by the Spike and Te
September 2000

Disclaimers: If they belonged to us, they'd damned well eat *all* their

Spoilers: None, really.

Summary: Angel and Xander play a game.

Authors' Note: Semi-sequel to Te's "Gonna."

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Acknowledgments: For our sweet and beloved Debba, and our equally
sweet and beloved Dawn Sharon and Rae, for readthrough.

Feedback: Adored at spike21@home.come and

In the hot darkness of Angel's bedroom, Xander plays the game of 'Is
he here?'

Te: ohh
spike: heh -- I write a sentence, you write a sentence?

And a game is all it is. There are no windows here, or even nailed shut
excuses for them. The darkness is complete and Xander's senses are
just human.

So unless he's touching Angel, there is no way to know.  No breath, no
shifting, sighing weight beside him in the bed. Makes him a target, heat
and thudding heart and the unsubtle clink and slide of the long, long ankle

Like now, back against the headboard, pulling his knees up to his chest.
He's pretty sure that Angel's in the room, can feel himself watched.
Hungered for.  Can feel it like the pressure of hot, stale air against his
skin.  Instincts tell him to stay still and silent.  And he can't.  Needs to
feel the silk and chafe, the cool wood.  Trying to anchor himself somewhere
in the darkness.  How long has it *been*?

He's never been good at things like this, random survival tests they've
given each other. Food has come, food has been taken away. His chain
reaches as far as the bathroom, but Angel is always there for that. A
summoning he can count on, that even now makes Xander turn his head
against what could very well be an imaginary gaze and blush.

And nothing, nothing.  Still nothing.  Which means nothing.  Angel is a
fucking *rock*, can perch in darkness like a gargoyle and watch him for
hours.  Until Xander's given up and *known* the room for empty and how
does Angel always hit *just* that moment to strike?  That thought, and the
twitch it gives his cock, brings the anger back.

It's always been something Xander was proud of. Adaptive. Adaptable. Find
a sitch and drop Xander in it and watch Xander deal. Or not. But here...
he's adapted all right. One stupid drunk night ending with him here... how
long ago? And he's adapted. Fear and complacency, all for fucking *Angel*.

At least -- he hopes it's Angel.  Not entirely convinced, as if he ever was,
that Angelus hasn't make a smarter, subtler return this time.  Not that
Angel has ever hinted.  Still playing at Mister Silent and Noble -- while
he's fucking Xander blind in the dark.  While he's opening veins with fangs
so sharp Xander's never really sure until he smells the blood.  But still,
he knows, it's like this game.  All he has to do is break the silence.

Ask 'why' with more than just the jerk of his leg in the chain, with more
than just his eyes as Angel presses him down, lays him down flat on the big,
soft bed and touches him all over...

And the twitch has become a roll and he is hard and heavy against his own
thigh, so he lets his knees fall open.  He can smell himself.

The rich musk of his arousal, clean despite his mind's insistence that he
can't possibly be clean, because he hasn't been allowed to wash himself.
Flash of Angel's hand, wrapped in a terry cloth washcloth, bringing Xander
off ruthlessly. And maybe, also clean is asking for some metaphorical
significance here.

Riiiiiight.  And maybe he's a victim, too.

And he remembers the precise moment when that word started to do this
to him. Fierce blush, chin, neck and chest and he licks his saltless, clean
palm, brings it to his cock and if Angel doesn't want this...  Long, too
gentle rub with the flat of his hand, not making a fist.  Not yet. And is
it more pathetic to be jerking off for Angel or jerking off by himself with
nothing but the hope?

A petty rebellion -- he can think about someone else, anyone else. Short
instead of tall, blonde instead of brown and... no. Buffy doesn't belong here,
doesn't... pushing the image of her in coat and heels aside and back to...
Anya? Is she worried about him? What did Angel *tell* them and a lot of the
fun has suddenly gone out of jerking off. And he knew what that meant a
second before the bed dipped with Angel's weight.

Xander freezes, awaiting the slap that will knock his hand away, the pinning
weight, the smell of leather and ancient death and cold, cold need.  Braced
he almost misses the gentle tickle of cool fingertips against his chest.

