Here’s a new one-off I’ve been looking forward to for a good while! I hope you guys enjoy!
Giles knew things.
This wasn’t a particularly unique ability; everyone knew things here and there. It was, arguably, part of what made humans human. Giles wasn’t really any different from anyone else. The only little detail that set him apart from other humans who knew things was that sometimes, the things Giles knew were things that hadn’t yet happened.
His parents knew this about him, and a few others did too. But they didn’t talk about it, not in the open, not with so many words as that. He’d had a talk with them one day when he’d been young that had been largely about the need to keep certain things private from other people, certain things hidden. That conversation had been mostly about Giles’s tendency to run around naked, but it had also been about the fact that he’d told someone how she was going to die that morning, not realizing that was the wrong thing to do.
He understood that now, that just because he knew things didn’t mean they were for other people to know. Over his childhood he’d learned the difference between things he should share and things that were best kept to himself.
Conversations Giles had with his parents, however, were always slightly fraught as a result. They held onto everything he said, always parsing whether or not he was saying something important or just talking. It was very tiring. Giles loved his parents and his siblings and cousins, but it was very tiring being around them all the time, always being watched as if he might explode.
It was a relief when, one morning in the middle of winter, he’d woken up knowing that he’d soon light his bedroom on fire in his sleep. “I’m going to need to be taken to the mages’ academy,” Giles told his parents that day at breakfast.
They couldn’t call the mages until it happened, of course, because to do so would invite questions about how they’d known. But it did mean that unlike most people who developed magic powers at his age, Giles wasn’t surprised by it. He had time to say goodbye to his family, to promise that he’d be okay, to play with his sister and brother and hug his cat because she was going to die while he was away.
It wasn’t as though Giles was never going to see them again. He’d be busy with classes and making friends and studying and dating and learning and growing, but he wasn’t going to be far from home. The academy was only down the road.
Nobody at the academy except for the archmage and Orville, the mage who’d brought him in, knew that Giles was any different from the other students, or at least they weren’t supposed to. Some of them did, he was pretty sure. Giles was just like everyone else in that he didn’t know what other people did and did not know, at least not without asking them and hoping they told the truth. So he couldn’t be sure. But he was pretty sure anyway.
They’d tried to find a way for him not to sleep in the hall with the other potential students, but he had anyway. He’d made many friends, which was nice. He didn’t have many of those back home. Then, when everyone had passed the assessment who was going to pass, they’d handed out dormitory assignments.
“There must have been a mistake,” Giles said to Pansy, the person who’d handed out the assignments. “You’ve put me in a room by myself.”
Pansy smiled at him. “No mistake, Giles. We just had an empty room. Surely you’d rather not deal with roommates if you can avoid it?”
“Actually, I rather would.” Giles knew that he wasn’t going to get what he needed out of his education if he didn’t. “I’m afraid of the dark, you see, and it would be far easier for me to sleep if I weren’t alone.” Giles had never been afraid of the dark because he’d always known that there was nothing he could do about things that were in the dark, at least not yet.
“Well, unfortunately the assignments are already handed out,” Pansy said. “The other rooms are all full.”
“Ours isn’t,” another boy said from behind Giles. Pansy tried not to make a face. Giles smiled and turned around. Two boys were standing there, one light-haired and lost-looking and the other darker and tired. He’d met all the boys in the hall and had paid careful attention to the ones he’d known were going to pass the assessment. They were named Yancy and Elijah, and Yancy was the one who’d spoken. “Alas, it’s just the two of us in the room, ma’am, and it’s a four-person room, so…”
“Perfect,” Giles said, approaching them. “That’s an oversight I can get behind.”
“Well…I suppose if that’s what the three of you want.”
“It is,” Giles insisted. It was very nice of Yancy and Elijah to offer. Or of Yancy to offer, anyway. But Yancy was a kind, caring person and would continue to be, so Giles wasn’t surprised.
“Yes, ma’am, if it’s not a problem,” Yancy said, glancing at Elijah.
Elijah nodded as well. “Yes, we’d like that.”
Their friendship was very important to both of them, Giles thought. It was too bad they wouldn’t being able to maintain it for long. A lot of things that were important were going to be short-lived for all of them. And that really was too bad.
But for now, Giles just smiled, and went to go find his bed with his new friends.
The academy was fun, and Giles learned a lot as a student there. He enjoyed all his classes, loved learning magic. It was nice to learn things the hard way, from books and lectures and work, rather than just knowing things.
