Title: The Chronicles of Ripper: Guilt Part II
Rating: FRT, though there are some rather crude innuendos, if you think I should up the rating I will.
Pairing: Giles/Ethan implied. There’s really nothing more than innuendo, even in the flashback scenes.
Summary: The second installment in The Chronicles of Ripper. Takes place in 1980, three years after Randall’s death. Giles can’t sleep and he goes to an old friend for help.
Note: It’s not necessary to read the first story in the series, but you can if you want. It can be found hereand the first part of this story can be found here
A/N: This will be three parts. The third part will be posted on July 30th.
Word Count: ~3000
He could always count on Ethan living in the same flat. He had inherited it when his parents died. Ethan rarely talked about them, so all he knew was that they had been killed when some sort of spell had gotten out of hand. Ethan had barely been eighteen when it happened.
Shortly after they met, Ethan asked him if he wanted to move in. He had been crashing on sofas for months, so he agreed without giving it much thought. In the nearly two years he’d lived there it had felt more like home than anywhere else he’d stayed.
He never expected to knock on this door again.
When he woke up the next morning he was in Ethan’s bed. Ethan was sound asleep next to him. He quietly got up and made his way to the kitchen, pulling his jeans on along the way. This was just another conversation, on a list of many, they’d never have.
When Ethan came out of the room breakfast was ready. Rupert placed a plate of sausage on the table for Ethan. Besides some magical ingredients, it was the only thing in the refrigerator that hadn’t spoiled.
He had been snacking on stale cereal while he cooked so he really wasn’t that hungry. “I’m going to shower.” He told Ethan.
“Care for some company?” Ethan asked with a smirk.
Rupert paused at that, but quickly regained his composure and kept walking. He had other things to worry about.
When he came out after his shower Ethan was fully dressed and the breakfast dishes were piled in the sink along with dishes from, he guessed, the past three days.
“There’s a pub, it’s underground, a demon haunt. I thought we could ask around, see if anyone knows what could be attached to you.” Ethan suggested.
Ethan had been skeptical when Ripper came to him, claiming to be haunted by some sort of demon. He was going to play along, he used any excuse he could to spend time with his friend.
Until last night. Even with the spells and the sleeping drafts, Ripper had night terrors every hour. At almost six he was woken up for the third time, so he went out to the sofa to check on him.
He knew they’d never talk about what came next. It didn’t matter, talking had never been a big part of their relationship.
“Do you think they’ll know anything?” Rupert asked.
Ethan grinned. “Probably not, but it’ll be more enjoyable than puttering around the flat all day. That is, unless-”
“Demon pub it is.” He interrupted, knowing exactly what Ethan was about to suggest.
London was an interesting city, an ancient city, densely populated, the only place left to go was underground. Some tunnels everyone knew about written about extensively. The tunnels most frequented by demons however wouldn’t be found on any maps, long forgotten by most humans and cloaked with magic. This included the entrance to the pub.
It wasn’t as crowded, but there was a sizable crowd for noon. They went up to the bar and ordered a couple of pints, being very specific that they wanted beer, lest the barkeep mistake them for demons or vampires.
They took their pints and looked around to find a table. It wasn’t easy since every time they neared another individual they received a threatening glare.
“Ethan, how are we supposed to get information from these demons?” That one looks like he’d rather wear my entrails as a scarf than help us in any way.”
Ethan looked at the demon in question. He had a fair point. “Alright, I’ll concede that one, but there are others here. Information gathering is about leverage, if you have something they want they’ll give you what you want… just drink your beer.” He told him before leaving to talk to a group of demons.
Rupert watched as Ethan spoke to the only other beings in the room that looked human. If there was any question at all about their status one look at the crimson liquid in their glasses answered it. His mind wandered back to another pub and another group of vampires, four years earlier.
Ripper followed Ethan through the pub. “This better work.” He told Ethan as they stepped up to a group of about five other men. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Not men. Vampires.
He looked to Ethan, judging by his lack of reaction Ethan knew exactly what they’d be dealing with. Ripper’s jaw clenched as he listened to the interaction.
“We need to find someone.” Ethan said to the vampire standing closest to them. He was obviously in charge. “A mage, goes by the name Malus. I was told you might know where to find him.”
They had been searching for this sorcerer for almost two months. Neither of them had ever met him, but Ethan’s mum had written about him in one of her spell books. Most of the powerful spells she had written down were attributed to him. The name was obviously not his given name, it was probably Marvin or something equally unimpressive, not the name of a powerful mage. On the one hand, Malus wasn’t a common name, it was easy to find people who have heard of him, but he was like a ghost. Everyone knew the name, maybe even seen him a time or two but nobody knew where he lived, or even his real name, so finding him proved difficult.
The longer it took the more desperate they became. They were having trouble with a spell, it was dark magic, advanced beyond any of their current capabilities. If anyone could help it would be Malus.
