Time Laced with Pain
Not mine. Never will be.
Beta’d by tabaqui.
For lostakasha and
Male character they want paired with Angel: Xander
Things they want in the fic: breathlessness, laughter
Things they *don't* want in the fic: character bashing, non-con
Preferred maximum rating: NC-17
You’re made of my rib
or baby …
You’re made of my sin
And I can’t tell where your lust ends
And where your love begins.
The alcohol was smooth going down Angel’s throat. No bite and just a slight burn. Now that it was the good stuff and not the watered down, cheap shit he’d been served the first time. The bar had been crowded, vampires, demons, a couple of humans that were either too stupid to know better or into the whole sadism and slow death thing.
Didn’t matter, because everyone cleared out soon after Spike and Angel entered. Even the bartender and the waitress, tentacles and all – the souled vampires had a reputation that followed. Along with a bounty on their heads that came directly from the Senior Partners.
“Fuck. Fuck. Fucking hell.”
Angel heard Spike growling and hissing as he kicked the jukebox. He smelled the smoke of Spike’s ever-present cigarettes. He tasted the cold, gray ash on his tongue when he opened his mouth to take another drink and he knew that was the flavor of Spike’s skin. One of the flavors. Salt and earth, smoke and beer. Leather and blood that reminded Angel of Drusilla and convents and Darla. Ashes and time laced with pain.
“No one even hangs around for a good fight anymore. Fucking cowards.”
“You say this every time we stop for a drink, Spike.”
Spike reached for the bottle and Angel snatched it away, eyes flashing brown to yellow to brown.
“Get your own.”
Spike jumped over the bar and the sound of breaking glass covered the noise of the door opening and shutting, but Angel saw the light change. Even the dark outside was brighter than the dim inside this hole in the wall.
“Jesus. Every time.”
Spike’s head snapped up above the bar and his frown changed to a smile.
Angel wrapped his fingers around the neck of his bottle. Imagining for a moment that it was the fragile bones and flesh of the human that tracked them without fail across the continent. Angel considered heading overseas, a nice three months trapped in the bowels of a freighter would be preferable to this constant annoyance, even with Spike.
Angel brushed by Xander, barely staggering. Not enough alcohol in the world.
“I’ll be at the hotel, Spike.”
It was way too early when Spike showed up. Bursting through the door of the hotel room, cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Xander caught in his embrace, under Spike’s arm. Both of them smelling like smoke and sex and smiling. It was still hours before dawn and Xander was in their room. Angel sat at the small table; pay-per-view porn on the television and his bottle wasn’t empty yet. Spike never returned until minutes before sunrise and he never brought Xander back with him.
This was new.
“Told ya.” Spike crowed. He pushed Xander into the room and slammed the door behind them. “Did I call it? Didn’t I tell you he’d be sitting there? Watching girls fuck and drinking himself into a coma?”
Angel’s eyes glinted dangerously in the shifting light of the television screen. He lifted the bottle to his lips and drank.
“If you want to leave, Spike, no one is stopping you.”
“Can’t leave you, old man.” Spike’s arm slipped from around Xander’s neck and he swaggered across the room.
He slid off his leather coat and tossed it on the bed.
“Who would make sure you got your oatmeal every morning?”
“Go to hell, Spike. And what the fuck is he doing here?”
Angel always left them alone when Xander showed up. And to be fair, he wasn’t there every single time the two vampires stopped travelling *runninghidingfightingkilling*. Sometimes months would pass before they saw Xander, sometimes he appeared twice in a week. Angel would leave Spike without a word and wait for him to come back after he was done reminiscing or fucking or drinking or whatever the hell he did with Xander.
Spike tapped off the ash from his cigarette in a black plastic dish and leaned against the bureau that held the television.
“Xander here has a question for you.”
Angel’s eyes left the girl on girl action on the television slowly, as if he was reluctant to miss a moment. He looked at the boy that was no longer the child. The human that stood by the door, blue jeans and flannel over cotton. Long hair falling over his face, over the eye-patch. White scar tissue ran down one cheek and disappeared under the collar of his T-shirt.
Angel looked in Xander’s eye. He expected to see the derision and hate that he’d always felt from the dark brown. He expected to feel the simmering waves of anger that had boiled over into fury during Angel’s time in Sunnydale. Angel expected to taste stale jealousy in the air when he inhaled and he was surprised when none of it was there to be found.
They stared at each other until Spike burst into motion. He grabbed the front of Xander’s shirt and dragged him the four steps that separated the three of them. He reached down and lifted Angel to his feet and stood at their shoulders. A black cotton and leather clad bundle of energy and frustration.
“Talk, you idiots. I’m so damned tired of both of you acting like fucking nappie-wearing, thumb-sucking infants.”
“Nappie wearing?” Angel tilted his head in Spike’s direction.
“Thumb sucking? I thought you liked—" Xander was cut off by Spike clapping a hand over his mouth.
