What Are Friends For?
written by Raynedancer


Rating: FRAO
Spoilers: A New Man, very mild... set a few nights after the events of the episode.
Summary: Giles gets an unexpected visitor and they do a little reminiscing...
Feedback Author: Raynedancer



Giles woke suddenly and struggled out of the covers blinking. Someone was knocking on his door in the middle of the night. He blinked again. Since when did anyone he knew bother to knock? He stumbled around in the half-light feeling in all the usual places for his robe, then swore and turned on the lamp. It wasn't there. It took his sleep-fogged brain another few seconds to remember how behind he was with the laundry.

He scowled and adjusted the waist of the second, navy-blue, pair of silk pyjamas Olivia had given him, the top of which had somehow gotten separated in the laundry again, and steered himself groggily toward the stairs.

He opened the door part way, keeping his body behind it, half expecting whoever it was to be gone.

"Ethan? What the hell...?"

"Hello, Ripper. Can you spare a bed for an old mate?"

Giles shook his still sleep-drunk head then scowled, his eyes glittering almost unnaturally in the security light as he stepped menacingly into the open. "I thought the military had you in hand?"

Ethan chuckled. "I wish..." he joked. "No, they 'interrogated' me until I decided I'd had enough. I still have my methods."

Giles' eyes narrowed. "Then you're on the run... Exactly what did you do, Ethan...? Magic? Hypnosis? Mind control...?"

Ethan grinned again. "A little of this, a little of that... Are you going to invite me in or not? I mean it certainly looks as though you're glad to see me..."

Giles held the door opened as Ethan sauntered in, his face screwed up, puzzled. Then his eyes widened and he looked down, swore and rolled his eyes as he slammed the door. Thank God it was only Ethan...

The sorcerer was in the kitchen already with the fridge door open.

"Make yourself at home," Giles growled. "I won't be long," he added and stalked down the hallway to the bathroom.

"Pity," Ethan drawled. "You do look so good in silk..."

"Fuck you, Ethan," a voice growled back.

Ethan opened a bottle of imported beer and rolled his eyes ceilingward. "Oh God yes," he mouthed silently, and chuckled again.

By the time Giles came back, Ethan had made himself comfortable with the beer and some leftover Brie from Buffy's party. Willow had offered it back apologetically after it had gone untouched all night.

"What a perfectly revolting combination for this time of night."

Ethan looked up from the armchair as Giles flopped on the sofa, surveying the wide shoulders and lean body. Rupert had earned his physique, first at school from his rugby and soccer days, then the sheer grind and variety of a Watcher's physical training regime. It was honest muscle, and damnably attractive despite the lack of definition he demanded of himself. He wondered what old Ripper would make of that... Ethan practising self-discipline... and laughed silently to himself.

"You're in pretty good shape, Ripper," he said softly.

Giles wiped a hand over his face. "Don't start with me Ethan. I know perfectly well you're still doing Karate or Tae Kwon Do or whatever the hell it was that you took up after I went back to Oxford. I'm a middle-aged sack of shit compared to you, so don't patronize me."

"I wasn't," the other man said softly.

Giles dropped his hand, leaned a little forward, his eyes alert, and searched the other man's face. No, he wasn't...

"What do you want, Ethan? You can't stay here. You know that. And why here, of all bloody places? Are you never going to get sick of me kicking your arse?"

"I enjoyed it..."

"What? Getting your arse kicked?"

"The time... with you... before you transformed... and I do apologise for that... at least, I apologise for taking the money, but not for the fun I got out of seeing that Slayer kick your arse for a change. Actually, truth be told, you were supposed to become a full demon and kill her but not you; you had to hang onto your humanity like a bloody pit bull. You always were too bloody good, Rupert."

Giles snorted. "So you were paid?"

"Of course. Why the hell do you think I was trying to warn you about 314? If I really wanted you dead it would have been rather pointless, don't you think? I just couldn't resist the money, or the chance to piss you off again, among other things. I still have a long way to go to pay you back for that Halloween thrashing you gave me a couple of years ago."

Giles looked away. "I'll never pay you back enough for what you did to me," he whispered.

Ethan watched him with something resembling regret, for once, in his eyes. "I know," he said too softly for his friend to hear.

"The brie is past it," he said aloud. "But your beer is the best. For a gentleman of leisure you have expensive tastes."

Giles leaned forward, annoyance in his eyes, his mouth open to speak.

