Giles was late coming up to bed and, when he did finally arrive, he went straight to the fire and began to stoke it sharply. Spike, lying on his belly reading a book that he had open on the floor, didn't look up. 'How's yer dad?'
'Profoundly shocked and upset I think would be the best way to describe it.'
'He must 'ave known.'
'No, I can categorically state that he didn't. It's something he can't abide.'
'No one asking 'im to do it.'
'Don't, Spike. I don't want to talk about this.'
Spike made a small, bitter sound that might have been a laugh. 'Now, why did I think you'd say that? Guess a shag is off the agenda, too.'
'I am rather tired actually. I think maybe I'll have a bath. Perhaps this will all look better in the morning.'
'Thank you for that cheerful thought.'
''S no bother.'
'Oh shut up, Spike.' Giles grabbed his wash bag and left.
Spike rolled onto his back and blinked slowly. By the time Giles returned he was nothing more than a tightly wrapped lump in the bedclothes. Giles let out a slow, relieved breath and climbed very carefully in beside him. When he woke in the morning, Spike was already up and lying on the rug, reading.
Giles dressed slowly, keeping half an eye on Spike. Spike seemed to have picked a difficult book, for he did not turn the page once while Giles pottered around the room. 'I'm going to see how father is.'
'Good nothing. I just said it was good.'
'All right. If he's not well enough to take the service this morning, mother will need me to sort….'
'What are you going to do all day?'
'You 'eard. I'm gonna get rat arsed.'
'Well, that's helpful, I must say.'
'Fine. I'll no doubt see you later. Whether you will still be able to see me will be a rather moot point, won't it?'
'Grow up, Spike,' and with that, Giles went in search of his father.
As good as his word, Spike dressed, went down to the billiard room, lined up glasses all around the table full of a variety of alcohol, and steadily worked his way through them. Each successful shot, he got a reward. If he missed a shot? He got a drink to cheer himself up. When they were all gone, he lined them up again, and played with his eyes shut, just for a challenge. The last thing he remembered was how pretty the green looked as he lay on it, and how it reminded him of grass in sunlight: something he was never to see again. When he came round some hours later with tears on his face, he blamed the grass, and cursed when he discovered all the alcohol was gone.
He made his way back up the staircase but had to stop in the bathroom for some time, throwing up.
He lay on the bed, the ceiling spinning sickeningly above him. Even when he spread his arms, he still felt as if the bed were tipping from side-to-side and swaying up and down. He swallowed bile and concentrated on not thinking. Just as he'd managed to become a complete blank, Giles came in.
He stood for a while looking at Spike, and then climbed onto the bed and pulled the blond head into his lap. Spike spoke, but it was only a croak. 'Don't.'
Giles shushed him.
'I can't…. It'll make me….' Spike cursed but couldn't stop the sobs that rose up with more bile from his belly. Giles just held him closer until the storm had passed, his own heart so close to breaking that he couldn't even cry.
'I am so sorry.'
Spike didn't reply, as he was concentrating, desperately, on controlling himself.
As if just to make conversation and cover the vampire's silence, Giles said softly, 'He said he was quite well, but that he had something important to do. The curate took the service, but father wants to take it this evening. I didn't like the look of him, Spike; I don't think he'd slept at all; he looked almost grey.'
Giles stroked Spike's hair thoughtfully. 'I shall go this evening and make sure he's not overdoing it.'
'I wanna come, too.'
Giles looked down. 'I thought you'd had your fun there and had moved on to something else you could annoy me about.' He smiled as he spoke and, maddeningly, Spike found this harder to cope with than the bitterness earlier. He sat up and swung his legs off the bed, hanging his head down.
'What for? It's your head that'll be hurting later.'
'Now. An' not for that. For not… I don't know. For not wanting to be here; for wanting to go home. For not caring 'bout any of this. For not understanding a bloody word anyone says to me half the time. Fucking hell, Giles.' He turned and looked accusingly at the human. 'Weren't the bloody soldiers, weren't Angel after all. It'll be this…. This is what'll tear us apart. This bloody place with its attitudes old as its plumbing. We need to go. Something is coming. I can feel it. Jeez, Dru would 'ave been spinning in circles all day at this feeling - an' I always listened to 'er. She knew. I know. It's comin,' an' it's gonna kill us.'
