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 Corona
For Hyacinth Girl

It was of course, only a figure of speech. If Giles thought there was even the faintest chance that he could literally drown himself in a bottle, even if it meant somehow transforming himself into an exceptionally small person and leaping from the lip, life would have seemed much easier.

"I've always found it amazing how you choose to hit the bottle after you fuck me and not before." A long hand appeared over his shoulder and tugged the object of his brief suicidal contemplation out of his grasp. He could see Ethan out of the corner of his eye, lounged shirtless on the couch like some kind of long lizard. 'And if I pulled one of your legs off, I bet the bloody thing would grow back as well.' Which sounded oddly gruesome but he wasn't entirely sure if it would be satisfying or not.

"Do you put something in here that I don't know about or something? Or is it another tradition, if I'm not gone by the time it's empty you'll smash me over the head with it?" Giles didn't say a word, he'd thought about it more than once. He never quite knew how Ethan ended up here and he never quite knew how they ended up like this, but they always did, always.

"And that's another thing, no company, none at all. I was under the impression your little brood were always round here, getting their sticky fingers all over your priceless bits and bobs." Giles heard liquid slosh behind him, the faint pop of a mouth coming off a bottle. "They're all out." Because the last thing he wanted Ethan questioning was where everyone was, the second to last thing he wanted, was to talk about them, but then if Ethan was anything, he was smart.

"But of course if you want to hide me in the basement like some old whore you're ashamed of, I'd think that says more for your state of mind than mine." Giles twisted long enough to wrench the bottle back. Liquid slapped a line up Ethan's cheek. He sighed and wiped it away with the back of his hand. How did he do that? Stay so calm, he'd always been like that. Like someone had wound his nerves up so tight they'd all unravelled, left him living life in a permanent sprawl. This should bother him in some visible way, why was it always him?

"Anyone would think I'm a corruptive influence." The hand that had held the bottle slid behind his head, propped him up on the back of the couch. Then Ethan looked down at him, one eyebrow raised, saying 'go on, refute that.' Of course the only way he could do that, was to blame himself, and that wasn't water he wanted to dive into anymore, and of course Ethan would let it go. He did with a snort and rolled until the sofa creaked, propped his feet up on the coffee table. Giles glared at the bare feet resting on the glass but didn't say anything.

Ethan held his hand out for the bottle again, Giles passed it over reluctantly without looking at him. Fingernails tapped along the glass, the sofa creaked and the feet stretched out, toes clicking. Giles glanced at the clock, then glared at the feet. Ethan should have been gone by now. He should have been gone so Giles could drag himself upstairs with his bottle and... Fabric slapped the air next to him and one hand emerged from a red sleeve.

"But of course you don't need me anymore do you? So I should probably exeunt as they say. So you can exorcise the place or whatever." He dropped the bottle carefully into Giles open hand, which looped round it, he didn't look up when the shirt rustled, he didn't want to see. "Oh at least leave the guilt until after I'm gone, that's the way it's usually done after all." That was just it, the way it was usually done was like this, again, and again. Nothing ever changed, and it was only ever the bits in-between that made the world a nasty shade of grey.

"You hate that you do it but you never turn down the opportunity to fuck me whenever it's convenient. They have words for that you know. I couldn't bring them to mind, never studied Psychology."

"They have words for what you do as well." He offered quietly and fabric stopped rustling for a fraction of a section.

"Too true."

Giles tilted the nearly empty bottle, swallowed, then balanced it on a knee. He shut his eyes just for a minute, opened them again when long hands settled on his shoulders and flexed slightly.

"I wouldn't come if you told me not to, you should know that by now." Giles wrung the neck of the bottle until it squeaked, then let it slip and hang between two fingers. His other hand found it's way to the middle of his forehead and pressed down until it hurt. He didn't say anything though, it wasn't as simple as that, it had never been that simple. Nothing to do with Ethan was ever quick or simple, or clean.

The couch gave a quiet rattle as Ethan's weight shifted on a sigh and rose. The long legs swayed upright, wandered slowly into his line of vision, then they bent, and that angular face was looking at him, expecting him to look back, he would have been a coward if he didn't.

"Do I get a kiss Rupert?" If not for the trace of mockery in that smile it could have been twenty years ago. "No." Ethan kissed him anyway, on the end of a laugh. Nothing overt, which wasn't like him at all, nothing like what he'd demanded when he'd appeared leant against the jamb of the front door looking like some kind of fox in human form.

He grinned as he pulled back and there was never any shame in that grin, maybe because Ethan had absolutely nothing left to lose, except maybe him. He obviously expected nothing in reply, even if Giles could have thought of something it was doubtful he would have said it. Though he couldn't leave without having one last parting shot.

"Oh I daresay I'll be around, I'm notoriously hard to get rid of, but then you already knew that." It was true, he did, he was. Everything looked distorted through the neck of the bottle but he saw the front door open and shut. He lifted the bottle, stared at the inch that remained, then very carefully set it down on the table.