Gasps when he does register it, the brush and inherent tease. It can't be
comforting if I can't see your *face*, asshole and Xander knows what to
do. Stretches out long and slow, letting Angel's fingers drift all over his
torso solely by the way he moved.

Knows when they catch at the hollow of his hip and hook there, bruising,
that this is going to be a rough night.  Arches into the touch even though
it hurts more like that and, oh yeah, that's all the *why* he really needs.
That and Angel's big hands and the Cock That Shows No Mercy and hard,
sharp mouth on his nipples and he's crying out even though Angel's other
hand is only ghosting his skin.

Something about it, the way skin remembers. The patch of flesh on his
back where Angel had pressed and pressed, holding Xander down to the bed.
The bowl of his hip, marked and marked again with oval fingertip bruises.
The ache in his cock *right* where Angel's cool hand finally presses. And
starts to jerk him, silence between them thick and air-stealing.

And wanting suddenly all of it at once.  Pushing himself up and sideways,
hips already pumping to Angel's pull, Xander's hands find Angel's silk,
Angel's throat, pulls himself up to press his mouth to Angel's mouth,
kissing and biting until he feels it harden up.  Until the uncontrolled skid
of fangs against his gums fills both their mouths.

Can't lie, can only be angry at how much he loves the feel of Angel
*feeding* on him like this, tongue-lapping like a dog *and* pulling himself
back from game. Another unspoken rule -- Angel doesn't mark his face
very badly.

Which maybe means that Angel thinks that someday he's going to let
Xander go.  And that thought makes him want to scream a *lot* because who
the hell will he be out in the light now?  And he clings harder to Angel, claws
his too blunt nails into Angel's chest and shoulders.  Adrenaline shooting
through him so that his arousal is this tight, wired thing, all helpless,
grinding thrusts and the terrifying need to wake. the. demon. "Ahhhh--"

Because that's what it's come to, isn't it? Steal this little bit of power
and pretend it *is* Angel who has him locked away for his regenerating
midnight snack, and that said Angel is trying to hold back a demon. It's the
scariest part, and the funniest part, and the fucking *hottest* part
because Xander knows -- *knows* -- that all this is just *Angel*. No
demons necessary, not even now, fangs slipping in and out of his skin,
flash-blading across the scarred map of his chest.

Angel they all know and *oh* love.  And God for just *one* of them to just
*see* this.  See him open himself, like he does, offering up throat and cock
with every loud, wailed buck and see how much they can really... oh.. really
trust their Angel.  Because Xander has the secret here, teeth and hands
making the untouched fleshed between unimportant -- always knew.  A soul
is such a slippery little thing.

Assuming they could bind with magic something God apparently had to work
to put there in the first place because... because he missed with the angels,
didn't he? And he wants to chase that down for meaning, but it's nothing
like the want for the fingers playing at his navel, scraping and pushing,
tugging at his treasure trail, knuckles brushing his hard, hard cock and and.
Taking stock: bent over Angel's knee, long hard thigh balancing his spine.
Blood rushing to his head, mouth bleeding steadily on linen that will be
replaced sometime while he sleeps.

And Angel, always so tuned to his lust, so weirdly *obedient* to Xander's
body's demands pushes Xander's knees wide enough to hurt and pushes the
wet, round ring of his mouth down onto Xander's cock.  Sudden soft shock
of pleasure makes him scream for real, but there's not a tooth to be felt,
just slick and very wet and not quite warm enough.  Or just warm enough
and he's bucking and before he even realizes it, coming.

Wild, fear-shot release into Angel's mouth and he knows he's being drunk
and that makes him shoot some more.

Soft rumble of sound against his belly, something between a growl and a
purr and Xander doesn't open his eyes. Never does, even if he has to squeeze
to keep them shut because he doesn't want to know what Angel looks like
slicking his cock with Xander's come.

Would laugh if he could at the total terror that represents because he
could open his eyes and stare and still never see anything more than the
blackness that fills the room.  And he still wants to press his hands over
his eyes just to make sure.  Angel pushing him off the balancing thigh and
pressed right up against it and he can measure Angel's cock in
fingerlengths and tongue length and just where it hits inside him but he's
never ever seen it so that's... that's safe.  From something.  Isn't it?

