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Chapter 9

Spike was curled up asleep on the bed next to Giles when he woke.

The watcher propped himself up on one hand and took the opportunity to study the sleeping form. He could not believe how far they had come from that first day in Devon when he had watched Spike like this. He had been so confused. Bad enough that he leave his home and his way of life, but he had also fallen into a strange obsession, which he had been convinced must have been the result of a spell. Looking at Spike now, he had no sense at all that his love for the vampire was supernatural. It seemed utterly… natural: how could anyone not love him or want him? He was an excellent companion; he was beautiful to look at, and he was perfect in bed. Giles smiled and decided not to mention the last two of these to Spike. That the vampire was also vain, manipulative, greedy, dishonest, and rude had not escaped Giles' notice, even in this state of newly discovered love. Giles didn't question his use of this word too much. He knew love came in many forms, and that what he felt for Spike was so overwhelming that he could not separate it into its component parts and say, "This part is need; this one is desire; this loneliness…." He saw no reason why he should. He was an adult and free to do what he wanted with his life at last. He wanted Spike. What he had put in place would enable him to keep Spike, bind him to him, while this mutual obsession lasted.


'BLOODY HELL! Will you STOP doing that!'

'Well, will you stop bloody staring at me when I'm sleeping?'

Giles chuckled. 'No. I can promise you one thing, I will never stop doing that.'

'Poof. An' I was just thinking… letters.'

'Hmm. What about them?'

'Oh, yeah, I like that…. I was thinking that 'tween now an' April… lower, just there… there's always letters.'

'God, how do you sleep when you are this hard? And yes, always letters. Long ones.'

'Thick ones.'

'God, yes, long and thick and so wet… look at you… and me! I love early morning.'

'It's evening.'

'Oh, it feels like I slept longer than a few hours.'

'Don't worry, Pet. Don't think either… just keep doin' that.'

Spike encouraged Giles, wrapping his cool, strong hand around the human's, helping him with the hand job. Giles just watched with fascinated intensity as the purple head popped in and out of the pale foreskin. He brought the very top of it to his mouth and put his tongue on the tiny slit, trying to pretend that this was the first time again, trying to remember what that fear had been like. He smiled as the now familiar taste of Spike's precum salted his lips. He imagined what it would be like to have his lips around this soft, fleshy bulb when it opened and released its more potent fluid….

'You've never swallowed me, have you Luv?'

Giles shook his head, disturbed, not sure whether to concentrate on this failure, or the fact that Spike appeared to pick up on something in his head. Both were worrying, but one was much more immediate than the other: he concentrated on the idea of swallowing Spike's sperm.

It was not something he had ever found attractive with other lovers - them swallowing him - and he had avoided it by the simple expedient of always pulling away, no matter how promising their mouths had proved to be. Spike, he noticed, had pulled away from his mouth last night. That the vampire might have read his thoughts then as well took Giles back to worrying about this odd talent of Spike's. He oscillated between the two worries until Spike suddenly rose up and pinned him on his back. The vampire gave him a long look then slowly brought his mouth down to Giles', kissing him softly and intimately. Between the kisses, he murmured, 'Don't worry, Pet. All in good time. In France, yeah? Swallowing's very French, after all.'

'Is it?'

Spike chuckled. 'Yeah. Angelus said.'

'Ah. Then it must be true.' He kissed Spike back, wrapping his hands around the cool neck, pulling him in close, enjoying the feel of the hard penis leaking onto his warm belly. When he pulled away for breath, he looked deeply into Spike's eyes and frowned slightly. 'Spike…. Can you read my mind?'

Spike reared back with a sharp laugh. 'Don't be a stupid git.'

Giles didn't let him go that easily and held him tightly around the neck. 'No. I'm serious. Little things. I can't put my finger on it… but you say things before I've thought them… as I'm thinking them…. I don't know.'

Spike repressed a smile. 'It's nothing spooky. You can do it, too. Look. What'm I thinking now?'

