By Saber ShadowKitten
"Hold still," Angel growled.
"Well, hurry the bloody hell up," Spike growled back. "The sun will be up before we get a chance to do anything."
"Spike, the sun hasn't even gone down, yet," Angel replied. He dipped two fingers into the wet mud and ran it straight down Spike's nose, over his mouth and down his chin. Then he added matching slashes across the blond's cheeks. "You were the one who wanted to do this."
"But that was before you decided to turn me into the bleedin' Sistine Chapel, Mike," Spike replied. He shifted on the hard rock floor in the back of the cave, looking past his sire out into the fading daylight.
Angel rolled his eyes and continued working, admittedly having fun. He had been surprised when he had woken up to find Spike leaning over his bare torso, tracing mud patterns on him. But instead of stopping his childe, he relaxed and allowed himself to enjoy Spike's gentle touch as he entertained himself.
The night before, after the others had fallen asleep around the fire, Spike had disappeared for awhile as Angel sat watch in the mouth of the cave, reading more of the book. When the blond vampire had returned, he was carrying a crudely-made bucket to carry water and a large, rubbery leaf filled with mud. He had then proceeded to paint lewd pictures on the walls of the cave until he had gotten tired and retreated to the back of the cave to sleep.
Angel remembered thinking that archeologists would one day find the cave and wonder what kind of ancient people would paint exaggerated stick-figures in blatantly sexual positions. He had stayed awake and on guard, even though he had to retreat to the back of the cave as well, until Buffy had awoken. She had taken one look at the pictures and sighed, like a mother does when her child does something ridiculous.
"Are you done yet?" Spike whined, breaking into Angel's thoughts.
"Almost," Angel replied, adding small dots under both of his eyes. "You do realize the others are going to think we're nuts."
"I'll tell them we've gone Lord of the Flies," Spike told him.
"You've read Lord of the Flies?" Angel asked, sitting back on his heels to examine his 'artwork.'
"Don't sound so bloody amazed," he scowled. "I read lots of things."
"You're adorable," Angel mocked with a smirk, setting the leftover mud-filled leaf aside. Spike glared at him. "Now, about the book..."
"The Slayer was reading it for one of her classes," Spike said. "When she finished, she gave it to me." He looked past his sire out of the cave. "I wish the bleedin' sun would set already."
"Anxious to meet the others on the beach?"
"More like anxious to get away from you," he replied. Angel shook his head and moved to put his shoes on. "I wonder what they did all day out there."
"Do you ever wonder what vampires do all night?" Willow asked, forming the sand for her portion of the giant sandcastle the five friends were building.
"Besides killing and maiming and doing other things that involve blood?" Buffy said. "I think those things take up their entire night."
"Not Angel," Cordelia pointed out. She grimaced as she looked at her fingernails, then began to rub the sand off of them.
"That's right," Xander said, adding small sticks to his end of the sandcastle as little people. "Soul-boy can't do that sort of thing."
"Actually, yes he does," Cordelia said. "You don't know how many dry cleaning bills I give him for all the clothes he ruins. Anyway, he reads a lot after hours. Or would they be normal hours for him?"
"Normal," Oz answered. He leaned over and helped Willow with the tower she was building.
"What about Spike?" Cordelia asked. "He doesn't do the killing humans thing anymore."
"He annoys me, mostly," Buffy replied. She shrugged. "But after I threaten to chop him into little pieces if he doesn't go away, I don't know. Although one time he told me he had a date, but I think he was being sarcastic."
"Who would want to date Spike?" Willow said, then smiled sheepishly. "That sounded kinda mean."
"Deadboy would," Xander replied. "You saw the way they were sucking face. Can we say blech?"
"It was kinda weird," Buffy said. "I mean, I know they had history together. History history."
"Seeing your ex frenching some other guy must be a real ego-booster," Cordelia said.
"Thank you for pointing that out, Cordy," Buffy replied sarcastically.
"I wonder what it was like between them," Willow said. "Do you think they did couple stuff?"
"God, I cannot picture Angel and Spike together like that at all," Cordelia said. "They are too fine to be gay."
