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Sat, Jan. 22nd, 2005, 05:37 pm
glossing: Homecoming, cont'd.

Continued fromhere.

With Oz, fucking is metaphor, is love in friction and fluids. Just as this Oz, the Oz who wrapped a belt around his cock and put the end in Giles' hand, the Oz's who's red with the slow boil of sex and hissing dirty words between his teeth, is the same Oz who blushed and stammered to touch himself with Giles watching. "Oz," Giles says again, lifting and grinding his hips to Oz's rhythm, spooling the belt around his hand and giving it a light tug that makes Oz jerk and dig his fingers into Giles' ribs. He tightens around Giles' cock, shivering, and Giles' nerves spark, firecrackers and smoke and need. "Keep - yes, fuck, keep going." Gripping Oz's hipbones, Giles pulls him tightly down and rocks against him, deep slow pressure that Oz always loves, then looses him to move again. "So good, Oz. Want to come, let me come inside you."


"Want you to come -" Oz bends over, flattens himself on Giles' chest, leaving just the head of Giles' cock inside, like the center of something, deep and shivering, shaking harder and harder as Oz licks up the sweat and Giles' fingers dig into his hip. He lifts his head as he pushes back and up again, catches Giles looking at him through sweat-dark lashes and narrowed eyes.

With Giles spread out like this, dark cream against white sheets and darker velvet, face gone red and yearning, Oz feels like a sherpa, a polar explorer, pushing and cresting up some remote, mysterious, holy place never touched, rarely glimpsed. Giles' hand is splayed over Oz's thigh, pushing and pulling him in time, pressing the chain of bruises deeper and tugging on the belt, twisting Oz's cock, as Oz rises and sinks.

That's the most amazing thing, that Oz is moving, pressing down over Giles, rising up and holding until the ache becomes unbearable, and every press downward is like a bellows, blowing inside Oz's skin, making everything hotter, brighter, tenser.

"Please," Oz says, and again, his voice cracking like spider-lines through glass. "Please -" Faster now, his bones burned down to gluey ash, up and down, back and forward, the tension inside him past describing, filled so entirely that he can't move *up*, just around, as Giles grabs Oz's shoulder, forcing him down and thrusting up in fast, ragged jerks, his head rolling against the pillow, mouth working like a baby's for painful air, and it all brightens blindingly as Giles pushes deeper, faster, jerkier and Oz just keeps pleading.

Feeling Giles come, watching it like this, from up here, the knot around his cock shrinking and tightening, it's all he ever wanted. Here, at home, Giles gone red and liquid and full of need.

"Come, please, fucking *come*, *Giles* --"

Sun, Jan. 23rd, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC)

Giles can't answer in words, only in a long rattling groan that starts somewhere behind his balls and avalanches through him, only in spasmodic, stuttery thrusts, up and up and up. Just out of his reach, just past the blacklight swirling before his closed eyes, there's something good, everything good, everything he needs, and he chases it, clutching and whimpering. A lunge and grunt and he's there, in the white flash and sweetness of it, grasping Oz's flexing shoulders and shuddering as he comes.

Blindly, he drags Oz down against him, letting out a wet gasp at the pressure on his raw-feeling cock. Touching Oz, that's what matters, smearing an approximate kiss on his mouth and inhaling the sweat-sheen of his neck. "My god," Giles says between gulps of air, and Oz mutters something indistinct, all breath and vibration.

Giles could gladly stay like this, adrift under Oz, floating out into deep contented darkness. But Oz's hard cock presses his belly, and after a while Giles remembers what that means and why Oz is sucking so determinedly at his neck and ear, making those soft, throaty noises.

"You've waited so long," Giles says, stroking Oz's leg with the belt that's still bunched in his palm. "Lie down now. Let me touch you." He kisses a line halfway to Oz's navel, coaxing out a moan, then turns him face-down on the bed, holding him still when he tries to thrust. "Let me taste you." This is as fine as miracle as any, that Oz trusts him with this need, that Oz waits some more as Giles kisses the nape of his neck and wipes away the sticky lube. Oz hitches his arse in the air when Giles licks down to the base of his spine, but he waits, trembling, then shakily sighing when Giles slides his tongue lower, over the swollen, bright-pink pucker.

Sun, Jan. 23rd, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC)

Bright pictures and sharper sensations keep tumbling through Oz - Giles' mouth, yelling, and the shuddering heat of his orgasm, so deep it must have been halfway up Oz's spine - as his sore knees press deeper into the mattress. His skin's half-burned away, it must be transparent by now, and his cock's so hot it's almost numb.

He'd think the velvet around it and his balls was the roughest thing this side of steel wool, except there's Giles' stubble, drawing slow and raspy over his crack, and then Giles' tongue. Which is soft, and pressing firmly, and Oz *aches*. He's sucking on the edge of the pillow, pushing back against Giles' face even as he clenches against so much pressure, all this bristle, like he's getting scrubbed beyond clean to something shining and brilliant.

Inside, he can still feel the shape of Giles' cock, how it pressed and reformed and *filled* him, and the emptiness twists and knots against Giles' stabbing, teasing tongue. Fingers on his thighs again, holding him still, making sure he feels more than he can take, and Oz shouts into the mattress, desperate to grind against something, anything, just to release the tension and heat that's wrapped him in up in countless barbed layers. Too good, he's crashing up against something (someone, *Giles*) that feels too good, too much, and he shouts again.

So good, so *endless*, and his body's shaking, falling, zooming somewhere without moving.

Fri, Jan. 28th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC)

Giles works his tongue a little deeper into Oz's hole, sour-sweet with lube and warm skin and Giles' own semen. Doing this feels closer than anything, closer even than fucking, with Oz's crack sweaty and chafed-hot against his face, all Oz's secrets open to his tongue. Giles shakes his head a little, doglike, letting his tongue twist inside Oz and his stubble scrape Oz's tender skin, and when Oz shouts again Giles answers with something almost like a growl.

Oz sounds close to coming, moves like it, urgent and jerky, and so Giles hooks his arms between Oz's spread thighs and pulls his hips up higher, keeping his cock off the mattress. With his own need satisfied, Giles can make this go on and on, bathe Oz in pleasure, dissolve him in it. He frees an arm and slides two fingers into Oz's panting mouth, then works his tongue lower, down to the sensitive spot behind Oz's balls. Looping, flickering caresses, and Oz groans, clamps his lips over Giles' fingers and sucks. With a painful stretch of his neck, Giles scrapes a tooth along the skin, just hard enough, just the way Oz likes, and then pulls away, blowing a little air over the reddened skin while Oz tenses and shakes.

Fri, Jan. 28th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)

Maybe this ache, maybe this thing that starts around the membrane of his heart, rattles as it beats and pounds out through him to meet Giles' mouth and Giles' fingers, maybe this is melting. What happens when you tip the balance and your cells start sliding into pure water.

Giles' fingers are in his mouth, his lips locked around the knuckles, and Oz swirls his tongue around them, tasting pads, testing the whorls of prints, thrusting his tongue as he can't thrust his cock, wanting to push out all this heat and the red-static noise of need that's swamping him.

But he doesn't want to push it out, he wants to melt into it, break apart and soak and never stop feeling this. Contradiction and juxtaposition, breaking and melting, and Oz shoves his forehead into the mattress, yearning, spreading his legs, begging.

