Title: A Whisper
Timeline: S6, Giles didn’t leave…rather, he was taken.
Synopsis: Giles has been missing. After six months, Buffy finds him.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and Lyrics can be found here.
Giles sighed heavily as he scratched another notch into the stone wall of his cave with a sharp edged rock. Four months had gone by since he had escaped from the demons who had captured him. For four months he had called this cave ‘home’.
He missed Sunnydale. But, he missed
If not for his memories of her, he was sure that he would’ve gone insane by now. Especially after the ‘tests’ that the demons had performed on him. He shuddered as he blocked those memories…those experiences were things that he never wanted to think of again.
He wondered what the time difference was between this dimension and home. What was six months equivalent to? He groaned in frustration and threw the rock against the wall.
He was tired…tired of running, tired of hiding, tired of trying to come up with ways to escape. He knew he could only hide for so long…his cave had been searched four times already. Luckily, each of those times, he had been out foraging for food.
He had tried several times to open a portal, but had never been successful. He wondered if maybe the demons had blocked his ability to do magick here. Without magick, what was he?
‘Nothing.’ A voice whispered in his head.
Giles groaned and closed his eyes. Insanity was creeping up on him, no matter how hard he fought to keep it at bay. He had no doubt that it would catch him eventually.
He pictured Buffy in his mind and smiled.
“But, you wouldn’t let that happen. Would you, love?” He asked the image softly.
The image smiled and shook its head. “I’m coming, Giles. Just hold on for a little longer, okay?”
Giles nodded and exhaled slowly. “Okay, just a little longer.”
He closed his eyes and fell into a restless sleep.
* * *
Buffy brushed the orange dirt from her jeans and glanced at the portal. This was the fourth dimension she had dropped into in the past three days. She hoped this would be the last.
Of course, she’d hoped the same thing with the first. Each dimension she entered, she hoped that it would be the one where she would find Giles…her Watcher, her friend, and…most recently…her lover.
It had been three long days since a group
of demons, which they had identified as Leoprish demons, had dragged Giles
through a portal…right in front of her.
If Giles wasn’t here, he’d have to be in one of the last two. She just hoped that she found him in time.
She made her way through the dense forest and tried to keep a positive outlook. But, it was hard…she didn’t know how long it had been for him. Maybe it had only been three days for him too. But, she knew that it could just as easily be three hundred years…or even more.
As she left the forest, she looked up at the sky…a purple sun glowed in the yellow sky. Not knowing why, she made a sharp left and headed down towards the water’s edge. A tingle flared in the pit of her stomach and she immediately dropped to a crouch.
The wind gusted, kicking up dirt and dust. She took cover in the nearest crevice she could find. A crevice that, on further inspection, actually turned out to be a rather large cave.
She coughed and spat out the grains of dirt that had been forced into her mouth from the wind. She shook the dust from her hair and glanced back outside. She sighed heavily to find the air colored orange with the grit that the wind had collected.
“Great. How am I supposed to find him in this?”
The tingle in her stomach grew to a near rumble. She placed her hand on her stomach and bent over, riding out the wave of pain. As the pain faded, her eyes picked up something lying nearly fully buried in the dirt on the cavern floor.
Reaching down, she brushed the dirt to the side…revealing a cigarette lighter. Not just any cigarette lighter…but, the lighter that Giles had carried in his pocket for as long as she’d known him.
“Giles!” She screamed, her voice echoing off the cavern walls.
She noticed that the cavern extended further back. Grabbing the lighter, she took off…not concerned about what she might find further down the pathway.
* * *
The sound of a scream roused Giles from his restless sleep. It wasn’t so much the fact that he heard a scream…he’d found that the birds in this dimension often made noises that mimicked human screams. And he didn’t want to know how the birds learned to make those particular noises. What piqued his curiosity, and fear, was the fact that the scream had sounded very much like his name.
He scrambled to his feet and dug his hand into his pocket for his lighter, cursing when he realized that it wasn’t there. “Blast it!”
And then he looked up, a light flickering down the path…but coming towards his hideaway at a rapid pace. He started to take off in the opposite direction, but knew that he wouldn’t have time to hide. Not at the speed the demon was rushing down the hall.
Instead, he took a deep breath and whispered a soft, ‘I love you, Buffy’.
His eyes narrowed as the flickering light rushed into the room. He tilted his head as his eyes focused, revealing a demon that looked very much like Buffy.
“Great.” He muttered, sagging against the cavern wall. “Insanity has finally taken hold.”
He groaned as the figment of his imagination rushed towards him, pinning him to the wall as she cried and kissed his face. When she realized that he wasn’t responding, she stopped and looked at him, fear in her eyes.
“Giles? God Giles…talk to me!”
“No.” He replied simply. “If I talk to you, then that means I have lost my mind…and I have to stay sane…because Buffy, the real Buffy…she’ll find me. She has to find me. And I have to be sane for her. I have to.”
