Pairings: Giles/Buffy, Willow/Xander, with other pairings implied
Summary: The timing is going to be tight, but they should be able to deal with the demon and get back home before the heat starts. Giles is sure of it. Famous last words.
Tags: alpha/beta/omega dynamics, dom/sub, biting, marking, pegging, core four
A note on ABO dynamics for newcomers: Fanlore has an article describing the trope. In brief, omegas go into heat and are fertile; alphas mate with the omegas and can impregnate them. Betas are infertile and do not go into heat. This story features a non-animalistic variation on ABO-verse dynamics with no knotting, no self-lubricating butts, and no feminization of male omegas. (Aside from the mpreg, that is.) I have departed from other conventions of the trope where it suited me, but I’ve 100% run with the Excuse for Lots of Sex convention.
His body’s timing was bad, as always. Was it disastrously bad? Did he need to beg off from the demon hunt now? Giles gnawed on the earpiece of his glasses and counted days. It would be close, but he had a margin for error. They should be done and back to Sunnydale in plenty of time, more than twenty-four hours before it would start. And if the demon gave them any trouble, if there was any of kind of delay, he had ways of coping. Staying home was unthinkable. He couldn’t beg off, not so soon after the unification spell and the renewal of their friendship. Not so soon after his Slayer had accepted him as part of her team again. It would be fine. All he had to do was plan, and he was good at planning.
Giles pulled open his bedside drawer and put together his emergency kit. Plug, lubricant, discreetly wrapped in a t-shirt and tucked into the back corner of his bag, tools to help him get through the heat if it started while he was with them. The suppression drug would ruthlessly damp the worst of it, though he’d be logy and tired under its influence, and then the plug would satisfy the urges that survived even the drug. That mindless urge to be penetrated, to be seized and satisfied by someone. Strange that anything survived that horrible drug. Bloody stuff. Brutal stuff. He hated having to resort to it, but there was no way he was opening himself up to that risk again. Not with those two near him.
Xander he could cope with well enough, but Buffy, Buffy was difficult. She had blossomed into an alpha in the second year he’d known her, to his deep dismay. Of course his sodding Slayer had to be an alpha. The Council had seemed unsurprised. They’d sent him a parcel of the drug and ordered him to take it. Not that that he’d needed he order. Once a month he’d swallowed the drugs, be damned to the long-term consequences, just to avoid the hell of having her turn her head and sniff. If she’d crooked her finger he’d have been doomed. If she hadn’t, it would have been worse.
Better that she never, ever know.
And for that reason, this trip had to be quiet and this demon had to die on schedule. Fortunately he had enough advanced intelligence to know how to kill the thing. It would take fire. Xander had the oil torches they’d made yesterday; Willow had done the magical prep work; Buffy would provide the brawn. Giles’s own role would be to hang back, observe, and tweak the plan if needed. And afterward to give Buffy feedback on her performance. She’d asked him to work with her more closely through the summer. Was he going to muck that up by not going with her on this trip when she’d asked him to? He was not.
He carried the bag downstairs and let it drop noisily by his front door. One last thing and he’d be ready. The drug was in his medicine cabinet, inside a prescription box for painkillers. He’d take one of the pills with him, just in case. It likely wouldn’t matter. If all went well, he’d be safely back in his flat with the door locked when this month’s heat came. Take the suppressor, ride out what it couldn’t damp down, use the plug and masturbate when it crested anyway. It was miserable and lonely, but it was safe.
Damn, it would be difficult to be near two alphas and unable to let either one of them touch him. He missed sex with a proper alpha. Olivia had been a beta, not completely satisfying, but at least he hadn’t been alone. Going through it with a beta was good, but being with an alpha was best. So sweet. Ethan, back in February, that disastrous visit, no doubt timed for when it would have been rising in him, had had the masterful touch Giles craved. He’d always had it. That had been good sex, intense sex. The last sex he’d had, for he’d made certain to have the suppressor at hand in the months since. Bloody opportunistic Ethan. His own Slayer had nearly killed him. A fine humiliating end that would have been.
His front door slammed open and Giles nearly jumped out of his skin. Buffy, followed by Xander and Willow, all in mid-conversation about some movie they wanted to see. The pair of alphas, so dangerous, along with his safe friend Willow.
Giles shut his medicine cabinet. He drew in a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and went out to greet them.
All was well on the long drive up the coastal highway to the famed state park where the “grizzlies” were eating people. Chaos demons, of course, a nesting one. All was well on the first night, when they were a happy talkative group in a single motel room. Giles listened to his Slayer and her friends chatter in the dark long after they ought to have fallen asleep, and felt himself happy. His Slayer was safe; his young friends were getting on together; and he himself was welcome in their lives. He had purpose again. He was happy enough to listen that he didn’t bother grousing at them to shut up and sleep, as they likely expected him to. They woke readily enough in the morning when he rousted them out of bed, at least. All three demanded to be driven to the Denny’s in town for a breakfast even an Englishman might be dismayed by.
