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: I am so sorry for posting this at the end of the night but I had to go shoot for my commercial and then it's July 4th so BBQ and drinking ensued.
Author's Note 2: I know this isn't finished but I will post the rest of the chapters on the last day (if it's a free day, that is). If not, then I will post it to my journal so everyone can find out the ending to this epic tale.
It had been a few days since the body had been found in Miller’s Woods and there had been no further released information, which was both good and bad for Rupert. It was good because that meant there wasn’t anything that the residents of Sunnydale could twist to connected to him. However, it was also bad because there wasn’t anything that could prove to the residents he wasn’t involved in the murder.
Apart from nearly everyone thinking he was the murderer, the last few days had actually been fairly good to Rupert. His relationship with his brother was slowly being rebuilt and Declan had decided to stay for a while longer than he had intended. And knowing his brother was staying on his couch had helped with the post-dream feelings. It was also nice to talk to someone who actually knew what he was going through instead of talking to someone he paid to listen. Declan had even come by the store and had formed a quick friendship with Anya, who proceeded to tease Rupert about not being able to use his past as an excuse not to socialize.
But he had been socializing more than usual. Of course, that was only because Buffy had been stopping by to help out and talk to him. He was still adjusting to that; he had gotten so used to Anya being the only person willing to talk to him like a normal person that Rupert had forgotten not everyone was as judgmental as the rest of Sunnydale. And he actually enjoyed spending time with her. There was sincerity in her end of their conversations, and she still hadn’t tried to get him to talk about his childhood.
No matter how many times he had offered to pay her for her time at the store, her answer was always the same.
“I’m not looking for extra money. I just want to spend some time with my friends.”
Rupert had laughed at something Anya had said as she fixed one of the bookshelves. Apparently some customers thought it would be funny to put everything out of order and either upside down or to where the spine of the book wasn’t facing out. He was labeling a new shipment of books when the bell above the door echoed throughout the store.
He looked up and saw a young man walk in. He narrowed his eyes as he took in the way the man walked and how he held himself. He barely stopped himself from rolling his eyes when he saw a hand hold out a badge.
“Mr. Giles, I’m Detective Angel O’Conner.” The young man said once he reached the counter. “I’d like to ask you a few questions, if that’s okay.”
Rupert opened his mouth to answer but was cut off by Anya, who was storming towards the counter.
“Don’t you need a warrant or something?” she said as she glared at the detective.
“I’m not arresting anyone. It’s more…” he looked at Rupert and gave him an apologetic smile. “I’m doing this more for the citizens. The station’s got a lot of calls telling us to arrest you and since I’ve been assigned to the murder, I thought I would come and talk to you.”
“So you can do whatever you want to pin the murder on him.”
“Anya, please.” Rupert said softly.
The last thing he needed was to give the young man any reason to think he was hiding something. And while he knew Anya meant well, the detective did not know that.
“No, ma’am. I’m actually doing this to help Mr. Giles. There’s no evidence that points to him so…this is merely to ease the citizens’ minds and to help your employer.” Angel said softly before turning back to Rupert. “You don’t have answer my questions, if you don’t want.”
“No, no it’s fine. We can talk in my office.” Rupert said before motioning for the detective to follow him to the back office.
He held the door open for the young man and motioned to one of the two chairs in the office. Luckily, the room was never really messy and the books that had been piled up in there earlier that morning were either shelved or waiting to be shelved.
“I’d offer you something to drink but the only outlet back here stopped working last month.” He quickly explained as he sat in the other chair, glancing at the outlet in question.
“It’s fine. But thank you.” Angel said, giving him a brief smile as he pulled out a pad of paper and a pen. “Again, I’m not doing this because I think you’re the person we’re looking for. What were you doing the night of the murder?”
“My brother had just come into town and I was in my apartment catching up with him.” Rupert answered, knowing it was best to leave out the bit of not being able to recall most of that night.
“He’s a few years older than I am. We’ve been…estranged, for a lack of a better word, since I was thirteen.”
The detective just nodded and made some notes in the notepad. The questioning continued for another few minutes, and it was nothing that tried to put the guilt on Rupert. It was some basic questions that did come off as more for his protection than anything. He continued to watch the young man scribble notes on the paper, his face giving nothing away as to what he was thinking.
"I'm not just down here to put the citizens' minds at ease." The detective said after another moment of silence.
Rupert narrowed his eyes at the statement.
"There's been...certain details that have raised a red flag with the officers who were on the scene and myself." even though he was doing his job, there was a noticeable amount of reluctance in the young man's voice; as if he didn't even want to say what he was trying to. "After hearing some of the officers talk, I looked into your background and...there's quite the story attached to your last name."
"I would have assumed you already knew. Everyone else seems to know,"
"Wasn't really my business to look into your past. But now..." He gave a small shrug as he rubbed the back of his is neck. "Did you ever help your father with the murders? You or your brother,"
"I was only nine when he told us his delusion and I was fairly small for my age so my father only had me help bury the bodies. My brother he had help lure the victims, but no. Neither of us did any of the killing. Or helped with it."
Rupert watched the detective write in the notepad. His heartbeat slowly began to rise at the sudden change in direction the questioning had taken.
"After looking into your file, I see you've been seeing a psychiatrist since you...well, since you stopped your father. Why is that?"
"I murdered my father at the age eleven. Add that on top of the things I saw, I wasn't exactly in the best of places when my grandmother took me in."
The detective just nodded and wrote a few more things in his notepad before standing up.
"Thank you, Mr. Giles. I'll be in contact if I have anymore questions."
Rupert stood up as well and shook the young man's hand.
"I'm glad I could help out, Detective O'Conner,"
He led Angel out of the back office and towards the front of the store. He closed the door after the detective stepped out and ran his fingers through his hair. That was just what he needed, hearing that even the police thought he was involved with this murder.
"Looks like you could use a drink."
He turned around and saw Buffy at the closest bookshelf, a smile on her face.
"You have no idea." He sighed.
He regretted the words as soon as Anya poked her head out from around another bookshelf, a huge grin on her face.
"I can close up the store tonight. You two go out and have a drink."
It didn't matter that him and Buffy where trying to get the idea of out her head, Anya was already pushing them out the door and closing it behind them. They stood at looked at each other for a moment before laughing a softly.
"Perhaps we should get that drink," Rupert suggested with a shy smile.
"Lead the way."
Rupert smiled before walking with her to the nearest bar.