Suddenly Buffy realized the problem. Her thoughts raced and then she remembered the sensation of their first kiss.
“Kiss me.” She whispered, moving to stand directly in front of him.
He snorted sadly and shook his head.
He looked up at her use of his given name. “You’ve never called me ‘Rupert’. Not even in my dreams have you ever called me ‘Rupert’.”
Tears filled her eyes. “I’ve never been so scared of completely losing you. Please…come home with me.”
His eyes followed the path of a tear rolling down her cheek. “What if it’s not really you?”
Her bottom lip trembled at the sound of trepidation in his voice. “If it’s not really me, then I’m not coming, am I?”
He hesitated for a moment and then furrowed his brow. He stared into her eyes and inhaled shakily.
“Buffy? I…” He lifted his hand as if he were going to touch her, but pulled back just before he did. “Is it really you?”
She grabbed his hand and pressed his palm to her cheek as she nodded. “It’s really me, Giles…It’s really me.”
“Oh God…” He whispered, pulling her into his trembling arms and tightly holding her close. “I thought I’d finally lost my mind.”
“How long?” She asked quietly.
He kissed the top of her head and glanced at the wall across from them at the marks he'd been making. “Six months, two days. I…my watch…they took it.”
Buffy lifted her head and looked at him. She wasn’t sure she wanted to ask a certain question, but knew she had to.
“Did they hurt you?”
He closed his eyes and tightened his hold on her. “For two months…and then I escaped. I’ve hidden from them here…they, uh…they’ve been here, but I was out…”
“Gathering food.” He clarified and then met her eyes. “I don’t want to talk about what they did to me. Not now. I just…I want to go home…with you.”
His tears finally came, his voice lowering to a pained whisper, as he added one more request.
“Please, Buffy…take me home.”
She nodded as her own tears began to fall again. “Come on…the portal isn’t far from here…just on the other side of the forest.”
You created a portal?”
He cradled her face between his hands and asked a question that he was afraid to know the answer to.
“How long have I been gone?”
His eyes widened in surprise. “Three days? That’s all?”
“Don’t say it like that Giles. I haven’t slept in three days because I didn’t know if you were dead or alive…or being experimented on…or tortured…three days was an eternity.”
“I love you, Buffy.” He whispered, moments before kissing her. “And I really need a shower.”
She chuckled and pressed another kiss to his lips. “Come on, let’s go home.”
“We’ll need to block entry into our dimension. Leoprish demons are notorious for hunting down their victims. They’ll come back for me…if given the opportunity.”
“Number one on the list, locking the door to all Leoprish.”
“And number two?” He asked, a genuine smile appearing on his lips.
She shook her head and glanced at his clothing. “A shower for us.”
“Us?” His smile faded. “I…I’m sorry, I…I don’t think I’m ready for, um…I love you so much but – ”
“Hey, hey…shh. It’s okay, Giles. I didn’t mean…what I meant was, I don’t want to let you out of my sight for a while. And I’ll wait to make love with you…I waited for years before we got together, I’m fairly certain I can wait until we work through everything that has happened here.”
He lowered his eyes and ran his hand through his hair. “I’m hoping it won’t take long…I’ve missed you so very much.”
She smiled and took his hand, leading him through the cavern. “I know that, with that statement, you technically mean sex…and trust me, I’ve missed it too. But, you know what I missed the most?”
“What?” He narrowed his eyes as he looked out of the cave towards the water’s edge. “Was there a dust storm?”
“Yeah, there was. Do they happen often?”
He shrugged a shoulder. “Once a week or so.” He glanced down at her and lifted a trembling hand to brush through her hair. “What did you miss most?”
“The smell of your cologne, the smell of tea brewing at night…feeling safe in your arms.”
He felt a sudden rush of love for her and took a deep breath as he stepped outside of the cave. She smiled as he held out his hand. As their fingers laced together, and she led him towards the portal, they both knew that things would be okay.
And he knew that no matter what he had just said to her, once he’d had a shower and shave, he’d take her to bed. And he’d spend the rest of the day, or night…whatever time it was in Sunnydale at the moment…he’d spend the next few hours making love to her.
Because she made him feel safe as well. And safety was what they both needed.
He looked up when she stopped walking and sighed. The portal shimmered in front of them. She gently squeezed his hand and stepped forward.
He squeezed back and followed her, feeling a sense of peace wash over him as he stepped into his living room. He quickly pulled Buffy back into his arms and kissed her passionately.
It was then that he realized that his memories of the demon dimension were fading. Quickly. He pulled from the kiss and gazed into her bright eyes.
He couldn’t remember where he’d been…he just knew that he’d been gone for a little while. And he knew that he had missed her desperately.
As he reinitiated the kiss, a voice whispered in his head.
‘It’s good to be home.’
He couldn’t agree more.