Ripper's Redemption
By Gibberish

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, WB and Mutant Enemy
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: US season three. This takes place over the summer after Graduation
Feedback: Yes please. It gives me a happy :)
Author: Gibberish (My lovely and talented sister)

Dedication: For my sister Holly. Without her this story would not be seen. And not just because she posted it for me. Without her encouragement, I wouldn't have the nerve to have it posted.


    "Oh, I don't think I'll ever get the hang of this." Willow said to Giles as he sat across from her in his living room.
    Giles blinked as if waking, "What?" He asked.
    "Thanks for letting me try though." Willow said a bit bummed.
    "What, exactly, were you trying to do?" Giles asked.
    "I think I actually got you into a hypnotic sleep," Willow told him. "But I don't think that anything after that worked." She'd never tell him that she had tried to find out more about Ripper. "I started coughing and I think it
broke the spell." She sighed. "Anyway, thanks." She said as she gathered her things.
    "Willow, I want you to promise me that you won't practice these kind of spells alone." Giles requested. "Mind magic can be dangerous."
    "I promise." She told him. "I'll see you later." Willow jammed her supplies into her backpack.
Giles watched her go with mixed emotions. Just before she closed the door, she coughed. She should take something for that.

    Ripper looked around. Where the hell was he? He looked at his clothes. What the hell...?

    Buffy made her way to Giles'. He had decided that he would patrol with her tonight. She figured that she'd find out why, when she got there.
    She reached his condo and went to knock, but the door opened before she had the chance. "Okay Giles, What...?" Her words trailed off at the sight of him. Black faded T-shirt, tight blue jeans and an earring. "Giles?"
    "Hallo Pet." Ripper said as he eyed the blonde Nice.
    "Okay Giles, this isn't funny." Buffy said warily. Even as she admitted to herself that it was a good look on him.
    His eyes narrowed, "Name's Ripper." He told her. "Remember it Luv."
    Buffy's eyes widened. "Ripper?" She echoed.
    "That's right." He said and leaned towards her "I'm bustin' out. Care to join me?" He reached out and pulled   her to him. "We could 'ave a little fun. Or we could 'ave a lot of fun." He gave her a quick but very thorough kiss.
Buffy was stunned. The kiss had taken her by surprise, so she hadn't resisted. She was also surprised by her reaction to it. It jolted her.
    With his arm around her, he started walking, urging her along with him. "So, where can we find some action?" He asked.
    "What kind of action?" Buffy asked in return. She played along, not knowing what else to do.
    "You play pool Luv?" He asked as he looked down at her.
    "A little." She told him.
    "Care to play with me?" Ripper asked. He stopped and pulled her up against him again. "It doesn't have to be pool." He leaned towards her.
    "Pool's good." Buffy said quickly.
    "Where to then Luv?" He whispered the question in her ear. He felt her shiver and grinned, wickedly. "Need to be warmed up?" He kissed her neck. Buffy shivered again. <No thanks. . She thought. <Plenty warm. >
    "Willy's." She said in a voice three octaves higher than it should have been.  "Willy's has a pool table."
    "Alright then Luv." Ripper said as he ran a hand down her back and over her bottom. "Pool first."

    They walked, her pulled up against his side. <This is bizarre. > Buffy thought. <But, oddly, not awful. > She still couldn't believe that this was the same guy that became her Giles. Only before. Once they reached Willy's, they ambled inside the dimly lit bar. Half of the "clientele" skulked out at the sight of Buffy. A hard glare from her kept Willy's mouth shut.
    They went over to the pool table. Without warning, Ripper picked her up and sat her on the edge of the pool table. "There." He said, pleased with himself. "Now, I can watch you while I play." The innuendo plain in his tone. His hands still at her waist; he leaned towards her...
    "You playin' or flirtin'?" Asked the Biker that approached.
    Ripper turned and glared at him. "What's the matter Mate? Can't you do both?" He turned beck to Buffy, who had hopped down and patted her bottom. "Get us some beers, would ya Luv?" His eyes raked her.
    "Sure. Okay." Buffy said and walked to the bar.
    Ripper watched her walk away, enjoying the view. He was aware that the Biker did the same. When he turned back to the Biker his eyes were cold. "Rack 'em."

    Buffy reached over the bar, grabbed Willy by the collar and pulled him towards her. "Not a word Willy." She threatened. "Now get me the phone." Willy reached under the bar and put the phone in front of her. Buffy released him, picked up the receiver and started dialing. "Oh, and a couple of beers." She said absently.

    After she called Willow and begged for help, Buffy picked up the beers and headed back to the pool table. The game was in full swing when she returned. It was the Biker's shot. Buffy stood next to Ripper and handed him his beer as she leaned against the table. The Biker missed his shot. Ripper grinned, "Thanks Luv." He took his own shot and made it. Soon, all the solids were sunk. All that remained was the 8 ball. It was a near impossible shot. He checked the shot from every angle, then looked at Buffy. "What do you think Luv?"
    Buffy smiled up at him. She didn't doubt that he could make the shot. Then, again, she was lifted to sit on the edge of the pool table. This time right in front of the cue ball. "Is that fun for you?"
    "Just want a little good luck kiss." Ripper told her. He moved between
her knees and leaned forward...
    "You gonna shoot or you gonna..." The Biker's words trailed off at Ripper's glare.
    Ripper looked back to Buffy. "I hate interruption." He moved snugly between her legs and took her mouth.
Buffy felt him press against her. < Whoa. This is Giles. No it isn't. Well it is and it isn't. > She felt his hands move away from her, then something moved against her hip. While his mouth was on hers, making her crazy, he took his shot.
    Ripper put the cue stick down, one arm went around Buffy and the other went out palm up to the Biker, who put a twenty in it. The Biker walked away grumbling. The twenty went into Ripper's pocket and that arm also went around  Buffy. He moved against her suggestively.
    Buffy realized that she shouldn't be enjoying this so much. What would Giles think? Giles! She pulled away. "Breather." She said. "Need another beer?" She asked.
    "Sure thing Luv." Ripper told her and backed up a step.
    Buffy hopped off the table and looked up at him. She could see a hint, just a hint, of her Giles in his expression. She gave him a smile before she walked away.
    Again, Ripper watched her walk from him.