“I just want the two most important people in my life to try to get along. Can’t I just ask that much? Is it too much to expect? I mean, I know you’re both incomparable dumbasses that have a tendency to hold grudges beyond the very edges of reality, but a man has to have a goal. And this is mine.”
Angel looked from the blue of Spike’s eyes to the brown of Xander’s one. Spike was right. As much as Angel hated to admit it, every time it happened. Time had passed. Maybe just a blink of an eye in Angel’s scope, but almost a life in Xander’s perspective. People change and Xander showed the passing of years in his face, in his eyes, in the muscles that filled out his clothing nicely. And he smelled like Spike. That was enough to get Angel’s attention. Enough to capture his interest.
Angel considered that Xander might have moved past the puppy love and spiteful jealousy. He figured that Xander must’ve passed on by his singular hatred of all things vampire. Obviously.
“So, Xander. Spike, here … he got under your skin?” Angel allowed himself a small smile. Tentative and cautious.
Xander nodded, his breath coming out in a rush that made Angel think he’d been holding it in. Scared? Nervous? Perhaps feeling the same as Angel was. Perhaps thinking just what Angel had been. Right now.
“He has a habit of that, yeah.”
Angel reached back, using all of his senses to grab the bottle off the table without looking and bring it up to his mouth. Keeping his eyes on Xander’s face. He tipped it up and swallowed, then held the black labeled bottle out.
“Want a drink?”
“Oh, fuck me.” Spike growled, turned and walked across the room to dig his cigarettes and lighter out of a pocket in his coat. The air smelled of acrid fluid as Spike snapped the Zippo closed and inhaled, exhaled. Disgusted.
“Why don’t we all call down for coffee and pastries and have high fucking tea?”
Xander laughed with Spike and Angel smiled. And then he whispered. Low and quiet and just barely loud enough for Xander to hear his voice, knowing that Spike would hear him as if he was standing in front of him.
“I taught Spike everything he knows, Xander.”
It was a whisper that purred. A growl that vibrated. Words that slipped through Angel’s mouth and started a fire in the dark.
The laughter in the room stopped as if it had never started. As if it had never existed and the small space seemed to shrink.
“That’s right. Everything Spike has ever done to you, Xander … I’ve done it first. To him.” Angel stepped closer, his head dipped as he walked around Xander. He breathed in the smell of Xander’s body, sifted past the stale smell of travelling and bathing and found what he was looking for. Sensuality and desire beating, pounding, creating a sheen of sweat on Xander’s temples and a hard cock in the crotch of his pants.
Angel ended up standing behind Xander, the tips of his fingers slid up Xander’s back to rest on his shoulders. Angel glanced over to Spike,
“I might’ve kept a few secrets. Just for myself. Just for times like this when you might not want two men touching you in exactly the same way.”
Xander leaned back into Angel’s chest, his head rested on Angel’s shoulder and his eye started to close. Angel’s voice was smoke and seduction and promises. Xander’s hands reached back to hold Angel closer and Angel glanced over at Spike. He had to bite back the laugh that would have been inappropriate, considering the circumstances.
If all it took was Angel’s voice to turn Xander liquid, then it was Spike’s growl that made him stiffen and whine. That made his mouth open and his hips twitch.
“Trained him well, Spike?”
Spike moved in a blur, too fast for even Angel to track. He stood in front of Xander, his hands over Angel’s, a dangerous light shone in his eyes.
“He’s not a pet, Angel.”
“Then show me who he is, what he is, Spike. Teach me.”
Spike could count on one hand the times that Angel had asked him. For anything. On one finger the times Angel had asked to be taught. To be shown anything but the blood road that Darla gifted him with, the trail of redemption that Whistler had given him. The seemingly mindless slaughter that Angelus had created and Spike smiled. Lips lifting over teeth that were suddenly too sharp and too white. A tongue slipping between as blue eyes became yellow and Spike and Angel kissed over Xander’s shoulder. Pinning him between them. Teeth tore into skin and blood ran down their chins.
“Uh, hey. Guys?”
Spike’s head snapped back from Angel’s mouth and he grinned. His fingers stroking Xander’s face.
“Hush, pet. Everything’s going to be fine.”
“Thought he wasn’t your pet, Spike.” Angel said, his hips pushing Xander closer to the other vampire.
“Fuck you, Angel. He’s not a pet. He’s … oh, fuck. Just shut up and take your clothes off.”
It only took seconds for them all to be naked. Only seconds for Angel to fall to his knees and start touching Xander. Spike turned Xander in his arms and Angel started at Xander’s feet. On his toes. Long fingers trailing up over arch and sole, over skin that was wrinkled from tight socks to slide over calves that were covered with soft, curled hair. Up to knees and Angel’s hands paused over the heat, the wet in the crease behind. Then his touch slid higher, tracing the curve of thigh muscle to hip. He paused at Xander’s groin, cupping his ass and breathing in the smell of Xander’s cock. Angel’s lips brushed over the head, his tongue slid through the slit and he exhaled cold air from his lungs just to hear Xander whimper, just to feel him shiver and twist in Spike’s embrace.