'You're just drunk, that's all. Drunk and feeling sorry for yourself.'
'Yeah, I am. Don't alter the fact that I'm right.'
Giles looked down thoughtfully at the sheets that were not rumpled. 'I put the water on when I went down. There should be plenty by now…?' Spike understood the apology and allowed Giles to make it like this in his own way. They went down to the bathroom together and eased themselves into hot water. They both lay, just playing gently, nudging each other with toes, fooling with soap and bubbles, and talking, until Spike looked up and said distinctly, 'This'll be the last time we do this.'
Giles froze and sat up. 'Don't bloody say that. I'm not superstitious, but bloody hell, Spike!'
Spike gave a tiny shrug. 'Still true.'
'No! Don't be ridiculous. All right. We'll go. Is that what you want? Tomorrow. I'll phone and find out what's available.'
Spike sat up. 'Do you mean that?'
'Yes. I do. I…. God, Spike, I'm beginning to feel it, too; you've got me spooked. This is silly. I am a watcher. I am forty years old. I should NOT feel spooked.'
'I'm a vampire, and I'm a hundred and forty eight, and I'm spooked.'
Giles was silent for a moment, thinking about an earlier conversation. He looked up with a small smirk. 'So, you were still a virgin until you were twenty-eight! Spike!'
Spike gritted his teeth and said disapprovingly, 'That's just plain rude.' He thought it was even more rude when Giles pushed him under the water and held him there. He just looked up through the bubbles with a weary expression on his face. Chuckling, Giles finally allowed him up. Spike looked sideward at him and pouted. 'Pillock.'
Giles caught hold of his hand. 'You know? That feeling's receding a bit. Do you feel it?'
Spike blinked and smiled shyly. 'Yeah. I do. Is it far off enough to give us some space upstairs?'
Giles didn't reply, looked down for a moment then suddenly shouted, 'Race you. Last one's not allowed to cum.' He used Spike to lever himself out of the bath, grabbed the key on his way out, locked Spike in, and then ran naked to the bedroom. He stoked the fire and remade the bed, until the smooth sheets cried out to be rumpled. Spike stomped furiously into the room.
'There is no way I'm shagging you and not coming - in yer arse, on yer face, on the fucking floor, I don't care, but I AM coming.'
'Ah. A welcher, Spike. I took you for a lot of things - a demon, dead, a vampire, a corpse, evil, a murderer, a sadist, a torturer - but never a low cheat.'
Spike was so impressed with this litany of achievements, that he just stood for a while basking in the praise, but finally he opened his eyes, and said distinctly, 'I've never cheated no one.'
Giles grinned and stretched on the bed. 'So, come here and make me cum. And maybe more than once, please.' He glanced down at Spike's swaying erection and said sympathetically, 'This really isn't going to be easy for you, is it.'
Spike came closer. 'I'll let you cum once. When I've let you cum once, I'm gonna make up for it. Do you get that?'
Giles felt a shiver of anticipation run down his spine at Spike's words and look. He nodded, his mouth suddenly too dry to reply, but slid off the bed and came towards Spike. Spike looked a little surprised, even more so when Giles grabbed his arm and thrust him against the wall. Giles leant on the thin body, cool even after the heat of the water. Slowly, one after the other, he kicked Spike's legs apart. He pushed Spike's face against the wallpaper, so the vampire had to turn, his cheek squashed painfully against the regency stripe. Giles took one of Spike's arms, then the other, and displayed him in a crucifix. He stood back to admire his handiwork then reached over to the bedside table for the well-used jar of Vaseline. Smearing some on his fingers, he knelt behind Spike. He noted with amusement that Spike's erection stood straight, squashed against the wall. He smirked and bent it back down to stick unnaturally between his legs. Spike complained bitterly at the position and the loss of friction from the wall, but Giles murmured a quiet, 'Cheat?' and the vampire was silenced. He parted Spike's cheeks and, by that, was rewarded with a view of all that Spike had to offer: his swollen, angry penis, his hard balls, and now this enticing entrance. Giles sighed, 'Welcome to the pleasure dome.' He thrust a greased finger into Spike and breathed in the gasp of pain pleasure from the pale body.