Giles slapped him. 'Take me seriously, Spike. And if the wind changes, you'll be stuck with that face.'

Spike slid off to the side. 'Sometimes. Sometimes I hear echoes. Certain times only like.'

'God. When?'

Spike turned to stare at him, judging his audience. 'When I'm in tune with you physically.'

'I don't understand. What do….'

'It's a life and death thing, I think. Alive and dead, I guess, more to the point. You're alive, I'm not, and when I'm with you, some of your life… leaches out to me. 'S when I can hear you. 'S why I like being near the slayer. She's so alive.'

'You can hear Buffy? Spike, this is serious. Can you hear Buffy's thoughts?'

'Course not. Not like I can hear you yabberin' now. This ain't a bloody X-file or nothing. I said: it's echoes - like listening to the sea in a shell. Not real waves - illusions. I hear her life an', sometimes, that's strong enough for me to hear her. When we're fighting mostly. When 'er blood's up.' He chuckled. ''S why me knackers are still intact; it's saved 'em numerous times.'

'My God. I don't believe it. Could Angel?'

'Sure he could. Better than me, most likely, knowing 'im. Bein' dead longer, an' all.'

'Bloody hell. What am I thinking now?'

Spike laughed delightedly but rolled onto his back, refusing to look. Giles climbed on top of him. 'No. I'm being serious. What am I thinking now?'

'Rupert. You are sittin' on me with a bloody huge stonker inches from me face, an' you want me to guess what you're thinkin'?'

'Well, actually, I'm not thinking that at all. Go on, try.'

'You're thinking you're going to add this to ya bleedin' book and be all famous.' For a complete guess - based on nothing more than his pretty good knowledge of the way Giles' mind worked - Spike's words had a very satisfying effect. The human paled, climbed off and slid back against the headboard with a look of awe on his face.

'This is incredible! This is wonderful. NO! This is absolutely awful. I shall never have a private thought again!'

Spike capitalised on his luck. 'You'd better stop thinking that then.'

Giles, rather irrationally, clamped a hand over his mouth. Spike stretched, pleased with himself. 'So, we gonna have a shag then, cus I'm turning this 'ere mattress into a water bed.'

'No! Well, yes, obviously. Bloody hell.'

'Look. It's only when I…. I never did 'fore Christmas.' He looked down almost shyly. 'So, if you ever… get bored of me, it'll go 'way again.'

After that, Giles kind of fell into the sex with Spike, but his mind was distracted. He rolled; he kissed; he played, but the thought kept going around and around that Spike needed him to feel more alive. It was not what he had been expecting or the way he saw their relationship. He had always seen this vampire as having so much life running through his veins. He now began to see parts of the vampire's complex personality in a new light - he began to see his role in Spike's life in a new light.

Instead of feeling old and wondering what Spike saw in him, he started to feel vital and alive. When Spike turned him over, about to enter him, Giles reared up and wrestled Spike down, desperate to flood his warm, life-giving sperm into the vampire. Spike hissed at the force but took Giles in willingly.

Instead of feeling grateful for having Spike in his life, Giles now felt that their need for each other was mutual. He rode into Spike with the strength of a man totally confident with what they were doing. Spike cried out at the change in Giles and spread himself wide to the increased depth of this urgent penetration.

Instead of feeling that Spike could be taken away from him at any minute - feeling fear at every move - Giles felt he could give Spike enough of his life force so the vampire could withstand any attack. He emptied himself deep into Spike, digging his fingers into the pale hips, drawing blood. Spike moaned and, without touching his own penis, came in hard, short spurts of cum on his belly.

Giles lowered himself onto Spike, his heart beating wildly. The echoes reverberated into Spike's lifeless chest, and Giles began to laugh at the sound. He shook his head and kissed Spike, ripping at his hair, eating him. He swept his hand over Spike's spent cum and licked at it; he wiped it over his face then Spike's. He felt manic: so much life that he had enough to share.

