Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

By Pet
For Francis

Surely the burning in his sinuses was just the bite of recycled and dehydrated air. Perhaps someone had brought a cat on board the plane, or had worn too-heavy cologne, and his eyes were tearing and watering uncontrollably in reaction. But he could still see them standing at the causeway, grouped together tightly, huddled close for the second time, waving him away. Looking lost, and so terribly young. No signs this time, no balloons or little gifts, only an aching sadness and the knowledge in too-old eyes that this time, he wasn't coming back.

He adjusted his legs in the cramped space of his seat, let his head rest back on the cushion, and waited for the plane to taxi away. Willed the images gone from his mind. He wondered if this was the way it always felt when parents abandoned their children.


Pressing crowd of bodies, clothed in navy blue and white and the occasional flash of premature tweed; a school mixer and Rupert thought for the thousandth time that maybe he and his friends needed to meet more girls. Here there was punch and bad music and endless discussion of marks and placement and "did you know that so-and-so was sent down? Appalling." Appalling indeed; Rupert was almost sure that boredom could kill. He was proof. Soon enough he would keel over. The chaperones would scream, his classmates gasp in shock and terror as he lay twitching and foaming at the mout--

A bent head and a sly smile caught his eye. He was almost sure he didn't know the boy...sure he would have remembered meeting him. He looked...interesting. Foxy pointed face, too-long hair falling into huge eyes, and that smile promised wicked things and all kinds of devilment. Rupert didn't even blush when the boy glanced up and caught him staring.


Somewhere over some flat and entirely uninteresting state--this country really was unnecessarily and indecently large--his seatmate finally stopped nattering on about securities and bonds and dropped off to sleep. Giles found the snores vastly preferable to the chatter, and flipped open his book in relief. Now perhaps he could get on with his research; there was something about that talon that Xander had found last week that was nagging at his memory, and if he could just remember the proper genus of demon that had such talons--

He snapped the book shut violently, startling his seatmate into a half-awake "huh?" and grumble and mutter before resettling.

That was no longer his business. Sunnydale no longer his concern, its protectors no long his charge.

He shoved the book back into his carryon case, and reached for the seatback copy of "Time" magazine.


Ethan was a good lad to know in a tight spot, Rupert admitted to himself as they ran through the alleys at top speed, skidding around corners and leaping fetid puddles of old rainwater. He seemed to know his way through every back alley and over every fence, and the delighted grin he sent over his shoulder as they scaled a pile of rubbish en route to the main street gave Rupert the suspicion that he had in fact done this sort of thing before.

He landed in an awkward sprawl on the shoulder to the road, and a slim hand, surprisingly strong, hauled him to his feet and dragged him along behind at a sprint again. Blood zinging through his veins, head spinning and exhilarated and exhausted and giddy, he laughed loud and yanked his hand back, putting on a turn of speed that brought him back to the school gates first, as the sirens faded to an inconsequential whine behind them.


Landings were the worst. Really more of a controlled crash, he'd always thought, and his hands gripped the armrests convulsively as the wings made strange grinding noises and the landing gear dropped with a THUNK and he couldn't even appreciate the view of New York out the window. He had a three hour layover, and considered calling Willow, as he'd promised to do regularly, and then rejected the idea.

They both knew the calls would be less than regular.

How could he explain it to them? Buffy needed independence, yes, but there was more than that, HAD to be more than that for him to leave the children he'd watched and guarded and loved for so long, especially now. How could he articulate the fact that he was growing old, and that it was a constant gnawing worry to him that his life was wrapped up in people less than half his age? The loneliness he felt, without friends or family. The driving need to live his own life, after so long being a watcher.

Buffy had outlived most slayers. She was powerful, strong and sure and even now, damaged, capable and independent. Most watchers were relieved of their duty after a year or three, and painful as that would be, he'd almost found himself jealous of them. It had been over for them. They hadn't had to wake up every day, wondering if this was the day that something too big or too strong would take their reason for existence away.

The jolt of the landing startled him, then he breathed deep and relaxed. Perhaps he'd find a coffee shop and just sit and watch the people go by.


"The first time is the hardest," Ethan had said knowingly, and Rupert remembered his words as he grit his teeth against the pain stabbing through his temples, as he chanted the Latin over and over and over again. Ethan was watching him intently, he could feel those strange big changeable eyes on him, but was crouched prudently behind the couch in case something went wrong.

