DISCLAIMER:  I don't own 'em.  All the characters you recognize belong to someone who isn't me and are used without permission purely (!) for a little non-profit personal entertainment.

Codes/rating/warnings:  Giles/Xander, NC-17.  Consent issues and underage sex.

NOTES:  Because this story was written over a period of time so long that I don't really want to think about it, there are things that are a little different to canon.  For example, in my BuffyVerse, Willow and Oz slept together before they left high school.  Call it poetic license.  It's also probably worth noting that this is set before they left high school.  The guys don't use condoms, but you should.

This is my version of the VirginSacrifice(TM) plot device.

You have been warned.

Ocean and Candle
By Melissa

There have been many plagues loosed upon the world.  Plagues of locusts and famine and biochemical weapons.  Plagues of vampires.  Plague of bombs and guns and death in all shapes and forms.

But never has the world seen a plague such as the one that will rise with the next full moon.

So get ready, kiddies.  Fasten your seatbelts and reach for the popcorn, because the show's about to start.

And it's going to be a doozy.


"Right," Giles said absently.  "We're all here?  All right then, let's begin with -"

"Uh, Giles?"  Buffy said, studying her nails.

"Buffy?" he returned evenly.

"Is this going to take long?  I kinda promised my mom I'd be home by six to help her with dinner.  We've got some top banana art dealer coming at seven, and she wants everything to be perfect."

Cordelia rolled her eyes.

"It will take as long as it takes," Giles said, maintaining his patience with effort.  "This is important information, Buffy - "

"So spit it out, already!" Buffy said, clearly exasperated.

Giles sighed.  It was obviously going to be another one of those days.  "Would you pass me that book, please?   Xander?"

Xander started.  "Um.  What?"

Giles raised an eyebrow.  "I asked you to pass me that book.  The one with the circular design on the cover."

Xander hastily passed the book over.

Giles leafed through the pages, looking for the illustration he was after.

"Uh, so, right," Xander said, staring at his hands.  "Um, so like, what's the big emergency?  Wait - let me guess - books are going out of fashion and -"

"Nerd boy?"  Cordelia raised her perfectly plucked eyebrows.  "Can you keep your mouth shut for more than two consecutive seconds, or do we need to gag you so we can get through this and go *home*?"

Xander glared at her.  "What crawled up your -"

"Enough!"  Giles said sharply, feeling the beginnings of a headache begin to nag at him.  "Can we please get to business?"

Xander studied his hands.  Cordelia rolled her eyes.  Buffy stared out the window.  Willow and Oz both sat silently, waiting for him to continue.

"Very well," he said, repressing the urge to sigh.  "The legend of the Uberhetdasq."  He indicated the book he was holding, "Although there is very little information on the subject, historical records indicate that the Uberhetdasq is -"

"Wait.  Uber-hetero-*what*?"  Cordelia said incredulously.  "What, is there a watcher paper on pronunciation of octosyllabic words containing two vowels or less?"

" - a demon of somewhat unusual origins.  Greek mythology -"

"So, what?  Ten minutes?  Thirty?  How long is this going to *take*?" Buffy pointedly checked her watch.

Giles blinked.  "Uh - "

"Greek mythology," Willow prompted.

"Ah," Giles said, "Of course.  Well, the abridged version - "

"I have to go."  Oz rose and pulled his bag on in one smooth movement.  "Band practice.  Which means we all sit in a room with musical instruments, most out of tune, and discuss the nature of existence and why reality is a paradox trapped within a paradigm created by a flawed species supposedly created by an infinite and omnipotent being."  He shrugged.  "And maybe drink beer.  Catch ya later."

"Bye, Oz," Willow called after him.  "See you tomorrow."

Giles pinched the bridge of his nose.

"So, Giles," Willow returned her attention to the matter at hand, clearly in researcher-mode.  "It's like, what, a bad demon that eats babies, or is it maybe a good demon?"

Giles opened his mouth to reply, but Willow - warming to her theme - was continuing.

"Like, maybe it eats lollipops and smiles a lot, because that would be nice, and we haven't had a nice demon since, well, ever, so it would be kind of a change, and change is good -"

"Willow," *shut up* he thought, irritably.  "Demons generally are, by their very nature, demonic, which means that the vast majority are -"

"Big bad ugly demon things," Cordelia interrupted.  "We get it.  Well, most of us get it.  So -?"

