Saturation - Chapter 8
written by Jane Davitt & WesleysGirl

Xander pulled back, moving away from Giles to the other side of the bed, clearly upset. "Shit."

That did a fairly good job of summing it up, Giles thought.

"The worst part is, he's right," Xander continued. "I wasn't thinking about anyone but you, and... I should have been." His eyes met Giles', alarmed. "Not like that. You know what I mean."

"I know exactly what you mean," Giles said a little grimly. And he knew exactly how Spike was feeling, too, because it was the way he'd felt picturing Spike with Xander. Isolated. Unwanted. It had turned out not to be the case, and he'd been so happy about that -- selfishly happy, in fact. "You don't think I feel the same way? I was just so glad to have everything right between us again that I -"

"Forgot Spike," Xander said. "Yeah."

Giles pushed back the covers and got out of bed. "I'm going to talk to him," he said, reaching for his robe. "And you're coming, too. This is something we need to do together, I think." He slipped his arms into his robe and glanced over at Xander. "All three of us."

He waited for Xander to pull on some clothes, then opened the door and went out into the hallway, listening. Just then, the comparative silence was broken by the sound of the CD player in the living room being turned on at quite high volume. He exchanged a glance with Xander as they started for the stairs.

Spike was curled up on one end of the sofa, a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. He looked up as Giles blocked the light from the hallway coming into the room and quickly put the bottle between his knees, using his now-free hand to rub his knuckles across his eyes. Then, defiantly, he took another drag off the cigarette.

Pushing past Giles, Xander went over to the stereo and turned it down.

"What'd you do that for?" Spike asked sullenly.

"We need to talk to you and I'd rather not have to shout," Giles said. He glanced at the cigarette and what was -- yes, his 18-year old Macallan, dammit -- and managed, with a slight effort, not to comment on either, because he could see the traces of tears in Spike's eyes.

Sitting down beside Spike, turning so that they faced each other, Giles studied him for a moment, seeing the strain in his face, and then sighed. "I'm sorry. There's more to say than that, but it's as good a place to start as any."

"Me, too," Xander offered. He was standing as though he wished he had pockets to put his hands into, shoulders slightly slumped. His posture made him look larger than he was in the small room.

"Don't need to be sorry, though, do you," Spike said, sounding defeated. "Your house, your..." With a shake of his head, Spike took another very long drag off the cigarette. He blew the smoke out along with a sigh. "Guess I ought to be moving on," he said, giving Giles a smile that didn't reach his eyes. "Outstayed my welcome."

"I don't think Xander feels that way, and I know I don't," Giles said. "But I do see that what happened between us makes it all very -" He tried to find a word to adequately describe the situation they'd found themselves in and failed. "Awkward?" he said doubtfully.

Spike snorted, stubbing out his cigarette in a small ashtray he'd stolen from the first pub he'd been thrown out of. "Could say that, yeah."

Giles reached out and took the whiskey from him, taking a swig from the bottle with an apology to the shade of his father who'd always made a ceremony out of pouring a careful amount into sparkling crystal. "Bloody awkward," he said firmly, hanging onto the bottle. "Again, I'm sorry. You didn't do or say anything to make me think you wanted that from me -- quite the opposite as you were obviously attracted to Xander -- and I shouldn't have forced myself on you."

He remembered the way Spike had allowed his kisses without returning them at first and cringed inwardly. God, he'd been so concerned about getting Xander to forgive him that he'd neglected to give Spike the apology he deserved. "So very sorry," he said, tightening his grip on the neck of the bottle. He glanced up at Xander, then at Spike again. "That goes for both of you."

"You don't owe me any apologies," Spike said, his gaze meeting Giles' for a moment before skittering away. This wasn't like Spike. Or, at least, not like the Spike Giles thought he knew.

Which, he was realizing, wasn't the Spike sitting beside him. Not really.

"I do," Giles said. "Xander knows how sorry I am... I hope..." He looked at Xander, who nodded, looking dismissive of the apology, frowning as though to tell Giles to get on with it. "But I do owe you an apology as well, Spike."

Spike grabbed the bottle of whiskey back from Giles' hand and surged to his feet. "If I tell you I accept your apology, will you stop whinging on and on about it and leave me be?" he asked bluntly.

Feeling slightly taken aback, Giles nodded. "I'll stop apologizing, certainly, if you're willing to forgive me." He couldn't help adding rather acidly, "I'd hate to bore you both, after all."

"Good," Spike said. "Apology accepted." Which was not, Giles noted, the same as being forgiven. "Now, if you'll let me, I'm gonna go sit out back and drink the rest of this. Slowly, so you two can finish up what I interrupted without me having to listen to it."

"You'll still know what we're doing," Xander said. "And we'll know you know, and -"

"And it won't happen," Giles said with certainty, before Xander progressed any further. "I really couldn't, Spike. Not under those circumstances."