Sometimes he still knew things, like when it came time for him to learn levitation magic and he’d known it for a month because he just had, or when he’d learned how to read omens in the stars just by looking at the stars one night. But not everything was like that. And he found he liked history best for that exact reason. Because it was all things that had already happened, Giles didn’t just spontaneously know them.
That said, he wasn’t going to complain that he often knew what test questions were going to be.
“This week,” said the history teacher, a woman named Evelyn who was about Giles’s parents’ age, “we will be starting a unit on prophecies. There are many of them in the world, all of them mysterious and hard to interpret. Of course, the most famous one is the prophecy of the chosen one, which is vitally important to magecraft and to this academy…”
Beside Giles, Yancy was studiously taking notes. That was good, even though he was only doing it because he had to and not because he cared. He’d learn to care. Giles would make sure he did.
It was vitally important to a lot more than magecraft and the academy that he did.
It was weird, being friends with Yancy. Because Giles knew that they weren’t always going to be just friends, that someday they’d be in love with each other, and that meant that he was already starting to fall in love even if they were only supposed to be friends now. And it made him want to do things to make Yancy fall in love with him too, which made him wonder if Giles’s knowledge was self-fulfilling. If they didn’t fall in love, would he have never known they would? And if they were destined to, did that mean they didn’t have free will like scripture said?
But Giles only worried about that when he had time, which was rarely. “Can I borrow your notes on the prophecy section?” he asked Yancy, while they studied with Elijah for the history final.
“Are yours not good?” Yancy asked, even as he handed them over.
“They’re fine, but I’m sure yours are better,” Giles said with a smile as their hands touched.
“That’s just because yours are illegible,” Elijah teased, and Giles laughed.
“Maybe, but I still bet Yancy’s are better. You both took to that section a lot better than I did.” Giles had felt dizzy through that entire section. Things written by people who’d been like him made him dizzy, apparently. It was also interesting to see which prophecies made him dizzy and which ones didn’t.
“Only because you were sick that week,” Yancy said, giving Giles a reassuring smile. He always felt bad about being at the top of the class. “That’s all.”
“If you insist, Yancy,” Giles said, taking the notes and looking through them.
“I do. I’m not interested in prophecies. I took a history class to learn about history, not fantasy.”
“What about the history of the people who wrote it?” Giles asked.
“We don’t know enough about them for that to be interesting,” Elijah muttered.
“So you guys aren’t going to take the prophecy class with me?”
They both looked at him funny. “What prophecy class? There’s nothing like that on the schedule for next term.”
Giles blinked. Oops. “I meant later,” he said, feeling stupid. That was the first time in a long time he’d gotten confused like that. “Evelyn told me there’s a whole class on prophecies that they’re probably going to offer next year.”
“Sounds boring,” Elijah declared, and Yancy nodded.
That was okay. He had time to change their minds.
Giles had learned very quickly that he had a very specific relationship with alcohol. Drinking some of it dulled his mind just enough that he stopped knowing things that other people didn’t know. Drinking a lot of it dulled his mind just enough that he started knowing a lot of things that other people didn’t know all at once.
The first time Giles had gotten properly drunk, he’d found his own death at the bottom of the bottle. The second time, he’d learned something about demons and puppets and spiders that he knew he could never, ever tell anyone about. After that, he’d learned to drink in moderation.
“Pass me the bottle,” Giles said, taking it from Yancy and taking another drink. They were sharing one because they’d passed all their exams with top marks.
“We probbby shouldn’t drink anymore,” Yancy said, swaying a little. They were sitting on the floor of their room in their smallclothes because it was hot. It was still hot even though they’d taken off their clothes.
“I have a better idea,” Elijah said, taking the bottle from Giles. “Let’s drink more.”
“He’s right, that’s a better idea,” Giles agreed. He didn’t know what would happen, but he could drink a little more without anything bad happening.
“Okay.” Yancy took the bottle and drank some more, some of the wine running down his chin, and onto his chest, and Giles couldn’t help but watch it roll down Yancy’s bare chest. Yancy handed the bottle back to Elijah since Giles was staring. “You’re staring.”
“Uh-huh,” Giles agreed. “You’re hot. I mean, it’s hot. I’m taking off my smallclothes.” So he did, stumbling a little as he tossed them aside, then taking the bottle with a giggle for another drink.
They saw each other naked all the time when they changed clothes or showered or got tossed into the lake by the older boys, so it wasn’t a big deal. Yancy chuckled at him though. “You got a boner.”
