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Drink and Debauchery

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"What do you think you're doing?"

Drawers from the dresser had beenpulled out askew, Giles' clothes and effects raked to the front and tumbling out onto the tiled floor. Spike knelt inside the equally open wardrobe door, rummaging. At the sound of the indignant voice, he hesitated fractionally. The white-blond head didn't even turn; the thin shoulders, however, shrugged casually.

"What d'you think I'm doin'? Lookin' through your stuff. Reckoned there had to be some blackmail material in here somewhere. 'Cept you don't seem to much mind that you're terminally boring, so no mileage after all. Pity."

Giles glared at the bent back, then set to putting his belongings to rights. As he did so, an old jewellery case, its spring closure worn with age, bounced onto the floor and spilled its contents - a creased and faded Polaroid photograph and a tightly coiled loop of what might have been thread. Spike drew back from the wardrobe, ears pricked and eyes narrowed, focusing on the two items. Giles, by contrast, had his attention elsewhere, re-matching socks and muttering irritably. The loud bell of the telephone in the living room led him further off-track. As he stumped downstairs to answer, Spike's pale hand closed on his prizes and slipped them into his own back pocket. The box he swept under the bed.

"No, no, it's not a problem, 'Liv. Of course, I'm sorry you can't make it after all. Whenever you can; I'll look forward to it. 'Bye."

Giles replaced the handset with an emphatic click and sighed resignedly. Spike leaned over the stair-rail, having caught only the sigh.

"Oh, look at *your* face. Slayer want you to fetch her dry-cleaning? Lay your coat over a puddle? Cut up her food? God, you must get sick of bein' at her beck and call day and night." He smirked, thinking of the dearth of visits by said girl over the time he'd lived at the Watcher's. "Or not."

He sauntered down and headed for the couch, hand nonchalantly shielding his back pocket and the edge of photograph that protruded. Giles winced fractionally at the barb but refused to be drawn on the subject of Buffy.

"Not that it's in any way your business, but it seems I won't be evicting you just yet. I was expecting a visitor this weekend, but.there's been a postponement."

"It's that nig-nog bird whose snap's on your desk, isn' it? Comin' to the Giles Plantation for you to exercise your 'droit de Seigneur', was she?" He looked over his shoulder and batted his eyelashes obscenely. 'Let me jus' move dese shackles to one side, massa, and ah's all yours'. Owww."

Giles' hand had grasped his collar and jerked him back roughly. A still cultured, but razor -edged, voice hissed in his ear:

"Shut. Your. Mouth."

He released him with another jerk, forward this time. Spike snarled in response and cringed as the first sparks of electricity jumped behind his eyes. He glowered and settled back down, linking his hands behind his head. After a couple of seconds, he swung his feet around and plonked his boots heavily on the arm of the couch. As Giles swiped at them with one hand in passing, he lifted them clear, and then replaced them as soon as his 'host's' back was turned. Out of the corner of one eye he watched Giles' progress back upstairs, waiting until the sounds of tidying began again before he shifted onto one side and extracted the filched mementos for inspection.

The Polaroid, one of the earlier ones tinged with a bluish cast over the colour print and curling with age and handling, depicted two men in their early twenties. Spike recognised the younger Giles, long-haired and strong-jawed, eyes heavy-lidded under the influence of alcohol or pot. He rested his spaced-out head on the shoulder of his companion, a dark and slender youth with impossibly thick lashes framing intense, secretive eyes. A curving, sensual mouth was twisted at the corner nearest to Giles, signalling to the observer appreciation; satisfaction; possession.

The skein of 'thread' proved in fact to be braided human hair, a very fine plait of two distinct shades. Sniffing it carefully, dry and old as it was, Spike's vampire senses detected the faintest hint of the familiar. One didn't live in close proximity to a human without becoming acquainted with their scent. The darker strands obviously came from the shaggy locks of the smiling youth, but Spike didn't recognise him at all. What all this might mean, he did, however, have a pretty good notion.

Sweet, sweet blackmail. Ticket to rivers of O neg, rafting away on duty free filter tips.