“May have.” The demon replied. “What’s it to you?”
“I told you, we need to find him, we’re willing to pay.”
“Ethan.” Ripper hissed. He knew damn well Ethan didn’t have the money. Neither did he and he didn’t feel like fighting seven vampires on his own. It’s not as if Ethan would be any help, he was useless in a brawl.
Ethan ignored him.
“We don’t need money.”
“I said we’d be willing to pay, not that we’d be willing to pay cash.” Ethan replied evenly. “Blood.” He ignored the rage rolling off his companion. He knew he was going to pay for this later, but it would be worth it.
“Ethan.” Ripper said again. “You are not selling your blood to vampires for information.” He could believe he even needed to say that.
“ I’m not.” Ethan replied calmly. “ Weare. Don’t worry, they won’t kill us.”
“Yes, because vampires are notoriously trustworthy.” Ripper shot back sarcastically.
Ultimately his desire for the information clouded all reason and he gave in to the conditions. The leader and one of the others led them into the back alley. The other one seemed younger, though it was hard to tell with the undead. It worried him because the younger the vamp the less control they had over their bloodlust. Of course it’s also the one that he ended up with. He shrugged off his jacket and offered his arm, he wasn’t letting him anywhere near his neck.
He glanced over at Ethan who seemed a bit too eager to offer himself up as a snack. He flinched slightly when he felt the sharp teeth sink into his skin. It didn’t take long for him to get light-headed and the vampire had pulled back, his human visage already back in place. He had to admit, the light-headed feeling was nice, but it’s not something he’d risk his life over again, this was a special circumstance.
He held his hand over the open wound. A moan caused him to look back over to his companion. He was familiar with that moan, he’d elicited that same moan countless times from Ethan. Though when he did, it wasn’t usually his neck that was being sucked.
Part of him was disgusted by what was happening in front of him, but another part of him was turned on by Ethan’s reaction, the part of him that existed below the belt. He closed his and tried to clear his mind of those thoughts. He didn’t want to give Ethan any reason to think this sort of thing was okay.
He walked over and pulled the demon from Ethan’s neck. “You got what you wanted, now tell us what we want to know.” Ripper demanded. He spared a glance over at Ethan who seemed a bit dizzy but otherwise okay. Happy even.
He got the information needed and fought the urge not to stake the vamps, after all a deal is a deal.
“What the bloody hell was that?” He asked, pinning Ethan against the wall.
“It was safe. Vampires like that don’t want bodies lying around, not with our council so close.” Ethan managed to say though his voice was a bit slurred like he was drunk.
It finally hit him, how Ethan knew so much about this. “This isn’t the first time you’ve let one bite you.” He pulled back when Ethan didn’t refute it.
“Don’t be like that, Ripper.”
“I’ve seen every inch of you this past year, the only time I saw a bite was… when we met.” His voice suddenly got quiet. He felt like it was all a lie, everything they’d had, what they’d been through. He didn’t know the man in front of him. It wasn’t the same man he’d woken up with that morning. “You let him bite you.”
“Yes.” Ethan replied, his head clearing slightly, though now he resisted the urge to be sick.
Ripper pulled his jacket back on. “Well, next time I’ll be sure not to bother interfering, since you seem to enjoy being sucked by vampires so much.” He made a mental note to never invite Ethan into the apartment, just in case.
Ethan knew he should feel bad, that what he was doing was wrong. Part of him loved pissing off Ripper though, he knew making up would be a mind-blowing experience. It always was with him.
End of Flashback
That wasn’t the last time Ethan came home with fresh bite marks. Sometimes he had three fresh bites in the same week. Usually they were on his neck, sometimes on his arm, and occasionally even his thigh.
Rupert was never a jealous man, but Ripper took issue with Ethan sharing his body in a manner that was in some ways more intimate than what they shared. Those vampires could give Ethan something that he never could, and it bothered him more than he was willing to admit.
As Ethan spiraled into his addiction, Ripper spent more time immersing himself in the black arts. He couldn’t stop any more than Ethan could. Eventually they weren’t partners anymore, just junkies occupying the same space.
Demon summoning was dangerous business under the best circumstances. Ethan and Ripper were the only practiced sorcerers in the group. The other four were just dabblers looking for a better high. The question was never ifsomething would go wrong, only when. When it did, it went really wrong. It took the death of a young man to show them just how far around the bend they’d gone.
His mind came back to the present and Rupert stood up and made his way toward Ethan. They had been through too much to let this happen again. He grabbed Ethan by his shirt collar and dragged him back out to the tunnel.
“I always liked it when you took charge.” Ethan said with a smirk, before Rupert slammed him against the wall.
