Around then, Giles had been walking through Sunnydale’s night-time deserted business district in a noticeable state of shock. Mind you, he’d had a good many reasons for his unsafe lack of mental alertness. Among these had been the sudden appearance on his apartment doorstep this evening of someone who’d claimed to be the head of the Watchers’ Council -- but not the one in this
dimension. Next, there’d been an appalled recognition of whom exactly the visitor from another reality looked like, only in a much older guise than Xander Harris had been just yesterday. Following that had come a truly unbelievable story of Chaos magic and an offer to escort a stunned man to the exact spot where this idiotic spell had been recently cast.
The crowning point had been a very wry explanation of just why an all-too-memorable first name now belonged to two entirely different people.
It’d all ended up with Rupert Giles dazedly carrying in both hands a small stone bust on his way back to the librarian’s apartment. He naturally wasn’t paying all that much attention to his poorly-lit surroundings. Unfortunately, this severe situational awareness deficiency on the Boca del Infierno had the distinct possibility of causing Giles to attain at that moment the same brief life expectancy of a three-legged armadillo caught in the middle of crossing a Texas highway just ahead of an oncoming, miles-long truckers’ convoy.
Obeying the laws of proper drama, a mocking voice drifted out from the inner depths of an alley just when the two men were passing by the mouth of this passageway: “Hullo, kiddies. You lot been having fun tonight soaping windows and stomping pumpkins?”
Instantly halting in their tracks together, Rupert and Ethan warily stared into the near pitch-black narrow lane between two shop buildings. A few seconds later, a moving figure in there was perceived coming their way. Right after that, this swaggering person’s bleached hair was readily distinguishable, along with the supremely evil grin displayed by Spike the vampire.
Stopping just a few yards from the humans, this century-old undead demon was illuminated by the dim light cast into the alley by the nearby sidewalk streetlamp. Continuing to smirk at tonight’s yummy meals for both him and Dru, the blood-drinking monster opened his mouth to toss off yet another sadistic taunt at a certain blonde bint’s guardian over finally catching Rupert Giles without Buffy Summers around.
However, someone else now spoke, in an even yet deadly tone of pure fury, “Where’d you get that coat?”
Without thinking, Spike glanced down at his treasured trophy in which his hands were neatly tucked into the outer pockets. Once more, the vampire proudly regarded the leather duster he was wearing, the same light, loose-fitting long coat Spike had donned and never allowed himself to be parted from ever since he’d killed and drained his second Slayer two decades before in New York City. Suddenly snapping back to the present, this fanged fiend lifted his gaze to then shoot a quizzical look at where Giles was also staring in disbelief at his unknown companion still glaring at Spike.
“Oi, Watcher, who’s the poofter? Can’t be anything else, not with him asking right off about a bloke’s clothes. You want to tell him, or shall I?” snickered Spike, really starting to enjoy himself. This amusement didn’t last very long, though, given how a puzzled demon then heard from the enraged stranger a totally baffling speech.
“Never mind, I don’t care. All that’s important is how I
was the one to give it to Nikki on her first birthday after I became her Watcher. She never stopped wearing it afterwards on all her patrols and battles, even when she became the longest-lived Slayer ever, a full ten years in her duty. Robin handed over the coat after his mother’s funeral, because that’s what she told him to do in her will, and I‘ve kept it on display in my office since then. I look at it every day, to remind myself of her and all the other girls who fought for us, before getting down to work. How dare
something like you parade around in it! Take the coat off, NOW!”
This was getting boring, Spike inwardly decided, and moreover well past time for a nice little slaughter. No, better yet, punch out the raving nutter and feed on the Watcher bloke. Not to either one’s death, however. Instead, take them home to the crypt and have a lovely round of torture for those pair of pillocks. It’d been a good while since getting out the pointed, shiny inspirations for his nickname, and this felt like the perfect opportunity to drop off a Halloween gift for the Slayer on her front porch. The old skills would come rushing right back, no doubt. Yes indeed, with any luck the next morning, the Summers girl would find her precious Watcher when he was drawing his very last breath. It’d be another splendid triumph for Spike, the newly-made corpse of Rupert Giles having a dozen or more railroad spikes rammed bodily through the major joints and elsewhere.
As for Mr. Loony…give him to Dru. They’d get along quite well, blathering at each other while she skinned him alive with her nails. She’d adore every scream, bless her unbeating heart.
