A Time to Mourn, a Time to Dance
by Gwen Courtenay (alias_lilacgirl at hotmail.com / website: God Awful Little Stories)
Rated: R (h/c)
Spoilers: Season Five of Buffy & Season Two of Angel
Warnings: Character Death
Summary: Wesley doesn’t think Giles should be alone the night of his Slayer’s wake.
A knock on his front door didn’t surprise Giles too terribly. He figured it was one of the children or possibly Spike. He knew Dawn invited him to the wake, but he wasn’t there, perhaps out of respect to the Slayer or because the service started at eleven in the morning.
Scanning the flat, he deemed it fit for visitors. It was actually spotless. One of his recent bouts of sleeplessness resulted in manic housekeeping.
Opening the door, he was a bit shocked by who was standing on the other side. Wesley. The ex-Watcher managed to make it through the entire memorial without saying or doing anything foolish, but of course he did say very little and mostly stood still out of the way.
Moving to the side, he made room for Wesley to enter. Living on a Hellmouth creates its own customs. The younger man walked into the living room, he still wearing the same solemn gray suit and tie. Not as severe as the double breasted suits from earlier times. “What brings you here?” Giles asks and God help him if the man says something inane.
Wesley shoved his hands into his pockets, a relaxed posture he wouldn’t of dared a few years ago. “I don’t think you should be alone. Not tonight, not the night of your Slayer’s wake.”
The night kept on surprising him. First Wesley, now this sincere gesture, Giles didn’t know how to respond. “I appreciate your concern.” Giles walked across the room to the kitchen to busy himself with something. “But I prefer to be alone.”
Wesley didn’t look at him, didn’t look at anything really. “Yes, I suspected such. That is why I am here. You shouldn’t be alone.” Giles was about to say something sharp and cold when Wesley cut him off, “I have worked with Angel and Cordelia for two years, I am quite use to stubbornness.” As to prove his point, Wesley sat down on the sofa.
Whatever recourse Giles had vanished, it’s hard to argue with someone with such experience. “Would you like a drink?”
Wesley nodded and Giles brought two glasses of scotch over to the couch, handing Wesley’s his as he sat down. “To Buffy,” he toasted. The liquor burned down his throat and settled down to the empty place in his soul.
Then another surprise. Wesley sat his glass upon the coffee table and stated very simply. “You loved her.” Giles felt a pain shoot through his chest with Wesley’s words. “She was your daughter,” Wesley continued. “You loved her. Not like a daughter, but as your daughter. In your heart, in your soul, as if she was made from your flesh.”
Someone spoke what he’d always known. Buffy wasn’t like a daughter to him, she was his daughter. His bright spark in his life and now it was gone. Distinguished forever and now his own existence seemed futile.
The pain was burning and consuming. He couldn’t contain it. When he tried to take a breath, it hiccupped into his chest and came out as a sob. And he kept on sobbing. He couldn’t control it. He couldn’t stop. Everything he held tightly together inside fell apart and he didn’t know how to stop falling. Like when Jenny died. But worse, far more worse.
Wesley pulled the man to him and held him, unable to do anything more than listen to Giles mourn the death of the person he loved most.
Giles woke feeling a bit stiff because he fell asleep on the couch again. The light stroking of his hair almost lulled him back to sleep if it wasn’t for the fact Giles couldn’t immediately place whose hand it was and whose thigh he was using as a pillow.
He sat up to find Wesley looking up from a tome he was reading. Everything came back to him, the wake, the ex-Watcher, the degrading sobbing. He stood, polishing his glasses as he paced. He opened his mouth to apologize for his behaviour, but he wasn’t. He wasn’t sorry. He was almost grateful. He couldn’t cry in front of the children. He had to be the strong one, the one who pulled them through this rough period. Wesley knew this. Instead of an apology, Giles said, “Thank you.”
Wesley gave a slight nod and asked, “Would you like some dinner?”
Giles realized his stomach was empty, but it was hard to distinguish hunger from the hole inside him. “Yes, I think I could use a bit to eat.” He opened the top drawer of his desk and produced several menus. “Feel free to order whatever you like, I’m going upstairs to take a shower.”
Wesley woke to find Giles at the kitchen window. Clad in his robe, he stood still, hands clasped behind his back, watching the night landscape. At first, Wesley was going to fall back asleep and leave the other man alone. Allow him some solitude and reflection. But something nagged at him. Something which said this was why he was here. Giles would have time for solace tomorrow when Wesley leaves, at that moment, Giles needed a friend or someone close enough.
He went to him, standing slightly behind him, watching the view from the window. “Are you alright?” he asked quietly, not wishing to disturb the night.
Giles nodded, not looking back at him. “I was unable to sleep. Did I wake you?” he asked over his shoulder.
Wesley shook his head, “Would you like to talk?”
He turned to him, hands now resting in the pockets of his robe. The street light shone unto Wesley’s face, turning into one of a stranger. Shadows played across his face, highlighting his eyes without glasses, the rough stubble on his face, the slightly curly mussed hair, the thin lines of his mouth. Fascinated as the lips parted and danced while Wesley spoke. Giles was dimly aware he should hear what Wesley was speaking, but he couldn’t. Instead, his hand rose up and grasped the head and pulled those lips to his.
