brutti_ma_buoni (brutti_ma_buoni) wrote in still_grrr,

202 Ficlet: The Old World and the New

Title The Old World and the New
Author Brutti ma buoni
Rating PG
Word Count 600
Prompt 202 Champagne
Characters/Pairing (if any) Giles, Robin Wood. Giles/Robin even, if you feel so inclined to see it...
A/N: Also for a prompt at the upcoming Drunken Giles ficathon, Robin Wood and Giles, a toast to Slayers past. I have to confess, Giles isn’t totally drunk, despite that.

"I think we're done. I really, finally think we're done." Robin sounded surprised, but sure.

Giles shook his head. "We can't possibly be done. It's the Endless Task. When was it - was it July? - when we decided it would never be over?"

"It is. Every girl has a place to live. Every Slayer we're detected has been traced. Every Watcher surviving has joined us. We are done. We are so done." Robin was starting to look relaxed for the first time since Giles had met him. It was that, more than his words or Giles's knowledge of the facts, which made him start to believe the truth.

The new Slayer Council wasn't going to have an easy life, but its prolonged birthing phase appeared to be complete.

Which meant only one thing. "I have had some Pol Roger on ice for this very moment. Do you think this might be the moment to pop the cork?"

Robin looked shocked. It occurred to Giles belatedly that he had never seen Robin drink. But surely his Watcher friend had brought the boy up properly? Teetotalism and Watching had never mixed.

Apparently that wasn't the problem. "Shouldn't we wait till the others get back?"

Well. One could, of course. One would, in fact, later on, celebrate with others as appropriate. But the Slayers and Scoobies were scattered, and Giles wanted to celebrate now. He and Robin had spent months doing the bulk of the tedious administration. They deserved this.

So he coaxed. "Just one bottle. Or two. A toast, to us." And Robin crumpled.

The cheerful mood got them through the first few glasses. But it turned, as Watcher moods are wont to do, once the second bottle was well under way.

Giles cracked first. "Are we going to be all right, d'you think? Brave new world, and all that, but it's…"

"Terrifying. Yeah." Robin took a gulp of champagne, as though supping something essential and medicinal. "Their lives are on us now, aren't they? All those little girls."

Giles snorted, thinking of what the 'girls' would say if they'd heard that line. But the deep responsibility they bore was real enough. The fate of the world, no less. He took a deep swig of fizz on his own account.

Melancholy was descending as the alcohol took hold. Even good champagne wasn't immune to the effects of the blues. So many girls had been Slayers before, and they were all gone. They would lose more, on their watch.

Eventually, Robin stirred from what, on reflection, had been a very long silence. "What say we drink a toast and call it a night?"

"A toast?"

"To Slayers past."

"Ah." What a world of emotion that phrase opened up. But it wasn't in Giles to resist the memories. "Slayers past. May they rest in peace."

Their glasses clinked. The toast was drunk. Giles discreetly ignored the glittering shine in Robin’s eyes. He felt that there could have been a hug, had either of them been hugging men. But they were Watchers instead, even with a decent bottle of fizz inside them.

Dammit, thought Giles. The new Council should hug. But someone else would have to start. Obviously.

So he added a less emotional last toast to their last toast of the night. “It’s a new world for Slayers and Watchers everywhere. Let’s drink to that too.” And let there be hugging in the new world. Of other people, at any rate. Perhaps not of me.

“A new world. A better world. Cheers, Rupert Giles.” They finished the champagne, put down their glasses, and Robin gave him a comradely, slightly drunken and sentimental hug.

It was a new world indeed. Giles was determined to enjoy it.

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