Timeline: S4’ish. No Riley, no Adam, AU.
Synopsis: Giles is having paranoid delusions. Or is he?
Author’s Note: Fic inspired by the song Spies by Coldplay. Special thanks, as usual, to wyvernwolf!
Buffy sighed softly, stroking Giles’ forehead with the tips of her fingers as he slept. Things were getting worse. By ‘things’, she meant the need for him to touch her. By ‘worse’, she meant that if he wasn’t touching her, he delved into a state of panic. Not exactly the best mental state for a Watcher to be in…especially when he had an active Slayer living on a Hellmouth.
It had started innocently enough…and initially she had even found the gestures to be very sweet. It had started about a month after they had admitted their feelings for one another…and not long after they had become sexually intimate.
For the first week after that first night, it was just a simple brush of his fingers along her arm, or her shoulder, each time he walked past her. It had graduated to his hand resting on her thigh, in a manner that could have been described as possessive, as they sat together.
When she had questioned him about it, he had been genuinely confused about his behaviour. He’d told her that he wasn’t sure why he felt the need to touch her, but that he felt calmer when he did. She had wanted to question him more, but then when she had felt his lips on hers, his tongue sneaking into her mouth…she’d figured that the questions could wait until later.
This week, the second week since their first night together, had been a cause of real worry to her…and to him…and to their friends. He’d confessed that he felt a sense of anxiety when he wasn’t touching her. The following day, she’d noticed the panic in his eyes when she had left him in the living room and gone into the kitchen to make him a cup of tea. When he had begged her to come back, his desperation clear in his voice, she had…and felt the racing of his heart as he’d crushed her to his chest.
It was immediately after that that the delusions had started.
As a result, she hadn’t been able to patrol in three days. It was kind of hard to fight vampires and demons if someone wouldn’t let go of you. Leaving him alone in his apartment was obviously out of the question. They’d tried that…she had barely closed the door behind her before he jerked the door open and grabbed her, his eyes wide with fear.
“No! They’ll find you…us…”
That’s what he’d said. And he only started to calm when she allowed him to pull her back inside, where he proceeded to close and lock the door before peeking out the window.
When she asked him whom he was talking about, he had no answers.
And now…well tonight, his condition had worsened. And he had only found peace when he was buried deep inside of her. As he had slowly moved within her, his eyes had cleared of the panic and fear. And after he came, he had cried…his confusion enveloping him.
Buffy leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to his forehead before lying down next to him. She whispered an ‘I love you’ before draping her arm over his stomach and resting her head on his chest.
She looked up, the sad tone of his gravelled whisper tearing at her heart. “We’ll find out what’s wrong, Giles. How are you feeling?”
He swallowed thickly and stared at the ceiling, his hand idly rubbing her back. “Like we’re being watched.”
He took a deep breath and shook his head. “You…you should get some sleep.”
Moving her hand to his chest, she bit her lip as she felt his heart rate quicken. “So should you.”
He glanced towards the window. “No…they’re out there. And…if they find a way in here…”
“Giles – ”
He turned his head sharply towards her, his eyes filled with fear once more. “I have to protect you from them, Buffy! If I’m asleep…they’ll take you and…” His eyes glistened with tears as he lowered his voice. “I can’t lose you.”
Buffy stared at him, at a loss as to what to do. Pushing herself up slightly, she reached over and picked up the phone from the bedside table. His hand grabbed her wrist quickly.
“What are you doing? They have the phone lines tapped…they’ll know!”
She gently pulled her
hand free from his grip and looked into his eyes. “Good.
If they do, then they’ll know I’m calling
At her words, his eyes cleared briefly, just long enough for him to utter one statement before the panic filled them again.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Buffy.”
She nodded slowly and
placed a tender kiss to his lips. “I
know, honey. I’m calling
“They’ll make you not love me.” He whispered sadly.
She sat up and ran the fingers of her free hand through his damp hair. “No one is capable of that, Giles.”
“They’ll try.” He countered quickly as he sat up, leaning back against the headboard.
“And if they try, they’ll fail.” She stated sincerely as she placed her hand on the side of his face. “I’m in love with you.”
He sighed, relaxing for only a moment. “I’m in love with you too.”
