What Lies Within - 11
The sound of a low, thumping beat was audible all over the cemetery. It got louder as he neared the crypt. The door was open; light spilled out from inside, and a variety of odd-looking demons lounged about on the grass and the headstones. They looked at him and nodded pleasantly. He sidestepped slightly and went in. Spike, in the middle of lighting a cigarette, whisky bottle squeezed between his legs was surrounded by demons.
For S, who could make my mortality seem
worthwhile - if I let him. R
It was a party.
He'd gatecrashed a demon party in the crypt of the vampire he'd made love to only a few nights ago. Giles marked this moment as - hopefully - the most unreal experience of his whole existence and only prayed that life got better from this point on. Spike whirled round, animated, laughing, and saw Giles. His face went through so many emotions in one short flash that Giles couldn't even identify them all. He saw hatred at the end though - that was unmistakable.
'No. No fucking "err"…. Get out. This is my place, and you ain't welcome.'
'I need to talk to you….'
''No! You don't listen, do you? No. I'm not talking to you; I don't know you. Get out.'
A small group of new partygoers came in behind Giles, and one of them tossed Spike a parcel, which he caught neatly. 'Many happy returns, Spike.' Everyone laughed - this was obviously a good joke for the eternal.
Giles looked bewildered. 'It's your birthday?'
Spike glared at him. 'It's not anything to do with you. Get out.'
'I'm sorry. I didn't know.'
Spike couldn't resist entering the conversation any longer. He cursed but said bitterly, 'Why the fuck should you know? You know jack-shit about me.'
'But… I - I'd have bought you….' Giles looked utterly confused. 'Would I have bought you something? I think I would have.'
Spike felt something rushing up from his belly and clenched his jaw against the emotions. He said more softly, 'What do you want, fucker? It ain't a good time, yeah?'
'Oh. No. I'll go, only, I needed you to show me how you did these….' He indicated the books, but faltered, a loud fight breaking out just outside the door. He winced as two vampires went at each other's throats, snarling.
Spike suddenly took his arm and guided him through the throng to the steps. 'Down there's off limits to them. Go down - I'll come in a minute.'
Giles would have refused, but he got slightly pushed by a slimy-looking tail and stumbled down, glad to get away from the noise of the party.
He sat on the edge Spike's bed. It occurred to him for the first time that none of their strange drama had been played out here. Spike had taken him to the mansion; the rest had been in his bed. He frowned, wondering if Spike was consequently finding it easier to sleep than he was. He had not returned to his bed since Willow had thrown the dust over him, and the couch was equally hard whether his body was occupied by him, or by Spike.
Giles was suddenly overcome with an intense, almost bone-weary exhaustion. He'd been mentally, physically, and emotionally drained by the last few months. He felt so old, so tired, so…. He lay back, pushing the books to the floor. He took off his glasses and let them drop, too. Within a few minutes he was deeply asleep, and he did not sense the vampire standing quietly, watching over him.
Spike let the party play on over his head. No one would miss him. He had lots of birthdays during the year, and no one had called him on this yet. If he wanted a party, he had a birthday; more people came, and he got a few gifts (usually weapons… but you could never have enough weapons).
He watched the exhausted human sleeping, noticed the additional grey in his hair, the stressed features that even restful sleep could not alleviate and, as he watched, he tried to find some common ground between the two extremes of emotion that this man engendered: hate and love. He hated Giles… and he loved him. Spike could not merge the two extremes and find an average - a neutral disinterest - as the human had apparently been able to do with him… but then, Spike had known it was not a spell.
Not at first - he'd admit that. At first, his obsession with this man had confused, even terrified him… but he'd felt obsession like that before, knew it could be real and did not distrust it as much. It was just blood; it was just chemical; it just was.
He'd first known for sure that it was not a spell as he'd lain under the night sky with Giles' soft, warm lips around him. He'd known that was real: blood, body, need, and desire - for both of them. He'd let the human continue in his delusion, though; he let him have his safety net. He had thought that Giles would be won over. He'd thought he could make the human love him for real before it ended.
