Synopsis: Giles is hurt. Buffy comforts him. But, it’s going to take him a while to recover from his emotional injuries.
Timeline: Sometime after S7. Anya didn’t die and Dawn doesn’t exist. Because that’s the way I like it.
Author’s Notes: This is a fairly dark fic. However, it does have a happy ending…basically because I’m physically unable to write a fic with an unhappy ending. This fic revolves around m/m rape and the emotional and physical wounds caused by the attack. This was a difficult fic for me to write because I honestly do not like to cause the characters such emotional pain. But, I couldn’t get the scene out of my head until it was in written form. I had three separate people look at this fic for me and I’d like to thank wyvernwolf, laurtew, and ladyforash for all of their comments and advice.
He stumbled through the front door, his battered body left with just enough strength to push the door closed behind him. He glanced down, his vision blurred by pain and the loss of his glasses. He could however, clearly see the deep and bloody gouges circling his wrists where he had been bound by thick leather straps.
His entire body screamed in agony as he shuffled towards the living room. With no warning, his legs gave out and sent his body crumpling to the floor. His energy spent, he closed his eyes and hoped that Buffy would be home soon.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
She walked through the front door with a smile on her face, shrugging her jacket off and hanging it up on the coat rack.
“Honey, I’m home!” She called cheerfully as she began walking towards the living room. “And it was a rough night. You know what they say about Slayers and a lot of fighting is...”
Her eyes found him lying on the living room floor, his shirt ripped and fresh blood staining his light blue denim jeans. “Giles!”
She rushed over to him, falling to her knees beside him. “Giles?”
Her panic eased minutely when she heard him softly groan her name.
“Oh God...Giles, what happened?” She carefully began to roll him over, pausing when he cried out in pain.
She gently laid him back in his previous position and reached for the phone.
She looked down at him to find his eyes on her. “What?”
“Giles! You need a doctor!”
“Bruises. Nothing’s...broken. Just...” He clenched his eyes in obvious pain as he tried to push himself up. “Help me to the...couch?”
As she reached down to take his hand, she noticed his injured wrists. “What the hell happened, Giles?”
He swallowed nervously as his mind registered the panic in her whispered question. When he didn’t answer immediately, she glanced down at his bloody jeans and tears began to form in her eyes.
“Is...is that your blood?”
He closed his eyes as she carefully removed his tattered shirt. She gasped when her eyes fell on the distinctly human bite marks across his back.
“Oh my God.”
“Who did this to you?”
He took a deep breath, mustering his strength, and pushed himself up from the floor. He teetered slightly as he tried to maintain his balance. When she grabbed his arm to hold him steady, he reflexively pulled away from her.
The reaction and the tone of his voice, in addition to his injuries, took Buffy to another time. Another place. A time before Spike had his soul returned to him. A time when...
Her eyes widened.
A tear formed in the corner of his left eye. “Please, Buffy...don’t. I...I just need a shower. Things will be better then...”
She reached her hand out to him. “Let me – ”
“No. I’m fine.”
He took a few steps towards the hall before his knees failed him. She was able to grab him before he hit the floor. It was at that time that he broke down, his anger and fear flooding over the walls he had hastily erected in his mind during the attack. She held him tightly as he buried his face in the crook of her neck and sobbed uncontrollably.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
After she had helped him cleanse his body of the dried blood, saliva, and other bodily fluids, she gave him a dose of Loritab and stayed with him until he fell asleep. Her own anger seethed within her, he had still refused to give her any details of what had happened. Though she was pretty much able to piece it together herself.
Going by his injuries alone, she could tell that he had been tied down. From the appearance of the wounds on his wrists, she could tell that he had struggled to get away. And the bites...not enough to break the skin, but just enough to mark him. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there was the blood.
She had wept when she helped him remove his jeans. The bruises on his hips from where he had been gripped were nothing compared to the still sticky blood trails that ran down the backs of his thighs.
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what had happened to him. But he refused to say anything.
she was sitting in front of a wide-eyed
Buffy wiped the back of her hand across her eyes as she nodded.
“Who – ”
“I don’t know. He...he won’t talk about it...at all.”
“Are you sure? I mean...maybe it was a demon...”
Buffy stared at her hands in her lap. “Human bite marks on his back.”
“Whoever did this...tied him down.” She looked up at her best friend, unable to stop the tears from flowing down her face. “They tied him down...and...”
* * *
The medication eased his pain and even helped him sleep. The trouble was they didn’t stop the dreams. Even worse, they didn’t stop his mind from knowing what was a dream and what was a reliving of a true nightmare.
He tasted the blood in his mouth, his lip split and bleeding from the fist that had punched him repeatedly. He felt the sting of his sweat filling the open wounds on his face. His body trembled when he felt the fear welling within him.
The fear of not knowing what was happening or why. The fear of not being able to get back to Buffy. The fear of being at the mercy of this person who obviously intended to cause him pain. He thought back to a time, years ago, when he was bound helplessly to a chair at the hands of Angelus. But this…this was different. And as his fear turned to panic, he heard it.
He heard the laughter. He heard the mocking words spoken into his ear. He opened his eyes, his vision blurred from pain and the lack of his glasses.
“Why? Why are you doing this?”
A cold chuckle sounded immediately before the reply was given.
A leather gag was held in front of him and then dropped to the floor.
“Don’t think I’ll use this. I’d much prefer to hear your screams. I wonder…will you beg me to stop?”