Spike turned in the doorway to the room, leaning on the frame. "You're not seriously telling me you're not going to have sex as long as I'm staying here, are you?" he asked, gesturing in Xander's direction with the bottle. "Oh, unless you're planning to toss me out in the morning. You can do that now, you know. M'not a vampire anymore."

"No, I'm not planning to toss you out in the morning," Giles replied, wondering what on earth he could do to get through to Spike, to prove to him that things were different and that he was trying.

"Just let it go, Rupert," Spike said quietly, closing his eyes for a second or two with the side of his head supported by the door frame. "I can't do this."

"You don't have to," Xander said, and Spike opened his eyes and looked at him. "Let us help."

"You can't bloody help!" Spike's voice rose. "You think I can just stay here, knowing the two of you are... and I'm..."

"What?" Giles said, standing up. He walked towards Spike, pausing a foot away. "Knowing we're in love? Knowing we're happy? I can see how unbearable that must be, but it's not going to change, and I don't think you really want it to, do you? You don't hate us after all -" He took the bottle out of Spike's hand and placed it down on top of a bookcase beside the door. "You just want what we have, which is perfectly understandable." Spike looked as if he was about to say something, but Giles was determined to get this out into the open. "The question is, do you want it with someone else -- or do you want it with us?"

The eyes Spike raised to meet his were anguished. "Giles... I can't. Don't put me through this. I know I'm horrid to live with and you've both got plenty of reasons to hate me, but don't. It's hard enough knowing I can't have it without you rubbing it in my face."

"I asked you a question," Giles said inflexibly. He heard Xander make a small sound of protest behind him -- close behind him -- but he ignored him. "Has seeing what we have made you want to go out there and find someone of your own -- or do you just want to stay here, with us?" He made his voice gentle. "Please, Spike. Either way we can make this work. I promise you we can. I just need to know."

"No 'we' about it if you're the only one doing the talking," Spike said. His voice was just the tiniest bit shaky as he looked over Giles' shoulder. "Xander?"

"Yeah?" Xander said.

"You in on this? This what you want?"

"The three of us together?" Giles wished Xander sounded more convinced, but at least he sounded willing. That was something. "Yeah, that's what I want."

"What about you?" Spike asked Giles, looking right at him. "That what you want?"

Giles reached behind him and felt Xander's hand slide into his at once as Xander moved beside him. "I asked you a question and I'd like it answered," he said steadily. "You know we both want you -- but I'm still not sure how you feel about me." He realized that he was gripping Xander's hand hard enough that it must be hurting him and tried to relax. "Because this can't work if you want Xander and just tolerate me at best."

"That feel like 'tolerating' to you, the other night?" Spike asked. His tone was light, but he looked utterly serious.

"No," Giles admitted. "But it wasn't me who got you hard; it was Xander." He met Spike's eyes, wondering how they'd got to this point, where nothing was left to hide behind. "I won't be what you put up with to get to him."

"Okay... I've been trying to let you two do the talking, but are you insane?" Xander asked. "You don't seriously think that anyone could look at you and not want you, do you?"

Giles was flattered and, admittedly, a bit flustered. "We're not talking about 'anyone'," he said. "We're talking about Spike."

"I'm with him," Spike said, tilting his head toward Xander. "That look you get in your eyes... gets me going every time." He reached out for Giles' free hand and pressed it to the front of his trousers in demonstration of the fact that he was, undeniably, hard.

"Oh God," Giles said, feeling Xander's fingers clutch at his and guessing that all three of them were equally aroused -- he knew he was -- which probably explained Spike's abrupt decision to move from discussion to demonstration. "I don't have the faintest idea what look you're talking about, but you've made your point." He let his fingers stroke along the hard swell of Spike's cock and raised his eyebrow. "More than adequately," he said, trying to hold back a grin and failing when he heard Xander snicker.

Spike shook his head. "Well I can see who's the steadying, mature influence around here," he muttered. "And it's not you, Giles." He glanced between them, still with a shadow of uncertainty in his eyes. "So are we good here? No one's still feeling the urge to apologize for having the good taste to fancy me?"

Giles hadn't thought of how their apologies might have been misinterpreted. "We weren't ashamed of wanting you because it was you, Spike," he said quietly, slipping his arm around Spike's waist. "It just felt like a betrayal of what we had together. It's different now."

"Doesn't get different that fast," Spike protested, although Giles noted that he didn't attempt to pull away from the embrace.

"Maybe sometimes it does," Xander said. "Or maybe we just want it to. Does it matter?"

Spike blinked at Xander in astonishment. "If you turn around tomorrow and change your minds back it will," he said. "And I'll be the one suffering for it."

