror. The outline of his form was no longer distinct, but rather bled into the steamy air around him. Angel thought he looked much like an ink drawing smudged by a careless thumb. Before Angel could speak, Spike’s image faded, his color washing out to a monochrome grey. Angel blinked and ,in that microsecond, Spike disappeared entirely.
He cut off the water to the shower and wrapped a towel around his hips. What the hell just happened? Surely he’s not. . . gone?
He reached for the doorknob just as Spike rematerialized, obscuring the lower half of Angel’s forearm. Angel started and jerked back his hand from inside the apparition. The space inside Spike’s image was completely absent of sensation—no brush of air against the hair on his knuckles, no hint of warmth or chill on his skin; just a dark vacuum.
Spike’s eyes were fixed on some point over Angel’s shoulder and to the left. He put his arms out in front of him as if to stave off an approaching attack and backed away slowly until his body was half-submerged in the bathroom door. Spike closed his eyes and whispered, “Something’s coming for me, Angel. I can feel hell dragging me in. Everything I see splits open like rotten fruit. Help me, Angel, please.” As before, Spike’s form dimmed before vanishing completely.
Angel watched the empty space for long minutes, a faint tang of chlorine on his lips from water that ran down his face and pooled in the corner of his mouth.
“What do you mean, something’s wrong with Spike?” Fred pushed her glasses farther up her nose and tilted her head to the side.
“I don’t know.” Angel sighed in frustration. “One minute he’s driving me up the wall like always, the next he’s blinking in and out and whispering about hell coming for him.”
“Oh, gosh. Do you think he’s actually being pulled into a hell dimension?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. He didn’t exactly spend the last century fundraising for Greenpeace.”
Fred tucked a long strand of hair behind her ear. “But I don’t understand. He died to save the world. That should earn him some redemption points, right?”
Angel stared at his feet. You don’t get redeemed for what we did. What I made him do. We’ll pay, eventually; everything else is just me fooling myself.
When Angel didn’t answer her, Fred pressed on. “Alright, then. I’ll step up my efforts to re-corporealize Spike. So far, I can’t find the math to make it work, but I’m hoping that an apocryphal Euclidean text Wes found in the archives will have the answer I’m looking for.”
On a table near the far corner of the lab, something in a Bunsen burner ignited, throwing green sparks across the floor. Fred snatched a fire extinguisher from a glass case on the wall and ran toward the haze of smoke filling the room with the smell of burnt plastic. It lay thick and heavy on the back of Angel’s tongue.
Two days later, Angel sat in his office. He hadn’t seen Spike since he'd disappeared from his bathroom. Others had, but not Angel. Gunn had found him on the floor of the elevator, pressing the heels of his hands into his temples and crying. Fred had ruined a keyboard with the coffee she spilled when Spike abruptly materialized in the lab, waving his arms and shouting in a hoarse voice, “Well, come and get me then! I can’t fucking stop you! Just have done with it and stop screwing with my head!”
Angel rifled through the stack of papers on his desk, the sunset coming in through the window gilding them red and gold with reflected light. Funny how special the sunset was when I had the Gem of Amara. Beautiful and bittersweet and all the more breathtaking for being forbidden. Now it’s a corporate perk, same as the BMW, same as the penthouse. Something bought and paid for in blood.
Sudden motion turned his attention away from an L.A. cityscape now turning purple and grey under the soft veil of dusk. In the corner of the room, Spike’s form flickered on and off like a strobe light. Finally he stabilized, taking the shape of a slender figure crouched with his back against the wall. Spike looked up at Angel, his eyes bloodshot, the hollows beneath them a smudged bruise. “Angel,” he said quietly.
Angel pushed his chair back from the desk and joined Spike in the corner. He sat awkwardly on the floor, the expensive fabric of his suit pants stretching uncomfortably over his knees when he crossed his legs Indian-style. “Spike, Fred doesn’t know what’s happening to you, but she has a plan. I don’t understand it, but she thinks she can make you solid again. It’s just going to take some time.”
Spike leaned his head back against the wall. “Don’t know if I’ve got the time. I keep seeing them, Angel. People I murdered. Their rotting corpses reaching out for me, trying to drag me through to hell.” He patted down the pockets of his duster absently, balling his hands into tight fists when his search proved fruitless. “Christ, I wish I could smoke a cigarette!”
Angel didn’t know what to say. He wouldn’t offer Spike empty platitudes or false promises. He couldn’t even touch him, couldn’t let simple contact speak for him instead. So Angel said the only thing he could think of. “I don’t know what to say.”
Spike snorted, bleak amusement cutting through the despair in his eyes. “Is that the best you can do, Peaches? Not really comforted here.”
Angel picked at a loose thread in the carpet, winding it around and around his finger, tightly, until it scored lines on his skin. He tried to smile, and Spike relaxed marginally, a fraction of the tension in his posture dissolving.
“You know what the worst of it is? I had myself fooled. I thought loving her—fuck, dying for her—made me a man. But here I am, still a monster. William the Bloody saved the damn world, and that’s just a feather in the scales against all the evil I’ve done.”
Angel tugged too tightly on the thread, snapping it. “I did this to you, and I’m sorry, Spike.”
Spike’s next words surprised him. “I’m not. Yeah, I’m sorry for the killing and the torture and all the other shit we did. But I’m not sorry for the rest of it. Not sorry about me and you.”
Angel tried unsuccessfully to keep an accusing tone from his voice. “But you were the one who forgot me and spent the next hundred years in the love affair to end all love affairs with Drusilla.”
“What was I supposed to do? After the soul, I disgusted you.” Angel tried to interrupt, but Spike motioned him into silence. “I get it now, I do, Angel. The weight of all your sins, blah blah blah, and I was a bloody reminder. You couldn’t even look at me, much less touch me. That fucking hurt. Yeah, I loved my Dark Princess , but I needed you, too.” Spike closed his eyes as if he wanted to avoid Angel’s reaction to that admission.
Angel studied the face before him—one dark eyebrow bisected by a thin, jagged scar; soft, pink lips turned down slightly at the corners; cheekbones high and wickedly sharp. Is it as simple as that? Simple as wasted time?
“I always needed you, Spike. You were the one who never seemed to need me.”
“I’m saying I need you now.” Spike opened his eyes and looked at Angel through dark lashes. Mesmerizing. Blue as water in the deeps of a tarn. Angel reached out a hand to touch Spike’s cheek but remembered at the last moment and paused, hovering just shy of Spike’s face. Spike took an unnecessary breath, opened his mouth to speak, and disappeared, Angel’s fingers curling into the empty space he left behind.
You do something to me
Something that simply mystifies me
Tell me, why should it be,
You have the power to hypnotize me?
Let me live 'neath your spell
Do do that voodoo that you do so well
For you do something to me
That nobody else could do
Angel dragged the razor carefully along the edge of his square jaw, under his chin, and down his neck. He rinsed the blade under the shower head and put it away in its cup beside the bath gel. Over the spray of water, Angel could hear the metallic scratch of a zipper and the rustle of clothes thrown haphazardly in a heap on the bathroom floor. He felt a cool rush of air as the glass door of the shower opened behind him.
“That Fred’s a jewel. I’m gonna buy her a present later, something big and sparkly. With your money, of course.”
Angel smiled, still keeping his back to Spike. “Of course.”
Cold hands traced the curve of Angel’s spine and came to rest lightly on his hips. Then the barest touch of a warm mouth on his shoulder, not as hot as the searing burn of the water but sweeter and somehow more tangible. Angel pushed back into Spike’s touch, his scent of stale smoke and the syrupy earthiness of whiskey suspended in the damp air.