Sequel to Saturation


Wesleysgirl and Jane Davitt

Part One

"Bloody hell." Spike collapsed down onto the mattress, gasping for air as his cock gave one final twitch.

"Tell me about it," Xander panted, lifting himself up from his elbows onto his hands again and licking his lips clean. Behind Xander, Giles thrust forward again, burying his cock deep inside Xander and driving another low cry from him. "God."

Giles was standing beside the bed, both hands on Xander's hips as he fucked him, and Spike, who'd just had a fantastic orgasm thanks to Xander's talented mouth, decided it looked as if Giles could use a hand. Or, more accurately, that Xander could.

"Here, love, like this," Spike said, getting up onto his own knees and pulling Xander upright onto his, distracting him from the change in position by kissing him. Xander moaned against Spike's lips as the angle of Giles' thrusts shifted inside him, and Spike wrapped his fingers around Xander's familiar, well-loved cock and stroked it.

He felt the tremor that ran through Xander and smiled as Xander's tongue slid deeply against his, tasting enough of himself to make the kiss even more intimate than normal. Then Giles leaned over and nuzzled fiercely into Xander's neck, biting down sharply, and Spike couldn't resist copying him, dragging his mouth over the long, taut line of Xander's neck so that he and Giles were marking both sides of it with teeth and tongue, sucking hard.

If Xander was going away for the weekend, he was going looking like someone owned him, Spike thought. His head filled with images of Xander striding across some city square in Rome, white-winged pigeons scattering and dark-eyed, glossy-haired Italian men eying him with interest. Spike growled against Xander's skin just picturing it, tightening his grip on Xander's cock possessively.

"Oh fuck," Xander gasped, and came, crying out loudly, his body convulsing between Spike and Giles.

"That's... God, Xander." Giles gave another couple of rough thrusts, the force of them shoving Xander's cock through the tight circle of Spike's hand and making Xander whimper. Spike looked up in time to see Giles' eyes close in ecstasy as release rushed over him.

There was another whimper from Xander a minute later when Giles withdrew, the three of them lowering themselves onto the mattress with heartfelt groans.

"I should go away more often," Xander said, running a hand down along Giles' flank appreciatively.

"You really shouldn't," Giles replied, beating Spike to it. "But as you are, I think making the most of you while we've got you is the least we can do."

Spike chuckled, rolling to his side and placing his hand over Xander's heart, feeling it race against his palm. "Think we've worn him out, Giles."

They'd done their best anyway. They'd gone to bed early the night before, but it'd been hours before they'd fallen asleep, satiated bodies lying tumbled and tangled under the sheets so that when they'd woken they'd carried on where they'd left off. Xander would be shifting a little uncomfortably in his first-class seat, Spike reflected with a satisfaction that was so stuffed with smugness there was barely room for sympathy. Xander had had both of them deep in him, as many times as they could, fucking him into a speechless, gasping, hollowed-out wreck, telling him they loved him more times than they'd kissed him -- and they'd never stopped doing that.

Spike let his hand leave damp, heated skin and travel up to Xander's mouth, tracing the full, kiss-swollen lips with fingers trembling slightly from exhaustion. Xander's brown eyes were sleepy and half-veiled under dark lashes, his skin suffused with a thousand touches. Come to think of it, maybe sending the lad off looking this debauched wasn't such a good idea...

Spike's cock was resting against his thigh, but as Xander's tongue ran slowly across his lips as if seeking out a lingering trace of all three of them, it stirred slightly. He groaned.

"Don't go," he begged, saying what he'd been thinking for days and had managed to keep from voicing. "Stay. Stay with us."

"Spike --" Giles said warningly. "Xander will be back on Monday, so there's really no need for this drama."

"It's only a couple of days," Xander said, rolling toward Spike and putting both arms around him, holding him close.

"I know," Spike said. Still, he couldn't help leaning in until his nose was pressed to Xander's collar bone, inhaling the scent of him, giving the salty skin there a quick lick. "Doesn't mean I'm not gonna miss you." It was hard, so fucking hard not to ask Xander, again, to stay. The thought of him going was, to be honest, driving Spike a bit mad.

"I'll miss you, too. Both of you." Xander pressed a kiss to Spike's temple and then turned his head to look at the clock. "Damn. If I don't get my ass in gear and get to the airport, all I'm going to be missing is my plane."

Reluctantly, Spike let him go, not quite meeting Giles' eyes as Xander got up and headed for the bathroom.

"It's understandable that Dawn wants him there for her birthday," Giles said softly, making no attempt to move closer to Spike, as if he knew Xander wasn't that easy to replace. "And equally so that Buffy's not entirely happy with you accompanying him. Don't take it personally; I think she's still recovering from when Xander and I told her we were together. That didn't go down well at all, you know." Giles smiled. "And do you really think you could spend a weekend with Andrew without blood being shed? Or, even worse, tears?"

"Probably not," Spike admitted. Giles' hand was resting on the mattress between them, and Spike slid his own over toward it until their fingers just touched. It was as much comfort as he was willing to ask for or accept, and Giles seemed to know that, too, because he still didn't move.

"Then why are you sulking?" Giles asked, with a faint edge to his voice. "Spike, Xander's looking forward to seeing his friends again; I won't have you spoiling his trip. Stop pouting and start smiling." Spike pulled his hand back, glaring at Giles, and Giles sighed, finally shifting a little closer. "I'm going to miss him, too, you know."

"Yeah, suppose you are," Spike allowed grudgingly.

"And it won't be a pleasant weekend for either of us if you're moping."

"I don't mope!"

Giles rolled his eyes. "Yes. You do. All the time." Relenting, he kissed Spike, his mouth so different from Xander's, less yielding but equally arousing when Giles wanted it to be. Now the kiss was more of an apology, conciliatory rather than passionate. "Tell me what we can do to stave off the moping and I promise you that we'll do it."

"Really?" Spike said thoughtfully, the gears in his brain turning.

"Have you ever known me to break a promise?" Giles asked. There was something in his voice that hinted, just faintly, that he was upset; something that got Spike's attention, making him forget momentarily about Xander and concentrate on Giles.

He turned toward Giles and met his eyes. "No," he said.

Giles relaxed. "Good. Then what would you like to do?"

As the shower shut off in the bathroom, Spike felt a slow grin spread across his face.


The slow, relentless beat of the music would once have had Giles wanting to join the crowd dancing to it -- would have had him at the center of it, in fact -- but not now. Taking another sip from his drink and trying to ignore a light flashing directly into his eyes, he did his best not to give into the urge to look at his watch. Again. Watching the hands advance to the point where he could reasonably suggest that it was time they went home was all the comfort he had, but the death glare he'd received from Spike the last time he'd pushed up his shirt sleeve -- at 10.17 -- meant that 10.19 was going to have to pass unnoticed.

It wasn't that Spike's idea that they go to a club was a bad one. And making it a club where, from what Giles could see, most of the couples were gay, made it simpler, but dear God, why were they all so young? Even Spike looked a little -- no, not out of place. He was too relaxed for that, too confident. He was getting stared at, yes; both of them were from time to time -- but there was nothing but admiring appraisal in the looks Spike got, whereas Giles was uncomfortably aware that in his case the admiration was missing, replaced by puzzlement at best. They were probably wondering what the hell someone like Spike was doing with him, and he couldn't help feeling stung and letting his annoyance transfer, unfairly, to Spike, who should've known that this would happen.

He drained his drink and placed it carefully on the table, the clink of glass on wood lost in the bedlam. "Have you been here with Xander?" he asked Spike, speaking directly into Spike's ear after touching his arm to get his attention, which had been focused rather firmly on the dancers. Especially, Giles noted, on one slim boy who looked, if you weren't wearing your glasses -- and Spike wasn't -- a little like Xander, perhaps.

Spike leaned closer and said something that Giles couldn't hear over the blare of the music.

"What?" Giles said.

Inching his chair closer, Spike shouted, "Couple of times!" and then turned his attention back to the dance floor. Every once in a while he'd glance at Giles assessingly, though, which led Giles to wonder if this was some sort of test.

The current song ended, and the one that started up next was quieter, less deafening.

"You're having a shit time, aren't you?" Spike asked suddenly.

Giles debated being tactful and then shrugged. This was Spike, after all. He might be able to slip a polite evasion past Xander, but never Spike. "It's not where I'd have chosen to come certainly, but I suppose it's not that --"

A man in his early twenties walked past their table, a good deal of bare, tanned skin on display, his gaze flicking over Spike's outstretched legs and up with enough interest to make Giles' lips tighten even before the man winked at Spike. Who grinned and bit down teasingly on his bottom lip before shaking his head and taking another sip of his drink.

"Yes," Giles said as the man smiled, shrugged and walked away, giving Spike one final look over his shoulder. "I am. Sorry."

Try as he might, he couldn't make that sound sincere.

Spike looked disappointed and, Giles thought, angry. "Don't know why you bothered to come if you were gonna be like this," he said, pursing his lips.

"I came because I promised I would," Giles said.

"Guess I should have got you to promise you'd enjoy yourself," Spike said. "Might have been too much to ask, though." As if he'd made a decision, he stood up. The lights in the club made him look different from his usual self -- distant, far away. Like someone Giles didn't know. "If you can't show me a good time, guess I'll just have to find someone who can."

Without waiting for Giles to reply, he slipped onto the dance floor, disappearing briefly into the crowd of moving bodies.

Indignation held Giles in place for just a little too long to make following him easy. He couldn't believe that Spike had just walked away like that. He'd told Spike to feel free to dance of course, and Spike had earlier on -- never moving far from where Giles was sitting, catching his eye often enough to make Giles feel that each grind of the slim hips was for his benefit, each shimmy and squirm a taste of things to come. That had been fun, he admitted it, even though he wasn't relaxed enough to give Spike more than a slightly embarrassed smile when Spike blew him a kiss. But Spike had grown bored with shaking his head at people taking pity on him being forced to dance alone and had soon walked off the dance floor mid-song, flinging himself down in a chair by Giles and downing yet another drink.

But Giles didn't recall telling Spike it was fine for him to go looking for someone else.

Pushing through the crowd and feeling his lip curl with distaste as one sweat-wet body after another slid past him, he scanned the room for a bright head of hair and Spike's sharp, clear profile. The surging mass of people made it a virtually impossible quest. Giles paused after five minutes, when he'd circled the room without success, and then headed for the toilets. Sooner or later everyone ended up there.

The toilets were exactly what he'd expected; the floor sticky with spilled drinks and littered with cigarette ends, dimly lit and larger than they really needed to be for a club this size. The sounds coming from the cubicles were predictable and Giles, who'd fucked and been fucked in similar surroundings, found himself gritting his teeth at the idea of Xander pressed up against a thin, graffiti-laden wall making noises like that for anyone to hear.

The last cubicle had a door with a broken lock, and as Giles moved along the row, half-listening for a familiar voice without really thinking that Spike would have taken his threat this far, the door swung outwards. He glanced inside before he could stop himself, his gaze held by what he saw.

Spike had the young man -- the very young man, whose age or lack thereof was quite apparent in close quarters -- that they'd seen on the dance floor earlier pressed up against the wall, one hand tangled in the hair at the back of the boy's neck. The boy was flushed, eager, his swollen lips making it clear that Spike had been kissing him, although at that particular moment Spike wasn't doing anything more than talking to him in a low voice.

Then Spike's hips shifted slightly, and Giles was able to see that the dark haired young man, who really did look an awful lot like Xander in some ways, had undone the front of Spike's jeans and had his hand slipped down inside, touching Spike.

Giles had enough self-control -- barely -- not to give in to his first impulse, but the images slipping through his head of his hand grinding thin flesh against sharp bone as he grabbed Spike's shoulder, yanking him around so that his face was there for Giles' fist were so vivid that he glanced down involuntarily at his hand, almost expecting to see a gloss of blood across each stretched-white knuckle.

Even in the confusion of disappointed disgust that was making Giles' breath catch sickeningly in his throat, he didn't lose sight of who was at fault, and he really had no intention at all of hurting the boy. Although if he didn't get his fucking hand away from Spike's cock --

The boy saw him first, his eyes widening in shock, which, in a situation like this, was enough by itself to tell Giles just how young he really was. It didn't give him any satisfaction, though. A sneer, a grin, even a threatening scowl would've been so much easier to deal with than a blush; couldn't Spike have gone for someone a little less fresh-faced, for God's sake? Giles supposed, with a flash of grim humor, that to the boy he must look very much like an enraged parent rather than a betrayed boyfriend. It didn't make him feel any calmer.

Spike didn't turn, but Giles saw his shoulders stiffen.

"Sorry," Giles said coldly. "Don't let me interrupt."

"Ought to introduce you, at least," Spike said, still without turning his head. He did, however, slide his hand down to the boy's wrist, preventing the boy from pulling his hand away. "Giles, this is Colin. He's a nice lad. Showing me a good time, aren't you, Colin."

Colin didn't look any less alarmed as Giles said, "A bit young, don't you think?"

"I'm sixteen," Colin said with spirit, lifting his chin, and Spike chuckled.

"There, you see?" Spike turned his head and looked at Giles. "It's all nice and legal. You don't have to worry." There was a stubborn sort of defiance in Spike's gaze.

"Trust me, I'm not," Giles said, meeting Spike's eyes and not making any attempt to hide his contempt, although he did his best to keep the hurt from showing. The piped-in music gave them an illusion of privacy, and although there was someone behind Giles, over at the far wall, a quick glance showed that he was concentrating hard on taking a piss as fast as possible, not wanting to get involved. And as for the couples in the cubicles, Giles really didn't expect them to stop what they were doing for anything short of all-out mayhem.

And he wasn't planning on indulging his anger quite that far.

"Are you going to let go of his wrist before I break yours?" Giles asked, keeping his voice carefully polite. As threats went, it had the virtue of being well within his capabilities, and Spike knew it, although Giles, even this irate, hoped that Spike also knew it wasn't one he'd really carry out.

Colin didn't have the benefit of Spike's knowledge, of course. He made a soft, panicked sound and tugged hard enough to free himself from a grip that had tightened at Giles' words rather than relaxed.

"You wouldn't," Spike said confidently. As Colin looked nervously between the two of them, Spike sighed and gestured at the boy. "Go on, then. Get out of here."

Colin went, slipping past Giles and heading for the door.

"Don't know what your problem is," Spike said. He slid a hand down inside his jeans, adjusting himself, and then casually did up the fastenings. "Not like you want anything to do with me, but for some reason you've got a problem with me being with someone who does?" He sounded, Giles thought, fairly convincing, but he wasn't counting on how well Giles knew him.

"If you wanted to play that game, perhaps you should have warned me," Giles said, moving forward and forcing Spike to step back until he was leaning against the same cubicle wall Colin had been pressed up against. Indifferent to the open door, Giles took another step forward, forcing his leg between Spike's and taking hold of Spike's T-shirt, dragging him up so that their faces were very close. "But I still wouldn't have agreed," Giles said through his teeth, seeing Spike wince as Giles' knuckles dug mercilessly into his chest. "And somehow I don't think Xander would've gone along with it either, do you?"

He could feel Spike's breath hot against his face, but Spike didn't look away. Giles saw something -- concern, perhaps, or maybe regret -- in Spike's eyes, but only for a moment. Then Spike said, through gritted teeth, "Let go of me."

Giles didn't answer.

Struggling against his grip, Spike growled, but it didn't have quite the same effect as it had when he'd been a vampire. Thanks to regular trips to the gym, Giles was in better shape than he'd been in years, and Spike, fit though he was, weighed easily two stone less. He was no match and he knew it.

After a moment, the fight went out of Spike and he looked down, clearly ashamed of himself and his behavior. "Not gonna tell him, are you?"

"No," Giles said without easing up at all on his hold on Spike, feeling a little wary of his sudden surrender. "I rather thought I'd leave delivering that bit of news up to you."

He wasn't happy about the idea -- it would hurt Xander to find out what Spike had done, and Giles did not like anything or anyone that did that -- but it wasn't as if he had a choice. He wasn't going to lie, after all, and when Xander -- who'd seemed a little taken aback at the idea of Giles and Spike going to this particular club now that Giles thought about it -- asked how it'd gone, there was no way that Giles was going to let Spike censor this down to, 'Giles was a boring git and I missed you, love.'

Spike looked, gratifyingly, rather desperate now. "It didn't mean anything," he said. "Really, when it comes right down to it, nothing happened, did it? No point in upsetting him over nothing."

"Where to begin on how wrong you are?" Giles said with sarcasm lying thickly on each word. "I'm spoiled for choice. Perhaps we can overlook the fact that I'm upset -- fucking furious if you must know -- and therefore the chances are good that Xander will be, too, because of that, if nothing else. But, fine, let's move on to the part where something did happen and if I'd come along five -- no, let's make it three -- minutes later, young Colin would've had a handful of more than your bloody dick, you pathetic, spiteful --"

Finally losing his tenuous hold on his temper, Giles pushed Spike away from him, hard enough that the back of Spike's head hit the wall with a crack.

"I'm going home," Giles told him in a savage undertone as the outer door opened bringing with it an increase in the noise and three men; all drunk enough to think slipping in a pool of what was hopefully lager was hilariously funny. "If you come back tonight, it'd better be alone and sober, do you hear me?"

Spike's hands clutching onto the front of Giles' shirt told Giles what he needed to know, or at least some of it. "No," Spike said, refusing to let go of Giles. "Look, I'm drunk. Maybe I got a bit carried away. But don't tell Xander -- it'll just upset him, and nothing happened, right? Nothing happened. C'mon."

Giles didn't think Spike was nearly as drunk as he was claiming to be, but he did believe that he was every bit as upset as he appeared. "I might," he said, "agree not to tell him. But only if you swore to me that it would never happen again. Not this or anything like it."

"I swear," Spike said eagerly. His blue eyes were dark in the low lighting of the room, his lips perfectly shaped, and Giles ached knowing that all he and Xander had done for Spike still hadn't been enough to convince him how much he meant to them. "Never again, I swear it. You have my word."

"Which is worth so very much," Giles said, still caught up in the bitterness of seeing Spike act like that, using a young boy to pay back a perceived slight, uncaring about the consequences for any of them. "God, Spike, I can't believe you did this. What the hell is wrong with you?" He knocked Spike's hands away. "No, don't bother telling me. I don't trust you, or your promises. They're worthless."

"Giles, please." Spike followed Giles out of the stall, his hands grabbing onto Giles again. Giles didn't think he'd ever heard Spike sound so desperate, and he was quite sure that those were tears he saw in Spike's eyes. Despite Giles' anger, he couldn't help but feel a touch of sympathy. "Please. I'll do anything you want. Prove to you that you can trust me. Anything."

Spike seemed to take Giles' hesitation as a sign that he'd got his foot in the proverbial door, and he dropped to his knees, mindless of the filth that covered the floor.

"Tell me what you want me to do," Spike said. "Want me to suck you off right here where anyone can see?"

Something long-hidden and denied stirred and woke inside Giles at Spike's words, at the simplicity of his gesture. Kneeling, staring up at Giles with eager, hopeful eyes, Spike was enough to tempt anyone, and Giles, knowing that Spike would do exactly what he'd offered, no matter how many people walked through the door to replace the three who'd left while they argued, couldn't help his body's response.

But what he'd have accepted at twenty with a slow slide down of a zipper as his only answer wasn't going to happen now.

"That what you had planned for Colin, was it?" Giles said. "Or would he have been the one getting his knees dirty?" Spike blinked, looking lost and disappointed, and Giles let thwarted lust flare into impatience. "Oh, get up, Spike. You're not getting away with it that easily, and I refuse to discuss this here."

Spike obeyed immediately, getting to his feet and following Giles to the door. The throbbing beat of the music was loud to the point of being distracting, but Giles didn't allow his attention to stray, and he was mildly pleased to note that Spike kept close, head down, shadowing him as if he'd been ordered to.

Which, when Giles thought about it, he very nearly had.

It was still early enough that there were plenty of taxis around, although the knowing glance of the driver who'd watched them emerge from the club and cross to the waiting line of cars set Giles' teeth on edge.

He waited until Spike had slid onto the back seat before going around to the other side of the car, making sure that he kept as much space as possible between them. After giving their address to the driver, Giles turned his head to stare unseeingly out of the window, ignoring Spike completely, partly because he knew Spike would hate that and partly because he wasn't going to give the driver the dubious entertainment of listening to them argue.

Although, judging by the way Spike was sitting, back straight and hands folded, his neck bent in a penitent curve, arguing might not have been on the menu. With a distant, faint flicker of amusement, Giles realized that Spike had moved from rebel to supplicant in a moment. He would've liked to think that it was because of something he'd done or said, but he knew better.

