Saturation - Chapter 7
written by Jane Davitt & WesleysGirl
If Giles had been the
kind of man who froze in a crisis through shock,
he would have been dust and bones in a lonely grave by now. It was
remorse that held him in place as Xander fell, not surprise.
He had the advantage over Spike of knowing exactly what was wrong with
Xander, but that wasn't much help when he was cursing himself for
leaving Xander alone all day, when, if they'd been together, he'd have
noticed the signs of an approaching attack of malaria.
It was what had sent Xander home from Africa, it was something Giles
had nursed him through twice, each time hoping it was the last.
He didn't hesitate long, but long enough that when he knelt beside them
Xander was cradled in Spike's arms.
"What the fuck is wrong with him?" Spike asked, his voice urgent and
rough. "Call a doctor or something!"
"No need, not yet," Giles said tersely, not sparing him a glance. "It's
a flare-up of malaria. We keep a supply of the drugs he'll need; we
just need to get some into him and reduce his fever." He stared down at
Xander as his eyes fluttered open, gazing blankly up at them. "Why
didn't he say he was feeling ill," he muttered. "We
could have started the treatment right away."
"Malaria," Spike repeated as if tasting the word on
his tongue. "Thought they could give you a jab against that these days."
"No, there's no vaccine," Giles murmured absently, feeling the heat
radiating from Xander's skin and cursing himself for the exceedingly
bad timing of all of this. Spike's hand was, he noticed, rubbing up and
down along Xander's bare arm where the blanket he'd had wrapped around
had slipped down.
Xander blinked slowly. "Giles?"
"Right here," Giles said, trying to keep his voice level and
reassuring. "You're going to be fine, Xander. We're going to get you
back to bed -"
"He wants to be in your bed," Spike put in. Giles
glared at him, thinking his comment ill-timed, but Spike went on, "He
was getting all upset about the idea of going back to the spare room
for some reason."
"Oh." Giles gave in at once, knowing that reasoning with Xander was
pointless when he was in this state. And it wasn't as if he didn't want
Xander back with him -- he'd been lying there wide-awake for hours,
after all, missing Xander more than he'd thought possible. "Right. Help
me up with him, will you?"
Between the two of them they managed to get Xander to his feet,
although the blanket had to be left behind. The heat coming off Xander
was appalling, and again Giles muttered, "Why didn't he
He hadn't expected Xander to answer, not under the circumstances, but
he oughtn't to have been surprised when Spike did. "What are you,
stupid?" Spike asked. "You know why he didn't say
anything -- because you were pissed off at him and he didn't know how
Giles met Spike's accusing eyes. "No matter how I was feeling, he
should've known that if he was ill -"
"Save it," Spike said curtly. "Not interested, Rupert."
Biting back a retort because Xander started to shiver, his teeth
chattering, Giles lapsed into a silence that ended when they reached
"Hold onto him while I strip the bed," he said.
Leaving Xander in Spike's arms, his dark head resting against Spike's
shoulder, Giles pulled back the top covers, and then went to the
bathroom for an armful of large towels, spreading them over the
"Right," he said. "I'm going to fetch the medicine. Get him on the bed
and stay with him."
By the time Giles got back with the tablets, a basin and sponge, Xander
was curled up on his side on the bed with Spike sitting behind him, one
hand smoothing Xander's damp hair away from his forehead. Spike was
leaning over and murmuring something nearly in Xander's ear, something
soothing, but he stopped as soon as Giles stepped into the room.
"Get that bottle of water behind you," Giles said, gesturing with his
chin at the bedside table and refusing to acknowledge Spike's obvious
feelings for Xander.
Spike turned and got it as Giles set the basin down on the floor and
sat on the side of the bed, running his own fingers gently over
Xander's face. Xander opened his eyes again, but it was clear from his
dull expression that he was too fevered to make much sense of what was
Giles shook out a tablet and then slipped his hand under Xander's neck,
feeling the sweat-damp hair cling to his skin. Moving quickly, he
pushed the tablet into Xander's mouth and then tilted the bottle of
water against his lips. Xander tried to stop him, his head twisting
from side to side, but enough went down his throat to wash down the
medicine, and Giles sighed with relief.
It was a start.
The next stage was to get Xander cooled off. A tepid bath would be
ideal, but Giles really didn't want to move Xander more than he had to,
and he'd decided to see what he could do with a sponge bath.
Which meant stripping Xander out of the sleep trousers he was wearing,
but he was damned if he was doing that with Spike around.
"I can manage now," Giles said, giving Spike a dismissive look.
Spike frowned. "What, one pill and everything's fine again? He's
burning up... I think we ought to get him to hospital, don't you?"
"He hates it there," Giles said. "I nursed him through the previous
relapse at home, and I can do it again. I don't need your help."
Or want it remained unspoken, but hung heavy in the
air all the same.
Xander curled up around himself a bit more as his chills returned with
a vengeance. Fortunately, the medication would work fairly quickly on
the worst of the symptoms, but at this point getting Xander's
temperature down would make him comfortable a lot faster.