Giles raised his shaking hand and wiped the blood from his mouth. “Would it work? Would you stop this now if I beg?”
His abductor grinned viciously. “No. But, it would make it more exciting.”
He felt the leather being wrapped around his wrists roughly and then watched helplessly as the perpetrator secured the leather strap, preventing any chance of escape. He felt the chill race down his back as the voice growled that if he didn’t quit struggling, Buffy would suffer the same fate...only she wouldn’t live to tell about it.
And so, he ceased his struggles.
And then the biting started. When his body didn’t respond in the way that his attacker had imagined, the bites became harder. He could feel the rage rolling off the man kneeling behind him.
He could hear himself pleading with him to think about what he was doing.
He could feel the hot breath on his neck as the man leaned over him and growled into his ear. “Should’ve thought about what you were doing when you handed me over for government testing.”
When he felt the hard cock ram into his ass, he screamed and sat straight up in the bed. He raised a shaking hand and wiped the sweat and tears from his eyes.
* * *
him scream, Buffy pulled out of
“Giles...” She tried to inject as much calmness into her voice as possible.
He flinched when she touched his shoulder. “I’m...you shouldn’t touch me.”
She climbed onto the bed behind him, placing a tender kiss on the back of his shoulder as she pulled him into her arms. He tensed immediately and tried to pull away. She held him tighter, her tears mixing with the sweat on his back.
“I love you, Giles.”
He relaxed for a brief moment, then pulled out of her arms and slid off the bed. He paced slowly, wincing in pain.
“No. You can’t. Not after...” He shook his head in defeat.
She sat on the edge of the bed and sighed softly. “I do. Especially after. Please...talk to me.”
He continued to pace, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. “There’s nothing to...”
She interrupted him softly, standing in front of him and effectively stopping his movement. “There is something to say. I want to help you, Giles. But how can I if you won’t tell me what...”
“You already know.”
“I know what my conclusions are, I don’t...”
Anger sparked in his green irises. “What...you want to hear how he tied me down and threatened to kill you if I kept struggling? You want to hear how he fucked me until I bled? You want to hear how he kept fucking me until I couldn’t scream? You want to hear how he shoved his blood-covered cock in my mouth when he came? Is that what you want to hear?”
He moved away from her, sinking down onto the mattress and covering his face with his trembling hands. She slowly moved until she was standing in front of him and gently touched the side of his face.
He jerked back violently, dropping his hands and clenching them into fists. “Don’t fucking touch me!”
Buffy pulled her hand back quickly, mildly shocked by his outburst. Her tears streamed down her face as she reached out again and stroked his hair. He looked up at her and slowly shook his head.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean...I didn’t mean to yell at you.”
She ran her fingers through his hair, her fingertips lightly massaging his scalp. “It’s okay, Giles.”
“It’s...not.” His shoulders slumped. “He knew.”
She leaned down and tenderly kissed his forehead. “Who knew what?”
“He knew...how to break me.”
“You’re not broken.” She whispered softly, gently urging him to lie down. “You’ve been hurt and...I know you’re scared...but, you’re not broken.”
“You...you can’t stay with me. He knew that too. Even told me how you’d only look at me with pity.” He raised his watery eyes to hers. “And...you are.”
“Giles, this is not pity. This is concern and fear and pain and frustration and...most of all, love. I don’t do pity, you know that.” She took a deep breath and lay down beside of him. “And I have no intention of leaving you.”
“Who did this to you, Giles?” She whispered softly.
He was quiet for what seemed an eternity. When he spoke, the name he uttered was barely audible. But Buffy heard it with perfect clarity.
She stared into his eyes, barely able to control her rage. “Ethan did this?”
“I...I think maybe I did the wrong thing by handing him over...to the Initiative.”
“You didn’t. Riley took him.” Buffy protested quickly.
“I didn’t do anything to stop it. And, it seems as though he blames me. And...only me.”
“And that gives him the right to...”
“He’s been watching me. Us. I’m not sure for how long.”
“I am so going to...”
Giles eyes widened in panic. “You’re not to go after him, Buffy. Please. He’ll kill you...after he’s done worse things to you.”
“Not if I kill him first.”
“I’m a Slayer, for a long time I was the Slayer. It’s kinda in my job description.”
“Demons. Not humans.”
She stared at him before shaking her head slowly. “What he did to you is not a human thing to do. It’s an evil, needs to die, thing to do.”
“I’ll lose you. If I haven’t already, I will.”
“I’m not going anywhere, Giles.”
“No.” His eyes filled with tears once again. “I’ll lose you. The essence that makes you who you are. You’re not a killer, Buffy.”
“Am I just supposed to stand here and watch? I’m not supposed to do anything? He could’ve killed you and then what would I have done?”
“He didn’t want me dead. He wanted power over me. And...he accomplished that.”
Her eyes softened at the defeated tone of his voice. “Is...is that what he did to you? What you said earlier?”
He looked away from her, a single tear rolling down his cheek as he nodded slowly.
“We’ll work through it. I’m not leaving you, Giles.”
He jumped as a light knock sounded on the door. Buffy laid her hand on his chest, rubbing his skin soothingly.
“Um...I was just going to say goodbye.” She hesitated for a second, gathering her thoughts. “Giles, if you’re awake...”
Giles took a deep breath and lightly squeezed Buffy’s hand, before clearing his throat. “Give me just a second?”
