Disclaimer: Obviously, I'm not Joss Whedon
Summary: Twenty-five years after NFA
Warnings: Angst, m/m. This is not a cheery fic. Sorry
This one was ill. Perhaps ill enough to have stopped fearing death and instead gone out looking for it. The dusty-sweet scent of his sickness seeped from his pores.
Spike didn’t look up from his bottle as the man settled heavily in the seat across from him. “Five,” he grunted.
“That’s a little over the going rate, isn’t it?” The man’s voice was thready but still held a glint of amusement.
It was quite a bit over the going rate, actually. And the truth is, Spike would do ones like this for free, just for the thrill he got when he felt their hearts tremble to a stop. But ones like this were also willing to pay the most, out of mingled desperation and knowledge that their money had become worthless to them. Spike didn’t really need the dosh either. Hell, he wasn’t even really hungry. But there was a matter of principle at stake. He was the evil undead, after all. Well, formerly evil.
“Take it or leave it, mate,” he grumbled, still focusing on the frayed label.
“How about a family discount?”
Spike’s head snapped up, and then all the air whooshed out of his lungs at once.
His hair was lank and graying, and his clothing hung on his much too thin frame. There were wrinkles on his forehead and at the corners of his eyes. His skin held a fading tan. His heart was beating—a bit too fast—and he was radiating an almost feverish heat. But his eyes were still deep and intense and his features as broad as ever. And the smirk at the corner of his mouth—that hadn’t changed at all.
“Angel?” Spike whispered.
“You’re too thin, Spike. Haven’t you been feeding well? Is business off?”
“I’m…you’re…Christ.” Spike tried unsuccessfully to stammer a coherent reply. Angel just raised an eyebrow. “You’re…you’re alive!”
The last time Spike saw his grandsire, Angel was being eaten by a dragon. A bloody dragon. Spike himself was being practically hacked to bits by a host of demons. When he was unable to fight anymore he’d crawled off to recover—slowly and painfully—and when he’d returned there was no sign of anyone. He’d hunted for them for several weeks, but when he couldn’t find them he’d assumed they were dead.
And now, twenty-five years later, here was Angel, still alive. Barely. But human.
Angel waited for Spike to process his thoughts a bit. Finally, Spike said, “Shanshu?”
Spike didn’t even want to be human, but it still hurt. Why was Angel the Champion? Hadn’t he done more than his share of saving the world?
“I looked for you, you know. You might have told me you weren’t dust.”
“I was in a coma for months, Spike. By the time I woke up, you were long gone. Illyria, too.”
Angel shook his head. “Never made it out of the alley.”
“So?” Spike took a swig straight from the bottle. He rarely bothered with glasses these days.
Angel shrugged. “So I lived my life. Got a job. Got married. Had two kids. Megan’s a freshman at USC and Siobhan graduated from Berkeley last May and got married in June. I have a grandson, too. Connor’s boy. Aidan. He’s twelve. A real hellion. Gives his old man a really hard time.” He grinned.
“Divorced. Almost ten years.”
Spike took another long draw of whiskey. “Did you come here to gloat, then?”
“Does it look like I’m gloating?”
To be fair, it didn’t. Spike shrugged.
“I’m dying. Pancreatic cancer.”
Spike didn’t know how to respond to that, so he simply drank another burning swallow.
“What about you, Spike? You look like shit.”
Spike snorted. “Still dead. No cancer.” But he knew Angel was right. He couldn’t be arsed to deal with his hair, so he simply shaved it off when it started to bother him. Right now it was a couple inches long and in tangled curls. His clothes were old and worn and he was swimming in them. He’d been drinking more whiskey than blood for some time.
“I’m sure you could have plenty of willing donors if you wanted. You have a reputation. It made you easy to find. So why aren’t you feeding properly?”
Again, Spike shrugged. “Don’t feel like it.”
For a long while, neither of them spoke. Angel gestured at the bottle. Spike rolled his eyes but handed it over. Angel took a gulp and then winced and handed it back.
A woman approached their table. She was tall and thin, with long hair dyed blue and pink, and a tattoo of a skull on her cheek. “Hi, Spike,” she said, resting a long hand on his shoulder. “I was hoping—“
“Not now, love. Busy.” He gestured at Angel.
