Categories > TV > Buffy the Vampire Slayer > Always Waking

Always Waking

by KipperMay 0 reviews

R for later chapters. Giles felt older every moment, and Oz's youth only emphasized his own age. But he had forgotten how lonely it was, sleeping alone. He so rarely did anymore...

Category: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Rating: R - Genres: Angst, Drama, Romance - Characters: Ethan Rayne, Giles, Oz, Other - Warnings: [R] [V] [X] - Published: 2006-07-16 - Updated: 2006-07-17 - 750 words

He woke to sunlight filtering through the window in golden rays. Specks of dust floated lazily in the light. When he sat up, his neck ached, and the bones in his spine creaked indignantly.

Hushed voices and the whisper of turning pages came from the main area of the library, and when he left his office the voices stopped, the pages stilled, and five young faces were upturned to him, five pairs of wide eyes focused on him.

"Giles?" Buffy's voice, quiet and politely concerned, pulled his groggy gaze to her. "Did we wake you?"

He felt a shadow of a smile on his lips, though his eyelids still felt unbearably heavy. "No, of course you didn't." The angle of the sun through the windows confused him, though... "H-How long was I asleep?"

Five young faces exchanged amused expressions; five young faces smiled sympathetically at the old, confused man standing before them.

"'Bout two hours," Oz replied, and his expression was slightly guilty, though a smile shone in his eyes. It had been a long night, and Daniel didn't tire easily.

"Two--" Giles sighed, slightly exasperated, and glanced at the pile of books accumulating at the end of the table. "Have you found anything?"

Buffy shook her head, closing a book tiredly. "Nothing particularly useful...and I think we should call it a day."

Xander grinned the grin of a teenage finally being let off the hook. "Sounds good to me," he exclaimed, tossing a book aside, much to Giles' horror.

The young scattered, all of them ready for their evenings to begin. All but one, of course, one who lagged behind, waiting until the others were gone to slip into Giles' arms and grant him a long kiss. "Aren't you going out, Daniel?" Giles heard himself asking the boy in a fatherly voice.

Oz shook his head. "Gonna put you to bed. C'mon," he replied solemnly, wrapping a small but strong arm around Giles' waist and leading him gently to the car.

By the time he woke, Oz was gone from his bed. Always seem to be waking too late, he thought dryly, and got up slowly. He felt older every moment, and Oz's youth only emphasized Giles' age.

He found Oz in the kitchen, sipping coffee and watching the news in his boxers. He greeted Giles with a steaming mug and a toothpaste-flavored kiss. "Morning," he muttered, glancing back at the news.

"Morning," Giles answered, sitting down. Oz was already getting up, however, and planting a kiss on Giles' forehead.

"Gonna be late," he explained, just before disappearing into the bedroom.

He remembered it was the night before the full moon as the young ones gathered after classes. He spoke up, volunteering to stay the night in the library with Daniel, but Xander disagreed. "You look tired lately, G-Man. Willow and I can handle it." Giles glanced at Oz, concerned enough to let the horrendous use of that nickname slide. Daniel shrugged mutely. Giles supposed he was grateful for so many volunteers. It was decided, and they opened their books again, and the sunlight was a deep orange, the shadows in the room elongated when they finally decided to call it a day.

Oz flashed him a small, sad smile as he slipped into the cage. Giles waited until Daniel's painful transformation was complete, then said his goodnights and went home alone.

He dreamt of Ethan, his former lover, and some combination or form of Daniel, the young man who clung to him and sometimes cried out in his sleep. In his dream, Giles was hiding from Ethan, who was a werewolf. When the sun came up, and Ethan was transformed to his human self, they made love.

He woke in the middle of the night, his mouth dry and his heart pounding. It was nearly two in the morning when he got back to the library. Xander slept peacefully, head resting on a thick leather-bound book, and Willow read. For a fleeting moment, Giles was sure she much older than her years. But the illusion passed when she looked up, large eyes full of curiosity.

"You two go on home. I couldn't sleep," he gently told those wide blue eyes.

Willow smiled, grateful despite her concern for him. The wolf howled when Giles' tea-kettle whistled, and he was sure he could hear Daniel's voice in that cry as well.

He slept. Daniel, sounding rough and a little groggy, woke him in the morning. "Giles? Let me out?"
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