“Oh, you’re awake. Okay. Um...”
Buffy’s help, Giles climbed out of bed and pulled a t-shirt over his head. He
tightened the drawstring on his sweatpants as Buffy walked to the door. As
Buffy opened the door and
“I, uh...I apologize for my attire.”
Giles swallowed and averted his eyes. “I...I suppose that Buffy told you...well, what she suspected...”
okay?” When Giles continued to stare out the window,
“No.” Giles responded quietly. “I’m not alright.”
“Will you be alright?”
Buffy held her breath as she waited for Giles’ answer.
“The, uh...the physical wounds...should heal fairly quickly.” He lifted his arms slightly and looked down at them. “I...might have some scarring on my wrists.”
He ran a hand through his hair and shrugged his shoulders. “Eventually, I...” He turned suddenly and stared into Buffy’s eyes. “Please...stay with me.”
She exhaled slowly and walked over to him, carefully sliding her arms around him and resting her head against his chest. “Leaving never entered my mind.”
“This...this will not be a smooth ride, Buffy. And...I don’t know when I’ll, uh...”
She raised her head and met his nervous gaze. “Sex doesn’t define us, Giles. That’s not why I’m living with you...and it’s not the reason I’m in love with you.” She reached up and brushed her thumb across his damp cheek. “Let me help you.”
us help you.”
“I...I’m not sure I can...that is...”
Buffy narrowed her eyes in concern when she felt his heart began to race. “Giles, what is it?”
“I don’t want...people...our friends...I don’t want them to know...”
“I’m tired...very tired.”
Buffy led him back over to the bed. “Do you need anything for pain?”
He shook his head and slid under the covers. “I...can’t control my dreams with the painkillers. I need to be able to...wake myself up...”
slowly and shifted his body towards the protective warmth of Buffy.
“Are you okay if I hold you?” She whispered softly.
“I think so.”
She lovingly wrapped her arms around him, pressing her chest against his back as she held him. He tensed for a moment, slowly relaxing as she kissed his shoulder and whispered soft words of encouragement.
Knowing, even through his fear, that he was safe in her arms, sleep eventually found him. Buffy, on the other hand, stayed awake all night...cradling her lover in her arms and whispering to him as the nightmares came and went.
One Month Later
Buffy opened the front door, a wide smile on her face.
“I thought I was picking you two up at Heathrow?”
Xander grinned and shrugged a shoulder as he gently ushered Anya through the doorway. “Yeah, but we got an earlier flight. It’s no big deal, really.”
She pulled him into a big hug. “I’ve missed you.”
He returned the embrace eagerly. “You too.”
“Miss me too?” Anya asked hopefully.
Buffy chuckled, releasing Xander, and pulled Anya into a hug as well. “I really did. I’m so glad you guys are here.”
Anya glanced around and frowned. “Where’s Giles? You didn’t break up, did you?”
Buffy smiled. “No, we didn’t. He’s at work, no doubt in the middle of researching the next apocalypse.”
Xander sat down on the couch and pulled Anya down beside of him. He looked up at Buffy and grinned. “So, what’s it like?”
“What’s what like?” Buffy asked as she plopped down on a chair.
gestured idly with his hand. “This. Living in
Anya snorted in amusement. “And it only took you six years to figure it out.”
Buffy grinned. “Some things are worth waiting for.” She looked back at Xander and narrowed her eyes slightly. “And...I’m semi-retired, you know. I still have duties and all that.”
Xander chuckled. “Yeah, I know, I know. And...how’s Giles doing?”
“Giles is...” She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes when she heard the front door open. “Home...early.”
“Buffy?” His voice called softly as he closed the door behind him.
He made his way into the living room, loosening his tie on his way. His eyes quickly found their visitors and a spark of light flashed in his eyes.
“Xander, Anya...hello. I...wasn’t expecting you’d be here until tonight.” He offered them a gentle smile.
“We got an earlier flight.” Anya supplied quickly. “Did we mess up your plans of late morning sex?”
Giles lowered his eyes quickly and coughed lightly. “No. No, I...just needed to come home.”
Buffy stood up and made her way to him, her eyes full of concern when he looked at her. “Are you okay?”
He nodded slowly and spoke quietly. “I just needed...you.”
When Xander stood up, Giles gripped Buffy’s hand. With a bright smile, Xander walked over and gave Giles a tight hug.
When he felt Giles immediately stiffen, he pulled back and narrowed his eyes. “Being in charge of the Council making you stuffier these days?”
Giles lowered his eyes and shrugged a shoulder. “Quite possibly.” He forced himself to relax and placed his hand on Xander’s shoulder, squeezing gently. “I do apologize. I’m glad that you’re here...both of you.”
He cast a quick glance to Buffy and squeezed her hand. “I...I think I need to lie down for a while. I’m not really feeling well at the moment.”
okay.” Buffy returned the gentle squeeze. “
He gave a slight nod and glanced at the clock. “Wake me when she arrives?”
“Of course.” She reached up and slid her fingers to the back of his neck, gently pulling him down and placing a soft kiss on his lips. “If you need anything...”
He smiled at her. “I’ll call.”
She kissed him again and whispered ‘I love you’ against his lips. He met her eyes and whispered the sentiment back to her before standing and looking over at Xander and Anya.
“I’m sorry for the disappearing act. I’m just...”
