by Te & The Spike
April-May 2000

Disclaimers: If they belonged to us, we'd give them precisely what they

Fandom: BtVS

Spoilers: Vagueish distorted ones for assorted episodes up through 4th

Ratings Note: NC-17 for sex, violence, and imagery some readers may
find  disturbing.

Authors' Note: Te started this for the sole reason of luring Spike into
playing with her...  and Spike resisted mightily for not even one

Acknowledgments: Thanks to Dawn Sharon for cantrip inspiration, and
to Laura and Nonny for mucho helpful commentary and such. All
remaining mistakes, squicks, and ambiguities are entirely our own fault.
Please feel free to call us on them at:

FEEDBACK: The Spike and the Te together do play...


It's a windy spring night, and Willow is longing. Spring winds are
sweet, heavy things, ripe with potential, power for any witch -- if
she is able to harness it. Failure would mean disaster, and they really
don't need any more disaster right now.

Every witch, every warlock, every petty dabbler had run into trouble
with their castings. By the evidence, everything from protection spells
to necromancy had somehow... taken the caster. All over, frozen,
blank-eyed statues, muttering nonsense  -- or just humming it if their
mouths had been shut at the time of the freezing.

Willow is only supposed to be researching, and she is, really. It's
just that there's something impossibly *desirable* in the idea of
bewitched bewitchings. A great power, but one she knows could be
within her grasp.


The witch or warlock or whatever had to be close for this --
close enough, perhaps, for eavesdropping. No spell counter to the
one being used, instead something parallel to the same lines of
force. Willow settles herself more comfortably on her bed, smiles
to herself. Parallel and small. Perfect.

The last derbot seed crumbles beneath her mortar, the last word
is uttered, and suddenly Willow can *feel* it, a river of it,
attracted to her own power and pulling her along, right back to its

Right to the answer.


It's just past dark and Xander has all the energy in the world. Of
course, it's much later than they think it is -- none of them have
gotten used to Daylight Savings yet. Except maybe for Oz, he thinks,
but Oz has almost reached the stage of beloved nonentity.

Gives off a sense of just... *too much* somehow, like knowing him would
fill Xander's head past overflowing and he'd get lost. But Giles is
off-time -- he can feel it somehow -- and so is Xander. Xander takes
what companionship he can.

The air is sweet as it rushes by.

Xander remembers a time when a night like this meant he could pretend he
was sleeping out just to sleep out. When he could jerk off under the
stars, cheek to the lush green lawn he tended himself, hand and knees
digging into the soil as he jerked, as he made love to /everyone/
himself until he'd spattered the lawn liberally with his spunk. He
remembers the vague compulsion to rub it in (rub it in good) to the
soil, and the smell of come and dirt on his fingers.
He can almost catch it now -- some hint of that scent if not the
feeling. It makes him simultaneously want to breathe deep until he can
find the exact source and shut his lungs. Scents can tease. (Ampata)
Perfume and rot just underneath. His mother's warm, bready smell and
the patches of gray beneath her heavy breasts that he'd accidentally
spied one day while she was changing.

Giles is focused on something. Dark magic's in the air and Xander feels
like he's stuck in his own personal reality special: When Good Wiccans
Go Bad.  Giles' face is grim, set.

The face he wears that makes Xander wonder if he really *needs* those
glasses. Like maybe he just needs weaponry instead.

They have that, too, though. In spades. Weighing them down on their way
to wherever Giles led them. Buffy and her Army man have gone to clean
out a nest of... something and Willow's in her dorm room, trying to
figure it out what it all means.

Just the three of them, then, because Giles' spider sense had started
tingling mid-research session back at his apartment. Xander wonders
if he's ever really going  to get used to the surreality of it all, to the
way the air can smell so achingly *good* even when there was something
pretty terrifying lurking somewhere beneath it.

The way he doesn't have to know *what's* lurking to know it's
terrifying, Barbie-sized fear demons aside.

He wonders what he's smelling in the otherwise good air. If it's maybe
just his own rudimentary spider sense saying 'hey, dumbass, there's
*badness* this way. What the fuck are you doing?" His spider sense
is often crude.

But the surface of things is still so pretty, so tempting. Just a hint
of something... earthy.

Oz's eyes glitter even beyond the streetlights.  There's nothing
especially wolfy about his appearance, but there's *something* there
that makes Xander shiver in that good/bad way he has grown accustomed
to. Oz feels it, too.  Whatever it is. That makes it OK somehow.
And as they stride purposefully into Coolidge Memorial Park, the
something is right there, perched atop the jungle gym, legs swinging.

Ethan Rayne.

Leaner, at least in this questionable light. Strangely shadowed even
more than he should be. Bright white grin gleam in the darkness and
he's down.  Xander realizes that he's had a crossbow up and ready for
some unknown period of time. Recognizes the extra shadow for what it is
-- a patch over Ethan's left eye, not big enough to hide the edges of
an extremely recent and ugly  scar.

Ethan walks forward just a few steps and Xander can *feel* Giles
tightening  his finger on the release of his own crossbow for just a
moment before Ethan stops again. He's still grinning, forcibly lopsided.
Definitely leaner, pared down to some essential rage and glee and hunger.

"What are you doing here, Ethan?" Words gritted out one at a time,

Xander flinches inwardly at the gray cold nothing in Giles' tone.

"I must tell you, Ripper, I didn't care overmuch for the government's
hospitality. Breaks some of our rules, doesn't it? Fire with fire,
shadow with shadow?"

"Talk or die, it makes no difference to me."

"Neither, I'm afraid --"

And the jungle gym melts into something like mercury just before it
loses color and noticeable shape. It's the wind now, a thick, wild,
laughing wind that catches Xander up easily and bears him off.

He thinks he's going to be floating somewhere, backwards going waits for
a fall or a rise.  Instead he impacts.  Whole body at once goes 'ooof'
and the ground's pressed hard against his back.

He's still upright, the whole landscape tilted upright so he's
spread-eagled like a gnat on the windshield of the world.

Accelerating into space.  Faster.  Tries to lift his head but G-forces
or something are holding him down, flattening him.  There's wind.  He
can hardly  breathe.  It hurts.

/gonna die like this/

And it's not fair because he was just thinking minutes ago, seconds ago
that this was a thing, a place that didn't hurt him.  A thing he loved.
He tries...  hand turned palm down into the grass.

Stroking.  Wishing he could close his eyes... There's a sound like
wooden sticks breaking and then a sudden shift and he's lying on the
ground, just where he'd fallen.  Angry men snarling.  Sits up to see
the back of Giles, Giles' fist in the collar of Ethan's shirt, Ethan's
undiminished grin.  Giles giving Ethan a shake that says a lot about
how strong Giles really is. Which doesn't explain at all why Ethan is
watching *him* with that grin.

He manages enough air to get up on his elbows.  Giles obviously hears,
says without turning.  "Xander, *go*..."

And Xander thinks:  y'know, it probably isn't wise to sound that much
like you *care* G-Man... or sort of thinks it.  Mostly thinks that it's
weird how well he can see Ethan's eyes in the darkness.

How Ethan's eyes are big and glittery and doesn't the grass feel
*amazing* under his palms.  Tickly and soft like a beard and
surprisingly not-cold.  And doesn't he want to breathe now?  Yes he
does.  Breathe deep.

Pull that scent into his lungs, hold it there, let it out.  Feel it
heavy in his chest as a shotgun bong hit and hey...