Giles did, so he grinned. “Good. I’m going to use it.” He started to jerk off, leaning back a little. Yancy and Elijah watched him for a bit until the alcohol convinced them this was a fine idea, and then they were both naked too, touching themselves.
Giles was overwhelmed with the desire to touch Yancy, so he did, reaching out and taking Yancy’s dick in his hand and stroking it. To his surprise, Yancy did the same for him. “Holy crap,” Elijah said, handing Giles the bottle. Giles drank a big drink, and that was his limit. He knew he couldn’t drink anymore, so he handed the bottle to Yancy and focused on jerking him off. Once his hand was free he took Elijah too, because it was the nice thing to do.
Elijah helped Yancy with him, and him with Yancy, and Yancy touched Elijah and they were all touching each other and it was so nice, it was such a good feeling, it was so good to have friends and Giles was going to cum and…
He did, a spurt and a cry and Giles felt his mind go white with the power of it. And when it passed, he smiled at his friends, but he was so, so scared. Because he knew how the world was going to end.
“You seem very worried of late, Giles.”
Giles smiled at the demon masquerading as a teacher. Klaus was in many places, and one of those places was the academy. He didn’t know that Giles knew who he was, though, so Giles just acted like he was a teacher. “Thank you. I’m okay, though.”
“Are you sure? If there’s anything you’d like to talk about, I can listen,” Klaus offered, kindly.
Giles didn’t know if Klaus knew about his ability. But he had a feeling Klaus suspected. “My cat died, that’s all,” he said. “My parents told me in a letter.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Klaus said, gently touching Giles’s back. He may have been trying to put one of his strings on Giles, it was hard to tell. It wouldn’t work, if that was what he was trying. Not because Giles was immune, but because he wasn’t so emotionally distraught as that it would be easy for Klaus. “Death is always hard, even that of a pet.”
Giles nodded. The death of a world was hard. “I’ll be okay in a little while, sir. My friends are helping me out.”
“That’s good to hear. We’re all expecting great things from the three of you.”
“Yancy especially,” Giles said.
“You especially, young man.”
“I’m not the one you should be paying attention to,” Giles told Klaus. “I should go, my friends are waiting for me.”
And he left the demon there, joining Yancy and Elijah on their way to dinner.
Every prophecy ever written was right, but they were also all wrong. Bits and pieces of them were like what Giles knew was going to happen, the Leader’s army, the wrath of God—or a god, though God was going to be pretty angry for a while—the devil’s glee. But none of them were right. None of them mentioned the centipedes, or the undead. None of them mentioned the making of the world being unmade at the seams. None of them mentioned the door or anyone named Aaron, and they certainly didn’t mention cosmic hands, a mountain melting or an angel named Cecil.
And none of them mentioned Giles’s grandsons, not one.
“Giles,” Yancy said, hand on Giles’s shoulder. Giles looked up, startled.
“Hi.” He was sitting on his bed, dizzy, surrounded by books. Not school books, those weren’t important.
Yancy looked at Elijah. “We’re worried about you. You seem really upset by something, and you’ve been spending so much time reading prophecies…”
Giles nodded. “Don’t worry about it. Sorry to upset you. I’m just really interested in…”
Yancy sat down beside him, taking the book from Giles. “Don’t. I can see when you lie to other people, Giles. We know when you’re pretending to be okay. We’re your friends. Just tell us what’s bothering you.”
Giles swallowed. He loved Yancy so much, but it wasn’t time, not quite yet. “You wouldn’t believe me if I did.”
“Try us,” Elijah said, arms crossed. “We’re not as dumb as you think.”
He couldn’t say no to Yancy, not when his eyes sparkled like that. He looked down at his lap, swallowed. “I know how the world’s going to end.”
“We all know how the world’s going to end,” Elijah said. “It’s written in all these books.”
“No,” Giles said, taking Yancy’s hand. “No. I know exactly how the world’s going to end.”
Giles looked at Yancy and those eyes he couldn’t say no to. And he told them the half of it that was safe to tell.
“You’re so young,” Jesse sighed, sitting on the branch of a tree that grew strange fruit. “I feel bad for you. You’re too young for this.”
Giles shrugged, leaning against the tree himself, watching the garden that was spread out before him. It was beautiful, bright. Giles didn’t know what it was, but it wasn’t real anyway. This was just a dream. “It’s just the way it is.”
“That doesn’t mean it’s fair,” said Jesse. He was looking up at the moon, up in the sky even in full daylight. “It’s not fair.”
“You were my age when it happened to you, weren’t you?” Giles didn’t know Jesse well, but they’d talked in dreams once or twice.
