A Circle of Two

“He’s keeping him chained up?” Anya felt dizzy at the thought of it, images spinning and bouncing like pinballs in her brain. “Naked?” she said hopefully.

“What? No! Why would he – no, don’t answer that. He doesn’t want him to escape is all.”

“And what could Giles possibly be doing to him that would make Spike want to escape?”

Anya was making every word drip with suggestion, though her tone was mildly curious. Xander shook his head violently, rejecting every one of them. “You don’t get it, Anya.”

“It doesn’t matter.” Suddenly bored, she rolled to her stomach and let her fingers dance over his cock. “Let’s do it again. This time with me on top.”

“Anya...too soon. Still seeing stars.”

He smiled weakly at her and then flinched as she stood up, hands fisted on her hips and glared at him. “You no longer find me attractive?”

“I do. I did. Three times.”

He’d never realised that girls could get dressed that fast andtalk and throw things at the same time. He cowered in the sheets as she wound up an impressive denunciation of his body and moral character before finishing with an emphatic, “Good night!” that left the basement door quivering on its hinges.

Two days later

Giles stared around his home with a dull despair. Spike, liberated from the bath tub because really, Giles simply couldn’t bear his whining another hour, was slumped gracefully in a chair, lips pursed in a tuneless, irritating whistle. Xander, a few feet away, perched on the edge of the couch, looked ready to stake him. The air was thick with tension, hatred and – smoke?

“Spike, I’ve told you; I will not have you smoking in here. Put it out at once.”

Spike sighed heavily, took one long, lung-filling drag of his cigarette and looked for somewhere to stub it out. Giles watched, almost wanting Spike to choose somewhere unsuitable – a book, the carpet, his empty mug of blood even, so that he could have an acceptable reason to scream at him, possibly even hit him. Only the knowledge that Xander would have approved hitting Spike for no better reason than the fact that he was there allowed Giles to control himself.

Violence was to be doled out at the correct moment if it was to be effective. Besides, Spike, with a rare sense of lines that must not be crossed, had turned up the sole of his boot and used the surface – filthy, Giles noted disapprovingly – to extinguish his cigarette before tucking the stub away in the packet it had come from.

“I’d be obliged if you’d take off your boots, too, Spike.”

It had occurred to Giles that Spike’s boots and coat made excellent hostages. If they were locked in the weapons chest, extracting them would take long enough for Giles to thwart any attempt to escape. Not that Spike was showing signs of leaving anymore. He seemed resigned to being an unwelcome house guest.

“My boots?”

“And your handbag, Lady Bracknell.”

That got a surprised snort of laughter from Spike and a bewildered, slightly resentful look from Xander. Giles felt the depression settle about him like fog draped around the shoulders of Ben Nevis.

Now why was he remembering Scotland? Giles pursued a fugitive thought diligently as Spike worked his boots off and then stifled an exclamation. Of course! That summer holiday with Henry and Simon, the last before he left Oxford and went off to London. The three of them had spent a day and a night fog bound half way up that bloody mountain, Simon’s sprained ankle keeping them from attempting to find their way back down. The discovery of a bottle of whisky, three quarters full, behind a brick in the deserted bothy had made the day pass quickly and the night even more so. Giles’ eyes travelled thoughtfully from Spike to Xander. No real resemblance, though Henry had been dark and Simon fair haired and arrogant, but the rivalry between the two – that had led to the sprained ankle as they pushed themselves to outrace each other – that was echoed here.

For some reason, despite the fact that it was barely dark outside, Giles reached for the bottle of whisky and poured himself a glass. The gentle reprimand of a cleared throat made him flush. “Oh, I’m sorry, Xander. I think there should be some juice in the fridge,”

The words were spoken before he realised that it had been Spike, ever hopeful, who had been hinting, and the slow burn on Xander’s cheeks made him curse inwardly.

“Yeah, go and get your juice, Harris. Or are you on chocolate milk now? Christ, Rupert, only a sad git drinks alone. Or a stingy one.”

“Xander’s too young and you’re not getting any of my single malt.”

“I’d like to try some,” Xander said suddenly.

Evidently deciding that his own chances of a dram were better if Xander was drinking, Spike backed him up. “He’s old enough in England, Giles. And he did well today killing that demon, if what you said was true. Let him have it.”

Xander, who had spent the afternoon in the sewers helping Giles track a demon while Buffy dispatched its mate and a nest of baby demons, gave Spike a surprised look and Giles sighed, splashing more whisky into two glasses. He didn’t even bother making Spike wheedle it out of him. Like a mother with a fractious toddler, he’d discovered that peace, even when it set dangerous precedents, was beyond price.

