'Oh. Bloody hell!' Giles peered at the freezing downpour from the warmth of
the airport arrivals lounge. Spike looked morosely out at the rain that hid
the onset of dawn.
'Come on, gotta get out of here.' Giles nodded and they made their way silently to the car hire desk and collected the keys. They stood on the small courtesy bus, jostled by other equally cold, wet travellers and wandered around the carpark in the rain looking for the right car. When they located it, they threw their bags in, and Giles headed straight for one of the airport hotels where they were to hole up for the day. Spike mumbled about the lack of sunlight and suggested they just risk it, but Giles wasn't about to see Spike go up in flames, despite wishing that he would do just that once or twice on the long flight.
Jet-lagged, hungry, and irritable, Giles flung himself onto his bed and prepared to snooze until it got dark. A knock at the door made him groan and, when Spike sauntered in and began to test the beds, he indicated to the corridor once more. 'Out.'
Spike pouted and took off his duster, getting himself comfortable against one of the headboards. 'No sex, promise. Scouts' honour.'
'You have no honour, and you were never in a uniform of any sort. Out, please.'
'How'm I gonna feed?'
Giles paused. 'You'll have to wait 'til we get there; I've got something arranged for you there hopefully. Sorry.'
'Oh friggin hell; I'm starvin'!'
Unfortunately, just at that moment, room service arrived for Giles, and he sheepishly rolled in a large quantity of food for himself. 'You're welcome to share….'
'Yeah, I can eat it, but it ain't gonna stop me needing what I need.'
'No. I suppose not.'
'You know what. We both want it.'
'Why not? You got off on it.'
'No, I did not. It make me anaemic and poorly and, to be honest, I don't think I've quite recovered yet.'
'Yeah, but Rupert….' Spike slid slowly off the bed and came over to sit next to Giles on his bed. 'I was being a shit then, wasn't I? It's better than sex when it's done right, promise. You'll want it more than life itself by the end.'
'Better not begin then, hadn't I?'
Spike's face was genuinely outraged. He'd thought the human would capitulate easily, and he was very, very hungry.
Giles actually felt a little guilty at refusing Spike but then berated himself for being so confused. 'Don't make me feel guilty about this, Spike.'
The door slammed so loud, Giles wondered if they'd heard it in reception, too.
Spike returned to his room, trapped by the daylight that prevented him from escaping his confinement. He made it inside the door before the strange feelings began to well up inside him again. Once more, he resorted to his vampire face in an attempt to control himself but, this time, the change didn't work and embarrassingly, even as a vampire, he found himself with tears running down his demonic features. He slid back to human form and hunkered down onto the floor, covering his head with his arms. If he stayed still enough and silent enough, he could concentrate his entire being on not thinking and not feeling. It worked until he heard the soft knock at the door. He ignored it, still concentrating on not being there. It came again, this time accompanied by a low calling of his name. Once more, he ignored it. A few minutes later he heard a key turn in the lock and Giles saying a murmured 'Thank you' to someone.
Giles came into the room and squatted down in front of Spike. 'I am so sorry.'
Spike did not look up.
Giles put his hands to Spike's arms and pulled them away. 'I… I want you to… if that's what you want. I just seem to want what you want, and that's so confusing, I can't even think about it. So, please, here you are….' He rolled up his sleeve and offered Spike his wrist.
Spike looked up and the expression on his face made Giles rock back. The human lost his balance and sprawled onto the carpet with a soft grunt of annoyance. Spike sprung up and began to pace. 'What's happening to me? This hurts - not thoughts hurt but here….' He beat at his dead chest as he tried to explain the inexplicable to Giles. 'I feel like it's beatin' wildly. Like I'm possessed by you.'
Giles climbed back to his feet and sat nervously on the edge of the bed. 'I'm not sure….'
'I don't wanna feed off you! Watcher, I'm a soddin' vampire, but I don't wanna feed off you.'
'I know I did. But I didn't. Not really. And why is that?' He began to strike his chest once more, and Giles winced at the power of the blows. 'If my heart could beat I'd cut it out. I can't take this….'
'What do you want, Spike? Do you want to go back to how it was before? Before me? Before the chip? Hell, I don't know, before being turned?'
Spike came over to stand in front of Giles - too close really - the human had to strain his neck back to look up at the angry figure. Suddenly, Spike collapsed, falling to his knees in front of Giles. 'I want to wake up and 'ave you happy.' As he spoke, a small sob rent his form, and he bent his head to Giles' lap, burying his face into the warm material. Giles laid his head on the lowered blond head then bent and buried his face into the hair, too.