Xander. All down to not hurting Xander.

Well, it was good to know that he wasn't alone in his protective, possessive passion for Xander, and oddly endearing -- and aggravating, too -- to see Spike, who resisted and fought Giles tooth and nail at times, give way to Xander so often with an instant compliance rooted in what Giles had believed to be love.

Now he wasn't so sure. In the months since they'd been together, he'd had time to study Spike, and without discussing it with either of them, he'd come to some conclusions about how he and Xander fit into Spike's world-view, which seemed unaffected by his return to humanity.

Spike had to have someone to worship. Xander was perceptive enough to know that Spike needed reassurance, and he gave it to him with an ever-growing confidence and eloquence that Giles envied and knew he couldn't emulate. Xander, not Giles, was cast in the role of adored.

Giles, it seemed, was expected to provide the limits. Be the strong one. Keep Spike in check so that Xander never had to worry that the tiger curled tamely at his feet would lash out as he'd done tonight.

Fine, Giles thought, tapping his fingers impatiently against his knee as the taxi slowed at a red light, still hearing the promise implicit in Spike's voice as he knelt. I can do that. Oh, yes, I most certainly can.

He turned his head as the taxi drew up outside their house, studying the man beside him. Spike glanced up, his expression hidden until the headlights of a passing car illuminated the interior of the taxi.

Spike looked suitably chastened and meek, but there was a challenge in his eyes, and as Giles' gaze dropped he saw that Spike's hands were placed carefully in his lap, framing the outline of his cock.

Not subtle, but very Spike. Giles looked at him thoughtfully, letting the last of his anger go. This wasn't something he needed to be angry to do well.

He paid the driver, who was glancing between them curiously, sensing something he wasn't perceptive enough to analyse, and then got out of the car.

Spike was at his heels as they went into the dark house, and when the door closed, shutting the world away, he was on his knees again before Giles had done more than remove his jacket.

"'m sorry," Spike whispered, not touching Giles with anything but his cheek, which he rubbed against Giles' thigh. "I'll do anything you want. Just tell me."

Stepping far enough away to break the contact, Giles hung up his jacket and looked down at Spike, who met his gaze steadily with the hint of a question in his eyes.

"I want to know I can trust you, Spike," he said inflexibly, refusing to do as he'd done so many times and comfort Spike, this time with an assurance of silent discretion. It would've been seen as weakness, not kindness, and Giles had had quite enough of Spike misinterpreting him for one night. "I want to know Xander can trust you. After tonight, I don't think we can. You're going to have to be very convincing over the course of the weekend if you want me to change my mind about that, and I warn you I'm not in the best of moods so don't even think about trying my patience by saying one more time that it was nothing."

Spike opened his mouth and Giles closed it with a look. "I hadn't finished speaking," he said coldly. "I'm going to sit down and have a drink that doesn't come embellished with ice, a slice and a fucking paper parasol and cost as much as I'd pay for a half-decent bottle of wine."

He turned away.

"And you're going to stay there, just like that, until I've drunk it," he added, hearing the scrape of Spike's boot against the carpet as if he was starting to stand up.

There was a sound as if Spike had begun to speak and then thought better of it. Giles waited until he'd nearly reached the kitchen before he glanced back down the hallway to see Spike where he'd left him, head down.

Going into the kitchen, Giles poured himself a glass of whisky and sat at the table, trying to think. He wasn't foolish enough to believe that this was going to be easy; he knew Spike better than that. He was actually quite surprised that Spike had let it go this far, and he had to admit to some curiosity about how much further he could take it.

There wasn't a sound from the hallway.

The length of time it took to sip his way slowly through a generous measure of single malt wasn't long enough for Giles to decide exactly what he was going to do, and even with Spike out of sight he was still achingly conscious of him and what he was doing.

Obeying him.

Giles shuddered as he swallowed the last of the whiskey. God, he was going to have to be so careful! Because this wasn't simple, not at all. If it had been, they'd be yelling at each other now, not lost in this oddly expectant silence, or already in bed, with Spike getting to tell Giles just exactly how sorry he was for provoking him in a dozen different ways over the evening. Giles thought about Colin's mouth and felt again the incredulity that Spike had dared -- and he'd looked so much like Xander, which made it worse -- and Spike must have known, must have --

Giles' chaotically swirling thoughts came to rest in a neat pattern.

Spike. Planning an evening out that he must have known Giles would hate, and then behaving in that outrageous way. Spike, who'd been on edge and unhappy for several weeks now, ever since he'd known Xander would be leaving him behind. Spike, whose contentment was starting to unravel at the edges a little, as though there was something he needed and wasn't getting --

Spike, who was as adept at making the most of opportunities as anyone Giles knew.

He wasn't sure how much of this Spike had planned consciously -- his distress at the idea of Xander being hurt had been genuine, Giles was sure of that -- but he could well believe that Spike had thought that the ends justified the means and had been surprised to discover that for Giles it wasn't quite that cut and dried.

"If you can't show me a good time, guess I'll just have to find someone who can."

Even knowing now that Spike hadn't meant that as anything more than a broad hint didn't lessen the sting, but it wasn't as if Giles hadn't known what Spike wanted --


"You're incorrigible," Giles gasped, as Spike attempted to squirm away. His arse was still stinging, and he wondered if he had a reddened mark in the shape of Spike's hand from the unexpected swat.

He caught Spike by the ankle and dragged the smaller man toward him, flipping him over and straddling him, kissing him fiercely. Spike continued to put up a fight, although he wasn't using all his strength, and his eager hands on Giles' arm and back were proof of how much he was enjoying this. "Gonna punish me?" Spike asked, panting, writhing beneath Giles.

"Should I?" Giles slid his hand up the back of Spike's thigh and pinched his arse, and Spike bucked and yelped, the movement pressing his erection up against the underside of Giles'. They both groaned, and Spike threw Giles to one side while he was distracted. Giles felt his head connect with Xander's knee, not hard enough to hurt.

"Hey," Xander said in mild protest. He was sitting at the head of the bed, still recovering from the orgasm that had resulted, Giles thought with pleasure, in him nearly losing consciousness. "Easy there."

him," Giles said good-naturedly, wrestling Spike into submission on his belly and swatting Spike's arse. "He's the one who started it."

Spike squirmed onto his side and curled his hand around Giles' cock, squeezing. "You gonna finish it, Giles? Gonna fuck me into submission?" He moved closer.

"Oh, you'd like that, would you?" Giles asked, deciding that as ideas went it was far from the worst Spike had ever had. He ran his hand over Spike's arse, wanting very much to leave just one more -- well, why not? The crack of his hand against the curved flesh rang out sharply and was followed by a heartfelt groan of pleasure from Spike, who shifted position so that he was half-across Giles' lap. "It's going to be difficult if you don't stay still," Giles remarked, trying to keep his voice level.

"Can think of a few ways to solve that problem," Spike said, his breathing speeding up.

Giles could feel the responsive quiver that ran through Spike as Giles grinned and patted his arse, gently this time, staring down at the mark his hand had left. "So can I, Spike, but even shackled hand and foot you still have a tendency to wriggle as I recall."

"Yeah, but if you chained me up, you could do all sorts of things." Spike rocked his hips restlessly, the slick tip of his cock rubbing against Giles' thigh.

"I could probably think of a few," Giles agreed.

"Like what?" Spike sounded as if he were trying to hide how eager he was, which meant he was doing rather a poor job of it. He lowered his voice to a seductive rasp, the prickle of it making Giles' skin itch. "Gonna carve your name on me? Make me yours?"

Giles didn't have time to decide whether or not to consider it as a possibility, because Xander's reaction was swift. Xander moved down the bed, pulling Spike into his arms. It was a reaction that might have caused Giles to feel as if Xander didn't trust him, but he knew that wasn't the case -- he suspected it was more that Xander was trying to protect Spike from himself. "He could draw it on with a marker," Xander suggested, his fingers sliding down to pinch at Spike's nipple, startling a surprised gasp from Spike. "Or -- hey -- you could get a tattoo. At a nice, clean tattoo parlor." Xander glanced up, his eyes meeting Giles'.

"I don't think we need to worry," Giles said gently, making it a warning and seeing something very much like frustrated disappointment cross Spike's face, so fleetingly it was easy to pretend he hadn't noticed it. "Spike was joking, I'm sure." He paused and then added, "And I'd never do anything to you that would scar, Spike." He reached out and picked up Spike's hand, turning it so that they could see the faint white line across Spike's finger. "Not now you're human and the marks don't fade."

"Wouldn't mind, if they were ones you put on me," Spike muttered, but then immediately backtracked, lifting his face toward Xander's concerned one. "Don't worry, love. Just seeing if I could get a rise out of you." He nuzzled Xander's thigh, and Giles saw a quick flick of Spike's pink tongue.

"You already got a rise out of me," Xander pointed out, his eyelids fluttering as Spike's mouth closed around the head of his cock. "God. Yeah, okay, maybe you could get another one."

Giles reached out a hand and lay it on Spike's hip, feeling the tension there.


"Giles?" Spike called from the front hall, sounding tentative.

Jolted out of his thoughts, Giles turned his head, his decision made, and then hesitated. Xander wouldn't like this. He wouldn't like it at all.

But it was Colin's face he saw as he walked along the hallway to where Spike was kneeling. Colin, who didn't matter to Spike -- didn't matter, on one level at least, to Giles, whose mild sympathy for the boy was tempered by the near-certainty that Colin was by now back in that cubicle with someone else and having as good a time as possible, given the circumstances -- but who would matter to Xander.

Especially if he was the first of many.

Giles wasn't sure how far Spike would go to get what he wanted, but he wasn't going to risk it being far enough to leave Xander broken-hearted. If Spike needed to know he was loved, he could get that from both of them. If he needed to be limited, disciplined, hurt, Xander wouldn't, couldn't do it.

He supposed it was lucky for all of them that he could.

He reached Spike and said curtly, "We need to talk. Get up." Without waiting to see if Spike would obey him, he turned on his heel and went into the living room, sitting down on the couch.

Spike followed him, standing in front of Giles and looking a little unsure of himself.

"Sit down," Giles said, nodding at the couch, "and tell me how you're never going to do that to us again."

Spike sat down, giving Giles a quick, almost disappointed look, as if this was what he wanted but it was too easily won. "I won't. I promise. Just don't tell Xander, right?"

"That's what you want?"

"Fuck, yes!" Spike said, sounding sincere. "Giles, you know what he's like; he'd think I didn't love him -- he wouldn't understand --"

"No. He wouldn't," Giles agreed. "When it comes to you, he wouldn't understand at all." He leaned back, staring at his hand, resting on the back of the couch. "Is that all you want, Spike?"

"What do you mean?" Spike looked wary.

"You know what I mean," Giles said. "There's something you need that you're not getting, isn't there." He cleared his throat, deciding to lay it all on the line. "Something you were trying to goad me into."

Spike's gaze went down to the floor and stayed there. He didn't respond.

"I'm not going to give you anything you don't ask for," Giles said quietly, hoping Spike would see how difficult this was for him. He'd taken a lot of risks since Spike joined them, but this went beyond any of them. If he lost Xander trying to keep Spike from leaving... just the thought of that made his voice harsh. "You have to ask."

Spike looked up, his face pale, his eyes intent. "How about if I beg instead?"

And suddenly it was simple again.

Giles leaned back, feeling his hand clench into a fist and forcing it to relax. He rested it against the back of the couch, the leather warming under his skin. "I'd like that, I think," he said, telling Spike all he needed to know in a sentence. Because, selfish though Spike was at times, Giles didn't think he'd be happy if he thought he was asking too much of Giles.

Too much... Giles knew what his limits were, but he wasn't sure Spike had had long enough to re-draw his.

He lifted his eyebrows and gave Spike a slight, cool smile. "I'm waiting."

Spike hesitated, and then nodded. "Need you to show me," he said hoarsely. His hands were twisting in his lap. "Can't do it on my own. Proved that, haven't I? Need you to do it for me." He looked up at Giles. "Keep me in line. Punish me when I step over it."

It was more than Giles had expected, but that also meant that it was more than enough.

"Not saying I'll make it easy," Spike added, dropping his gaze again. "But I want you to trust me again. Want to prove to you that you can. That Xander can."

"I think you can do it on your own," Giles said, pushing at Spike just a little with his words, already starting to work on him. "You just don't want to. It's easier when someone else is in charge. Safer."

"It's better this way," Spike insisted. "Better for us all."

"So we do this," Giles went on inexorably. "You're mine, unconditionally, until Xander walks through that door and I make you bloody well see just what happens when you misbehave -- and then what? You know he won't let this carry on, and I won't let him be forced into agreeing to it, and I won't hide it from him --" A thought occurred to him. "You're going to be marked up," he said. "I don't think I can give you what you want without that."

Spike looked bleak, desperate. "You're not gonna do it, then," he said, shifting forward as if he were going to stand and then slumping back again, covering his face with one hand. "Please, Giles," Spike whispered. "I'll do anything you say. Figure out a way to do it without marking me, if you have to, but do it."

Giles stretched out his hand instinctively to touch Spike, stroke his hair, comfort him -- and then let it drop back. Not what Spike needed. With an effort, because even now he found it difficult to talk about his feelings for them both, beyond an 'I love you' that had always seemed to be enough, he said, "I want to, Spike and that's what's making this difficult. Because I'm worried I'm going to do it for the wrong reasons." Spike looked up at that, and Giles met his gaze. "It wouldn't be enough. Just once wouldn't be enough. I know you. You'll settle down for a little, and then -- " Giles reached out and cupped Spike's face, his fingers painfully tight. "This isn't something we can hide from Xander, Spike, and if I could, I wouldn't. Oh, I'll keep quiet about that boy; you're right when you say it'd do no good telling him about that -- although it'd make him see just how necessary this is --"

"No!" Spike's head jerked away, his eyes widening in panic. "Please, Giles. Don't tell him."

Giles slipped his hand around the back of Spike's neck, holding him in place. "I said I won't. But this -- you can't keep this from him, and the way I see it, if it's not something you can ask me for when you need it, then all the promises in the world aren't going to keep you from doing something Xander won't be able to forget." He let his hand slip away. "I want to do this. I won't lie. You know I do. But I don't -- I don't need to, not really. This is something I'd be doing for you. Because I love you and I don't want to lose you. And because I love him and I don't want to see him hurt. I need you to believe that, Spike. That I love you. Sometimes, I don't think you do."

Spike was trembling visibly, his face pale and his lips flushed a dark pink. Giles wanted, very badly, to kiss him, but it wasn't the right time for that, not now. "Want to believe you," Spike said. "Love both of you so fucking much that it hurts. And I'm trying so hard -- know it might not look that way from where you're standing, but I am -- and I still end up hurting you." He drew a shaky breath. "Help me, Giles. I know I don't have any right to ask for it, but... please. Please."

"You've got every right to ask for it," Giles said fiercely, wishing Spike would realize just how much he and Xander were willing to give him. "Every right. Why can't you see that? Why couldn't you have just told me instead of -- no, I know why you couldn't. I'm sorry." He rubbed his hand across his face. "Give me a moment," he said, standing up and walking over to the mantelpiece, littered with the debris of their lives rather than neatly spaced ornaments. A note from Xander lay upper-most on a small pile of credit card receipts, and he stared at the familiar scrawl, wanting Xander to be with them so much it hurt.

"Go up to the spare room," Giles said, not taking his eyes off the note. "Strip and put your clothes in the hamper; you won't be wearing them again this weekend." Spike made a small sound and Giles turned. "You're going to be on display for me, Spike. I want to be able to see you without waiting, touch you without having anything between your skin and my hand." He let his lips tighten in what might pass for a smile. "Or anything else I use on you."

Spike slid off the couch to his knees, looking almost pitifully grateful. "Giles --"

Giles didn't even think about what he did next. Three strides took him to Spike's side, and he twisted his fingers cruelly tight in Spike's hair, pulling him up as Spike struggled to get his feet under him. "I didn't ask for your thoughts on that, Spike. I'm not interested in them. I've had enough of your insolence tonight, in case that fact hasn't sunk in."

Spike just looked at him, so many emotions evident in his eyes that Giles couldn't have begun to sort them out. Anger, pride, regret, gratitude, and so many more. "Yes," Spike said finally, unable to nod his head because of the grip Giles had on him.

"Go." Giles released him, and Spike didn't hesitate, starting immediately for the stairs. Giles could hear the sound of his boots as he went up, the creak of the bottom hinge on the spare room door that Giles kept meaning to oil as Spike went in. Then everything was quiet.

He gave himself a few moments, trying to find the right headspace, needing the proper frame of mind for what was going to come next. Then he went purposefully upstairs and into the spare bedroom.

Part Two

Spike was naked and on his knees in the center of the room, head bowed, hands resting on his thighs. He didn't look up or say anything as Giles came in, but the feeling of tension and anticipation in the air was nearly palpable.

Giles looked around the room. He wasn't sure what had prompted him to send Spike here, rather than to the bedroom they all shared. It wasn't that he felt that they were doing something wrong; more that he wanted this, for now, to be something between him and Spike, and the main bedroom was simply too full of memories of Xander to allow that.

His gaze fell on the bed, taking in the short, sturdy posts at each corner, and he couldn't help smiling. There were several practical reasons, too, of course...

Giles picked up a straight-backed chair and set it down a few feet away from Spike, sitting down and making himself comfortable, enjoying the sight in front of him without guilt. Spike had only turned on the bedside lamp, and the soft, clear light spilled across his pale skin, illuminating it and making Giles long to touch him. Spike's skin felt different to Xander's; still new, still quick to burn in the sun. It would take and hold each stroke, each slap so well, Giles reflected.

Spike's cock was already hard, jutting forward impudently, expectantly, from the dark hair surrounding it. Well, that wouldn't do.

Giles slid his belt free of the loops holding it in place, never taking his eyes off Spike, waiting for the moment when Spike's eyes flicked up, nervous and curious.

"You're going to feel this on you," Giles told him. "But not yet." He coiled the belt and set it down on the floor beside him, and then folded his arms. "You're hard, Spike. I don't think that's an appropriate condition to be in when you're being chastised, do you?"

Spike swallowed and shook his head. "Not doing it on purpose," he said, his voice low and, what surprised Giles more, respectful.

"I'm sure you're not," Giles said dryly, "but that's beside the point. This isn't about you getting off, Spike. You don't deserve that after what you've done, as I'm sure you'll agree. I want you across my knee, Spike. Arse-up and ready for my hand, but not with you in this state." He let his voice harden and saw Spike swallow again, his tongue flashing across his lips. "Do you think I don't know how much easier it is to bear the pain when you're aroused? And do you really think I'm feeling all that merciful right now?"

Giles leaned back, keeping his movements deliberate and controlled. "I want to see you come," he said softly. "While I watch. Doing it for me, because I've told you to. This isn't for you, Spike. You're not getting rewarded, so don't even think it. Now spread your knees wider -- yes, just like that -- and get on with it."

Spike drew a shivering breath in and brought his left hand down to his shaft, giving it a squeeze before he began to stroke it. He'd already been hard, the head of his cock partially exposed where the foreskin had drawn back in arousal, but the first downward stroke of his fist drew the foreskin down the rest of the way, giving Giles a perfect view of the dark pink tip. He knew what that cock felt like in his hand -- how hot it was, as if Spike's body were overcompensating for a hundred plus years of having no heat of its own. He knew, intimately, what it tasted like.

His own trousers suddenly a bit uncomfortable, Giles shifted on his chair and met Spike's eyes when he glanced up. Almost instantly, Spike dropped his eyes again as if unsure what the rules were. His hand, however, continued to move, the muscles in his thighs tense as a drop of glistening fluid formed at the tip of his cock.

"No, you can look at me," Giles said, making it less of a suggestion than the words indicated. "I want to see your face."

Spike's face flushed with heat but he tilted his head back a little, staring at Giles from under his eyelashes, eyes half-closed, lips parted as he drew in swift, harsh breaths. Giles bit down on the inside of his mouth to stop himself from voicing the small sound of pleasure that rose to his lips. God, if wasn't careful he'd be coming before Spike did... What looked like a faint gleam of amusement passed over Spike's face, as if he was well aware of the effect he was having on Giles and liked it.

"Yes, you're pretty," Giles said evenly. "A very pretty, naughty boy." He let his gaze drop down to the length of leather by the chair and smiled. "You'll look even prettier when you're crying."

Spike groaned and rocked his hips forward as if the mere suggestion of the belt was nearly enough to make him come. The noise of his hand on his cock was even more distracting now, pre-come slicking his fingers and the head wet with it. His eyes were locked on Giles', his breathing even more labored. He was a vision, perfect, spell-binding.