Now, how to bring the subject up: timing; catching the quarry at a vulnerable moment for maximum opportunity; all had to be considered. He couldn't kill, but he remained a hunter.

It wasn't until after Giles had begun to cook his supper, leaving Spike a measly mug of barely warmed over pig's blood on the counter, that opportunity knocked.

"Buffy plans to check in after patrol tonight. Try to refrain from gloating over any injuries she may have, or ogling her if anything's torn, will you?"

"And you never get a peep in yourself, eh, Rupes? Or is Ms. Race Relations Act just a smokescreen for what *really* propels your pencil?"

The stirring wooden spoon halted its steady circular motion. Giles looked over his shoulder and raised both eyebrows slowly.

"I beg your pardon?" The fingers of his free hand twitched, mentally feeling Spike's collar again.

The vampire drained his mug and lounged, supported on one elbow, against the side of the hatch. Meeting the Watcher's eyes, he let a confidential tone slip out with his next words.

"Come *on*, you know as well as I do what "confirmed bachelor" used to be - maybe still is - code for. And I got the key to crack it. Respectable Rupert, a Nancy, who'd a thought it?"

Giles put down the spoon and came around into the living room, frowning. Putting both hands on his hips, then hastily thinking better of it and crossing his arms in front of his chest, he couldn't help checking:

"What on *earth* are you talking about, Spike?"

Spike strolled over to the couch where he'd stuffed the photo and keepsake behind a cushion.

"This." He waved them in front of Giles' face. "Who's the boyfriend, then?"

Giles snatched at the moving target without success, then, jabbing with one finger to emphasise his points, chased Spike with words instead.

"One, those are *mine* and none of your business. Two, he was never `my boyfriend' and it's none of your business. Three, I am not a homosexual, and even if I were, it's none of your business."

"That what you told *him*? 'Darling, before you suck me off, I have to tell you, I'm not a ho-mo-sex-u-al. I just get it where I can'?" He noted with satisfaction that Giles had the grace to blush at that. Unfortunately for Spike, embarrassment tended to make Giles take the offensive.

"Don't forget I know more about *you* than you might want people to know, as well. Apart from the legion of genuine petty cruelties pumped up to great feats of evil daring, that is. It so happens that a Watcher in the late 19th century had a...personal... interest in same-sex behaviour in vampire groups, and the resources to get the information he was after. I'd say it comes down to this: which of us thinks he has most to lose; which of us is so keen to trade on our straighter-than-straight 'hard man' credentials?"

"You wouldn't dare," Spike blustered, but one look at the now calm, amused face across the room told him his bluff would undoubtedly be called, if it came to it. He adopted a more-nonchalant-than-thou expression and a worldly tone.

"Yeah, well, I was corrupted at an early age; big bully at school. I didn't know no better, had a sheltered childhood. Learned a skill, might as well use it to keep ol' Angelus sweet when I got into trouble for stepping out of line. Which, when you consider I stepped out of line quite a lot..."

Nothing more was said whilst Giles finished cooking and then ate his meal. If either of them caught a speculative glance from the other now and then, they didn't comment.

"Power."

"Do what?"

"It's about power." Giles was washing the dishes, stacking pots carefully. Spike sat in front of the television, paying scant attention to whatever commercial-studded repeat was currently showing. What he was really busy doing was downing Jack Daniel's at a steady lick. Giles pulled out the sink plug with a faintly obscene sucking sound that echoed for a second or two, and stood wiping his hands, contemplating aloud.

"Between two male vampires, perhaps any vampires. Sex must be about power. It's hardly going to be an expression of tender love and affection, after all. You don't know the meaning of the words."

"Piss off, you don't know what you're talking about. I loved Dru, as much...more... than you'll ever be able to understand. Anyway, you seriously telling me that you and your boy-tart brought each other breakfast in bed and wore matching Val Doonican jumpers?"

Giles chuckled in spite of himself. "Not unless you count a joint as breakfast. But still, there was...something. More than just..." he broke off, remembering to whom he was talking.