Spike looked down at the relaxed, sleeping face, gave up trying to find a neutral emotion, and tried to feel nothing but hate. It wasn't the sex - he could have the Jellys of this world without effort. They came and went, leaving no trace in his memory. Giles represented something else; he represented the end to loneliness.
Spike wanted someone to talk to. When he saw things that interested him, he had no one to mention them to. If he read a book, the impressions stayed in his own head, his thoughts never able to bounce off someone else. If he talked, there was no one to hear him, no one who would be interested in what he said, or who could understand it. No one valued his existence and, although he was dead, he missed that and wanted it again.
He'd appreciated Giles the first time he met him - he was so amusing. Spike hadn't often found that with humans. Giles could always have the last word; the human could always better him in an argument (if he let him), so he'd always looked forward to their verbal battles. Slowly and seductively, Spike had begun to imagine that if he told anyone anything about his life, then that person would be Giles. He never actually did - he just thought he might… one day… when things were different… and then they had been different. Very different. He'd lived Giles' life for four months, and Giles had lived his and, although the watcher might deny it now, they had become friends: an easy comradeship developing between them.
So, Spike tried to encourage the hate. Stop the sex? That, Spike could understand. Not want to roll with him, making passionate love for hours? That, too, Spike could understand. Humans were weak; humans were hung up on appearances; humans couldn't enjoy the freedoms that were granted to the dead. Giles was weak; Giles was confused; Giles was lonely, and the loneliness made him vulnerable and afraid. Spike understood all this, but what totally defeated him, what made him furious, was that Giles now denied the friendship. Giles was treating him as an enemy again - worse, as a casual acquaintance - and that made Spike's dead heart twist in pain.
He wanted the friendship back…
… hatred was so much hard work.
How could you hate something so confused and weak? He sat down on the bed alongside Giles, and then stretched out in the dark, folding his arms under his head. He debated lighting a cigarette but didn't want to wake the human. He listened to the party dying out, hoped they weren't stealing everything, and waited for the morning to come.
He grinned in the dark. Who had he just been trying to bullshit? Had he just told himself it wasn't the sex? Spike tried unsuccessfully to readjust his jeans.
He wanted to laugh at his own manipulative lies.
He wanted to relate them to Giles and make him laugh, too.
He wanted to cry.
Giles woke up once more to the terrifying experience of not being able to see. He immediately felt his body and sighed with relief… but he knew he was on Spike's bed once more; it was familiar now, not threatening. He also sensed that Spike was there with him. He could not see or hear him, but the old mattress tipped a little to the other side, and he was fairly sure that weight was Spike.
It was unnerving. He could see nothing, but Spike, he knew, would be able to see everything. He wanted to put a hand out, just to reassure himself that he was right but afraid that it would be totally misunderstood, he didn't. As if reading his mind, a small flicker of light appeared. Spike had leant over the bed and lit a candle on the floor - its illumination casting odd shadows onto the ceiling of the crypt. The vampire lay back down and folded his arms under his head once more, still not speaking.
Giles wasn't sure what to do.
He'd almost forgotten why he'd come here in the first place - discussing accountancy now seemed rather inappropriate. He really had two alternatives: get up and leave, or attempt to explain to Spike why he was doing what he was doing.
Spike had defined it really. Spike had looked at him as they'd rolled and played and loved, and he'd told him jokingly that he'd lost it… and he had. He loved Spike, and in that loving, he - everything he'd previously thought and felt and wanted and worked for - was lost.
He could not love by halves. It was an emotion too rarely felt, too special to treat so casually. He couldn't pick up someone in a bar and have casual sex. He did not give his heart easily, so once given, the gift was for life. How could his precious gift be bestowed on a vampire that he purported to hate? Spike had surprised Giles, however; not only did he seem to still want him, he was clearly upset, hurt, and confused by this rejection.