Fri, Jan. 28th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)

Giles can feel Oz breaking, giving in to sensation, to Giles' tongue and hands. As Giles creeps slowly down, just brushing Oz's balls with his tongue, he can almost feel the pleasure itself, the climbing spiral of it, the dizzy unfocused need that has Oz keening, pushing his body helplessly forward and back. In a slow swipe Giles drags up tongue all the way back up, kisses and nips one of Oz's buttocks. Then, before Oz can catch his breath, before he can start to think, Giles twists to lie face-up between his legs and presses his open mouth to Oz's balls.

Maybe Oz is so far gone he's beyond shouting--he only makes a brief high sound, but his legs buckle, tumbling him onto Giles. Giles wraps his arms tightly around Oz's hips, rolling his face against Oz's belly in long wet kisses, and then rolls them both over. Every muscle in Oz's body feels tense, quivering with strain, but somehow he's loose as well, unresisting as Giles moves him. Giles lifts his head long enough to say, "Soon," and goes back to sucking on the fold of Oz's navel. Pleadingly, Oz tries to lift his hips, tries to tuck his legs around Giles' back, but after a moment he flops back to the mattress.

As he nibbles around the outline of Oz's cock, Giles finds the dressing gown and works a fold over his hand. "Do you want to come?" he asks Oz. Without waiting for an answer, he grasps Oz's shaft in his velvet-draped fist and gives it a few fast strokes, then bends and sucks it deep into his mouth.

Fri, Jan. 28th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)

Shivering now, tiny little pinches all over his body, coming in faster and faster rushes, a constant stream of shakes, and Oz's mouth is empty, dry, as he shouts and shoves his hips up, thrusts *into* Giles' mouth.

Numb, and shivering, so at first Giles' mouth feels cold, then steamy, and then it just feels *right* as Oz knots his hands in Giles' hair and tries to stop thrusting. He sucks in a deep breath, feels it shudder and groan inside his hollow chest, and focuses on the way Giles' forehead wrinkles as he sucks. Just feels the swipe of tongue, the snug slick insides of cheeks, just feels and holds.

He wants to make this last, make it as endless as he can, but his skin's sliding off in big, red-hot patches, pinching him upward, pouring him into Giles, so that his feet are flat on the mattress, his arms burn at the ache of holding Giles' head, and he's folding, thrusting, spinning in a molten whirl that goes white and blank and unfeeling everywhere Giles isn't.

"Want to come, want to -" It's that word, like an incantation - when Giles said it, Oz shook hard and bit his lip - that does it, that plus the dark-forest flicker of Giles' eyes, the stretch of his cheeks as he smiles, and Oz pushes again, past the heat and the melting terror, into the black-red warmth, and screams when his spine snaps in two and he flops back, shooting and crying.

Fri, Jan. 28th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)

Almost choking as Oz's cock hits the back of his throat, Giles swallows and sucks and swallows until Oz's thrusts stop, until he's unmoving except for the twitches of his cock and the tremors that shake through him with every breath. Without lifting his head, Giles reaches up and clasps both of Oz's hands. He'd like to hold Oz's cock in his mouth as it softens, maybe suck it hard again, suck it relentlessly until Oz comes a second time, fast enough to make up for the slowness Giles made him suffer.

Oz is pulling on his arms, though, and moving discontentedly as though he wants to slide under Giles' body. As he lifts up Giles gives Oz's cock one last swipe with his tongue, then he flops heavily against the pillows and pulls Oz close. Oz's little desperate gasps are almost sobs, and wet beads, tears or sweat or both, hang in his eyelashes. "Oz," Giles says, suddenly afraid that Oz trusts him too much, that he would let Giles push him too far and not complain. But Oz is nuzzling closer, kissing Giles' neck even as he shakes and wheezes, and if those are tears, perhaps they're good ones.

Giles pulls the duvet up over them both and kisses from Oz's temple to his mouth, opening to let Oz lick up all the tastes of his own body. "Thank you," Giles says, achingly grateful for every molecule of Oz's body, every word he's ever spoken and thought he's ever had. "So wonderful, Oz."

Fri, Jan. 28th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)

Tasting Giles all over again, Giles and himself, come and sweat and lube swirling together like something foreign and delicious, Oz pushes his hand through Giles' hair and kisses Giles again. It feels like years, decades, since he's gotten to kiss Giles, and he sucks hard on Giles' lower lip until they're both panting again.

The rest of him, everywhere below his neck, is heavy and remote, and it's difficult to move, even though he wants to draw closer, drape himself over Giles and sink down to stillness.

"Welcome," he whispers against the corner of Giles' lips. "But don't *thank* me. Just - wow." He wants to tell Giles what it felt like, getting fucked and riding hard, flipping over and breaking into a gushing torrent, but his tongue is thick and useless. "Love you. Love how you feel, what you *do* -"

Oz pulls back, wiping the sweat that's going cold off his forehead, clearing his eyes and blinking hard. Giles is lying there, splayed out, totally relaxed, smiling at him with pure satisfaction. Oz matches his smile, touching the curves of Giles' cheeks, running his finger down Giles' neck.

"Wish I could *tell* you," Oz says, dropping down again and tucking his forehead against the curve of Giles' shoulder. "What you do, how you make me feel." He glances up and smiles again. "How *you* feel, all strong and like, *loving*. Like that."

His chest hurts, he's hot and cold in ragged flashes, and Oz can only kiss Giles' cheek again.

"Never felt like that, not ever. Not without you. All you, Giles. Believe me."

Fri, Jan. 28th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)

Usually the thought of Oz without him (that is, Oz with someone else) aches like an old wound, one so deep and jagged that it'll always hitch and pain him and never come right. And it hurts now, but so distantly that Giles thinks there's yet hope of proper healing.

Oz is almost scowling, the way he does when he's frustrated with words or himself. But when Giles cups his cheek his frown smoothes out. "That is telling me. Silly boy." What Oz wants, Giles thinks, is a language without approximations, a language where words are pure feeling, unmediated and precise. And Oz blames himself for not finding it.

Oz's hand, which was meandering along Giles' neck and back, settles against Giles' cheek. Gesture for gesture, like a mirror, and their breathing is falling into rhythm too. "It's not me, though," Giles says. "It's us, together. Without you . . . nothing's ever been like this for me. We -" He pauses, thinking, absently drawing his fingertips over Oz's stubble, because he wants to say this right. Wants to give Oz something like that perfect clarity, that transparency of words.

"We fit. We suit. God knows we shouldn't, by any rational standard, but we do." Giles' eyes sting a little, his throat scratches as he speaks, and he wonders if he should be ashamed of his own sentimentality.

But this isn't really sentimentality. This is truth.

Fri, Jan. 28th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC)

Giles sounds - choked. Almost sad. Craning up, so hard that his neck pops a little and his shoulder complains, Oz kisses each of Giles' eyes in turn, then again, cupping his neck and squeezing. Giles isn't sad, he's just concentrating and being careful, getting overwhelmed. He's just being himself. The only thing Oz can do is kiss him again and stroke back his hair.

"We fit," he repeats, nodding. Fit, suit - they're nice, simple words, and that's the best thing about being with Giles. "Like, after everything else, we're just - yeah. What you said." Giles grins when Oz breaks off and shrugs. "Rational standards, though, they're kind of for birds. Just saying."

