Pairing: Eventual Buffy/Giles
Rating: Overall R/ This chapter PG
Setting: Completely AU- no vampires, demons, slayers, watchers, etc; I've also fudged some ages more for plot than anything else
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Summary: When strange murders begin to appear in Sunnydale, all eyes are on loner Rupert Giles. Is Rupert's past repeating itself, or is there more than what's on the surface?
Author's Note: More chapters will come later today. School swamped me so this was the only chapter I had written
Rupert stared at his older brother from where he sat on the couch, trying to take in the fact that he was there. It had been ten minutes since he had come home to find Declan and not much had been said between the two. There were so many things that Rupert wanted to say and ask, but he was having a difficult time figuring out what to start with.
“How have you been, Ru?” Declan asked, flashing him a smile before taking a drink of the scotch he had poured himself.
That question seemed to be all Rupert needed to decide what to say.
“Why now?” his voice was soft and he moved his attention to the floor. “I haven’t seen or heard from you since I was thirteen, Declan. Why show up now?”
“I realized how long it had been and decided I should probably finally catch up with you.”
The nonchalant tone aggravated Rupert more than it probably should have. “So when I found out you had moved here after Gran died, I came here and tracked you down.”
He watched as his brother stood up and walked back to the breakfast counter, pouring another glass of scotch. It irritated Rupert how his brother dropped back into his life and acted as if everything was perfectly fine between them. He continued to watch Declan make himself at home, so lost in his own thoughts that he didn’t realize his brother was talking.
“Rupert.” Declan reached over lightly slapped the younger Giles’ cheek, letting out a bark of laughter at the glare he received. “I’m not going to bother asking if you heard me, because I know you didn’t. Anyways, a lot of people don’t seem to care for you.”
“You talked to people about me?”
“I had to if I was going to find out where you live,” he shrugged, downing half of his glass. “What did you do? Go around and tell everyone about our family?”
“Yes, I voluntarily told strangers that our father was a serial killer and I put an axe in his back two years after he started murdering people.” Rupert snapped, rolling his eyes. “It’s not hard for people to look up something like that,”
Declan looked at him for a moment before nodding slightly. “How did people get the idea to look you up?”
“Someone goes to see a psychiatrist in a small town like this, people get curious.” Was all Rupert said as he looked at the floor.
He still had no idea why his brother had decided to show up now. In the twenty years since Declan had ran away, he had never made the effort to reach out to Rupert. And he was having a hard time believing that the older Giles was now wanting to reconnect.
“Just say it, Ru.” Declan smirked at the confused look on his brother’s face. “You look like you have something to say. So say it.”
Rupert looked at his brother for a moment before sighing. He had never been one for confronting others and even though he had so many things to say to Declan, he still would be confronting him. So instead, Rupert stayed quiet and decided to let things be between him and his brother.
Declan rolled his eyes and settled more into the couch when Rupert didn’t say anything. Silence settled over them as they sat there, Declan nursing his glass of scotch and Rupert looking at the floor. He was glad to see Declan; it meant that his brother hadn’t died somewhere alone. But even during the twenty minutes his brother had been there, Rupert couldn’t keep the memories from coming back to him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He worked this hard to keep from having flashbacks and he wasn’t going to let his brother’s sudden appearance ruin that.
“People still talk about you back home,” Declan’s voice broke the silence.
“What?” Rupert looked up at him and furrowed his brow. “Why would anyone still talk about me?”
“Because to them you’re a hero. You stopped The Slayer,” Declan rolled his eyes as he looked at his younger brother. “You put an end to one of the worst tragedies that place has seen. Of course they still talk about you.”
“I murdered our father, Declan. That doesn’t make me a hero.” He quickly got to his feet and walked away from the couch, his back towards Declan.
“He was insane, Ru. If you hadn’t stopped him then he would’ve killed me and killed you later.”
“Why would he kill the person who was going to take over for him?” Rupert spun around and looked at his brother, his hands clenched into fists. “It wouldn’t make sense. I was going to help him and take over when he couldn’t do it anymore. So why would he kill me?”
He could feel his heart pounding against his ribcage as he stared at his older brother. When Declan stood up and took a step towards him, Rupert closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths.
“Ru, he would have killed you. Remember when he told us about our ‘family destiny’? He told us that you and me would take over for him,” Rupert opened his eyes and looked at his brother. “Two years later, that…sick fuck turned around and was willing to kill me. He would’ve done the same to you, Ru.”
Rupert nodded after a moment, finally feeling himself calm down.
“I know,” he admitted softly. “I just…”
“It’s fine. Come on, let’s have a drink.” Declan smiled, leading his brother back to the couch.