Giles, seen from the back, is very fucking tall.

Xander has to get up now.  Not so easy as it looks since he can't
actually move his eyes or look at anything but Ethan's eyes and Giles'
back, loooong fucking legs, really straight long legs in jeans and
there are boots at the bottom.

"Xander..."  Hissed between Giles teeth.

"I don't think your charming friend wants to leave," says Ethan.  Xander
has made it to his hands and knees now and no, he doesn't want to leave
exactly. He just wants to get closer to those legs.  The soft denim,
those pockets, the bulge where Giles' wallet has strained the denim
white.  The grass under his hands is wet now, his knees are wet.  He's

And then Giles snaps around to look at him and for a second he can't
see Ethan's eyes and he thinks: what the *fuck*?!?  But then there are
Giles' eyes, he can see *Giles'* eyes and wow!  Does Giles ever have
blue eyes.  Or maybe they're green.  Not that blue or even green eyes
are unto and of themselves a thing worth crawling over wet grass for
but Giles' eyes... They... there is a color when a swimming pool is lit up
from the inside on a dark night.

Like that.

Or like if the moon was in them and didn't you need to worship people
when the moon was in them?  Hadn't Giles said that.  Oh yeah.

He would worship and he doesn't really know what that means only that
he would do it with his mouth and his hands.  And Xander feels himself
flush all over just thinking that and suddenly what he wants is to be
wetter.  To be colder.  And he lets his hands slide forward on the wet
grass so he can lower himself.  So he can press himself down into it,
grind himself against the  cooling soothing earth.

"Ethan, you bloody *fuck*..."  Snarled.  "You deal with *me*."  And
Giles' eyes are gone.  Back of his head.  Xander resting his burning
face in the grass. Something definitely wrong here.  Grass is nice,
though.  And there is something, a horrible wet crunch.  And he hears
Ethan laugh and thinks. /Now *that's* a scary sound.../

One he can just live without, thankyouverymuch, face buried in this
sweet, sweet grass. Sweetgrass... he knows it's something real and he
doesn't think this is it but it doesn't really matter...  Giles wanted
him to go away. To leave this and run and it breaks something inside,
something that feels old and fragile and a little stale and it puts
sweet on the hurt. Pours honey all over it and asks him to lick it up
and  Xander rolls himself into the ground, snaps and rolls and loves and
waits for Giles to find him.

Just like this. On the ground and needy, so needy and he can admit it,
he can... a gargling sound and another wet snap and a muffled thump and
there is Giles, touching his hair.

Straddling his working hips and sinking down and down until Xander can't
do much more than grind.

"Please --"

"You do want this, don't you? Want to be taken, claimed..." Giles' voice
is mild, musing at first. Giles discussing irrelevant possibilities on
issues he could care less about, and then there's something... else in

"*Yes*" Oh yes, oh please, right here under the moon in the moon in your
eyes sweetgrass.

"You want me to fuck you." Hand on his upper back, thumb rubbing at the
top of his spine. Low, throaty voice and just the slightest hint of a

It isn't a question, but Xander answers as best he can with his body
and suddenly, desperately, he needs to be insulted, taken down, beaten
with something hard and smooth and unforgiving for this, for doing this
and needing this and loving it so much.

"You're under a hex, Xander. You mustn't -- you mustn't let yourself
lose control like this." And suddenly Giles is stiff above him, doing
the necessary and nothing more, pushing Xander so far away from where
he needs to be he feels like crying.

"I don't care, Giles, it's a *good* spell, feels so... please..." And
he's struggling, pushing, writhing but it's no good, not under this
Giles, wrong, awful, real Giles with suddenly clinical touches and
absolute control.

"This is killing you, isn't it? The ache, I mean. The great, empty hole
inside you."

Xander starts to cry, then. No sobs or wracking cries, just angry needy
tears sliding down his face. Not real Giles, just Giles pretending to
take himself away to tease him. Punish him and make him hurt and use him
and throw him away with spunk still running down the inside of his
legs, staining the inside of his jeans somewhere somewhere somewhere in

Fucking gray smoggy London with the world's ugliest whores and most
pathetic queers.  Like him.  In love with the world's biggest prick who
happened to have London's biggest prick, as well.

And the thoughts are Xander's to take, freely given and feeling so right
and so wrong and it's different now. Here. He can... *he* can give Ripper
what he wants. What he needs. It's OK, it's all right, he doesn't mind,
it's just so damned good...

"Let me up, Giles." He can hear the laughter trying to bubble up,
distract him with new-strange sensations.

"Are you sure that's wise? I wouldn't want you doing something you
would regret...."

So fucking formal. A safe-daddy parody of himself that makes Xander
rage, and that's good, too.  To rage at God with all you had, knowing
the punishment would come.  Knowing the price would be much too high and
indulging anyway.  Xander takes a shaky breath and gives back his own
tease, sliding the words under the pulsing mass of his own arousal.

"I think I have it under control here, Giles. If you would just..."

And the weight is suddenly gone and Xander turns himself over onto his
back. Giles is still so very tall and straight and there's no way he can
tease, no way to even try and Xander's on his knees before he can think,
nuzzling and nibbling at the warmth in Giles' pants until it's heat,
and hardness meeting his every attack and Giles doesn't say a word
*then*, just runs light teasing fingers over his scalp and Xander knows
he's still crying, still needing too hard to do any good as anything
other than... this.
Xander presses his forehead against the flat of Giles' abdomen, feels
Giles' finger begin to trace the back of his neck and beyond.

"I-I... I want you to fuck my mouth."


Something shifts in the air and Oz is down and rolling, feeling it
prickle under the skin, feeling it whisper didn't I tell you didn't you
know the world was like this, and he ignores as best he can, running
back for help because Xander's gone and Giles is gone and it's only

Ethan grinning so hard Oz thinks he can feel the man's jaw creak and
he doesn't know how he got in front --



And he's frozen. The wolf is there and not there, confused by the images
and the scents of spring rotting into high summer much too soon and Oz
has only himself to count on. And it's been a long time since that

And he is still.

The Ethans close in, a sauntering closing circle of flesh and shadow.
Their expressions are finally changing, no two are alike and this is
hell, this is hell because Oz can't keep up can't follow can't know
can't understand and then there is only Ethan, a great thick ring that
is only one -- stretched grimacing smiling laughing snarling lusting
needing knowing knowing knowing  him deep inside and tugging hard at the
quiet and breaking open the emptiness beneath.


and Oz is a vessel and has always been a vessel. For the infinite. The
spirit. The world so long as it's not his own, not his, not close and
wha  happens when they all turn around and face him just. Like. This.
What happens when they want all the little pieces of their souls back
that Oz has so carefully hoarded?

Not real. He knows.

Not real. He *knows*.

They don't. They don't. Not real, not yet, still time...

And in a heartbeat his concentration is back and Ethan is still quite
far away, hands frozen in the middle of some complex act of magic. Oz
wants to charge him as he is, rip, tear him with his own bitten nails
and dull square teeth, wants the blood, wants the cold numbing taste of
dying magic on his tongue but he starts running again instead.

Sprinting hard, smelling his own fear-rage and snarling at it
unconsciously and hitting a thick-sticky membrane of something and then
there's no more street, no more houses, just woods stretching around
him clear and green and alive and humming for further than he could see.
Not woods.