    Buffy walked once again up to the bar. "Another beer Willy." She said. She looked around; she and Ripper were the only ones there. She looked back to Willy, almost apologetic. "Did we scare everyone off?"
    "Something like that." Willy said. He handed her the beer. "Did he notice that you didn't drink the last one?" He asked.
    "Probably." Buffy said. "Doesn't matter." She started to turn away but Willy's voice brought her back.
    "You safe with him?" Willy asked. At her raised brows, he continued, "You know what I mean."
    "I'll be okay." Buffy assured him with a smile. "And my friends should be here soon. I hope." She paused. "Thanks Willy." She turned and headed back to Ripper. She heard Willy cough behind her.
    She walked up to Ripper and handed him the beer. "Do you realize that you haven't even asked my name?"
    "Buffy?" Giles asked bewildered.
    "Good guess." Buffy responded.
    "Buffy, what's going on?" Giles asked. "How did I get here?"
    "Giles?" Buffy asked surprised.
    "Who else would I be?" Giles asked.
    "You're in for a shock." Buffy told him.
    Giles became aware of two things. First, these were not the clothes that he had on earlier. Second, the jeans were tighter than they should have been.
    "You okay?" Buffy asked.
    "I-I'm not certain." Giles told her. "I have no memory of how I got here."
    <Whew> Buffy thought. "Don't worry Giles, we'll figure this out."
    Just then, the Scooby gang, Willow, Oz and Xander walked in. They stopped short at the sight of Giles.
    "There's something you don't see every day." Oz commented.
    Buffy lead Giles to the exit. As they pass Willy, she pulled the twenty out of Giles' pocket and tossed it to him. Giles looked down at her, confusion on his face. "Don't ask." She told him and he didn't. "Night Willy." She called before she led the group out the door.
    The door closed behind the strange little group. "Night." Willy said bemused. Some of his customers skulked back in.

***

    In Oz's van they made their way to Giles' condo. It's almost too quiet within the confines of the van.
Willow couldn't stand it any longer. She looked at Buffy, "What happened? All you said when you called was that you were at Willy's and to get Oz and Xander because you needed help with Giles." She looked at Giles, concerned; he looked dazed and confused. "Giles are you drunk?"
    "No." Giles said indignant. Then he spoiled it by adding; "At least I don't think so." He sounded unsure of himself. He could still taste the beer. And something minty. He had the distinct impression that *that* had been more intoxicating.
    Buffy popped another mint, trying to rid herself of the lingering taste of beer. "You only had one beer." She assured Giles. "No, two." He had drunk her beer as well.
    Giles looked at her suddenly even more worried. "Were you with me the entire time?" He asked, embarrassed that she might have witnessed whatever that had occurred that had tightened his jeans in so personal a way.
    "Yep." Buffy told in what she thought was reassurance. "Just you, me, the Biker and Willy."
    Giles' eyes widened in horror. Buffy had been the only female present. Dear God, What had he done?
    "Biker?" Xander queried.
    "Ri... Giles had beat him at pool." Buffy said and hoped that no one had caught what she'd almost said. "Made a shot you wouldn't believe." She looked at Giles, "Where'd you learn to shoot pool like that?" She asked.
    "London." Giles said weakly. In his Ripper days, he'd lived on it.
    Oz stopped the van in front of Giles'. Buffy and Giles got out; she stopped the others from also getting out.     "I'm sorry I dragged you guys out for nothing." She told them.
    "Are you sure there's nothing we can do to help?" Willow asked.
    "Not tonight." Buffy told her. "Tomorrow may be another story."
    "You sure you're okay?" Oz asked, aware of the odd undercurrents.
    "I'm sure." Buffy told him. "Thanks." She gave them all a smile, before she turned around and walked with Giles to his front door.
    "She sounded so wigged when she called." Willow said as she watched them walk away.
    "Well, they're okay now." Xander said.
    "I hope so." Willow responded.
    Oz didn't comment.

    It was a good thing that Buffy had a key, since Giles did not have his. They went inside and an awkward silence followed. Giles went into the kitchen to fix a pot of tea.
    Giles knew that needed to find out what happened. However, to ask Buffy such personal questions. He puttered around in the kitchen until the kettle whistled. At least his jeans fit semi-properly again.

    In the living room, Buffy sat on the couch, she couldn't figure out what to tell him. Or how. She still didn't have a clue when Giles returned with the tea and one of her bottled waters. Giles set the tray down on the coffee table and then after he sat down, he poured himself a cup of tea. After he took a sip in apparent calm, he
took a deep breath, "Alright." He said. "Tell me."
    Tell him what? But she knew she had to tell him the truth. At least most of it. "Ripper made an appearance."
    "What?!" Giles asked, shocked. His mug clattered as he set it down. "Did you say Ripper?" He asked, unable to believe it.
    "The one and, I dearly hope, only." Buffy told him. She leaned forward; "You don't remember anything?" She asked.
    "I'm beginning to think I might be better off that way." Giles said wearily. "What did I do?" Buffy blushed. Giles saw it. "God Buffy, tell me I didn't." Giles pleaded.

