Act Of Nature - Chapter 12
written by Jane Davitt & WesleysGirl

Xander wasn't sure how long they'd been lying there - he thought at one point he might have dozed off, but it was one of those things where he wasn't sure. Which, come to think of it, probably meant he had.

At some point he'd turned over so that he was facing away from Giles, and now the other man's arm was over him, holding him close, his back against Giles' chest. He could feel Giles' chest moving gently as he breathed, so regularly that he wasn't sure if Giles was awake or asleep either. Not that it mattered, because he couldn't remember the last time he'd been so comfortable.

Every once in a while he'd get that little stab of guilt that he'd forgotten that Willow was dead. It wasn't getting less painful, but he was maybe getting used to it. It hurt like Anya's death had hurt at first, or like Jesse's had a long time ago, and he'd gotten used to those too. The realization - that some day it wouldn't hurt so much - made him feel worse instead of better, because it was supposed to hurt, wasn't it?

So much for being comfortable, Xander realized, and sighed quietly.

"That didn't sound very happy," Giles said, in a voice that was low but not particularly sleepy. "Or am I reading too much into the way you're breathing out?"

Xander slid his hand down over Giles' arm and then linked their fingers together. "I'm fine," he said, because he couldn't say 'it's nothing' and he didn't want to remind Giles if he was in the blissful not-remembering zone.

"You went to sleep feeling better than fine," Giles said. "Unless I misread the situation. What changed?" He tightened his fingers for a moment and said softly, pressing his lips against Xander's shoulder in a brief kiss. "Was it what we did? If you didn't like it, we don't have to do it again, really."

A sound kind of like a laugh escaped Xander. "What are you, nuts?" He turned around in Giles' embrace even though it was awkward. "No. It doesn't have anything to do with that. I just..." It was difficult to look at Giles as he said it, so he dropped his gaze to Giles' chest and ran his fingertips through the soft curly hairs there. "You know. I keep remembering all over again, about Will, and then I feel guilty for forgetting in the first place. It's that whole grieving thing."

"I'm a fool," Giles said with a sigh of his own. "And now you're probably thinking I've forgotten what happened too, but I haven't. It's always there, at the back of my mind, but I quite see what you mean; it should be all we're thinking about, this soon after it happened. Except it isn't, and she wouldn't want it to be, and she'd be glad we were happy, if I can drag out a platitude or two, and God, I wish she wasn't dead. I can't believe it, that's why it's so easy to forget."

He pulled away from Xander and rolled onto his back, looking up at the ceiling.

That was all way too much for Xander to wrap his brain around. "Willow knew what it was like," he said tentatively, even though Giles knew this stuff. "To lose someone you loved that much. I mean, Tara... not that I don't like Kennedy, but Tara was special. And Willow was ready to go on without her, because she had to. Because that's what you do."

Giles twisted his head around and gave him a look that bordered on incredulous. "Xander, Willow killed Warren, smashed up the shop, came damn close to killing me - all of us - and that was just for starters. I don't think she's - she was - a shining example of someone who dealt well with grief."

"I know that," Xander said, pushing himself up onto his elbow. "I was ready to let her kill me first, remember?" He wasn't sure why he felt so protective of Willow now, but he was careful to speak more softly when he said, "I meant after. She did the best she could. I'm not saying she was perfect or anything. I just..." What was the point? He should just swear off trying to make people feel better, since he obviously sucked at it.

"I'm sorry," Giles said, turning back to him. "I didn't mean that she didn't try - I was with her all that summer, remember? I know she did... I'm just saying that it was a lot longer than a few days before she was anything like rational on the subject. For you to feel guilty because you allowed yourself to be happy for a short while seems - well. Not so bad in comparison."

Xander sighed and slid back down, pressing closer to Giles again. "How about we both try not to feel guilty? How does that sound?"

"Difficult," Giles said, slipping his arm around Xander and looking relieved, "but as that came far too close to us disagreeing, I'll do my best." Xander felt Giles' lips warm against his in a brief kiss. "I'm sure we'll have some interesting arguments from time to time, but I don't want them ever to be about Willow," Giles said, sounding as if he meant every word.

"She wasn't a saint," Xander said. "I know that. Doesn't mean I didn't love her." He thought about his choice of words. "Don't love her." Going back to what he'd been thinking about on and off, he suggested, "Buffy and Dawn might have some ideas too - about the memorial thing."

"We can talk to them later," Giles agreed. "This is something we need to do together. Kennedy too, of course."

That sounded like an afterthought, though he'd never got the feeling Giles didn't like Kennedy exactly - she just wasn't - she was just new. And now she'd probably drift away and they'd never get the chance to see just what Willow had seen in her.