“Not feeling well.” Xander finished for him. “Go get some rest, hopefully you’ll feel better when you wake up.”
Giles gave him a slight nod. “Yes, hopefully.”
He gave Buffy another soft kiss before turning and walking down the hall towards their bedroom. Buffy watched him and sighed softly when she heard the door close.
“Well, that was weird.” Anya stated as she sat back down. “Very un-Giles-like.”
Buffy turned around, a small smile plastered on her face as she looked at Anya. “Still trying to get the hang of the social graces, Anya?”
Anya nodded and grinned. “Xander says I’m getting better!”
Buffy chuckled and then met Xander’s dark eyes. He gestured towards the hall and tilted his head questioningly. “Is he really okay, Buff?”
“Yeah, he’s good.” Buffy glanced away from his questioning eyes. “Just a lot of stress with the reformation and stuff.”
“Okay.” Xander replied softly, but Buffy was sure he didn’t really believe her.
* * *
Giles had slept until Buffy woke him when Willow arrived. After taking a shower and changing clothes, he made his way into the living room. He greeted each of them warmly and sat down beside Buffy on the smaller of the two sofas.
Xander noticed how relaxed he seemed when Buffy was by his side...and how tense he became if she wasn’t. At the moment though, Giles was participating in the conversation and had even laughed at one of his jokes. Xander relaxed against the cushions on the couch and smiled.
Giles refilled their glasses with another drink. As he handed a glass to Anya, her eyes noticed the dark band of fresh scar tissue peeking out from under his shirtsleeve. She bit back her first thought, which included a particularly funny comment about bondage, and went with something she thought would be more socially acceptable.
“What happened to your wrist, Giles?”
Giles dropped the glass he was holding, the contents splattering as the glass shattered. He grabbed at his sleeve, firmly tugging it down over his wrist as he took a step backwards.
He turned towards Buffy’s soft voice, his eyes full of panic. “I, uh...I’ll just...I’ll get something to clean this up with...um...” He closed his eyes briefly, took a deep breath and left the room.
As Buffy stood to follow him, Xander stopped her with a simple question.
“Wanna tell me what’s going on, Buff?”
Buffy glanced at Willow, silently asking her to check on Giles. With a quick nod, Willow ran from the room.
Buffy inhaled deeply, not sure exactly what to say.
Anya broke the silence. “I’m going to guess that the scar didn’t come from some bondage play gone wrong.”
Buffy paled and ran her fingers through her hair nervously. Xander’s eyes widened as the pieces began to fall into place.
“Buffy? Was he...”
She held up a hand in a request for him to be quiet. “Don’t, Xander. Please, don’t.”
Xander’s face drained of all colour. “Oh, God.”
Anya’s eyes darted between Buffy and Xander. “What’s going on?”
* * *
He leaned over the kitchen sink, fighting the urge to vomit. He spun around quickly when he felt a warm hand rest on his lower back.
He relaxed, squeezing her fingers lightly before pulling his hand from hers. “I am, somewhat.”
“Listen, Xander’s putting the pieces together.”
“Yes, I was afraid of that.” He ran his fingers through his hair.
“And...Buffy’s out there with them...alone.” She met his eyes and offered him an understanding smile. “I know you’re worried about them knowing, but...they love you, Giles. They won’t think badly of you, you know that.”
“It’s...” He lowered his eyes and shook his head. “They shouldn’t have to know. They’ll only worry and there’s nothing that can be done.”
“But they will know. And they will worry.” She ducked her head to look into his eyes and smiled softly. “And they will do everything they can to help you.”
He thought for a moment and then looked towards the doorway that led back to the living room. “It’s not fair for me to leave her to deal with this alone.”
“What’s going on?”
Seeing a movement out of the corner of her eye, Buffy turned to find Giles looking very much like a scared kitten. She stood up quickly and moved to stand in front of him. He looked down at her as her fingers lightly caressed his cheek.
He nodded slowly, gesturing towards the couple sitting on the couch with a slight tilt of his head. “How much do they know?”
“Xander pretty much figured it out. Anya...a little further behind.”
He took her hand and, with a heavy sigh, led her back to the sofa. As they sat down, he lifted his gaze and met Xander’s worried eyes.
Xander hesitated for a moment before speaking softly. “How long ago?”
Giles shifted uncomfortably and looked down at the floor. “A month.”
Anya sighed in exasperation. “Would someone please tell me what’s going on?”
Buffy gently rubbed Giles’ knee. “You can do this, honey.”
Giles placed his trembling hand over Buffy’s, but did not raise his eyes. “I...um...”
He lifted his free hand and wiped his eyes as he took a deep breath, whispering the words quickly before he lost what courage he had been able to muster.
“I was raped.”
Anya’s mouth dropped open, shock preventing any words from forming. Xander’s eyes filled with tears, which spilled onto his cheeks as he slowly moved from the couch and knelt in front of Giles.
When Giles jerked back from the younger man’s close proximity, Xander sighed sadly. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
“You know I would never hurt you...right?”
Giles nodded slowly. “I know.”
“What can we do?”
He finally looked up and met Xander’s eyes. “Not pity me would be the best thing you could do. I...I’m not sure I could deal with that.”
Xander nodded and gave him a soft smile. “No pity, I can do that.”
Anya moved and knelt beside of Xander. “Who...”
Giles shook his head quickly. “Who is not important. I’m...doing better. I just want...I want to be normal again. And...I can’t be if I’m thinking about who did this. Please, understand.”
