The Real Story
By Janine Ose

Title:  The Real Story
Author:  Janine Ose
Rating:  G
Spoilers:  Up until Grad  1 and 2
Distribution:  B/G Shippers and Watching You, Watching Me (everyone else please ask first)
Disclaimer:  All characters belong to Joss Whedon, 20th Century Fox, WB and Mutant Enemy. 
Summary:  In response to a challenge from Cap's site.
Feedback:  Please, just no flames.  My muse is deathly afraid of fire.

    "So, you want to know the real story, huh?  Well let me tell you if anyone knows the real story it's me.  After all, I'm with him wherever he goes so I see and hear everything.  My name?  Well I don't really, um, you can call me Ralph.  I always liked that name.  Straight and to the point, no messing around.  Just, Ralph.  My cousin George is the one whining over there.  He doesn't get out much, you see.  But when he does, hoo boy watch out cause we are gonna have some fun."  He cleared his throat smirking over at his cousin.  "Yeah, yeah, bitch all you want George.  You know you like her; after all it's because of her you get out more now.  Hell, in the past three weeks you've spent more time out than you had in the entire three years prior to that.  Alright, already.  I'm getting there."
    "Well, it all started the day she walked into the library.  Ooh baby was she ever a looker.  Tiny though, barely comes up to his shoulder.  I couldn't believe our luck.  Now as far as I'm concerned you can shove this whole destiny thing but I was thanking my lucky stars that day.  I mean, here I was moaning about being tossed half-way round the bloody world and missing the sights at the pub already when, come to papa.  The most beautiful thing I have ever seen walks right up to him and smiles.  I was gone.  And let me tell you, so was he."  He chuckled as he remembered that afternoon. 
    "Christ, you should have seen his face when she basically told him to stuff this whole Slayer business up his arse.  That's when I knew my life was about to get interesting.  Oh sure, he had dated and they weren't exactly chopped liver but her, well she was about to give him a run for his money like he'd never even seen before."  He paused, looking thoughtfully at his cousin George.  "It was just what he needed too.  Poor George over there was having a hissy about not seeing the light of day and him, well let's just say that tweed is so not him.  He summoned demons for Christ's sake.  Tweed is as about as far from that as you can get and still be among the living.  Oh, that reminds me, Lucy, you owe me twenty bucks.  I told you she'd nail him before his birthday, so pay up." 
    He gazed thoughtfully around before continuing.  "Stubborn as a mule she is.  Moreso than him sometimes.  But sweet, and her smile, damn her smile can light up the darkest room.  So, here we are, him trying to convince her to accept her destiny and her fighting tooth and nail to be just like everyone else.  Even tried out for the cheerleading squad.  Looked mighty fine in that uniform too.  It was a shame though that all that went up in smoke when that bitch of a witch decided to switch bodies with her daughter.  Talk about having some serious issues.  My girl fixed it though.  But not after she about gave him a bloody coronary.  That's when I knew he was a goner, the moment he picked her up in his arms and looked down at her face.  She had him wrapped round her little finger from then on."
    He blinked and shook the memories from his mind.  "So that was the beginning.  Only one problem though.  She was just a kid and there was no way he would ever tell her how he felt.  So he shoved it somewhere deep inside and locked it up tight, never even giving a hint of how deeply she had hooked him.  I always thought that was a mistake.  Figured if he had somehow had the guts to admit it then the whole star crossed Slayer/vamp thing never woulda happened.  But hey, what do I know?"  He snorted in disgust. 
    "Don't get me wrong here, I actually respect Angel.  Like him, forget it.  But I do respect him.  Wouldn't want to be in his shoes, no way, no how.  He's got enough angst and brooding to last a thousand lifetimes.  I don't go in for that much.  And not being able to see the sun?  Forget it.  Anyway, back to the story here.  She and the vamp fell in love."  He glanced at George when he snorted.  "Yeah, yeah, I know, it wasn't love but try to tell a teenaged girl that.  Not high on my list of enjoyable things to do.  I did try though.  Got pummeled for it of course but I did try.  So, he just watches, and worries, while she starts mooning over brood guy.  Couldn't force her not to see him.  Didn't want to hurt her you see.  That's the kind of guy he is.  Always putting other people first."
    He cocked his head, chuckling when George yelled at him.  "Tell me about it.  I just about died when Good old Ethan showed up.  Time for some fun, hey George?"  He tensed suddenly.  "Well it's not like I knew he was gonna call up that damn demon again.  And I certainly didn't know he was gonna try to get it to take her.  Damn, what kind of fool do you take me for?  Of course I would have tried to stop it if I had known.  But things turned out in the end.  The demon was toast even though Ethan did sneak out of town before I got a chance to pound him.  Bloody pillock, I owe him some pain."