"You're taking too long, Spike," Giles said, refusing to allow himself to be seduced out of his role, knowing that Spike couldn't be allowed any vestige of control. "You're making me wait, and that doesn't please me. You've got two hands -- use them."

It wasn't hard to sound annoyed when his own cock was aching to be stroked.

"I'm going to make you do this with Xander watching one day," Giles said, as Spike's right hand came down to cup his balls, handling them more roughly than Giles would have done. Spike's eyes were glazed now, and he was moaning softly under his breath. "You'll be lying on the bed, jerking off, just like this, and I'll touch him as he watches you, touch him and kiss his body, kiss his mouth, but I won't let you look at him and neither of us will touch you. You'll keep your eyes closed and you'll hear the sounds he's making and wonder if it's because of what he's seeing or because my hands are on him, on his cock, hard as yours. And you'll come when he tells you to, won't you?"

"Yeah," Spike said, the sound more a groan than a proper word. "Fuck, Giles. God." Spike's hand faltered, stopped, then started moving again in a blur as he came, lips parted, cock throbbing in his hand and shooting fluid out onto the floor in front of him as he gasped and panted.

Giles didn't give Spike -- or himself -- the chance to calm down, although he'd taken advantage of the instant that Spike's eyes screwed closed to let his own face show some of what he was feeling, which helped a little. "Here. Now," he demanded, fighting to keep his voice cold. "Crawl to me, Spike."

Trembling and gasping in the aftereffects of his release, Spike obeyed, crawling across the floor to Giles and pressing his temple to Giles' knee in supplication.

Unable to resist, especially when it could be seen as part of what they were doing as much as Giles' need to give Spike one last gentle touch, he tousled Spike's hair -- something Spike would normally have protested loudly -- and felt Spike push up against his hand pleadingly.

Giles slipped his hand under Spike's chin, tipping his head back so that their eyes met, staring at him in silence. "This is going to hurt," he said finally. "More than you expect, I think. But don't worry --" He patted Spike's cheek, smiling inwardly at the glare that got him. "If you beg nicely, I'll stop -- but I don't think you'll like what I do instead. Still -- I will stop." He pursed his lips. "How remiss of me. You'll need a safe word, won't you?" Spike opened his mouth, probably to reject the very idea, and Giles shook his head inflexibly. "You will. I insist on it. Now let me see... 'Angel' will do very nicely, I think."

He would have been able to see from Spike's expression how well-chosen the word was even if he hadn't already known. It was clear that it wasn't a word Spike would use unless the situation was very dire, which really, when it came right down to it, was the point.

"What happens if I ask you to stop?" Spike asked, his voice sounding not quite normal.

"If you ask me? Nothing. Ask away. Beg. Be creative. I wouldn't advise suffering in stoic silence, though; that wouldn't improve your situation at all." Giles made a small, beckoning gesture and Spike stood up and positioned himself over Giles' knees with a graceful economy of movement that showed he'd done it before.

"No," Giles went on, thankful that Spike couldn't see his face, "The only way this will end is when I think you've had enough, or you say -- well? Tell me?"

Spike tensed on Giles' lap. "No. Not unless I have to."

"I wondered how long it would take before your, 'yes, Giles, I'll do anything' fell by the wayside," Giles said pleasantly. "You really do need to be taught a lesson in obedience, don't you? Shall we try again? If this goes beyond what you can endure, you're rescued by --?"

Giles rather thought that phrasing it like that was all the punishment Spike needed for his rebellion, and from the ill-tempered squirm Spike gave, he was probably right. Closing his eyes briefly as Spike's movement had brought his hip close enough to rub against Giles' trapped, aching cock, he waited for Spike's response.

"I'll do anything but that," Spike growled.

"You don't get to pick and choose when you obey me, Spike," Giles said. "I can't imagine that that's news to you."

He counted to three in his head, shrugged and stood up, rolling Spike off his knees as he did and leaving him in a sprawled heap on the floor.

"No," Spike said quickly, wincing and getting up onto his knees again. The panic was back, eyes and voice, as if there was nothing left inside Spike but panic. Giles would have thought Spike's reaction over the top for anything short of being told he wasn't loved anymore.

On the other hand, perhaps that was exactly how Spike was feeling.

"'m sorry. Won't disobey again, I swear it. Give me another chance." Spike's head was down, his shoulders shaking.

Not dropping down beside him and pulling him close to both give and receive comfort was hard. Frustrated and on edge himself from what had happened, it took all of Giles' willpower to remain standing, to keep the control he needed to give Spike what he needed.

Giles walked past him over to the chest of drawers that housed some of his clothes, ignoring the anguished, dry sob from Spike. Without hurrying, he pulled out first one drawer, then another, rummaging through the contents until he found what he needed; a soft, thick silk scarf that he'd had for years. The green paisley of the silk was backed with a fine layer of wool, making it ideal for what he had in mind.

"Second chances come at a price, Spike," he said, going to one knee behind Spike and turning the scarf into a blindfold, being careful not to do more than brush his fingers against Spike's head as he fastened it. "In your case, it's your sight. I'm told that makes what you're about to experience a little more intense."

He stood up and went to sit on the chair. "Now get back to where you were before you decided to play games and exhaust my very limited patience."

Spike rolled his head as if testing how securely tied the blindfold was, his nostrils flared and his lips thin. It was clear that he wasn't happy about being deprived of his sight, but Giles wasn't in the mood to relent.

Spike crawled over to him again and, with less assurance, draped himself over Giles' lap, his body taut with an apprehension Giles shared.

Giles let his hand rest heavily against Spike's backside, caressing it possessively. "Tell me," he murmured. "When it hurts too much, when you want me to stop, when you realize I meant it when I told you that begging wouldn't help... what do you say?"

Spike quivered under his touch, the tension evident in his frame. It was clear that he was fighting with himself, trying to force himself to do as ordered even though it was enormously difficult for him. Finally, he whispered, "Angel."

"Yes," Giles said, making his voice warmer, although he kept his relief from showing. "Angel."

His hand was rising with the first word and it fell with the second, landing hard enough to draw a soft, startled sound from Spike. Giles paused, partly to allow Spike time to feel the sting, but more to deal with his own reaction.

He'd regained some measure of control when he'd been searching for the scarf, and he was doing his best to ignore the demands of his body, which, given the events of the past six months or so, wasn't used to being denied release. Watching Spike come, naked and kneeling at his feet, had left Giles shaken with the force of his arousal; spanking him was doing absolutely nothing to calm him down.

He'd known that this would turn him on; known it even before Spike's blatant invitation in their bed, with Xander's disturbed expression all that had kept Giles from giving Spike at least some of what he'd asked for. It wasn't as if he hadn't done this before, after all... but what had always been part of foreplay, never all that serious, never this planned, this deliberate, had never left him feeling like this, either.

Spike's vulnerability was wholly emotional; the body across his lap was strong, muscular, and well able to take what Giles planned to mete out. He wasn't concerned about hurting Spike beyond what he could handle, and if Spike ended up breaking down, well, that was what he wanted, what he'd -- they'd -- decided he needed.

No, Giles wasn't too worried about Spike. He just wondered who was going to be there to pick up the pieces for him, because he was going to want to do this again, he knew it, and Xander --

He couldn't think about Xander.

He felt Spike's breath quicken as he waited for the next slap and knew that his own matched it.

The next blow was a bit harder. Spike made a small, pained noise and shifted on Giles' lap, his hip rubbing over the erection that Giles was doing his best to ignore. Giles hit him again, harder, the sharp sound echoing a bit in the room, and Spike flinched.

Spike's backside was already pinkened, and as Giles found a rhythm for the blows both it and his own hand grew warm. His fingers and palm were tingling, his erection painful, and Spike had stopped flinching now, although he was breathing unevenly, small sobs shaking him. Each breath out was a low cry, each intake of air hitched and desperate.

Giles was losing himself in the sounds Spike was making, the anticipation of the next one driving his hand forward with an eagerness that meant Spike was being given no time to process the pain of one spank before more was added to his burden. Spike's backside was flushed now, the skin deep red at the centre of each cheek, fading to dark pink at the edges.

Hoping that his voice would be steady when he spoke, although given Spike's current state he probably wouldn't notice, Giles said softly, "Talk to me, Spike. Tell me you're sorry. I want to hear you say it."

"'m sorry!" Spike gasped at once, his voice utterly unlike usual. His accent was different, somehow, and the words broke on something more than just the fact that Giles hadn't stopped hitting him. "Never happen again, I swear it. Didn't... didn't mean to make you mad."

"Oh, that won't do," Giles said, concentrating his efforts on one side of Spike's arse instead of alternating sides and being rewarded by a grunt of pain. "You most certainly did mean it. I hope you're not going to make a practice of lying to me, Spike."

Spike cried out with the next blow, which was a particularly satisfying one. "Wanted you to... to do this. Punish me." His voice broke again. "Stop me. Keep me in line."

"That's better," said Giles, rewarding him by shifting his attentions to the unmarked skin at the top of Spike's thighs, exposed by the position he was in and flattened so that it took the imprint of his hand beautifully. "Yes, you did. And I'm giving you what you asked for, aren't I?" He returned to that one well-punished spot again, ignoring Spike's choked cry and frantic wriggle. "Well? Is there something you want to say? Or have you forgotten your manners as well as to whom you belong?"

"Thank... thank you. F-for reminding me. That - " A gasp and another desperate wriggle. "That I'm yours." Spike broke, the tension leaving him all at once as he began to sob in earnest.

"Yes," Giles said without pausing, each word accompanied by a slap. "You are. Mine. Xander's. Ours. I'm not going to let you forget that, ever."

He raised his hand and let himself really look at what he'd done and shuddered, closing his fingers protectively around the swollen skin of his palm. With his other hand he fumbled at the knot of the blindfold and let the scarf, damp with tears, fall to the floor. Blindly, still staring down at the blotched skin of Spike's arse, already starting to bruise, he stroked Spike's hair, feeling the thick strands cling to his fingers, and then slid his hand around to cup Spike's tear-wet face, feeling nothing now but an exhaustion that left no room for any other emotion.

It shouldn't have surprised him to feel Spike nuzzle against his hand, the smaller man sliding off Giles' lap -- without permission, but in that moment Giles wasn't sure he could bring himself to care -- and burying his face there, arms going around Giles' waist. Spike was shaking, pressing close, and a moment later Giles realized that Spike was breathing hotly through the fabric of his trousers just over his aching erection. Spike clung, ducked his chin, and mouthed at Giles' cock eagerly.

"God," Giles whispered, suddenly keenly aware of just how long he'd been hard and wanting, with every accidental, glancing brush from Spike's body increasing his arousal without doing anything to satisfy it. Awkwardly, using his right hand, rather than his left, which was throbbing as insistently as his cock, he undid his jeans, pushing them and his shorts down far enough to free his cock. Spike whimpered and Giles glanced down and saw that Spike was hard again, which wasn't altogether unexpected, he supposed.

Spike was also already moving forward, his tongue sliding wetly across Giles' balls and up.

"Wait," Giles said, his voice harsh, realizing that he couldn't let Spike dictate what they did, even when it was exactly what Giles wanted him to do. "Kneel back."

Obeying made Spike whimper again as the sensitive, inflamed skin of his arse touched his heels. He kept his head down, his hands resting on his thighs, his erection easily visible as he waited for Giles' next order.

Giles bent to the side and picked up his belt, drawing the supple strip of leather through his fingers. "You're very impatient, Spike, but I won't be rushed. Please remember that." Leaning forward, he put the belt around Spike's neck so that it hung down loosely, the ends brushing his chest. "I said I was going to use that on your arse, but I think that can wait." Giles shifted forward in his chair a little. "I think I've waited long enough for that blow job you promised me, though." He gripped the ends of the belt and then slid his hands up until they were level with Spike's shoulders. "Look at me."

Spike's head tilted back, and Giles smiled at him before jerking down on the belt, drawing Spike's head with it.

He let his hands, clenched around the leather, rest on his thighs, and swallowed a moan as Spike's mouth closed around his cock.

The inside of Spike's mouth was hot, his lips and tongue eager as he licked and sucked at Giles' cock with an intensity that caused Giles to tighten his grip on the belt. Spike kept his eyes down, all his focus on every millimeter of bare skin he could reach, his wet tongue teasing Giles to a state of panting arousal in moments. Sliding his lips down the shaft, Spike groaned, breath hitching in his chest as he then swirled his tongue around each of Giles' balls in turn.

Reluctantly, because Spike was good at this, Giles wound the ends of the belt around his knuckles and put his hands on Spike's shoulders, pushing him away. Spike glanced up at him, looking slightly puzzled.

"You're enjoying that a little too much," Giles told him. "That's not what we're doing here. If you think we're finished dealing with your behavior, you're wrong." He brought his left hand up to caress Spike's mouth, pushing his fingers between Spike's lips and rubbing the worn, rough leather of the belt against them. "Open your mouth for me, Spike," he said in a whisper. "I'll try and remember you need to breathe now."

For a fraction of a second, Spike looked startled, but almost immediately afterward understanding dawned in his eyes. He parted his lips willingly, looking up at Giles with what seemed very much like devotion as Giles shifted forward to the edge of the chair and slipped the head of his cock into Spike's mouth. The leather dug creases in Giles' fingers as he used it to pull Spike forward, rocking his hips as he did so, fucking Spike's mouth.

He'd forgotten how it felt to do this to someone; how different it was when he was the one controlling the slide of his cock along teeth and tongue rather than enjoying what was being done to him. And he did enjoy it, always ... but this was good, too, and right now it was just what he wanted.

A little hard to push as deep and as fast as he wanted to while he was sitting down, though... Letting the belt slip out of his hands, he stood up, stroking his hand slowly over his cock, slick and hard, and staring down at Spike, whose eyes were half-closed and who looked so very vulnerable with his face flushed and tear-stained like that. "Hold onto the belt, Spike," he ordered calmly. "Don't let go."

Spike nodded without speaking, grasping the ends of the belt, his mouth closing as he swallowed convulsively.

Giles slipped his hand around the back of Spike's neck and then rubbed the head of his cock slowly across Spike's lips, smiling as they parted for him at once.

"Good boy," he said pushing inside Spike's mouth again. "Now stay like that..."

With both hands on Spike's head, he began to fuck him again, too close to coming to be careful, feeling Spike gag and choke as Giles' cock went too far into his mouth -- Xander was rather better at this than Spike, who still hadn't quite adjusted to having a gag reflex again -- and ignoring that in a way he'd never have done normally.

Giles could feel Spike's skull under his fingers. Spike was doing his best to cooperate; that was clear from how he struggled to remain where he was, from the desperate intakes of breath through his nostrils as Giles thrust deeper. The back of Spike's throat was soft, and on the next inward shove, Spike swallowed in what Giles was certain was reflex rather than a deliberate action.

It didn't matter. Giles started to come.

He retained just enough presence of mind to pull back a little, so that when his hips drove forward in a mindless impulse triggered by a climax intense enough to have his vision graying at the edges he wasn't -- quite -- choking Spike.

Still, by the time Giles had ridden out his orgasm and pulled back, Spike was coughing, fresh tears caught in his eyelashes and his face pale. His erection, Giles noted, had subsided, but he hadn't let go of the belt Giles had ordered him to keep hold of. Spike coughed again, swallowed and drew a careful breath, and coughed a few more times, glancing up at Giles with what seemed a surprising lack of anger or hurt.

Giles reached down and tugged the belt free of Spike's grip, dropping it to the floor. Hitching up his jeans and pulling the zip up far enough to keep them in place, he walked over to a box of tissues on the table by the bed and took out a handful before returning to where Spike was still kneeling, his breathing under control again.

He knelt down beside him and dried Spike's face slowly, finishing off with a prosaic but much-needed swipe at Spike's nose. Then Giles settled back on his heels and studied him for a long moment. Spike looked remarkably relaxed considering what they'd gone through, but Giles didn't fool himself that this was over.

"Get ready for bed," he said finally, when Spike didn't speak. "I can't -- no more tonight. I can't."

A look of concern passed over Spike's face, but he still didn't say anything. Shakily, he got to his feet as Giles did the same, wincing as his no doubt sore arse protested the movement. Without meeting Giles' eyes, Spike left the room, and then Giles heard the sound of water running in the bathroom as Spike followed orders and prepared himself for bed.

Moving slowly, Giles replaced the chair and used another handful of tissues to clean Spike's come off the carpet, not letting himself think about what they'd done, or what he still had to do, as he switched off the light and walked onto the landing. Spike was waiting there, looking uncertain, and Giles paused, realizing that Spike didn't know where he was supposed to sleep.

"I said we're done for now," he said. "You know where you belong. After that you should, for God's sake."

He brushed past Spike and went into the bathroom, dealing with the familiar routine of brushing his teeth without once looking up at the mirror. He didn't want to see himself right now.

Wincing, he held his hand under the cold water tap, but it didn't help. His hand hurt. All of him hurt, dammit, and he didn't think he'd felt this tired in years.

When he went into their bedroom, it was in darkness and Spike was lying on his back in the bed. Giles stripped out of his clothes and got in beside him.

"Come here?" he said finally, when Spike didn't move. "Please?"

Begging wasn't all that hard to do when you wanted something very much.

With gratifying speed, as if he'd been lying there hoping, Spike turned and curled himself around Giles, clinging to him. Giles ran his good hand down along Spike's back, stopping the movement as soon as Spike began to tense. He realized that Spike had been lying on his sore arse as he waited for Giles to come to bed, and made mental note of the fact for future reference. Just then, though, Giles needed this. Needed the contact, needed to feel Spike pressed close to him, warm body giving the occasional wriggle against Giles' as if Spike couldn't quite stay still, as if Spike wanted to get closer and closer.

He could feel Spike's breath against his throat. "Can I talk?" Spike asked, in no more than a whisper.

Giles bit back an automatic assurance that of course he could. He really did feel that he needed time to work through his reactions to what they'd just done, but it wasn't fair to Spike to keep changing the rules on him. He'd told him this would last until Xander came home, and he'd promised Spike that he'd help him.

At the moment he felt as if he was letting him down.

"I don't recall forbidding it, so yes, you may," Giles said. "In fact, unless I specifically tell you not to talk, I want to hear your thoughts." Setting his teeth, he deliberately placed his hand on Spike's backside, despite Spike's pained intake of breath. "You're hurting because you hid things from me, Spike. I think it's time you stopped doing that."

If anything, Spike clung even more tightly for the reassurance. "Thanks," Spike said. "Needed this. Don't know why, don't know why I can't... why I still need it. Shouldn't." Slowly, the combined warmth of their bodies seemed to be relaxing Spike a bit. His hand stroked, tentatively, along Giles' side. "You all right?"

"I think so," Giles said, letting his hand drift up to rest in the hollow of Spike's back. "I'm just finding it difficult. I love you, and what I'd happily do to give you -- us -- pleasure -- well, doing it to hurt you, doing it to punish you, isn't easy." He sighed, the darkness making it easier to be honest, but not much. "Or perhaps it is, and that's what bothers me."

"Didn't mean to hurt you," Spike said, his voice a bit empty. "Didn't want to." His hand moved lower, tracing the skin over Giles' hip, then down along the front of his thigh. The touch was light, comforting, and Giles wondered if Spike was doing that deliberately or if he just needed the contact.

Spike slid down until his cheek was cushioned against Giles' abdomen, his mouth level with Giles' cock. Giles felt lips and tongue briefly caress him; not as if testing to see if he might become aroused again, which was good, because he doubted that was possible, but more as if Spike were expressing gratitude. Then Spike sighed and settled himself into a more comfortable position, still with his head resting on Giles' stomach, one arm curled around Giles' thighs just below his groin. "C'n I stay down here?" he heard Spike ask.

Giles pushed the covers back a little so that Spike could breathe and stroked Spike's hair, winding it around his fingers, as he'd done with the belt.

"You can sleep however you like," he said. "Just -- don't stop touching me." He gave the lock of hair he was holding an admonishing tug, turning the reassurance they both seemed to want into an order, although he didn't think for a moment that Spike would be fooled by the subterfuge. "When I wake, whenever I wake, I want you near me."

"Won't move," Spike promised, sighing.

Giles was exhausted enough that sleep came on quickly, his last conscious thought that he hoped he was capable of giving Spike what he needed.

Part Three

Spike woke several times during the night, once to discover that he'd rolled away and stopped touching Giles. That instinctively set his heart racing, and he quickly moved back to his previous position. He ached in ways he hadn't since before he'd turned human, which was saying a lot considering some of the stuff they'd got up to in bed, but it was a good ache.