"Vampires aren't gay or straight," Willow pointed out. "They're all bisexual. Remember evil me?"
"I think it's the relationship that's important," Oz commented. "Not the sex of the couple."
"You probably see a lot of that, being in a band and all," Cordelia said.
"Some," Oz replied.
"Can you imagine if they got back together after all this time?" Willow said. "That'd be so sweet."
"Don't you mean that would be so barf-worthy?" Xander clarified. "Come on, Buff. You're with me on this, right? Deadboy and Junior, a lovey-dovey couple?"
"If it made Angel happy, I wouldn't mind," Buffy replied. "Although not happy-happy, because then his soul would run away and that's not of the good. But if he could be a little happy, I'd be happy. Does that make sense?"
"You want him to not be sad because you're not sad because you have Riley," Willow said. "Well, you sort of have Riley, in that 'moving towards a relationship' way."
"We're not quite there yet, but yeah," Buffy said with a small smile. "And Riley isn't even bothered by my running off suddenly or by Spike's annoying habit of appearing out of nowhere to bug me because he's bored."
"Spike does get bored a lot," Oz said.
"That's because he's probably lonely," Willow said.
"Which means maybe he should hook up again with Angel," Cordelia added. "They could keep each other occupied so that Angel would stop annoying me and Spike wouldn't annoy Buffy."
"I'm still going ick," Xander said. "That would be like Cordy and me getting back together."
Cordelia arched a delicate eyebrow at him, then picked up her rubbery leaf full of wet sand and dumped it over his head.
"What in the world do you guys have on you?" Buffy asked, staring at Angel and Spike as they joined the group on the beach. Xander and Oz had built a bonfire and were cooking snake on it for dinner.
"Ask him," Angel replied, pointing at Spike.
"You are too weird for words," Buffy told Spike.
He gave her a shrug and a boyish grin. "Wanna fight?"
"Sure," she replied, rising and following him up the beach a short distance.
"We were just wondering how long it'll be before Giles comes to the rescue," Willow said as Angel sat down beside her and Oz. Xander and Cordelia sat on the opposite side of the bonfire, arguing over how to cook the snake.
"Nice designs, by the way," Oz commented. "Hieroglyphics?"
"It was going to take us four or five days to get to Guatemala," Angel answered Willow's question. "So he won't start to suspect something's wrong for at least another three days, because he'll assume we forgot to call and give us some leeway. Then he'll have to come out and search for us, so add maybe another week onto that."
"I'm glad we landed on a good island then," Willow said. "We got food, water, shelter, Spike's lighter for fires. I haven't seen any big predators, well, other than you and Spike." She gave him a grin.
"The only dangers you mostly have to worry about are spiders and snakes," he said, looking past the fire to watch Spike and Buffy spar. "Scorpions, too."
"So, we're going to be here another eight days minimum," Oz said. "This should be interesting."
"Why's that?" Willow asked.
"First day of the full moon is in four," Oz replied.
"Oh goddess," the redhead gasped. "That's right."
"Don't worry, Oz," Angel said. "Spike and I will take care of it." Oz nodded in silent thanks.
"Snake's done," Xander announced. "Anyone want to go tell Buffy?"
"I'll go," Angel volunteered. Rising, he silently made his way across the sand towards the fighting duo.
He paused when he was almost upon them and watched them fight for a few moments. Their movements were well-matched and graceful, their fighting styles similar. He felt as though he was watching a dance rather than a sparring match. They looked beautiful in the moonlight and he felt an ache in his heart for both of them, for the past, for the non-existent future.
With a sigh, he pushed back the feelings, then cleared his throat. "Buffy, food's ready."
Buffy dropped out of her fighting stance with a grin plastered on her face. "Thanks, Angel. And thanks for the fight, Spike," she said, then jogged back to the bonfire.
"I'm surprised you haven't tried anything with Buffy," Angel commented from beside Spike as they watched her go.
"What make you think I haven't?" Spike asked.
