Title: Happy Christmas, My Arse!
Author: Restive Nature (aka Bavite)
Rating: 13 for potty mouth
Disclaimer: I own neither BtVS nor Giles. They belong to Joss Whedon. Nor do I own the characters or settings of Dark Angel. Those belong to Cameron/ Eglee.
Setting: Dark Angel, post second season, but FN never happened and Biggs did not die. (I just love the guy too much for that.) Season five, towards the end for BtVS, thus giving us a good reason to play with Ripper.
Pairing: Rupert Giles/ Logan Cale (as rivals)
Summary: Even the holidays can’t blunt the Ripper when he’s on a tear.
Warning: Kind of heavy on the Logan bashing. I couldn’t resist that either.
Dedication: to my lovely little Superpanda for suggesting this awesome pairing!
Alec sauntered into Crash as if he owned the bar. His confidence was held before him, born from the knowledge that he had little to fear. But for all that, he was a charming, affable young man, for the most part. And so he was well liked among the patrons. Except when he was hustling them at pool, but for the most part he managed to restrain himself to only bilking his poor friend Sketchy. But pool was the last thing on his mind.
Though he worked by day as a delivery boy for a bike messenger service, he’d thought that he’d have at least a few days off for the Christmas holiday. Not that the day meant anything much to him. But a day off was a day off. But somehow he’d ended up having to pick up a little something and bring it over. He’d originally been heading for Logan’s house. Which was where his friend Joshua had once lived and before that, Joshua’s father. But a quick phone call from his buddy Biggs had altered his route.
Seemed that Max had gotten tired of all the bickering between her "not-even-like-that" boyfriend and the stranger that had appeared in his living room in a big burst of light and nauseating smoke. She’d hightailed it out of the house before she strangled them both. And while the older man, Rupert, might survive, one touch of Max’s skin on Logan’s would activate the deadly retrovirus that she carried. Deadly only to the owner of certain DNA. Namely the gimp behind Eyes Only, one Logan Cale. But as Alec wondered why he had to go to Crash instead, he heard yelling in the background. Biggs’ chuckled explanation that apparently Rupert and Logan had followed after her wasn’t really needed.
So now here he was with the book Mr. Giles had asked him to procure. It was right where Mr. Giles had thought it would be. And slipping into the freaky little magic shop downtown and back out again had not been a problem at all. He’d even found some scented candles that he could definitely put to use. He scanned the sparsely populated main room. He hadn’t expected more, since it seemed most everyone had friends or family to spend Christmas Eve with. But there was Max, sitting at the bar, her head down as Biggs tried to console her with awkward pats to her back. Alec frowned for a moment, trying to learn why his best friend was trying to keep back a smile.
And then he realized. Max wasn’t resting her head. She was banging it against the counter. He laughed softly as he made his way over to her. So far Logan and Rupert were no where in sight and he couldn’t hear them either. Which was good. For him at least. Hearing Logan whine over and over again that he hadn’t meant to summon the older man from the past was something that quickly broke him down to his very last nerve. And Alec had a lot of nerve.
"Hey Maxie," he greeted cheerfully as he rested himself against the bar. "Your bestest buddy and drinking pal has arrived."
Her head snapped up and she whirled around on her seat, her eyes wild and desperate. "Did you bring it?" she nearly shrieked. Alec recoiled from the volume of her voice, but with all the pomp of a politician, he slid the book from under his jacket and held it out to her. "Oh thank God you didn’t screw this up!"
"Hey," he protested mildly, catching Biggs’ eye and sharing a silent chuckle. "When have I ever disappointed."
"Do you really want me to get started on that list?" she demanded snarkily. Alec just rolled his eyes. But her next gesture caught him by surprise. She laid a hand on his sleeve and shook her head. "Sorry. They’re just really annoying me." She lifted the book and hopped off the stool. "Thanks for this."
"Yeah," he managed to get out, which was amazing considering how dry his throat had gotten from hearing those long sought after words from her. An apology and an expression of gratitude was nothing short of amazing. Especially when offered in the same conversation. Noticing Biggs smirking at him, he snapped his mouth shut. "Anytime. You know that Maxie." She nodded and made to head to the elevated partitioned area where the other men apparently were. But before she could even take two steps, a computer came flying through the air, to crash resoundingly onto the dance floor.
"That’s what I think of your dread machine! You berk!" Mr. Giles angry voice rang out and all three transgenics froze. The anger and authority in that voice was almost enough to transport them right back to Manticore, had the facility still existed. But they shook it off and headed over to stop another blowout before the sector cops were called in to deal with a bar fight. They ran up the steps just as Logan stood up from the table he’d been at.
"You wrecked Bertha!" he accused, staring mournfully down at the smashed computer.
"He named his laptop?" Alec muttered to Biggs under his breath, wonder mixed with disgust.
"Hey," Biggs whispered back, "he’s gotta have something down there to name. May as well be a computer."
"Oh," Alec shook his head, grimacing. "That’s just too nasty a thought to contemplate." Biggs just continued to grin.