'I came back here to receive forgiveness, but I return with a blasphemy that obsesses me.' This was spoken so quietly, Spike doubted it was meant for him to hear, but he did hear, and raised his head, rubbing at the tears with the heel of his hand. He looked up to Giles' troubled eyes. 'I thought we came 'ere cus of me… cus of the cunts in camouflage.'
Giles began to rub the ball of his thumb over the tracks of tears, pressing into the sharp cheekbones that shadowed Spike's face. 'Partially… mostly. But I wanted to do things… say things that I've never had the….'
Giles smiled, and Spike smiled a little, too, and some of the tension between them melted. 'Balls to say before. I've felt all these emotions, felt so… liberated, I suppose, since meeting you….'
Giles tapped him lightly on the nose. 'Stop interrupting and putting words in my mouth and, actually, it's not been the… err… fucking. It's been other things: the talking, the… just being together, I suppose. I feel quite free, and I want some closure here that I thought I might never be given the opportunity to have.'
'We're not gonna stay with that bint you couldn't get it up for, are we?'
Giles gave a tiny, but genuine start of horror at this suggestion and shook his head. 'Bloody hell, THAT did not occur to me.' He pulled Spike up and looked out at the rain-soaked day. 'Now, we've still got some hours to kill. Do you have any useful suggestions - as you won't let me feed you.'
Spike groaned at his own, hideous failure to be a respectable vampire and pouted for a moment. 'Nah. Haven't got a clue.' That his hands were exploring under Giles' shirt as he spoke, made the human grin. 'Guess we could watch telly.' He undid Giles' button and began to slide the zip down against the obvious bulge. 'Suppose you'll be jet-lagged or summit, so anything interesting'll be off the agenda.' He held Giles' cock for a moment, looking morosely at it, as if it were part of the boring, pass-the-daylight-hour timetable he was having to fashion. He fell to his knees once more in front of the human. 'What'd'ya reckon? Any ideas what we can do to pass the time?'
Giles groaned when his cock disappeared into Spike's mouth. He held tightly to the blond hair and felt once more that thrill at the thought of being taken like this by this talented vampire. Just as he was beginning to cum, Spike pushed back slightly and, pressed into the bed, Giles fell backward onto the soft mattress. Spike grinned and licked his lips, watching the raw penis bob in the bright light. 'Course, whatever we do's gotta be slow like, or… ya know… it won't pass the time.' He grinned at his own game and followed Giles onto the bed, kneeling beside the incredulous human.
'Err… how slow?'
Spike eyed the rain for a moment and seemed to be doing some kind of internal calculation, 'Five hours, I'd say, give or take a few minutes.'
'No… you couldn't.'
Spike looked down and, for a moment, his face was quite serious, almost sad. 'I think I've become your slave, Giles. There's nothing of me left; I'm so immersed in you.'
Giles looked faintly surprised at this, but after a moment's hesitation, pulled Spike down into his embrace, ignoring the promise of the exquisite, drawn out blowjob. Spike put his head onto Giles' chest with a small sigh, and just played gently on the erection with cool fingers. Giles sighed more deeply than the vampire and repeated just the one word, 'Obsession.'
He felt Spike smile against him and then, surprisingly, pull the covers over them both. Giles felt this to be something critical, fundamental, and he lifted Spike's face for a moment to see if the vampire was thinking this too. It seemed as if he was, for his face was troubled, though oddly content at the same time. Giles nodded, and they understood each other. The sex was there if they wanted it, defining their relationship. At this moment, though, that they didn't want it, seemed far more significant.
Giles watched the rain through the window, as he held the cool body to him and wondered how he had come on such a long journey. Spike listened to the human's heartbeat and wondered why he did not want to still it.
After a while, Spike shifted slightly and said, 'You 'sleep?'
Giles shook his head then added, 'All out of synch, rather. If I sleep now, I won't sleep tonight.'
Spike chuckled. 'I'm not makin' this no-sex-hiatus a lifetime vow, human. You won't be doing any sleeping tonight, believe me.'
There was no reply to this, and Spike felt Giles tense slightly. He lifted his head. 'What?'
Giles pursed his lips, still looking out at the almost hypnotic rain. 'Don't you ever have the feeling that this is not real? That if we shine the light of reality on what we are doing, it'll dissipate in that glare? Isn't that what the game was about, after all?'
