Giles turned and looked at the body next to him, recoiling violently when he saw that Spike was now awake, propped up on one hand and looking with amusement at him.
Giles groaned and closed his eyes. 'Don't say anything.'
There was no reply and, inconsistently, this annoyed him. He peered out from half-closed lids. Spike just blinked and kept the small, amused smile on his face. Giles rewound what he'd said, desperately trying to get his brain to catch up with his mouth and realised, with a deep blush, that he'd actually said, 'Donutayethng.'
He moved his tongue inside his mouth - no feeling there either. He dashed a hand to his lips to check for drool and groaned when it came away damp.
Drooling - it was all he needed. The movement of his arm then dislodged… smells. He sniffed tentatively and moaned this time just for a change of noise. Someone take him out and shoot him!
He turned his back to Spike and put his head under a pillow - not able to feel his hands, this proved more difficult than he'd anticipated.
The next time he woke, he felt everything quite normally. He ached, but it was not unpleasant. His eyes felt tired and grainy, but it was no worse than after a late night of reading. He actually felt rather good and stretched luxuriously in the bed. Waves of smell then hit him: stale, rancid sweat, vomit, piss and something worse. Rectifiable ills though…. Minor problems….
He was facing a much more major problem: what had happened in the missing hours - other than the undeniable fact, of course, that at sometime during that missing time, his backside had been filled with Spike's penis. Voluntarily or not, he could not remember.
His courtly, romantic obsession with Spike, which he had carried to this country, had never included base, physical reality. He'd imagined - longed for - soft kisses, fumbles in the dark leading to pleasures he had not specified. He had never given homosexual acts much thought - other that a man's natural curiosity and faint disgust at its more unsavoury aspects. He'd thought about Spike's penis - he wasn't denying that - but it had been almost innocent in his mind: small, sweet smelling, and placed against his lips for a reverential kiss.
A faint rawness in the back of Giles' throat chose this moment to say an apologetic, 'Hello'. Giles had the feeling his backside was not the only place the vampire's penis had discovered in the missing hours.
He still had not opened his eyes; he didn't want to see anything, but he wasn't unduly surprised when a cool hand came to rest on his belly.
This time it sounded coherent and clear, even to his ears.
Fingers trailed cool patterns around his belly button then began to dip lower. 'NO!'
To his shame, Giles realised that the main reason he didn't want this was not disgust at the act, but revulsion at the smelly, disgraceful state of his body.
What man could continue to say no, though, if a cool, wet tongue dragged across the head of his exposed penis? Giles certainly wasn't strong enough, and he succumbed to the exquisite pleasure. His body betrayed him anyway: swelling to the cool touch, rising to meet the insistent tongue.
Fingers took his tight balls and made them tighter. He groaned as a finger moved lower and began stroking over his aching hole. He'd tried to ignore its throbbing since he woke, unwilling to accept the cause of that strange deliciousness. Now the finger played; it opened him up and probed gently, erotically.
Giles flung an arm across his eyes, moaning faintly at the smell. The moan made Spike swallow him whole, so he moaned again - for other reasons.
He'd fantasised about this. He couldn't deny it. Chaste kissing, yes; romantic walks, yes; him worshipping Spike's penis, yes - but he'd had Spike's mouth on him, too, sucking him just like this as he'd brought himself off into discreet handkerchiefs. He'd imagined this, but never once, in all those lonely hand jobs, had it felt like this. The finger in his anus made him want to cry out for the pleasure; cheek walls stimulated the sides of his shaft; a cool throat worked against the hot head of his penis, and the hands still kneaded and worked his balls until all tightness gave way. With a huge gush of relief, he felt his ejaculation race up his shaft. He lifted his hips into Spike's face, grabbed his hair with both hands and drummed his orgasm deep into the vampire's throat. He sucked in a vast lungful of air and let out a low, disbelieving, 'My God, yesss….'
Even his toes tingled when it was over. He replaced the arm over his still closed eyes and waited for the earth to open up and swallow him. He wondered if in tingling and giving him away so, his toes had the grace to blush, too.
''Appy Christmas, Luv.' Spike chuckled and snuggled into one rank armpit.
Giles didn't know where to begin with denial but said, 'Don't,' and hoped Spike understood that this meant no to sex, no to blowjobs, no to mentions of Christmas and no to smelling him.
