Wave over Wave

Author: Kosh_len <kosh_len[at]yahoo.com>

Set somewhere in and around Ten's Year's End, Part 7 or so

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of which are me, with the execption of Robert Sinclair, who is mine.

Summary: Meanwhile, back on the boat

Warning : Crossovers ahead. (Yes Plural.)

Rating : PG-13 to PG-16; for mild cursing, violence, and demonic horror content... in other words a bit more grown up then the series... but only cause I don't have to suck up to censors, also because I am following the bosses lead.

A special thanks to Tenhawk for letting me play in his mucked up little world. Also thanks to my editor Shollin for all her help in keeping my stuff straight.

"Land of Light" was written by R. Gullane of the Tannahill Weavers, off the Land of Light Album, 1986.

Sinclair watched as the waves rolled up against the bow of the ship and wondered again how he had gotten into this mess. Not only was he stuck on a boat, but he was stuck on a boat with another Watcher and God knew what else. When he had gotten near the boat, the resonance of the individuals aboard had almost brought him to his knees. The power, the raw unadulterated power, of those on the boat was incredible.

He looked up at the stars, his grey eyes searching the heavens for a sign of the enemies' approach. In the back of his mind he knew he wouldn't be able to see them, and that thought alone gave the mage some comfort.

"Days away still," he muttered to himself.

Laughter floated up from below deck through a hatchway. The cook was just beginning the breakfast meal as the shift changes began. Some would fade off to sleep, while others would watch TV or play games; anything to keep their spirits up, though with the passing of each day it seemed harder and harder. Every man and woman on the boat knew what was coming.

<Eat, drink and be merry...> He let the thought fade.

Death was coming; he could feel it in his bones. Many would not return from the coming battle, and all he had was the hope that they could pull this off. After seeing the boy, though, he had a small glimmer of hope. Faith had described the young man as her white knight, and though he hadn't arrived on a white charger, his sheer presence gave the mage hope.

He smiled as he thought back to Xander addressing him. He had considered for a moment going with Faith to keep an eye on her and her twin terrors, but he had held back. His magic wouldn't help the pilots in the coming fight, but those on the boat might be saved.

"I too shall remain here," he had said. "I can man the weapons and I have some small talents of my own.... Robert Sinclair at your service."

He rolled his eyes at the thought. <Dear God, get within fifteen feet of a British Watcher and I get stuffy. Note to self, if I try to buy tweed, shoot myself. End note.>

"I hope my talents will be enough," he muttered.

The coming fight wasn't one he had ever envisioned. Demons and vampires were one thing, but space aliens who pretended to be Egyptian gods were another. Definitely not trained for space aliens.

"Mr. Sinclair, might I have a moment of your time?" asked a voice, breaking him from his musing.

"Certainly, Mr. Giles," sighed Robert. "Pull up some deck and have a seat."

The British Watcher settled onto the deck next to his counterpart, his legs dangling out over the edge of the boat. Neither man spoke, each lost in his thoughts as the waves rolled by.

"I was wondering if I might talk to you about Faith," said Giles after a moment, his eyes staring off to the horizon.

Sinclair stiffened as if he had been struck. With a slow turn of his neck, his eyes locked onto the Watcher, his jaw set.

"What about Faith?" he replied with frost in his voice.

Robert had no illusions about the things the Rupert Giles knew about. The mage had assumed that the British Watcher had heard all about the previous attempts to kidnap Faith by Quentin Travers and the Watchers Council. He also assumed that Giles knew he wasn't an officially sanctioned Watcher.

He also knew in his heart that should this Watcher try to take Faith back to England, there was going to be a huge fight, aliens or no aliens.

"I have heard some troubling tales concerning you and Faith," began Giles as he took off his glasses and cleaned them. Replacing them, he turned to meet the mage's look and rolled his eyes. "Oh please, I have no love for Travers either, you bloody git. I am more curious to know why you're helping Faith."

Robert studied Giles, his grey eyes searching for some sort of trap. After a few seconds, he relaxed, letting the energy he had been building flow away like water. From Faith's description, the mage had assumed he would be able to win a fight with the man she had called G-man, but upon first sight of the man, Sinclair had to wonder. Just like many others on this boat, Rupert Giles carried himself with a certain confidence, and the unusual aura about him only made things more confusing.

