From a request here by [ profile] antennapedia.


He near to fainted when I asked him. Likes to think he’s the conventional one, my husband. He had half a dozen reasons it was pure foolishness to get wed. Danger, ship’s discipline, his toys, my war dreams. The price of pho was in there somewhere. And Alliance databases that could read our minds.

“Could be you’re right,” I said. “Might hit Reavers next week. But ‘til then, Wash, I want to be wakin’ up beside you.”

Ain’t nothing in this verse lasts forever, except maybe the black, and even that ain’t steady. Still don’t make us fools for trying.

Willow was angry when he refused to hand over his diary or even to read aloud accounts of the days she and Xander wished to relive. They found comfort in memory, in recitation, and so he steeled himself to listen, but it was like drinking lye.

To him it was as if, in falling, she tore backwards through their lives, warping what was not destroyed, leaving shadows and ominous silences in scenes that had been full of sunshine. He was half-certain that in the ivory pages, as in his memory, he would find every instance of her name burnt out.
Title: Kitchen Dreams
Characters: Giles
Rating: G

Parsnips were hard work; the peeler always stuck near the tip, and the smell wouldn’t come off Rupert’s hands even when he washed. Still, he liked it when Mum gave him a real job, not just babyish tasks of counting carrots or choosing potatoes. Roasted parsnips tasted good, so the work was worth it. Not like onions, which were satisfying to pull from the garden but nasty to eat, or tomatoes that were finicky to pick and slimy inside. When Rupert had his own shop like Mr.Barnicot, he would sell all the onions and never have any tomatoes at all.
Title: The Archivist
Characters: Buffy/Giles
Rating: PG-13

He is still, always, the record-keeper, all their apocalypses mapped on his skin. In darkness the whorls and ridges of his scars are like Braille under her fingertips: a star at his temple, five small sunken ovals around a too-smooth circle on his chest, a long, thick, twisted snake along his left side. Stripes on his back, odd uneven lines on his fingers, countless lumps beneath his hair. Gwendolen Post, she whispers, Willow, the Knights. When her hand covers his, he grips it hard and kisses her harder,stilling her lips before she can continue: Angel, Angel, Angel.
Missed Connection

Buffy told Willow it's fine, and she tries to believe that. After all, it's not like Willow's doing anything new, not like she and Tara weren't already joined at the hip, already walking hand in hand, talking all night.

It’s not like Will and Tara were doing anything Buffy and Willow hadn't done. Before.

When Buffy comes back from patrol, there’s a cheery @ Tara’s tonight! on their whiteboard. She sits on her empty bed, arms crossed over the weird ache in her stomach, and whispers to the silence, "It should have been me. It should have been us."
Not All Regrets

He remembers that summer fondly, even now. Remembers fags on grey days, pints of shandy on hot ones. Rough-housing on park benches, Deirdre squealing and all of them laughing until they nearly pissed themselves. Remembers sucking Ethan off on a bus' upper deck in the not-dark-enough of night, to the noisy, confused distress of a middle-aged woman on her way home from the theater. Remembers that it wasn't only witching hours and demons, not just blood on his hands and guilt roiling his guts. He was young, he loved, and if he was also reckless, he cannot wholly regret it.

Another alley, another host of eyeless monks. Another starless night, this one still warm as afternoon and so humid it's hard to breathe. Another girl, this one dark-haired, speechless, bleeding from a fall on the pavement. Giles pushes her against the wall, putting himself between her and the Bringers.

The girls should blur in his mind like the alleys, but they are Slayers, if only in potential, and stubborn. He remembers how fear looked on each face, how anger and pleading mingled in each voice. When Chao-Ahn screams, he hears the other voices, dead and living together driving him on.

It was raining and there was a fire in the study the day Rupert turned ten and a half, the day after which nothing was the same.