Spike only flung an arm over his chest, snuggled closer and began tweaking playfully on one soft, brown nipple. Giles groaned. He didn't think the vampire was getting the denial.
It was so quiet… unnaturally so… something wasn't right. Giles peered out from under the protective cover of his arm and croaked. 'Christmas?'
''S right. Christmas morning.'
'Oh, God! What happened to the weekend? To Christmas Eve?'
Spike smirked and wriggled slightly to get more comfortable. 'Beats me.'
'Oh, God.' Giles looked down at the rumpled, blondish hair and said nervously, after a small cough, 'Do you remember anything?'
Spike chuckled and rolled away, folding his arms under his head. 'Some of it.'
'Uh huh. Are you going to enlighten me as to which bits?'
'Bits?' Spike stretched irritatingly and wiggled again with a self-satisfied smirk. 'Yeah, remember bits all right.'
'Oh, shut up, Spike.' Giles turned his back to the vampire, thought about trying to sleep through to the New Year, but in the end, got out of bed and stomped to the bathroom. That he'd walked across the bedroom naked in front of Spike only occurred to him as he ran a scalding hot bath. That this modesty was now rather redundant only occurred to him as he was soaking in the blissful heat. That he was now in a hideously embarrassing position hit him as he was drying off. He groaned and sat down on the edge of the bath, his head in his hands.
Giles finally plucked up the courage to look in the mirror and immediately wished he hadn't; he'd been feeling better 'til then. Bloodshot, ghastly eyes in an unnaturally pale, bearded face peered back at him. He set to work on the beard with a shaking hand.
When he'd finished, he stayed bowed over the sink for a moment. He'd noticed the first bruise - a large one on one hip, then another and another. Twisting and turning, he realised he was a mass of bruising. He stormed back into his bedroom, pulled on some old jeans and went downstairs, bare-chested. He stepped over a robe discarded on the stairs. He eyed its belt tied to the banisters - as if a restraint. He stepped around a pair of torn black cords on the bottom step. He saw something on the carpet that made him open his eyes wide in shocked horror but, on following a trail of it to the front door, realised, with relief, that it was only mud. The door stood ajar; realisation of cold hit him, and he cursed, slamming it shut. He whirled around, half-expecting intruders. Facing him from the sitting room was a tree. A small fir tree, roots intact, was propped up against a wall. It was covered with socks. Still wrapped presents lay underneath it. He stepped into the room in wonder and kicked against something: his guitar. He looked down anxiously; it seemed unharmed. Spike was standing in front of the now dead fire, seemingly lost in thought. He was dressed in his jeans once more, but had them clutched in one hand, the zip apparently broken.
Giles glanced down to what Spike was looking at so intently: the throw, spread over the hearthrug.
He had a blinding flash-back and reeled: Spike lying face down on the throw; his face turned toward the fire; its warm glow reflected on his pale skin; hands, dark, like shadows on his back - his hands - and Spike's body coming closer, moving away. No! Him - lowering himself, rising up, lowering….
Giles sat heavily on the couch, his head in his hands, shocked. 'Oh, God. Oh, God. I never wanted that.'
'No. Me neither.'
Giles looked up at the stunned wonder in Spike's voice.
'You remember, too?'
'Apparently. I remember feeling warm outside, and then… inside.'
'Oh, God. I thought only you… to me… not me… to you. Oh, God. And a tree!'
Spike turned, amused once more. 'Yeah. Don't remember that!'
Giles stood and made his way over more detritus to the kitchen. He staggered in shock. It looked as if every pot or pan he owned was on the floor in various states of destruction… and bottles… so many bottles. He saw whisky, brandy, cider, rum, beer… and eggshells; they were everywhere, crushed on the floor as if someone had rolled in them. He moaned as he realised someone probably had.
The fridge door stood open, and a pint of milk dripped slowly to the floor from a spill on one shelf. The oven was on, apparently cooking nothing. He felt Spike come and stand beside him, eyeing the chaos. The vampire chuckled and murmured, 'You wanted to make me something called Coq au vin….'
Giles groaned and was about to reply, "But I didn't have a chicken in," then groaned again when the implications of this hit him. Instead, he said angrily, 'Tea. You made me tea and brought me orange juice. Couldn't you have….' He waved at the fridge and oven with a furious gesture.
Spike nodded helpfully. 'Kinda remember tidying up. Maybe that weren't this 'ouse then.'