Claiming this hollow victory for the Queen of England, who probably isn't
Ethan Rayne, but the image is good for a laugh. And laughing is good here.
Now. Blunt fingers inside him and laughing at something he *knows* Angel
would only stare at him quizzically about. Sorry, Angel-baby, joke's not for
you, even if this body -- *his* body is. Arch up and sink down yes and his
body knows those fingers, their steady maddening tricks.

And he's still sort of hard but the edge is melted right off it and Angel
inside him -- long, fucking *thorough* thrust that rattles the chain, jerks
the ankle -- hits a different note.  Like satisfaction.  Like he's been nailed.
Nailed down.  Nailed right to the bed and you nailgun you deadboy and what
the fuck do vampires get from sex if their hearts don't pound and their
breath doesn't catch and he's back to why again  *Why*?

OK to open his eyes now and Angel isn't looking at him -- he could feel it
if he was -- is up on his knees, Xander's thighs spread over his own,
reaching back and oh. The chain. A quick toss and some of its length is
looped around the bedpost and Angel *pulls* and Xander's right leg screams
before settling into the stretch but the rest of his body doesn't settle.
Can't. Writhing and jerking and trying to get *away* but only just
starting the fuck himself.

And all he has to do.  All he ever has to do to make it stop is just put a
name to the pain.  Put a name to the cock that's splitting him open, that's
making him want to split himself open on it, come like this again.  Just put
a name to it and everything ends.  And his mouth is open, there's air in
his lungs and he could shape the sound of it.  He could.  But Angel's
fucking rhythm suddenly breaks and that old vampire hammer is loosed
suddenly inside him.

And he's going to come again now.  He knows it.

Not silent, but without purpose to the noises and he hates this so
goddamned much and he needs so much... oh God, so much more but in the end
it's no different than the first time, pressed against Angel's door,
half-raped in Angel's Sunnydale bed.

And Xander knows some part of Angel really thinks he was asking for this,
in the way of everything -- yes, him, too sometimes -- with a dick

driving into him hard, harder and impossibly fast and Angel is staring so
hard, trying to pour himself into Xander's eyes and Xander has to laugh
one more time, and come choking and gasping.

Can only wonder -- as Angel abruptly falters, goes Deadboy still except
for his cock, pulsing inside and filling Xander with every dollop of love and
blanks he might have shot for Buffy -- when this is going to flip like some
silent switch and become his own moment of terrifying perfect happiness.
And just what exactly he'll turn into when it does.

Settling back into the sweat-damp pillows, getting as comfortable as
possible with his leg still up in the air... and suddenly not as Angel
flips the chain back off the bedpost with a small sound. Slips out and
moves to lay beside Xander. Turning, perhaps getting comfortable...
Unmistakable click of a lighter and the candle might as well be a torch.

Xander turns away from the light, protects his head with his arms.

Hand between his shoulder blades and isn't it interesting the way Angel
warms up when he feeds and fucks.  His eyes feel burned, Retinal purple
has left a perfect Angel silhouette burned into the backs of his eyes.
"Sorry," Angel says.

Shudders at the sound. It's been... he isn't sure how long it's been, but
Angel hasn't spoken aloud for a while and somehow... somehow the idea of
him hovering, *looming* over Xander in the light is much, much worse than
it would be in the dark. Hand dancing over his ribcage before coming to
an abrupt stop.

Half-aborted squeeze.


"No!" Ground fiercely into the pillow and there's just no way to make
himself smaller than this, make himself disappear any more than he's
managing.  Fetalling up on top of the thick length of chain he's rolled over
on, clutching and he can't imagine how stupid and psycho this looks to
Angel.  Doesn't make even a tiny dent in the need to keep doing it.

And the hand goes away for just long enough for Xander to start thinking
about breathing again before it's back, rougher, rolling him over and both
hands now and Angel's body efficiently pinning him down. Angel holding his
wrists in one hand, the other on his jaw, turning his head and the candle
might as well be pressed against his eyelids. Flickering red flame pain and
Xander tastes iron and realizes he's bitten his own lip.

Weird tension in Angel's body and then Angel... chuckles? Okay, it really
*has* been a long time and Xander's actively trying to pry his own eyes
open against the light.  Lips come down lightly, brush his lips, spreading
copper.  Angel's voice still, chuckling so *light* against his ears: "You
just can't make this easy, can you?"