Ignoring Spike, Giles spoke to Xander comfortingly and reached for the
basin, bringing it up onto the bed and wringing out the sponge. As soon
as the tepid water touched Xander's chest, however, Xander struggled
backward, nearly bumping Spike off the bed and drawing a startled
exclamation from him.
"Fine," Giles said tightly, as though Spike had voiced a determination
to stay and help. "Hold him, will you?"
Spike gave him a swift glance and then pinned Xander's shoulders to the
bed, his back to Giles, using a precision of force that was rather
chilling, Giles reflected, when you considered how he'd acquired it.
But Spike was bending his head and talking to Xander, a stream of
soothing words that seemed to calm him, and there was nothing of the
predator about him now.
Giles hooked his fingers in the waistband of Xander's trousers and
pulled them down, peeled them down in fact, as they were clinging
damply to Xander's legs. Impossible not to react to the sight of Xander
naked, even like this.
No; especially like this. Giles dipped the sponge into the water again
and squeezed it out just a little, his gaze travelling over Xander's
He lay sprawled, legs open, arms by his side, palms up-turned, utterly
lost in his fever-dreams, his skin flushed and the hair on his stomach,
the fine, dark trail of hair Giles had traced and followed down with
hand and mouth so many times, a shade darker with sweat. Xander's cock
was half-hard, resting against his thigh, as if responding to the
weight of Giles' regard.
Edging up the bed a little, and wishing he'd thought to put more on
than just a robe, Giles began to sponge Xander down, his arm brushing
against Spike's as the man worked to keep Xander still.
Xander whimpered and twitched against Spike's restraining hands as
Giles slid the damp sponge down over his fevered chest, his nipples
hardening at once into tight points. It was upsetting to see him like
this, but Giles couldn't allow himself to indulge in those sorts of
thoughts. It was important to concentrate on doing what he could to
lower the fever for now; soon enough Xander would feel better.
A droplet of water clung to the hollow of Xander's collarbone, and then
slowly slid its way to his shoulder. Giles watched it as if spellbound,
and then he glanced up at Spike, who looked up from the same droplet at
that exact moment. Their eyes met and held.
"Seems like he's calming down," Spike said, sitting back on his heels
and brushing Xander's hair away from his forehead again. Xander didn't
protest the next fresh pass of damp sponge across his chest and belly,
so Spike must have been right, and yet Giles didn't ask him to leave
despite the fact that his assistance was no longer required.
Together, they watched the glowing sheen of damp on Xander's skin,
painted on as though it were velvet. They both saw when, as Giles ran
the sponge down over Xander's hip bone and along his thigh, Xander's
cock swelled and twitched.
They both heard Xander's small moan, a moan that sounded as much like
pleasure as pain.
And again, Giles glanced at Spike, seeing in his eyes an arousal that
must have been plain in his own. The swift rise of an angry
possessiveness was halted before he could give it voice when Xander's
hips lifted as though begging for the cool relief of the water-laden
sponge, the small movement drawing Giles' eyes away from Spike.
When he dragged the sponge over Xander's cock and Xander cried out
softly, his eyes closed, Spike's hand reached out, gripping Giles'
"Let me help."
Giles wanted to refuse. Spike could look -- somehow he couldn't deny
him that -- but his hands on Xander, while Giles watched? That was --
"Oh God," Giles whispered, so quietly it was an exhalation, not words,
enlightenment bought at the price of peace of mind. To give himself
time to think, he soaked the sponge again and passed it to Spike who
took it with a nod and, with more composure than Giles was feeling,
started to run it gently over Xander's thigh, down to his knee.
Giles watched him, thoughts tumbling and clashing in his head.
Angry. Yes, he'd been angry and jealous -- but he'd felt hurt, excluded
more than anything. And the jealousy hadn't been as simple as wanting
Xander for himself; it included Spike.
What the hell has he done to us? Giles thought,
resentment and desire tangling within him. Confusing
everything -- spoiling it all -
Xander shifted on the bed again, a whimper emerging from his lips.
Giles glanced down and saw Spike draw the sponge up along the inside of
Xander's thigh, finishing high enough that his fingers brushed Xander's
Giles' hand flashed out to grip Spike's wrist, his fingers tightening
brutally hard. "No," he said firmly, almost harshly. "Not like this."
Spike's hand stilled, and then he nodded. "How, then?" he asked.
"What makes you think I'll ever let you touch him?" Giles asked, his
voice thin and tight. "Awake or asleep, he's still mine -" He faltered
on the final word, because what had been true a week ago was now just a
memory of a truth, hollowed-out and empty.
Here with Spike, in the dark hours of the night, with the restless,
suffering body of the man he loved and Spike wanted laid bare for them
both to see, it wasn't that simple.
The heat they'd taken from Xander with each cool stroke of the sponge
was soaking into him. Giles could feel it suffuse his body, a reckless,
urgent heat, clamoring and insistent. He laid his free hand against
Xander's stomach, low down, so that when he spread his fingers against
skin that was already warm, not burning, his thumb scraped softly
against Xander's cock, making Xander groan, the sound all the heat
inside Giles needed to explode.