“I was,” Jesse agreed with a sigh. “But it wasn’t fair then, either.”
A cat meowed on another branch, batting idly at one of the strange fruit.
“The world is ever unfair,” said Meryan. She was an old woman with a burn scar on her face, sitting on the other side of the tree from Giles, facing a field of tall grass. “It can only be so for those of us cursed with foreknowledge.”
“Yeah,” Jesse agreed in a sigh.
Giles stuck his hands in his pockets. Sometimes he thought there were people, people other than them, moving around in this weird garden. He wondered which of them had dreamed it up. “So I guess that’s your guys’s way of saying it doesn’t get easier, then?”
“It only gets harder, I am afraid,” said Meryan. “We are that which must ever work in the behind, without reward or recognition, for a goal impossible to find.”
“You guys are really not selling me on this,” muttered a boy on a higher branch. His name was Crow, and his grandparents hadn’t been born yet.
“Sorry,” Jesse said, touching a fruit but not picking it. “I tried to stop this back when…it doesn’t matter. I couldn’t do it.”
“It was ordained before you were you, Jesse of Three Towers.”
“I know, Meryan. But it stills fucking sucks.” He sighed again, looked down at Giles. “You’re about to wake up.”
“I know,” Giles said, twisting his mouth into a smile at his own joke. “I’ll see you again.”
“Yeah. Hey, Giles?”
“What?” Giles knew.
“Do you know who kills me?”
Giles nodded. “Of course. I know who kills all of us.”
“As long as one of us does,” Jesse muttered. “Sweet wakings, since your dreams suck.”
Giles shrugged as he pushed away from the tree. “The world’s not ending here,” he said, and he left the people who knew pieces of everything in the garden at the beginning of the world, and Giles woke up in his bed, as rested as he ever was and ready for class.
It happened a few months later when they were on a break between classes again, exams over. Elijah was away, in the city with a friend but actually with a girl he liked. Giles and Yancy were alone in the room, reading.
“I just don’t think I can take an entire semester of this,” Yancy grumbled, reading a prophecy. “It’s a jumbled mess.”
“It’s less if you learn the original language,” Giles offered, not that he had.
“Still.” Yancy sighed, set the book aside. “I know it’s important, it’s just hard.”
“I know, I’m sorry.”
“It’s hardly your fault, Giles,” Yancy said, as Giles sat down beside him. “You didn’t ask for this.”
“I could have kept you out of it.”
“Could you have?”
Giles could have. To an extent. He could have not told them what he’d told them. He shook his head. “No.”
“Hey,” Yancy said, getting Giles to look at him. He smiled. “I’m glad you didn’t.”
Giles looked at him, breath catching. He was so handsome. He couldn’t wait anymore.
So Giles kissed him.
Even though he’d known it would happen, he was surprised when Yancy kissed him back. They held each other, kissing, passionate. And they kept going, until they were naked, until they were laying down, until Giles was on top of Yancy.
Giles had known this would happen since they’d met but when he pressed inside Yancy for the first time, that was the first time he realized that knowing something because he knew it and knowing something because it was happening were such vastly, hugely different things.
Yancy wrapped his legs around Giles’s waist, and Giles made love to him slowly, or as slowly as someone could on their first time. And it was the most magical thing that had happened to him since he’d set his bedroom on fire.
Afterwards, they did it again. Then, after a twenty-minute break, they did it a third time, with Yancy on top this time.
Only after all that did they lay there. Yancy was on his stomach, head rested in his arms. Giles was on top of him, resting on Yancy’s back. “Did you know that was going to happen?” Yancy asked, quietly.
“I did,” Giles said. He couldn’t lie to Yancy. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”
Yancy snorted. “If you’d told me when we met, it might not have happened.”
“Good point. Self-fulfilling prophecy, then.”
“I think all prophecies are a bit self-fulfilling. That’s probably why they’re written.”
“Probably.” Giles only told people things, usually, if it was to make something happen, so there was something to that. He kissed Yancy’s shoulder. “You want to know something I know?”
“I want to know everything you know, Giles. I want to share that burden with you.”
Giles’s heart warmed at that, even if it was impossible. “I know you’re going to be the one who finds the chosen one.”
“Really?” Yancy asked, looking at him.
Giles nodded. “Just don’t tell anyone I told you, okay? It’s not fair to everyone else who’s going to be looking.”
“Okay. Do you know what he’ll be like?”
Giles did, but only a little. “I know you’re really going to like him.”
“Okay,” Yancy said, sighing. “I guess I’ll be a historian, then. For the sake of the future.”