"Yes I know: Fuck me" the other man said affably. "Do your babies know about that un-gentlemanly mouth of yours?"

"They happen to be young adults. And I'll thank you not to mention them again."

"Touchy. Young adults, eh? Wet dreams, Rupert?"

Giles lunged out of the chair and Ethan deftly leaped up, stepped over the sofa and out of harm's way in one smooth movement, and with an elegance few could have managed.

"Sorry. You were just so... impressive... at the door. God, it's been a long time..."

The younger man snorted. "I'm going to put the kettle on. If you know what's good for you, you'll be gone when I get back," he snapped and stalked off.

Ethan watched him go, arse moving with unbearable provocation beneath the semi-transparent blue silk, smooth, powerful back swinging with the characteristic tension of rage.

God... he sighed.

Giles slammed the enamel teapot onto the counter as the electric kettle began to heat up. Only Ethan could make him feel this homicidal, this... shamed... as though the years were only minutes and his life hadn't moved on at all...

And then he knew he wasn't alone. He reached for the tea and the scoop and began measuring it into the teapot.

Warm hands slid onto his shoulders. They felt exactly the same: strong, smooth, sensual... sent exactly the same shivers through his body. Some things never changed....

"Piss off, Ethan," he hissed, but didn't move.

The hands slid down his back and up again, massaging the knots of tension in the shoulder blades, the spine, the neck, with an expertise that was almost hypnotic.

He was barely able to reach the power switch to turn off the boiling kettle and pour the water into the teapot as the hands slid, fingers pointing downward, over the contours of his lower back and inside the silk pyjama bottoms.

"I'll kill you," Giles gasped as they began to massage the soft flesh and a warm body fitted between them, insinuating itself against him.

"No you won't," whispered a voice from his past, very close to his right ear. "And you know it."

The hands pushed down, pulling the silk with them until it was around his thighs, then they were sliding up, over his groin, his stomach, to his chest and rubbing it roughly, playing with the hardened nipples and caressing the still hard, wide, curves of it.

Giles made noise halfway between a groan and a sob and dropped the cup he'd picked up on the counter with a clatter.

"Please," he begged.

Ethan's eyes flickered. Once that would have been a sound of pure pleasure. Now it was a tortured blend of struggle and desire. One moment of hesitation, then his eyes closed and his hands began to slide down again.

"Tell me," he whispered in spite of himself, pressing the now painful bulge in his black jeans against the other man's smooth white buttocks. "Tell me to go and I'll go." He slid both hands inward across the soft flesh of Giles' groin until one slid between the hard thighs and the other wrapped around the tortured erection he knew he'd find. It was so rigid it was almost touching the other man's abdomen.

Ethan almost orgasmed then from the anticipation... and the memories... but there were no demons with which to manipulate his friend now...

Giles gasped again, his knees faltering a little, and did sob then, but he didn't tell him to go.

"You haven't forgotten after all," he whispered, this time without sarcasm or torment, and kissed a smooth shoulder blade. "And you didn't hate it all..."

"I hated... I hated it all..." Giles managed, now moving his hips in rhythm with Ethan's hand. "I hated... what you made me... what you have made me." He breathed hard, trying not to groan. "The harder I hit you the more I want you... it's sick... it's wrong."

"Fool," Ethan whispered, moving his hand faster, in a long, fluid rhythm. "You hate what I am, what we did... not who we were to each other."

"You made me... you... God... you made me a murderer, Ethan... Jesus..." He shuddered and pumped against Ethan's expert manipulation for a few more moments then tore himself away, breathing raggedly, his colour high, hiking up his pyjama pants like a shield of armour.

"I trusted you," he whispered.

Ethan's heart twisted. He sounded exactly like the twenty three year old boy whose world fell to pieces when their relentless pursuit of sybaritic pleasure ended in the death of Randall... The boy Rupert's grief had been the worst thing Ethan had ever seen... well, apart from a few highlights of his own ill-fated childhood... and the rage that followed had been worse...

He sighed. He supposed it served him right for creating Ripper. That it should be the Ripper through whom Rupert would exorcise that rage and grief was probably as great an irony as the fact that in the midst of his hatred, Rupert still found himself ransom to the bond they once shared.

He met the soft green eyes he still had trouble holding, and searched them. "You were a fool, Rupert. You let love blind you... love, and magic. I was just a kid too, if you care to remember."

