Also Comes in Strange
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Title: Second to the Last Stop
Author: Tania
Pairing: Giles/Angel
Summary: Angel has one more price to pay.

“Careful,” he whispers. “It doesn’t have to hurt.”

The smile that greets him is wary. The eyes beg for punishment, the face confused when lips meet lips, tender, welcoming.

It isn’t supposed to be like this.

Angel tries to raise his hips again, pulling Giles forward, opening to him, but his hands are pushed aside, his knees lowered.

“No.”

He waits for further explanation, remonstration. It doesn’t come.

“Why won’t you…” The question stalls in the air, silence so frightening Angel is tempted to run from the room. He wants to hear chatter, breathing, some sign that Giles isn’t thinking beyond this moment. If he sees any sort of memory flashing behind black irises he’s sure it will break him.

Giles slides a hand under Angel’s arm, lifting him from the bed until the vampire is holding his knees to his chest.

“I won’t be your judge,” Giles says firmly. “I won’t be your penance, or your excuse to play the martyr.”

“If not you, then who?” Angel doesn’t expect an answer, doesn’t wait for one either. He watches Giles stack pillows on the bed, small cushion against what he knows is coming. Mock props, barely enough to hold the man above the mattress when Angel finally, slowly, moves behind him. “I can’t.” Angel stutters when Giles looks over his shoulder and asks what he’s waiting for.

“You must,” Giles is growing impatient, the balm of the summer night has raised his blood to near boiling, he wants this and will force his hand if he is made to.

A trembling hand rests on Giles’ hip, unsure of where to stop. Angel avoids the faint lines of scars that still crisscross pale skin, skips over raised flesh and the places he knows once turned crimson under his touch. It leaves precious few places to linger.

“If you don’t do it now the demon wins.” Giles squeezes a stream of oil from the warm bottle beside him, lets the liquid trail down his skin, leaving darkened droplets on the cool gray sheets.

“The demon wins either way,” Angel says softly.

“Not tonight he doesn’t.” He presses back, hand underneath his thighs, guiding Angel deep within his body. No pain here, not the physical kind, the demon loses.

Angel can’t stop the tears from flowing when Giles groans beneath him. It’s a sound of pure pleasure and it is as foreign to his ears as anything he’s ever heard. How does a man forgive the things he’s done. Lovers should not be so quick to forget, but if Giles remembers he never speaks of it to him. He has never brought up those two nights in the heat of passion or anger. The watcher has surely made his notes for all posterity, but the man reaches between them and speaks only of the future, never the past.

Angel is silent now, and as he releases he is suddenly sorry he ever came here tonight, and regrets opening his mouth even more.

At least he only has one more goodbye to say tonight.

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