Title: You Can’t Go Home
Rating: R (strong?)
Written as a Christmas prezzie for my wonderful beta, banner maker and friend, Always_jbj.
YOU CAN’T GO HOME
“What are you doing here?” The hissed question was accompanied by a quick over-the-shoulder glance into the warm house before the speaker stepped outside and pulled the heavy door closed behind him.
“A happy Christmas to you, too, Ripper.” Ethan seemed cheerfully unfazed by the less than friendly welcome.
“You don’t believe in Christmas, Ethan. Try again.”
“I do, actually. It’s a marvelous time for chaos. All those crowds rushing around, parties and drinking, elves in …”
“What do you want?”
The tall, slender young man’s face fell almost imperceptibly. He gazed into the impatient eyes in front of him, searching until he felt he had found what he wanted.
“You,” he barely whispered. “I want you.”
Giles expelled a shuddering breath. “I’m not part of that life, not anymore. You know that, Ethan. Why…”
“Not asking you to be part of ‘that life’, am I? I’m asking you to be part of my life.” He relaxed as he saw doubt flicker across the other man’s face. “Just for a bit,” he added. “Think of it as a Christmas present for an old friend.”
“We’re not friends. We were never ‘friends’.” In spite of his words, Giles stepped closer, unable to take his eyes off the familiar features that had once been so dear to him.
“What were we, then?” Ethan raised his chin expectantly. “Partners? Associates...?Lovers?” This last was a whisper against the lips now brushing his.
With a groan of acceptance, Giles crushed his mouth into the one being offered so eagerly. Lean elegance pressed hard against a fitter, more muscular body that quickly responded. Ethan blinked rapidly, refusing to allow Rupert to see the tears of gratitude that threatened to spoil both the moment and his image. They paused, foreheads pressed together while each drew shaky breaths.
“I have to get my coat,” Giles gasped, still clutching the other man to his body. “And tell them I’m leaving.”
“No,” he responded. “Come in with me. They don’t know…anything. My father has no idea who my friends were when we… It’s all right. I’ll just tell him you’re an old friend from university.”
With no small amount of trepidation, Ethan followed his former lover into the home from which he’d been barred when they were together. Knowing that the older Rupert Giles was fairly highly placed in the Council of Watchers lent an exhilarating tinge of genuine fear to his trepidation. Rupert may have been confident that his father would not recognize Ethan as a part of his demon-summoning past, but the mage himself was not so sure.
The introductions were conducted with no sign that the older man thought Ethan was anything more than the former classmate that he was presented as being. With assurances that he would return in time for dinner on Christmas Day, Giles hugged his mother, shook hands with his father, and followed Ethan’s graceful body out the door and into the damp, chilly night air.
Once they were away from the house and walking side by side, an awkward silence fell; a silence that wasn’t broken until they reached a nondescript-looking automobile. Ethan gestured at it, going so far as to unlock and open the door for Giles before speaking.
“It’s a rather long way to my current neighborhood. I thought this might be better than walking.”
Giles nodded silently, wondering as he got in, What am I thinking? This is Ethan!
He stole glances at Ethan’s face as it came into sharp focus every time they passed a streetlight. The years had done little to change the attractive features there – age having added just a touch of masculinity to what had been an almost too-pretty face when they were boys. When Ethan’s eyes suddenly shifted to the left and he smiled shyly, Giles couldn’t resist smiling back at him with more warmth than he’d ever expected to feel again.
Feeling the car being expertly wrenched into an open parking place, Giles looked over at Ethan again, an unspoken question in his upraised eyebrow.
“I thought we might like to have a bite first,” Ethan said, again more shyly than was normal for him. “And, maybe a pint or two? We have all weekend,” he added in a much softer voice.
“We do,” Giles agreed, opening his door and stepping out onto the curb. He waited for Ethan to come around the car and join him before they walked into the pub just up the street.
“Amazing that you found a parking place so easily,” Giles said, more to make conversation than anything else.
There was an embarrassed pause before his companion admitted, “I…um…actually keep a small glamour on that spot. My flat is just a few doors from the pub, and I detest driving around looking for parking places. It doesn’t harm anyone,” he added anxiously, as though afraid to offend.
Giles heaved a sigh and threw an arm over Ethan’s shoulder. “Relax,” he said, giving the shoulder a little squeeze. “I’m here, am I not? I don’t expect you to not be…you.” He allowed his arm to slide down the other man’s back until he was just brushing it across the curve of his ass. “I’m actually quite counting on it…”
Ethan gave a sharp inhalation and leaned into Giles’ side briefly. “We don’t have to go…”
“Ah, ah,” Giles said with a smile. “You promised me a meal and a pint.” He held the door open for Ethan and waited while the slightly taller man ducked under his arm to enter the warm pub.