She glanced down at his wrist, covering it with her own hand. “I know something that can help with the scarring.”
He turned his hand under hers, allowing his fingers to wrap around her wrist. “Thank you.”
Anya forced her tears back. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“I...I’m not sure. I don’t know if I can go into...details...again.” He turned his head and met Buffy’s eyes. “Do you think, maybe...”
“If you’re sure.”
He glanced back at the two kneeling before him and nodded as he swallowed. Buffy gave him a smile, leaning into him and pressing a soft kiss to his lips.
One Month Later
Anya decided to make their visit to
In the days after their arrival, Buffy had gone over the details of Giles’ traumatic experience with them. Anya had again asked who was responsible, but Buffy shook her head. It was the one detail that Giles had specifically asked her not to divulge.
Luckily, Anya didn’t persist.
* * *
She opened her eyes and glanced at the clock on the bedside table. 3:52. She rolled onto her side, smiling as she watched Giles sleep. The nightmares had eased somewhat and he hadn’t actually had one at all in over a week. She lifted her hand and gently combed her fingers through his hair.
The gentle touch was enough to cause him to stir. He opened his eyes slowly and yawned.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“It’s okay.” He rolled onto his side to face her. “Is there something on your mind?”
He reached up and brushed the hair back from her eyes. “Do you have any idea how much I love you?”
She nodded slowly and smiled. “I do.”
His eyes darted to her lips before moving back to her eyes. “I...want to kiss you.”
“Then kiss me.”
His fingers trailed down the side of her face. “You’ve been so patient with me.”
“I’m in love with you, Giles.”
He leaned into her slowly, covering her mouth with his. Her fingers caressed the back of his neck as his tongue lightly nudged her lips. She groaned softly, parting her lips and allowing his tongue inside. He kissed her for some time, his tongue leisurely sliding against hers.
When she rolled onto her back and pulled him with her, he broke the kiss and stared into her eyes. Buffy smiled in understanding and gently stroked his back.
“We’re only going as far as you’re comfortable with, okay?”
“I miss you, Buffy.”
She kissed his chin, causing him to gasp softly.
“I miss making love with you.” He met her eyes and held her gaze. “I want to make love with you.”
He shifted his body until he was resting between her open thighs. “Please...let me make love with you.”
Her hand rested against the side of his neck as she stared into his eyes. “Are you sure? Because...I’ll wait for as long as you need...”
“I need...now. I need you, Buffy.”
He captured her mouth again, this time quickly deepening the kiss and thrusting his tongue into her mouth. Her groan rumbled in her chest and he pulled back to gaze down at her.
For the first time in two months, she could see the light in his eyes. She smiled up at him and ran her fingertips over his eyebrows.
“I missed this.” At his questioning look, she continued. “The light...the sparkling in your eyes. I’d see flashes, but nothing this...real. I love you so much, Giles.”
He returned her smile with a genuine one of his own as his palm cradled her cheek. “I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long.”
“Make love with me.”
His smile grew as he leaned back down and kissed her.
Her tongue gently slid across his as her hands caressed his back. When her hands slid down to the waistband of his pajama pants, he broke the kiss and shuddered.
“Giles, it’s okay.”
He stared at her for a few seconds before taking a deep breath. “I know. It’s just…let me.”
She moved her hands until they rested on his sides. He supported his weight with his right arm and used his left to push his pants over his hips. She reached between them and began to gently stroke his erection.
He swallowed and gave her a slow nod. “I…there were bruises there…”
“I know.” She whispered softly. “But…they’re gone now.”
He closed his eyes as her thumb brushed over the head. “Buffy…”
She halted her motion, but maintained her hold on him. “Do you want to stop?”
“No. Yes…but, no.” He opened his eyes and looked down at her when she moved her hand from him. “I don’t want to stop. But…if you don’t…” He exhaled slowly. “It’s been so long…”
She smiled in understanding. “I get it, Giles.”
He returned her smile and shifted his body until his erection was positioned against her entrance. He looked into her eyes as he began to push himself into her. He hesitated before he fully penetrated her.
She raised her hand, pressing her palm against his cheek. “Would it be easier for you if I’m on top?”
He thought about it for a moment. “I…I don’t know. I think maybe I…I need to do this.”
“Are you sure? Because…”
He licked his lips and leaned into her touch. “I think…I think I need to be in control of this. I’m not sure how to explain…”
“You don’t need to. I understand.” Her thumb rubbed against his cheek. “What can I do?”
His eyes glistened in the dim light. “Tell me you love me?”
“Oh, Giles…I do. I do love you.” She leaned up and tenderly kissed his lips. “I love you so very much.”
As he returned her soft kiss, he moved his hips forward until he was completely sheathed in her warmth. He moved his lips to her neck, kissing her skin before burying his head in the crook of her neck. She wrapped her arms around his back as he took a deep breath.
He nodded, mumbling against her flesh. “Love you.”
She rubbed his back soothingly and lifted her legs until her knees rested against his sides. “What are you feeling?”
“Fear. My God, I’m so scared, Buffy.” He whispered.
“You’re safe, Giles. You’re here…with me. And I won’t let anything happen to you.”