"Ain't nothing the matter with `just', Rupert. What are you waiting for, model girl to start dropping hints that what she really wants isn't champagne and tropical beaches, but cocoa and bringing you your slippers of an evening? Face facts, barring a miracle: you're lookin' at a future of hook-it-before-it-gets-away, or do-it-yourself. Given that choice, I know what I'd go for."

"And supposing I want more?" Giles told himself that it was just an idle conversation, an easy way to kill time if one wanted it dead. Nevertheless he sat down next to Spike and accepted a swig from the bottle.

" 'I want' never gets, but a smacked bottom and sent to bed'. Didn't your Mum ever tell you that one? Unless you're in the market for either or both of those, eh?" He grinned at Giles' stony face; grinned wider at the faint flash of interest that he was sure he'd seen, momentarily, in the older man's eye. Giles took another pull of liquor, passed it back, and pointedly studied the fireplace wall.

Spike switched off the television with a flourish and leaned back, cradling the whiskey like a baby in the crook of his arm. The phone rang again and he beat Giles to it by throwing the bottle in his direction, forcing him to dive for it or have broken glass everywhere.

"Yes? No. Who d'you think? Same to you with brass knobs on. yeah, yeah, I'll tell 'im." He grinned at the spectacle of Giles kneeling awkwardly on the rug in front of the couch, looking at the booze splashes on his clothes and furniture with a face like thunder.

>

The coincidence of those particular words made their own connections in the vampire's brain. The connection continued, quite unexpectedly, to parts south and he stopped in mid step, unusually surprised at himself.

"Tell me what?"

"Eh? Oh, yeah, your Slayer says, don't wait up: she's not coming over after all tonight. Something about having something more exciting on: watching paint dry, or some such. So: looks like we're making our own entertainment, then, Rupert. Any ideas?"

Giles' glare was three parts aimed at him, one part at the idea of Buffy in his mind, and the thought that, even if she had almost certainly said no such thing, the sentiment might not be a million miles away. He got up, walked over to the cabinet and took out a brace of tumblers. He filled one and drained it; was about to fill the other.

"We could drink, like two....beings, who could at least pretend to be civilised," he offered grudgingly.

"Now where's the entertainment in that? Drink *and* debauchery, that's the ticket." Spike put his hand out for the bottle and Giles passed it to him without comment, leaving the tumblers where they were on his desk.

"I suppose you would consider yourself an expert in the latter," he remarked, staying standing and looking down at the tipped-back head, Adam's apple working as Spike swallowed the spirit.

"I know a sodding sight more about it than you, you old woman. What's debauchery in your neck of the woods - tea with lemon instead of milk?"

Giles snorted, eyes narrowed. The alcohol wanted its say and he let it.

"You think you know me, don't you; you, and them, the *kids*. Well, think again. You want a contest, hmm? Try me." He reached for the bottle and took a steady pull, the bottle neck in the side of his mouth, his eyes fixed on the vampire's.

"Bragging, are we? Pissing contest? I'm your man. Let's see, now: I'll start easy, seeing as I'm sittin' here watching you put it away: booze. Ever been so drunk you puked, then set to drinking again, went to sleep drunk and woke up still drunk?"

Giles stayed standing, looked at him over the top of his glasses, then took them off and let them dangle contemptuously from one hand. He passed the bottle over, addressed Spike in tones of mock pity.

"I can tell *you* never went to University, if you honestly think that's an achievement. Last time that happened, I never paid for a single round, either."

"Tight git. All right: other intoxicants. What have you tried?"

Giles ticked them off on the fingers of his free hand, spectacles still swinging and catching the lamplight, throwing little patterns on the wall.

"Pot, hash, speed, coke when I could afford it, LSD. I wasn't bloody fool enough to inject: that's suicide, not debauchery. Debauchery..." A small, some might think uncharacteristic, smile of reminiscence crossed his face. "...should be fun. That's just the piffling human pharmaceuticals of course; magic offers so much more variety, don't you find?"

Spike felt a trifle peeved. He'd never been much for the 'arts'; *being* supernatural had always been enough; and despite hints he'd picked up about Giles' youth from eavesdropping on conversations, he had to admit surprise and grudging respect for the scope of the Watcher's rebellion and indulgence. But he nodded knowingly. After all, what human knew the rush of feeding, the buzz of foreign lifeblood prickling under the skin?

