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snowpuppies organized genfic_minis. I was assigned seductivembrace, who requested Giles and Xander, with friendly bonding.

Title: In the Midst of All
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Rupert Giles & Xander Harris
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart.
Notes: Post-series.



Xander woke when sunshine filtered through the drapes, and he flailed against the weight of unfamiliar bedsheets. The air smelled like dust and tin, and it sounded like a city outside. He pressed a flat hand against his face, the edges of his eyepatch scratching against his palm.

Something clattered nearby, and Xander bolted upwards into memory. Giles's old flat in Camden, London, and a research "vacation" that had him alphabetizing books written in cuneiform.

Xander slumped back into bed with a groan, and listened as Giles cooked something, doubtless ungodly and British, in the room beyond.

*


The bookshop was narrow and bright, sunlight slanting down from a high, semi-smudged window. Xander stared up at the dust floating, squinting. His eye watered, and then Giles cleared his throat.

"Have you finished with that last stack?" Giles asked. When Xander blinked at him, Giles nodded his head toward the pile of books on the shelf behind him. Xander glanced at them; they were in the correct order, though he didn't remember sorting them.

"Yeah, sure," he replied. He reached back, the stool creaking as he shifted weight, and gathered the books carefully in the crook of his arm. "It's faster when they have words in them."

Instead of frowning, Giles took the books with a tight smile. "Of course." He stepped back, then hesitated. "Are you all right?"

Xander stretched, casually, and then stood. "Never better." He dragged his stool to the next aisle over. "You know me and books, G-Man." He glanced at Giles sidelong; the fillip of sarcasm seemed to have reassured him.

"Let me know if you need anything," Giles instructed before disappearing to the back room.

Xander settled onto the stool and touched the bumpy spine of an oversized book. "Never better," he echoed to himself.

*


The next morning, Xander trudged into the kitchen wearing boxers and a Harley Quinn T-shirt. He scratched under his eyepatch, at the corner of his eye. "If you made beans for breakfast again, I won't be held responsible."

Giles set a mug on the table with a snort. "Bacon and eggs and porridge," he announced. "And coffee." At Xander's glee, Giles laughed. "Heathen."

Xander snatched a piece of bacon from the pan before sliding sideways into a chair. "I don't even know what porridge is," he lamented. "Unless it has something to do with peas."

Giles leaned against the kitchen counter, a steaming bowl of whatever porridge was cupped in one hand. He watched Xander fork goopy eggs and fatty bacon onto a plate, until finally Xander squinted at him.

"Is my hair weird?" He took a bite of eggs, mouthing around them, "And these are disgusting."

Giles, a spoonful of porridge in his mouth, shook his head. "They're fine," he said, then set the bowl down. "You haven't had much time to sightsee, I've noticed."

Xander swallowed. "We've got work to do, right?" He took a single gulp of coffee. "Okay, that's disgusting, too."

Giles waited out Xander's sputtering before continuing. "There isn't anything urgent today," he said.

Xander set his mug down. "Are you going to make me go on that ferris wheel?"

Giles laughed.


###

A/N: This could very easily slip into the universe of Those Human Seraphim, if you are a Giles/Xander-inclined reader.

Title and summary adapted from Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
seductivembrace
Apr. 5th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
This was great; thank you so much for writing it! I'll have to go and read the link you've provided. *iz a closet G/X fan*

Being a Yank, I had to laugh at the ferris wheel remark. I totally did that w/ my UK friend the first time I visited. ^_^
buffyangellvr23
Apr. 6th, 2010 03:46 am (UTC)
bwahaha nice :)
sparrow2000
Apr. 7th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
That was just lovely. I adore the idea of Xander and Giles being relaxed and adult enought that Xander can wander into breakfast in his boxers and nothing is said.

The London Eye joke made me crack up - I used to work near it and always swore there was no way I was ever going up there.

Hmm, I am going to have to check out Those Human Seraphim, because that's obviously gone right under my radar.
vala3
Apr. 8th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
Ahh, now I want to go back and visit England. The Eye wasn't built when I was there. Will do without the porridge though. Beans for breakfast....bad enough. Cute ficlet.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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