She had arrived early for a Scooby meeting. His door was unlocked, again, and she gave him crap about it, again. He offered her some tea, and she liked how he made it, so she said yes. It was always somewhat awkward when they were alone together, since she had the habit of asking intrusive questions, and he had the habit of getting all British and uptight when she did. But she liked his apartment. It was so him. So strong and comforting.
She was looking at the books on his bookshelf, trying to ascertain if he ever read anything for fun when she found the old picture. It was clearly London in the 1970s. She remembered what that had been like. She looked closer at the picture and gasped. A very young Rupert Giles, with cool hair and a leather jacket had a not perfectly friendly arm around a gorgeous man.
“Giles, is this you when you were young and cool?”
He ducked his head out of the kitchen. “Oh that old picture? I guess I was cool. I certainly was young.”
She had taken the picture off the shelf and brought it over to him. “Who’s in the picture?”
“Ah,” he murmured, leaning over her to see the image better. He pointed as he named the group. “That’s Thomas, Deirdre, Randall, Phillip, that’s Ethan, and that’s, well, me.”
“Did they call you Giles?”
“No, surnames as names is a watcher tradition. These wonderful idiots were definitely not watchers. They called me Ripper, actually.”
Anya closed her eyes for a moment. The sad sexy manly man with the loved one who met a tragic end...that was her curse. What were the odds, you know? But she couldn’t tell him.
“What happened to them? Are you still friends?”
“Ah, well, we’d drifted apart, but other than Ethan, they’re all dead. It’s not really something I like to talk about.”
Everyone he loves will meet a bad end.
Anya held back her sigh. Ripper and Ethan. With the sexy hips. The picture put no question in her mind. She had cursed him. Anyone he loved would die, and it was her fault. The computer teacher Xander told her about. That was her doing just as much as it was Angel’s. And she had to find some way to make it up to him, without powers.
She opened her mouth to say something sympathetic, but Willow and Buffy arrived in a storm of chatter, and Giles slipped back to the tea, and Anya put the picture back on the shelf.