Disclaimer: No permission has been granted to use the characters. They are owned by their creator, Joss Whedon, Twentieth Century Fox, UPN, WB, and Mutant Enemy. This story is non-profit and is intended solely as entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.
Rupert Giles was depressed. Two weeks from his thirtieth birthday and what did he have to show for his life? A second-rate job in a museum, no wife or children, no family left that would speak to him, distrusted by the very institution that he had spent his life in training for—all in all, it was enough to drive a man to drink, he thought.
As he sat brooding at his desk, his intercom buzzed. He had to spend a moment looking for the on button as he’d used it so seldom. Finally, he found it and pushed the antique unit till it came on.
“Rupert Giles here.”
“Mr. Giles? There’s a young lady to see you, sir.”
“I’m not expecting any visitors.”
He could hear a bright sounding American voice in the background murmuring something to the security guard.
“She says to tell you that she’s interested in your family business and wants to speak to you about the work your father and grandmother did.”
“Ah.” Somebody from the Council then. He sighed. Probably someone come to sneer at him while picking his brains for the snippets of knowledge he had obtained by decades of useless study. “Send her up, then.”
Five minutes later there was a knock at his door.
The heavy oak door swung inwards and in stepped a rather dashing looking young woman dressed in jeans and a soft-looking T-shirt. She smiled at him and he was instantly attracted to her. He knew that was probably in vain. If she were Council, she knew about his background.
“Hello. I assume you’re from the Council?”
“Well, not exactly, though we do have sort of an association.”
He looked at her closely. “Well, you aren’t a vampire. It’s broad daylight.”
She chuckled. “I’m no vamp, though I’ve dusted enough of them in my time. My name is Elizabeth Summers, known to my friends and family as Buffy.”
He smiled. It must be contagious. “I see, Ms. Summers. What can I do for you?”
“Well, it’s sort of a long story. Do you have a couple of hours to spare? I didn’t want to bother you at work, but I didn’t know where you lived and this is important.”
He nodded. “If anyone asks, we can simply say you are visiting from America to discuss—oh, some sort of relics, I suppose.”
“Good.” She leaned forward. “You know, I didn’t think about how awkward this is. Oh well, as I was saying, my name is Buffy and I’m a Vampire Slayer.”
He frowned. “I know the current Slayer and you are not she. Oh, no! Melissa isn’t dead is she?”
“Not as far as I know.” She put her hand on his arm. “Don’t get alarmed. The world as you know it remains the same; only I am different here. I’m from the future.”
“Oh, really? And you just stopped in for a quick chat?”
“No, not really, well, sort of. I died, you see, and the Powers that Be offered me a reward. I could come to you at any point in your life and have a little chat before they call me back. Now, I know about your childhood trauma when you were ten and found out about your destiny. You handled that OK, and I know about the Eyghon thing—you’ll clean up the end results of that bit of stupidity during our time together. I just wanted to see you when you were feeling down. They sent me to you now. You’re at a crossroads, see? They said you’re depressed about being almost thirty and not having anything to show for your life. I guess I’m here to tell you it gets sorta better.”
“But why you? I don’t understand.”
“Because I love you so much, Rupert Giles, that it makes my heart smile to see you sitting there.”
He looked startled. “Are you implying that you and I have some sort of, of relationship in the future?”
“Not yet. That’s what the Powers are offering you. We love each other very much, but when we meet, I’m just turned sixteen and you are thirty-six. Pretty big age gap there. Plus, I was really angry at being Called and I was sort of incredibly stupid about things for a long time. Let’s just say that by the time I opened my eyes, our relationship was set in cement. We were friends and comrades, but even though we were deeply in love with each other, neither of us knew how to act on it. The Powers sent me here to give you hope and to tell you that when you are at your lowest, good things will be just around the corner. You are not, under any circumstances, to leave Sunnydale after I die. They wanted me to impress that on you. That’s one thing they said they’d let you remember from all this. Don’t leave.”
“Why not, for heaven’s sake?”
“Well, they are gonna send me back again and it’s vital that you be there for me.”
“Why isn’t your Watcher there for you?”
“Rupert, you are my Watcher.”
“I think I need a drink.”
“Sounds like a plan, Watcher-mine.”
He smiled at the appellation. “Do you call me that often?”
“Sure, but mostly I call you Giles.”
“What do I call you?”
“Buffy. I’m always just Buffy. I think, once or twice right at the beginning, you called me Ms. Summers.” She crinkled her nose.
“I’m British. We tend to be more formal than Americans.”
“Giles, you’ve seen me naked while you stitched up my wounds. Formal is something we gave up ten minutes after meeting.”
“I’ve seen you naked? Really?” He looked intrigued.
“Don’t be such a hound, sweetie. There was nothing romantic about it, unless sponging the blood off multiple lacerations does something for you.”
He shuddered at her imagery. “No, it really doesn’t.”
“Good. What do you say we get out of here and grab a bite to eat? I may be temporarily dead, but I’m starving.”
He stood and escorted her to the door of his office, closing and locking it behind him. She grinned at his actions.
