Log in

Financial literacy

Looking for websites that have good info on financial literacy for the junior and senior high school level. Any favorites out there?


La Experiment Grande

I just went to the Aldi in Martinsville - for those who don't know and might care, I've moved to very northern North Carolina recently - and decided after loading up on staples and whatnot to see how far these groceries go.  I know it'll be boring to some (all?), but I want to see how free of shopping I can be.

That being said, I have to get 3 more curtain rods and a couple of curtain rod brackets at the Dollar General (and maybe, a Klondike bar so I have memories of what that was like :-]).

My goal is to open a savings account Monday and, after all the bills are paid, put whatever exceeds $500 on the last day of each month will go into the savings account.  At Christmas and Easter, I'm planning to write a check for 10% of that amount to the Lord's Pantry food bank and at Easter donate the next 10% to the Salvation Army food bank.

Details on today's shopping. Of the $90 total, I spent $15.00 on Halloween candy.  It's a new neighborhood, so I don't know how many trick or treaters I will get.  I spent $3.00 on one of those 4 section dispenser of Halloween sprinkles for the little boy who was shopping with his grandma.  She had to keep telling him no, she couldn't buy him the sweets and stuff he wanted: it wasn't in the budget.  That so reminded me of the olden days having to tell my daughter no, it wasn't in the budget.  So, I bought it and gave it to him.  Totally excited the kid.  And it was so easy.  I also bought the baking basics for baking cookies around the holidays.  Because, mmmmm, Christmas cookies.

I have to make lunches for the week after I put my schedule in my phone.  I'm working days, nights and weekends now, but I've also lost fifteen pounds just by moving more on the job.  Just think how much more I'll lose if I quit stopping at fast food and the deli counter at the grocery store.  The bad thing about the grocery stores here are the fact that they sell Utz potato chips.  The kind made with lard.  My one true downfall.  Well, along with Klondike bars.  But the Dollar General sells Klondike bars each.  And the Food Lion by the mall/post office sells Grandma Utz chips in the 35c snack bag.

Plan of action for the rest of the day is to get stuff ready for lunches and easy suppers the rest of the week.  And not to eat more than one Fiber One bar a day because ew!  I have three gallons of tea made for cold tea.  My Devon Connection (tm) keeps me well stocked in decaffeinated English tea.  And it makes lovely iced tea.  Sacrillege, I know, but tasty.  I have fruit juice and apples and some canned fruit.  A freezer full of already portioned meat and frozen veg.  There are also 4 loaves of bread from the bread outlet.  I have some fresh veg and 2 bags o'salad for lunches.  And stuff for stir fry suppers, as well as whole wheat pasta.  Rationing to appropriate proportions will be the trick to making it last a while.

So, I'll try to post as I can.  At least once a week.

Wish me luck!

New Year's Eve!

It's still 2008 in the U.S., eastside and west.

I have made my list of goals for this year.  Last year I missed 3 - by quite a margin.  They are the first three on this year's list.

2009 Goals


  1. Lose 100 pounds
  2. Walk 10 miles at one go.
  3. Write 50,000 word book
  4. Dress up for work 4 days a week
  5. Three trips this year
  6. Learn Welsh
  7. Stay caffeine free
  8. Apply for 4 regional director positions
  9. Save $15,000
  10. Pay cash for my car when the lease runs out

I start number one and seven tomorrow.  Actually, I'll be starting six and three, as well.  Number 2 will be predicated on me getting really good shoe inserts for my bone spurs.  Whatever.

Here's hopin'.

FIC: Sweet Treats

My first ever Torchwood fic - and it's Gen-ish.  Mostly.

Title: Sweet Things © December 25, 2007

Pairing Jack, Ianto, Owen, Tosh, Gwen (with faint Jack/Ianto)

Rating/Warning: Gen with a PG at the end.

Summary:  Special treats at Christmas time.

A/N:  Not Welsh.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  But I do have the internet and use it with impunity.  This story is a gift for switch842 and amiratio in exchange for the gift of jack/ianto icons.  And, kk my alpha and beta. 

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the ideas.




Jack always worried when his team were clustered, heads together, over the conference room table and he hadn't been invited.  It'd been the death of himself at least once. 


He walked up to stand at Tosh's shoulder.  "What's interesting?" he whispered in her ear.  He appreciated the little 'eep' of surprise she gave.


"Don't do that, Jack," came out garbled, her mouth was full.  And she had kind of a guilty look on her face.  Jack grinned down at her before looking around at the others. 