Angel looked down at the mud-painted vampire beside him. The moonlight played across his features, emphasizing the dark streaks, making him look like an ancient jungle warrior, albeit a peroxide-blond one. "Because you are impossible to resist when you want to be."
A large, cocky grin crossed Spike's face. "I really am, aren't I?"
Angel suddenly grabbed him into a headlock and used his knuckles on the younger vampire's head. "On second thought..."
Angel stood at the entrance to the cave, game-faced, staring off into the night. Willow, Buffy, Cordelia and Xander all sat behind the fire, near the back of the cave. The redhead continuously shot worried glances outside as the others tried to distract her with conversation.
A wolf howled.
Tensing, Angel tried to pinpoint how far away the werewolf was from the cave. Before the sun had set, Oz and Buffy had trekked along the beach around to the far side of the small island, then the Slayer had returned alone. It was the second night of the wolf's cycle, the actual full moon, when Oz's change was at its most complete.
The dark-haired vampire scanned the darkness, searching for either the werewolf or his childe. Spike had gleefully volunteered to keep Oz-wolf away from the cave, stripped down to only his jeans, and had bounded off into the jungle-like interior of the island like an over-enthusiastic puppy.
The brush down below moved and Angel sniffed the air. The scent of wolf was becoming more distinct, indicating that he was coming closer. He concentrated on the spot he saw the movement, trying to discern what was causing it.
Spike suddenly dropped down from above the opening of the cave, landing in a crouch beside Angel. The older vampire jumped, as did the others, and the blond gave everyone a fang-filled grin. "Hello, people."
"Don't do that, Spike," Buffy growled.
"Sorry," Spike said. "Well, that's a lie, I'm not." He turned so he was facing the mouth of the cave, still in a crouch. He put on hand on the ground and leaned forward slightly to scan the ground below. Dropping his voice, he glanced up at his sire, and said, "He's close by."
"I know," Angel replied, returning his gaze to outside of the cave.
"Look at them," Cordelia whispered on the other side of the fire. "Even when they're all fangy, they're still gorgeous."
"Not seeing it," Xander said.
"You have to admit, they do look good together," Buffy commented.
They watched as Angel reached out and ran his hand over Spike's hair, almost absently. Then they saw Spike look up at Angel with unmistakable adoration, even with the ridges and fangs.
"Oh my god, I think Spike has the hots for Angel," Cordelia said.
"I thought we already established that," Xander said. "Raft, sharks, tonsil hockey?"
"She means Spike likes Angel," Willow replied. "Like likes."
"I wonder if Angel knows," Buffy said. They watched as Angel looked down at Spike and smiled at him. "Ok, never mind. I think he knows."
"Then why aren't they together?" Willow asked.
"Still ick-ing over here," Xander commented.
"They're both men," Cordelia said. "Even if Angel does brood over everything, men never show their feelings."
"Hey, I'm a man," Xander said. Cordelia snorted in an unladylike fashion and he scowled at her.
Spike's growl echoed in the cave and it was soon joined by a second one coming from Angel. The four friends exchanged wide-eyed glances and moved closer together. The dark-haired vampire abruptly leapt from the entry of the cave and they heard the unmistakable sounds of fighting over Spike's continual growl.
Spike rose from his crouch and began pacing at the mouth of the cave, stopping every few steps to stare down at his sire and Oz-wolf as they rolled on the ground, fighting. He wanted to be the one out there, but Angel had told him to protect the others before he jumped down himself. He hated feeling useless or helpless, of which he felt both at that moment.
The fighting stopped and the werewolf loped off into the interior. Angel watched for a moment, then climbed back up to the cave. "He shouldn't bother us for the rest of the night," he said.
"I hate you," Spike growled, too low for anyone but his sire to hear. "Why the bloody hell did you do that?"
"Do what?" Angel asked, confused.
"There was no friggin' reason for you to do that," Spike said, gesturing out of the cave. "I had everything under control."
Angel reached out and ran a finger over a cut on Spike's cheek. "Maybe I didn't want you to get hurt," he replied quietly, his human mask sliding back into place.