"You've known us a long time," Giles said. "Long enough to know we're capable of making mistakes. Bad ones. Long enough to know there's no guarantees -" Spike started to tug free of Giles' arm, but Giles held onto him. "And long enough to know that you can trust us, even so," he finished. "You came to us for help. I've lost count of how many times you've done that, or we've turned to you. Have we ever let you down before?"

Spike looked wary still, and Giles sighed. "Oh, come here," he said half-impatiently, kissing Spike without letting himself think about it too much, because if he did he'd start to wonder if Xander would mind, if Spike would step back, if -

But this time there was only the briefest hesitation on Spike's part before he threw himself into the kiss wholeheartedly, parting his lips to encourage Giles to do more. Spike's mouth was warm and tasted of whiskey, and Giles groaned and pulled him closer, feeling Spike's body against his, losing himself in the kiss.

He felt a hand on his arse that was most definitely not Spike's -- it was too familiar -- and he broke away, breathless, to turn his head and look at Xander.

Xander was wide-eyed. "Do it again," he said.

Spike and Giles exchanged amused glances. "I'm glad you enjoyed the show," Giles said, slipping his hand around Xander's neck and leaning in to kiss him with a brevity that didn't stop him becoming even more aroused, because Xander's mouth was so very eager. "But I see you more on stage than in the audience."

"Yeah," Spike said. "And I'd like a kiss from you when you know just who you're kissing." He gave Giles a sidelong look. "Can't imagine he really thought I was you, though."

"I did!" Xander protested.

Spike lifted a skeptical eyebrow, and then grinned. "We're both good," he said, running his hand up Giles' back casually and leaving Giles wondering what it would feel like to have that hand on his skin again. "But it'd be nice if you could tell us apart in the dark."

"I was asleep," Xander muttered, but Spike stopped any further protest with a kiss that would have had Giles hard and wanting in the first few seconds if he hadn't already been. Xander made a small sound of surprise and need, his hand coming up to grab onto Spike's hair in what seemed to Giles a rather dominant manner.

When they broke apart, Spike was gasping. "Like it better when you know it's me," he admitted grudgingly.

"Good," Xander said, his hand still tangled in Spike's hair. "So do I." He glanced at Giles. "Are we going to go back to bed now?" he asked plaintively. "Still recovering, you know. All this standing around has to be bad for me, not to mention being this hard, for this long."

"I think we're all suffering from a similar complaint," Giles murmured.

"I'm not complaining," Spike said promptly.

"You complain about everything else," Xander said, but he was smiling at Spike.

"Lot to complain about around here," Spike said.

Xander attempted to look affronted. "Hey, if you don't like it..."

"Right, that's enough," Giles said. "Upstairs with the both of you."

He'd have been gratified by the speed at which they obeyed him if it wasn't obvious that it was less a recognition of his authority -- and he wasn't even going to consider Spike's claim to be the most responsible one in the house -- and more down to the need for more than kisses. A need he shared, of course.

It was odd to walk back into the bedroom and find the lamp still burning and the bed covers still rumpled. It felt as if hours had passed since he and Xander had been in that bed, so close to each other, with Spike listening, miserable and frustrated. Spike swallowed, hesitating, staring at the bed.

"I -- this is your place-"

"It's going to be fine," Giles said brushing a soft kiss across Spike's mouth. "At least it will be when you two are wearing less. Xander, get undressed again, please."

"Is he always this bossy?" Spike asked Xander, who grinned and didn't reply.

Giles walked to the bed and pushed the pillows up. "I don't think Xander minds being told to undress, Spike." He shrugged out of his robe and got onto the bed, leaning back against the pillows. "And I did say 'please'."

He was aware of Spike's eyes on him, but when he began to watch Spike he could see that Spike was mesmerized by the sight of Xander slowly removing his clothes. First the T-shirt, up and over the head, revealing a toned upper body and tight, pale pink nipples. Then the soft sleep trousers pulled down over hips that Giles loved to grab hold of while thrusting deep into Xander's warm, welcoming body...

Giles swallowed and fixed his eyes on Spike again as Xander kicked off the pants.

"Now Spike's," Giles said. Both of them looked at him, so he clarified, "Xander, please undress Spike."

He could see the exact moment when Xander got turned on by the idea of that, and it was about a second after Giles had finished speaking. Filing that away to think about later, Giles gave into temptation and reached down to stroke his hand across his cock, shuddering less from the light, expected touch than the swift pass of Spike's tongue over his lips as Xander smiled at him.

Xander started at the top, holding Spike's gaze as he hooked his thumbs under the hem of Spike's T-shirt and slowly pushed his hands up, taking the thin material with them, baring Spike's stomach. Giles could remember running his hands over that flat, muscled skin and even the memory was enough to make him move his hand away from his cock, because he really didn't want this to be over quite that quickly.

