One Man's Myth Is Another Man's Life

This first appeared as one of my entries in the Second Wave of the Sentinel & Guide Fuq-Q-Fest. It answers First Wave Medium Challenge #12: Crossover challenge – cross the guys with another show.

"So, Chief, who was it that's coming over tonight? I heard you talking to someone on the phone about picking up an old book," Jim said as he finished putting away the last of the dishes.

Blair wiped his hands on the dishtowel he'd been using to dry the dishes, and then dropped it on the counter before replying, "Rupert Giles. He's an old friend of Eli's – he did a set of guest lectures my first year of grad school, and I really got into the Question & Answer sessions, so we agreed to meet for coffee afterwards. Turns out we have quite a bit in common – I'm obsessed with Sentinels, and he has his own myth he's chasing." He plopped down beside his partner on the couch. "We've kept in touch with phone calls and letters – Giles hates computers so email was out of the question. He recently ran across one of Burton's personal journals, and he's giving it to me." Blair shook his head, a wide grin taking over his features. "I mean, he said he got it at an estate sale 'for a pittance', but it must have cost a real chunk of change."

Jim raised his eyebrow at his lover. "He must be a really good friend, then."

Blair looked up at his mate. "Just a friend, Big Guy. You know you're the only one for me. Besides, he's like, twice my age. More of a father figure, really – I could see Naomi dating him. And I found him a book about the Slayer myth and sent it to him a while ago, so he's probably just returning the favor – though the one I found was really cheap, so it's probably not comparable…"

Picking up something at the edges of his senses, Jim tuned out his partner's voice and focused his hearing on the noise. "I think your friend is here, Chief," he interrupted Blair's spiel. "I hear someone with an English accent cursing the fact that the elevator isn't working." He chuckled.

Blair shook his head. "Someone really should complain to the building manager. That thing only runs on alternate Thursdays."

"I send him a letter about it every week, but he hasn't done anything about it. I'd report him to Housing Inspection, but it's not like they'd do anything." Jim shrugged. "He's almost here, better get the door."

Walking over to the door, Blair opened it just in time to catch a box of books that was falling out of Giles' hands.

"Oh, Blair, I'm so sorry. I didn't have a really good grip on it," Rupert said, pushing his glasses up his nose and holding his hands out for the box.

"That's all right, Giles, I got it." So saying, Blair ushered his old friend inside and set the cardboard box on the kitchen table.

Turning to Jim, Blair said, "Jim, this is Rupert Giles. Giles, this is my partner, Detective Jim Ellison."

The bespectacled gentleman smiled, holding out his hand. "Pleased to meet you, Detective."

"Likewise, and it's just Jim." Jim shook the older man's hand, confident now that he had nothing to fear from him. The older man radiated a warm friendliness; no sexual vibes were directed toward his mate at all. Giles wasn't a competitor for Blair's affections.

"Rupert, I'm so glad you could come. But I thought you were only going to bring me one book." Blair raised an eyebrow and grinned.

Giles blushed. "Er, yes, well… It was just one book that I found at the estate sale. But I found so many books for myself, that I started to run out of room on my bookshelves and decided to weed out the ones I no longer wanted." Gesturing at the box, he said, "I found several that I think you'll enjoy."

"Well, it's a good thing you came; there's an old book of mine that I think you'll find useful. I originally got it thinking it talked about Sentinels, but it turned out to be about another kind of protector."

Giles blinked. "About the Slayer?"

Blair nodded. "Mm-hm."

"What is a Slayer?" Jim interjected, curiosity causing him to interrupt.

"Well, the legend goes that there is one girl in all the world who can fight against the vampires, the demons, and the otherworldly beings," Giles said, his heart rate speeding up as if he was nervous.

Of course, it could just be because he's excited, Jim thought. But I don't think so… "Sounds interesting," he said. "Most protector myths are male-dominated; women were historically not as important."

Giles nodded. "That was what always fascinated me about it. There aren't many tales of strong women, aside from the Amazons."

He's lying, Jim thought, surprised. Probably not about it fascinating him, but about that being the reason it fascinates him. I might think he'd found a Slayer, but vampires? Demons? Nah.