“I appreciate that. I think the world does too.”
“I care less about that than I do you. I love you, Giles.”
Giles nearly burst into tears at that, because he might not be able to lie to Yancy, but he sure was good at leaving out parts of the truth. “I love you too, Yancy.”
“Want to know something I know?”
“I’m not worried about the world ending. Because we’re going to stop it together.”
No, Giles thought, as he kissed Yancy again. They weren’t.
They didn’t bother hiding it from Elijah. Yancy and Giles slept in the same bed, kissed whenever they could. They waited until Elijah fell asleep to have sex, or sometimes waited until they could pretend they thought he was asleep. They had sex in the mornings and at night, sometimes sneaking away during the day for it. They blew each other in the showers, sometimes even when they weren’t alone. Once Giles jerked Yancy off under a table in the middle of a literature class.
Everyone knew they were together, so it didn’t have to be a secret and it wasn’t. They were young and they were in love and those were the best days of Giles’s life.
“My father told me only criminals get these,” Yancy muttered, reclining on a chair beside Giles in a place in the city Giles had convinced him to come to.
“Not for a while now,” Giles promised. He didn’t flinch as the needle poked into his chest, painting a boulder over his heart. That was Yancy, in his mind. A rock. “This way we’ll always be together.”
“We’ll always be together anyway,” Yancy said with a smile. He was getting a tree on his chest, for Giles. For health.
They wouldn’t be. Giles smiled at Yancy. “Given any more thought to getting that one on your butt?” Giles hadn’t told Yancy about the protective magic he’d worked into the tattoo Yancy was getting. He wanted to do a few more spells, just to keep Yancy safe. He couldn’t stand it if anything happened to Yancy.
“Not even if it was the only way to avert the apocalypse.”
“When have you ever known me to lie?”
“I said no, Giles.”
Giles laughed. He convinced Yancy to get three more tattoos over the next few months, including, in fact, one of a sleeping dog on his right buttcheek.
The morning Giles woke up knowing he was going to have to go home, he cried for two hours.
He didn’t have to go right away. He had a few more months. And he’d known, he’d always known that this would happen. He’d known he wouldn’t grow up to be a teacher at the academy alongside Yancy, that he wouldn’t marry Yancy and have a little house and a dog and adopt a kid, that Yancy and Elijah would go on without him and he’d never see them again. He’d always known that. But knowing something because he knew it and knowing something because it was real were so, so different and he wished he’d never met Yancy at all.
No, no he didn’t. Giles wouldn’t have traded his time with Yancy for anything, not for anything in the whole world. If he could have averted the apocalypse by not having that time, he didn’t think he’d have been strong enough to make the right decision.
Yancy knew, of course he knew. He held Giles all morning while he cried, while he wailed and moaned about how unfair it was and how much he didn’t want it and how much he loved Yancy and why couldn’t he just once, just one time, be wrong about something? Why couldn’t he, just once, have something just because he wanted it?
But the world didn’t work like that, and Giles had to go and Yancy couldn’t come with him, because Yancy needed to stay here and become a teacher, and he needed to train other teachers and all of them needed to combat the evil that was growing right here in the academy, and everywhere else in the world. And Giles needed to leave, because if he didn’t, his descendants would never be born and nothing that needed to happen could, because the world was going to end but the only way it wasn’t was if a very specific series of things happened, and some of those things Giles had to do soon.
One of those things was Giles’s own death by a slow, painful poison that would look like disease.
And he didn’t want any of that. He wanted to stay here with Yancy. But he couldn’t do that. It wasn’t his decision to make and good thing, because if it was, he’d choose wrong. And he’d damn creation to stay with Yancy.
And that, Giles knew, was why young people in love shouldn’t be allowed to make important decisions that had ramifications beyond them. It was why it was important that other people step in and make those decisions for them.
That didn’t mean Giles didn’t resent his parents for a choice they’d be making shortly.
For now, though, he didn’t have to go. He could have this, what was left of it. He let Yancy hold him, comfort him, promise they’d find a way. Tell him he loved him. For now, Giles let himself be selfish, just once.
“Evelyn’s offered me an apprenticeship after we graduate,” Yancy said, holding up a paper. “Well, a lot of the faculty have. But I’ll be accepting Evelyn’s offer.”
“Congratulations,” Giles said, smiling. He was so happy for Yancy. “You’re going to be amazing.”
He took a drink. He hadn’t drank since that last time, but it seemed okay now. The three of them were sitting on the floor again, passing around a bottle. They’d just finished their last exam that afternoon.