He shushes Giles when Giles opens his mouth, and leans in to kiss him one more time. Resting his forehead against Giles', Oz inhales, taking in all the sweat and sex smells that salt and prickle.

"Want to tell you with, like. Technicolor. And surround sound. Full synesthesia and 3-D. You deserve it, that's all."

Fri, Jan. 28th, 2005 08:04 pm (UTC)

"Telepathy, then? On the other hand, judging by Buffy's experience, it's not really very jolly." Given the chance to read Oz's mind, though--only Oz's--Giles would take it in a minute. Perhaps something nice and limited, switching on only when they're holding each other like this, naked and sticky with each other's sweat and come, pressing their foreheads together and still wanting to lie closer, to touch more. To be inside, to have the thing that sex, for all its joys, only symbolizes.

Thinking about it sharpens the roiling ache around Giles' heart, the one that's nine parts happiness and one part strange, abstract grief, grief for symbols and imperfections and the endless unwinding of time. So he works his fingers through the wet roots of Oz's hair, salting his own skin, and kisses him with a slow coaxing tongue until Oz whimpers deep in his throat. "That's as good as words, you know. Maybe better. The sounds you make, and the way you touch me. The way you react when I touch you. It could hardly be more three-dimensional than that." Bodies are lovely things, after all, even if they're not quite enough. Hand gliding along the surface of Oz, soft skin wound over architectural bones, Giles reminds himself.

Mon, Jan. 31st, 2005 11:39 am (UTC)

Three dimensions, Giles' palm skating over him and re-creating his chest, ribs, hip, and Oz closes his eyes. He knows the extent of Giles' body -- how far over his shoulder reaches, the length of his legs and span of his arms -- and he knows it without seeing, without even touching. It's a sort of wordless knowledge, deep as muscles, and Oz learned it without even trying.

"I just -- it's because --" He opens his eyes and kisses the curve above Giles' upper lip. In Sunnydale, the first time -- and he smiles, realizing that there are two sojourns on the hellmouth now -- Giles was the one with words, and Oz kept believing that they couldn't be shared, that he couldn't catch up. "Words, and stuff. They're your things --" That's not exactly the truth, not when he's three inches away from Giles' face and admiring the tilt of his eyebrows as he concentrates. "Yours, and I want to be there. Give 'em back to you."

Tue, Feb. 1st, 2005 03:12 pm (UTC)

A diagonal wedge of light from the window bisects Oz's face; Giles traces it along Oz's nose and forehead to where it scatters in his hair. "I'd like that. I can see you worrying over words, sometimes. And all too often, in the end I don't get any, because . . . I don't know. Because you think you haven't found the right ones?" Oz tilts his head to one side, forehead wrinkling as he considers, and blinks when the light hits him in the eye.

Giles shifts an arm to shade him. "There's a twenty-volume OED in the sitting room. In fact, you unpacked it and shelved it. After reading half of it." Giles had been making tea when Oz opened the box; he came back to find Oz with one volume in his lap and half a dozen more fanned out around him. "So I know you've got words enough."

Leaning closer, he kisses the corner of Oz's slight, reminiscent smile. "Yes. Be here with me. Tell me things. Everything. I . . . I think we're only now really getting to know one another." Before, he half-knew Oz, at best, and stitched the rest together with fictions he didn't even notice until too late. And that was long ago.

Tue, Feb. 1st, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)

"You think?" Oz shifts downward, rubbing his head into the pillow, so he can see Giles clearly, the corona of light around his ruffled hair, the dark wrinkle between his eyebrows. Giles told him all the most important things right away the first night; Oz didn't *know* they were that important, not for a while, but he knew them. But Giles *is* right that there's something different now, something easier. Fewer worries, maybe, and less doubt. "I guess so. Not sure I know you *better*, but -- I don't have as many questions, that's true."

The velvet on the belt is starting to feel less soft and far more scratchy than it should, and Oz's balls are starting to tingle strangely. "I'm going to undo this. That okay?"

Giles' eyes go into slits at the question and Oz's chest hollows at the sight.

Tue, Feb. 1st, 2005 04:15 pm (UTC)

The belt. Jesus, the belt around Oz's balls, around his prick, which Giles forgot about until just now. Now, all at once, he remembers the fuzz of it under his lips, the glint in Oz's eyes when he tied it, Oz's grunts when Giles pulled and twisted it. And now Oz is asking permission to take it off, and-

"I'll do it." Something like a laugh from Oz when Giles pushes him back. A laugh that melts into something else, high and breathy. No, not else, but more. It still starts in laughter, in game. Oz was playing when he made that knot, as surely as he's playing now, raising his legs to let Giles work at it.

Playing, and Oz chose this game, and there's no place for guilt in it. Giles tries to let go of the needless, niggling squirm in his gut, thinks instead about the heat-flash that lit his spine and swelled his skin when Oz asked if he could take the belt off.

Finally the knot--so tight, and didn't Oz notice it hurting?--gives. Giles licks the already-vanishing red mark it leaves, licks Oz's balls and cock, no longer quite soft, and then slides up Oz's body to kiss him. The belt is wadded in his hand, and when Giles presses it to Oz's cheek, he feels Oz laugh again.

Tue, Feb. 1st, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC)

Giles' smile is *huge*, spreading wider and wider as he works a knee between Oz's legs and lowers himself more firmly on top of Oz, winding his arm under Oz's neck. Warmth is slipsliding through Oz, down from Giles, up from his own skin, doubling and melting as he laughs. Part of the heat's from the lack of the knot, like untying it let loose banked fires that glide through him and make him laugh harder even as he kisses the side of Giles' neck and folds his arm around Giles' back.

"Thanks," he whispers into Giles' ear. Giles strokes his knuckles over Oz's ribs, back and forth over the ticklish spot, and Oz nips down on Giles' earlobe. And again, when Giles' hips rock and his breath catches and snags in his throat. This is fun, fun in a way that it never was before, with other people -- Devon, other men, a couple girls -- and Oz holds Giles more tightly, hand on his hip, and tells him so. "Fun with you. So much fun."

Tue, Feb. 1st, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC)

It's strange to think of something this good, something Giles needs this badly, as fun. Fun is the Brighton seaside, candyfloss and tacky souvenirs. Fun is television comedies, films one forgets half an hour later, bands that aren't exactly good.

Fun is tickling Oz just here under the arm so that he flails helplessly beneath Giles' weight. "Love you," he says when Oz's almost-pained laughter fades back to wheezes. "And I think the fun's to your credit. Left to myself, I'm as fun as a wet weekend."

With a sudden shove, Oz rolls him over and holds him down effortlessly with one hand. "Don't-" Giles pleads, too late, already laughing as Oz hones in on his one really ticklish spot, between two ribs. Tears streaming down into the pillow, Giles laughs, keeps laughing after Oz has stopped tickling. He's needed this more than he knew, needed it as much as he needed the high and beautiful parts of love, the cathedrals and symphonies.

Tue, Feb. 1st, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)

Giles laughs like it's going out of style, helplessly, in big rolling bursts like thunder or an orchestra tuning up. Maybe an orchestra playing *during* a thunderstorm, and Oz can almost smell the resin on violins and ozone of lightning, feel cold wet wind on his face as he nudges Giles over onto his side and kisses his face.

