A LA CARTE ~ HORS DE OEUVRES
The restaurant was empty of any other patrons as Rupert Giles sank into the chair. He'd come here specifically for privacy. His life was getting too crowded, too complicated. Two watchers, two slayers, too many Slayerettes and far too much stress.
A warm hand came to rest on his shoulder. "It must rankle."
Sighing, Giles picked up his menu. "What do you want Ethan?"
Ethan smiled and circled around him, his hand trailing across his back, before sitting down across from him. "It must rankle to have your…pet taken away. Given to someone with less training, less experience, less fortitude than you?"
"Go away, Ethan."
"So I've decided, in an effort to let you know how much you're appreciated, I'm going to buy you dinner."
"Go. Away. Ethan."
"I'm not going to go away, Ripper." He laughed briefly. "So you may as well just accept it. It's a free meal."
"You never do anything for free."
"Well, but you see, this time is different. Because the way I see it, you are at a crossroads right now. You can do one of two things. You could be a good little Watcher, do exactly as they expect, try to get back in their good graces and generally be a boring prick." Ethan leaned forward, resting his chin on his hand. "Or, the other option, and this one is my personal favorite, is you let loose a little. Get in touch with the wild side, the Ripper inside you as it were. You have…such potential, Rupert." He reached out and touched his hand. "I saw that potential years ago. And I'd like to see it again."
His voice was mocking. "My…potential?"
"Well, could be a word for it." Ethan's voice was cajoling.
"I'm not in the mood for your games, Ethan."
"But, you see, games are fun, Rupert. And I'm afraid you just haven't had any fun. You've been so content to be a lap dog. So…so…insistent on doing the right thing. God, I hate it when you do the right thing." He sighed in annoyance. "You were *Ripper*. You were the best of us. God, you had such power. That power is your passion." His voice dropped to a husky whisper. "I want that passion again, Rupert. To use, to feel. I want you to use it, you to feel it and stop being so afraid of the man inside you. Stop being a Watcher. Be a man."
"Ethan, you don't want anything for me. You want it for you."
"No, no, no. No. You're wrong. You think you have me all figured out because of some little things that happened."
"Little things?" Giles asked incredulously.
"Rupert," Ethan sighed. "I want you to be happy. I don't think you're going about it the right way, I'll admit that openly, but I think that perhaps if you loosened up a little things could go a lot…smoother. And I think your adjustment into the real world, should it be required, would be far more…easy? I suppose, for lack of a better word." He leaned back in his chair. "What are you going to do if they won't take you back? Think about it."
Giles looked down at his menu, trying desperately to avoid Ethan's penetrating gaze.
Sensing his advantage, Ethan leaned forward and picked up a menu. "So now, what shall we have for dinner?"
"I'm not hungry."
"Don't be petulant. Let me explain this to you. I'm buying you dinner, so you're going to eat dinner if I have tie you up and feed it to you. Which I am more than willing to do, should the need arise. So again, you have a choice."
"Fine." Giles raised his hands to catch the waiter's attention and ordered. Ethan did the same, a small smile of satisfaction on his face.
"Come on Rupert, no talk of Watchers, Slayers or vampires. No talk of the past or magic or anything else. We used to have a lot in common."
"Yes," he sighed. "All of the things we're not supposed to talk about."
"No. We use to have a lot in common. Books, music, women. Lots of things."
"I don't know that that's exactly what we should be discussing."
"All right, books it is. Come on. Surely you've read something interesting that I might have read? Black's Chronicles?"
"I'm trying Rupert. You could do the same. I haven't had a good dinner with a good friend in a long time."
"Do you have friends?" Giles raised an eyebrow in surprise.
Ethan narrowed his eyes. "Well, you see, that would be my point. You're the closest thing I have to one, so you have to cut me some slack here." He picked up his glass of wine. "I am buying."
"All right." Giles picked up his own glass. "Against my better judgement."
"Rupert, everything that has to do with me is against your better judgement. That's why it's so much fun."
Giles poured the last of the second wine bottle into his glass with a sigh. He hated to admit it, but he'd actually been enjoying the evening. Ethan had been true to his word and it had been very much like old times.