'Read me now, Spike. Hear what I'm thinking about you now.'

Spike looked up at him, his blue eyes dilated and intense. 'I don't need to.'

Giles nodded and slid off him, lying on his back, his heart still beating madly. He began to breathe deeply, still chuckling.

Spike laid a pale hand on his chest. 'What just happened?'

'I don't know. I don't know. But... this isn't you and me, is it? This is us…. For the first time, I think I've just seen this as… us. And you aren't really dead. I don't think of you like that, and you shouldn't think of yourself… you should be proud…. What am I saying? God, I'm spouting nonsense! Us. My God. We're… us. Don't laugh at me. I'm having a revelation.'

Spike giggled. 'You're trying to avoid sayin' we're an us, ain't ya?'


'We're an us…. Oh, bloody hell, Human, do I 'ave to write it down? No! It ain't funny any more. Jeez. Give me demons any day. Least they've a sense of bleedin' humour!'


They supervised the renovations of Buffy's training room together. Giles suspected that Spike's 'management' of the flat would entail him occasionally coming over to it… only occasionally, of course. Occasional visits seemed to demand a large screen TV. Occasional visits apparently needed the windows to be boarded up.

Giles went along with most of it… the inexpensive parts of Spike's grand plan. The changes did not take very long, and within the week, they were able to forgo motel rooms and spend a night in the new apartment.

They wandered around, inspecting the changes. Spike stood thoughtfully alongside the shower. 'I saved the slayer from those demons she couldn't see 'ere.'

Giles was looking into space in the centre of the room. 'I sang to her here, and she didn't even hear me.'

'Probably best. She heard me and weren't impressed at all.'

'I'll have you know, I have a very good voice.'

'Yeah. I remember Christmas carols.'

They turned to look at each other, amused. 'Was that in this lifetime? It seems impossible that I have not always thought about you as I think now.'

'Wanna test the bed?'

Giles looked down and nodded gently. 'You know I do.'

It seemed strange. Open plan suddenly felt… vulnerable. Open plan was… open viewing. It didn't matter that Giles checked the lock through to the shop or the one to the back; he could not relax in the large, mainly empty apartment. Spike lay naked on the bed, laughing at him. 'Come on, Pet. You can undress under the covers again.'

Meant only as a joke, he rolled his eyes when Giles took him up on the suggestion. He watched incredulously as the human wriggled and pouted and, finally, shed his clothes. With a loud huff, Spike turned off the light. That was worse, and Giles leant over him and turned it back on again. 'Sorry.'

'Tell me 'bout France instead then.'

Giles turned and propped himself on one hand. For a brief moment, he thought he'd seen an odd look on Spike's face, heard it in his tone, but put it down to the delay in the sex, certainly nothing more serious than that. 'Oh. Yes. It's not long now, is it?'

'Depends where ya lookin' at it from. Seems long to me.'

'Nonsense. It'll fly past.'

'Why start there? Why not start with the first one? Stupid way to write a book, if you ask me.'

'Fortunately, no one has. And notice, I have never asked you what your book was about. The constant suspense is the only thing keeping me going sometimes.'

'Pillock. It were a lot more interesting than Alpha whatsits. But why the mad Catholic bint?'

Giles looked slightly furtive. 'Well, I rather fancied a small Easter holiday in France, and if I'm going to write this blasted book, I may as well enjoy it!'

'So, what am I gonna do? While you're writing like? Cus I'm easily bored.'

'No, you're not actually. You seem to have unlimited internal resources. You surprise me.'

Spike also propped himself up on one hand, mirroring Giles' position. In the low pool of light from the lamp, even though only inches apart, their features were blurred and softened. 'When you've done with the French tart, what then?'

'As I said, back to England to write it all up, then here for the autumn. And you come to me for the summer?'

'I'm not much good with summers.'

'And there speaks the vampire who used warmth and sunshine as an excuse not to stay with me in England.'