'No, no, and err… no, but even if I bloody did, what's that got to do with me shagging yer balls off tonight?'
'I'm taking you to the source of my reality, Spike. I didn't think about it, really, until that damn rain started to chill me. Until then, this was unreal. But now….'
At this, Giles turned his face. 'You're a vampire for God's sake, and you're a man.' He felt Spike begin to separate from him and clamped him back with a surprisingly strong grip. 'And I think I love you. So how does all that square with where we're going?'
Spike reassured him he wasn't going to pull away but sat up, keeping his hand on Giles' chest. He reached for his cigarettes and lit one and, when he had taken a few drags, propped his head on his hand looking thoughtfully at the human. 'Why does it have to square? Why can't it stay any damn shape we want?'
'What? I don't….'
'Well, there's this reality: England, rain, your home - whatever. Then there's us: you, me, vampire, human, chips, Slayers, Sunnydale. Why try to make one fit the other? I've seen so many lifetimes, Rupert, if I tried to make 'em all compatible, I'd go crazier than you seem to think I am. Last time I was 'ere, I was shagging another hard arse. Time 'fore that, I was a bad poet, mooning after a stupid bint. I've seen Empires rise and fall, watcher, why sweat this?'
Once more, he offered Giles his cigarette and, making a slight face, Giles took it and smoked it happily, until Spike snatched it back with a look of his own. 'So?'
Giles pursed his lips thoughtfully. 'Whose arse?'
Spike chuckled and lay back down. 'Thought that'd take yer mind off yer current problems.'
'Who the hell do you think?'
'I think Angel, but I don't want to.'
'Angelus. BIG difference, ya know?'
'Not perhaps to me from my point of view.'
Once more, Spike sat up and, with a slightly impatient sigh, said, 'What, as 'is victim?'
'Err, no. As your lover, actually.'
Giles couldn't help a small chuckle at Spike's face. 'I'm jealous of something that happened to you before I was born.'
'Huh.' Spike's surprise turned seamlessly to pleasure, and he grinned to himself for a while as he finished off his cigarette and lit another.
Giles plucked at a loose thread on the cover and said casually, 'Do you still think of him?'
'He's my sire.' This wasn't the answer Giles wanted or expected, and he paused for a moment to ponder its relevance to his question.
'But, I mean, do you….'
'Giles, don't go down 'ere. Like you said, 'fore you were born, yeah?'
'Quite. And he'll still be here after I'm gone.'
'Ah, no. I suppose not. But then you aren't exactly Spike anymore, are you? You may find you have more in common with Angel now than you did with Angelus then.'
Spike grinned. 'What we 'ad weren't based on niceties or similarities, pet. Take my word for that.'
Giles shivered slightly. 'But that still doesn't change the fact that if you met Angel now, you might… find that the past held some subtle attractions once more.'
'Are you trying to get me to admit I wanna shag Angel?'
'Yes. All right. I am. Do you?'
Giles spluttered slightly. 'Me? What the hell do you mean?'
'Well, think 'bout it. Think 'bout 'im. Can't you picture 'im? All that sombre darkness, that body, those eyes. Imagine 'im lying 'ere now….'
'Err, I'd rather not, thank you.'
'You could watch us then, see what I'm like when I'm not 'aving to… restrain.'
'Are you trying to piss me off? Because, if you are, you're succeeding. And, restrain?'
'Well, duh. Chipped, remember? Can't really go to it, can I?'
'Bloody hell. So you do want Angel.'
Spike laughed and slid back to his position on Giles' chest, wrapping the resistant arms around him. 'Just keep bein' jealous, pet. I've never 'ad anyone jealous over me 'fore, 's all.'
Giles slapped him and, when that felt incredibly good, did it again harder. Spike wriggled a little. 'Better stop that 'less you want a right shafting.'
'I rather think I'd like to save that until tonight.'
Spike heard the massive concession and rewarded the human with a cool hand just cupping his balls and playing with them enough to keep the bed interesting, but not enough to force them to do more.
'So, where we actually goin'?'
Giles frowned. 'I've told you.'
'No, you haven't; you've been all cryptic squirrel 'bout it since we left.'
'Err… shouldn't that be chipmunk or something.'
'Well, it's secret squirrel for the alliteration, so it should be cryptic chipmunk or… chicken?'
'Are you takin' the piss?'
'We're going to Abbotsbury Giles, where I was born. Where my parents still live.'
'Cool - named after a place.'
'Err… rather the other way around actually.'