Their mouths were similarly full and in various states of chewing.  On the table was a plate covered in a red paper napkin already sporting dark grease marks that accompany plates of cyflaith. 


Jack's smile surfaced.  "Who made toffee?"


"Don't look at me," Gwen answered.  "That'd be too domestic for my tastes."


Owen, speechless due to an overenthusiastic mouthful, pointed at Ianto. 


Jack turned to his man Friday with a raised brow.  "You make toffee?" 


"Don't be daft, sir," Ianto blustered.  "My gran makes it at Christmas every year."  He paused, that uncertain look that he sported so often recently came onto his face.  "I thought it would be a treat – since it is Christmas Eve."


"It's Christmas Eve?" Jack feigned innocence as he plucked a fat, soft piece of rather rich looking vanilla toffee from the plate.  Examining it closely, he said, "I imagine you want tomorrow off."  His smirk was interrupted when he popped the sweet into his mouth. 


"Well, Ebenezer, I was planning to leave at half eleven," Owen groused now that his mouth was free of sticky.  Jack, whose mouth was engaged, merely nodded his acquiescence. 


Tosh turned her bright eyes toward Jack, as well.  "That would be smashing, Jack.  I could take the 11:55 train to Paddington."


"If you're sure you want to spend all that quality time with your family."  It wasn't polite to talk with his mouthful, but Jack did it anyway.  It earned one of those narrow-eyed stares that Tosh was so good at.  Jack's smile broadened.


Turning to the newest member of the team, he asked, "And you, Gwen? Have to get a nap in before plygain?"


 "God, no," she laughed.  "To be at church at three in the morning fills me with – just no," she finished with a decisive shake of her head.


"But there's singing," Jack said if that'd be reason enough. 


"Yesss," Gwen drew out.  "All the more reason to avoid it."  She paused.  "I don't even know where you'd find one anymore."


"St. Margaret's in Newport.  They've a five a.m. service.  Goes to seven."  Ianto said.  Apparently, he'd gone off after coffee service, placing it on the table by the toffee.


"Tell me you go every year."  Gwen didn't believe anyone still sat in a drafty church before dawn on Christmas day.  Ianto gave her a mild look and handed her a cup of coffee.  "You go every year," she realized after a moment.


"You believe in a God?" Owen asked.


"Really none of your business," he said as he gave the doctor his coffee. 


Tosh just smiled at him as he handed her a steaming cup of tea.  Jack's coffee was met with a smirk as the older man stuck a finger in his mouth to dislodge a stuck piece of toffee.  Ianto couldn't help the upturning of lips.


Jack observed Ianto as he fussed with his own coffee.  "Then you probably wear a leek on St. David's," he mused after a while. 


Ianto turned to him, smiling serenely.  "If I did, I wouldn't wear it on my helmet."


Gwen nearly choked on her coffee. By the blinking Tosh was doing, it was obvious she didn't get the reference. Jack figured she'd be at her computer looking it up momentarily.  Owen wasn't paying attention anymore.  Which was good, since Ianto was blushing bright as beetroot. 


Jack's smile broadened in the face of Ianto's embarrassment.  He was glad that the boy could give 'harassment' as good as he got.  Reaching down for another toffee, he said, "Can hardly wait for St. David's now," before popping it into his mouth.





St. David's reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeks

Scroll to the bottom and you'll find the reference.

Fic: Arriving Home G/X

Arriving Home © October 14, 2007

By Wiley_Nilly (wiley_nilly at yahoo dot com)


(Rated PG – no curse words.  Pre-slash.  Xander comes home from Africa.  With a surprise. Some G-man angst.  Mention of slayage – not the good kind.) 


Thanks to Karen/s for the look through.  Any mistakes are mine.  Apologies to dr. squidlove for the similar title.  My writing is nothing like the good doctor, who is responsible for some of the best fic I've ever read anywhere.  Stuff that stays with you nearly ten years on.  Seriously.




He really liked having Xander home.  Honestly.  Although it wasn't truly Xander's home, more his stopping place.  Xander, think of it, didn't really have a home.  Not anymore.


So, opening the attic room to him was no chore.  Quite honestly, it was a pleasure.  He'd put another rug down, one he'd found in a delightful shop in Notting Hill market.  It was nearly as thread bare as the one it lapped, soft, muted old tones.  Xander said he liked the old one when Giles had mentioned carpeting the bare pine boards. 


He'd bought new flannel linen to go with the old coverlet and featherbed.  The window was newly washed, the wooden blind dusted.  The trunk at the foot of the bed was polished.  The lamp on the bedside table with a fresh bulb.  It was so little to do, but Giles felt it was never enough.  To give Xander now what he probably never had – a safe place to come home to.  The wireless internet stretched even to furthest reaches of the house.