He sat in the polished leather chair by the hearth, like one of Father's visitors from London, the ones Mum fussed about feeding, who always finished the fancy biscuits, leaving no leftovers for Rupert's tea. The leather stuck to the backs of his knees. Mum stood behind Father's chair, her lips pressed too thin to see. She looked sad; Father looked only at the heavy book on his knee.

"Once into every generation..."

There must be an explanation. In Einstein, perhaps, or someone later. For how I can relive hours within the sweep of a minute hand, between rings of the phone, between breaths. A physics of thought. Of madness.

The lying calendar says it's been four days since she vanished. I feel ancient, but the lying glass shows me a face unchanged, sinister, like Dorian Gray's.

Like his.

I wear only two splints, but he's broken a hundred fingers. In four days I've betrayed her a dozen times. And I wonder if this is the world ending, if we failed after all.

The new squat's a shithole, with no heat and hardly any electricity and not enough space, but no one has the energy to move out or find something better. The phlegmy cold they've been passing around all month has gone to Ripper's chest. His lack of appetite makes him popular; his cough and his inclination to hog the blankets don't. He spends a day curled on the mattress, drifting in feverish half-dreams of the infirmary in college, his warm bedroom at home, hot Lemsip, Vicks. At night, he dreams of his mother, and wakes unsure whether he's coughing or sobbing.


"Oi, Rip!" Someone kicks the mattress, breaking Ripper's feverish doze and starting him coughing again.

"Sod off," he rasps.

"Your fucking plague doesn't mean the rest of us don't need to get off." Philip grabs the blanket away. "Just do the circle. You'll feel better," he adds. "Been too long, yeah?"

Ripper swats him away and sits up to grab the blanket back. They're almost ready: Ethan's drawing the runes, and Dee's already sleeping in the center. He aches everywhere, he's sweaty and shivering, and he can't tell what's flu and what's Eyghon, and that makes him feel sicker still.
Playing Again

It comes back faster and more easily than he expects, considering the passage of time and his badly broken fingers. As with everything from those days, his body remembers what his mind has tried to shut out: castings, Ethan, the turn of the wrist needed for the riff that half-convinced Olivia he had in fact been a member of Pink Floyd. In a month his new calluses are tough enough not to hurt. He plays in the mornings, when the neighbors have gone out, rather than after midnight to keep them up. He plays in the light; he plays alone.
Words in the Dark

"I m-made... oh, but I... guess you didn't want the first cup either."

"Thank you."

"Um, don't you want to come in where it's...?"

"We're in Southern California, Tara, I very much doubt I'll contract pneumonia sitting out here."

"C-come in where it's cool?"

"No. Thank you."


"I'm sorry. I'm being... and you shouldn't be fussing over me. Dawn needs... and you, your hand, and... How are you?"

"My hand's okay. I wish Willow'd come home. I, I should be asking you."

"You've been..."

"It's over now."

"Yes. Yes, it's all over now. Everything."

"Mr. Giles?"

"Don't. Just... Please."
Food of the Gods

Ripper, nineteen and stoned and so fucking beautiful, languid with the weed and talktalktalking with the magick buzz. We'd torn the page from the 'phone book that listed all the Sainsbury's in London and were trying to get thrown out of every one. In number three, somewhere near Russell Square, he picked up a banana, telling me and the shop boy and the scared old bint in mink about how they'd come on a train after a boat after a cart after a tree after a seed after a cell after an atom, like an ancient priest in a trance.
Challenge # 34: "the new"


After the burial, the children keep giving him presents. Xander brings him pens and boxes of tea. Willow gives him the local paper folded open to the 'rentals available,' and goes shopping with Buffy to buy him a new coverlet. And Buffy herself tries to replace his traditional office mug with an impractical interlocking tea cup and tea pot decorated with leperous-looking sunflowers.