The drive to the state park was uneventful, and so was the hike up to the scenic overlook where the chaos demon had made its nest right out in plain view of horrified hikers. Which it then paralyzed and bundled up into its nest, like a digger wasp. A very large digger wasp with slimy deer antlers. How had anyone mistaken it for a bear?
Finding it was no difficulty indeed. The four of them stood on the trail contemplating the slimy egg cases.
“Yup, that’s a nest,” Buffy said. “And can I just say that I am never watching Alien again? Yes, I can say that.”
“Face-hugger!” Xander raised a clawed hand up at her, which Buffy swatted away.
Giles turned away and scanned down the trail back the way they’d came. If the demon were following the reported pattern, it would already be hunting them, having mistaken them for more unprepared hikers. Did he see movement in the underbrush off the trail to the left? He did. He shouted.
His Slayer ran past him with her sword already drawn. He opened his mouth to warn her to be careful, but she was already well down the trail. The demon was there, grappling with her. It was a big one. The sword flashed but the thing did not fall; the pair rolled together and separated. They clashed again. Giles ran down the trail, to help, but it was over as suddenly as it had begun. The sword bit home. Buffy swung again and again. It was dead.
Buffy marched back up the trail with demon head in hand. Green blood dripped from the severed neck to the ground and it smoked where it struck. Buffy held it well out to the side, where the blood couldn’t get on her clothing. She wore a disposable poncho just in case. Into the nest it went. Giles and Xander followed more slowly, each with a demon leg in hand, dragging it up the trail on a tarpaulin. That went into the nest as well, along with the ruined tarp.
Buffy said, “Grossness level about seven out of ten. I have killed grosser things.”
Xander snorted. “Can I say that I’m glad I haven’t been there to help for those?”
“Shut up and give me the torch.”
Xander handed it over. Buffy held the business end out to Giles, who carefully lit it with a match. The flame was pale in the sunlight. Buffy turned and paused with the torch poised over the nearest egg.
“Are you sure this isn’t going to burn all of Big Sur? Because that would suck.”
"That’s what I’m here for,’ Willow said. She had already begun the casting, Giles saw. Little clouds had already begun to gather over her head.
Xander said, “And are you sure that stuff won’t blow up and cover us with goo? Because I saw a movie like that once.”
Giles glared at him briefly, then turned to Buffy. “Do it.”
The torch dipped and the oily slime caught fire instantly. Flames roared up into the sky, shot through with green and blue from the otherworldly flesh they burned.
Xander and Giles stepped back. Willow’s chanting rose in volume; the clouds swirled around the nest and rained upon its circumference. Dark oily smoke roiled up from the burning corpse of the demon. The heat was intense. It burned white-hot with demonic fire and then everything collapsed into flaking ash within minutes. Giles took Willow’s hand and lent his strength to the spell for the final wash of cooling rain over the embers.
It was over, and it had gone exactly according to Giles’s plan. No one was injured, not even his resilient Slayer, and no more civilians had lost their lives. And as a bonus, he would indeed make it home safely well before his heat began.
The four of them packed up their tools and began the hike back down toward the coast. Buffy led the way, with most of the gear strapped absurdly to her backpack. She didn’t seem to notice it.
“Giles plans like an omega general,” Xander said, with admiration in his voice. Giles flinched and schooled himself to look away from Buffy, but Xander’s comment seemed to have been entirely innocent. It was a common saying, he knew: you wanted omegas planning your battles, alphas on the front lines, and betas in your capital city negotiating the rest of the idiots out of the war. He hated the cliche, if only because it was exactly how things were for Watchers and Slayers. Well, Slayers, anyway. He had his suspicions about how often Slayers turned out to be alphas. And as for Watchers– every one he’d known.
“Well,” Giles said, “this plan went well enough. For once.”
“So long as we’re home early tomorrow. I have–”
“Yeah, yeah, your appointment.” Xander elbowed him cheerfully and, Giles suspected, even affectionately, then loped ahead to join Buffy. Giles watched them walk together, his Slayer and her friends. They were getting on again. That was good. If the unification spell was to have any long term effects, he would prefer it to be that one. He’d hated watching them at odds with each other. He’d hated being at odds with them. And now he had his Slayer back. His prickly, distant, endearing Slayer. She really was quite a lovely woman now. And so was Willow. And Xander too, handsome indeed with all that dark hair. The three of them, most attractive.
Giles shivered. It was unseasonably cold for May. Or rather, ordinarily cold. The California coastline was a hell of fog and brisk wind even in the spring. He curled his fists and pulled his hands up into his over-long sleeves. Handy things, these baggy jumpers. He felt quite odd. Had the thing been poisonous despite everything his text had said? Or perhaps he was simply coming down with a cold. He slowed his pace and let the others pull ahead of him.
Willow noticed and hung back to let him catch up. She plucked at his sleeve.