"Yeah. Sure," he said decisively. "Now the difficult bit; for you, any road." He was suddenly fed up with craning his neck to look up, and shifted over to make room, passing the booze as Giles took the proffered place, proceeding to drain the bottle.

"Oi! You owe me another one of those, mate."

"No, you owe *me*; it was mine to start with." Giles was still far from rolling drunk, but there was a thickness in his speech and the edge that would have been in his tone was dulled. "Want som' more?"

"Don't mind if I do."

"Get it yourself: cupboard by the door." The Watcher yawned, stretched expansively with all four limbs, in contrast to his normal economy of movement, and tossed his spectacles onto the coffee table. Spike scowled but pushed himself off the couch, overbalancing and briefly putting a hand out, to find it had landed squarely on Giles' jean-clad thigh. He snatched the hand away, cursed and stumbled off. A barely suppressed chuckle followed him across the room; a speculative sideways glance greeted his return to a seat on the couch, settling a hand's breath further away. Spike unscrewed the cap on the whiskey with a violent twist that almost broke the bottleneck. They took turns at it in silence for a while.

"D'you know, I think it's *my* turn to challenge *you*, Spike. And since at least one of our minds was on the subject already." Giles' mouth pursed and he looked sidelong. Vampires couldn't blush, but they could apparently try to bore holes in the floor with their eyes. He should look that up sometime.

"I don't suppose," he continued, slowly and carefully sounding out the words to moderate the slurring, " that I should bother with the tamer realms of sexual experimentation. You were brought up in the nineteenth century, and Mater wouldn't let you, I'll be bound. Let's skip straight to the dirt, shall we? What exactly did you 'do' for Angelus? More importantly, since we're discussing debauchery not semi-professional services. Did you find it to be *fun*?"

Spike choked on the mouthful he'd just taken and nearly dropped the bottle on the floor. Giles snatched at it, his reactions slowed and clumsy, and found himself in possession, but also slung inelegantly and face-down across Spike's lap.

"Fuck! Get off!" Spike struggled under the weight, but he couldn't exert too much force for fear of activating the chip, and Giles wasn't co-operating in the slightest. He was giggling, trying to get the bottle to his lips from his prone position, and mightily enjoying Spike's discomfiture. Discomfiture that was rapidly becoming real anger: Spike continued to push at him, railing at him all the while.

"Fun! You think it was *fun* to have his hand on my neck, threatenin' to crush it if I didn't turn a good trick? Fun to have Darla `n' Dru watching and laughing? Fun to be on my knees in every fucking way? As if I hadn't already had enough humiliation to last me my undead life when I was alive, thank you very bleedin' much!"

Giles didn't ask what he meant by that last. He'd decided a while ago that the exaggerated bluster and bravado had to be a cover. After all, he'd been there himself, once upon a time, fighting against insignificance, other people's expectations, the sacrifice of ego and ambition.

"I'm sorry," he murmured.

Tentatively, he put out a hand and patted the arm that was still trying to dislodge him. Spike shrugged it off. Giles stilled, shifted around so he was looking into Spike's sullen face. He stared for a long time, appreciating the out-thrust lower lip and allowing himself to imagine what arts it might be master of. He made no move to get up, but waited until he had the vampire's attention. Parts of his brain were busy asking the other parts what the hell they were doing cooking this up, at the same time as he was asking:

"Want to. try it for fun, Spike? No obligations, no power trips, no agendas. Just ...well, *just*?"

"I told you. I'm not a poofter. Don't s'pose I'd fancy your sorry arse even if I was."

"My..." Giles cleared his throat."...arse isn't on offer. Just a little mutual, um, exploration. Fun. Relief, if I'm to be blunt. Equal treatment: my word on it." His eyes were getting progressively more unfocused, but he thought he could see cogs turning all the same, behind the shutters Spike had put up. "If it makes you feel easier, you're not exactly my ideal type either."

There. Almost a smile.