    "You didn't." Buffy obliged.
    Giles closed his eyes as if in pain. "Did I hurt you?" He asked in a harsh whisper. A harshness directed at himself.
    "As if you could." Buffy commented. His eyes snapped open and met hers. "It wasn't you, Giles."
    "It was me." He told her. "Once."
    "But not now." She said. "I watched you play pool." Buffy told him.
    "Don't patronize me." Giles said angrily. "I am fully aware of my physical condition when I became aware of myself. And I know full well that I didn't arrive in that state playing pool. What did I do?" He asked again.
    "It wasn't all your fault." Buffy said quietly.
    "What does that mean?" Giles asked.
    Buffy blushed again." I didn't exactly ... Resist."
    "What?" Giles asked, truly at a loss now. It was as if she weren't speaking English.
    Now, Buffy couldn't meet his eyes. "When you got ... Friendly, I didn't exactly push you away." She continued in a rush. "I mean, at first, I didn't know what to do. Then ..." She shrugged, embarrassed. "Well. You do friendly very well."
    Giles couldn't believe what he'd just heard. "Are you saying that you responded?" He asked in disbelief.
    Buffy nodded in tiny little bobs.
    "Buffy ..." Giles began, but he didn't have an inkling as to what he would say.
    "I'm sorry, okay." Buffy burst out.
    "*You're* sorry." Giles echoed. "It's I that should apologize Buffy, not you." He told her gently.
    Buffy looked at him. She saw the gentle, caring concern in his eyes.
    "Are you grossed out?" She asked.
    "Grossed out due to what, exactly?" He asked warily.
    "Because you, you know, kissed me." Buffy clarified.
    Giles smiled, just a little. "Buffy, a man grossed out at kissing you, would have to be insane."
    Buffy looked at him in question. She wasn't sure how he meant that.
    "If I had been grossed out, as you put it, My body would not have reacted the way it had." Giles pointed out bluntly. He could not believe they were having this conversation.
    "But that was Ripper." Buffy said, confused.
    "Well, then all I can say is that Ripper has excellent taste." Giles said and enjoyed the color that rose in her cheeks. <Get a hold of yourself, Old man. > He told himself sternly.
    "Giles," Buffy said. She knew she shouldn't ask, but she had to know. "How did you learn to shoot pool while making out?"
    "Bloody hell." Was his only reply.

    Buffy made her way back to Giles' fairly early the next morning. She knew that the gang wouldn't waste any time in trying to find out what had happened the night before. She and Giles decided to stick to the bare facts. Ripper had appeared to play pool last night. They would keep the details to themselves.
    After they talked it over, they had come to the conclusion that someone had done this to him. They were betting on Ethan, it was his style.
    The others arrived and all this was explained to three avid listeners.
    "Ripper? Why?" Willow asked.
    "Ethan has a very sadistic sense of humor." Giles told them. He looked like Giles again, loose fitting sweater and slacks.
    "Ethan." Xander said. "Costume Shop, Eyghon, cursed chocolate, Ethan?"
    "One and the same." Buffy told him.
    "Oh good, " Xander said. "Something to look forward too."
    "We need to find him." Buffy said. She looked at Giles, "Before it happens again."
    Willow got on the computer that she had convinced Giles to finally get. She'd even taught him to use it. A little. Usually it was Willow that used it though, for research. Like now.
    Xander used the other phone line to call around to all the local hotels and asked about Ethan. Oz stood behind Willow and offered comfort, understanding and insight.
    Buffy and Giles tried to figure out why Ethan would be there. They came the conclusion that with Ethan there was just no telling. He simply enjoyed stirring up trouble.
    Since there was simply nothing else for them to do, Giles decided to put Buffy through some light training. And, since space was limited, they decided on basic hand to hand.
    Buffy blocked every blow that Giles threw. Easily, too easily. She called a halt. "Why do I get the feeling that your heart just isn't in this?" She asked.
    <Because it's not. > Giles thought. "I apologize Buffy. I'm afraid that my concentration is elsewhere."
    "Ripper, huh." Buffy commented. "I guess we're both rather distracted."
    "At least with the band candy I was able to remember." Giles said. "I was ashamed and embarrassed, but at least I knew why. This blankness is quite un-nerving." He didn't add that he believed that she was holding back on him. That she hadn't told him everything. And what she had told him was bad enough. Giles' memories of that time flashed through his mind. Carefree, he'd thought at the time. He was angry and rebellious. Neither mixed well with black magic. There had also been drinking, fighting and women. He'd tried to lose himself in all of it. He looked at Buffy, it worried him.
    Buffy watched Giles closely. At first, he'd looked introspective. Now, he had a worried frown. She resisted the urge to smooth the lines away. What had gotten in to her? She'd wanted to touch him all morning. She shook her head in confusion. "What are you thinking about Giles?" She asked.

    <How Ripper wouldn't be able to resist you. > But he didn't dare say it aloud, afraid that it would give too much away if he did. "Impossibilities." He told her softly.
    "I can't find anything." Willow said, disappointed.
    "Me either." Xander said with a shrug. "Sorry."
    "Don't be." Giles told them all. "You tried and I appreciate it."
    "Ugh." Buffy said. "Wait till I get my hands on Ethan."

    After staring at the Television for hours without seeing a thing, Giles decided to get some fresh air. He grabbed a stake, in case he didn't return before dark, and took a walk.

    In her dorm room, Buffy studied for an English Lit test. She'd been so excited about this class, at first. She'd wanted to surprise Giles with her knowledge. Wanted to be able to talk to him about something other than just demons. She never let herself examine that need too closely.
    Beowulf was supposed to be in English, but it didn't look like it. The phone rang and she answered it, grateful for the distraction. "Yeah." She said into the phone.
    "Buffy?" The voice asked, uncertainly.
    "Who is this?" Buffy asked, alert and wary.
    "It's Willy." He said, more confidant now.
    "How did you get this number?" Buffy asked sharply.
    "I know a guy that knows a guy." He answered. "Look, I thought you'd want to know that your friend is back. He's real angry and he's looking for you."
    "I'll be right there." Buffy told him. "Thanks Willy." She hung up the phone, threw the book on the bed, put on her shoes, grabbed her keys and rushed out the door.

