Title: Sanctuary
Rating: FR 15
Parings: Giles/Mystique (past and possible future)
Disclaimer: All recognisable characters are the intellectual property of their respective creators and publishers; this story may not be sold or distributed on a profit-making basis.
Authors note: done my best to keep Mystique in character, but it may not have worked as well as I hoped. Anyway, it's based on the movie version, not the comics.
Spoilers: Buffy to end, all of the X-Men movies up to and including X3

Sanctuary

"Well, well, well, this is unexpected." Giles leaned against the door frame, looking at the dark haired woman standing outside his Nottinghill flat a suitcase in each hand, "I almost didn't recognise you there, Mystique..."

"I prefer Raven these days." The woman almost growled, "Aren't you going to invite me in?"

"You know the rules." Giles stepped back and waited for his visitor to cross the fresh-hold uninvited before he relaxed enough to put down the wooden stake he'd been holding. "So, what brings you here?"

"I could say a desire to see the only human who was ever nice to me, but I'd be lying through my teeth." Mystique put her bags down and looked at the Watcher, "Say; isn't this the house from that film...?"

"No; that's two streets over." Giles led the way into the living room and motioned towards an empty seat. His voice remained level, but there was an unmistakable change in the tone, "Now, what the hell are you doing here?"

"Ah, that's the Ripper I knew and loved." Mystique smiled as she sat down, "I'm in quite a bit of trouble, and I need your help."

"And why should I help you, of all people?" Giles asked as he sat down opposite her, "Last time we were in a room together, you tried to break my neck."

"That was Magneto's idea: he didn't like the idea of one of his most trusted lieutenants getting involved with a mere human." Mystique folded her arms, "But as I recently became a 'mere human' in his eyes and told the American government everything I know about his operation, there is now a rather substantial price on my head. I need somewhere to lay low for the foreseeable future."

"And so you came to see me." Giles pinched the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger, "And I should help you why?"

"Come now Ripper, we had some good times together." The former mutant smiled, "Surly that still means something to you?"

"Our rather sordid little affair is dead and buried." The Watcher shook his head, "I'd prefer to leave it that way."

"You once proposed to me!" Mystique sat up, "Rupert, if our relationship means anything to you, please, you have to help me?"

"God damn it..." Giles sighed, "Ok, you can stay in the spare room."

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Giles sat in bed, reading the endless reports that came in every day from the newly activated Slayers and their Watchers around the world. With only one in ten fully qualified Watchers surviving The First's cull, most of their experienced staff were in the field, leaving a handful of trainees to run the newly rebuilt London headquarters. This meant that almost all of the important paperwork was left to Giles to sort through.

And considering just how much of the paperwork was considered important...

"I'm sorry if I'm interrupting." Mystique stood in the doorway, dressed in an old shirt that Giles had found in the back of his wardrobe, "I couldn't sleep."

"Funny; I seem to remember you being a very sound sleeper, back in the day." Giles smiled at the found memory, "Well, as long as you don't expect too much in the way of conversation, you're welcome to stay here until you feel sleepy."

"Thank you." Mystique walked down the bed and perched on the end, just below Giles' feet, "So, still working for the Watchers Council I see?"

"I effectively run it now." Giles remarked as he went back to his paperwork, "or at least the day to day workings..."

"Rupert, there's something I need to tell you." Mystique sounded a little hesitant, but it went un-noticed by her ex-lover, "I was pregnant when I left you all those years ago, but I miscarried within the first trimester."

"Good God." Giles put the papers down on the table next to his bed, "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't know until after I left, and I was too scared to try and contact you." The now shaking Mystique explained, "I know that if Magneto found out, he'd force me to terminate the pregnancy: he abhorred the idea of humans and mutants cross-breading."

"Given what we both know about him, I find that highly ironic." Giles sat up and opened his arms to Mystique, who moved over until her head was resting against his shoulder, and he put his arms around her, "I'm sorry you had to go through that on your own."

Mystique looked up at Giles and examined his face carefully, making sure that he wasn't lying or making fun of her. Of all the men she'd ever been involved with, he was the only one who hadn't hurt or betrayed her in some way. In fact, it had been she who had hurt and betrayed him for a course she had never truly believed in. she had joined Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants because it looked like a way to stop people from chasing her out of town when they discovered the truth about her.

But in Rupert Giles, or Ripper as he'd been known back then, had accepted her with open arms, becoming one of the first humans to become aware of the emergence of the mutant race. At first he'd seen it as a way to have kinky sex; getting her to morph into various celebrities, enabling him to live out a few fantasies. But then their relationship had progressed, and he stopped asking her to change her appearance when they where alone together. He was probably the first person who grew to accept, and indeed love, her regular appearance.

And she had thrown it all away on the promises of a mad-man.

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Mystique woke with the feel of sunlight on her face and a strong arm around her waist. She looked over her shoulder to see the still sleeping Giles spooned up behind her, snoring softly. She smiled, bathing in the warmth of another body pressed against her own. She had tried to find a mutant that she could feel as connected to, but it hadn't worked out. Now, perhaps, if she went slowly, she had a chance at happiness.

After all, she was only human...

The End