A Thousand Miles – Part 3
By Bek Allen
Title: Moving On
Rating:It went from a G to an NC17+ in about twelve pages… So much for the sweet and cute mushy fic I was aiming for.
Summary: Four months after Tabula Rasa, Buffy loves Giles, Giles loves Buffy. Giles is still living in England. Can Buffy’s “meaningless noise” show Giles just how much she cares?
Spoilers: None as far as I know. BUT, unless you’ve never seen season six before, the whole Giles/England thing could be an issue.
Disclaimer: I do not, nor will I ever own Buffy and Giles (bummer) they belong to Joss, UPN, M.E. (Mutant Enemy) and whoever else is on the Buffy Bandwagon.
Distribution: Fanfiction.net, Destiny Awaits, Bek’s Fan Aliance, Kiwnuck, if it’s any good and anyone else wants it, ask first.
Feedback: PUHLEASE? Feedback gooooood. Send any feedback to the following email: email@example.com. Constructive comments ONLY. No flames, no put-downs.
Notes: Thank you so much to Sara for Beta-ing this for me, you’re the very best ever!
She grumbled to herself as she taped yet another box closed. “Honestly, how much stuff do you own, Rupert?” The name sounded more natural on her lips then it did several days ago.
He chuckled as he stepped out of the kitchen, tea tray in hand. “It’s not as if you’re packing the entire contents of the Sunnydale High School library, Dear. Tea?”
She nodded, arching her back to straighten out the kinks. “It just doesn’t look as though you’ve got all that much. I mean, back in Sunnydale, there never seemed to be that many…knick-knacks. Your place was mainly books and battleaxes, ya know? And now there’s things like cases, statuettes, bowls, cups.” She sat on the floor between his legs, blowing on the hot cup of tea offered to her.
“I think you mean urns, idols, ceremonial bowls and goblets, Buffy.” His hand rested across her shoulder as he sipped from his own cup of tea, surveying the large boxes already closed and marked. “How many boxes do you think we have left?”
“To pack?” She rested her head on his thigh. “Two.”
“Yep. The last of the books.” She brought his hand to her mouth and kissed it softly. “I can’t believe that the last week has gone by so fast.”
“I can’t believe it myself.” His other hand slowly stroked her hair. “Actually, I still can’t quite believe you’re here.”
“What? Those first four days in bed didn’t convince you?” She placed her empty teacup on the table and turned on her knees to face him.
Giles chuckled lightly, brushing his fingers against her cheeks. “I had to keep waking myself up to make sure you were well and truly here and not just a dream those first few days.”
“I know.” She smiled and kissed his fingertips. “Slayer senses and all. I had to wake myself up once or twice, too.”
“Love me?” he asked as she stood up to move back towards the piles of books and the last two empty boxes.
“With all my heart, body and soul.” She kissed him softly on the lips before picking up the top two books. “Love me?”
“As long as there are stars in the sky, Buffy, I will always love you.” He smiled and moved out into the hall, searching for things they may have missed while packing.
He picked up his briefcase and wandered back into the living room.
“What’s that?” Buffy asked as she taped up a box.
“Oh.” She looked thoughtful for a moment. “Then how come I’ve never seen it until today?”
“Probably because I’ve left it sitting on the table in the hall for the last week.”
“Oh. Pack it?” She reached for the case, smiling up at him.
“Just whatever’s in it. I want to take the case on the plane.” He bent down and kissed her nose. “I’ve got to go and get something from my room.”
“Okay.” She pinched his arse playfully as he turned away. Her face was the picture of innocence when he looked back over his shoulder.
“You’ll pay for that,” the smile in his voice betraying the solemnity of his vow.
“Counting on it.” She turned back to the last box and began placing books in it.
He ascended the stairs slowly, his mind replaying the last week. The first five days were spent tying up his loose ends here in England, making reassuring phone calls to Sunnydale. Yes, Buffy arrived safely. Yes, Buffy was enjoying the sights. Yes, Buffy was now speaking to Giles; the argument they had the last two days he was in Sunnydale before he left was forgiven and forgotten. And finally, yes, Buffy would be coming home as planned.
