Act Of Nature - Chapter 11
written by Jane Davitt & WesleysGirl

The storm has blown this great big beauty down
The branches all confusion on the ground

Giles stared at the door of the house through rain-spattered glasses and increased his pace just a little now his goal was in reach. He wasn't the sort to complain about a bit of rain, but this was a drenching, steady downpour, and the wind made sure it got into more places than it would normally have done. Giles could feel it trickling down the back of his neck in icy rivulets and it wasn't pleasant.

Xander opened the door and slammed it closed as soon as they were both inside, the warm silence of the house welcoming after the rush of chill wind against them. Giles turned to look at Xander and forgot about damply clinging clothes because they were finally home and he could do what he'd been wanting to do for hours. He took off his jacket and hung it up, waiting until Xander had done the same before pulling him close and kissing him, in one eager, impatient movement. He supposed he should have waited until they'd changed into dry clothes, or at least moved a few feet further into the house, but the need to feel Xander's mouth on his had been with him too long for that.

The hesitant, gentle kisses they'd shared had been good, but Giles wanted more than that now he was certain of Xander. The memory of Xander standing beside him, close enough that their arms brushed as they spoke to John, making it clear that he was where he wanted to be, was sharp and bright in his mind as he felt Xander's lips open under his.

Rainwater dripped onto his hand as he slid it under Xander's hair to stroke the back of his neck, but all his attention was focused on a kiss that was rapidly becoming far more than that. He couldn't get close enough to Xander, pushing against him until Xander was backed up against the wall and then sliding his leg between both of Xander's, never taking his mouth away, never breaking the kiss to do more than bite down on Xander's lip or lick at it. Nothing mattered but Xander arching and pressing against him, making frantic, hungry sounds, nothing at all....

He couldn't remember sliding his hands under Xander's sweater, only the shiver his cool hands forced from Xander, couldn't remember whose hands had fumbled and tugged at buttons and zippers so that they could reach each other, only how hot Xander's cock was against his palm, hard and wet-tipped, shifting in his grip as he squeezed and worked it with an insistence that stopped just short of demanding.

It took all his willpower to pause, but the need for more - more bare skin to touch, to kiss - meant moving somewhere else, and as soon as Giles thought about that, he was distracted enough for it to dawn on him that he'd just grabbed Xander and practically thrown him against the wall.

He pulled back, gulping in air, trying to calm down enough to speak. "Sorry - just, God, Xander, I want you... sorry -"

Xander didn't let him get any further, just used his fingers entwined in Giles' shirt front to pull him in close again. Giles found himself being kissed, perhaps a bit more gently than before, but with no less desire. "Don't tell me you're sorry and that you want me in the same breath - you might give me a complex." He could tell from Xander's tone that the younger man was amused. "You don't seriously think," Xander murmured, moving his mouth to Giles' throat and nipping at the sensitive skin there, "that I'm not just as desperate, do you? That I haven't been thinking about touching you all day?"

"Still shouldn't have just -" Xander bit down harder, as if in warning, and Giles moaned, feeling the small, perfect pain shiver through him. "That's... very convincing, Xander."

"Oh, you have yet to see how convincing I can be," Xander said, sliding his hand down to cup Giles' arse. "So what do you say? You think we should -"

Whatever Xander had meant to say was cut off by a dull roaring sound that seemed to make the house tremble slightly, and ended with a sliding crash and the tinkle of shattering glass.

"What the -" Before Giles could move, Xander had pushed past him, disappearing further into the house without apparent thought for his safety.

Giles took a deep breath, slammed his hand against the wall as an effective, if painful way of relieving some of the frustration he was feeling, and walked after him quickly, zipping and buttoning as he went.

Xander wasn't hard to find, nor was the reason for the noise. Its roots weakened by the rain and gales, the tree planted to protect the house from the sea winds had finally torn free of the soft earth and fallen, close enough that the upper branches had smashed through a window in one of the empty rooms. As Giles came through the door, his body already shifting into readiness to fight, assuming the worst because that was what he was used to dealing with, the tree sighed and settled as its own weight bore it down and a branch sticking into the room slipped sideways, catching Xander's arm.

"Xander!" Giles went to him quickly. "Are you hurt?"

Seeming more interested in assessing the damage to the house than his own body, Xander shrugged off Giles' concern. "I'm fine, but I'm going to need something to put over this frame temporarily." He considered the problem for a moment as the wind blew rain into the room. "There's some plywood out in the shed - I'm gonna go grab it and some tools. Can you get the dustpan and brush from the cupboard in the kitchen and try to sweep up some of this glass? Just be careful - don't cut yourself."

Without waiting for a reply, Xander went back the way they'd come, surely not pausing long enough to put his jacket on before there was the sound of the door opening as he went out into the rain.

