#401 – Alter Ego – Giles as Big Bad (working title) - Dragonyphoenix - BtVS
Title: Giles as Big Bad (working title) scenes
Prompt: 401 – Alter Ego
Background: Rupert has had Eyghon in the back of his mind for the past twenty some odd years. When Jenny Calendar became suspicious, Rupert called Ethan back into his life but didn't share his secrets. After Jenny confronted him about a book on sex magick that he'd subtly led Willow to find in his private collection, Rupert knew he had to get rid of Jenny. Killing two birds with one stone, as part of an experiment to stabilize Eython on this plane, he invoked Eyghon into Jenny. Jenny/Eyghon escape but Ethan stumbled onto Rupert's secret.
Summary: Dealing with the aftermath. Ethan wants to save Rupert, but they need to deal with unhappy Scoobies and the police.
Note: Most of this story has not been posted. This is the first draft and I found a place to use "alter ego" here which is why I provided the detailed background.
On Monday morning, instead of rolling over with a loud grunt at the sound of the alarm clock, Ethan rose with Rupert. “You're up early.”
“There's research. It can't be put off.” Rupert froze and stared. Ethan didn't turn back until he was by the door. “You don't mind if I take the shower first, do you?”
“I've already looked into it.” Rupert tried to keep calm to keep from waking the demon. If it knew Ethan was actively searching for ways to destroy it, Ethan would die.
“Because of course you were able to perform a thorough investigation with your alter ego right there in your mind, looking over your shoulder.”
“Are you insane?” Rupert hissed. “Do you know what he'll do if he notices?”
“He's least likely to notice now,” Ethan said. “He's still incarnated in the Calendar woman, right?”
“He's not showing me any images at the moment.”
The tilt of Ethan's head suggested disappointment. “Links are two-way, you know.”
“You can't imagine I want to see what he's doing?”
“No, but I'll be quite a bit safer if I have a heads up if and when he does decide to take me out.”
Rupert's breath sounded heavy in the quiet stillness of the room. He closed his eyes. He'd never followed this mental link back to the other end. He saw a cave. There were three young women covered in gore, their clothes so shredded so as to be barely there at all. Eyghon was touching one of them, his claws were … Rupert's eyes flew open. “He's busy.”
“Exactly,” Ethan said. “It's been twenty years since he's been incarnate.” Rupert decided not to tell Ethan he was wrong there. “He'll be too overwhelmed with the physical to be paying much attention to you.” Ethan must have read something in Rupert's face because he went on. “Of course I want to run, but I can't seem be bring myself to leave you.”
Rupert stepped over, took Ethan in his arms, and kissed him. Rupert knew that Eyghon would be in his head until he died, but he also knew Ethan wouldn't accept that, not until he'd done the research himself and possibly not even then. “Fine, you may have the shower first.”
Rupert's three brats interrupted Ethan's research the first chance they got. Less than a minute after the first period ended, the witch came crashing through the door, closely followed by the other two. “Miss Calendar is missing.” Hmph, for such a mousy little thing, Willow certainly had a flair for the dramatic.
Rupert didn't show any panic. Well, he wouldn't. He'd always been calm in a crisis.
“She wasn't here for her first class,” Buffy explained.
“She didn't call or anything” Willow added. “They got a senior to sub for her and he had no idea what he was doing.”
“That doesn't exactly translate to missing,” Rupert said.
“It's mostly the not calling in that's got Willow so wigged,” Xander explained.
“And the bad substitute teaching, don't forget that,” Willow interjected.
“Willow's a bit upset,” Buffy added.
“But,” Xander said, “not completely unjustified.”
“Thank you, Xander.”
“You're welcome. Scuttlebutt is that one of the secretaries called the cops – over Synder's objections – and that they'll be here investigating later today.”
Buffy stepped forward. “So we should be doing some investigating of our own.” When Rupert didn't immediately reply, she added, “We should be investigating too, right?”
“I can look through the newspapers, again, with an eye toward anything that might be related to Miss Calendar, but there's nothing else we can do at the moment.”
“Go to her house,” Buffy said. “Investigate there.”
“Where you will almost certainly run into the police,” Rupert replied.
“Oh. I hadn't thought of that.”
“You should put off your investigation until this evening,” Rupert said.