After Xander’s predictable splutter and choking fit, the three of them settled down in what passed for a companionable silence, and when Spike got up and refilled the glasses, setting the bottle on the table between them, Giles was too relaxed to do more than glare half heartedly. His back ached from hours spent bent over in tunnels and the alcohol sent the pain away. Conversation began, increasing in ease as the bottle emptied and then the balance shifted and the tensions within the group plucked at strained nerves until they snapped discordantly.

“- course you’re a virgin, Harris! God, if you can find your cock with your eyes shut, I’d be surprised!”

“As a matter of fact –”

“What? What? Vampire here, mate. Can smell a lie.”

“Actually, that’s never been proven...”

“Shut the fuck up, Giles. I’m talking to the virgin.”

“I am not a –”

“This is my house, Spike and you’ll not talk to me like that! And Xander’s not a virgin.”

“Oh? You’d know about that would you? Not a virgin...just never known the touch of a woman. I see. No need to blush, promise not to tell the Slayer - hey! Fuck off!”

“What are you doing?”

Cool, curious and amused, Anya’s voice cut across the shouting, froze Xander’s fist inches away from Spike’s nose and sent Giles back to his seat.

“Are you fighting? Why?” She pushed the door closed behind her and clicked the lock. Giles reflected that he really ought to do that more often.

“We’re not fighting,” Spike said. “Just discussing things in a manly fashion. You wouldn’t understand, being a girl and all.”

“Tell him I’m not a virgin!” Xander said, the words bursting out of him. “Tell him I’m...uh...”

“Adequate?” Anya said, with a beaming, brittle smile.

“Oh, someone’s pissed off,” said Spike chortling. “’Adequate’? Kiss of bloody death that, mate.”

“Anya, I was going to call you after the other night, but I’ve been busy killing demons.”

Giles groaned softly at Anya’s expression and tried to forestall the inevitable. “Would you care for a drink, Anya?”

She stared at him, her gaze speculative and assessing. “Why yes, Rupert. That would be very pleasant.”

Pointedly choosing to sit as far away from Xander as possible, Anya took Giles’ seat and smiled up at him as he handed her a glass. Giles felt a tremor of unease as he sat beside Xander on the couch. Anya looked predatory, her eyes bright, her pink tongue lapping at her lip as she chased a drop of whisky.

“So Xander here’s just adequate is he?” Spike said softly, a malicious smile on his face. “Figures.” He let his eyes wander over Anya, who sat, slim, long legs neatly crossed, her short skirt riding up.

Anya shrugged. “I was being a little –”

“Vengeful?” Giles supplied. He didn’t like to see Xander humbled in front of Spike. Lord knows the lad had poor luck with women, but then, Spike’s record wasn’t any better. Anyone who would sleep with Harmony...

“Yes,” Anya said. “In fact, Xander gave me several orgasms and was most enthusiastic. Until he became limp.”

Xander sank his head into his hands and groaned. “Anya,” he said in a muffled voice. “Could we not be so big with the sharing? Please?”

She sniffed. “Men. You’re not like you were in the olden days.”

“Well, I am,” said Spike. “In fact, out of the three of us, I’m probably the one you’d be best off with, am I right, love?”

Giles held up a hand as Xander’s head jerked up indignantly. “In what way are we different? Are you speaking as a human or a vengeance demon?”

Anya considered that. “A demon, I suppose. It’s hard not to. You’re more restrained. less...lusty. No more or less fickle, I suppose. Some things never change.”

“Hey! I was with Dru for over a century,” Spike protested.

“And were you faithful to her?”

Giles expected Spike to reply immediately. The vampire’s unexpected devotion towards Drusilla was well known. “Faithful? Well...yeah.”

“You don’t sound too sure,” Xander said. “Though knowing Dru, I doubt you’d have survived if she’d caught you messing around.” He shivered. “She was in love with me for ten minutes and that was enough. Crazy lady.”

“She knew about it, so yeah, doesn’t count. All in the family.”

Xander frowned. “What? You went with her sister? I thought Angel killed her family.”

Giles rolled his eyes. Sometimes Xander was impossibly dense.

“Angel, you prat,” snapped Spike, losing patience. “I’m talking about Angel.”

“What?” Xander laughed. “You and Angel? As if. And eww.”

To Giles’ surprise, Spike turned to him, his face exasperated. “Giles? You tell him.”

Xander’s expectant eyes didn’t make it easy but Giles was too much the scholar to lie. “Within a vampire clan or family, such as the one in which Spike and Dru, Angelus and Darla found themselves for so many years –”

“Which is how long it’s going to take for you to explain it,” Anya interrupted. She glanced over at Xander and then smiled flirtatiously at Spike. “Angelus was leader. He fucked all of them. Good way to keep them in line.”