Xander eased Spike's arms out of his T-shirt, one at a time, and then gave into temptation himself, kissing Spike, not on the mouth, but on his stomach, sliding down to his knees to do it and dragging his mouth slowly across the taut skin.

Giles bit down on his lip at about the same time Spike muttered, "Fuck, Xander, please," sounding close to desperate. Giles didn't blame him. He could imagine - he knew - just how that felt.

He was certain that the first thing Xander would do upon unzipping Spike's jeans would be to lick Spike's cock, and from the trembling groan that escaped Spike he surely thought so as well. But Xander didn't do anything that Giles hadn't specifically told him to do -- he eased Spike's jeans down over his hips, exposing Spike's swollen, upright cock, and helping Spike step out of them, then turned back to Giles expectantly as Spike's hand settled on his dark hair.

"Taste him," Giles said, keeping his voice level with an effort, as Spike gave him an imploring look, his blue eyes dark with need. "Just for a moment, and then come and kiss me." He stared at Spike and smiled. "Both of you."

Xander nodded, and Giles was left to choose between watching Xander's tongue lap slowly across the head of Spike's cock before he took it between his lips, or concentrating on Spike's reaction as he threw back his head, jaw clenched, his hand dropping to Xander's shoulder. He'd watched his own cock slide into Xander's mouth and enjoyed the sight, because if ever Xander looked wanton it was then, eyes half-closed in pleasure, lips forced wide and open, but there was something so erotic about what Giles was watching now that he was spellbound.

They were beautiful together, he thought without envy, admiring them without bothering to glance down at his own body, still strong, but which really didn't compare to theirs in his eyes.

Xander pulled back, looking unsurprisingly slightly reluctant, Giles thought, and reached up to take Spike's hand, letting Spike help him up and keeping hold of Spike's hand as they walked over to the bed.

Xander bent to kiss Giles first, the press of his lips as familiar and eager as always. Giles grabbed onto the back of Xander's neck and sat up, exploring the inside of Xander's mouth with his tongue and only finding the faintest hint of anything unusual there.

He felt cautious fingers touch his thigh just above the knee, then they ran up along his inner thigh. "Can I touch?" Spike asked.

The fact that Spike was asking for permission did things to Giles that his body responded to fiercely.

"Not until you've kissed me," he said, sternly repressing the urge to say, 'yes, please'.

Spike gave him a thoughtful look, and then smiled unexpectedly. "Sure. Where?"

Giles opened his mouth, although he wasn't quite sure what he was going to say to that, because it redefined 'spoiled for choice', but Xander beat him to it. "He likes this -"

Giles let Xander push him back down and moaned as Xander's tongue teased his nipple hard enough to be caught between Xander's teeth and sucked.

"Right..." Spike murmured, sounding eager as he moved to copy Xander. Giles concentrated on breathing, which was about all he felt capable of, wrapping his arms around their shoulders and running his hands over their backs, feeling the subtle difference in skin texture.

Spike's mouth was far from tentative, reminding Giles that however unsure Spike might be about some things now he was human again, he still had well over a century of experience to fall back on when it came to sex.

"I think you can touch me now, if you like," Giles said, aware that his voice sounded husky.

"Good," Spike murmured, breath warm against his chest, and a moment later Giles felt strong fingers curl around his erection.

"You do that," Xander said, clearly speaking to Spike. "And I'll do this." He moved up, lips finding Giles' while his finger toyed playfully with one nipple. Then a hot mouth closed around Giles' cock and he gasped into Xander's kiss, his body arching at the combined sensations that weren't possible without more than one lover.

"Tastes good, too," Spike said, sliding lower and licking at Giles' balls, then taking one into his mouth gently and sucking at it.

Oh, God.

Giles couldn't reach Spike with his hands and Xander didn't seem keen to break their kiss, but he brought his knee up and rubbed it against Spike's shoulder encouragingly. Xander he could reach, and he took full advantage of that, sliding his hand over the warm body in his arms, and making no secret of the fact that every pass of his hand brought it closer to Xander's cock.

He wrapped his hand around Xander's erection just as Spike moved lower, the tip of his tongue stroking languidly across the entrance to Giles' body, something Xander hadn't done yet and Giles hadn't asked for. With an assurance Giles felt it would take a while to get used to, Spike spread Giles' legs wider and rubbed his thumb across the sensitive skin he'd just awoken, pushing firmly enough that Giles felt the tip of it enter him. Spike's mouth replaced it a moment later, with his tongue moving in fast flickers that left Giles' cock aching.

Xander whimpered as Giles's hand tightened around his cock and began to work it hard, tearing his mouth away and gasping out Giles' name. Then he glanced down to see what Spike was doing to Giles and, even though he wasn't able to see much, Giles supposed he'd figured it out by the way his eyes widened.

"Touch me," Giles begged, taking Xander's hand and moving it down to his cock. "Hard. God, please, Xander." Then Spike's tongue slipped inside him and he cried out as he came, with a release all the more powerful for being so long delayed.

