An Autumn Evening
SUMMARY: Sequel to Mid-Summer Night, Xander leaves to train as a Watcher. Giles is depressed. Willow discovers him in a drug-induced stupor.
The only one he could ever talk to was dead and buried. He had returned to work after the funeral. Xander had mourned and matured. Giles found a kindred spirit in the lad, they had both loved Chloe and often in the weeks after her death would spend evenings together discussing Watcher lore, Xander drained Giles of information about what it was like to be a Watcher eventually convincing him that he would make an excellent investigator.
Xander was a bunch of questions in a body and Giles was the opposite with answers. At the end of the evening Giles closed the door on Xander's retreating back and fled to Chloe's room and the vial she left behind. The day came when it was empty and Giles went out on a hunt for more.
Angel and Buffy organised a Wake for Chloe a few weeks after the funeral. Giles was guest of honour, he arrived late and de-tweeded. He smiled at them all and attached himself firmly to Willow's side. She didn't mind his attention one bit! He shared childhood stories with the gang and seemed to be in good form, almost out-quipping Xander at times. Buffy went to the bar with Angel to re-fill everyone's drinks, she looked back at Giles.
"He looks well, doesn't he, Angel? I have my old Watcher back." Angel stared at Giles and filled his lungs briefly, he knew it was an act.
"Not for long..."he muttered. The book in his breast pocket quaked fearfully at the Watcher-Slayers destructive path. Angel lay his hand gently on the infants back soothing it. "We'll help him darlin'"
Xander was leaving to train in London to be a Watcher it was Chloe's last wish and his fervent hope to be a Watcher who would make Giles proud. The gang was there at the airport to see him off. Giles hugged him and wished him well. Xander paced backwards, burning them all into his memory, especially Giles.
"I'll return by Thanksgiving, in full Tweed," he joked.
He carefully arranged the flowers on Chloe's grave. The red roses were from Xander, deposited earlier in the day by special messenger. It was kind of him to think of Chloe whilst in the middle of his final exams as a Trainee Watcher. Xander's letters were full of jokes and snipes at his professors and Giles spirits lifted whenever a new letter arrived.
He smiled sadly down at the grave. Chloe hadn't had Polio as a child So the excuse his father had used to have her educated solely by Watchers was a lie. His father knew all along just how special Chloe was. She was the Watcher-Slayer, a hybrid sworn to silence during the hours of darkness and a play of normality during the day.
Chloe had killed her first vampire when she was eleven. At thirty Whilst she showed the first signs of the cancer that was to kill her she was sent to the Orient by the Council to a temple that proved to be a vampire 'Hot Spot'. Chloe walked into and active Hellmouth. The vampires couldn't believe their luck! Not only an English woman to feast on but a Slayer! She was held captive and tortured for three years, during that time she had three human babies. Their father turned them and one fateful night they were let out to feed...
Chloe staked her own children and every undead thing in the temple.
He sighed and gathered the plastic wrappings from the flowers. He plucked one rose from Xander's bunch and placed it on Jenny's grave. Chloe wouldn't mind sharing, then he walked slowly away.
Giles was depressed. He was going out tonight. If Willow were here, she would talk him out of it. But they hadn't parted on the best of terms. Towards the end of the summer term they argued on a daily basis. She trying her best to get him to talk about his feelings and he doing his damnedest to push her away.
God! He needed her now! What he did tonight would answer all his prayers and make his problems disappear. He made sure he had plenty of cash and glanced in the mirror before leaving, he didn't look like a Watcher. He looked hungry and oblivious to his responsibilities. He wanted to be... Ripper.
It was early in the morning when he staggered into his sitting room. He dropped his coat and kicked off his shoes, stretched his arms over his head and kicked his door shut. He let his arms drop to his sides. He felt good. Nice and warm. He grinned suddenly Ethan might describe him as 'well fucked.' He sank down into his sofa and dozed for a while.
The next night was a repeat of the first, he went to the Bronze and partied till dawn, the crowd at that time of day had just one thing on their mind, getting high and remaining so, Ripper eagerly joined in. Slowly and surely Giles slipped away and Ripper's lust for pleasure and thrills surfaced, but he was no longer in his twenties and soon it stopped being a pleasure and became a necessity. Ripper abandoned his post, leaving Giles to deal with his addiction.