“You okay?” she said.
“Feel a bit peaky.”
She took his hand in hers– slim cool hand, capable hand, soothing hand. Giles clasped it and walked with her down to the parking lot at the trail head. Xander and Willow were already at the car, talking. Xander was waving his arms around, imitating something. Giles shivered.
Willow stepped into his path and brought him to a halt. She laid her hands on his arms and looked into his eyes. “Giles. Are you going into heat?”
Giles opened his mouth to snipe at her for having dared speak it aloud near the other two, then he snapped it shut again. Hot flashes, dizziness, prickles on his skin. Bugger.
“It’s early. Blast it.”
Willow cast a glance over her shoulder at the other two, bickering even yet. “Do you need to get away from them?”
“I’ll just take the suppressor. I have it with me.” He thrust his hands into his pockets, searching. Rental SUV key, house keys, a few coins, motel entry card. Back pocket? Wallet. No little plastic strip of pills. Bugger again. “Back in the motel room. If I can last until we get there, it’ll be fine.” He tried to speak reassuringly as much for himself as for Willow. She looked doubtful.
“If those two don’t tear each other to shreds before we get back. You’re probably already signaling it. Giles, they’re going to figure it out.”
“Bloody hell. Help me cover. Drive us back now.”
“You should just tell her. She won’t be upset with you.”
Giles hunched over in misery. “She thinks I’m beta. Nice safe unthreatening boring beta. Not in the game.”
“Not going to argue with you about this. Get me back to the motel and keep them away.”
“If you want.” Willow did not argue with him further, but merely tugged at his sleeve until he found it in himself to stumble into motion again. In motion toward those two, toward his Slayer, toward certain doom. Damn his body to hell and back.
“Guys, Giles is feeling sick. We need to get him back to the motel and let him sleep.”
“Aw, poor Giles. He’s going to miss the swimming party. Xander and I have decided we’re going skinny dipping in that river back up the trail.”
“Not ‘miss’ as such,” he said, because it was what they expected him to say. He tried to give them a wide berth on his way to the car, but Buffy was too solicitous for once. Why couldn’t she be indifferent as she’d been all year? But no, she was there taking him by the arm. Touching him. He shuddered and then Xander was there as well, being helpful at exactly the worst moment. Their scent overwhelmed him and his body responded. His head swam. He went down on his knees between the two of them. His hand reached for his collar; his clothes chafed him.
“He’s not sick,” Buffy said. She and Xander looked at each other. Their nostrils flared. In the next moment they were upon him, hands plucking at him, each of them seeking to tug him closer to themselves.
“Don’t touch me. Don’t bloody touch me.”
Buffy and Xander both moved away instantly, though there were near-identical wounded expressions on their faces. Giles snarled at them and they shied away again.
Willow stepped between him and the pair of them. “Okay, guys. Stay away from Giles. Ten feet away. Good. I’m going to drive us all back to the motel now.”
She reached into Giles’s pockets with a murmured apology and pulled out the keys to the rental SUV. Her touch was completely unlike the touch of the two alphas: soothing, not arousing. She helped him to his feet again and led him to the car. Giles had regained enough self-command by that point to buckle his own seatbelt.
Willow drove them back out along the fire road away from the trailhead. When they got to the main road she looked at him and he pointed left, the way back to town. She shook her head at him and turned right. Bugger again. The pair of alphas in the back were already quarreling over him. His erection, already bothersome, responded by becoming almost painful. He hunched up in the seat. Damn this heat. Damn how it stripped his dignity from him.
Xander said, “Which one?”
“Me.” Buffy was firm about it. Something inside Giles leapt with joy even as he cursed his stupidity in allowing her to find out.
“He gets to pick.”
“He’ll pick me.”
“Maybe he likes me better.”
“You already lost that fight.”
That last was punctuated by a thud. Then Willow’s voice cut through it all. “Guys. Stop. Now. Giles decides. And what he’s decided is that he’s going to take a suppressor. So chill out or I knock you out. Don’t make me do it.”
The pair of them went silent. Giles wrapped his arms around himself and clenched his fists in his jumper. He was a rational man. He was a modern man. All he need do is hold onto his self control until they got back to the motel. He could do that. All he need do was count to ten. And do it again, in Latin. Again, in Greek.
The passenger-side window whirred down. He thrust his head out and breathed deeply, slowly, of fresh clean ocean air. No alpha scent. Behind him in the car he heard voices bickering again. They were tempting voices, but he mustn’t pay attention to them. Breathe. Count.
Willow made them wait outside the door while he rummaged in his bag for the pills. He couldn’t find them. His hands were shaking and he could barely think. Willow sat him down on the bed and unzipped the bag further.
“There’s just the regular medical kit in here, Giles. Are you sure you packed them? Do you have another bag in the car?”
“Not in the shaving kit?”