Home. And he's not wolfed out yet, not completely, but his eyes... he
feels his eyes change and his back wants him closer to the ground and
he has to... he has to run.

There's a fire to the west, moving fast and Oz quickly kicks off his
shoes and strips naked, needing to feel the heat, to know, and the
ground beneath his feet crackles like tinder and the soft sweet hum is
the ocean now, natural roar and sweet and he needs to belong to it even
though it's really the fire, crashing like a wave and roaring and too
late he sees the girl.

Red hair and wide eyes and trapped, half buried and struggling and he
runs closer, fingertips now and then brushing at the ground. Closer and
she's crying. Closer still and she's not...

She's not buried.

She's growing out of the ground, pink and blue colors not clothes but
simple decoration. Pink sweet nipple and blue. Wild red hair a corona
and she can smell it coming, too, the fire, and she's weeping so hard
and reaching for him, begging to be saved.

Her hands reach far, small pink vines growing from nailless fingertips
to grab at his own fingers, prickly little vines. Tiny little spines and
something like aloe and he steps closer still and he sees her eyes have
no whites, like his own. Cloudy blue and wet and a little too large and
her nose is almost an afterthought and her mouth is generous and wide
and smiling at him now through the silky-slick tears and Oz is hard,
terribly hard.

Something growling down in him, not very far, hungry for meat but this
one would do, so lovely and strange and helpless and the wolf shows him
the wide black eyes of a doe -- this, too, was theirs.

So tender.

As if he needed a lesson in *this*.

He presses his thumbs under her eyes, feeling several of her fingervines
snap at the sudden movement. Eyes widen in pain as he touches her face,
as his thumbs slide over her cheeks. Her temperature is a lot cooler
than he'd expected it to be, but the sensation is rich, unmistakable.

Memorable and familiar and necessary so necessary won't deny, never
lied about this. Not to her. She knows. She's *seen* what happens when
she's like this... when anyone is like this, so wet and... perfumed.
Perfumed like fresh-cut grass and sex...

Oz pounces, resting most of his weight on the good, thick stem, holding
her wrists tight in one hand, flesh and water and so much green and
the slickness sliding down *his* wrist from where he's cracked the

She's silent now save for the slick sliding wet sounds she makes just
by moving. Just by... this close Oz can see her mouth, pure pink and no
tongue, no teeth, simply vines. Wild now, flailing and leaking and he
has the crude vegetable cartilage of her jaw and it's splitting, too,
crumbling almost beneath his touch.

He eases off some and apologizes with kisses all over her face, which
has lost some of its fine-edged beauty save for the whisper of a
nose... really just two slits under a button and he shoves his tongue
inside one, the other and feels himself grabbed by weak little things,
weak little breaking things so sweet on his tongue and then he's up, and
the mouth calls him, calls him...

In with a rush, sliding on ice white water *slick* and he's pumping and
pumping and when the fire rolls over him he screams his way into a full
howl, flesh burnt away to give the fur room to rise and it's good like
this, sweet.  Smoke heat death death around him and the release doesn't
free him.

It merely sets him to hunt.


Holding onto Ethan like this...  it's the first time it doesn't bring
back other memories.  The world is just too crowded for them now, and it
doesn't matter because he won't let go.  Not now.

Ethan wants Giles where *he* is.  Deep inside the empty places where
there would only be the two of them and the magic that lurked beyond the
physical and *then* memory washes over his eyes: quicksilver slick and
it's the two of them holding hands over a fire, flesh reddening but not
hurt because the two of them are also...  elsewhere.

Ethan's Auld Lang Syne.  Ethan laying traps in the old treehouse and
beckoning like the raddled old whore he was, and Giles won't follow,
won't go.


He holds onto that thought against the onslaught of their dreamscape,
against his own young nude body and Ethan's and the unspoken hint of
another chance to do this just as wrong as they've always done.

Another chance to end it the right way.

Xander is hexed, broken and wanton...  the temptation of the altered

Cinnamon dust and salt sweat and all that power they toyed with then but
could really have now if he only, if he only --

Ethan has the advantage.  His hex on Xander requires no maintenance, no
drain of energy.  He can see the way it ends at the edges of the boy's
spreading, desperate soul but he can't see a way *in* and the dual
effort is draining him fast.

Holding Ethan this way when Ethan is nowhere near his own body.

Trusting Ethan's vanity to lead the bastard back if he believes the
threat to that body is real.

(not so pretty anymore though, never anymore)

And it's close enough to his own thoughts that Giles lets it stay.  He
has to choose his battles now, and everything that tears his attention
away from Xander pulls Giles closer into the red.  The sweat and need.

Xander on his belly, on his back, eyes wide and dilate, focused on him.
Xander tugging at his pants, slipping one hand under his own shirt and
writhing.  Lost in himself for a time.

Giles takes the opportunity to reach for the spell's seam and wishes
Willow were right here at the very same time he prays to God no one will
ever see this.  Know this for what it is.

Ethan's backhanded gift.  Ethan's revenge.

Two souls connected would always be so.  Two souls connected would
always be.  Always.  Ghost of a whisper in his ear, ghost of the warm,
smoky breath and the way Giles had smiled at it.  Ripper had smiled, and
fucked Ethan raw so as to hide that Giles had heard.

And disagreed.

But Ethan only ever lost touch with the parts of Giles he never cared
much for anyway.  Still there enough to pluck this one secret away from
him and put it on display for the rest of the world.  This boy, this
mistake of epic proportions with his smart mouth and too-old eyes.
This boy he'd never reconciled within himself, the conflicting urges to
protect and love and to destroy and remake into something he could
never love.

Ethan inside him more and more now and Giles is beginning to feel
himself fade.  He's scrabbling at the spell now, using the equivalent of
his fingernails to get through the frictionless steel door of Xander's
hallucinated need.

 -- coils of power, sea-like and strange and sweet that caress and
scour and tease --

"Oh Giles, please" from at his feet, cracking hoarse and the words echo
too many fantasies and he knows Ethan has him now.

Ethan baiting the trap with Xander's needy musk rising high on the air
and slipping in and in like he'd never let him before, slipping in while
Giles tried to free the lamb.

He has time to wonder why he didn't simply snap the bastard's neck when
he had the chance...  and then everything is cinnamon.


There is a moment, a kind of thunderous black silence -- hot, dark and
huge -- where Ethan sees his victory.

He feels a little like a spider, even though the metaphor is pat and
something more modern would probably be more...  apt.  He feels...
Janus, but the dark is lovely.  Not a spider, but a king, wonders laid
before him: the red-haired Witch riding a maelstrom of magic force; a
Slayer and a Soldier on a distant battle field, awash in mud and blood
and legions of the mindless soulless dead (interspersed with the
occasional innocent child so tut, tut, mind that sword swipe...) He has
to laugh.  It's wet.  Rupert's broken something in his face (real face)
but it's too far away to feel and he doesn't care.

Honestly he doesn't.

And the werewolf, in his forest, in his...  what the *hell* is that
anyway?  Nothing Ethan's made.  All the boy's own twisted, teenwolf
imagination.  And who knew but the quiet ones were always the most
poetically perverse.  That lush forest/vagina...  *whatever*.   Some
viny Venus flytrap version of the little witch? Ethan's laughing so hard
now tears are coming.