***

    Buffy got to Willy's just in time. She walked in the door and saw that Ripper, still in one of Giles' sweater and slacks, had Willy up against the wall, feet dangling. The nervous crowd just watched, ready to bolt if
Ripper were to turn on them.
    Ripper pounded Willy against the wall, "Where is she?"
    "Put him down." Buffy said in a steely tone.
    Ripper turned and released Willy, who fell to the floor. "Finally. This bloody idiot wouldn't tell me where you were."
    Buffy ignored him and went to Willy. As she helped him up she asked, "You okay?"
    "Forget about 'im." Ripper said.
    "Willy?" Buffy asked again, not yet acknowledging Ripper at all.
    "Just do somethin' with him." Willy practically begged.
    Buffy nodded and turned on Ripper. "Just who the hell do you think you are?" She advanced on him.
    Ripper backed as she advanced, he felt like the prey of a lioness. He was unsure as to why he felt intimidated by the tiny blonde. " 'e wouldn't give me answers."
    "Did it occur to you that maybe, just maybe, he didn't have the answers?" Buffy asked angrily. She didn't like bullies. It looked ridiculous, this man, who only a moment ago had been tearing the place apart, now tried to placate the blonde half his size.
    "I just want to know what's 'appening to me." Ripper shouted.
    Buffy stopped her advance and put her hands on her hips. "Do you always ask for help by beating people up?" She asked the man that glared back at her defiantly. She saw what he desperately tried to hide - Fear. She sighed and felt her anger dissipate. Ripper's probably never asked for help before. "Come on." She said and held out her hand.
    Ripper looked at the small hand a moment before he took it. He allowed her to lead him out. They walked in silence, hand in hand.
    Finally, Ripper broke the silence. "I don't even know your name." He commented idly.
    "Its Buffy." She told him.
    "What kind a name is Buffy?" He asked with a laugh.
    "My name." She said coldly and pulled her hand away. "Rupert."
    Ripper took her hand back. " 'ow come you know my name?" He asked.
    "Because, I know you." She said simply.
    His thumb traced a pattern in her palm. " 'ow well do you know me?"
    "Pretty well I think." Buffy answered. They stopped walking and faced each other. "You're my Watcher." She said quietly.
    "Not possible." Ripper said quite assured. "Council'd never trust a Slayer to me."
    "That *was* the point wasn't it?" Buffy asked. "But, Ripper grew up a long time ago."
    Ripper looked confused. "You're talking crazy." He said.
    "Maybe." Buffy said with a small smile. "What's the last thing you remember?" She asked. "Before yesterday, I mean."
    Ripper's hand went to where the tattoo of Eyghon had once been, unaware that she and Giles had had them removed together.
    "That was more than twenty years ago." Buffy told him gently. "Eyghon is gone now."
    Ripper looked at her surprised. Surprised that she had known what the gesture had meant. "What' happening to me?"
    Buffy explained what she could. She concluded with, "It's like a split personality. You can't remember Giles and he can't remember you."
    "How do we stop it?" Ripper asked.
    Buffy gave him a sad look. "We don't know. We worked on it last night and most of today. We couldn't figure it out."
    They walked some more. Silent until they reached the park and came across a picnic table. Ripper lifted her on to it and stood in front of her.
    "You really enjoy doing that way too much." Buffy said dryly.
    Ripper grinned at her. "Are we close, you and me?" He asked cheekily.
    She smiled, "We're friends." She told him.
    "Friends? That's it?" He asked in disbelief. "Council must have castrated me." He grumbled.
    Buffy laughed, "We both know that isn't true." She said then blushed furiously.
    Ripper grinned wickedly, "That we do Luv. That we do." He leaned towards her.
    Buffy leaned back, "What do you think you're doing?" She asked, a bit breathless.
    "What do you think?" He asked just before his mouth met hers.
    He does do this so well, Buffy thought, beginning to respond. He put his hands on hers, then slid them up her arms. When they reached her shoulders, they slid down her front, grazing her breasts, before they went around her waist and held her to him. Her own hands now clutched his biceps, but she didn't remember having moved them.
    He moved his hands to her hips and pulled her snug against him. He pressed into her and groaned into her mouth. He groaned again when she moved against him. Buffy's hands moved to his back and her legs twined around his hips. Ripper leaned her back against the table and followed her down. "God Luv." He said, his breathing harsh. He resumed kissing her as his hand moved to the buttons of her blouse. Three buttons down, a scream reverberated through the park. Ripper's head shot up. "What the hell was that?"
    "Trouble." Buffy said as she pushed him off of her. She hopped off the table and took off at a dead run. She almost felt sorry for the Vampire when she got a hold of him. "Bloody hell!" Ripper swore emphatically, then took off after her.

    When Ripper caught up with her, she was already beating the crap out of the Vampire. Apparently, the victim had made a run for it.
    He watched her fight in admiration. <Damn but she's good. > He thought. Almost worth the abrupt end to their activities, but not quite. His eyes narrowed as he saw the Vampire land a blow and knock her into a tree. Buffy grabbed a branch above her head and lifted herself so that she could kick the Vampire in the chest with both feet. The Vampire landed on his back and before he could get back up, Buffy had dropped to the ground, broke off a branch and staked him with it. Dust.
    Buffy turned at the sound of applause. She found Ripper looking at her in admiration. "You." She said as she pointed at him. "Are a distraction."
    Ripper grinned, unrepentant. He noticed that her blouse was still unbuttoned. "Want to try again?" Then he saw blood trickle from her hairline. His grin disappeared. "You're hurt." He made his way to her and
examined the cut as best he could in the dim light. "It doesn't look too bad, but we'd best get it cleaned up."
    Buffy looked at him, amazed at his concern. That's when she realized that Giles had lied to her.
Ripper saw her troubled expression. "What is it Luv?" He asked.
    Buffy shook her head, unable to explain. Instead, she asked a question of her own. "What do you know about Beowulf?"