"So if you don't know what to look for while patrolling you may end up with an animal-demon in control of your higher brain functions," he snapped, "Not that anyone would notice."

There was a brief silence while Giles silently counted to ten in Greek, Latin, Arabic, Cyrillian, and Lebanese.  Eyes closed.

Xander drummed his fingers nervously on the table.

Giles opened his eyes and glared.  He'd known earlier that day - at 5am, no less, when he was woken by his next door neighbor's shower rendition of *I Will Always Love You* - that it was going to be a foul day.  And he was rarely wrong.

"Uh, so, G-man," Xander started warily, "This uber-hetero-whatever, it's bad news, right?"

"Right," Giles said shortly.

"So, what does it look like?  What does it do?  What does it eat for breakfast and what perfume does it like?"  Buffy was pointedly looking at her watch.  "Some of us have lives to get back to, you know."

"They, not it," he corrected tiredly.  "They don't have a physical appearance.  They exist chiefly on the astral plane, and enter ours through hosts - human or vampire - when certain environmental conditions are met.  That is, during a full moon on the day of the Autumnal Equinox, and then they can only enter those standing on or within reasonable proximity to ley lines in and around the Hellmouth."  Giles stopped for breath and surveyed the subdued teens wearily.  "As for what it eats for breakfast, electrons, I imagine, and as far as I know it has little use for perfume, given that it has no nasal passages in its natural form, or indeed any olfactory apparati to speak of."

"So, what do they do?"  Willow asked timidly.

"They take over the higher brain functions," Giles said, rubbing the back of his neck.  "Meaning that the demon has almost complete control of the hosts body - "

"And do what exactly?" Buffy asked.  "Go shopping, take long bubble baths, assassinate ex-Beatles?"

Giles shot her a brief look before continuing, "The Uberhetdasq is an animal demon.  That means that it will behave in - well, in an animalistic manner.  It gives in to every base urge - usually in a rather spectacularly tasteless way, gathering from the records I've read."  He sighed.  "Exorcising them is a virtual impossibility."

Buffy frowned.  "What, they're like couch potatoes or something?"

Giles was silent for a moment as he tried to interpret this.

"Um, ex*or*cising, Buffy, not ex*er*cising," Willow said softly.  "More like The Omen than Buns of Steel."

"Buns of -?"  Giles shook his head.  He wasn't even going to think about that one.

"So," Xander said.  "I'm guessing there's a plan?"

"Of course there's a plan," Buffy said confidently.  "Right, Giles?"

"Well - "

"I mean, you *do* have a plan.  Don't you?"

"Well, yes, actually," he said, hesitantly.

"Great.  So spill," Buffy said cheerfully.

"Spill -?"

"The beans," Buffy provided helpfully.

"Spill - the beans?"

"Tell.  Explain.  Elucidate.  Provide information -"

"All right, thank you, Willow," Giles said hastily.  "Buffy, you must understand that the animalistic nature of the Uberhetdasq requires that an equally primal and volatile means of stopping them is utilized."

"Equally primal and volatile?" Buffy said dubiously.

Giles sighed.  "There is a spell that can banish the Uberhetdasq.  Where to, no one seems to know, but whether they go back to the astral plane or to some nether-hell is rather a moot point."  Giles rubbed the back of his neck absently.  "Unfortunately, the spell has some -" he hesitated, searching for the right word, "*Outlandish* requirements."

"Outlandish."  Buffy considered the word.  "How outlandish?  Are we talking plaid with polka dots here, or pickles on ice cream?"

"What's the difference?" Willow asked, bewildered.

"One is misguided, the other truly evil," Buffy told her with a shake of her head.  "Honestly, Will."

"My bad," Willow said with an amiable shrug.

Giles sighed.  "I've been up all night researching these demons.  There is one way and one way only to exorcise them."  He took a breath.  "It requires a small amount of blood from a slayer - "

Buffy shrugged.  "Well that's easy.

" - And a sacrifice."

There was a sudden silence.