Giles stared after him and then turned to look at the damage. It would be easy enough to saw off the branch, but from what he remembered of the tree, hauling it away from the house would require more than a little effort. It wasn't how he'd planned to spend Christmas Eve, and as it was getting dark outside, he had a feeling Xander's temporary fix was going to have to do for now.

Dustpan and brush. And he had to be careful. Shaking his head, Giles went to the kitchen, doing what any Englishman would and putting on the kettle. Disaster required a cup of tea to make it better. The way he felt right then, it'd take a potful.

He'd just finished sweeping up the glass, with nothing worse than one tiny nick on his finger, when Xander came back, dragging a sheet of plywood over to the corner and vanishing again, this time returning with saw, hammer and nails.

"Can I help you at all?" Giles asked politely. "Perhaps I could hold the nails for you?"

"I think I've got it," Xander said. It wasn't dismissive, but it was clear that he was distracted, so Giles stood around a bit and watched as Xander took care of the branch and tossed it back outside.

The kettle came to a boil about then, and by the time he came back from having taken it off Xander had begun to hammer nails into the window frame, the plywood propped with one knee. He worked with a sense of self-confidence that seemed admirable despite the relative simplicity of the task, seemingly ignorant of the fact that he was dripping wet.

He'd got down to the last two nails before he said anything. "Giles?"


"I love you." Xander was still looking at the job in front of him. "In the 'in love' kind of way. I mean... I don't think I've ever been good at saying that. And maybe I won't ever be, which I realize doesn't count as an excuse or anything, but... well. I just thought you should know."

The mild annoyance that in a household emergency Xander seemed to see him as, well, not useless perhaps, but superfluous, had been fading in the face of Xander's competence. Giles had seen Xander work before and found it satisfying to watch in the same way that watching Buffy fight was - smooth, effortless and coordinated. Now the annoyance left him entirely, along with the ability to speak for a moment, because he hadn't realized how much he'd needed to hear Xander say that. Xander had shown him he was loved, but Giles knew he hadn't trusted his interpretation of Xander's actions. He'd needed it said, and that left him feeling as if he owed Xander an apology, but there had been enough of those.

Xander's fingers, steady and deft, positioned the last nail and he tapped it home in a series of hammer strokes perfectly graded in strength, driving it deep into the wood.

Giles spoke into the silence. "I don't how you could say it any better than that, Xander. Thank you. And just so we're clear about it, I'm in love with you, too - and it's not all that easy to say, you're right - but I am, and it feels -" he hesitated, trying to find the words. "It's making me feel very happy," he finished. Which was about as eloquent as he was capable of right then, and he hoped it was enough.

Turning, Xander set the hammer down on the nearest tabletop. "Me too." He glanced down at himself. "Of course, right now I'm also feeling wet, and since that's a feeling I could live without..."

Giles shivered, suddenly becoming aware of his own damp clothes. "I think getting changed out of our wet clothes before we sprout mildew might be in order, yes." He walked over to the door and paused. "Do you think if we tried to finish what we were doing, the roof would fall in? Or should we, uh, take a rain check - and I can't think why that's not a British expression; I'm sure we'd have more occasion to use it than you do."

"Actually, I think if we don't finish what we were doing I might not be able to sit down," Xander said, moving behind Giles and slipping an arm around his waist. The position, with Xander's front pressed against Giles' back, made it clear what Xander was referring to, although it did leave Giles to wonder if Xander had been hard all that time, a thought that made him shiver again with something other than the chill. "I don't suppose there's any way I could convince you to take a shower with me?"

"I think there are plenty of ways you could," Giles said, feeling his own arousal return at the thought of Xander against him, naked and wet, smooth skin made smoother by water and soap, "but as I don't need any convincing, you don't have to. You do have to let go of me though, or we won't make it up the stairs."

He turned within the circle of Xander's arm and let his mouth brush against Xander's, ignoring his own advice because he couldn't wait that long for another kiss.

Xander groaned in what Giles thought was frustration. "I don't want to let go." he said, but then reluctantly did so.
They made their way up the stairs quickly, not pausing more than once or twice to touch and exchange brief kisses, and soon enough they were in Xander's bedroom, and Giles found himself being undressed by eager hands that didn't seem content until they were against his bare skin.

Not that he was any less eager himself. He'd gone to sleep feeling content to do no more than curl against Xander, tiredness taking him quickly into a sound sleep, but since they'd woken up it'd been an endless pattern of arousal thwarted by circumstances and Giles had reached his limit of patience. He matched Xander's actions, resisting the temptation to snatch more than a kiss or two as he pulled at the damp clothing that was stopping him from seeing and touching Xander.

Yet once they were naked, the need to hurry left Giles. He was certain they weren't going to be interrupted now, and though the arousal that had driven him to the point of desperation when they got home was still there, making him ache, making him harder than he could remember being for a very long time, it wasn't ruling him now.