'Oh, God.' Giles began methodically putting his life to rights - the physical aspects that he had some control over, anyway.
Spike cleared a space on the counter and hopped up to watch.
Giles tried to ignore the being watched but realised, after a while, that he had already reached rock-bottom of embarrassment. Now, there was nowhere to go but up. Strangely - and he certainly didn't want to analyse this too much - discovering that he'd taken Spike had made the whole hideous incident less embarrassing. The feeling of victimisation he had felt on dislodging that hard penetration from his backside had dissipated, somewhat, when he'd seen the shocked look on Spike's face at the discovery of reciprocation. Spike had apparently not planned this, manipulated and raped him. It appeared to have been mutual, uncontrollable lust.
Giles suddenly straightened at that thought and paused with a milk-filled cereal packet in his hand. Mutual lust. He turned slowly to the vampire and looked him in the eye for the first time since consciousness had returned. 'What the hell happened here?'
Spike frowned. 'Told ya… don't remember all of….'
'No. That's not what I mean. I don't mean precise details; I think we both understand the broad outline of what happened here: we fucked each other. What I mean is, why?'
Spike raised an eyebrow at the uncharacteristic crudity but fidgeted atypically himself, hesitant in his reply. 'Buggered if I know.'
Giles heard it first and bowed his head with a rueful grin. Then Spike heard what he'd said and laughed self-deprecatingly. 'Guess we both just wanted it.'
Giles looked at him once more. 'Do you remember how it started? Last thing I remember is getting up to refresh the drinks.'
Spike shrugged. 'Not clearly. You came back in. You seemed a lot more fun than when you'd gone out….'
'I drank a few in the kitchen….'
'Ah. I said you were drunk. You denied it, and then I remember singing, though… fuck, I have no idea why.'
Spike suddenly looked down, and Giles had the distinct impression that if he'd been able to blush, the vampire would have been a bright shade of red. 'What? Tell me - nothing could be worse now.'
'Well, you said you needed a drink, but that you couldn't hold it… oh, yeah, remembering the guitar now… cool. So, I said I'd hold it for you, and you… oh, fuck…!'
'You said I could hold something else - if I wanted to….'
'Oh, God. Drunk and corny.' He paused in his disgust and looked sideward at Spike. 'And did you… want to?'
Spike frowned deeply. 'Yeah. Apparently, I did. I held it for sometime before…. Oh, bloody hell…!'
'You pissed on me!'
'What! I did NOT!'
'How can you deny it? You don't bleedin' remember nothin'!'
'I remember enough to know I didn't do that! Good God, Spike, I have more control than that!'
Spike hopped off the counter and came toward him, outraged. 'No, no, you don't get it… not by accident! Shit. Deliberate. Fucking hell! I wanted you to, so you did!'
'Oh, God! Stop remembering! No more remembering.'
'Yeah. 'K. No more. Fuck, I'll even 'elp tidy - no more memories! Get that bleedin' tree outta here.'
Giles hesitated then put a hand on Spike's arm. 'No. Leave it. It seems a shame, seeing we went to so much effort: nearest fir trees are over three miles from here.'
Spike caught his eye and began to laugh. Giles smiled weakly then, caught up in the ludicrousness of the situation, joined in the now almost hysterical laughter. The tree was the only thing, therefore, that escaped the de-remembering-blitz they indulged in until lunchtime.
By the time he'd finished, Giles was feeling weak and bilious again and decided he needed stodgy food.
He frowned at Spike for a while until the vampire turned. 'What? What now?'
'How are you going to feed? You've been here three days already - apparently. You must be starving.'
Giles raised his eyebrows in surprise when Spike actually did flush slightly: a small blood-glow evident on his pale face. 'I kinda already did.'
'Oh. Good….' Giles entirely missed the reason for the blush until he was halfway to the kitchen. He stopped, rewound the moment, and then stormed angrily back to Spike. 'What the bloody hell…?'
'Hey! We said no more remembering, remember?' He gave a small, hopeful smile.
'About… that. Not about this! This is rather critical. What have you done?'
'Hey, not just me! It takes two, ya know? You said help yerself; so, I think I did. Not hungry now… so, I must have.'
Giles' hand flew to his neck. Spike shook his head sadly. Giles frantically felt over his body, patting ineffectually for puncture wounds. Spike only continued shaking his head. 'Where then? Where did you make the bloody hole, Spike?'