"A - sacrifice?"  Buffy looked shaken.  "What, like a lamb, or a chicken, or a -"

"- Virgin," Giles supplied tiredly.  "The spell requires the sacrificing of a virgin within an hour of the rise of the next full moon.  Tomorrow, that is.  Along with the appropriate rituals.  Et cetera."

"How, uh," Buffy carefully tucked a strand of hair behind her ears.  "How do you, uh, have to, y'know -" she gestured vaguely.

Giles fought back a blush.  "The usual way, Buffy.  Nothing out of the ordinary is required.  Although -"

"The *usual* way?"  Cordelia was incensed.  "So, what, going around killing virgins is par for the course, is it?  I knew there was something funny about all that tweed - "

"Killing?"  It took a moment for that to register.  Honestly.  *Children.*  Giles held back a smile, pulling his glasses off and using his handkerchief to polish them.  "No, no - no killing is required.  I'm sorry, I should have clarified my point."  He looked down at his glasses.  "When I said *sacrifice*, I meant - well," he put his glasses back on.  "Well, deflower.  The virgin, I mean.  That is -"

"We hear you, Giles," Buffy said hastily.  "Loud and clear."

"So," Willow shifted uncomfortably in her seat.  "Where are we going to get a virgin?  Or, or, a -" she paused, searching for the right word.  "Deflowerer?"

Giles ran a hand through his hair.  "Believe me, Willow, I've given the matter a great deal of thought.  Undesirable though this situation is, we have little choice."  He paused.  "The part played by the, uh, *deflowerer*, as you so eloquently put it, will most probably be mine."

Cordelia's eyebrows shot up.  "Does that mean -"

"Stow it, Cordy," Buffy interrupted.  "Not the time."

"It requires a considerable amount of skill and experience," Giles said, softly.  "If the ritual is performed incorrectly, not only will it not stop the Uberhetdasq, it may well open a doorway for them, and other demons, into our dimension.  And the first victims will be the two engaged in the ritual."

There was a brief silence as everyone contemplated this.

"There is no alternative," Giles said, staring at the tabletop.  "As I say, I've researched the matter most thoroughly."

"What about just telling people to stay away from ley lines?"  Buffy asked.  "If everyone -"

"Ley lines are everywhere, Buffy," Willow said with reluctance.  "They intersect and branch off and sometimes they even *move* - "

Giles raised an eyebrow.

"Hey, I read," Willow said defensively.

"Of course," he said, a fleeting smile touching his lips.  "As I said, there is no alternative, Buffy.  There's no telling how many of them are waiting, even as we speak, to break into our dimension."

There was a silence.

Buffy tugged idly at her ponytail.  "So, we really have to do this?"

Giles shrugged helplessly.  "Believe me, Buffy, I'm about as comfortable with this idea as you are."

"Well, I'm not a virgin," Buffy said, staring at the table top.  "Me and Angel - well, I guess everyone knows about that.  And I know Cordy isn't -"

"Hey -"  Cordelia protested.

"Stow it, Cordy," Xander said.

"- And Willow and Oz aren't - "

Willow blushed.  "Thanks, Buffy, say it louder, why don't you?"

"Sorry," Buffy said with a shrug.  "Whatever.  So, that leaves -"


"Wh- what?"  Xander said, shifting in his chair.  "What makes you think *I'm* a virgin?  I could be a total stud, you don't know - "

"Um, Xander?" Willow said gently.  "We do know."

Xander squirmed.  "And besides, in case no one's noticed lately, I use the bathroom with the little picture of a person who *isn't* wearing a skirt.  No skirt.  Not a girl."  He looked at Giles.  "Can't we just, I don't know, grab some girl off the street?  Find someone and pay them -"

Giles sighed.  "Anyone who is prepared to have sex for money is most likely not a virgin, Xander.  And the spell is highly sensitive in that respect.  We need someone we can trust.  Someone who understands the full ramifications of the spell, and its success or failure.  A girl off the street would be highly unlikely to fully understand the need behind the ritual, nor to spend the time required preparing for it."

Xander shrugged.  "So who're we going to get?  I mean, no offense, G-Man, but it's kind of a big ask."

There was a silence.

Xander blinked.  "Oh no," he said.  "No way.  No one's thinking what I think they're thinking."

"Does the - uh - virgin, like, *have* to be female?" Cordelia asked.

