Coelacanths And Camphor
by Glossolalia

It's weird waking up in Giles's bed, just about fully naked, but not having any good reason for that. Except that there's no A/C, and it is California in the summer, and if you're going to talk all night and dance around the lack of rubbers, you're pretty much going to have to strip down and hope it doesn't turn the dance into more horizontal.

Asleep, Giles looks really small. Maybe it's the looseness of the white sheet, drawn up to his chin, but his face looks like it belongs to someone much smaller. It's slack and pale in the sun, hair kind of fuzzed out over his ear. Oz won't touch him, since they've only been asleep for about three hours, but he edges closer, thankful for the firm mattress so there's hardly any dip as he moves. Giles's lips are parted a tiny bit, and when Oz leans in, his shadow darkens them so they're the color of overblown carnations. The shadow of a shadow of stubble has broken out along Giles's jaw like someone dusted him with pencil shavings, and it's really hard not to reach out and test how scratchy it feels.

Oz balls up his fist and slips off the foot of the bed, dislodging the sheet so now Giles's blue pajama top is visible. Remembering the fear and revulsion of morning breath, he heads for the bathroom and scrubs his teeth and tongue with a smear of toothpaste on his finger. When he slips back into the room and lies down, Giles reaches for him.

"Awake?" Oz whispers. Giles slips his arm over his chest as Oz settles in. Not awake enough to talk, apparently, so Oz digs the back of his head into the pillow. The room is warm, but the weight of Giles's arm feels good, the way it's tucked under Oz's last rib and rises with his diaphragm.

He concentrates on the arm for a while, trying to memorize the sparse pattern of curls of hair on Giles's wrist, then switches to feeling the hint of weight against his side. The sheet's bunched up into a tiny range of peaks between them, so they're not actually touching, and Oz shifts, holding his breath, until he's covered the range and feels the warmth of Giles's leg against his.

Of course Oz woke up hard; he's seventeen, that's what his body does. But somehow it's surprising and kind of strange to realize, as he slides in closer, that Giles is, too. And why should that be strange? It's not like Giles is from another planet, or severely diabetic, or dead. He's got nerve endings like everyone else; he sleeps next to someone he likes, it's going to happen. And Oz feels terrible, feels stupid and selfish for letting this happen, because Giles has probably been hard for hours and it's his fault.

He turns onto his side, bringing Giles's arm with him, and licks his toothpaste-dried lips, trying to figure out how to do this.

"Hmm?" Giles mutters, eyes opening, flash of green tea, and Oz presses his lips against Giles's forehead. "Daniel." Giles tightens his hold around Oz's waist, and Oz props his head on his folded arm. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," Oz says, rubbing slow circles over Giles's chest, fabric rasping over the hair, prickling his palm, sending tiny stabs up his arm that swarm together when they reach his face and chest until it feels like he's blushing. Giles smiles sleepily at him, and without his glasses, his eyes are so right there that Oz can't look at them, has to drop his gaze to watch the slow pulse in his throat. He kisses down the curve of Giles's cheek, inhaling the faint smell of laundry from the pillow, and his palm rises as Giles inhales and holds it. "Nothing's wrong," he whispers against Giles's ear.

He nudges Giles onto his back with the flat of his palm and keeps rubbing, can't think of stopping except he has to get the buttons open, needs to feel that warm, well-packed strength for himself. Giles turns his head, kissing Oz full-on. His brain sputters and flusters and drops at the contact.

Giles tastes — strong is the only thing Oz can think of, and his fingers are digging and scrambling over Oz's hip as his other hand goes into Oz's hair, and their tongues are doing that rearing back, twisting mating dance like antelopes do, so Oz just pushes the pajama top up and holds onto Giles's skin for all he's worth.

His fingertips skid over the incredibly smooth skin like he's almost too clumsy to appreciate something this fine, then he's reached the hipbone and the skin is hotter here, stretched so tight and so hot and his fingertips are tangling in the curls and he can't help it, he's nipping at Giles's tongue and whimpering like a lost puppy.

Giles catches his hand at the wrist and pulls away. "Daniel, you don't — " Voice harsh and scared.