Sensing that Giles' conversation with Jim had come to an end, Blair broke in with, "The book I was talking about is in my room. Why don't I go get it and you can tell me about the ones you brought me?"

Giles nodded. "Sounds good. You and your, uh, partner, didn't have anything planned, did you?" he asked, as if suddenly realizing he might have interrupted something. "I realize this was a bit of short notice."

Blair shook his head. "No, you're not intruding. We were just gonna have some dinner and veg in front of the TV." Turning, he went into his room, and after a moment of rummaging, unearthed a large leather-bound book from a stack next to his desk. The small room that had once been his bedroom was now a study-cum-office, and still kind of messy, although it now contained only the stuff there wasn't room for in the loft bedroom.

"Ah, here it is!" Trotting back over to his old friend, he said, "It's kind of in bad shape – I think it's water damaged – but it's still mostly readable. I did a Net search, and it seems there were only about six hundred copies made of this, but it was so esoteric it was never reprinted."

Giles accepted the large time almost reverently. "'The Origin of Warrior Women'. I've been looking for a copy of this book for years, Blair. Thank you." He clapped the younger man in the shoulder, a shy smile on his face.

Blair grinned back at his friend. "No problem, man. I'm glad it's something you'll enjoy. Now – why don't you tell me about what's in that box?" He bounced on his feet excitedly.

Chuckling, Giles laid his own book on the table and picked up a small red one from the top of the pile. "Well, this one is…"

Tuning out the two scholars, Jim settled in to the watch the game, with the sound turned almost all the way down. He was glad Blair had friends to talk about this stuff with, but damned if he wanted to listen to it.


Two hours later, Blair and Giles had finally concluded their conversation. Jim got up from the couch to help his lover see their guest to the door.

"It was a real pleasure meeting you," Jim said, shaking the scholar's hand.

"Oh, yes, likewise, Detective," Giles returned.

Pulling his old friend into a quick, hard hug, Blair said, "It was great to see you, Giles. Don't be a stranger; we'll have to get together more often."

"Yes, we will," Giles agreed. "Maybe you could down and visit me next time? See the shop?"

"Shop?" Jim asked.

Grinning widely. Blair said, "Giles runs a shop called the Magic Box. It's a magic shop – real magic, spells and stuff. No card tricks or rabbits out of the hat."

Jim grinned painfully. "Sounds…interesting."

Giles chuckled, as if he knew that Jim had no interest in such things. "Yes, well, we also do a brisk business in crystals, and books on exploring the spirit plane."

Thinking of his own panther guide, Jim conceded, "I've been meaning to check out the waves in California. We could stop by on our way to San Diego." He gave Blair a questioning look.

Blair, in accordance with his lover's plans, said, "Sounds good to me. Spring Break's coming up, and I've been wanting to check out the San Diego Zoo's new Komodo Dragon exhibit. And the Aquarium, too."

"So it's settled then?" Jim asked. "We'll spend our vacation in San Diego, by way of–" he trailed off, not knowing where exactly in California Giles live.

"Sunnydale," Giles supplied.

Jim could barely keep from snorting at the cheesy name, but soldiered on. "All right, so we'll spend our vacation in San Diego, by way of Sunnydale?" At Blair's nod, he turned back to Giles. "Well, looks like we'll be seeing you again sometime in the first week of April."

The older man smiled. "I'll be looking forward to your visit. You have my number?"

Blair held up a slip of paper. "Right here. We'll call you with our final arrangements, when they're made."

"Good, good." Seeing that there was nothing more to be said, Giles turned towards the door to leave. "Well, I'll…I'll see you then."

"Goodbye," Jim and Blair chorused.

As Giles made his way down the stairs, Jim followed him with his hearing, making sure the older man made it safely to his car before bolting and locking the door.

Heading into the kitchen for a beer, Jim said, "Well, Chief, your friend was…interesting."

Blair frowned. Accepting a beer from his lover, he said, "You didn't say you wanted to visit him just to make me happy, did you? I mean, we can still change our vacation plans."

Shaking his head, Jim pressed a kiss to his lover's lips and said, "No, Chief, I really do want to go down there. The magic shop sounds like fun. We'll look at the crystals, do a little surfing, check out the Zoo and the Aquarium, you know, relax." He chuckled. "After all, what could go wrong in a town named Sunnydale?"