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

Recalling The Sea
By Bonster
For Reema

The shrill ringing of the bedside phone woke Rupert Giles from a peaceful slumber.

"Y-yes?" Peering through bleary eyes, Giles squinted and made out the time to be four o'clock.

The only possible reason for someone to ring so late would be a dire emergency. Inwardly groaning and outwardly sighing, Giles paused, as there was no Buffy or Willow frantically relating a horrific tale.


A rustling sound.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Giles said, "Listen, you. I'm tired and in no mood for childish pranks."

Crackling noises.

Moving to hang up the phone, Giles stopped, as he heard a new sound. Bringing the receiver back to his ear, he listened carefully to what sounded like waves.

He rarely went to the beach in Sunnydale, only if and when he was on the trail of something that Buffy needed to slay. The other times he had heard the crashing of ocean waves had been when he was still young and in England. After Oxford but before Eyghon·.

The crackling continued to a staccato rhythm in contrast to the lolling waves. The sound was tickling the edges of Giles' memory. Where had he heard those two sounds together?

Realization hit, and he gasped.

His nights of relaxation and joviality with one of the few people who had been able to stir those feelings in him, when he was rebelling against everything.

Ethan Rayne.

They would go to the beach at night. There they'd build a fire and tell each other bawdy stories, until the flames would at last be close to diminishing, and they would lay back and watch the stars. Sometimes they would continue their stories, but most times after laying back, with the shifting sand causing stray grains to slither into their sleeves, they would just lie in serenity.

Lying there, until sober enough to realize it was time to go their respective homes, even though the places were more like cramped hovels. Quietly, they would gather the strewn bottles and the various wrappings of the evening's chosen meal. No parting words were spoken, nor any meaningful looks exchanged - just silent departure.

The surprise of the dial tone, at last returned Giles to the present. Putting the receiver back in its place, he discovered his lips were curved in a small smile. He didn't lately consider Ethan and fondness alongside one another in his thoughts. Especially after that last hearty adventure, where he had been trapped as a Fyarl demon by his former mate. Even if he did get to one-up the late Maggie Walsh, possession was not one of his favorite things in these later years.

Was he sure this was Ethan who had called? Could it just be someone playing what they thought was a joke? Besides, how had Ethan contacted him? The Initiative soldiers had shuffled him off to some secret location for confinement. Could he have escaped?

If Ethan had really escaped, he was no doubt up to some nefarious scheme. If that were true, then it was probably just being set up, and he wanted to taunt Giles, like the immature child he had always been.

Giles sighed. He thought it best to get back to sleep, and think of the matter when his brain was functioning at a more aware level.


A week passed, and the strange phone call faded from Giles' thoughts.

Buffy had spent the week patrolling, and had slew a total of three fledglings. No important kills, and yet, not a suspiciously low number either. A rather normal week on the Hellmouth.

Buffy had checked in that night, having made a double sweep. Giles could hear what he considered to be her pre-whine tone creeping into the update.

"All right then, in that case, I'm sure it will continue to be a slow, if not a completely void, evening. So you may go and frolic about, whatever it is you and your friends do with mindless glee," Giles said, as he stirred his soup just pulled from the stove.

Buffy's tone considerably brightened. "Really? Because I was thinking with the non-slayage that me and Riley could go Bronzin'. Thanks Giles! Later!"

After spending the evening with his soup and his book about Pope Julius II, who had actually managed to have two slayers killed in his lifetime, Giles turned in.

The ringing of the telephone woke Giles from a vivid dream where he was administering some sort of language exam to a group of students.

Grateful for being saved from actually grading the exams, Giles glanced at his clock as he reached for the receiver. Four o'clock.

A small surge of excitement ignited in his chest. Consistency had always been one of Ethan's virtues.


The sound of waves and the crackle of what could only be a fire greeted him. Taking him back to those lovely nights and a wave of calm swept over him.

Could it be a spell? he wondered. The calm felt pure and timeless, no hint of a conjurer's energy.

When the sound grew minutely louder, his memory flashed on that time when he and Ethan, being so comfortable with one another, had at last took themselves to a new level in their relationship.

It had been considerably colder, and they hovered closer to the fire and consumed a slightly larger amount of alcohol. Their tales had been limited in number this time, as they had the upcoming Eyghon ritual planned for the next week, and although, both of the young men were excited about it, they knew nothing would ever be the same.

Huddling closer together as the fire began to fade, Giles felt even warmer as his arm pressed against Ethan's.

"You know, Ripper, after Eyghon, we will have experienced incredible highs, but also incredible depths," Ethan had quietly said.

Giles had nodded, wondering where his companion was going with his statement.

"I want something to measure them by," Ethan said. He gently took Giles' hand in his, and gazed into eyes, singing Giles with the heat he saw there.

What followed had left Giles in a state of fulfillment. He had had a moment of complete sharing with Ethan - it left him feeling whole. Even though in the days that followed, they played it cool and were busy setting up the ritual, glances told them what they already knew - they had completed something so meaningful for each other that little else would ever compare.

Frowning slightly, Giles heard a new sound from the receiver - a sigh.

"Merry Christmas, Ripper." Dial tone.

The remembered joy highlighted his feelings of contempt that he had lately reserved for Ethan. Giles wondered if perhaps they'd had their chance, and because of circumstances, those fleeting moments would only ever be fond remembrances. It was probably for the best.