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The moments Giles was unconscious were blissful, but Angelus made certain those moments were few and far between. At this particular moment, the Watcher muzzily came to at the sensation of being slapped repeatedly and mercilessly across the face. As far as sensations he’d felt over the last few…hours?...days?...it wasn’t the worst, but being awake meant being fully aware of all the various injuries Angelus had inflicted on him, and while none could be described as “excruciating” – yet—the pain made for an unpleasant cellmate.

It took a few seconds to focus his vision after his eyes opened, but when he did, he wanted nothing more than to close them again. Angelus was wearing a self-satisfied grin that could only mean he had come up with a wonderful new torment. Giles realized blearily that his hands were no longer tied to the chair, and since it was impossible that Angelus would set him free so easily, it could only be a portent of misery to come.

“Rise and shine, sleepyhead!” his captor crowed, amplifying the ever-present ache in Giles’s head. “Thought you might be lonely down here, so I brought you a friend.”

The weakened voice that Giles heard behind him turned his blood to ice.

“Giles? Where are we?”

Buffy.

He didn’t want to look, because if he saw her then she would be real, and she would be trapped in this inescapable hell with him, but against his better judgment he turned, and there she was.

She was chained to the stone wall with her arms pinned above her head, her feet barely able to touch the ground. She wore only a blouse and panties, the former bearing the tears and bloodstains that marred most of the clothes she wore on patrol; in spite of their circumstances, he felt a swell of pride that she had put up what was presumably a good fight, even if that fight hadn’t been good enough.

“What have you done to her?” Giles demanded hoarsely, rising on legs sore from unuse and hobbled to where she was restrained. He took her tear-streaked face in his hands, and she offered him a tremulous smile.

“I haven’t touched her.” Angelus followed him and leaned casually against the wall next to Buffy, twirling an ornate dagger in one hand. “But you’re going to.”

Giles had little patience with Angelus’s games to begin with, and several hours of unyielding torture had worn thin any that might have been left. “What do you mean?” he snapped.

“I mean that the Watcher is going to do more than watch,” Angelus quipped. He nudged Giles aside with minimal effort and flicked the buttons from Buffy’s blouse one by one with his dagger; they clattered to the floor when Angelus opened her shirt wide. He paused for a bit as if admiring her lacy white brassiere, then with an alarmingly dexterous stroke of the knife, he sliced through the undergarment without nicking the skin. Giles quickly averted his gaze, feeling a flush of embarrassment rise to his face at just the glimpse of Buffy’s exposed breasts, but Angelus grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and thrust him in front of her.

“Alright, Ripper. Time to make her scream,” Angelus commanded.

“W-what?” Giles stammered.

His captor leaned back against the wall and smirked, the dim light shining on the blade he twisted disinterestedly in one hand. “You’re going to make the Slayer scream,” he said. “Pain or pleasure, I don’t care how. But if you don’t, then I will, and I promise you she’ll like my methods much less.”

Buffy’s eyes widened, and her breath came in panicked gasps. Giles had never seen her so frightened before, not even when she’d faced her own prophesied death. The words spilled from his mouth, “I’ll tell you everything you want to know. Acathla—”

“Oh no, you’re not getting out of this one,” Angelus interrupted. “I’ll get what I need from you sooner or later. This is just for fun.” He flashed that infuriating grin again.

“I won’t hurt her,” Giles insisted, trying to make his voice sound stronger than he felt.

Angelus simply shrugged. “Suit yourself,” he said, and with lightning-quick movement, he slashed his knife across Buffy’s chest. The agonized wail that erupted from her throat rent Giles’s heart as harshly as the dagger rent her flesh. A line of crimson bloomed against her pale skin, and blood began to trickle down the curves of her breasts.

“Stop!” Giles shouted hoarsely, and Angelus stepped aside, offering him the hilt of the dagger with a flourish. Giles considered taking it and attacking him, but the thought only lasted a second before he admitted to himself that even if he were physically at his best, he would be no match for the likes of Angelus. Instead, he dismissed the blade with a gesture and stepped closer to Buffy. “Forgive me,” he murmured, though he was unsure if he was speaking to her or himself.

He placed his hands against her sides in what he hoped was a reassuring way and felt her ribcage rise and fall with each terrified breath. Her skin was alarmingly cold; he needed to get her out of here, get her someplace she could be warm, clothed, and safe before hypothermia set in. He’d better get this over with quickly, then.

He moved his hands up to cup her breasts and give them a gentle squeeze. Her nipples, already hardened from the chill, brushed against his palms, and she made a sound that could have been a whimper or a moan.

“I think she likes it,” Angelus snickered, and Giles fired back with a vehement, “Fuck off!” Angelus gave a throaty chuckle, but thankfully said nothing more.