His hands move slowly over Giles' back, soothing rather than teasing, absorbing all the smoothness and strength there, until finally he's still, forehead against Giles', hands gone motionless, and they're just breathing.

And smiling, too, broadly, like the best kind of mirror, so widely Oz's cheeks ache.

"Meant bondage, actually," Oz says quietly and kisses the tip of Giles' nose. "But everything, too. Everything feels like it's fun and then some with you."

Fri, Feb. 4th, 2005 03:07 pm (UTC)

The laughter discharged some last, staticky tension, and now Giles feels loose and deliciously empty, his belly muscles aching in a way that amplifies his warm, post-orgasmic languor. "Bondage," he echoes, and the images the word conjures--Oz shined and opened by a thousand kinds of pleasure--heat him gently, like sunlight or bathwater. "I didn't know if you still . . . " It turned out badly the one time they tried it, or rather too well. But there's no reason not to try again.

"Yes," Giles says, leaning forward to kiss the rim of Oz's ear, then up into his hair. Yes is their watchword now, their motto, after years of no piled on no. "My god, Oz. There's so much we can do. So much to try." From Oz's smile, almost sly and fully flirtatious, he looks to be totting up the possibilities.

Giles touches a purpling love bite on Oz's collarbone--there are so many, more than he remembers making, and later he wants to kiss them all, trace constellations with his tongue--then takes Oz's hand and slides his fingertips down Giles' own chest. He follows the invisible lines that Oz scraped up with his teeth. "You know, you'd have to bite me terribly hard before you'd break the skin. And you've never drawn blood on me, not even . . ." For a moment Giles doesn't say it, but it's wrong to avoid the word. Wrong to let it be, again, something unspeakable. "Not even before you were a werewolf. I don't want you to hold back with me, Oz. We both know how that ends."

If Giles is wrong, if the worst happens . . . it would be bad. The change was always agony for Oz, and not changing isn't much easier. Giles isn't sure he could learn Oz's complicated disciplines, either. But they need, imperatively, non-negotiably, to be free with each other.

Sun, Feb. 6th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)

Nudging Giles onto his back, one arm circling and supporting Giles' head, Oz retraces the patterns on his chest. Just the scratch of a nail is enough to make Giles, sleepy and honey-slow as he is right now, shiver and whistle in a breath. They used to use their mouth on each other all the time, teeth and lips and tongue; Oz would walk home at night thinking about the stellar patterns he left on Giles' chest, looking forward to touching the warm, tingling bruises on his own skin. And at home, he'd strip off and look at himself in the bathroom mirror, study and memorize what the bruises looked like. He'd wait to touch, picturing Giles' mouth, recreating the sucking and nibbling, until his palms burned and he had to touch, had to.

"Won't hold back," Oz says, pressing two fingertips against a hickey on Giles' neck. His gums ache a little, but it might be warning or excitement; he can't tell. "Scared, though. What I'd do, how it would --" Giles murmurs something and Oz blinks hard. "Change you, hurt you. Something." He squeezes his eyes shut and lets the air slide out his lungs. Giles' hand comes up Oz's back, slow gliding circles, and Oz rolls his lips together.

"Used to have these dreams -- nightmares, something, where I turned you and we could --" He can see them now, Giles uncaged and howling, and his cock hardens a little even as his skin crawls. "Be free." Opening his eyes, Oz tries to smile. "Not that I *wanted* to, I don't think. Just, like, it'd be easier. Better."

Giles' eyes are unreadable, his expression so still, that Oz wants to flee. Apologize, take it back, erase it.

Sun, Feb. 6th, 2005 04:46 pm (UTC)

Giles hasn't seen Oz's other shape, the monstrous one that doesn't even really look like a wolf, in years. After that first long night when, so numb with horror that it felt like clinical dispassion, he watched the werewolf--Oz--sleep, he tried not to look at it. But now, looking up into Oz's anxiety-frozen face, Giles remembers the muzzle, the teeth, the fur. And how the beast stretched and re-formed, breakneck evolution, into a drugged and naked boy, pale as a dead thing under the fluorescent lights of the library.

"Oz," Giles says, and pulls him down hard, as though he's trying to bruise his chest with Oz's chin. "You must've been so lonely." Did the dreams come after Oz left him, or before? It could have been before; there was plenty of reason, already, for Oz to feel lonely. Cradling Oz, hand on his head as though he's a baby, Giles wonders what it's like not to be quite human. What things Oz can't tell him because language was never made for it. How vast and deep loneliness could go when it's down in the blood, in the genes.

Giles tilts Oz's chin up to look at him again. "Perhaps you should have done it." Oz wouldn't have left him, then. Wouldn't have thought of himself as a danger Giles needed protection from. "Perhaps . . ." Hands splayed over the lovely curves of Oz's skull, Giles kisses him and tastes the dry sourness of his own mouth. "Perhaps you still should. There shouldn't - I don't want anything keeping us apart. I love you." Just a little pain, a little broken skin, his blood in Oz's mouth and Oz's saliva in his blood, and they could be closer than they've been since before Oz was turned. Closer than they've ever been, maybe.

Sun, Feb. 6th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)

Giles sounds gentle and urgent at the same time, coaxing and needful, and his eyes are shining wetly, even as he tries to smile. Oz can't move -- it's like his skin's shrunk down to his bones and he's just rock now, a weird collection of fossilized twigs held up by Giles' hands.

"No," Oz says, and Giles' eyes close, his face starts to twist, and heat floods through Oz all at once, animating him again. "No, Giles, please --. Just listen, okay?"

He can see the distance already trying to paint itself over Giles' face -- the set, glittering eyes and the tightened jaw, the same mask Giles wore every day after their anniversary, all the way through the time Oz left Sunnydale the second time. He can see it, and Oz can't let it happen *again*. He shifts back a little, putting both hands on Giles' chest, pressing firmly, the way you do for a wound or during CPR, and takes a breath.

"I love *you*. Way too much to ever, ever -- do that. To think that would do anything but hurt you. Destroy you." Before Giles can say anything, Oz adds, "It would. It's -- it's not like something we can do together. Like a hobby, or, or -- moving to London or something. It's --" Every morning, he still has to *make* himself kneel to his meditations, make lighting the candles and drinking the marifasa mean what they can mean. He has to see the cage again, taste Veruca's flesh and hear her gurgling howl as she died, to do it and keep doing it. "I love you. We couldn't survive that, Giles. No one could."

The heat's steaming away into a kind of clammy warmth, sticky on the inside of his skin, and Oz's face aches with the effort of staring, of not breaking eye contact. "Need you *you*. I'm not you, I couldn't --. I love you for *you*."

Sun, Feb. 6th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)

Giles has seen Oz angry, frightened, hopelessly sad, but never as appalled, as horrified, as he is right now. His eyes have gone all to whites and pupil, just the thinnest blue-green ring around the black, and he's pressing on Giles' chest as though he's stuffing comprehension in, holding it there until it takes.