Giles bit back the obscenity he wanted to snap out; there was no use inflicting his frustration on Willow. He’d left the pills at home. He was already in heat; there was nothing he could do. Willow stroked his hand, but it was no comfort at all.
Something smashed against the door.
“Oh, blast it.” Willow was gone from his side. The motel room door came open and Xander and Buffy came tumbling through. Buffy had Xander in a headlock, but he was flailing at her.
“Mine!” he said.
“No way. He’s my Watcher and you’re not touching him.”
Willow stamped her foot and shouted. “Quit it! Right now. I’ll call the police if you don’t calm down and you can get fined and spend a whole weekend in therapy with a bunch of other jerks and you know you’ll hate that so don’t make me.”
The two separated. Xander stood up and straightened his shirt out. He looked furious; Buffy looked calm.
“Giles chooses. You know that.”
“Giles chooses whichever one of us wins,” Xander said.
“Which is me.”
Willow stood between the two of them and pushed Xander away from Buffy. “Giles, do me a big big favor and pick one of them right now. I know you don’t want to but it’s too late. Now choose.”
Choose, choose one. Giles couldn’t look away from the both of them. They were ungodly beautiful to him at that moment, strong, commanding, potent. Both of them. But his Slayer– He stepped toward her and fell to his knees before her.
She reached out to him but did not touch him. “You want me to take you? You submit to me?”
Xander made a strangled noise. “Come on,” Willow said. Giles was vaguely aware of her dragging Xander away. He had no attention to spare for the loser in the war for his body, however. Buffy was upon him. Her fist twisted in his jumper and hauled him even closer. Her hold on reason was even more tenuous than Giles’s own. He had many more years of experience with this than she did, after all. He wrapped his arms around her waist and didn’t strip himself right then, in front of the other two.
Xander and Willow were saying something, but he had no idea what. The door closed. Now. Now he could do what he needed to. Giles struggled with his jumper until it somehow came off over his head. Then Buffy seized him by the back of the neck and bit at his mouth. She thrust her tongue in. Her free hand unbuttoned his jeans and pushed them down over his hips. She cupped her hand over his erection and he struggled to rub himself against her.
He obeyed instantly. She bent down and kissed him again, deeply. She thrust her tongue into his opened mouth. They kissed for a long time just like that, his hands on her waist, her hands in his hair pulling his head back to expose his throat.
He felt so much calmer now, so much less frantic, now that he was properly naked and on his knees for his alpha. Those first kisses always settled him when a heat had begun. Something in the saliva, they said, more pheromones, transferring from one to the other. Letting the blood know that they’d each found a mate. Whatever it was, it was the way his alpha always started: tongue in the mouth, hand on the throat.
She was calmer now too. “Stand up,” she said. “You need to be naked.”
Yes, he did. His body was chafing all hidden away like this. Buffy methodically undressed him. He cooperated but otherwise remained standing where he was. She tossed his shirt at the corner. His boots and socks followed, then at last his jeans and his damnable shorts.
She pushed on his shoulders and he sank to his knees. Giles sighed and settled himself properly, knees spread wide, presenting himself as completely available and ready for her. She sat on the edge of the bed and tugged him over to kneel between her spread thighs. Giles wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his head against her stomach. She petted his hair and scratched at the top of his head. Soothing him, for he was still trembling against her.
“You cut it close,” she said.
“It came early.”
“You were in a car with two alphas for hours. Of course it came early.” Her voice was chiding and there was an edge in it. Was she angry with him? He shivered.
“Sorry,” he said. “I thought it would– We couldn’t let this demon live another day.”
“We could have handled the demon without you.”
Giles flinched. “You don’t want me?”
“Don’t be silly. Of course I want you. You smell amazing. Best omega I have ever smelled. So good.”
She pressed her lips against the top of his head. Love-talk from alphas, telling their omegas how good they smelled. Giles disbelieved it more often than not, particularly afterward when sanity returned. It might even be true in the moment for them. It was true for him at this moment, though it was easy to say it to Buffy. He’d known this since she’d first matured, since her first mating. Even when not near heat he’d known it. She smelled wonderful to him, as desirable as any alpha had ever been. More so even than Ethan, with whom he’d been in love. And now that he was in heat, he was overwhelmed.
“I’ve got a lot of time to make up for. You’ve been avoiding me way too long.”
He wanted to ask her what she meant by that, but in the next moment she took him by the hair and pulled his head back. He yielded to this and exposed his throat to her. She set her teeth in him and bit, hard. He trembled and stayed very very still, waiting. Submitting. God, yes, submitting at last. She bit again, marking him just under his jaw, then sat up again. He moaned.
“That’s right,” she said. “You’re mine now.”
He leaned his face against her thigh. Jeans, mud on the knee from the fight on the trail, the scent of alpha over that. He felt dizzy with relief and desire at once. Soon, it would be soon, and it would be a proper encounter. She would satisfy him and he would do everything his body could to satisfy her. He wondered what Buffy would like. She would of course allow him to be inside her at some point; neither of them would find peace until that happened. Would she fuck him? He hoped she would fuck him.
