Embracing Death

Debra Fran Baker


"Okay, folks. It's closing time. You don't have to go home, but you can't say here." The bartender's harsh, flat accent grated on Methos' ears. And why, after all this time, have innkeepers not come up with a more original line? No matter. The beer here was terrible and the company was less than attractive, at least as far as he could tell in the dim, smoky depths.

He tossed a few bills onto the bar top and shrugged into his trenchcoat. His sword hit his leg, reassuring him with its presence, and so he strode onto the streets of New York City, with what he hoped was the last remnants of disco still ringing in his ears. The 1970's had been dreadful for music. The 1980's would have to be better. He was sure the two years would just fly right by. He sighed. The air was getting chilly. He wrapped his coat around him a bit tighter.

Most cities would be quiet at 2AM, with all the shops and restaurants closed and all the people snug in their beds or shivering in their boxes or however they lived. Even Paris and London became darker and emptier. But New York had to be different. There were still cars prowling the streets in Greenwich Village, still cab drivers looking at him hopefully as he walked to his borrowed apartment, still music blaring from the rather colorful afterhours bars. All cities are living beings in their own rights, but New York had to do it more aggressively than most.

Maybe he should go into one of the those bars. Or maybe...he appraised the merchandise leaning next to the street lamps and buildings. There was certainly variety here - boys, girls, boys dressed as girls, all wearing tight clothes and hunger. Methos was hungry, and he was looking for hunger, but not that sort. He turned away from their hopeless eyes.

The flat was only a block or two past the Underground...the subway station, which was just at the corner by the huge newsstand. Methos stopped to peruse the huge selection of papers there, finally selecting a Guardian. He rolled it under his arm.

Just as he passed the subway entrance, a young man with short, bleached blond hair and a long leather duster came running lightly up the stairs, licking his fingers just a little. He looked like he was wearing lipstick for a moment.

Methos frowned. The man moved gracefully, confidently, but his eyes were moving here and there, taking in all the movement. He moved like an Immortal would - like a warrior far, far older than his looks. But he couldn't be an Immortal. There was no Sign.

Oh, ho. He knew exactly what was coming towards him - not a warrior, but a predator. The only blood in that body was stolen. And he was still hungry.

That was the sort of hunger Methos was looking for. He caught the vampire's eye.

The vampire smiled. The smile went straight to Methos' groin. "Well, hello." His eyes traveled up and down Methos' body. He seemed to be making the same assessment Methos had made earlier on him. "I don't know you." Late 19th Century London lower class accent, no particular neighborhood, which was odd, but he put it down to the blurring of age.

"Would you like to know me?" Methos answered the grin with one of his own.

"Could be. I'm Spike." He held out his hand.

Methos reached out his own. Spike's hand was chilly, which was odd. He'd thought the vampire had just fed. On the other hand, Spike's eyes widened. "I'm Adam."

Spike pulled his hand away. "What the hell are you, mate? You're not the age you look, but you're no vampire, nor are you any demon I've met." Hmmm. There was a definite middle class underlay. Spike was putting on a little act.

"Let's just say...you shan't be hungry tonight. Come on."

His eyes grew wide and his smile hungrier. "You one of *them*? Want yourself a little fix? Trust me to stop in time?"

"I wouldn't trust you for a moment." Methos smiled at Spike's inquisitive look. "I'm staying two blocks away. Come with me if you like." He strode off towards the apartment. He walked alone for about five minutes, before hearing the man's footsteps running behind him.

"Hey, not so fast! Wait for a guy, will you?"

Methos just kept walking, letting his predator follow him.

The apartment was on the second floor, was, in fact, the whole second floor. It had been carved out of a Victorian row house that had once housed a single family. Methos was taking a series of seminars at NYU, and had switched apartments with a friend who was taking a brief holiday in Oxford.

He walked in, and turned to find Spike glaring at him from that barrier.

"Please, do come in." Methos swept him a bow.

"Thank you." Spike entered. Methos turned on the lights and gestured to take the duster, but Spike held it close. "Let me keep it for a bit. It's not like I'm going to overheat."

Methos shrugged. "It might get in the way of things."

"You got a point." Spike took off the duster. He wore a buckled black leather vest over a black t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. His arms were thin, with whipcord muscles. He gave the duster a final caress and draped it over a rickety dining room chair that had apparently been scavenged from someone else's discards, like the rest of the furniture there. Methos hung his own overcoat on a hook on the wall, carefully draping it to hide his sword. He didn't think Spike knew about Immortals, but why should he advertise?

He turned to his guest and licked his lips, slowly. "Hungry, Spike?"

"Oh, yeah." There was that grin again - sexy and predatory, and more sexy because it was predatory. Spike opened his arms. Methos, smiling, stepped into them.

He bent to catch Spike's mouth before he could change, sucking in his cold lips, tasting the blood in his mouth - why was there blood if Spike hadn't fed? Didn't matter. He could taste the death - the real death, the death that was forever, the death he'd craved so much he'd stopped fighting for fear he'd let himself lose, the death he feared so much he'd become it once upon a time.

Spike moaned in his arms, in his mouth. Methos' felt his tongue working its way between his lips, a thing both alive and dead. He clasped Spike closer, could feel him become hard beneath those tight black jeans, rubbing against his legs, his own erection answering, moving against Spike's taut belly.