Something's gone wrong. Giles has buggered it up, slapped Oz when he meant to hold out a hand. "I'm sorry," he says, laying his hands over Oz's. "I didn't-"

I'm not you, Oz said. One undeniable truth, one thing Giles can answer amidst so much he doesn't understand. Must answer. "No, perhaps I did. It's - I suppose I do want to be you, in a way. Or for you to be me." He's sliding his hands up and down Oz's forearms, a too-tight grip, like handcuffs; he makes himself stop. "It's not fair, wanting that. We're not . . . not one person, even one of the doubled people in the Symposium. I'm sorry." Shame makes him hot all over, makes it hard to look at Oz, and Giles thinks greedy. His mother's word, half teasing and half not, for those times when he wanted a biscuit before dinner or one more story before bed.

He can't behave like a child. Can't hold Oz suffocatingly close, like a puppy loved to death.

Quietly, like an adult, like himself, like the man Oz needs him to be, Giles says, "There's something I need to ask you, though." Some tension, some terror, seems to go out of Oz, taking the waxwork, steel-skeleton rigidity with it. Giles lets one of his hands move again, up to Oz's shoulder, kneading the muscle. "That girl." Veronica? Virginia? "The one . . . She was a werewolf. And you - is that what you need, Oz? Another werewolf?" Werewolves are rare, but not so rare that Oz will never meet another.

Sun, Feb. 6th, 2005 06:04 pm (UTC)

"Last thing I need," Oz says, "is another --. No."

This is why he's better at being quiet. At cooking, at sex, at anything that doesn't require him to use his brain and his mouth.

He reaches up and covers Giles' hands with his own, interlacing their fingers and pulling them down to rest on Giles' chest between them.

"Bear with me, okay?"

Giles nods; his face is spotted with flushed patches, but everywhere he's not flushed, he looks too pale. Dead, fishbelly-white pale, and Oz swallows hard.

"Not you -- I meant, you're a good person. Much better than I am, and you *still* love me, even with this. After all of this. I don't know if I could do that." He blows out the breath in his chest and rolls his shoulders against the clinging, harsh memory of the change. "Veruca -- it wasn't that she was a werewolf. Or just that she was. *She* thought that, but it was -- it was more complicated than that. I could move to, like, Wolftown, and it wouldn't matter. I want you." He should swallow the next words, pebbly and sour, but he can't. "Always did. Don't need something else. Getting this chance again, that's more -- that's more than anything I thought I'd get."

They're both quiet and Oz can hear both their heartbeats thumping away.

"Did that make sense?" he finally asks and squeezes Giles' hands.

Sun, Feb. 6th, 2005 06:31 pm (UTC)

Oz's heart beats fast, a rush of thumps like the lead-in to a drum solo. Even when he's calm, sleeping, it beats faster than it used to before he was a werewolf.

"Yes," Giles says. Gently, he frees one hand and slides it into Oz's hair. Such a primitive thing, a bare refinement on apes grooming for fleas, but it feels as much like love as the most exquisite sex, the wildest knot of naked limbs. "Except for the bit about me being a better person than you, which is clearly some strange delusion." His voice is too bright, a little shaky with the kind of laughter that's simply the surface ripples of hidden, unshed tears.

He doesn't really want to be a werewolf, but if Oz forgets some night, bites too hard, he doesn't think he'd grieve. Unless Oz couldn't bear it afterwards.

When he puts his arm around Oz's shoulders, Giles can smell his own sweat, rank with sex and fear. "We're both a bit messy, aren't we? Shall we have a shower? No, wait. A bath. Have a bath with me, sweetheart." A slow, impractical bath, lounging in hot water like palpable love. They can wash each other, sink back into the peace the day began with.

Sun, Feb. 6th, 2005 07:07 pm (UTC)

Oz feels the blush, the idea of a blush, first, then the heat creeping up his belly and his neck and breaking all over his face. At the sweetheart, at the gentle, coaxing texture of Giles' voice, at the thought of a tub full of hot water. Their tub, deep and long, that they can both fit in, not the gritty shower of the motel.

"Yeah," he says, sitting back and pulling Giles up. The blush is displacing, slow and sure, all the fear that froze him up, and he breathes shallowly, like something horrible just got averted. "Oh, yeah."

He wants his own endearment, something secret that means Giles, but it's not the kind of thing you can design or plan on. It's going to happen -- Oz can feel the sweetness building in his chest -- but on its own time. He shoos Giles into the bathroom to do the water, because Giles has this whole *thing* about water and heat, like brewing tea, while he rummages in his knapsack for the bag of stuff he picked up in Santa Barbara when he drove Dawn over for girls' day out. Goat's milk soap that the lady in the boutique said would help his combination-verging-on-dry skin and a little pot of olive oil goo to add to the water, and Baja Salt because --.

Giles raises his eyebrows when Oz slides into the bathroom, already steaming up, with all his loot.

"Salt from the ocean," Oz says. "Like, exfoliating or something. And the other stuff because it looked neat." He sets them down one by one on the lip of the tub and hugs Giles from the side, nuzzling his armpit one last time before they clean up. "Love you, handsome."

Sat, Feb. 12th, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC)

"I love you," Giles says, smiling at the handsome, which makes him think of old black-and-white films, Lauren Bacall's formidable, insouciant beauty as she trades quips with Humphrey Bogart. A world away from a naked boy with tousled hair, bright new love bites over fading old ones, a tattooed arm and multiple earrings. And yet Oz said it so naturally, without shyness or premeditation, that it sounds exactly right. He has a way of making unlikely things fit, after all.

Perched on the edge of the tub, Oz unwraps a bar of soap and opens the jars for Giles to smell. "Very nice. What other surprises have you brought back, hmm?" There's a shrug and an arch of Oz's brows, like a soundless laugh, but no answer. "All right, don't tell. But it's impossible to really surprise me--I know all about you and that knapsack and the mysterious appearance of things from it." Oz's pockets, too, Giles thinks, remembering the lube from the other day. Oz claimed he'd just picked up a bottle because they were running low and it's cheaper in America, but Giles won't discount some sort of mystical convergence.

Giles sniffs the salt again and hands the jar back to Oz, who shakes a quantity into the water. The scent of lemon and basil rushes up, and Giles stops Oz before he can add any of the oily green paste from the other jar. "Perhaps one at a time? If we add the--what's it called?--the Mediterranean Olive Bath to that, we're going to come out smelling like a plate of pasta." On the other hand, the thought of Oz's skin sheened with oil, pink and tender from the heat of the bath, is rather tempting.

Sun, Feb. 13th, 2005 10:33 am (UTC)

Oz shakes in some more salt, then cups the jar of olive bath in both hands. "There're worse fates than smelling like pasta," he says, looking up at Giles. "Like, say --" The oil's thick and goopy on his fingers and Giles starts to say something, but Oz talks over him and dips his hand into the hot water, swirling the oil around. "Vampires. Covens of dark witches. Skin cancer from the California sun."

Giles is laughing and Oz grins. "A little pesto-baste is *nothing*, is all I'm saying."

Swinging his leg over the lip of the tub, gulping at the heat of it, Oz lowers himself inside. The water plucks and stings at the bruises on his thigh and the chafed skin of his ass, but after two breathless moments, it just feels good. Like floating in the Mediterranean or the Dead Sea's supposed to feel, thick and warm and *perfect*.

"C'mon in," Oz says, his voice gone high at the heat, and opens his arms. "Water's, um. Fragrant."