"Want to." Oz hears himself exhale the words, hand twisting out of Giles's grip, palm going flat over the thickest hair, just above the root of his cock so it's twitching against his pinky. "Want to — " His mouth drops to Giles's shoulder, down to the rucked-up shirt, licking the stubble on Giles's throat, kissing the pulse in the center of his collarbone.

Giles is tugging himself up, letting Oz slide down, chin running over skin and bunched shirt, trying to remember to breathe, and when he does, trying to remember not to pant. As he circles his hand around Giles's cock, praying for smoothness, not clumsiness, hoping this is right, Giles draws one knee up and rests his cheek there, watching down as Oz tongues the folds in his skin, nuzzling soft hairs. He hears Giles breathing above him, every exhale trailing off into a whining little wheeze. His fingers goose-step up the back of Giles's thigh, and they're suction cups leeching out the fine, elegant silver warmth trapped beneath the skin.

He looks up at Giles and it's like a mirror: head-tilt, eyelids at half-staff, mouth open and almost panting. So he decides this must be okay, and looks back down at the cock in his hand, notices the extra skin, and, duh, foreskin, so he pinches at it and moves it up down experimentally, testing its resiliency, and Giles seems to like that. He hitches in a breath and a tremor skitters down his legs against Oz's cheek, then he exhales and it's the name-song again, so he's Daniel now, and his mouth is way too empty and dry. Giles's fingers stray and wander over Oz's scalp and there's pressure there, and then his tongue is running over the distance between cockhead and lips, closing it, bringing them together, and he's up on his knees in this surreal yoga stance, back stretched out, supporting himself with a kung-fu grip on Giles's calf and his tongue. When he breathes in, it's all Giles, light salty sweat more like tears than sweat, it's so light, and limes, the tang of fabric softener, all so strong and clean and his spit's mixing with precum so neither one's not so sticky nor so runny, somewhere in between, sweet and plain wet.

And this he knows how to do, hollow cheeks then crazy-manic tongue dance and lots of swallowing, which he'd do anyway because this tastes good and he was born to do this and it's his fault that Giles is hard, but he's making it better, and the warmth is jumping around his mouth, scraping his teeth, like a downed power line, writhing now, Giles's fingers closing around the nape of his neck, Oz humping the bed, no more breath, his nose butting hair, hair scraping nostrils, Giles's hips shaking back and forth, up and down, and he's swallowing and sucking, Giles's cock taking off, doing a runner past his lips but Oz clamps down till teeth scrape skin and there's a lot more to swallow, hot and thick and he's not going to stop until it's all better.

Oz sniffs in air through his nose in tiny, pointless puffs until Giles softens and the hand on his neck slips away. As he lifts his face, he feels the layer of sweat on his forehead, trickling into his eyes, burning so all he sees is a haze. He blinks hard as he licks his lips clean, and that makes Giles chuckle slowly, like it hurts but he can't help it. His arm comes up around Oz's back as he stretches out his leg, and Oz just lies there, ear over heart, getting his breath back as Giles pets his hair.


Monstrous and wheezing, Giles clutches the boy against him. If he lets him go, this may all be a dream, but if it's real, he needs the delay.

"Need air conditioning," Daniel murmurs.

Breath comes raggedly to Giles, painful and new, and thoughts even more slowly. He is amazed that the boy can speak; he can hear him only distantly, and thinks momentarily of the thud of fish against the glass in an aquarium.

He hugs Daniel more tightly against him as the tremors shooting through his body slow their pace fraction by fraction, leaving in their wake a weakening buzz insinuated between skin and muscle.

"I'm serious," Daniel says, propping his chin up to look at Giles. "Sweating like a pig here."

Giles smoothes the damp hair on Daniel's brow and wipes away the sweat clustering in his temple with his thumb. "Thank you." Which is a horribly trivial thing to say, but the best that he can manage at the moment. He is a monster, new to the air, slow and stupid and greedy, but manners never fail.

Daniel rubs his face against the sheet. "Welcome. Better?"

"Much." Giles knows that something is better, just not what, not yet.


Giles tucks Daniel under his arm and shuts his eyes. He has plenty of time to think about this later, and he knows he's going to need it all.


When he wakes up again, Oz's face is shoved into Giles's armpit and he's lying in a sticky puddle. Context again, he thinks. At home, this'd be humiliating. But here, it's okay. Just temporarily uncomfortable.