"You -- fucking -- no," Giles managed to get out,
and then his hand was around Spike's neck and he was pulling him close
enough to kiss, biting down savagely on Spike's lip, sucking at it hard.
Spike... well, it would have been an exaggeration to say that Spike
kissed him back. It was more that Spike allowed himself to be kissed,
and that was enough to make Giles hesitate; but, in the moment he did,
Spike turned the tables, making a small, eager sound and returning the
kiss with no less desire than Giles felt, lips parting under Giles'
determined tongue and letting him in to taste the inside of Spike's
Just as Xander had -- which was all the reason and all the excuse Giles
needed, somehow. And with Spike's tongue warm against his, and Spike's
hands sliding inside Giles' robe, pushing the loose folds open, baring
Giles's shoulders and chest, it was enough.
His cock was achingly hard and he wanted -- oh God, what did he want?
Revenge? No. Not that. Acceptance, assurance that he belonged, that he
was wanted? Maybe. Spike's hands on him? Yes, that. He wanted that.
Spike's T-shirt hung loose over his jeans, allowing Giles to reach his
back, touch skin he'd seen gleaming cool and pale in the past and been
stirred by, aroused by, but he would never -- and he hadn't, no, he
hadn't. Vampire. Soulless. Evil.
And none of that was true now, and Spike was warm and alive in his
arms, straining to get closer, until they both moved off the bed,
sliding to the floor and kissing frantically, pulling and tugging at
what little they were wearing, kicking and shrugging out of it until
they were naked and close, soft, harsh whimpers mixing with guttural
words, all silenced with kisses.
Spike's skin was so warm Not that Giles had touched
Spike all that much in the past, but even still, he couldn't get over
it now. Had to keep touching, sliding his hands over every bit of skin
he could reach, especially that muscled, flat abdomen that couldn't
have been more perfect.
They were on their knees, Giles' insistent cock riding the sharp line
of Spike's hip, Spike's hands on Giles' arse pulling him closer,
seemingly as desperate for more as Giles was himself. Spike's mouth was
eager as well, the skill of his kisses betraying his hundred plus years
of experience with each talented movement, and Giles couldn't help but
wonder what a mouth like that would feel like on his cock... There was
a soft sound from the bed that brought him slamming back to a reality
that he didn't want to return to, a hoarse, small voice saying his
name. "Giles?" Xander sounded confused.
Spike's fingers tightened; a startled reflex that brought their bodies
together one last time, and then Giles sighed, leaning his forehead
against Spike's for a second. He expected to feel shame, even anger at
himself or with Spike, but there was nothing but confusion and
disbelief filling him and so much of it that it left him groping for a
Then Xander spoke his name again, his voice drowsy, and it all became
simple, because Xander needed him.
"Go," he murmured to Spike. "Please?"
Letting his arms slip away without regret, even with some relief that
when he did as Xander had done and confessed, he'd have no more than
this to tell, Giles pulled on his robe and got to his feet.
Spike picked up his own clothes and headed for the door, although Giles
could hear that he stopped just outside it, presumably dressing again,
as Giles sat on the side of the bed and reached a hand out to touch
Xander's forehead, which was still quite hot.
Xander opened his eyes at the touch. "What happened?" he asked,
sounding as if the words were difficult to come by.
"Another malaria attack, I'm afraid," Giles said, keeping his voice
steady with an effort. "You've taken your medicine, don't worry; you'll
feel better soon, I promise."
"Damn," Xander said, closing his eyes again. "I thought we beat it last
time." At least he was coherent, Giles thought; that meant the fever
had reduced somewhat. Xander opened his eyes, his gaze flickering
about. "I'm back in your room." It was clear that he wanted more
"You went downstairs for something," Giles said, wondering how much
Xander remembered. "Spike woke and went in to you. I was... not
sleeping, and I went downstairs."
Because I thought you were going to him. Because I needed to
know. Was even looking forward to an argument after
the hours of silence, the chance to hurt you both as I'd been hurt
The shame came then, bowing Giles' head as he tried to compose himself.
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Xander didn't seem capable of
noticing that anything was wrong past what he already knew. He reached
out and tangled his fingers with Giles', but tentatively, as if
expecting to be rebuffed. "You still mad at me?"
"No," Giles said, the single word forceful and sharp. "Xander, I'm so
sorry about that. We'll -- we'll talk about it when you're better, not
now, but you need to know that I love you, and I'm just -- I'm sorry."
He brought his other hand up to cover Xander's, squeezing it gently.
God, he could see now why Xander had just blurted out a confession like
that. The urge to tell, to be forgiven, was strong, but it would have
been selfish and cowardly to give in to it. Xander didn't need to be
upset right now, and he deserved to be told when he wasn't reliant on
Giles for his care.
Xander tugged at his hand weakly. "So if it's okay for me to be in
here, would you lie down with me for a little while? Please?"