    They went to Buffy's dorm room and stayed up late, talking. They discussed Beowulf and other literature. Anything that came to mind. And as they talked, Buffy noticed that his accent became less and less cockney. He didn't sound like Giles, but he didn't sound the same.
    Ripper didn't know what it was about this girl, this woman, but she'd knocked through all his barriers without even trying. He didn't feel alone with her and he knew that was part of it. They both talked tough and could
fight like hell but deep inside they had scarred souls. He'd never believed in kindred spirits, but now he had to wonder.
    They fell asleep talking.

    When Buffy woke up the next morning, he was still there, sleeping. She left him with a note and went to her first class of the day - English Lit.

***

    Buffy returned three hours later. She felt confident, until she found him seated stiffly on the very edge of her bed. She knew immediately that it was Giles.
    Buffy put her backpack on the dresser and turned to face him. "You snore." She accused.
    "I'm sorry Buffy." Giles apologized automatically. He looked at his clenched hands. "Buffy, I need to know ...     Did I ... Did we ...?"
    "Nothing happened." She told him as she leaned against the dresser. When she heard him sigh in relief, she decided not to tell him just how close it had been. "You lied to me." She stated.
    Giles looked at her in confusion, "What did I lie to you about?" He asked.
    "You told me that Ripper was a selfish, arrogant, bastard. He's not." Buffy told him.
    "He may not seem like it." Giles explained. "But that's only because he's trying to get you into bed."
    Buffy wondered, briefly, how he could be so certain that Ripper would want her. "He had me in bed." She said, then realized how it sounded and clarified. "Not had had. We fell asleep last night talking. Right there." 
She pointed t the bed and he jump off it as if it had bit him. "He didn't try anything."
    Giles was surprised. "He must be trying to lull you into a..."
    Buffy cut him off. "Come off it Giles. He if were all those things, he wouldn't have become you. Don't you see that?"
    "I know that Ripper may seem charming Buffy." Giles told her. "But you can't trust him."
    "You're saying that I can't trust *you*." Buffy said. " *You*, Giles. If Ripper didn't care about anything or anyone, he wouldn't have changed. You wouldn't be here. There was always a part of you inside him, just as there's a part of him inside you. Together, you're pretty impressive."
    "I turned my back on Ripper and everything he represented years ago." Giles told her stiffly.
    "Then why did you keep that tattoo for so long??" Buffy asked. "Why are there tight jeans in the back of your closet? You aren't two different people."
    "Not technically, I suppose." Giles conceded.
    "You're more stubborn that he his" Buffy told him.
    Giles almost smiled at that.
    "Okay." Buffy said. "I'll prove it."
    "How?" Giles asked, warily.
    Buffy thought about it. She got an idea and smiled. There was something that she wanted to know anyway. "Will you do what I ask?"
    Giles was wary of that smile, he knew it meant trouble. But, he had to convince her and he trusted her. "Alright." He agreed.
    "Close your eyes." She instructed.
    Giles gave her a searching look before he complied.
    Buffy grinned. If his eyes had been open, he'd have recognized it. It was the same one that Ripper gave her.
Giles felt her hands on his face. She gently caressed his cheeks. "What are you doing?"
    "Shsh." Buffy said softly as she put a hand to his mouth. "An experiment."
    "What's this supposed to prove, exactly?" Giles asked. He was becoming a bit uncomfortable.
    "This?" Buffy asked. "Nothing. This, however, should prove quite a bit."
    Giles felt her lips touch his lightly. "Buffy? W-what are y-you doing?" He asked, nervously.
    Buffy kissed him again. And again. Until he responded. Until his hands were no longer stiffly at his sides but at her waist, then around her. He pulled her to him. She ran her hands up his chest and around his neck. All
thought gone, except one. She was right.
    Giles felt her lean into him. His hands began moving, he couldn't have stopped them even if he'd wanted to. The taste of her, the feel. He felt like he just drank a full bottle of scotch on an empty stomach. He'd waited so
long. He moved his leg and he went tumbling backwards and took Buffy with him. Fortunately, they landed on the bed. He felt reality reassert itself.
    "Oof." Buffy said upon landing. She couldn't hold back a laugh.
    Giles' mind wasn't quite clear but he felt the need for some distance.
    "So, what did that prove? Other than you being very attractive to men." He asked.
    Buffy recoiled. No longer laughing, she got to her feet. "Would you like the crossbow?" She asked in return, hurt.
    Giles also got to his feet. "I'm sorry Buffy." He told her, ashamed of himself.
    "Why is this so hard for you to accept?"
    "You can't understand Buffy." Giles said, tiredly. "Ripper hurt so many people." He told her.
    "So have I." Buffy told him softly. "Mom, Dad. The Gang. I sent Angel to hell." She looked at him sadly. "I've probably hurt you most of all." Her words became a whisper, "I got Jenny killed."
    "It wasn't your fault." Giles told her fiercely. "Why can't you believe that?"
    "Because it's not true." Buffy told him. "I know that isn't the way you see it and I appreciate it. But I'll never see it any other way." She looked away.
    "Angelus killed Jenny. There was no way you could have known." Giles told her.
    "I had my chance to kill him but I couldn't." Buffy said. "And then I fell for his trap and got Kendra killed."
    "Drusilla killed Kendra." He said with force. "You were trying to protect us. You didn't know what would happen."
    "And Ripper didn't know that Eyghon would kill Randall." Buffy said softly. "The only thing he was guilty was stupidity. We all are at some time." She gave a shrug. "Some of us more than others."
    Giles just looked at her a moment. Then he turned and opened the door without a word. He needed to think. He started to leave but her voice stopped him but he didn't turn around.
    "By the way, " Buffy said to his back. "The point was never supposed to be your reaction. It was mine. I could never want two men the same way at the same time." She closed the door before he could reply. "God, I'm in trouble."

    Two days went by with no sign of Ripper. Giles spent the time locked inside his condo. They began to think that maybe the spell had been broken.