    His face grew pensive and he chewed his lip.  "But that's when the badness as she calls it started.  He met another teacher, name of Jenny.  She gave me the creeps right from the beginning but he didn't want to hear it.  Said she was a nice lady and he enjoyed being with her."  He shook his head sadly.  "Boy was he wrong.  Turns out she was sent to watch Angel.  She was from the clan that cursed him.  Didn't bother to tell anyone about it, even after she knew what they were.  The little witch, Willow, found out by accident.  Boy did he go round the bend over that one.  Quite a fantastic row that night, when he confronted her about it.    He told her he didn't want to see her again.  That he couldn't trust her any longer.  Funny thing is, I think she really loved him.  She just didn't know how to separate herself from her clan.  Loyalty is great my friend, but let me tell you, it can get you dead quicker than anything else I know."
    He fell silent, remembering the pain and confusion of that time.  "It was her 17th birthday.  She gave him a happy, he went bad.  But the poor girl loved him and couldn't bring herself to kill the bloke.  Not even after he knocked off Jenny.  That was a dark time for us all.  He was dying inside, watching as his girl tried to come to grips with all that was going on, blaming himself even while she blamed herself.  He went on a bender and tried to take Angelus out one night.  Can't really blame him.  She always thought it was over Jenny.  No one ever knew it was over her.  Thank God she found him and stopped him though.  Begged him not to leave her."  He snorted in disbelief.  "As if he bloody well could."
    "Tell them," a voice piped up.  He waved his hand in the air.  "I'm getting to that Lucy, I'm getting to that.  This is hard, you know.  None of you saw what happened that night.  But I did, I saw it all."  He took a deep breath before continuing.  "Angelus got this bright idea to free the demon Acathla and open up the gates of hell.  He never was too bright that one.  As if she would really let that happen.  Only trouble was, he needed the spell to free the demon and the only one who knew it was him.  So Angelus kidnapped him.  Tortured him for hours, in ways I don't even like to think about.  But he never gave in, never gave him what he wanted.  Not until that loony ho Dru took a turn with him."  He drew in a shuddery breath.  "He spilled, couldn't hold out any longer then begged them to kill him.  That blonde chap, Spike, he saved him.  Funny thing about that one.  He's the one without a soul yet he's more human than Angel ever was with one.  He'll never admit it but he actually likes him and her.  Has done since the beginning.  I think they actually might be friends some day.  Now that would be fun."
    Rubbing his eyes, he continued.  "Okay, so Angelus has the spell and is all set to free the demon.  She has to stop him.  So she fights him and he says the spell.  But she doesn't know that the witch was trying to give him back his soul and somehow she manages to do it, right after he set's the demon free.  Christ, I don't know how she did it.  I wasn't there but I learned later that she actually sent Angel to hell to prevent it from opening.  Not Angelus mind you, but Angel.  I didn't see her for three long months after that.  She ran.  Away from him, away from here, away from everything in order to forget."
    He smiled sadly.  "That was the longest and most horrible three months of my life.  He searched everywhere for her, hoping and praying to find her so that he could bring her home.  Then one night she shows up on his doorstep.  Just, there.  Seems as if she couldn't forget no matter how far she ran.  He didn't say anything, just took her home.  Ooh whee, that was a fun night.  Zombies and fighting, her mum screaming bloody murder, her friends giving her the cold shoulder, damn she took it all and kept on fighting.  Trying to make them understand.  They never did, not until Xander admitted what he had done.  How he had gone to tell her that the witch was doing the spell then didn't.  How he watched as she sent her lover to hell instead of the demon.  He didn't talk to the boy for a week.  Wouldn't even look at him.  Then the healing began."
    He glared at George.  "No you bloody wanker, I haven't forgotten what happened next.  Angel came back from hell.  They gave him the boot.  But instead of telling him, she hid him.  Until Xander found out and spilled the beans.  Oh how that hurt him.  Cut straight through his heart that did.  And for the first time since meeting her I honestly didn't like her much.  But eventually that too passed and things began to even out a bit.  Then Ethan showed up again.  With a trick up his sleeve." 
    Ralph started to laugh, wiping tears from his eyes before continuing.  'Oh that was a right funny one.  I actually enjoyed that and so did George.  The pillock cursed the candy and all the adults turned into teens.  Not physically of course, but mentally, and hormonally.  Bloody hell, he shagged her mum right on top of a police car.  That was the man I remembered from before.  But the rub, the rub was that he wasn't thinking of her when he did it.  No, he was thinking of his Slayer, wishing it were her beneath him that night.  I think that was when he finally understood exactly what he felt for her and it scared him senseless.  So he pummeled Ethan and let out a bit of frustration and everything went on again as usual after the spell wore off.  Though he still can't look her mum in the eye."