Tears are coming.   Leaking down the left side of his face, aching to
pool in the bone-dry socket under the patch.  Wheezing laughter, ribs
aching because *Rupert*...  oh god, it's too too funny.  Rupert,
scrabbling to get *in* to the hex...

And now there he is, trapped and lost like a bloody civilian...  And
Ethan has to stop to *breathe*.  Wipe his cheeks, his nose with the back
of his hand.  Catches a glimpse of how wet and dark it comes away in the
Which kills the laughter like water on a brazier.  Leaves something as
bitter as sodden ash behind.  Because there is Rupert.  There is Rupert,
bent over the writhing boy-shaped specter.  So gentle, hand on the
forehead he thinks he sees, brushing away sweat, tears.  Murmuring a

If he let himself, Ethan could be there, right there with him.  That's a
piece of *his* soul after all, that thing that Rupert is soothing, lips
to forehead so gentle and brotherly.  /Oh no, Ripper, don't you dare
think you can get away with brotherly.  This is *me* you've wandered
into.  I *know* you.  I *know* how thin this 'oh so gentle Giles' really
is.  Do you think I've done the same as you? Pretended to forget?/

And just the word 'forget' conjures up the visceral scrape of brick
against his cheek, the pounding huff-huff-huff of Ripper in his ear, the
knife-edge pain of a raw fuck that always made him come too fast.

"Oh yes, you *are* a gentle soul...  "

And, tuned as it is to whipcord skeins of power, the boy-shaped ghost
arches up under Giles, translucent hands coming up to refute any vestige
of 'brotherly'.  And oh, Rupert, Rupert...  so much anguish in those
eyes and it only serves to make the fall that much lovelier.  Rupert
falls like a Doric column breaking, piece after piece, inevitable -- his
body moving against that ghostly heat, knee sliding up between those
spreading thighs, one hand roving flat, floury young flesh under some
imaginary sweater, the other cups a neck as he leans down finally to
taste the waiting kiss...

Hand around his ankle and Ethan jumps about a mile in the air.

Wrenched away from lips that were, for the first time, coming down on
him with softness --

//he'd fallen *in*, Christ hadn't meant to fall *in* like that//

-- and he glares down, humiliated rage flooding him with the need to
lash, and finds -- he-llo.  It's Mr.  Alexander Harris.  Belly to the
ground,  half-naked, eyes like big shiny chocolate candies.  Well, how
Xander gazing up at him, sweating and dazed.  Ethan feels the hex,
butter suede and electricity, even through his clothes.  He knows the
boy can't actually see him as more than...  what? He pauses to take a
look inside, but Xander makes it unnecessary.

"Please, where did he go?"

The teasing Giles-shade is gone, lost when he had been... lost.  He
hadn't tied it off, he'd forgotten, lost control and there's something
old in him.  Something old and pleased at the lesson the servant has
been given.

No one can control chaos forever, sooner or later it takes you, too.
The lesson all disciples learned, one way or another...  but this was
only a minor slip, and Ethan still has the reins.


Laughter in his head, the wizard tittering behind the chair of the king
and he rips himself back *to* himself.  To the boy.

Ethan crouches down, allows the hand (he can feel the heat and damp of
the boy's palm) to remain where it is.

"Where did who go?"

Wet lick over full, chewed lower lip, and aborted attempt to shake off
the nudging of the hex for at least long enough to find his answers, but
he fails of course.  Ethan watches Xander lose himself to his beloved
lawn for a while before grabbing the boy by the hair.

He lowers the register of his voice until he can feel it thrum in synch
with the hex: "Who left you here, child? All alone?"

"Ohhhh...  please don't...  please don't stop it was Giles, he left me,
he left...  he was going to..."

The boy's shudders travel up Ethan's arm.  He's moving his head within
Ethan's grip, now.  Trying to get flesh to contact flesh, forgotten hand
spasming lightly on his ankle.
"To what, you pathetic little slut? Give you what you deserve?"

"It hurts, please, don't say...  I'm not --"

Ethan's grin is back, and he's heedless of the hot wetness spilling down
his cheek at the stretch, heedless of everything but the boy and his
desperation.  It's almost too much, deciding what word to use, what
punishment to give, but in the end it's quite simple:


"Oh *God*--"

Anguish now, pure and complete, and Xander rips several of his own
hairs loose struggling against it.  With it and this... this is
familiar. The boy's face not so different not so --

//Ripper, *please* -- //

Ethan forces Xander to his trembling knees.  Studies the boy's cock,
dark with nearly too much blood, weeping steadily, endearingly
grass-stained and he has to laugh again.  *Has* to.

Has to lean in and lick the tears away in one long, rough lap and Xander
is slipping into grunts and whimpers.  Pleas without words.

Not good enough.

"What are you, boy?"

"I...  I don't --"

One hard slap and Ethan watches hungrily as another load of pre-come
dribbles over the head of Xander's cock.  So easy, once you know the

"What are you?"

"I'm...  oh please...  oh god don't I'm a whore."

"Say it again."

"I'm a whore.  Nothing...  dirty...  *please*..."

Oh, and there's nothing like watching an imaginative young man
extrapolate.  Nothing at all.  "Do you want to know where Giles is,

Sweet, *sweet* brown eyes, vacantly needful and easily the most naked
thing on the boy's body.  "Yes, please tell me please I need --"

"Well, of course you *need*, Xander.  But he doesn't need you.  Or want
you.  Or give a damn about you, really, beyond the way your continued
existence seems to please the others.  You knew that, didn't you?"

Flash of an empty bed and the feel of his own face sinking into itself
at the sight of a note and nothing pushes it back but the boy's
sinking.  Xander's ache visible in every line, every expanse of quaking,
flushing flesh and Ethan doesn't lie to himself in this.  Ethan knows
he's simply fashioned himself a younger, prettier mirror.

Another quivering sack of needs to replace the one he seemed to have
killed somewhere along the way.

Ethan brushes the boy's face gently, wiping the tears, focusing his
power on cheeks, on lush mouth.  "I'm the only one here, boy."

"...  nothing..."

"Not to worry, though, I'll give you what you need."

Ethan strips himself slowly, savoring the feel of blood-stained silk
sliding over bruises, of his hands on the belt that, perhaps, would be
used later.  He lets it fall to the grass and watches Xander shiver.
Steps out of his pants and watches Xander refocus himself keenly.
Ethan hasn't bothered with underwear since he'd learned what effect
the lack had on people.

"You know what to do, don't you, Xander? From your dreams, I mean."

Xander moves the last few feet closer, never bothering to leave his
knees.  At first the boy only stares, trembling.  Licking his lips over
and over, heedless of the way his own hips thrust so hungrily at the
air.  It's a curious sight...  no one else under this particular spell
had ever paused when offered release.  Not without a direct order.

Had Xander had *any* experience with men? The thought thrilled
through him and in the end, he simply grabbed the boy by the back of
the head.

"Please...  you don't have to...  you don't have to be mean --"

And when Ethan nudges the boy's lower lip with the head of his cock he
is welcomed immediately, Xander's eyes rolling up in his head slightly,
Xander's drool making the way even slicker.  For a moment he considers
simply holding the boy still and spending himself in his virgin throat.

For a moment he considers simply leaving the tableaux as they stand --
Buffy and Riley, back to back and slashing the air with twigs, Willow
casting spell after spell within the chaos bubble, bleeding her power
into Ethan's own, Giles making love to Xander, Oz...  doing whatever it
was he was doing with that plant -- and leaving the whole of it to wear
off on its own.