Xander's hand encouraged him, stripping every last ripple of sensation from him until he gave a little whimper as it went from too much to really too much. Xander knew him well enough to let go then, although Giles still had his own fingers wrapped a bit clumsily around Xander's still-erect cock.

Gasping and heaving for air, Giles barely noticed that Spike had left the bed and disappeared into the bathroom until he heard the sound of running water. A few moments later Spike was back, flopping down onto the mattress beside Giles and running a slightly damp hand up and down Giles' chest. "Good?" Spike asked.

Giles laughed, but the sound was fairly pitiful considering he still hadn't caught his breath completely. "Extraordinary," he said.

Spike looked pleased, bending to kiss Giles, and then looking over him to Xander on Giles' other side. His hand reached across over Giles' stomach and his fingers joined Giles' on Xander's cock. It was even more awkward like that, but from the expression on Xander's face, it was still appreciated.

"Looks like it's your turn, Xander," Spike said, eying him both speculatively and admiringly. "What do you want to do with this then?"

Giles realized, with an entirely pleasurable shock, that although the logistics of this might take a bit of getting used to, the benefits were going to be considerable. He'd never worried too much about being at an age where Xander's ability to respond with an apparently unflagging erection outstripped his own; he was certainly as eager to make love as Xander, and it wasn't as if that was all they could do... but the slight concern he'd felt vanished now. And not just sex... Spike would be happy to go to all manner of clubs and pubs that left Giles feeling ancient just thinking about --

"I want to fuck you with it," Xander said, pushing their hands away gently and kneeling up on the bed. He gave Giles a look that brought Giles' wandering thoughts back to the here and now and seemed to be waiting for his reaction.

Giles didn't have to think about it at all. If anything had been needed to make him trust that what they were doing was right, it was his instinctive reaction to Xander's proposal which held no jealousy or doubt, simply an anticipation that left his satiated body greedy for more. "God, yes," he said fervently, preparing to move out of their way, possibly even off the bed.

"But no taking turns, or just watching," Xander said firmly, reaching out and grabbing Giles' wrist. "You see anything you want to do to either of us, Giles, you join in. Got it?"

"I take it back," Spike said. "He's the bossy one."

"Shut up," Xander said, pointing a finger at Spike and apparently failing to notice that another part of his body was also pointing directly at him.

"Gonna make me?" Spike asked, grinning.

"If I have to." Xander clambered over Giles and tackled Spike down onto the mattress, driving a startled oomph from Spike that was quickly stifled by Xander's mouth on Spike's.

Shifting over, Giles rolled onto his side to face them, desire burning low in his belly although the flesh was, at that moment, at least, rather weak. Still, he couldn't resist reaching out and running a hand down along Xander's back and over the curve of his arse, watching eagerly as Xander and Spike kissed.

Xander seemed to be doing an excellent job of silencing Spike, he thought -- as long as moans didn't count, anyway.

He was expecting to feel perhaps a little left out, a little awkward; prepared for it, in fact; but it never happened. The two of them were absorbed in kissing each other -- and he'd been on the receiving end of a kiss from both of them and knew exactly how easy it was to get lost in Xander's enthusiasm and Spike's single-minded concentration -- but Xander was arching up against Giles's gently caressing hand and Spike, who had his arms and legs wrapped around Xander, slid his hand down Xander's back and linked his fingers with Giles' for long enough to make Giles smile.

It occurred to Giles that there was one thing he could do to make himself useful. Rolling onto his stomach, he stretched out his hand and eased open the top drawer of the night table, his fingers closing around the bottle of lube after a short search. He felt the bed shift, but didn't realize that Xander and Spike had stopped kissing until he heard Spike say, "You know, before you start to put that to good use, is anyone going to tell me if your arse is out of bounds, Giles? Because we can play this anyway you like, but a chance at fucking you is going on my Christmas list if it is."

Giles turned his head and saw that they were both staring at him, Spike still on his back and Xander propped up on his elbows. Well, they were staring at one part of him, anyway.

"It's not at all out of bounds," he said mildly, letting his gaze travel over them in turn, and deciding that they both looked more than ready to move past kissing. "But generally -" He hesitated, not entirely comfortable with speaking for Xander or sharing details of what they'd done in the past, however much he approved of Spike asking. And yes, he felt flattered by Spike's request, and intrigued, too. It wasn't that he'd ever discouraged Xander from fucking him, and they'd certainly enjoyed the times that Xander had taken control of their lovemaking, but there'd always been a slight hesitancy and generally, Giles supposed, he'd been the one on top.

Somehow he didn't think it was going to be that way with Spike and Xander, which was interesting.

And the thought of being fucked by Spike, whom he sensed wouldn't be in the least hesitant, was enough to make Giles feel a far from faint throb in his cock even as he glanced appealingly at Xander.