"You were never a child, Ethan. You were old when I met you... when we were fifteen."

"Yes, well, we can't all be perfect," Ethan growled. "I asked you a question at the door... and you haven't answered yet. Are you going to offer me a bed for the night... or not?"

Giles shifted, ignoring the erection that refused to go away, and glared at Ethan from a face flushed with anger, embarrassment and desire. "What do you think?" he growled, the effect spoiled by the slight break at the end.

"I think..." Ethan replied, stepping up to the other man and running his fingers over the bow in the blue silk, feeling the shudder and listening to the involuntary groan that followed. "...That I'm staying."

And when two powerful hands closed on his shoulders it was all he could do not shudder, himself.

"Why, Ethan?" Giles breathed as Ethan's hand slid inside the pyjamas and began to stroke him again.

"Because," he said wryly, sliding out of Giles' hands and down to his knees. "After twenty years of chasing skirt and screwing beautiful women there's still only one thing that gives me wet dreams, one thing I fantasize about when I have to wank... and it isn't because you've got great legs or a nice arse..." He slid the pyjama bottoms down, freeing the rigid erection from its silk prison.

"Then why...?" Giles whispered and gasped as Ethan took hold of him again.

Ethan looked up at him. "Can't you guess?" he asked. "Do I have to spell it out for you?"

Giles searched the familiar eyes looking into his and saw. He would never have believed that Ethan Rayne could ever love anything...

"God, Ethan..." he began but lost his voice as the other's warm mouth closed around him and slid down his length. After that it was difficult even to breathe properly. Whatever else Ethan had been doing all those years he still knew how to drive a man mad.

He swore and moaned again as a warm tongue slid around him while he pumped into the hot, greedy mouth, unable to stop himself... no longer wanting to. He took hold of Ethan's head as his friend's voracious hunger brought him almost to the edge and forced himself to withdraw.

"I... I'm not twenty any more, and there's no demonic... ohhh..." he moaned as Ethan nipped at him. "I can't get it up again in half an hour... any... more," he gasped, breathing hard.

Ethan stood up again and slid his hands around to hold his friend's butt and pull their hips together. "I can wait," he said softly, resting his brow against Rupert's and slowly moving his hips against his. After a few seconds the action was reciprocated and for a short time they gave themselves to the intimacy and the pleasure of the closeness, until neither could wait any longer and they found themselves upstairs without being quite sure how they got there.

Giles stopped Ethan from removing his unbuttoned shirt, took hold of it and slid it off the equally wide shoulders with their perfectly sculptured, exquisitely defined musculature, drawing a surprised breath at the beauty of the older man, despite the years.

"My God, Ethan... you used to be such a skinny bastard... Now..."

Ethan touched the handsome face. "I'm still a bastard," he said softly. "I'd have let her kill you, you know."

"I know," Giles breathed, undoing the jeans and forcing the zip down, listening to Ethan's whimper of anticipation. It had been so damned long... He paused. Every fibre in his being wanted to do this, but in his soul he still hated Ethan with as much passion as he had ever loved him.

"Ripper... please..." Ethan begged when he still hadn't moved after a full minute.

A surge of desire washed over Giles then. He closed his eyes against the intensity of it for a moment, before sliding his hand inside Ethan's pants and listening to the other's keening moan as he wrapped his fingers around the hot flesh and caressed it long enough for Ethan's eyes to roll back in ecstasy.

And then he was dragging the jeans away, Ethan only too willing to kick off his boots as Ripper stripped him, both of them falling onto the bed, hips grinding together, erections tangling as they pumped against each other, moaning and gasping with the sheer intensity of their mutual need.

Barely aware, Ethan realised that Giles was reaching for something, heard the grating of a drawer, then there were several moments where the only thing he was aware of was the other man's fingertips opening him, caressing, massaging, relaxing the entrance, and almost bringing him off in the process. Rupert stopped what he was doing for a moment to look down at the arching, groaning body on the bed.

Rayne's body was unbelievable, the definition, the hardness. He allowed one hand to wander over those muscle groups, tracing, caressing, following their contours until Ethan relaxed again, head back, eyes closed and lips parted. Then, as his left hand slid up to Ethan's throat, along his jaw, down again, over his shoulder, down his perfectly picked out abs, the index finger of his other hand slid into Ethan up to the knuckle, making him cry out and draw his legs up so that his knees were bent, pushing against it and groaning.