Taking the precious boy, now lovingly, desperately fucking his mouth on
Ethan's cock and... teaching him.

He pushes the boy aside, barely notices the way he falls, panting, to
the ground.  The staying and gloating had always done him in, and after
all --

flash of white on white on white on buzzing fluorescent bearing down on
him the doctors the tables the demands for petty parlor tricks and
sorcerous weapons even he'd never used, would never use and in the end
he was just a warlock and he'd merely had to lose an eye to give in to
all the demands and in the black he can see he can still see still see
the not-quite-weakened enough Xirac demon they've thrown him in with and
he can see its yellowed bone claw and smell old, old death and he'd
surrendered before -- he'd offered before -- he's a coward and they
didn't need --

The pure scourge of chaos runs through him in hectic swamplight,
illuminating everything in all the skewed shapes he saw them in, putting
everything back into the wrong or right places and for a miracle all the
spells are still intact.


The price had been taken from something else, and Ethan will worry about
that later.

He sweeps his gaze back to Xander and the boy has finally shed his
ridiculous T-shirt.  He is utterly nude, his right hand twisting a
nipple cruelly while his left works his cock, fast and hard.  Ethan
hisses out a breath and simply watches the boy's hips snap up up up for
a long, sweet moment.  Sweet smooth flesh that the boy cannot satisfy
without help.

And, yes...  he could simply take him.  Anywhere he wished, really.

Borrow him, train him.  Have him.  Have him until Xander was his without
any spells at all...  would it be so difficult?

No, probably not difficult at all.  But what, then would he have
accomplished? He'd have a boy -- oh yes, a pretty, needy boy who would
love him and love him and take the punishment and hurt for him.  Hand to
his own cock, just a quick, nearly helpless stroke.

A boy whose likeness could -- *would* tempt him all the way across the
bridge into darkness and he could with sudden vivid colour imagine a
future where Xander wore his old whore's lame bellbottoms unzipped and
peacock eyeshadow and chiffon scarves and died for him and lived for him
over and over and always with that endearingly lopsided, baffled

The one he was wearing now, mistaking, Ethan supposed, the want that
surely showed on his face for something *good*.

"Would you like that, then? Would you like to be mine?"
Xander gasps, the smile firming to a child's open-mouthed grin; head
nodding in rhythm with his hand still working fast and helpless.  "I
promise you a living hell..."

Ethan watches the smile waver.  /Oh *god*.../ Was this what it was like
for you?

"Was it?" And he has to look at Ripper.  *Rupert*.  Really look at him,
half-misted, tussling with his ghost boy, the two of them so close they
must be melding, melting together.  In all that tenderness.  Fierce stab
of jealousy throws him back to twenty-three.  Pain he'd forgotten that
he'd hoarded.

"Never." Anger: "I *never* was this tame, you bloody arrogant fuck.  I
fought..." /hissed, scratched, bit like a starved stray cat but
still.../ "I fought.  I..."

Closes his eyes.  Eye.  He can hear the boy's rough breathing.

"Come.  Here." Scramble in the grass, sudden shuddering press of heat
against his legs.  He can smell the desperation but doesn't open his
eyes.  He can see just fine in the blind darkness inside his own head.
Crouching down, he strokes the knobbed curve of back, goosefleshed
haunch.  Xander's skin shivers under his hands.

"That's right..." he says, mutters a soft incantation under his breath,
feels the crackle of it rise up from the soil.  Muscles bunch and shift
under his hands.  Flesh warms.

The frantic panting eases.  "Wha--?"

"That's right..."

"Giles?" Confusion, the edges of a different, sharper panic.

Ethan chuckles softly.

"'Fraid not." Still stroking, Ethan lets one hand explore the shape of
Xander's lean young ass.  He can feel the brief, tense isometric
struggle under his palms.
"No! Wait... No!"

As he nestles himself behind and between Xander's thighs.  The boy
seems to have landed in just the right position for this, crouched
like a cat, shoulders down, ass in the air.  The high sharp stink of
panic like crushed juniper is rising in waves off him.

"Oh *god*..."

He likes the way Xander's voice breaks high with real fear.  The
struggles inside the narrow confines of the binding spell get
briefly more intense and Xander grunts.

"Careful, you could pull something." Hands wandering, thumb stroking
down the cleft to find damp heat, tiny pucker.  His other hand moving
deeper, dipping between the shiveringly taut thighs to stroke past the
tight velvet sac, cup the pulsing weight of Xander's -- /got you!/ --
still hard cock.

Xander makes a sound like a swallowed shriek.  "You *fuck*," he pants.
"You *fuck* get *off*."

"Oh come now," Ethan says, pushing the tip of his thumb inside,
marveling at the tightness of a truly virgin ass.  "Don't be a tease.
You've been begging for it for hours."

"Not me.  It wasn't *me*..." Trails off into a painful sounding sob.
Angry, wet.

Ethan smiles.

"Now Xander, we both know that's a lie." Another swallowed scream,
another stifled buck.  And he was right, this is *so* much better.   In
the dark, just listening and feeling, he strokes Xander, twice, like he
would have stroked himself and then withdraws his hand to do just
that...  He makes a cantrip motion and oil drizzles from his fingers,
thick and warm as honey.

"And just because you've been so good," slipping his oiled thumbtip in
and out, in and out with the rhythm of the words, meeting no resistance
but that of untried flesh, "And let me say you have been.  Very.  Very.
Good." Another strangled moan and he uses that to slide a little deeper
with each new stroke.  "Just because of that, Xander, I'm going to give
you just exactly what you want."


"What you *really* want."


"There's nothing you can do about it."


"You can say 'no' as much as you need to."


His thumb riding the boy now, his cock caught up in the slippery grip of
the same hand -- fucking his thumb into Xander, the boy riding back on
each thrust.  On each breathy, strangled 'no'.

And god and gods he *had* been beautiful like this.  Hips writhing,
shamed whimpers.  /always shamed with Rupert, not by his shamelessness
-- *that* was just and always his tool -- but by his *need*.
His.../spit it out, you pathetic little shit /...  his love./ Oh God,
poor old Rupert Giles.  Who could have held...  back...?

Slamming into his own hand hard enough to elicit a hissing grunt of pain
from the shuddering flesh below, his eye blinking open and oh, what a
lovely rush to see...  sweaty straining back, spread cheeks flushed
rose... if only -- and here he has to catch himself.  Hold up and tweak
himself the way he knows will stop the rush to orgasm at the thought /if
only I could reach my belt from here./

"Oh Xander," he gasps, half-laughing, slipping his thumb out of Xander's
ass, and wiping sweat and crusted blood off his cheek with the back of
the same hand before sliding the thumb into his own mouth to taste
honey, oily sweet and the dark metal of innocence broached.
/It just takes a taste to make an addict.../

"You know, this is the part where I'd really like to have something
clever and memorable to say," Ethan says, lowering his hand, nudging his
cock up to the sticking place.  Relishing the strain and release of
Xander making one last valiant try at just a smidge more than token
resistance.  "But honest to god, I can't think of a thing besides
getting my cock up your arse.  How about you? Any last words?"

Xander jerks, hisses something nearly soundless punctuated with a
raspy breath -- impossible to make out, maybe not even words at all
and Ethan finds he really *doesn't* care.