One final look to make sure all was as it should be, Giles switched off the overhead light and headed down the stair.




Giles was not sure how much more annoying Heathrow could grow, but it never ceased in trying to take over its portion of greater London.  It occurred to Giles more than once to send someone after Xander, but usually not until he was trying to navigate his way to the short term car park. 


Xander had been in Africa for five months on this stretch of service.  It was longer than some, but shorter than most.  This trip had been difficult, with Xander out of communication for a good deal of the time.  The last communication was an email forward to Andrew of a flight confirmation with two passengers listed.  Nothing else.


Andrew was preparing a space for a new slayer at the Chiswick Academy, as the main academy located in Devon was full.  Giles wished the flow of girls coming of age would slow, but understood that would only happen if somehow puberty would cease to exist.  Which would only happen if the world would stop turning.


The customs waiting area was crowded with those waiting for arrivals.  It was an eclectic lot - men, women, children; old, young; dark and pale.  Giles made his way to his favorite waiting place to the right of the doors.  Being where Xander didn't have to strain to see him was vitally important to the large picture of "Welcome Home" to Giles way of thinking.




Blinking out of his reverie when the automatic doors began to open with more frequency, Giles stood straighter ready for his first glance of Xander.  He never examined the giddiness he felt at the first site of the lad, just that he was excited.  One didn't moon after staff members.  Nor men never given to relationships of the same sex.  Nor those young enough to be his child.  It just wasn't done.


At last the brown hair was visible bobbing behind a group of habited nuns.  Giles straightened further, stretching for his first full glimpse of Xander.  That's odd.  For a brief moment, Giles couldn't place what was out of place.  Then a frown marred his brow.


There was no young girl walking beside him, instead there was a young boy well under the age of five sitting comfortably on Xander's hip.  A boy as brown as roasted coffee beans, thin as a rail, resting his head on Xander's shoulder.


Xander was looking for him, a weary expression on his face.  Giles shook himself mentally and put a welcoming smile on his own.  Moving forward, he called, "Over here, Xander."


The tired brown eye turned to him and a smile touched his lips.  It was Xander alright.  The Xander that always returned, bowed, but not broken, from the field.  The one that Giles took home to care for, trying always not to seem like he was making a fuss – just wanting Xander to relax and recharge before he went back into the field.


After speaking with the porter pushing the cart beside them, Xander and the boy made their way over.  "G-man, you're a sight for sore eye." 


"As are you, my boy," Giles said, allowing himself to be pulled into an awkward, one-armed hug.  The child's head came up as he pulled away from Giles.  There was no mistaking the fear on the child's face.


"Now, Eli, this is the Mr. Giles I've been telling you about."  The boy looked shyly up at Xander.  "The one that has chocolate biscuits and chocolate milk and other chocolate stuff."


"There's fruit, too," Giles said, in self defense.


"And probably vegetables, but it'll be worth all the pain of nutrition to get to the chocolate," Xander explained to the obviously exhausted child. 


"We'll sort out the chocolate later," Giles said as he slipped a note to the porter and took over the push cart of luggage with a child's booster seat at the top of the heap.  He started moving toward the door, but stopped.  "Do you need to use the toilet?"  After all, the boy was quite small, it made sense that his bladder was as well.


"Nope, we went on the other side of the doors."


"Then shall we go home?"


At last, Giles received a true smile.  "Yeah.  Let's."


Giles frowned a moment as he looked down at the lightly clad child and then out at the moist fall day.  "Does the boy have a sweater?" 


Xander's smile faded.  "Not really.  My hoodie's in my pack." 


Nodding, he retrieved the sweatshirt from Xander's battered rucksack and draped it over the small form, the hood obscuring the still unsure face.




Eli was sleeping on the sofa in the lounge as Xander sat waiting patiently for the kettle to whistle and the tea to steep.  Patiently, with a plate of chocolate biscuits.  Giles could nearly feel the waves of exhaustion flow from his friend. 


"How old is the boy?" Giles said to break the silence.  And, for all intents and purposes, begin the debriefing. 


"Nearest guess is four, but don't know for sure."  Xander toyed with his biscuits, stacking them on top of each other.  "His sister was about thirteen.  She'd just come into her powers maybe three months ago.  'Til I got there, she was dead.  Her parents were dead.  Hell, most of the extended family was dead."  Xander paused.  "Apparently, Allyah, the slayer, fought off some kind of demon.  The people I talked to were fuzzy about what the bad guys looked like.  Rebels with too many eyes and razors instead of guns, you know the drill.  See what you want to see." 