As he continued to massage her breasts, Giles felt his body begin to respond, and shame flooded through him. He closed his eyes, willing the unwanted reaction to subside, or barring that at least hoping he could imagine it was any other woman beneath his hands, rather than the teenage charge he was sworn to protect. But Buffy begged, “Stay with me, Giles, please,” and so he forced himself to look into her tear-filled eyes as one of his hands slipped down the front of her panties and brushed a finger against her swollen bud. He felt oddly glad that he wasn’t alone in his involuntary arousal; she grew increasingly wet as he stroked her, though she was cold between her legs as well, and the sensation was clammy and unsettling.

He worked her relentlessly while Angelus looked on and Buffy’s cries grew increasingly more desperate, until finally after what felt like an eternity, she let out a scream of release, her hips bucking against his hand. When her climax abated, Giles stepped back, relieved that the ordeal was over.

“Nicely done,” Angelus jeered. “Now was that really so bad? Judging by how tight your pants have gotten, Ripper, I’d say you enjoyed yourself a little more than expected.”

Giles’s hands clenched into fists, and it took all his self-control not to throw a punch into that insufferable smile.

“Not that I can blame you,” Angelus went on. “If I spent every day training a hot piece of ass like this, I’d want to fuck her, too.” Buffy squealed when he clasped one of her buttocks in his large hand. “Been there, though,” he continued. “Wasn’t great. But then again…” His eyes raked over Giles, considering him, and paused at the all-too-obvious bulge in Giles’s trousers. “It would be awfully cruel of me to leave you in such a state. I may be a monster, but I’m not that sadistic. Why don’t you have a go at her? We can compare notes.”

Giles had thought it impossible to wish for death more than he already did, but during his time in captivity he was learning all sorts of new things about the human capacity for despair.

“I can’t –” he somehow managed to say, but Angelus laughed.

“Oh, you very clearly can,” he said.

“I won’t,” Giles retorted.

All signs of mirth left Angelus’s face. He pressed the point of his dagger against Buffy’s throat, and a droplet of blood oozed down her clavicle. “I insist,” he growled. Buffy let out a yelp as one hand tore her panties from her hips and threw them to the floor. “Either you fuck her, or I do. And then I kill her and fuck her again.”

Tears streamed down Buffy’s cheeks. “Giles, please,” she begged weakly, and Giles knew he had no choice. He fought back his own tears that threatened to pool in his eyes and stepped toward her once more. “I’m so sorry, Buffy,” he choked out. He placed a hand against her cheek, and she nuzzled against it.

“’Salright, Giles,” she replied quietly and gave him a quivering attempt at a smile that shattered him into a million pieces.

With a trembling hand, he freed his erection from his trousers and guided it inside her. She was achingly tight, and his guilt and shame amplified a hundredfold when he realized this was probably only her second time being taken sexually. He was going to give her some sort of complex, he mused; her first time had unleashed an unparalleled evil on the world, and her second time was forced on her by her lecherous old Watcher. He pushed the damning thought from his mind and made himself focus on the task at hand.

He supported her with his hands beneath her thighs and braced her against the wall, hoping that if nothing else he could at least ease the discomfort of having to hang by her wrists. She seemed to welcome the position, for she raised her pelvis and wrapped her legs snugly around his waist. He pressed his lips against her forehead and let them linger there in silent apology, then he began to move.

She was still slick with arousal, so he shouldn’t have worried about hurting her with his thrusts, but the fear remained regardless. He took her as gently as he could manage while still trying to maintain a quick and steady rhythm, knowing that the sooner he came, the sooner the nightmare would end. He tried not to think about what would happen after. Buffy for her part eased his task tremendously, moving her hips against his to take him deeper and murmuring soft encouragements in his ear even while her tears continued to fall.

A fleeting concern crossed his mind that he wouldn’t be able to perform due to both his exhausted state and the added discomfort of Angelus watching, but it was short lived; he quickly found that if he rested his forehead against Buffy’s and concentrated on the sensation of her softness pulsing against his cock, release would be inevitable. Just a few minutes more, and he was finishing inside her with a groan, the brief wave of pleasure followed by a rush of shame and self-loathing.

He slid out of her as soon as he was done, and he became very busy with putting himself to rights, unable to look her in the eyes. He didn’t know how he would ever look at her again if he was honest. The sobs coming from her were the most horrible sound he had ever heard, and he wanted nothing more than to join her in tears but didn’t dare.

Shaking uncontrollably, he began, “Buffy, I’m so, so very –”

But when he raised his eyes, it wasn’t Buffy chained to the wall anymore. It was Drusilla, and her crying changed immediately to laughter at the sight of him.

“I haven’t been fucked like that in decades,” she cooed.

“Hey, now,” Angelus objected, shoving Giles aside and taking her into his arms. Giles, suddenly numb and unable to breathe, sank against the wall and clung to the stone for support since his legs no longer seemed capable of serving their purpose.

“You never chain me up anymore,” Drusilla complained with a pout, and her sire ran his tongue along the wound on her chest, lapping up the blood that had grown sticky on her skin.