He stepped back, not out of reach, just far enough to be able to look at Xander. It wasn't something he could imagine getting tired of doing, especially when he could follow the track of his eyes with his hands and fingers, sliding them over broad shoulders and strong arms, dipping his head to kiss where he'd touched...

Xander stood still for him and Giles slid to his knees, kissing his way down a flat stomach, following the trail of fine dark hair with his tongue, lapping at Xander's cock and going just a little further down, catching the warm, musky scent of him and almost regretting the fact that it would be lost in a few minutes.

He stood then and said in a voice gone husky with need, "Are you ready?"

Xander nodded and ran a somewhat less than warm hand up Giles' arm, then turned away to start the water running in the shower, providing Giles with a view that he was more than happy to look at. Steam began to fill the room almost immediately, and Xander reached for Giles' hand and drew him under the spray, the two of them both relaxing as the hot water poured over them, driving away the last of the lingering chill that their rainy walk had left behind.

They didn't seem to need to speak at first. Xander had a bar of a glycerine soap in his hands, rubbing up a thin lather before sliding his palms over Giles' chest. He seemed to be concentrating quite determinedly on the task, as though it were both enjoyable and mesmerizing. His fingertips found Giles' nipples unerringly, circling them with a teasing touch before pinching more firmly.

Even slicked with soap, Giles could still feel the slight roughness of Xander's fingers, calloused from his work. They felt perfect against his skin, scratching at it just enough to make him keenly aware that it was Xander touching him, not his own smoother hands. He'd imagined this sometimes; showering alone in his London flat, with nothing but memories and guesswork to go on, closing his eyes and trying to fool himself that the hands that touched him were Xander's. He hadn't come close to the reality. The sound of the water washed away his gasp of pleasure as his cock throbbed as if it, not his nipples was being teased, but Xander glanced up as if he'd heard it, and smiled.

Xander stepped to the side a bit, one arm going around Giles' back to pull him in for a kiss while the other hand slid lower and wrapped around his cock, squeezing expertly and making Giles very glad for the support of Xander's arm. Their mouths met, hot and slick, tasting like the water that was pouring over them.

The urgency returned with the kiss and Giles reached down, running his thumb along the underside of Xander's cock with a steady pressure, letting his fingers curl loosely around it until Xander pushed against him eagerly, his tongue darting inside Giles' mouth. Giles let his grip tighten then, flicking his thumb up to rub across the head, feeling a wetness that he knew was from more than the water. He moved his other hand from Xander's shoulder to his back, dragging it slowly down his spine, nails digging in slightly, until Xander arched against him and the back of Giles' hand rubbed against Xander's stomach.

His other hand moved lower, fingers grazing the cleft of Xander's backside, palm flat against one cheek, wanting to see how Xander would react before doing anything else.

Xander groaned softly, caught between both of Giles' hands as he was, hips rocking as if he was searching for just the right touch. His own grip on Giles' erection was perfect - fingers wrapped firmly around the shaft, slow strokes that weren't too gentle and that moved slickly over the tip. Every third or fourth stroke Xander's hand would pause, fingers sliding down to the base of the shaft to pull at his balls with a sweet insistent pressure.

Stroking Xander's cock again, Giles felt it throb in his grip, and Xander groaned into his mouth again. "God, Giles..." Lips that were water-slick traveled over his cheek to the side of his throat, sucking and biting. Xander shuddered again. "I was hoping we'd, you know... be able to do -" A gasp as Giles' hand, seemingly with a mind of its own, squeezed. "More stuff." Xander sounded nearly breathless. "But I'm... oh God..."

Xander wasn't feeling anything that Giles wasn't, and hearing him say it like that was as arousing as feeling him move, unconsciously rubbing against Giles in a restless, desperate search for release. "Oh, we will," he said, gritting out the words and trying to hold onto his control for just a few moments more, because Xander felt so good and what he was doing felt even better. "Promise you, we will -"

"I want... oh God -" Xander seemed to have been reduced to incomplete sentences. His hips pressed forward against Giles, the curve of his backside suddenly tensing under Giles' palm, his cock throbbing once more in warning of the inevitable before he came over Giles' hand with a series of small wordless cries.

Giles turned his head to watch him, loving the vulnerability of his face, open and lost in sensation - then Xander's hand tightened and jerked at his cock and that was all it took. He came with an intense rush of pleasure, clutching desperately at Xander, holding him as close as he could. As he felt the first surge of warmth spill from his cock, he dropped his head to bite down on Xander's shoulder, hearing himself making sounds that blended with the ones Xander was voicing, losing himself in the shared moment until it passed and left him trembling with reaction. He turned his head and captured Xander's mouth with his, kissing him because he couldn't speak right then.

