Lostgirl (lostgirlslair) wrote in aftermath_fic,
Lostgirl
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Upon The Ashes - Chapter 1



"And it isn't as if I haven't tried to explain it.  The 'Old Guard' is being purposely dense and the younger ones just nod their heads.  Honestly, I don't think they've heard two words I've said!"

Wesley smiled, nodding at Rupert's rant.  The man had been going on ever since they'd left the flat and, truthfully, Wesley couldn't have said exactly what Rupert was complaining about.  Obviously, the Council and his attempts to change the way things were being done, but nothing more specific than that had passed the man's lips.  And he should know, as he'd been watching them.

Wes bent to scoop up a rock from the ground, handing it over to Rupert, which stopped the man's ranting cold.

"Who's this one?"  Smiling at Rupert, Wesley stopped walking and took the other man's free hand.

"That is whoever most needs a good knock to the head today.  So, you tell me.  Who is it?"

Rupert glanced down at the rocked and laughed.  Wesley was sure it was the first time he'd seen the other man do that in . . . well, a few days at least.  The Council had been attempting to put pressure on Rupert for the last week or so.  While Rupert remained calm and in control for most of the day, the man did tend to rant as soon as they'd stepped through the door into their shared flat.  Wesley didn't blame the other man, of course.  Especially considering he'd found it therapeutic to do the same himself ever since he'd official gone back to work for the Watchers' Council.  They took turns.

Wesley knew some of the arguments spinning around in the Council.  Was Spike to be trusted?  Was Illyria safe to have around the Slayers?  He, himself, was the center of at least one of those arguments.  Elisa Mills, one of the 'Old Guard' as Rupert called them, had questioned whether or not Wesley had gotten his new position as Head of Research because he was sleeping with Rupert.  Oh, she'd been cruder about it, of course.  Meant, he was sure, to embarrass Rupert before the others.

Not that he was sleeping with Rupert.  Yet.  Shaking off those thoughts, he turned his mind back to the moment.  Rupert was standing there, considering the stone carefully.

"I think," he said, with a slight gleam in his gorgeous eyes, "that I am the one who must needs a good knock to the head.  This is supposed to be our night . . . I'm sorry for rambling, Wes."

"Don't apologize."  Wesley shrugged, chuckling.  "It isn't as if I'm not going to go on a tear about how disorganized and lazy most of the researchers are.  I'll wait until you stop for breath, of course, but . . ."

Rupert shook his head, tossing the stone up and down as he set his sights on a tree not too far away.  "Well, than this stone clearly has to be Stephen Drake.  The git who keeps shoving expense reports under my nose and tells me that we need to be accounting for stakes."

Rupert paused long enough to glance at him and roll his eyes over that ridiculous notion, before throwing the stone so hard that it put a gouge in the old oak and bounced off to roll away into the dark.

"He must be quite annoying," Wes observed when the sound of the impact faded, leaving the small park silent again.  "I don't even think you threw Mrs. Mills that hard."

"Well, supposedly a lady and all," Rupert shrugged, squeezing Wesley's hand in his own.

-----

The pub was quiet, even for a Monday.  Giles went to get their drinks while Wesley retrieved the darts.  Neatly avoiding being dragged into a conversation on 'kids today', Giles met Wesley at their usual table.

"So, you never got around to explaining what it was that you were attempting to discuss with the Council," Wesley prompted, taking his drink.

"Well, I was trying to explain why we needed to change the girls' training.  You can imagine how well that went over," Giles grumbled as he took his set of darts from Wesley.

"Oh, I'm sure they were open and receptive to the idea," Wesley snickered and Giles couldn't help but to smile.  Wes stepped up to throw and Giles continued the tradition that had held between them since they're first 'date' more than a month ago.

He reached out, just as Wes was about to throw and plucked an imaginary bit of lint from the man's shoulder, making sure to run his hand over Wesley far more than strictly necessary.

Of course, by now, they were both quite used to such tactics.

"What exactly did you purpose," Wes asked, smiling at Giles over his shoulder when his first throw hit a double and opened Wesley scoring on their 301 game.

Giles snorted, leaning against the wall with his pint.  "We need to encourage the girls to think for themselves.  At the same time, we need the Watchers to be vigilant without stifling their girls.  As it is, many of the girls are too worried about making a mistake and having the 'Old Guard' corner them and spew directives in their ears.  It's hard to be truly effective under those circumstances."

"I should think it would be," Wesley tossed his final dart and then stepped back for Giles to take his turn.  "So, the Old Guard is a big portion of our problem?"

Giles sighed, nodding.  "They're set on getting the old ways reestablished, whether or not those ways are still valid, whether or not it's what's best for the girls.  The only seem to care about making things they way they were.  They can never actually be that way again.  Small loss, I say."

Stepping up, Giles threw his darts, not exactly ignoring the small touches to his back from Wesley.  After he'd thrown, Wes stepped closer and Giles glanced over his shoulder to meet the man's gaze.

"You smell good," Wes said with a sparkle in his eye as he nudged Giles' shoulder with his nose.

"Do I?"  Giles laughed, shaking his head.  "Well, that's entirely your fault, now isn't it?" 

"I hope so," Wesley whispered, voice dark and silky in Giles' ear, sending a shiver through him.  He reached back and brushed his fingers along Wesley's arm, moving away so that Wes could take his turn.

Gratified to see Wesley shiver as well, Giles grinned.  Over the last month, they'd discovered a few things about Wesley's condition and hoped to learn a good deal more when Willow arrived.  The man's heightened senses weren't going away, so much as he was getting used to them.  Giles knew Wesley still worried about what would happen when they . . . went further than they already had.  Giles didn't know on what Wesley was basing his worries, of course he could guess and the thought alone made him warm and half-hard.

Wesley glanced over at him, raising an eyebrow, a smirkish smile on his lips.  "I see," was all Wes said before taking his throws.  He scored much lower that round.  Grumbling, a small smile still hovering around his lips, Wesley motioned for Giles to take his turn.
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    Previous Chapter Giles laid his head in his arms and laughed, waving the last bit of the report at Spike as his body shook. "Oh, dear. I haven't…

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    Continued from here. Spike came back to find Angel snoring. Sighing, he put the drawing stuff away and sat down next to his Sire's bed. He managed…

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    Continued from here. Wesley managed to hold himself together, and away from Rupert. The urge to be back in the other man's arms was . . .…

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  • Upon The Ashes - Chapter 2

    Previous Chapter Giles laid his head in his arms and laughed, waving the last bit of the report at Spike as his body shook. "Oh, dear. I haven't…

  • Aftermath - Chapter 5

    Continued from here. Spike came back to find Angel snoring. Sighing, he put the drawing stuff away and sat down next to his Sire's bed. He managed…

  • Aftermath - Chapter 4

    Continued from here. Wesley managed to hold himself together, and away from Rupert. The urge to be back in the other man's arms was . . .…