"So what you're sayin' is: a quickie on the couch to get ourselves off, which I reckon's been a good long while for you, and any time's a while for me, and we'll prove we can be truly, deeply depraved when no-one's looking?" He was, apparently, astoundingly, actually considering it.

Giles shrugged. "'S a fair summary. Only it needn't be on the couch, and it really *shouldn't* be quick." He swung to a sitting position and got up from the couch unsteadily. After a beat, he held out his hand.

Spike looked at the hand, through it, around its intent, searching for pitfalls. For some reason, for the unlife of him, he couldn't see any that didn't have to do with assuming Rupert Giles to be a class one bastard. And he had to admit that, even with the worst will in the world, he couldn't make that assumption.

He clasped the hand, put the whiskey bottle down on the table and allowed himself to be pulled to his feet.

They bumped hips and shoulders going up the corner of the stairs, lurched together against the wall as if they were farther gone in the drink than either actually were, unconsciously accustoming their minds and bodies to contact. Giles, taller and heavier of the two by some margin, and on home turf, ended up leading by dint of draping his arm across Spike's shoulders and taking longer strides. When they reached the loft, they made a rush for the bed in the middle of the room. Spike was trying to get a perch sitting on the side, Giles to get right on it in the middle, and they tangled again, gruff with mixed embarrassment and humour.

"Where in hell are you..."

"What do you think you're."

Both of them stopped, grinned briefly and stayed where they'd got to.

"One of us better work out how this is gonna happen. You're supposed to be Organisation Man, Rupert; you do it."

Giles sat cross-legged on the coverlet and considered what he could see of Spike's face, half turned away and still seeming unsure, reluctant.

"No shame in changing your mind, you know," he offered quietly, but continued to work on his shoes, tipsy fingers a little clumsy.

Spike stood abruptly and turned, hands at his belt buckle, all bravado once more.

"Pish to that. I'm not chickening out. Unless you are."

Giles held out his neatly paired brogues, a folded grey sock in each one.

"Could you put these over by the dresser?"

Spike started to say something but set his face in a suitably mutinous scowl instead, and did as he was asked. As he came near to the bed again, tugging roughly at his shirt, and complaining that he wasn't a manservant, Giles stopped him with a shake of his head.

"Come here, Spike." His voice softened. "Let me. No-one's a servant here; and no-one's going on their knees."

Another outstretched hand, another assessment to make. This time he looked into the human's face.

And, finally, committed himself.

"No-one who's me, mate; too right. C'mon then, down to business..."

Giles shook his head again. "*Pleasure*."

Precisely, gently, he pulled off the black boots, unbuttoned the thin shirt, slipped it off Spike's shoulders with his fingertips; trailed them down the curves of the biceps along with the fabric, bending his head to keep eye contact all the while, inviting trust; 'vampire whispering' his way past the last few defences of the wild creature on his bed.

When the shirt was off, and slung over the headboard behind him, Giles stretched out his own arms and invited reciprocal service, with a tilt of his head and expectation in his eyes. Spike was a little rougher, a lot quicker, used to bursts of energy and movement, not deliberation and forethought. He bunched the sea-green Oxford untidily, casting about for a place for it. Finally, he just put it next to his, a quirk of his lips admiring the asymmetry of fluid dark silk and creased cotton.

There was a poem in there somewhere; a poem, too, in the contrast of their bodies, his and the human's. As he leaned past Giles' broader, beefier frame, sun-marked at the collar, he saw the criss-cross of old scars, battle wounds and souvenirs of a night in Crawford Street. His own translucent, literally dead white skin was like marble, veined, fine-grained, but so much harder to carve.

Someone else would have to write that poem, though. He could smell the salt upon, the iron beneath, the surface of warm flesh as his gaze came to rest on Giles' bare neck. The Watcher knew it, allowed it for a few seconds, raised his chin and lowered his shoulder, drawing out the tension, teasing the hunger that wasn't really physical - Spike was well enough fed - until it gravitated through the still body and miraculously blossomed as a hunger of quite another sort.