Giles got ready to go out quickly. His movements were jerky and he sniffed constantly. He'd left it too long this time. Cash? Yes. Enough? Perhaps... He left in a hurry.
He was back inside an hour walking calmly round his flat looking for something to sell. He collected all the items he could and put them in a holdall. He looked through his possessions again.
A silver photo frame with picture. He turned it over and shut his eyes on the memories. He opened the back with numb fingers and took out the photographs, laying them face down on the bed. He picked up an earring from the dresser and put it down again. He couldn't sell that! He surveyed the room one last time and left, closing the door behind him.
He knew he had to stop soon, but his body had other ideas, he craved the oblivion the drugs gave him. His mind could only function in drug induced calm. There were so many demons and plots that he fancied it was a personal vendetta! His sister was dead and now they were coming after him! Where the hell is the vein? He strained to see in the dim light of his room. There...home! He sucked in a tortured breath, in his imagination cards were filed, books were shelved and his desk was clear, for another day. Not so long ago it would have lasted a week, he stowed his kit and tumbled into his bed in dreamless sleep.
His bed was a comfortable mess. Ethan would love it. Ethan would have loved it. His friend had become terribly proper in the last twenty years, not quite so reckless. Nothing less than silk sheets and maid service would do for Ethan now. Maiden service! He laughed and slowly reached over to his nightstand. Time for more. Someone came in downstairs. He hesitated then finished tying the tourniquet. If he was quick he could be done before they came in.
"Giles..." That was Willow. The needle slid easily into his vein and gasped at the relief rush. "Giles, the place is a tip..." She's coming up the stairs. The drug took him away as she opened the door. Willow came into the room. He sniffed her perfume and turned languidly to face her. He smiled gently and reached out a hand to stroke her arm. She pulled away staring in horror at the state of his room, his fingers dropped from her arm and the tourniquet slipped to the floor.
She stepped back from the bed. "Oh, Giles! What have you done?"
His eyes closed in sleep. He was conscious of her drifting about the room picking up clothes and shaking them. He heard his kettle whistle then much, much later a vacuum being used.
The noise was deafening after all the weeks of quiet. He sat up completely awake and in a foul mood. He got out of bed too quickly and waited while his head caught up. He wrapped his robe round him and ventured downstairs. He reached round Willow and switched the cleaner off.
"Why do you have to make such an infernal racket, woman?" They regarded each other in silence. She turned the cleaner back on and carried on with her vacuuming. He went into the kitchen and sighed.
"You've washed up. I had a system going you know. I was growing fond of the mould in this cup! It was the only friend I had!" He was shouting over the noise when she suddenly turned the cleaner off and started to wind the flex round the handle to put it away.
"You have friends, Giles. Not many would like to see you in the state I saw you in earlier. When did you last eat? You look ill." Willow was trying very hard not to scream at him, rage at him. How dare he endanger his life! Didn't he know that she cared about him?
She watched him as he watched her. There was something about him now. A dangerous sort of something. He turned toward the sink and stared out of the window.
"Go Willow. Leave me be." He felt her arms link round his chest and he took a deep breath.
"No. I won't leave you. You need help Giles."
He thought desperately, how can I get her to go? She couldn't want me now, surely? He twisted round in her grasp, the robe opening, and pulled her to him. Kissing her, he slipped her arm from round him and softly kissed up her arm from her wrist to the crook of her elbow.
"Mmmm, Willow, you have such soft skin." He glanced up at her, his eyes a vibrant green.
"C'mon, Willow, come upstairs and I'll make you feel... wonderful!" He took her by the hand and she followed willingly. In his now tidy room she halted, feeling awkward and shy. He smiled gently at her and reached for her arm taking it in a vice-like grip. He opened the drawer of the nightstand.
He gazed at the soft skin and grinned wickedly. "Soon have this looking like mine..." He bared his forearm for her to see. Her eyes widened in panic and she struggled to free herself, screamed and fled. Giles sank to the floor and couldn't stop his tears. She wouldn't come near now. He had frightened her too much.