"Another soldier lost in battle." Ethan reached for the bottle, his hand brushing against Giles'. He smiled. "So, are you ready for dessert?" He set the bottle aside and waved for the waiter. As the cart rolled to a stop, he opened another bottle. "See anything you like?"
Giles licked his lips as he looked over the assortment. "Cheesecake, I think."
"I'll go American. Apple pie, ala mode."
Giles smiled as he dipped his fork into the creamy dessert. "That's French."
"So's the Statue of Liberty."
Giles shrugged and continued eating; ignoring the searing looks Ethan was giving him. He waited until Ethan turned back to his dessert before picking up his wine glass, now conveniently refilled, and looking at his host. Ethan was captivating.
Taking his last bite, Ethan set the fork down. "Well, it's late. You should get home. School tomorrow."
"Actually, it's a day off. And Wesley is training both girls."
"A day off, Rupert? Whatever will you do with yourself?"
"I don't really know."
"Well then." Ethan handed the bill and his credit card to the waiter. "Perhaps I can help. An old acquaintance of mine is stopping in town. He's a collector of arcane books. I'm meeting him at the local magic shop. Perhaps he has some things you're interested in?" Signing the slip set in front of him, he took his card and stood. "Its very work related, so you won't feel like you're doing something fun or unproductive. I'm sure you'll be pouring over manuals and horribly boring prophecies. What do you say?"
"Ah! Look at that. Hardly an argument." Ethan led the way out of the restaurant, holding on to Giles' arm as he stumbled. "Tsk, Rupert, you've not been practicing. Forgotten how to hold your liquor?"
"I can hold my liquor just fine, Ethan."
"Really? Then why are you stumbling through the parking lot?"
"Perhaps I just wanted to lean against you."
"Well, that opens up a myriad of possibilities, doesn't it?"
"Oh yes, I'm…I'm thinking it does." He leaned Giles against the car. "Do you need a ride home, Rupert?"
"I think I might."
"I thought you could hold your liquor."
"I think I'm wrong."
"Do you think you could hold something else?" Ethan moved forward, closing the gap between them easily. "Though if you can't hold your liquor, how would you manage to hold something else?"
"I'll just have to practice." Their eyes met in the dim light.
Ethan reached up and stroked his hair back from his temple. "I think you're drunk Rupert."
"I'm many things, Ethan."
Shaking his head, Ethan helped him into the car. Catching the seat belt, he leaned over and snapped the clasp shut. "That should keep you safe." He pulled back, his hand casually brushing against the front of Giles' slacks.
"Safe?" He asked, grasping Ethan's hand and holding it to his groin. "I'm not sure if that's the right word where you're concerned."
"It never was."
Ethan sank into the chair and lay back, lounging much like a cat. Giles slipped off his jacket and vest. He looked over at the other man before taking the tie from his neck. "You look like the cat who ate the canary."
"Actually, just wondering if you ever wear anything less than four layers of clothes."
Giles smiled hungrily and shrugged the suspenders off his shoulders. "I like to build the anticipation when I have to take them off."
"Well, perhaps I underestimate you, Rupert."
"You always underestimate me, Ethan."
"Do I? Then why is it, I'm here in your house? Hmm?" Ethan kicked off his shoes as Giles did the same.
"Perhaps it's exactly where I wanted you. Did you ever think of that?" Sitting on the arm of Ethan's chair, he rested his hand on his neck. "Perhaps I decided that I wanted you here, so I played the reluctant one, knowing you would feel compelled to coerce me."
"Well, that would be an interesting situation, wouldn't it?" He lifted his hand to Giles' thigh. "Is that what you did, Rupert?"
"No. Some things are very impossible. As well as highly improbable. And I think that you actually bringing me here of my own free will, without some master plan, is one of those things. So what is your plan, Rupert?"
"Don't you like to be surprised?"
"I do." He whispered. "Normally. But not where you're concerned. Not when Ripper's still about."
The reply was just as quiet. "I thought you liked Ripper."
