Prompt: Ethan Rayne and Giles, follow me in merry measure.
AN: Takes place at the very start of Giles' Ripper days.
The first time Ethan saw Rupert Giles, they were in a grocery store. If anyone was to ask he always said that he'd met Ripper in a back alley bar. But in reality, it had been at the grocers.
At first, he hadn't paid much attention. All he'd seen was a young man in a leather jacket, slouching after an older, tweedy gentleman. Nothing surprising there. Youthful rebellion happened every day and Ethan was no stranger to the sight.
And then the old man said the magic words.
"It doesn't matter if you don't want it. You're meant to be a Watcher."
A Watcher. In certain circles, that title was famous.
Ethan happened to run in those circles.
His mind sped into overdrive. This boy in front of him -this boy with the messy hair and the ripped jeans and the cigarette carton in his back pocket- was a Watcher. Or was going to be. Regardless, he would have information. Heaps and heaps of information, with nearly unlimited access to more. Information on demons, and rituals, and magic.
And he didn't seem to want it at all.
Ethan had never seen, never even heard of, a Watcher that could easily be swayed to chaos. He'd heard the rumblings about one a few years back that had turned to the other side, but being evil was different. Evil still meant order, and plans, and hierarchy. Ethan and his friends, they weren't interested in that. They were interested in the rush of power, in chasing the high.
Power, he had. Loads of it, humming through his veins, itching in his fingertips. The problem was, he couldn't unlock enough power to do any serious damage. His magic books didn't cover all the things he wanted to learn, or describe how to summon the worst sorts of demons.
A Watcher could change all that.
And in this store, right now, was a Council rebel, looking for a way out.
Ethan looked around and grabbed the cardstock price sign off the display of half-off canned goods.
He pulled a pen out of his jacket pocket and hastily scribbled a note.
Looking to have some fun with the magics, without the rules of a stodgy old institution? Meet me back here at eleven, I'll show you what magic's really for.
He folded the note and took off toward the register. The boy and his father were standing in line behind a frazzled looking mother and her two young children. Ethan strode forward, staring at the floor, and knocked squarely into his target, slipping the note into his pocket.
The boy looked up, slightly bewildered. "Don't worry about it."
Five past eleven found Ethan leaning against the side of the building, smoking. It was starting to look like his Watcher was going to be a no-show.
Oh well. It had been a long shot anyway.
Just as he was stomping out his cigarette and preparing to go on to meet his friends alone, a figure rounded the corner.
It was him.
"Hey." Ethan called.
The boy waited shrugged slightly in response. "Hey."
"So you showed up."
"Looks that way."
Ethan grinned and grabbed for his belt and started to undo it. "Good. Shall we get right down to business then?"
The other boy flushed crimson and took a step back. "W-what the hell are you doing?"
Ethan just grinned wider and refastened his buckle. "Just having a laugh. Wanted to see what you'd do. Bit risky isn't it? Meeting a stranger in the middle of the night, all off some note?"
"Well, I was…intrigued. How'd you know about the Council?"
"I have my ways. Fag?"
"Sure. I'm, uh, I'm Rupert by the way."
Rupert shuffled forward and accepted the cigarette Ethan was holding out.
"Nice to meet you. Do you know someone from the Council? Is one of your parents a Watcher too?"
Ethan snorted. "Hell no. I found out about it from some friends. Our interest in magic is a lot more…recreational."
A smile spread across Rupert's face. "How so?"
"It's easier to show you than tell you." He turned serious. "But if I take you with me, you have to promise not to tell your father. Or anyone else for that matter."
Ethan was met with a look of pure disgust. "Why the fuck would I tell my father about this? I don't tell that old fool anything."
Ethan chuckled. "Good answer. Come on then. You've got a lot to learn."
They started off the down the street, and two blocks later Rupert caught Ethan looking him up and down.
"Nothing. Just, you're called Rupert."
"Yeah. Something wrong with that?"
"Watchers are called Rupert."
"Well I didn't exactly name myself, did I?"
"I suppose not. All the same, I think I'll call you something else."
Rupert rolled his eyes. "Like what?"
"Hmm…" Ethan stopped in the road and stared at Rupert dead on. He deliberated for a moment. Took in this boy who was so desperate for something new, something dangerous, something exciting.
He was just so fucking eager to be bad. And that was something Ethan could get behind.
"I think I'll call you Ripper."