"No," Giles said, refusing to meet anyone's eyes.  "Gender is not an issue."

"Well it's certainly an issue for me," Xander said testily.  "No way.  No how.  No, sir."  He stood up, grabbing his satchel.  "You're insane.  You're all insane.  Everyone here is clinically insane.  If any of you think that I'm doing this, you're more than insane, you're -  you're - "  He narrowed his eyes.  "Something worse than insane.  Much worse.  Insaner.  Insanest.  Insanity galore.  I am not doing this.  No chance.  Nada, zip, zero.  No way, Jose.  Nah-uh.  Don't *even* think it.  Talk to the hand 'cause the face don't want to hear it."

"Xander?"  Willow looked at him sympathetically.  "We're kind of running low on options here."

"I don't care," he said vehemently.  "Find one.  Make one.  We can all shave our heads, or paint ourselves green, or howl at the moon or whatever it takes.  Just not *that.*"  Xander shook his head.  "I've gotta go."

Giles watched him head for the door silently.

"Xander?"  Willow stood.

"Let him go, Willow," Giles said.  "Let him think about this for a while."

"You know -" Cordelia began.

"Stow it, Cordelia," Giles said, with slightly more force than was strictly called for.

"I was just -"

"*Stow* it, Cordy," Buffy and Willow said in unison.

"Fine," Cordelia said huffily, sitting back in her chair.

"Do you think he'll do it?" Buffy asked Willow.

Willow shrugged.  "I don't know, Buffy, I really don't."

Giles sighed.  "I've contacted the Watcher's Council.  They may be able to help us track down someone.  It's remarkably hard to find virgins who are experienced with fighting demons, however.  Strangely enough."

Buffy nodded.

"One more celluloid lie," Willow said pragmatically.

"Indeed," Giles said softly.  "I do want to say -"  He sighed.  "If there was any other way, believe me, I'd take it.  But there isn't.  And the magicks involved in this ritual are highly frowned upon by the Council."

"Funny, that," Buffy said wryly.

"Indeed," Giles repeated.  "Indeed."


"Xander, don't you realise what's going to happen if you don't?"  Willow met Xander's eyes briefly before looking away.  "They'll take over Sunnydale.  There are ley lines everywhere here, and so near the Hellmouth, we don't stand a chance."

"Will - "  Xander took a breath.  "I can't.  I just can't.  I mean, *ew.*  I like Giles and all, but *ew.*  No way.  I can't."

"I can understand that this is weird for you and that you're in a really strange place right now," Willow said carefully.  "But I think maybe you're not listening.  If you don't stop playing the blushing virgin, we're all going to be lost."

"The blushing - "  Xander stood up.  "C'mon, Will, let's get real, okay?  He'll find someone else and the ritual will go ahead, and the world will be saved, just like always - "

"How?" Willow asked, frustrated.  "The Council's refused to help.  No one we know is both a virgin *and* willing and able to do this.  You can't exactly distribute questionnaires about this sort of thing.  And we can't trust someone off the street.  You're it, Xander."

Xander was silent.

"And think about Giles," Willow continued.  "How do you think he feels about this?  You think he *wants* to do this?  You think he wants to force you into having sex with him?"

Xander looked away.  "C'mon, Willow - "

"Think about how hard this must be for him.  And how strong he's being.  He's just trying to save the world.  Again."

Xander shook his head.  "I just - I don't think I can, Willow."  He sat down on the edge of the bed again.  "I mean, sex with Giles?  Sex with - a man?  And it would probably have to be - "  He blushed.  "Y'know.  The real thing."

"Yeah," Willow agreed slowly.  "But Giles is a good person.  He wouldn't hurt you.  And he wouldn't ask if he had any other choice."  She looked around the room.  "I think you need to come to terms with this."

"Will - "

"What is it exactly that you're afraid of?" she asked softly.  "It's just Giles, and you were never afraid of him before."

"I 'm not scared of Giles," Xander said vehemently.

"What then?  You think that having sex with him might make you gay?  You think it's dirty and disgusting and perverted and that it'll turn you into some kind of dirty disgusting perverted weirdo person?"

"No," Xander said helplessly.  "Of course not, I just - "

"Or is it *you* you're afraid of?"

