Cool Comfort



Oz wasn’t sure why he stopped the van and waited. The figure slouching along the street, black coat hanging down in soft folds that only time could put into leather, was no friend of his. He’d seen Angel’s body after Spike’s torturer had worked on it and the smell of the blood had lingered in his van for days. Hard to get past that. Spike came level, glanced in, with eyes sharp and wary enough to make Oz wonder if his own looked like that when he changed, and then smiled. Without being asked, he walked to the passenger door, hauled it open and climbed in.

“Hey,” said Oz automatically.

“Well, isn’t this nice?” Spike said. “You all done saying your boo hoo byes to Red, then?”

Oz thought about it. “Guess I am.”

“So why did you stop?”

“Why did you get in?”

Spike stretched out his legs, rooted in his pocket for a cigarette and shrugged. “Curiosity, that’s all. Be the death of me, one day. Oh, wait; guess it already was.”

He put the cigarette in his mouth and began another search of his pockets. Oz reached over and pulled it from between his lips before he could find his lighter. “Curious about why I stopped? Wanted to say thanks, I guess.”

Spike eyed the cigarette resentfully but didn’t comment. “What, for saving you from the soldier boys? Think nothing of it. Did it for the dosh.”

Oz nodded slowly. “Right.”

They both knew there was more to it than that, but Oz wasn’t much for stating the obvious. Spike met his eyes, hesitated and then said simply, “Stinks in there, doesn’t it?”

“Yes.” Oz could still feel it stinging his nostrils, an antiseptic smell overlaying the dank must of being underground.

“And it’s so bright, so white...not natural, that isn’t.”

“Again with the ‘yes’.” He looked at Spike, vivid scarlet and black, and imagined him in the white walled cages, like a splash of blood on snow.

“Gave me the creeps, going back,” Spike said, a faint edge of truth glinting in all his words now.

“Can’t imagine ever wanting to, myself.”

“They’re evil, those people. And the Slayer’s dating one. Tcha. Girl’s slipping.”

“Riley helped me escape, too,” said Oz, in a mild rebuke that he knew was wasted.

Spike gave him a disgusted look. “You should see the way he looks at me – at us. Monsters. That’s all he sees.”

Ox shrugged, feeling the tiredness pour through him like mist through a chain link fence. “That’s what we are. Not all we are, but –”

Spike turned to look at him, his face twisted. “You know what they did to me. You’re bruised all over –” He reached out his hand, brushing his fingers over places that throbbed and ached, hidden beneath clothes, marks only Riley had seen. “Can smell the blood. Fucking bastards.”

“You’ve done it,” Oz reminded him, his voice soft and nudging, like being elbowed by a child in a snow suit. “You’ve hurt people to find out about them.”

“And did you see me with a clipboard handy to make notes about the sodding screams?” Spike demanded, his voice low and vicious. “They’re worse than either of us. They changed me, they hurt me...”

“I won’t argue with that,” Oz said. “They hurt me too.”

Spike’s hand pressed down and Oz inhaled, pulling in oxygen to fuel a cry of pain that was never voiced. The touch slid by the welt on his thigh too fast for it to hurt and came to rest on his cock, so casual a cessation that it took a moment for the significance to register in Oz’s mind. He was tired. Hard to think when you’re overloaded on every bad emotion there is. Spike glanced down, then up. “Need anywhere kissing better?”

This close, Spike was a charcoal drawing with half the lines smudged, half sharp. Where the amber light from a streetlamp fell, his face was exposed, skeletal and spare; in the shadows his features took on depth and softness. Oz looked into the shadows and answered wordlessly, lifting the cool hand and placing it against his shoulder. The burn left by whatever they’d used to shock him felt fever-hot; concentrated sunburn, itchy as a cluster of insect bites as he healed it, slower than a vampire could, faster than a human.

“Need something,” he answered finally. “Just...don’t kiss me.”

Willow had kissed him good bye and though Oz more than suspected, he knew that she’d gone to Tara before he’d cleared campus, he didn’t quite want to cool the memory of warm kisses with vampire chilled lips.

Spike smirked, the expression as automatic as Oz’s greeting had been. Didn’t matter; he still looked hot when he did it and Oz felt curiosity spark arousal. Always the way with him. He got intrigued, got one step closer, then another...and going forward was always easier than going back and Oz, usually, liked easy. He’d slept with people he didn’t even like sometimes because of it, not wanting to back off, even after he’d found out that the bright green that had lured him over covered quicksand, not earth. It was just sex, just bodies, and coming was always good.

