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

Let Us Talk Not Falsely Now
By Rheya
For Kate Bolin

London is nothing like Sunnydale and Sunnydale is not at all like London, and that's comfort, in a way.

There is hell here, drunkards and beggars huddled in rags in the streets, reaching hands and bleeding faces. There is hell here unlike there but like everywhere. At the very least, here, he knows how to turn his head.

He brings books on the flight, an old leather volume of history and myth, but also a bestseller paperback that cost four ninety-five at the airport shop. He reads neither, only leans his forehead against the window. The cold of it eases the pain behind his eyes even as the shakerattleroll wobble-breaks him apart, inside out.


There is hell here, and it's in those darker parts of the city that he finds the books he needs whenever his phone rings and he agrees to pay collect. With his hands in his pockets from the cold and rain dripping down the back of his neck, he almost runs Oz over. Curled cold in a corner, the prayer beads and tokens fisted white in his hands.

There is no greeting for this.


It's a small flat with no decoration, no personal touch. Five weeks later, his suitcase is mostly unpacked. The only books he's shelved are the ones he's used.

Giles hands over a cup of tea, and it quivers in Oz's hands. He rubs a dry palm over his face and eyes. He says, what are you doing why are you here what

And Oz says, i don't know i don't understand. i think it told me to come.

And Giles takes the tea from his hands because he won't drink, can't drink, and he says, instead, sleep.


In the rain on a Tuesday they duck into a record store. Stacks of 78s reach up to the ceiling, and the 45s are packed tight into milk crates at the back of the shop. The owner watches them watch the music, holding up classics and smiling back and forth like everything's normal and everything's fine.

By the LPs, Oz touches the corner of a frayed favorite and Giles smiles, like irony or like pride, and reaches to clap him on the back, and his hand lingers maybe just maybe a little too long.


Over Indian, they talk as much as they ever have. Not a lot but some, more than either of them's said in weeks. There's talking and then there's talking, and there's tacit understanding. There's quiet and there's hands mouths and spices on their tongues.

A fire in the grate and the snapping of logs and flames. Soft sounds and the whispers of skin and there's something wrong, something twisted in all of this, but. But.

There is hell here. But not Here, not Now. Around them, all over, but not like this. And that's comfort, in a way.