"So I'll go to London with you for that, then come back here to finish the house," Xander said, thinking aloud as his hand slid up and down over Giles' hip. "And then..."

"Then," Giles said, not making it sound like a question, "you come to me." Even in the darkness Xander could tell he was smiling. "Or, I should say, Mr Simpson. He can't wait to start training you - if that's still what you want?"

Xander smiled too - he couldn't help it. "Yeah, that's what I want. Wherever you are... that's where I want to be." And he pulled Giles closer and kissed him, kissed him hard without holding back, letting his hands run over Giles' body, loving how it felt against his.

"You've no idea how appealing that sounds," Giles said after the kiss ended, still so close that when he spoke his lips brushed Xander's cheek. "How much I'm looking forward to it." His hand came up to cup Xander's face, his thumb traveling in slow, gentle strokes across his lips. "Light the candle? I want to be able to see you."

"Okay," Xander said, sliding away and sitting up on the edge of the bed. "Just don't try that one too often, or I might start to suspect that all you want is a quick look at my bare ass." An ass which, come to think of it, still ached in a vague and pleasant sort of way. Thinking about it made him start to get hard again, so he lit the candle and then half turned on the bed, drawing one leg up underneath him. "Not that I mind," he added, for the record.

"Mind me looking, or mind it just being quick?" Giles asked, stretching his arms above his head for a moment, so that the quilt slipped down to his waist. "Because I'm quite happy to stare at you naked for any amount of time, believe me." He rolled over and gave Xander one of those lazy smiles that didn't do anything to stop him getting harder. "And since you mentioned your, uh, ass, how does it feel now?"

Xander wriggled a little bit as if he was checking, when actually he was just really aware of how that probably looked. "Feels good," he said, leaning over to kiss Giles. "Want to give it another test drive?"

He felt Giles's hand slide down his body and grinned when it slapped his backside. "That's for being insatiable," Giles said, biting down gently just where Xander's neck met his shoulder and making him shiver. "And you deserve another for being irresistible, but I'll let it go just this once."

"Oh no," Xander murmured, grabbing hold of Giles' hair and using it to keep him still for another, deeper kiss. "Don't let it go." He moved back down beneath the quilt and rubbed his body against Giles', feeling his cock respond pretty eagerly to both the feel of it and the idea that it was going to be getting some more action soon. And the whole time they kept kissing - he didn't think he'd ever get tired of kissing Giles, not with the way his lips moved, and his tongue, and... yeah, that thing he did. God. "Tell me what I have to do to convince you," he said, pushing his hips forward again and feeling Giles' cock slide up beside his.

"Exist?" Giles said, smiling at him. "Xander, I really can't - God, I can't think when you do that - can't imagine you ever needing to convince me to make love to you." His hand was still resting on Xander's backside and he used it to pull them even closer together, rocking his hips slowly against Xander so his cock nudged and bumped into Xander's. "Though it'd be interesting to see you try... I'm sure I could pretend not to be enthusiastic about the idea for, oh, two minutes at least. Possibly three."

"Three? Really?" Xander slid down in the bed a little bit more and licked Giles' nipple, flicking it with the tip of his tongue as Giles' erection pressed against his ribcage. "Are you sure?" He was aching with wanting to feel Giles inside him again, especially now that he knew what it was like.

Giles made a soft sound that wasn't quite a moan and brought his hand up to curve around Xander's neck. "I was until you did that... perhaps I meant seconds, not minutes? I can't imagine what I was thinking about."

Xander bit down softly, licked, bit down again. He wondered what it would take to make Giles so eager that he'd just roll him over and fuck him - not that he was sure he'd want that, but the thought of it did make him that much harder. With one hand cupping Giles' ass, he used it to rock Giles' body in against his own, providing what he knew from personal experience was sweet rhythmic pressure on Giles' cock as he continued to tease first one nipple and then the other.

"Can I admit I'm convinced now?" Giles said, sounding as if he was having trouble forming his words. "Because I am." His hand travelled down Xander's back, fingers curved, scratching at it, leaving a tingling line of sensation, and then moved between them, searching for Xander's cock. He was too far down in the bed for Giles to be able to reach more than the tip of it, but that didn't stop Giles from circling his finger over the head, in a slow, deliberate pattern.

Biting back a groan - on Giles' chest, since it was so conveniently located - Xander reached down and grabbed Giles' wrist, pulling his teasing hand away. "I don't need convincing," he pointed out, then rolled the both of them so that Giles was on top of him. "Uh-oh," Xander said, feigning innocence. "Look, we're diagonal. I seem to remember someone saying something about that not being allowed."

"We're not trying to sleep," Giles said, dipping his head to bite at Xander's chest, sucking hard at the skin he'd caught between his teeth and then staring at the mark that left with something that looked like satisfaction in his eyes. "And if you don't need convincing, what do you need, Xander?"