Sun, Feb. 13th, 2005 11:49 pm (UTC)

Various aches, from long fatigue and the flight and sex, twinge and throb as Giles settles carefully into the tub, intensify for a moment in the heat, then ease off. Giles slides his feet under Oz's thighs and around his hips, knotting the two of them into a seated hug. "This is not a bad fate at all, I'd say." He can't, in fact, think of anything he'd choose over this--Oz slippery and contented and making waves with his hand, water that really is fragrant and only a little reminiscent of pasta.

For himself, Giles would never have bought all these bath things in their expensive packages, but he's glad Oz did. Lucky Oz, to have escaped whatever self-conscious masculinity prevents Giles buying anything too obviously, luxuriously pleasurable. Even the velvet dressing gown was a gift from Olivia.

Idly, listening to the still-running taps and letting himself not think about anything in particular, Giles scoops up water and lets it trickle down Oz's back and arms. Neither of them speaks for a while, words muting down to sighs and hums and the occasional light kiss to an earlobe or shoulder. Finally, when the tub is full to the over-flow drain, Giles shuts off the water and says, "You know, we've never talked much about you being a werewolf." Oz, who's been leaning dreamily on Giles' arm, looks up. "Not that we have to, if you don't want. But, well . . . don't feel that you shouldn't talk about it, all right?" Giles tries to brush back a drooping lock of Oz's hair, succeeds only in dripping water down his face, and kisses his forehead. "I do wonder, sometimes, what it's like for you."

Mon, Feb. 14th, 2005 12:25 am (UTC)

"What it's like?" Oz echoes, looking up at Giles' steam-flushed face and running his hand out of the water and across Giles' chest. "It's..."

To think better, Oz closes his eyes and lets himself float against the back of the tub, imagining his pores opening wider and wider, making him buoyant and weightless. He wraps his arm under Giles' knee and hangs on, just in case.

He doesn't know what to say. The wolf hurts, a lot sometimes, and it makes him hungry, and he likes the hearing and sense of smell it gives him, likes how sharp it makes him feel sometimes. Other times, that sharpness is like a full-body toothache, grinding and throbbing.

So much for thinking in the dark. Oz opens his eyes.

"It's not so bad, not like how it used to be. Now, it's just me, like living with a new set of senses and aches and pains, you know?"

Mon, Feb. 14th, 2005 12:43 am (UTC)

"That's all, hmm?" Giles dips the creamy, heavy soap bar into the water and lathers his hands, then spreads the suds along Oz's neck and shoulders, going gently over the bruised places. The scent of the soap, sharp and a little sweet, reminds him faintly of goat cheese, although that could just be because his mind is already on food. "It sounds like rather a lot to me."

They should have talked about all this years ago. If Giles hadn't been too afraid to ask, too afraid both of the answers and of seeming to investigate Oz, of behaving like a Watcher instead of a lover. If Oz hadn't already started to hold himself separate, part of his long rehearsal for leaving.

"When you say it was worse before, do you mean more painful? Or more . . . confusing, perhaps? Harder to cope with?" As he talks, Giles keeps rubbing soap into Oz's skin, squelching it between Oz's fingers and raising foam bubbles under his arms. "Now that you don't change, does . . . does that make things harder, the rest of the time?" Perhaps it's like holding back a sneeze or fighting off a yawn.

The slickness of the soap feels good, silky, and Giles likes the smooth wetness of Oz's skin after he rinses the soap away. They couldn't, he's sure, talk about this if they weren't touching.

Mon, Feb. 14th, 2005 01:02 am (UTC)

Oz hums a little, keeping tune with the slick whisk-whisk of Giles' hands in the lather, moving over him. He sticks his wet fingers into the jar of olive stuff and paints a Rorschach over Giles' chest.

As he works it in, cleaning up the curves and spattering Giles' shoulder with goopy, misshapen stars, the humming gives way to words, just like he hoped they would.

"Before, it was -- just worse. Painful, and freak-making," he says, drawing a tic-tac-toe board over Giles' left nipple, grinning when X wins and Giles gasps at Oz crossing it out. "Which is like 'difficult to cope with', only scarier. Like every month wasn't anything, just a countdown?"

Coating both palms with the stuff, Oz then works his hands into Giles' armpits, leaning forward and rolling his forehead against Giles' chest. His face is sticky now, but he needs to get closer. Physically, he remembers the old silence, how he needed to tell Giles what it felt like, how there were no words and Giles' face was turned away *anyway*, but right now, silence seems silly.

Not to mention dangerous.

"Now, it's more...all the time. Not so much scary dread any more, just this kind of -- like, strung-out feeling. The bad with the good parts, the achiness and the strength, all twisted up together and permanent. Does that make sense?"

Before Giles can say anything, Oz pulls back a little, but tightens his slippery hold.

"I want to make sense. Never *talked* about this. I might just sound like an acidfreak or something."

Mon, Feb. 14th, 2005 01:35 am (UTC)

Watching Oz's face, which is flushed pink and boyish but strained around the mouth, white at the corners of his eyes, Giles says, "You are making sense. And it can't be easy to put that sort of experience into words." He rinses a bit of oil from Oz's chin and hands him the soap. Washing off the green doodles he's left all over Giles' torso will give Oz something to do with his hands while they talk.

Perhaps that's why so many of their best conversations have happened while they cook or eat, or while they're touching and playing in bed. Oz needs to be a bit distracted or he'll get self-conscious.

Giles leans back a little to let Oz reach more of his chest. "Is there anything-" A corner of the soap digs into the ticklish spot on Giles' ribs, and he gasps and twists in reflex. "Anything I can do to make it easier for you?" There are a couple of good occult herbalists Giles knows, and a decent chap on the Council who specializes in Tibetan mysticism. Or maybe the coven down in Devon could suggest some meditations. And now that he knows where to begin, surely there are things Giles himself could find out, in his own books or the Council's archives.

Surely he can do more for Oz than just stand by. Giles pulls Oz into a slippery, awkward hug and whispers, "I want to help you, the way I should have done before."

Mon, Feb. 14th, 2005 02:15 am (UTC)

Oz's palm slides down Giles' back, under the waterline, and he digs his fingers in so he doesn't have to let go. He clutches the soap in his other hand, up against the nape of Giles' neck, and squeezes.

"It's okay," he says and scoots forward, his ass adhering to the bottom of the tub and squelching in complaint as it moves. "It's okay now. Before was before. It's not like that now."

Nothing's like it used to be; they have the same bodies, though Oz's is different inside now, all the way down and through his cells, but they talk differently. Touch differently, feel more deeply, think things through.

"Just keep putting up with me when the moon gets fat," he adds, drawing back enough to see Giles' face and reassure himself that everything's okay. Warm, pink skin and a slight smile that's part worry and all patience. Oz kisses the side of Giles' mouth and shrugs. "If anything comes up, I'll say something, promise. I just need to keep drinking my stinky herbs and doing my empty-mind stuff and acknowledging the void. You know."

He rushes through the tasks and takes a breath.

"Thank you."

Mon, Feb. 14th, 2005 02:56 am (UTC)

Tightly as he's holding on, Oz seems calm enough, unworried. It's nothing like before, in the wretched month before their split, when Oz got so tense he seemed stony and untouchable yet also house-of-cards fragile. "All right," Giles says. "I'll hold you to that promise to tell me, though." It's pointless to think about whether, if Giles had given Oz this kind of time and attention before, got him talking like this, he could have changed everything. So after a moment, Giles stops thinking about it.