All of these thoughts flashed through Spike’s mind at a rate much quicker than anyone unacquainted with a vampire’s swift reactions might think possible. This same speedy consequences became reality when Spike pulled his hands out of the leather duster, shifted into game face, and lunged in a blur of action towards the two humans.
Giles was barely beginning to reach with his right hand for the emergency stake normally hidden under his clothes. The other hand was still gripping the forgotten Janus statuette. Forgotten, because of the horrified realization that in all of tonight’s other incredible events, he’d left the apartment without bringing along his usual weapons for going outside in Sunnydale after dark. He was completely defenseless, except for maybe hitting Spike with the sculpture--
Spike himself spent a fraction of a second in his attack glorying at the aghast expression on the Watcher’s face over there, to then concentrate in his rush at the main target, the other bloke. Oddly enough, this man hadn’t moved at all in his place on the sidewalk. All he was doing was bleakly watching his doom coming nearer--
Just before the vampire’s extended fingers were about to close around the throat of his latest victim, Ethan Giles hastily moved his own right hand at his side in a complex gesture. At the same time, a mystical word not intended for mortal tongues was uttered in a raspy growl from the Englishman’s lips. It all produced a quite different outcome than what Spike had malevolently expected.
A blast of pure white energy erupted from the front surface of Ethan’s far classier and much more expensive tweed jacket. This magical protective shockwave enfolded, gathered up, and hurled back Spike’s convulsing body several yards further away down the alley. While still in mid-air, the glowing energy suddenly vanished from its clutch upon a soaring figure, so that when Spike landed with a sodden thump upon his back on the trash-strewn alley floor, this passageway returned to its previous gloom. The vampire’s agonized groans while lying limply on the ground were wholly audible to the two men standing outside the alley, though.
Unerringly guided by the sounds of a demon’s pain, Ethan stalked into the lane, leaving Rupert gaping after his companion. The Watcher continued to disbelievingly regard by the dim light a very extraordinary man again managing to show off some astonishing abilities, this time of a more physical nature. Without any trouble at all, despite his mature years, Ethan yanked up Spike by his bleached hair alone and held him dangling there, all with a single strong hand. In response, the helpless vampire unable to control his limbs screamed in additional anguish.
Ethan was obviously unmoved by Spike’s suffering. The Chaos-delivered head of the Watchers’ Council instead rapidly stripped off Spike’s leather duster with his free hand. Having done this, the vampire was distastefully let go, to once more collapse to the alley floor. Again paying no heed to the supine demon lying at his feet, Ethan carefully folded and tucked under his left arm Nikki Wood’s cherished garment. With that completed, the older Englishman looked down at Spike’s trembling form, while this vampire tried and failed to get his unliving body to obey his panicky mental commands.
A quick shake of Ethan’s right arm made a slim piece of pointed wood slide out from the end of his jacket sleeve. Holding this stake, the human squatted down and he lifted his hand up high, aiming directly at the vampire’s chest. Staring at his opponent in total disbelief at how quickly things had turned out to end in his coming extinction, Spike howled his final words, “YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME! I’M WILLIAM THE BLOOD--!”
A mere second or two later, Ethan Giles stood up, to then coldly address the new layer of dust now on the alley floor, “It doesn’t matter. I don’t remember if Nikki and I ever encountered you back in our time together. There’s the chance we didn’t, but more likely, you just weren’t any harder to kill for the Slayer I trained and supported against much more dangerous foes. Frankly, I’m not going to put myself out now remembering you this time, either.”
Turning away from someone he was already beginning to forget, Ethan strolled out of the alley, and stopped by Rupert still gawking at the other man. Giving his companion a friendly nod, the awe-inspiring individual with Xander’s older face suggested in a most polite tone, “Shall we be off? I think a proper discussion, without any more interruptions, is in order back at your apartment.”
In the course of the ensuring journey to his home through the Sunnydale night, nothing and nobody further bothered the pair of men peacefully taking a walk, for which Rupert Giles was fervently thankful.
This same man blinked at the conclusion of recollecting his recent experiences, to then anxiously glance around at the kitchenette. Seated across the table from Rupert, his guest was staring off in the distance, evidently lost in his own memories. Without meaning to, the younger Briton impulsively asked, “What are you going to do now, Ethan?”
“Eh?” His supposed older brother brought his own wandering attention back to the apartment, while next answering that concise question in an equally succinct manner: “Take over the Council, of course.”