“I know. I do know.” He inhaled shakily and lifted his head to gaze down at her. “I want you so much. I want to please you…but…I’m afraid I won’t be able to…”
“I want you to listen to me, okay?” She waited until he gave her a nod before she continued. “There has never been a time when you failed to please me. Just holding you pleases me, Giles. We’ve been through so much…and I only love you more each day. If you need more time, I completely understand. I’m not going anywhere…”
“I don’t want more time, Buffy. I don’t…God, I just want us back.”
She smiled lovingly and rubbed her hand over his chest. “We have us…we never lost us.”
He shook his head gently. “No. The way we were. The way it used to be. I want to be able to lose myself in you again. I want…”
He rocked his hips slowly against her, causing her to gasp softly. “I don’t want to be scared anymore. I want to be able to take you to bed and…make love to you without…without thinking…”
He pushed against her again and she gave a soft moan. He closed his eyes as her warmth seeped into his flesh.
“My God, Buffy…I love you. I love you so much.”
When he thrust into her a third time, she lifted her hips to meet his. When her hands gripped his back, he groaned and thrust again. He maintained a slow pace, trying his best to keep his orgasm at bay.
She matched his pace, her soft moans becoming louder with each stroke. Her breath was hot against his neck, her fingers slipping against his sweat-drenched skin. She knew the moment when he broke through the last of his barriers.
She knew because he paused his movement and pushed himself up. A smile flickered in his eyes as he whispered a soft ‘I love you’. He pushed through his fear, his anxiety…and gently gripped her hips as he lengthened his strokes, driving into her as deeply as he possibly could.
He knew he wouldn’t be able to hold out for much longer, but his determination to take her with him shone in his eyes. When he felt her inner muscles start to quiver, he nearly breathed a sigh of relief.
She cried his name when her orgasm finally crashed over her. He gave a loud grunt as her muscles tightened around him and thrust two more times before he found his own release. He lowered his body to hers, shuddering as she held him to her.
“Are you okay?”
He nodded silently, not meeting her eyes as he rolled onto his side and held her tightly against his chest.
“Giles?” She tilted her head to look into his eyes, concerned when she saw his tears. “Giles?”
“I’m…I’m okay, Buffy.”
“The tears?” She reached up and brushed her thumb across his damp cheek.
“I’m not sure how to explain…so many emotions right now.”
She regarded him closely before giving him a nod. “But you’re okay? You promise me that you’re okay? Was this too much too soon?”
Giles shook his head slowly as he ran his fingers through her hair. “Just enough at the right time. I promise you, I’m okay.”
He offered her a smile and placed a kiss in her hair. “Can we…just hold each other for a while?”
“Anything you want, Giles. Anything at all.”
He relaxed in her arms as she snuggled closer to him and kissed his chest.
Three Days Later
Giles held Buffy’s hand as they walked into the Magic Box. He chuckled as he looked around the shop. “Well, this certainly looks familiar.”
Anya grinned happily. “Hi, Giles! And, remember...you’re still a silent partner.”
Giles returned her grin. “I promise not to forget, Anya.” His gaze shifted when Xander walked out of the backroom. “You’ve done a very nice job here, Xander.”
“Thanks!” Xander beamed and gestured over his shoulder. “You should see the training room I just built...or...rebuilt.” He looked around the shop proudly. “Just like the Sunnydale version. We should have a Scooby Meeting just for old times’ sake.”
Giles shook his head in amusement and walked over to one of the many bookshelves. As he pulled a book from the shelf, the bell over the door rang. All five of them lifted their eyes to the door. Giles dropped the heavy book he was holding, not even flinching when the slam of the book on the floor sounded loudly.
Giles stepped backwards quickly, knocking over a display stand of candles. Buffy immediately moved to stand between him and the visitor, her eyes narrowing in rage.
“Hello, Buffy.” Ethan smiled softly.
Xander glanced at Giles, immediately recognizing the look of fear on his face. He pushed his chair back violently and stood, glaring at the sorcerer.
“What the hell are you doing here, Rayne?”
“I need to speak with Rupert.” He stated simply.
“I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care what you have to say.” Buffy said, her tone barely containing her fury. “Even more sure that you’ll learn what a Slayer is if you don’t leave right now.”
Ethan stared at Buffy for a moment before redirecting his gaze to Giles. His eyes softened at the genuine terror he saw in his one-time friend’s eyes.
Buffy took a step forward. “Get the fuck out, Ethan.”
When Ethan didn’t move, Buffy took a swing at him. He caught the punch quickly, wrapping his fingers around her wrist. Giles screamed her name and ran around the human wall in front of him.
“Ethan, please. Take me. Please, don’t hurt her.”
Ethan stared at Giles as he released Buffy’s arm. “My God, what have I done to you?”
Giles took another step forward, reaching his hand out and grasping Buffy’s. As he carefully pulled her behind him, he stared into Ethan’s eyes.
“Do what you want with me. I’m begging you, Ethan...” He swallowed thickly. “Don’t hurt her. And...don’t make her watch. I...”
Ethan shook his head slowly. “Rupert, I’m...I’m not here to...” He stepped to the side, glancing at the remaining three people staring at him. “I never wanted to hurt you.”
“What did you think it would do to him?”
Ethan looked at Anya and sighed. “I said I never wanted to. It wasn’t...I couldn’t stop it...I tried.” He turned his eyes back to Giles. “I swear, I tried to stop it.”
His eyes drifted to Giles’ wrists and tears filled his eyes. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Rupert.”
“I don’t...what are you talking about, Ethan?”