Buffy petted his head again. “You want to be fucked, huh?”
He’d said that out loud. He pressed his face into her leg and tried to stifle the urge to whimper.
“Of course you want to be fucked. I’ll find something to fuck you with if you need it.”
“My bag. I brought something.”
Buffy stood. Giles resettled himself on his knees and watch her stride over to his bag. She ripped it open and scattered the contents over the bed. His plug and the little bottle of lubricant came tumbling out. Buffy seized them and carried them back to him. She held up the plug, which was made of black silicone, and stroked it. He whimpered again to see it.
“You like it thick, huh? This is almost as big as you are.”
Giles flushed, but she didn’t seem to mind it. “Don’t have my harness with me, but I can fuck you all you need with this. Yeah?”
“Please,” he said, and he flushed more deeply.
“On the bed. Hands and knees.”
She’d pitched that as a command and Giles scrambled to obey. Up onto the bed, on all fours. She followed, gripped the back of his neck, pushed him into the position she wanted. She moved behind him and pushed his thighs wider. Giles knelt with his face down in a pillow, knees well spread, trembling, waiting for that first touch.
He heard the sound of the cap on the lube bottle opening. The bed shifted. Something being set on the table between the beds. Then Buffy was behind him again. She laid a hand on his backside and he shuddered. Her thumb rested on him just there and moved. Slick with lube, a little cold. He jumped. She steadied him and set her thumb against him again. He breathed deeply and as he exhaled, she pushed into him.
“Yeah, that’s right, open for me.”
His body yielded further on that command. Her thumb slid deeper inside.
“God, you’re sexy when you moan like that. Keep doing it.”
Not that Giles had control of himself enough to stop. She was working him open slowly, teasing him horribly, stopping to stroke his thighs and play with his balls. She paused to kiss the small of his back and lick her way down. He held his breath, wondering if she would dare to do more, then yelped when she sunk her teeth into his buttock. He begged her to bite him again and she laughed and said she would later, perhaps, if he were as perfectly submissive as she knew he could be.
Could he submit any more deeply than he was now? He would find a way. She’d returned her attention to his arse. Her thumb moved in and out of him, opening him wider. If she were a male alpha, she’d be inside him already, whether he were open or not. Though some of them liked doing this to their omegas, liked making them wait and prove their submission.
The plug’s tip nudged at his arse. Giles groaned. He wanted it so much. Needed it. Needed her. A stronger push and it breached him. Sweet Buffy, his Slayer, his alpha, penetrating him now, agonizingly slowly, filling him. He closed his eyes and let himself feel it. The promise of relief, the promise that he’d be taken care of, that his alpha had him.
“Yeah, that’s what you need,” Buffy said to him and he could only whimper in response. She knew. There was no point pretending otherwise. His alpha would have it out of him one way or another. She thrust it into him and pulled it out again, slowly. God it was amazing when he was in heat, being fucked, feeling his alpha moving inside him. It felt good even when he wasn’t in heat. He’d always liked being taken by Ethan this way. But when he was in heat– it was what he lived for. He could come just from this, though of course Buffy wouldn’t let him. She’d need him coming inside her. He’d need to come inside her. He was already thinking ahead to it, imagining it, wondering what she’d feel like around him.
She pushed it all the way into him, so the flare just below the base held it in place.
She rolled him onto his back. Giles let his hands rest on the bed palms-up, waiting for what she might ask of him next. He was in that lovely between-state, where he knew he was in the hands of an alpha he could trust to carry him through, but he hadn’t yet been given his first orgasm. He was stretched and full and he ached where she’d bitten him and soon he would be inside her.
Buffy smiled down at him. “Good man,” she said to him. “Now we both get our reward.”
“Condoms in my bag,” he said. “If you need them.”
“Always carry some,” Buffy said. But she found the ones in the mess she’d made of Giles’s luggage anyway. He watched anxiously, then lay back when she returned to the bed. She rolled a condom onto his penis carefully, then took him in her hand and stroked him. That strong hand, his Slayer’s hand, on him– Giles thrust up into her fingers. She pressed him back down onto the bed with a hand on his hip.
“I’m a lucky alpha,” she said to him. “Love how big you are. You’re going to feel so good inside me.”
Love talk, more love talk that was the same every time. But Giles knew it was true anyway. He was a big man. He could satisfy her better than any other omega could. He was better than they, more desirable, more willing, more submissive, more fertile. All she had to do was look at his cock to see it. Or feel it. She was going to feel it soon. He was going to be inside her. He was going to come inside his Slayer, and he didn’t care that he’d just moaned with the need for it.
She held his penis in place under herself and shifted until it just brushed her own sex. Giles snapped his hips upward but she moved away instantly.
