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dark_will: Where We Go From Here

Ripper nodded when Fred told him she was all right - the soreness was inevitable given what they had just done and her preveious experience. "It will," he told her before leaning down and kissing her.

Realizing that he needed to get rid of the condom, he reluctantly pulled himself out of her and pulled it off. He then reached over for some tissue from the box next to the bed, using it to wipe himself off.

As he did, she asked what they would do next, obviously uncertain and worried, and he found himself wanting to gather her into his arms and hold her tight. He wondered how the boy she had been with that one time had treated her. Or was she uncertain because of who he was? The way she was looking away, he realized that had to be it. She wasn't sure what he expected of her.

"Fred," he said, thowing the tissue away in the bin next to the bed and crooking his finger under her chin, making sure she continued to look at him. "I already told you that you could stay until this was sorted. And now..." Slowly, he ran his hand down her neck over her chest to the mark he had made on her. "I'm not going to kick my girl out of my bed. I want you to stay."

Nudging her gently to lie on her side, he wrapped his arms around her, his hand gently cupping her breasts, one thumb rubbing idly over a nipple. He didn't know if she would want to stay once they got this problem with the police and university storted, but he rather hoped she did. He couldn't explain why he felt this way - perhaps because he had been alone so long, hiding behind a name that wasn't his, bestowed on him by a man he could barely stand anymore.

"Rupert," he suddenly said softly. "My name. It's Rupert Giles, but I haven't used it in twenty years. You're the first one I've told it to in that long. And I meant what I said. I'd very much like you to stay. Whatever we do next."


He hadn't intended to end up here.

Of course, intentions meant nothing in the grand scheme of things, not when they didn't stop what happened in the end.

He had been at the lowest point in his life in twenty-five years - thrown over by Council for caring too much, pushed aside by those he cared about. They were getting on with life while he had felt like he was standing still. No job, no purpose. He had been drifting, uncertain.

Then Ethan had shown up, invited him out for a drink, and Giles had agreed despite their last few run ins. One drink had turned to two, which had turned to quite a few. Before he had realized what was happening, he and Ethan had been in the middle of a bar brawl with several demons, magic spells flashing every which way. Afterwards, he had been buzzing in ways he hadn't experienced in twenty-five years, and he had wanted nothing more than for that high to continue.

The next morning, he had woken up with Ethan in his bed, his arm flung over the other man's bare torso. When he remembered what had happened the previous night, he had tried to pull away, tried to remind himself that this was a slippery slope - if he let himself be pulled in again, he'd never come up.

Then Ethan had drawn him back, reminding him of the rush of spellcasting. By the end of the day, Giles had started to turn his back on so many of the lessons the coven had taught him in Devon. By the end of the week, after spending several nights at the local magic den, re-experiencing old spells and learning new ones, he didn't care that he had, even when Buffy found him and asked him what was going on. He had been on his way to the den with Ethan and had shut his former Slayer out. What did it matter? He was no longer responsible for her, the Council had made that clear, and she was certainly not responsible for him.

When the others had started calling and showing up, he knew that he had to get out there. Away from Sunnydale and the interminable meddling of the Scoobies. Away from the stifling remnants of the life that he had tried to convince himself was what he needed to be.

This...this was who he was.

So he and Ethan had headed for Los Angeles, where they had found the best magic den in the city, a place to play both with magic and with sex. That had been two weeks ago.

Now, sitting in a private alcove, the music pulsing through him, intentions didn't matter a jot as he watched as Ethan played with a young woman out on the floor. With a dark smile, he concentrated, a small ball of fire forming in his hand. He blew on it, watching as it floated into the air, above the dancing spellcasters, hitting an energy ball someone else had let go and exploding in a rainbow of colors. Smiling in satisfaction, Giles closed his eyes and leaned back a little, letting the power in the den wash over him.
"You never needed to thank me, love," Giles told his wife with a smile as he stood up and walked across the room to join her. "The gift of our son was thanks enough. I was just glad I could be there to help you. I was so worried that I wouldn't be there at all, much less to see his birth."