Giles had less restraint than he realised. He'd meant to play Spike along, drag out his not coming, until the vampire begged for release but, with a chuckle, he realised he had no self-control at all where Spike was concerned. He didn't want to play; he just wanted to be inside Spike. He stood and pushed into the slick, welcoming hole, letting out a deep sigh of pleasure, as he slid home. He splayed his hands out over Spike's, two powerful male bodies spread against the wall, joined. He twitched his hips forward - nothing more - just a flick from the waist. Spike moaned and began to clench and release his fingers under Giles'. Giles lowered his arms and put them to Spike's waist. 'How supple are you?'
Giles bent Spike at the waist so his pale back was forced against the wall. Spike held his ankles and spread his legs wide, and Giles found himself embedded against hard bone. He had never been so deep inside the vampire; not a millimetre of his penis was visible; it was all inside Spike's body. He twitched again, and Spike cried out. 'Yeah, ya hit it first time, mate. Do it 'gain.' Giles slammed Spike into the wall; he rammed his cock in and out of the glistening anus, stretching it, plundering the thin body, taking his own pleasure deep in the cool rectum. He let Spike go and stretched his arms up; it was like humping some convenient hole in the wall. Spike was not there, just his anus, just his rectum being taken and used.
Giles came deliciously, painfully, and noisily into the receptacle and, when he was done, pulled out and went with slightly shaky legs to the bed. With a pleased smirk on his face, he watched Spike straightening up. Spike eyed him sideward. 'Sicko.'
'I rather enjoyed my winnings, Spike. Let's bet again on something, shall we?'
'Yeah….' Spike came slowly towards him, wincing slightly at the tickling sensation running down the backs of his thighs. 'Let's bet that some old wanker I know is gonna be too sore to sit down in church without one of those bloody kneelers. What d'ya'reckon?'
'You can't, remember? Chip?' The smirk got more irritating.
Spike twitched up an eyebrow. 'Not me I'm thinkin' ''bout.' He bent slowly and reached under the bed and produced the discarded oil bottle. 'Oh, looky here.'
Giles paled. 'If you think I'm pushing that….'
'If you do it real pretty for me, pet, I'll buy you a real one, what da'ya say?'
'A real what?'
Spike eyed him. 'You foolin' with me 'gain?'
Giles shook his head, genuinely perplexed.
'A vibrator, mate, a dildo?'
Giles cringed. 'For a man? Good God, Spike! For a man? How, I mean, where? No, I see that, but… God!' He saw Spike's expression and groaned. 'Oh, don't tell me… it's on the bloody Net?'
'Sure is. So, you gonna practice for me? 'Fore I go to the trouble of ordering you one that goes all….' He made a small vibrating motion on Giles' thigh with the bottle and, wonderingly, Giles' took it from him. 'Yeah, imagine what it feels like, luv. Like me, only harder? Like me, but….' He suddenly wobbled Giles belly hard and laughed. Giles gave him an incredulous look.
'You're winding me up, aren't you? You have no intention of….'
'Bit girlie, ain't it? Come on, mate, can't see it, can you? 'Sides, you got me.'
Giles chuckled and threw the bottle back under the bed. 'Yes. I have. The cheaper version. Come here, you.' He pulled Spike to lie on top of him.
Spike frowned and pouted. 'Bit of a girlie position this, too, ain't it?'
'I don't care really, Spike. Do you know, I think I could do anything with you and not be embarrassed, reticent, or diffident again.'
'Even an 'orse?'
Spike kissed him. 'Never mind, pet. So, 'bout me little problem. You gonna relieve it?'
Giles sat up, sliding Spike off to the side, a glint in his eye. 'You can't go into the party like that, Spike.'
Grinning at the sudden, unexpected game, Spike shook his head in agreement. 'Nah, I can't. Just as well it's dark out here then.'
Giles pulled him off the bed and made him stand against the wall once more, this time facing him. He smirked then dropped to his knees in front of the urgent swelling. 'I wish you were dressed, so I could get you out.'
'Poof. Just suck me off, yeah?'
Giles spent longer on the blowjob than Spike had done, but he didn't have Spike's natural talent or years of experience. He did a good job though; good enough to make a vampire groan; good enough to make the supernatural creature's legs shake a little; good enough to make the man he still was cry out and dig his black-tipped fingers into the long, soft hair.
