Brief excerpts from nine stories :
Let's start with the one I'm actively working on the most just now, the post-Chosen Montana cabin one:
Giles reverses out of the parking space and launches them out of the rest stop at full throttle. The freeway is just as empty as it was before. Nobody heading into the disaster zone, at least not from this direction.
The radio works. Radio stations are still on the air, somewhere. The ones that broadcast from Sunnydale aren't any more. The car stereo rolls around the AM frequencies, stopping for a few seconds at every station strong enough to tune in. Country music, a Spanish-language station, a preacher ranting about the end of the world, more country. Then, faintly, a baseball game, in progress somewhere far away. So normal. Somewhere there's sunshine and green grass and people. Lots of people, from the sound. Buffy is relieved and something deep inside unknots. It was worth it, then.
"Turn it off," she says. Giles turns it off.
Xander stirs. "That was Vin Scully," he says, in protest. "Didn't hear the score."
Buffy almost smiles, because this means that Xander is there, somewhere under the eyepatch and the thousand-mile stare. Then he closes his eye and slumps again, but this time he leans toward Buffy. She settles his head on her shoulder and takes his hand. He's like Giles, warm and alive. Buffy buries her nose in his hair. It smells like chemicals and dust and the same cheap shampoo her hair smells like.
From the Big Bang story:
"Giles? I mean, Rip?" Then again, louder.
His voice was coming from outside. Buffy followed it down the hall and out a back door into bright late-morning sunlight. She blinked. The house had a little walled garden, with a bricked patio. Rip was there with an overturned ten-speed bicycle, up on a little table. He was wearing jeans, as yesterday, and a t-shirt with a Fender guitar logo on it. He tossed a rag onto the table. The bike's white paint was chipped, but the chain gleamed with fresh grease. Rip gave the rear wheel a hard spin. The chain ticked in the derailleur. He poked his face close to the gears and watched something for a moment before leaning in with a screwdriver. Buffy ate her apple and watched him tinker.
He looked up at her and blushed for some reason.
From the recent BG storyline, a bit of a setup story:
"Mr Giles. I'm James Mont."
Giles's new solicitor was a dark-haired man with a solid jaw, compact and inconspicuous in a jacket with a pinstripe of such subtlety that Giles looked twice. Mont extended a hand to him. Giles met it with the socially prescribed amount of pressure. The man was solid, real. Not the First. Giles felt something inside him relax the tiniest bit.
Mont ushered him to a chair and crossed round to the other side of his bare desk. Giles sat and crossed his knees.
A fragment from Blackmail that I'm not entirely sure I'll use:
"Slayers," Giles said, in his driest voice, "are creatures of instinct. They're not entirely human, of course. They have more than a little in common with the demons they're made to slaughter. They're hot-blooded and need a strong hand." He was repeating almost word for word one of the more offensive lectures he'd heard as an apprentice, from a member of a reactionary subgroup within the Council. The oldest of the old guard.
He watched Walsh carefully, judging her reactions.
"Strong appetites. Fast metabolisms."
"Many of my soldiers are like that. Hormonal, not tremendously intelligent. Their sexualities become tools to motivate them. Is it the same with the Slayer then?"
Giles smiled. It was not a comfortable smile, but he hoped Walsh mistook the target of his contempt. He gestured with a hand, as if to say, what do you think? "It was all easier in earlier times."
"I can imagine."
"One must work indirectly. Your lad Finn seems to be a steadying influence."
While I'm in morally reprehensible kink territory, here's a bit from an untitled Giles/Xander story:
"Get out of here."
Giles's voice was quiet, but it had that sting in it that made ignoring it impossible. Xander got up from the study table to leave, but Giles turned the glare on him and Xander froze. Nobody else had moved.
Giles said, still with that quiet steely voice, "Mr Harris, into my office. The rest of you, leave. I will deal with him, and that will be the end of it. I will tolerate no more of this. Understood?"
