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This story has had so much time and effort poured into it there are several people who need to be acknowledged. Starting with Brett. We worked on a story that went an entirely different direction then we planned, and after nearly tossing it out, I was given property rights and I came up with this. Its a far cry from the original, but the original idea came from Brett, and I am thankful. I love this story now.
Thanks to my betas, PB and Sotia, who I know read this story more than they cared to, but their kind words of encouragement and advise.
Working at Wolfram & Hart, Spike had been spending a lot of time with Angel. Memories of their past had become a daily routine, distracting him from his job duties. Angel wasn’t his boss, he wasn’t his friend, but what was he? They’d spent one hundred years together off and on. They’d shared more things then he’d like to remember, but the events, both good and bad, throughout their rocky relationship had helped to make him what he was today. For that, Spike would always be grateful. His feelings toward Angel were difficult to explain, but lines had been crossed a time or two, bringing them closer than just friends.
When Buffy had shown up, the tension had increased exponentially. The stress of being close to her, remembering their past and how things ended, was hard to bear. The question still remained, could they have actually had a relationship together? He struggled with his emotions, as he still loved her, with all his heart.
Staring at an open case he was supposed to be researching, Spike could see Buffy in Angel’s office through the glass wall of his office, discussing something work related. They never spoke of anything else. None of them mentioned the past.
After Sunnydale, Buffy had arrived in LA, unaware of Spike’s return, and unsure what to do with her life. She’d struggled with turning to Angel, but Spike figured she’d ultimately seen it like a security blanket. She needed the comfort of something familiar. Seeing Spike there had been a shock. Angel and company had explained to her as best they could how he’d arrived, but no one could explain why he hadn’t contacted her. Spike had waited for her to approach him with the question, but she hadn’t asked. She was all work. The loss of so many potentials and friends had hardened her. She’d become a shell of what she once had been.
He’d known of her rocky past with Angel, her deep emotions towards her first love, the one whom she’d given her virginity to. She’d survived Angel losing his soul, the wrath of Angelus, and then killing and sending him to hell. As much as Spike hated that Angel had ever touched her, he knew that Buffy had become the strong woman she was today because she’d lived through all that. He also knew, however, that it tortured her daily. Each time she saw Angel, she was reminded of the pain he’d caused her, and had to deal with the guilt for the love she felt in spite of it all.
Angel had lived in self-induced torture for years, and his relationship with Buffy only compounded his anguish. He’d been seeking atonement for his crimes against humanity since he’d learned to accept his reensoulment, and when the Powers That Be had offered him a job as their champion, his life had purpose for the first time. Only, his falling in love with the Slayer he’d been sent to help had brought them both pain, and had left him wondering if he was even on the path to redemption.
Spike had never understood Angel’s reasoning when it came to relationships. The older vampire should have realized that he and Buffy were doomed before they’d even started, and not because of the vampire thing. The emotions he still felt for her after Willow had restored his soul should have sent him looking for a fix to his soul problem. Even more so after he’d realized that their relationship could be progressing again. The brunette’s lack of motivation to find a way to permanently attach his soul had always bothered Spike. Hell, he’d have gone to the end of the world to get his soul for the person he loved.He had done just that.
They made each other miserable, his Sire and his Slayer. Spike believed love certainly could make you miserable—and he’d know, being love’s bitch and all—but it was also supposed to make you deliriously happy and a whole lot more. He might not know everything about love, having been fucked over royally—first by Cecily when he was human, and then Drusilla as a vampire; he had always been Dru's caretaker far more than he was ever her lover—but he knew deep down what Angel and Buffy had, and it wasn’t love. No. They’d put each other high on pedestals, where nothing could touch their ideal of the perfect partner, and that was what they worshiped. Spike had not only witnessed Angel’s failed union with Buffy, but participated in a disastrous relationship with the slayer too.