“I’ll be apprenticing under Gregory,” Elijah said, taking a drink and passing the bottle to Yancy. “I thought he hated me all this time, but I guess not.”
Gregory was going to be the archmage pretty soon, so even though Elijah was disappointed that Evelyn hadn’t offered a spot to him, he would get over it fairly fast. Giles was happy for him too. “You’re going to do great stuff. You both are. You’re going to be amazing teachers, and brilliant mages and you’re going to contribute so much important work to so many important things. You’re both going to be so important.”
In a year, they were going to start fighting because of a misunderstanding over stolen research and be bitter rivals for decades.
“I thought alcohol dulled your powers,” Elijah accused.
Giles shrugged, took the bottle. “Not if I already knew it in advance. Not if it’s super obvious to anyone who knows you.”
“What about you?” Yancy asked, passing the bottle.
Giles took a drink. “I’m going to…take over for my dad when he dies next year. I’m going to have kids. I’m going to lower taxes, and I’m going to make overtures that will turn into a really important trade agreement for my son. I’m going to tighten slavery laws in the north, and I’m going to…do other stuff. The wine made me forget.”
Yancy leaned against Giles, eyes shut.
“Doesn’t it get boring?” Elijah asked. “Knowing all that.”
“No,” Giles said, shaking his head, arm around Yancy. “I don’t know everything. And I knew a lot of what was going to happen here, and it was still the best time I ever had in my life.”
Yancy started crying, and that made Giles start to cry too. “Don’t cry.”
“I have to.”
“I don’t want you to.”
“I’m sorry. I love you.”
“I love you too.” Yancy wiped his face, shaking his head. “No. We should have fun. We should have a good time. We’ll cry later.”
“Yeah, I’d like that. You want to know who else in the class is going to amount to something?”
“Do tell,” Yancy said, laughing a little as he took a huge drink of wine.
So Giles did. They stayed up all night having fun like their lives depended on it.
After the graduation ceremony, Giles and Yancy sat together under a tree, just watching the grass. They held hands, Yancy’s head on Giles’s shoulder. “You won’t forget about me, will you?” Yancy asked, quiet.
“Never,” Giles promised. He wouldn’t. “I won’t. I’m never going to love anyone the way I love you, Yancy.”
“You’ll have to…”
“You said it yourself, you’re going to have children, Giles.”
Giles nodded, squeezing Yancy’s hand. “I’m not going to love her as much as I love you.”
“That’s cruel to her.”
“It’s the truth. You can’t force love. If it makes you feel better, she’s not going to love me much either.”
“But you’ll love your children, right?”
“We will. We’re going to have twins.” Both of them were going to be murdered.
“Okay.” Yancy sighed. “I thought a few times that it must be nice to know what you know. To know the future. But…it’s horrible, isn’t it?”
Giles just sighed, taking in the feeling of Yancy at his side. “Yeah. It is.”
“You knew the whole time that this would happen. I mean, you knew anyway because of who you are, but you really, really knew.” Yancy sniffed. “I think if I’d known I’d have been too afraid to get near you.”
“I almost was, but…” Giles closed his eyes. “I also knew that you were going to be the best thing that ever happened to me, Yancy. And I was…too selfish to turn that down. I’m sorry. I could have avoided hurting you.”
“No, you couldn’t have.” Yancy got up on his knees, pulled Giles up too. “I love you. You are the best thing that ever happened to me too. I’m never, ever, ever going to forget you. I’m going to love you until the day I die, Giles ven Sancte.”
Giles nodded, tears in his eyes. “Me too, Yancy. I swear to God and everything else that might be listening that I’m never going to stop loving you. I’m going to be thinking about you on my deathbed. And you know what else?”
“I know that we’ll be together again. After we die. Our souls will be reunited. No matter who we marry or meet or anything, you’re my soulmate, Yancy. And I know that we’ll be together in heaven.”
Yancy choked. “You…you know it?”
“I do,” Giles promised. “Not…” he touched his head. “Not like that. But in here I know it.” He put Yancy’s hand over his heart.
Yancy nodded, and they hugged fiercely. At that moment, right then, nothing in the cosmos could have broken them apart.
Yancy was with him when the knights came for him.
“Your Highness,” the leader of the knights said, saluting. “We’re here to take you back to the palace.”
Giles nodded, his things packed. Servants were already coming to take them. “Okay,” he said, holding Yancy’s hand. They’d said all their goodbyes already. Elijah was here too. Giles turned to face them. “I’m so glad I knew you guys. I’m so glad. You have no idea how happy knowing you both has made me. Especially you, Yancy.”