"What are you looking at me for?" Xander asked, shifting his weight. Spike made a small sound and arched underneath Xander, and Xander closed his eyes for a moment.

Giles couldn't see exactly what they were doing, but he could tell that it felt good, and seeing the both of them like that when they'd made him come so hard he'd seen stars only minutes before was so incredible that for a few seconds Giles forgot there was a question he was meant to be answering. "It's not up to me. Or rather, it's not up to just me."

"Assuming it's all right for Xander to fuck me, can we talk about the rules after?" Spike asked, writhing against Xander.

"Yes," Xander said. It took Giles a moment to realize that this was an answer to his question. "Yes, it's okay with me if Spike fucks you." He moved off Spike and to the other side, leaving Spike next to Giles in a sprawled, wanton position, legs spread, cock stiff and eager against his belly. "Want to help?" Xander asked Giles brightly, then bent to kiss Spike, one hand on Spike's inner thigh to spread him open further, making it very clear what he wanted Giles to do.

And, of course, Giles was more than happy to do it. He squeezed some lubricant onto his fingers and teased at Spike's balls until Spike gave a wriggle that surely meant 'get on with it,' then took a bit more lube and rubbed his slippery fingertips over the tight, warm entrance to Spike's body.

Spike's moan as Giles' finger slipped inside him was heartfelt, but Giles smiled at him, keeping his movements slow and deliberate.

"Can get on with it, you know," Spike panted when Giles showed no signs of speeding up, two fingers moving in leisurely thrusts inside him. "Done this before."

"Since you became human?" Giles asked.

Xander looked down at Spike, his expression strangely possessive, lifting a dark eyebrow.

Spike shook his head, less in reply than in a restless fever of impatience. "No... shouldn't matter... Giles! Fuck!"  

Xander pressed his hand against Spike's lips. "Stop it. Giles knows what he's doing."

Spike rolled his eyes and bit down hard on Xander's fingers, glaring at him. Xander yelped, returning the glare, but any annoyance he felt -- and somehow Giles, watching them both with a private grin, didn't think there was much -- disappeared when Spike snaked out his tongue, lapping at the fingers he'd bitten until Xander pushed two inside Spike's mouth.

Watching Spike suck and lick at Xander's fingers, still using his teeth if Xander's hissed intakes of breath were any indication, was distracting, but the heat of Spike's body clutching at Giles' slicked-up fingers was equally so. Deciding that Spike was as ready as he'd ever be, Giles reached forward and put the bottle of lubricant into Xander's free hand.

Xander pulled his fingers out of Spike's mouth, smiled and picked up Spike's hand, turning it over and squeezing some of the clear liquid from the bottle into Spike's palm. "You do it," he said. "I want to feel your hand on me."

Spike did as ordered, half sitting awkwardly and wrapping his hand around Xander's erection as Giles took advantage of the situation and stroked Spike's cock at the same time.

"Fuck" Spike said in a low voice. "Xander..."

Apparently that was enough to shake Xander's control, and he quickly rearranged them, pushing Spike's knees up to his chest and lining up his cock, pressing forward with what, from Spike's expression and hiss of pain, was rather too much eagerness.

"God, Spike," Xander said, leaning down to kiss Spike, muffling the noises he was making as Xander slid deeper, more slowly now. "Sorry."

Spike shook his head. "S'okay. Fuck, Xander. Yeah, like that. Fuck me."

Xander groaned and pulled back, clearly doing his best to be careful now. He eased up into a kneeling position, both hands on Spike's arse as it lifted up off the mattress and he thrust in again with a circling motion of his hips that made Giles hard just watching it. In that position, Spike's cock lay tight against his belly, begging to be touched.

When Giles reached out and stroked Spike's cock, just once, Spike cried out, arching his back, trembling. "Giles... God, yeah. Touch me. God, so close..."

"Not yet," Xander told Spike, his own face showing that he was fighting to keep control. Xander was breathing in shallow, fast pants, his teeth digging into his lip. "Kiss him, Giles? Please? Want to see you kiss him."

It was odd to hear the subtle shift in Xander's voice when he went from talking to Spike to talking to Giles: commanding to pleading in a single breath, in fact. Giles moved up to the head of the bed, ignoring Spike's fervently muttered, "Bastard," making sure that he was lying at an angle across the bed so that he didn't block Xander's view of Spike's body. Spike turned his head, his intensely blue eyes wild, and Giles kissed him, their mouths meeting and clinging, the only point of contact between them. Spike's tongue was against Giles' at once, demanding and desperate, encouraging Giles to kiss him harder.

"You two -- God -" Xander said hoarsely, staring at them. He somehow found a rhythm between one thrust and the next, fucking Spike with a new-found assurance he'd never shown with Giles, until Spike broke the kiss and cried out, clearly at the point where his climax was imminent whether he was being touched or not.