Xander was now intent one breaking the biscuits into quarters.  The kettle went and the tea pot was rinsed and the tea bags were settled in to brew.  Bringing the pot to the table, Giles set it by the already laid milk pitcher and sugar bowl. 


"The village shaman kept Eli at his house until I got there.  Said he found the boy sitting in the middle of the mess, screaming.  There was mention of entrails."  Visibly shuddering, Xander was now making brown dust of his biscuits. 


Moving to the cabinet over the fridge, Giles pulled out a bottle of whiskey.  Measuring a good amount into a tumbler, he put it down in front of Xander.  There was no comment; the amber liquid was disposed of in two swallows without a whimper or cough.  Neither was there comment when the decimated cookies were removed from the table.


"Basically, the shaman said the town wanted the kid out of there.  He was a bad omen, or bad luck.  Something.  As much as I could understand their point of view, they pretty much pissed me off with their attitude.  He's just a kid.  None of this crap was his fault."


Giles sat down at the table with two mugs.  Applying the milk and sugar, he filled both mugs with steaming tea, trying to come up with words of solace.


"He – I can't go back, Giles.  Eli needs me.  I'm all he has in the world."


No, he couldn't.  They couldn't.  Sliding the mug across the table, Giles waited until Xander had grasped the hot china.  "There's always a place for you here."


Xander's eye closed.  Lifting the tea to his lips, he sighed at the smell.  After a small sip, he looked at Giles.  "If we can stay here at least until I can get a job."


Giles frowned.  "But you already have a job."


"I'm not going back to Africa – I can't put Eli through that and I'm not leaving him."  Xander's color was rising.


"Xander, you already work for the council." 


"Is there something for me to do here?"


Sighing, Giles said, "I daresay, there's mountains of things  to do."


"Really?" Xander smiled.  "For someone who never even got to community college."


"Honestly, in this business, practical experience trumps university every time."


Finally, Xander visibly relaxed. 


"And," Giles added, "you certainly need not hurry to find a place of your own.  This house can certainly stand some life in it."


"You can't be serious about that.  Two kids getting hand prints on the wall?"


"I'm sure that's not the worst you can do," Giles pursed his lips as he sat back, mug in hand.  It wasn't even a good imitation of stern and Xander grinned.  It was like the sun rising.


"Well, then," Xander said, mind obviously made up.  "I guess we can see about getting Eli to bed.  I can share with him again tonight, but I have to wean him into his own bed.  We'll have to find a toddler bed for him.  And warm clothes."  He downed his mug of tea much as he had the whiskey.


"And wellies, I suspect."  Giles took the cue from Xander and made short work of his own mug.


"And one of those dopey yellow rain coats with one of those dopey yellow rain hats." 


"A Sou'wester."






Xander pushed away from the table to stand.  "Geek."


Giles stood facing the young man he couldn't help but admire, as well as love.  "Guilty as charged.  Now, let us get young master Eli sorted out.  Tomorrow is soon enough to make plans."


There was no move to leave the kitchen.  In fact, Xander moved toward Giles to envelope him in a great bear hug.  "It's good to be home.  I really, really missed you this time."  For an awkward moment, Giles didn't know how to react, where to put his arms.  At last, he returned the hug, allowing himself to just feel Xander's embrace for what it was:  friendship.


They stood there, under the glare of the kitchen light quite sometime before Xander spoke again.  "Through the whole process.  Getting Eli his visa/passport thingy.  Paying off the officials.  It was never a question of not doing it.  Of leaving him behind.  I always knew it was the right thing to do."  Pushing off Giles' chest, Xander looked carefully at the old man.  "Tried to tell myself, what would Giles say to the officious toady at the British Consulate?  How would Giles handle a condescending flight attendant?"  Xander paused to let the impish smile form, the one Giles was so fond of.  "By the end of the trip, everyone was calling me sir."  The smile got bigger.  "I kinda liked it."


"I'm sure you were a terror."  Giles smiled.


"Pretty much."


It felt marvelous to see the boy like this.  And hold him so close. But it ended with Xander breaking the embrace to wrap a companionable arm around Giles shoulder.   "Let's get the kid up to the third floor and let me get to sleep." 


Xander was home.  Home to stay.  With an unexpected, but not unwelcome extra.  The child was still an unknown quantity – mentally scarred, undernourished – but under Xander's love and protection.  And weren't they all a little damaged by what they'd been through in this life they've led. 