Yancy nodded, sniffing. “I think I know, Giles.”
“It’s been an honour to be your friend, your Highness,” Elijah said, bowing a little.
Giles laughed. “Never do that again, okay? If you ever come to the palace, I’m not the king. I’m just Giles. I’m still just that guy who stole your notes and who couldn’t keep his pants on when it got hot. That’s all I am.”
“You’re so much more than that, though,” Yancy said, refusing to let go of him. “You’re amazing.”
“So are you. We’re all so much more than we seem, everyone is.” Giles hugged Yancy, then Elijah, then Yancy again, longer. “I love you guys.”
“We love you too.”
“And…” He kissed Yancy, one last time. “Promise you won’t cry, okay? I’m still here.” He touched Yancy’s heart, his hand moving to the tree on his chest, hidden under his shirt. “And you’re still here.” He touched his own heart, his boulder.
“Okay,” Yancy said, though he was already breaking that promise.
Giles nodded, and he let go of Yancy, stepped back, joined the knights. And he turned around, away from Yancy. It was the hardest thing he’d ever done or ever would do for the entirety of his life.
Giles walked away with the knights in formation around him, trying so hard not to cry. The gates of the academy loomed, final.
“I love you!” Yancy shouted, behind him. “I love you, Giles!”
Giles turned around, saw Yancy waving. He waved too, tears falling. “I love you too, Yancy! Until the end of the world!”
And he went, leaving the academy, and Yancy, behind. Tears streamed down Giles’s face as he went home, to his destiny.
Giles knew things. And knowing things meant that he had to do something about them. He was the only one who could. He was the only one who could save the world. He had to. It was his responsibility.
Even if it meant walking away from everything that had ever mattered to him.
22 thoughts on “The Future of the Seer Is the Most Sublime of Tortures”
Awwwwwwww poor Giles and the family naming convention of starting everyones names with the same letter so we know they’re related. This was great.
Thank you! It is a useful naming convention when one wants to go ahead and write a story about someone’s grandfather without pausing to say “hey, this is about Gavin’s grandfather!” 😀
I’m glad you liked it!
Gavin gonna be sad when his dad gets assassinated. At least he and Franz can cry on eachother’s shoulders about it in a royal brats au.
Other AU when everyone who shares the same initial turns out to be related. Which is the funniest letter? 🙂 Is it James, Jude, Jocelyn, Joey, Jesse, Jacob?
Or Daniel, Derek, Darby, Denver, Delilah…
Darwin turns out to be related to everyone, every time he changes his name.
Isaac and Ignatius, long lost brothers, sons of Ian.
Greg ends up being royal. 🙂
Klaus was Claus but he’d to change it when he divorced Cameron.
Yeah, I’d say that’ll make him pretty sad when that happens. But in the AU it’ll probably lead to some sad shoulder-crying and possible a war. And in the main story…also possibly those things. 😀
I feel like J is a funny letter for sure, T is a good one too. Theodore, Todd, Travis, Ty, Turner,..
C would also include Cal and Cordelia, which would be amusing.
S also–Scott, Sam, Simon, Stephan…well, it’s a funnier letter for some than others. ;D
dammit penguin you made me get emOTIONAL uGH. I haVE SCHOOL TODAY I CAN’T BE CRYINGSFKJ
I am sorry! I should have posted this on Saturday so you could have the next day off to deal with the suffering. 😀
I’m glad you liked!
JKFSF iT’S FINE!!! god omg ur writing is so GOOD!!!! got me crying at 6 in the morning and then again halfway through lunch lmAO- I seriously really liked this, and I think it was really really well written!!! Keep up the good work, dude!!
😀 Thank you so much! I’ll do my best!
Grandsons don’t appear in the prophecy? That’s Gavin and who?
I thought Gloria was an only child.
“Gavin and who?” is the exact question I hoped that line would provoke. Because Gloria is indeed an only child. 😀
We don’t have any hint that Gerard has had an affair since he was married. BUT
Gerard said: “I was your age once, I understand thinking you’re in love…”
So, before Gerard got married to Georgina, there was another girl he was in love with. They couldn’t be together, because he’s royalty, and has an arranged marriage to Georgina. But, Gerard’s first love was pregnant (unknown to Gerard) when they split up, and she had a kid, a boy. Now that kid is now wandering around. He’d be older than Gabrielle is, which means he can’t be most of the main cast.