Giles began to refuse; shared body heat was the last thing Xander
needed, but Xander's anxious face was telling him that he needed more
than words to convince himself that Giles still loved him.
He lay down beside Xander, touching him with the tips of his fingers,
stroking them lightly down Xander's arm as they lay facing each other.
"I missed you while I was away," he murmured, setting aside the hours
they'd been estranged, taking them back to the moment he'd walked
through the door. "Hours of endless babbling in public, with all the
real decisions made in private -- so pointless in some ways, but you'll
never get them to admit that."
He felt Xander relax.
"And if you'd been there you'd have got to see me slamming my fist down
on the table and saying something very rude to the Lithuanian delegate,
which I'm sure looked very impressive, even if I did have to spend the
next five minutes trying not to let the agony show as I'd hit the table
a lot harder than I'd planned."
Giles held up his hand, showing Xander the bruise along his little
finger, and then let his hand rest on Xander's hip, linking them
without getting too close. Xander's eyes were half-closed now.
Xander hitched himself a bit closer, his breathing just a bit too quick
as his body fought against the illness that Giles, too, had hoped not
to have to watch Xander go through again. "I'm sorry," Xander
whispered. "I didn't want to want to. I don't. I want
you" The way the words spilled out, easy and
somewhat slurred, indicated that he probably didn't realize how honest
he was being. "Don't be mad at me."
"I'm not," Giles said helplessly. "Xander, I'm not." He surrendered and
took Xander in his arms, just for a moment, holding him close. "I'm not
angry at all," he whispered, kissing Xander's forehead, tasting the
salt-heat there. "See?"
Apparently desperate for the contact, Xander pressed himself still
closer, rubbing against the loosely fastened front of Giles' robe. The
fabric parted, and Giles could feel Xander's hot skin flush against his
own. Xander's mouth found his in a kiss so hot it made Giles
breathless. "Love you," Xander murmured, settling down into Giles'
arms, but clinging as though he had no intention of letting go. "Stay
here, okay? Don't go."
Giles closed his eyes momentarily against the guilt and longing he
felt. "Xander -" he said, and then shook his head. "I'm not going
anywhere," he said. "I promise." He eased them apart a little. "But
you're so hot, love. Let me try sponging you down again -- or do you
think you could make it to the bathroom? Soak in a bath for a while?"
Xander shook his head, hiding his face briefly against Giles' chest,
then sighed and pulled back slightly with an expression that Giles
recognized well. It was the one that Xander wore when he knew he needed
to do something he didn't particularly care to do. "I'm all yours,"
Xander said, rolling onto his back, spreading himself out for Giles'
inspection and, presumably, care.
The fact that seeing Xander like that sent a fresh surge of complicated
lust through him was something Giles had to push aside. Resolutely, he
reached for the basin and sponge.
Xander whimpered as the cool water dripped on his skin, and Giles
managed to smile. "I can practically hear it sizzle," he said lightly,
making sure his face didn't show anything but concern. "Roll over; let
me do your back."
Xander made a small, protesting grumble at having to move again, but he
obeyed, and Giles bent to kiss his shoulder blade briefly. "Ready?" he
asked and brought the sponge down as Xander nodded.
By the time he'd finished, Xander had fallen asleep, his body barely
reacting to the slow sweep of the sponge.
Giles tidied everything away and stretched out beside him, staring into
the darkness until exhaustion rescued him from thought.
Xander woke up from a light doze and groaned softly. The muscle aches
from the malaria relapse would have been enough to make him miserable
even if he hadn't been feverish, but since he was, all he could do was
curl up on his side in misery and wait for it to go away.
He'd spent the night with Giles, sleeping and waking and sleeping
again, sometimes waking up fully enough to remember why he felt so
upset, but never for a long enough time that he could think about it to
any real degree. By the time the alarm went off and Giles got up,
Xander was aware enough to ask if Giles was going to work, but Giles
had said no, he was going to stay home and take care of Xander.
That had been a relief, because it meant that Giles
was committed to trying to work things out. He had, apparently, sent
Spike off to the office, and Xander was hoping that one of the reasons
for that was so that the two of them could talk on their own. Not that
he was really looking forward to the conversation, but he'd do whatever
he needed to.
Speaking of conversation, Giles appeared in the doorway with a tray of
food, not saying anything right away in case Xander was still asleep.
"I'm up," Xander said, not moving. "Although I have to admit there's
part of me that's wishing for that IV at the hospital that makes
everything go so soft and fuzzy and un-hurty around the edges."
"Poor Xander," Giles said, with just the right blend of sympathy and
serene confidence that he could look after Xander better than any
hospital. "But really, when I think of how you were last time, I'm sure
this attack is milder. If we'd just caught it a bit sooner -"
He set the tray of food down on the bedside table and pulled a chair
over, sitting close enough that he could take Xander's hand but not
close enough to jar the bed, for which Xander was grateful.
"And that was my fault, as much as yours," Giles continued. "Leaving
you alone while I, well, sulked is a kind way of describing it. Xander,
do you feel up to talking about it? Because there's something I want to
tell you, but it can wait, honestly."