“But yesterday I couldn’t find you, and then—“
“Said, not now.”
She glared at Angel and stomped away.
“One of your regulars?”
“Yeah. She keeps hoping I’ll decide to turn her.”
Angel nodded. “You have a place near here? Somewhere we could go?”
Spike squinted at him. “I won’t turn you, either.”
Angel laughed. “I don’t want to be a vampire again, Spike. I just want you to kill me.”
“So you came looking for me on a suicide mission? Why?”
Angel looked down at the worn wood table. “I don’t have much longer. And it’s not…not a pretty way to die. I figured being drained by a vamp, that was the right way for me to go.”
“There’s other vamps that’d be happy to kill you, Liam. Why me?”
“I…I wanted to say goodbye.” Angel’s voice was very quiet, and at first Spike thought he’d misheard him. But Angel was sitting awkwardly, his eyes averted, his jaw carefully set.
Spike took a last swig, emptying the bottle. He stood. “C’mon, then.”
His flat was only a few blocks away, which was convenient. He didn’t own a car right now. It would have been more trouble than it was worth, and there was no place he wanted to go.
They walked up three flights of stairs, and by the last one, Angel was panting and leaning heavily on the banister. His face had gone slightly gray.
Spike unlocked his door and ushered him in.
It wasn’t much of a place. An unmade bed up against one wall, a small brown sofa in the middle, a big screen teleputer hanging on the wall. In one corner was a tiny kitchen, because sometimes Spike liked to have a cuppa or heat up a box of spicy chicken wings. The floor was littered with empty bottles and dirty clothes. There was a big window that led onto a tiny balcony. Sometimes he’d stand on the balcony and smoke and watch the traffic. There were heavy maroon curtains he could draw across the glass to block the morning sun.
It wasn’t any better or worse than the dozens of places Spike had led his existence in over the past couple of decades.
Spike rarely brought anybody up here. Mick had a small room in the back of the bar he let Spike use with his customers. It was more convenient that way. Cleaner.
He gestured to Angel, who collapsed onto one side of the sofa. Spike rummaged in the kitchen cabinet until he found another bottle of JD, which he took with him as he folded himself onto the sofa’s other side. He pulled out some cigarettes and lit one, blowing the smoke toward the ceiling. Lung cancer wasn’t an issue for either of them, he expected.
Finally he turned and looked at Angel, who had caught his breath but now looked exhausted and caved in. Angel smiled wryly. “The joys of mortal flesh. I kept myself in good condition, you know. Ate right, exercised. I was strong.”
Spike let out another puff. “I wager you spent a good lot of time in front of the mirror.”
“I guess I did. Jennifer—that was my wife—used to tell me I was hogging the bathroom.”
“That why she divorced you?”
“No. We just sort of…grew apart. Like people do. I had an affair with a co-worker, she had one with the next-door-neighbor.”
“Did she know what you were?”
“Yeah. I think she thought that was exciting at first. Exotic. Then it got boring. I got boring, too, I guess.”
“She know you’re here?”
Angel shook his head. “No. None of them do. I left them notes.”
“You expect they’ll understand?”
“I hope so.”
Spike handed him the bottle and he took a swig, coughing slightly as he swallowed. He gave it back.
“So what have you been doing, William?”
Spike gestured at the room. “I dunno. This.”
“Did you and Buffy ever—“
“Dunno. Figured she’d find better than me.” He let out a small snort of laughter. “Heard she was still alive, you know, at least a few years back. Never heard of a Slayer lasting that long.”
“She was special.”
Spike sighed. “Yeah.”
“What about Drusilla?”
Spike nearly choked. “Dru? No! Haven’t seen her since Sunnydale.”
“So…you’ve been by yourself?”
“Not always,” Spike said, defensively. “Never have any trouble finding someone for a good shag.”
“Yeah, but afterwards?”
“I find someone else.” He looked sullenly at the floor. There hadn’t been anyone for longer than a night or two. He was too demony for humans, too souled for demons, it seemed.
He took a drink and passed the bottle over.
“You still haven’t answered my question. Why aren’t you feeding? What’s wrong?”
Spike took several drags from his cigarette. He tilted his head back and looked at the water-stained ceiling. “’M tired. Just…tired.”
“There’s still work you could do, you know. Monsters to kill.”