Leaning into him, she covered his mouth with hers. She kissed him slowly, pouring her love for him into the union. When the kiss ended, she rested her forehead against his and lifted the phone.
His eyes darted to the phone and he took a deep breath. “Tell her to be careful. They’ll be watching her too.”
* * *
Oz narrowed his eyes as he watched Giles peek out the window for the fourth time in the last five minutes. He noticed the tremble in Giles’ hand as he nervously wiped his palm against his thigh.
“You’ve been drugged.”
Oz felt three pairs of eyes staring at him and cleared his throat. “Will says it’s not a spell. You’re not the kind of guy who suddenly turns psychotic. And I’ve seen these symptoms before.”
Buffy shook her head quickly. “No, Giles doesn’t take drugs…”
Oz met her eyes and took a deep breath. “I didn’t say he took them willingly…or even knowingly. But, this…” He gestured at Giles. “Paranoia, nervous tics, needing physical contact…”
Giles narrowed his eyes dangerously at Oz, his hand tightening around Buffy’s. “Are you one of them? Did they send you in here to take her from me?”
Oz shook his head slowly, speaking in a soft tone meant to reassure Giles. “No, I’m on your side here, Giles.”
Giles took a step forward, glaring at Oz. “If I find out differently, I’ll kill you.”
“Are you in on this as well? Are you working with them? I’ve always cared for you, Willow…but, I’ll do what I need to do to protect Buffy. And should that mean – ”
Buffy quickly spun him around to face her. “Giles, listen to me…they’re here to help. They’re not trying to take me from you. Please believe me…have I ever lied to you over something really important?”
Giles thought for a moment and shook his head. She lifted her hand to his neck and gently drew him down, brushing her lips across his.
“I’m not going to
start lying to you now, Giles.” She
whispered as she looked into his eyes.
“I love you.
Just as Giles opened his mouth to respond, there was a knock on the door. Giles turned to face the door, pushing Buffy behind him. He glanced at Oz and took a deep breath.
“If you’d be so kind as to answer the door?”
Knowing that in Giles’ mind this was a test to see if he could be trusted, Oz gave him a short nod and walked to the door. He unlocked the deadbolt and jerked the door open quickly.
Giles’ eyes darkened with sudden fury when he caught sight of who it was. Oz arched an eyebrow in confusion as the stranger walked past him without even giving him a glance.
“Um…can we help you?”
Quentin Travers took a deep breath and shook his head. “Not unless you can help me restrain Rupert until the rest of the team arrives.”
Before Quentin knew what was happening, Giles was standing in front of him…his fingers twisted in the front of Quentin’s shirt.
“What have you done to me?” Giles growled, his panic and fear giving way to rage.
“I’ve done nothing.” Quentin replied, quickly glancing at Buffy. “Clearly, you’ve had – ”
Giles turned, tightening his grip on Quentin and slamming him into the nearest wall. “If you’ve done nothing, then why are you here?”
Quentin grunted with the force of his back hitting the wall and met Buffy’s eyes. “Ms. Summers, I could use your help here.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest. “Yeah, but you’re not getting it. At least…not until you answer his question.”
“I’ve done nothing!” Quentin protested.
“Fuck it!” Giles growled, slamming him against the wall again before turning and throwing Quentin to the floor.
As Giles leaned over him, Quentin saw the murderous rage in his eyes. “Wait! If you kill me…you’ll never know what’s happening to you!”
Buffy caught Giles’ arm as he started to throw a punch at Quentin’s face. Quentin looked up at her, grateful to have been spared the blow.
“Thank you.” He gasped as Buffy pulled Giles off of him.
“No…don’t thank me. Tell me what you’ve done.” Buffy responded coldly. “Don’t tell me ‘nothing’…because I believe you as much as Giles does. He starts having problems, you show up out of the blue…with a team of God knows who to do God knows what to him…and then tell him that he won’t know what’s going on if he kills you.”
Buffy glanced at Giles as he ran back to the window, muttering something about the others coming. As Quentin pushed himself off the floor, Buffy glared at him.