Giles had done his reading. He knew all about the equation of the little death and the greater; the double meanings surrounding draining, satisfaction and siring; surrender, voluntary and otherwise. He couldn't help a tiny smug smile at this confirmation, from the `field', of the validity of careful research. Couldn't help, either, the thrill that raced down to his groin as he watched the vampire's mouth twitch and his lashes tremble on his cheek under suddenly hooded eyes. He leaned forward to that mouth, and was almost at point of contact when Spike's head reared back.

"Hey! What's that for?" There was a strange edge of near panic in the tone, and Giles realised why after a moment's thought.

"I was going to kiss you. It, er, tends to improve the experience..."

A blank stare was the only response.

"...Angelus never kissed." As if it weren't obvious.

"As if. Do you really want to?"

"Actually, yes. Not that it would have occurred to me two hours ago, nor ever in my entire life up to that second." Both men laughed softly, ruefully, and both leaned in this time.

Cigarettes and whiskey, tea and toothpaste, sweet and bitter, warm and cool. They tasted, supped, feasted, not breaking the kiss but deepening it, pushing harder and more urgently until the bed began to creak. Steadying themselves with hands on each other's chests, they began to stroke, knead and pull with their hands, exploring the contours and textures of smooth and hairy, rail-thin and fleshy. When they broke apart, one panting for needed air, the other in fascinated shock, they stared, open -mouthed.

"Fucking Hell."

"You said it, Rupert. And may I add: `where'd all that come from'?"

"Our good friend testosterone, I suspect. Do vampires still make hormones? Not that I care, especially," and he returned for more, sucking softly on Spike's lower lip and skimming his ribcage, the guitar callouses on Giles' fingers framing and tracing the grooves and tickling tiny pale nipples until they sat up and begged.

"Magic. That's what it is. We don't need anything else." Spike sat back, pulled his belt through all the loops and off in a single movement, and worked the zipper of his jeans down over his swelling cock, freeing it solicitously. "Like this. Just like magic. You?"

"Different system, same results." Giles put his partner's hand between his thighs and pushed against the curious touch, hissing with the delicious tension it created. Then they were struggling out of the stiff denim with grunts of frustration, helping each other strip.

"Do you want to get in?" Giles asked, one hand on the edge of the coverlet as if to draw it down.

"Nah. I don't get cold, me."

"But you can be warmed up, at least for a while. Straightforward thermodynamics."

"Get bent, show-off."

"On occasion, yes. As for getting bent..."

Spike growled indignantly and pounced, careful to intend no hurt; Giles, in his turn, held his ground but put no real resistance into the resulting `struggle'.

They wrestled pleasurably with sheets, comforter and each other; fitting their mouths and their bodies together in new ways every time they rested, experimenting with who got to be on top; whose tongue gave the wettest, longest lathes across hipbones, the most titillating dips into the navel; how far they could press the advantage of preternatural strength or heavier bulk.

By unspoken consent, they at last arranged themselves top to tail. Spike rubbed the inside of Giles' long, outspread thigh, with his cheek, like a cat. Giles' hand circled Spike's knee, massaging lightly around the joint. Both of them contemplated what was on offer.

Spike's erection rose with magical, defiant grace, sticking it in the face of nature. Supporting himself on one elbow, Giles reached with his left hand and wrapped it firmly around the base. He looked up across the taut belly, face serious, intent, and saw Spike...sizing him up, visually, then, exquisitely, manually, girdling him tightly, rubbing a thumb around the ridge, easing the foreskin free, making him sigh.

"Okay, Rupes, nothing to be ashamed of either, I see. How long can you last out?"

"Long...enough. How long do *you* want to last?" He supposed that normal rules about stamina wouldn't apply, and capacity probably wasn't the issue; as a man who liked it leisurely himself, he could have envied Spike in this if nothing else. Then again, there was the singular freedom of letting go, the instant of flesh strong and triumphant, spirit helpless and weak in its wake.

"Since we're going halves, match us up. Do me, then I do you?"

That was it for words; they didn't need them for a while.

They were all coming back, skills Giles had acquired but hadn't practiced on anyone save himself for twenty-four years. He played on the rigid length with a musician's talent, working it to the rhythm of Spike's groaning, swearing accompaniment, taking it faster then normal, more roughly, electric bass and rock and roll, not pansy violins and trills.

