Title Wisdom of the Ancients
Author Brutti ma buoni
Rating PG13, though some scenes contain non-explicit sex
Setting Pre-series to post-series
Note Based on actual canon evidence that Giles knows *something* that isn't purely Western culture: Bargaining, part one: think of the breath as chi. Air as a, a life source… I see no harm in imparting a little Eastern philosophy. Chakras have a whole bunch of meanings and interpretations; these probably aren't internally consistent. But then, I doubt Giles truly believes in them.
Note 2 Because I like looking at pictures of Giles, I have also made art for this. Bad art, but art nonetheless. You really don't have to comment on that part... *g*
Muladhara - Base Chakra – seat of base bodily functions, inner power, and the potential for enlightenment – Dark Red
“But it’s all bullshit, innit?” Ripper can hear his own uncertainty, as Ethan simply gazes back at him. “I mean, oriental mystic bollocks. They don’t know anything we don’t.”
Ethan inhales deeply, then sends a long, sweet-smelling flow of smoke spiralling up to the grimy rafters. “Well, Ripper, that rather depends on whether you believe that everything the Western world thinks it knows about the planet is gospel. Like, say, the way they’re so very sure there’s no such thing as demons. That evil is a psychological condition. That you can’t control a man through a couple of bits of his hair or fingernails.”
The room is quiet. Ripper doesn’t need to say anything to that, it having stripped him of all moral and philosophical defences in a few sentences. Ethan does that. Without, apparently, taking any effort. Sometimes, Ripper knows he’s not up to Ethan’s mental weight in this game. More work to be done. He needs to find something more, but it won’t be in books. Got to look inside. Find out what Rupert Giles really is.
Swadisthana - Sacral Chakra – seat of sexual desire and creativity – Orange
“We raising the devil then?” Philip looks uncomfortable in the dark space. Flickering candles cast untrustworthy shadows across his face, a range of fleeting expressions outlined in flame.
“Not the devil,” says Ripper, laughing low, as though they yet might (never: he’s not fool enough to play with Lucifer. Minor demons are more their style). “Just having a little fun.”
The sacrifices are clustered eagerly in the centre of the room. Only four, they couldn’t find more to participate, and they’re not into rape. Not yet. Ripper’s wondered about the way Diedre’s mind is going, lately. She’s more intense about the raisings, far more than he is. But he’s noticed before how it’s the extremes that win in their group. Nobody likes to back out.
Still, it’s still willing victims right now, and if it’s four between six, they’ve never minded sharing before. He gets one of the boys to split with Randall, gorgeous kid, can’t be eighteen yet, eyes wide and pupils blown with opiates, but he was the first in the line and knows what he’s getting out of this. Ripper knows too: a half-decent blow job and a sigh of ennui. How many demonic orgies is too many? Probably when you start yawning midway, it’s time to look for something new to play with.
The room fills with the funk of sex and sweat, ten humans spending their inelegant surpluses in the pursuit of pleasure first, and raising hell a lonely second. Except, maybe, Diedre, riding the oldest of the victims to shouting climax in the centre of the summoning circle, barely focusing on her partner as her eyes circle the space, looking for a hint that they’re having success.
Manipura - Solar Plexus Chakra – seat of intellect and anxiety - Yellow
Rupert Giles spends most of the trip over the Atlantic in the disgusting confines of the plane’s toilet, puking his guts out into the ocean. He’s almost grateful for the Council penny-pinching that has booked him on a flight that requires transfers both at Newark and O’Hare, as though LAX is some obscure airfield that no one would ever want to visit from London. The tedium of descent, disembarking, transferring, reboarding, the familiarity of international airports and their charmless efforts to flog as much pointless merchandise as possible to the trapped hordes of occupants: it all serves as a distraction.
