by LindaMarie

Xander wears a collar for him. It's a tightly-woven rope of brown leather; it is entirely unremarkable, at first glance, not unlike the man who gave it to him. When Xander first met Giles, he thought he was just an old man who smelled like dust. When people see the collar, they think it's just a necklace.

But it's not just a necklace, and Giles isn't a stuffy old man. Xander is owned, and Giles is the owner.

Giles tied it around his throat with tender, steady hands, and Xander, kneeling, stayed very, very still. "Mine," Giles demanded of him, and all the tight control in Giles' voice made Xander shiver. "Yours," he answered, but it was more like a plea than a promise.

Out of his tweed and glasses Giles is all golden, smoth-skinned with calloused palms, soft hair and subtle gestures. Xander pulls on his leathers for him, feeling more naked in these clothes than without anything at all. Sometimes Giles clips a lead to that thin strong collar and parades him through their small flat. Sometimes he tugs on it, while he's riding Xander with a terrible, steady pace, while Xander cries out and tries not to squirm. Sometimes he simply kisses it, when they're tired and peaceful and Xander has his arms around him, kneading the muscles in his back.

When people look at them they see a Watcher and his one-eyed assistant, nothing more. When Xander looks at Giles he sees his lover, and wonders what Giles sees looking back. Sometimes he forgets he's even wearing the collar.

But later, Giles always makes him remember.


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