    Sadness flickered in his eyes.  "Shortly after that it all started to fall apart.  The bloody Council forced him to administer the Curciamentum.  That damn test hasn't been used in years then Travers gets a bug up his arse and decides to administer it to her.  Christ, the pain he went through, knowing it was he who had done this to her, taken her strength.  But he came through in the end, following her and saving her and her mum.  I think that night was the night she began to understand.  When she looked into his eyes after Travers fired him and declared him incompetent because he loved her like a father.  Christ, could you even get farther from the truth?"
    He rolled his shoulders, smiling slightly.  "Almost finished.  I should have warned you it was a long one.  So, they send this namby pamby new Watcher who's all but worthless and he decides to stay.  Refuses to leave her.  Especially with the Ascension coming.  Long story short, the other Slayer, Faith, she turns bad.  Kills a chap.  Decides to help the damn Mayor.  We spend the next few months trying to figure out how to stop it.  Get all the kids to help, boom, blow up the school, no more Mayor no ascension and Wesley goes home.  Schools out and they have an entire summer to look forward to." 
    "Ralph, you forgot to tell her about when she found out about him and her mum," George said with a chuckle.  Lucy giggled.  "Yeah Ralph, that was funny."  Ralph grinned.  "Oh yes, it was quite amusing wasn't it?  About a month or so before the Ascension she gets this nasty demon blood on her.  Nothing too weird about that.  But the thing is, this blood makes it so she can hear everyone's thoughts.  Him, he's good at shielding himself so she didn't get too much from him.  Just a comment about strapping cats to her feet if the fashion magazines told her to.  From Xander she got all this sex stuff, embarrassed the poor boy terribly.  Cordy, now Cordy always says what she thinks so that was no great surprise.  Oz, well he waxes philosophical and kinda came up with this whole "If she's in my brain then she is me" type of thing.  A bit weird but it actually made a bit of sense.  The witch, she gets nuts and runs off, not wanting her to hear Oz's thoughts, afraid that she won't need her anymore.  But then it gets tricky.  She can't stop them, you see.  She hears everything.  And she heard her mum's thoughts about what happened between her and him that night on the police car.  She took it rather well all things considered.  So Angel finds the cure, fixes her problem and she stops some crazy bitch in the cafeteria from killing everyone.  Then she tells him she knows and he walks into a bloody tree.  Poor guy, he was completely flummoxed."
A broad grin split his face.  "That was a few months ago.  She starts spending more time with him now that Angel's gone off to LA and things start to change.  One night she gets totally pissed and staggers into the flat.  Imagine, this little thing standing in the middle of the room, hands on her hips, swaying as she tries to stay on her feet, smelling like a bloody distillery and she just glares at him.  Doesn't say a word for the longest, just, glares at him.  Then she says it.  "I love you Rupert Giles and so help me if you do not get off your ass and kiss me I will kick said ass from here into next week."  Oh God it was funny, especially since she passed out right after she said it.  Woke up with a wicked hangover the next morning.  He laughed at her he did.  Said it served her right for getting pissed.  Made her cry.  She looked quite pitiful really, all huddled in his bed, tears rolling down her face as she asked him if he loved her.  Of course he had the sense enough to say yes, and he did kiss her, after he got her cleaned up a bit.  And that, Princess, is where we stand now.  They've been together ever since.  And boy oh boy am I enjoying this.  Though they could hold it down a bit while the rest of us are trying to get some sleep."  He glanced over his shoulder, placing his finger to his lips.  "Speaking of which, here they come now.  And don't worry Princess, they may seem a bit strange at first but one thing's for sure, living here, life is never boring."
    "Luv, have you seen my ring?" Giles called as he rummaged around on the dresser.  "Look in the jewelry box, next to your earring," Buffy hollered from the bathroom.  "I can't find it," he muttered in disgust.  Rolling her eyes at him, she walked over and plucked the ring from the case blinking in surprise when it winked at her.  "Yeah baby," Ralph groaned when he felt her warm fingers around him.  "Rupert, is there something you haven't told me about this ring?" she asked slowly.  He frowned, taking it from her hand and slipping it on his pinky before picking up his earring and threading it through his ear.  "Party time," George crowed happily.  "No, why?"  She shook her head and picked up her gold cross, clasping it around her neck.  "She always smells so nice," Lucy sighed.  "Nothing, I just could have sworn it winked at me, that's all."  He burst out laughing, gathering her into his arms and lowering his mouth to hers.  "Luv, your eyes are playing tricks on you," he whispered as he plundered her mouth thoroughly.  When he let her come up for air he plucked her ring from the case and slipped it on her left hand.  "I think I'm going to like it here," Princess whispered giddily.  "Don't forget this.  If we're announcing our engagement I want something to show them all."  He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it softly.  As he released it, he did a double take.  "Luv, I think we both should get our eyes checked soon.  I could have sworn, never mind.  Let's just go shall we?"  She smiled up at him and gathered her things, letting him lead her from the room.  "I could have sworn that blasted ring grinned at me," he muttered under his breath.