Spike filled his mind. His body ached for him. He wanted to turn to the silent figure and beg for forgiveness. He wanted to kiss Spike and make him laugh. He wanted to hear Spike call him a pillock. He wanted to talk through the last few days with him, laughing at the pain now that it was all forgotten. He wanted to push into Spike and feel his thin body writhing beneath him. He wanted to seal his love with hard sex, intense orgasm, and then soft loving and talking in the damp warmth of the bed.
Two alternatives: stay or go.
Silently, Giles got up, picked up the discarded books and went home.
He went to work and summoned Willow.
'I need a spell.'
Willow backed off. 'You said no spells! Giles! No!'
'I said no spells for Spike. This is for me.'
'Oh. Still not sure. What's it for?'
'When you thought you loved Xander, remember…?'
'I do love Xan, he's my huggy….'
'When you LOVED him, Willow, as in… wanted him…?'
'Exactly. I want a de-lusting spell - like you prepared for yourself.'
'Oh. Oh! OH! Giles? Who are you lusting after… and I'm crawling into a very small hole now, and wishing I hadn't asked that and… ugh, aren't you a bit old? Okay. Withdrawing that, too. So, de-lusting…. I never got to finish it last time. If you remember, I got vampnapped - by Spike.'
'Can you do it?'
'Yes, I think so. I'd need you - obviously - and something that belongs to your…. Eew again.'
'Thank you, Willow, for that vote of confidence. When can we do it?'
Willow's reaction only strengthened his determination.
He waited outside Spike's crypt that evening until he saw Spike come out. The vampire seemed listless and in no particular hurry. He stopped, lighting a cigarette and looking up at the sky for a while until he sauntered off towards town. Giles went into his crypt and looked around for something suitable to take. There was nothing upstairs that was small enough or that Spike wouldn't miss, so Giles went cautiously down the ladder. He rummaged around, fairly familiar with Spike's possessions now… and there it was… on the bed… cast off and seemingly forgotten. For an expensive Rolex, it seemed an odd way to treat it.
Hastily, Giles snatched it up and left. It was perfect. If Spike missed it…? Well, everyone mislaid watches from time to time, and when he took it back - free of his passion at last - the vampire would assume it had been there all the time.
He walked though the cemetery, happier than he'd felt for a long time. He was doing something positive at last. It was best for all of them: for him, for the gang, and ultimately for Spike. He pictured some time in the future when they might meet without all the angst. Or maybe the vampire would leave Sunnydale as he had said…. Giles moved on from that thought fairly rapidly, it still upset him too much… but he'd be free soon.
He juggled the heavy watch in his hand, looked down, admired it, and turned it over.
He'd forgotten it was inscribed - that Spike had had it inscribed.
His heart began to beat rapidly, and he felt light-headed, slightly faint. He blinked slowly as he tried to focus on the small letters, but he had not read it wrong…
For S, who could make my mortality seem worthwhile - if I let him. R
Giles carried on walking, but he felt detached from his body. That was moving, but he was still in the cemetery, startled, upset… astounded by the inscription on the watch. It was a bold declaration of love. It was a promise of salvation from loneliness, and it had been put there before any of this had happened by a vampire he thought had hated him.
Spike had wanted him even then.
Willow was waiting for him when he got home. He handed her the watch, still in a daze. If she recognised it, if she thought it odd that he had given her Spike's watch, she did not comment, but a small smile of surprised pleasure crept around her lips as she prepared her potion… and then a deep frown when she realised what they were actually there to do. She thought about Tara and wanted to say something about love, but saw that he was implacable, remote, and did not dare.
Instead, she mixed. She spoke the incantation. Finally, she looked up. 'All ready…. If you really want this, just drop the watch in and it's done! Can't vouch for its shininess, though, when it comes out.'