“Well, if you’re up for another round…” he said against her neck, and she giggled, “Yes, please.”

“But first—” Angelus whipped out a hand and caught Giles around the throat. Within seconds, darkness began to close in at the edges of his vision, and Giles welcomed oblivion as the one mercy his captor would ever show him.

***

Afterward, when he was rescued and Angelus was defeated, unconsciousness held only torment for Giles. The Scoobies had brought him home and insisted that he get some rest, but the memories and fears chasing each other around and around in his head kept him from being able to settle down. Buffy hadn’t returned with them from the fight at Angelus’s mansion, and no one had heard a word from her since. Was she alright? Had Angelus told her what Giles had done? If so, would she ever be able to bear the sight of him again?

Giles did what he could to avoid sleep, but the pain medication he’d been given at the hospital made him drowsy, and despite his best efforts slumber overtook him eventually.

And then the nightmares came.

He was back in the basement of the mansion with Buffy, and he was inside her, and she was sobbing uncontrollably and begging him to stop but he couldn’t, and when he was done he waited for her to become Drusilla but she never did. She was his Buffy, his Slayer, and he had betrayed her. He should have taken Angelus’s dagger and turned it on himself, but he had been a coward, and he would never forgive himself.

He would awaken drenched in cold sweat, alone in his flat, just as exhausted as he’d been when he’d fallen asleep.

The cycle of desperate wakefulness, fitful sleep, and horrid dreams continued through the daylight hours after Angelus’s defeat and into the following night. Giles wasn’t certain when exactly it was, only that it was very late, when he finally awoke and discovered he wasn’t alone.

He opened his eyes, and Buffy was next to him in his bed, lying on top of his sheets and wearing a pair of his pajama pants and an old Pink Floyd shirt he hadn’t worn in years. His first instinct was to recoil from her, but she held firmly to his shoulders and whispered, “Shh, shh, shh, Giles, it’s okay, it’s just me, I’m here,” until his need to flee subsided.

When at last he gained the ability to speak, he managed to stammer, “B-Buffy, you’re…you’re back? The others, they said you’d run off…”

She looked sheepish at that. “I did,” she admitted. “But I got halfway to L.A. before I felt really bad for leaving you and not even checking in, so I turned around and came back. Sorry, I just kind of…let myself in. I didn’t think you’d mind. And you were tossing and turning a lot, and it sounded like you were having a nightmare or something, so I thought you’d want some company when you woke up.” She glanced down at her attire. “I really should just leave some pajamas here, as often as I crash here after patrol…You okay?”

It wasn’t until she asked the question that Giles realized there were tears running down his cheeks. “No,” he breathed, and she wiped away his tears with the pad of her thumb. She tugged the bedsheet down to his waist and took in each bruise and cut and burn Angelus had inflicted on his bare chest. “What did he do to you?” she asked softly.

He hadn’t wanted to burden her with the details of his ordeal, but as was always the case where Buffy was concerned, he was helpless to deny her anything. The words poured forth from his mouth like a flood, and he kept nothing from her, even the parts he would rather keep hidden away in the deepest recesses of his memory where no one would ever find them.

After he had finished, her eyes grew steely with rage. When she finally spoke, she said fiercely, “I’m glad I sent him to hell.” She pressed her lips to his forehead, his cheek, and the end of his nose, then tentatively, as if she were wary of frightening him away, against his lips. Giles froze, desperately wanting to reciprocate but fearful that this was some sort of test. She seemed to sense his apprehension, for she quickly backed away and looked up at him, seeming a little embarrassed.

“Sorry,” she said. “Was that too much?”

He didn’t answer but drew her face back up to his and kissed her firmly and decisively; she seemed surprised for a moment but quickly relaxed. She tasted sweet and comforting, an indulgence Giles would never have allowed himself under any other circumstances, but here in the safety of darkness it didn’t feel wrong at all.

When their lips parted, he felt himself begin to smile, and he fought back the tears that threatened to fall. “It wasn’t too much,” he said. “I just needed to convince myself that you’re real. Part of me is still afraid you’re a glamour of Drusilla’s.”

Buffy considered him thoughtfully for a moment, then pulled his old t-shirt over her head and cast it aside. He flushed when he saw that she wore nothing underneath.

“Buffy, you don’t have to—” he began, but she hushed him, took one of his hands in hers, and pressed it against the left side of her chest. It rose and fell with each deliberate breath she took, and he could feel her heart beating steadily against his palm. Her skin was warm, full of life and far from the clammy chill of a vampire, and while her arms and chest were marred with the bruises that came with a fight, he was pleased to see that unlike in the nightmares that haunted him, her breasts were unmarred by the slash of Angelus’s knife.

“I’m real,” she said. “And I’m here. Now get some rest.”

She pulled the covers over both of them and snuggled against him, her body heat soothing him as she enfolded him in her arms. Giles closed his eyes and at long last allowed the bliss of sleep to overtake him.