Willow was crying onto the vampire's shoulder. It had taken her an hour to tell him all that had happened.
Angel's expression was hard to define but it had murderous intent in there somewhere. The prophecy volume squirmed against his body, it knew another WatcherSlayer was near. He marched to Giles' house broke in and found him passed out on the stairs.
Angel sipped blood from his bowl as his captive awoke. He'd bathed and clothed him and put him in chains. Very long chains. Giles jerked awake and looked round startled. He was here again. The mansion, the place where his nightmares lived. He couldn't remember how he got there.
"Hello, Rupert. Welcome to my home. Relax, you're safe here." He smiled, showing his fangs, as he paced slowly round the man on the floor. "You upset Willow, y'know. I don't like my friends being upset."
"W...what are you going to do to m..me?" Giles stammered and shivered. The effect of the drugs he'd taken, ebbing away.
Angel stopped pacing and crouched down to look into his eyes. "Absolutely nothing. You're going to do it to yourself this time, Giles."
He watched over Rupert as he got steadily worse, he paced at the beginning raging at Angel for taking him from his home and pleaded to be set free. Rupert didn't sleep, Angel didn't sleep, and he was getting hungry! If needs be he could last up to two weeks without blood. He gazed at Rupert—pints of warm blood pulsing through his body. Angel felt his vampiric ridges erupt and he fled to the silent blackness of the courtyard. He found two rats and a stray cat. It would do.
Willow was with Buffy. She winced as Buffy took her frustrations out on a hapless and helpless newborn vampire. Angel attracted Willow's attention and she followed him into the shadows.
"About Giles, Willow I've got him." He paused as she reacted. "But I don't cook and he'll need to eat. Could you cook for him and leave it outside?" she nodded.
"The Watchers are frantic. He's not sent any reports in months. They say that if the reports don't start soon they'll send an investigator..." She looked at him anxiously.
"Fake 'em. Send fake reports, Willow. They won't know it's you. If you want him to have a life after this..." He was lost for the word. "Cock-up. Just do it, Willow. Got to go... She's coming." Angel melted into the shadows.
"Who were you talking to, Willow?" Buffy asked.
"Angel..." Keep it simple. Breathe-- lie. "He was entertaining and asked me to cook for him." Good. Almost the truth.
He didn't expect the attack. Giles broke a chair over his head as soon as he got in the door. Angel staggered out of the way as a shard of wood whipped through the air towards his chest.
Giles' strength was born of desperation. Angel kicked at the stake and it skittered away. He held Giles by the throat, his face vamping. The body beneath him was shuddering with pain and the need to stop that pain at any cost. Angel smiled and bared his fangs; the vein throbbed under his fingers.
"I've not eaten in a week, Rupert... Feeling lucky?" He licked the flesh tasting fear and the acrid taint of God knew how many drugs and threw the body from him. He picked up the bag containing his food and popped it into the fridge. He glanced back at Giles. He had landed awkwardly with his back slammed against a stone pillar. He didn't move until the next night.
Angel was sitting on his sofa reading and murmuring to his book when a noise made him look in Giles' direction. He was standing up.
"I'm hungry..." Angel looked him up and down. God, Giles was a mess! When he didn't get an answer, Giles shouted.
"You've g.got to f.feed m.me..." In a sudden rush he lunged at Angel. The chain stopped Giles' momentum. He fell on the floor and brought his hands to his injured ankle. He was weeping with the pain.
"Please... L.let m.me g.go..." Angel stooped down to him.
Rupert hung his head tears filled his eyes."I scared poor Willow to death! I didn't mean to, God, what must they think of me?"
As Angel regarded Rupert his book warmed and sighed though only he heard or knew its ways, Rupert was getting better. What could he tell him? That no-one save he and Willow knew where he was? That the Council had been trying to track him down? No. All that would send Rupert spiralling down again. He opted for silence. Giles looked at him with realisation dawning in his eyes.
"You're helping m.me?" Angel nodded. He helped him up and unlocked the chain on his ankle. The doorbell rang. "There's your food... No attacking me when I come back, now..."
