Pairing: Angelus/Spike(William)
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: slash, brief noncon, a little bloodplay, some blasphemy...typical vamp stuff. oh and eventual angst.
Summary: What is the story behind Spike claiming that he and Angelus had only been intimate “that one time” anyway?
Disclaimer: Joss could only hint at anything this fun. I just ran with it. and am, alas, still poor. don’t sue me.
Feedback: please!
only half-beta’d, by the lovely [info]angelspike69, who made the completion of this fic possible by nudging me through writer’s block.


A/Ns: At this point I believe Spike was thinking of himself as such, but I doubt Angelus ever deigned to call him that. Thus the use of both Spike and William. Think of it as a marker for shifting perspectives.

Also, Angelus is Spike’s sire in this. No real justification, I just like it that way and “grandsire” and “grandchilde” are too wordy to scream out in bed, eh? There are plenty of explanations floating out there to fix the discrepancy, just pick one if it makes you sleep better at night :)

Cannony moments that influenced this fic:

“Don't mistake me. I do love the ladies. It's just that lately...I've been wondering what it'd be like to share the slaughter of innocents with another man. Don't think that makes me some kind of deviant, hmmm?” ~Angelus to William, As5 Destiny
“What? Angel and I have never been intimate...Well except that one time.” ~Spike, As5 Power Play
“I don’t want to rush into anything. Been hurt before you know.” ~Spike about Angel, Bs2 What’s my line p2
and The Girl in Question flashbacks in general

Although I personal subscribe that the boys were fucking like bunnies from the time Spike was turned, there is that pesky little clause in cannon. This is probably the only time I’ll ever pay homage to it, so I hope I did it well.



That One Time


by
thatotherperv



London, winter 1898

“Could you believe that bloody git? ‘Do what the men say and no one will get hurt’,” Spike mocked in a high whiny voice, hands folded primly in front of him. Angelus laughed. They’d had the good fortune of coming upon a schoolteacher who was holding some errant pupils after their lessons. Unfortunately for the boys, sunset came early this season. He and his childe had enjoyed a proper feast on the blood of the innocent, what with the screaming and the struggling and the weeping. Begging for mercy. Humans.

William (as Angelus still preferred to think of him) was particularly keyed up from the ecstasy of the kill, but his prattle didn’t require any particular attention. Angelus too felt the pump of excitement as they wandered home. Were Darla here, he would be up her skirt in an alley by now, but his sire and that nutter Drusilla were still with the Immortal. The remembrance of how he and William had been cuckolded grated on him still, four years later. Their girls had been in Rome for four years…what could the smarmy demon be doing to keep them enthralled with him for all that time?

Angelus brushed the thoughts aside and watched as his childe animatedly mimicked the children in their final moments. In a rare and brilliant display of forethought, William had toyed with them. He rarely played with his food, but Angelus always looked forward to his whims when they came. They were short-lived, but hilarious. For example, tonight, he had played off the teacher’s ridiculous instructions literally, prompting the six young boys through a round of follow-the-leader. Leader says touch your nose, leader says wink your right eye, spin around in a circle. When one of the boys broke the rules, William or Angelus ripped his throat out. Made a sire proud, when his offspring could make hunting so damn amusing. The game had come to a quick end when the remaining few children grew hysterical with the fates of their peers and were unable to keep up with the game. More’s the pity.

Angelus briefly relived the stench of their fear, their warm struggling bodies, their sweet, pure blood, and he growled in frustration. Four long years since the hunt had ended as it properly should…with his cock and his fangs buried deep in one of his line. True, hardly a day went by where he didn’t find his end in a willing or unwilling body…a writhing human in the agony of its death throes or a pretty minion that caught his fancy – sometimes one that became the other. But it was a pale imitation, and more and more he found it intolerable.

They arrived at the house they’d procured for their stay. William laughed again and looked over his shoulder as he stepped inside, eyes flashing gold with glee at his exploits. Angelus felt his cock twitch at the pretty boy’s excitement. The younger vampire flicked his tongue out teasingly at some joke, and Angelus’s mind harkened back to the days when William was a fledge and that tongue had more pleasurable uses than his incessant babble.