"Xander," Spike said, eyes wide and locked on the man fucking him. "Xan, God, fuck, yeah." His breathing hitched, every line of his body suddenly tightening and the expression on his face one of pained pleasure. "Gonna..."

And Spike came, shuddering, crying out again when Giles reached a hand out to encircle his twitching cock and stroke it fast and hard.

There was something to be said for watching, Giles thought, feeling aroused, God, yes, but still capable of observing, unlike Spike, whose eyes had closed as Giles' hand gripped him and who was making soft, inarticulate sounds of pleasure, his body moving in a sensuous wriggle that drew a long groan from Xander.

But it was the chance to see Xander come that had Giles catching his breath in anticipation, because usually he was too wrapped up in what was happening to him to be able to pay close attention. He could now. Xander's dark hair, long enough to be clinging damply to his neck, framed his face without hiding it, and with his body locked in the same spasm that had left Spike wordless and spent, he looked, well, glorious.

Xander's hips surged forward one final time, burying him as deep in Spike's body as he could go as the last of his release wracked him. He gave a shudder, and then gasped in a lungful of air while collapsing down onto Spike, managing to catch most of his weight on his forearms. "Spike..." Their mouths found each other in a shaky, desperate-looking kiss.

Giles lay back and stared up at the ceiling, feeling as drained as they looked, sudden tiredness blurring his eyes.

"Giles?" Xander sounded a little concerned. "Are you okay?"

He turned his head and found them watching him, identical anxious frowns on their faces. He smiled at them, hoping it came over as reassuring. "Oh, yes. Just a little -"

"Freaked?" Spike suggested, turning onto his side to face Giles as Xander eased out of him.

"I don't get freaked," Giles said firmly. "Ever. Overwhelmed, confused and lost for words on occasion, but never freaked. Kindly bear that in mind."

Spike grinned and wriggled close enough to kiss him. "Yeah, you're freaked. Can't blame you."

Giles returned the kiss, making it gentle. "I'm feeling too happy for that. Really." He looked from Spike to Xander. "Go and clean up?" he suggested, trying not to yawn. "Before I fall asleep?"

"Mm. Sounds good." Xander struggled to his feet and looked down at his softening erection. "Come on, everybody up. If we don't change these sheets, we're going to be stuck to them in the morning."

Spike did get up, glancing from the bed to the door and rubbing a hand over the back of his neck. "Right. Well... guess I'll see you tomorrow."

"If that's an attempt to get out of helping to remake the bed, it failed miserably," Giles said, standing up, still feeling the after effects of his climax and wondering if he could manage to stagger to the bathroom, let alone dig out fresh sheets. His head cleared after a moment and he gave Spike a quizzical look, seeing how tense he looked. "You're not seriously suggesting that you go and sleep downstairs, are you? If the bed's big enough for what we just did, I think it's big enough for us all to sleep in."

"Yeah, except if you want to stay you have to help get these off," Xander said, struggling to free the bottom corner of the sheet.

Spike moved to help automatically, although Giles wasn't convinced that Spike had really heard anything either he or Xander had said. "Go get washed up, I'll do this," Spike said gruffly.

Xander frowned at him. "Or we could finish this, and then you could come shower with us."

Pulling the sheet free, Spike stood up, wadding the fabric into a loose ball in his hands. "You sure that's what you want?"

"Yes," said Giles. "Except the shower definitely isn't big enough for three. But you're sleeping with us, Spike. Although the way Xander steals the covers, kicks, and snores, I can't blame you for preferring solitude."

"All right. If he gets too annoying, I'll just tip him out onto the floor," Spike said, offering Giles a cocky grin that might have been put on.

"If you push me out of bed, you'll regret it," Xander said, crossing the room to the chest of drawers where the clean sheets were kept and taking out a fresh set.

Spike seemed to relax further. "Oh no, Harris is threatening me. I'm shaking in my boots." He glanced down at his bare feet. "Well, I would be if I were wearing any."

Handing the opposite edge of the fitted sheet to Spike, Xander began to tuck it under the mattress. "Hey, I'm well versed in the art of practical jokes. You don't want to get on my bad side."

"Which side's that?" Spike asked, eyeing Xander appreciatively. "Don't think I noticed a bad side. It all looks good to me."

Xander looked at him, his face showing a sudden vulnerability at the compliment that Giles found rather touching. "Thanks," he said simply, straightening. "Want to put the pillows back, Giles?"

Giles looked at the four pillows he and Xander usually used, and then replaced three at the head of the bed, spreading them out so they each had one. He gave them both a smile and moved casually towards the door. "Looks as if you two have this little task well in hand, so you won't mind me taking the first shower."

