Spike twisted in the booth and neatly leapt out over the back. Riley, about to rise, suddenly found himself pinned in by Tara who slid into the crowded booth next to him. She gave him a sweet smile. He tried to copy Spike's move but was far too bulky. He looked with astonishment at Buffy at this conspiracy to protect a vampire, and she looked down, confused. Spike hovered, gave Giles a long look then, with a pained expression, swept out.
Giles, his fury almost cracking the veneer he had perfected over so many years, looked at Buffy. 'We need to discuss the Hostile 17 situation. This cannot continue.'
Riley made to speak, but Giles slid into Spike's now empty space and turned to him. 'Hostile 17 has been made harmless to all living creatures, thanks to your organisation. So tell me, what justification would you have for killing him?'
Riley looked at Buffy for support and, after a slight pause, she looked up from the table. 'Yes. I agree. It would be murder.' She didn't turn to Giles; she felt the love and gratitude without needing to see it. Riley looked from Buffy to Giles, from Giles to Xander, from Xander to Willow and Tara, and finally at Anya.
Anya smiled and made a face at him, 'I don't care about the vampire, but you're on a loser with all the others. Take my advice; don't mess with them.'
Riley nodded thoughtfully.
On the night of the party, Giles arrived at the Bronze with Buffy and Xander; it was so dark and smoky, they could not see the others. Finally, Xander spotted Willow and, shouting this to the others over the noise of the band, they began to make their way towards her. Giles suddenly froze, jostled by the crowd, deafened by the noise.
He was at the bar, leaning on it casually with his back to the room. Giles' eyes travelled over him slowly. The leather was tight, so tight that Giles thought he could see the individual muscles of Spike's thighs. Tucked into the black leather jeans was a crisp white shirt, rolled casually at the sleeves. Each arm dripped with jewellery, every finger and thumb armoured with dull metallic additions… but it was the hair that most drew his attention. It was the hair he had shared his bed with, the hair he had woken up to: long, rumpled, and not especially blond.
Giles took a deep breath and went toward the vampire at the bar.
Spike gave him a brief glance over his shoulder, and his face fell slightly. 'Thought you'd make some effort.'
'To come as I really am? Like you?'
'I am a vampire.'
'Yes. I know.'
Spike whirled on him. 'Do you though? Do you really. Cus I'm tellin' you, human, I….'
'Liking the look, vampire!'
Spike and Giles rolled their eyes as one at Xander's interruption, and then chuckled once more at this small sharing. Spike didn't turn to look at the boy but, keeping his gaze locked with Giles', said with disinterest, 'You come as a clown then, Harris?' At Giles' look, he turned and laughed abruptly at the superhero costume.
The band finished playing for a while, and Buffy came over to get some drinks. Spike rolled his eyes at the tiny, fur-lined dress. 'Why you come as a fairy then?'
She put her hands up to the pair of ice-skating boots slung around her neck and gave him a 'Duh' look.
Spike turned back to Giles to point out that he was the only one who had not revealed anything of himself that night, when a skilful guitar intro started on the stage. It was low, melodic, and unaccompanied. Buffy glanced around briefly but turned back to the simmering argument with Spike. It was only when the singer began that she turned around once more. Xander looked up and tried to see around the mill of people on the floor. Spike just stared down at his drink.
It doesn't matter what I want
It doesn't matter what I need
It doesn't matter if I cry
Don't matter if I bleed
You've been on a road
Don't know where it goes or where it leads
Astounded, Buffy and Xander began to push through to the front. The intense emotion in the voice silenced everyone. A practised, expert guitar solo took them slowly forward, mesmerised.
The haunting voice began again.
It doesn't matter what I want
It doesn't matter what I need
If you've made up your mind to go
I won't beg you to stay
You've been in a cage
Throw you to the wind you fly away
Unbelievably, the voice got more intense, the music more passionate. It sent shivers down spines, made its listeners stand closer to someone loved.
It doesn't matter what I want
It doesn't matter what I need
It doesn't matter if I cry
Doesn't matter if I bleed
Feel the sting of tears
Falling on this face you've loved for years
He finished, ignored the reception of his performance, and pushed through the crowd to the bar. With a slightly shaky hand, Giles allowed Xander to buy him a drink.
'G man! Way'd'go. So… who you come as then? Confused here.'
Giles drank deeply, his hand still shaking, and said, 'Just me.'