Damn Darla and her roving eye. He missed, deeply, the pull of the family bond and the rich flavor of Aurelian blood on his tongue as he emptied himself into a cool, accommodating body.

Well, that made his decision. Truthfully, he didn’t know why it hadn’t occurred to him until now. He followed William into his bedroom suite.

“All that blood and I’m hot for a rut,” he announced without preamble.

Spike laughed. “You and me both, mate. Bloody Immortal. We still have time before sun-up, would you rather go out or order in? Then we can save ‘er for a snack for later.” A conspiratorial grin lit his fine-boned features.

Angelus shook his head and stepped closer so that his childe was forced to crane his neck upwards in the close quarters. He watched a shadow of confusion pass over the younger vampire’s features, and then the cocky grin was back.

“Well you might prefer a wank, but I’m gonna go find myself a nice hot body. Don’t wait up,” he announced and brushed past towards the door.

Angelus caught his arm and pulled him up short.

“You know, boy, it occurs to me that I’ve never enjoyed my sire’s privileges,” Angelus reflected lightly, his voice sing-song, his big hand still wrapped around Spike’s arm. Spike wasn’t fooled…he could feel something like a threat under the tone. He squinted cautiously up at his sire, uncertain where this was going. It was a phrase often applied to Dru, but he failed to see what it had to do with him.

“Well, mate,” he explained with exaggerated patience, “far be it from me to insult your powers of observation, but you and me…we don’t have interlocking bits. So it looks as though sire’s privilege is on holiday in Rome with Drusilla.” Spike was more confounded when Angelus began to laugh, deep and sincere, at his words.

William had come so far since his turning, Angelus sometimes forgot what a prim and naïve Victorian still lurked beneath the bloodthirsty killer. Buggering him was perhaps for the best after all. This particular childe was headstrong and impudent, probably because he’d never been paid the proper mind. Angelus found his antics amusing enough that William was only punished for them when their consequences were drastically inconvenient for the family or if Angelus was in a foul mood. He had never really put the lad in his place with the usual sexual tools of a sire, as he had Penn and Dru.

Of course, as a fledgling, he’d made William service him with that pretty mouth before he was allowed to feed, and he had pleasured the boy with his hand for the first few days. That was always a sure way to inspire feelings of devotion in your childer and ingrain in them the instinctual pleasure of feeding and violence. But Angelus had been sufficiently distracted with the women that it had never gone beyond that, though he knew it could. Probably should. He’d had two kin already at his disposal…he was a vampire, not a machine. And two decades had never seemed such a long time to neglect the duty when faced with an eternity of family debauchery.

Angelus chuckled at William’s irate expression and lacking imagination. “Oh, I think our bits will interlock just fine, childe.” William’s eyes grew round with confusion as it dawned on him that his sire was serious. Angelus manhandled him closer and slipped one hand down the back of his breeches, smirking as he ran his third finger roughly over the hole in clarification. He laughed heartily as William’s eyes grew bigger and he began to sputter.

Predictably, Spike reacted with righteous anger and indignation. “They will not!!” he cried, struggling as Angelus pulled him towards the bed, laughing. Like a panicked animal, he struck out towards his sire and landed a good blow to the kidney. Angelus pivoted and boxed him on the ear, and Spike cried out in surprise and pain. He threw a punch to Angelus’ face and heard a crunch as his fist connected with the long straight nose.

Oh bollocks, he was in for it now. Angelus cupped his nose with one hand, and was instantly furious and deadly serious. Spike tried to back away but found his legs swept out from under him, and his body thudded heavily to the floor just before he was pinned.

“You. broke. my nose, you little shit,” Angelus hissed in his face, and he squeezed one large hand against William’s airway, depriving his childe of his strange habit of breathing. William struggled, but Angelus could feel his erection from his sire’s display of dominance. Who said willful childer didn’t enjoy being given structure?