When he stirred and woke slowly to find the morning sunshine creeping into the room, he opened his eyes and glanced up at Giles, who was still sleeping. Spike wanted to be good for Giles -- he really did -- but he couldn't help but wonder what the reaction would be to him waking Giles with a morning blow job. And Giles' cock was right there, waiting to be worshipped. Spike wanted to feel it inside him, fucking him. He'd wanted that last night, and when Giles had fucked his mouth... God, that had been good. Perfect.

Tentatively, Spike shifted a bit and pressed his lips to Giles' shaft, breathing warm air over it before taking the head into his mouth. It began to swell instantly, and he made a small hum of satisfaction and continued to suck gently, wondering for how long he could before Giles woke up.

He could tell when Giles woke because the muscles of his leg, pressed against Spike's arm, tensed and then relaxed, but Giles didn't speak or move, so Spike carried on with what he was doing, sending his tongue out to lick and curl around the fully erect cock in his mouth with a little less diffidence.

When Giles moved, it was unexpected and fast. His hand came down and Spike gasped, his mouth opening, which was probably what Giles had intended, as Giles yanked brutally at his hair.

"Up here," Giles said, shifting back so that his cock slipped out of Spike's mouth. He sounded sleepy, but firm. "Let me show you what I do to people who wake me up early on a Saturday morning..."

Spike felt a delicious twist of fear in his gut as he obeyed, his arse protesting the movement enough to make him wince.

"Oh, I'm sorry," Giles murmured without a shred of sympathy in his voice or on his face, his hand coming up to touch Spike's mouth, tracing the shape of it before dropping away. Spike missed the kiss he'd have got on any other day but didn't even dare to purse his lips just a little against those exploring fingers. "Backside a bit tender, is it?"

"A bit," Spike said. He shifted, trying to pretend that he was just getting comfortable rather than surreptitiously rubbing his cock against Giles' thigh.

"You can stop that right now," Giles said, giving Spike's arse a light, stinging smack that didn't hurt as much as remind him of all those other, not so light slaps. "This, if it's anything, is about teaching you some self-control. So far, you're not impressing me. And don't count on getting to come for a long time. You'll have to earn that."

Spike managed to stop himself, but it wasn't easy. His cock already ached, wanting Giles' touch. "Could be good for you," he murmured, trying to sound enticing. "Make you feel good."

"Oh, you're going to be very good," Giles told him with a smile that looked pretty evil for this early in the morning. "I won't have it any other way."

He sounded as if he meant that and Spike shuddered, moving restlessly beside him.

Giles sat up and stripped the covers off them, making Spike's skin prickle with a sudden chill. "On your back, Spike," he said. "Legs apart, and your hands, hmm --" Spike rolled to his back, gritting his teeth against a whimper as the sheet chafed his bruised skin and spreading his legs wide, feeling ridiculously exposed considering Giles knew every inch of him by now.

Giles' hand slid into his, his thumb rubbing a slow circle against Spike's palm. "You won't be needing your hands," he said, "so let's get them out of the way, shall we?"

Spike let Giles position his hands around the bars of the headboard, feeling the muscles in his upper arms protest at once. Giles knelt back and studied him, which was like being touched lightly all over when Giles had that look in his eyes.

When another pillow got shoved under his head, Spike knew what was coming, and he really couldn't help the way his hips lifted, just a little, off the bed.

Giles's lips twitched in a faint smile. "Eager and optimistic. You're not to come, Spike. That can be your punishment for waking me up. For trying to make me do things your way."

Giles ran his hands up along Spike's sides as he settled over him, straddling Spike's waist and then shifting up. Giles was watching Spike's face, and Spike worried for a minute that maybe he didn't look the way he was supposed to. Whatever that was.

Then Giles' thumb ran over Spike's bottom lip, and Spike opened his mouth to let Giles' cock in.

"Good," Giles murmured, and Spike felt his own cock throb at the praise as he sucked. The taste of Giles was heavy on his tongue, salty, familiar, but Giles didn't give him a chance to really do much on his own. Next thing Spike knew, Giles thrust forward, deep, and almost all Spike's focus was on finding a rhythm that let him breathe as Giles started to fuck his mouth.

He hadn't been told not to move, but Spike did his best to keep still, to be there for Giles, just as Giles wanted him. To be used; to give pleasure, not take it. Although he'd have been lying if he said he wasn't enjoying this, no matter how frustrated he was feeling.

His cock was jerking, as if it was searching for a hand to touch it, a mouth of its own to slide into. Spike flashed back to the last time that Giles had gone down on him, remembering how Giles had known just how to ease off, just when to suck harder, making it last for so much longer than Spike had expected and then, when he'd finished, lifting his head and smiling up at Spike, looking as if he'd enjoyed it as much as Spike had.

Giles wasn't smiling now.

Spike squinted up at him. Giles had one hand on the top rail of the headboard and the other was under Spike's neck, holding him still. From this angle Giles looked determined and not in the least like a man who was going to relent, no matter how good a job Spike did.

Fuck. Spike closed his eyes and tried to ignore half a dozen different signals from his body that it wasn't happy -- and as many more that it was.

But it was impossible to ignore the way his hands and arms ached from the way he was clutching onto the bars of the headboard. Spike decided to concentrate on that, on the slow, dull burn of human muscles pushed to their limits. Giles' cock in his mouth was big, and Spike's lips were starting to feel raw from the friction of having his mouth fucked twice so close together.

Spike could feel the tip of his own cock beaded up with fluid, his balls so tight that there was a heavy sensation in his belly. Giles' thrusts were a bit slower but no less forceful, and Spike groaned loudly on the next one, his nostrils flaring as he tried to take in enough air.

Giles paused, easing out of Spike's mouth nearly all the way, moving his hand from the headboard to the base of his cock and rubbing the tip of it across Spike's lips.

"Something you want to say?" he asked, managing, fuck knows how, to sound cool, even though his chest was rising and falling with rapid, uneven breaths. He began to jerk off with slow, hard strokes that meant Spike's mouth was getting nudged forcefully every second or so, with Giles managing to hit the same spot each time. Giles was far enough along that the head of his cock was wet with more than Spike's spit and the musky, clean taste of him filled Spike's mouth as he took advantage of the respite to catch his breath.

"Fuck me," Spike said pleadingly, his voice sounding ragged and desperate even to his own ears. He wanted Giles to fuck him for real, but even having his mouth used was better than nothing. Just the thought of it made him harder. Looking up into Giles' eyes, cold and glittering with arousal, Spike gasped and realized, too late, that he was on the verge of coming just from the feel of his sore arse rubbing on the sheets, each spark of pain jolting up into his balls. He didn't even have time to warn Giles -- just hung onto the bars as he came, shutting his eyes tightly because he couldn't bear to see the disappointment he knew would be on Giles' face.

Giles moved off him, with the creak of the bed the only sound in the room apart from the ones Spike was making because he couldn't help it; low groans as his traitorous body gave way to a pleasure he couldn't enjoy.

"Open your eyes," Giles said, his voice neutral enough to make Spike shiver. He forced himself to obey, blinking up at Giles, who was kneeling beside him, staring expressionlessly at the trail of come decorating Spike's stomach.

Immediately, Spike forced himself to move, pressing his mouth to Giles's knees, thighs, begging for forgiveness with his actions.

Giles let him do that for a few moments and then threaded his fingers through Spike's hair, halting him. "It's all right, Spike," he said with a distant amusement that stung worse than anger. "I'm aware of the fact that you didn't intend that to happen." His fingers began to move through Spike's hair, soothing and strong, rubbing over his head in a swirling pattern that matched the chaos of Spike's thoughts. "So shall I be kind to you? Shall I overlook what I could view as a flagrant disregard of my wishes?"

Somehow Spike didn't see that happening.

"Or shall we teach you that disobedience gets rewarded by something a little less pleasant than forgiveness? Is that a lesson you're prepared to learn, Spike?"

Spike shivered and licked his upper lip, his face tilted up toward Giles. He wanted forgiveness, didn't he? Another shiver ran through him, this one stronger than the previous one, as he tried to sort out what to ask for. He knew what he wanted, but that probably wasn't the same as what he needed, and if this whole thing was about getting what he needed while he could...

"Gonna hurt me?" Spike asked hoarsely, taking advantage of Giles' loosened grip on his hair to bend his head and lick Giles' thigh. Giles tightened his hold again, pulling Spike back so there was no choice but to look up at him. Spike gave a little moan. "Do it," he breathed. "Punish me, Giles. I need it." And the word that was the hardest to get out: "Please."

"You broke position," Giles said in that calm, mild voice that did... things... to Spike. Good things, bad things -- he wasn't sure. Just knew that when Giles stared at him with that hint of a smile that wasn't remotely amused, and spoke to him like that, he was always going to get that ache of want deep down, always going to want to do anything Giles asked.

Giles released him and Spike moved to his back again, curling his fingers around the rail, never taking his eyes off Giles.

"I was close to coming myself before you interrupted me," Giles said, still kneeling beside Spike. "How close, I wonder?"

His hand dropped to his cock and began to work it with slow, deliberate strokes. Spike tried to count them, but then Giles stiffened, speeding up, and when he climaxed, his come spattering across Spike's chest, Spike couldn't have said how many strokes it had been, so he had to take Giles' word for it when he said 'fourteen' in a voice that was just a little unsteady.

Giles placed his hand flat on Spike's chest and dragged it down, coating it with his come and Spike's. His hand felt hot against Spike's skin; as hot as it had felt the night before after he'd finished turning Spike's arse scarlet.

"Turn over," Giles whispered.

Twisting over onto his front and replacing his hands on the rail hurt, but the fourteen solid, stinging slaps on skin still raw hurt even more. Giles wasn't holding back at all, even though, through the roaring in his ears, Spike was sure he could hear Giles gasping as each slap landed, as if he were having to force himself to keep each blow as hard as the one before it.

Spike got lost in the pain of it, feeling it spark along his nerves. Every part of his body was at attention, his nipples hard, his toes curled. Even his teeth ached. He knew he had to be crying out, but he couldn't hear himself, he was so deep in. Bad. He was bad, unworthy, always had been, always would be, but Giles could make it better. Couldn't take it away permanently-- oh, no, nothing could do that -- but could drive it out of him for a little while.

When it was over, Spike heard himself weeping, broken sobs that tore at his throat, but he didn't feel anything but intense relief.

He thought he heard Giles telling him to let go, but it wasn't until he felt a light touch on his fingers that he released the rail, moaning as his cramped hands straightened and flexed, tucking them under his chin for comfort. Giles moved to lie beside him, stroking his back with firm, gentle touches that didn't stop, his body as close as it could get, warm and strong and loving.

" -- got you. I'm here. Always," Giles murmured. "I won't let you do something wrong again. Won't let you hurt Xander. I'll stop you, I promise. Until you can do it yourself. Until you know --"

And that was it, right there. Because he didn't know. He'd been human once, in a world not so different than this, but since then -- too much had changed. He'd changed. Warped and twisted by a demon inside him and trained by Angelus. Tortured by Angelus, but it hadn't seemed that way at the time. Not to a vampire. Spike wondered if the real reason Angel had kicked him out was that he couldn't bear to see himself judged by Spike and found guilty. Even with a soul Spike had still had enough of the demon in him not to really care too much about what Angelus had done to him; but now, purely human, he couldn't help a shudder of revulsion at the thought of it.

Not like he was going to get more human than thou though, was it? Because he didn't feel human. Didn't feel as if he knew how to act, what was acceptable. He could've sat down to lunch with the Queen and known what fork to use, but when it came to love, to relationships what the fuck did he know? When he'd argued with Dru, they'd kissed and made up on sheets splattered with their blood, for Christ's sake.

He needed to be told, to be shown. And when he fucked it up, he needed this. Only way he was going to learn. Only way he knew how to learn.

Angelus whispering to him, dark eyes flat and cold as he told him what he'd done wrong, the reek of blood thick and rich in the air as his fingers worked deep inside Spike's torn, ravaged body, only stopping when Spike screamed, only smiling when Drusilla fluttered and cooed and kissed each wound, feeding from them, her teeth sharp and unforgiving.

Heedless of the pain, Spike rolled to his side and huddled inside Giles' arms, hiding his face against Giles' shoulder in an agony of shamed memories.

Giles held him, seeming to understand how desperately Spike needed the comfort. But Spike was too upset to even cry now, just clutching at Giles, wanting Giles to hold him tighter. He wanted to feel Giles' fingers digging into him, wanted the comfort of pain, if that's what it was. Comfort? Punishment? Maybe they were the same thing. Maybe they always would be.

He could hear Giles murmuring soft words to him. He shook his head against Giles' chest, feeling how tight his own was, how much his lungs ached.

"It's all right," filtered through to his ears, Giles' words settling into something that made sense again. The heel of Giles' hand rubbed over his back. "Breathe, Spike."

Oh. Right. Breathing. Spike inhaled. His lungs burned; his throat was raw, his eyes stinging, and then he was crying again, with the air like acid in him and the tears hot on his cheeks.

Crying was probably something else you weren't supposed to do, but Giles didn't tell him to stop, just tightened his arms and nuzzled against the top of Spike's head, kissing it until Spike realized that if he moved, if he dared, he could tilt his head back and maybe Giles would kiss him properly.

Although given the state of his face, maybe not.

"Tissue," he croaked. "Please?"

Giles turned away and reached behind him, snagging a few tissues from the box beside the bed and pushing them into Spike's waiting hand. Spike moved back reluctantly to give himself space to blow his nose and scrub hard at his damp cheeks and then, when he saw the state of Giles' chest, giving that a dab too.

"Don't worry about it," Giles said. "We'll be showering soon." His hand came up to cup Spike's jaw and he leaned forward to kiss Spike, brushing his closed lips against Spike's cheek, high up, where the skin was still damp, and then moving down to Spike's mouth, giving him half a dozen unhurried kisses along the line of his lips before sighing and pulling Spike to him and kissing him full on the mouth.

Spike whimpered and clung to Giles in gratitude, trying not to kiss him back with too much eagerness because he didn't want to get carried away and be doing anything Giles didn't want him to do. But fuck, Giles' mouth tasted so good, and the way Giles' tongue pushed into Spike's mouth, like Giles owned him and could take whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, was exactly what Spike needed just then. He was pliable, cooperative; eager for anything Giles might want or ask for.

"I'll do anything you say," Spike mumbled, not pulling his lips away, because that would have required more self-control than he had just then. "Anything. Love you."

"That's good to hear," Giles said, the words almost inaudible, almost lost in the slide of his mouth against Spike's, but they were so close that Spike heard them anyway and the ones that followed. "I love you, too, Spike. More than you think I do. I wish I could tell you to believe that. Wish I wasn't so terrible at making both of you see what you mean to me."

"No," Spike said, running his hand up and down along Giles' back, trusting Giles to stop him if it wasn't what was wanted. "No, it's not your fault. S'mine. I'm so fucked up, Giles." He was looking into Giles' eyes now, no longer kissing him although he still very much wanted to be. "Don't want to do things that hurt you, but I can't help it." He swallowed, ducking his chin and kissing Giles' throat, his shoulder, his chest. Worshipping him. "So afraid you're going to get fed up with me and toss me out. I deserve it."

"You've done nothing to deserve it yet," Giles told him, sounding as if he meant it. "You'd have to do more than I think you're capable of to get to that point. And I'd stop you before you did. Trust me on that." Spike felt Giles' hand on the back of his neck, curving around it possessively and making him shiver. "That's why I'm doing this. To prove to you that I can stop you. To make you feel safe." Giles' grip tightened and his voice shifted from warmly reassuring to harsh, which, in some ways, was just as welcome. "Which doesn't mean you can do as you please and leave me to pick up the pieces. And it really doesn't mean that you're permitted to misbehave just to get my attention." Giles' thumb stroked along the strip of skin under Spike's ear, digging in painfully. "If you want me to hurt you, just a little, just enough, I'm sure you can find ways of asking for it that don't make me want to kick your arse."

"Not that I'd mind if you wanted to," Spike said, reaching for Giles' hand and guiding it down to his sore and swollen -- felt like it, at any rate -- arse and pushed back into the touch, gasping slightly. "Though there are other things you could to do my arse that we'd both like better." He was probably pushing the limits of what Giles would tolerate from him, but no way to know where they were until he'd tested them, right?

"Glad to see you're feeling recovered enough to make helpful suggestions," Giles murmured blandly, his eyebrow quirking up, and suddenly being this close to him felt like a risky place to be, not a sanctuary. Xander and Giles were both taller than him, both heavier -- it'd never mattered before, when what he was had more than evened the odds, but now Spike was very conscious of the fact that Giles was stronger than he was. Not that Giles needed that kind of strength to have Spike jumping through his hoops, but it didn't hurt he supposed.

"Shower," Giles said decisively, giving Spike's arse a smack that sent Spike rubbing up against him, squirming away instinctively from Giles' hand. "And then breakfast. I'm starving."

Spike hadn't thought about it until just then, but so was he. He slid to the edge of the bed, wincing, and got up, waiting for Giles to do the same before he moved at all. Giles got up and started for the bathroom as if assuming Spike would follow, so Spike did, relaxed and happy enough to be obedient.

In the bathroom, Giles reached to turn on the shower. "I can do that," Spike offered.

Giles gave him a thoughtful look and nodded, stepping back to give Spike room to get to the controls. "I want you to stay close to me today," he said abruptly. "Bathroom breaks aside, you're to be in the same room as me unless I give you a specific instruction, close enough to touch."

Spike nodded, preoccupied with getting the water temperature the way he thought Giles would like it, and then stepped back deferentially. "That okay?"

Extending his hand, Giles tested the water, holding his hand under the spray. "It's fine. Thank you." He got in, and when Spike stayed outside, not sure whether to offer to wash Giles, or wait to be told, said pointedly, "I can't touch you. I suggest you get in here before I notice that officially."

Quickly, and smiling a little because he couldn't help it, Spike got into the shower. He didn't quite touch Giles, but the shower wasn't big enough that he could be in it and not be within touching distance. "Don't know what you want me to do if you don't tell me," he said, apologetically. "Don't want to misbehave."

Giles leaned back, making room for Spike to step under the spray, which he did, a little uncertainly. "I did tell you that you had to stay close," he said reasonably. "And I'm not going to spend the weekend controlling every breath you take. I want you to be you, in all your sometimes aggravating glory. That won't be misbehaving; it'll be saving me from getting bored to death." He closed his eyes as the water coursed over his face and then opened them, and nodded at the shower gel hanging from a hook on the wall. "For instance, if I tell you to wash me, I'd like to think that's all I need to say. And I am saying it. Wash me, please, and then yourself." Giles grinned at him unexpectedly. "I like the way you look when you're wet," he said. "Or haven't you noticed how often you get fucked when you're still damp from the shower?"

Spike felt his cock stir slightly as he got the shower gel and squeezed some out onto his palm, then began to wash Giles, starting with his broad shoulders. He liked the way Giles' skin felt -- always a little bit cooler than he seemed to be. And he liked the way Giles closed his eyes and made little sounds when he touched him. He worked up some lather -- not easy to do with shower gel -- and smoothed it over Giles' chest, feeling Giles' nipples harden a bit against his fingertips. He didn't linger, though; Giles had said to wash him, not waste time enjoying it. Still, Spike was enjoying it, maybe a little too much.

"Turn around?" he asked, and took several deep breaths while he washed Giles' back and arse, trying to will away the erection that was starting to get the better of him.

"Now you," Giles ordered, turning around unexpectedly so that Spike didn't have chance to step back and the tip of his cock brushed against Giles' hip and stomach. Giles glanced down and smiled. "Wash yourself," he said. "Nothing else." Then Spike was biting down on his lip because Giles had taken the tip of his finger and traced a circle on the exposed head of Spike's cock, rubbing the pad of his finger over the slit until Spike was quivering with the need for more. That light touch was the first direct caress his cock had had from Giles since this started, and it wasn't enough.

Still, he tried to obey. Did his best to wash his chest and belly, ignoring his trembling hands as Giles continued to do just what he was doing and no more. Spike's balls were drawn up tight, and he discovered that he was standing on the front halves of his feet as he strained forward. "'m yours," he muttered, squeezing his eyes shut again, because looking at Giles and what Giles was doing was just making it -- and him -- that much harder. "I want to be good for you."

Giles's fingers curled loosely around Spike's cock, sliding up and down, barely touching it. It was like being fucked by air. Spike reached out blindly and grabbed Giles' free arm to keep himself from going to his knees.