'Oh, yeah. But….'

'What's wrong, Spike? Why the diffidence? Are you bored of me already?'

Spike looked intently at Giles and saw that the human was serious: pale but serious. He lay back down, falling just out of the arc of the light and into the eerie shadows of the large room. 'I don't want you to go. On Saturday. I don't want you to go. April is too long away.'

Giles sighed and lay back himself. His relief was so overwhelming that he felt tears prick at his eyes. In the dark, he stretched out a hand and just placed it lightly on Spike's hard belly. 'What if I did start with the first slayer then? What if I stay for a week or….' Muffled by the kiss, Giles had to finish his sentence in his head, but Spike didn't seem to need to hear the exact length of his reprieve from loneliness.

Once the sex began in earnest, Giles forget to be anxious at the surroundings. He forgot Spike's occasional odd look or word. He forgot his reason for being in America again. He forgot himself entirely in Spike. They had not done this enough for Spike's body to have stopped being a mystery to him. Each time they had sex, he needed to explore and play with the hardness, the softness, the parts that moved and the parts that did not. Endlessly fascinating, endlessly beautiful, Spike's body took Giles to heights of visual and cognitive stimulation long before the physical pleasures began… but those were the ones he waited for; those were the ones that made him cry out; those were the ones that made him feel young again.

The thump, thump, of his heartbeat when he pulled out of Spike almost deafened him in the empty, echoing room until he realised it was merely inside: the blood pumping fast through his veins, his ears pounding. He slid off Spike and pulled the vampire to him and, for a while, Spike lay silent and still, but too soon, he sat up and rummaged around for his clothes.

'What are you doing?'

Spike turned, surprised, a slightly incredulous look on his face. He merely raised an eyebrow and said pointedly, 'Duh.'

'No, I meant why are you getting dressed?'

'Err… again, duh?'


'I'm goin'. What d'ya'mean?'

'Going where, why?'

'For fuck's sake, Giles. I'm going 'ome; where d'ya think I'm goin'?'

'Spike! Stop telling me the bleeding bloody obvious. Why are you leaving? Why aren't you staying here? Is that clear enough?'

'Because I don't want to. Is that clear enough?'

'What's changed? I mean, we've stayed together every night since I got….'

'In motels, yeah.'

'Motels? Now I've passed from confused to bewildered. Is there something special about motels then? Their décor? Their lovely taste in bedside reading… oh, no, of course not. You're a vampire!'

'Don't try an' be funny with me, Rupert. Did you think I was gonna shack up with you in this little… fuck, I can't even say it… little love nest? Cus if you did….'

'Don't be bloody stupid, Spike. You're playing semantics to amuse yourself, as usual.'

'Uh huh. If I knew what that were, I'd probably be impressed.'

'And you can drop that act, too. You've probably had more formal education than me.'


'Right. That does it. Get out.'

'Huh? I'm going! I was going before you chucked me out. Just remember that!'

'No! Don't you dare storm out thinking you've had the last word. Come here!'

'DON'T fucking order me around! Who the hell do you think you are? Human!'

'I'm someone who's putting themselves to considerable time, effort and money to see you. And I don't see you doing much to reciprocate!'

Spike stilled on his slightly theatrical exit. He stomped back to the bed, right up to Giles' side and put both hands on the sheet, one either side of the rather alarmed human.

'Quite right, Rupert, you are.'

With that, he left, a blur moving so fast that Giles could not have prevented him leaving, even if he had wanted to.

He spent a miserable night. Utterly unable to sleep, he wandered around, wishing he'd made the place slightly more homely. He missed his own things around him desperately and cursed Sunnydale, vampires in general and Spike in particular with great enjoyment.

Gradually, however, he calmed down. Several cups of tea and a shower later, and he was in a more rational frame of mind to try and work out why he was not curled up in a sticky heap with Spike.