He felt Xander's hand release him gently, felt it slide up over his stomach and chest, up the side of his throat until it was cupping his face, all while they continued to kiss slowly. "So much for getting clean," Xander murmured, with humor in his voice. "Now we have to start all over again."

Giles glanced down and grinned a little weakly. "Better hurry," he managed to say, feeling his heart rate slow down to normal. "Water's cooling off."

It didn't take long, now that they were at least temporarily sated, to wash themselves down. Xander turned off the water and stepped out onto the mat, grabbing one towel for himself and handing a second to Giles as he got out as well. He could feel Xander giving him thoughtful glances as they dried themselves, so it didn't surprise him when the other man asked, a bit hesitantly, "So... any chance you might still, you know, want to..."

Giles threw his damp towel over the railing and looked at him. "Let's go and lie down," he said, seeing Xander shiver in the cooler air. "That's not an answer to your question," he added, seeing something that might have been anticipation or apprehension cross Xander's face. "I just want to -" He hesitated, wondering why it was so difficult to say something so simple. "I want to hold you," he finished. "Just lie down next to you for a while, hold you, and wait for my legs to stop feeling the way they do." He moved towards the door and took Xander's hand as he went past him, drawing him into the bedroom. "And yes. Every chance."

He drew back the covers and pulled Xander down into the bed with him, the two of them curling up together cautiously, still trying to get comfortable with each other. Once the blankets were settled over them, Xander's arm around Giles' waist and his own hand resting on the side of Xander's face, thumb tracing over the skin there, he felt better.

"You okay?" Xander asked, his hand sliding across Giles' back in little soothing movements.

"Very much so," Giles replied. "Just a little... overwhelmed, perhaps?" He tried to put what he was feeling into words, glancing at the clock beside Xander's bed. "It's been just over two days since I first kissed you and this - all of it - is so much more than I'd ever imagined...." He thought about that and grinned reluctantly. "Well, maybe I imagined it. You've had a starring role in quite a few fantasies of mine in recent weeks. And yes, what we just did was one of them and it was far better in reality. You're just so...." He kissed Xander, a slow, gentle kiss that turned eager in moments, until Giles broke away. "See what you do to me?" he said softly.

Xander's hand moved lower, caressing the curve of Giles' hip in a suggestive way that made him shiver. "I like that I do that to you," Xander said, tilting his head for another kiss, this one longer, their tongues flickering over each other. "I'd like to do more stuff to you," between more kisses, with a salacious grin curving his lips upward into something irresistible. "And vice versa. Speaking of which..."

Without further discussion, Xander pushed gently on Giles' hip, rolling him flat onto his back and keeping him pinned there. Then Xander slid down in the bed and Giles felt warm breath moving over his cock, as Xander murmured, "Thought I'd give this another try," and then took the shaft in hand and licked the tip wetly.

Giles wouldn't have thought it possible for him to be aroused again so soon, but he was happy to be proved wrong. It was as if what they'd just shared had done no more than taken the edge off a hunger that had been building for too long to be satisfied so easily. He knew he wasn't going to come as fast this time, and he was looking forward to this lasting. Though if Xander carried on like that -

"You're very - good at that," he said, his words catching in his throat as he tried not to whimper, stretching out his hand and tangling it in Xander's damp hair. "God, Xander -" The breath shuddered out of him as Xander started to experiment, his teeth circling the head of Giles' cock as his tongue lapped at it. Giles trusted him not to bite down on purpose, but wondering if he would accidentally certainly wasn't helping to keep him calm - and yes, it was turning him on too.

Xander pulled his mouth away long enough to ask, "You didn't believe me when I said I was a fast learner?" His tongue probed the head of Giles' erection, darting into the little hole at the tip several times, and when he shifted his position slightly Giles could feel Xander's own length brush against his leg. Xander's hips moved again restlessly, and when he took Giles' cock deep into his mouth he groaned a bit, the sound reverberating through Giles and drawing an answering gasp from him.

"Oh, yes, I did." Giles bit down hard on his lip, letting the sharp pain distance himself from what Xander's mouth was doing, so that he could focus on more than the slide of lips and tongue against his erection as Xander's head moved up and down, each time taking in more, until Giles could feel the head of his cock brush against the back of Xander's throat. He glanced down his body at Xander and grinned, loving his confidence and remembering how it had been for him in those early days with Ethan. He felt excitement sweep through him, brushing aside his faint concern that Xander was pushing himself too hard.

"Want me to teach you some more?"

"Tell me," Xander said, the soft rumble of the words through his vocal chords creating yet another sensation along Giles' shaft. "You know, what you like. Feels like I'm working blind here." He glanced up and met Giles' gaze. "Well, half-blind."