All the anger rushed out of Spike at his sire's words and actions. His own face slid back into its handsome planes and he looked into Angel's dark brown eyes. They stared at each other for several moments, unknowingly painting a picture for those on the other side of the cave.
The ladies all held their collective breaths at the romanticism. None of them dared move a muscle, watching as they would a movie, their hearts beating furiously. All of them had one thought on their minds -- kiss him!
Of course, Xander had other thoughts entirely, ranging from fascination to ick. Not wanting to see what would happen, he turned his head and saw his three friends practically swooning. He made a noise of disgust, which broke the spell over the cave.
"Xander!" Cordelia hissed, smacking him as Angel and Spike separated. "You jackass!"
"What?" Xander asked defensively.
"You really know how to ruin a moment, Xander," Buffy scowled at him.
"Yeah," Willow agreed, folding her arms across her chest.
"What did I miss?" Angel asked, joining them. Spike sat at the mouth of the cave, his legs dangling from the edge.
"Only Xander being an idiot," Buffy said.
"I can see that anytime," Angel said, a smirk crossing his lips.
"They're all mad because they wanted to see ymmph-"
Cordelia clamped her hand over Xander's mouth, cutting off his sentence. "How much longer until sunrise?" she asked, changing the subject.
"Another four hours or so," Angel replied. "Why don't you guys get some sleep? Oz won't be back tonight."
"Good idea," Buffy said. She gave Xander a pointed look. "I know Xander is almost too tired to talk."
"Mi nem naa," Xander replied from behind Cordelia's hand.
Angel shook his head and retrieved the ghost book. "Goodnight," he said, then headed back to the front of the cave.
"Say anything, Xander, and I'll...I'll...do something really evil," Willow said the moment Angel left.
"Then I'll hurt you," Buffy added.
"And you don't even want to know what I'll do to you," Cordelia said, removing her hand from over his mouth.
"Fine, I won't tell them you guys are sick, twisted individuals who wanted to watch two men smooch," Xander said.
"God, Xander, don't you have a single romantic bone in your body?" Cordelia said. "Oh wait, I know the answer to that already, don't I?"
"Hey, I know romance," Xander protested.
All three girls snorted in response.
"Maybe I should have let you deal with Oz," Angel groaned the following late afternoon. He winced as he turned onto his stomach, using his balled-up shirt as a pillow. "I think I'm getting too old for this."
"I could have told you that," Spike replied, sitting up on his knees. Without being asked, he began to massage Angel's shoulders and back. "Are you going to let me keep the wolf distracted tonight?"
"Mmm-hmm," Angel all but purred. Spike chuckled and continued to rub his sire's sore muscles. Eyes shut, Angel thoroughly enjoyed the strength of the younger vampire's fingers, and the relaxation coming over him. "Damn, Will, that feels so good."
Spike paused for a second at the use of his name, then continued. Angel hadn't called him by name like that in over a century. It sent an undeniably pleasant feeling to his heart and his lips curled up in a bright smile. He'd forgotten how nice it was to receive a compliment from his sire, considering how few and far between they had been, especially after Drusilla had joined them.
"Can I take you home with me?" Angel murmured with a pleased sigh.
"Sorry, I'm not housebroken," Spike replied. Angel let out a small chuckle. "Besides, I doubt you would want to put up with me just for a free massage every once in awhile."
Angel looked at him out of the corner of his eye. "I can think of several more things you could do," he said in a low voice.
This time, Spike froze, not knowing if he heard right or not. Angel turned onto his side, causing Spike's hands to fall away, and looked up at him. He searched the dark-haired vampire's eyes for some clue as to what Angel was thinking. "Angelus?" he questioned quietly, uncertainty tinging his words.
Angel reached up with his left hand and ran his finger along Spike's jaw. Pushing up with his other arm until he was even with the younger vampire's face, he slid his hand behind Spike's neck and pulled him gently forward. He did not force the blond, leaving his touch light in order to give him a chance to pull away. When he didn't, Angel's lips turned up slightly before he pressed them to Spike's.