"Will - "

"Do you think that maybe once won't be enough?  That you'll want it again, and again - "

"Willow!"  Xander ran a hand raggedly through his hair.  "Enough, okay, just - don't."  He took a deep breath.  "I guess I just - I wanted it to be special.  My first time."  He blushed.  "I wanted for it to mean something, I guess."

"Xander," Willow looked at him.  "What could mean more than this?"

Xander was silent.

"It's just Giles," she said.  "Just Giles.  And you love him, right?  We all love him.  How many times has he saved your life?"

"So, just because he's saved my ass, I'm obliged to let him *fuck* it, is that it?" Xander asked, anger getting the better of him.

"For god's sake, Xander," Willow snapped, patience gone.  "You're obliged to save the world, all right?  You can't *not*.  So take a deep breath and think of England - or maybe that's what he'll be doing - and save the goddamn world.  Okay?"

"Will - "

"No, Xander, you just think about this, okay?"  Willow stood up.  "I'm going to go find Oz.  But Xander - just think about what'll happen if you don't, all right?  Really think about it."  She sighed.  "I'll see you tomorrow."

Xander watched her morosely as she left.


Giles sat in his easy chair, took a sip from his glass of scotch, and listened to the sound of the rain outside.

Xander hadn't shown up, and it was less than an hour until moonrise.

The preparation itself would take almost that long.  And it all had to be done by an hour *after* the moonrise.

He took another mouthful, savoring the burn as it slid smoothly down.

So this is how the world ends, he thought.  Not with a bang, but a glass full of scotch.  The thought struck him as bleakly funny, and he laughed softly, the sound loud in the small apartment.

He fell silent again, and contemplated the glass.  "Where are you, Xander?" he said aloud.

The doorbell went.

Giles blinked, and peered into the scotch.

The doorbell went again.

With a mental shrug, Giles deposited his glass on the nearest surface and went to the door.  Willow, he thought, or maybe Buffy.

But it was Xander who was standing there when he opened the door.  Soaking wet and shivering slightly, but there.

"Xander," Giles said, unable to stop the smile.  "You changed your mind."

"Yeah, well, world in danger, yada yada yada," Xander said, refusing to meet his eyes.

"Indeed," Giles said, standing aside so Xander could enter.  Long ingrained habit prevented him from asking the boy to enter, but Xander understood the gesture perfectly.  "You must be freezing."

Xander shrugged. "I guess."

Giles shut the door after him.  "I'm sorry to be so abrupt, Xander, but we haven't got much time.  We have less than an hour until the moonrise to complete the preparations, and just an hour after that to - " he hesitated, searching for the right words.  He didn't want to be too blunt, scare the boy off, but there was no sense in mincing words, either.  "To complete the ritual," he said, finally.

Xander nodded.  "Yeah, I - okay.  Okay.  Just - tell me what to do, all right?"

Giles did his best to produce a reassuring smile.  "Of course."

"So," Xander said, a little too loudly.  "I mean, what -"

"There's a robe in the bathroom," Giles interrupted hastily, sensing that Xander was about to start babbling.  "Why don't you get out of your wet clothes?  By the time you're done, I should have everything we'll need together."

Xander nodded and headed for the bathroom, looking glad to escape the tension in the room.

Giles sighed and headed towards the locked chest where he kept the majority of his occult paraphernalia.

It felt - wrong.  All wrong.  The boy was, well, just a boy.  And he was going to have in excess of thirty five candles on his next birthday cake.  Assuming someone made him a birthday cake.

I have no choice, Giles reminded himself.  No choice.

He assembled the items he needed and took them into the lounge, where he had set up earlier in the evening, in the hopes the Xander would come to his senses.

Not that he could blame the boy for being reluctant.  And afraid.  He was feeling that way himself.

Xander emerged from the bathroom then, wrapped in terry cloth robe far too big for him, looking all of twelve years old.

My God, Giles thought.  What am I about to do?

Xander stood awkwardly in front of him.

Giles mentally steeled himself.  "I have to begin the incantations, Xander," he said.  "It involves lighting these candles - " he gestured to the candles surrounding the circle drawn in chalk and blood on his new carpet.

Xander's eyes grew wide as he contemplated the bloody circle, perhaps two and a half metres wide, and the soft blanket and pillows spread on the floor inside it.  "Buffy?" he asked.