The final words made Giles wince inwardly, though he kept his face from showing it. Xander was doing that too much; drawing attention to something that didn't need mentioning, joking about it the way he did when he was hiding how he felt. Now wasn't the time to discuss it, but Giles promised himself that they would.

"I could tell you," Giles said, propping himself up on his elbows. "I could tell you that I like it when you tease me, light, flickering touches with your tongue until I can't stand it any more and I just want to hold you still, my hands against your face and push inside your mouth, feel you surround me. And I could tell you how good it feels when you use your hands at the same time as you're licking and sucking me, tight around my cock, my balls. But you know that. You've had this done to you. I can't imagine we react all that differently to each other."

He hadn't counted on his words making Xander flush - hadn't anticipated it at all actually - and he immediately reached down to touch the side of Xander's face.

"It's different," Xander muttered, closing his eye briefly at the touch, but then opening it again. "You know, being the one doing it. How do I know if..." He trailed off, looking suddenly insecure.

"If you're doing it right?" Giles said, not moving his hand away. "Making me whimper isn't enough of a clue? Getting me hard again this soon?" He touched himself with his other hand, running a finger slowly along his erection then gripping it and pumping it fast, flicking his thumb casually over the head when his hand got high enough, just as he would have done if he'd been alone. "I do that and it feels good, yes, but if you did it we'd be back with me not being able to much more than moan. You can't do anything wrong, Xander. Not with me." He paused and then said simply, "And if you do, I'll tell you if you promise to do the same. Any time, every time. If I'm doing something you don't like, or don't want, tell me and I'll stop."

Xander was watching Giles' hand as he worked himself, seemingly transfixed at the sight. "It's not so much that I think I'm doing it wrong," he said, rather faintly. "It doesn't matter what people in general might like - I want to know what you like."

"Well, I think I'd have trouble telling you while you were doing it," Giles pointed out, keeping his voice solemn but aware of the underlying humor in the situation. He was old enough not to take sex quite as seriously as Xander seemed to, but it didn't mean he wasn't just as keen on them getting past this mild awkwardness. "In fact, as you render me speechless, why don't we take advantage of that?"

Without waiting for Xander to ask him what he meant, he rolled onto his side. Xander was lying across the bed, his head resting on Giles' thigh. "Turn around so I can reach you," he said, tugging at Xander's leg gently. "We don't have to take it in turns, after all."

After a moment Xander seemed to understand what he was getting at, and moved so his head was pointing toward the foot of the bed. Almost immediately Giles felt Xander's mouth close around him again, hot and wet, but just for a few seconds. Then Xander pulled back, licking at his foreskin as gentle fingertips rubbed along the underside of his balls, and although the sensation made him shudder, Giles leant forward and closed his own hand around Xander's shaft. He smiled at the low-pitched sound that escaped Xander.

He shifted so he was comfortable, feeling Xander do the same, both of them settling into a position that let them touch and be touched. Taking his time, he slipped his hand down to circle the base of Xander's cock, holding it so that he could lick the tip, his tongue tracing circles around the head but not touching it with his lips. It was difficult to concentrate, because what Xander was doing to him was demanding his full attention, but well worth the effort. Xander was so responsive... Giles opened his lips a little, keeping his teeth together, and let the head of Xander's cock slip between his lips to rub against the hard smoothness for a moment. He felt Xander's hips push forward and put his left hand on his hip, holding him in place.

Xander made a little sound of protest, then seemed to relax a bit, his hand moving to Giles' hip as if mirroring the position. And as Giles pulled back, and then let the head of Xander's cock into his mouth again for another brief moment, he realized that Xander was doing the same, copying what was being done to him on Giles' own erection.

Clever Xander, Giles thought, opening his lips just wide enough, no more, and feeling his teeth scrape gently against the sides of Xander's cock as he took it inside his mouth. Xander tried that too, but bit down a little too hard. Giles had been expecting that and didn't flinch, settling for lifting his hand a little and tapping it against Xander's backside in a gentle warning, before doing it again and waiting.

This time Xander managed it nearly perfectly, the barest scrape of teeth along his shaft, just enough to make him want to groan. Giles next tried taking Xander deep into his throat and then pulling back while applying a fair amount of suction, something that he himself enjoyed and couldn't imagine Xander not liking.

If the sound that escaped Xander then were any indication, he liked it very well indeed. Then Xander mirrored the move on Giles' erection, improvising with a gentle tug at his balls at the same time, and Giles was the one making sounds of unexpected pleasure.