He didn't respond, but kept looking thoughtfully at the watch, turning it over and over in his hand, running a finger over the smooth, perfect lines. 'It does seem a shame.'
'Yesss… I know, Giles! It does! That's what I was thinking!'
'It cost a fortune.'
'Oh. The watch.'
'And it's so perfect. Expensive, but worth it - you know? And so beautiful.' He chuckled. 'Works well, too, just goes and goes.'
She glanced down at the gradually dying bubbles. 'Giles!'
'I know. I know.'
He lowered his hand to the smoking fluid.
He walked slowly back through the cemetery that same evening. He pulled open the door of the crypt and recoiled slightly at the mess. Spike was standing knee deep in cushions, books, and CDs, cigarette in hand and looking… tearful?'
He glanced up and rolled his eyes at the ceiling. 'Is there something bloody wrong with your own bed, Giles? Cus I'm not running a bleedin' hotel here!'
Giles cast a small glance around. 'Just as well.'
'Nothing! Fucking nothing! 'K? Don't you get it, Watcher? I-don't-talk-to-you-anymore!' He clenched his jaw as if at his own weakness, and added lamely. 'I lost me fucking watch, that's what.'
Giles held it out and said quietly, 'It's over, Spike.'
Spike took a small step back - other than that, there was no sign that he had heard this at all. Giles tipped his head to one side and repeated it, just to make sure that he had actually spoken. 'It's over. All over…. The pretence, the denial, the… hiding…. I can't do it any longer. I don't want to.' He looked down for a moment, and then directly at Spike as if willing him to get it. 'I will let flame from me the burning fires that were threatening to consume me; I will play a part no longer.'
Spike, not giving any indication whether he recognised this or not, stretched out his hand to take the watch but, before he could pull away, Giles caught hold of his wrist. He turned the watch on the cool palm, running his finger over the inscription as if reminding himself what was already engraved on his heart. 'If I…. If I let you, would you still be willing to try?'
Spike's face screwed up as if in pain. He clenched his jaw and blinked rapidly. 'It's too hard. I don't trust…. I just can't.'
'I know.' Giles let Spike's wrist drop and took his glasses off, pinching the bridge of his nose. 'Would a profuse apology help?'
Spike pouted and toed one of the cushions thoughtfully. 'Eventually… it might. I'll want some major grovelling first though.'
'Ah. I'm not one for grovelling really.'
'Well, you gotta be flexible, mate: change when change is needed.' He bent and began to pick up the cushions and kick the books into darker corners.
Giles watched his slim form for a minute then said almost inaudibly, 'I am sorry.'
Spike sat down and lit a cigarette, thinking about this. With a small shrug, he looked frankly at Giles. 'Love is scary.'
Giles sat next to him. 'It doesn't seem to scare you.'
'Its lack does.'
'Ah. I have to agree with you there. I don't want to be alone anymore.'
Spike looked at him evenly. 'That's not enough.'
Giles put his glasses back on and returned the neutral look. 'I don't want to be alone, because I want you to be there.'
'Uh huh.' Hiding a small grin by lighting a cigarette was not particularly successful, so Spike turned to the television instead. 'That's gettin' better, human.'
'Is it good enough though?'
Spike chuckled. 'Nearly, you're nearly there.'
Giles took a small, quick breath, took a deeper one, and said almost too quickly, 'I love you.'
Spike took a long drag of his cigarette, contemplating the beauty of the smoke. 'There, see? Weren't too hard, an' I didn't even have to make you squirm.'
Giles stood up and walked a few steps away. He looked back at Spike over his shoulder. 'You could still do that.' Hesitating only slightly, he went down the ladder.
He was glad of darkness this time; it hid his blushes as the vampire slowly undressed him. He was glad of the light when Spike lit some candles; now he could see his lover's body. Spike returned and ran his hands over the naked, warm flesh. He seemed almost bewildered, and Giles wondered if the vampire also felt as if this was their first time.
