ORBISTRA

Author: Orbistra
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and
Fox.  I'm just manipulating them for personal satisfaction.
Pairing: Angel/Spike, with possible Angel/Spike/Buffy fun looming on
the horizon.
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Through season 5
Warning: M/M slash.
Feedback: orbistra@yahoo.com

OK, be gentle with me.  This is my first fanfic.


I.

He woke up alone.  Looking around, disoriented, straining to hear
what might have disturbed his sleep.  The sounds were muted- music
playing in the distance, Gunn's snoring, the pages of Wesley's book
as he turned the pages. 

He could smell the building, discern the parts, living and
inanimate; the sharp smell of the chemicals in the lab, the fear of
his employees, long after they left the building. And the heady
smell of blood, pumping through his friend's bodies. This awareness
bothered him but was a constant he was unable to alter.

The other smell, the one he was searching for,  was faint.  He was
gone, had been for the past two days, away on business for the firm,
for him.  But he'd been in his dreams, warm and alive.  They'd both
been alive, in fact.  An odd thing considering they'd never known
each other as men. He rubbed his face to dispel the sleep and the
lingering dream.  He sighed and got out of bed, thinking of the man
who haunted his dreams. Distressed to be having the same dream,
night after night, he shook his head and muttered, "William."

He was used to life playing with him, to the odd, cruel humor of
fate. But this latest hurdle was so unexpected, so ridiculous, he
found himself befuddled.  When he slept the befuddlement went away
replaced by comfort and happiness.  They had delicious meals, of
actual food,  talking for hours.  And always, he reached out and
touched William's face.  His hand burning, his breath rasping, his
heart pounding, in fear, in anticipation.

And in the dream, Williams touched him back, covering his hand
tenderly and whispering, "Liam." Well, sometimes he said, "Angel,"
but that was beside the point.  They kissed, softly, and he would
wake, startled, aching as the dream evaporated.

Unfortunately, this feeling, this desire, was spilling over into his
daily exchanges with Spike.  For the first time in over a hundred
years he dropped his eyes as they talked, embarrassed by the
tenderness he felt.  Spike, bemused by this odd behaviour on the
part of his grandsire, dismissed it as eccentricity.  Never could
tell what was up with Angel.

It was early morning now, so he headed to the bathroom to shower. 
The warmth and steam felt wonderful, easing the cold that was always
with him.  He closed his eyes and relaxed,  carefree for a small
space of time.  Shower therapy. He smiled and the dream came back to
him.  He didn't fight the images, just hummed tunelessly,
remembering  the William of his dreams.  Soaping himself, his hand
sliding over his chest, his stomach, his cock.  His hard cock,
dreaming of William, too, it would seem.  His eyes snapped open and
the guilt of his Catholic boyhood washed over him.  God, this
wouldn't do.

Except that it felt so good and so few things felt good to Angel
these days.  He sighed and slowly massaged his cock, lathering it,
stroking it from tip to balls, moaning, imagining William's soft
tongue in his mouth, travelling down his body, sucking him,
swallowing him.  Angel shot cum like a rocket and his reverie was
replaced with mortification.  "Great," he muttered, "fucking
wonderful."  But his muscles were buttery and he felt warm and
happy.  "Jesus Christ.  This just gets better, doesn't it? Behold
the showering champion."

II.

The morning was busy and Angel was able to forget his shower.  He
took meetings, answered calls, oversaw operations, visited with his
friends.  They all marvelled at his energy, his desire to have his
finger in every pie.  Putting it down to his his vampiric powers,
never suspecting he was desperately attempting to blow off sexual
tension, to dispell, for good, his fantasies of William.  His
constant longing for William.

He was feeling confident and strong by afternoon, right up until the
moment Spike swaggered into his office.  Angel froze, akwardness
overtaking him.  He was horrified to find himself giddy, full of
excitement, enjoying the smell of leather and bleach and undead
skin.  "Spike." Angel's voice was rough and he was happy to realize
he sounded annoyed.

"Angel," Spike replied, his voice amused.  He suddenly stopped,
smelling the air, then laughed. "Well, well, well.  Who's the lucky
girl, mate? I haven't smelled this much lust rolling off you since
your Sunnydale days."  He sprawled in the chair in front of Angel's
desk, his legs thrown apart, the outline of his body painfully
obvious.

Angel's obvious distress and inability to articulate- anything-
delighted Spike.  "Come on, fess up," he coaxed, savoring the clumsy
embarrassment the big lumox tried to hide. "Come on, who is she,
Angel? Don't be shy, I don't care if you have a secret sweetie.  You
need one, now the slayer's forgotten you."

Buffy.  The one thing that could snap Angel back to the present and
break the romantic spell that had gripped him.  "No one, Spike.  And
Buffy hasn't forgotten me."  What would Buffy say if she knew about
this?  Pain washed over him and he turned away, finally able to
forget about Spike's farflung legs, his smoothly muscled arms.  He
sighed.  "What do you want Spike?"

"Well, actually, I was thinking the two of us could take a little
trip together. You know, nice and romantic-like."

Startled, Angel spun back, staring at Spike.  "What did you just
say?"

Spike laughed, "Oh, come on, you know you want me, big guy."  He
smirked, watching Angel squirm.  The day was progressing nicely.

Recovering his composure, forcing himself to speak slowly and
directly, Angel asked, "What are you talking about Spike?"