Just the sound of it is enough to send a shock of pleasure wiring up his
cock.  So much blood in there the skin feels glassine, membrane-thin and
in self-defense he presses forward into tight, slick, oiled heat.  Feels
elastic flesh give slowly but give and give.  Means to go slower but
really, there's no stopping now is there? No, no, no stopping.  Xander
crying out a rising howl, back trying to bow, his whole body trying to
stretch away from this terrible, unstoppable invasion...

And he is, abruptly, in.  All the way in and gripping Xander's hips to
force himself just that little bit deeper.  Panting in the sudden
quiet.  Xander's howl has cut off, shattered into little rips of sound
that brush at Ethan's senses like frayed wisps of resonance from the
hex itself.

"Oh my," he says, blinking.  Has to say it.  It's so much better than
he'd imagined it would be.  Not that he hadn't had his share of blushing
virgins...  oh, but this is everything, isn't it? Dirty little secret
unlocked.  /You little prick, you make me feel like God/ He holds
himself there, shuddering, relishing.

The feel and knowledge.  The almost-painful grip around his cock, the
ache of all his bruises healing unnaturally fast thanks to the sweet
drain of Willow's power, Xander's hissing breaths -- the pulsebeat
rocking of his hips.  Oh lovely lovely *boy*.

"Go on," he whispers.  "Go on, do it Xander.  Fuck yourself.  I won't
tell a soul."  Breathy whimper.  "I won't tell a soul that it wasn't the

And Xander pulls forward the fraction the binding spell allows, and
Ethan thinks for a second that he's resisting and reflexively fits the
shape of another hex in the hollow just between his tongue and teeth.
But it's not resistance.  It's not that at all.

And even knowing that he's God now and it's inevitable that his will be
done, and even with all the prodding, all the sorcery, all the
mindfucking he's been aiming it's still unexpected when Xander actually
does it, fucking frantic and fast, shoulders straining as he tries
vainly to get his hands anywhere near himself, ass moving like a hot,
oiled glove around him, milking him violently.

And he rides with it.  God it's fucking wonderful to do this, *be*
this.   *Getting* it finally, after all these years and he gets as close
to loving Xander as the moment allows.  Grabs the boy under the arms and
hauls him upright, holds him tight /cold flesh against the hot bony
hardness of his bruised chest/.

/Oh god, oh Janus, Ripper --/

Xander's head lolls against his shoulder, the smell of dirt and freshly
sweaty hair, the grind like sheared silk against his collarbone and
Xander's crying or maybe *he's* crying, blood-drip tears not salty
enough at the corner of his mouth and he's so close takes Xander in his
hand himself he's pulling fast and slick and doesn't understand why he's
shooting in his hand even before the orgasm hits and he comes and comes
and /Ripper you fucking bastard why didn't you ever.../ comes.


... broken his neck.

Giles had... broken Ethan's neck. He really hadn't thought he would
ever.... The body is nothing but an overlarge broken toy, now.  Just
another obscenity in the park.

His obscenity. There's a moment when the numbness wants to fill with
rage and pain and everything, every memory, every cock up, every wrong
word they've said to each other, and the spells, and Ethan's warm,
frighteningly soft, tender scent after sex, after sleep and Ethan
is --

The moan is long and low. Helpless. Giles wonders how long it'll take
before that moan seats itself at the back of his brain, echoing
out precisely when he needs the shame most. It cages everything
surrounding the words "Ethan is dead" and buries them again.

It turns him and really, that's all it takes.

Xander catches and holds Giles' gaze with his own, seems to reach for
him with every part of his body. Giles kneels down beside the boy and
begins wracking his mind again for the way into the hex, even though he
can't precisely see its edges anymore.

"Giles --"

Low, rough voice. Velvet pulled over bare stone and Giles' train of
thought is gone again, lost. "Xander --"

"I need you..."

"I know, Xander, it's the spell just try --"

A light touch on Xander's forehead makes the boy whip his head back and
forth for a shocking moment before subsiding.


And Giles brushes the boy's hair back, wipes away the sweat that
threatens to slide into Xander's eye and if he... if he just focuses
on the boy's  forehead...

High, clear. A hint of olive, or golden under the burgeoning tan. So

"*More* oh God I can *smell* you --"

And perhaps, perhaps contact of some sort, perhaps he should... And the
kiss is meant to soothe, only to soothe. Hot damp skin against his mouth
and Giles can't help but let his lips move against it, soft dry
brushes leading to more, and more, and he doesn't want to know what
he's praying for.

And Xander presses into it, begs for more with relentless coherence
and when his mouth finds Xander, still so gentle, he can manage
gentle, but then Xander is holding him, arms flung 'round with casual,
needful possession and then Giles is much, much too close for gentle.

And inside Xander's mouth it's almost pure, chocolate-sweet and
unscarred and Giles yanks himself away with a helpless moan.

Xander, still nearly naked and sprawled, dazed and unfocused.
Utterly beautiful. Giles is abruptly, painfully aware of his position
half-on and half-off Xander's body. Of his trapped but obvious
erection tight against one long, lean thigh and his swollen mouth.

"Ohh... you don't have to stop..."

He can't help himself, he presses his hand over Xander's lips, holds it
there for much too long in an attempt to get his bearings. And it's just
like Ethan to do this, one more fucking joke from beyond the grave.

A mindless need spell, designed to seduce Giles into full, conscious
rape. An old favorite.

"*Christ*, Xander, no, this isn't... you didn't... you're under a spell and
I... I can't even begin to tell you how sorry --"

"I don't care, I don't *care. Won't you touch me? I know I'm not who
you want, I just... oh Giles I need so *bad* --"
Hopeful smile and wide, dark eyes bright with unnatural sheen
and... hands.

Warm, damp palms on his cheeks, pulling him in and he could resist now.
He could, there is nothing here and Xander is just a boy and doesn't he

"It's not safe --"

Low chuckle. "Really... is anything?"

And there's something... off about that. Something just slightly wrong
but Xander's mouth has no answers. Xander's mouth. A smile hidden
under lush softness, heat and wet and sweet and if he can find that
smile then it will be... what he needs.

Not all right, not good, oh, Giles knows he has to. No way around this
and... and perhaps that's the only cure. Touch of the Object. Better,
that, easy to push down the mental memories of Xander's reaction to
his touch, but not the physical ones. His body wants.

He wants.

Something like a full-body growl and he knows exactly what this means.
Giles feels himself pressing harder, kissing rougher, sliding his
still-trapped cock against the underside of Xander's own. Catches the
boy's moan and holds him tighter then, slips his hand under Xander's ass
and pulls him in to the grind of denim against hypersensitized flesh.

Swallows every moan whole.

Xander just... surrenders. Wraps his legs around Giles hips, then
higher. Holds Giles' face still while his mouth is plundered, groaning
and responsive, reactive as a gentle sparring partner and Giles knows
-- *knows* --  that Xander will take everything Giles chooses to give,
with a groan and a silent plea for more.

And it's suddenly Giles turn to moan, out here God help him in the
bloody park and throwing himself at a boy well under half his age
bewitched into wanting him.  Wants him badly enough to give up more
than he can ever understand before Giles takes that, too.

Xander's hands off his face and at his shoulders, pulling, tugging at
clothes in rough counterpoint to the fuck of Giles' tongue in his
mouth, of Giles' pelvis against his own.

Giles breaks the kiss long enough to tear away from the boy's grip,
pausing after removing his shirt just to hold him down.

