the pearl

just like the old man in that book by nabokov

He spends his summer with Willow, and when she sees trouble, he ships her off on the first plane back to California.

He tells himself it's for the greater good, but there's something lurking inside of him that tells him otherwise.


"Oh Ripper and I have always been 'share and share alike'," Ethan purred at the girl, who looked at him with wide eyes rimmed repeatedly with glitter eyeliner. "I find the lads, and he always finds the best birds..."

She looked down for just a second, smiling demurely, and Ethan's smirk grew wider, twisted, mean. "Of course, however, he's always had preferred girls that I find much much too young..." He looked down at her. "You are over 16, right?"

When she blushed and stammered, he grinned.


With Willow gone, he returns to London, buried in Watcher duties. He spends his nights in a small guest bedroom in an old flat owned by an old friend.

The fact that the old friend is now in possession of a Slayer-in-training does not go unnoticed.

But he pretends not to. He pretends that the row of girl-scented products in the bathroom, the small pile of laundry in the corner, the occasional clattering of heels on wood floors...they don't exist for him. He sits in the lounge of the old flat owned by the old friend, and takes notes on old books and does not acknowledge the girl.


"You must first become proficient with the basic tools of combat. And let's begin...with the quarterstaff. Which, incidentally, will, uh, require countless hours of vigorous training. I speak from experience."

"Giles, 20th Century? I'm not gonna be fighting Friar Tuck."

"You never know with whom or what you'll be fighting. And these traditions have been handed down through the ages. Now, you show me good, steady progress with the quarterstaff, and in due course we'll discuss the crossbow..."


It takes a month before he decides to help her train. Robson is, of course, grateful — Rupert has, after all, been in the trenches, so to speak, and along with the many forms of martial arts she has been taught, he can teach her the things no kata can predict.

The training, initially, is what would be expected. Punches, methods of staking, the essentials on how to fight dirty, because, as Giles repeatedly tells her, "vampires rarely believe in an honest duel."

She, like most Slayers-in-training, learns quickly, and is soon laughing, joking, even mock-fighting with him. He moves closer to her during each practice, correcting her form with touch rather than words.

She looks up at him and smiles each time he does it.


The bra is 34A, and he stole it from Willow's gym bag.

It's a plain cotton white thing, barely big enough to fit around his hands, with a slightly frayed ribbon bow in the center, but it still smells of her skin, the faint sticky sweat of teenage girl that sends shivers through his body.

He keeps it in his office, locked carefully in a drawer, and regularly reaches in to touch it, stroking the cups delicately with a single finger, his cock growing harder each times he thinks about the still-forming breast that rested inside.

He catches himself looking at her while she sits in the library, and forces himself to turn away.


Robson's Slayer-in-training is 15. He reminds himself of this each time he sees her. 15, 15, 15, and he is no longer 25, when it seemed acceptable to shag a girl 10 years younger.

A pair of her knickers is left on the bathroom floor one morning, and he spends an hour extra in bed, wrapping them around his cock over and over and over until he comes — not once, but twice.

He knows he will be in pain all day, his cock raw and chafed, his joints stiff from the spasms. He doesn't care. Not anymore.

When she leaves her bedroom door open one night, he takes the advantage.

It takes two weeks before Robson finds out.


"With your previous Slayer," Quentin Travers rasps, looking at Giles with a faint expression of disgust. "I had believed your relationship with her was purely paternal. Now, it seems that I have to reconsider your relationship with her as well."

Giles glares up at the man, but says nothing.

"The relationship between a Watcher and his charge is a sacred bond, Mr. Giles. Not only have you corrupted that bond with your own Slayer, you've now corrupted the bond between a Slayer-in-training and her Watcher." Travers stares at him, his expression moving from disgust to pure hatred. "How many other girls have there been, Rupert?"

Giles lifts his head slightly, and does not say a word.

"How many?"

Giles still refuses to speak, his hands calmly placed on the table, his body tense, but in no way cowered.

"God damn you, man! How many girls have you ruined?"

There is the faintest hint of a smile on Giles's face, but he still does not speak.

Travers looks down, resignedly, and shakes his head. "I had hoped..." he says softly, before gesturing at the door.

Before Giles can react, there's an arm across his throat and two sets of hands holding down his arms. A thin, sallow man he faintly remembers blows a powder across his face, causing his eyes to water. The man mutters a few words in what sounds like Yoruban, then, as quickly as they jumped onto him, the arms release and he hears their owners moving back.

Giles stands up, his body tensed for a fight, glaring at Travers.

Travers looks at him, the faintly disgusted expression back on his face, and nods. "It's a surprisingly simple spell," he says, his voice practically academic, as if this was a lecture on theory. "If you intentionally touch anyone under the age of 25, you will be instantly killed." He smiles sharply. "It will look like a heart attack. No one will even think it suspicious."

Giles lunges for Travers, but the arms that held him down before are back on him, restraining him tightly.

"As long as this —" Travers holds up a small amulet. "Remains intact, the spell is permanent. And I can safely say..." He smiles bitterly. "It will never be broken."

Giles scowls at him, breaks away from the people restraining him, and stalks out of the Council Chambers, refusing to speak to anyone.


He breaks in later and steals documents. He leaves England with two Slayers-in-training in tow, and, in New York, picks up a third.

When the Council House is destroyed, he feels something lift away from him.

And he smiles.


"Now wait a minute — you think I'm evil...if I bring a group of a girls on a camping trip and don't touch them?"

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at