Xander looked at their hands together, thinking that how miserable he
felt now was nothing compared to yesterday when he'd thought Giles
might never even be this nice to him again. "Hey,
you know me, Blurt-It-Out guy," he said. He figured some more
apologizing wouldn't be out of place. "I'm sorry. Really, really
sorry." A sudden bolt of fear shot through him, and he didn't know if
he should hold onto Giles' hand more tightly or let go of it. "The
thing you want to tell me... it's not that it's over, is it? Please
tell me it's not."
Giles hesitated, which was so not what he should be doing, and then he
shook his head. "I love you, Xander. More than I've ever been able to
tell you. I don't want to lose you. Ever." The
vehemence was reassuring and scary at the same time, because it was
obvious Giles wasn't done. "But that might not be the way you feel when
I tell you -"
Giles' fingers clasped his, and then Giles pulled his hand away and
took a deep, I'm about to break your heart, breath. "Last night --
Spike helped me get you up here. Do you remember that?"
He tried, really tried, to remember, but most of the
night before was a blur. Xander didn't even remember going downstairs
in the first place. "No. You didn't... you didn't beat him up or
anything, did you?" He answered his own question. "No, I know you
"God, if only!" Giles muttered. He ran his hand over his hair and gave
Xander a desperate, pleading glance. "Xander, I
kissed him. A lot. On this bed, with you lying between us, then on the
floor, and I don't know where it would've ended up if you hadn't called
my name, and -"
Giles ran out of words, which just never happened, and sank his head
into his hands. "I am so bloody sorry," he said after a moment, when
Xander was still staring at him in a stunned silence. He lifted up his
head. "I wish you were well enough to hit me or something. I deserve
it. I deserve worse than that. The only thing I don't deserve is you."
Xander had no idea what to say. He didn't even know how he
felt. Well, other than sick, and that was kind of a
given just then.
"Give me a minute, okay?" he said, looking at Giles, then he clarified,
"Don't go anywhere. Just... let me think."
Giles didn't move, just kept sitting there with his head in his hands
like he was waiting for a death sentence or for Xander to yell that he
didn't love him anymore or something.
Some things were simple. Xander did love Giles, and
he didn't think anything could change that. Other things were more
complicated, like that fact that Xander was starting to think he liked
Spike way more than he should.
"You kissed Spike," he said, slowly.
Giles straightened. "Yes," he said, sounding wretchedly unhappy. "You
were -- you were naked. I was sponging you down and you were -- you
wouldn't keep still. Spike held your shoulders -" Xander felt a
sense-memory surface, of strong hands and blue eyes and the splash of
ice-water searing his skin, and then sink back again. "You -- God,
Xander, you don't know what it was like!" Giles' voice dropped,
thickened. "You were there, between us, and I was so tired and so
worried and I felt as if it wasn't happening, not really."
Giles swallowed and sat back, his eyes never leaving Xander's face now,
as though he was determined to hide nothing. "Seeing you like that
aroused me," he said bluntly. "Unforgivable and completely
inappropriate, I know, but it did. You were hard, I'm not sure why --
you certainly weren't aware enough, but -- and you were making these
sounds -" Giles face flushed and Xander felt his own skin heat, not
with fever but embarrassment and a stirring of lust, basic and primal.
Shit. He could see himself spread out naked on this bed with both of
them staring at him, and both of them hard because of him, and
shit, that shouldn't turn him on this much...
"He wanted you, too," Giles said, the words spilling out. "He asked to
help bathe you and I -- Xander, I let him, and when I saw him touch
you, saw you respond, I just -- I snapped and grabbed him. I wasn't
doing it to get back at you, or because I don't love you, I just -- I
wanted you and I couldn't have you, and Spike was mixed in with it all
somehow, and he -- we didn't, you have to know that we didn't -- but -"
And finally, finally, Giles stopped talking.
Xander was still feverish. He knew he had to be, because that was the
only explanation for why he was kind of turned on knowing that Spike
and Giles had been sitting right here, looking at him, naked. That
they'd... Xander could picture them both, and even despite the fact
that he was sick and exhausted, his body responded to the mental image
of the two of them together.
"You didn't," he repeated, and Giles confirmed it with a miserable nod
of his head. "Okay, well, that's good." Possibly it was good because
he'd have hated to have missed it, but maybe this wasn't the right time
to add that.
Then again, maybe it was.
Xander reached for Giles' hand, taking it in his own and pressing it
over his swelling cock, wanting Giles to understand and not sure how
else to explain it. He was naked under the thin sheet, and he drew a
shivering breath as he pushed his hips up, rubbing his growing erection
against Giles' palm. "There, see?" Xander said. "That's... God. When I
think about the two of you together, it's..." He groaned when Giles'
fingers traced his length under the cotton sheet, not letting go of
Giles' wrist because he didn't want this to stop.