Giles sniffed. “A little more complex than that,” he said, “I was going to point out how the hierarchical structure within a family was akin to that set up in an group of predators, demons sharing many qualities with animals-” He rode over the protests from Spike and Anya, his eyes on Xander’s shocked face and finished, “So more than likely, to prove his superiority, Angelus buggered Spike bloody once a day and twice on Sundays.” He cocked an eyebrow at Spike. “Well? Care to add anything?”

“Sounds about right,” Spike said with a shrug, tapping his fingers against his leg irritably.

“Funny,” said Xander nastily, “I never thought Angel was that desperate.”

Spike gave him a look that promised a lingering death and Giles sighed. Really, it was like babysitting toddlers sometimes.

“It’s been a long time since I had sex with a vampire,” Anya said, sounding far too wistful about it. “I don’t miss the cold feet, but the staying power...” Her eyes drifted to Xander’s face and down to his lap and she sighed. “That’s something a girl doesn’t forget.”

“If you mean they go on for hours, I’d think that got dull,” Xander said. “Not to mention the chafing.”

Ignoring Giles’ plaintive plea for a change of subject, Anya leaned forward, looking interested. “You know, you’ve got a point there, Xander. Perhaps you can have too much of a good thing. I remember once with Dracula...”

“We can come as fast as we want to,” Spike interrupted, looking insulted. “Just don’t go off like a rocket like some people. Control. That’s it. We’ve got it, humans don’t. End of fucking story.”

“Prove it,” Xander said, a little thickly, draining his glass. “You. Me. Circle jerk.”

“What? Bloody hell, Harris, that’s just –”

“Yes. I’d like to see that,” Anya said brightly. She smiled beguilingly at Giles. “All of you do it. See who lasts the longest.”

“That’s not the way it’s normally done,” Giles objected, a still, clear voice in his head screaming a warning. “The idea is to come fastest; it’s how you win.”

Anya frowned. “That’s stupid. Shouldn’t your male bonding rituals help you to be better lovers, not worse? You reward those whose climax will arrive well before their partners? That makes no sense at all.”

“Don’t think that’s the reason they do it, love,” Spike murmured.

She shook her head. “We’ll do this my way,” she said firmly.

“Or we’ll forget this conversation ever happened and you can all go home?” Giles said hopefully.

“No way,” Xander said. “That – that vampire’s not getting away with insulting me in front of –” Expectancy lit up Anya’s eyes but he finished with a lame, “ – everyone.” and she sank back in her chair, pouting.

“I won’t allow it,” Giles said.

“I’ll have sex with the winner,” Anya announced. “Two of you will come by yourselves, and I’ll take care of the third. Now that’s a sensible way of doing it and it’s a good incentive, isn’t it?” She smiled around the room, one hand toying with the top button of her blouse.

Three faces reflected shock, interest and longing, but she met them all with a slow slide of fingers against her breast, teasing a nipple to hardness and sighing out a carefully rehearsed phrase Giles later identified as a charm designed to release inhibitions. Heat-haze ripples hung in the air for a moment and dissipated as she stood began to strip, blouse fluttering down to the carpet, lying like a white pool of light against it. Her breasts were cupped in ivory satin, smooth as her skin, and her skirt slid down to reveal a matching thong, clinging snugly.

“Undress,” she said, sitting back down and hooking one leg over the arm of the chair. Her fingers fluttered against the tiny triangle of satin between her legs and she smiled, her gaze going from one stunned face to another. “Please hurry.”

Spike was first to get out of his trousers, which didn’t surprise Giles, and, after living with him for a week, neither did his lack of underwear. Tossing aside his black jeans, he grinned at Anya and ran one finger around the head of his cock, already erect.

“No touching,” she said sharply. “You have to all start at the same time.”

Giles was determined not to do this. It was childish, undignified – and he could see all kinds of repercussions, no matter who won – but even as he was framing the words to tell Spike to get himself dressed again, if he wanted to taste blood in the next few days, he was conscious of cool air against his legs and, a moment later, more than that as he undressed.

Xander, whose idea it had been, was the last to strip off his jeans, but he paid for that by having the attention of everyone in the room as he did so. Blushing, he turned to put his jeans and shorts on the couch, bending over as he did so. Giles swallowed audibly and met Spike’s raised eyebrow, downward glance and appreciative widening of the eyes with fortitude.

“Fine,” Anya said brightly, sounding like a mother at a birthday party. “All hard, all...” her eyes travelled from one erection to the next with an anticipatory gleam in her eye, “...ready. Off you go. Oh; I forgot. Rules.”

“Think we all know what to do, love,” Spike said, folding his legs and sinking gracefully to the floor.

“No breaks, one hand, at least, in contact at all time and while I don’t wish to dictate technique, if I think you’re deliberately dragging it out and going too slowly, there will be penalties.”

“Such as?” Giles asked warily, sitting down between Spike and Xander.

Anya looked at him. “Are you planning on cheating?”