Spike gave him a pained look, as if he despaired of the watcher bringing up such unsavoury things on Christmas day and said casually, 'I kinda used an 'ole you already 'ad. One that was already bleedin' like.'
Giles recoiled in horror, and his hands flew, utterly without his own volition, behind him. He cupped his cheeks defensively. 'No!' He coughed and tried a more manly denial. 'No. I won't believe it.'
Spike seemed pleased. 'Good. 'K. So, you didn't wake up light-headed then? Bit woozy? Good. Guess I just dreamt about feeding from yer bottom then, like always.'
He paused, made a strange contortion of his face, and then buried his expression in the lighting of a cigarette.
Still reeling from the image of Spike lapping hungrily at his hole, Giles didn't stop to examine why the vampire seemed unduly flustered as he smoked this cigarette.
Giles let him smoke. Hell, last night they'd apparently tried to cook a frozen pizza - still in its box - on the fire. He didn't think he had the right to continue with his fire-cautious smoking ban.
He rummaged in the kitchen to find some food. He sensed Spike come in and stand by the table. 'Do you intend to join me in this hangover eat-fest?'
'Oh, yeah. Ta.' There was a pause and a slight crunch under foot. 'Nothin' with eggs though, Mate. 'K?'
Giles swallowed deeply and went out to the back door, nodding his head in agreement. He stepped out into a freezing wind. He chuckled as he realised he was still bare-chested and grabbed a jacket before braving the unexpected temperature again. The sky was gunmetal grey, lowering; the wind slicked under the thin jacket and over his bare skin. It was just what he needed, and he lifted his head to the bracing wind.
He made his way to a small outhouse and pushed inside, smiling at the large, unmolested freezer. It revealed treasures: bacon, bread and mushrooms - all the makings of the much-needed fry-up.
He picked out what he needed and turned to leave, but then paused, hesitating in the doorway. Spike was in the shadows, leaning against the backdoor jamb, watching him. Across the distance of the small courtyard, they regarded each other, neither dropping the other's gaze.
Giles wondered desperately what the vampire was thinking. As sense and health had gradually returned throughout the day, he had thought about their awakening. Theirs… it had occurred to him that there were two of them in this. Spike, he clearly remembered, had seemed happy on waking. Spike had voluntarily sucked him to a swift orgasm. Spike had swallowed him. These were not the actions of someone waking from a regretted drunken orgy with someone he thought of as a stupid git.
He was the only one who had been disgusted. So, he wondered what the vampire was thinking now as he fixed those blue eyes unwaveringly on him.
As if sensing some of these thoughts, Spike suddenly gave a small, embarrassed smile. Giles ducked his head for a moment, closing his eyes, but lifted them and smiled back.
Some indefinable emotion shot across the space between them. Giles made to close the gap, fumbled closing the door, and when he looked up, Spike was gone.
The vampire was sitting in his favourite spot on the kitchen counter, inevitably smoking. He'd pulled on an old T-shirt of Giles' and held out a small pinch as the human placed the frozen food on the table. 'Don't mind, do you? Only… mine seems to have been… obliterated.'
'No, help yourself.'
The unfortunate associations raised by this comment silenced them both while the food thawed and cooked.
Finally, they sat together at the old pine table, eating with intense concentration. Greasy fried sustenance slid deep comfort into the soul of one and the belly of the other. Scalding mugs of tea got downed, and still the eating continued. Finally, Spike sat back and, with a small groan, let the broken zip fall open. Giles leant back, too, and watched him light up.
He was astounded - given the circumstances - how comfortable he felt sitting there. He knew this was due, in no small part, to the realisation, which had crept upon him all morning, that he was not in this alone: that Spike was equally confused by their strange, pre-Christmas celebration. It had not escaped Giles' notice that it was he who had, apparently, started the whole thing.
He eyed Spike with a small pout as the vampire smoked and flicked through a three-day-old paper. 'Has this been as much of a shock to you, as it has to me?'
Spike turned a page, took a slow drag and, without looking up, said, 'Yes.'
'Just with me… or at all?'
Spike glanced up quickly with a puzzled frown.
'I mean….' Giles knew he was blushing but persevered. 'Shock that it was me, or shock in general… given we are both men. Technically.'
Spike laughed. 'Technical men, huh?'
The vampire leant back and finally looked at Giles full on. 'Yes, shock in general - given we're both men. Technically.'