He gave her a kiss then pulled back and smiled when Wesley called him "Da". Reaching up his hooked his little finger around his son's small one. Then he looked over at Fred and chuckled at her father-son comment. "And he looks just like you when he's sleeping," he told her as they headed upstairs. "Yes, I have watched you when you sleep."

When they entered the room, Giles stood back, letting Fred introduce Wesley to the small baby in Willow's arms. He had to laugh at the way his eleven-month-old son was already quite the flirt. He didn't blame Oz for his paternal instincts kicking in. He had a feeling Wesley was going to be quite the handful when he got older, especially if his own teenage years were anything to go by.

"You may need two sticks," Giles told Oz as he stepped forward and sat down on the bed. He looked down at the baby, seeing the shock of red hair peaking out from underneath the blanket. Of course, she couldn't have been anything but a redhead, given her parentage. "She's beautiful, Willow."

He looked up at the young woman he had watched grow from a gawky, uncertain, shy teenager into the beautiful young adult before him and smiled. Willow was a mother. A mother and a self-assured witch who had come so far.

"You've done so well," he told her softly, reaching out and touching Willow's cheek briefly. "I'm so proud of you."

"Thank you." Willow looked down at her daughter for a moment, and Giles could tell that she was remembering the other Tara, the one who had meant so much to her. "I wouldn't be here if it hadn't been for you, you know."

Giles smiled softly before looking over at his wife. "Neither would I."

cold_affection: Vampire Rules

Leaving Fred to take care of moving the bodies and the bags to the back of the hotel, Giles went out to his car and drove it to the alley around back. Fred had just brought the first body out, so he opened the boot and picked it up, dumping it in rather unceremoniously, grinning when he saw that his car had enough room in the back. The second body soon joined the first, and he shut the boot while Fred returned with the bags, which she put on the backseat.

"Marvelous idea, love," he told her when she said she had picked up a few books. He was sure that they would come in handy. Perhaps during their training, he could teach Fred a few spells as well that might come in handy in dealing with Slayers and others.

He had been about to draw her into his arms when they both noticed the vampire. He knew that both of them were rather new vampires, as was apparently this one, but both of them knew far more than he was sure this newbie could ever hope to learn.

"They really are scraping the barrel these days, aren't they?" he responded to Fred.

Just then the vampire went after Fred, managing only by luck to get a hold on her. The stupid newbie actually thought that he was attacking humans. Taking advantage of the surprise that crossed his face when Fred changed into her vamp face, Giles changed into face as well and grabbed the young vampire, whirling him around to slam him against the wall of the hotel.

"I see that your Sire hasn't taught you the etiquette of dealing with other vampires. So here's rule number one - you don't touch my Sire. Rule number two - you don't touch my girl. You just broke both." He knocked him against the bricks as the vampire tried to stammer an apology. "I'm afraid it's a bit too late, and you won't be learning any of the other rules."

He glanced over his shoulder. "Fred, my love, since he dared to touch you, do you want to dust him? Or would you like me to?"

cold_affection: Awakening

This is who you are, Rupert. Don't you understand?

His mother standing in front of him, telling him that proper British boys, especially boys from families like theirs, didn't talk back to their nannies or get into scuffles in the schoolyard. Her face full of frustration as she lamented about what the others would think. She never said who the others were.

This is who we are, son. It's what's expected, don't you see?

His father telling him that the monsters he used to check under his bed for really did exist and he was expected to learn to fight them and to train girls to do it too. His lips pressed in a line as his son said he didn't want to do it. He never said he had a choice.

This is what you're meant to be, Ripper. Can't you feel the power?

Ethan smirking after they had tried another spell, this one more darker and dangerous than the last, filling both of them with ecstacy that came only with the use of magic. His hand trailing over him as both of them wanted to keep that high for longer. He never said what he really wanted, though.

