With thanks to ruedifference. A short Spangel, 1,000 wordsish, PG-13ish fic.

Shape and Space



Loud and quiet; Spike talks on his tiptoes and Angel shouts with his hands pushpull pushpull pushpushpushpush. For all the chatter, when they are together it is quiet. The beating drum is silent, and they are almost human.

"This soul, it's heavy on my heart. It whispers to me in the quiet. I can't be still, it pushes and I try to drown it out but it won't be still, not ever."

"Jesus, Spike, you are really quite magnificently insane, you know that?"

"Should have seen me last year."

Angel is dark and Spike is fair, but the paleness is the same, and the white skin almost shines in the dark room. Greenish and reflective, in that super, extra, uber natural way of cat's eyes and the surface of a pool. They hide behind each other in that slinking, curling motion of children wriggling into hidey-holes. They scratch and slink into each other's shadow and they tumble and grapple with the impossibility of it.

"You were always so much bigger than me, except for that year."

"I was starving, had been for years."

"The soul, it eats you all right."

"It wasn't the soul. It was me. Living on rats, sleeping in alleyways, I was a mess."

"There's not much eating on a rat."

"Really not, about seven teaspoons, if you're lucky. Plus the heartbeats, drive you crazy. Did you know the rattus norvegicus has a heart rate of four hundred beats per minute?"

"If you like."

"I ate a lot of rats."

Angel is bulky and Spike is spare and their strength is drawn from different places. Angel crushes Spike, holding him, fixing him down, screwing him into place and Spike twists and kicks and dodges with the strength all drawn from speed, hitching a ride on time and slingshotting round Angel's heavy sun of gravity.

"What is it that you want? Why are you here? I just don't get it, Spike. I just don't get why you won't back the hell off, ever!"

"No, I don't reckon you do, you stupid ponce. It's like some sort of competition with you, innit? Hmm, I wonder how thick I can be today? Can I top yesterday? Oh, look at that, I can."

"If you hate me so much, why don't you just leave?"

"Where in buggery am I supposed to go then, eh? Rome? Sunnydale? Oh, that's right, there is no Sunnydale, not so much a dale as a hole now."

"What is it that you want? Is it him? He's gone, Spike, and he's not coming back."

"That's what you think, isn't it? That I'm just scratching around for leavings off daddy's plate. Well, I've news for you, we did fine without you, without him, whatever you want to call it. We never needed you, you arrogant bastard. "

"It wasn't me."

"I may be the only person on this planet who can call you on that, Angel, but have it your way."

"You think you know, you think we're the same? We were never the same, Spike. This isn't a club you get to join."

"Do you never listen? I never, ever, wanted to be like you. It's like, my entire unlife's purpose, you complete fool."

"So, why. Don't. You. Fuck. OFF?"

"Fine, I'm gone. Out of it. Poof. In the sense of disappearing. Bye."

"Spike, it's the middle of the day. You'll be better off if you wait until sunset."

"Well there's another thing you never knew about me. Turns out I'm quite fond of bursting into flame. Suits me down to the ground, ta very muchly. No problem here."

"You even think about stealing one of my cars and I'll stake you myself."

"Just you watch me."

Legs cycling, entwining, making useless escape plans that never get on the ground. Angel is always running, hiding, leaving, cleaning up and shipping out, and time slows and zooms in, magnify magnify magnify until all there is is one running and one chasing, hips rocking back and forth and which is which is so completely missing the point.

"It's my turn."

"It's destiny, you idiot. You don't get turns, you get one each and that's that."

"You're not using it; it's my turn. It's only fair."

"And what ever made you think life was fair?"

"Not you, that's for sure."

An old war, slowed by time into molasses-thickened air, that slides over them and under them. Taut, twisted-wire sinews rippling under smooth skin and the muscles push the faint tracery of scars into the light for a second. Spike battles with his beauty, roughens it with whisky and harsh words, hides it like a concealed weapon, no less dangerous for being underhand. Angel yanks it out of him, dragging his youth into focus.

"Did you never wonder?"

"Huh?"

"That time in the sub, did you never wonder?"

"No, just put it down to some mysterious thing I'd done wrong. I thought you'd come and get me, truth be told. Trod water, if you can credit it. Watched that lad swim off into the night and trod water, for hours."

"And you never thought?"

"No, 's'not exactly my strong point, is it? Just thought it was another game."

"It was never a game."

"Liar."

Arms, up against a wall and held over Spike's head. No gentleness or loose limbs, all fierce and binding, no props or toys, just tireless strength and concentration. Mashing, smashing kisses that bounce Spike's head off the bricks and graze his shoulderblades through his shirt. And he turns his neck for the sinking completion but it never comes, he just gets thrown across the room, through the door, jaw and cheekbone cracking the sink down the middle and he lies there for a moment, familiarly stunned.

"Why don't you?"

"What?"

"Let go."

"Because...Because I might stay that way."

"There's no wind in here."

"Can't you feel it?"

Wet, slippery and the smacking, sucking sound of careful thrusting. An imitation of release as manmade as the shower. Angel's heel grinds into the plughole so hard it is shredded through the mesh and the water pools around their feet, pinkly bloody and spilling over the edge onto the tiles. White fingerprints surface and are smoothed out by the grinding massage of hands holding on, clinging, digging out the deep bone-ache and smearing this time with every time before. Dirty hands soiled with muscle memory as the water washes over them and runs into their dusty mouths.

"You are so bloody tidy. It's not normal, do you know that?"

"You're a pig, Spike, it's disgusting."

"Am not, you're just anal, you can't control everything, you know."

"I don't control anything, that's the whole point."

 


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