"I wasn't aware kidnapping and rape should go smoothly." And wincing
both at the words, the fact he was speaking at all, the rough, uneven
sound of his own voice and --

"You'd be surprised." Smoothly amused Angel, without the manically smug
edge that would make him Angelus, without.

Just fucking *without*. "What the hell do you want, Angel? Or is this
just a new way to eat up refractory time?"

Angel shifts and Xander feels his mouth move close again and stiffens,
what's left of his body's adrenalin trying to trickle through all the post
fuck static as fear.  Soft lips on his right eye, sweep of a tongue leaving
the lashes wet.  Same thing on his left.  "I was wondering if this is really
the only game we know."

"We could try Yahtzee --" Trying to bite off the comment but Angel's
*pleased* sound makes Xander much too late.

A lick up the bridge of Xander's nose. "Risk, maybe?"

"No way we're letting you anywhere near world domination and
mother*fuck*. Why can't you just shut the hell up and leave me alone?"

"Except for the fucking? Because, you know, I really, really like the
fucking." Whispered directly into Xander's ear and.

Xander opens his eyes, and forces them to stay open until he can see the
ceiling, as opposed to the vaguely flame-like afterimages.

"So what is this," he says to the cieling. "Step 4 of the Free Your Inner
Demon 12 Step Program? Make nice with the hostages?"

"Why, is this nice?"

Cool hand centered on his chest now, and he can see Angel out of the
corner of his eye, mostly shadows and pale, eyelashes other than his own
and Xander lets his eyes close again, but doesn't squeeze them shut. Too
much effort and he's *tired*. Because, all of a sudden, knowing how to win
doesn't mean much against an enemy that keeps coming back and "just tell
me what you want, Angel."


"You raped me."

"I know."

"You'd do it again."

"And you wouldn't have it any other way."  Which is true in all the ways
Angel means it and is just exactly like being stabbed with something big
and jagged.  This time he lets himself turn away, offers up all that nice
helpless throat he knows Angel likes so much.

And yeah, there's the mouth, lips opening and he flinches.  And the fucker
gives him just another lick, long and flat and ending with a gentle suck to
the jugular.  And that's just too fucking much and he can't help struggling
this time.  Hearing the chain clink and clank until he's just too tired.

"Come on, Xander.  Ask me again."

"God fucking damn you."

"Been there, done that. Ask me again."

Xander turns and looks at Angel, really looks and his expression is just...
*wrong*. A bleakly hungry glee, the world's emptiest leer, *something*.
"That is the most fucked up look I've ever seen."

"You should see yourself when you're begging for it and trying to hide at
the same time."

"So is that what you want? Me just overjoyed to be chained to your bed
in the fucking dark day after day? Maybe just hurry up and go Stockholm?"

Angel shrugged  "Is it so wrong to want to see you happy?"  Which
surprises a spurt of laughter out of him and... and okay.  Stop.  Rewind and
just how crazy a fuck is Angel?  'Cause Xander had always given him a bit
more sanity than that and maybe... okay maybe he's made really bad
miscalculation.  Like it made any difference *now*.

"And what if happy doesn't include you, Angel?"

To Xander's surprise, Angel's weight moves up and off him.  Angel rolls
back on his back, shoulder to shoulder with Xander now.  It's weirdly
companionable.  Cozy parody of lovers in post-fuck reluctance to leave
the bed.

Ain't we sweet?  Gonna be great in forty, fifty years when they find Angel
cuddling my mummified corpse.  One of the great love stories of all time.
And he shudders again at the realization that a) that is not outside the
range of possible futures and b) that is not the worst of all possible
futures he can imagine.  He is, he knows, fucked up.  And possibly the
Stockholm has taken better than he thought.

"Give me your foot." says Angel.  And he does, automatically, rolling over
a bit to lift the chained ankle to where Angel can reach it.  And this,
despite the new rawness of the light, is a familiar thing.

Not the first time feeling Angel's hands there. Testing the muscle of his
calf, trailing a finger inside the padded cuff, tugging at his toes... but
definitely the first time the cuff is simply... opened.