“Is this amusing to you?” He asked, on the verge of yelling. “You could never hide from me, Ethan. I saw you last night. Allof you. You’ve been clean and now you’re just going to throw that away? For what?”
“For you.” Ethan pushed Rupert’s hands off his chest.
“Don’t use me as an excuse. You-“
“You woke up screaming.” He interrupted. “Maybe I can’t hide from you, Ripper, but you can’t hide from me either. This is more than just being unable to sleep. When you do manage to fall asleep you’re having night terrors, if that’s even a strong enough description for what I witnessed last night.”
“I’m. Fine.” Rupert bit out. “They were nightmares, that doesn’t mean I need you to do that again.”
“It’s not just nightmares. Like I said, you can’t hide either. You’re reading slower. You were having trouble with the card index at the library. Your body is getting weaker and you’re losing muscle mass. I know it’s been some time since I’ve seen you, but I’m guessing you weren’t this lean before this started.” He said, he took the silence as confirmation. “This isn’t just a nuisance, Rupert. Eventually it will kill you and I’m not going to sit by while that happens.”
Rupert stepped back, putting some distance between them. “I came to you because I thought you could be objective.”
“I am.” Ethan said. “We need information. They might have information in exchange for one bite. What is one bite if it means you get to live?”
“Find another way.” Rupert ground out. “One bite has a way of turning into ten, and I’m not letting anyone else die because of my mistakes.”
Anyone else. Ethan stopped cold, as he often did when anybody mentioned Randall. Neither of them had mentioned it to the other in the three years since it happened.
They stared at each other for a few minutes, an uncomfortable silence stretching between them.
Finally Ethan cleared his throat. “We’ll do it your way.” He conceded. Ripper was right, of course, he usually was. If this, whatever it was, killed his friend he wouldn’t let his last memory of him be disappointment. The vamps would still be there if they couldn’t find another way. Next time he wouldn’t go back with Ripper.
They had been searching for an answer for six days. They were often at the council researching until one in the morning and they had nothing to show for it.
Rupert was worse off than before. His face was gaunt, dark circles had developed under his eyes, his shirts were all too big, and even his belt wasn’t enough to keep his jeans up.
He had taken to napping throughout the day, however he was never asleep more than thirty minutes before waking up screaming.
There was another disturbing development that didn’t bode well for him. One night after he and Ethan had fallen asleep he woke up in agony after a particularly vivid dream of being ripped apart by a hellhound.
When Ethan turned on the bedside lamp they were horrified to find bloody claw marks covering Rupert’s chest, back, and arms. Until that point sleeping next to Ethan had made it easier to fall asleep. The rhythm of his breathing, his warm skin, and the thump of his heartbeat had lulled him to sleep. Since that night nothing had helped.
They were desperate for an answer.
“Damn!” He exclaimed, standing up. They had tried one last spell. They knew it was a long shot, but they were out of options.
The spell was a purification spell, originally designed to cleanse one’s aura. They altered it slightly so that it could cleanse his physical form, pushing out anything that might be possessing him or latching on. None of the standard exorcisms had worked. There was a big chance that the spell wouldn’t work at all, a smaller chance that it would backfire and rip his soul right out of his body. The miniscule chance that it would actually work was what they had latched all their hope onto.
Rupert scooped up the bowl that held the mixed ingredients for the spell and threw it against the wall, causing it to shatter.
“Ta, Ripper, that was very helpful.” Ethan said sarcastically. He wasn’t happy about the outcome either, but throwing things wasn’t going to help any. He knelt down and started picking up the pieces of the bowl. He didn’t care about the bowl, but it worried him that Ripper was losing his temper so easily.
He looked up to ask for some help when he saw blood seeping through Ripper’s shirt. Obviously he hadn’t done the best of job patching up the claw marks and when Ripper lost his temper they had opened up again.
He quickly swept the remains of the bowl into a pile on the floor with his hands then went and grabbed his med kit from the kitchen.
“Shirt off.” He ordered.
He was too tired to argue. Rupert’s hands shook as he pulled his shirt over his head, wincing as the movement pulled even more of the lacerations. “Sorry about the bowl.” He said softly.
“It’s fine, I probably would have done the same if I were in your place.”
Rupert was about to respond when Ethan started dabbing the open wounds with an alcohol swab and the only noise that left his mouth was a pained hiss.
It took maybe five minutes to bandage his wounds, but to Rupert it felt like eternity. He was relieved when Ethan shut the med kit, indicating that they were done.
Ethan was putting the kit back in the kitchen when there was a knock on the door. Shirt still off, Rupert went over and answered it. He wished eh could say he was surprised by who it was, but the only surprise was that the visitor took so long.
To be continued...
Who do you think is at the door? Review below.
Also let me know of any errors or typos, including formatting issues. The post page was acting weird and I could only post in the HTML editor. I tried to catch places where it should be bold or italics but I may have missed some.