"That's how it was for us," Giles said, curling his fingers around
Xander's cock. "Seeing you. And when you told me about you and Spike, I
was hurt and angry at first, but I had all day to work it out, and it
wasn't because of what you did as much as the fact that I wasn't
included." Giles frowned, sliding his hand up and down almost
absentmindedly, Xander thought, concentrating on his thoughts, not his
actions. And, because he was Giles, still managing to do a good job of
bringing Xander to the point where he wanted the sheet out of the way.
"Does that make any sense?" Giles asked. He shook his head. "I really
can't believe you're not furious with me. You have every right to be,
you know." He huffed, sounding a little indignant. "And with Spike, who
seems to have done a wonderful job of disrupting our lives, as per
"Maybe I just don't have the energy to be furious," Xander said. It was
a reasonable enough suggestion, he thought, even if he doubted it was
true. Giles' hand kept moving slowly, so Xander let go of Giles' wrist
and slid his hand up Giles' arm. "I like him," he said. "I mean, don't
get me wrong, I didn't want our life disrupted either; I liked it the
way it was. But this feels okay, too." He didn't know if he was talking
about Spike or what Giles was doing with his hand.
Giles leaned forward and kissed Xander, which was way better than
talking, because Giles was kissing him just like he always did, making
Xander feel safe after hours of worrying. If Giles could kiss him like
this, he still loved him, and no matter what he -- and Giles -- felt
for Spike, which Xander hadn't figured out yet, this mattered. He had
to know Giles was there for him or nothing else would be right.
And Giles was. Xander lay back and let Giles draw the sheet away, the
cool air touching him in a barely-there caress, with Giles' hand warm
and hard against him a moment later.
He was feverish and he ached, but with Giles touching him, Xander
didn't care as much. He closed his eyes and pictured Giles the way he
looked with his head thrown back, cock buried deep inside Xander. He
moaned softly. He wasn't sure he could come, but he didn't care about
that, either. This was more about comfort and reassurance, Giles
showing him that things were going to be okay. Xander whimpered and
"Shh," Giles said. "Be still."
Xander tried to obey, he really did, but he couldn't quite manage it.
All his muscles ached, and he rolled toward Giles again, curling up on
his side. "I hate this," he said, knowing that Giles would understand
that he meant being sick.
Giles slipped from the chair to his knees beside the bed, with a
comforting pat against an erection that Xander knew was already
flagging, the arousal having been mostly in his head. The spirit had
been willing, but his flesh wasn't weak as much as tormented.
Positioned like this, Giles could kiss him again, and he did, soft
kisses that asked for nothing in return, so that Xander could lie there
and feel those warm lips on his without needing to do more than that.
"You'll feel better tomorrow," Giles said with a certainty that should
have been irritating, given how very far from well Xander felt right
then, but somehow, when Giles pulled back and smiled at him lovingly,
it became something to hold on to.
"Promise?" Xander asked.
"Yes," Giles said. "Now if you're quite sure you don't want to use what
little energy you have in punching me, I think we should concentrate on
achieving that goal, don't you? So sit up and try to eat something."
"Okay." Xander let Giles help him to a sitting position with a pillow
jammed between him and the headboard and looked without much interest
at the soup and sandwich and juice on the tray. He wasn't hungry, but
he knew Giles was right that he'd feel better sooner if he ate, so he
was determined to do what he could.
As he looked up at Giles, Xander realized that he'd do whatever he
could for him, too.
On the couch the next day with a totally unnecessary but
made-Giles-happy blanket around him, Xander sighed and clicked the
remote again. He didn't know why he bothered. There was never anything
Giles had gone off to the office for the afternoon; he'd said more than
once that he didn't absolutely have to go, and that
if Xander wanted him to stay home he would, but Xander had rolled his
eyes and insisted he'd be fine. It was only a few hours, and Spike was
there in case anything happened, which it wouldn't, because after two
days on the medication Xander was well on his way to recovery. The
worst of the aches and fever were gone -- at this point he was mostly
just kind of tired.
The awkwardness of the whole situation had faded into a mutual, if
unspoken, agreement not to talk about it, but Xander knew that now that
he was well again things were going to have to be said.
He didn't know if he was looking forward to that or not, but anything
was better than another day of watching Spike be studiously polite, and
Giles withdrawn and edgy whenever Spike was around.
Spike had gone to his room as soon as Giles had left, and Xander
guessed he planned to stay there, but what would that solve? Taking a
deep breath, he yelled, "Spike! Come here, will you?"
Spike appeared in the doorway, looking as tired as Xander, a frown
furrowing his forehead. "What?" he said, without crossing the
threshold, not meeting Xander's eyes. "You need a drink or something?"
"No -- I'm bored. Come talk to me." Xander didn't think Spike would go
for it, not really. He figured Spike would make some excuse and go back
to his room. So he was surprised when Spike hesitated, then nodded and
came into the living room, sitting down in the chair that was as far
away from Xander as possible and glancing up at him warily.
Xander shut off the TV and set the remote on the cushion beside him.
After a minute, Spike said, "Maybe I should get you something to read.
A book? Could run down to the corner shop and get you some magazines?"
"Nah," Xander said, shaking his head. Then, watching Spike, "Giles told
me what happened the other night."