Giles was the first to admit that he was not an expert on relationships. He knew he was pretty pathetic, in fact, when it came to understanding people's motives, if those motives directly impinged upon him. Even he, though, could sense that the argument had not really started when Spike sat up to get dressed. It had begun much earlier and over something entirely different… but for the life of him, he could not work out when or what. Strange looks once or twice… the occasional silence… he remembered them, but not exactly when they had happened or over what. All he wanted to remember was Spike's look when he'd first seen him in the Bronze. He wanted to remember a hand stretching out to him in the dark and a kiss that had changed the course of his life. He wanted to remember a vampire who could absorb the echoes of a human's life force and take them for his own.

As soon as it was light and Spike could not escape him, he went to the crypt. It was only the second time he had been there, and this fact did not help him with his task. He expected to find Spike asleep in bed - hopefully warm, soft and malleable, and wanting him. Spike, though, was pacing between the walls, an angry, aggressive pacing, slamming the palms of his hands into the cool stone on each turn, talking to himself in a hissed, furious voice. Giles wished he'd had the presence of mind to listen for a while before he entered: he might have learned something to his advantage. As it was, Spike froze when he entered and clenched his jaw.

He stared at Giles, the human's unaccustomed presence clearly striking him, too. Before Giles could speak, Spike kicked briefly at a tomb and said in a low voice, 'Sorry 'bout last night. Pillock comes to mind.'

Giles felt a surge of relief. He saw Spike's shifty look; he saw the evidence of a long night of angst, but he ignored all this, filing it away unexamined in the back of his mind. Instead, he came forward. He put out a hand but, before he could speak, Spike smiled and pulled him into a loose embrace. 'Sorry, Mate. An' that's not something I say very often.'

Giles held him off and looked into his eyes. If he had seen something else for a moment - deceit? fear? pain? - it was not there now. He saw nothing but the vampire's clear blue eyes staring back at him. They were almost too clear, almost too honest but, again, this disturbing observation was filed with the previous ones and not examined on its passing.

'Do you wanna come in?'

'Err… I am in, aren't I?'

'Down in.'

'Oh.' Giles looked at the ladder with slight distaste.

'What? You casting aspersions on me lovely abode?'

'No, of course not.' He was but, after the previous night, it was the last thing he wanted to admit. 'It's just that… for someone who's spent far too much time chasing things that live in holes… I really don't like… going down…. Oh, do shut up, Spike. I really am getting a little tired of your sense of humour.'

In a huff, Giles descended the ladder. Still chuckling, Spike followed. The candles were all lit and, much to the human's amazement, the place seemed welcoming and safe. He wandered around for a while then sat on the bed. 'I'm sorry, too, by the way. I'm not sure what for - other than wanting you to stay with me - but I am sorry. I hate arguing at the best of times and now… with you… I mean….'

'I know what ya mean, Pet. I love arguing, but - somehow - not with you now.'

Giles smiled shyly. 'So, what are we…?'

'Spike! Spike? Spike, are you down there?'

Spike rolled his eyes but yelled back. 'Yeah. What'd'ya want, Slayer?'

'Giles is missing; have you…?'

''E's not missing; 'e's.…' Spike saw Giles' frantic head shake but entirely ignored it. 'Down 'ere.'

Buffy's legs appeared on the ladder. Giles stood up and tired to look watchery.

'Giles? What are you… anyway, someone from England has been calling you since early this morning. I couldn't find you. I thought you were staying in the training…. What?'

'I don't know anyone in…. I mean, what did they want.'

'They wouldn't tell me. Said they had to speak to you. Left a number.'

'All right. I'm coming.' He turned to Spike.

Spike only raised an eyebrow and said distinctly, 'Good. When yer finished keeping me up…. Vampire here, an' all.'

Giles left but was back within the hour and woke up a most disgruntled Spike. 'Sorry. Only there's been a fire… it's not bad. That was my gardener. He discovered it and put it out. Only the outhouse, thank God. But I have to go. I'm rather anxious. Thatch and all that.'