Willow held the basket of food for him; she ticked off the items on the shopping list, whispering to him all the time. Which ones were his favourites, how much sugar he had in his tea and was he all right? Angel staggered under the weight of food and information she had imparted.
"Willow, he'll be well. With both of us helping, how can he not be? I'll give him your love." He whispered as well and she blushed and departed.
"Willow sends her love... Giles!" He dropped the basket on the floor. Giles had collapsed by the sofa. Angel checked for a pulse and reached into the basket. He'd seen some orange juice there. Ripping open the carton he hoped his friend would be able to swallow. Giles swallowed, some of the juice spilling down his chin as he finished it. He gasped for breath and sat up a little unsteadily. Angel sat beside him and thanked every God in existence. He didn't fancy his chances at Willow's fair hands if Giles died.
"Look, she's made you a casserole. Let's see if I can heat it without burning it." He left Giles on the sofa while he went to his kitchen.
Angel cut his hand and dripped some of his blood into the meal and stirred it. He was fairly sure that his blood would protect the new Watcher-Slayer from vampire attack. At least that's what it said in his prophecy book. Giles was the new Watcher-Slayer. Angel had seen the brands when he'd bathed Giles. He put the casserole into the microwave and set it to full power.
"Ready!" He called. Giles ate like one possessed. When he had finished and digested his first meal, Angel suggested a training session. Giles gave him an odd look.
"You're going to train me?" he said incredulously. Angel nodded.
"Yeah, you fight like an old Watcher. I'm going to train you to fight like an old Vampire." Rupert smiled. A challenge at last! He was beginning to live again.
Angel attacked and Giles parried slowly, all his muscles seemed to have seized up. By daybreak he was exhausted and ready for his bed. He dragged his feet past the kitchen. What was that fantastic smell? Angel smiled as the librarian gulped down the tea.
"Thank God for Willow!" He wrapped his hands lovingly round his second mug and shuffled off to his bed.
Two months had passed and Giles had regained the weight he'd lost, partly due to the delicious meals Willow provided, but mostly because of the rigorous training schedule Angel insisted on. He had become accustomed to keeping vampire hours. It was easier all round except in bed. Quite often he would wake freezing because Angel tended to hog the blankets.
Angel picked up the food as usual, Willow waited nearby for news. She always came as soon as the sun was off the front of the house. That meant she had enough time to get home before dark.
"I've sent in eight reports so far, Angel. They haven't questioned anything so I think I'm getting away with it." She still whispered as if whispering made being deceptive less deceptive. "Buffy is getting anxious. She's searching everywhere for him. How's he doing?"
Angel glanced back at Rupert. He was standing on the other side of the door. He opened the door wide and motioned Giles forward. He hesitated then stepped into the semi-shade of the doorway.
Willow gasped when she saw him; he looked good enough to eat. She took a step towards the door and he did the same. They met at the threshold and embraced. She melted into his arms and lifted her face to gaze into his eyes. They seemed to have a touch of gold in them now.
Giles brought Willow into the hall and Angel smiled at them both.
"I'll make myself scarce then..." He wasn't surprised by their lack of response.
Giles guided her into the living area and chose a CD of soft music to dance to. Willow was in her seventh heaven of bliss. Her Giles was back. She searched his eyes for any sign of drugs and found them clear. She parted from him and held him at arm's length.
"I'm clean, Willow, you don't have to look." He kept his voice gentle not wanting to spoil the moment. She was in his arms again her hands clasped round his neck, pulling his head down for a kiss. Her lips were soft and opened to his invading tongue. He kissed her softly at first, feeling the insistent throb in his loins. He began to thrust his hips against hers as they danced.
Willow had almost stopped moving; concentrating on the sensations his tongue was giving her. Her spine tingled and her pussy ached with lust. She tried to capture his erection with movements of her own but never quite managed to do so.