“Hold still.” She closed her fingers around his balls and tightened them painfully. Her point was clear. He whimpered and subsided onto the bed. He let his hands fall back down to his sides. He tried to radiate submission at her. He was hers; would she take pity on him now and let him inside? Yes, at last, she straddled him again and accept him. She sank down onto him slowly. Far more patience than he’d expected from her, far more patience than he had himself. It was all he could do to hold himself still as she’d ordered.
The plug filling him, his Slayer’s body surrounding him, her scent all over him, her hands on his skin stroking, her voice telling him to move now, to find his pleasure in her– this was perfect, this was what he’d been longing for.
It took time despite his pitch of excitement, time and her slow steady movement around him. It was almost too much for him despite the hormones in his blood, the very thought of it: his Slayer, that was his Slayer riding him, his Slayer moaning with pleasure from his touch, the woman he’d been obsessed with for good or ill for five years over him. At last she knew what he was, at last she’d accepted him, at last he had what he’d been longing for in secret since she had first come to her maturity.
There it was, orgasm, rolling over him in a slow wave from his prick on out, from the place where he was joined with her up to the top of his head. She followed him and trigger him into the second wave of orgasm, where he remained for long breathless seconds.
Then he came to himself again, breathing hard and sweating.
They remained where they were, alpha straddling omega, moving slowly on top of him. Her face had changed already, now that orgasm had had its way with her. She looked distant, distracted. Closed off from him again, as she’d been all year. Giles’s chest ached even as he lay beneath her, cock still hard inside her. Neither one of them wanted to make the first move to disengage, however, for the hormones were still their master. Now was when he would conceive, in these minutes after orgasm before his erection eased. If the condom were not in the way, that was. But they were responsible adults and therefore he would not bear his Slayer’s child as a result of this accident.
It was still pleasurable of course, this lingering union. It was merely that his head was clearing already and the haze of his arousal was lifting. For a couple of hours, at least. Then the second wave would hit and he would be even deeper in her thrall. But now he could look up at his Slayer and wonder what things would be like in the morning, when it was all over.
He could feeling himself softening at last. Buffy made the first move to separate. She knelt up over him carefully and rolled onto the bed beside him. She looked down at him, studying his body. Giles wanted to cup his hands over himself, but there was no point. She’d seen his body, had her fingers up his arse and heard him beg for more. There was no salvaging his dignity now.
She said, cool and calm, “How many for you usually?”
Giles stared for moment. She meant waves. Orgasms before it ended. “Three. Sometimes four if they’re not very good.”
“I’ll make sure they are.”
With that she turned away from him and curled up around a pillow. She was asleep already. Alpha hormones again; she could no more stay awake after sex than he could refrain from getting hard when in heat. He was exhausted as well, and try as he might he could not find the energy to leave the bed to clean up.
Willow watched Xander uneasily. He was driving the van competently enough, with no outward sign of distress, but the hormonal shift triggered by proximity to Giles had to be troubling him. In an hour or two he’d be calm again; alphas had close encounters with omegas they couldn’t touch all the time, and an alpha who couldn’t handle it was an alpha that ended up in therapy or prison. But Xander’s temples were still wet with sweat from the clash with Buffy in the motel.
She’d let them fight longer than she should have. It was something they’d covered in health class, the one for betas that was different than the one for alphas, which was in turn different from the one for omegas. Once you knew what you were, once the school had confirmed it with a test, they zipped you right into your class and told you how to cope. Alphas got material on self control and aggression management, and a course on sex technique. Omegas got material on defensive planning and cycle prediction and birth control. Betas got practical tips on how to break up alpha fights, how to substitute in one role or another in a pinch. How to help your unfortunate friends adjust to their newly-unruly bodies.
That was in modern Californian schools, anyway. Willow wondered if Giles had learned anything like that in school.
The town a mile south along the Pacific from their motel had a coffee shop and a cafe-style restaurant on a promontory jutting out into the Pacific. Willow bought coffee for the two of them, extra-large, flavored syrup, and carried them over to the table by the window where Xander sat. Or fidgeted, rather. He was still all worked up.
Before she’d managed to slide all the way into her chair, Xander said, “Giles is omega.”
“Yup. You like hazelnut, right?”
Xander popped the lid off his cup looked at it, then put it back on. “Giles is omega.”
Willow ignored him and drank her latte. Decaf, of course, because she knew better now than to caffeinate herself. Xander drank some coffee and made a face at it. His was decaf as well, not that she told him that. The last thing she wanted was an overstimulated horny alpha on her hands.
“You knew,” he said.
“Yeah, I knew. He told me. We were talking about things. Back when I was first getting together with Oz. I’d just figured out what I was and I couldn’t decide if I was happy about it or not. I mean, yes, we run the world, but sex is a lot more fun for you guys.”
Xander popped the lid off again and stared at the foam for a while. “Sex is more fun if you get to have it,” he said. “Sucks to get revved up then have to stuff it all down. Sucks to have a crank just hanging out there waiting for anybody to turn it.”