Oz wants to get out. Then again, he also wants to stay in. It's summer! his conscience keeps screaming, and it's having a dirty little spat with basically the rest of him, led by his whole body, which would like nothing more than lounge here for several weeks. After he cleans up from the wet dream and the A/C's installed, that is.


Over a breakfast so late it nearly qualifies as lunch, Daniel advocates for a long drive to a flea market he likes. Giles feels himself nodding along, finding all of this, the boy's energy, his own smug calm, the skittering pace of their conversation, strangely amusing.

"There'll be books," Daniel says. "I can guarantee lots of books."

Giles steels himself for the inevitable jibe, some variation on the rather doltish observation that he likes books, and that this is somehow odd and worthy of jest. Daniel, however, folds his sandwich in half and nibbles at the crust, looking back Giles. There is no jibe, just a patient wait for a reply.

"You don't have to convince me," Giles says. "I've already agreed to go."

Daniel grins. "I know. Just psyched."


"Yeah." Daniel rolls a shred of crust in his fingers before eating it. "Hey, are you going to buy anything big?"

Giles pushes back his chair and brings his plate to the sink. From the door of the refrigerator, he asks, "How big?"

"Um, bigger'n a breadbox?"

"It is possible."

"Okay. Maybe we should take the van."

Giles returns to the table, handing Daniel a glass of water and sipping his own. "I don't think we're going to find anything that large."

"You never know." Daniel scrapes his chair closer and slings a fraternal arm around Giles. "You can drive."

"I'm sure you're an excellent driver." Giles shivers under Daniel's touch, marveling for a moment at how his fingers find frayed nerves Giles has long forgotten and pluck at them, tease them back to life and make them sing.

"Oh, yeah, I'm an excellent driver," Daniel says, pausing to press his lips on Giles's neck as his fingers massage a slow, keening lilt on his ribs. "Dad lets me drive slow on the driveway."


He's feeling better now. Quick walk home to change clothes, clean out and pick up the van, stop by the drugstore for rubbers and lube, and then back to pick up Giles and switch over to the passenger seat.

Now they're on the road and his conscience and his body have come to some kind of compromise, because he's out, but he still gets to touch Giles. Oz has his head leaning against the window, one foot up on the dash, and his arm flung out onto Giles's shoulder. He's careful not to move much, because Giles is a pretty intense driver, but this is good.

He tends to bliss out when he doesn't have to drive, so he's careful to keep talking. He doesn't want Giles to think he's just the chauffeur or anything.

"You know how in India they get reincarnated?"

"Hinduism is founded on a belief in reincarnation, yes," Giles says.

"Yeah. Now, it happens in stages, right?"

"Yes. The balance of karma and one's fulfillment of the present stage's dharma, or duty — "

"Right. Sorry to interrupt, but I didn't mean that. I mean, there's only one, um, incarnation — That's the right word?"

Giles nods, keeping his eyes on the road.

"So there's only one incarnation at any one moment?"

Giles just drives. Oz waits.

"Sorry," Giles says after they pass a huge old brown station wagon that's wobbling in a not very reassuring way. "That was a question?"


"Oh, well. Yes, of course."

"So it's not like there are various incarnations just kind of hanging around, depending on where you are?"

Giles shakes his head. "Might get a little crowded, don't you think?"

"Guess so." Oz reaches for his water bottle. It made sense to him; something about context and calling on the appropriate personality.

"Are you all right?" Giles asks.

Oz shakes his head; he seems to be picking up many of Giles's gestures lately. They're good and economical, and he thinks he'll probably keep them. "Yeah. I just thought it'd be kind of neat, is all."


Daniel insists on taking the highway, although they're only headed fifteen miles past Oxnard. Giles's palms were clenched and numb around the steering wheel with anxiety at the prospect of highway driving until Daniel observed softly that traffic was fairly light, and offered to take over. Giles still doesn't know, with only twenty miles left to go, why he refused, but it calmed him, somehow, knowing that Daniel trusted him. The reassurance returned him to the near-haze of bodily satisfaction with which he had gotten out of bed.

"That's so disgusting." Daniel points toward a row of smokestacks near the horizon. "Check it out."