Giles nodded.  "Yes.  It took less than quarter of a pint, though.  She barely noticed."  Well, after fussing over the size of the needle he used.

Xander looked at him.  "Okay.  So, candles.  Then - ?"

"We both ingest a small amount of the fluid in that goblet," Giles said.  "I will drink first, then you.  You must finish it down to the last.  Although I have to warn you, the taste is somewhat unpleasant."

Xander shrugged.  "Okay."

"And then," Giles found his mouth was dry.  "And then there is a grace period in the incantation."

"A grace period -?"

"It means that we can speak normally again.  However - neither of us can leave the circle until the ritual has been completed, and it must be completed by one hour after moonrise."

Xander nodded.  "Okay.  I get it.  Can we start now?"

There was a coil of dread and tension in Xander's voice, but Giles was at a loss for words.  What exactly did one say to a teenager whom one was - for all intents and purposes - about to rape to save the world?

He settled for a brief nod.  "We need to be inside the circle."

Xander stepped inside the circle, unceremoniously.

Giles stuck a match and lit a slender white candle.  He stepped into the circle, facing north, away from Xander.  He took a deep breath, and inclined his head to the forces of the north.  "In veenu, sola est, in sani corpare sanem."  He lit the candle in front of him, and turned to the east.  Making a simple one handed gesture of respect, he said, "In veenu, sola est, in sani corpare sanem."

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Xander watching him.  Breathing shallowly.  Shaking, a little.  Fair enough, boy, he thought.  I know how you feel.

Focusing his mind again, he turned to the south, facing Xander, and repeated the incantation, and again lit the candle.  That done, he turned to the last quadrant - south - and began again.   "In veenu sola est, in sani corpare sanem."

Returning to face the north, he closed his eyes and tried hard to focus on creating enough power to successfully begin the spell.

"In veeni sola est.  In sano corpare sanam."   He felt the power begin to well up around him, the currents and eddys unpredictable and shallow.  "Ect wiven et grantu et hunta haraere est, te solem victu est, et reture jactu."  The currents swirling around him began to grow stronger.  He heard a muffled gasp and realised that they were becoming visible to Xander.

"Ect wiven et grantu et hunta haraere est, te solem victu est, et reture jactu."  The currents were so strong now they were only a heartbeat away from sweeping both himself and Xander up in them. Certain death.

He opened his eyes and saw, for the first time, the magicks he had called up.  Swirls of green and blue and orange moved rapidly in barely contained spirals around the edge of the circle he had drawn.  And in the middle, himself and Xander.


The boy looked terrified, arms wrapped firmly around himself, watching the patterns in the air.

Giles wanted to say something, offer some reassurance, but the spell would brook no deviations.  Taking a deep breath, he took the goblet, and swallowed half of the contents in two gulps.  Trying not to make a face, he touched Xander's arm and handed the goblet to him.

Xander peered into the goblet, looked up at Giles, and swallowed the contents.  He passed the goblet back to Giles with a sour look on his face.

Giles nodded, set the goblet aside, and began again.  "Ect wiven et grantu et hunta haraere est, te solem victu est, et reture jactu."

The forces moving in the air around him deepened in colour, and began to move faster.  Once more, he thought.  For luck.  "Ect wiven et grantu et hunta haraere est, te solem victu est, et reture jactu."

Gathering them around him, he murmured the invocation one more time, and unleashed the spell out on the world.

With nothing to hold him upright, he fell to his knees, exhausted.  The magick was gone.  It was done.  There was only one part left to the ritual now.

He felt rather than heard Xander approach him, and sensed that the boy wanted to touch him, or speak to him, but was afraid of disturbing the powerful magicks.

"It's all right, Xander," he said wearily, opening his eyes.  "It's done.  Now - "

Xander was nodding.  "Okay.  Um.  How?"  The nervousness made his voice break a little, betraying just how afraid he was.

Giles took a deep breath, feeling a little of his energy return.  Nodding towards the blanket and pillows, he said, "Take the robe off and lie down."  God, he couldn't even meet the boy's eyes while he said it.  And yet one part of his body was very clearly demonstrating that *it* had no problem with the proceedings.  But then, practising magick always got him hard.  Which was another reason to avoid doing so around the children whenever possible.

