Xander woke to pain and comfort in equal proportions. His body was between sheets softened the best way; by use and washing, so that what started out life as cotton had been transmuted into a whisper-thin weave, a captured cloud of thistledown. He wondered if rich people knew that happened, or if they went through life buying stiff, starchy new sheets and complaining that they couldn’t get a good night’s sleep.
He was naked, which was good, because it meant most of his body was against those sheets, but there was something lying on top of the bed, excluded from the bliss; his arm. Bandaged so that it was throbbing insistently, as the prisoned blood tried to escape.
Pleasure and pain.
They canceled and balanced to such an extent that he was unwilling to move, positive and certain that the slightest twitch of a finger or an eyelid would topple the tower and bring the pain crashing down upon him. Even the thought of that made his next breath deeper and faster than the previous one and he felt panic rise within him as he fought to stay calm.
Memories returned; a crowd of demons attacking on patrol. Did they have a name? Like animals? A murder of crows, an unkindness of ravens, a hell of demons? So many of them, and he’d fallen so early. Buffy had been happy; worried about him, yes, but happy. She’d been doing what she did best and her hair, escaping from her braid, had whipped around in a swirling cloud as she swung at the demon who’d hurt him, cleaving his head from his shoulders, so that all Xander could see as Giles hurried him away was a spray of blood pumping out into the air, dark and thick.
That same blood was on him now. It was all he could smell; blood, caking his nostrils, sticking to his skin. Demon blood smelled different. It came in a rainbow of colours, it was hell to get out of hair and clothes, and it stank.
Giles. He’d brought him back to his own house. Xander remembered a stream of low, dispassionate curses as Giles tried to get him to lie still on the couch until the kettle had boiled so that he could have clean water to bathe the wound, with Xander writhing around like a fish on a riverbank with the poison slipping around his body in a filthy, tainted stream. Poison. Yes, he remembered that, too. The wound hadn’t been deep, but the venom of the demon’s claws – maybe it wasn’t that he was choosing not to move; maybe he couldn’t. Paralysed. Dying.
In a convulsive surge of panicked strength Xander forced open his eyelids, searching the dim room. The pain surged too but then receded, vanquished by terror. Xander didn’t have room for both emotions and terror seemed more useful somehow.
He wasn’t sure why that was the word that came to his lips, when his brain was screaming, ‘help!’ but it worked. Giles must have been sitting in a chair by the bed, out of Xander’s line of sight, because he leaned forward and said, “Yes?” in a voice that was way too calm if he’d given up his bed to someone never likely to get out of it alive.
“You just said that.”
Giles sounded almost amused and Xander felt his body relax in one sudden rush of relief.
“I’m not dead.”
“That’s good then.”
“Very good,” Giles agreed.
“I can’t move.”
“I think you’d be well advised not to try anything energetic, but there’s really no reason why you can’t.”
Xander felt foolish. “Oh. Help me sit up?”
Giles stood and leaned over the bed, sliding a careful arm under Xander’s shoulders. He hadn’t changed his clothes and he smelled of demon too. Xander gagged.
“What is it?”
“That smell...Giles, it’s all over us. Make it go away. Please? Before I throw up?”
Giles sniffed. “The demon’s blood, you mean? It’s very faint, actually. Odd that it’s bothering you so much.”
“It’s in my nose,” Xander complained, aware that he sounded like the world’s biggest wuss but not caring.
Giles finished hauling Xander up and shoved a second pillow behind his head. “I’ll go and shower, get out of these clothes. I would have earlier but I – I didn’t want to leave you alone in case, well. You were a little...”
“Dying? Was I dying, Giles?” Xander heard his voice squeak and took a breath a few seconds before he needed to.
“You were hallucinating, raving and lashing out wildly. If that’s the way you plan on dying, my sympathy’s with the Reaper. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll remove my unwelcome presence.”
“Not you,” Xander said, trying to smile reassuringly. “Just your smell.”
Giles rolled his eyes and left. Xander sank back and sighed. Bad start to the day, but things could only improve now he wasn’t dead. He caught sight of the clock on the bedside table. Oh. Morning only in the technical sense. Just gone three o’clock. No wonder Giles looked tired.
Xander heard the shower start and closed his eyes. He was in bed, sleepy, but not very, hurt but not dead and yes, there was just one thing to do when you’ve escaped death, but he didn’t think Giles would appreciate him jerking off and getting these soft sheets all messy, so he was left with nothing to do but think. Which got boring, so his hand – thank God it was his left arm that had been hurt! – drifted to his cock almost without him noticing. Nice. Comforting. Spiced by the thought that Giles might have done this same thing right here – Xander’s hand tightened around his cock and he moaned. Where the hell had that come from? He wasn’t stupid; Giles was a man, Giles had no visible girlfriend, Giles jerked off. It was that simple – but it didn’t mean he had to think about it, now did it?