When he'd swallowed the last drop, when he'd licked Spike clean, he pulled the vampire down to kneel in front of him. They both sat back on their heels, just looking at each other.
Giles laid a hand on Spike's cheekbone and asked softly, 'Do you think we'll ever grow tired of this?'
Spike pouted and leant into the caress. 'Ever want each other less you mean?'
Giles nodded. To his surprise and slight annoyance, Spike's reply was oddly wistful, 'No, I don't think we will, but wanting ain't everything.'
'What do you mean?'
Spike sighed. 'I don't know, human; I honestly don't know; I only know something's coming, and it ain't good. May not stop us wanting each other, but….' He trailed off, took Giles' hand off his face, and just held it lightly, playing absentmindedly with the fingers. 'I think want ain't enough. I know it ain't. I can still remember what it was like to want Angelus so bad I would 'ave died for 'im again. But it did me no good. Want didn't get me nothing.'
'But that was one-sided, surely. If he'd wanted you as well….' Spike looked up sharply.
'You don't get it, do you? That's exactly it. He did want me. He always will want me. He can't help it no more than I can. It's blood. Our vampire blood screams out for us to be with each other… I don't know… like a mother with 'er baby when it cries, ya know? She gotta go to it no matter what. She don't wanna go to anyone else's kiddie, just 'ers. Well, that's me and Angel… Angelus. See? Do you see what I'm tryin' to say 'ere? He did want me. He wanted me so much it almost tore 'im in two to leave. But he wouldn't let himself 'ave me. He ruined it all, cus he wouldn't let himself have me.'
'No. There's absolutely no similarity here, Spike. I'm not Angelus. I'm not a soulless demon about to have a road to Damascus moment. You're not the vampire you were then - or I wouldn't be here with you now. So, stop this morbid train of though, will you? You're spooking me again. If you go on like this, I'll have to make another bet with you….'
Spike smiled, but they both knew it was only done to humour Giles.
'Come on, scary vampire. You go back to bed and nurse that hangover that's got you all spooked, and I'll go and nurse the family situation. If you really want to come to church again, then be dressed and ready to leave by half five?'
Spike nodded. He didn't tell the human that the blackness he sensed was creeping inexorably toward them from that very stone edifice. He had cursed that madness in Drusilla and feared such lunacy in himself.
Once again, it was stuffy and insufferably hot in the church, without the valiant heater being able to make any inroad on the essential deep chill of the place. Spike and Giles sat unnaturally close to one another, a little to the rear of the rest of the congregation; Giles not really caring if anyone noticed, but safe in the knowledge that this innocent, elderly, country congregation would not see or understand the intimacy.
Giles' mother, sitting closer to the front, seemed distracted, anxiously watching her husband as he sang robustly, took prayers, and prepared to mount the pulpit for his sermon. He paused when he reached the top and spread his hands out on the cool stone for support.
'I welcome you all this cold November evening, safe and warm in the knowledge of God's abiding love.'
Spike shifted down in his seat a little to see if he could rest his head on the back of the pew for a small snooze. His head still ached from his morning binge and, to his utter disgust, he still felt sick. He decided he was getting too old for binging and smirked at his own weak joke.
Giles nudged him slightly to stop him fidgeting; Spike sighed and began to pick at his nails.
'We are living in an age similar to the time of Isaiah when he delivered God's warning. "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness". Throughout our society there are many who are trying to force others to accept
perversions of God's creation, which God plainly calls sin. Genesis tells us it was God's design to create us male and female. From the very beginning, man was to "leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh". Ever since this beginning, homosexuality and lesbianism have been a perversion of God's purpose for His Creation.'
Spike giggled softly and leant over to Giles, speaking in a low whisper only the watcher could hear. 'Better not tell Red that; she'll put a whammy on yer ol' dad, hey?' He sighed again and straightened, suddenly distracted by thinking pleasantly of the witches in bed together. The voice from the front droned on and, after a while, Spike found his head sinking on his chest. He jerked it back and glanced around furtively, amused that, after nearly a century and a half, he still felt guilty at sleeping in church. He looked up with a fake expression of interest.