"Mmm?" Giles glances at the sight, and then at Daniel, who is shaking his head. "What of them?"

"It's like a filmstrip, or an ad for the Sierra Club. Every time I see those I picture mobs of swirling carcinogens and sediments dispersing through the air. Gross."

"I see," Giles says. "Interesting."



"You said interesting." Daniel noisily drains his large cup of soda through the straw. "That usually means you disagree but you're too polite to say why. So. What?"

"Just interesting," Giles says. "When I see smokestacks I think of energy and prosperity and all that postwar propaganda."

"Really? But — smoke. Particles. Gross."

"Of course, and I know that. But whereas your ingrained reaction is to see it as disgusting, the small boy in me cheers and claps."

"Interesting," Daniel says. He drums his fingers on the nape of Giles's neck. This is what teasing is like, when you're comfortable enough; no jibes, simply shared experiences.

"As I said." Giles smiles at the traffic and Daniel squeezes his neck.

Silence; companionable and easy, and Giles wonders how the quiet can be so comfortable when there's another body touching his, when it is so acrid and anxious when he's alone.

"I like water towers, though," Daniel says, as if it might help. "You?"

"Hmm?" Giles glances over again. Daniel points at the tower coming up on the right. A wide cartoon smile is painted on its sides, and above that, a shaky, feeble attempt at a marijuana leaf that more closely resembles a decapitated bouquet. "They're all right."

"I like 'em. Like a big spider mating with a barn." Daniel shifts away, stretching his arms over his head, then drops his hand back to Giles's shoulder.

"Yes, rather."


The flea market is just like Oz remembers it, the parking in an old overgrown field, and down behind the hill all the tents spread out in meandering aisles, looking from up here like a crossword puzzle drawn by a drunk. He's itching to get down there, lose his way and stumble across the bizarre remnants that shouldn't have been for sale when they were new. Giles seems to sense his impatience, and lets him lead the way. Oz thunders down the hill, not steep enough to get up much steam, but he's still breathless and flushed when he hits the flats.

Giles steps carefully through the long, matted grass, and when he reaches the bottom, he stops. Oz feels him looking at him, and that's much itchier than the urge to browse, so he curls his toes inside his sneakers and tries not to fidget. Giles looks a little stern and a lot intent. The sun's beating down and the air smells like souvlaki and grease, and everything's gone kind of bleached-out, but Giles's eyes are dark and gleaming, and it hits Oz, sideways and hard, that he blew this guy a couple hours ago.

He takes a step back before he realizes what he's doing; then he stops. There's a rushing in his ears, and he's instantly hard but also really embarrassed. There's just the two of them here, just him and Giles, but everything feels doubled and superimposed and out of focus.

Oz swallows but he can't look away.

"Ready?" Giles steps past him, patting his back as he passes. "Where to first?"


He has never been anywhere quite like this. Giles is jostled and set adrift in a crowd of obese, mouth-breathing Americans, shining with sweat, yanking their dirty-faced toddlers along hard enough to dislocate a shoulder, crowding at booths displaying earrings made from crow feathers, discount shampoos, miracle fungus creams, dilapidated furniture with creaking joints and peeling varnish, military memorabilia, dusty insignia and rusted swords, Confederate flags and POW bumperstickers, squat porcelain animals with dead, glittering eyes and trays heaped with plastic costume jewelry.

He loses Daniel around corner after corner, and they meet up again, exchange commiserations, and part, and meet again. When the initial shock and near-revulsion has faded away to a manageable level of irritation, Giles finds he can linger in the less crowded corners and start to see the range of oddities for sale.

The woman behind the table in this particular tent is rail-thin and so deeply tanned she resembles the scuffed suede on the club chairs in the anteroom to Travers's office. She barely looks at him while he politely browses the card tables of junk, waiting for the family at the entrance to move on and allow him to escape. On the top of one pile towards the back, he finds a charm bracelet. It looks like the kind girls wore to the matinees of his youth, and he brings it to the proprietress.

"Seven," she rasps, then looks up, taking him in. "Sorry. Ten."

He has no wish to argue, so he hands her the bill and puts the bracelet in his pocket.

He wanders down to the next corner and turns, spotting Daniel three booths away, tucking a paper bag under his arm. The boy starts when Giles touches his shoulder, steps back, then forward again, smiling shyly.