Nothing would go wrong. He could do this. He gathered every bit of strength, every atom of temper and will, and threw it into the chant, feeling his nails bite into his palms and his throat tear hoarse and ragged, staring at the bound chicken as if it could levitate on the intensity of his focus alone.

And oh. All pain forgotten, the chant sliding easily now, because the bird was squawking in terror as it lifted gently and easily off the ground, floated unsupported in the air, and turned in a slow circle. He watched it, fascinated, as it turned once, then again, and


blood and feathers everywhere, coating his face and his clothes and his hands and, shocked beyond knowing, he fell silent.

Clapping hands from behind the divan, and Ethan raced to his side, grinning wildly and practically shining with glee.

"You've done it, then! Rupes, mate, I knew you had it in you, just KNEW it!"

Rupert gestured helplessly at the mess.

"But, but. Ethan, it's gone. Just disintegrated!" He shook feathers off his hands, but they were sticky with blood. He wondered if he'd ever get it off.

Ethan paused in his excited capering, and looked at him strangely. "That's s'posed to happen, you nit. Why d'you think I didn't let you practice on me?"

His horror must have shone through, because Ethan walked to him carefully, crouched beside him, and lifted a hand to his cheek. Rupert felt his eyes go wide, wider, as Ethan leaned closer, smiling at him, and no, this was wrong, he didn't want this, he wasn't LIKE that, he didn't--

Protests, reason and sense were lost in the blinding wet heat of Ethan's mouth.


A shaggy head atop a loudly patterned shirt snapped his head around in the terminal bar, and Giles almost called out before slumping back into his seat. He wondered how long it would be before a shirt like that, or a sleek read head, or a small blonde, stopped arresting his attention.

They were an odd little family, his children. He was terribly worried about Willow, but knew enough about magic and its seductive power to realize that the only thing that could pull her through was her own strength, her own pure soul. He hoped Tara would help.

And Xander, with his great announcement. He was genuinely fond of Anya, truly, but he wasn't quite sure that marriage was the best step for his boy. He hoped that Xander wasn't prompted by his eternal search for stability and lasting love, instead of by love itself.

He took a sip of his whisky, rolling it around his mouth before swallowing.

He was worried about Buffy for too many reasons to think about.


Ethan could touch him from across a room, and did, often, especially when they were in public, when Rupert's attention was divided. He'd be chatting with some nice young thing, downing a pint, and ghost fingers would curl around his cock, stroking lightly, or trail down the back of his neck, where Ethan knew he was so sensitive. He'd shudder, his voice would hitch and break and his hands would tremble, he'd lose his train of thought. More often than not, he'd get a strange look and a cold shoulder after that, but he always knew that if he looked around the room he'd see that white grin, those shining eyes, and desire for him.

Sometimes in class, Ethan would pull a bit at the hoop through his nipple. It was his favorite toy; he'd pierced it himself, licking it to a peak and then icing it while Rupert gasped and bucked against his hands, sliding the needle through torturously slowly, and then lapping away the blood, after.

Sometimes they didn't get out of bed for days.


He'd picked up a copy of "From Dawn To Decadence" in the airport bookstore, hoping to have something at least slightly current under his belt to discuss, should he find someone to discuss it with once he made it home. The rather gross inaccuracies of the history caused by the author's blind spot when it came to the demon world made his teeth grind, though, and after the third time he'd muttered "Oh, that's just bollocks," he put the book down in disgust, and stared out the window at the clouds.

He wondered how Dawn was doing. She'd been so brave and strong, he wondered how she'd ever doubted that she was Buffy's true sister. Summers girls came from strong stock. He felt a smile pull at the corners of his mouth as he thought of Joyce, taking her bizarre life and the duties of her daughter with such equanimity, once the original shock had passed. Feeding Spike hot chocolate with little marshmallows whenever he'd appeared on her doorstep, dispensing hugs like medicine when something went wrong. The mother to his father, and he missed her, deeply.


He hadn't known there were others. One by one and day by day they drifted into the small, dingy flat he'd found with Ethan, and drank their tea and chain-smoked foul, unfiltered cigarettes and talked long into the night, casting light spells and music spells and prank spells. He was drawn to the conversations helplessly, sitting by Ethan's side and soaking in the knowledge like a thirsty sponge. The first time Ethan invited someone to join them in bed, it was a girl, Amelie, and it was strange and terrifying to cast magics with them both, naked and twined together on the rough blankets, feeling the power jump higher with every thrust, every word.

Ethan bit his shoulder when he came, and Rupert felt the magic surge, incandescent, and wondered if it was the blood.