The start of a cramp tightens threateningly in Giles' calf, and he has to pulls back from Oz and stretch his leg to ease it. "Let's rearrange a bit, shall we?" With some slipping and shoving and a bit of water splashed on the floor, Giles sets his back to the tub wall and Oz's back to his chest, and he can wrap both arms around Oz's waist. Encircling him like this always feels good, right on some level too deep for analysis, and Giles rests his cheek on Oz's hair and sighs, happily.

"You know, I've almost come to like the smell of those herbs." Oz brews them up every evening into a tea that smells like burning grass, rancid oil, and pungent, bitter, unnameable things. It almost got them chucked out of the motel their second night in Sunnydale, and after that Oz prepared his tea at Buffy's house. "Because it's, well, routine. And there's something awfully comforting in that." It means that Oz is still there with him, that another day is fading into another night, another morning. Giles kisses the nape of Oz's neck and holds him closer.

Mon, Feb. 14th, 2005 03:16 am (UTC)

Oz rolls his head slowly against Giles' shoulder and crosses his arms over Giles'. "I like routine, too," he says, and *that* sounds so weird coming out of his mouth that he laughs a little, their arms rising out of the water before sinking back. Sitting like this, surrounded by Giles, almost cradled, is something Oz hopes never changes, never goes away. "Wish I could drink jasmine tea or rooibos instead, but I like it."

Routine *is* good. Routine means waking up at four and doing an hour's worth of meditation, then crawling back into bed with Giles and refolding himself into the warmth and solidity of Giles' body.

"What about you?" he asks, sliding down a little so he can look backward and up at Giles. "Does it still gross you out? I mean, obviously not a lot, 'cause I'm here and stuff, but --. Yeah. What about you?"

Mon, Feb. 14th, 2005 03:41 am (UTC)

Giles would like to deny having been "grossed out," but he can't. Not and keep this clean, necessary honesty. "I'm . . . I forget sometimes, actually. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but I do." With Oz's face upside-down, it's harder than usual to read his expressions, but he doesn't seem to think it's terrible. "And then you smell or hear something I can't, and I remember."

At the full moon Oz is charged and strange, far more intensely other than he is from day to day. Giles can't forget, then. Everything's heightened, and he can almost feel the wolf under Oz's skin, almost smell it. But then, they've only been through two full moons since Oz came back. With time, that too will be familiar. Never routine, maybe, but familiar.

Giles slides back a little, pulling Oz with him until Oz's body is almost floating, anchored only by Giles' arms. He feels Oz's deep breath and slow relaxation. "It's easier for me now that you don't change. It always used to be quite . . . disturbing, seeing the wolf. Knowing that it was you." Luckily, he never saw Oz transform. Changing back was bad enough. Giles only saw it once, but he can remember ever second, every slide and contortion of the flesh.

Mon, Feb. 14th, 2005 04:15 am (UTC)

"I'm glad," Oz says, bumping back into Giles, twisting slightly so his head rests in the crook of Giles' elbow and he has a better angle on Giles' face. He has to prop one foot up on the side of the tub, but it's worth it to watch the thoughts crinkle and pass. "Can't imagine what it was like. In the cage, or all the times I got out."

When he sucks his lower lip between his teeth, it tastes like hot lemonade, the stuff his grandmother used to mix with liquid aspirin when he was sick. He has no memories, not in the usual sense, of wolf-time, just bone-deep flashes of urges -- run, bite, jump -- and an overload of sensory impressions, the world gone monochromatic and soaked with scent. Giles would have been one figure, redolent with need and hunger, among many, and maybe that's the worst thing, not being able to recognize Giles as Giles.

"Being here, living in between, it's --" Oz knits his fingers through Giles' and holds tight. "It's better. Glad it's better for you, too."

A smile is hovering, ghosting, over Giles' mouth and Oz feels himself smile, too. Fidgety suddenly, he splashes water backward with their linked hands and ducks underneath until the greenish, lemony water covers him entirely and the world sounds like gargling, moaning ghosts.

Breaking the surface again, Oz twists around so he can kiss Giles fully. Softly, lips open just enough to breathe and taste, and he doesn't have any word in his head for this except glad.

Sun, Feb. 20th, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC)

When Oz kisses gently like this he's all softness, silk and down and puppy fur, all plush warmth and comfort. It's essentially Oz, that gentleness, and so are his hungry kisses, the ones sharp with desire and teeth.

Giles kisses randomly across Oz's face, drips and spatters and trails of kisses, keeping his eyes open to see fragments, the tip of an eyebrow or a patch of fine-grained skin. To strangers Oz must seem uncomplicated. Mild and quiet, saintlike, a boy-Buddha. They don't know how paradoxical he is, how many twined and inextricable opposites have sunk their roots in his nature.

Perhaps only Giles himself knows. Giles is trusted more than anyone, trusted since the beginning, since long before he could have deserved it.

After another kiss to the bridge of Oz's nose, Giles holds him slightly away, just enough to see his face properly. "It's better this way, yes." Oz blinks, then seems to remember what they were talking about. "But . . . if you did start transforming again, I would still love you. Always." Seeing him in wolf form is distressing, but not important.

Oz was just as strange and fascinating before he was a werewolf. He's just as good and gentle afterwards. Now.

Everything changed. But fundamentally, truly, nothing did.

Sun, Feb. 20th, 2005 11:07 pm (UTC)

"Yeah," Oz says, as quietly as he can and still be heard, trying to match the silent, studious cast to Giles' face and quality of his voice, "I know. Which is pretty crazy." Giles blinks, and he's softened all over by the steam and the lack of his glasses, so Oz leans in, water rolling ahead of his chest, and kisses him again. "Crazy-good, I mean. Crazy-amazing."

Wriggling carefully, so not too much water splashes, Oz unfolds himself, knee up between Giles' legs, so he can sort of lie on Giles' chest, arm hooked around Giles' legs, one leg floating behind him. Warm and slippery, and he thinks of otters playing, of walruses in San Francisco, seals and penguins diving deep.

Cradled here, Giles' fingers drawing dripping, freeform patterns across his shoulderblades, Oz tucks his cheek against Giles' collarbone and hums in time with the water.

"You're amazing," he says in the break between hums, drawing his palm up and down the inside of Giles' arm, slick and soft with oil. "Like, brilliant scary smart and your heart's bigger than most people's attics."

Giles makes a soft sound, half a snort, and Oz looks back and up.

"Shush, you. It's true. Always knew it, too." Even the first night, when Giles could have been just the sexy Englishman seesawing between panic and hysteria, he was more. And better, all these secrets he hid like bruises that were nothing but love and worry. "Not going anywhere. Ever."

Sun, Feb. 20th, 2005 11:49 pm (UTC)

Giles slides his hand down the ridged slop of Oz's side and thinks about not leaving, about years that add up to permanence, or as close to it as anyone ever manages. "Good." It's the only answer he can manage to what Oz said, to words that fill Giles head to toe, crowding his aching chest, threatening to spill out from the corners of his eyes. Knowing Oz loves him is one thing, but being told like this is another, far more overwhelming.