'Huh. Didn't recognise it.'
'No, you wouldn't. I started to write it a few weeks ago… when I met someone.'
'Oh! Yeah, I remember. That woman from England.'
Giles continued to stare at Spike. 'Exactly. I began to write it when she was here. '
Xander was thinking deeply, his brow furrowed. 'Okay, so… with her it didn't matter what you wanted?'
'It's not about me. It's how I thought they felt about me. What they did for me.'
A small smirk crossed Giles' face, as Spike began to twist his rings around frantically.
'Geez. She was one of your noble English types….'
Giles laughed. 'I'm not sure they'd like being called noble but, yes, I rather agree with you.'
'Cool. Hey, Buff, think Giles got some in England.'
Spike spluttered his drink and shook his head in amusement. 'Watcher. How's about I give you that info now? 'Way from here. Just us.'
'And you can actually move in those trousers, can you?'
Not caring who was listening, Spike chuckled, and said, 'They come off real easy, mate. For important stuff, I take 'em off. Now, you coming?'
'I'd like to think so.'
It was incredibly quiet and cool when they pushed out into the street. Before they had gone more than a few steps, Giles pushed Spike into an ally and pinned him against a wall.
'I'm going to say this really quickly in case we get bloody interrupted again. Things are different now, Spike. I'm different. I meant what I wrote in that song - you've set me free in so many ways. But of all these new emotions, the most important thing I've learnt is that I can say no. I can feel something, but also know I don't want to feel it. Does that make sense? I have a right to choose, Spike. I will never let you feed from me again. I will never come to your crypt. I will not do things that debase me. NO! Don't look away from me like that; hear me out. Above all, when I came into that bar tonight, know that I burned in lust for you. Do you understand Spike? I've made my choice. I am a man, and I've made my choice.'
Spike stared openly at him, not attempting now to struggle. 'Then know, too, human, that I've done some thinkin'. I am a vampire. I will never let you forget that I'm older than you, stronger than you, faster than you, an' that I am eternal. I will not take baths. I will not dress for fucking dinner. I do not fuckin' kiss. I'll smoke an' swear, and do whatever the hell I like when I like. You will not tell me what to do. You will do as I say. If I could, I'd feed off you, 'til I brought you to me, made you like me. Don't walk away from me, human! Cus you need to hear this. I didn't think anything new 'bout you when you sang tonight. I think of you now, just as I always 'ave… I burn in lust for you.'
Giles slowly came back and leant his forehead to Spike's, closing his eyes to the intimate touch that he had been needing for so long. 'Can we do this? Can we find some common ground?'
Spike twisted his head fractionally, so his lips touched Giles' cheek lightly. 'Seems we 'ad the most important thing in common there, pet.'
'Ah, yes.' Giles hand slid onto the tight leather of Spike's thigh. 'Is lust enough though?'
'No. But it's where we're gonna start again. No games. No fucking others. Just us. Vampire and human.'
'Is that… fucking… a verb or an adjective?'
'He's in LA, pet. I'm here. I can't say it any different.'
'All right. All right. If he'd asked me to stay - an' he didn't - I'd 'ave said no.' Spike chuckled and had the grace to look embarrassed. 'Didn't tell 'im that at the time, course.'
'I slept with her because she needed me to. Do you understand that? And before you ask, it was moderately more successful than before, but I've had more pleasure from a well-executed chord progression.'
Spike bent over and lit a cigarette, the glow from the small flame of his lighter illuminating his pale features. He gave a nod to Giles to follow him and began to walk towards the human's apartment.
Giles jogged to catch up and said with some determination. 'I'm not going to tell anyone I am sleeping with a vampire either. So you can forget that.'
Spike took a long drag then said equally forcibly, 'No one is ever gonna call me an abomination again - for whatever reason.'
'I am not going to besmirch any more National Heritage sites.'
''K. Fair 'nough, but I'm not gonna let you use the fuckin' word besmirch in my presence again. Oh, yeah, an' my food will not be left out on some soddin' windowsill like I was a hedgehog or summit. It'll be paid for by you and put equally 'longside yours in the fridge.'
Giles gritted his teeth. 'You will not relate the plots of gay porn novels to me and, if you do, you will not skip the best bits.'
Spike clenched his jaw. 'You will be treated as a favoured minion until you've done a bit of time; then I'll see 'bout upgrading you to favoured childe.'
