Title: Never Time Enough
Author: Part 1 50ftqueenie… then rngrdead – Ch 2 and beyond
Warnings/Squicks: M/M relations
Rating: NC-17 (or MA 15+ or R?) There is violence and sex and vampires, and boys.
Summary: Xander comes back from the past with a secret.
Note From 50ftqueenie: This can stand on its own as a ficlet, but honestly I know there's more to this story. Eventually I might revisit and do my own version….
They went riding together with the retired Watcher the evening Giles arrived. Giles was accomplished, as were both Spike *and*, to his surprise, Xander, although it was hardly surprising given what he now knew of the now boy’s past.
They led off at walking pace, but Spike soon whispered into his charge’s ear and accelerated at a pace that excited the others. Xander’s steed was given his head and a rather stunned Giles had to urge his on in order to keep up and bring up the rear.
The sprint lasted across two of the coven fields, a fence and several small streams. It may have been only a mile or so but still had the adrenalin rush and then calming needed to have the discussion needed.
Giles was still panting from the chase, “So you two are… happy then…”
Xander was quite relaxed as he steadied his stead. “Of course! C’mon Giles another gallop?”
“No, no! A moment... I was… this is a spirited gelding and quite… I’m used to my warm blood mare… quite a different… Arabians were never…” All horses slowed and Giles looked decidedly relieved, “Oh thank goodness, we’re back at a walk.”
Giles panted for a while then urged his steed back to the gentle trot that his horse was forced to adhere to as two others pulled away either side and they made their way back to the stables.
As the three dismounted Spike grinned at the aging gent, “So, Watcher, what say you to the boy’s skills, mighty fine seat wouldn’t you say?”
Spike leaned forward and slapped Xander on the rear affectionately causing Giles to blush a little at the familiarity before replying. “Yes I must say, he equips himself very well. I take it you had…?”
Xander shot a look of wicked resignation to Spike then smiled at his old mentor, “Experience in the saddle? More than you know Giles. Came with the times… and the… ahhh… escapades.”
The three rode on at a quiet walk, each caught up in their own thoughts. Giles recalled his time as a youth on his uncle’s estate, his sister Hettie (she preferred the nickname she had picked up at university and even introduced herself as ‘Bob’ to some of his friends). Older than her Rupert by two years, she was a feisty redhead studying the classics. Intelligent to a fault, she and her horse were just as spirited. When they were both home for a summer break, riding really was the only time they spent alone together. Secrets were told, hopes shared and a good deal of friendly rivalry resolved on the gallop home.
Hettie had indeed become a fine tutor of Latin and Ancient Greek at Cambridge and was well on her way to a PhD when tragedy struck in the form of an out of control petrol tanker and two other cars. She had been visiting friends for the weekend, by all accounts death had been instantaneous. In a way it had been the beginning of Rupert’s ‘wild days’, and it wasn’t until he was seconded to the Watchers’ council that he ever rode again, then of course in Sunnydale it simply was not as accessible. Now, back at the coven, Giles realized how much he genuinely enjoyed the power and grace of his warm-blood mare… and the reminders of innocent joys past.
Spike looked over at Giles as the older watcher’s eyes glazed over and he allowed his memories to dominate. William’s riding had been with family on occasion though he was always a little nervous, not helped by several embarrassing occasions when he was a senior at school. He had been invited to his friend George’s home on the weekend of a hunt. Later it would transpire that George, a rather red-faced portly lad, had been encouraged to ask William by George’s mother who misheard William’s last name and assumed the young lad was one of the Surrey ‘connected’ gentry.
He had been offered a rather flighty filly and managed quite well until being thrown at the third hedgerow, nevertheless had arrived at the tail end of the main group and toasted the event whilst nursing some rather spectacular bruises.
A second incident occurred at University when the borrowed horse he was astride decided a flapping set of white sheets on a line on a hill several leagues away warranted blind panic. It took almost three miles before the steed slowed.
Later… post his Mate Xander… he had ridden recklessly, not caring if he lived or died. It had paid dividends, Dru and he safe after a mad sprint through the black forest, or across the Lake District, or more recently out of Prague and into the countryside. Angelus had been a fine rider and good instructor. And William/Spike in those first few years a willing student.
Xander on the other hand, contemplated joyous rides, exhilarating escapes and *very* satisfactory aftermaths.
He had been tutored by the best, at Angelus (!) insistence. William and he spent endless evenings practicing jumps, dressage, just plain hacking… until he was utterly confident. He remembered their last ride together before he was dragged away. It was a flat sprint toward the country estate they were now in. The horses pushed to their limit as they raced across moonlit paddocks, over low built walls and scantily manufactured wooden fences, and for no other reason than they had made themselves late by … well it was the moon and they were there… and lovemaking could be so time consuming!
Xander was pulled from his revelry by Giles as he was asked a direct question. “But what of the slip from one to another… do you have insight as to the cause… surely…?”
It was Spike who answered, “Thought that was yours to play with Watcher. Boy here is the original… Our query is the possibility of the second claiming… You know… the second grab across dimensions.” Spike stared hard at a rather puzzled Giles sitting atop an unfamiliar Arabian steed. “Bloody hell Watcher! Do I need to spell it out? Is the boy gonna disappear again or what?! How… Do… We… Stop… It?!!”
“Yes well ummm,” Giles, though initially taken rather aback quickly shifted his position and stiffened. “You are not the only one who is concerned here Spike! We are all working to the same end… albeit yours is a life…unlife… threatening one but nevertheless! Xander you still have not shed any light on the whereabouts of your essence when you did disappear from the time altered realm… As it was over 100 years there and but three or four years here it is likely there was dimensional travel also. Tara has suggested hypnosis along with a dynamic aura reading to try to tease out the details. She and Willow are in agreement – it may even reveal the reason for the shift in the first place.”
Xander pulled his horse in a quick 180 degree turn and faced the old Watcher. “I hope you are prepared for what you learn then… Because as much as I know I want to find out if this could happen again, I also know what I lost. And I suspect Spike is worse off than me in that regard.”
Giles nodded silently and closed his eyes momentarily in obvious pain, “Some of us suffered on this side too, Xander, some of us *non* vampires missed you too. I will… I am doing my best.” The older man took the reins in one hand and rubbed over his eyes with the other in an expression that spoke silently of fatigue.
Spike saw it and whispered to Xander… “Anything you can remember… words, colours, sounds?”
Xander nodded reached to squeeze his lover’s hand then rode on for a time, finally saying as though an automaton, “When all seems lost, he will be found. The Dark Plum makes it so.”
Spike and Giles locked gazes then said in unison, “Drusilla.”