But still, he wanted the boy willing…somewhat. He let off the airway, pinned his forearm across William’s chest. He slipped the other hand between them, fondling William through his trousers. Almost instantly most of the fight went out of the smaller man, who moaned and pushed up into his palm. Angelus smiled. As a fledge, a hand on his cock had been the best way to gain William’s assent to anything, no matter how loathsome to him…some things never changed.

Angelus smirked as William cooperated in the removal of his trousers. The boy groaned and began to pant as his sire wrapped one hand around his cock and began to wank him roughly, occasionally pulling at the foreskin in a painful way that made William shudder and arch and mutter to a god that was no longer listening. Angelus increased the pace, using the pre-come leaking from William’s slit to ease the way, and William threw his head back and swallowed audibly.

Fist and fang and cock, the best ways to control childer…time to pull the ace from his sleeve. Angelus drew the tip of a razor-sharp canine over the inside of his lip and smashed his mouth to the boy’s. William moaned at the taste and came with a stiffened convulsion, making a mess of his black shirt.

Bloody hell. Spike had forgotten how hard he could come from the taste of sire’s blood. Hadn’t had any since he was a fledge, didn’t understand why he got some now, but he wasn’t whinging. He didn’t think he could move now if he tried. Angelus was using his hand to smear Spike’s come from his belly, which was sort of odd, like perverted finger painting, but Spike was a live-and-let sort of vampire.

“Bloody hell, Angelus, if you’d told me you just wanted to play our old games, I wouldn’t have clocked you. Can you believe I actually thought you – oof !” His statement was abruptly cut off as Angelus flipped him on his belly like a rag doll. As soon as a come-slicked finger touched his hole, Spike got a startlingly clear picture of what was actually going on here. He scrambled to his hands and knees in an attempt to crawl away, but Angelus tangled his free hand in his hair and dragged him backwards. Spike yelped as Angelus yanked his head around by the roots and smacked one ass cheek hard with an open palm. He was unsure what stung more, his arse or his pride.

“Be a good lad, William, it’s not so bad as all that,” Angelus commented pleasantly, one hand still pulling painfully at the dark locks as his finger began to press against the ring of muscle. Spike was rather horrified to realize he was once again hard as a rock. His nervous laughter almost covered his moan at the surprising sensation of his sire’s finger slipping inside. It was…not as unpleasant as he might have supposed. Just sort of strange, as though his body was unsure whether this was pleasure or a function he hadn’t performed in years. Just then Angelus’ thrusting finger crooked against something inside that made him spasm in pleasure and cry out.

“Oh God, sire, do that again,” he panted, and Angelus smirked behind him. He let go of the boy’s hair, knowing there would be no more complaints. He pressed against the prostate once more and smiled as William’s body jerked like a marionette on strings. Angelus did it again in rapid succession. What a pleasant image: his usually headstrong childe, a puppet to his bidding.

He added another finger and stretched the now-writhing body open. William was breathing hard and thrusting back against his hand. Angelus grew impatient. That was enough, he decided. It would hurt, but the pain would only intensify the pleasure. Quickly, he used the rest of William’s come to slick his cock, grabbed hold of the slim hips and slid home. William whimpered, and Angelus shuddered at the uncharacteristically submissive sound. Oh yes, he should have done this years ago. Perhaps then they wouldn’t have nearly been lynched by an angry mob in the south of France.

Angelus groaned as he began to thrust against the tight muscle hugging his cock. His childe was still warm from the human blood in his veins and Angelus felt his face morphing. It had been some time since he’d had a man. Hadn’t had a willing man since Penn had struck out on his own decades ago. And at the moment, William was willing, eager even, pushing back and panting and arching his back as his pressed his forehead against his forearms. Angelus began to thrust harder and faster, and William was grunting in pleasure even though Angelus could feel his lining tear a bit. No real surprise, his loony girl-childe liked to play pain games with the boy.

“You like that, don’t you boy? Like riding my cock,” he crooned as he slammed rapidly into the smaller body. William just turned his head to the side and nodded deliriously against the floor, and Angelus laughed in delight. No smart back-talk now—that merited reward.