Giles strode faster to outpace the vampire. 'You will not recreate unpleasant sexual practices you find on illegal Internet porn sites. You will respect my body at all times.'
Spike flicked his butt in a small arc and pouted at the human's back. 'If you behave yerself as my childe - and remember, minion, I weren't at the crucifixion, but I've killed vamps that were, so stick that in yer perspective pipe and smoke it - I'll grant you certain privileges; ain't thought 'em all through yet, but they'll be good.'
Giles stopped to buy some groceries, keeping a wary eye on Spike. 'You will stop smoking in my bed, and you will stop encouraging me to as well. I will only have sex in the bedroom - either on the bed or against the wall; I'm not prescriptive on that - not in any other room of the house.'
Spike refused to help carry the food. 'When I need a shag, you'll make yerself available in whatever position I tell ya to.'
Arguing these terms and conditions kept them happily occupied until they reached the house. Giles fumbled for his keys, balancing bags around his body. Spike watched him impatiently, tapping his foot on the ground unconsciously. Giles pushed open the door and put the bags on the counter. Spike shed his duster and opened his mouth to speak.
He was practically eaten whole, thrust back against the door, his mouth attacked and plundered by the desperate human. Spike opened his mouth and let Giles in. He wrapped his hands around the warm neck; fingers came into his hair, tugging and pulling on the long, rumpled strands. Giles pressed his thumbs to Spike's eyes and held him in that gentle, intimate embrace as they kissed. They dipped and rose to each other's kisses, mouths wide, tongues eager, clashing.
Giles couldn't breathe, and he made small ragged pants as he held Spike tighter and kissed him some more. One hand slid down to the leather and cupped Spike's backside closer to him. A cool hand slid up inside his shirt, and a nail scratched over his nipple.
Spike felt as if he were alive. His blood almost pounded in his ears as his erection sprung to life from the intimacy of the kissing. He tipped his hips forward slightly and groaned into the kiss at the feel of the human's erection matching his.
At last, Giles staggered away, his eyes wide, a hand to his mouth. Spike looked at his expression and laughed, saying in a teasing, singsong voice, 'This ain't the bedroom, human; you're slidin' back already.'
Giles smirked. 'No kissing for the vampire?'
Spike gave him a furious look and stomped toward the kitchen. Giles caught at his arm. Spike swung back and, once more, they crushed their mouths together, fingers urgently tugging and entwining in hair. In the middle of the room, they kissed and ran their hands over the other's body until, this time, Spike pulled away. He tipped his head on one side, running the back of his hand thoughtfully over his mouth. 'I meant what I said. 'Bout no kissing an' all the rest. So what's this?'
'I meant what I said, too. Decorous love making in the bed, nowhere else. So why do I want to take you here, now, on the floor, using the fresh butter I've just bought? Can you tell me that, wise one who knew someone who was at the crucifixion?'
'Killed 'im, not knew 'im, big difference, and I don't know.' Suddenly, Spike grinned, spun on his heel, and snatched open the door. With a backward, amused glance at Giles' dismayed face, he stepped outside.
''K. 'Ere? Yeah. Mean it all. You come near me and try all that kissy shit, I'll deck ya, chip or no chip.' Theatrically, he stepped inside. 'Come here.' He kissed Giles until the human's lips began to swell, and he had to pull away.
Giles looked at Spike and, with a small blink of acquiescence, he too stepped outside. 'Out here, I shall always remember that I am a watcher, that I am English and that, essentially, I am a quiet, reserved man.' With a small chuckle, he took off his glasses, and stepped over the threshold. 'Strip. Now.'
Eyes wide with surprise and anticipation, Spike slowly pulled his T-shirt over his head and let it drop to the floor. Without turning away from this sight, Giles shut the door behind him and locked it. Naked from the waist up, the tight, black leather jeans and jewellery dully glinting in the soft light, Spike dropped his head to his chest and murmured, 'In 'ere, I'm just yours. I don't want nothin' but you.'
Giles splayed both hands over the naked chest. 'I wish you could see yourself in a mirror, Spike. I feel this burning like a conflagration deep inside my body. What out there will be calm and neutral, observant and detached, in here with you will be almost demonic in my passion for you.'
'When we're out there, I'll rip an' tear through my unlife like I always 'ave. In 'ere? God, Giles, in 'ere I could lie at yer feet like a willin' slave.'
