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Denial

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Xander’s head was pounding. He wasn’t entirely sure why. He tried to blink, but it felt like his eyes were glued shut. The tiniest sliver of light penetrated through and the pounding seemed to double. He groaned, trying to remember what had led to this feeling of awfulness. Xander managed to get one eye open. He saw the spackled ceiling. Then he spotted his disco ball. So he was still in the basement of his parents’ house. This was of the good. He spotted a tray on the washing machine. His mom had sent down drinks. Okay, so why would juice make him feel like the entire gay pride parade of San Francisco was stomping across his brain?

Then he heard another groan. That wasn’t coming from his mouth. He blinked open his other eye. This let more of the light in. Bad move, he thought, closing both his eyes again. After a moment he dared to open them again, slowly. Then he noticed the mattress of his bed moving. But he was sitting still. He glanced to his right and saw Giles. He suppressed a squeal that wasn’t going to be at all girlish in nature. Giles. In his bed.

Xander was sure he’d been fully clothed last night. He was pretty sure he could feel his pants. Even more sure that he’d heard them scratch against the covers. Xander pulled up them anyway and glanced under them. He was still wearing his pants. No naked fun times with Giles. Part of him felt relieved at that, but part of him was kind of disappointed. It had been a while since he’d had any naked fun time, with anyone. And Giles wasn’t exactly awful looking. He was kind of a stud. If Xander swung that way. Maybe he did. Another peek under the covers assured him that Giles was still fully clothed, minus shoes.

“So how did we get here?” he wondered aloud.

He got out of bed slowly and quietly, heading for the small bathroom he’d installed. Maybe a shower would clean out the cobwebs. A quick look in the mirror showed Xander that something more had definitely happened. His lips were kind of puffy, like he’d been kissing. Had he been kissing Giles? Surely he’d remember kissing a guy. And kissing Giles would certainly be something he’d want to remember. He turned on the hot water and hoped that his memories would return soon.

After soaping up and inhaling the citrus scent he began to feel more awake. Getting clean physically always seemed to help him feel more aware mentally. He had some vague recollections of what had happened the night before. They’d gone out on patrol, netted three vamps and one demon with a name that he couldn’t pronounce. They’d come back to find the tray of juice set out, his mom had even been nice enough to put the juice in a pitcher with ice. They’d sat around talking strategies for future patrols, totally avoiding the subject of Buffy and the Watcher’s Council. From there it got a little foggy. Xander grabbed a clean shirt and put his pants back on. Then he made his way back to the main part of the room.

“Oh, Xander, I…um….” Giles was sitting on the edge of the bed. He took off his glasses and nervously polished them.

“Don’t worry, I don’t think anything major happened,” he assured Giles. “Though I still can’t figure out how we both ended up on the bed.”

Giles put his glasses back on slowly. “Ah, I…um…wondered about that. Thank you for clearing it up.”

“Could someone have hit us with a magical whammy?” Xander asked.

“It’s possible, but I highly doubt it,” Giles said.

“Why not? I mean Ethan isn’t exactly your biggest fan right now and I think something like this would be right up his alley.”

“No, if this were Ethan’s doing I think we would have found ourselves unclothed when we awoke. No, I don’t think it was him.”

Xander went over to the washer, he’d have to take the tray up sooner or later. He was wiping up the spill when he smelled something. He picked up the pitcher and sniffed.

“Did you find something?” Giles said.

“Maybe,” Xander said, sniffing again. “I think that mom gave us more than juice.”

“Your mother slipped us a mickey?”

“Not on purpose. Smells like she gave us her cocktail instead of just plain juice. She likes to add vodka to whatever she has on hand when she watches TV at night.”

“Ahhh,” Giles said. “I should have guessed this was a hangover. It’s been far too long since I have indulged in an excess of alcohol. I’m rather glad that nothing happened.”

Xander blinked several times before putting his hand up slowly, palm facing Giles. “Whoa there, big guy. I didn’t say nothing happened. I said nothing MAJOR happened. Big difference there.”

“Are you implying that something happened between the two of us?”

“Not just implying, saying it did. My lips were all puffy. And I kinda remember you being all with the closeness and the smelling good. We kissed.”

Giles got up from the bed abruptly. “We most certainly did not.”

“Alcohol, Giles. Makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do. I’m not saying that kissing you was a bad thing just that it happened.”

“We didn’t kiss,” Giles said, beginning to pace in the small room. It didn’t take him long to go up and down. Watching him reminded Xander of the one time he’d watched a tennis match. He moved his head with Giles, from the stairs to the far wall and back again. Over and over until he was sure he was going to go cross eyed. He shook his head and took a breath.

“I’m pretty sure we did. Look, isn’t there something you can do to remember? Like stop pacing for one? You’re kind of making me motion sick, and I’m not the one moving.”

Giles stopped in mid-step, glared at Xander for a brief moment and then went back to the bed to sit down. They were quiet for a few moments.