Dark eyes and bruising lips. Giles skids his hand over to one rose
brown nipple and palms it, earning an open-mouthed arch. Before he
knows what he's doing, Giles has raised Xander's thigh to his mouth
and is rubbing his stubble against it because... because that's what had
to be done to a boy begging for it this loudly. This tease, cruel tease
that earns the whimper he isn't sure he wanted.

All of a sudden it could be a different body beneath him, leaner and
paler.  Hunger in every elegant sinew and he twists at the nipple
instead, hard. Once and again and it's a broken sound, a ghost of a
name not his own, not anymore, and a dark chilling rush that thorns his
own nipples and shoots a healthy jolt of pre-come down his cock and
it's not....

Would Xander take that, too? And oh, in this state he would take
anything, anything at all.

Another twist and the boy's thighs tremble and Giles pushes it back
ruthlessly, locks it behind another set of walls because he doesn't have
to do it this way. There is no one, *no* one to condemn him for

Nothing to prove.

Giles is surprised to hear himself chuckle, then, and he lets the
laughter lean him down to the abused nipple and he laps away the hurt,
and the taste of everything he wants to hide and when he finally begins
to suckle, Xander's hand finds his back, caressing him with such slow
care it makes Giles' throat ache.

He kisses his way up Xander's throat, lingering on the thudding pulse
point the way he'd wanted to for longer than he would ever admit,
mouthing at it not quite hard enough to leave a mark. He twines his
legs between Xander's own and starts a slow rock, ache against ache,
oddly soothing waves of  rising need lapping at him and when Giles takes
Xander's mouth again he takes his time. Learning and testing, tasting.

I've wanted to make love to you for so long, and he doesn't know whether
he's said it out loud, but he can't bear to pull away for long enough
to be sure. Instead he laps at one blushing ear and nibbles gently on
the lobe before returning his kisses to the boy's face, the boy's easy,
needful grin that makes him rock faster, makes Xander thrust up to meet
him with an easy grace, simple athleticism and undeniable desire that
undoes him, just a little.

I love you, love you so much and I fear it's made me cruel and Giles
can't say that so he tries to pour it all into his kiss, into his fuck
and into his clutching, seeking hands. Too soon it all begins to
stutter within his vision, resolving into mind-searing flashes Giles
knows he'll have with him forever:

Shocky, anguished look of agonized pleasure and tongue sliding over
soft mouth, tight strain of a shoulder and creeping flush, brown eyes
locked on his and pleading pleading *needing* --

-- and then he has to squeeze his eyes shut and lose himself to the
slide velvet friction of cock to cock and nipples brushing his chest
and a high keening moan in his ear and the blood-hot splash over his
belly and chest makes him crack out a yell and thrust once, twice more
before he loses what feels like most of his spine.

And he only makes himself roll off enough to let Xander breathe. He
allows himself the brush of his nose against the boy's cheek, the drape
of his arm over hopelessly disgusting torso.

Meets Xander's eyes in them and tries to shake off the haze that
must be there because Xander looks... afraid.


And oh, God, had he really allowed himself to forget the spell?
"Xander --"

"What... Giles, what the hell did you *do* to me?" Horror in the
boy's voice, and something a lot like disgust and Giles' stomach
plummets and Xander is pushing away from him, scrabbling away
and to his feet and looking... stained.

"Xander, wait, you must --"

"You sick *bastard*! I couldn't... I couldn't protect myself and
you did... *this*."

Giles stands, and the brush of his own soft cock against his thigh
makes him *sick* and he reaches for Xander, but he turns and

*Runs* away and Giles lets himself fall to his knees because that's
the only thing and then he's falling for real, hitting the ground
with a bruising thump.

"Wha --"

And a gut-twisting groan and it's too familiar, too close to what...

Slap of flesh on flesh and he knows that moan and God help him he
knows that high, helpless keen, too from too many dreams. He can
feel the hex crawling over him now, yellow as bile and crumbling
around him, wracking him unevenly for God knows how many more
minutes and he can see he can see:

Willow unconscious on her own coverlet and Oz tearing with too dull
teeth at the belly of a screaming fat orange tabby and Buffy beating at
the ground over and over again, screaming and screaming and tripping
over Riley's prone form and



The orgasm rips through him, breaking something hard and hot and
irreplaceable and it's nowhere near loud enough to muffle his own

His own whimpering moans and even now he can't stop, his cock can't stop
he's one long fucking money shot, coming and coming in hot ropy spurts
until he has to throw his head back. Again.

Back against Ethan's shoulder and God help him it feels too good for him
to be as sick as he needs to be.

As sick as he deserves. Deserves it asked for it begged for it and his
body aches so so good each pull of muscle strain /fuck yourself I won't
tell fuck yourself/ tugging at something still keening inside him,
helpless as it's  ever been. And hadn't he dreamed of this? Fucking
himself with two shaking fingers and hand lotion much too hard and
pretending it was... no one he knew.

No one who could see and know and and and laugh and everything that's
his has betrayed him. Naked and covered in his own come, eyes squeezed
shut so tight he can pick out individual cloudbursts of color and light
but all he wants is the black.

And the only thing he's sure of is the cock in his ass /*inside*/ and
the long, wiry, perfectly human arms still holding him close.

But, of course, it's Ethan.

His skin is too tired to crawl, but it's Ethan. Panting against his ear
and... stroking him now. Petting him.

Like a fucking... dog. /slut, whore, faggot faggot faggot/ and the come
on his chest is cool and slimy and and there's more *leaking* out of
his *ass* and dribbling down his thighs like somebody's bad frathouse
joke. /you let him fuck you up the ass and there's the proof/

As if he can't feel it.

He *hurts*. He hurts and he knows that it's not that different from how
a girl must feel after a first time /popped that fucking cherry bitch
was so *tight*/ and oh God oh Christ he can feel himself shaking but he
can't move, can't even breathe --

And God help him Ethan is still stroking him, *soothing* like he's...
like he's gonna cry and he thinks maybe he might but then Ethan's
slipping out of him with a sickening wet *pull* and it feels like his
insides are following it and Ethan makes a sound and grips him a little
tighter and that's it, that's all he has to get *away* --

"Xander." Giles.

Oh, God, *Giles* and he sounds so... sounds so... and Xander knows he's
seen everything, and whirls his head around to find himself face to face
with Ethan.

And the smug grin was so real in Xander's mind that it's what he sees
for a crushingly long moment before the reality can even begin to sink
in. Ethan's ruined face, falling into itself seemingly through the one
staring eye focused somewhere over his shoulder /mirror/ and whirling
the other way he can see Giles in the same place, reaching almost
reaching and before he knows what he's doing he bolts upright, wincing
at the pain and the awful cooling mess.

Grabs his clothes and runs, runs and he still can't be sick, not even
when his thighs try to stick together, not even when Oz looks up from
the savaged belly of a somebody's screaming tabby housecat.

All he can do is run.


/Oh,/ Ethan thinks.  And:  /Well.../  And neither word even begins
to  penetrate the dazed calm that seems to be all that the orgasm has
left him.  Like he'd shot everything out his cock -- all the anger, all
the... nearly  thirty years worth of rage and pain -- all of it
vanished.  Gone.  Rather pleasantly too.