It was turning into a game of 'follow-my-leader', with just the barest tinge of competition spicing it as Xander's confidence grew. Giles felt the unspoken challenge and answered it by letting Xander's cock slide from his mouth so he could move down to swirl his tongue around his balls, still slightly damp from their shower. He took one carefully into his mouth, sucking and licking at it gently, feeling it tighten as he moved his hand from Xander's hip to curl around his shaft, stroking it hard. Nothing he was doing was new to him, but because this was Xander, it felt as if it was, as if this was the first time he'd felt the soft tickle of hair against his tongue, the shifting hardness encased in soft skin rolling inside his mouth.

Xander groaned, and then moved his mouth down to Giles' balls, licking and sucking more tentatively than was strictly necessary, although Giles appreciated the caution. He both felt and heard Xander's next groan, felt Xander shudder under his hand as the younger man got that much closer to the place where release was possible. "God, Giles," he said, pulling back a little bit, his breath warm over Giles' skin. "This is..."

Giles freed up his mouth and rested his head against Xander's leg, letting his hand drift idly across Xander's stomach, enjoying the way it tensed under his touch. "Fun?" he suggested, turning his head to kiss just where the skin was soft and smooth, high up on the inside of Xander's leg.

"That too," Xander agreed. "Although I was going to go with something more like 'unbelievably hot.'"

Giles licked where he'd kissed and blew on it, kissing it warm again before Xander had time to shiver. "It can get hotter," he said.

"Yeah, I kind of figured." Xander's fingers played across the sensitive skin of his balls, distracting him. "Was there something in particular you had in mind?"

"If you keep doing that, I'll forget my own name, let alone my plans for your seduction." Giles said, nudging his hips forward. "Let me see... I want to fuck you. There, I knew it'd come back to me eventually." He shrugged. "Or you can fuck me. I find both, ah, hot, but I imagine you'll want to try it both ways a few times to decide for yourself." He glanced down at Xander who looked a little stunned. "And if you've changed your mind, or I've misunderstood you, it can wait," he said. "There's no rush at all."

"No," Xander said, blinking. "I just didn't... I mean, do people actually say stuff like that? Actual people? Because here all this time I'd thought Faith and Anya were exceptions to the rule. You know, that it was some kind of Slayer, Ex-Vengeance-Demon thing." He covered his face with one hand. "Oh God, I didn't mean it like that. I mean, I'm sure this is totally normal. I just... didn't know."

Giles felt the laughter build up until he couldn't hold it back. "Yes, Xander, they do, or possibly I fell in with a bad crowd at an impressionable age." He moved, twisting around to lie beside Xander. "I'm sorry," he said contritely, kissing him, "I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable. It's just that after years of you all calling me a stuffed shirt and the man who put the fuddy next to duddy... well, shocking you without even trying struck me as amusing." He kissed him again, stroking his hand down Xander's back. "It's a perfectly good verb, you know."

Xander moved in closer. "Oh, I know." He collected a kiss of his own, this one significantly longer and more passionate than the two Giles had just initiated, then bent his head to catch Giles' earlobe between his teeth briefly. "Think we could put it into practice?" he murmured.

Giles shivered from both the nip at his ear and Xander's words, but held back on the enthusiastic agreement he wanted to voice. "Once you promise you'll ask me to stop if needed, yes," he said firmly. "And we're going to need those supplies you said you had."

"Oh! Yeah." Xander gave him a quick kiss before getting up out of bed and going to retrieve said supplies, allowing Giles a long look at his naked form while he rummaged through two drawers. When he came back over to the bed holding a little bottle and a few small foil packets, Xander looked more than a bit apprehensive. He sat down on the side of the bed, the mattress dipping under his weight, the sound of the rainfall outside a soft hush. The mid-afternoon light was grey at best, and as they hadn't turned on any lamps in the room, there were shadows across Xander's face and chest. "Sorry," Xander said. "I guess I'm just having one of those moments when this all seems kind of unreal."

"Whereas I'm cool as a cucumber and perfectly relaxed?" Giles said, raising his eyebrows. He shook his head. "I'm not, you know. This is... I've never done this with someone who hadn't already tried it and knew what to expect. I'm - really not helping, am I?"

He couldn't help noticing that neither of them was fully erect anymore; too much talking, he supposed, and now Xander was looking as if he'd rather be anywhere but here.

 "No, you're helping." Making an obvious effort, Xander reached out and ran a hand along Giles' arm. "This is just proof of something I learned a long time ago - too much talking? Bad. Rates right up there with too much thinking." He shoved the things in his other hand underneath the pillow that was nearest to him and pushed at Giles' hip playfully. "Move over. Bed hog."

Giles pretended to glare at him. "I'm not the one who sleeps diagonally," he said sternly as he moved across the bed. "And believe me, you won't be getting away with it a third night in a row."

Xander opened his mouth to reply and Giles cut him off with a kiss, drawing it out until he was fairly certain Xander had forgotten what he was going to say. It took no more than that for him to be as eager as he had been ten minutes before, with Xander's erection rubbing against his stomach and Xander's thigh between his, high enough that it brushed against his balls with a maddeningly light touch.