"All right!" Max interrupted loudly. "Let’s not go there again." Apparently whatever argument that was about to start between the two older men was one she’d already heard many times.
"All I said was that if Mr. Giles would even bother to try working with me so I could find some useful sites for me, we could have him back to his home a lot sooner," Logan defended himself. "But oh no, he’s too full of himself, mister librarian, to even consider-!"
"And I told you!" Rupert yelled back, advancing on Logan, even though the bespectacled computer hacker topped him by a few inches. "My daughters are in danger! My children! That means we do things my way. And that means books. Not that infernal machine that locks up by the least of piques." He stared Logan down, until he dropped petulantly back down to the chair he’d been in to stare mournfully at the machine on the floor below that had finally stopped sparking. Only then did Rupert turn to Alec. "Well?"
Alec knew better than to push his buttons further. But somehow he managed. He gestured to Max, who was holding the prized book. "Got it right there for ya, G-man." But instead of the heaps of gratitude Alec expected, all he got was to be yanked down by the lapel to stare Mr. Giles straight in the eye.
"Consider yourself warned," the slightly beyond irritated man growled in his now rough English accent. "Call me by that dreadful appellation again and I will not hesitate to shove a stake up your arse." Alec’s eyes widened. He knew he had nothing to fear, as he was about ten times stronger than this man was. But something told him that Rupert Giles wouldn’t hesitate to at least try and carry out his threat. He held his hands up peacefully and pressed his lips together, indicating his further silence. Giles held onto him for one second more, then released him. He snatched the book from Max’s hand and shoved his glasses onto his face as he stalked off to another table.
"You’re welcome," she huffed. But he paid no attention to her.
"Bloody hell," Giles muttered as he took a seat and started flipping through the pages. "What kind or arrogant prat recites a spell aloud? Especially when the first word he translates is beware? I’ve never heard of such unmitigated idiocy. Damn berk!"
And though he was silent about it, Alec couldn’t help but be amused. This Giles was a man after his own heart. It was just so much fun to tweak Logan about his computer obsession. Well, any of his given obsessions. Saving the world, pasta, wine, Max and then saving the freaking world again. Deciding not to disturb the master librarian at work, he joined Max, Biggs and Logan at the other table.
"He’s getting me a new laptop before he leaves," Logan muttered darkly. The other three just rolled their eyes at him, though he didn’t notice. An evil grin spread over Logan’s face as he glanced over at the other man, still flipping through page after page of information. "It’s gonna take him forever to find what he’s looking for." He sniffed derisively, directing his next comment to Max. "If you’d have just given the book to me, I could have found the book online and done a comprehensive search. And then we’d be rid of-!"
"Ah!" Giles yelled out, standing again. "Found it. Let’s go. I need supplies."
Alec glanced back at Logan, just waiting for the mouth to begin gaping and… oh yeah, there it was. Man it was nice to see Logan get his comeuppance. Whether Mr. Giles had known it or not, Alec had just received so far, his best Christmas gift ever.
"Well, thank God that’s over," Max heaved a sigh from where she was seated on Logan’s sofa. Her feet were propped up on the coffee table, amidst stinky herbs and the bowls they were contained in. It was just after midnight, technically Christmas morning and Mr. Giles had finally disappeared in a huff and a puff. Of smoke that was. The transgenics were sure that they had seen everything now. Magic was definitely something they’d not been trained for.
It took only a little while to help clear up the room and Alec and Biggs only stuck around to tweak Logan about not getting that laptop out of Giles before he left. But finally Max had enough and told them all to shut up before she took a page out of Giles book and threatened to rip their legs off and beat them all about their respective head.
As Logan wandered back in from the kitchen, where he’d deposited the last used bowl; there was a small pop and a package, gaily wrapped in Christmas paper appeared on the coffee table. Logan’s eyes studied it for an apprehensive moment, then widened appreciatively. He hurried forward to pick it up, weighing it in his hands.
"It’s just the right size," he breathed out happily, his face glowing. "I knew once he calmed down, he’d see my point."
"What the hell are you muttering about?" Max demanded tiredly, pinching the bridge of her nose.
"Mr. Giles of course," Logan grinned as he set the package back down and began to rip into the package. "He did get me another laptop to replace Bertha."
Meanwhile, Biggs had stooped down to snatch up the card that had fallen in Logan’s haste. Ignoring the usual custom that dictated the card be opened by the recipient designated on the front, he tore into it with almost as much enthusiasm as Logan was displaying. He laughed heartily after reading it, catching Logan’s attention.
"What?" Logan demanded as his hands stilled. Biggs, still chuckling, handed the card to Alec.
"Uh, I don’t think it’s what you wanted man," he warned, laughing as well. At both Max and Logan’s puzzled look, he read aloud from the card. "Read this. Memorize it. Don’t ever use it, lest I be forced to return and gouge your damned eyes out. Merry Christmas, you berk!"
Logan went slack jawed again for a moment then determinedly finished unwrapping his gift. Under the gay paper and shiny red bow, was Logan’s archnemesis, a book. 1001 Ways Not To Use Magic