Prompt: Xander; gen or pairing; post-Chosen, Xander is either injured in the line of duty or catches random tropical virus #298 while in Africa. Giles takes care of him.
Written for Giles hurt/comfort ficathon.
post-Chosen, no comics.
The knocking on the hotel room's doors is too loud, too everything. Xander groans, and mutters his protest, but the knocking repeats, louder, and more frantic.
"Fine, coming," he yells, his voice rasp, his throat tightening. He reluctantly gets up and makes his way towards the doors. After two steps, he stops, and waits for the room to stop spinning, and the darkness to stop flashing into his eye. He shouldn't have stood up so quickly, but then again, when an hour ago he got up to get some water, he'd done it slowly and it didn't help much either.
The knocking speeds up, and now someone's getting impatient, using an open hand, not a fist, hitting in a quick succession.
"Geez, what is this, an Apocalypse?" Xander grumbles, unlocking the doors and opening them wide. He blinks at the person behind them. "Shit. Don't tell me, it is an Apocalypse."
Giles sighs, half-relief and half-annoyance, and really, how does he do the seemingly conflicted halfs? It's an art, Xander thinks. "Why don't you tell me?" he says, and looks at Xander searchingly. "I didn't know what to make of your call," he adds.
Xander shrugs, and turns on his heel, figuring that Giles will follow him inside, which Giles does, closing the doors behind him. "Sorry about that. I must have made that one when the fever was off the scale," he says, then shrugs again. "One of those times anyway."
He sits down on the edge of the bed, and waits for the room to stop spinning. Damn, the whole standing up business? Not what it used to be. He's quite aware Giles is watching him with some concern, and usually, he'd shrug the whole thing off and put up a front. He's good at putting up a front. But, honestly, he really doesn't care about that now.
"So, what bring you to this neck of woods? Neck of desert, or whatever?" he asks, wondering absently how much of a shitty luck can he have. As if the virus wasn't enough, now he'll have an end of the world to deal with, or at least a serious demon crisis. Just figures.
Giles doesn't answer for a moment, and Xander looks up, starting to freak out a bit. A bit more than a bit. "Giles?"
To his surprise, Giles looks sheepish, and then looks away. "I called you about ten times after you called..." he starts and Xander grimaces.
"Yeah, sorry about that," he repeats. "I turned off the phone, the ringing was kind of..." he shakes his head. The diziness is not going away, if anything, it's just warming up. He tries to concentrate and look at Giles, but his eye is extremely uncooperative today, the vision blurry. "Did something happen?" he asks with worry, but Giles shakes his head quickly.
"Nothing. That is, nothing bad," he adds with a smile that Xander hears rather than sees. "Andrew started a comic book club for Slayers," he offers with an eyeroll, and Xander smiles at that.
"Did he start assigning them superhero names as well?" he asks, but can't quite make himself to smile. The throbbing in his temples is back with vengeance, and the room spins even faster, making him nauseous.
He doesn't even notice when Giles makes his way towards him, but there is a cold hand on his forehead that makes him flinch slightly (who has cold hands in Africa? seriously?) and Giles sighs heavily.
"Lay down," Giles says gently, in that soft voice Xander heard him use with Buffy when she was hurt or upset. "When did it start?"
When did what start? Xander leans back against the pillow, and closes his eyes with some relief. He feels the cover being pulled over him, and Giles touches his temples again, brushing away his hair. "The fever? Three days ago. The virus has been going around, it's no biggie."
"Xander," exasperated. That does sound more like Giles talking to him.
"Really. I've seen it in others. Four, five days, and they're back on their feet." Sure, it looked like hell in the process, but it's not like anyone died. So far.
Giles sighs again, and Xander can feel him pulling back. For some reason, he's disappointed. He hears steps, moving away from the bed, and wants to look up, but even the small movement sends his head reeling again. Maybe not a good idea.
Then Giles is back, and the bed shifts as he sits down, his leg touching Xander's side. It feels warm against him, almost too warm, as his burning up, but it also feels... nice.
Must be the fever talking, because he would not think so otherwise. Probably.
"Here, take this," Giles mutters, and Xander feels a gentle pressure of a pill held up to his lips. He opens his mouth, and Giles puts the pill on his tongue, his fingers brushing Xander's lips briefly. Then he presses the rim of a cold glass against them, and Xander drinks the water eagerly, swallowing the medicine. He didn't know he was that thirsty.