And it makes Xander angry, and the bereft feel of his ankle makes it even
worse and "You know, I've always thought Glinda the Good Witch was
either an idiot or a sociopath. Either it just didn't occur to her that
Dorothy's terror and sadness meant she wanted to go home, or the whole
thing was just some sort of power play. Turn a kid into an assassin,
then... force her to ask.

"Is that it, Angel? All I ever had to do was *ask* you for something that
you stole in the first place?"

Angel rolls over again, gives Xander a kiss on the cheek that makes his
skin crawl for all the wrong reasons and he steels himself for the next
barb, the next painful truth curved or fastballed at him so he can swing
away, send that motherfucker out of the park and gone gone gone.  But
Angel is rolling away and the bed dips with his weight and springs back as
he stands.

Which forces Xander to stand and it's like Angel is still calling all the
shots, making everything happen, and Xander knows that isn't really the
whole of what's going on, but it's *enough* of it to make Xander feel...
helpless. And small. And it seems like an obvious realization when it hits,
but it still surprises Xander a little to realize that he will never, ever
forgive Angel for any of this.

"My clothes?"

Angel's back is to him and Angel just turns his head, not really far enough
to count as looking at him.

"That's a different game," he says.   And just a step forward and he's
done the shadow thing again.  Vanished.

"You fucking *bastard*!" Running for the door he knows is there and
hitting it hard, full body. Naked and *ow* but scrabbling for the doorknob
and... it's locked.

Sometime later it occurs to Xander that he's been yelling and banging on
the door and that it's the *first* time he's done anything like it. Hell, he
hadn't even really rattled his chain loudly and he's beginning to think he
was maybe smarter then because... because all this is getting him is sore

Opens his hands and the coolness of wood under his palms is a reminder
that there is another truth lurking back there behind the bruises.  So
goddamn exhausting this thinking shit.  Oh yeah, that's it.  Can't in any
way be the fucking or bloodletting.

And he grabs his twitchy dick before it can go anywhere.  Squeezes it
hard enough to make himself wince.   Turns himself around, back to the
door and slides down until he's sitting on the floor.  Lets his hand go soft
on his dick but doesn't take it away.

Surveys the room in the flickering candlelight.  So many more shadows
this way and the room is bigger.  Emptier.

Just the one marble left in the jar, rattling and rolling around. Remembers
the brief moment of impossibly normal banter with something between a
pang and a stomach roil. How long has he been here? And he gets to ask that
question every few... hours? He gets to ask that question, and let it hang
there in the air. His company. Maybe other questions, too.

Is he going to survive this?

Does he want to?

How many games until he sees sunlight again?

Brush of sound just behind him and Xander jumps, swallows the small sound
in his throat. Thump, just outside the door.

"Come close again."


"I like the way the wood distorts your breath, the beat of your heart..."

"You're a sick fuck, Angel."

"I'm a vampire." Pause, rustle of fabric. "Please."

"Unlock the door.  Let me *go*, Angel."  Another pause.  Xander can feel the
tremor of Angel's fingers caressing the wood.

"Stay," Angel says.  "And I'll unlock the door."

"And Angel narrowly misses the point one more time."

"I have a lot of experience in that area."  Really normal, dry Angel tone of
voice and Xander has to laugh.

Squeezing tears back.  He's getting *out*.  He's going to go *home*.
Sunlight.  People.  Fat, hot tears just beg to fall from his eyes and he
grinds them away.

"Xander, don't..."

"Oh, fuck *you*, Angel, *Christ*. Can't you leave me alone long enough to
fucking cope with how I feel?"


"Then there's no point in you opening the door, is there?"

Silence, then the scratch of short fingernails on wood, or maybe not so

"You know what the Buddhists say, Xander: No matter where you go.  There
I am."

"That's not--"

"Vampire Buddhists." Deeply Angelus-like chuckle from the other side of
the door and Xander can see the game face, feel the vampire's nearness like
this heatsink.  Makes him shiver and want to press himself against the

"Buckaroo Banzai," Xander says under his breath.


"After your time.  And I take it back about the door."

"It's open, Xander.  Always has been."

"It's *not*, you FUCK!" and he's yelling, slamming his fists back into the
door again, and up on his knees to batter and batter.  All the pain just feels
good.  Knowing he's just one thin door away from smashing Angel's face in
feels even better.