“We know he’s been drugged. We don’t know why, we don’t know how…yet. But one thing I do know is that I’m pretty damn sure you’re behind it. So, you’re going to have a seat…” She roughly pushed him onto the couch and walked over to Giles, tenderly taking his hand and pulling him from the window before returning her stare back to Quentin. “And you’re going to tell us exactly what’s going on.”
Quentin stared at her defiantly. “And if I don’t?”
“Then I don’t stop him.” She stated seriously as she gestured to Giles. “We don’t need you, Quentin. We’ll figure out a way to help him…starting with testing every single object in this apartment for any signs of anything being used to drug him.”
“We get rid of the
source, the drugs wear off…and we have Giles back.”
Quentin looked into
their eyes and then glanced at Oz, who was moving towards
“The tea and the scotch.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. “What?”
Quentin cleared his throat nervously. “It…wears off fairly quickly. For that reason, he needed to be drugged daily. It was a sure bet that he’d drink one of those a number of times each day.”
“What have you been giving him?” Buffy asked, her anger barely controlled. “And for how long?”
“Achilleostycine.” Quentin answered slowly, his eyes focused on Giles. “Each dose lasts for approximately twelve hours…which is the reason it was put in his tea.”
Recognition flickered in Giles’ dark eyes, his jaw clenching. “Achilleostycine.”
Buffy looked up at him quickly. “You know what that is?”
“I do.” He replied, his mind clearing as the last dose began to slowly wear off. “It’s a mystical drug…used to create paranoia to the point of incapacitation under certain circumstances.”
“Huh?” Buffy and
Oz tilted his head slightly as his brow furrowed, his eyes darting between Giles and Quentin.
Giles let go of Buffy’s hand and moved towards Quentin, maintaining eye contact with him as he sat down on the coffee table in front of the couch. “One of the many side effects of the drug is that only physical contact from someone named in the creation of the drug can lessen the paranoia. However…the higher the dosage, the more physical contact is needed. After a while, simple touches aren’t enough to ease the paranoia and fear.”
Buffy shook her head, obviously not following the explanation. “Giles, in English please?”
Giles continued staring at Quentin as he spoke to Buffy.
“The drug is user specific. It was created for me. You were named while it was being made. You were the only person who could help…but, the more tea I drank, the more I was dosed. It wasn’t long before I needed much more from you before I could relax.” He narrowed his eyes slightly. “My question is…what were the parameters of the drug, Quentin. And exactly how long have I been ingesting it?”
“Parameters?” Buffy asked as she glanced at
Quentin hesitated for a moment before giving everyone the answer they were waiting for.
“It wouldn’t go into effect unless a physical relationship with Ms. Summers occurred.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. “You mean, he would’ve been fine…if we hadn’t made love?”
Quentin darted his eyes to Buffy, but didn’t answer the question. Instead, Giles asked another.
“How long, Quentin? How long have you been drugging me?”
“Since Ms. Summers’ Cruciamentum.”
Giles’ jaw clenched as he stared at Travers. Suddenly lashing out, his fist connected with Quentin’s jaw, sending the other man’s head snapping back.
As he stood and started to take another swing, Buffy grabbed Giles and pulled him back. Quentin rubbed his now-aching jaw, smearing the blood that was trickling from the corner of his mouth.
“It was never parental love that you felt for her…and I knew that. But, I also knew that should the two of you admit your feelings and consummate the relationship…there would be repercussions.”
It took a fair amount of Buffy’s strength to hold Giles back as Quentin stood.
“Repercussions?” She asked warily.
“Blackmon Codex, chapter ninety-eight. My orders came from a higher source, Rupert. One not directly associated with the Council.”
“Orders? Whose orders?” Giles asked as he quit fighting against Buffy’s hold. “The Council does not follow the Blackmon Codex.”
Quentin sighed and rubbed his jaw again. “They referred to themselves as ‘the Senior Partners’.”
“Mm-hm. And what’s in it for you?”
“Nothing now.” Quentin replied quietly. “They had offered me a spot on the Board, however. That was contingent on my success, of course.”
Buffy furrowed her brow. “I think you need to tell us more about this chapter ninety-eight thing.”
“Two forces…vulnerable as they stand alone. When joined as one, these forces can prove to be an unfathomable threat.”
Buffy swallowed as her heart began to race. “Threat? What…we’re going to become evil or something?”