They had both decided to keep his return to the Hellmouth a surprise. Buffy wanted to give their friends the wonderful news in person rather then over the phone and Giles had agreed, silently hoping that the surprise didn’t shock any of the gang into an early grave. The rest of their time had been spent making love. Both were content and delighted to just lie in each other’s arms in the afterglow of their love.
Rupert grinned to himself as Buffy’s soft voice carried up the stairs to him. She was singing their song. Humming along, he made his way through the obstacle course of boxes in the library. Reaching one of the oak bookcases, he reached up and removed the top most shelf, leaving a two-inch gap. He gently placed the board on the ground before pulling the back of the shelf away. Once removed, he felt around in the small space, his hands brushing a smooth wooden case.
Grasping it with his fingers, he removed the small box. He sighed as he lifted the lid that kept safe the few treasures he had set aside for Buffy and the others in case anything should happen to him, ‘Gods forbid’. He lifted away the several pristine, white envelopes – each engraved with the name of a Scooby gang member – and removed a smaller, suede covered box.
He opened the lid to reveal a trio of matching rings. He ran his fingers across the delicate stones. They had belonged to his great grandmother, who, in her day, had been The Slayer. His great grandfather had been her Watcher. He smiled as he remembered his grandmother telling him the grand adventures he parents had lived through; tales that were told to her by her own father, shortly after her mother’s death at the hands of Lothos.
Giles removed the larger ring. A gold band with several square cut sapphires surrounding a small diamond. Slipping it on his finger, he vowed that all secrets from his greater past would no longer stay hidden from Buffy. Tonight at the hotel over dinner, he would tell her everything.
Closing the small jewellery box with the two last remaining rings inside, he placed it back with the letters and replaced the lid on the small camphor wood chest.
“Rupert.” Buffy’s voice floated up to him from the bottom of the stairs.
“Coming, Luv.” He hastily put the shelves back together and carried the box down the stairs to where she was waiting.
“Yes?” – “What’s that?” they spoke in unison, Buffy indicating the box.
“Something for later.” He placed the box in his briefcase, closing it tightly. “You called?”
“Uh, yeah,” She shook her head and held up the small paper package. “Ethan, to you. What’s going on?” her voice laden with trepidation as she waited for an answer.
“Dear Lord, I completely forgot.” He took the package from her and moved to sit on the bottom stair.
“Completely forgot what? To tell me you’ve gone back to drinking and raising demons that leave you for dead?” Her voice had risen, bordering on the edge of hysteria.
“Buffy, do you honestly think I’d risk losing you for a cheap thrill with that…that pillock?”
“He was your friend for seven years, Rupert.” She sat down beside him. “Maybe his time at that supernatural rehab has changed him.” Her tone changed as she tried to calm down.
He looked at her in disbelief. “Oh, don’t be so naïve, Buffy. This is Ethan Rayne, not some shallow alcoholic coming home form Betty Ford.”
“Maybe we should open it?” Her hand fluttering above his knee before dropping helplessly back into her lap.
“I’m sorry, Buffy. I shouldn’t have lost my temper.”
“It’s okay. I shouldn’t act like such the possessive girlfriend.” She blinked away the tears that pushed at the corner of her eyes.
Giles put the package down beside him and pulled her into his arms. “I’m sorry, Love.” He kissed her neck softly, nipping at her throat.
“You’re forgiven,” she giggled. All thoughts of Giles being mad at her were gone with his warm breath against her neck. “Now, let’s open this package and see if Ethan deserves an ass kicking or not.”
Giles sighed and picked up the package. His heart racing at all the possibilities the brown paper could be hiding.
“Oh my God.” Buffy breathed. “It’s - ”
“Beautiful.” Giles continued as he let the brown paper fall to the floor.
“What is it?” Buffy asked as he turned the leather volume over in his hands. “I mean, besides a book.”
He smiled and opened the cover. “It’s, oh?” He handed the book to her and picked up the piece of paper that fluttered to the ground.
“Chaos Theory: Magickal Beginnings.” Buffy read aloud. “By Rupert Edward Giles and Ethan Nicholas Rayne. Since when did you and Ethan write a book together?” She put the book down and looked at him.