Ethan was sure he was going to wake up any minute and discover it was just another dream. The years had melted away and the two of them were back in London again... just the two of them... before Randall and Phillip had moved in... before Deirdre had made things so difficult... before his jealousy had destroyed everything...

And then Rupert was between his legs. He knew it was Rupert, because Ripper only ever took him from behind, where he was helpless, where he could hurt him more. This way, facing each other, was Rupert's way: sensual, erotic, perfect and painless...

"Rupert..." he moaned aloud, just to hear the name that meant so much to him, and heard his own called back to him. He opened his eyes to find the green ones looking at him and almost wept.

In all those years since they'd parted, he'd never seen gentleness or kindness in those eyes... never anything less than contempt or pure hatred. "I do... I do still..." he tried, and hated himself for not being able to say it.

Rupert smiled just a little. "I know..." he said softly and bent his head.

Ethan heard himself scream with pleasure and in a small part of his brain not exploding with each new wave of delight he metaphorically shook his head at himself. In all their years together, the demon enhanced sex, and the times between when lust overtook them, the one thing Giles had never done was go down on him. He knew Rupert wasn't gay... nor even truly bi'... not to the extent that he would ever touch another man... and had long since given up any thought of more than fantasizing about it.

Now... now he thought, barely able to string thoughts together, his cock was buried to the hilt in the hot, powerful mouth making him insane with pleasure, astonishing him with the extent to which Rupert knew how to pleasure with his tongue, his teeth, his lips. He cried out again as Giles' mouth began to move in rhythm with the pumping of his hand then, just when he was certain he couldn't hold back, the other man stopped.

"Please... Rupert..." he begged again.

"I know," a soft voice replied, and then he felt it, slippery with something... and so bloody hard... So that was what he'd been looking for earlier...

It pushed against him and he pushed back, moving and relaxing, trembling with anticipation like an oversexed, virgin teenager until it pushed into the powerful muscle, forcing its way in slowly, until the tight band closed behind the tip, holding it there. Ethan grabbed the base of his own suddenly pulsing arousal to stop himself from orgasming right then but couldn't hold back the moans of pleasure or stop himself from screaming again as the shaft slid all the way home, smoothly and sensuously behind the big tip. He gripped his own cock harder, cried 'wait' as he gasped for breath and tried to regain control.

Understanding immediately, Giles reached out and squeezed an erect nipple until Ethan squawked in pain, then let go.

"Better?"

Ethan blinked. It was. And then Rupert started to move again and he gave himself to the ecstasy of it, lifting his hips even higher as his lover took him languidly, whimpering when a big hand closed around the cock he was fingering and took over, making him push back even harder against the throbbing shaft inside him.

"Do it," he begged. "Ripper... please, just do it," he begged and wrapped his legs around the big torso as Rupert began to pump harder and harder, his hand speeding up with his strokes and Ethan's whimpers becoming strangled screams of ecstasy as the orgasm spread out from around the shaft that was impaling him, and clawed at his balls before exploding in unending waves of incredible pleasure. He was barely aware of the other man's cries as he too reached the crescendo of his passion, arching and spasming with the same mind blowing ecstasy of release. It went on for what seemed like forever before both men collapsed alongside each other. A few moments later Ethan, eyes closed, felt the other man cleaning him, and presumably himself.

He opened his eyes reluctantly and turned toward Ripper to face the condemnation and regret he was sure he'd find there.

The green eyes looked back at him curiously. "You all right?" Giles asked matter-of-factly.

Ethan laughed. "I am now. Unless of course you're saving the beating until morning."

Giles looked away. "This isn't the part of you I want to hurt," he said quietly. "This is the part of you that makes me want to hurt you."

Strangely enough, Ethan knew exactly what he meant. Sometimes it made him deliberately careless, the knowledge of what they'd lost because of him...

He reached out and ran the backs of his fingers down a stubbly cheek.

"And that's why I let you," he replied sadly. "I was a fool to let you go, to let the magic come between us. I never meant to hurt you, you know. I never meant any of it to go wrong. It really was all down to monumental stupidity and bad judgement. After that I hated you more than bearing for leaving me alone; have all these years."

Giles lowered himself to lay back and closed his eyes. "Hence all the spite and bastardry since then...?"

Ethan shifted a little, leaned over and kissed the warm shoulder nearest him, rested his brow contentedly against it and smiled.

"Who me...?" he purred, sounding like his old self again.

"What are friends for...?"

END