Spike knew of very few relationships that could stand the test of time, and being immortal he’d had plenty of time to think about what he wanted. He wanted love above all, acceptance to be himself, and openness to experiment with new things. He needed a lover who was strong in mind and body, confident in themselves and in him. He longed to find someone willing to give up control to him, but also trustworthy enough to let them control him as well. He needed Buffy. He loved her, craved her, but knew she needed more. He desperately wanted her to be happy and fulfilled, and he needed to not only ensure that, but be part of it. She needed Angel too.
His mind drifted again as he looked through the glass wall once more, seeing Angel alone, torment written on his face. Angel sat at his large desk, the world at his fingertips, yet he couldn’t be happy. Spike felt for him. Angel had tried to take the role as Sire with him many times. Spike had never wanted to accept help from him, but he had to admit he had learned a lot about being a vampire from the brunette. True, Angelus had taught him the joys of murder and mayhem, but he’d also taught him how to survive. He’d taught him that people needed to compromise to be accepted; a lesson Spike used every day, but one Angel—ironically—still struggled with. The older vampire needed someone to show him how. Spike felt that he wanted, and needed to do this. He had learned to love and respect him since Sunnydale, and needed him to know.
The blond fondly remembered a night when BDSM games with Darla and Angel had suddenly changed direction, Darla commanding that Angel submit to Spike. Vampires often found pleasure in rough sex with each other and gender was rarely a factor. Spike had relished the idea of Angelus submitting to him, enjoying the possibility of punishing him with Darla’s consent. What had surprised him the most was that, as the older vampire was impaled by Spike's thicker and longer shaft, he’d spilled himself like a schoolboy over the bed's sheets, the moment the younger vampire's fangs were embedded in his neck. Angelus had enjoyed it as much as he had.
Angel had learned the benefits of submission from Darla, but had found that with Spike as his master he was truly allowed to explore his innermost desires. As a soulless vampire, he had found pleasure in rape, and his demon had often fantasized role playing, him being the victim, versus the rapist. Once his soul had been replaced, the fantasies had remained, but they were filled with guilt. Guilt for the things he’d done, guilt for his demon within, and guilt that he still craved it all.
Many years of living and experimenting had shown Spike that dominant and submissive relationships could break down the walls of distrust. The game, when played properly, allowed each person a way out, further proving trustworthiness. By giving safe words and limitations, the submissive basically ran the show.
Catching a glimpse of Buffy talking to Fred in the hall turned his thoughts to her. Buffy spent her days saving the world with no one ever tending to her needs, her wants, and her desires. It would take a physically strong being as well as one with empathy to be able to read and judge her reactions. He had been there for her before, been what she needed and when she needed it. She needed someone willing to take that role once more. It was obvious that she craved someone to take care of her, but she needed to work past the fear of not being worthy of a man willing to do this for her.
All three of them had fought with one another for control, fearful to take commands, never able to release themselves from the stress of having to run the show, afraid to see the other side of the coin. By being on the receiving end of the commands, Spike thought that they could appreciate the consensual relationship for what it was; a way of asking for what they wanted, setting their boundaries, and trusting their Dom to oversee that their wishes came true. It was not a way to abuse or be abused, but a way to explore physical sensations and desires, and develop trust.
The three were all physically strong, with unknown stamina limitations, further proving their compatibility, and they each had deep feelings for the other two. A relationship between all three of them could be a solution to all of their personal problems. One that would allow them to not only test their limits and learn from them, but a chance to make something work in that triangle of love. He loved them both, and would till the day he dusted.
Spike knew he needed to talk with both of them together, and separately. He had a hunch Angel would be easier to persuade, but he also knew his Slayer. Her need to love and be loved, combined with her sexual appetite, led him to believe she would be eventually swayed after making the token attempt to resist.
Eager to get the ball rolling, he pulled some personalized stationary out of his desk drawer and transcribed notes to each of the other two. Placing the notes in blank envelopes, he sealed them with red wax, and set his plan in motion.
Chapter End Notes:
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