“Still holding out hope for redemption, Liam? ‘Cause I’m not.”
“So? You can still fight.”
Spike sighed. “I tried, for a bit. Just…my heart wasn’t in it. Get all banged up, and always another sodding demon around the corner. I’ve done my time as a hero.”
Spike blinked at him. “I feed now and then off the willing. Earn some dosh for smokes and drinks. Pay my rent. Watch the telly. Get my end away when I feel like it.”
“And when you get bored?”
“Then I move on.”
“To the next town, where you do the same thing.”
Spike didn’t answer.
Angel sipped again and held the bottle out. When Spike went to grab it, their hands touched and Spike gasped. Angel’s hand was warm. Hot. He nearly looked to see if he’d been burned.
They looked at each other silently. Spike drank some more. There was a wooden crate next to the couch, with a chipped, ceramic ashtray that read “Cae-- --alace.” Spike stubbed his cigarette out in it.
“You ready, then?” he asked softly.
Angel nodded. And then he tilted his head, exposing his corded neck. Spike swallowed thickly.
“How about—on the bed, yeah? More comfortable.”
They stood and Spike took one last swig and set the bottle on the floor.
Angel frowned slightly at the messy bed and Spike thought he might say something, but he didn’t. Instead, he kicked off his shoes and undid the top button of his shirt and then lay down. He looked comfortable. Not at all nervous.
Spike toed off his own boots and stretched out beside him. Neither of them moved for some time. There was no hurry. It was nice to share a bed, actually. Despite what he’d said to Angel, it had been some time since Spike had lain with someone. Over a year, now that he thought of it. He just…hadn’t been interested.
Angel shifted slightly. “William,” he said, and Spike would never know what he was going to say next, because suddenly Spike rolled partially over and reared up a bit and pressed his lips against Angel’s. It wasn’t something he'd intended to do, but once he began, he didn’t stop, and Angel didn’t stop him. In fact, Angel parted his lips and moaned softly and wrapped his arms around Spike tightly.
It was strange. Even though it had been well over a century, the taste of that mouth, the feel of the body half-beneath him were familiar. And yet not, because of the pulse he could feel, the life that thrummed even through that failing body.
Spike pulled his head away. Angel’s eyes were dark and glistening, and Spike thought he even caught a spark of that old bastard Angelus.
“Liam, can you…”
“Feel for yourself,” the man replied, and he moved Spike’s hand to his crotch. There was a hard bulge there. Spike squeezed it gently and Angel hissed and then laughed. “It’s been a while. Figures that you could manage to do it.”
Suddenly, there was too much fabric in the way. Spike pulled off his battered black tee and unbuttoned his jeans so he could slide them down his hips. Angel seemed to drink in the sight of him, boniness and all, but he made no movement to take off his own clothing. When Spike reached over to unfasten his shirt, Angel grabbed his wrist.
“Wait. I’m…I’m not in such great shape.”
Bloody hell. Wanker was ashamed. Spike smiled at him—a genuine smile with no cruelty in it. “’M not looking my best myself. Let me see you. One more time.”
Angel looked slightly pained, but he nodded slightly, and this time he didn’t try to prevent Spike from undoing his shirt. He even sat up a bit so Spike could pull it off his arms, and then he collapsed back onto the mattress.
Spike ran a hand over him. His ribs were prominent and his skin had lost much of its elasticity. There was a huge scar down his sternum, four faded parallel lines. Spike traced it with a fingertip. “Dragon?” he asked.
Impulsively, Spike bent down and kissed it, right in the center of Angel’s chest. And then he moved his lips over until they were directly over Angel’s beating heart.
“So warm,” he murmured, and he rested his head there as Angel carded his fingers through Spike’s hair, teasing some of the knots and tangles free.
There had been only that one time between them, and it had been fast and hard and bloody. It was magnificent, really. A few days later they’d met up with those gypsies, and Spike had always wondered…. “Angel?”
“If you hadn’t been cursed….”
Angel sighed, his chest rising and falling under Spike. “Yeah. But it never would have been like this.” He was right, Spike thought. It had been brilliant, but there was no tenderness. And even without a soul, Spike had craved affection and gentleness from his companions. He’d had precious little of it, too. Not from Angelus. Not from Drusilla, who liked to scratch and bite and scream like a banshee. Not from Buffy, who’d mix her shagging with her flying fists and feet, and who would run off quickly after.