Children.  Jesus sodding Christ.

I don't have a choice, he reminded himself again.  I don't have a choice.

Xander slowly removed the robe, reluctance in every movement.  He wore cotton blue plaid boxers underneath, and despite the boy's obvious discomfort, it was all Giles could do not to smile.

Finally, not meeting Giles' eyes, he lay face down on the blanked, burying his face in a pillow.

Giles stared at the slender figure stretched out on the floor for a moment before removing his shoes, socks, shirt and pants, throwing them over the back of the couch.  After a moments hesitation, he left his boxers on.  God, the boy looked so young.  And yet -

Giles stifled that line of thought.  I'm here to get a job done, he thought grimly.  Nothing more.

Xander lay very still on the floor, tension in every line of his body.

Giles knelt beside him, suddenly unsure of himself.  If the boy changed his mind, wanted to leave the circle - would he be able to stop him?  Would he be able to hold him down and force him?  He had thought so, reluctantly, before, but with the reality right in front of him - doubts clouded his mind.  Could he?

Xander's hands were fisting the pillows.

Giles reached out, slowly, and traced a finger along Xander's spine.  Xander twitched violently under the small caress, but made no sound.

Giles reached for the small bottle of oil he had surreptitiously placed underneath one of the pillows earlier.  It had been made by a witch he'd once known called Cerridwin.  She had used all sorts of herbs and small magicks, some he recognised, some he didn't.  She'd claimed that the scent was relaxing as well as having aphrodisical properties.  And, of course, the oil itself had many practical applications.

Rubbing a small amount between his palms, he let it warm up before returning to Xander's back, rubbing the oil in gently, in ever increasing circles.

Xander made a small sound in the back of his throat.

Giles continued the massage, smoothing the oil over Xander's shoulders, upper arms, and back, feeling him relax, slowly, under the sensual assault.

Finally, when he judged Xander as relaxed as he was going to get - well, without falling asleep, anyway, he let one hand slip under the waistband of the boy's boxers.

Instantly, Xander tensed up again, but Giles persisted, smoothing out the tension in his back, and returning, again and again, to the small patch of skin just under the waistband of his boxers.

Xander gradually relaxed, and Giles let his hands go further beneath the waistband.  Xander allowed this intrusion with a minimum of reaction.

Giles took a deep breath, and brought both hands up to Xander's hips.  "Raise your hips, Xander," he said softly.

There was a pause, and then Xander did as he was asked, raising his hips so that Giles could slip the boxers down and off, taking care not to scrape the boy's erection, which he noted with a vague sense of pride.

With Xander's boxers thrown over the back of the couch, and his own headed the same way, Giles returned to the business at hand, beginning the massage anew.

Neck, shoulders, back; Giles took care not to move too fast, not to let Xander become aware of the time restraints - just thirty minutes to go.

Slowly, he let the massage head downwards, skimming first Xander's lower back, and then finally, the curves of his ass.

There was a hitch in Xander's breathing, which had grown steadily shallower and faster since the massage had begun.

Giles poured a little more oil onto his hand and let it drizzle down between Xander's buttocks.  Xander shivered and made a small noise of protest.

"It's all right," Giles said, trying to reassure him.  "It's okay."  He was appalled at the huskiness of his own voice.

Xander nodded into the pillow.

Giles drew one finger down Xander's back, and let it come to rest at the top of his buttocks for a moment.  With a deep breath, he continued, tracing a path from the top of the boy's spine to his anus.

As his finger brushed the puckered opening, Xander made a small sound, muffled by the pillows, and his hips twitched.

Encouraged, Giles pushed a little harder, and penetrated Xander for the first time.

Xander arched his back a little, his breathing fast and shallow.

"Okay?" Giles asked roughly.

"I'm - I'm okay," Xander answered haltingly.  "I'm okay."

Giles withdrew his finger and then pushed it back in, setting a slow, easy rhythm.

Xander began to fist the pillows in time to Giles' thrusts.

Suddenly remembering the time constraints, Giles glanced up at the clock.  Shit, twenty minutes to go.  And, not that he'd told Xander - after all, why put any more pressure on the boy? - the both had to orgasm within that time.  Otherwise, the magicks he'd sent out into the world would come back and -

He put a conscious stop to that thought.