Giles slid his hands down her back to cup her bottom and ruched up her dress. He lathed his tongue over her lips in broad strokes while he massaged her bottom inside her panties. Willow was gasping now. She reached between them to undo the button on Giles' jeans. His tongue stopped and he took a sharp breath. Willow drew his zipper down carefully so as not to hurt him. He wasn't wearing anything under his jeans. Giles grasped the material of her panties and ripped them from her body. He closed his eyes and swallowed hard as Willow's slender hands encircled his cock. She began to stroke up and down, feeling it's weight and girth, imagining how good it would feel to be filled by him. His hips jerked as she held his balls in one hand and pistoned her fist up and down. He opened his eyes and groaned with lust.
"Willow...Luv? You've got to stop. I must have you now!"
She stopped her hands where they were and he nearly tipped forward. She smiled at him. He took a calming breath and unbuttoned her dress; she let it slip off her shoulders. Her beauty took his breath away. Instinctively he lifted his hands to her breasts and kneaded the soft flesh. Her nipples became hard pink pebbles as he sucked each one in turn. Willow moaned his name as she felt her arousal heighten, climbing towards orgasm. He gently bit her nipples, sucking them hard, then fiercer still. Her knees gave way as the first wave of her orgasm hit and she slumped forward onto his body panting. He smiled triumphantly and picked her up and carried her to the bedroom.
He lay her down and took off his jeans. He opened a door in a wall of cupboards and pulled out a fur throw. He unfolded it, put it on the bed and moved Willow onto the black silky fur. She automatically started to writhe sensually on its softness. Giles gazed at her, gently stroking himself. Seeing her move like that was really turning him on. He needed to taste her. Willow looked at him from the bed with pure animal lust in her eyes. He eased himself along the fur, his eyes focused on his goal. He licked up her creamy thighs until he encountered her honey pot. There he lingered, fingering her and lapping her juices until he had her coming again. He pushed two fingers into her and waggled them, coating them with her nectar. He brought his fingers to her lips and as she took them into her mouth he impaled her. Her eyes opened wide. She looked so wonderfully, sexy sucking her juices off his fingers as he pounded into her pussy. She was so very tight and hot and slick and it had been so very long since he'd done this! She was licking at his fingers, biting them every now and then, and coating them with saliva.
Giles groaned and pulled out of her. She cried in frustration, trying to get him back in.
"Turn over" He whispered huskily, with a demonic gleam in his eyes. She flipped over onto her stomach, moaning as her nipples were crushed into and caressed by the fur. Giles grabbed her hips and raised her bottom. He positioned himself and ploughed into her, sighing deeply. Willow squealed with lust and jerked back to get deeper penetration.
Giles slapped her behind playfully, warming her skin. Every time he slapped her, her pussy would tighten, hugging his cock. It was a glorious feeling. Willow's breathing was coarse. She had all but worn out her voice with her lust filled screams. He parted the cheeks of her bottom with one hand and tentatively tickled her anus. She bucked wildly. He reached forward, offering her his hand. She covered his index finger with her mouth until it dripped with her saliva. He brought the hand back and smoothly inserted his finger into her back passage. Willow went wild! He held her with one powerful arm round her waist as she bucked and screamed beneath him. His finger kept pace with his cock. He was near to his own climax now. Each new moan from Willow brought him nearer.
He needed to make her come again. He slowly withdrew his finger and his cock. He flipped her over and brought her toward him. Her face was lust personified and he knew that neither she nor he would forget this night. He lifted her on to his cock and let her find her own rhythm. He enfolded her in his arms and closed his eyes, concentrating on the sensations. She was slowing down, near exhaustion. He lay her down on her back and lay atop her. He played with her nipples once more. She arched her back and when he caught them in his teeth, she crossed her legs over his back to lock him there. His thrusts became more frenzied and urgent and suddenly they were there. Finally together! She screamed out her orgasm and he exploded after her, shooting his boiling seed into her love tunnel. With the final soft tugs of his orgasm Giles kissed Willow softly, engaging her tongue in a merry dance. She had her eyes closed, breathing heavily. He gazed down at her, moving a damp tendril of hair gently from her face. She smiled at last when she had breath.
"You're pleased to see me then?" She asked breathlessly. He laughed and the movement was transferred to Willow. "You're not supposed to be able to speak after." Her eyes were closed in sleep. He gathered the throw round them, gave her one last kiss and fell asleep himself.