Angelus reached around with one hand to rapidly strip the long cock he found there, and William bucked back hard against him. A few rough pulls later, William cried out as he came again, his muscles clenching around Angelus’ cock tightly. Angelus growled and hauled the limp body up by the shoulder, thrusting one last time as he sank his fangs into William’s soft throat. He spasmed uncontrollably in William’s body as he came hard to the flavor of immense power, to the complex history of generations of their line. It tasted like home, like he and Darla and Dru and Penn and yes, like the Master, and he wanted to drown in it, roll in it, drain the boy dry. It had been too long. He withdrew completely from William’s body before he could cause permanent damage, and collapsed on the rug next to his childe.

Angelus smiled lazily at him in his human guise. The boy looked dazed with pleasure and blood loss, eyes unfocused and expression sated. “William, you look well and truly buggered. Yer sire is wise as he is generous, don’t you agree?”

William rolled his eyes half-heartedly, and Angelus laughed. It was good to see. Secretly he enjoyed the mutiny, when it didn’t enrage him beyond reason. His broken nose began to throb again as he came down from the orgasm. The little shit should probably get beaten for that. But at least William’s borrowed blood would help in the healing. Which reminded Angelus just how much blood he had taken.

Spike eyed his sire when he finally stood and offered a hand. He allowed the big man to pull him up. Not that he’d admit it, but he felt satisfied in a way he hadn’t been since Dru had run off and abandoned him for that Italian ponce. He limped a little as Angelus led him over to his bed. Christ, he was sore.

He hesitated, unsure what to expect as Angelus unbuttoned Spike’s shirt and pushed it off his shoulders. Spike stood before him, naked and unnerved. He was decidedly uneasy with his sire’s actions—Was he meant to act like a fledge again or like himself? Uncertainty crawled in his belly.

“Undress me,” Angelus ordered, and without thought Spike reached for his buttons. It showed far more obedience than he preferred, but who could be contrary after that? Besides, he wasn’t so foolish as to think that an orgasm had wiped the broken nose from Angelus’ memory, and he had yet to be punished. No need to antagonize him from his charitable mood.

Naked, Angelus reclined against the headboard and gestured with a welcoming arm. William was hesitating, his blue eyes wary. Angelus lifted a brow, his patience tested.

“Come here, Childe,” he demanded testily. William crawled up into the crook of his arm, skin to skin, clearly uncomfortable. Angelus pressed the boy’s face towards his throat. “Feed.”

Spike jerked back in surprise. “What…” A few drops of blood as Angelus jerked him off were one thing, but he hadn’t fed from his sire’s throat since he was newly made.

Angelus shared the boy’s confusion to an extent. For whatever reason, he was feeling a surprising and rare level of goodwill towards his troublemaking childe. He didn’t know whether it was the blood or the sex or the submission or this strange pull of homesickness he was feeling, but the boy didn’t need to know any of that.

“Can’t bugger you again till you’ve healed, can I? I took a lot of blood.” William seemed satisfied with the cold plausibility of this response, so Angelus closed his eyes and nudged him towards his throat again with a hand on the back of his head.

William’s lips were uncharacteristically soft and hesitant against his still pulse point—gentle and reverent as he slid his fangs into the butter-soft flesh of Angelus’ throat. It was as if he was afraid of getting shoved away at the first show of roughness—a perfectly reasonable assumption. The firm pull of blood at his throat made Angelus hard again, and he moaned a little, vocal cords vibrating under the mouth. He could feel the rest of the blood moving in his veins, pulled along by William’s suction on silken threads, right down to the tiny stream squeezing through his capillaries, and the sensation was marvelous, a whole-body tingle that he had nearly forgotten. Regretfully, he tugged at the long brown hair to signal ‘enough,’ and William licked at the wound.

Angelus turned his head and kissed the full lips with more gentleness than he ought to show. He didn’t understand this strange mood that had seized him, made him feel warm and generous. It must be the exchange of Aurelian blood, too long denied.

He could taste himself on William’s mouth, and was reminded, as a result, of something else he hadn’t had in a while. Not properly anyway, and if he recalled, his boy had been quite good with his mouth.