Does magecraft run in families? If so he might also be at the Academy, one of the older students that Isaac knows. Maybe one that also reminds Yancy of his long lost love. Sooo candidate one is Oliver!
Theory2: Grechen survived, and is a boy. But who?
Theory3: Gerard’s a philanderer and has a bunch of children and… GREG is one of his sons since he has a G name. 🙂
Since Isaac’s been able to go back in time and stuff will he have actually discovered about Yancy’s boyfriend being the old King?
😀 That’s a great new theory! And of course very possible! I will say that magecraft doesn’t run in families, but it also doesn’t not run in families, so it’s very possible for Oliver to be Gerard’s secret son! But of course I’m not gonna say.
Grechen being alive and being a boy: of course totally possible! And Greg being Gerard’s lovechild, also possible! All things are possible!
I live for this wild theorizing, not going to lie.
I don’t think Isaac has looked into Yancy’s whole history, but I think he’d definitely approve if he saw what we’ve now seen. 😀 Thank you!
Who else has a single mother and no mention of a father? There’s Wes and Darwin? But Wes shows up in the prophecies so can’t be him. And now sure how Darwin’s age works out, might be a bit too old?
I’m imagining, Gavin showing up with Greg, and Gerard being horrified because now his philandering ways will be exposed and he’s going to get murdered. Probably by Greg.
Or perhaps after his first child’s death Gerard sought comfort from a woman and one thing lead to another and she had a child, a son, named…. Gerik! So it turns out that Erik and Edwin aren’t properly related after all!
Wes does have a single mother, as does Darwin…and it bears noting that Cal’s dad is almost definitely not Cal’s biological father. There are other characters I think the argument can be made for as well. 🙂
I feel like Gavin showing up with Greg in that scenario would cause some shock: “Hey dad I adopted my illegitimate half-brother and now he’s my son. It’s what you get for not keeping it in your pants.”
Gerik is a possibility, but Gerard might have returned to that woman when his wife was pregnant with Gavin, resulting in Gedwin…meaning that Erik and Edwin are properly related (which they would be anyway having the same mother and all), and also that Edwin is Gavin’s half-brother, for double the incest!
Cal’s in the prophecy though. As is Edwin!
There should be an episode of Jerry Springer called Who’s Your Daddy, where a bunch of the characters are rounded up and the Jerry stand-in… (who’d be best suited to that role) gets to dig into all the family secrets.
They could also try and find out who else is Solomon’s children. Wait? SIMON!!! Simon has an S name.
Well, we assume Edwin is. But it’s safe to say that pretty much every prophecy ever written has Cal in it. 😀
I feel like that would be an amazing show–maybe Juniper could host it? He’s trashy enough for the role, I think!
I feel like…Simon would be very upset if Solomon turned out to be his father…and fair enough. Sam would be very amused, though! 😀
Y’know, since we’re on wild theory time, I’d like to go on record and say that I really like Lurk’s Theory #2 above – the one where Grechen’s still alive. My current pet theory is that she changed her name to Garrett… I don’t think we’ve had any info on Garrett’s background yet, so the possibility’s there.
(PS: These are exciting times :D)
😀 That’s a good theory, and I like your addition! Would be very interesting, and you’re right, we don’t know anything about Garrett’s background!
Exciting times indeed!
Don’t you know everything? Or are you making it up as you go along? Or are the characters doing their own thing and taking you by surprise sometimes too?
Details often get made up as we go, but I do know the major things like where people’s secret relatives are and whom they’ve been presented to the audience as. Every once in a while the characters do take me by surprise, though!
I was thinking no, Garret would be entirely the wrong age, since we’re looking for someone older than Gabrielle. And Isaac and his group are younger.
BUT Garret is described as an older boy, and trans men not on hormones tend to look younger than they actually are. So it’s entirely possible that Garret is actually the right age. The only description we get of Garret says he has pale hair that curls, just like Gavin and Gabrielle. SUSPICIOUS?!
SO!!! I’m all aboard your suggestion of Grechen didn’t actually die and is Garret.
We know Giles commented that his grandsons didn’t show up in the written prophecies, but that doesn’t mean Giles didn’t foresee things related to them. Giles definitely isn’t beyond faking the death of one of his grandchildren and placing him where he needs to be to stop the end of the world.
That’s very true! It’s possible that Garrett could be passing for a lot younger than he really is–especially because Isaac may not be the best at determining age. 😀
And, yes. The grandsons aren’t in written prophecies, but that doesn’t at all mean that Giles doesn’t know things about them. He could have had plans in place for them. He would do anything to stop the world ending, after all.