'Uh huh. So, what yer parents gonna do when you turn up after all this time?'
'Err… I phoned them, Spike, and told them I was coming. Good God, I'd hardly just turn up.'
'Oh. Told them you were coming?'
'No, you tell me.'
'My assistant. I told them you were my assistant in the library.'
At that, Spike sat up and raised his hand as if to hit him, but stared at it in disgust, and let it fall harmlessly to his side. 'I'm not fucking pretending to be your anything.'
'So, what did you want me to tell them? That you were my vampire lover?'
'No. Course not. Not feeling all that much love right now.'
'Oh. Just right now? So….'
'Don't push it, human.'
'Well, don't get angsty about this, Spike. You're such a bloody prima donna sometimes. It's a sensible solution to a tricky problem.'
'Why couldn't you 'ave just said you were bringing a friend?'
'You didn't think of that, did you? No, you fucking didn't. Always come back to you thinkin' yer better than me. I'm the rent boy; I'm the bleedin' 'ssistant. Why can't I just 'ave been yer friend?'
'Look at us, Spike. Do you look like someone I would be friendly with? Friendly enough to invite to stay with my parents? Get a grip, and stop fishing for me to capitulate and baby you.'
'Well, it's what you do. You say you want to be my equal, but you don't act like it. You manipulate and play games and act out roles and tease and tempt and… I'm getting distracted, what was I sayin'?'
'You're givin' me a bollocking.'
'Oh, right. And that's even more distracting.'
'Is that what you really think 'bout me?'
'Uh huh.' Once more, Spike lit a cigarette but, this time, did not offer it to Giles. When he'd smoked it down, he said quietly, 'It's got to be a bit of a habit, I guess. Being like me in the demon world weren't easy, and I sorta had to put it on like to survive. An' then there was Angelus, course. He sorta expected me to play the childe.'
'I don't. I do want to think of you as my equal. I do want to introduce you as a friend, but I suppose it's as much my fault as yours.'
'How d'ya work that then?'
'Well, I'm the watcher, aren't I? That's my role: the role you all see me in. I'm the mature father figure and, sometimes, that just makes me want to scream. I'm not that. Not inside. Inside, I am what I ever was, before I got called to this strange life.' He turned and looked at Spike through the smoke. 'Will you help me?'
Spike laughed. 'Help each other?'
Giles reached out and pulled him down once more. 'I'm sorry.'
'Hell, assistant is good. An' I'll be such a help, Sir, believe me.'
Giles groaned and Spike turned his head to look at him, amused. 'What?'
'Oh, I was just thinking about Buffy's rather odd new boyfriend. He called me Sir as well and, believe me, it had quite a different effect.' Spike turned his face and watched Giles fill and swell.
He chuckled. 'Oh, can't wait to get there now.'
Giles nodded. 'I agree. Strangely, I agree. I'm not dreading it at all.' He laughed at his own deceit and looked once more out of the window. 'It's stopped raining.'
'Yeah. Nearly time to go.'
'Come on. I need a shower and shave.' Giles sat up and swung his legs off the bed, fastening his trousers carefully. Spike pouted for a moment then stretched out in the empty bed.
'Give us a shout when it's time,' and, with that, he fell asleep.
Giles shook his head in wonder at this ability and made his way back to his own room.
By the time they got onto the motorway, it was dry and cold, the moon full and bright. They made good time, Giles driving fast in the outer lane, until warning lights began to flash overhead. 'Bugger.'
Spike looked up from his nails, which he was attempting to paint in the dark. 'What?'
They sat in the hold up for over an hour, creeping forward in first gear, until Giles saw an exit ahead. 'Get the map out.'
With a deep breath of frustration, mainly at the traffic, but also at Spike's impression of something slightly deader than he actually was, he said between gritted teeth, 'I want to find another route.'
Giles watched Spike turn the map around in his hands, peering at it from all angles. 'And have you actually ever seen a road map before?'
Spike threw it at him. 'You bloody do it.'
'Yes, fine. I'll drive and navigate, shall I? Hey!'
Spike got out in the middle of the motorway and sauntered around to Giles' side. He opened the door and almost dragged the astonished human out. 'I'll drive.'
Giles had no option but to obey, and he tried not to look at the faces of the other drivers in the queue with them. He studied the map for a while. 'Take that exit, we can get around this.'
Spike barged the car through two lanes using his horn as if he were in some continental city. Giles, shading his face slightly, sighed with relief when they hit the empty country roads. He was torn between watching the speedometer and commenting on how fast Spike was driving, and reading the map. His nerves felt increasingly shredded and, after a while, he said, 'Pull over at the next pub. I need a drink.'