"Hey. Got you something." Head dropped against his shoulder, Daniel watches as he unfolds the bag, fingers brushing the soft cotton inside. Giles shakes it out: a white undershirt, stencilled across the front with the words Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men.

"Thank you."

"You get it, right?"

Giles nods. "Bowie?"

Daniel hunches his shoulders, then relaxes them, slipping his hands into the back pockets of his pants. "Bowie, yeah. They looked at me weird when I told them what I wanted."

"And for you," Giles says, holding out his fist with the bracelet inside. Daniel taps the back of his hand, and he turns his wrist, opening his fingers.

"Hey, cool."

The charms are odd and jumbled, whatever meaning they had long ago lost: a poodle, a rooster, a crucifix, a tinsel Christmas-tree ball, and a tiny vial of red-orange liquid. Daniel holds the vial up to the sun, squinting through it, turning it to catch the light.

"Awesome." He hands it to Giles. "Check it out."

Giles tilts it, watching the stuff slip sluggishly back and forth. "A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass," he says, handing it back to Daniel. "Sonnet five, Shakespeare."

Daniel shakes his head, lips twitching upward. "Noma Bubble Light."

Giles wants to ask, then decides not to as Daniel goes down on one knee to fasten the bracelet around his ankle. His shirt hitches up as he bends over, and Giles remembers touching the skin there, feeling the invisible fur and the heat.

He is never entirely certain how much Daniel hears, how much is lost to the boy's serene inattention and in the jumble of topics and references and quotations that comprise the bulk of his conversation.

Yet Daniel does listen; words and concepts go through him in some indefinable process of filtration. Around the next corner, in a dim red tent with a labyrinth of cheap white metal racks, such as hold postcards and non-prescription spectacles at the supermarket, Daniel peers across row after row of ancient paperbacks. When he makes his selection at last, he shows the books to Giles with something resembling pride: a back issue of Life from 1951; a Moorcock omnibus; a tale of computer-generated dystopia; and, yes, a fat student's compendium of the complete Shakespeare.

"Couldn't find anything?" Daniel asks.

Giles would like to tell him how much he loathes paperbacks of any kind, how dangerous a single case of mildew or spine-rot can be to a collection, but he cannot. Instead, he watches Daniel stow the stack carefully into his knapsack, patting the top book before zipping the bag shut. He holds and cares for his books as dearly and affectionately as Giles does his own, and no matter that Daniel's books have lurid covers and piss-yellow pages. "You poached the Moorcock," Giles says. "So I'm empty-handed."

"'Sokay," Daniel says, leading them out through the crowd again. "Borrow it any time."


The mosquitoes and chiggers are starting to get a little crazy, especially around the food tables, and while it's not getting dark, it is getting duskier, so Oz tries to finish eating so they can get going.

But he's distracted by the ads in his new old copy of Life, especially this one for viyella robes with a happy husband bearing an overloaded tray for breakfast in bed. He's the conquering hero approaching his deserving bride, and, even better, viyella rhymes with hi-fella, which is just so cool.

"What are you laughing at?" Giles asks, dropping his fork. At least he's stopped pushing his fries around suspiciously.

"He's hot, huh?" Oz says, handing over the magazine. "Goony, but try to get past that."

Giles looks it over, taking enough time to read the copy, and he does smile. Oz hopes it's at the hi-fella. Or the goony hot guy; whichever's good. "Like a young James Mason. Leaner through the cheeks, and I've never seen Mason grin, but — . Yes."

Oz closes his eyes, knowing he knows who James Mason is, he just needs to review without distraction. Not no wine before it's time or making money the old-fashioned way: earning it, but a little later than those guys. Same sort of deep gravel sex voice, though. "North by Northwest, right?"

"Among others." When he opens his eyes, Giles is folding up his paper napkin. "Shall we think about getting going?"

Oz nods and looks down at the picture again. Guys just don't look like that any more, and it's a shame, and kind of confusing, too, because beyond hair-style and clothes, how is it that someone's face can go extinct?


Daniel drives them back to Sunnydale far more quickly and casually than Giles could ever dream of doing. So casually that they pass the exit and Daniel does not even flinch.

"Erm — ?"