Even Buffy simply packed up her schoolbooks and went, Giles was so ferocious. Xander slunk into his office, head down, shoulders hunched, hands in pockets., trying to look at small as possible. It had taken them all a day to get really pissed off. A day for it to sink in. Buffy in an overcoat, flashing herself at him. Willow chasing him. Even their mothers, after him, and that sort of put it over the top. He'd been half-convinced Oz was going to go for his throat just now, until Giles had snapped.
Staying with the kink for another moment, "Rough Boys" continuation, opening paragraphs:
One kiss, one rough kiss, given fiercely, received almost desperately, then Xander pulled away from Giles. The tension was still evident in Giles's body, and Xander was now simmering with curiosity. And lust, but he'd get to that soon enough.
He ran his hands over Giles's chest. So strange to see this man here, so exposed and vulnerable. Xander wasn't used to thinking of Giles as vulnerable. Hidden under layers of clothing, defended by a further layer of sarcasm and wit. He'd retained that biting wit, deflecting questions about himself, even when Xander had carried him bleeding into hospitals.
Let's stay in the Giles/Xander mode, but leave the kink behind. Opening grafs from the untitled barrow wight story:
"Only a couple miles now," Giles said.
Xander looked up from the map book in his lap and over at Giles in the driver's seat of the Land Rover. "Cool."
Xander closed his book, leaving a forefinger stuck in it to keep his place, and turned his attention outside the car. He tried to come up with a word for the current variety of rain. Not bucketing; he'd seen bucketing yesterday. This was more drifting rain, stinging rain, lifted high and sent sideways by gusts of wind over the sodden fields. It had sleeted on them briefly on their way out of Westbury, which Giles said was to be expected in December. No sleet now, but visibility was tanked. Not that this slowed Giles down. He was careening over the roads at typical English country driving speeds, slowing only for the places where the speed cameras were. Worst traffic calming measure ever, as far as Xander could tell.
First paragraph of "Broken Vessel", working title of the story about Giles and his father:
Giles had just enough money hidden in the guitar case to pay for the train ticket to Sussex. The ticket-taker gave him a second and third look as he got on the train, case and rucksack in hand. Giles had left the flat in the clothes he'd been wearing for the ritual, how long ago now? Just last night. He found his poshest accent, stammered out something polite and absent-minded, and the fellow went away again, muttering about university students. Giles was left to curl in an empty seat and wonder when everything would start hurting again.
And a story that will be a long time coming, I fear: Ethan and Giles and the unconscious Second Doctor.
Ethan's nerves tweaked him, but he would never dare admit to fear in front of Rupert. He rubbed his hands on his trousers and went over to the police box. The door was ajar by about an inch. The inside was dark. Ethan could smell oily smoke from inside, like a burning tire but worse. Like an accident in the chem lab, perhaps.
He pulled the door open further and stuck a head in.
"Bleeding 'ell. Rupert."
"Come here and *look*."
Rupert sighed, but popped to his feet and strode over. Ethan pulled the door open wider and peered in again, Rupert close beside him, solid and reassuring.
It was larger on the inside than on the outside. Much larger. And it was strange inside. The center of the room was full of machinery, dials and levers and things that looked like television screens and things that didn't but were most definitely showing moving pictures somehow. There were columns and thick snaky cables. And smoke, coming from somewhere under the circular central console, thinning now. Invisible fans blew it steadily away, though where to Ethan could not guess.
Rupert was doing what Ethan had just done, looking inside and out over and over. His nostrils flared and he inhaled. Sniffing for magic, just as Ethan had done.
"Magic, you think? A hole into another dimension?" But he was shaking his head even as he said it.
Ethan shrugged. What else could it be? He felt a thrill in his chest and his hands shook the tiniest bit. He'd wished for adventure, hadn't he? And here he had one. He gazed into the thing was definitely not a police box in utter joy.