'The term "sodomy" is used to describe homosexual activities, and it comes from the ancient city of Sodom. As Genesis tells us, the men of Sodom were "exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord". Because of their great sin, God utterly destroyed them. Centuries later, after Israel entered the Promised Land, some among the tribe of Benjamin became as corrupt as the men of Sodom. In the last three chapters of Judges, there is an account of how some men wanted to rape another man who was visiting their town. When the other tribes gathered together to punish the wicked, the tribe of Benjamin defended the homosexuals.'
Spike chuckled. 'Good blokes, hey? Jeez, ain't nothing like a bit of Bible when yer tummy's rumbling for blood. Stirs up a right good appetite.'
'"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."'
Spike gave a tiny mock clap. 'Good one! That rules me out on nine outta ten counts!'
'The law of Moses was very plain concerning this sin. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them".'
'Huh. Geezer who wrote this shit had never tried it, I'm guessing. Better than with most women I've been with, an' believe me, mate, I've been with some good 'uns. Fuck, I'm hungry.'
'"Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due".'
Spike smirked. 'Dunno though, maybe 'e has. Burned with lust, hey? Couldn't 'ave put it better meself.'
'Just a few verses later in Romans, Paul added, "those who practice such things are deserving of death".'
Suddenly, the old man pushed aside his notes and looked up, staring each of his rather shocked congregation in the eye.
'Today, it's called gay. We don't use the word sodomy. We couch it in comfortable words that were once familiar to us all in other ways. I said only the other day to my dear wife that I was feeling gay, and I did not give it a second thought.'
Only those closest to Spike heard the suppressed snort of laughter but, as he turned it swiftly into a sneeze, they did not turn from their rapt, startled attention from this utterly uncharacteristic sermon from their vicar.
'Gay. I would not call it gay. These homosexuals make up four percent of the population, so I discovered today. Yet, they have forty-four percent of all male syphilis, fifty percent of all venereal disease, fifty-three percent of all intestinal diseases, forty-three percent of all hepatitis A, thirty-five percent of all hepatitis B, and eighty-eight percent of all Aids cases.'
It was too much for Spike. He took a look around the faces of the scrubbed, innocent Christians who had come to church to have a pleasant hour of piety and laughed out loud. There was a pause from the front, but the voice continued, only more forcibly.
'The average age of homosexuals dying with Aids is thirty-nine. The average age of homosexuals dying of all other causes is only forty-one. Only one percent of homosexuals live to be sixty-five or older. The suicide rate among homosexuals is sixty times higher than the general population. They are three times as likely to have alcohol or drug abuse problems. They are forty-five times more likely to be involved in auto accidents than heterosexuals.'
'They've just gotta stop givin' blowjobs on the motorway then, what d'ya'reckon, mate?' Spike turned, amused, to Giles with a small, intimate push of his thigh. That was the first time he realised that the old man's words were not having the same effect on the human, as they were on him.
Giles moved his thigh away.
'The rate of murder among homosexual men is fifty times greater than the general population.'
Spike tried again, but his tone was slightly more hesitant. 'Yer old dad's been real busy today, ain't he?'
Giles took his glasses off and began to clean them methodically. Spike wanted to scream at him to stop.
He looked up and saw a darkness flying out of the old man's mouth. It came inexorably towards them, just as he had always known it would.
'As terrible as the sin of homosexuality is, those who practice this sin may be forgiven and become children of God… "but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God".'
'Have you been washed clean of your sins? To be washed of our sins, we must do what the Bible says. If you have not already, follow the instructions of God's Word. "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord".'
He came down from the pulpit, but Spike could not see this clearly, for he was enveloped in the darkness. The old man shouted, 'Why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins!'
Spike wanted to reach out and bind Giles to him. He wanted to stop him rising, stop him taking that water that would part them so profoundly. But he could not. In his darkness, Spike could not see the light illuminating Giles. He was blind and helpless as he felt Giles rise, unable to tell him that this small movement was an irrevocable parting over an unbridgeable gulf for them.
Giles lunged forward to catch his father, as he fell to the ground.
He pushed aside the shocked congregation, made a space for his mother to kneel with him, and held his father's head. The old man looked up, not really aware of who held him and said wildly, 'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.'
Giles nodded, his tears flicked by this movement onto the old man's head and, almost without his own volition, his eyes turned to the abomination that stared at him with beautiful blue eyes through the gloom.