"And am I making it... hard for you to be good?" Giles asked, the amusement in his voice showing that the pun was intentional. His voice darkened. "Did you really think that I was going to make it easy on you, Spike?" His hand finally dropped away, leaving Spike shaking, with the insistent patter of water on his cock as tormenting as Giles' touch. "Finish washing yourself. I want to see you clean your cock, your balls. I want to see you slide a hand between your legs, want to watch your face when you slip a finger inside your arse. Manage to do all that without coming and I promise I'll fuck you later."

Spike swallowed, closing his eyes and letting go of Giles' arm, determined to do this. He'd just come half an hour ago, for fuck's sake. He could wait to come again. Not like he was some seventeen year old virgin, right? He was a man. He began to wash his cock, careful to do a good enough job so Giles wouldn't complain about it. It felt good, yeah... no. No, couldn't think about how it felt. He just had to focus on the job, and on the fact that he wasn't going to disappoint Giles. Done that enough for one weekend.

Licking his lips, Spike reached down with his other hand and soaped his balls, letting go of his cock. Then he slipped that same hand back, fingers slick over his perineum before he slid one into his arse, and oh, fuck, bloody fucking hell. His cock throbbed painfully, a thin stream of pre-come jolted from him and, luckily, washed away.

Triumphant, gasping, Spike removed his hands and held them under the running water, meeting Giles' eyes.

Giles looked... proud of him. It wasn't an emotion Spike was used to seeing directed at him, and it left him hungry for more. "Good boy," Giles murmured over the hiss of the water, which was starting to turn cooler. "Oh, you did that so well for me."

And because, when it came down to it, Giles was kinder to him than he deserved, he didn't touch Spike again, because if he had Spike wouldn't have been able to hold back.

Giles reached behind him and switched off the shower. "Dry yourself and then go down and make some coffee. I'll be down when I've got dressed."

Which was when Spike remembered that he wasn't allowed to get dressed himself. Not that it mattered. Modesty was something he didn't really possess any more, sloughed off the first time Angelus had snickered at him for trying to cover Drusilla's bare breasts when Angelus sauntered into their bedroom. Snickered and then told Drusilla to sit naked in a chair, bare legs hooked over its arms, fingering herself languidly as the three of them watched, Angelus' hands clamped around Spike's skull so that he couldn't look away, watched, his face burning with humiliation for her, even as she cried out and came, sucking her sticky fingers clean afterwards, with a small, secret smile on her face.

"It's just skin," Angelus had said into his ear. "Skin and bone. The blood's all that matters, and that's on the inside, where you can't see." And he'd taken a knife and sliced a line across Spike's hand. "Now you're naked," he'd whispered, dabbling a finger in the pooling blood.

So, no, Spike didn't mind spending the day naked.

Until Giles walked into the kitchen, snug in jeans and a sweater, and ran a careless, casual hand over Spike's bare back, and Spike felt himself flush, feeling awkward, feeling as if he was doing something wrong.

The kettle had just come to a boil, so Spike concentrated on pouring water over the coffee grounds in the cafetiere. His erection had subsided, and his awareness of what would happen if his hand slipped while he was pouring boiling water while naked made him unusually careful as he finished the job and put the kettle down again.

He glanced at Giles, waiting.

"Charmingly novel though it is to be waited on, I want bacon and eggs this morning," Giles said. His gaze flickered up and down Spike. "I don't think you're dressed for cooking that. Set the table, please."

Spike went to get plates and cutlery, glancing out at the best weather England had to offer in February: high winds, lashing rain and mist. By comparison, the kitchen was a brightly lit haven. He shivered, more from what he was looking at than how he felt, and set the plates down on the table, hesitating before moving his plate to the side of the table rather than the foot so that he was as close as possible to Giles.

That done, Spike returned to where Giles was and stood behind him, close enough to be touched. The heat coming from the range top where Giles had started two burners going wasn't enough to warm him, but he felt better standing close to Giles than he had across the room. 

As Giles added strips of bacon to the larger pan, Spike was struck by an almost overwhelming urge to put his arms around Giles' waist and press his face to Giles' back. "Anything else I can do?" he asked instead.

"It's too soon to make toast; it'd be cold by the time the bacon was ready," Giles said, shaking the frying pan slightly and producing a sizzle and a smell that had Spike's mouth anticipating that first taste of slightly salty meat. Without turning, Giles said casually, "Go and kneel by your chair until I need you again."

The surge of defiance Spike felt at that -- at being dismissed like he was nothing -- was replaced almost immediately by despair. If all Giles had done in the past twelve hours wasn't enough to keep him in line, what would be?

Slowly, he went over to the table and got down on his knees next to his chair. The floor was hard and uncomfortable, but Spike sat back on his heels as best he could, trying not to let too much weight rest on his arse because it bloody hurt. Felt like Xander had taken one of those rotary sanders or whatever the fuck they were called to it.

He shouldn't be letting himself complain, not even in his head. Spike knew that. It'd only increase the chances he'd say something stupid out loud; make Giles have to punish him again. At the thought, his cock swelled slightly, betraying him, even if only to himself since Giles was busy over at the range.

Spike tried to concentrate on the smell of the food cooking, and waited.

"By the way," Giles said, breaking the silence, his voice still completely normal. "When you went out yesterday, did you take back those DVDs you and Xander rented? I noticed they were due to be returned."

He turned his head to glance at Spike, looking utterly relaxed as if this was always how the day went, as if Spike was just where he should be. Had to be an act, because Giles had dropped enough hints about how difficult this was for him to make it impossible that he was really this at ease, but Spike couldn't see any signs of discomfort. In fact, there was a small, cool, satisfied smile on Giles' face that had a snarl building up behind Spike's clenched teeth.

"I forgot," he said tightly. "Want to punish me for that, too?"

"For that? No. For using that tone with me? Yes." Giles turned back to his bacon. "But I'm hungry, so you'll have to wait, I'm afraid. Never mind the toast; you can spend a little longer on your knees instead."

Spike seethed in silence. Each second he spent on his knees felt like an hour, his bones aching like he was a hundred years old. He wondered why he didn't just get up and storm out of the room, shouting that he was done with this. It wasn't like Giles would stop him.

But, when it came right down to it, Spike did want to get this sorted out, if that was even possible. He wanted to be secure in the knowledge that Giles could -- and would -- keep control for him when he couldn't do it himself. He needed that, because hurting Xander and Giles, that just wasn't an option. He hated himself for doing it, and he never wanted to do it again.

By the time Giles had finished cooking breakfast, Spike had managed to lull himself into a state of peace again. "Sorry," he said, not to get out of being punished, because he deserved that, but because Giles deserved the apology. "Shouldn't have been rude."

Giles brought the frying pan over to the table and dished up the breakfast without ceremony. "You weren't very rude," he said. "Not by your standards. But it's still more attitude than I'm prepared to permit right now." He sat down and drew his plate a little closer. "Oh, get up and eat," he said half-impatiently, as if it'd been Spike's choice to kneel, shivering slightly and hurting, on the floor. "And don't bother asking for a cushion."

It wasn't like he'd expected Giles to be overcome by the novelty of an apology from him, but the offhand way it was received left Spike speechless with indignation. Sitting down with a soft hiss of pain as his backside smacked down on the bare wood of the chair, he gave Giles a reproachful look and picked up his knife and fork.

"Are you annoyed with me, Spike?" Giles asked mildly, cutting a bacon slice into quarters. "Feel free, of course, but if I were you, I'd hide it a little better."

"I'm not annoyed," Spike said grudgingly. It wasn't totally a lie, and it was made easier by the fact that he was hungry enough to have eaten six breakfasts. He shoveled a mouthful of egg and bacon into his mouth and chewed, sighing as the taste of it filled his senses.

Giles gave him a sidelong glance and let him eat in peace, making the occasional desultory comment about work and some odd jobs that needed doing around the house, but waiting until Spike had swallowed one last mouthful of coffee before turning the conversation back to their situation.

"You're shivering. I don't think you'd be very comfortable in jeans, but perhaps I should reconsider keeping you naked?" Giles reached out and ran his fingers across Spike's chest. "Not that I'm not enjoying looking at you, but if Xander comes back and finds you down with a cold, he won't be pleased with me."

"Not likely to be pleased with either of us regardless, is he?" Spike said. It wasn't something Giles would want to talk about, but he knew they both had to be thinking it.

"Probably not," Giles admitted, frowning slightly. He leaned back in his chair. "You're more bothered about Xander being angry with you than you are when it's me, aren't you?" he asked. "Why?" He sounded genuinely curious.

Spike looked down at the table as he answered. "Know that I can trust you to get mad enough to do something about it," he said. "Shout at me, tell me off. Shove me up against a wall." His eyes flicked up to meet Giles' for a second; he remembered the times that had happened. Always made him hard to think of it. "Xander... just gets hurt, doesn't he? Buries it all inside himself, figures out a way to make what I did about him whether it is or not."

He could see Giles thinking that over, taking longer than Spike had expected. "He's considerably more emotionally vulnerable than me, yes," Giles said eventually. "But this time, at least, it is all about him. Or do you think I didn't notice just why you picked that particular boy? Did you want a Xander you could control, instead of the other way around? Because if so, I'm not impressed by your powers of perception. Xander would do anything for you. Anything."

Spike shivered and wrapped his arms around himself, hoping Giles would think it was because he was cold. "Wouldn't take me with him," he muttered. "Wouldn't stay." He was being utterly unfair, and he knew it, but he couldn't help it.

"He's allowed to go away," Giles said reasonably. "And it's only for a weekend; I really don't see why you're so angry with him." Giles was sounding just a little put-out now. "I went to Paris for a week in October and you didn't react like this."

"You went for work, not to see friends," Spike said. It was a completely different thing; couldn't Giles see that? "Knew you were coming back, didn't I." Oh, fuck. He hadn't realized he was going to say that until he had. He looked at Giles in alarm. "Not that I don't trust him to come back; course I do."

"Oh, of course you do," Giles said. "You trust him so much that within hours of him leaving you're picking out an entirely inadequate replacement." Giles shoved his chair back and stood up, reaching for his plate with a hand that wasn't perfectly steady. "I don't suppose it occurred to you that if I thought there was the smallest chance that Xander wouldn't be returning I'd be in a worse state than you? Or do you think you're the only one who cares about him?"

"Never said I was being rational," Spike said. He wasn't stupid -- he knew where his fear of abandonment came from. He just didn't know what to do about it. Getting up, he took his own plate and things to the sink, setting them on the counter and taking Giles' from him. It didn't take long to load the dishwasher, after all, and he was warmer -- not to mention more distracted -- while he was moving. "Giles?" he said, while his back was turned.

"Yes, Spike?"

Spike swallowed, cleared his throat. "If he didn't... not saying that he won't, but if he didn't come back, would you still..." He couldn't say it. Made him sound like a berk, didn't it. Would you still love me?

"There are times when you verge on cryptic," Giles said crisply. "This would be one of them. Would I still what? Still love him? Miss him dreadfully? Yes, of course." Giles turned as Spike straightened up and closed the dishwasher door, his face going from puzzled to enlightened in less time than it took for Spike to take a quick, panicked breath. "Oh. You weren't talking about him, were you?"

Spike shook his head slowly, completely incapable of saying it. Saying anything.

"My feelings for you are -- not dependent on the three of us being together," Giles said quietly. "They wouldn't alter if Xander wasn't with us. Which isn't to say that I don't need him quite desperately at times, because I do." He stepped forward, close enough that Spike had to tilt his head back to still be able to hold his gaze. "I need you both. I love you both. I'll do anything it takes to keep us together because I think that goes for all of us. I have moments of worrying that I'm deluding myself on that score -- times when I think that you'd both manage very well without me -- but mostly I'm ... vain enough to think that without me you two would get torn apart by how much you care."

Giles sighed. "You're not the only one of us with insecurities, Spike. I'm just left wondering what shape Xander's take." He ran his hand over Spike's arm. "You're getting cold."

"Yeah," Spike said, moving in closer to Giles in the hopes he'd feel like touching something more than his arm.

Giles' hand moved down to caress Spike's hip, his thumb rubbing gently over the hollow of skin between it and Spike's stomach. "Positively freezing," Giles murmured. "Oh well, I did say you could put on a shirt, didn't I? I'm far too lenient with you, I know, but goose bumps don't suit you." He gave Spike a smile and reached around to swat his backside briskly, drawing a surprised yelp. "Off you go then."

Spike twitched away from Giles and did his best not to glare at him as he started out of the kitchen and toward the stairs.

"Wear something of Xander's!" Giles called to him.

"What?" Spike said, turning, not sure he'd heard right.

More loudly, Giles repeated, "Choose a shirt of Xander's to wear."

Spike wasn't sure he wanted to think too much about the reasons for that.

Part Four

As Spike's footsteps, heavier than they should be considering he was barefoot, died away, Giles relaxed for the first time that morning.

God, whatever had possessed him to think that he could handle this, handle Spike? Xander managed it with a combination of cajoling and gentle insults that had Spike grumbling and capitulating every time, but Giles couldn't do that. And with few opportunities to be alone to think it was even harder.

He put the frying pan in to soak and poured the dregs of the coffee into his cup, sipping at the lukewarm liquid and wishing he'd made tea instead. Tipping it down the sink, he went into the living room and automatically picked up his book, settling down on the couch after turning on the gas fire they used rarely, as the radiators did a good enough job of warming the house. Of course, they weren't usually wandering around half-naked.... well, not for hours at a time, anyway.

Overhead he heard a drawer slam shut and couldn't help grinning at the memory of Spike's disgruntled expression.

A short time later, there was the sound of Spike coming back downstairs, more quietly than he'd gone up, and then Spike appeared in the doorway wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt of Xander's. In fact, Giles thought, looking more closely at it as Spike came over and stood over him, it was the shirt that Xander had worn to work the day before. It was clear from the wrinkles and faint lingering scent of sawdust that it had come directly from the laundry basket.

The sleeves were so long that Spike had had to cuff them. Wearing it, he looked rather like a small boy who delighted in putting on his larger brother's clothes.

"Come here," Giles said, unsure whether to smile or let his face show a little of his feelings at seeing Spike half-dressed like that, with the hem of the T-shirt not quite managing to cover his cock. He looked... cute and erotic at the same time, which was rather disturbing.

Spike knelt beside the couch, which really wasn't where Giles wanted him, looking up at Giles with a hint of challenge in his eyes. Giles put his hand on the couch seat to brace himself and leaned over, mouthing the exposed skin at Spike's throat and inhaling a scent that was pure Xander as he did it. Beneath his lips he could feel Spike's quickening pulse and the tremor that ran through him as Giles delicately nipped at the smooth skin with his teeth. "Do you know why you're wearing this shirt, Spike?" Giles asked, moving to lick and suck briefly at Spike's earlobe.

He felt Spike shiver, heard him gasp. Spike tilted his head to the side, clearly hoping for more of the same. "You want me thinking about him," Spike murmured, his hand reaching out and settling on Giles' forearm, hips shifting restlessly.

Giles edged forward a little and traced the line of Spike's neck from shoulder to ear with a finger. "Yes. I don't want you to forget that you're being disciplined for his sake as much as your own. Because we don't want him hurt, do we?"

Spike made a sound of assent that was close to a moan as Giles repeated the action with his tongue. "No, we don't," Giles murmured, pulling down the neck of the T-shirt so that he could kiss Spike's collar bone. "And the next time you go over my knee, you'll be wearing this shirt, because I want you thinking about him with every slap, not forgetting him and getting off on it the way you have been doing."

Giles bit down hard enough to bruise on Spike's shoulder, digging his teeth in and dropping his hand to Spike's cock, erect, just as he'd known it would be.

The sound Spike made was half whimper, half groan. "Fuck," he whispered hoarsely. "Giles..." He shuddered violently as Giles gave his cock one hard stroke, and Giles remembered the look on Spike's face in the shower when he'd managed not to come. "Fuck me?" Spike gasped. "Giles, please. Need it."

"I did promise that I would," Giles said, settling himself back on the couch and picking up his abandoned book. "And I will. But not yet."

"Guess you can afford to wait," Spike said, sounding a bit sullen. "What with how much you get off on torturing me and all."

That was close enough to the truth to sting. "Making you wait to be fucked doesn't exactly qualify as torture, Spike. You of all people should know that."

"Easy enough to say that when you're the one on that side of the equation," Spike said shrewdly. "Liking it a little bit more than you think you ought to, aren't you."

Giles stared down blindly at his book and turned a page he hadn't finished reading.

When he glanced up again, Spike was sitting with his shoulders slumped, his head bowed, hands resting on his thighs. The edge of Xander's shirt was still pulled a bit to one side, leaving bare the spot that Giles had been kissing. "Sorry," Spike mumbled.

"You say that, but you don't stop doing it," Giles said, the words sharper than he'd intended. "You keep bloody well mouthing off at me and I --" He brought himself under control again, feeling angrier at himself than at Spike. "Right. You want to talk? Fine." He closed the book he was reading and tossed it into Spike's lap. "Page ninety-seven. Read to me until I tell you to stop. At least then you'll be saying something I want to hear."

Spike had very nearly fumbled the book onto the floor, but he sat back on his heels again, wincing slightly, and opened it without comment. It didn't take long for him to find the proper page and start reading, the sound of his voice surprisingly soothing.

After a few minutes, Giles pushed up some cushions, propping them up against the arm of the couch and leaning against them, stretched out on his side. Like this his head was level with Spike's, and it was easy to look at him, watching the way his mouth shaped the words and the splay of Spike's fingers against the worn red-leather binding of the book.

Spike's contrition seemed genuine enough to ensure that he read properly. There were none of the tricks Giles himself had used in school to subtly mock a teacher; no flat monotone, no slight, incorrect emphasis on a word to destroy meaning and jar the listener's ear. Spike read fluently and with expression, his diction clear, while the clock ticked away the minutes and the silence of the house settled around them both.

But when his gaze strayed from the page to Giles' face, there was still more than a hint of distress in his eyes.

Giles waited for Spike to turn a page, approving of the neat way Spike did it with an automatic, economic slide and flick of a finger, and then stretched out his hand, trailing his fingers over the muscles of Spike's thigh. Spike's voice faltered on a word and then steadied. Giles smiled and carried on his slow exploration of what his hand could reach, brushing his hand lightly enough that all he touched was the fine hair on Spike's body, lifting up as Spike shivered.

When his arm ached from sustaining that precision of touch, Giles allowed his hand to rest heavily against Spike's skin, crooking his nails and raking them with deliberate slowness down the smooth flesh of Spike's inner leg, feeling Spike fight to hold position and not spread his knees wider.

By the time Spike was ready to turn the page again, Giles had scored his lower body in a dozen places, leaving white lines that filled with scarlet as the blood rushed up to beat against the thin, unbroken skin. Spike's legs and stomach were patterned with the track of Giles' nails and his cock was hard, the foreskin peeled back, the head glossed and wet. Spike was still reading, but neither he nor Giles was listening.

Spike's voice trembled when Giles dragged his nails even further up his inner thigh, and he had to stop reading for a second or two to take a deep breath, clearly trying to calm himself. It didn't seem to be working, Giles noted with satisfaction as Spike's cock twitched and another heavy bead of pre-come formed at the slit. Spike's skin was flushed, and he licked his lips before he started to read again.

His voice continued to wash over them as Giles touched him, sometimes returning to the lighter brush of fingertips, paying close attention to all of Spike's reactions. The way his breath became uneven when he was waiting for the next scratching drag of fingernails. The way his hips shifted restlessly, just a half inch or so in each direction. The way his eyes, seemingly against his will, occasionally glanced up at Giles for just the briefest instant.

"Please," Spike whispered finally, when it seemed he couldn't keep reading. "Giles, please."

"Finish the page," Giles said. Spike's face twisted with what seemed to be despair rather than rebellion, and he managed a few more faltering words. Pleased with him -- and astonished at his own self-control because he'd been hard for what seemed like hours now -- Giles slid off the couch and moved behind Spike. He placed his hands on Spike's back and then pushed him forward so that the book and Spike's forearms were resting on the couch. Standing up just long enough to pull off his clothes, he took a small bottle of lube out of his jeans pocket. He'd slipped it in there after the shower, not being in the mood to search for it when he finally did get around to making good on his promise to fuck Spike.

Going back to his knees behind Spike, who was still reading, the words tumbling out of his mouth now as he tried to complete his task, Giles tugged at Spike's hips, getting him into position with Spike's instant cooperation.