Spike could take whatever Giles could dish out on that score; in fact he desired the harshness with every redundant breath, ached for it with his unbeating heart as well as his cock. He demanded still more, screwing the fist that held and warmed him with hard jerks of his hips, pinching his own nipples, rubbing the other hand compulsively up and down his side, eyes screwed shut and teeth bared. He could smell the muskiness that told him Giles was still aroused, hard and waiting, but he couldn't attend to it and wasn't asked to. The Watcher had patience; he'd give him that.

Spike thought patience was a waste of fucking time.

Up, twist, over, down. Again. Again. The classic, never-fail treat for man's - or vampire's - best friend. It was slick at the tip and damp all over from the human's sweaty palm, but still thirsty. Dry.

"Suck. Don't tell me you don't know how."

"All right. I won't," and Giles shifted up and dragged his tongue tip gradually up the most visible vein, feeling the restless stirring of Spike's body, the reined-in urgency striving to get free. Then he freed it, taking the head in as far as he could, upping the pressure until Spike hissed and told him yes like that for Christ's sake do it. He felt a slap on his rump, then another: pleasurable stings, meant to reward not punish; safe for Spike and good, so good for him. His own cock jumped insistently with each tap; he hummed his thanks around the meat in his mouth and redoubled his efforts, moulding his lips ever closer, shielding Spike from his teeth, and from the empty air which didn't touch, didn't taste as he was doing.

The vampire gave a little yelp, a warning note before a stream of urgent, whispered words Giles couldn't really hear but whose meaning he didn't fail to take. He let Spike slip from his mouth, replaced his hand and pulled rapidly until with a whole-body shudder and a thrown-back blond head, climax rushed in and was welcomed with a shout.

Spike lay totally, unnervingly, still. No heaving chest. No sheen of sweat. No movement for twenty of Giles' heartbeats. Then he groaned quietly and hummed:

"*Yeah*."

He rolled over onto his back and grabbed for a sheet edge to clean himself, making short work, conscious that even Giles' patience had limits. He was going to drop down back where he'd been, but his partner had other ideas. Backing up so he could lie propped on a pillow, and once more holding out a hand -

>

- Giles guided him until he was on all fours between the human's spread legs; until he could go down on him while they both watched each other's faces. They locked gazes and Spike didn't look away, as he might have done before, edgy about any intimacy with another male, always expecting the power struggle.

"Slow, yeah?" Spike wasn't flushed, as a living man would be, but paler than ever in shadow: a black and white film, a negative image of another sharp-featured, sensual-mouthed face about to deliver him from agony to ecstasy.

Giles nodded, breathing deep and trembly.

"Wouldn't do for you to have a heart attack; not that, in that sad event, I'd tell anyone the truth, of course." As Spike was talking, hands planted either side of Giles' hips, he let the dead air he used for speech whisper over the exposed head of his penis, racking the tension up one more notch. He opened his mouth wide, made as if to cover the glans but pulled back at the last second, with a fleeting grin as he heard Giles curse him roundly.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," Spike scolded, glancing up and meeting pleading green eyes. "You were gonna put yourself in my hands."

On the last word, he dropped onto his front and moved those hands in a flash, one splayed flat on Giles' belly, moving in small circles, the other between his legs, cupping his balls and playing with the heft and fullness of them.

"Dear God."

"Nope. That's the other bloke." He felt further back, stroking the perineum from back to front with his knuckles, clawing delicately with the other hand through the coarse hair trailing down from Giles' navel until he reached the base of his cock and carried on going. He listened all the while, judging, from the sounds the other man was making, where to go, how long to linger, how much stimulation he could load on before Giles reached his limit.

It was more than Spike had honestly expected. Time and again he thought it was all going to be over any second, but soon he just put it down to trusting the strong silent type to be a screamer in the sack. Not that Giles had quite reached screaming pitch yet, although his moans and gasps were pretty loud.

What *will* the neighbours think?