Ethan began to pace back and forth. “They put something...in my head. It’s like a switch and they can flip it whenever they want.”
Buffy stood beside of Giles, her hand resting in a comforting manner on his back. “What do you mean?”
Ethan stopped pacing at stared at her. “Those toy soldiers...weren’t really toys, nor soldiers. They were experts in torture. They let me go six months ago...with strict orders to keep an eye on the two of you. The next thing I know, I’m abducting Rupert and...”
A tear fell from his eye as he looked at Giles. “The things I did to you...it wasn’t me. I don’t expect you to believe me. I was in there, but I wasn’t in control of what was going on. I...had to sit and watch...” He wiped his face and took a shaky breath. “And then the switch was flipped and I looked down at you. Then I untied you and ran. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what happened. And...I’m sorry for just leaving you there.”
“Ethan...” Giles began, but was quickly interrupted.
“I can feel it...the buzzing when the switch is being activated. I didn’t come here to hurt you again. I came...I came to ask you to kill me.”
“Ask me to kill you?” Giles whispered.
“Beg, actually.” He sat down on the step and stared at the floor. “I can’t do this again, Rupert. And...they’re going to make me. Soon. I can feel it coming.”
“Why should we believe you? You’ve done nothing but...”
Giles interrupted Xander, his voice soft as he spoke. “He’s telling the truth.”
Giles glanced at Xander quickly before looking back down at the crestfallen man sitting on the stairs. “His eyes are...different. During the...when he...” He closed his eyes, visibly shuddering against the memories. “There was no...light.”
Buffy looked up quickly at his choice of words. “Giles...”
“We could try to deactivate the switch.” Willow stated quietly.
Ethan shook his head sadly. “There’s not enough time.”
Anya crossed her arms over her chest. “Why don’t you just kill yourself?”
Ethan chuckled. “I’ve tried. I am, apparently, unable to do so.”
Anya snorted. “Yeah, right.”
Giles shook his head as he stared at Ethan. “No…he’s telling the truth.”
“How can you tell? Maybe it’s just a trick or…”
Giles turned his eyes towards Anya and quietly interrupted her. “I can tell, Anya. Let’s leave it at that, alright?”
Anya gave him a quick nod, but said nothing more. Giles looked down at Ethan and sighed.
Ethan hung his head, his eyes staring at the step under his feet. “I’ve done a lot of horrible things in my life. But, what I did to you...I can’t live like this, Rupert.”
Giles thought for a minute and then ran to the bookshelf and pulled a book down. He flipped through the pages quickly and smiled sadly.
“What is it, Giles?”
“I can create a temporal fold and return us...all of us...to the night the Initiative took Ethan away. I can change this by allowing Ethan to simply leave Sunnydale.”
Willow shook her head quickly. “Wait, no…this isn’t…” She gestured wildly with her hand. “Giles, you of all people know what this can do. You…know.”
Giles nodded slowly as he met her eyes. “I do. And I realize that I’m being somewhat hypocritical, but…” He ran his hand through his hair. “I don’t know what else to do right now.”
“We chain him up, lock him in a cage…something. And then we figure out how to deactivate the switch.”
“I’m not sure that would work under these circumstances.” Giles stated as he glanced towards the bookshelf.
Willow narrowed her eyes. “Why not?”
Giles swallowed and spoke quietly. “He’s strong, Willow. I’m not sure chains or cages would hold him.”
Her eyes softened as she read further into his meaning. “But…a temporal fold? If this happens and you change things then…it’s going to really change things now.”
Giles glanced down at his wrists, the scars had faded a little with the help of some ointment that Anya had procured for him. “Possibly.”
Ethan cleared his throat. “May I say something?”
Everyone turned their eyes to the man sitting on the stairs and waited. Ethan took a deep breath. “When a temporal fold is created, memories of what happens in the future become…blurred. Almost dream-like.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes. “And you know this how?”
He shrugged a shoulder and glanced at Giles. “I’ve done it before.”
Giles’ eyes filled with confusion. “What? When?”
Ethan swallowed. “When your mother passed. I…I couldn’t bear the pain you were in because you weren’t there in time to help her…so, I changed it.”
Anya folded her arms across her chest and stared at Ethan. “If the memories become ‘dream-like’ then how do you remember what happened?”
Ethan smiled sadly at the ex-demon. “I placed a spell on myself before I created the fold. So that I would remember everything about it…to help Rupert go to her before it was too late.”
Giles shook his head. “My mother died of cancer. There’s no way I could have changed that.”
“Your mother died of cancer because you went back and saved her from a vampire. You remember that, yes?”
Giles paled. “Yes.”
“That vampire originally took her life. You stopped it the second time around. You gave her ten more years.” Ethan lowered his eyes. “And I didn’t lose you.”
“What?” Buffy whispered.
Ethan looked up, holding Buffy’s gaze with his own. “After Rupert’s mother was murdered, he fell into a deep depression. He blamed himself for her death…for not being there to protect her. He was drinking constantly, using more…drugs and magicks. He was losing himself and he didn’t care.”
He spared a quick glance to Giles, who was staring intently at him. “So, I did some research on temporal folds. Did a spell, created the fold, and…on the day before his mother was to die, I sent him home.” A brief smile graced his lips. “He saved his mother, returned to the Council, and…the rest is history.”
Buffy placed her hand on Giles’ shoulder as he sat down at the table. “Do you…remember any of this?”