"You'll see." Daniel's lip twists into what Giles is coming to consider his secretive smile.

Giles does not inquire why they take the next exit, nor several lefts, then a right, but when the van rattles and shivers its way up a dirt road choked with ruts and overhung with untrimmed shrubbery, he does turn to Daniel. He is hunched over the steering wheel, brows drawn tight, as he threads around the holes and bumps. And, just as suddenly as they ascended onto the trail, it ends, opening into a wide clearing.

Daniel switches off the ignition, swiping his hand over his brow, and grins. "Breaker's Woods," he tells Giles. "Ever been?"


"Didn't think so." Daniel twists in his seat and rises, slipping into the back of the van. "Coming?"

"Yes?" Giles unlatches the seat belt and takes another look out the window. Short, wiry grass, spiked with shadows, and a ring of smooth rocks. He cannot make out the trees circling the clearing, except for the way their volume disperses lacily against the sky. "Yes."

He cannot navigate the passage between the seats nearly as well as Daniel, and slips, barking his knee on the parking brake, grasping at Daniel's hand, pulling him forward until he spills out into the open.

"Okay?" Daniel asks, propping his back against the wall, one foot up on the opposite thigh. Giles rubs his knee and smiles, he thinks, ruefully. He doesn't quite know where to settle down: against the back of a seat? the opposite wall? stretched out on his back? Daniel's head is cocked slightly, watching him, and Giles focuses on the boy's hands, laid out over his thighs, fingers loosely spread and almost glowing in the near-dark.

"Yes, of course." Giles kneels on his uninjured knee, gripping the side of the passenger seat for balance, studying the interior of the van as well as he can. He cannot make out very much at all beyond the shag carpet beneath him, the various sacks and a rolled sleeping bag beside him, and the wan light coming from the windows on the back doors.

"C'mere," Daniel says, pushing off from the wall, dragging a plastic sack behind him as he moves towards Giles. At the touch of his warm, pale hand, Giles sinks down and leans in. Daniel rubs his thumb over his eyelids and against the nap of his eyebrows, around his temple and down his neck. "Better?"

Giles nods as he opens his eyes. His body is unwinding, going slack and warm at Daniel's touch, and he struggles to focus, and not to drown. Daniel kisses him softly, almost shyly, ignoring the tilt of Giles's head, the insistence of his lips, and squeezes his neck as he pulls back.

"Good. So — " Daniel raises the plastic sack and upends it. "It's like Halloween. Check the loot."

Boxes and ribbons of condoms and several containers of lubricant spill over the floor between them.

"Good Lord." Giles picks through the pile, examining one tube of medicinal jelly, hefting a large bottle of Astroglide, shaking a box of condoms. "It's a veritable smorgasbord. Host a variety of tastes back here, do you?"

"Wasn't sure what you liked, actually." Daniel twists away, and Giles imagines his face falling, mouth tightening and eyes hooding defensively. His voice is quiet, illegible, but it might very well be pained.

"I didn't mean — " Of course the paraphernalia is new; the caps on the lubricants are wrapped in plastic, and the receipt is trapped under one box. The boy had only called himself a slut in jest, hadn't he? "Really, I — "

"Forget it." Daniel shrugs, and, no, he has not turned away in anger or pain. He is simply tugging off his shirt and leaning to untie his shoes. Giles reaches over, throat thickening with shame, and strokes the rise of vertebrae on his lower back, prominent and hard as rocks. Emboldened when Daniel sighs deeply at the touch, he leans further and mouths the pebble-like rise of spine at the boy's neck.

"It's okay," Daniel whispers as Giles's hands shake over his skin. He covers one with his own and presses it firmly down. "Just do it, okay?"

Daniel tilts his head back against Giles's shoulder as Giles wraps his arms around his waist, pressing flat palms against his warm, nearly hairless skin, suckling on the nape of his neck, pulling him back against him.

It is as if the boy has loosened fully, gone completely liquid in his arms. Giles brushes his knuckles along the length of Daniel's erection, trapped in his shorts, and gets a slow roll of the hips in response. Daniel attempts to undo the fastener and groans when he cannot. Giles holds him more tightly, working his thumb into the gap at the top of the zipper, kissing the stretch of freckles slung between the knobs of his shoulders. He tastes like rain, cool-silver-glow, and sweat, salt-flesh-sun, and trembles under Giles's hands. A sweet low growl builds deep in his throat as Giles strokes upward over his sternum, pressing down, Daniel's heart beating against his palm, his breath hitching then releasing in a fluid sigh as he brushes his thumb over the nipples, flicking at them with his nails as they harden.

