Summary: The darkness shall turn to dawning, and the dawning to noonday bright.
Fandom: Buffy: the Vampire Slayer
Warnings: Character death, vampire!Giles, underage sex.
Spoilers: "Becoming," "Anne"
Original story: Night by zulu
Sunrise, Sunset (The New Day Dawning Remix)
He can always find her, now.
As a man, with the arrogance of man, he pretended indifference to the stench of her sweat, the ooze of her pores, her menstrual blood, the many scents that made her Buffy. But oh, he noticed. He noticed with the parts of him unimpeded by superego, his gut, rolling with hunger, his prick, taut with blood, his nose and eyes and ears. He remembers with senses and with senses he tracks her, leaving bloody, hungry-eyed shadows of her friends in his trail.
He loses the scent at the edge of Los Angeles, which reeks of animal bile, dust, death -- even the sweetness of Buffy, the perfume that he tracked like an animal, bathed in at convenience stores and dirty rest stops, is masked by the anonymity of sex upon sex upon sex, whores and liquor and vampires without name or lineage. Buffy is in that city, somewhere, hiding from her history, hiding from his lessons, hiding from him.
As a Watcher -- a deceased Watcher, a disgraced Watcher, a Watcher who has already let his Slayer be resurrected once -- he can't track her. No innovation the Council can create could match the fine, pin-sharp skill of the Slayer at disappearance. Buffy knows shadows no Watcher could see. Watchers fear darkness, and Slayers hide in the night.
As a vampire, he can track her only to the edge of civilization, although he knows what no vampire should -- the scent of a particular human, the coppery taste of blood he's never fed on. The Judge (before Buffy slew him) would test Rupert and find him wanting.
And yet, he can always find her, now. He can wait in the darkness of his flat, swimming in seventies music and drowning in high schoolers' blood, drinking the potions of his youth and feeling strength and immortality once more flood his veins. He can track her, trace her, locate her, ring her with protection and build for her a sturdy web -- his love, a certain trap. She'll return, for her friends, for her mother -- and she will find him. Only, always, her Watcher.
She throws herself into his flat, sobbing; her wrists wet with blood, her stake dusty from -- Willow? Xander? or the sweet brightness of Cordelia, true queen of a half dozen minions? No matter -- one is dead, the rest will follow, and Buffy will take them all, and when her innocence is gone, her carcass will belong to him.
"Giles!" His fangs extend; he reaches for her, face twisting into want. There's terror in her voice, and though he imagined surprising her into submission, vamping in the middle of a kiss, he can't retract his fangs now, not when he can see the curve of her jaw where the flesh covering her lifeblood is thinnest. He greets her with glowing eyes, and devours her scream.
She throws herself at him, stake clumsy in her grip. "Not you," she sobs. "Not like this. You can't be -- you can't -- Giles, please." His arms find her shoulders, press her arms flat against her sides. He wraps himself in her warmth, wraps her in his strength. His tee shirt is wet from her tears, and he knows that he's already imprisoned her. On three counts, she can never kill him. First, that he knows her, deeper even than Angelus knew. Every twist of her hips, every thrust of her chest, every parry, he anticipates and blocks. Second, he is her Watcher, closer than family, dearer than friends, and (his cock is hard against her thigh; he can smell her arousal and taste her tears) soon, her lover. But third, third -- he is all that remains to her, the only survivor of the -- who where they? -- Scooby slaughter.
When she's taken Xander and Cordelia (separately, lost in the carelessness of mutual loathing), Oz and Willow (feasting together on the football team), Rupert takes her, with her back against a grave and her legs spread wide in fresh earth where flowers and worms struggle towards freedom. He drinks from her neck, this first time, and she gasps and chokes and gasps again -- she groans, and he thinks he's taken too much, but she's still warm in his arms, and sweet in his mouth, and when she moans again, it's with bliss, as he thrusts into her cunt and takes the last of her innocence. His teeth are sheathed in her vein, and both she and he are safe. With the last of her friends, the old order passed away, and here on her mother's grave, in the darkness of a new moon, the new day begins.
"Honey, I'm home." He rubs dust from his eyes, reaches automatically for the glasses he no longer needs, will never need again. "Morning, lover." Her voice is dry, swollen with vampire dust and demon parasites, with sarcasm. The flat is dry and dusty; the kitchen is unused. Even his bedroom has a half-lived-in feel, because he lives a half-life there. Vampires don't love, and Watchers don't take chances. Neither protect Slayers, not like this, not with the dark magic, once-forgotten, that floods his senses now, protective charms flowing from him into Buffy like the sterile semen of his fucking.
"Good morning, Buffy."
"I brought you breakfast," she says, and actually smiles as she bares her neck. "Fresh blood in bed? Maybe... blood?" She unhooks her belt, unzips her trousers, reveals the sweet spot of her thigh, his favorite. Her fingers and two small, red scars guide him; he sucks without thought, without care. The sun has risen, and Buffy is safe. His fingers curl into her sex; her lips part easily for him, and she shrieks with the pain of his bite, shivers with pleasure as he drinks her, fucks her, loves her into the oblivion of daytime. Deep plum drapes lined with muslin hide them from the sun, and they'll sleep together in her warmth, drying blood sealing his lips to her leg.
Once, she showered after. Once, she cared for appearances, imagined that he'd left some friends to care for her, to notice her truancy, her scars, her emaciation, the whiskey on her breath and the razor burn on her cheeks and thighs. Once, he'd have spent this day buried in arcana, brewing potions and summoning assistance, working in secret to protect her from his kindred. Once, she would have looked the other way, pretended not to know the things he did or the powers he invoked. Now -- now they sleep the sleep of the drunk and the dead, half-doers of almost-brave deeds, a vampire protecting a human, a human protecting a vampire. He turns her friends, her classmates, her teachers, and she slays the creatures he sires. If there were peace between them, it would lie in the death of everyone they've known, but there is no peace, only a bloody kind of love, her tongue just peeking from her mouth, his hand gentling her sleep-tousled hair.
Now, they die in daytime, and can only see clearly at night, under the stars, lying in gravedust.
"Come with me on patrol tonight?" she asks, yawning, sometime near sunset. Hunger fills him already, to hold her aching muscles, to watch her in battle, to know the scent of her sweat before he beds her in the graveyard.
"Of course, Buffy. I'm here whenever you need me."
"Of course." She dares to roll her eyes. He's angry but -- he can't. He never could.
So she Slays, silent, precise, an empty whirlwind of passion, and he watches, and waits, and prays to whatever demons will still receive his petitions, that he will not lose her.
When the night's last vampire is dust, when the bravest demon has retreated to its daytime lair, she leads him to the grave -- Joyce's again, the empty casket, beloved mother. Joyce struggled against him, screamed. Her blood was rich, like an aged wine, and when she drank from him, she swooned. She tried to turn Buffy, braved an embrace, and the stake took her from behind. Buffy lies on her grave, lifts a wrist to his mouth. "Just. Drink," she says, too rough.
His Slayer is old, older than Angelus, older than her mother, older than he. Her blood tastes like a thousand generations of Slayers, a hundred thousand years of lost daughters. Her taste is as crisp as wind, as clear as stars, as musky as an autumn fog. He drinks from her wrist, her neck, her thigh, and when she's wet and limp and weeping, sobbing his name, he makes love to her as gently as he can, a mockery of all he is.
He's inside her when the heat of dawn reaches the horizon, and the warmth of her desire still holds him when the first rays crackle, when his skin ignites, when the blaze begins.
"Goodnight," she whispers, and takes him in a final kiss.