So, for the first time, Giles captured Spike's face and kissed him, and it was as startling as if five months ago he'd reached across the research table and done just that. They pulled apart. The candlelight made Spike's skin look tanned and warm, his eyes enormous. They went back to the kiss, falling together onto the bed. There was little rolling, almost no sweat, but the passion was so much more intense. Giles felt almost weepy as he kissed and kissed and could not kiss the vampire enough. He'd fallen somewhere, and the fall had cracked open his restraint. Love and need poured out of him and found in Spike an empty, willing vessel, needing to be filled.
Spike tried not to bite as he kissed, but it was so instinctive. His need and his love were so intense that his body almost took over: passion formerly declared in the biting and the feeding. He restrained, though, and showed Giles in other ways just how deeply he felt this joining.
They both rose, hard and urgent at the feel and taste of each other's mouths. This time, Giles rolled on top; this time, his hands went down to lift Spike's thigh; this time, he pushed in… and Spike allowed it all. He understood Giles' need to possess him, mark him. Spike lay beneath Giles' heavier, warmer body and let the slow build up to orgasm begin. This was a leap of faith, and he was making it with no sure landing on the other side. He would not be entirely sure that the human was genuine until… afterwards. Until the initial lust was spent, until the human's body was sated, he could not be sure. The true test would come in the aftermath, and Spike feared that in that languid moment Giles would reject him once more.
Giles was quite lost to the feel of being inside Spike. Even better was the sight of his penis sliding in and out of the tight hole, and he watched, fascinated, as the glistening shaft emerged, was swallowed, emerged, was swallowed again; each push building an intense orgasm that he could not wait to jettison into Spike's body. This body - this bloody body - that had teased him, tempted him, taken and possessed him, was now beneath him, writhing to his music, dancing to his beat, and beginning to cum to his thrusting.
He rose higher over Spike, bracing himself on the thin, bony knees, pushing them apart, sliding his hands up the inner thighs: so smooth, so tight, so cool. He cupped his hands around Spike's solid shaft and held it as he increased the speed of his thrusting, wondering at the feel of wiry curls on his palms. He watched Spike's face intently, imprinting every clench of pleasure on his mind, engraving every movement of the closed eyes into his brain to run the fingers of his memory over in quiet times when there might be no Spike. He listened to Spike's increasingly uncontrolled sounds of pleasure: low grunts, extended moaning. He teased out this music with his cock; a hard thrust in one position wrung out a clear cry of delight; soft, staccato jerking in another brought a low hum of frustration. Best of all, though, as he worked his hands on Spike's leaking shaft, the vampire's hands hammered out a matching drumbeat of anticipation on the soft mattress.
Giles felt his balls contracting, starting to pump sperm forward. He went rigid then jerked urgently, desperately trying to bring the vampire off, too. Cold hands joined his on the hard shaft and, with a cry of delight, Giles watched Spike's cum shooting out over the ridged abdomen as his swirled hot around the cool rectum. He kept up the shaky jerking until his heart beat so fast that he had to pull out and lie on Spike, heavy and panting. He fell into an almost immediate, uncontrollable, unwanted, utterly male post-coital sleep.
An hour later, Spike still lay under the exhausted man in the aftermath of their sex… content at last. The human was still here; the human wanted him; the human loved him. He smiled into the damp hair and wriggled slightly, just to feel Giles move on him, readjust their position, embrace him even tighter, and fall happily back to sleep in the soft bed.
Another hour, and Spike turned, feeling the human turn with him: lazy, warm, and unconcerned about being disturbed. He took Giles in his arms and, for the first time, stroked his hair softly. It was a huge concession, but he felt the watcher was owed it now. After a moment, he sensed that Giles was awake so asked the question he was afraid to ask. 'What happens now? You gonna want to keep this your dirty little secret?'
The low chuckle surprised him. 'It's a bit late for that, Spike. I suspect everyone's known for….' He twisted Spike's watch and glanced at it. 'About four hours.'