Xander thrust back against him, suddenly, and then stopped.

Giles fought against a sudden wave of lust.  "It's okay," he rasped, adding a second finger, and deliberating looking for -

Xander cried out, suddenly, loud, startled, and completely unrestrained.  "God, oh my God, Giles - "

"Easy," Giles murmured, concentrating on not replacing his fingers with his cock right then and there.  "Easy."

"Jesus, Giles what - "

Oh.  Giles smiled.  "Your prostate, Xander."

"My - what - ?"

Giles laughed, a breathy desperate sound.  "We'll have the anatomy lesson later, shall we?"

Xander laughed, softly, and thrust back against Giles' fingers.

"Are you ready?"  Giles asked, trying hard not to betray how close he was.

"I - "  Xander took a deep breath.  "I - yes."

Giles removed his fingers, gently, and took a little more of the oil to smooth over his cock.

Xander had turned slightly, and was watching him, his eyes riveted on Giles' cock.

Giles looked up and caught him staring, mingled awe and fear in his eyes.  He waited patiently until Xander looked up.


Xander nodded, and turned back, presenting his ass to Giles.

Giles took a deep breath, close to losing control.  The boy was slender, but not too skinny, and virtually hairless.  And, right now, slick with the oil, breathing hard with desire, sporting a raging hard on, and with his ass exposed and his legs spread - Jesus, what a sight.

With a mental review of icebergs, waterfalls, Snyder, and the process of removing vampire dust from one's clothing, he slicked his cock once more with oil, and positioned himself at Xander's opening.

"Push out a little," he advised, making an effort to keep his voice level.

Xander said nothing, but spread his legs a little wider.

Giles pushed his cock in, keeping himself under an iron control.

Xander moaned, and arched his back.  "Giles - Giles - "

Forcing himself to stop, halfway in, Giles said urgently, "What?  Am I hurting you?"

"I - no, no, just - "  Xander was incoherent, and without warning he suddenly pushed back, impaling himself on Giles' cock completely.

Giles cried out, the sound raw and harsh to his own ears.

"Please, please," Xander was whimpering, pushing back against Giles, and then pushing forward to rub himself against the blanked.

Giles pulled back a little, then thrust back in.  He began to set a rhythm, slow at first, much to Xander's displeasure, but speeding up.

He moved his oil slicked hand around and grasped Xander's cock firmly, beginning a counterpoint rhythm.

Xander bucked violently, thrusting back against Giles' cock and then forward into his hand.

Soon they were both panting harshly, the universe fading into obscurity around them.

Finally, after what seemed like forever and no time at all, Xander came, with a wordless cry, his climax setting off Giles.  With something between a prayer and a curse, he came inside Xander, back arched, fingers digging in to the boy's hips so hard they would leave bruises.

After a few seconds, when his mind had finally begun to settle itself back inside his body, he looked up at the clock.


One hour after moonrise.


He looked at Xander, slumped on the floor, semi conscious.


He pulled out of the boy, as gently as possible.  Xander murmured what might have been a protest, and then settled again.

Giles rolled over and stared at the ceiling.  There was no way of knowing whether or not the magicks had worked until the next day - when they'd either wake up fine, or effectively not wake up at all.

Well, he could always do a diving spell or two - but he didn't feel particularly inclined to move, just at that point in time.  Tomorrow would be soon enough.

He glanced over at Xander again, his face still buried in a pillow, and wondered what was going to happen.

If they were both lucky, Xander would write it off as a sacrifice made to save the world and that would be that.  If not - if this shook him up sufficiently to make him want to reevaluate himself, Giles, even the world -

Giles sighed.

Xander was more complex than most people thought.  He could be selfish, whiny, and irritating.  But he was a good kid, and he had more self-sacrifice in his soul than was probably healthy.

Let it be all right, Giles thought.  Let the world seem exactly the same when he wakes up, and let everything turn out all right.  It just wouldn't be fair, otherwise.

Outside the window, the wind died down suddenly, and the rain stopped.

I'll have to wake him, sooner or later, Giles thought.  But let him sleep a while.  He's earned it.  I'll wake him in a few hours.

Rising silently, Giles collected each of the candles, and blew them out; one by one.


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