"I like Ripper very much." Ethan moved so that he was on his knees in the chair, making sure neither his nor Giles' hand fell away. "Especially when he's inches away and I can see his pulse pounding in his throat. And I can sense exactly how aroused he is, sitting beside me with the most intriguing smile on his face."
Giles turned slightly so that he could meet his eyes. "So what do you say, Ethan? Do you want to continue this little game of pretend? Shall we pretend the last twenty years haven't happened? Pretend that horrible things haven't come about because of you, because of me?"
"I think I prefer pretending to the reality of it, if that answers your question."
"I'm not sure Ethan. Does this?" Giles tightened his hold at the back of his neck and brought his mouth down to meet Ethan's. Responding to the warm pressure, Ethan parted his lips and ran his tongue along the seam of Giles' mouth.
Rupert moved away, catching Ethan's hand and pulling him along with him. They made their way up the stairs. Leading Ethan to the bedroom, he chuckled self-consciously.
"My hands are trembling."
"So are mine." Ethan admitted. Something had changed here. He was no longer in control, no longer had the upper hand. Ripper, very obviously, knew what he was doing. Rupert took his tie out of his pocket and wrapped it around Ethan's wrists. Tying him to the headboard, he helped him lay down on the comforter. "Well, Rupert, I see you haven't forgotten the games I like to play."
"Oh no, Ethan. You made sure I learned those lessons well. Hard to forget." Rupert sat next to his prone body, his hands slowly unbuttoning the dark blue silk shirt Ethan was wearing. With both hands, he smoothed the silk from his chest, running his thumbs over Ethan's erect nipples.
With aching slowness, he ran his fingers down Ethan's sides to the waistband of his pants. His eyes glazed with desire, he unfastened the slacks and slid them down. With a satisfied smile, he leaned over and slipped Ethan's cock into his mouth.
"Oh Gods, Ripper." The muscles of Ethan's thighs tightened and he caught his breath with difficulty. He stared in fascination as the dark head bobbed slowly, his hand and mouth moving in rhythm. Ethan strained against the silk tie, wishing desperately that he could touch him. It had been so long. "You really have remembered…" he gasped for breath, "the lessons I taught you…"
Giles pulled away, his hand still moving on Ethan's rigid cock. Turning to smile at the other man, he nodded. "You were a good teacher."
"And…you…a…very…thorough…student." Ethan's body shuddered as he reached his climax. Collapsing back against the pillows, he struggled to catch his breath. "Now *that's* the Ripper I remember."
Giles smiled sleepily, the wine beginning to effect him as he came down from the erotic tension of the night. He changed positions so that he was lying next to Ethan, his hand resting lightly on his thigh. "Night," he mumbled.
"Ripper, you can't…" he stopped when he realized the other man was already out. He pulled on the tie and cursed. Looks like he was going to be sleeping like this.
A soft groan woke Ethan as the first rays of sunrise filled the room. He turned his head to see Giles absently rubbing his eyes. "Hello, lover."
His hand dropped to his side. "Christ."
"You can call me Ethan."
He groaned again.
"I told you that you couldn't hold your liquor." With a soft grunt, he pulled on his restraint. "I don't suppose you could untie me? Not that I'm not thrilled to be your captive, but…"
Without a word, Rupert quickly untied him, watching absently as Ethan rotated his shoulders, trying to get the kinks out of them. "Are you all right?"
"Hmmm. So, it's a new day, new perspective. No wine, no witnesses. You may fully tell me to get the hell out, or you can hold up your end of the deal and go shopping."
Giles thought for a moment. "If I don't go, how exactly will you take out your revenge?"
Ethan smiled. "You know the funniest thing, Ripper. You hang around with three very, very attractive young women and one very attractive older one. And I think, perhaps, you'd be very upset should anything happen to one of them. Or I could take advantage of one of the nice young men you hang around with, see if they're as easily corrupted as you were."
"I was not easily corrupted."
"Ripper, please." Ethan laughed in delight. Giles stood, catching his eye. He raised an eyebrow at the obvious sign of arousal. "You know, I could always return the favor. Be more than happy to. I'd actually intended on you being the recipient last night instead of me. You looked like you could use it."
"Ethan, there's no way in hell I would have let you tie me up."