Wondering what went through Giles’ head when he did it somehow made Xander’s hand move faster, as images of Giles flooded his mind. Giles on the bed, sheets pushed down, hand busy, face intent, unguarded, open, not knowing Xander could see him, was watching those strong fingers, eyes flicking from face to cock, not knowing which was turning him on the most because Giles looking like this was hotter than anything he’d ever seen...
Footsteps on the stairs snapped Xander out of his fantasy and he drew his knees up sharply, heart hammering, hand scrabbling to get free of the sheets. His cock was three strokes away from coming and he was wondering if he could call out to Giles; ask for a drink of water or something, just to give him time to grip and slide and ...
Then Giles walked in carrying a small bowl of water, a towel wrapped around his waist, his body sheened with dampness and his hair ruffled and sleek at the same time, and Xander’s brain melted.
“Is that becoming your new all purpose word? ‘Good morning’ and ‘hello’ are passe, are they?” Giles asked, with a lift of his eyebrows, setting the bowl down on the bedside table and walking away.
“You’re all naked.”
Giles glanced down, startled, as if he wasn’t sure the towel was still safely anchored around his waist. “No, I’m not. My clothes are all up here, that’s all; I forgot to take some down with me. I hadn’t realised you were so modest. Feel free to avert your eyes if I look as bad as I smell.”
Xander stared at Giles, following a stray drop of water as it glided happily from wide shoulder to broad chest, watching it slip down and under the towel. “You look good, Giles.”
“Why do I get the feeling that the next words from your mouth will be variants on, ‘for your age’?” Giles murmured, tugging open a drawer and pulling out some socks and a pair of boxers.
Xander was torn between wanting Giles to drop the towel –good- and the knowledge that it would be followed by him dressing – bad. Inspiration hit. “Wait! Uh, come here first and let me see if I can still smell you.”
Giles turned and frowned. “But didn’t you say it was on you too? Until we get your face cleaned up –”
“Right! Do that now; I can’t stand it any longer. Unless you want me to be sick all over these sheets.” Xander smiled and tried not to look desperate. Come closer, he urged silently, using all the mind control techniques he’d learned from studying comics since the age of six.
Giles tilted his head and looked at him and then shrugged. He came over and sat beside Xander, wedging the bowl between his knee and Xander’s leg. He reached into the bowl and took out a soft, blue washcloth. After wringing it out, he hesitated and Xander tried to look helpless and incapable of washing his own face, making no attempt to take it from him. Giles smiled faintly then began to clean Xander’s face, scrubbing at it hard enough to make Xander say ‘ouch’ to himself. Then Giles brought up his other hand and gripped Xander’s chin in his strong fingers, tilting his face and studying it with an absorbed, intent look that mirrored the one he’d worn in Xander’s fantasy and Xander was lost in sensation. Giles was touching him, with the same hand he used to –
“Well? Do I pass the sniff test?” Giles said casually.
Xander drew in a shuddering breath and leaned closer to Giles. Giles smelled of soap and water and Giles. Indefinable, that last part, but it grabbed Xander with tight fingers and he made a sound that even he knew sounded pitifully needy, and reached out blindly to touch Giles, to anchor himself because reality and dreams were clashing and colliding.
The bowl of water had been doomed to spill ever since Giles put it on the bed and it chose that moment to do so. Warm water soaked through the single sheet covering Xander, turning it heavy, dragging it down. His legs straightened instinctively and the sheet settled over him, draping each contour of his thighs and stomach like a second skin. Xander looked down and felt a distant, far away part of his brain approve the effect. His cock looked more naked with that paper thin sheet clinging to it than it did when it was naked. Then the other ninety nine percent of his brain screamed loud enough to be heard over the hammering of his heart and Xander whimpered in panic and shame.
Giles grabbed at the bowl, seemingly not noticing what he’d have to have been blind to miss, set it aside and reached for the towel around his waist automatically, tugging it free and dropping it in Xander’s lap. He then began to blot up the water and Xander lost it completely.
“Giles, for the love of God, stop that! Or do it without the towel and sheet in the way.”
Giles scrubbed the towel against Xander a final time, a gentle grinding movement that sent Xander’s teeth deep into his lip, lifted the soaked towel and studied it before tossing it aside. Then he looked down.
“Yes, I know.”
“You pick the oddest moments.”