“Show me, Spike.” Angel was standing before Xander knew it. Graceful and silent in front of him.
“He listens to me, Angel.” Spike’s hands moved down Xander’s chest to his cock. His fingers wrapped around the hard length and everything he did, he did with a gentleness that Angel had never seen before.
“He talks to me and he’s up for anything … any adventure, any fight, any night out on the town. Anything I want. Anything he wants.”
Angel nodded. His mouth travelling up Xander’s neck. He counted the heartbeats under his tongue and drank in the taste of salt and sweat and passion and life.
“And you, Xander? What does Spike do for you? Why do you keep coming back? Finding us?”
“Brain. Mouth. No connection.” Xander croaked, groaning.
Angel watched as he grabbed Spike’s wrist and pulled the vampire’s hand off his cock. Xander took a deep breath and Angel reached for the bottle of Jack, lifted it up and this time Xander took it. Grabbed it out of Angel’s hands and tipped it back. Two swallows and he gave it back to Angel, gasped for air around the burn of the whiskey.
“Spike … Spike makes me feel good.”
“Anyone can make you feel good, Xander.” Angel whispered against Xander’s neck.
He straightened up, arched his back and slid his cock against Xander’s groin. Captured both dicks in one hand and rubbed them against each other.
Xander’s hips snapped forward, twisted back into Spike’s body behind him.
“He, he – Spike trusts me. He always has. Even when I didn’t.”
Angel sighed, blood on his mouth. Some was from his own tightly restrained desire; teeth slicing into lips, some from Spike’s violent kisses.
“I get that.”
“Are you two ready to stop talking and start fucking yet? I’m dying back here.”
Two steps to the side and they were all on the bed. Frame creaking and bedsprings squeaking, the headboard cracked into the wall. Spike and Angel moved as if they’d done this before. Spike and Xander moved with a knowledge of each other’s needs that Angel coveted and Angel reached for Spike, growling in a wordless language that only Spike had ever understood.
There were cries that barely made it to the walls of the small motel room and there were screams that made the other travelers shiver and turn and pull their blankets tighter around their shoulders. There were low moans that only drew out the moment and made it last longer, a noise that seemed to push the dawn away and keep them under the safety of dark and the shadows and the shifting light of the cheap porn that played soundlessly on the television. There were orgasms and come and blood. Teeth and hands and fingers and cocks and skin sliding on skin. Legs defined in the dim light and kisses in the dark.
Angel woke in the late afternoon. Sunlight tried to force its way through the heavy curtains and Angel’s eyes hurt as he opened them.
“Why does he always chose to stay with you? Why doesn’t he leave with me?”
Xander dressed by the door, searching for his clothes through the piles on the floor. Moving stiffly and still smelling like the come that had slid down his thighs and dried against his skin. Angel sat up, back against the headboard. Spike sprawled out beside him, unconscious. Naked as the day he was born. Naked as he was after crawling from his grave and Angelus stripped him of the clothes his mother had chosen for him to spend eternity wearing. Drusilla washed him and fucked him and Darla watched. Amused.
Angel slid out of the bed. He sifted through the clothing and handed Xander the lost sock he was searching for.
“I don’t know, Xander.”
“Do you love him, Angel?”
And in that one question, Angel knew the answer for Xander. He knew that Xander would give his life for Spike. He knew that Xander would give up his friends for Spike. He knew that Xander would travel to the ends of the earth to be with Spike, even if it were only for a moment, a touch, a kiss, a smile.
“Do you love him?”
Three lifetimes passed through Angel's mind. Moments that no one had seen and times that were public knowledge. Kisses and gropes. Fights and pain. Arguments that ran in circles and nights when no one else could make him come. When no one else could give him the gray depths of sleep.
They had hurt each other. Tried to kill each other. Stakes that just missed the heart and sunshine that seared the skin. They had left scars on each other’s bodies and still they clung to each other. Still they stayed. Still they touched and fucked and kissed and moved as one when they were surrounded, when they fought.
They completed each other. They respected each other. They snarled and they growled and they slept, curled together. Cold and dead and alone in this world. Two of a kind.
“Yes.” Angel whispered.
He looked back at the bed and winced as the hotel room door opened and closed. Sunlight flashing over his skin just enough to make smoke rise in the shadows. Still on his knees. Still naked and half hard. Still a vampire because that fucking Shan-shu prophecy was a bunch of shit. Still haunted by his love for Buffy and his adoration of Cordelia and his devotion to his son. Still running and fighting and saving who he could, when he could.
“You’re so fucked. From this moment on. You know that, right?” Spike’s lips curved into a smile, and his eyes slitted open. Diamond sharp in the dim light. Staring at Angel.
Angel sighed and reached for the bottle of Jack. Still had a quarter of whiskey. Might be enough to get through the evening.
“Yeah, Spike. I get that.”
Hope that works for you, Annie.
And for ... *cough* ... anyone else that happens by to read.