In the long drifting silence, Giles touches Oz here and there, purposelessly, cupping an elbow or trying to tangle his hair. A luxury, like velvet and fancy soap--having more than enough, having extra just for pleasure. They're no longer poor, half-starved, licking up crumbs.

Giles laughs a little, quietly, at how his mind keeps going back to food. "I expect those muffins are cool enough by now," he answers Oz's questioning hum. "Shall we?"

They take their time drying off in the steamy, cozy bathroom, delaying the cold dash back to the bedroom to dress. When Giles finally opens the bathroom door, he laughs again at the forgotten chaos in the kitchen--chair overturned, clothes and pyjamas everywhere. "Dear lord. It looks like the aftermath of a porn film. Do you remember where I put my glasses?"

Mon, Feb. 21st, 2005 12:26 am (UTC)

Arm around Giles' waist, Oz leans precariously into the kitchen, sucking in a breath at the slap of cold air and squinting. "See 'em", he says and breaks for the table. Cold tile on his feet, slightly-less cold air around him, and he stumbles on the wad of his shirt, skids into the table, and lands on one hand in a move he hasn't done since he was *good* at skateboarding. "Got em!"

Giles is peering at him, all soft-faced and confused, and Oz holds the glasses behind his back while he takes Giles' hand and leads him down the hall into the bedroom.

"Like you without them," he says, sitting on the foot of the bed and handing the glasses to Giles. "Like it's a secret, almost. What you look like without them, only I know." Shivering and blushing simultaneously, he unlatches the smaller suitcase and grabs out the first shirt and pants he can find.

Dressed except for socks, he pulls his knees up to his chest and watches Giles putter around. Maybe it's not a secret, but getting to see Giles like this, loose and half-smiling, hair awry and just one sock on, is something pretty close to a miracle.

"Muffins and bread," Oz says a little later, cocking his head the other way to get a new angle. "And tea. Is that enough for you? You're like all about food and porn today." At Giles' startled glance, Oz shrugs and grins. "Not that I'm complaining."

Mon, Feb. 21st, 2005 12:57 am (UTC)

"I should hope not." High on a shelf Giles finally finds the jumper he wanted, a blue-grey cotton one that Oz likes for its softness. "If there comes a time when you don't like the thought of a day dedicated to food and sex, I'll begin to worry." Pulling the jumper on, he adds, "Enough, now . . . enough is a tricky question. But if we could have our breakfast in the sitting room with you on my lap, that might be enough. Worth a try, certainly." He starts to put on his watch, then changes his mind and just looks at the time before setting it down. "Our midafternoon breakfast."

Oz is just watching him, half-smiling, twirling Giles' glasses by one earpiece. All the suck marks and tiny bruises are hidden under his clothes, and Giles misses them a bit. What would it be like to live somewhere tropical, somewhere they could stay naked together all day?

No. Casual nudity is too . . . casual. Giles likes the secrecy of Oz's body, the privilege he feels every time he undresses Oz or touches his bare skin. Anyway, in tropical weather there's not much incentive to cling together under the covers. Or take hot baths.

After a few moments' search, Giles finds a pair of heavy socks in the drawer and proffers them to Oz. "Here, I'll trade you. Socks for specs." He kneels down, grins at Oz's startled look, and kisses one bare foot before working a sock over it.

Mon, Feb. 21st, 2005 02:17 am (UTC)

The tickle of Giles' hands, the kiss and then the sock, runs up in ripples through Oz until he's laughing. Inside, anyway, because he's also caught by the look Giles is giving him. All intent and fond care, like a dad helping a kid put on hockey skates in a TV movie. But it can't be that, because this is Giles, and him, and it's sexy, too. It's everything, so much slipping faster and faster.

Oz cups Giles' head in his hands and tugs him up until Giles is holding him around the waist and Oz is kissing him, heated and fluid, all kinds of warmth thundering through him.

"Thanks," he says, smoothing down Giles' damp hair as he pulls back. He wiggles his toes inside the socks and smiles. "Toasty. You said something about a lap? I got you the papers, too."

Mon, Feb. 21st, 2005 02:45 am (UTC)

Standing up, Giles plants a kiss on Oz's forehead, then pulls him to his feet. "Yes, I saw. Thank you." Oz, looking up through his lashes at Giles, looks flirtatious and happy, pleased with himself and Giles and everything. It must add something--something weighty and real--to whatever good Giles had done in the world, that he can make Oz look like that. "So I've got everything I could possibly want, right here in this flat."

In the kitchen, Giles throws out the cold, stewed tea and makes more, plus more coffee for Oz, while Oz piles a plate high with more muffins and bread than four people could eat. Or perhaps not, given Oz's appetite. Two months on, he still eats like he hasn't had a decent meal in months, and yet he's hardly put on any weight. He seems healthier, though, hair bright and skin a clear pale-pink, so Giles isn't too worried. Perhaps this is just a normal werewolf metabolism--Giles reminds himself to check the Council archives for information, whenever he bothers to go back.

"Ah, yes," he says a few minutes later, when Oz has settled in his lap and started peeling the paper off the bottom of a muffin. "This is perfect. Thank you," he adds when Oz gives him half of the muffin. It's delicious, rich and sweet, full of slightly-tart blueberries that burst on his tongue, and somehow Giles manages to chew and smile at the same time.

Mon, Feb. 21st, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)

They've nabbed the last bright spot in the room, and if Oz was superstitious -- or more superstitious than he already is -- he might think it was waiting for them. Like the sun could do that, just hang around and wait. But it's warm on his face, and Giles is breathing steadily and slowly underneath him, and Oz could probably close his eyes right now and doze.

Giles wouldn't mind, either; he's managed, somehow, to go on reading, even researching, while Oz drooled his way through various dreams. But Oz shakes himself awake and reaches for his mug of coffee. His mug is dark blue, the kind of sky over lakes at night, and the coffee's pale with milk but brewed double-strong, just the way he likes it.

"Milk tastes better over here," he says a little later, when his mug's almost drained and Giles is placing the muffin wrapper back on the plate. "We don't have to go out to get dinner, do we?"

Giles starts to answer, but there're crumbs on his chin and Oz pushes upward to kiss them away. He rolls his forehead against Giles' and slips an arm around his neck.

"Sorry. Just don't want to move. Ever. Moved so much lately, happy here."

Mon, Feb. 21st, 2005 03:26 am (UTC)

Giles holds the back of Oz's neck and kisses him lightly, feeling the faint roughness of sugar crystals on Oz's lips, or maybe his own. "No need to go anywhere today." They've both had entirely too much of travel, of unfamiliar places and other people's company. "We'll order in. Or eat muffins." Oz's only answer is a long breath, his chest swelling against Giles' with a comfortable pressure, and then a sigh that seems to relax his whole body. Every moment since they've been home strips off a little tension; while they were in Sunnydale, Giles almost forgot it was possible to feel this calm. "Perhaps we won't even leave this chair. I've missed holding you on my lap like this."

Giles drinks the rest of his tea and puts both arms around Oz, bringing him just a little closer. They were right to leave Sunnydale. There's no peace there on the hellmouth. No home.

He rests his cheek on Oz's hair and inhales, slowly. He can feel his own heart beating, hear the whisper of Oz's breath. Dim, distant, everyday sounds of cars float up from the street.

He doesn't move.