Both vampires inhaled sharply, their eyes falling closed as one. Gently, Angel deepened the kiss, much the same way Spike had months before. Unhurriedly, he brushed his lips back and forth against the younger man's, then applied slight pressure, opening his mouth slightly. He rubbed his thumb in small circles on the back of Spike's neck, allowing the tactile sensations to wash over him as he used his tongue to stroke the inside of the blond's mouth.
He felt the tentative brush of Spike's tongue against his and he invited the younger vampire to play in an entirely different manner. Their tongues twined together, the kiss progressing even further, growing steadily more passionate, yet staying tender. A small purr of pleasure rolled into the cave, but neither one knew who it came from, and neither cared.
The sound of the others returning slowly broke the two vampires apart. Angel opened his eyes first and studied Spike's handsome face. He saw the other man's tongue dart out to lick his lower lip, then rub them together. A smile crossed the dark-haired vampire's face when he saw this, and he leaned forward and placed another soft kiss on Spike's mouth. He released the blond completely and pulled his shirt on, then turned to the entry of the cave just as the others entered.
"Guess what we found," Willow said excitedly upon entering. She gestured to Xander. "Show them, Xander."
"We found a map," Xander said, waving the worn-looking piece of paper in the air. "A treasure map."
"A treasure map?" Angel said with disbelief.
"Let's see," Spike said, having managed to regain his equilibrium and stopped his heart from pounding in his chest, even though, technically, it didn't beat.
"Forget it," Xander said, holding the page to his chest. "You just want the treasure for yourself."
"Xander, stop being an idiot," Cordelia said, taking it from him. She passed it to Angel.
The paper felt odd to Angel, almost as if it weren't paper at all, but something else. The edges of it were jagged and brown, as if they had been burned at one time. The black writing on it wasn't very faded, but the script was small and neat -- and surprisingly in the Queen's English. An arrow pointed north along one side of the map and, of course, an 'X' marked the spot.
Angel passed it back to Spike, who examined it curiously, then handed back. "Neat," the blond vampire said.
"Do you really think there's a buried treasure on the island?" Buffy asked, more curious than excited, as Xander and Willow were.
"I doubt it," Angel replied. "But if you guys want to look..."
"We're going to start tomorrow morning," Willow said, holding onto Oz's arm. "That way we have all day and don't have to worry about the moon."
"Speaking of which," Buffy said. "We should get going, Oz."
"Right," Oz replied. He kissed Willow, then nodded goodbye to everyone and left with Buffy.
Xander sat down on the rock floor of the cave and studied the map. "Well, what do you think, Cordy? Is there a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?"
"If so, it'd better have some great jewelry for my having to put up with you this long," Cordelia said, sitting down beside him.
"Treasure or not, it'll be fun to look," Willow said, taking a seat, as well. "I was getting kinda tired of building sandcastles. Not that building them wasn't fun, too. But this witch can only take so much."
"You're starting to get all peely, anyway," Cordelia pointed out. "You are going to need some serious moisturizing when we get home."
Spike was perched on the end of a tree limb, watching and listening to the night. Bare-foot and bare-chested, he waited, allowing his predatory instincts to come forth, his yellow eyes flashing. He was in his natural element. He was prepared to fight for his territory. He was ready to protect his own.
He was having fun.
Looking over his shoulder, he could see the flickering flames coming from the cave, and his sire silhouetted in the opening. He felt a different sort of flame flicker to life inside of him -- that of desire. He wanted Angel, for much more than just a friend and, with that kiss that occurred earlier, he was pretty certain the older vampire wanted the same thing.
He knew he shouldn't allow himself to become attached again. His sire had a way of breaking his heart, whether it was by doing it himself or by taking the woman he loved. But he had grown up from a mischievous young boy to a young man who had loved everyone and everything, and that had followed him into the darkness when Angelus had turned him, although it put a different twist on who he loved.
Briefly, he wondered if he'd be in Angel's naked embrace the following day, but then the sound of another predator stalking nearby pulled his thoughts back to the task at hand. With a feral grin, he prepared to distract Oz-wolf and have a lot of fun doing it.