"I'm helping her because she needed it," said Robert after a moment more of study. "She asked, so I did."

"Why, though?" asked Giles. "Why not turn her over to the Watchers Council?"

Robert snorted and shook his head. He turned and looked out at the sea, watching the waves roll past, before turning back to look at Giles.

"Would you give up a Slayer to the council?" he asked.

"While Travers is around?" questioned Giles. "Not in his lifetime. With different leadership, perhaps. Not everyone on the council is evil, Robert."

Sinclair shrugged, reached into his jacket and pulled out a silver flask. He unscrewed the top and took a long drag off it. He studied the flask, tracing the etchings with his thumb before looking up at Giles.

"You'd have a hard time convincing me of that, Mr. Giles," he said with a touch of sadness in his voice. "Considering how many retrieval teams Travers has sent and what they've tried,you'd have a really hard time convincing me of that. Andconsidering my own checkered past with them, it only makes it worse."

Giles looked at the man a moment, but let the last comment slide. Faith had told him little of the events leading to here before she departed with Xander, but she hadn't mentioned much of the man who was acting as her Watcher. She had mentioned that Sinclair had worked with a Slayer previously though. In his own mind, there were only two reasons a Watcher left the council: the way he himself had parted with them, and another that was dreadfully unthinkable but happened far too often.

"You didn't answer my question though, why are you helping Faith?" asked Giles.

Sinclair passed the flask to Giles and stared out at the horizon, trying to decide the best way to answer the question.

"An old cartoon once said 'Sometimes I lay at wake at night and think to myself, 'Why me?' And then a voice says back from the darkness, 'Because it's your job,' " he said as he watched the horizon begin to lighten. "I have asked myself 'Why me?'time and time again when that girl infuriates me. And then I remember that scared little girl who ran into a bar being chased by a horde of darkness, scared out of her mind, but determined as hell to protect the child they were after. It's kind of hard to say no to a scene like that, Mr. Giles. Since then, I have just been along for Miss Faith's Wild Ride. She is kind of hard to say no to."

Giles took a sip off the flask and listened to the man's reply. He had to admit that even in his Ripper days he would have had a hard time saying no to something like that.

"That she is, Mr. Sinclair, that she is," he said as he handed back the flask.

"In the beginning, I thought perhaps that the Fates had wanted me back into the fight, but as time went along, I came to the conclusion that it's more to keep those three from destroying the world by accident," continued Robert. "They are good kids though, I'll give them that."

Sinclair took another sip off the flask and watched the horizon, light growing more and more. Lifting up his head, he mumbled something in Gaelic and the sea seemed to calm a bit, the water almost waiting for something. Silence spread out around them and Giles watched in fascination as the man sitting next to him began to sing.

"O sleep in peace, you valleys and hills Be safe, be free as the breeze The north wind of fear like a banshee howled And she drove you down on your knees to pray She drove you down on your knees

"Lift up your head to the morning light The fight o'er darkness is won And feast your eyes on the land you love Its life returning with the sun, behold Its life returning with the sun

"And the morning walks proud, shining out like a flame No evil could subdue You open up your arms in friendship and joy To welcome in the newborn day To welcome in the new

"May the spirit so strong in the shadow and storm Hold fast to what is right And surely as you breathe the gentle air of peace This land shall shelter in the light of love This land shall shelter in the light."

As the last note of the song faded, the world seemed to take a breath, and Giles could again hear the waves brushing up against the boat.

"My word," he said.

Sinclair smiled at Giles and he took another sip off the flask before replacing the lid and returning it to his pocket.

"My morning benediction," he said as an explanation. "Faith reminded me of something I tried hard to forget. Even though the dawn drives off the night, there must be those willing to stand in the darkness and fight."

Sinclair felt a hand land on his shoulder, and he turned to look at Giles. He was surprised to see a smile on the man's face, and some of the fear he felt faded.

"I was never going to try to take Faith, Robert," said Giles. "I just wanted to measure the man who protects her. And with that said..."

Giles stood and dusted himself off, before offering his hand to the mage. Sinclair took the hand, levered himself up and dusted himself off as well. Neither man spoke as they made their way below deck, each lost again in their own thoughts on the days to come.


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