'So, you've never slept with a man before?'
Spike choked slightly. 'Bloody hell, no! What d'ya think I am?'
'I don't know. That's what I'm trying to ascertain. So… this has all been utterly out of character for you?'
Spike suddenly looked less confident and made a show of turning another page. After a moment, he added nonchalantly, 'Been drunk before, course. Done things. Ya know? Long life.'
'You've slept with other men when you were drunk?'
Spike looked up furiously. 'No! Bleedin' no way! But I… shit….'
Spike viciously ground his cigarette out on his greasy plate. 'Angelus and me. If we got drunk… used to - ya know - fool around.'
He saw Giles' look of mystification and said distinctly, 'Suck each other off, yes? Clear enough for you? Happy now?'
Giles was quiet for a while, staring into space, deep in thought. Then he said, still not looking at Spike, 'But you never slept together?'
Spike visibly blanched whiter than his natural colour. 'Fuckin' no way!'
'So, it was just… me.'
'After all this, I come back to the conclusion….' Giles then looked directly at Spike. 'That it was me. That you wanted me.'
Spike laughed nervously and got up to pace, lighting another cigarette as he did so. 'That don't follow at all. That's crap. I was drunk; you wanted me to hold….' He paused, whirled on Giles and said, with a gleeful chuckle, 'Hey! Yeah. You bloody offered yerself to me! I was sittin' mindin' me own business by the fire, and you said 'old me dick. You fancy me, Mate, not the other way round!'
Delighted, he flung himself back into his chair and leant back, smoking with a superior smirk.
Giles didn't rise to the provocation but shook his head sadly. 'I know. I sort of realised that myself. I'm not denying my motivation; I was merely trying to establish yours.'
Spike's smirk disappeared rapidly. 'Oh.'
He pouted instead and played with his knife, tapping it irritatingly against his mug. 'What do you mean by that then?'
Giles answered with another question. 'Why did you come here, Spike?'
Spike waved in the direction of the sock-decorated tree. 'The pressies?'
'They could have been posted. I don't accept that.'
'I needed somewhere to stay while I looked for Dru?'
'Uh huh. In Devon.'
'Two hundred miles from London?'
'Spike. Be honest with me, please - after the last three days, it's the least you can be.'
Spike grinned. 'I burn up if I do that.'
Giles smiled, too. 'Be brave. Risk it.'
Spike looked at him, and they both knew the human was not merely referring to the immolation joke.
Spike ground out his cigarette. He held his now empty hands loosely on the table for a moment then spread them palms down. 'I wanted to see you; so I came.'
'See me for what?'
'I don't know. That's what I ain't been able to work out.'
'Has any of this helped?'
'In a way.'
'I get you better now.'
'Yeah. I kinda thought there was something…. why you left. 'Bout me - not 'er. An' now I know.'
'Know what exactly?'
'That I was right. That you wanted me - back there, in the warm place.'
'Didn't seem so when I got 'ere.'
'Ah, no. Sorry.'
'Never no mind. You made up for it.'
'By wanting you?'
Spike looked up. 'I think so.'
Giles held his gaze. 'You'd be right to think so.' Giles also spread his hands on the table. 'I can't explain it, Spike, and I most certainly didn't look for it, but something just… slipped… from one way of thinking to another. At first I thought it was a spell, you know? How could I suddenly go from not particularly liking you, to being able to think of nothing else? It was impossible to stay. I couldn't eat or sleep. I was beside myself - in the literal sense of that - it was as if I was standing alongside a facsimile of myself watching this stranger falling deeper and deeper in love.'
Giles smiled at Spike's look of wonder. 'Have you ever thought yourself suitable material for an old man's obsession?'
'You're not old.'
Giles laughed. 'Thank you for that. You weren't in my body this morning, but thank you anyway.'
'Actually….' Spike timed it to perfection. 'I was.'
Giles blushed furiously but smiled, too. 'Believe me, Spike, when I was in that strange obsession, it NEVER included penetration of any kind. It was all rather romantic and noble really.'
Spike pouted. 'You speak in the past tense.'
'If I do, then it's because that fanciful, chaste longing seems rather redundant now.'
Spike got up and leant on the counter, his back to Giles. Giles looked at the slim body wearing his T-shirt and added, after a deep breath, 'Redundant, now that I want you in an entirely different way, that is.'