Spike grinned. 'Oh yeah, I drive so much better when I've 'ad a few.'
They pulled up at a dimly lit pub called 'The Stones', and Giles climbed out, stretching. Spike stomped off, chucking the keys over his shoulder as he went. He shoved open the door and breathed in the stale air of the pub with delight. As he was about to go toward the bar, the landlord looked up and said, 'Out. You. Out. I don't serve the likes of you in 'ere.' Spike stopped and Giles, just coming in, almost ran into him. Giles heard the barked comment and, for a moment, seemed to be debating whether the man had meant Spike's undead status or his preferences in bed. He went up to the nearly empty bar and said, 'What the hell do you mean?'
Spike joined him, amused that the watcher was defending him. The landlord curled his lip rather dramatically and nodded disdainfully at Spike. 'Travellers. Ain't welcome.'
Giles was still puzzled. 'Just travellers from America, or anyone not actually from here?'
'America?' The man's surliness seemed to dissipate somewhat at the vision of the small, green retirement fund that might be coming his way. 'You Americans?'
'From America, yes.'
'Ah, well. That 'plains the… you know.' He waved vaguely at Spike, who gave him a winning smile. The man scowled again. 'What can I do you for?'
Giles sighed. 'Couple of pints, please.' He caught hold of Spike's arm and pushed him into a corner table. 'Bloody hell.'
'Shall I do me vampire impression for 'im?'
'Shut up and behave.' He went back to collect the drinks.
The man seemed almost verging on friendly now. 'Sorry 'bout 'fore. Only, those bloody new-age dirt-bags, they come in 'ere buying bleedin' cider and smoking their bloody God-knows-what and using my facilities, which the misses has to clean after 'em - and their bloody brats and bloody dogs. I 'ate 'em!'
'Well, yes, I imagine that you would.'
'Come for the bloody stones, see?'
The man paused and spoke very slowly, as befitted those that came from America, 'Stonehenge, mate. We're on the bloody lay line to Stonehenge.'
Giles looked surprised and did a swift calculation of how much further they still had to go. He paused on the way back and just stood looking at Spike. He couldn't have said quite why he did this. Spike was not doing anything particularly noticeable or strange, he was just sitting there, smoking, and building a small tower with beer mats, but Spike was his. For the first time, Giles looked at Spike and realised that the vampire was there because of him: that they were there together, that he was buying drinks for them both, that he was taking him home. That he was there; that he was his. Spike looked up when he sensed the intense scrutiny and gave Giles a shy smile, and Giles realised that some of these thoughts had occurred to Spike as well. He thought he'd have never moved again if Spike hadn't have pouted at him and said, 'Come on, will yer; I'm bloody parched.'
Giles chuckled and sat down. 'Sorry. You must be starving.'
Spike shrugged and almost downed his pint in one.
Giles looked at his watch. 'We're not going to be there much before three at this rate.'
Spike nodded at the darts' board. 'Game?'
'I'd thrash you.'
'Oh yeah? You do remember I have preternatural strength, speed, and accuracy?'
'Totally irrelevant. It's a game of skill that you can only play after years of practice.'
'Uh huh. So, you remember that I'm over a hundred and fifty, and I've been in more pubs, and played more darts, than you've had hot bloody wanks, mate.'
'Ah, yes. Quite. But I'll still beat you; it's now a matter of principle.'
Spike shed his duster, drained the rest of his pint and took up position at the board. Giles smiled, finished his, too, ordered two more, and joined him.
By the time Spike had thrashed Giles half a dozen times, Giles knew he was drunk. Everything seemed slightly more amusing, everything brighter and clearer. Spike only seemed more desirable, and Giles puzzled over how this could be, given he found him infinitely desirable all the time. He tried to explain this paradox to Spike, but Spike seemed to find this incredibly amusing and only bought him another drink. By the time they got out into the freezing night air, Giles was drunk enough to attempt driving. Spike hauled him out of the driver's seat and, taking his arm, began to drag him off down the lane. Giles stumbled in the dark and said rather incoherently, 'Wherewegoon?'
Spike chuckled. 'Where d'ya think?'
By the time the first monolith came into view as they rose up on the crest of a slight rise, Giles had sobered up enough to feel the cold. The moon's illumination made the structure glow faintly in the dark, and he hissed at the eerie sight. 'Bloody hell.'