Angelus shoved at William’s shoulders a little in the downward direction. He didn’t need to say it, if the mulish look of protest on that gorgeous face was any indication. The boy opened his mouth to bicker, and Angelus only had to lift one eyebrow to remind him of the punch to the face, of his two times to his sire’s one, of the charitability of his recent feed. He wasn’t sure which did the trick, but William closed his mouth and shifted down Angelus’ body, so he really didn’t care. He closed his eyes and stretched his arms up to fold them behind his head.

When William’s mouth closed over him, Angelus allowed himself a long deep inhale and a sigh. He could smell his childe’s arousal as the agile tongue danced over his cock. William had always enjoyed doing this, despite his reluctance as he had grown in power. The pheromones didn’t lie.

It was something that had surprised him, in the early days of William’s training. The alacrity of the boy’s efforts and the speed with which he gained a surprising amount of skill. He hadn’t expected anything more than hesitating resignation from the mousy little prude that the fledge had been. His boy was always surprising him, ever since. Challenging him in a way that Darla and Drucilla and Penn had been incapable of. He had certainly kept the last two decades interesting, for better or worse.

And Angelus hadn’t known he had missed this part of William until just now, when he had called it out again. Strangely comforting to be reminded of days when his childe had been more dependent on his sire’s approval and attention.

Angelus made a soft exclamation and thrust upward when Spike swallowed around the head of his cock. Spike hadn’t done this in so long, and he had forgotten how much fun it could be, to make his sire’s powerful body undulate and twitch and breathe. The breathing had always been his favorite, rare as it was, to see that broad chest expand and contract as the tight stomach flexed—as it was doing now, which meant Angelus was slipping closer to the edge.

Spike had discovered quickly, early on when the logic of his new world was congealing around him, that here and only here, with his mouth around Angelus’ cock, could Spike get the better of him while appearing subservient. Gain back a little of the power that ordinarily lay exclusively in his sire’s hands. He could get away with things here that he couldn’t otherwise, and the act was useful for pacifying the stronger vampire. He’d outgrown the need for it eventually, as his strength had increased.

But, if he was honest with himself, he had enjoyed it. Took pleasure in making Angelus lose himself and pride in the attention and praise that had been lavished upon him afterwards. The man had been his god. Still was, although he’d deny it till he turned to dust.

Spike rode out the increased bucking of the body beneath him. Angelus had finally lost his cool and his hand was tangled gently in Spike’s hair. Time to shake things up a bit, he reckoned.

Spike dragged one fangtip gently gently barely grazing the sensitive skin of Angelus’ shaft and Angelus cried out sharply in surprise, eyes flying open with a full body shudder. Spike winked up at him and Angelus chuckled in surprise. It made Spike gloat as his sire began to pant while he probed the small wound with his tongue, tasting just the barest essence of sire’s blood. Bloke still liked a little pain with his pleasure, even though no one else had the nerve to give it to him.

Angelus tugged lightly on his hair and called his name, the old one that he didn’t mind so much on his sire’s lips, and Spike lifted his head. “Are you healed yet?” Angelus asked, his face soft with heat.

Once again Spike wondered about Angelus’ unusually solicitous behavior. They both knew he didn’t need to ask, but he had, and it warmed something inside that he would bother. “Enough, yeah.”

Lust crept through him at the thought of repeating what had happened earlier. That had been bloody amazing, though he’d never have guessed. The muscles of his abdomen clenched when Angelus pulled a vile from a drawer beside the bed and began to coat his cock in oil that glistened a little.

“Come here, William,” Angelus beckoned and arranged the smaller body atop his hips. He aligned himself and thrust up into his childe as he pulled the narrow hips down with his hands. William was arching his back and biting his lip, eyes closed, and he was such a pretty sight in the early morning light that was filtering in past the heavy drapes. His beautiful boy.

Angelus ground his hips against William and those blue eyes opened and focused on him, made more intense by the large black pupils. The boy shifted around him and then made an experimental slow roll with his pelvis, not causing Angelus to withdraw but just to move around inside. William’s eyelids grew heavy with the sensation and Angelus tightened his hands, urging him to move more.