"Slow down," Giles whispered, bending his head and kissing the pattern of bruises on Spike's backside where his hand had struck the same spot over and over. Spike gasped with what might have been pain and Giles gentled his kisses, stroking the skin with his tongue, feeling the heat held within it. Spike was whimpering now, soft, plaintive sounds interspersed with word fragments that had ceased to hold meaning for either of them.

Giles sat back, reaching for the bottle and letting some of the clear fluid drip directly onto his cock, shuddering at the sudden coolness. When he'd finished spreading it along his length, he took his slicked fingers to Spike, working them inside him easily, feeling Spike press back eagerly, his head dropping to rest on his arms as he moaned and slammed the book shut.

Spike was making small, anxious sounds; they were slightly muffled, but that didn't mean Giles couldn't hear them. "I'll be good," Spike gasped, his body clenching around Giles' fingers. "Do anything you say. Spend the rest of the bloody weekend on my knees, if that's what you want. But please, Giles, please fuck me."

Trying to distract himself for one more moment from his aching cock, Giles added two more fingers, which prevented him from going deep enough to rub Spike's prostate. Not that he didn't enjoy it when Spike groaned in just that way, harsh and desperate, but he wanted to save that. Just one more minute.

Another eager twist of Spike's hips, although he'd stopped begging, his sounds having deteriorated into something less than words. Spike cried out in disappointment when Giles withdrew his fingers, then choked back a laugh. "Want you so bad, Giles," he murmured hoarsely, trembling. "Never wanted anyone like this before."

"Believe me, it's mutual," Giles managed to say, rubbing the head of his cock along the deep cleft of Spike's arse, and then, abandoning any attempt to tease them both any longer, pushing inside him.

His first short thrust drew a cry from Spike, open-mouthed and exultant, and he would've echoed it himself if he hadn't been so intent on getting as deep as he could into the tight, clutching heat that was waiting for him. With Spike this eager, it didn't take long, and then Giles drove into him hard, allowing himself the indulgence of those first few uncontrolled strokes, fast and impatient and perfect, before taking a deep breath and starting to fuck Spike more slowly, the heels of his hands resting on the bruises they'd left the night before, his fingers curled around Spike's narrow hips.

Spike's hands were clenched to the couch cushion, his breathing ragged and loud. "Oh God. Giles... gonna come. Oh fuck." He was trembling in Giles' grip, his body tightening in proof of his words.

"Want to feel you," Giles said, barely able to form the words as his cock reacted to that convulsive tightening. "Feel so good -- you --"

Giving up on speech, Giles caressed Spike's cock, cupping his hand around it and groaning as Spike's hips jerked forward, fucking Giles' hand eagerly. From the sounds Spike was making as he moved on Giles' cock, they'd found the perfect angle for him, and Giles surrendered to the inevitable and stopped trying to make this last any longer. By the time Spike climaxed a few moments later, his body rigid and his head thrown back, Giles was slamming into him hard, letting his desires dictate his actions in a way he'd never dared -- never chosen -- to do with Xander.

Spike was whimpering with every rough thrust now, the last of his orgasm making his cock twitch in Giles' hand. Giles was close to his own release, but fucking Spike like this -- with such abandon, not worrying about hurting him -- felt too good to give up so quickly.

Without being any gentler, Giles slowed his movements, taking a deep breath as he paused between thrusts and then shoving himself into Spike again almost viciously. The sounds Spike was making, along with the fact that he could feel Spike's cock hardening again, were spurring Giles on. He paused, breathed, thrust.

The desperate sounds were louder, and Giles tightened his other hand on Spike's hip, letting the heel of his hand dig into a bruise, listening for Spike's response. It was immediate; a tortured gasp and small moan followed by what might have been Spike whispering Giles' name.

Another thrust, Spike's cock fully hard again as it rubbed over Giles' fingers. Spike moaned, the sound muffled against his arm. God, he was so hot and tight around Giles, so willing, so eager. It was a heady sort of power to have over someone; there was nothing like it.

"Want..." Spike gasped, the word trailing away into a whimper.

"What?" Giles whispered. "Got me fucking you... what else? This is your reward for being good for me, for obeying, so tell me?"

Right then, with his body tense with arousal, suffused with heat, Giles couldn't think of much that he wouldn't do if Spike asked him. He leaned forward and kissed the damp skin at the back of Spike's neck, the faint woody scent of the shirt he wore bringing Xander to mind so strongly that Giles closed his eyes against the yearning he felt for him.

Spike's entire body was moving with each thrust, any sort of rhythm lost as he trembled. "Want to... come again..." Spike said with great effort. "Can't. Fuck. Fuck." He sounded pained, his cock hard enough in Giles' grip that it was difficult to believe he wouldn't come again.

"Why can't you?" Giles asked, rocking his hips slowly against Spike, just managing to keep his climax at bay. "What do you need?" He ran the palm of his hand over the sticky-wet head of Spike's cock. "Xander's mouth on you as I fuck your arse? With his eyes closed and his hand on his cock, stripping it fast because he's as bad as you at waiting? Would you like that, Spike? Can't give you Xander, but if you've not come by the time I have, I'll suck you off myself and you'll come then, won't you? Come in my mouth so I can taste you for hours..." Spike's back arched as he tried to choose between pushing forward into Giles' hand and back onto his cock, his head moving restlessly from side to side. "Or do you want me to order you to come? Tell you what I'll do if you disobey me? How you'll get to feel my belt, smacking hard across your belly, across your hands if you dare to try and shield yourself, because I won't tie you down. You'll have to stay where I put you by yourself."

Giles straightened up and brought the flat of his hand down on Spike's flank, where the skin was relatively unmarked, the slap sending a jolt to his cock as his hand throbbed.

Spike cried out and shoved back to meet Giles' next thrust. "Yeah. God. More?"

It was asked with enough deference that Giles decided to grant the request; this slap was harder than the first, the sharp crack of it echoing in the room. He thrust forward so fiercely that he knew Spike would be sore for hours, and Spike gasped.

"God," Spike said. "Yeah. Oh, fuck, yeah..." This was followed by Spike's plaintive wail as he began to come. Giles thrust even more roughly, more quickly, listening to the sounds of Spike's cries and whimpers as his second orgasm proved to be more intense than the first and closing his eyes as he realized his own was imminent.

He lasted for three, perhaps four, more strokes before crying out, his mind closing down, losing control of a body that cared about nothing but coming and ending the striving towards a climax that was rushing at him anyway, inevitable and welcome.

Panting, his shoulders heaving as he dragged air into lungs that seemed to have stopped functioning when Spike came, Giles eased out of Spike and sank to the floor beside him, pulling Spike down to join him and kissing him because it was too soon to talk, the kisses still holding an edge of the frantic desperation they'd felt.

Spike pressed himself closer, their sticky, softening cocks rubbing against each other as they kissed. Spike's hands rubbed soothingly over every part of Giles' arms, shoulders, chest and back they could reach, his mouth accepting each of Giles' kisses with small sounds of contentment.

"Think you might have killed me," Spike said eventually, when Giles' heartbeat was settling down. "I'll never get hard again. Pity." He looked into Giles' eyes with perhaps a bit more worship than Giles was comfortable with. "Worth it, though."

"If I thought there was the remotest chance of that being true, I'd start to worry," Giles said, stretching out and feeling his muscles protest. "Or are you just trying to make sure I prove you wrong later?" He took stock of how he felt and added, "Much, much later. Possibly this time next year later."

"Good," Spike said, licking and biting at Giles' throat and sliding a hand down between his legs, fondling his cock. "Because you're not getting near me again with this monster for at least a week." Teeth scraped along Giles' collar bone, but very gently. "Unless you say otherwise, of course."

Spike was seized by a sudden and spectacular yawn.

"Think we could have another shower and a bit of a nap?" he asked hopefully, sounding like his normal self for the most part.

"I think I could be brought to agree to that, yes," Giles said. He hesitated after they'd moved apart and got to their feet. Spike did seem so much calmer now... "Are we -- do you still want this to continue? Because we can stop any time." He cupped Spike's face, staring down at him. "Tell me when it's enough. Please? I don't want this to end with you resenting me and what I'm doing."

Spike nodded, but his eyes were troubled. "Not sure I'll know when it's enough," he said.

"I'm starting to think that for you it won't be enough until you've got Xander back," Giles told him, stroking Spike's hair. "The problem I'm having is that I'm not really feeling angry with you any more." He grinned. "Smacking your faithless, two-timing arse took the edge off that quite nicely."

"Wasn't my arse that was doing the two-timing," Spike said, grinning back. "More like my stupidity." He seemed at ease, but Giles thought that might be just because he was so worn out.

They went upstairs slowly. Giles did not, of course, take any satisfaction in the small groans of discomfort that escaped Spike. He wouldn't be so petty as to feel pleased that he wasn't the only one sore and stiff. The hottest shower they could stand did a fair bit to loosen up Giles' muscles, and it was with a sigh of relief that he saw that Spike had stripped the sheets and replaced them with clean ones when he'd come up to get Xander's shirt earlier.

Spike groaned as he got in beside Giles, and again as he snuggled in close. "You okay?" Spike asked.

"Ask me when I wake up," Giles said. He had just enough energy to capture Spike's mouth in a kiss, warm and languid, their tongues touching lightly. "Love you," he murmured, closing his eyes. "Which won't stop me getting violent if you wake me up too soon."

Spike managed to squirm even closer. "Promises, promises..." he said drowsily.

Giles dozed for at least an hour, occasionally opening his eyes sleepily before shifting a bit and drifting off again. Each time, Spike readjusted his own position so that he was curled around Giles.

Some time later, Giles heard an annoying sound that he recognized instinctively as something that ought to be avoided. It wasn't until Spike had shaken him with a hand on his hip that he woke up enough to realize that it was his cell phone, kept on the bedside table overnight and forgotten until just now.

"Probably work," Spike mumbled, pressing his face to Giles' side.

"Probably," Giles said with a resigned sigh, reaching out for the phone with the hand that wasn't trapped under Spike's neck. He pressed a button, getting the right one more by luck than anything else, his eyes still sleep-bleared. "Hello? Rupert Giles speaking."

"Hi, Giles, it's me," came Xander's familiar voice. "Did I wake you up? Don't tell me you and Spike are taking advantage of my lack of being there by catching up on your sleep."

"Xander!" Giles said, that single word bringing Spike's head up and wiping the drowsiness off his face. "Well, as it happens, yes, you did, but you're forgiven because you're not Miss MacAlister."

Xander laughed, perhaps a bit too heartily. "No kidding! I'm still sorry -- I thought this would be a good time to call."

"No, it's fine," Giles assured him. "Are you having a good time? How's Dawn?"

"Full of the vigor of youth," Xander said. "She's getting dressed. We're apparently going out dancing at some gay club she and Wills found, following our afternoon at the mall." Xander's voice lowered a bit. "Okay, saying that we spent the afternoon at the mall isn't entirely accurate. Dawn and her friends spent the afternoon at the mall. Buffy and Willow treated me to a long and boozy lunch at a restaurant at one end of the mall. We never actually set foot in the mall part of the mall."

"You've been drinking?" Giles asked, with austere disapproval as if he'd never once touched alcohol before the sun did whatever it was supposed to do to a mythical yardarm. "In the day?" His brain caught up with the rest of what Xander had said and he frowned. "You're going out to a gay club and you're drunk before you even get there?"

Spike sat upright, his face mirroring the expression Giles was sure was on his own face. He reached out for the phone and Giles glared at him, batting his hand away.

Xander snickered, and Giles thought he heard a female voice saying something in the background. "Don't worry," Xander said. "Buffy promises to protect my virtue." He snickered again.

"Oh, she does, does she?" Giles said. "And what's so amusing about that idea?" He just barely stopped himself from adding 'pray tell' to the end of his sentence. God, he sounded like Xander's grandfather. Or his maiden aunt.

"I'm going with a bunch of girls," Xander said, which was followed immediately by a yelp. "Ow! Ow! Quit it! Buffy!" He was laughing, and Giles had to admit that the sound of it was exceedingly pleasant, even if there was a small part of him that wished he were the cause of Xander's mirth. "Okay! Look, I'll repeat the misogynist's apology later... I'm on the phone. Yeah, I know." There was the sound of a door shutting, and then things were quieter. "Sorry, Giles. You know how it is."

Giles relaxed. It wasn't Xander's fault that the idea of him at a club was tangled up with bad memories of the night before -- and he doubted that the girls -- yes, he'd call them that if he wanted -- would let anyone, male, female or demon, drag Xander away from them when it'd been months since they last saw him.

"Of course I do." He hesitated; there seemed little point in asking how Xander's flight had gone, or what the weather was like, or if everyone was well; obviously things were fine, judging by the laughter. "We're missing you," he said. "Looking forward to seeing you again."

Spike rolled his eyes in response to what Giles had to admit wasn't exactly sparkling conversation and gestured impatiently for the phone again. Giles clung onto it stubbornly, wanting to hear Xander's voice once more before he surrendered it.

"I know," Xander said, serious now, his voice rough and gravelly. If Giles had closed his eyes, he might have thought Xander was right beside him in bed. "I miss you, too. A lot. More than a lot. How's Spike?"

"He's... well, he's -- why don't you speak to him yourself?" Giles said desperately, passing the phone to Spike, who snatched it from him, his face lighting up. Somehow, hearing Xander's voice was bringing it home to him just how much Xander would disapprove of what they were doing, and Giles couldn't carry on a conversation with so much to hide.

"Hi, Xan," Spike said, rolling onto his stomach. "Yeah, we're good. Yeah." He glanced sideways at Giles. "What was that you were saying about going out?... Uh-huh. Sounds like fun." Although he'd begun the conversation sounding fairly happy, there was a hint of tension creeping into Spike's voice now. "Yeah, I know. Miss you, too."

There was enough longing in those last words to have Giles reaching out to touch Spike under the covers, stroking his hand comfortingly down his back -- and finishing, as he usually did, with his hand on Spike's arse, forgetting momentarily how tender it was. Spike gave a small yelp as his arse was touched and kicked out instinctively, his foot connecting with Giles' shin.

"Sorry," Giles mouthed at him, snatching back his hand.

"No, no, I'm fine," Spike was saying into the phone. "Giles just... look, love, it's a long story." He shifted his weight and put the hand that wasn't holding the phone over his eyes. "Yeah. Good. Be sure to tell Bit Happy Birthday from me, right? Yeah... All right. Giving you back to Giles, then. Have fun, yeah? Love you."

Without turning his head, Spike held the phone out to Giles.

Giles took the phone, remembering a game of his childhood called 'Hot Potato' where something unwanted was passed between people as fast as possible. Not that they didn't want Xander, of course; they just wanted him here where they could talk to him properly...

"So, have you been sightseeing at all?" Giles inquired, retreating into the mundane once more and hoping to stave off any awkward questions. "It's pouring it down here as usual; we haven't left the house today."

"So far, I've pretty much seen the airport and the restaurant at the mall," Xander said. "Well, and the inside of my eyelids." There was some background noise, and Xander said, muffled, "Yeah, okay, hang on." Then, more clearly, "I've gotta go, Giles, or face the wrath of the birthday girl."

"Oh. Yes, of course," Giles said a little flatly. "Well, enjoy yourself tonight and we'll see you on Monday."

"Nope," Xander said cheerfully. "Okay, okay, I'm coming. Um, sorry, Giles, I didn't mean that literally. Where was I? Oh, right... my flight got cancelled for Monday morning." Giles felt his heart sink. "They gave me a choice between switching to Sunday or Monday night, so I took Sunday. I'd have to have gotten up at ungodly o'clock Monday morning anyway, so it's not like I'm losing any time."

"Oh!" said Giles, feeling much happier. "So you'll be with us late tomorrow night then? That's wonderful." Realizing that he was being a little selfish, he added, "Although I'm sure everyone there won't agree with that."

"Actually, Willow said, and I quote, 'Oh goodie, that means I don't have to get up at five to take you to the airport.'" Xander sounded good-humored about it. "And then she apologized about eight times until I told her to shut up." More noise in the background. "Okay, now I've really gotta go. I'll see you tomorrow night. I love you."

"Love you," Giles said and then heard the click of the phone. He set his phone down and turned to look at Spike. "Xander's coming home earlier," he said gently. "Does that -- that's good, isn't it?"

"Yeah," Spike said, barely audibly because he'd collapsed face-first into the pillow and was lying there like that. "Yeah, that's great."

"Well, that's totally convincing," Giles said, resting his hand on Spike's shoulder and feeling how tense he was. "I'm not going to try and guess why you've gone into a sudden decline; just tell me, please." He came close enough to kiss the side of Spike's head, which was all that he could see. "Love? Please?"

Spike lifted himself up and turned onto his side, facing Giles. "Guess maybe I was hoping I wasn't as broken as I am. But this..." He made a fairly meaningless gesture, but Giles could guess what he was talking about easily enough. "Proves otherwise, doesn't it."

"I don't -- he's coming back," Giles said, feeling helpless. "He sounded fine; he said he loved us and he missed us." He felt as if he was groping through a mist. "You're concerned about what he's going to think? About what we've done? Because I think I'm the one who's going to be in his bad books, not you. He's incredibly protective of you, you know."

"Doesn't see me how I really am, though, does he." Spike's eyes searched Giles'. "Wants to pretend everything's fine, that I'm not..." He sighed and leaned in close, burying his face against Giles' chest. Giles put an arm around him, not knowing what else to do. "Don't worry. I'll tell him it was all me. Get you off the hook."

"If you've quite finished being noble?" Giles said, stroking his hand slowly over Spike's back. "Do you really think Xander's going to believe that you hypnotized, bullied or bribed me into spanking you? Or that I'd allow you to feel ashamed of asking for help when you needed it?" Giles sighed. "I didn't know what was wrong until you rubbed my nose in it; we're both to blame for being so blind."

"You're not," Spike said, sounding surprisingly fierce as he pulled back and looked at Giles. "Don't say that. You're not responsible for this." He got out of bed and walked from one side of the room to the other as if he weren't sure where to go. "We can't keep doing this," he said, sounding a bit panicked as he ran his hand through his hair, which did little to straighten his mussed curls. "I can't. It has to stop. No more."

"Why?" Giles said. "I told you it could stop when you liked, and it can. You know that, I hope. But I want to know why." He sat up, watching Spike carefully. "You did this to... ground yourself. To stop yourself from hurting all of us, and I helped you willingly. Because of when it happened, Xander didn't get a say in it. Yes, we both think he'll be disturbed -- and as much by the fact that I was... not averse to doing it, as by you asking for it, although I don't think that's occurred to you, has it? But Xander loves you -- us --  and I really think once we explain, he'll understand." Giles looked down at his hands, resting linked on the covers. "I trust him to understand," he said softly. "So should you."

"That's not the point," Spike said irritably. Giles didn't look up, but seconds later Spike was sitting down on the bed beside him, lifting Giles' face with his hands. "I needed this, yeah, and you gave it to me. Can't even begin to tell you how much that means." His expression was serious, and he leaned in and kissed Giles determinedly.

It wasn't a quick, grateful sort of kiss, although there was gratitude in it. But Spike's hands on Giles' jaw and shoulder were gentle, loving, and Giles couldn't help but encourage more without words, settling his own hand on Spike's waist and kissing back.

Kissing Spike was still, after all this time, something Giles didn't take for granted. Sometimes, in the split-second before their lips met, he half-expected a cool touch, and when he felt warmth instead there was an instant of surprise, followed by a flash of joy.

Now, with Spike's mouth moving against his in a perfectly timed shift and slide of lips and tongue, Giles felt all the love that Spike kept hidden almost as much as he did, spiced with a disturbance that Giles was set on resolving.

Tilting his head back, he said bluntly, "Then what is the point?"

Spike made a frustrated sound. "The point is, I'm the one that says when this is enough, and I'm saying it. You're upset. Xander's gonna be upset. It's not worth it."

"I'm not upset," Giles said honestly. "I'm dealing with finding out something about myself that I'd... well, not quite acknowledged before, but I'm not upset. And that's beside the point. You're upset and I can't imagine Xander blaming me for helping you or you for asking for help. Quite the opposite."

"He doesn't want me this way," Spike said quietly.

"What way?" Giles asked just as quietly. "Loving him enough to do all you can to keep him from being hurt? Having the honesty to share our needs with me? I think Xander wants you just like that." He leaned his forehead against Spike's. "I know I do."

"That's not what I meant," Spike said, but he didn't move away. "You deserve better. Both of you."