Gently, Xander bent to murmur to the sleeping boy.  Too thin arms went around the older man's neck as the sweatshirt encased boy was lifted into loving arms.  Giles watched as they headed to the steps.  "I'll close up down here and follow you up."


A sense of peace and serenity settled on Giles.  One he hadn't ever expected to feel.  Not really.  But Xander was home. 


To stay.







Summer of Giles Entry

Title:  In Need of Repair
Author:  Wiley_Nilly
Fandom: BtVS
Pairing: G/X
Rating: Adult
Disclaimer:  I own the ideas, nothing else.
Summary: Xander comes back from Africa a little broken.
Notes: Not finished.  Working on it.  There is an implied prior relationship not yet explained.  Thanks to kk, who's always there.


Giles looked at the cigarette Xander had just put in his mouth and a brow went up.  Xander sighed.  "I'll be outside," he said and left. 


Giles watched the boy go, wishing he was still that:  a boy.  The man with the cigarette was still as beautiful as the day he first met him.  So many years ago – a decade ago.


When he was underage, it was easy to deny his attraction to Xander.  Anything under eighteen was too young, by far.  Actually, truth be told, twenty-six was also fairly young.  Now the man was out on the front stoop, like an outcast, smoking his American cigarette.


Rising, he moved to the kitchen and the kettle.  A pot of tea soothed many a savage breast.  Or beast.  Pulling the pot from the shelf over the stove, he set it near the box of tea.  He'd gotten biscuits yesterday, so there would be something to snack on.  But he doubted Xander would be in the mood for cookies, he seemed to be in more of a raw meat mood. 


A deep sigh moved through Giles as he waited for boiled water.  Xander showing up on his door step late this afternoon had been a wonderful surprise.  Never had he expected to open the door to one of the brightest spots of his past. 


The boy was not a boy any longer.  He was well muscled, lean.  Tight jeans fit his hips, falling low on his flat, firm stomach.  The tee shirt was loose, but not baggy like in the past.  It's color a non-descript gray green, but it showed the definition of his chest.  Xander had been doing something strenuous to look like that, to look delectable.


"Good lord," Giles muttered, shaking his head in chagrin.  Fanciful, horny – lonely.  He wondered what god had fated him with his heart's desire.  Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath that might calm him down although that wasn't bloody likely.  But he wasn't going to sigh again.


Placing a tea bag in the bottom of the pot, he poured the boiling water watching the water darken as the leaves' power was released.  The lid went on and the cozy over it.  He poured milk into a small pitcher, he set it beside the sugar bowl on the small tray.  A mug for Xander, a cup and saucer for himself.  Biscuits on a matching plate.  Tea was ready.


Xander had not returned from outside.  Odd.  Giles remembered cigarettes lasting only a few minutes.  Setting the tray down on the table beside his reading chair, he moved to the front door. 


On the top step of his short stoop, Xander sat with a newly lit cigarette between his fingers.  Giles sat down beside him wondering at the mood of the man that showed up at his door this afternoon.


"Think it's gonna rain?" Xander asked.  The question was far too innocuous.




They were quiet another moment before Giles held out his hand for the cigarette.  Xander shrugged and handed it over.  Inhaling deeply, he let the smoke fill his lungs as he had in his youth. 


"It's not weed, G-man; it's just a Marlboro."


"It's ambrosia," Giles admitted around the cigarette as the smoke poured from his nose.  He took another deep drag before handing the cigarette back to Xander.  "I've made tea."


Xander's small smile didn't reach his eyes.  He turned his face from Giles to look down the courtyard past the entrances of the two other homes to the tall gate that secluded them from the street.  "Can I stay a week?"


You can stay forever, Giles thought.  "If you like.  Longer, if necessary."


Nodding, Xander now looked at the dwarf apple tree across the garden by the brick wall.  Giles had the impression that Xander wanted to talk, wanted to say something important, yet the younger man remained silent.


Stubbing the cigarette out beside his first cigarette, Xander picked both the discards up before he stood.  "Hope the tea's still hot."


"I'm sure it will have retained its potability."  Giles stood as well.  Xander moved aside to let Giles lead the way.  Giles took a moment to look at Xander closely.  He placed his fingers on the tan forearm closest to him, causing Xander to look at Giles for a brief moment.  His brown eyes held depths they hadn't in his youth.  He moved out of Giles' touch and into the house.


Xander was on the divan, biscuits in hand, when Giles returned to the lounge.  "Thought I'd let you pour."