    Friday night the Dingoes were playing at the Bronze. So the Gang decided to be there. Willow and Xander had been watching Buffy stare into space for ten minutes. Even Oz, up on stage, kept casting her worried
glances.
    Finally, Willow, pushed beyond even her vast patience, grabbed Buffy's wrist and pulled her outside.
    Once outside, Willow turned to Buffy, who was looking at her wide eyed.
    "What is the matter?" Willow asked. "You've been in the Twilight Zone all night and frankly it's really starting to wig me."
    Buffy's hands covered her face for a second. "I'm sorry Will. I guess I'm just worried about Giles."
    "But, no more Ripper sightings." Willow pointed out.
    "I know." Buffy said. "And no sign of Ethan either. I'm beginning to think he's not here." She looked at Willow concerned, "Have you talked to Giles?" She asked.
    "Haven't you?" Willow asked in return, worried herself now.
    "He won't talk to me." Buffy told her sadly. "I call and the phone just rings. I know he's there. When I go over to his place, he just tells me to go away." She was ready to cry. "I'm so worried about him Will. This isn't like
him and he won't talk to me."
    "Giles never sends you away." Willow said.
    "He does now." Buffy told her.
    "Why?" Willow asked.
    "It's ... complicated." Buffy said. "And I'm not up to going into it tonight."
    "Is there anything I can do?" Willow offered, sympathetically.
    "Tell the Guys good-night." Buffy responded. "I think I need to be by myself."
    "But we'll talk tomorrow?" Willow asked, worried.
    "Tomorrow." Buffy said with a nod. She turned and walked away.
    Willow watched her go, worried more than she'd like to admit even to herself. Thank God for Oz.

    Buffy returned to her dorm to find her door unlocked and the light on. She opened the door and he's there.
    "Hello Luv." Ripper said to her.
    Buffy closed the door and smiled at him. "What are you doing here?"
    "I came to myself here." Ripper explained. "He must have come here. No place I'd rather be, so I stayed."
    Buffy took in his clothes; it was across between Ripper and Giles. Dress shirt and bluejeans. Giles had come here, like that? Why? Buffy went to him and hugged him, she loved the feel of his arms around her.
    "Miss me Luv?" Ripper asked.
    "Yeah." She told him. She missed Giles too.
    Ripper pulled back to look in her eyes, "We have a fight or somethin'?" He asked.
    "Or somethin'" Buffy told him.
    "What was it about?" Ripper asked.
    "Oh, everything." Buffy responded.
    "Tell me somethin' Luv." Ripper said. "How does he feel about me?"
    "I think he's afraid of you. Of what you represent," Buffy told him honestly.
    "The past. Can't say as I blame him." Ripper told her. "It's not a pretty picture. He's probably worried about you."
    "He shouldn't be." Buffy assured him.
    "What makes you so sure?" Ripper asked. Trust was not something he was used to.
    "Because, there is no one I trust more." Buffy told him.
    Ripper swallowed. He bent down and kissed her tenderly. God, he loved her. And she was right; he'd never hurt her.
    Buffy leaned against the door, unsure if she could support herself. She wrapped her arms around his neck.
Ripper picked her up so that her mouth was on a level with his. He braced her up against the door as he deepened the kiss. He felt her wrap her legs around him. He put his hands on her thighs and slid them under her short skirt that had ridden up to her hips and cupped her bottom. He felt her groan more than heard it. He began moving rhythmically against her. Her heels dug into his backside. She arched her neck, pulling her mouth from his.
    He kissed his way down to the base of her throat. "You taste so good Luv."
    "You make me feel..." Her words trailed off. She couldn't think.
    "I've never felt..." He didn't know how to express himself.
    Buffy kissed him. She tasted tea and whiskey. She moved her hand to the snap of his jeans.
Ripper lifted her higher, so that he could kiss his way to her breasts. He vaguely heard a commotion in the hall behind the door.
    Buffy knew the instant he changed.
    Giles didn't know where he was. What he did know was that he was nibbling on the most beautiful breast and in his hands was the most feminine bottom. His hands squeezed involuntarily and he heard a feminine gasp. Soft gentle hands at the front of his jeans. He knew he should stop this but he couldn't seem to. Snap, unzip. That felt better. All that separated them now were her panties and he didn't even know who she was. As much as he ached, he couldn't do this. It wasn't right. All he could think about was Buffy. He started to pull away.
    "God Giles, if you stop now I'll kill you." Buffy said.
    Giles' eyes snapped up and he saw Buffy's beautiful face. Two things registered; Ripper must have started this but it was Giles' name she used. "Buffy?"
    "Please Giles." She said softly as she looked into his green eyes.
    Giles looked at her. He'd come here because he'd needed to see her. He'd realized that she had been right. And he needed to know what she had meant about her reaction. Well, he knew. What should he do about it? It only took him half a second to decide. He lowered her just far enough to give her a devastating kiss. When she move against him, he felt like he'd been struck by lightening.
    Buffy felt his hands move then heard something rip. Her eyes flew to his. He'd torn her panties off.
Giles met her eyes as he slowly pushed inside her. Her eyes closed. He took her mouth again as he slowly pulled nearly all the way out, then thrust back in. She whimpered and he groaned.
    He tried to go slowly, to take his time but their bodies wouldn't let him. He thrust harder and faster until she screamed into his mouth.
    Buffy saw the world explode behind her eyes. He moved his mouth to her neck and gently bit her as he gave one more hard thrust and she felt him climax into her.
    His face buried in her neck, Giles caught his breath. Once his breathing was sufficiently under control, he pulled away from the door. Still buried deep inside her, he held tight to her and turned from the door. He
carried her to the bed and started over again.