This was different. He was grateful and angry, scared and angry, horny and angry – and Spike was –

Oz looked at him, smiling just enough to show teeth. “In the back,” he said. “There’s room. Then I have to go. Want to see the sun rise a long way from here.”

Spike looked at him. “In a rush? Well, if we leave off the kissing – I’m assuming you just mean on the mouth? – that should save a minute, maybe two.” The gem-hard eyes sparked alive with amusement. “Tell me; is this you saying thanks to me, or me doing you another good turn?”

Oz thought about that. It was a good question. Interesting, and one he’d give some thought to as he drove along alone. For now – “You carrying any slick?”

Spike frowned. “Well, no. Wasn’t planning  -”

Oz scrabbled around in the pouch on the door and produced a bottle. He tossed it up and caught it, letting his fingers curl around the small, familiar shape. The top hadn’t been clicked shut properly and the outside was coated with a thin, slippery film. It was getting him messy but he didn’t see that as being a problem. “Planning’s good. Sometimes.”

Oz drove a mile or two further to somewhere quiet, somewhere they wouldn’t be interrupted if he changed and ripped Spike to bits; not that he bothered to tell Spike that was a risk, because if ever there was someone who could take of himself it was Spike, and Oz was still too tired to care much anyway.

 They moved to the back, where Oz’s sleeping bag was still spread out because he’d never got chance to unpack, not really. Spike lay down, sprawled against it, hands behind his head. Oz studied him and then began to strip, shivering as the cool air stroked his skin into bumps. Spike watched him, eyes flickering from one bruise to the next.

“Messed you up, didn’t they?”

Oz nodded. Spike moved over, making room for him and said, “Come here.”

Lying beside him, Oz waited patiently. Spike stared at him, his eyes narrowed in thought, and then he smiled, a brilliant smile, as bright as the full moon in a winter-dark sky and Oz closed his eyes for a second. It was dark in the van but they could both see well enough. Spike leaned in and laid his mouth over the pulse that beat ragged and slow in Oz’s neck and Oz tilted his head to let him, feeling his hands clench and then relax. Spike hadn’t taken off anything and the pliant leather of his coat became Spike’s true skin, dark and soft and dead. Oz felt his hands come up, his arms slide around and let Spike pretend to feed until his neck throbbed and sang and Spike moved away. Every bruise, every cut...Spike found them all, kissed and licked, making small, exultant noises when a little blood seeped out from a split in his skin, leaving a trail of cool wetness that soothed Oz’s skin.

Finally, almost as an afterthought, Spike’s mouth closed around Oz’s cock. He’d been hard for a while but it hadn’t seemed important. He’d been ready without being eager. The trance of fatigue lifted – or deepened – and Oz whimpered as sensation surged back in one tall, top-heavy wave of lust. Spike chuckled, taking his time, moving with a slow deliberation, until Oz stopped trying to be cool about it and began to gasp out orders that turned to pleas, that turned to hands in hair, hips lifting until Spike did something, gave Oz space...and smooth as silk Spike was beneath him and Oz was across his chest, feeling the leather against his thighs, warm now and clinging to his sweat-damp skin. Spike’s mouth was <i>there</i> and he wanted to fuck it, to rape it, to use it...but payback wouldn’t cool him down, and he could feel the marks on him beginning to burn again.

So he slid off and waited for Spike to shove his jeans down around his knees, and that was as much time as he gave him and Spike looked at him and turned, going onto his knees, on hands and knees, ass right there, so cool, so ready. And Oz was gentle, for quite a long time he was gentle, until Spike reached around and grabbed one of Oz’s hands from where it was digging holes in his hip and tugged it under him until Oz felt Spike’s cock jump and quiver against his palm and he leaned forward and bit Spike, bit him with teeth that knew how to bite as well as any vampire and he fucked that slick tightness until he felt cool and light and happy again. Until both of them smelled of sweat and come and nothing else.

The last thing he remembered feeling was his face contorting in a yawn and Spike’s cheerfully disobedient mouth against his lips as they folded into a sleepy pout; the last thing he heard, the van doors closing.

When he woke, his fingers went to his lips.

Warm.



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