“Then you don’t need to know. Hands in place, please.”

Palm to hardness, eyes looking anywhere that wasn’t hands, unless they were Anya’s, sliding and slippery, disappearing under satin, into dampened folds of waiting flesh, her moans the loudest sound in the room until Xander made a whimper, high and desperate and somehow that meant it was fine to groan and gasp and grunt, just as once Giles rocked back enough that it was plain his other hand was doing more than cupping and tugging at his balls, the other two copied him, probing fingers slicked with precome delving and diving...

Anya came, shuddering and mewling, watching them through half closed eyes, cat that licked the cream expression on her face as she brought glistening fingers to her mouth, but they weren’t watching her any more.

They were watching Spike, exultant smile splitting his face, eyes flickering between blue and gold, hand blurring, leaning back against his chair, legs carelessly wide, one knee bent.

They were watching Giles, face stripped bare of caution, green eyes gleaming, a pulse pounding in his neck in time with each stroke of his thumb over the head of his cock as he stripped it methodically, relentlessly, driving himself hard and biting down on his lip without letting it silence the sounds he was making

They were watching Xander, head thrown back, lost in pleasure, lost to shame, expert fingers coaxing and teasing as he whimpered happily.

They came together, Anya’s cry of frustration drowned out by variants on, ‘God, yes’, slumping back against the furniture and exchanging grins as they wiped hands on shirts or – until Giles’ grin turned to a growl – the carpet.

A foot stamping on the floor, and the reversal of the charm , brought them out of their reverie.

“That wasn’t supposed to happen! You’re all as bad as each other, and if I had my powers back, you’d be wearing those...useless appendages on your, your – ” Anya paused, clearly trying to think of a location that combined pain, humiliation and inaccessibility.

“Anya,” Giles said, looking up at her with an expressionless face. “I know what you just did, and you’ve got precisely one minute to dress, apologise for influencing us with magic, and leave.” She opened her mouth and he let a hint of anger creep into his voice. “Please don’t make me do something you’ll regret.”

The door slammed behind her well within the time limit and Giles stared at it thoughtfully before glancing over at Xander. “I wouldn’t advise it right now, but I think if you give her time to rearrange her memories of this, so that’s she’s the victim, she’ll be amenable to a reconciliation.”

“Yeah. If I want her back,” Xander said with a touching, wholly unconvincing bravado.

“Course you do,” Spike said, kindly for him. “She put on that whole show wanting you to win, mate. And we’d have let you, because we’re a pair of romantic, dewy-eyed cupids –” Giles rolled his eyes. “- if she hadn’t wrecked it all with her fucking charm. So get ready to grovel a bit and slag us off all you want; you’ll have her snuggling up to you before you’ve got time to turn the sheets down.”

Giles nodded. “Ignoring the bits about dewy eyes, Spike’s right. Stop smirking, Spike. Even a broken clock’s right twice a day.”

Xander pulled on his clothes and glanced shyly at them both. “Umm.”

Understanding and answering his unspoken question, Giles nodded reassuringly. “Goes no further, Xander. I promise and I’ll dust Spike if he utters a word. Off you go then.”

“So,” Spike murmured after the door closed. “More entertainment than I expected for a wet Tuesday evening with nothing on the box.”

“Indeed.” Giles flickered a glance at him and frowned. “You’re not getting dressed?”

“Don’t see you making a move either.”

“I’m going to shower,” Giles said with some asperity. “You can’t expect me not to get cleaned up first. I’m all sticky.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Spike said, bouncing up. “I’ve got your back.”

Giles folded his arms. “I must have water in my ears already, because that sounded as if you planned on sharing my shower.”

Spike got close enough to count freckles and said softly, “I do. And your bed, and the couch and yeah, the table. If ‘share’ means ‘fuck in, on, or over’ that is. Well?”

Giles considered him in silence and then said quietly, “You were watching me when you came.”

“Yeah. And you know that because you had your eyes on me. So?”

“Should I be flattered? Xander’s far more –”

“Taken. And he doesn’t like me much.” Spike slipped his hand around Giles’ neck, bringing them together for a kiss that lingered. “But you – you hate me, right?”

“So very much,” Giles agreed, leading the way to the shower, Spike’s hand cool in his. “You’ve no idea.”

“You can stake me in the morning,” Spike said.

“What a happy thought.”

“Unless I break it.” Wandering fingers made his meaning clear.

“What? Oh.” Giles absorbed that as he turned on the shower and took off his shirt. “Spike, is there a good – non-dusty - way to shut you up?” He stepped into the bath and under the spray of hot water.

“You could gag me,” Spike said helpfully, sinking to his knees as the water coursed down. “With your –umph.”

“So I could,” Giles discovered. He rocked his hips forward lazily. “Still going to hate you in the morning, you know.”

“Counting on it.”

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