Then Xander shifted back slightly, putting enough space between them so that he could snake a hand down and wrap his fingers around Giles' aching cock. His lips parted, inviting Giles' tongue to dart in and taste the inside of that warm mouth. "Don't stop this time," Xander said, when the kiss had finally broken. "I want to do everything."

For a moment, Giles thought about what that meant when applied to his own experience, and shivered, remembering. Not a lot he and Ethan hadn't tried, when he'd been younger than Xander, but a lot less innocent... and some of it had been good, bad or indifferent - and some of it still featured in his dreams now and then, until he woke half regretful, half relieved, into a reality that had narrowed until there was no going back, even if he'd wanted to.

And this wasn't a return. This was a fresh start.

The light was perfect now; not dark, and he didn't want it to be, but dim and soft. He'd left his glasses off and the corners of the room had receded, until all that he could see with any clarity was contained in the reach of his arms, on an old cotton quilt washed to the texture of silk.

He bent his head and kissed Xander's throat, until he tilted his chin to let Giles kiss under his ear, around to the back of his neck, turning to his stomach almost without realizing it as Giles carried on kissing him through the thick hair that brushed his shoulders, holding his attention, slipping his hand under the pillow and taking what he needed.

Giles smoothed his hand down over one buttock, letting his palm curve to the shape of it. Then he slid the same hand up the back of Xander's thigh, smiling gently at the soft sigh Xander gave as Giles brushed his fingers against the back of his balls, the soft skin there drawing up further at the touch.

The sound of the cap on the bottle of lubricant flipping up seemed loud in the quiet room, but Xander didn't flinch when it came, and he didn't flinch at the first touch of Giles' slick fingers over his balls and perineum. There was no reason not to take their time about this, so Giles spent long minutes gliding his wet fingertips over the sensitive skin near Xander's entrance without actually touching it, waiting for something to tell him that Xander was ready.

And all the time he was kissing Xander - the side of his throat, his shoulder, listening to the sound of Xander's breathing, and when he finally heard a tiny moan of need and noted a restless shifting of Xander's hips, Giles finally rubbed a finger over the small tight opening.

Xander moaned again, a bit more loudly.

Giles had been concentrating so much on Xander's reactions that the jolt of arousal he felt at that took him by surprise, as he became aware of the insistent signals his own body was sending. He paused for a second, trying to regain a measure of control. Kissing Xander once more on his shoulder, he placed his hand in the small of Xander's back, spreading his fingers wide in a reassuring caress and then started to slide his finger inside him.

Xander tilted his hips, pushing back just a little, making it easier than Giles had expected, and it was he, not Xander, who voiced a soft, wordless sound when his finger worked deeper in, clenched and held by the tight muscles.

Seemingly incapable of staying still, Xander shifted his hips again, the movement accompanied by a soft gasp. "God... Giles."

Giles began to slide his finger in and out slowly, going deeper on each gentle thrust. That had really been the most difficult moment for Xander; that first intrusion - not painful, not really, not yet - but there was that sense of a line crossed.

"Need to do more than this, if you're ready," he murmured, never stilling his hand, "I want to be inside you, Xander... you've no idea how much."

Xander had turned his face into the pillow, using it to stifle the soft sounds he was making, his shoulders tense but not distressingly so, and Giles felt him shudder in response to his words. "Do what you need to," Xander said, rocking his hips again. "God... this is... it feels..."

Giles knew just what it felt like. It wasn't something he'd forget, no matter how long it'd been - that need for more building up inexorably, the awareness of pleasure waiting, gathering strength... so he drizzled a little more cool liquid over his fingers and gave Xander more, letting him adjust to a second finger, then a third, until there was no need to wait any longer since the only tension in Xander's body was from the same desperate need Giles was feeling.

From the sounds Xander was making now it seemed that he might be biting down on the pillow in an attempt to stop himself from being so vocal. His hips were moving regularly with the rhythm of Giles' hand, pushing his erection against the mattress.

Suddenly, Xander shifted his weight, pushing himself up onto his knees and forearms, although his head was still low. The new position prevented him from rubbing his cock against the sheets, and at the same time seemed an invitation that was then reinforced when he spoke. "Please," Xander said, his voice strained. "Giles, just... I need..."

"I know," Giles said, his voice hoarse, "I know what you need, Xander."

He let his fingers slip out and moved to the side to reach for a handful of tissues, drying his hand so that he didn't waste time trying to open the condom with slippery fingers. He didn't look at Xander as he rolled it over his erection and used more lubricant, trying to find some measure of the control that he knew he was close to losing. Then he knelt behind him and ran his hands from Xander's shoulders to his hips, feeling Xander shiver at the touch.