"We want you," Giles said with a soft insistence. "We love you. All of you. You think you're fucked up?" Spike jerked slightly in reaction to that choice of words, but Giles carried on, grimly determined. "Ever think about whom you chose to be with? Ever stop to think that Xander still believes that he's a coward who left Anya because he didn't have the guts to commit? Or consider how the loss of his eye has affected him, so he works in a room by himself all day and doesn't have to think people are staring? Or that I've been alone for years because I let the Council turn me into the sort of person no normal, sane person would want to get within ten foot of them, let alone love them? You don't know all I've done, Spike. What I'm capable of doing." He leaned back against the pillows and sighed. "Of the three of us, you're probably the most well-adjusted to an onlooker."

Spike didn't look particularly convinced, but he moved, straddling Giles' waist unexpectedly. "Love that about you," he murmured, his mouth close to Giles'. "And yeah, I do know what you're capable of. Love knowing it, love that you're capable of it. And Xander does, too. You know that." Spike's arse, which still felt warmer than the rest of him, settled down against Giles' stomach. "Nothing about you I don't love." Spike darted out his tongue and licked Giles' lower lip. "Well. Could live without your unnatural fondness for mushy peas."

"You've lived in California too long," Giles said. "They're very nice. Spike? Fuck me? Please?"

He felt Spike's cock begin to harden against his stomach immediately, and Spike groaned, sucking Giles' lip into his mouth and biting down on it gently for a moment. "That what you want?" Spike asked, his lips so close to Giles' that they might as well have been kissing. "Will that put things right between us?" He didn't sound convinced, as if he truly believed that there was something that needed to be put right.

"No," Giles said. "Because there's nothing wrong. It'll just give me -- and I hope you -- much pleasure. But you don't have to. You can just keep on kissing me like that instead." Giles smiled at him. "Anything you do along those lines makes me quite astonishingly happy."

"Not like that's a chore," Spike said, leaning in an inch or so to kiss Giles again, slowly and carefully. Their kisses were rarely like this; they tended to be more forceful and hungrier, each of them seeming to save their gentleness for Xander, who for some reason they both felt needed it. Kissing Spike like this was... a novelty, and certainly not one that Giles was likely to complain about.

As they kissed, Spike continued to rub his growing erection against Giles' stomach, and after a few minutes, he broke away, moving his lips to Giles' throat and kissing it very softly.

Giles sighed in utter contentment, turning his head as Spike placed more of the unhurried kisses in a meandering line leading along the side of his neck and letting his hands caress Spike's body lightly.

"Mm," Spike murmured, moving lower and tracing Giles' collar bone with his tongue. "You taste good." His mouth was warm, leaving small damp spots on Giles' skin, and his cock bumped against Giles own erection as Spike slid his legs down to tangle with Giles'. "Feel good, too."

"So much for not getting hard again, ever," Giles said with a low chuckle. "God, what you do to me..." He rubbed his instep along Spike's calf, feeling a sensual thrill at the play of muscle against his foot. "And not just when we're like this. You can make me want you at the oddest times, just with a look, just with a word..."

"All I have to do is think about you," Spike said. His mouth hovered over Giles' right nipple, the warm air as he spoke causing it to tighten. "Have to try to remember not to when I meet with Sarah -- best not to get hard in front of her, yeah? Don't want to get her hopes up." Spike's lips closed around Giles' nipple and he sucked gently at it, making Giles arch his back and groan.

"Did she ever -- God! -- chat you up then?" Giles remembered, distantly, his initial thoughts that Spike and Sarah might hit it off and shivered, tightening his arms around Spike possessively for a moment. "I'm sure she wanted to..."

"Sure she did," Spike said, sounding distracted, which was gratifying. He kissed Giles' stomach, dipped his tongue into Giles' navel. "First day, anyway. But you know what people are like. Rumors spread fast. Especially when they're about who's fucking who behind closed doors." His warm, wet mouth closed around the tip of Giles' cock.

"I've never had you at work!" Giles said, trying to summon up some righteous indignation when Spike was -- oh God -- "Don't stop... that thing with your tongue, God, don't ever stop... I'll fuck you over my desk with Miss MacAlister in earshot if you just... don't... stop..."

"That a promise?" Spike asked, licking Giles' shaft in a long downward stroke. "Because I could really get off on that." He turned his attention to Giles' balls, taking one and then the other into his mouth and sucking on them, his hands urging Giles to spread his thighs wider. "Not that I ever have any trouble getting off when you're involved."

If Giles hadn't been so busy reminding himself to breathe, he'd have appreciated the compliment. But then Spike was mouthing the tip of his cock again, driving any thoughts from his head and leaving him with nothing but sensation.

The wet, soft drag of Spike's tongue, leisurely and relaxed, was doing more to drive Giles mindless with lust than the hard, ruthless assault Spike was equally capable of mounting. Not that writhing helplessly under Spike when he was in a determined, take-no-prisoners mood didn't have its appeal... but this loving seduction was capturing Giles' senses one by one and leaving him enthralled in every meaning of the word.

Spike seemed content to continue for as long as Giles would let him. At no time did he act as if he wanted more, although the occasional brush of his erection against Giles' calf said otherwise. The small noises of pleasure that he made as he sucked and licked at Giles' cock left no question in Giles' mind that Spike was more than enjoying himself, and when Giles felt the sudden, fleeting touch of a fingertip back behind his balls it was so unexpected that he gasped and tensed.

Spike paused, glancing up along Giles' body. With his lips rounded and spread by Giles' cock and his cheeks hollowed, he looked as erotic a sight as Giles had seen. Giles relaxed, tilting his hips encouragingly so that Spike's finger slid inside him.

Closing his eyes, Giles let his head fall back, allowing Spike to slowly, gently tweak his state of arousal higher with each swirl of his tongue. Somehow, Spike's fingertip was slick with what felt like saliva, and every few moments it would press itself a little bit further into Giles' body. He found himself anticipating each movement, rocking his hips to get it a bit further in, moaning in a low voice occasionally.

"Fuck, you feel good," Spike muttered, licking at Giles' balls and pushing his finger deeper.

The intensity in Spike's voice was doing as much as his hands and mouth to make Giles feel wanted and loved. He'd never had Spike this focused on him before, with no sense of urgency, no need to rush, and, given what they'd gone through, no inhibitions. He wanted Spike inside him; ached for that sense of being filled and possessed, but the anticipation of it was enough because this was too perfect to wish away.

"Love you," he said, wanting it said now, while he was still capable of coherent speech and relaxed enough to be honest. "Always. Mine."

"Yeah," Spike agreed, reaching for the lube and slicking his fingers before going back to what he'd been doing, the slow push of his slim fingers into Giles' body an eagerly welcomed invasion. "Yours. And you're mine." He sucked on the head of Giles' cock again, working the foreskin back and forth slowly. His thumb rubbed Giles' balls, his fingertip deep inside Giles brushing over his prostate and making Giles twitch and groan.

"Promise you won't forget that?" Giles said, hearing his voice rasp in a throat tight with a tangle of emotion and sensation. "Promise me."

Spike looked up at him, lips flushed pink, blue eyes dark with arousal. "Can't promise that," Spike said, rubbing his fingers across Giles' prostate again with a steady pressure that nearly took Giles' breath away. Spike's mouth twitched in what was almost a smile. "But... I can promise I'll do my best to let you know when I need reminding."

"I'll remind you," Giles said, his body tensing with a shiver of lust as he thought of how Spike would want him to do that. He arched against Spike's knowing touch and gasped. "Spike -- please -- God!"

"S'okay," Spike said, slicking his cock with his free hand and moving up to cover Giles with his body, kissing him as he replaced his fingers with his cock. He eased inside, stretching Giles, the burn almost non-existent in the face of the pleasure.

Giles managed to smile as he asked, "Not... going to... make me wait?" the words disjointed and breathless. His hands went to Spike's hips, eager to touch the warm, smooth skin there, stretched taut over the jutting bones. Spike was still reed-thin, although his face was losing some of its gauntness, but there was a vitality to him that made him capable of dominating a room when he chose; that hadn't changed.

"Then I'd have to wait," Spike said tightly, pressing inward. "And I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm not actually all that patient. Fuck, Giles. Love. Love you." And Spike was as deep as he could go, the two of them wide eyed and staring at each other, breathing as one in harsh gasps in the moment before they began to move.

Then the moment broke, and Spike was pulling back, thrusting in again, groaning. But he didn't look away, their gazes locked together.

Giles' eyes closed once or twice, the inevitable reaction to what Spike was doing shutting them whether he wanted them to or not, but he always forced them open again, caught in the intimacy of fucking like this as he stared at Spike's expressive face, watching each minute shift of muscle, watching the murmured, broken words spill from his lips, shaping around his name as often as anything else.

He could feel the tension in Spike's body, the stubbornness to remain in control, to be gentle, but it couldn't last. They both knew it. On Spike's next thrust they both groaned. "God, love," Spike muttered, licking his lips before kissing Giles again hungrily, his mouth feeding from Giles' as if it contained everything he needed.

Giles brought his hand up along the sweeping curve of Spike's back and threaded his hand through the hair, longer now, that lay against Spike's neck, holding Spike close. "Want you," he said, caught up suddenly in the impatience that drove Spike. "Not holding back. Show me."

There was a sharp hunger in him to be possessed, overwhelmed by the strength of someone who loved him; to be the one taken, the one held. Strange that it was something he could ask of Spike given how the day had begun, but he knew that he could.

The next thrust was so forceful and quick that it literally drove a startled cry from Giles, who clutched at Spike, refusing to let their mouths part for more than an instant or two. He let Spike find a rhythm and then joined in, moving with him, doing everything he could to encourage more.

"God, yeah," Spike gasped. "Love... m'not. Don't want to. No holding back." His hand groped down between them and found Giles' cock, swollen and aching, and closed around it.

That assured, ruthlessly kind caress brought Giles to the point where he wasn't even capable of groaning; his mouth fell open on one, but the weight of longing left him breathless and robbed it of sound. More. He needed more. More of those fast, hard jerks of Spike's hips that sent his cock deep inside Giles. More of the snatched, swift kisses, with Spike biting and sucking at Giles' lips, until he tasted blood, salt and fresh. More of Spike's hand, with his finger and thumb circling the head of Giles' cock and unleashing a tumultuous flood of sensations that coursed through Giles' body and left him capable of nothing but surrender.

"Come," Spike urged him roughly, the head of his cock brushing Giles' prostate and his fist stripping Giles' cock. "Come for me, love." Another thrust, and Spike's mouth crushed to Giles' in a commanding kiss.

Giles came. There was nothing else he could do and nothing else that he wanted to do. It was a climax he couldn't control, one he'd gifted to Spike. Whatever control his mind had held over his body was taken from him with Spike's command, and he came, the scream of pleasure, raw and uninhibited in his head, melting to a whimper against Spike's tongue as his body jerked wildly in release. His hands clamped down on Spike's hips, his fingers digging into Spike's arse, heedless of the bruises decorating it, and he felt Spike writhe against him sensuously as if the pain was a second gift as welcome as the first.

Spike didn't even manage another complete thrust before he came as well, deep inside Giles, the hand around Giles' cock tightening to an almost painful grip. "God," Spike groaned, long and drawn out, jaw clenched. Weight supported on his right elbow, Spike curled that hand into Giles' hair and grabbed hold, forcing another kiss as he groaned again against Giles' lips.

Kissing Spike as his body slowly recovered from the intensity of his climax, the contact gentling gradually until they were both laughing softly, punctuating it with more kisses, brief, still charged touches, that left Giles feeling relaxed and content, was, in some ways, more of a suitable ending than their orgasms.

Their lovemaking was ending as it'd begun: their gazes locked, hands caressing each other with a new tenderness.

"It's going to be fine," Giles said after a while, when Spike was lying beside him, curled close. "Really it is. I know it."

"Telling the future now, are we?" Spike sounded sleepy, content.

"You didn't know that I could do that?" Giles asked. "I'm astonished it never came up in conversation."

He was far too tightly wrapped around Spike to stand a chance of avoiding the smack that remark got him.

Spike's hand soothed the spot it had just hit. "Gonna take another nap?" he asked with a yawn.

"We didn't finish the first one," Giles reminded him. "Not that I'm complaining about what we did instead." He kissed Spike's shoulder because it was there and smiled as Spike fell asleep between one breath and the next.

Part Five

"He landed an hour ago," Giles said, sounding like someone on the extreme edge of his patience. "He'll be here any minute."

He'd said that the last three times Spike had asked, but Xander still wasn't making an appearance. Spike pouted, caught Giles' eye, and stopped. He knew that Giles was just as eager to see Xander as he was -- and probably just as apprehensive, too.

The time since Xander's call on Saturday afternoon had been spent enjoying themselves -- fucking until they'd both called a halt on account of exhaustion. They spent the evening drinking beer, eating take out curry, and watching movies with car chases and explosions because the cliché called for it and they were in that kind of a mood.

When they'd woken, the sun had broken through the tatters of clouds left behind from yesterday's storm and even the brisk, chilly wind hadn't stopped them going out, hopping on bus after bus and exploring London like tourists, with Spike reconciling his earliest memories of the city with what existed now and feeling an odd pang of nostalgia when he discovered a pond he used to sail toy ships on still held ducks.

He'd resisted and protested when Giles had dragged him into the Victoria and Albert Museum and then, captivated by the displays, had been the one who had to be persuaded to leave when Giles refused to walk down another corridor or climb another flight of stairs.

They'd got back, checked Xander's flight details online, and done some desultory tidying up before settling down; Giles recumbent on the couch, Spike on the floor, leaning back against it so that Giles' hand could trail idly through his hair as he read to him.

Except the reading had been interrupted several times because as the hours went by Spike couldn't think about anything but Xander.

"Feel like I'm gonna be sick," Spike muttered, twisting, turning his head and pressing his forehead to Giles' knee. His stomach felt like he'd swallowed something he shouldn't have, his pulse was too quick, and he was starting to get a headache despite the fact that he was wearing his spectacles.

"Then make sure you don't throw up on me," Giles said with a distinct lack of sympathy in his voice, although the hand that stroked the back of Spike's neck was comforting. "And don't, for the love of heaven, greet him with a confession and an emotional scene the minute he walks in. He's a little late, so there's obviously been a small delay, and he won't be in the mood for --"

The scrape of a key in the door cut off Giles' lecture and the hand on Spike's neck clamped down painfully.

Knowing Giles was as on edge as he was helped. Not much, but a little.

Spike had thought that he'd hang back and let Giles greet Xander first, but as he heard the door opening he found himself scrambling to his feet and heading for the front hall, where Xander was just coming in and setting down his suitcase. Spike picked up the case and moved it over against the wall as Xander shut the door, and then put his arms around Xander -- underneath his jacket, and it must have started to rain because it was damp -- and kissed him. "Missed you," Spike murmured, trying not to cling too desperately. He knew Giles was standing there behind him, waiting his turn, but he couldn't quite let go.

"I missed you, too," Xander said, his hand cradling the back of Spike's head as he pulled him in for another, longer kiss. His lips and nose were cold. "You okay?"

He knew what Giles would think of him saying otherwise, so Spike nodded and stepped back. "Yeah. Had a good day, didn't we, Giles."

"My aching feet prove it," Giles said dryly. He met Xander's questioning look with a smile. "We went sightseeing, just like you. At least I hope you didn't go to Rome and miss everything but the shops and clubs." Before Xander could answer -- although his guilty expression did it for him -- Giles moved closer and gave him a kiss that, to Spike, looked as desperate as his own once Giles got going.

"Well, it's good to have you back, Xander," Giles said, stepping aside. "Are you hungry? Do you want anything?"

Xander shook his head and took off his jacket, hanging it up. "I had scary snacks on the plane. Some kind of fruit cup thing. I think it might have been alien fruit."

Not knowing what else to do or say, Spike cleared his throat and gestured at the suitcase. "Want me to take that up for you?"

"Nah, leave it." Xander was bending to untie his shoes. "I'll get it later. So where'd you go? Anywhere I'll be sorry I missed?"

Spike couldn't help but think of Friday night, and the knot in his stomach tightened.

"I don't think so," Giles said. "Museums, parks -- completely forgettable pub for lunch, although their steak and kidney pudding wasn't bad. Not really your idea of fun."

Xander straightened and shrugged agreeably, toeing his shoes aside, and then headed for the living room, dropping down in the middle of the couch with a contented sigh.

Giles and Spike followed him in. The couch was big enough for all three of them, but normally they each took a different chair, and Spike often preferred a cushion and the floor. Tonight they sat on either side of Xander, Giles slipping his arm around Xander's shoulders, Spike resting his hand on Xander's leg, kneading the muscle with his fingers like an anxious cat.

"So how was it?" Giles asked. "Did Dawn enjoy herself last night? Did you?"

"God, was that last night? It feels like a hundred years ago." Xander sighed again, but Spike didn't think he sounded tired. "It was good. Dawn had fun, there was much dancing and not too much drinking, and Buffy met a guy."

"At a gay club?" Spike asked. Didn't seem like an unreasonable thing to ask, and he was surprised to note that all he wanted for Buffy was for her to be happy. There wasn't any longing there anymore when he thought of her.

"Yeah. There are plenty of straight people at gay clubs, which I'm pretty sure you already know." Xander was looking at him funny. "Including Dawn and her friends. Although with the way they were dancing together, I could see how people might get the wrong idea."

"And you let --" Spike caught himself. "Huh. Guess she's old enough to do what she wants now. Still think I'd have a hard time buying her a drink though. Old habits."

"Quite," Giles murmured. "But with all that Dawn's experienced, I suppose it's time we trusted her to make her own decisions about her life. She'll make errors of judgment no doubt, but she won't learn any other way. I just hope snakebites aren't popular in Rome; that drink was my particular nemesis one Saturday night when I was her age; never touched one since." He leaned back and said, a little too casually, "Meet anyone interesting?"

"Not as interesting as you guys," Xander said, as if he meant it. He settled his hand on top of Spike's and rested it there, stilling the movements of Spike's hand. "What's going on?" he asked, turning to look at Spike.

Spike looked at Giles hopefully.

"Nothing," Giles said, drawing Xander's attention back to him, for which Spike was profoundly grateful. He was flashing back to that fucking toilet and that bit of a kid, younger than Dawn, for God's sake, and he was swamped in the sick shame he hadn't let himself feel when Giles had found him. "There's something we need to discuss that cropped up over the weekend, but it's not in the least urgent."

"Well, right now the only urgent thing for me is to lie down," Xander said, glancing between them before shifting and doing so, his head in Spike's lap and his calves draped over Giles'. "Okay," he said, as Spike began to tentatively stroke his hair. "I'm lying down, so lay it on me."

"On Friday we went to that club, as you know," Giles began, his voice steady, reaching out and taking Spike's free hand in his. "I was... not having the best of times, to be honest, and by the time Spike and I got back home we were... arguing."

Spike squeezed Giles' hand. "You don't have to do that," he said. "Don't lie for me." He could tell Xander knew something was wrong, so he tried to get as much of it out at once as he could. "I grabbed some poor bloke -- a kid, really -- off the dance floor and dragged him into the bathroom. Kissed him. Got him to..." He closed his eyes and swallowed, forced himself to open them again. "Giles came in before anything really happened, though. Stopped me. I needed him to."

Xander was looking up at him, hurt and confusion on his face, but he put his hand where Spike's and Giles' were entwined. "I don't... why? Were you that mad at me for going?"

"No," Spike said. "I don't know. Maybe. Not mad so much as worried."

"Worried about what?" Xander asked gently.

"That you weren't coming back," Spike said.


"I didn't quite understand that at first either," Giles said, stepping in as, apart from that single, puzzled word, Xander seemed struck dumb by Spike's confession. "You were only going away for the weekend, after all. But what it comes down to is that Spike needs something from us that we haven't been giving him. Needs it and didn't ask because he was afraid that if he did he'd lose you." Xander's face showed an instant concern, but Giles kept on talking, obviously as keen as Spike had been to get this said. "You leaving imposed an additional stress, and it got too much for him. So he did enough -- more than enough -- to open my eyes, and after some discussion I... gave him what he wanted." Giles hesitated. "I was more than willing to do it. I was angry enough at first to make it easy but after that... I still wanted to."

Xander sat up and pulled Spike into his lap roughly and unexpectedly, which of course made Spike wince because his arse was still sore and would be for days. Gentle hands removed Spike's glasses and handed them to Giles, then touched Spike's face, not giving him any choice but to meet Xander's gaze. "I know," Xander said. "You don't have to tell me." Relief flooded through Spike, making him feel sick and warm and weak, and he heard Giles sigh. "Please. You don't really think I'm that stupid, do you? What did you do?" This last question was clearly directed at Giles.

Spike didn't turn his head, but out of the corner of his eye he saw Giles' hand come up to rub at the back of his neck. "I -- ah -- I -- oh God."