'What? Who? Where? Giles?'

'Spike. I have to leave. I have to catch a plane tonight.'


'I'm sorry. On top of everything… it's the worst possible timing….'

'No. Course. If you've gotta go. Sure.'

This wasn't the response Giles had imagined all the way over. He'd told Spike. Spike was distraught, and that had had to be slowly and exquisitely stroked and played away. He pouted slightly and tried again. 'Of course. We'll see each other in April. Shall I make your travel arrangements and let you….'


That hardly seemed the furious anticipation he'd expected either. Spike turned over, as if about to go back to sleep. Giles made to get up but thumped him instead. 'What the…?'

'You are so bloody fickle, Spike!'

'Fickle? Fickle.' Spike nodded to himself, as if this was something he'd almost expected. 'Fickle. Yes. One hundred and twenty bloody years with my last bleedin' lover: guess that was pretty fickle of me. Sod off, Giles. Come get me before you leave, an' I'll show you fickle when I ain't so pissed off with you.'

'What have you got to be piss… angry with me for? Bloody hell, Spike, I'm the one who….'

'Oh. I know. I know all that. Don't bloody remind me. I've got it tattooed on me memory, Pet. Now, are you gonna sod off, or am I gonna throw you out?'

'You are delusional, Spike. You can't throw me anywhere; you ARE fickle; you are a complete pain in the neck most of the time, but I will come here before I leave, if only to remind myself what I'll have peace and quiet from until April.'

'Good. Fortunately, April is a bloody long way away.'

'Not long enough.' Out loud, this wasn't the devastating reply he'd hoped for, but as Spike had already turned away and wrapped himself tightly in the sheet, it seemed pointless to try and improve on it.

As he wandered, desperately sad and confused, back through the cemetery, he suddenly wished that he had Spike to talk to - Spike of the caustic, but true, comments; Spike, the generous imparter of love advice; Spike, someone he had come to rely on for company…. He had the bizarre image of turning around, going back and asking Spike for advice on them. What would the vampire say? Probably something cryptic about blood…. Giles chuckled slightly to himself, rather surprised that he could summon any emotion other than despair. He went back to the shop, arranged his affairs, dragged Anya out of the place where everyone but Xander knew she was hiding, convinced her that the giving of screwdrivers proved undying love and, when all this was done, returned in the early evening to Spike's crypt.

Spike was sitting on the edge of the bed, his lower half wrapped in a sheet, his chest naked, lean and hungry looking. Giles took a deep breath and, before Spike even turned his head, said, 'The choice is yours, Spike. You can keep up this exceedingly silly argument and let me go back to England tonight utterly fed up with you, or you can snap out of it, tell me what is wrong, and send me back home rather anxious to see you again in the spring. What's it to be?'

Spike pouted a little and lit a cigarette. He stood up, holding the folds of the sheets to his slim body. Memories flared in Giles, distracting him. 'I've been thinkin'.'

'Uh huh.' This was so not what he wanted to hear. 'And?'

'You were right. I am lonely.'

'Oh.' Giles felt oddly embarrassed at this startlingly honest declaration and covered by taking his glasses off to polish them. Spike watched him keenly when his head was lowered to his task. 'And?'

'And I'm thinkin' I want you to look forward to me coming over in the spring.'

Giles' head snapped up. 'Oh! Well…. Well, that's all right then. Isn't it? What has this been about, Spike? You know I'm not very good at this sort of thing. It seems as if I've been having an argument without actually having a point of view. It's all rather disconcerting.'

'Yeah. Sorry, Pet.' Spike smiled faintly. 'Told ya I liked arguing. Seems I don't even need someone to do it with like. When do you leave?'

'A couple of hours unfortunately.'

'Stay here 'til then? I'll drive you.'

Giles nodded gratefully. If he noticed that Spike had diverted him, once again, from the cause of the argument, he utterly ignored the small note of worry that nagged at him. April. They'd sort everything in April.