Giles shook his head slowly. “Not really. I think I remember having a nightmare about my mother…and a vampire. Years ago…”
Willow shook her head again. “But, if you do this…you know, create the temporal fold…won’t it create an alternate universe and…”
Ethan chuckled softly. “My dear girl, alternate universes are created with each choice you make in life. There’s a universe out there where you took your werewolf back when he returned to Sunnydale. There’s one where you never started practicing magic. And…there’s one where you destroyed the world.” He gave her a soft smile. “That universe is fairly quiet, however.”
“Ethan, stop.” Giles admonished before he looked up at Buffy. “What is your opinion on this?”
“What happens to us?” Buffy asked softly.
Giles ran his hand through his hair. “We will remember nothing. I’ll have vivid memories for a very short period, but…no one else will remember anything.”
“I won’t remember what we’ve shared? Or how much I love you?”
He shook his head and looked into her eyes. “No. You won’t.”
“No.” She shook her head violently and began to pace. “No, I don’t want to lose us.”
He grabbed her hand as she passed by him. “I can’t kill him, Buffy. I just...I can’t.”
“I’ll do it!”
“No, we discussed this two months ago. You know why I can’t allow you to do that.”
She stared into his eyes. “I love you so much and you want to just let me forget...”
His hand cradled her face as he leaned down and kissed her lips. “I’ll just have to work harder to get you to notice me.”
She fell against his chest and wrapped her arms around him. Her mind raced as he whispered words of love into her ear. She looked up at him suddenly and smiled.
“I wanted to kiss you after I realized that the Fyarl demon was you. After you were human again, I mean.” Her fingertips traced his bottom lip. “If we do this, promise me that you’ll kiss me because I’ll stop myself. Kiss me, tell me you love me, anything...just...don’t let me leave with Riley. Promise me.”
He bent his head, kissing her passionately until they had to break for air. With a gentle nod, he set about creating the fold in time.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Giles walked out of the bathroom in the seedy motel room dressed in Ethan’s spare change of clothing. He looked across the room to find Riley holding onto Ethan securely and Buffy offering him the same smile she had the first time around.
He took a deep breath and hoped that Buffy had told him the truth in England.
He walked over, stopping directly in front of her. Lifting his hand to her chin, he gently tipped her face upwards as he leaned down. Riley’s mouth dropped open in shock as he watched Giles brush his lips across his girlfriend’s...once, then twice.
On the third brush-by, Buffy took the opportunity to deepen the kiss. Giles groaned softly as her tongue begged for entry to his mouth. Permission was given freely and she took full advantage. Her tongue slid along his as her hand moved to the back of his neck, holding him to her as she kissed him.
He broke the kiss slowly, pulling back just enough to stare into her eyes.
“I love you, Buffy.”
“Hold on a minute, that’s my...”
Buffy held up her hand towards Riley, but didn’t break the eye contact she was sharing with Giles. “Shut up, Riley.”
Ethan grinned and looked at the soldier. “I believe she said ‘shut up’.”
Buffy smiled up at Giles as she traced her fingertips across his bottom lip. “What did you say?”
He kissed her fingertip and returned her smile. “I said I love you.”
“Love me like...?”
He chuckled softly. “I’m in love with you, Buffy.”
“I was kinda hoping you’d say that.”
Riley gripped Ethan’s arm with more force and moved him towards the door. “I guess I’m taking you...”
Giles head snapped up as he reached out and grabbed Ethan’s other arm. “No, he’s not going anywhere with you.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes. “Giles?”
“Please, Buffy...trust me.”
“I do.” She whispered softly. “I trust you with my life, Giles.”
He glanced down at her, not releasing his grip on Ethan.
“I love you, Giles. So much.”
He bent down and kissed her lips again. “Don’t let him take Ethan. This is important, Buffy...trust me on this.”
She gave him a slow nod and looked at her now ex-boyfriend. “Riley...”
Riley rolled his eyes and pushed Ethan towards the centre of the room. “Fine. Take your two old English guys and just...” He shook his head. “I know we haven’t been together very long, but I didn’t think I’d lose you to...” He gestured towards Giles and, without another word, stormed out of the motel room.
“Ethan? Leave. Leave Sunnydale, leave California. I don’t care where you go, but just…leave.”
Ethan narrowed his eyes in confusion and quickly began packing his suitcase. “Leaving now, Ripper.”
Giles turned around slowly and smiled at Ethan. “And don’t come back...for a while.”
Ethan grinned, no longer caring why Giles was allowing him to go. “Be seeing you.”
With that, he was gone. Buffy shook her head in disbelief.
“You gonna explain that to me?”
He wrapped his arms around her and nodded. “Mm-hm. Later though. Right now, I’d much prefer to take you home.”
“My home? Or...yours?”
“I have a feeling your mother wouldn’t approve of my intentions.” He grinned and kissed her again. “Come home with me?”
She nodded and allowed him to lead her out of the room. As he reached back to close the door behind him, she frowned.
“What’s wrong, Buffy?”
She gestured towards his chest. “Can we burn that when we get home? I never thought I’d say this, but…tweed is more you than sparkly silver and black.”
He laughed loudly and took her hand.
The scars were gone but the memories remained. He’d write everything down before it was forgotten, before the memories seemed more like a horrible dream than the reality they once were. And one day he’d tell her exactly what had happened. But not this day.
This day was about him showing her how much he truly loved her.