"It seems we've been summoned, old man.  Back to the old country. 
Well, the old continent, at least.  Italy.  We're going to Italy.
Rome to be precise."

Angel was suddenly aware of the strain in Spike's voice, could smell
his anxiety as he said this.  "Why?  Why would you and I go to
anywhere together, Spike?  I don't want to be stuck with you.  And I
think we can agree, we'd be in dangerous territory if we were in
Rome together."  Rome.  Buffy.  God, I wish.

Gently, looking into Angel's face, probing to see if he could find a
tenderness, a pain that matched his own, Spike said quietly, "She
wants us there, Angel.  Both of us, together."  All cockiness was
gone from his posture.  He looked older, defeated, saddened.  "Guess
she needs to tell us something, something in person."

Angel continued to stare, unsettling Spike.  "Well," Spike
snapped, "what's the problem?  It's not like she's going to give you
the brush off, is it?  It's me who's the stand in, the imitation." 
He looked down at the floor, seeing the inevitable looming. "It's
not me she loves." 

For the first time, Angel felt something other than anger or
jealousy when he thought about Spike's relationship with Buffy.  His
own heart had broken over Buffy, more times than he could count. 
But he'd always known she loved him, wanted him more than anyone,
known she would have been with him if it were possible.  But Spike
hadn't known that.  Hadn't felt that, ever.  Angel ached looking at
Spike's  sagging shoulders, his sad posture.  Without thinking, he
walked over and put his hand on Spike's shoulder. He felt
electricity, instant desire, but fought his desire to pull back, to
run from the room.  "I know Buffy, Spike.  She would never have been
with you if she didn't care about you."

Spike felt the current coming from Angel, but misinterpreted
it. "You want to go, don't you?  You can't wait to see her."  Defeat
filled his voice.  "I want to see her, too.  If only to say good-
bye."  He stood and left the room, not looking at back. 

Angel stood, rooted to the spot, staring at his hand, aware that
what he wanted more than anything was to have Spike return so he
could touch him again.  He'd been here before, with Buffy, so long
ago.  And he was here again, knowing with the same certainty, the
same sense of destiny he'd felt with her.  He loved Spike. Holy
Christ and all the saints.  He loved him like that.

III.


Running the trip by Wes had certainly seemed like a good idea when
he'd first thought of it.  He felt certain Wes would disapprove,
would tell Angel he couldn't be spared, that it was too dangerous to
risk seeing Buffy again.  But now, here, perched on the edge of Wes'
desk, Angel understood the fallacy of that hope.

"Excellent idea, Angel!" Wes enthused.  "I think you need a trip. 
And really, I can handle things around here.  If there's a problem I
can phone you and the pilot can have you back here in a matter of 4
or 5 hours."

"Wes," Angel pointed out, feeling particularly uncomfortable, "we're
talking Rome.  That's not a 4 hour hop.  And do you really think
it's a good idea for me to see Buffy?  I'm the CEO of Wolfram and
Hart.  This is not the time to have Angelus pop out for a visit."

Wesley's voice came out at it's prim, Watchery best.  "Angel, you're
a very old man.  I'm sure you can contain yourself." 

Angel, taken aback, muttered, "Not that old."

Exhaling, Wesley softened his tone.  "It's not too much to ask is
it?  I know you love Buffy, but so does Spike.  And they deserve to
see each other.  She thought he died.  Imagine the shock she felt,
discovering he'd come back.  Angel, I know you can do this."

"Wes, I don't know.  It's Buffy.  Things are different when I'm
around her.  I'm different when I'm around her."

"Personally, I think it would do you good to take a little time with
Spike.  Help you work out your differences, without the everyday
distractions.  Having the two of you working together is the most
powerful weapon this firm has.  It's time to face this."

Angel sighed, one of his long-suffering, why me, sighs.  "Wes.  I
just-"

"Angel. You need to do this.  For all of us.  But mostly, for
yourself.  Don't you think you've dodged your demons long enough?"

Defeated, seeing no viable reason for refusing to go to Rome, Angel
smiled at Wes. "Ok, I'll go.  You work out the logistics, have
Harmony book us a room and I'll go."

Go with Spike.  Go with William.

IV.

Spike looked at Angel with barely concealed imapatience.  "Alright.
Good then.  Let's get going."

"Slow down Spike, it's not that easy.  We have things to do.  I have
to reschedule tomorrow's meeting with the Dandola-"

"The Dandola? Really?  I didn't know he was still around."

"Still around, still wrecking havoc.  I have to pack.  I still have
to figure out how long I can be away from this place without the bad
guys taking over."

"Relax, handsome.  Wes can handle it.  Hey, have him tell the
stewardess-"

"Flight attendent," Angel corrected.

"Right, hard to keep up with the changes.  Where was I?  Oh, yeah.
Have the flight attendent lay in a supply of bourbon, maybe have
some girls on board, we could have a nice flight.  Ever hear of the
mile high club?"

Angel rolled his eyes.  "Spike." His voice held a warning. 

"Oh, all right.  Let me know when it's time to go.  You are such a
wet blanket."

As Spike sauntered off, Angel smiled, imagining Spike, bourbon, and
an initiation into the mile high club.  He shook his head.  Where
could this possibly go?

Absently, he wondered what clothing to pack.  What was Spike's
favorite color, anyway?