Giles leaned on an elbow, which lifted him up so that he wasn't touching Xander above the waist, though he was still lying on top of him. That might have been bad - less contact had to be bad, right ? - but Xander wasn't complaining because right then Giles used his knee to spread Xander's legs apart and his hand went right back where it had been before. "Maybe this?" he said, letting his fingers curl around Xander's shaft fleetingly. "Or this?" One finger slid down and rubbed and pressed and slid inside Xander, just a little. "Do you need this, Xander?"

Xander gasped and arched his body, trying to get that finger to go deeper. "Yes," he said, finally remembering that there was a question he was supposed to answer. "God yes."

That earned him a kiss, with Giles' tongue darting into his mouth at the same time as his finger pushed in just a little more. "Oh, good answer, Xander... now stay right there, would you?" Then Giles rolled away which would've had Xander complaining, but he guessed what he was doing, and the small noises of foil ripping and bottle tops flipping weren't even a little bit scary second time around.

He reached down and gave his cock a couple of rough pulls while he waited, because... well, because it felt good, and why not? Then he rolled toward Giles a little bit and ran a hand down along the outside of his thigh. "You are planning on coming back, right?"

Giles turned and gave him an amused look. "Insatiable, irresistible and impatient? The list just keeps on growing." Xander let himself be pushed gently back on the bed. "And you can't seriously think I'd leave you like this...." He dragged his fingers down Xander's cock and ran them under his balls in one swift, continuous movement. "All needy and wanting and so very, very hot. And one of those ‘very's would have been a ‘fucking' but you're being a good influence on me. Mostly."

Xander wanted to say something witty, but it was too hard to think of anything except his cock, what with the way Giles was touching him and what he knew was coming next. "God, I want you," he said instead, reaching down to catch Giles' hand between his legs and pull it away, because it wasn't Giles' fingers he wanted inside him. "Don't make me wait."

Something that looked like frustration flashed over Giles' face, which was weird because he wasn't the one aching and empty. "I'm not going to make you wait. I am going to make sure I don't hurt you."

"Oh, believe me, I'm all about the not-hurting," Xander said, hoping he was being reassuring. "Look, just - kiss me, okay?" Because kissing Giles, he was quickly becoming convinced, was a cure for pretty much anything that was going wrong.

It wasn't a long kiss, but it was a heartfelt one, and when Giles pulled back slightly, Xander said, "There. I love you, and anything you want is what I want. Okay?"

"Thank you," Giles said, stretching out a hand for that little bottle that Xander was wishing he'd got more of now. "I love you too. And I think -" One finger, cool and wet and Xander felt his breath catch. "We both want -" Two fingers and Xander stopped trying to breath. "- the same thing." Three, then nothing for a moment that lasted no longer than an eternity or so, and then it was Giles inside him at last.

Just like before, only this time Xander wasn't worried about if it was actually going to fit or not, even if it felt like such a close thing that for a long minute he couldn't move at all. He had to take shallow panting breaths to adjust to the stretch of it, but that was okay, because he knew that any second it would go from being too much to being... perfect, and then Giles moved in a tiny bit deeper and it was perfect. "Oh God," Xander whispered. "God, Giles..."

Giles reached out almost blindly, and touched Xander's face for a moment with the back of his fingers. "You feel - Xander - you feel wonderful -"

His lips curved in a wavering smile that vanished as he began to move in slow, deep strokes, his eyes, intent and distant at the same time, fixed on Xander's face.

There was nothing else like it, having someone inside you like that, Xander thought, with the part of his brain that was still capable of thinking. Not just how it felt - incredible sweet aching thrusts that made his cock harder and his fists want to clench and, okay, his eyes want to roll up into his head - but what it meant, that he loved Giles that much, trusted him that much. And in a world where trust seemed like a pretty rare thing, Xander wasn't going to take it for granted.

Giles pulled out again, almost all the way, before sliding back in, so deep that it forced a groan from Xander. Without even needing to think now he spread his legs a little bit more, forced the small of his back straighter and changed the angle of Giles' thrusts right along with it, and on the next one he didn't just groan, he cried out.

Giles' hand slid down his thigh to cup the side of his ass and stayed there, his arm braced against Xander, helping to hold him in place so every stroke, every deep, perfect stroke ended with that flash of something Xander didn't have a word for because it was so many sensations mixed up together that he couldn't have picked one. He just knew it felt good and he wanted more of it, and Giles was moving faster now, his face tight and his eyes half shut, harsh sounds escaping from his clenched teeth, so he was feeling it over and over....