Methos pulled away, and quickly unbuckled Spike's vest, taking it and the t-shirt off, revealing Spike's smooth, muscled, milk-pale torso. Moments later, they were both fully naked, clothes all over the floor.

"Where...where's the bed?"

"In here." He led him through the door and flicked the light. Like the rest of the apartment, it was full of scavenged furniture. The bed was a mattress on the floor. Spike smiled and gracefully dropped down to it, pulling Methos with him, wrapping him in his chilly body.

This time, as they rolled over the bed, Methos didn't try to stop Spike from changing. He caught a glimpse of the ugly vampiric face and smiled as Spike sunk his teeth into his neck. He sighed in ecstasy as he felt his blood being sucked. Methos knew this was just foreplay, that his guest was just tasting him, letting him feel what it could be.

Soon, Spike stopped. Methos moaned in disappointment. "Gotta leave you something to work with, don't I?"

"What...what do you want?" He could hardly get the words out.

"Do me first. Love the feel of a hot, living man inside of me. Hungry for it." Spike, his face back to normal, smiled, and Methos knew that Spike wasn't planning for Methos to live out the night. The best laid plans...

"Hungry? Then I should *feed* you more. Get on your back for me."

Spike, grinning, complied, laying down, bending his knees and spreading his legs wide, his penis pointing straight up towards his mouth.

Methos rummaged for lube on the floor next to the bed. He squeezed some out and began to work it in Spike's opening. "Oooh, yeah. You don't have to be gentle, love. I like it rough and I heal fast."

Methos took him at his word, stretching him quickly, enjoying the way Spike moved around his hand. "You do like it rough, don't you?" He was warmer than he had been, too. Nothing like a drop of Immortal blood to make a lad comfy.

"Oh, yeah. Hurry it up!"

"Ooh, pushy." Methos smiled at him, and thought about teasing him some more, but Methos was hungry, too. He pushed his way in. Spike was tighter than he'd thought from the man's manner - tight, cold and delicious. Too bad this wasn't a hot day...He began to move, driving himself and his pickup to the brink and back as Spike writhed beneath him, paying no attention to Spike's pleasure, taking all he could for himself, knowing that Spike wanted it just that way, was crying it for it just that way in the moans and shrieks he made, until both reached completion, first one, than the other.

Slowly, Methos pulled out and fell to Spike's side. Spike let his legs collapse, and he kept on shuddering, until Methos began to worry. "What's wrong?"

"Hungry. For real..." His voice shook with effort. "Fought today. Slayer. *won. Killed her. Took a lot. Out of me. Then, you. No feeding. Not enough."

Methos pulled him close with a chuckle. "Nice try. You don't have to trick me to get what you want, Spike. I want to give it to you."

Spike stopped shaking. "What gave me away?"

"Other than the fact that you kept peeking at me? You're not my first of your kind. I know what hunger does to you - and it doesn't make you vulnerable." He stroked Spike's back.

"I did kill a Slayer today, though. Wasn't lying about that." Spike's grin was cocky and proud. "That's why I really wanted what you just gave me...killing Slayers makes me horny."

Methos could feel his eyebrows rise. "You've killed more than one? Well. I am impressed."

"You should be. This one put up a fight and a half, too. And I wasn't lying about the other part, either...I *am* hungry." With that, his face changed, and he lunged towards Methos' neck...only to stop short. "Bloody hell! I *know* I bit you - I still got the taste of your blood in my mouth!" He let go of Methos and sat up, staring.

"I heal fast." Methos shrugged.

"No one heals that fast. Not even pure demons heal that fast." The poor guy sounded terrified. Probably the first time this Slayer-slayer ever felt that, at least since he died. "And you didn't taste like any demon."

"I'm no demon."

"Then what the hell *are* you?"

"Just a guy." Methos smiled, and pulled Spike back to him, kissing the vampire mouth hard, feeling the fangs dig into his lips. He let go briefly. "A guy ready for another go. At everything." He met Spike's eyes.

"Be careful of what you ask for." Spike grinned and buried his teeth back into Methos' neck, sucking deeply this time. This was not foreplay. This was the real thing - Spike was playing for keeps.

Waves of pleasure crashed over Methos as he felt the blood leave his body, all his nerves centered at the delicious agony in his neck. At first, it was only that pain and the rush of liquid, but soon, soon, as his body became depleted, he could feel his breathing become labored, his heart start to struggle. As his body fought to live, he could feel it begin to die slowly, awash in the pleasure of the vampire's bite. And he was dying. This was his hunger, this was what he courted - not the lovely body of the vampire, but his bite, this little death that was as close as he could come to mortal death.

With the last bit of consciousness granted to him, Methos could feel Spike loosen his grip and roll on to his back next to him. Then he felt his heart give up the struggle and he died, empty but replete.


It was night again when Methos finally woke up, weak, famished and thirsty. He'd lost an entire day rebuilding his blood supply, but it was worth it. He'd embraced death again, submitted to it, and proved to it who was master. He dragged himself out of his empty bed in search of water and food, ignoring the voice in his head that whispered that he'd proven nothing when he knew he couldn't really die.

He also ignored the bleached blond shock of hair he saw out of the corner of his eye through his kitchen window as he devoured steak after steak.

The End

Copyright 2000 Debra Fran Baker and NightRoads Associates

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