***

    Saturday morning, Willow knocked on Buffy's door. She thought she heard something, but Buffy didn't answer. Good thing she had a key. She opened the door, "Buffy?" Willow walked in and stopped, frozen. In the bed is a very guilty looking Buffy, apparently naked. Next to her is a distinctly male form with his head beneath the covers. Willow let go of the door and it closed behind her. "I'm sorry." Willow said weakly, her eyes wide. "I ... I didn't know ... You ... Guy ... Who? ...Didn’t tell me."
    Buffy almost laughed at the absurdity of the situation.
    All Willow could see was the top of his head. "Do I know him?" She asked, pointing. She heard a masculine sigh.
    Giles pushed the covers off of his face and sat up, he felt ridiculous. He saw Buffy biting her lip to keep from laughing. Then he saw Willow. Her face paled, her eyes widened and her jaw had dropped. At least she didn't have Oz and Xander with her. He kept one knee raised to keep from traumatizing the girl further.
    "Bu ... Bu ... Giles." Willow squeaked.
    Giles felt something move on his thigh. He looked at Buffy she was looking at Willow with an impossibly bland expression. He swallowed hard when he felt her hand near an extremely sensitive area. He steeled himself not to jump when her hand closed around him.
    "How did this happen?" He heard Willow ask, totally oblivious. Buffy continued her ministrations. He nearly groaned. Then he heard Buffy answer,
    "I think it was probably inevitable Will." In such a calm voice. Two could play that game. He raised his other knee slightly and carefully, not wanting to dislodge Buffy's hand. His hand began it's own exploration. He felt her jump, surprised. Good.
    "Willow." Buffy said. Giles had touched her when she said it so her voice had cracked mid-name. She nearly moaned as he slipped a finger inside her, then another. She tried to glare at him, but couldn't quite pull it off.
She looked back to an oblivious Willow. What had she been saying? He started moving his fingers in and out. She didn't care what she'd been saying. "Could we talk about this another time?" She asked with some difficulty, she hoped that Willow would chalk it up to embarrassment. Her hand began stroking him.
    Willow looked at them. Buffy’s face was red and Giles' eyes were closed. How embarrassing to be caught like that. "Oh. Right. Bye." She was embarrassed for having caught them. She turned and left, making sure that the door was locked behind her. She ignored the high pitched squeal from the other side of the door and went in search of therapy. Or, at least, chocolate.

    Inside, Buffy squealed as Giles pinned her to the bed. Then moaned.

    Later, as they began to dress, Buffy giggled. Giles looked at her in question.
    "You realize that Willow will never be the same." Buffy pointed out.
    "How does she happen to have a key?" Giles asked as he buttoned his shirt.
    "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Buffy told him. "I sure didn't know this would happen. But if it's late or she's tired, she just crashes here instead of going home."
    "Quite logical." Giles said. There was a long silence as they finished dressing. "Buffy, we need to discuss Ripper."
    Buffy sat on the bed and looked up at him warily. "Are we going to fight?"
    "I dearly hope not." Giles told her. "I need... Have you talked about what's been happening?"
    "Of course." Buffy said. "It scares him. Especially at first. He didn't know anybody or even where he was."
    Giles was thoughtful. He had to admit that except where Buffy was concerned; he hadn't given much thought to what Ripper must be feeling. Had assumed that he felt nothing. Except for Buffy. He and Ripper had more in
common than he ever would have thought. He sat next to her on the bed. "Did you and he...?" He asked. No accusations, he just needed to know.
    "No." She said softly, carefully. "Close but no." She sighed. "I like him. He's you, only more reckless."
    "Now reckless describes him pretty well." Giles commented.
    So, they talked. Buffy told him about the Park, and how Ripper had taken care of her when she'd gotten hurt. How they had come back here and just talked for hours.
    "You discussed Beowulf?" Giles asked surprised. "I've always hated that story."
    "Amazingly enough," Buffy said dryly. "So has he."
    Giles smiled. "I take it that he doesn't have any idea as to what's been happening either?"
    "No." Buffy shook her head. "I just don't get it you know. There's been no sign of Ethan. We still don't know what triggers it. Or how to stop it."
    "Are you ready to go?" Giles asked.
    "Go? Go where?" She asked in return.
    "My place." Giles told her. "There's one more thing I'd like to check."
    "Okay." Buffy said. "Just a minute." She got up and left the room.
    Giles looked around while he waited. When he spied a notebook, he got an idea. He got the notebook and started writing. When he finished, he tore out the page and stuffed it in his pocket.
    Buffy came back in, "Okay." She said and they left together.

    They went to Giles'. While Giles read, Buffy massaged his shoulders and kept looking over his shoulder.
    "What is that?" Buffy asked.
    "A book on hypnosis." Giles told her.
    "Why?" She asked next.
    "I'm just checking all the possibilities that I can think of at the moment." Giles explained without looking up from the book.
    There was a knock at the door. "I'll get it." Buffy said. She got up and answered the door. "Hi
Xander."
    "Hi." Xander said, surprised.
    "What are you doing here?" Buffy asked as she let him in.
    "Um. Willow said that you two were having a problem." Xander said. "I thought I'd see if Giles was okay."
    "That's very thoughtful Xander." Giles said as he moved to stand behind Buffy. "Thank you."
    "But, obviously unnecessary." Xander commented with a shrug.
    Buffy smiled at him.
    "So, what's going on?" Xander asked. "Another Ripper sighting?"
    "Actually, yes." Giles told him. "It's all so random. No specific length of time, no specific place." He rubbed his forehead. "There's no logic to it."
    "This is the Hellmouth Mr. Spock." Xander comented.
    "True." Giles agreed. "I just don't know what to do. These blackouts are quite unnerving. Not knowing what's happened."
    "Ripper said that the first time it happened, the last thing he remembered was sobering up after Randall's death." Buffy said. She looked at Giles. "What's the last thing you remember?" She asked him.
Giles thought a moment. "Willow."
    "Willow?" Buffy and Xander echoed in unison.
    "She was working on a spell." Giles told them. "I don't like the idea of her trying them alone. Especially the mind magic."
    "Mind magic?" Buffy asked. "What kind of mind magic?"
    Giles started to answer then realized that he couldn't. He looked at Buffy. "She said that it hadn't worked."
    "What if it did work?" Buffy asked.
    "Only not the way she meant it to." Xander concluded.
    Buffy looked at Xander, "Call Willow." She told him.
    Xander went to the phone and made the call.
    "You don't think Willow...?" Giles began.
    "Well, no." Buffy told him. "Not on purpose. All we have to do is find out if she did it on accident."
    Xander coughed.
    Ripper looked around him in confusion, "Not again." His eyes settled on Buffy. Then he saw Xander. "Who's that Luv?" He asked her.
    Buffy looked at him. "Ripper?"
    Xander looked at them, "Did you say Ripper?"
    "His name is Xander." Buffy told Ripper. "I told you about him."
    "One of the kids that helps you." Ripper said. He nodded at Xander, then looked back to Buffy. "Where's the loo, Luv?" He asked."
    "It depends." Buffy said uncertainly. "What's a loo?"