Xander drew in an outraged breath. “Excuse me? I nearly died! And you’re all with the wandering around in the skimpy towels and then the not wearing of the towels and the touching and the...pressing and the...squeezing, and the...”
Giles eyed him and said quite simply, “You were hard when I came back in. Before any of that.”
Xander floundered. “That was just...that was different.”
“You were also saying my name. I could hear you.”
“Again, there’s a good explanation for that.”
Giles quirked an interested eyebrow and Xander shivered with lust. He hadn’t dared let his gaze wander past his own erection to check out the state of Giles’ cock but he knew he would. It was just a question of when.
“I’m waiting,” Giles said mildly, “but if you’d prefer it, we can move on to the pretending this never happened bit, or I could leave you alone for a few minutes to take care of – this.”
Giles dragged his fingers along the sheet, parallel to Xander’s cock, grazing the side of it with his fingernails. Xander glared at him. “Do that again, and you won’t have time to blink, let alone leave the room,” he warned.
Giles smiled at him and Xander felt his arousal twist tighter. Giles smiled kindly, approvingly, absently. He didn’t smile like a lion spotting a limping wildebeest or Cordelia eying up a pair of new shoes. He didn’t look at you with hungry, appraising, knowing eyes and he didn’t, he really never, didn’t, ever, peel back damp sheets excruciatingly slowly so that the reverse kiss as the fabric stuck and pulled free, followed by the coolness of air against moist flesh was like being touched, caressed, held.
Xander gasped and arched up helplessly and Giles laid one finger on the tip of his cock and said softly, “No. Wait.”
The second word was all that gave Xander the strength to obey. It promised a time, oh, an eternity away; five, maybe six minutes, even, when he would be allowed to come.
The finger moved but it went to Giles’s mouth and Xander’s wide eyes watched as Giles licked at it curiously, lapping away at the slickness coating it. Xander’s eyes started to close and Giles stopped tasting Xander and said, “Keep them open,” still with that promise of good things to come.
Xander abandoned everything that wasn’t watching Giles, listening to Giles, waiting for Giles to touch him. His body continued to breath, his injured arm still throbbed, his cock still twitched with every breath and every throb, but none of that mattered. The world narrowed to the bed and he waited, suspended and motionless as he had been when he woke.
Giles leaned over, his arms on either side of Xander, bent his head until his mouth was hovering over Xander’s erection and drew his tongue from root to tip so swiftly that Xander’s sob of pure need came just as Giles’ tongue swirled around the head of a cock that was primed to explode.
Giles moved his hand, gripped hard and Xander felt the urgency die back enough to let him speak.
“G-giles. Can’t wait. Please”
Giles frowned. “Really? You’re sure?”
He cupped Xander’s balls, stroking his thumb across them, and Xander took a handful of sheet and held on tightly.
Giles shrugged and bent his head again, moving his hand up to circle the base of Xander’s cock and hold it in position. Then he slid his tongue around and down, in a dizzying spiral that Xander couldn’t appreciate as much as he would have liked to, because it was followed by Giles opening his mouth wide enough for Xander’s cock to slide in deep, with teeth scraping it just enough to hurt in the best way possible, so that when the head of his cock hit the back of Giles’ throat he started to come and when Giles swallowed around him once, twice, he kept on coming until the hot, starry darkness took everything away, pain and pleasure alike.
When he opened his eyes again, Giles had moved to lie beside him, still naked and – Xander’s eyes got brave and adventurous – still in the game. Xander didn’t think he’d ever need to come again. That seemed to have taken care of his orgasm needs for the next decade or so.
“This is really very awkward,” Giles said, in the exact same tone he’d used to scold Jonathan when he’d returned a book stained with coffee.
“Temporary insanity,” Xander assured him, astonished to discover he could talk quite normally again. “No blame attaches. We’ll do that thing - what you said – the forgetting it ever happened thing and – could you do that tongue thing again first and then we can start in on the forgetting?”
Giles smiled. “Greedy, selfish and overly optimistic,” he murmured. “You’re such a typical teenager, Xander.”
Xander thought that over and flushed. “Sorry,” he ventured. “Giles? Is this a spell?”
Giles stretched out and let his hand drop to his own cock, trailing his fingers up and down languidly as Xander swallowed. “I’m fairly certain it’s a side effect of the demon venom,” Giles said. “I could go and research it...” It was the laziest of idle threats imaginable.
Xander rolled over, winced at a sharp stab of pain from his injured arm and batted Giles’ hand away impatiently, replacing it with his own. “You’re doing that all wrong,” he said. “Here; let me show you...”
By the time it wore off, there was so much to forget that it really seemed like much too much hard work.
So they didn’t bother.
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