He was still sulking. Still simmering over. Simmering so badly that Willow could almost smell it on him. That was the main difference between them, as she understood the current research: her pheromone glands were undeveloped, and the brain structures that processed the signals from the receptors were dormant. Xander was producing I-will-take-you signals like mad, but all she could notice that he was more attractive than usual.
“That’s kind of what Giles said. Only the way he put it was that the loss of control was disconcerting.”
“Stuffy. How the hell did he hide it, though? Damn, he had to have been going into heat the whole time, right under my nose.”
“The Council kept him supplied with suppressor so he could keep his head during, you know, apocalypses.”
Xander looked a little horrified. “Shit, that’s dangerous.”
“Sometimes he had somebody. Miss Calendar. Then Olivia. But mostly he takes the drug. Especially once Buffy, you know.”
“Damn. We’d have taken care of him. He knows that, right?”
“I think he was looking for somebody more his own age.”
Xander shrugged without agreeing. Typical behavior from an aroused alpha, that was. Smell omega in heat, take omega in heat. It wasn’t that they were stupid, the pheromone people. Giles had always been the smartest human being Willow had ever met. It was just that they stopped thinking when it was on them. Alphas had it worst, really. The saying was “stupid as an alpha in a crowded room,” and that got shortened to “stupid as an alpha” a whole lot. The fact that they got elected President nearly every time didn’t help; they all had beta VPs who were always said to be really the ones running the country. At least that was what betas told each other. What everybody hoped was true.
Xander had hated that part, once he’d gotten over the thrill of knowing he’d get to sire kids. He’d won the genetic lottery. Willow had lost it. There were circumstances in which she might yet win; betas did tip over one way or the other if stuck in circumstances with too many or none of a needed kind. But mostly she probably wasn’t going to.
She missed Oz. Oz hadn’t cared. He’d been happy to be off the merry-go-round, as he put it. It freed him to spend more time on math and computers. They’d started coalescing into a family troop, even, Willow and Oz and Buffy and Xander, with whoever Buffy and Xander were seeing that month. Willow had been waiting for those two to settle with steady omegas, then she might even have said something. Giles might have fit in, if he hadn’t been so reluctant to let Buffy know. And then Oz had been bitten and changed, and he’d been in a worse state than the worst of alphas. And he’d left.
Willow sighed and drank her coffee. She was mostly over him. Mostly. Times like this she missed him, because he’d have known what to do with a simmering Xander and a Giles who’d planned badly.
Xander was muttering, “Hate this shit. Mating. Survival of the species. Socio-biology. Fucking DNA. Need to fuck somebody willing, and there’s nobody.”
“There, there,” Willow said, even though that stung a little. She was fuckable, after all.
“Easy for you to say.”
“You should be calming down now, though, right? You’ve been away from him for a while now.”
Xander breathed in deeply through his nose with his mouth open. “Oh hell. There’s somebody else here.” He sat back in his chair and stared around the room boldly. An alpha responding to the call. “Woman over at the corner table.”
Willow peeked. “Girlfriend with her, arm around her shoulders. Stand down.”
“She should get the fuck out of here before she drives everybody nuts.”
“Xander. Not fair. You’re just on edge because of earlier.”
“Can we get out of here? I know we just got here. We can get this stuff to go, right?”
Out in the open air Xander was better. He breathed in and out steadily, just like they taught them to do. He was now rock-hard in his cargo pants, not that Willow was supposed to notice, which meant he’d had a stronger dose than she’d realized.
“C’mon. Let’s go back to the motel.”
“They’ll be there. It’ll be depressing.”
“We’ll get another room. I’ll take care of you. You know that, right?”
“Will, you don’t have to. I can, you know.” He made an unmistakeable gesture. “I hate making you do this.”
“You’re my bestest bud. It’s what we do.”
“No, really, it’s okay. I’ll get over it.”
Xander’s shoulders relaxed, but she still claimed the car keys back from him. She was glad she had, because he was twitchy and restless the whole drive back. He kept rolling down his window and rolling it up again.
“Wait in the car,” Willow said. She glared at Xander when he looked like he was about to protest and he subsided.
First she went to the motel office and got a second room. Then she went to the room where Buffy and Giles were. She knocked gently. No answer. She pressed her ear against the door; nothing loud enough to make it through. She opened the door with her card and tiptoed inside. The place wasn’t nearly as wrecked as Willow had expected. The contents of Giles’s bag were on the floor between the beds, but nothing was broken. The two of them were in the far bed, under the blankets, Buffy sprawled on top of Giles. They appeared to be asleep.
Willow snagged her bag and Xander’s. There was no way she was letting him sleep near Giles. Giles had been claimed for this heat so he would smell different to Xander, no longer maddening. But the room still smelled like sex. And most likely the heat wasn’t over; they’d wake in a few hours to mate again. And again.
She wrote a quick note explaining things, addressed to Giles, and stuck it on the floor by the door where he would definitely notice it.
