This one's a one-shot, since I'm spreading the three parts of my long fic over my three posting days.
Beta: Just Me
It’s dark. Late, probably closer to dawn than dusk, and even though the pillow is dented in the shape of a head, the bed is cold next to him, testimony of how long it has been vacant for.
Frowning, he rolls over, flicks on the bedside lamp.
There’s a balcony-piece on the outside of the building; every bedroom has one, affording dizzying, breathless views of a city that never sleeps, and outside he can see the silhouette of a person.
"Ethan?" he calls, his voice barely breaking a whisper.
But still loud enough. The figure turns, and steps forward, coming into the light.
There’s something wrong, something with his eyes. And as he registers this, the rest of the face shifts and morphs. Not Eyghon’s reptilian protrusion, or a vampires bat-heavy features, but something that worse than them both. The eyes blaze a murky yellow, the colour of aged bone and lips slide back from a mouthful of inch long fangs as this thing inside his friends skin stepped forward, an awkward kind of grace rippling through it.
He’s frozen; although whether the transfixion is due to fear, or surrender, or reverence, he’s powerless to say.
And it’s right above him, he can smell it, god knows how it could cross a room so fast, even if he’d been able to react there wouldn’t be time. It reaches for him, and even though he’ll never admit it to anyone or even himself he wants it to reach him. Because if it dose it’ll stop so much of the pain that he knows is waiting for him.
He feels a solid hand at his shoulder, shoving him back, hears a deep chuckle followed by distorted speech.
That hand shoves him again, "Ripper. Rupert?"
And as he feels teeth at his throat the world swims before him.
"Rupert?" The voice is full of concern, and the room stinks of several different herbs gone up in smoke. Slowly, he takes a deep breath, "Rupert? I was having trouble waking you."
The ‘again’ went unsaid.
Ethan’s been increasing worried lately. Says that the bounds between realities are weakening more than ever, that they have been ever since three hundred teenage Slayers were set free in another world.
Last week in another nightmarish vision his own neck was seconds away from being snapped before Ethan pulled him out of it.
Piece by piece these other echoes of him are being killed. He knows it, knows he’ll have to make a decision soon.
The herbs tonight were an attempt at stopping the bleeding of the realities. It’s worked for the last couple of nights, but it seems that it’s picking up too much pace to be denied.
But Ethan told him yesterday that he’s located the true Slayer. A girl named Buffy, and there’s a chance that pulling her here might settle things back down. If there’s that possibility then he reckons that it’s well worth the shot.
"Just another dream."
He sighs, lays back, and laces his fingers through Ethan’s.
"Tomorrow," the sorcerer mutters, and he doesn’t need to clarify. Giles knows.
Free fingers drag through his hair.
If there’s one thing that he can’t imagine, then it’s being in a world without Ethan.