"Very generous," Giles couldn't keep the smile from his voice. He poured the mug for Xander adding milk at his nod, frowning when the boy refused the sugar.  He handed him a spoon with the mug to stir the milk in.  "So, you'll be here a week.  Any plans for your stay?"


"Sleeping many hours.  Watching the new Dr. Who.  Buying some clothes.  Oh, and some drinking of ale or stout or some of that lukewarm beer in pubs."


"All of that seems doable – will you need assistance or an escort?"  Giles fussed closely with preparing his own cup of tea.  He didn't want to sound pathetically hopeful, but there it was. 


"Nah, I'm good.  Kinda used to the alone.  The space.  And I know you're busy."


It was very disheartening that Xander wouldn't look at him, wouldn't hold eye contact.  It again felt like there was something Xander was withholding. His quiet worried Giles.  Xander quiet was unsettling to the extreme. 


"Do you have plans for this evening?" After he took a sip of his tea.


"The sleeping many hours.  The trip was long and a little rugged.  Can I use the shower?"  He picked up another biscuit.


"Absolutely, my boy, whatever you need."  Giles set his cup down and stood.  "I've put your bag in the front room.  There are towels on your bed."


"Okay," Xander said and they stood together.  Xander grabbed the rest of the biscuits from the plate causing Giles to frown.  "What? Should I put them back?"  For a moment the old, unsure Xander surfaced.  


"Not at all.  I'm afraid I've been remiss as a host, not offering you something more substantial for your tea."


Another false smile touched his lips.  "Forget it, Giles.  I just need a little something to crumb up the sheets with."  Xander took a deep breath, then looked up into Giles' eyes.  "Thank you for letting me crash here.  It's – it means a lot to me, you know, to have a place to come to, to fall back on."


Giles had to swallow before answering.  The dark eyes that were most compelling.  They held sadness, anger and pain, and yet, a barrier that kept Giles' inquiry unvoiced.  "I will always welcome you, Xander.  Always."


Nodding, Xander moved out of the lounge into the small entry hall and the stairs.  Giles took the tea service to the kitchen for a quick rinse before the shower started upstairs.  He'd probably ready for bed himself.  Didn't matter where he read – upstairs or down.  Somehow reading in bed would help him feel closer to Xander, even if they were separated by two closed doors and a short hall. 


The shower had been off for sometime and yet Xander hadn't emerged from the bath.  Giles stood patiently by, waiting to use the toilet and brush his teeth.  He'd changed into his sleepwear – a white tee shirt and flannel pants.  A little chilly on a damp evening without slippers, but he hoped to be in bed by now. 


Finally, the door opened and steam preceded Xander into the hallway.  Clad only in boxers and a sleeveless vest, the man looked gorgeous.  It was all Giles could do to stifle the small gasp that rose in his throat.  Tanned all over, one or two scars white on darkness.  His vaccine scar prominent on his upper arm.  Xander met his stare levelly. 


"Need to use the loo, brush my teeth," he very nearly stuttered.


"Sorry I took so long, you should have knocked."  Xander looked at him from under dark, damp bangs.


"There was no need."  Giles paused to smile.  "I knew you'd come out eventually."


Xander's face softened, although not completely.  "Okay," he said, stepping aside.  Giles watched him walk into the front room, the tall body dwarfing the small doorway of the ancient house.  There was a limited area where one could fully stand due to the sloping ceiling; the room was tiny.  He heard the duffel bag clunk to the floor as he shut the bathroom door. 


It took only minutes to finish his pre-sleep bath ritual and Giles was back in the hallway, facing Xander, who leaned against the wall.


"Was there something else you needed?" he said, blinking rapidly.


Xander nodded, pushing off the wall.  Now Giles was allowed to look into Xander's eyes and there was no mistaking their message of arousal.  The look was so strong, he very nearly stepped back.  But then Xander might misinterpret the move.  That Giles might not be willing.  He was quite willing.  Quite.


There was no way he would have the strength to stop this.  He'd waited too long, missed it too much.  His hand came up to the hem of Xander's thin undershirt and slid his fingers onto the hot, taut skin of his belly, brushing the fabric away and moving higher.  The skin was so very warm and his fingers needed the contact.


So, apparently, did Xander.  The strong hands that grasped his waist and pulled him forward into contact with his own hips.  "Do you want this?  Because I want this," he whispered into Giles' jaw before moving his lips in for a slow, lush kiss.  Giles whimpered into the lips and tongue, knowing that this was the thing missing from his life.


It took monumental strength to push away from the mouth that was as hungry as his.  They stared at each other for long moments; Xander asking, Giles nodding.  He grasped Xander's hand, feeling the rough skin under his somewhat softer fingers, and led him toward his bed. 