It occurred to him briefly that it was a good thing they were alone in the house, because his own cries were getting loud enough that his throat was starting to get hoarse. He was rocking his body to meet every thrust, and he couldn't wait anymore - he reached down and grabbed onto his cock, stroking it roughly. "Giles... feel so good..." Giles' cock was pushing into him hard, hitting just the right spot inside.

Xander felt himself come, his cock throbbing in his hand as he shot onto his stomach and Giles kept right on fucking him, the shudders rolling through him with a series of desperate cries and unbelievable pleasure.

"Xander... oh God... want you -" Then Giles came too, throwing his head back as his body stiffened, every muscle rigid, hips jerking forward in helpless, uncontrollable spasms that made what Xander was still feeling get even more intense. "Xander... oh God, yes..."

Giles collapsed down on top of him, which was just fine with Xander, who was basically only concerned with breathing at that point. He wrapped his arms around Giles and held him, one hand moving in little circles at the small of Giles' back and the other playing with the hair at the nape of his neck as they both tried to recover. "Love you," he murmured, the words easier to say than he'd thought, even if the emotion itself scared the hell out of him. It was terrifying to think that some day Giles was going to die.

Giles turned his head enough to kiss him; a soft, warm kiss that lingered, as if Giles didn't want this moment to end, even though Xander knew they'd have to move eventually. "Love you too. I can't remember my own name right now, but I remember that." He eased out of Xander and lay beside him, his arm across Xander's chest and his hand stroking his arm.

"Mmm. That's nice." Xander felt kind of drowsy again - mind-blowing orgasms had a tendency to do that to him - but he was also getting hungry. "I don't suppose I could talk you into going and making me some food," he said jokingly.

Giles closed his eyes and snuggled his face against Xander's shoulder. "No. You couldn't persuade me to do anything right now. I'm not even sure I'm still conscious. Possibly a cup of tea would bring me around. I seem to recall I boiled a kettle about three hours ago. Milk, no sugar, and I prefer it strong, not weak, but not stewed."

Xander snorted quietly. "What makes you think I'm getting up? If we're voting, I vote we just stay here until tomorrow." He wasn't totally serious, but it amused him to say it.

"Carried unanimously," Giles said, kissing Xander's neck, more, Xander guessed, because he could reach it without moving, than because he knew it made him shiver. Not that shivering in that kind of a way was possible right now. Probably not until tomorrow. Giles stirred against him, dragging his hand across Xander's stomach. Okay, maybe that was a bit of an overestimation, but right now Xander felt happy to be just holding Giles.

The rain outside seemed to have stopped - at least, Xander couldn't hear it anymore - and he thought that he could see a little bit of pale light coming in through the window from the early evening sky. Very faintly, if he listened hard, there was the sound of the ocean crashing against the shore. It was a soothing sound, but one he'd gotten used to pretty fast, so that now it was just something he expected to hear. Like his own breathing as he was drifting off to sleep.

Like, he hoped, the sound of Giles' heartbeat, the reassuring steady thud that meant life.

His stomach chose that moment to growl, and Xander chuckled at it and turned his head to kiss Giles' temple. "Come on, get your lazy butt up," he said, dragging his own to the edge of the mattress and sitting up, trying to remember where he'd last seen the flannel pants that he wore on the rare occasions he hung out in his bathrobe. "If we don't have something to eat before we go to sleep we're going to be in rough shape for Christmas morning."

Giles rolled over and looked at him. "Do you promise that's all we'll be doing? Eating? No plans to chop that tree into firewood, mend the window, or anything else that interferes with a nice, idle, Christmas Eve lying in front of the fire, with a whisky I've more than earned and you within reach? Because I'm not moving for anything else."

"I promise," Xander said, as he spotted his pants in a tangle on the floor and got up to put them on. "As long as no more trees decide to crash the party, we're cleared for a completely, one hundred percent peaceful evening."

"Oh God. You had to say it." Giles sat up and began to get dressed in whatever clothes he could reach without standing up. "I give it five minutes before the first carol singers arrive."

"Nah. That's the beauty of being in the middle of nowhere," Xander pointed out, feeling kind of giddy with happiness. He started for the bedroom door, then had a thought and paused, turned around. "You're right," he said, because he thought it needed to be acknowledged out loud. "About Willow... she would have been happy for us."

"She would," Giles said quietly, coming over to him and patting him on the shoulder, then slipping his arms around him. "Wide-eyed, lost for words, and then incoherent for about five minutes, but after that, yes, I think she'd have been glad to see you - us - happy."  His arms tightened. "And that seems inadequate for the way I feel, but it'll do."

It sure would, Xander thought, leaning his chin on Giles' shoulder and imagining that Willow was smiling at them.

"Yeah," he said, smiling back at her - a little bit sadly, but hey, that was normal, right? You picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, and went on.

You went on with the people you loved.

"Yeah," Xander said again. "It'll do."