He could see the relief on Spike's face, then wariness set in. "Yeah?"
Spike stared at him in silence, and then shook his head, the ghost of a
smile crossing his face. "This the bit where you ask me what the hell I
thought I was doing? Because I'll save you the trouble; I don't know.
It wasn't planned, any more than what happened with us was. Heat of the
moment and all that." He sighed and sat back in his chair, looking
contemplative. "You angry with me? With him?" he asked.
Xander shook his head again. "No. I was... I don't know, kind of
sidelined for a little while. But I've had lots of time to think the
past couple of days." He looked down at his hands. "And it's not like I
can't see the attraction."
"Don't say that!" Spike growled.
Xander glanced at him in surprise, to find his face flushed with
determination -- and how weird was it still to see color and warmth in
Spike's skin, changing him subtly from alien to accessible?
"It isn't that I'm not flattered," Spike went on, his face softening a
little, "and it's not that it isn't mutual -" Xander shivered as
Spike's gaze flickered over him yearningly, "but you and Giles, you've
got a good thing going here, and you don't want to fuck that up."
"No, I don't," Xander said. He didn't, obviously. He only wished it was
that simple. That it was easy to turn away from Spike and pretend like
there wasn't something there between them.
"Well then," Spike said. "Looks like that's settled then." He
hesitated. "Giles -- does he want me to go? Because I will if it's
"I don't know," Xander said honestly. Giles hadn't mentioned it since
Sunday; somehow, it had ended up on the list of things none of them
were talking about. He hated that there were things they weren't
talking about. "I mean... I guess you're not gonna want to stay.
Right?" He looked at Spike.
"Not if I'm not wanted," Spike replied. "Had enough of that with
Angel." He looked desperately lonely and proud; not a good combination
as Xander knew only too well. "I never meant to -" His face twisted. "I
can't do anything right, can I?" he said bitterly. "You two give me a
place to stay, a job, and I go and - " He stood up suddenly. "Sorry."
"Don't be sorry," Xander said, sitting forward. "It's not your fault.
It just... happened." He wasn't sure how else to explain it. He wasn't
sure he understood it, himself. "Look... promise me you won't go
without saying anything."
Spike shrugged. "Yeah... see how it goes. Not like I've got anywhere to
go, so you might be stuck with me for a while longer." He glanced at
Xander. "You want anything? Because I didn't get much sleep last night
and I might try to make up for it now."
That reminded Xander that yes, Spike actually was human now, and needed
sleep, and that made him feel guilty. "I'm okay," he said, which was a
lie, but it wasn't like he needed anything he could put his finger on;
whatever it was he needed didn't seem to be something physical that
Spike could get for him like a glass of water or a snack. "Go ahead and
get some sleep. I'll be fine."
The day passed by with Xander counting down the hours until Giles got
back and he had someone to talk to. Spike had emerged from his room
after a few hours, not looking any more rested, and started to do some
translation work at the kitchen table. Xander could hear the rustle of
paper and Spike muttering to himself in a steadily more frustrated
voice, and decided not to go and keep him company.
He slept instead, waking from a doze to blink up at Giles, who was
standing beside him looking cautious and hesitant, as if he wasn't sure
what to do next.
"I didn't mean to wake you," Giles said apologetically.
Xander yawned and stretched a hand out to Giles. "S'okay. I'm glad you
did. C'mere." He closed his fingers around Giles' and pulled the other
man down onto the couch beside him, wanting the contact. Needing it.
"How was work?"
Giles was perched sideways on the edge of the couch, his back stiff,
but when Xander kept hold of his hand, rubbing his thumb across Giles'
knuckles, he relaxed and leaned forward, giving Xander a warm kiss. "Do
you really want to know?" he asked, pulling back just far enough for
Xander to be able to see the smile on his face. "Or can we pretend I
bored you with an account of my day and move on to the part where I
forget work exists for a few hours?"
"Okay, but only if you actually come sit with me,"
Xander said, tugging again until Giles moved closer. He put both arms
around Giles, his cheek cool and nice against Xander's overly warm
forehead. "Missed you."
Giles' arms were tight around him. "You can stop that now," he said
with the twist-of-lemon humor it'd taken Xander a while to decode when
he'd first met him. "I'm right here." He was sounding contented rather
than stressed, which was good. "I might just stay here indefinitely, if
that's all right with you."
"Sounds good," Xander said, feeling like everything was okay again. He
sighed and closed his eyes.
"Started some dinner," he heard Spike's voice say, and he opened his
eyes to see Spike standing in the doorway. "Thought you might... oh.
Sorry. Didn't realize... sorry." Before Giles or Xander could say
anything, Spike disappeared again.
Xander sighed more deeply and pressed the side of his face to Giles'
Giles didn't think he'd ever been so nervous about getting into bed
with Xander, not even the first time it'd happened. No, definitely not
then, with Xander's panic making his own seem like no more than a mild
trace of concern by comparison, and none of it mattering at all in the
face of their mutual longing.