Not for a moment did Giles forget that he'd passed the half century mark – and that this man with him now was half his age.  But they'd been through much since their acquaintance was made so long ago.  He pushed their differences and the reasons why revisiting this lust was not a good idea aside, if only for a few moments.


His tee shirt was quickly over his head and on the floor.  His flannel pants were pooled at his feet.  With the confidence of arousal, he watched Xander strip.  The tan line was quite small.  Giles' eyes widened considerably when taking in that detail.  He raised his eyes to the flat stomach and defined chest, taking in the dusting of hair.  One word stuck in his brain as he let his eyes settle on Xander's face.




This time a tiny smile reached Xander's eyes.  "Hyperbolic crap," he whispered as he pushed at Giles' shoulders, backing him onto the bed.  They were down on it together in the space of a breath.  There was comfort in the pressure that weighed him down, and he welcomed it.  The mouth nuzzling at his neck sent electricity right to his erection.  Talented lips worked their way across his jaw to his mouth.  Another sweet, full kiss followed.  Giles let the mouth work its way into his own, opening his to welcome the questing tongue, meeting the thrusts with parries of his own. 


Grasping Xander's arms, Giles reversed their positions to enjoy kissing from another angle.  It was short lived, however, as Giles found himself once more on his back and a rather assertive lover began a pleasurable assault.  Tongue on nipple, nose nuzzling armpit – the sensations were intense, his need tremendous.  "Good lord," Giles gasped, arching into the pressure Xander's cock applied to his own.


That brought a breathy chuckle from his partner.  "Too tired to do the full fuck tonight.  How 'bout just some friction, G-man?"


"Sounds delightful," he muttered, rubbing up against a hipbone.  Xander met every thrust, seeming to climb higher with each rub of dick on dick.  Sweat formed along his forehead and dripped from Xander's chin.  The younger man's grunts filled his ear, calling to him.  He answered with groans from deep within him as the rhythm built to crescendo. 


Xander raised his head to meet Giles' eyes again.  "Are you ready?" he murmured. 


"I am," Giles said, simply.  He hooked a leg around Xander's lower body, securing the man as close to him as possible without actual penetration.  The sound of heavy breathing, creaking bedstead and an occasional obscene curse filled the air of the larger bedroom of the small London townhouse. 


It wouldn't be much longer, Giles thought as he clutched at the fine, flat bum cheek of the man on top of him.  Thumbs eased between the split, brushing the anus and sending Xander lunging into Giles' groin.  "Christ," he groaned as his balls seized and released.  Convulsing with his orgasm, he felt Xander tense and gasp.  The spill of their heated seed mingled, smearing as Xander continued to push against his hip.


Finally, the rubbing stopped and Xander stilled.  Wiping his sweating face on the pillow on which Giles rested his head, the smile was gone

from his face.  This deflated any sense of euphoria Giles might have experienced.  Somehow, Xander needed something more than this act – an act that, until this moment, had meant so very much to Giles. 


As the boy tried to pull away, Giles held on tighter, one hand on his arse, one in his hair.  His leg was still wrapped around Xander's.  The lad was going no where. 


"We're not done," Giles whispered through the damp hair.




"No.  We're going to pull the bed clothes up, turn out the lamp and you're staying here with me."


"You make it sound pretty simple."  The words were said into Giles' chest.


"It is."


"Except – "


"No exceptions." Giles was going to be stern about this. 


"Okay, but this stuff is drying quick and we need to mop it up with something."


"Grab your underpants," Giles allowed, but rolled with Xander, hands never leaving contact.  He watched the younger man's face as he wiped the residue from both of their bodies.  The weariness nearly spoke as he concentrated on wiping any trace of their recent frottage.  Silently Giles took the damp cloth from Xander and brought it to his face, inhaling.  After a moment, he touched a wet spot with his tongue.


Xander's nose wrinkled.  "That might be erotic if it weren't just so darn gross."


"Just curious," Giles smiled at Xander's smile. 


"Next time maybe you can take it from the source."


Giles brow rose as he passed the filthy shorts to Xander to deposit back on the floor. Next time?  When Xander looked back at him, the young man couldn't hold his gaze for long.  Suppressing one of the sighs he promised himself he wouldn't express, he pulled Xander back into his arms.  He'd expected reluctance, a little more of a fight, but he came easily, settling within his embrace. 