    Ripper took care of his business in the bathroom. Before he left though, he found the message in his pocket and read it. -Ripper. Take precaution. Some could be using us to get to Buffy. From what she's told me,
neither of us wants anything to happen to her. She must be protected at all costs. Giles. - Ripper looked in the mirror. "Well Mate, looks like we're both in love with her." He went in search for a pen.

    Buffy found Ripper in the bedroom. She closed the door behind her. "You okay?"
    "Yeah Luv." He told her. "Just thinkin'." Ripper looked around the room. He picked up the only framed photo that he's seen in the place. <So, this is who I've become. > He thought.
    Buffy looked at the picture, surprised. It was of her and Giles, a candid shot taken at the Prom, "I didn't know he had that." She said.
    "You didn't know he was in love with you." Ripper stated. "But you do now. Don't ya Luv?"
    Buffy blushed. "He hasn't said..."
    "Trust me Luv." He said. "And you feel the same." She put a hand to his cheek but he pulled away. "Don't worry, I understand." He told her.
    "I doubt that." Buffy said softly. "You see, without you I wouldn't love him. And without him, I wouldn't love you." She put her hand back to his cheek and kissed him.

    A half hour later they made their way downstairs to find that Willow and Oz had arrived.
    "Ripper, this Willow. And Oz." Buffy told him.
    Ripper looked at the young couple holding hands. The girl smiled at him nervously. There was something familiar about her. "Do I know you?" He asked.
    "We think that Willow may have accidentally done this." Buffy explained.
    Ripper looked at Willow. "Can you fix it?"
    "I'm going to try." Willow told him.
    Ripper looked at Buffy. He didn't want to leave her. He took her hand.
    "Will you remember me?" He asked her.
    Buffy smiled at him. "You're not forgettable." She assured him. "Besides, you won't be completely gone. You'll always be a part of Giles." She squeezed his hand. "I'll make sure of it."
    To the shock of the three bystanders, Ripper picked Buffy up and kissed her passionately. Shocked more when she kissed him back.Ripper put her down gently, held her to him and whispered, "Bye Luv."
    "Bye Luv." Buffy returned in kind.
    Ripper pulled away and looked at a wide-eyed Willow. "I'm ready now." He told her as he retained his hold on Buffy’s hand.

    Ripper was sitting on the couch, with Buffy beside him, still holding his hand. Willow is in a chair, across from them, re-enacting her spell. Xander and Oz watched from the kitchen doorway.
    "What is split, I now rejoin." Willow intoned. "What was two is now one." She crossed her fingers. "Awake."
    His eyes opened and he blinked several times as he looked around.
    "Giles?" Willow asked, afraid to hope.
    "Yes Willow." Giles said.
    "It worked." Willow said, excited.

    "Then it was you." Giles commented.
    "I'm really sorry Giles." Willow told him.
    "No more mind magic." Giles said emphatically.
    "Promise." Willow agreed.
    Giles, aware of the small hand in his, finally looked at Buffy. "Hello."
    Buffy smiled at him. "How do you feel?" She asked.
    "Complete." He told her. "I still don't remember anything that happened. However there is a sense of ... Peace with that part of my life that was never there before." His eyes never left Buffy's face.
    "That's a good thing." Buffy said.
    "Okay." Xander said as he and Oz rejoined them. "Are you two aware that you're still holding hands?"
    "You should have seen them this morning." Willow said, then her eyes widened in horror and she covered her mouth with her hands.
    Xander and Oz looked at her in confusion. "What does that mean?" Xander asked.
    Willow looked at Buffy and Giles apologetically. Then a thought struck her. "That was Giles, wasn't it?" She asked.
    "Yes Willow, it was me." Giles told her.
    "What was you?" Xander asked. He looked at Willow. "What were they doing?"
    Willow's face matched her hair and Buffy started to laugh. "What?" He asked again.
    "Do you really want to know?" Giles asked.
    "Better be sure." Oz said, cryptically.
    "Am I the only person her that doesn't know what's going on?" Xander asked.
    "I didn't tell Oz." Willow said. "Honest."
    Giles looked at Willow, then Oz, then Xander. Without warning, he pulled Buffy on to his lap and into his arms. He enjoyed the look of surprise on her face. Not to mention the three with their mouths hanging open. Then he kissed Buffy. Thoroughly.
    "Oh God, I'm blind." Xander said as he covered his eyes. "Ow." He said when Willow hit him.
    Buffy distantly heard the door open, then close. Giles stood with Buffy in his arms and carried her upstairs.

Midnight. Giles had gone on patrol with Buffy and then they returned to his place and made love playfully.
Giles carefully got out of the bed so as not to wake Buffy. He looked down at her, sleeping in his bed. So beautiful. He picked up his discarded jeans and pulled out the folded piece of paper. He took it to the window to look at it by the light of the streetlamp outside. - Giles. I wish I could have met the good man that Buffy says I have become. We have a great girl, you and I. Take good care of her. Ripper. -Giles looked from the message to the young woman in the bed. "I will."
    He went over and climbed back into bed with her. He snuggled up to her and put an arm around her waist. "I love you Buffy." He whispered in her ear.
    "I love you too, Rupert Giles." Buffy responded clearly. "No matter what you call yourself."

END