At least his feet had more space. He stretched a bit, cracking his shoulders and neck, letting the ache of old wounds distract him from the pain in his heart. Would it ease, he wondered? Someday, would he stop fretting about what Spike was up to now, how Dawn was doing in school, whether Buffy was keeping her stakes sharp?

He doubted it. He sighed again, and stared at the movie screen. Some Adam Sandler abomination; he'd heard Xander quoting from it extensively recently and had forbidden him to speak for the next hour. Yet another reason to flee back to the homeland; he truly and sincerely hoped that he would never have to hear the words "South Park," "Adam Sandler," "N Sync," or "Survivor," ever again.

He felt light, hollow, empty, like he'd gone too long without food. He could worry all he wanted, but there was nothing he could do. His purpose was gone.

He wondered if he'd find a new one.


It was all moving so fast, and Rupert spent most days in a desperate attempt to just keep his feet. There were meetings now, gatherings where people talked about chaos and drank absinthe and babbled with wide and glassy eyes. Wild-eyed girls with blood under their fingernails scrabbled at his arm and asked him if he knew the way. He wanted to ask, "what way?", but they were always gone before he could speak.

Ethan was his anchor. No matter what happened, Ethan was there, guiding him, holding onto him, reassuring him when the voice in his head screamed warnings, reminding him that they were doing this together. Setting his body on fire with mouth and hands that were hard or soft, as he needed it. Ethan always knew what he needed, even before he did.

He never said no to Ethan. Until the orgy.


Maybe the Watcher's Council would take him back. He snorted a laugh at the passing thought, and then considered. There really weren't any watchers at the moment at all, at least not active ones. Faith was on her own, as was Buffy, as Buffy had been, technically, for years. So the Council was really just a glorified research organization these days, with no concrete control or articulated duties. Perhaps. Perhaps he could change that. Break them out of their hidebound, impractical stuffiness, bring them into the 21st century so that generations of slayers would be worked with, not against.

He rolled the idea around in his mind for a moment, enjoying it, before setting it aside. Changing the ideas of the council would probably entail a few pointed assassinations and a rather bloody coup, and frankly, he was tired. Tired of fighting, tired of the eternal battle against evil. Let someone else take up the sword. He was going home to his little flat, where he could get a proper cup of tea and a decent scone, and he would visit the libraries and museums and talk to people his own age. Perhaps he would join a reading group, and read novels again, and discuss them intelligently, and never think about vampires and demons and things that went thump in the night.

The only question, really, was what to do with his battle axe collection.


Too much, too much. Too much blood, too many people, his body was aching and his cock was raw, and still they kept on, bleeding and fucking and calling for a demon. Images flickered through his mind, disconnected...Ethan screaming at him that he had to come, he had to be there. A beautiful blond boy cutting long slashes in his arm and bleeding into a cup. The feeling of the cold floor under his knees as they knelt to start the incantation. Flash of bared teeth from a dark girl as she rode him hard, naked under her robe. A glimpse of the smooth elegant line of Ethan's pale back, memorized now, across the room.

Inside, something snapped. Too much. There were tears on his face, dripping to the floor as some stranger pounded into him, relentless as the chant. The voice, that little warning voice, was deafening now. It was screaming "no."

He was gone before Ethan woke up the next morning.


One more landing and he was home. He'd been drifting in and out of sleep for hours, listening to a mother behind him soothe her baby, hearing rain hit the plane in a silver shine of noise. Every time he woke up, he thought of going back. Every time he fell asleep, he did so with the conviction that he'd made the right decision.

The cabin lights came on as the captain announced the landing, and the passengers began to stir. He watched them: foolish, many of them; evil, probably not a few. Human, though, with human lives and cares and concerns. He hoped he could get that back.

The landing had him tense and anxious, all drowsiness lost, eyes fixed again on the seat ahead of him. The landing was rough, and he only breathed easily again when they were rolling slowly, slowly up to the causeway. It was raining outside, of course. Lovely damp London. He smiled for the first time in hours.

Voices washed over him as he stepped into the terminal, comforting with the accents of home. He had to find his baggage carousel, had to retrieve his things. Fortunately most of his belongings were still here, but-

His eyes were caught and held. Hair too long. Foxy sharp face, worn now and too thin, that smile. It promised many wicked things.

He dragged a hand over his face, feeling the tired lines, the stubble, the wear of sleepless nights and too much worry. But he couldn't look away from the big eyes. Changeable and strange, still, but different now, maybe wiser. Giles was still smiling.

"Hello, Ethan," he said, and stepped forward.