Giles undid the button on Spike's jeans. 'I want you naked, but I want you dressed in leather like this forever. Why all these contradictions, vampire?'
'I don't know, human. I just wanna get outa them, so I can't 'elp you there.'
Giles chuckled and cupped his hand to the back of Spike's neck, pulling him onto his shoulder. 'I am so sorry for everything you went through for me in England. I got lost, Spike, and all I wanted was to find you.'
'I can't be sorry, pet, cus I'm an evil demon, remember? But I just wanna say something….'
'Is it about Angel?'
Giles held him away with a smile. 'Can anything ever be 'kinda' about someone like Angel? He is rather… fulsome, no?'
Spike grinned shyly. 'Wish I could talk 'bout 'im to ya sometimes - without ya getting all jealous like. Never told anyone what Angel means to me 'fore.'
'If you emphasise that ludicrous hair style and the fact he definitely weighs more than me, then I might let you.'
Spike fiddled distractedly with his rings for a moment before saying very quietly, 'Do you actually like me… I mean, I know you want me, but do you… like me.'
Giles laughed and punched him lightly in the chest.
Spike looked at him with a small pout. 'What?'
Giles shook his head. 'Nothing, only I was just thinking… how can you not like your best friend? There, now does that satisfy you, insecure vampire? Believe me, like is hardly the word I would use. Now, given that in here, I'm allowed to contradict all the things I said and meant on the way home; get out of those trousers and bend over the couch. It's been eight days, after all.'
Chuckling, Spike did as he was told. He spread his legs wide and bent supply at the waist. 'Bit clinical, ain't it?'
'I thought the use of butter might take the edge off the more medicinal aspects.' Good as his word, Giles unwrapped the butter and began to rub it over the hole he so wanted to be in.
When warm, oily drips began to run down Spike's perineum, Giles sighed, and pressed the smooth tip of his cockhead to the puckered skin. He slid in; it was so warm, so welcoming. 'I've missed this.'
Giles put one hand into the hollow that Spike made with the small of his back. His other hand went around to the front of Spike's hip, and he tangled his fingers into the curly hair, pulling on it slightly as he began to ride in and out. Spike moaned softly at the sensation. 'I want to make it good for you, too.'
'Yeah. You are.'
'Tell me when I'm there.'
Giles shifted position a little and felt Spike stiffen. The vampire lowed his head onto his chest. 'There. You're there.'
Giles dug his fingers in tighter and began to hit home with every thrust. 'I'm going to cum soon.'
'Yeah, me too.'
He moved his other hand around Spike's hips as well and practically lifted the light form onto him. With a shudder of pleasure, he filled Spike with spill after spill of warm sperm. Spike pushed into the back of the couch as much as he could and came into the soft material, groaning at the relief this cool release gave him.
When they'd finished, Giles pulled Spike to standing, wrapping his arms around his chest, still deeply embedded in the vampire's body. He nuzzled into the side of Spike's neck. 'Like that?'
'What, like this?' Giles bit with his front teeth, a pinching bite that brought a welt of red to the surface of the pale neck. Spike swore and stretched his neck further, tempting the human to bite him more. It made him swell again and, with a small chuckle against the broken skin, Giles slid his hands down the hard belly and cupped the erection and balls in his hand.
'Bring me off again, Giles.'
Spike laughed incredulously. 'What? You're my fucking minion, remember?'
Licking into the almost bleeding wound, Giles said softly, 'That's out there, not in here. In here, we're just us, and I think you can beg very prettily, if you try.'
'You bastard. Okay then. Bring me off… please.'
'Now, vampire, that's not even going to get a flick across the tip… like this.'
'Oh, jeez, yeah, do it again.'
'And fucking please. Fucking pretty please then. That better?'
'Giles, please, I'm begging now. For real. I want your hands on me. Warm hands, love, think how that feels to me. A human loving me, it's like a kind of coming alive again. I need you.'
Giles did not reply and his hands stayed still.
'Err, yes, I think that will do. Sorry.' He bit into the neck until he drew blood and brought Spike to a swift ejaculation, which he caught in his hands. When Spike was empty, as the vampire began to pull away, he pulled him back for a moment, and murmured, 'Thank you.'
Spike shook his head in despair and took hold of Giles' shirt. 'Come on, you old poof. You're jet lagged and gonna get all emotional soon. An' I don't wanna have to cope with that. Bed.'