Giles shook his head, his eyes finding hers in order to offer reassurance. “The Blackmon Codex contains prophecies pertaining to the darker side of the supernatural world. According to it, if what he’s saying is true and if we are the forces the prophecy are actually citing…we’d become a threat to evil, not become evil ourselves.”
“Unfathomable?” Buffy whispered.
“Few things would be able to stop you.” Quentin offered as he wiped the congealing blood from his lip. “A god, the First…they might have a chance. What I did was for the greater good of the world.”
Oz stared at Quentin. “Yeah, I can see that. Pull them apart so that evil takes over the world? Makes perfect sense.”
Quentin glared at Oz, pointing a finger at him. “You have no idea what you’re talking about, son. If there isn’t a balance between good and evil, the world will cease to exist.”
Oz stood up straight
and walked confidently to Giles’ side,
Giles smiled proudly as Quentin lowered his hand. His smile faded as Quentin’s eyes found his. After a quick glance to the window, Giles spoke softly.
“How long have you had people watching us?”
Buffy looked up sharply. “Giles…that was the paranoia…it – ”
“Since there has been a rise in demonic activity on the Hellmouth.” Quentin replied. “That’s when I knew that your relationship had taken a different turn. You wouldn’t have been able to let her go…no one to fight the evil on the Hellmouth…”
After Quentin trailed off, Giles was quiet for a moment, doing everything he could to calm his rage.
“Get out. Take your men with you. Should I see any evidence of anyone monitoring us in any way…” He stepped into Quentin’s personal space, his eyes sparking with fury. “You’ll learn the true meaning behind the name ‘Ripper’.”
As Quentin took a step back, Giles grabbed his jacket. “Don’t ever let me see you again, Quentin. If I do, it will be the last mistake you ever make.”
Quentin pulled free and made his way to the door. He hesitated only a moment before pulling the door open and walking out into the early morning air. As he closed the door behind him, Buffy furrowed her brow.
He looked down at her, lifting his hand and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “Yes, love?”
“Should we have just…let him go?”
Giles smiled and, for the first time in weeks, there was no fear in his eyes. “I’m rather sure that these ‘senior partners’ will deal with Quentin Travers and his failure to complete his given task.”
“Okay…” Buffy replied uncertainly, lifting her hand to his chest and smiling when she found his heart rate normal and showing no signs of anxiety. “So…what do we do now?”
Giles took a deep breath and looked around his apartment. “First order of business…we get rid of everything that can possibly be ingested. Achilleostycine only works through ingestion. Anything liquid or edible needs to be disposed of. Travers may have said that it was only in the tea and scotch, but for some reason…I don’t exactly trust him.”
Giles glanced at Oz
“And then I would love to make love with you…because I want to and not because I need to.” His thumbs gently stroked her cheeks as he gazed into her glistening eyes. “I love you so very much, Buffy.”
“I love you too.” She whispered as he lowered his mouth to hers.
Oz spoke quietly, but quickly. “I think you two should talk. And there’s a twenty-four hour shopping centre right outside of town. If you promise not to eat or drink anything while we’re gone, Will and I can go pick up the essentials you’ll need…and we can finish clearing things out when we get back.”
Giles lowered his hands from Buffy’s face and walked over to his desk, sliding the drawer open. He grabbed his wallet and pulled his credit card from the inside pocket, handing it to Oz with a smile on his face.
“Thank you. Both of you…for everything.” He took a deep breath as his smile faded. “I, uh…I’m sorry for insinuating that you were working against me.”
Giles’ smile returned and he glanced at Buffy. “As am I.”
Oz pulled his keys
out of his pocket and gently nudged
He’d never let them know how strong his sense of smell actually was.
Author’s Note: This Bunny was given to me by 4thderevko. Bunny is as follows:
needs to touch Buffy. Like, NEEDS to. Which seems great at first, since they're
at the beginning of a relationship. But then it gets kinda out of hand (pun
absolutely intended!). They don't always have to be having sex, ala Buffy and
Riley in the weird house, but he does need to be in some sort of skin-to-skin
contact, like his hand on her arm (at least!), or he starts to feel sick/in
pain (up to you). The more they're touching, the better he feels.
Reason why and resolution up to you!