The first rise and sink was excruciatingly slow, William leaning forward and supporting his weight with locked arms on Angelus’ torso. With each thrust he picked up more speed until it was just right and god, so perfect. Angelus was breathing now too, dammit, and muttering reverent encouragements, steadying the smaller vampire as he got his rhythm. William’s face was taut with intensity and concentration, and its lines fascinated Angelus as much as they ever had—more.

William’s cock was bobbing between them and Angelus grasped it, illiciting an audible huff of expelled air at the added stimulation. Suddenly William shifted his torso backward, grasping Angelus’ knees, and a needy noise was torn from him on the next thrust. Angelus groaned at the increased tightness the position offered. Not to mention the view—every thrust was clearly visible now, as was the arch of his childe’s back and the scrunched creases between his eyes. Angelus could feel his orgasm pending. The noises William was making in time with the increased rhythm drove him on.

“Christ, William, that’s so good…such a good lad, you’re a natural…”

But Spike wasn’t listening. The bursts of white-hot pleasure at each downstroke had stolen his ordinarily reflexive breath and he felt beyond all thought, beyond all sensory input but that. Angelus’ cock was hitting the same spot his sire had pressed earlier and his hand was on Spike’s cock bringing almost too much stimulation and Spike’s head was filled with white noise. Then suddenly he was coming and the only thing he could focus on were the waves of muscle contractions over his entire body.

Just before all his muscle tone abandoned him, leaving him limp, Angelus surged up and took Spike’s mouth as he himself came, two large hands supporting the weight of Spike’s head that felt oh so heavy. But it was nice, kissing his sire like this, buoyant and almost sweet. Prolonged and lazy. Safe and strangely warm. They never used to kiss, before. It was…intimate.

Angelus lay back against the pillows and Spike had little choice but to go with him, chest to chest, still intimately joined. He knew he should move or leave or make some sharp scoffing remark, but he was so sleepy, and it was nice here, draped over Angelus, breathing in the scent of his sire’s skin and drifting to sleep with a hand petting soothingly up and down his back.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*


Angelus couldn’t fall easily into unconsciousness like William did. He lay in the dim light, running his hands over the soft skin of his childe’s back for a long time afterwards. He was somewhat disturbed by the intensity between them. All he had intended was for a quick and dirty fuck but somehow it had morphed beyond his control into something else. He felt that this would change things between them, though he was at a loss as to how. The not knowing, the lack of control, made him uncharacteristically nervous.

Worse, he apparently had a soft spot for the boy now. Angelus was holding him as he slept, for Christ’s sake. Darla would be back eventually, and his sire would never tolerate a source of weakness in her favored childe. She would take it out on William, and the thought bothered Angelus more than he would like to admit.

He gently rolled William to the side, withdrawing from his body and easing away from him. He studied the sleeping form and his fingers itched for his sketchpad. He had drawn his childe before, but never had he looked this perfect, this content.

Quietly, Angelus eased out of bed and retrieved drawing supplies from his own suite. He sketched for a long time, possibly for hours, drawing after drawing as he leaned half-sitting against the bedpost at the foot of the bed. Some were full-body, some only from the waist up, some only of the sharp lines of the face made softer by sleep. Again and again, through every position William adopted in his sleep. The process was soothing, clearing Angelus’ mind of concerns and smoothing out the edges of his nerves.

Eventually, sometime in the early afternoon, Angelus grew sleepy. He crawled up the bed, pulled William to him, and drew the covers over them both. He felt the boy shift closer to him, and he fell into a dreamless sleep.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*


Angelus awoke slowly to the sound of voices, but remained still to get his bearings. His eyelids were darker, not backlit by dim sunlight through the window. So it was night. But there was a light source somewhere to his right, making that corner of his vision glow pink and veiny.

“Daddy’s been naughty with William. And Miss Edith thinks William enjoyed it so.” Fuck. Drusilla. The gleeful tone spoke of uncontainable laughter. Was Darla here with her, or was she ranting madly to herself?

The dry reply that came next answered his question, though not in a way he’d hoped.