A groan echoed as Rupert slowly woke up. He slowly sat up and looked around, running his fingers through his hair. He narrowed his eyes as he registered he was in his bedroom. Not that he remembered going up to the loft to sleep. He got out of his bed and grabbed his clothes for the day.
The smell of eggs hit him as he walked down the stairs, narrowing his eyes. He had finished all of his eggs a day ago and hadn’t had the chance to go to the grocery store to get more. Rupert walked further into the living room and saw his brother sitting at the breakfast bar, eating a plate of scrambled eggs.
“Where did you get the eggs?” he asked.
“Went to the store this morning when I saw you were out,” Declan answered as he turned to look at his brother, giving him a smile. “Good morning, sunshine.”
Rupert rolled his eyes and set the clothes on the counter. He looked at the bottle of scotch that was on the other side of his brother and narrowed his eyes. It didn’t look as if too much was missing. Not that he had really thought he drank that much, after all he hadn’t woken up with a hangover.
“You alright, Ru?” Declan asked around a mouthful of egg.
“How…how much did I drink last night?”
“Not much. Why?”
Rupert shook his head and looked around the room, trying to piece the night together. He remembered pouring a drink for himself and Declan, but after that there was nothing. He swallowed as he felt his heart rate start to climb.
“Rupert, what’s going on?” his brother’s voice pulled him out of his thoughts.
“What did I do last night?” he asked, slightly afraid of the answer.
“Are you still having blackouts?” at Rupert’s raised eyebrow, Declan gave a quick shrug. “You’re my brother, Ru. I still remember how you were after Dad,”
Rupert just looked down, shifting his weight slightly.
“To answer your question, I have no idea what you did.” The older Giles continued, taking another bite of his breakfast. “We talked for a bit and then I went to bed at midnight. You were still up so…who knows what you did between then and now.”
“Shit,” he muttered as he ran his fingers through his hair.
“It’ll be alright, Ru. You probably just read or wrote something weird like you always did.”
Rupert just nodded before grabbing his clothes and making his way towards the bathroom, mumbling about how he needed to get ready for work. Just as he was about to close the door when a hand grabbed the door, preventing him from closing it. He looked and saw Declan standing there.
“Relax, Rupert. You’re fine.” He said softly, giving his brother a soft smile. “Just…breathe. Everything’s okay.”
Rupert took a deep breath and nodded.
Declan nodded and walked away, leaving his younger brother to get ready for the day.
The sound of sirens stopped Rupert in his tracks. He looked around for the source of the noise and tightened his grip on the bag with his lunch in it. A police car sped down the street, followed closely by an ambulance. He turned to watch the vehicles until the only thing left was the quickly fading sirens.
Narrowing his eyes, he shook his head and began walking towards his store. He was sure that he would find out exactly what that was about later on the news, although he was sure it was probably the result of either a prank gone wrong or some fight between some high schoolers.
“Good, you’re back.” Anya said as soon as he walked into the store.
“I was only gone for ten minutes,” Rupert pointed out, stopping when he saw Buffy. While he had seen her around town, she had never come into the store.
“I have to leave early though. Something came up,”
Rupert turned his attention to Anya and narrowed his eyes. Normally he wouldn’t have an issue with letting her leave early, but there was something about her tone and her expression. Then it hit him.
“No, I don’t think…” he started.
“Don’t worry. Buffy doesn’t have anything to do until six and she’ll help you out around here.” She cut him off before grabbing her purse and walking from behind the counter, quickly moving pass him. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Rupert.”
“Anya,” he called after her as she walked out the door.
He sighed when she blatantly ignored him and continued walking. He dragged his fingers through his hair and turned back to look at the blonde in his store. Buffy laughed softly.
“She’s still trying to set us up,” was all she said.
“Yes, it would seem that way.” He replied, walking to the counter and setting the paper bag with his lunch on it. “You really don’t have to stay. I’m sure you have somewhere else to be.”
She gave a small shrug. “Not really. I’m done with classes for the day and I don’t have work until six.” She said as she grabbed the small pile of books from the counter, leaving Rupert to assume that Anya had been planning to put them away. “Besides, I’m sure you could use the company.”
“I can pay you for helping me,”
“You don’t have to. We can look at this as making a new friend. Besides, I want to see if you’re really as interesting as Anya makes you out to be.” Buffy gave him a smile before looking at the top of the pile and heading off towards the section the book belonged in.
Rupert watched her for a moment before shaking his head and opening the bag, pulling out the sandwich he had bought. He was going to have to speak to Anya about trying to set him up with her friend.