They want him to have new things, as if drinking from a cup Jenny never touched will give him a heart equally untouched by her life and her death. He thanks them, and hopes they never learn.
Doors That Stay Closed

He locks his front door here, though no one comes to it but the postman, or Mrs. Pulsifer from up the lane when her garden produces too many aubergines. The bedroom has a door, but he can wank off with it open if he likes. (See above: door, front, locked.) No one slams the icebox shut after looking for diet soda. No one bangs the cupboards or the glass fronts of the bookcases.

Mornings, he translates; he rereads Middlemarch in the afternoons. He cooks the aubergines into too-elaborate dishes and leaves his stereo off.

He sleeps uneasily in the silence.

Then [ profile] glimmergirl asked "Why doesn't anyone ever write about a Giles who's glad to get away from the annoying teenagers?"

Because He Can

The first night he goes to the pub and meets a woman. He brings her home after closing, one hand on her ass while he fumbles with the lock. She pushes against him and they fall across the threshold and shag in the hall like two school-leavers, never minding that the door's ajar and his keys are still in it.

Next time it's a man, and they never make it to the door, but bugger each other in the stairwell.

When he spends the night with people who'll stay to breakfast, he still leaves the door unlocked. Because he can.

There are records, of course. Not the ones he wants, not prophecies, commentaries, correspondence with Watchers in the field, but payroll lists and retirement plans, real estate holdings and insurance policies. The librarians and archives staff died in the explosion, but there's a solicitor, a dry little man who seems to have reflected spreadsheets in his eyes even when he looks away from the computer to tell Giles, "The investments are very well diversified."

Strange, to hear Ethan in his mind after so many years, but on seeing the total, he thinks, not "Good Lord," but "Ripper, you're fucking loaded!"

"Wonders why I left." Rupert rolls his eyes and his head, nearly falling off the sofa. "'Zif I weren't living in the same bloody hotel Faith did. 'Zif I'd actually moved back to that hell... hole."

"Hell arse hole," Wesley croaks. Laughing would hurt his throat too much, but he smiles at Rupert's guffaw and pours himself another glass of wine. "They emptied my desk. Brought me the things. In hospital. 'N wonder why'm... not absofuckinglutely delighted when they come begging."

"'S just like... that place. No use for us 'nless we'd be useful." Rupert sighs. "Is there more scotch?"
Close Your Eyes And I'll Keep You Safe


"Yeah, Giles."


"All shish-kabobby," she said dully. Saying that was more work than just 'dead,' but 'shish-kabobby' sometimes earned a twitch of the lips or a breathy syllable of laughter. This time it was the laugh, then a grimace as he slid under again.

The back part of her brain kept barfing up pictures: Mom's face, Cordy's bandages, doctors frowning about Willow, gloved hands zipping Xander into a bag. Giles slept, only hurting, only worried about the world ending, not dreaming it could be maimed. She held his hand, dreading the moment when he'd ask a different question.

It's cold there, and wet. Ripper leans against the wall, letting the damp soak through his singlet to the skin. He nurses his bloody knuckles and tries to stop gasping.

He wishes the wall would swallow him. The words form in his mind, the power crackles just within reach, but it's only a glamour. It won't make him deaf, it won't make him insensible as the dirty bricks he envies.

Randall is there with him, Banquo's ghost in a Sex Pistols tee shirt and the golden curls of a choirboy. Floating. Bloody. Mouth open in the scream only Ripper hears.
Darling, I Am Growing Old

"An." Xander knocked again at the bathroom door. "Sweetie, please."

"No!" Anya wasn't sobbing, but she still sounded tearful. "You will find me unattractive."

Dawn snorted. Xander glared. "I won't," he told Anya. "Promise."

She sniffled. "One man who said that ended..."

"AN!" Xander took a breath. "Well, he didn't mean it. I do. Come out."


"Customers may not buy if they can't use the washroom," Giles remarked from the register.

The door flew open and Anya emerged, smoothing her dress. Xander looked her over. "What am I supposed to hate?"

"This!" She pointed. "I have a gray hair!"


kivrin: Peter Wimsey with a Sherlock Holmes quotation (Default)


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