The New York to Chicago leg is particularly distracting, as fate seats him beside a motherly – no, grandmotherly, she could give Rupert more than thirty years – woman, a nervous flyer looking for her own distraction. Rupert’s pale yellow sweating countenance draws her into conversation immediately, and she busies herself with ginger ale and travel sickness tablets before he can explain the source of his discomfort. Eventually, he manages, “I’m entering a new phase of life now, you see. A new position, outside Los Angeles. It’s... quite a life change.”
If his interlocutor wonders why taking up a job as a high school librarian should produce such an access of nerves, she doesn’t express it. Worrying, that. Perhaps he should be as nervous about his cover job as he is meeting his first Slayer.
This is, after all, the make or break of any Watcher: can one build a rapport? Is one’s own training sufficient to pass on to the next generation of great warriors? And, of course, how soon will she die, and what will be the consequence?
Anahata – Heart Chakra – set of openness to experience - Green
It is wholly inappropriate for a Watcher to love his Slayer. One is not in loco parentis, but instead in the position of a tutor, a guide. Pupils will come and go. The world of the Watcher endures.
But she’s sixteen years old, and she does not want to die. What Watcher can listen to those words and not respond? Not Giles, that much is certain.
Of course, he’s going to die futilely in her place, and the Master will probably still rise. But he’s going to give it a damn good shot in the meantime, and who knows? Perhaps Giles is a better Watcher than he thinks, and perhaps Buffy Summers will live to see tomorrow.
His preparations are not lengthy. What would be the point? But at least he has the green crystal, for focusing energy. The spell tome which accompanies it stays behind this time; Giles needs to be mobile, and any spells not already in his head will be precious little use.
He feels naked, without the books to rely on. Just Rupert Giles, trying to save the world.
In his heart, he's glad when she knocks him cold and goes to meet her destiny. But in his heart, he's far gladder when she proves that his books aren't wholly reliable.
Vishuddha – Throat Chakra – seat of communication, and suppressed emotion – Turquoise
Giles has been trying to say something for months now. Every time he opens his mouth, though, something seems to leap into his throat and throttle the words.
The words are clear in his mind, though.
I don't think there is a role for me here.
I'm, actually, running out of cash rather frighteningly fast.
You don't need a Watcher. You probably never did.
Olivia won't live here. And I want to live with her, and see what my life could be without you. Without this. Without death and mayhem and the fate of the world.
I want to be me.
But it's all far, far too emotional and selfish, and he never says it. And then, she asks him to teach her about being the Slayer. And the fate of the world descends again, heavy and choking, as inescapable for Giles as it is for Buffy.
Ajna – Third Eye Chakra – seat of wisdom – Indigo
Sometimes, there is nothing in the world quite so melancholy as being the last one left. He is, you know. The last of the old Watchers. There are international Watchers, a couple, who escaped the Bringers, but Giles is the last stuffy old representative of the Mayfair Council.
(And Wesley, of course, but there's something wrong with Wesley, these days. He is not communicative. And he left the Council behind, long ago.)
Unlike Giles. Giles, to these fragments of the Slayer line, is all that remains to remind them of the world of the Watchers. He should be terrified of that responsibility. Sometimes he is, wrapped in a fug of deepest blue depression. Mostly, he is amused, in an odd and backhanded fashion. Of all the unlikely representatives to take the Council into the future, his own reprehensible, demon-raising, once-sacked self, the despair of Quentin Travers and his ilk…
But he won't question destiny fruitlessly. Just share what he can, and warn as he can, that the Council may be gone, but one should not romanticise it too far.
Sahasrara – Crown Chakra – seat of enlightenment – Diamond white light
He is an elder statesman now. The children sit at his feet, seeking enlightenment.
Giles knows, now, however, that he never did hold any great secrets. Nothing that hasn't been discovered before, nothing that hasn't been shared by the elect, the people who know about the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. Enlightenment comes in many flavours. The Council's way is just one.
And perhaps it is time to admit that one doesn't have all the answers. That perhaps keeping the secrets of the dark places has not helped humanity to help itself all these years. Perhaps the time has come to shine a light onto the dark places which the Council has done so much to conceal.
Perhaps Giles is the man to do that.