He left before they had chance to protest, intending to make the shower a quick one, but needing a moment alone to gather his thoughts. When he reached the bathroom, he stared at himself in the mirror, seeing nothing that would explain why the two he'd left behind would be interested in him, but grinning unselfconsciously at the sleepy, well-fucked look in his eyes.

"Old fool," he muttered, still grinning as he stepped under the hot spray.

Xander was waiting for him when he came out, leaning against the wall.

"Spike?" Giles asked.

"He went to use the one downstairs," Xander said. "Don't worry; he's coming back up. I think he just wanted some space."

Giles picked up a towel and began to dry himself. "I can understand that," he said. He finished toweling himself dry and walked over to Xander. "I love you," he said quietly, needing to say it, needing Xander to know it beyond any shadow of doubt. "So very much."

"I know," Xander said, meeting Giles' gaze for only a moment before glancing down. "This is... is this okay?"

Giles cupped Xander's chin in his hand, gently tilting his head up. Xander stood very still, his face unreadable to Giles. "It happened very fast," Giles said, hearing the shower running downstairs and feeling relieved that he and Xander had this chance to talk alone. "Too fast? Possibly, but yes, it feels right. I can't explain why. It just does. I can't pretend I don't have concerns, but we've all been through so much that they seem small in comparison." He kissed Xander, because with him this close, his dark eyes wide, Giles couldn't help himself, and felt Xander move closer as he responded, although he seemed tense, as if he was waiting for something.

"Tell me if there's anything, anything at all about this that troubles you," Giles urged him, needing to know Xander was happy and starting to feel a little worried. Xander couldn't think that he hadn't been enough for Giles, could he? Or had even that short encounter with Spike made Xander wish it was just the two of them?

Biting his lip, Giles stepped back, giving Xander a helpless look. "Please just tell me," he said softly.

Now Xander looked worried. "No, it's okay. Really. I just wanted to make sure it was okay with you. Because I don't... I wasn't sure. You don't think you're going to change your mind?" He asked it as if he weren't quite sure what the question was, himself.

Giles shrugged his shoulders, feeling his age. Guarantees, promises, certainties... he'd learned not to expect them in relationships, but at Xander's age he supposed he'd still thought they existed.  "I can't -- I don't know, Xander. It's too soon to say. I don't think so. Believe me, I wouldn't have started this if I wasn't as sure as I could be." He rubbed at his eyes, feeling the strain of the last few days press down on him. "Let's just see how it goes, shall we? But, really, I think this is going to work. I do." He ran his hand down Xander's arm and gripped his hand. "I want it to work," he said.

"Me, too," Xander said, seeming more relaxed. "Don't worry. Maybe it'll take us a little while, but we'll figure it out."

The sound of the shower running downstairs stopped, and Giles nudged Xander's shoulder. "Go on and get cleaned up. I think we could all use a good night's sleep."

Xander nodded and went to shower, and Giles returned to the bedroom. A minute or so later, Spike reappeared in the bedroom doorway, damp hair slicked back and a slightly wary expression on his face as though he weren't sure if his welcome had been rescinded in the brief time he'd been gone.

"Poor Xander's probably going to run out of hot water," Giles said ruefully. He arched his eyebrow at Spike. "If he puts his cold feet on you, please don't scream. I have a feeling I'm going to be asleep about thirty seconds after my head hits the pillow and it'd disturb me."

He went to the bed and got in on the side he usually slept on, and then, without looking at Spike, asked casually, "Are you going to stand there all night or come to bed so that I can take advantage of the twenty seconds of consciousness remaining to me and say goodnight properly?"

Spike hesitated, but after a moment he joined Giles, getting into bed and lying down on his back, but leaving considerably more space between them than Giles would have preferred. Reaching over, Giles used a hand on Spike's far shoulder to roll Spike toward him. "We need to leave room for Xander," he explained, stroking Spike's chest gently.

Spike's eyes still reflected some uncertainty, but he didn't pull away.

"What?" Giles said, sleepiness making him more direct than usual. "Isn't this where you want to be?"

"In between you two?" Spike asked. "Splitting you up?" He sounded worried.

Giles put his arm around Spike and pulled him a little closer. "Or gluing us together?" he suggested with a yawn. "Spike, I'm exhausted, and that's about the best you're going to get out of me tonight. You're with us. That's where we want you to be, remember." He brushed his lips across Spike's in what was less a kiss than reassurance. "Stop being so tactful and considerate," he said drowsily. "It's not like you at all."

"Hey!" Spike said, sounding affronted, but it was clear to Giles that it was an act, because Spike sighed and inched closer still.

The shower stopped running, and a few minutes later a damp, slightly flushed Xander joined them, snuggling up behind Spike and shoving the smaller man more firmly against Giles' body. "Mm," Xander said. "Night." And, clearly feeling that everything was right with the world, promptly went to sleep.

Read: Chapter 9