"How hard did you try to open it? Really."

"Shut *up* --"

"What if it was stuck?"

"Oh, God, I hate you, I swear to God and Jesus and every deity you can't
even *say* without flinching that I hate you."

"What if you could just tug the door open right now, and let me in."

"Let me out."

Another chuckle. "Whichever you prefer."

Which leaves him silent.  Angry, watching the candle start to gutter and
spike.  He'd *prefer* never to have come here.  He'd *prefer* never to
have been the kind of desperate fucking freak who needed to hand his
drunk-ass self to the fucking King of the Psycho Vampires and beg not to
be let go.

Tears and snot and pumping into Angel's fist in the hallway.  ==please
oh please oh please== Oh yes, he *does* remember that.  Not anywhere
near as drunk as he let himself believe.  As he played so that the stagger
to his knees could look like something else and Angel's hand on his head
was the only thing that counted.

Oh and after, after... Angel feeding on his mouth the old-fashioned, fang
free way. Tasting himself on Xander's lips and groaning, holding him
almost too tightly and that was... that was a *joke*. Or a warning.

Completely lost to Xander in the incredible expanse of skin bared for
him, flash of Angel pulling the half-unbuttoned shirt over his head and
*looking* at him. The feel of his Angel's stiff brown nipple under his
palm, between his fingers.

Which had felt so fucking normal, through the haze -- Angel had already
slammed his head into something once because.... because..... he's not
actually sure why, but it hadn't seemed a bad idea at the time.  Well, none
of it had seemed like this bad an idea.

The room smells like burning wax now.  He has to do something.  Now,
while there is still light.  If he waits til it's dark again... He shivers.


"What?"  *Right* there.  Like he's sitting back to back with Angel.  No
door at all.

"Where the hell are we, anyway?"  And it wasn't what he meant to say,
but for the first time in a long time he actually wants to know.

"East L.A. A friend of mine controls this building."

"Does he know what you're keeping in the basement?"

"He doesn't ask questions like that."

"Convenient friend."

"Very. What were you thinking about?"

"What? When?"

"When you became aroused. More aroused."

And Xander has to close his eyes for a moment =flash of Angel on his
hands and knees, begging= and breathe and "that night. When I came

Pause.  Shift.

"Tell me?"

"Why?  How drunk were *you*?"

Pause.  He can see Angel in his mind's eye, black on black, hand clasping
his wrist around his knees.  Head back against the door.  Eyes closed,
fringed crescents.  In ten years Angel will start to look younger than
him.  Weirdness.

"I remember everything Xander.  I remember how you smelled when you
came through the office door twelve days ago--" --and *twelve*, Xander
thinks.  Twelve *days*?  Can't wrap his head around it and Angel isn't
helping: "--horny and angry and a little sour over the soap.  Tired from
traveling, the burning, ashy smell that mortals get when they've been up
to long and driving.

"Your smell, Xander.  I remember knowing that smell, my whole body
coming alive for it.  I was on the phone with someone.  I let the receiver
fall back in the cradle.  Already gone, Xander.  Wanting you.  So hard it
*hurt*, Xander and I hadn't even heard your voice yet.  Can I tell you

Xander realizes his mouth is open and shuts it with an audible click.
Swallows. Heatrush through his entire body at once, followed by cold and
*need*. Oh, yeah, getting close to the time when Angel comes in but he's
not chained and he's blocking the door. "Oh."

"I remember not caring if it was after hours or not. I remember touching
you, all of you at once, pressing close and the way you started thrusting
against me and yanked me even closer. Bit me when I first got my hand
around you. The echo of your moans. Your skin."

"Angel --"

"The *salt* of your skin, Xander. The light hint of alcohol and your sweat
and your rage and... your shame. You make me so hard..."

And the way Angel's voice seems to shatter without breaking.  Xander
can't help himself, presses back against the door and no vampire senses
necessary to know that Angel *is*.  That he *needs*.  And he wants to
touch himself so badly.

