He wants to know why. Graham has always put this distance between them. A distance that never breaks no matter how hard he pushes. It was always in his eyes, and mostly in the way he moves around Xander. As if he's furniture. It feels cold. But he wonders if this was just how relationships work between men. He puts off trying to find the answers, until he can't stand it any longer.
He asks Riley about his friend's behavior. The ex-commando just shrugs and says he's shy like that, it was hard to know him. He asks Buffy. She tosses her hair, gives him a commiserating shake of her head, mutters a few sentences about men and insensitivity, and goes back to training.Walking out of the training room he tries to fight back a headache.Willow and Tara are with Giles in London so he doesn't want to trouble them while they're entrenched in study.
Confused and a little hurt he withdraws even farther from his lover to the point where they become almost twins, mirroring each other in bed. No one makes a move. He realizes for the first time that he has always had to take what he wants. He's tired of taking.
Graham's eyes are blue, his hair is brown, and his voice is deep. He likes football, soccer, and running. He loves…he wants…who is he kidding? He isn't going to bully his mind into being that simple.
"Graham, you like sausage right? No, a grunt is not an answer. Sausage or not?"
His lover shakes his head and goes back to reading his paper. Xander throws the sausage back into the fridge, hiding the offending meat behind the orange juice.
"There's a new construction project coming up, it's a real big deal. They're talking about allocating more resources to building this new mall and there are all these specialty parts that need to be shipped in. We'll be on site for a while, so I'll be leaving and I probably won't be back."
That said he grabs his orange juice and downs the whole glass, making a point to check the bottom. He hears a rustling sound and footsteps.Tilting his head up to look the taller man in the eye, he puts the glass down carefully. Closing the distance between them Graham flings a hand towards his face. He snaps his head back in shock. But he's not fast enough, the punch connects, sending his head into the cupboard behind him.
"Oh…"he says his mind reeling from the blow. Graham cups his injured cheek gently. Kisses his brow where the hair meets his forehead.
"Don't say things like that. You can't leave. You know why."
That was a lie he doesn't know why. So he asks,"Why?"
"Because I love you," he says it so easily standing there holding him, as if some fucked up shit just hadn't gone down a second before. He feels his cheek to make sure it actually happened.
Placate the crazy person. He turns around and rinses out his glass making sure to put it into its right place in the cupboard. Ignoring the dent in the wood, the shaking of his hands.
While Graham makes passionless love to his body that night, thankfully only involving heavy petting, Xander formulates a plan. At it's early stages it involves steel toed shoes and a meat grinder, but it morphes slowly into something more complicated. Like running away. Leaving the state. Taking his used body with him, and a scrap of his former dignity.
Buffy stops by the next day. It was Saturday, they both had the weekend off. Xander looks at his friend, looks at the bruises on her wrists and neck. Says nothing. Thinks of saying something, then thinks better of it. One of the bruises looks suspiciously like a love bite. She doesn't ask about his cheek, he wouldn't have told the truth anyway. When she leaves, he goes to the bathroom and throws up his lunch.
It wasn't all that surprising to him that Graham knew what he was thinking even before he took his first pair of socks from the drawer. The suitcase must have been the clincher. Exploding into the room his lover shut the drawer on Xander's fingers, trapping him there. He wrenches it open, sending socks soaring through the air, littering the floor of their bedroom. He wants to laugh at the sock carnage, he wants to laugh at himself, but Graham has him in a chokehold now. It takes about a minute for him to completely black out.
He wakes up on his back on their bed. Graham is asleep beside him. He breaths out and in, just to see what the extent of the damage is. It hurt like a bitch, but he knows from past demonic experience it would be all right if he didn't overexert it in the vocal department. Graham wakes a little, latches onto his arm, dragging him into a lazy kiss. Xander doesn't know the person responding to this man's touch, doesn't want to know him.
Graham's eyes are blue, his hair is brown, and his voice is deep. He likes football, soccer, and running. He keeps a gun under the bed. Xander wonders if he should just let things keep happening to him, stops wondering when Graham pushes him down, covering him with his body. It was a stretch but the headboard was right there. He felt himself being flipped over, and scoots up the bed before his lover is completely on him again. Pushing his hand down, he feels around, until his hand hits against something cold and metal. Stopping to appreciate the fact that this is the first time in weeks that his lover has expressed any interest in fucking him, he closes his hand around the gun. Twisting his upper body, his hand bears the gun up and into Graham's temple. He crumbles on top of him. Xander pushes him off with disgust.
His lover's tied up body rests against the hard surface of a grave. After making sure the ropes will hold him if he wakes, Xander slaps the unconscious man on the back hard. It was a gesture Graham was fond of inflicting upon him when they first started dating. Xander only waits around long enough to see the first vampire take tentative steps toward the bound man. Fingering the new bruises on his neck, the young man begins whistling tunelessly, letting his unhurried steps take him farther and farther from the sounds of a vampire's frenzied feeding.