"I don't have to tie you up."
Giles bit the inside of his lip, considering the option.
Ethan reached a hand out to rub him through his slacks. "Come on, Ripper. I know it's…hard in the light of day, but surely you can…doesn't the need ever get to be too much? The desires ever get to be too much? Looking at all those young, nubile bodies, late at night, all alone. Wanting nothing more than to slide inside them?" His hand undid the zipper and pulled his erection free. Rubbing him with smooth, even strokes, Ethan smiled. "Your new Slayer. She looks rather hot, probably would know exactly what to do with you. Get on top of you and take you inside her and give you a wild ride. Or perhaps your heart still belongs to Buffy? She'd take good care of you, wouldn't she? I imagine she'd give you a nice fucking as well, wrap her legs around you tight. Buffy would let you thrust into her so deeply she couldn't help but scream. She rake her nails down your back to get you to cum inside her."
Giles closed his eyes and grabbed the headboard for support. His body trembled on the verge of orgasm, but he knew he wouldn't get release until Ethan was ready for him to.
"But my guess is the little witch. You like her I think best of all. A little magic to keep things going. Do you remember when we used to cast and the hours in we spent in bed working off the effects. She'd be a gentle lover, wouldn't she? Something to ease your soul. A virgin too. It would be nice to corrupt someone, wouldn't it?" His voice dropped to a whisper and Rupert's head fell forward so that he could hear the soft words. "Wouldn't it be heaven to initiate her? Show her the way to do it right? Show her how to do it the way you like it?" He breathed on the swollen head. "You want it all, don't you Ripper?"
Giles swallowed hard as his orgasm ripped through him. Ethan slipped a hand around his legs to help support him, his other still stroking the throbbing flesh. Spent, Giles stumbled to the bed and fell back.
Ethan lay next to him. "Are you all right?"
"I know I'm not exactly company, but might I use the shower? I'm afraid you left me in a state of disarray last night."
Giles laughed at the strangeness of it all. "Down the hall on the left. Towels are on the shelves. Leave me some hot water."
"You could shower with me."
"Don't press your luck."
Ethan walked back into the bedroom, towel slung low on his hips. "Have anything that's not tweed?"
"Christ." He watched Giles walk to the bathroom in amazement. He'd shed all of his clothes and was nude, strolling casually down the hall. Perhaps he was losing his touch. By now, Ripper should be cringing in a corner being berated for what he'd done. He opened the closet door and rummaged through. "He's got to have something that's not tweed."
Giles reentered the room, his body still damp from the shower. He burst into laughter as he saw Ethan on the bed. "What in the hell are you wearing?"
"It was in your drawer, Ripper. You tell me."
Giles looked over the black teddy, thigh high stockings and garter belt. To top it all off, he was wearing a frilly maid's apron. "You look ridiculous."
"You never struck me as a cross-dresser, Ripper. Besides, they're a little tight. How do you fit into them?"
"They were…the night of the band candy, Joyce and I shoplifted them. She stuffed them down my pants when we ran into Buffy. I hid them inside my jacket and…" he started laughing again. "Please take them off."
Ethan pouted. "You don't think I'm pretty?" He asked before breaking into a grin.
"Take them off, Ethan."
"I always love it when you say that."
Giles moved to the closet and pulled a box from the top shelf. Opening it, he tossed a pair of blue jeans to Ethan before slipping a pair of black ones on. "Aren't we supposed to meet this acquaintance of yours?"
"Why aren't you afraid of me, any more?" All the teasing was gone from Ethan's voice. He sounded seriously confused.
"Ripper's not a secret anymore. I have friends who watch out for me now, with no thought to what it would get them. They don't mind if he comes out every once in a while." Giles pulled an oxford shirt off the hanger and slipped it on. "I'm not afraid of you anymore, Ethan, simply because I'm not afraid of me."
"Bloody hell." He sank back onto the bed. "I never thought you'd get it."
Giles sat next to him and smiled. "It took some time."
Looking down at his hands, Ethan evaluated what it might all mean. Finally he met Giles' eyes. "Hello, Rupert."
"Hello, old friend."
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