Angel came in around 4am and noticed the trail of clothes. He peeked into the bedroom and smiled. He looked back at the sofa in the living room. "Beggars can't be choosers", he thought.
Giles looked round the darkened hall and found he could see quite well, even without his glasses. He slipped his jeans and sweatshirt on. Someone was outside. He went to investigate. Creeping along the stone wall, he listened, stopping when he heard voices.
"He's not here. He can't be here. Angel would have told you." He smiled to himself. Willow was getting quite good at lying but only in a whisper.
"I feel another vampire inside Willow. Do you think Angel's turned someone? Maybe Giles?" Willow gasped. "Angel wouldn't, he's good. Not even if he were starving!"
"OK, OK, lets do another sweep. I was just curious." The voices drifted off.
Angel looked at Giles curiously from the door. What was he doing over there? He took a step into the hall and Giles was by his side in an instant.
"What have you done to me? I just heard a whisper through a stone wall." He pointed to the far wall. "That's not normal! Buffy sensed another vampire in here...." Giles was distraught. His eyes changed subtly as Angel looked at them, glinting yellow. Maybe he'd gone too far. Time for the truth.
"I've been adding my blood to your food." Angel walked to the kitchen with his bag of food; Giles trailing behind him like a puppy. "It will make you undetectable to vampires. Well, that's the theory... " His book placed a hand on his un-beating heart and he took the slim volume from his breast pocket. He looked lovingly at the binding and swept his fingertips over the smooth forehead of his adopted child. He sighed.
"Why do I need that talent, pray tell?" Giles asked acidly.
"Because you're the Watcher-Slayer." Angel studied him closely as that piece of information sunk in.
"H... how do you know?" Giles asked. He looked pale.
"The brands. And this book," he handed the precious volume to the Watcher and bit his lip anxiously as Giles handled it. "Carefully please Rupert, it is sentient..." Giles gave Angel a shocked look and carefully opened the pages, the book was still and quiet.
"What was the last thing that Chloe said to you?" He could see the other man working on that one.
"She said she needed me to take over. Then I felt the burning start and I don't remember after that." He closed his eyes, reliving the moment. "Why has it taken so long?"
Angel shrugged. "I don't know. All I know is I didn't have to turn you. I'd have to bite you for that. There's an exchange of blood y'know..." He laughed, and then suddenly stopped.
"What...?" asked Giles warily. He closed the book and handed it back to Angel.
"What...What?" Giles was getting anxious.
"The Snyder prank, Giles, the bullet went through my flesh and blood into,"
"...My flesh and blood." Giles finished. "An exchange of blood. And you bit me to remove the bullet! Perfect just bloody perfect!"
"But we don't know. I mean you're still eating. You're still alive, Giles. You're warm..." Angel was grabbing at straws.
Giles sank down the wall, completely drained. He had just spent the second most horrendous months of his life kicking a habit. Again! Now he was going to be hunted by his own Slayer. Great! Make my Millennium!
They stared at the cross on the counter. "Pick it up, Rupert." Angel ordered.
"You pick it up! It'll burn me..." Angel sighed and picked up the water gun and squirted him with it.
"That didn't burn did it? Let me tell you, I'm more afraid of Holy Water than I am of a crucifix. Now pick it up!"
Giles wiped his face with his hand. He was sure Angel was enjoying this too much. He picked up the cross and dropped it immediately. "It tingled." He picked it up again in his fingers, feeling it. "Actually it's quite pleasant..."
"Alright, Rupert, you don't have to sleep with it. Next is... Oh, you'll like this..." He gripped the Watcher's arm and propelled him toward the door. Angel ducked behind it as it opened and shoved Giles into the mid-morning light. He shut the door and waited.
He heard nothing for two or three minutes. Willow's going to dust me for sure. There won't be enough of me left to run through an egg timer! The door opened slowly.
"The next time you want to blind me with sunlight, warn me." Angel let out a long sigh, and then he smiled. He laughed and walked away from Giles, rubbing his hands together. It worked! He patted his pocket where his book rested and felt content at last. Giles took a breath as well. He could still walk in the sunshine. He'd really miss sunshine.
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