“W-we didn’t.” Giles gave her a confused look as he unfolded the piece of paper.
“Well, it says…” She pointed to the print under the title.
Giles shook his head and looked at the note in his hands. “Oh here. Listen to this.” He began to read aloud.
For once the American Government has done something right. When they sent me to that rehabilitation clinic in the Nevada Desert, it gave me time to think. They allowed me to retrieve a few things from my home in Santa Monica and I found…things.
Things from before you became a watcher to your little Slayer…”
“I am not little!” Buffy exclaimed before letting Giles continue.
“…Things from our Eyhgon days.
Remember how we began writing that book on The Chaos Theory? Well, here it is. A Magickal Beginning. I thought you might appreciate the first copy. All of them are leather bound, and one has been distributed to every mystical bookstore, coven, sect and office, including the Rehab centre.
By now, you’re wondering why I’ve sent it to you. Well, enclosed is your half of the cheque. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. A lot for a book, I know. But a law firm in Los Angeles payed me enough to get it published and edited. Don’t go spending it all on cheap women and wine, Ripper.” Giles could almost hear the deep snicker of Ethan Rayne as he continued.
“Well, now I must be going, there’s some chaos waiting to be caused back in Santa Monica. You know as well as I do, Rupert, that a leopard never changes his spots.
Be seeing you, Ripper.
“I’m not small and I’m not cheap.” Buffy put her hands on her waist and glared at the letter.
“What makes you so sure I’m going to be spending the cheque on you, my Dear?” Giles laughed as he held up the folded cheque.
“Well, I’m your girl and…and…” She looked at him and stuck out her tongue.
His laugh was deep and hearty. She smiled and threw herself into his arms. “Wow, my boyfriend, a real published writer…sorta.” She kissed him softly.
“Yes, ‘sorta’ would be correct. I can’t believe Ethan kept all of that stuff.” He sighed happily and kissed her back.
“No ass kicking then?” She gave him a small pout of disappointment.
“No. Not unless he decides to show his face in Sunnydale again.” He stood up, tucking the cheque and the letter into his top pocket. “Are we ready?”
“Hmm.” She looked thoughtful for a moment. “I’ve just gotta tape the last box up and then it’s off to the hotel we go.” She stretched her back. “Dawn can so unpack everything when we get home, ‘cause I am NOT lifting another box, book, thingie or doovey EVER again. Unless it’s a weapon and I’m damaged bound.”
“Yes, my Love.” He smiled and patted her shoulder in mock sympathy as he turned back to his briefcase. “We’ll stop at the bank on the way to the hotel so I can cash the cheque. We’ll figure out what to do with the money later and then, how about we do something special for dinner?”
“Okay.” She stifled a yawn. “Then it’s definitely shower and then sleep…lots of sleep.”
Giles watched her walk back into the living room as he ran his fingers over the small box before placing the book beside it. ‘A nice parting gift from this stage into the next one. Thank you Ethan, wherever you are.’ He thought as Buffy sauntered back in to the entryway, a bright smile on her face.
“Ready to go home, Mr Giles?” she joked as she held out her hand to him, her other reaching for her own suitcase.
“Yes, I am.” He picked up his briefcase and his suitcase and linked his arm through hers and they walked out the door. “One thing’s for sure, I’m not sorry to see the last of this place.” He grinned down at her upturned face and pulled the door closed and locked it behind him.
“The movers are going to come in an hour and you have to leave the key under the mat and they will have everything in shipping crates and on the boat, sailing to Sunnydale tomorrow.” She kissed his cheek and walked down the stairs to wait for him.
The now waiting cabby opened the trunk of the car and placed their bags in there as they climbed into the back seat.
“Bank of London then the Concorde Hotel, please.” Giles told the driver as he climbed into the front.
With a nod of the head, the driver pulled away from the curb and into the road.
“Ready to start a new part of your life, Miss Summers?” He asked teasingly as the drove along.
“Very. It’s already shaping up to be the best part so far.” She turned and kissed him slowly on the lips.
He smiled and faced ahead as she curled up against his chest, her head resting on his shoulder. Tonight would definitely be the right night to tell her everything.