This is what I need you to be, Giles. Don't you know that by now?

Buffy sitting in front of him, pleading with him to be her Watcher again after everything that's happen. Her eyes staring down at her hands as she waited for his answer. She never said thank you but he knew anyway.

That is what she made of you, Rupert. Don't you see - she's set you free?

Fred holding her hand out to him, beckoning him to come to her, promising him forever. Her yellow eyes flashing as she sunk her fanges into his skin, pain blossoming with pleasure, clarity coming without a soul.

The demon in him roared awake as his eyes opened on a new beginning. Fred sat beside him, holding his hand. So many possibilities now. So many things they could do. He looked at her, his mouth curling into a smile.

"You said you wanted forever?" he asked in a low voice.

cold_affection: Needed by a friend

Pushing his glasses up his face as he walked into the living room in Buffy's home, Giles reached up and massaged the back of his neck with a sigh. He wasn't sure that damn stone was going to work on Spike anymore than Buffy was, but he knew they needed to give it more time. Spike was a danger so long as whatever trigger the First had planted in him was still active.

With a sigh, he looked up to see Willow hanging up the phone, her eyes large as though someone had just told her some very bad news. "Willow? Is something wrong?"

"That--that was Fred. They're...Angelus..." She swallowed and stared at him, the look in her eyes telling him that he was obviously the last person she wanted to tell. "Angelus is back. I don't know how, but he is. Fred says he's killed Wesley, Faith and Charles, and she's down there by herself, and she doesn't know what to do. I need to go."

"You're not going alone!" Giles told her. His chest tigtened at the thought of poor Fred down there by herself. He had gotten to know her quite well when he had gone down to Los Angeles after Buffy's death a year and a half before and stayed with her while Angel took off for parts unknown to "deal with" his grief. He couldn't let her become another victim of that bloody vampire.

"But Buffy has her hands full here! There's no way she can--."

"No. I'm going with you. And we'll take one of the potentials with us." He looked into the kitchen to see who was there. "Amanda, may I speak to you for a moment?"

"Hey, what's up?" she asked, coming into the living room.

"We have an emergency in Los Angeles. The vampire Angelus is back, and we need to go down there to help a friend before she becomes his next victim. You're one of the most advanced of the potentials, so we could use your help."

Amanda's eyes widened. "Of--of course."

"We'll get some weapons together while Willow gets what she needs to take with her." He looked at Willow. "Are you going to try to re-ensoul him again?" He wasn't sure what he felt about the idea, especially after everything that had happened, but he also knew that Buffy would probably never forgive them if they didn't try.

"We have to try," she said, echoing his thoughts before running upstairs to her bedroom to get her things together.

Giles and Amanda quickly kitted themselves out, grabbing crossbows, stakes and swords from the chest. They took everything out to the car and loaded it up, finishing just as Willow hurried out, her bag slung over her shoulder.

"You driving?" she asked.

He nodded, sliding into the drivers seat as Willow climbed into the passenger seat and Amanda got into the back. Soon they were on the road to Los Angeles, and on the way there, they filled in Amanda on Angelus' background. Giles found himself gripping the wheel until his knuckles were almost white, trying not to think of finding Fred the same way he had found Jenny. Part of him just wanted to stake Angelus the next time he saw him, re-ensouling be damned.

When they reached Los Angeles, he navigated them through the streets to the Hyperion and parked in front on the street. Once he and Amanda grabbed their weapons, he handed some stakes to Willow, and the three of them headed into the hotel.

"Fred?" Giles called out as they walked into the eeriely quiet lobby. "Fred, it's Rupert Giles. I've come with Willow to help you. Are you here?"

Is this how you use this thing?

Well...I got on to find a code waiting for me, so I've set up my journal. Possibly will turn to this more than my guitar? I don't know. I suppose I'll see.

Shall write more when I think of what to write.



Rupert Giles

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September 2006