“Yes, well, we all knew it was bound to happen sometime. Maybe if Angelus had fucked him 20 years ago like I suggested, we wouldn’t have all been run out of Madrid.” He could hear the rustling of paper. The sketches. Damn. He could feel William unmoving and unconscious against his left side, which at least was one blessing.

“You can stop pretending to be asleep now, Angelus. I know you’re listening, and I’m tired of waiting for you to greet me.”

Angelus opened his eyes and studied his sire darkly. “Darla. So kind of you to finally join us.”

“Well it looks like you’re making out just fine without us.” Drusilla giggled beside her and looked at Angelus coyly. He ground his teeth. “Besides, you know I could never leave you for good, darling.”

He chose not to comment on that. “What brings you to London, Darla? Thought you were havin’ too fine a time in Rome to make a journey like this.”

“I just missed you so. We both did, isn’t that right, Drusilla?” Her tone was too sweet, the one she used when stalking prey.

His girl-childe clarified the matter with a laughing conspiratorial whisper. “The Immortal took a human pet and didn’t want Grandmummy any longer.” Darla stared daggers at her confession and Angelus smirked at his sire.

“Well, well, how about that. Discarded for a human. I don’t take sloppy seconds, Darla, especially not from the likes of him.” Drusilla snickered and began to sing about sloppy seconds, wandering off to do god knew what. Whatever Miss Edith instructed. Daft.

The petite blond was startling in her sudden rage, and it occurred to him that it might not be best for his health to anger his newly returned sire.

“Are you telling me you prefer this sniveling obnoxious fledge to your own sire?” She threw his sketch pad at him and he flinched. He was glad William wasn’t awake to hear the fledge remark, or things would have gotten ugly.

He eased away from William and sat up, throwing his legs over the side of the mattress and trying for a pacifying tone. “Of course not, sire, he was just a way to pass the time until your return. I’m happy to have you back. I was just upset, is all, at the way you left me for the Immortal.”

Half-truths and lies, but they worked. Darla smiled at him winningly and combed her fingers through his long hair before trailing down to cup the side of his face. “I know, baby boy, but I’m here now.” Angelus closed his eyes against the cradling palm of her hand, unable to conjure an appropriate emotion. Let her take that for whatever she would—relief, subservience, pleasure at her touch.

“Let’s go somewhere, just you and I. I’ll make my absence up to you.”

Angelus’ eyes snapped open. “What?”

Her tone was just a shade harder. “Let’s go away and leave these two to fend for themselves for a while. I grow tired of Drusilla’s nonsense. It will be just like old times, without these fools underfoot.”

It sounded like a request, but he knew better. He smiled and tried to make it sincere. “That sounds lovely.”

“Good, I knew you’d agree. I’ve heard Romania is entertaining…lots of sturdy laborers that put up a struggle when they’re caught. It should be a nice change from Rome, where the humans are too complacent by half.”

Angelus nodded and attempted the enthusiasm that he should feel at the prospect of time alone with Darla. A week ago, he would have been happy at the idea. “When would you like to go?”

“Tonight. Pack your things and we can be as far as Brussels by morning.” His stomach dropped, but he agreed, and Darla left.

Angelus considered his childe, still sleeping on the bed behind him. Always was a heavy sleeper. William would be angry and hurt if he awoke to find his sire gone, after what had happened. But he would be angry and hurt and vocal if he awoke before Angelus was gone, and that could not end well, with Darla as uncharitable as she was at the moment.

He was being silly—it was hardly the last time he would ever see the boy. He would return when Darla bored of whatever backwater of Europe she was dragging him to, as she inevitably would. And by then, he would have sorted out why things burned so hotly between himself and William, or maybe allowed them to cool altogether.

Still, he couldn’t leave without providing any reassurance to William whatsoever. He tore a sketch of his childe’s sleeping face from the book, scrawled ‘Until next time, William’ across the bottom, and tucked it half beneath the pillow for the boy to find when he woke.

Angelus hesitated, watching William sleep for a few moments more, a startlingly premonitory unease in his gut. Then he shook it off, and went to his rooms to gather his belongings.

Things would seem clearer in Romania.




The End




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