It hadn't hurt a bit, which is why he can't for the life of him figure
out how it is that, cocooned in all this pleasant, painless *peace*, he
has this tiny sense of dread.  Inside.  A tiny speck, like a cancer
cell.  Nothing he can feel but he knows it's there and he can't...
There was the sex, there was the boy.  No, before that... there was the
spell  (wizard's titter, sibilant and familiar, he knows that voice,
there had been all *kinds* of teachers...) but the spell.  He shakes his
head, hard, to clear it.  Because there's definitely something wrong
now, isn't there?

It had been -- the sex, the boy, the spell -- it had almost come out...
*right* so what...?  He looks around through fog, sees Rupert on the
ground, the others, all the great tectonic breaks, rips in the black
cellophane shiver that was magic, all the glamour leaked away, but that
wasn't it.  It had all been so clear a second before.  The sex, the
boy.  Rupert.  The black speck tears something inside.  Still painless,
but he can feel cold whistling in through the tear.

Rupert up on his knees now, still struggling against the invisible,
still reaching for the boy.  But the boy is gone now.  That's right.
There had  been the sex, the boy, the weeping and soothing.  And Ripper
crying out and  *something* had happened and the boy had run. /oh yes.
Run.  You'd  definitely better run, Xander./  Because all hell is
breaking loose.


Not here... the spell is just unraveling.  No thunder here, so where's
all this bloody icy wind coming from?  And doesn't Rupert feel it?
Doesn't he feel *anything*?

/Well, no, Ethan, luv.  I think we've established quite beyond question
that he doesn't./ And oh yes, that.  There was that, wasn't there. The
spell, the sex, the boy -- nothing left now but a pinkish smear on his
softening cock -- and that marvelous revelation that he'd only wanted to
*show* Rupert.  That was all he'd wanted him to do.  Just look.  Just
see this  marvel:  I wasn't so awful.  Really I wasn't.  I only loved

And you, well... okay, perhaps it still was a little tangled, but Ripper...
He *understands* it now.  It all makes sense.  At least it had for a
second or two.  The sex, the boy, Rupert.  So solid in himself for the
first time in so many years.  All ready to show Rupert his miracle. But
then Rupert had cried out and looked through him so carelessly that for
a second Ethan had felt his body disappear.  Had looked down at
himself, shocked to see a man's body still there -- familiar, lean and
scarred.  Cock still purpled.  Smeared with pink-streaked come --
looked up again to meet eyes... What was that look? He looks again at
Giles, who has stopped struggling.

Up on his knees, now, looking utterly miserable and exhausted.  And
still not at him.  No, only the boy had looked at him. Only Xander.
Only pathetic little waste of perfectly good corpse Xander, who he'd
just persuaded to live out every queer's secret masturbatory rape
fantasy-become-living-public-nightmare come true -- had bothered to
look at him.

Right in the eye, too.  Oh yes, he remembered now.  Laughing a little at
the ridiculously tacky irony of it all, although it didn't sound too
much like a laugh.  Hard to hear over the sudden giving rip inside,
blackness tearing and  he was on his feet, gods Janus all hail to make
it fast he had to make it  fast or he was going to feel this -- through
the fading tickle edge of the  broken hex, crashing to the ground, his
naked knees in the churned almost mud  in front of Rupert.  Just that
close /oh god, Ripper you still smell so *good*./

Careful not to look up now.  Just *fast* grabbed Rupert's unresisting
hands  /*big* hands, long fingers, scars, all familiar as his own and
still so hot/.   Lifted them /heavy things, the weight of flesh and bone
and memory/ fit them to his throat, settling in against them, feeling
his breath rasp hard  and fast.  Oh faster, all that blackness starting
its cyclone spin inside him.  Hands still cupping hands.

/*Come* on, Ripper.  You remember... God don't let me/ Feel this.  And
knowing finally -- that wizard lizard laugh, throne toppled over, king
trapped and dying underneath -- that the price is *everything*.  Even
that last little holdout 10p piece in the bottom of his boot.

Everything.  And  time to pay it.  Looks up to offer his open gaze to
Rupert to take or not to take.  And waits...


Giles can feel everything. The focus is sharp, unmistakable. The hex
dulled things, and now he is free to wonder how he could've possibly
been so... lost.

Easily lost within himself.

He can feel the slim, warm neck in his hands, and he can feel the ghost
of it, skin stretching too far as the bone snapped like tinder. He can
feel the pulse. Ethan's pulse. Ethan's neck, Ethan's sweat reeking of
sex and and.

And Xander. For a heartstopping moment his hands *ache* with the need
to finish this, once and for all. He's wielded crossbows and hexes and
finally he is left with only this: Flesh to flesh and one more gift
from Ethan.

"God damn you." The words drop out of his mouth like pebbles he'd been
holding for too long and Giles feels the man shudder in his hands. For
this... for this he can look down. Open his eyes and look down and meet
Ethan's gaze.

And it's like nothing he's ever seen before /really? Are you sure?/, no
humor, no rage, no lust. Nothing but... but what it is, and what it's
begging  for with every heartbeat that passes. And it opens something
up, something beautiful and cinnamon and something like cherished.

And terribly, terribly useless. He can't give Ethan that, either. Giles
takes his hands back, closing his eyes again at the brush of flesh on
flesh for just a moment, just a taste and then they're his again.

All his, and he looks toward the woods, toward whatever Xander had run
after and he's just in time to see Oz. Head thrown back, wet blackness
all over his face and in the moonlight it can only be one thing. Small
body before him and Giles' stomach lurches once before he realizes it
isn't human.

This, too?

Oz takes off at a run, never looking back, and Giles is left struggling
to see what path Xander might have taken, where he would go after...
"Don't worry overmuch... he'll come back."

And Giles doesn't realize he's moved, doesn't realize Ethan had been
standing behind him until he feels his hand lock around the man's neck.
But Ethan is only smiling at him with something like dazed ruefulness.

"We always do."

We. And oh yes, had he used Xander any better? Had he done anything
with his gift but offer it the same rape and excuses? And oh Christ,
the *taste*. So young and salty-sweet and there was a hell for this.


There has to be.

And in the end it's only inevitable that he release Ethan. Turn his
back one more time. Get dressed. The hell of it was that Ethan was
right. Xander would *always* come back -- it was the way of things.
And Oz... was Oz.

But... This time, perhaps, he could be enough of a man to find them



by tool

What's coming through is alive.
What's holding up is a mirror.
But what's singing songs is a snake
Looking to turn this piss to wine.

They're both totally void of hate,
But killing me just the same.

The snake behind me hisses
What my damage could have been.
My blood before me begs me
Open up my heart again.

And I feel this coming over like a storm

Venomous voice, tempts me,
Drains me, bleeds me,
Leaves me cracked and empty.
Drags me down like some sweet gravity.

The snake behind me hisses
What my damage could have been.
My blood before me begs me
Open up my heart again.

And I feel this coming over like a storm again.

I am too connected to you to
Slip away, to fade away.
Days away I still feel you
Touching me, changing me,
And considerately killing me.

Without the skin,
Beneath the storm,
Under these tears
The walls came down.

And the snake is drowned and
As I look in his eyes,
My fear begins to fade
Recalling all of those times.

I could have cried then.
I should have cried then.

And as the walls come down and
As I look in your eyes
My fear begins to fade
Recalling all of the times
I have died
and will die.
It's all right.
I don't mind.

I am too connected to you to
Slip away, to fade away.
Days away I still feel you
Touching me, changing me,

And considerately killing me.