"Thanks," he says, pulling back. He makes an effort to open his eye, and look at Giles. His vision is still fuzzy, but Giles' face is close enough for Xander to see the concern there. He fronws confusedly. "So, what brings you here?" he asks quietly, but Giles shakes his head.
"Xander, just rest. We'll talk later."
And as much as it seems that Giles is being avoidy, it sounds like a great idea to Xander.
When he wakes up, it's later. It sounds quite obvious, but it's quite a lot later, as the sun is quite gone, and the piece of sky he sees through the window is darkening. Or lightening up, he's not quite sure yet.
He's also cold. The fever cycle must be on the downside, his skin covered in goosebumps, even under the covers.
He shivers, and shifts on the bed, gathering the will to get up and find the second blanket. It must be somewhere near the bed, he kicked it off earlier... yesterday?
Woah, did he just jump out of his skin or what? "Giles. Don't scare people like that!" He berates himself for forgetting Giles was there. Of course, he wasn't quite sure if that part actually happened or was it a strange dream (not that he had dreamt about Giles much. Or, like, ever. Well. Well, fine, not often.)
"I'm sorry," Giles mutters and leans forward in his chair next to the bed and touches Xander's forehead again. It does feel kind of nice, if you ask Xander. If you ask Xander and he has his defences down enough to actually answet. Which, admittedly, might be now.
He does not have his defences down enough to actually lean into the touch, but it's too damn close for comfort.
"You're cold," Giles mutters, earning the Captain Obvious title back. There were many pretendents throughout the years, but Giles has a natural talent.
"There was a blanket," Xander offers, shifting to look at the floor.
Giles nods and stands up, picking up the blanket from the foot of the bed where he must have folded it while Xander was sleeping. Retentive bastard, and Xander says this with affection.
"Thanks," Xander whispers, as Giles puts the blanket over him. He whispers, because he doesn't trust himself not to bite his tongue if he actually speaks loudly, and not through gritted teeth. Shivering is now in full swing, and his teeth rattle a bit.
"Move," Giles tells him quietly, and Xander opens his eye, looking at him in some confusion.
Giles makes a small, impatient noise, and gently pushes at Xander's side. "You're shivering, and there's no more blankets. So, unless you want to be freezing like this..."
It might be the shock value, but Xander scoots over, making room on the bed. Giles lays down next to him, on the covers, yes, but close enough to touch, and to put his arm over Xander's side.
Xander helds a breath for a moment, then slowly lets it out. "You could get under the covers," he mutters quietly, almost too quietly for Giles to hear him. In fact, he kind of hopes Giles won't. He kind of hopes Giles will, too. "It's better for the body heat, right? Skin..." he starts and stops, but Giles is already moving, pulling both blankets over them and shifting closer to Xander.
It's... Xander can feel Giles' warm breath on his neck as they lie like this in the dark room. It's slowly getting brighter. So, probably morning. Which means it will be bright soon, and Xander will loose all the courage he has now, and he doesn't have much of it now anyway.
He shifts slightly, moving his head a litte. If both his eyes were, well, there, he probably could see Giles' now, but it's good this way, too. Maybe it's better that he doesn't.
"Why are you here?" he asks quietly.
Giles doesn't hesitate this time. Maybe the dark room helps him too, a little. "You called."
"I called before."
"That was Council's business. This... you sounded..." he's searching for words and Xander grimaces.
"Like I needed help?" he asks bitterly, and starts pulling away, but Giles tightens his arm around him and pulls him a little bit closer.
"Like I should be here," he says simply, and Xander frowns. And now he does have to look at Giles, and so he shifts, turning to face him, and they're close enough he can feel Giles' breath on his lips.
"Like you should be here why?" he asks, and watches Giles' tongue dart out to lick at his lips.
"Please," Giles says, and his voice is a little strained. "Can we talk about it later?"
Later it will be bright, and the fever will be gone, and Giles' lips won't be this close. "Giles, tell me," he says, and his voice is louder now, but hoarse and rough, and this time, he doesn't think it's the virus thing. "Or you know, show me," he adds, as Giles' gaze falls down to Xander's lips, and then back up, looking into his eyes.
And then, wonderfully, Giles is leaning in, his lips soft on Xander's, and it grows from hesitant to hungry in a matter of seconds, when Xander parts his lips and invites Giles' tongue in.
The diziness is returning, but this time? It feels fantastic.