The warm air, a good filling meal and several pints of bitters later, any awkwardness between the two former lovers had vanished from their conversation. They exchanged stories about their lives since they last saw each other, Ethan clearly toning down some of his exploits with magic, while Giles did his best to make his work for the Watchers Council sound more exciting than it normally was.
“So, Ripper…” Ethan leaned against the back of the booth and smiled. “Are you expecting to be given your own slayer some day?”
“It’s difficult to say,” Giles responded, sounding much stodgier than he wanted to. “I’m quite happy right now doing research for the Council and offering my…assistance…with training in the use of white magic. I seem to have fallen into the role of teaching assistant for many parts of the organization. I’m working with the martial arts instructors, adding my experience to the classroom exercises…”
“Meaning, you’re teaching them how to fight dirty?” Ethan grinned at his old street-fighting friend, remembering nights spent soothing bruises and rubbing sore muscles away.
Giles’ face showed that he was remembering the same nights, and his eyes darkened as he remembered how they usually ended.
“When it’s warranted,” he replied slowly, licking his lips. “One never knows when one might have to…rescue…a companion from ruffians.”
“You know, don’t you, that sometimes I got myself into those situations, just so I could watch you fight our way out of them? You were magnificent,” Ethan whispered, his eyes on the tongue running over the other man’s suddenly dry lips.
“I did figure that out, eventually, yes,” Giles replied, never taking his eyes off the other man’s face.
Beneath the table, Ethan’s leg moved until it was pressing gently against Giles’ knee. Giles slid down in his seat, allowing his knee to slide along the slim leg trying to entangle his own. As one, they picked up their glasses and drained them, then stood up and headed for the door. Ethan waved his hand at the proprietor, telling the man that he would be back tomorrow to “settle up”. The ruddy-faced man made a face, but nodded and scribbled a note down on the pad resting near the register.
With no more conversation, but great haste, Ethan led Giles down the street to an old home that had been turned into small flats. They were no sooner inside the door, than Giles pushed Ethan against the foyer wall, kissing and groping him without concern for who might see them. Ethan seemed equally uncaring, pushing his tongue into the other man’s mouth to caress and encourage, while his own hands grasped muscular buttocks and pulled Giles even closer.
The sound of a door slamming somewhere in the building brought them out of their lust–induced fog, and Ethan quickly pulled his willing companion down the hallway and through a door that opened for them without any physical effort on Ethan’s part. They stumbled into the small, but elegantly furnished flat, tumbling to the floor in a frenzy of ripping cloth and grasping hands.
Some time later, when their initial desire had been temporarily slaked, they moved to the bedroom and stretched out together upon the big four-poster bed dominating the room. Giles kept up a steady, soft stroking as he ran his hand up and down the smooth skin on the back of the man curled into his side. He wondered briefly if he had made a big mistake by allowing Ethan back into his life, however temporarily; but soon lost that train of thought as the other man’s hand began to roam over his body, stroking and caressing lightly as it worked its way closer to a suddenly needy and twitching body part.
With a sigh of surrender, Rupert Giles ceased worrying about the consequences of his actions and allowed himself to enjoy Ethan’s expert attentions to his body.
“Ah,” he gasped as Ethan’s mouth closed over him. “I’m beginning to remember why I loved you so much…”
He felt the smile that accompanied Ethan’s chuckle, moaning in frustration when the mage lifted his head long enough to murmur, “You’ll remember more than that before I’m done, Ripper. You’ll love me again.”
I’m not sure I ever really stopped, crossed Giles’ mind as he gave himself up to the sensations being created.
The sound of the shower was a noisy background for his phone call to the Council. When he was informed that his entire area was on alert and that he was needed immediately, reality struck, putting a harsh ending to what had been an enchanted two days of lovemaking. Lovemaking broken only by quick dashes to the pub for a meal and some fresh air.
He replaced the handset and gazed towards the closed bathroom door. Squaring his shoulders, and trying not to picture the slender body being soaped and scrubbed under the running water, he gathered his clothes together and began to dress. When he was finished, he hesitantly approached the closed door and raised his hand, only to allow it to drop to his side – the intended knock never made.
“Good-bye, old friend,” he whispered as he let himself out of the flat.
Inside the shower, Ethan slid to the floor, the water from the shower mingling with the tears streaming down his face until it was impossible to say which was which.
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