Flashing eyes, mouth a rough dark gash, as Daniel twists back to look at him, fingers fluttering down to touch his wrist. Giles goes still. "I can stop."

Daniel's head shakes violently and he presses back against Giles as he pushes his wrist down and further inside. He drops his head and his breath starts coming out shallow and brief.

Untouched, no one ever, never before: keening, disembodied chant in his ears, counterpoint to Daniel's breathing as Giles reaches inside the shorts. He strokes up and down the tensile heat of Daniel's cock, gripping it loosely, worrying the knuckle of his index finger around the head, and Daniel twitches several times in his embrace, leaning back, head lolling as Giles strokes across the rapidly tightening testicles. He gazes down at the body stretched out in his arms, watching hips lift and wiggle free of shorts as he closes his mouth over the boy's shoulder, nibbling with his lips and teeth as he slides knuckles down the underside of cock, around the balls, and Daniel brings one knee up and out so the touch continues down into the cleft of his ass, so narrow and tight Giles can manage only two fingers stroking the impossibly soft skin swirling into the pucker.

Daniel's head turns and his mouth finds Giles's as the hand slips back higher and circles the base of his cock, tongue sweeping lazily inside, across Giles's teeth and then burrowing into the pocket of his cheek as Giles tightens his hold and Daniel starts to thrust against the palm, his low moans felt more as vibrations across and into skin than sound. Giles's own hips rock with the motion, working his trapped hard-on against Daniel's ass as he twists the nipple in his fingers and tugs at the boy's cock. Daniel's eyes widen, showing the whites all around his irises, as his back arches in Giles's grasp, air whinnying out his nose and teeth scraping teeth as he corkscrews around beneath Giles's fist, hips jerking as he shoots. Giles lets him rise, then drop, as he kisses back deeply, pistoning his tongue into Daniel's mouth, squeezing out the last small jet.

Dipping Daniel bonelessly back, Giles brings his hand up, grazing Daniel's lips with his own as he pulls away and snakes his hand between them. Daniel watches, lips open, as Giles laps the tip of his tongue in the cum, then lifts his mouth to lick the other side of the palm. The feel of Daniel's tongue on his skin, hesitancy evaporating before eagerness, dries out Giles's mouth and rocks his hips against the boy's bare legs. Daniel sucks his pinky down to the root, and Giles's tongue sweeps across his palm to press at the corner of the Daniel's mouth and work its way inside.

His finger slides out with a soft smack and he cradles Daniel's cheek in his palm as they kiss. Daniel is breathing more normally now, grasping at the fabric of his shirt, hauling himself up to his knees. His other arm goes around Giles's waist as his hand runs down Giles's arm, then back up, down his chest, and around his stomach. He loosens the shirttails from the waist and touches the exposed skin lightly, using just the tips of his fingers, tracing the hairs. His tongue pulses slowly against Giles's own, and Giles feels a moan trembling up his chest at the touch as Daniel traces a slow dizzy dance of sensation over his stomach and down into the crease of his thigh.

Giles breaks the kiss as Daniel starts to unbutton his shirt from the bottom up. The two halves of the shirt fall open as Giles spreads his shoulders, and Daniel brings both hands up to his chest, covering the nipples with the shallow hollow of his palms, pressing lightly. As he leans in, one hand drops back to Giles's crotch and the other twists the nipple, and his tongue flickers agonizingly slowly and lightly over the other nipple.

Shards of sensation skitter across the surface of Giles, noise and song concatenated at the end of the radio dial into harmonious static, and he bites down hard on his lip to keep from moaning when Daniel presses the flat of his tongue against his nipple and squeezes his cock. But then he is moaning, and Daniel is moving away, retreating into the dark, his mouth working.

More static, Daniel's voice, slowly resolving itself to sense, sounding flat, nearly bored. "Gonna fuck me now?"