Angel kept playing with his hair, but Spike heard a rattle in the man’s chest and realized they didn’t have long. Angel probably wouldn’t die on his own, not yet, but soon exhaustion would overtake him. So Spike turned his head and kissed him again, and then moved down to open his trousers.
Soon Angel was as bare as he was. His cock hadn’t changed. It was still long and thick and his bollocks were still heavy and large. Spike leaned down and kissed the pink tip and it twitched under his lips.
“I don’t disgust you?” Angel said, anxiety clouding his voice.
Spike caressed his jutting hip. “No. You make a beautiful man.” And he meant it. And to prove it, he enveloped the crown of Angel’s cock in his mouth.
Angel groaned and grabbed Spike’s hair tight enough to make him wince—the old man still had some strength in his hands, it seemed—but it didn’t stop Spike from swirling his tongue across the spongy surface, and then dipping the tip of it into the slit, and then tightening his lips and creating some suction.
Angel tasted good, despite his illness. Salty and slightly soapy. And when Spike relaxed his throat and swallowed him down, his nose was buried in the sweet mustiness of Angel’s dark curls.
Angel made a slightly strangled sound. “Spike…I’m not gonna last…human now…I wanna see your face.”
With a loud slurp, Spike pulled off. The truth was, he wasn’t going to last long either. He probably would have come just from sucking Angel off. It had been a long, long time.
But now he slithered up the bed and straddled Angel, who was panting hard. “Sorry,” Angel said. “No stamina.”
“’S all right,” he answered.
Angel spread his legs so that Spike was between them. Then Spike lined up their cocks—his own was dripping freely now—and grasped them both in his left hand. He leaned down for another hard kiss. As Spike stroked their lengths together, Angel bucked up slightly into his fist.
Jesus, it felt so good.
He broke off the kiss so he could look at Angel, could see the emotions flying across his face and the humanity shining through his eyes. Despite age and disease, he was still handsome. Then his face contorted and he shouted, “Will!” and Spike felt his cock pulse against his own. Hot fluid bathed Spike’s hand and chest and groin, and that was enough for him, and his own climax rushed through him like a tornado.
He collapsed onto his grandsire’s sweaty chest.
When Angel caught his breath, though, he whispered, “Spike.” Spike arched up a bit. Angel looked pale and drawn, his skin stretched tightly over his cheekbones. “Now, please?”
Spike nodded, and then willed his bones to shift and his fangs to drop.
Before he could strike, though, Angel put up a hand and traced Spike’s bumpy brows. “You know…” he said weakly. “You’re a pain in the ass. But you’re a hell of a man.” Then he let his hand drop and he tilted his head.
“I’m glad, Peaches,” Spike said fondly. “I’m glad you got to be a real boy again.”
Angel smiled up at him, that familiar, crooked grin, and Spike swooped down for another kiss. He sliced one of Angel’s lips with a sharp incisor and sucked the blood away, savoring the taste of it like fine wine.
Then he pulled away and, quicker than an eye could follow, he bit deeply into Angel’s carotid. Angel convulsed under him and clutched him tightly.
Spike drank. He felt heady with the life rushing into him, and his cock grew hard again. He ground it desperately into the hollow of Angel’s hip, and Angel moaned and sighed, and Spike drank, and Angel’s heartbeat slowed, and faltered. And stopped.
Spike withdrew his fangs and knelt beside the corpse. He had come again as he fed. He hadn’t done that since he was a fledge, almost. He felt full from the meal. And yet empty. Hollow. Cleaned out.
Angel’s eyes were open and Spike closed them. The frown lines were gone from Angel’s face and he looked younger now.
Spike stood and pulled the blankets up to Angel’s neck, smoothing them like his mother used to when he was a boy and had had a nightmare. He bent once more and pressed his lips to Angel’s cooling forehead.
He stood straight again and glanced at the window. The sky had lightened, the stars faded almost away. Spike walked over and looked out the glass. It was quiet out, the way it could be just before dawn. No cars, no people visible. It was as if he were the only being in the world.
Without a glance back, without another thought, Spike opened the window and stepped out onto the balcony.
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