"Stripped me bare and spanked my arse raw," Spike said, rescuing Giles out of gratitude and not sharing his embarrassment, not now that Xander knew. "Made me feel safe. I needed to know someone could stop me when I went too far. If I don't know that, then I will. Like Friday. So sorry, love. Never wanted to hurt either of you. You gotta believe that."

Already the relief was receding; suppose before, when Xander had said he knew, he'd been talking about something else? Suppose he got mad at Giles for doing it... fuck. Spike held Xander's gaze and waited anxiously.

"I know," Xander said. "I know you wouldn't do something like that on purpose."

But that wasn't right, any more than it was to let Xander go on thinking it. "I did do it on purpose," Spike said, his voice trembling. "Knew that it'd push Giles' buttons, didn't I. Wanted to make him mad enough so he'd hurt me."

Xander's hands were still gentle, which just made Spike feel worse. "I know," Xander said. "Just because I've been kind of... okay, really avoidy on the whole subject doesn't mean I don't understand. I do. I get it. I'm not mad." He seemed to reconsider that. "Well, only a little mad. But also sorry."

"You've avoided it up to now," Giles said. "But that's not possible anymore. And it's so bloody difficult. I want to help Spike; I don't want to upset, or exclude you."

Giles sounded torn, and this was just what Spike didn't want to happen; him fucking things up between the two of them. He still, after all this time, felt that Xander's happiness came above his in Giles' eyes; it did in his own, and he didn't have a problem with that at all, but he wished, a little bitterly, that he'd been stronger. Giles shouldn't ever have to choose between them.

"I don't want to be upset or excluded," Xander said to Giles, before looking at Spike again. "And I don't want you to be needing something you're not getting. I can't say I like the idea of you being hurt, even if you want to be and Giles is the one doing it, but if you need it..."

"Wish I didn't," Spike said, beginning to think for the first time that maybe they were going to sort this out. "Wish I could figure out how not to."

"Maybe you will," Xander said. "Or maybe we will. Or maybe not." He sounded determined. "Either way, we'll find a way to deal with it. Okay?"

"Okay," Spike said.

"Good." Xander pushed Spike off his lap. "Strip."

Spike got his feet under him and stared at Xander. "What?"

Xander was... was that actually a smile? "You heard me. Strip. I want to see."

"You sure?" Spike hesitated, glancing at Giles for reassurance.

Giles gave a tiny shrug. "You'll be bruised for days. He'll see them at some point. It might as well be now." Something flickered in Giles' eyes, something that called out to Spike and made his heart begin to beat with a strong, slow pulse of arousal. Giles was getting off on this. On the idea of Spike displaying his well-punished arse to Xander.

Wasn't all Xander would be seeing either, unless Spike stripped with his back turned to them.

Because fuck yes, it was turning Spike on, too.

As aroused by that look as the apprehensive anticipation on Xander's face, Spike closed his eyes for a moment, trying to calm down.

"You're keeping Xander waiting," said Giles evenly, his voice an exact match for the one he'd used when spanking Spike and Spike had been wriggling too much and made him miss where he was aiming for. Spike knew why he'd said it. Knew Giles was making it just that little bit easier for him; reminding him that they were in this together and taking away his doubts.

With both of them telling him what to do, obeying came naturally.


When Spike started to take off his clothes, Xander got hard. It was that simple. It didn't seem to matter -- not to his dick, at least -- why Spike was taking off his clothes, or that Xander was actually a little bit apprehensive about seeing the extent of the damage. He wasn't dumb enough to think that a couple of smacks on the ass would satisfy Spike. Or, for that matter, Giles, who'd always had that in him. There'd been times Xander hadn't wanted to admit it -- even though it always started a low burn in his belly, started his pulse beating just a little bit faster -- but he liked that gleam in Giles' eye, that hint of rough, barely controlled power in his voice.

Xander felt his mouth go dry as Spike took off his shirt, revealing some small bruises on his torso and at least a couple of bite marks on his neck and shoulder. The collar of the shirt had hid them, but Xander could see them now.

He could also see that Spike's nipples were tight, his cheeks flushed. Not that it surprised him that Spike was getting off on stripping with him and Giles watching, any more than it surprised him that he and Giles were getting off on it, too.

Guess maybe the three of them were still just as good a match as he'd always thought.

Beside him Giles was breathing slowly, carefully, and the fact that Xander noticed that at all meant that it was quieter than usual, and the rasp of Spike's zipper coming down proved that it was, because it sounded loud.

Spike hooked his thumbs in his belt loops and wriggled his jeans down over his hips, his lips parting on a small gasp as they scraped across his ass. He kicked them off with just a bit of a flourish that reassured Xander, who'd been worrying over Spike's subdued attitude. It just wasn't him, somehow.

Giles muttered something that sounded like 'exhibitionist' and leaned back, relaxing like he was reassured, too.

Spike reached down and touched himself with one hand, letting his fingers drag slowly across his belly and down to his cock, stroking it casually as he stared directly at Xander, his blue eyes serious now.

"He's seen that before," Giles pointed out.

"Yeah," Spike said, his voice doing things to Xander, good things, scary things, things he wanted to happen. "Not since you did your best to wear it out though."

"Turn around," Xander said, his voice sounding a little bit funny as he waited.

And Spike did, slowly, facing away from Xander so that he could see the bruises on Spike's ass -- pretty nasty looking, but maybe not quite as bad as Xander had imagined. Seeing Spike's ass like that didn't make Xander want to touch it any less, though.

He slid down onto the floor, onto his knees behind Spike, and ran his fingers gently over the bruised skin. Spike twitched, in pain or surprise, and Xander murmured, "Shh. I just want to see."

Which was a total lie, because the next thing he did was lean closer and kiss one of the bruises, then let his tongue lick over the skin there. Spike groaned and shivered. "Xan..." he whispered, and Xander slid his hand up the front of Spike's thigh to his cock, pushing Spike's own hand out of the way and stroking slowly.

From where he was sitting, off to the side, Giles probably had a great view of everything that Xander was doing. It'd explain the sound he made, which was as close to a whimper as Xander had ever heard from Giles.

Giles, whose hand -- at least, Xander thought it was his hand -- God, had Giles used something else too? -- had left these marks on Spike for Xander to stare at and lick and kiss better.

Yeah. He sort of liked that idea. Because it meant they were both helping Spike; Giles by putting the marks -- the bruises -- there, and Xander by kissing them all better, one, by one, by...

Spike moaned, squirming his ass slowly and sending his cock slipping through the tight curve of Xander's hand. "Fuck, Xan -- feels good, love."

"It looks it," Giles murmured, sounding as if he was having problems forming words. Xander couldn't blame him.

Didn't blame him for anything right now.

Just planned to thank him, really soon, for doing the right thing, the way he always did.

Xander straightened and pressed one last kiss to the bruise where Spike's ass met his lower back, gave one more stroke with his hand, and then stood up. "Let's go upstairs," he said, turning Spike around and glancing at Giles. "I want to do this in our bed." He pressed his nose to Spike's so there was no question of how serious he was. "Our bed," he emphasized. "The bed that I will always come home to."

"Yeah?" Spike said, his hand curling around Xander's belt and holding on. "Promise?" It was hardly more than a whisper.

"Promise," Xander said, reaching out and drawing Giles closer, murmuring appreciatively as Giles kissed the side of his throat and his ear. "I love you. Both of you. Nothing's gonna change that."

"Thank you," Giles said, hugging him and then turning his head to give Spike a kiss that looked different somehow from the way they usually kissed, although Xander wasn't sure how. They looked happy though. Close. Loving. All good things, as far as Xander was concerned. "And yes, let's go upstairs, by all means."

Giles grinned as they turned and walked towards the stairs, Spike as unself-conscious about his nudity as usual. "It's going to be nice to have three of us in that bed tonight, Xander. Without you around to restrict his field of operations somewhat, you wouldn't believe how much Spike wriggles."

"Hey!" Spike protested. "Just a minute; I'm not the one who thinks the whole duvet belongs to him."

At least the arguing hadn't changed, Xander thought as he followed Spike up the stairs, noting that the backs of Spike's thighs had some light bruising, too.

"Well, fortunately, since you felt the need to be glued to my side all night, the covers weren't really a problem," Giles was saying.

"You love me touching you," Spike said.

"What I don't love is the wriggling," Giles said. "Not when I'm trying to sleep, at any rate."

Spike opened his mouth to say something else, and Xander reached out and stopped him with a finger over his lips. "Nope," Xander said cheerfully. "Go lie down on the bed. On your stomach."

The look Spike gave him before obeying was just going to make it that much harder for Xander to take his pants off without hurting himself.

After one speculative, slightly amused glance that traveled between Spike and Xander, Giles began to undress, giving Xander something else to look at. Which was kind of a shame on one level, since Xander definitely approved of the view when Spike's legs were spread like that.

By the time they were both naked, Spike had twisted his head around to watch them, a small, happy smile on his face. "Yeah," Spike murmured. "That's better. Now we match, right?" His gaze dropped to their cocks and his smile widened. "Oh, yeah, we're on the same page, I can tell."

"Possibly," Giles said walking over to the bed but not sitting down on it. "Or perhaps Xander's a few chapters ahead of you?"

Xander knew what he wanted, and he was pretty sure he could get it without hurting Spike. That was still important to him, even if it was really starting to sink in that Spike didn't mind being hurt. Liked it, even.

Needed it.

"Lie down," he ordered, going over and getting the lube. Spike did, cushioning his head on his arms, face hidden. Xander gestured at Giles to sit down, and Giles did, seemingly okay with whatever Xander wanted to do.

He squeezed some lube out onto his fingers and sat on Spike's other side, then slid two fingers into Spike without any warning. Spike gasped and groaned, the muscles in his thighs and ass tensing up. "Fuck," Spike said. "Xan. God." His hips rocked, pushing his cock into the mattress beneath him.

Giles settled himself more comfortably on the bed, watching Xander rather than Spike, which made Xander wonder what expression was on his face right now to make Giles look like that, his face flushed and his eyes dark with passion.

"What are you planning to do to him?" Giles asked, his voice surprisingly calm. He reached out and laid the back of his hand against Xander's chest, drawing it down slowly until it was resting between Xander's stomach and the base of his cock. "Or with him...?"

"I don't know," Xander said, pushing his slick fingers deeper and feeling Spike's body clench around him, warm and... God. He was so hard. The thought of Spike kissing someone else, threatening to do more, made him half-crazy, but he wasn't completely sure it was with jealousy.

Thoughtfully, he rubbed his fingertips over Spike's swollen prostate and watched Spike's hips rock, listened to him moan, the sound muffled by the pillow.

"You have any ideas?" Xander asked Giles, looking at him.

"I think Spike can stay still for a start," Giles said, taking back his hand and giving Spike's ass an admonishing tap. "You're not that fond of the duvet, are you? So stop trying to fuck it." Spike whimpered and Xander felt his movements still with an effort that had every muscle in Spike's body tensing up.

"Relax," Giles ordered, which shouldn't have worked -- how could you make someone relax? -- but it did. "Good." Giles glanced at Xander. "Are you angry with him for what he did? Because if you are, even a little, I think he'd rather you dealt with that tonight in whatever way you both agree on and get it over with so you can forgive him." Giles' hand caressed the curve of Spike's ass. "You can see how I did it, but that won't work for you, I suppose."

There was the faintest hint of a question in that, as if Giles, for once, was uncertain of what Xander's reaction would be.

"I don't know," Xander said again, sliding his fingers out of Spike, who whimpered, and moving his hand lower to pull at Spike's balls. "I don't think I want to hurt him. I'm not mad." He wasn't. It was weird, because he thought that he should have been, but he really wasn't. "Spike?"

"Yeah?" Still muffled, because Spike didn't lift his head.

"Do you believe me when I say that I'll always come home?" Xander asked.

There was a pause, and that was answer enough. Xander wasn't mad about what Spike had done, but he sure wasn't thrilled with the thought that Spike didn't -- couldn't, maybe -- believe him.

Quickly, before he could change his mind, Xander shifted, pulling Spike on top of him so the smaller man was straddling him and pushing his cock into Spike, tight and hot and... if Xander couldn't convince Spike any other way, he'd fuck it into him.

Spike gave a low groan as Xander's cock was worked deep inside him, throwing his head back. "Xander -- love."

"Do you believe me?" Xander repeated.

Spike turned his head to look at Giles, silently watching them. "Giles --"

"Xander asked you a question," Giles said, sounding a little sad, even a bit defeated, as if he'd been trying to convince Spike all weekend himself, and failed. "I thought by now you'd be able to say 'yes'."

"Want to say it," Spike said desperately.

Xander could feel the tremors running through Spike's body, connected as they were, and he could see the tension sharpening his features. He tightened his grip on Spike's hips and began to fuck him slowly, encouraging Spike to move on him as, positioned like this, Xander couldn't do much.

Spike moaned and closed his eyes, resting his hands on his own thighs like he wasn't sure if he was allowed to touch Xander. He moved, though -- lifted himself up until just the head of Xander's cock was inside him and then let gravity take him. The sensation of Spike around Xander's dick was enough to make Xander draw in a careful breath through his teeth.

"I'm gonna fuck you until you say it," Xander said, watching as Spike's cock twitched.

Spike's hands tightened into fists. "Want to," he said again, opening his eyes and looking at Xander. "God, love, I do. Promise me?" There was an edge of desperation in his voice, a glint of it in his eyes.

"I promise," Xander said immediately, rocking his hips. "I'll always come back. Always. I'll never leave you. Promise."

A shudder went through Spike. He caught his lower lip in his teeth and shook his head slightly. "Not... can't..."

Xander felt a surge of despair that nothing they could say seemed enough for Spike, followed by a spark of anger. "Not gonna let you be like this, Spike," he said. "Not gonna let you push us away when we're telling you --" He turned his head to Giles. "He won't listen, Giles."

"He always listens to you," Giles said softly. "He just needs a little more than that right now." Giles shifted position so that he was kneeling up, level with Spike, and smiled at Xander. "Ask him again."

"Spike?" Xander said. "Please?"

Spike shook his head mutely, his face anguished.

Giles sighed and brought his hand sweeping around to crack against Spike's ass, the sound of it, flat, uncompromising, followed by a gasping cry from Spike that sent shivers through Xander. He hadn't expected it to be that... real, somehow. That had to have hurt. Spike's face contorted and then relaxed, but his breathing was still quick and uneven and his hands on his thighs curled into fists again.

"He's going to keep fucking you, I'm going to keep spanking you until you say it," Giles murmured. "You can't doubt us both. We'll give you all you need, Spike." His hand rose and Spike's body jerked as he rode out another hard slap, his cock leaking, his face flushed, his gaze on Xander, eyes wide. "Just trust us."

It didn't take long. Xander slid his hands down to wrap his fingers around Spike's wrists, pinning them there and fucking up into him as hard as he could manage while Giles' palm slapped Spike's ass, Spike jolting and crying out with each blow until finally he gasped, "Yes! Yes. I believe you. Xander..."

And Spike was crying almost silently, and Xander struggled and shifted upright until he was sitting with Spike still in his lap, on his cock, and he just put his arms around Spike and held him, murmuring, "It's okay. Shh, sweetheart... it's okay." He could feel Giles holding onto both of them and turned his face to kiss him. Giles' mouth was firm but gentle against his own.

"It's all right," Giles said, hands urging Xander to change positions, to lift Spike and lay the smaller man on his back. "Here, Xander. Show him."

With Spike underneath him and Giles' hand running up and down along his spine, Xander started to move again, fucking Spike in long, slow strokes, watching him gasp and writhe, blue eyes bright with tears.

It was good. It was wonderful. But it wasn't all three of them.

"Giles?" Xander said, still moving inside Spike because he couldn't keep still, not now, but trying to slow it down even more. "Want you to fuck me. Now. Please?"

Spike moaned, shifting restlessly beneath Xander. "God, yeah."

Giles' hand went still against Xander's back and he could feel the heat from it soaking into him. Then it followed the line of his spine down and kept going until Giles' thumb was pressing against Xander's opening and his hand was curved and cupped, holding Xander's balls. "I'd like that," Giles said thoughtfully.

Spike gave a choked gasp of laughter and Xander bent his head to kiss him, nipping sharply at Spike's lip. "Behave," he said with a mock-sternness, frowning down at him, and from the sparkle in Spike's eyes not fooling him one bit. "Or you won't get to come."

"Yeah?" Spike arched up, seating Xander's cock firmly inside him again, a challenge sparking in his eyes that Xander couldn't help but respond to. "Both of you on me, fucking me, and you think I'll be able to help it?"

"I think you'll -- oh God."

Giles was pushing into him, steadily, inch by inch, and Xander lost the ability to speak, too busy welcoming that first, perfect thrust and trying to keep his hips from jerking back and then forward again into the tight heat of Spike's body.

There was a little voice in Xander's head trying to remind him that this was about Spike, about proving to Spike that he loved him and always would. But behind that, there was an even smaller voice insisting that he'd told Spike that lots of times, proved it lots of times, and it never stuck.

Luckily, both voices were pretty quiet in comparison to the moan Xander made when Giles shifted back and then forward again, thrusting harder than the first time.

The only thing that mattered, he realized, was this. The three of them together, connected, and oh fuck, they were moving, and Xander's cock was clenched inside Spike and he was shoving back to get Giles deeper. And Giles was gasping his name and Spike's, and when Xander turned his head to kiss Giles, not caring how awkward it was, Spike leaned up and bit Xander's chest, sharp and unexpected, and Xander gave a hoarse cry, fighting not to come right there. Everything felt liquid -- Spike around his dick, and him around Giles', and the inside of his mouth and the sweat pooling at the base of his spine and the dark, throbbing need in his groin.

He grabbed Spike's hand and moved it to Spike's cock before slamming his own hand down again. No way he could keep his hand anywhere but braced on the bed, not with the way Giles had opened him up enough that there was nothing to stop him fucking Xander any way he wanted to. "Come before me, and I'll spank you," he managed to say to Spike. Spike's eyes narrowed, and Xander was just able to turn it into a threat by saying, "And I don't want to do that --" which wasn't totally true but hit home.

Then he stopped talking, stopped caring about anything but finding a way of moving that worked for all of them, letting Giles set the pace because he was on top.

And maybe next time, they could try this with him in Giles' place, staring over Giles' shoulder at Spike's face as Giles fucked him, making Giles cry out, making him happy.

Xander was pretty sure they all came at about the same time, although it was kind of hard to tell because his own orgasm was so forceful that he collapsed on top of Spike, barely managing to catch himself on his elbows so he and Giles didn't flatten Spike. When they'd finished and untangled themselves and flopped down onto the bed, gasping and groaning and, okay, laughing a little bit, he reached out to caress Spike's bruised, warm ass. Spike squawked in protest and Giles hitched himself up and kissed Spike.

"Don't you dare pretend you don't like that," Giles said sternly, and Spike grinned.

Xander snuggled closer. "Spike?"

"Yeah, love?" Spike traced Xander's lip with one fingertip.

"Believe me?"

And Spike nodded seriously. "Yeah, Xander. I believe you."

That, Xander thought as Giles reached out and squeezed his hand, was pretty much all he needed.


After ten minutes of snuggling and touching and kissing, Xander got up, thinking that a shower was definitely called for. He picked up his discarded pants and shook them, planning on draping them over the back of the nearest chair. He turned to pick up his shirt and when he turned back, Spike had leaned off the bed and had picked a slip of paper that was suddenly familiar up from the floor.

"That's just a -- " Xander started, reaching for it.

"Ah ah ah," Spike said, whisking it away and rolling toward Giles. In a falsetto, he lilted, "Someone's been naughty."

Giles took the scrap of paper and glanced at it. "I'm sure Roberto would be very disappointed to know that he was so forgettable that you didn't even mention him." There was a playful glint in Giles' eyes.

"He was just... I didn't take that," Xander said.

"So the bloke slid it right into your pocket then?" Spike asked.

"Um..." Xander wasn't sure if he should admit it or deny it. The guy had been good-looking, sure, but nothing special, and Xander had eventually had to get Dawn and her friends to drag the other man out onto the dance floor and away from him. "I'm pretty much screwed no matter what I say, huh."

"Screwed," Giles agreed, nodding, "And possibly spanked. Wouldn't you say so, Spike?"

The two of them were getting out of bed, grinning evilly. Xander turned tail and fled for the stairs, with Giles and Spike close on his heels.

Back Index Next

Feed the Author Feed the Author

Visit the Author's Live Journal Visit the Author's Website Visit the Author's

 Live Journal Visit

 the Author's Website

Home Categories New Stories Non Spander