Xander was still sulking when she led him to their new room. He went straight into the bathroom and ran the shower. He didn’t come out for a while. Coping with it by himself, then. It was a relief, because Willow so wasn’t in the mood for sex right now. She dug in her bags for the textbook she’d brought in case of quiet moments like this one. Organic chemistry, not an easy class, so she was glad to get some extra study time in. She deep into it when Xander finally emerged, a towel around his waist, his hair wet, but no tension on his face.
He changed into clean clothes right in front of her. Willow blushed and looked away. Alphas. Stupid poopy-head alphas, marching around blithely certain that everybody wanted them and their stupid bodies. Or maybe it was that she just didn’t register sexually: not another alpha to worry about, not an omega to impress. Therefore, ignore. Either way, stupid alphas.
Then Willow felt guilty, because, well, Xander. Xander wasn’t mean or self-centered or anything other than clumsy sometimes.
“Feeling better?” she said.
“Of the muchness.” He flung himself face-down on the bed next to her, so hard her textbook bounced. “What cha readin’?”
“Boring or interesting?”
“That’s my Willow. Brainiac.” He sounded genuinely proud of her, not digging at himself at all. Getting that construction job had been good for his self-esteem. Willow would never, ever say that to him, though.
“This is making me feel stupid sometimes, though.”
“It’s good, though. I’m thinking this might be my major. Maybe. Computers are still interesting too.” Willow read through the next page aware of Xander’s close attention on her. Finally she gave up and closed the textbook. “So,” she said. “What’s bugging you?”
“I’m sorry about earlier.”
“Can I make it up to you?”
“Nothing to make up.”
“You’re a bad liar.”
“No, really. We’ve been friends since we were five. Not going to stop now.”
“Not even when I’m in full on hormone mode. God, it sort of kills me. Giles is omega. I am so going to enjoy fucking him next time.”
Willow rolled her eyes. “Assuming Buffy lets you.”
Xander made a face at her. “You think she’s going to monopolize him?”
“She’s always been possessive of him.”
“When she’s not ignoring him. She ignores him next month, zing! I’m in. She has to let me some day, anyway, if we’re a family troop thing. Rude not to.”
“Assuming we become a troop.”
“We already are. At least–” Xander flushed red. “We’re a troop. Trust me.”
“What? What aren’t you telling me?”
“You know how it works. It’s embarrassing, that’s all.”
That meant Buffy had taken Xander at some point. Probably recently. Probably after first beating him in a fight, a fight that had been hopeless for Xander from the start because who could beat the Slayer? Had they been fighting over somebody? Or just working out who was in charge?
She said, “Love you, but you’re an idiot. You know it, right?”
“She tied me up,” Xander said, all wounded outrage. “And then did it to me all night without letting me, you know.”
“I don’t need to hear this. Putting my fingers in my ears. La la la.”
“Anyway, troop. Buffy’s working her way through us. Me, Giles. You?”
“Not yet.” Buffy had yet to approach Willow sexually. Would Willow say yes? Yeah. Though until recently she’d have guilted herself out about Oz first. Maybe that was why Buffy hadn’t. She was a good friend when she wasn’t too stressed out by Slaying.
“She will. Soon. Now that she did Giles. I was sort of expecting it sooner than it happened, to be honest. After that unification thing it starting feeling even more right.”
Willow chewed on her pencil. As plans went it was decent. They were family already in many of the ways that mattered. The Slaying and the keeping humanity safe jobs tended to make it difficult to bring outsiders into the mess. And she already loved the three of them. But– “We need more. At least another omega so you two aren’t always fighting over Giles.”
Xander sat up, all eager and happy. “Your friend Tara. I know she likes us.”
“She’s kinda shy.”
“She came to me last month.”
“Wait, what? She didn’t tell me. And I thought she–”
“I thought she was with this woman in our wicca group.”
“She said that chick been all into empowering her and groveling apologetically about her own alpha-ness and it had been the worst time ever.” Xander made a gesture of contempt. He had no truck with politics about biology. Assuming he knew they existed, which Willow wasn’t sure he did. “But she liked me and she knew I was good friends with you, so she wanted to know if I would be with her for her next time.”
“You took care of her?”
“You know I did. Didn’t say anything about it, cause, you know, she seemed like she was shy. Like you said. Also no guarantee she’d want to do it again. But I so would. I like her. I gave her my number and tried not to be, you know, too pushy.”
Which could mean anything, coming from an alpha. Though it was Xander, and that meant it had been good-hearted. Come to think of it, Tara had said something nice about him recently, on one of their coffee study dates that were maybe dates, maybe not, Willow wasn’t sure yet. Though she sort of liked this idea. If Tara joined them, if they were getting together as a stable family thing, she could maybe go out with Tara in the for-sure way. In the going to bed way. Willow felt her ears turning pink.
Just then the phone rang, and she went to answer it.
Concluded in part 2.