Wesley stopped talking when Giles was suddenly kissing him. He returned the other man’s kiss the best he could and responded to the shorter ones which followed. One of his hands cupped the back of Giles’ neck as the other rested on his shoulder.
A voice in back of Giles’ conscious hollered stop and he did. Breaking as abruptly as he started, Giles took a step back, clear eyes looking up at the ex-Watcher. “I’m sorry.” He felt himself tremble, “This is inappropriate.” Then added under his breath, “Not to mention a cliché.”
Giles last comment made Wesley chuckle, “There is a reason why it’s a cliché. When people are in pain, it’s natural to reach out and seek comfort. I am not offended. There is nothing wrong or improper.”
“What’s wrong is my Slayer just died,” Giles snapped.
“Do you think she would be offended?” Wesley asked gently. “Though I only knew her a short time, I don’t think she would be. Except for your choice of partner,” he added with a smile.
It was Giles’ time to laugh. He could hear her plainly in his head. “You did what? With Wesley? Were you insane?” His small smile faded with a sigh. God he missed her. What he wouldn’t give to remove the pain.
“It’s alright,” Wesley reassured, as if he could read Giles’ thoughts.
Giles’ unwavering gaze fell upon him. As if he was trying to find the answers written on Wesley’s skin. Wesley wished he had them for Giles. But no one did. This pain was something one just had to muddle through and deal with the best one could.
Some answers must have been found. Giles leaned forward and kissed Wesley again, a little more hesitant than before. Pulling back, Giles wanted to say something, but he had no idea what. This situation must have words, a code of conduct, reassurance for both parties. But all that came to him sounded trite and needless. Those shimmering blue eyes studied him for a moment before Wesley reached down and took his hand.
He was led upstairs. Giles’ felt foolish at the little flutter of emotions floating through him. Sorrow and sadness of course, but also apprehension and anxiety, like he was some timid virgin. Part of him wanted to send Wesley out of his home. Out of Sunnydale. But another part wanted this. Wanted the pain to go away, if only briefly under the superficiality of it all.
The bedroom was bleak and muted, no light shone in through the windows. Wesley no longer had intense blue eyes or the hard planes on his face. He was a silhouette in the dark. A shadow.
Standing beside the bed, they kissed again. Arms wrapped around each other, hands sneaking underneath clothing to caress bare skin. All the fears left Giles, leaving him with a dull, aching need. A need to be touched, to be loved, to be wanted.
Wesley felt a change inside of Giles. His actions were no longer hesitant and reserved. His hands rose higher under Wesley’s t-shirt, kisses more potent. Perhaps Giles finally decided this was what he desired. Taking the opportunity, Wesley pealed off Giles’ already loosened robe. Hands wandered over Giles’ bare chest, lightly tickling the chestnut hairs. He thought about kissing or even pinching one of the rose nipples, but Wesley decided against it. It wasn’t that kind of love making.
Taking Wesley’s lead, Giles’ rid himself of the undershirt Wesley wore, allowing his hands more freedom as they continued kissing. Slow, lingering kisses, not ones of two frantic lovers, kisses reminiscent of good wine and chocolate. Giles’ hands slid down Wesley’s spine to the small of his back, dibbing into the waistband of the boxers. Idly, Giles wondered if he had offered Wesley anything to sleep in or if the young man didn’t care if he slept in his underwear or if Wesley was in the habit of sleeping in anything at all?
A spark flew through Wesley as Giles’ fingers teased his tail bone. His back arched, rubbing his awaking erection against Giles’. In response, Giles rocked his own hips and a gentle rubbing motion began. It was a samba. Hands, hips, kisses, all in tune, all in phase to an inaudible beat which resonated in the room. Wesley added steps to the dance and maneuvered them into bed.
Wesley lay on his side, one arm to prop himself up for better access to Giles’ lips. The other hand moved down and crept under the drawstring of Giles’ pants. Taking the hard flesh in his hand, Wesley started a slow rhythm. Nothing rushed or passionate, just comforting.
Giles felt another spasm pass through his chest. The innocence of Wesley’s movements. The gentle moving against one another in the dark. Heralding back to the days of lonesome teenage boys, trying to seek comfort in each others arms.
As Giles grew harder, Wesley increased the tempo and removed the barrier of the pants. Giles’ breaths were harsh panting sobs. His hips bucked wildly, trying to receive the absolution he craved. A rush of heat flooded his body, lighting every nerve on fire. Uttering a cry of anguish, Giles came.
The world slowly settled down back into place as Giles’ became aware of Wesley. He was still up on the elbow, looking down at him with a caring expression. Giles’ pulled him down for a kiss before seeking out the other man’s erection. Wesley stopped him, “You don’t need to. This was for you, not me.” He kissed him again and settled down next to Giles, cuddling him. “Sleep,” he whispered into Giles’ ear.
“Wesley,” he started but was a few moments before he finished with, “Thank you.”