Embarrassed and slightly awkward together, their bodies reacted independently from their emotions. Spike looked down at the sheet and laughed incredulously. Giles shook his head and came forward, pulling Spike into his arms, the erection now squeezed between them. Spike pushed his fingers into Giles hair, mussing it. 'Let me take you? I am sorry, Mate. I just want you.'

'I thought you didn't….'


'God, yes, touch me….'

'Take ya clothes….'

'I am….'

'Yess, hard, too. Little beauty you.'

'I want to face you….'

'Okay. Lie down….'

'Don't stop touching me. I'm so sorry, Spike, about….'

'Don't. Not now. Please. Rub this around for me… yesss. Now on you.'

'I want you in me now.'

'Yes. I know. There. Ohhh. God, too much. Always too much. You're so warm, so alive.'

'Take some of my life, Spike. I'm so sorry if I don't understand you. I want to. Oh, please, slower! I wish there was more light. I want to see your face.'

'That better? Closer, like this? You're sweating, Pet. So alive.'

'What do you want from me, Spike? What did I do? I can't bear that I don't know every thought you think. I want to be able to hear you, too.'

'I'm sorry, Luv. It's just me and me bloody over-thinking 'bout everything. All I want now is this. I just wanna be in you like this. You are so tight, so warm, so good to feel.'

'I felt it was going so well and then….'

'Just me, Pet. Nothing to do with you, an' I'm sorry if you've been upset. I'm gonna come soon. I don't wanna make it last. I just wanna fill you up with me.'

'Yes. I want to take something of you back with me, in me. Hold me? Make me come, too, please.'

Spike wrapped his arms tightly around Giles' strong torso and, holding them clamped together, humped his orgasm into Giles. Giles shook with the force of the vampire's release then came himself, arching back in the strong arms, stretching his neck, gasping for breath as short, opaque shots of cum freed themselves from the embrace to shoot up against his chin. Spike immediately rose slightly on him, rubbing his smooth chest up on the cum, dipping at the waist and rising, as if marking himself. Acting purely on instinct, Giles ran a finger through his cum and dragged it slowly across Spike's forehead and then down the bridge of his nose. Spike looked down at him almost sadly. 'If only we had more time.'

Giles smiled. 'I'm not sure I could manage another one.' He saw, instantly, that he'd misunderstood Spike's comment entirely. At Giles' dismayed look, however, Spike bent to kiss him softly.

'Don't sweat it, Luv. I told ya, it's all part of ya charms. Now, just cus you can't manage another one….' He grinned, and whether he was making a special effort for the human's benefit, Giles didn't know… but it was the old Spike.

Giles looked up at the mischievous face. 'I couldn't begin to list your charms, Spike. You overwhelm me with how much I want you.'

'Poof. That I'm dead, that I'm a demon, that I'm evil, and that you don't like me, get that list started for ya?'

'Oh! Treacherous vampire! You quote me? Trust you to remember that letter.'

'I remember all of them. I read 'em enough times.'

'Oh. I thought you were joking that you'd kept them. That's not very… you.'

'No. I know. Very you.'

'Oh, yes. I kept yours, of course. In date order and catalogued.'

'Pillock. You'll be putting 'em in that damn book of yours in a minute.'

'I'll give you the chance to improve them a bit before I do.'


'Illiterate. Are we….'

'Yes. We're fine, Rupert. Just buy those tickets for me, yeah? An' I'll see ya in Paris in April.'

There was nothing in Spike's face or voice to make Giles feel uneasy, so quite why a sense of deep foreboding crept over him on the long flight back to England, he couldn't have said.

Spike returned to his crypt, alone once more. Once more, he set his jaw to the feeling. It was dangerous to let the emotion in: he knew that loneliness was already proving so debilitating that he was allowing this relationship to crash inexorably to its tragic conclusion just to enjoy it for a few precious months more.

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