'You go up. I'm going to make something to eat.'
'Oh, yeah. Make me summit, too.' With that, Spike hopped over the back of the couch and sat watching the TV, still naked.
Giles fastened his jeans and, with a small chuckle, went into the kitchen to examine his groceries. 'Any preferences?'
'Nah. I need a drink.'
'Cool. I'll come here again.'
Giles tried to watch Spike without making it too obvious, but he was perfect, and he could not take his eyes off the slim, muscular form. As Spike stood by the bar pouring them both a drink, Giles smiled slyly to himself. 'Could you put your jeans on? Sorry, but it's a bit odd… naked in the living room.'
'Oh. 'K then.' Spike frowned but did as he was asked. He slid into the leather, sucking in his non-existent belly to do them up. He turned back to the drinks. 'Hey!'
Giles pressed himself against the small, tight backside. 'Hmm.'
'I know. I never realised what an effect leather would have on me.'
''S not what the 'orse shagger said.' Spike could have cursed his stupidity when Giles pulled away and went back into the kitchen. He rolled his eyes and followed him in.
'Hey, pet. It were only a joke like.'
Giles turned, surprised. 'What?' He saw Spike's face. 'What? Oh, I wasn't bothered about that! The kettle was boiling. Spike. I am here. She is over there. I've made my choice.'
Spike hopped up onto the counter next to him. 'Tell me 'bout it?'
Giles passed Spike a mug of tea and leant back against the opposite counter. Spike glanced at the mug and then laughed out loud. He showed it to Giles. 'Remember this?'
'"Kiss the Librarian". God. Did I give you that one when you were in the bath?'
'Freudian, or what?'
'So, you gonna tell me?'
'It was Margaret that did it in the end.'
'The housekeeper? Huh.'
'I was in the bedroom the morning after…. God, sorry.'
'I want you to tell me.'
'All right. The morning after Camilla and I… had sex… and believe me, I know the difference now.'
'Flattery will get you everywhere, by the way. Later tonight.'
'I'll hold you to that. Anyway, I was standing by the window, thinking about things… as you do, and Margaret came in to make the bed….'
'Did she make the bed every day when I was there?'
'Err… I don't know. I suppose so. It's not something I ever thought about. Why?'
Spike chuckled. 'Nothing, pet. Only it explains something. Go on.'
'Well, I was a little upset, I seem to remember. Thinking about everything, you know how it is in the winter when it's always raining, and the house was…. Oh bugger, I was just missing you, that's all.'
Giles looked down at the floor for a moment. 'She came over and handed me the empty bottle of body oil, and said she'd found it under the bed, and did I want it anymore. It rather… undid me.' Giles took a sip of his tea, looking at Spike through lowered lids. 'She told me that if I wanted to have anything worth having, I should look after it better. Which seemed rather odd, given it was just an empty bottle. She didn't mean anything by it, of course; it was just her odd way. But it set me to thinking.'
Spike chuckled. 'Yeah. Course she didn't.'
'So, thinking about the oil….'
'Got you to thinking about me bum and how much you missed it, and me mouth, and every….'
'No. Not at all.'
Spike reared back a little. 'Uh huh. You saying you didn't miss me body?'
'On the contrary, I died a little bit every night at its absence. But I would have withstood that. I think, being English and basically rather reserved, I would have enjoyed punishing myself by missing your body and settling down with Camilla, and making everyone happy. No, I got to thinking about the sex I'd had with her and….' He looked up now, directly at Spike. 'I realised that I wanted you there to tell. I wanted to tell you about having sex with her. However much we'd have shouted and argued and fought, I wanted you there to talk to, to tell. So that's when I got it. It wasn't the sex. It wasn't even loving you - which I did so much, as I said, I died a little without you - it was the friendship. It was just this Spike. It was standing here, now, like this, having tea with you, and able to talk about anything I want to. God, it was just like you said: that sense of it being just the two of us? Saying anything that comes into our heads and knowing it'll be appreciated, thought about. When everything is funnier, everything is more serious, everything profound. Do you remember? Am I making any sense here?'
Spike hopped off the counter and went to fetch his cigarettes. Giles watched the muscles moving and rippling in the leather, still disbelieving that he had this body available to him whenever he wanted. Spike hopped back onto the counter and lit up. With his lungs full of nicotine, he said, 'I need to tell you something.'