Title: Violet Hill
Pairing: Buffy/Giles (mentions of prior Giles/Ethan)
Synopsis: Giles tells Buffy more of his past.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Giles sighed as he glanced at Buffy. She had said very little since they had sat down on the hillside, preferring to listen instead of talk. Giles cleared his throat and pointed towards a building to their left.
“We, uh…we used to sit on that rooftop. That year…Christ, it was so cold. But, yet…we’d sit on the rooftop and stare up at the sky…smoke our cigarettes, drink our alcohol…”
“And have sex.” Buffy added softly, staring at the rooftop in question.
Giles licked his lips nervously and nodded. “Well, yes…there was that as well.”
She slowly turned towards him, staring into his green eyes. “You had sex. With Ethan Rayne.”
“It was…it was a difficult time, I was…a…I was a different person.”
“Different? Are you talking about Ripper?”
Giles sighed again and shook his head. “Ripper was merely a nickname, Buffy. Much like Xander calls you ‘Buffster’. Different as in…I was young, on the run, and caught up in drugs and magicks.”
“Add a little demon-raising and voila…drugged Giles and Ethan sex.”
Giles lowered his eyes and pulled a purple flower from the grass. “It was a little more complicated than that, Buffy.”
Buffy cursed softly, reaching out and placing her hand on his denim-clad thigh. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for that to sound so blasé. I know there was more to it…but, right now I’m kinda at the ‘fire bad, tree pretty’ stage of thought.”
“Do you love me?” Giles whispered, the urgency in his eyes not filtering into his question.
“Of course I do…I always have, Giles. I love you so much.”
He searched her eyes and, after finding her sincerity, took a shaky breath. “There’s more…that you need to know.”
“I know you loved him.” Buffy stated, causing Giles’ eyes to widen. She shrugged and pulled a flower from the grass, methodically plucking the purple petals and dropping them to the ground. “I just didn’t realize that you were in love with him at one time.”
Giles nodded slowly, turning his eyes to the skyline once again, staring at the rooftop. “We were in love with each other at one time.”
“So what happened?”
“It was December…cold, long and dark. Ethan found warmth in Chaos. I found warmth in death.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes as she looked over at him. “Huh?”
“Ethan pledged his allegiance to a god of mischief…and pushed me away. At the time, I thought it was to do with Randall’s death. However, I learned later…years later…that Chaos ordered him to break his ties with me.”
Buffy tilted her head, sympathy filling her hazel eyes. “He broke your heart.”
Giles didn’t respond to her statement, but continued with his story.
“The night that he ended our relationship, I stood on that rooftop…and I thought about everything. My life, my…destiny. And then I heard a woman scream, right there…” He pointed a little further down the road, two buildings over from the building with the sentimental rooftop. “And I saw…well, I saw a vampire drag her down that alley.”
“What did you do?” Buffy whispered.
Giles slowly turned his head towards her and sighed. “What else could I do, Buffy? I had been in training to be a Watcher. I knew what I had to do.”
“That’s what brought you back to the Council?”
The corner of his mouth tugged into a half-smile. “For the most part, yes. That night I had lost a love, a friend, and what little security I felt I had. And so I turned to what I knew best…and that was death and demons.”
“He found warmth in Chaos, you found warmth in death.” She repeated in an understanding tone.
He gave her a nod, lifting his hand to her cheek. “And…years later, the Council blessed me with you.”
“No other guys between Ethan and me?” Buffy asked, sincerely curious.
“No. A fair few women, but…no men. I…it was only Ethan.”
Buffy was quiet for a moment…wanting to ask a question, but not sure how. Giles watched her battle with her thoughts, the backs of his fingers lovingly stroking her cheek.
“Just ask, love.”
Buffy bit her lip and then took a deep breath, speaking in a rushed whisper. “Did you sleep with him the night he turned you into a demon?”
Giles regarded her closely, a smile forming on his lips as he shook his head. “No.”
She gestured towards the building with a tilt of her head, her eyes never leaving his. “That was the last time?”
“Yes.” He answered softly, glancing at the rooftop. “He, uh…there were a few times over the years that our paths crossed…and he would ask.”
“Mm… ‘fancy a fuck, Ripper?’ That was his standard question each time we’d meet.”
“Yes, quite.” Giles replied with a smile. “But, I had no desire to revert to what I’d worked so hard to get away from. I didn’t want to go back to that…I’d done so much to become a better person, and…I would’ve lost me had I fallen into bed with him again.”
“What do you mean?”
“Chaos was a sinking ship…and Ethan knew it. But, he was too deeply invested in it to leave. So, instead of leaving…he was recruiting. And Chaos ordered him to recruit me.”
Buffy’s brow furrowed. “But, didn’t Chaos order him to break up with you?”
“Mm-hm. But, that was before Chaos understood how powerful a trained Watcher could be.”
“When Chaos first appeared in our lives…he was being hosted by a fox.” Giles said with light amusement.
“A fox? Like…a fox fox?”
He nodded and picked another flower, this time handing it to her. “He wasn’t strong enough to take over anything larger. Ethan’s power gave him that strength.”
Buffy slipped the stem of the flower through a buttonhole in Giles’ shirt. “I’m really glad that Chaos made Ethan break your heart.”
A sparkle shone in his eyes as he threaded his fingers through her soft, blonde hair. “So am I.”
“So…why did you bring me here?”
Giles cleared his throat nervously and shrugged a shoulder. “This was the site of the end of a chapter of my life. I’d like for it to be the beginning of a different chapter.”
“Oh…” Buffy said uncertainly.
Giles smiled and reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a small box. “Both chapters deal with love.”
Buffy glanced at the box and then looked into his eyes, her smile growing as he revealed the contents. “I love you, Giles.”
“I love you too, Buffy.” He whispered, leaning into her.
As their lips met, Giles felt the importance of the old chapter of his life fade from his memories. He didn’t need to hold on to it any longer. Now was the time for a new beginning. A beginning built on truth and honesty…and love.
And...oh, how he loved her.