“I could try to hypnotize you,” Xander offered.

“Thank you, but no. As a Watcher I was trained to withstand things like that. Just give me a moment. If I sit here and think about the events of last night, I may be able to construct what happened.”

“We kissed,” Xander practically sang.

Giles glared again. He was good at that.

“I’ll just take the tray upstairs and let you think,” Xander offered.

“I think that would be a great idea,” Giles said. Xander watched as Giles bent his legs under him so he was sitting cross legged on the bed. He grabbed the tray and retreated upstairs while his mind instantly went to pornographic places. Yeah, that wasn’t a great idea, thinking about Giles that before he even agreed they’d kissed. Xander blew out a breath, steeling himself to face his mom. If she was awake, she might not be sober. And a non-sober mom meant yelling.

Jessica Harris was conked out on her couch, a half-empty bottle of vodka next to the couch. Xander sighed and picked it up, taking the tray to the kitchen. Tony was nowhere to be seen, probably out trying to find some work. Xander washed out the pitcher and put the vodka away in a cupboard. Giles had probably had plenty of time to think about last night. They’d kissed and he would see the light. Then they could decide if the kiss had meant anything and if they were going to do anything about it.>

When Xander got back to his basement abode, Giles was unfolded, sitting regularly on the bed. Xander stood at the bottom of the stairs for a moment before saying anything.

“So, did you remember anything?”

“I remember you getting…um…rather forthright,” Giles said, a bit of a blush rising on his cheeks.

Xander hadn’t been entirely sure that Giles knew how to blush. It was kind of cute. It was a bright red, more of a pink that began in Giles’ cheeks and spread to the rest of his face and down his neck. Xander kind of wanted to follow the blush beyond the neckline of Giles’ shirt, to see if it went even further.

“Forthright? What the heck does that mean? If it means I kissed you, then sure okay, whatever.”

“We. Didn’t. Kiss,” Giles insisted. “It means that you were touching me, a lot.”

“So, that usually leads to kissing. Why are you so afraid of us kissing? It’s not a big deal, you’ve kissed guys before.”

“You were my student….”Giles began.

“Not so much,” Xander said. “I don’t remember attending any classes you held. Sure I learned things from you, but I graduated. Remember the big snake and the even bigger boom?”

“I remember,” Giles said hotly.

“Then what’s the problem, Giles? Am I not your type? Fine. We can forget this happened. Anya would be more than happy to provide me with kissing and much more. But I still say that we kissed.”

“No, we did not,” Giles said, looking straight at him.

Xander let out a noise of frustration, walking quickly over to the bed. It didn’t take long. He put his hands on either side of Giles’ head and bent down, kissing him. At first Giles was stiff, and then he began to kiss back. Xander felt Giles’ hand pulling him down into his lap. Xander went willingly, moving his hands to dig into Giles’ hair. The kiss was better than the one last night. Then again, he only vaguely remembered that one. Then, just as quickly as it began, the kiss ended and Xander found himself dumped onto the bed.

“Remember anything now?” he asked, pulling himself into a sitting position.

Giles went for the glasses polishing again before answering. “Perhaps we did kiss.”

Giles wasn’t looking at him when he said this. Xander craned his neck to try and get a look at Giles’ face. Xander thought maybe Giles was a little scared to admit to being wrong. But he didn’t remember ever seeing Giles scared so he wasn’t sure that was the right emotion. He was glad that Giles was admitting that the kiss had happened. A warm and happy feeling began to spread throughout his body. He sort of wanted to reach out and touch Giles’ hand but he wasn’t sure that Giles would welcome touching right now. Then Xander realized that he probably should say something.

“Good, we’re finally on the same page. So now what?”

“I…I don’t know,” Giles said. “You’re not….”

“Gay?” Xander supplied, shrugging. “Just because I’ve only dated girls doesn’t mean I’m opposed to dating a guy. And that was a really great kiss.”

“I’m older than you,” Giles said.

“Eh, Angel was way older than Buffy but that didn’t stop her.”

“I hardly think that counts seeing as he is a vampire. I meant that others might not approve.”

“Since when have any of us cared what other people think?” Xander said. “I wasn’t exactly Mr. Popularity in high school. I’m used to being on the outside. Besides, with all the time you spend over here anyway, I think the rumor mill has been churning for quite a while now. Why not make it all official?”

“People already think we’re dating?”

“Dating, screwing, worshipping Satan, I’ve heard it all,” Xander said. “I think the biggest obstacle might be Buffy, but with the vampire thing, I don’t think she’ll be problem.”

“Oh dear Lord,” Giles said. “She’ll be insufferable.”

“We’ll get through it. So, dating?”

“Fine, we’ll start dating. Just don’t call me your boyfriend; I’ve not been a boy for quite some time.”

“No problemo, you’re my significant other, my sugar daddy, my main squeeze, my old man, my stud muffin….”

Giles shut Xander up by tackling him to the bed and kissing him again. Xander didn’t mind at all.