Ethan stood and sat on the table next to where Rupert was standing. “Perhaps Willow, and Xander of course, should avoid patrolling for a while.” Resting his hands in his lap, Ethan made a sigil, one representing power, with his fingers. He glanced up until he was sure Rupert had noted it and nodded toward Willow.
“No, no way.”
Rupert's raised hands at least shut the children up. “I don't believe we need to go that far. We're not even entirely certain Miss Calendar's disappearance is associated with a demon much less with a particularly dangerous demon.” The bell rang. “Go or you'll be late for class.”
Willow and Xander both glared back at Ethan on their way out of the library. Once all three of the children were gone, Rupert grabbed Ethan's wrists in his hands. “Ow,” Ethan complained. “A little less tight, please.”
“You do not touch her.”
“The little witch?” Ethan tried pulling out of Rupert's grip. If anything, Rupert held on tighter. “Please, what's this intro to Tantra about if you don't plan to use her?”
“I'm serious, Ethan. She's Buffy's best friend. I can't have anything, or anyone, interfering with my plans for the Slayer.”
Rupert released Ethan and stepped back. “I'm not. She's more in the lines of a contingency. In any case, you're always going on about chaos, about increasing the possibilities. If you touch her, the possibilities diminish.”
“Oh no,” Ethan said. “Anything that releases her power dramatically increases chaos.”
“Leave her alone, Ethan. Go back to your research.” Rupert's eyes glanced towards the tome Ethan had been reading through.
Ethan thought about what he could do with all that power.
“I mean it.”
Ethan stared up, saw the coldness in Rupert's eyes, and thought about what Rupert had done to his last flame. She was running about inhabited by a demon. Perhaps it would be advisable to obey Rupert in this. “If you insist.”
The police, a female detective accompanied by two uniforms, showed up in the library that afternoon. “Which of you is Rupert Giles.”
Rupert came out from behind the circulation desk. “That would be me.”
“And you are?” she asked Ethan.
“Just leaving,” Rupert said.
Ethan put his arm through Rupert's. “His better half and the reason he fought with the subject of your missing person case.”
“You fought?” the detective asked.
Rupert turned on Ethan. “You make it sound as if we were engaged in a pub brawl.” He turned back to the detective. “Words were exchanged.”
“Pointed words,” Ethan said.
“Perhaps you could start there,” the detective said.
Rupert gestured toward the table. “Shall we sit?” Ethan sat next to Rupert with the detective across from them.
“About this fight.”
“It wasn't a fight,” Rupert began. “Miss Calendar and I had been … seeing each other.”
“And then I came onto the scene and obviously I'm much more fascinating. She didn't take it well.”
“Ethan,” Rupert snapped.
“Is that what happened?”
“Essentially. Ethan and I had been involved, years ago, back in London. I can't deny there was some attraction when I saw him again, but we were still sorting out our feelings. Miss Calendar saw us out together in a pub, er, a bar, and made certain assumptions. The conversation did get somewhat heated. We've been, well, reserved with each other since then?”
“Awkward,” Ethan said. “Strained but polite.”
“When was the last time you saw her?”
“Last week,” Rupert said. “Thursday, maybe Friday. I've been avoiding the teacher's lounge, for obvious reasons, and it is a big school, but we can't completely avoid seeing each other in the hallways.”
“Did anything happen?”
“She claimed I was blocking the hallway and asked me to move,” Rupert said.
“Were you? Blocking the hallway?”
Rupert shook his head. “No. There was plenty of room for her to pass. As Ethan said earlier, our relationship had become strained.”
“What else happened?”
“I continued on to the library and that was it.”
“Are you aware of any particular stress she might have been under?”
“No,” Rupert said. “Given the nature of our recent interactions, I doubt I'd have even noticed.”
The detective closed her notebook. “I think that's all we need for now. I'll be in touch if we have further questions.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
Ethan waited until she'd quit the room and started counting down. Three. Two. One. “What the hell did you think you were doing?” Yep, there it was.
“Giving her a story, of course. Surely you and she weren't so discrete that no one here noticed your interest. Now the detective has an explanation for how that relationship ended, an explanation that makes it seem as if you've moved on and would have no reason to harm your Miss Calendar.”
“I hope you're right. I'm afraid she won't be that easy to dodge.”
“On a Hellmouth? Have you not been paying any attention? Within a week she'll have a new case and will have forgotten all about us and Miss Calendar's disappearance.”