Shaking, his tongue gone thick and useless in his mouth, Giles nods, and Daniel is looming over him, grabbing at the sleeping bag, shaking it out, and Giles goes up on one knee to make room. Daniel is very naked, and distantly Giles knows that saying such a thing is incorrect, like deeming a woman very pregnant, or a collectible very unique. Yet he is very naked, appallingly so, white and skinny against the dark tartan of the sleeping bag, one long arm reaching out, handing Giles a box and lube.

"Don't forget them this time." Flat, fuzzing out at the edges into noise that mixes with the roar in Giles's ears.

Giles nods and fumbles with the preparations.

His pants down around his thighs, cock jutting out, angry red at the base gone waxy-purple under the latex, he shuffles forward on his knees, stroking Daniel's white thigh with sticky fingers. The boy's smile is crooked as he pecks Giles's cheek and rolls over onto his stomach. He lets Giles slip an arm under his waist and haul him back onto his hands and knees, and their breathing is thick and pained in the silence. Giles strokes one finger down Daniel's spine and into his cleft, eliciting a sigh and push back. He spreads his thighs, angling his head down, and starts kissing the hollow of the back until he feels the wiggle against his chest, and licks down to the cleft, tasting tears and sun and the camphor-sting of mothballs. Daniel jumps in his embrace when he kisses the pucker, and starts moaning as if in pain.

Giles's head jerks up and Daniel is looking over his shoulder. "Don't stop. Just — "

Just do it: Giles completes the phrase silently, and obeys, fingertips digging into the boy's waist as he screws his tongue into the hole and pushes until he's breathless and Daniel is gasping, collapsed onto useless arms, hips rolling back against Giles's mouth.

His free hand scrabbles for the bottle of lube, lost in the folds of sleeping bag and clothes, and finally locates it behind his foot. Daniel cries out again when Giles's mouth lifts, and he hears himself soothing him, murmuring nonsense, soft rhyming sounds, as he coats his hand. Daniel quiets, and reaches around, grasping one cheek and tugging it open for the soaked fingers stroking the back of his balls.

"Good boy," Giles hears himself say, and some kernel, tiny and useless at the front of his brain screams at that in pain and outrage, screams itself hoarse and dead as he starts painting long strokes up and down and across the hole. Daniel's moans sound vaguely like weeping, the way they catch on his breath and sweep up the scale, and they go higher and faster as Giles works his finger in. "Sweet Christ, oh — "

The sound and heat of the slick thin skin crash over Giles, sweep him out inside a dull roar and over currents of sensation. When three fingers have corkscrewed their way inside, and he's noted dully that Daniel knows to push back and jut his hips just so, he removes his arm from Daniel's waist and lines up his cock against the hole.

The last thing that happens breaks the roar and shakes him back to himself. Daniel goes still and looks over his shoulder again. Their eyes meet, and there is a hulking form mirrored and doubled in Daniel's pupils. Then he blinks, and erases the sight. "Not going to make love to me, are you?" he asks, smiling twistily, licking his lips, voice hoarse and full of need.

"Wouldn't dream of it." And then he's sunk inside, and the moment has become the past as Daniel rocks forward, dragging him deeper, pulsing around his cock, fucking himself hard and fast on it.

They pant together as Giles drives in, twitches his hips, and pulls the boy back, moans and epithets drowning out the slap of skin on skin, wet senseless noise, and Giles lifts Daniel up off his arms, yanking his head to the side, crushing their mouths together.

He lost a while ago any sense of discrimination, any ability to distinguish his need from Daniel's, and as he stops fucking and settles instead for pushing ever more deeply, something there in the van knows with a sharp and still clarity that such an ability is going to be very difficult indeed to recover.

Giles, however, understands later, never now, only that some horrible succession of folly and desire brought him here, set him rutting, and will not release him.


Oz wakes up for the third time that day in a soggy heap on top of Giles. His ass is burning and throbbing in that perfect-awful way, and his legs are still trembling, like when he used to run track. Before he figured out he just wasn't going to grow any more.

An owl screams outside, the noise frightening and primeval, and he rouses himself, rolling as gently off Giles as possible. He stirs anyway, stroking the side of his hand down Oz's ribs and swallowing a couple times before he clears his throat.

"Should get going," Oz says. "You drive."