Xander was waiting in bed for him, naked and with the sheets barely
covering his hips. The day's rest had left him well on the way to being
fully recovered, although he hadn't protested when Giles said firmly
that work was out of the question the next day and he looked wide awake.
"Are you coming to bed, Giles?" Xander asked, trailing his hand over
his bare chest, absentmindedly scratching at an itch before rolling
over to put the book he'd been reading on the night table. The sheets
fell away as he moved and Giles caught a glimpse of the curve of
Xander's backside and the broad expanse of his shoulders.
Wide awake -- and completely and utterly fuckable.
"Yes, in a moment," Giles replied, pretending that he was having
trouble undoing the strap of his watch and wondering if Xander knew
just what he was doing to him. Well, if he didn't, he would when Giles
slipped out of his robe, because he was as hard as he'd ever been.
Sighing, Giles snapped off the main light, leaving the room lit only by
the lamp beside the bed, and took off his robe, tossing it over the
chair in the corner. He watched Xander's gaze travel southward and got
into bed rather quickly, pulling the sheets up around him and keeping
rather a lot of the king-size mattress between Xander and himself.
Xander frowned, his dark eyes asking a question, and Giles gave up any
idea of keeping his doubts unspoken.
"I want you," he said, reaching out to take Xander's hand, even that
small point of contact enough to make him ache with the need to move
closer. "Which can't be news, but I don't want you to feel... we don't
have to. I could always sleep in the spare -- in your room. If you're
not well, if you're not ready after all that's happened, I promise I'll
understand." He gave Xander a reproving look. "Why are you snickering
like that when I'm trying to be considerate?"
"It's just nice to know that I can still make you look like this,"
Xander said, although clearly there was very little
looking going on as he freed his hand and slid it
down along Giles' body to circle his erection. "Considerate's good. I
like considerate. Especially if you're thinking that you're going to be
considerate," Xander's hand squeezed in emphasis,
drawing a gasp from Giles, "with this."
"You'll be able to get this reaction out of me for as long as I'm
physically capable, I imagine," Giles said dryly, trying to control his
voice. Xander's hand on him was robbing him of rational thought.
Dropping the casual tone, he moved closer, slipping his arm around
Xander and kissing him hard, trapping Xander's hand between their
bodies. "God, there isn't a waking moment when you couldn't have me
wanting you with a look, or a smile, do you know that?"
Moving with a slow purposefulness, he eased back a little and tilted
his hips, thrusting his cock through the tight circle of Xander's hand.
"Like I want you now," he whispered, biting down, not too gently, on
Seemingly reassured, Xander leant forward and kissed him hungrily, warm
tongue exploring Giles' mouth while Xander's hand continued to torment
Giles' cock with a great deal of expertise. It was startling, Giles
thought, how very quickly Xander had learned his body, learned what to
do to drive him half mad with desire, to bring him to a shuddering
release. "Wanted to do this last night," Xander admitted, bending his
head to lick at Giles' throat. "I wish I'd had the energy."
"You seem to have sufficient now," Giles managed to say, turning his
head slightly so that Xander could do whatever he wanted, which seemed
to consist of flickering his tongue over every sensitive place on
Giles' neck, leaving Giles pliant and close to squirming underneath
him. "God, Xander -"
Raking his nails fiercely from Xander's shoulders to his arse and
getting a moan and a biting, sucking kiss in return that left his neck
smarting and tingling, Giles gave himself up to making Xander know how
much he was loved, forgetting that they weren't alone in the house,
letting himself be as vocal as Xander's mouth and hands demanded.
Xander crawled half on top of Giles and kissed him harder, groaning
loudly as his cock skidded across Giles' abdomen and attempting to
muffle the sound against Giles' shoulder. The two of them moved
together, thrusting erections against each other's bodies, mouths
meeting in kisses that were sometimes gentle, sometimes rough and
Giles could feel the moment when Xander went from eager to determined,
but even if he hadn't been able to, he would have known by the way
Xander's voice changed. The muttered words became a bit louder, the
squeaking of the bed more rhythmic as Xander moved faster.
"Want you in me," Giles said, feeling the eager shiver that went
through Xander. "Need you to fuck me, Xander.
Please. Want you to -"
The bedroom door was pushed open forcefully, revealing Spike standing
in the doorway, silhouetted against the faint glow of light from the
hallway downstairs. "And I want you to keep it fucking down," he
snarled. "Christ, like I want to hear you two fucking right above me.
You selfish pair of buggers."
Xander and Giles moved apart instinctively, with Xander's dismayed face
mirroring the expression Giles was sure was on his own. Spike sounded
angry, and Giles might have been moved to anger himself by the
intrusion, but Spike's face was twisted with more emotions than simple
rage, and even from here Giles could see the shine of tears in his eyes.
"Spike -" he began awkwardly, dragging the sheet up over him and Xander.
"Forget it," Spike said bitterly. "Comes easy to you two, right?
Forgetting stuff. People. Yeah. Just forget it -"
He left, slamming the door behind him.
Read: Chapter 8