Giles didn't make Xander wait any longer. Bringing his hands across, he laid them against Xander's backside, parting it and rubbing his thumbs over Xander's opening before letting the head of his cock rest against it. As soon as it was in place, he pushed forward just a little and dropped his hand to grip the base of his cock, guiding it inside Xander in short, gentle strokes, gritting his teeth against the need to thrust deeply.

Xander was making little pained noises, but they seemed to be as much from desire as from discomfort if the way his body was moving to meet Giles' cock was any indication. "God," Xander said, and Giles pushed in a bit deeper. There was plenty of lubrication, and that combined with the delicious heat of Xander's body made it so very difficult to stay in control. Xander's legs were trembling, his breathing a series of small harsh groans as if he couldn't find enough room for air in his lungs.

Giles slid his hands over to grip Xander's hips, trying not to hold him too tightly because the friction of Xander's skin sliding against his palms was something he could focus on, a needed distraction. They were finding a rhythm now and that felt unbearably good, so much so that it took Giles a moment to realize that they'd reached the point where he was deep inside Xander and could finally stop holding back.

He paused, feeling the sharp bones of Xander's hip rub past his fingers, holding him still for one long moment, until Xander made a sound of protest.

Then he pulled back and thrust forward at once, repeating it over and over, fast, deep thrusts, hearing the sounds he was making, deep, guttural moans that he couldn't have held back if he'd tried, because Xander was tight around his cock, moving with him towards a release Giles could feel waiting for them both.

The sounds Xander was making just spurred him on, and when Xander began to rock backward to meet his thrusts, Giles thought for a moment that he'd lose all control.

"Oh God." The words were shaky and desperate. "God, don't stop, I... Giles, I can't..."

Giles reached around and curled his fingers around Xander's cock, feeling a pang of guilt that he'd neglected him. It was rigid and hot in his hand and he squeezed it hard, stripping it with fast, short jerks of his wrist as he continued to drive into Xander, feeling his climax build. He was curved over Xander now, his fingers digging into his hip, his breath torn out of him in gasps.

"Xander - going to come - come with me, Xander - please -"

Why it mattered so much that this once they came together, he didn't know, but it did.

He felt Xander begin to come, the cock in his hand pulsing strongly like a heartbeat as fluid shot out over his fingers. Xander's cry, a hoarse shout, was, Giles thought later, what pushed him over the edge, more so than the feel of Xander coming in Giles' hand or the way his body clenched enticingly around Giles' own cock. It was like an incredibly perfect dream, something he'd despaired of having and even now had difficulty accepting the reality of.

And maybe that was why it mattered - because it made it all the more perfect.

But then it ceased to matter, because Giles felt his own release begin to sweep through him as Xander's body contracted in a series of shock-tightening ripples around him, and he was lost.

He cried out, and it was Xander's name in his head, no matter what came out of his mouth, came in that first long, endless surge that should have been enough, but his hips jerked forward again and again, until he was hollowed out and empty.

Giles pulled out of Xander slowly, feeling his legs trembling with reaction and knelt beside him, head down, taking deep, shuddering breaths. He peeled off the condom, wrapping it in the tissues he'd used earlier, and lay down by Xander, wrapping his arm around his shoulder and kissing the side of his face.

Xander stirred after a moment, shifting and seeming to sink even more heavily into the mattress, were that possible. His expression was dazed, pleased, a bit as if he'd had a dose of an opiate and was still reeling with the effects. "That was..." He cleared his throat and smiled beatifically. "Wow."

"Is that better than 'unbelievably hot'?" Giles said, smoothing the hair off Xander's face and kissing him again. "Because if it isn't, I'm going to have to disagree with you."

"Mm. Not better. Shorter." Xander turned some more and slid an arm around Giles' neck, pulling him closer for a longer kiss. "Short words good."

"I love you," Giles said as if testing the words. "Yes, they are, you're quite correct." He smiled, shifting closer, letting his hands rove across Xander's back in slow, gentle sweeps. "I love you, Xander - no, Xander's one syllable too long. What a pity, when I've set my heart on you." He looked thoughtful. "It can be the exception that proves the rule, perhaps."

Xander blinked and looked at him. "You said 'syllable,'" he pointed out, reasonably enough. "And 'exception.' Those both have three." His hand slid up the back of Giles' neck into his hair, cupping the back of his head, and gave it a gentle shake back and forth. "I love you too. And those are all one." He blinked again. "And so are those. I'm good at this." Again that smile, wide and peaceful.

"So you are," Giles said, smiling back. The cool air made him shiver and he tugged the quilt down, so they could get underneath it. The room was dark now and he couldn't see Xander's face clearly, but it didn't matter because his eyes were closing anyway, and he knew just where Xander was because he was holding onto him.

Read: Chapter 12