In a few moments, Xander was asleep with his head on Giles' shoulder.  It would not be a comfortable position for long, but he would persevere.  If Xander had come from who knows where to lay his head on Giles' shoulder, he would risk impairment to let him lie there.  His free hand grasped the firmly muscled arm loosely, as if afraid Xander would escape. 


Jostling lightly until he could rest his lips on the dark head of hair, Giles gave in to a small, sweet sigh.  Xander was troubled, that was obvious.  That he needed something in the way of affection was also quite plain.  Giles was certain that eventually the boy would tell him, but that didn't make the wait any less painful. 


He glanced at his watch.  Seven-thirty at night.  Too early to turn in really – he wouldn't sleep for hours.  Still and all, lying there with his heart's desire sleeping in his arms was better than he could have ever hoped for at any time over the last long while.  He'd cherish the moment as fully as he can, even as his arm began to tingle from lack of circulation.  The bloody thing could fall off for all that he would give up Xander's sleeping form.






The sunlight crept through the panes of the casement window, causing Giles to give up sleep.  Xander had moved away from him during the night, but their hips still touched.  It was very nice, having Xander in his bed.  Moving gingerly, he left the bed to begin the day.


It was quite late in the morning when he heard Xander moving around above.  The air in the water pipes sang as the shower went on.  Giles moved to the counter.  Kettle first, then the toaster.  The electricity could only take one at a time and tea was important.


Because it kept his nerves from completely fraying.  Kept the real fear he had that rejection was coming.  Giles understood ports in the storm.  He understood the need for release. 


He just wished he could overcome the reticence that erected the wall between the two.  Rinsing the pot with the hot water, he added tea and poured.  He set two mugs up this time before he pulled the milk from the fridge with the marmalade and black currant jam.  It was so damned frustrating – not wanting to crowd Xander with a full breakfast, but hoping he wouldn't be considered stingy for just offering tea and toast.


Enough, he thought quite brutally.  While the tea steeped, he sat at the table with pad and pen to write up a grocery list.  More biscuits, certainly.  Sausages.  Salsa.  Avocados.  Having Xander in the house was good enough reason to approximate Mexi-Cali foods.  He might like it.  More soap, toilet tissues.  Snack foods.


The object of the grocery list lurched into the kitchen and plopped into a chair.  "You have coffee?" he asked.


"Only tea, I'm afraid. But quite strong."


"Bring it on," Xander said, propping his head on his hand. 


Giles did as he was bid, pushing the leaver on the toaster as he did so. 


"I'm going to get the bus up to High St. and charge my way into some new clothes," Xander said to the mug that was placed in front of him.  He grasped it with both hands and stared down into the milky contents.  "Do you think you might want to meet for a late lunch or early supper?"


"I would like that," Giles said. "Jam or marmelaide?"


"For supper?"  Xander looked up at him looking bewildered.


"For toast," Giles said mildly. 


"Jam," he said.  "Please."


They ate their toast in silence for a few moments.  "Dr. Who is on at seven tonight," Giles said quietly. 


Xander nodded as he shoved his toast into his mouth.  He washed it down with his tea.  "You have a slicker or something I can borrow, 'cause I'm thinking rain."


"Of course, take whatever you need from the rack by the door."


Once again, Xander nodded at the mug still in his hands.  Giles simply sat and waited in silence. 


Finally, his patience was rewarded.  "I'm not going back to Africa."


"As you wish."


"It – it was hard there.  Miserable.  Lonely.  Filthy.  Hot. Unfriendly."


Giles remained silent.


"So," Xander continued, "I'm taking a sabbatical.  For awhile. Maybe a forever while."  When he looked up from his tea, the angry, hard look was back on his face.  He was daring Giles to disagree, which made him frown.


"You've earned it," is what he said. 


Xander looked at him, his mouth a grim line.  "Don't expect much from me."


Narrowing his eyes, Giles tried segue through the non sequitor. "I don't know how to respond to that."


"I'm burned out, Giles.  Down to ashes."  He sat back in his chair, anger still simmering.  "There's not a lot of there here."


Giles nodded, not really understanding.  "The sabbatical?"


"The sex."


"Oh.  I see."


"Nah, I don't think so.  I want it.  I need it.  But there's not a lot of emotion I can wrap up in it right now."


"Understood," Giles said.  "We'll meet for tea at three this afternoon.  How about Triffid's off High Church Road?"


Xander nodded remembering.  "But, there's no beer there."


"I'll have some in for Dr. Who watching."


Nodding again, Xander pushed from the table.  "See you at three, then."


Giles picked up his pen and continued to add to the shop list wondering if he'd just made a bargain.  If he did, he had very little idea what the terms were.




To Come.