Wants to cry.  Lose himself in *this*, just this.  Just Angel's voice and
the darkness behind his own closed eyes.  And *no*.  Presses both hands
flat to the door behind him, swallows and tries not to roll his hips at the
catch and pull of dried come as his cock fills.  Tries to ignore the way it
lies hot against his thigh.  Angel's hand would be so cool.  His mouth so
wet.  His ass...

He groans.  Whispers: "Let me go..."

"You made me promise, Xander."

"I... what?" But he knows, he already knows, and the room is already full
of that particular truth before --

"You made me promise not to let you go."

=No matter what I say, no matter what I do...= Has to laugh because, yeah,
that really says it all, doesn't it? Curled under Angel, still panting,
sweating, slick and dizzy with the fuck and so *held*. That perfect moment,
slipping between the sheets and they settle all around you, cool and smooth.

Please don't let me go, because if Angel did, Xander would just have to go
back out into the world knowing that he'd just come crawling after the
vampire who'd fucked him and skipped town, and sucked him off, and fucked
him, and got fucked and didn't do *anything* to shrink the terrible pulsing
throb of want that Angel brought to life.

"You know I didn't mean *this*..."


"Fucker.  Answer me."

Silence.  Shift.  Shift.  The candle's nearly out.  Guttering wildly.

"Afterwards, I couldn't stop touching you.  Tasting you.  You slept.  I
breathed your breath.  I licked you clean -- all the bitter and the salt
and nothing sweet on you anywhere.  I took you in my mouth..."


"You remember.  Waking hard in my mouth, so close to coming.  Not much
left in you by then but I wanted it all.  Was determined.  When I rimmed
you, Xander -- I wanted the taste of you deep.  So deep.  Wanted to taste
you inside and out.  Wanted every part of you in me.  You came

"I said don't."


"You were going to kill yourself for it eventually."

"You fucking *liar*.  Stop manipulating--"

"The candle's going out, isn't it?"

And Xander did his best not to breathe.

"I can see it failing, under the door. Do you want another?"

Oh, God, yes. Yes, please, yes -- "Let me go."



Hitch of sound from outside the door. Angel started breathing and Xander
knows he's being tasted on the air. His fear, his arousal, his sweat and

"I'll give you anything you want."

"A lover with a heartbeat?"

"Male or female."

"Jesus..." And just like that, Xander has the image: darkness on darkness,
waking to feel something bound and struggling beside him.


Weird sick thrill, closer to nausea than arousal but it twists in his balls,
makes pre-come spurt and strand.  From the other side of the door comes
the sudden scrabble-creak of Angel getting to his feet.

"No... wait!"  On his feet himself, lightheaded, things graying for a second
and he can hear the world fade and pulse, fade and pulse.  Grabbing the

"Angel.  Wait!"

"It's not like I'm going to judge you Xander."  From a distance, like Angel's
thrown it back over his shoulder.

And *fuck*. *Fuck*.  Twisting the knob and you fucking liar it's locked it's
locked you lying goddamn prick and:

"Angel.  Stop.  It's not what I--"  Catch and click and the doorknob turns
shockingly under his hands, swings forward under his unguarded forward
push. *--want."  Voice trailing off to echo quietly in the long, cold,
echoing corridor.  Angel is right there.  Maybe 6 feet away.  Just a pulse
of light and shadow swept as the candle gave it's all and died.  Leaving
them in blackness.  Much colder and less complete.

And the air is so... like he's been living in a pit. Clean on the surface, but
the scent of himself and sex and fear is heavy, wafting out into the hall
and Xander wants to spend about a month in the shower and wants to
have clothes hiding himself from everything because this darkness is so

The hands on his face make him jump, startle and settle and breathe. Angel
moving closer, no warmth, just a shifting of gravity, making his eyelids

And then gone. "Tell me you want me."

"I--" 'don't' he wants to say, but...  but standing in the sudden cold and
clear feels like standing in front of a great big mirror or something.
Something that yanks him out of his head and his dick and he can feel all
the empty in the world out there and it would be fucking classic Patty
Hearst except... it's not actually a new thought at all.  All the empty in
the world and Angel is still fucking *there*.  He sighs, rubs something out
of his eyes.

"--don't have a fucking clue."

And maybe it's a surprise and maybe it isn't, but the hands are back,
tugging at the curls at the back of his neck, brushing down his side.

And Angel only says "all right," and kisses him.