There was none of the cold brutality, the humiliation that Spike still so remembered from those other times he'd done this; only breathless, vocal appreciation. If anything could be pure and simple in his existence, this was it.

It was. it was *fun*. And he *had* agreed to go halves; agreed on equal treatment. He rolled the side of his tongue over the tiny slit, taking away the clear trickle of fluid and making more appear. A strong hand clutched at his shoulder, tangling in his hair; begged, but didn't force. From the corner of his eye he could see Giles' other hand fisted in the bed sheet, twisting it to keep a shred of control.

So far as Spike was concerned, 'control' could get stuffed.

He swallowed quick and deep. Not needing to breathe had no end of advantages; he kept Giles' dick in his mouth impossibly, magically long, working him steadily, cool tongue seeking and shooting up the bundle of nerves under the corona with an unbeatable rush of power and feeling. He managed to get back up on all fours, changing the angle of penetration so that Giles could thrust upwards as he so clearly wanted to. Spike could take it all, enough force to set the bed rocking and bumping, the sprung mattress bouncing under them, its squeaks mingling with Giles' voice as it climbed up the register.

"Going to...going to..." Giles almost sang it, but if he meant it as a warning there was no need. Spike was still a vampire. Bloody bad show if he couldn't drink, couldn't drain a man one way or another. He could feel the extra stiffening in his mouth, the pulse rate soaring in the quivering belly under his hands. Coming soon. Giles was coming soon; he was coming *right now*.

Yup, a screamer. And someone had surely been saving it up. Must be what you get from a life of self denial.

Spike believed sincerely in saying 'no' to self denial.

He drank the last drops of warm semen and relaxed his jaw so Giles would just slide out naturally as he softened, so there would be no dragging on hyper-sensitised nerves. Spike wasn't sure where that impulse to kindness had sprung from, but he wasn't much given to introspection. A whim, that's what it was: a change of pace. Just like this whole gig.

Giles flopped, boneless and panting, on the bed, with Spike's head resting for now on his thigh, both of them giving themselves over to the relief and escape of complete sexual satisfaction. After a few minutes, Spike crawled up and climbed properly between the sheets, putting his head on the other pillow and closing his eyes, lacing his hands behind his head.

"I need a fag."

He cracked open one eye as the mattress moved; Giles padded downstairs, stark naked yet apparently unconcerned, and fetched the smokes and lighter from the coffee table. He took one out, tapped it against the carton with practised ease and put it between Spike's lips. As he lit it, the other didn't stir, only took a long drag and snorted two streams of smoke out of his nostrils. Wrestling with temptation for a millisecond, Giles helped himself to a cigarette as well. As of this moment, it wasn't exactly 'most heinous' on his list of forbidden pleasures.

"Thanks," muttered Spike around the barrel of the cigarette he was smoking. Their eyes met without embarrassment, stretching the moment, and the gratitude, around everything that had happened since they'd come up here.

"'S all right." Giles deliberately let his accent slip to 'street'. Spike's mouth curved upward and he nodded. Giles got back into bed and sat up against the headboard.

They finished their cigs in silence, ground out the stubs on the tiled floor and dozed off, not spooning or even touching, but not desperate to get away, either.

**************

Buffy Summers skipped into Giles' living room on a glorious sunny autumn afternoon a couple of days later, to find her erstwhile Watcher sitting alone, reading from a humungous leather-bound tome filled with headache-inducing tiny text and extremely alarming wood engravings.

"Hello Buffy, this is a pleasant surprise. I trust all is well."

"Peachy. Where's Spike? You don't have him chained in the bath again, do you, 'cause I *so* need to pee."

"He's upstairs, asleep or...whatever he's doing. Feel free to use the facilities."

"Thanks." On her way over to the corridor, Buffy shot back over her shoulder:

"I know *he* can't get out much, with the daytime flamey death and night-time commando patrols, but *you* should, sometime. Must be absolutely zero fun, the two of you cooped up here."

Giles was sorely tempted to stuff a handkerchief into his mouth once she'd rounded the corner. From upstairs, choking sounds floated down. Before she could return, Giles contented himself with murmuring:

"We make our own entertainment."

* * *