“You never lock your door when I know you. I asked about it once and you said it was so that I could always get to you if I needed you. It was really sweet.”
He blushed at the look in her eyes.
“Ah, thank you, I’m sure.”
“Take me someplace cool, OK? I’ve never been out of the country before and I’d like to look around some before I have to leave.”
He took her to an English pub. She gazed around and was impressed with the place. “This is pretty neat. I mean, you always hear about English pubs but to actually be in one is mind-blowing.”
He ordered them both ale and after a quick glance at the menu, fish and chips.
“So, ah, tell me a bit about yourself,” he invited.
“Well, I was a lost Slayer, Called at 15 with no training and no idea that the world was like it is. My first Watcher found me in LA and we fought a master vampire. My Watcher died, but I lived to kill off Lothos.”
He held up his hand. “Who was your first Watcher?”
She looked at him steadily. “John Merrick.”
“I know John. He’s the only one of the Council that treats me as if I might not be pond scum. How did he die?”
“Lothos thralled me. Wanted to add another Slayer to his belt, I guess. But I was too easy. Merrick couldn’t stand by and watch him kill me. He pulled a stake out from under that big duster that he wore and tried to sneak up on Lothos. The vamp grabbed the stake and made Merrick watch as he shoved it into his stomach. Then he left saying I wasn’t ready yet.” She gripped her ale tightly. “That was his mistake. I dusted his sorry butt with a flag pole less than a week later. I killed one-hundred-and-thirty-two vamps in LA that night. Some by staking, but most when I torched the school. I got expelled, but there were a whole lot of vamps that never saw another sunset.”
“That’s strictly against Watcher training, you know; to help a Slayer, I mean. I find it hard to believe that Merrick did that. He’s very high in the Council, you know.”
“I know, or at least, I know it now. He couldn’t stand by and watch somebody he loved die when he could prevent it.”
“You are saying that Merrick was in love with you?”
“No, of course not. But he did love me…enough to give his life up for me. A girl doesn’t forget that.”
“Yeah. Kept happening too. My next Watcher, that would be you, tried to go to the Master in my place because I was scared. We’d only known each other a couple of months. You had suited up and were ready to go. I came into the Library and knocked you out. The Master killed me, just like the Codex said he would. But the book and the vamp weren’t counting on the fact that I am a Slayer with friends. My friend Xander, Alexander Harris, followed me into the monster’s lair and gave me CPR. I came back and totally kicked some vamp ass. When I killed the Master, the Hellmouth snapped closed again.”
“Oh, did I forget to mention that? After I got kicked out of school in LA, my parents divorced and my mom and I moved to Sunnydale, California. La Boca del Infierno. The Mouth of Hell. The Hellmouth. Not a real happening place unless you’re some big freakin’ evil. Anyhow, long story short? You and I have a bunch of adventures and then I sacrifice myself when I’m twenty to stop a portal that had opened…I kinda died. Willow, one of my best buds, will be bringing me back pretty soon and I won’t be real happy about it.”
“Why not? I should think you would be glad not to be dead anymore.”
“Well, they kinda rip me out of Heaven.”
She nodded. “Yeah. So anyhow, part of my reward for coming out of permanent retirement, is, well, the love of a good man. That would be you. Let me tell you, that was a total surprise! I mean, I knew we loved each other, but I never suspected it was in a romantic sort of way. Travers had said you loved me like a father after the Cruciamentum and since you didn’t deny it, we sort of worked from that premise.”
“I gave you the test? Since you apparently know all about it, I’m rather surprised you didn’t kill me.”
“Well, the butthead, I mean Travers, fired you for interfering, and I survived. You told him you wouldn’t leave me and that meant a lot more to me than the fact that you’d been poisoning me for weeks.”
“You have a very forgiving nature.”
“I learned from the best. You forgave me for lots of stuff that was just as bad in it’s own way.”
“L, like what?” He was appalled.
“Oh, I dunno. Like the fact that my first lover was a 243-year old vampire with a soul and a curse. When he had a moment of pure happiness, read sex with Buffy, he lost the soul and turned back into his bad vamp self. Tried to free Acathla, murdered your girl friend, tortured the crap out of you.” She reached out and took his left hand in hers. “He broke all of the fingers on this hand to find out how to open the vortex. I was able to enlist the aid of another vampire that hated him. He wouldn’t let Angelus kill you outright. As his reward, I let him and his skanky girlfriend, Drucilla leave town alive. I plunged the magic sword into Angel and sent him to Hell for a hundred years.” She looked broodily into her drink. “While Angel and I fought, Xander snuck in and helped you escape. The cops were after me for Kendra’s death—oh, she was the Slayer who got called when I died the first time—Dru had killed her. Willow, the friend who casts the spell to pull me out of heaven, was able to reinstate Angelus’ curse, but too late. He had already freed Acathla and the vortex had opened. I had no choice but to send him to Hell.”
“I don’t know what to say. This is all so, so difficult to take in.”
“Mmmm.” She sipped the brown ale. “Anyhow, I ran away. Left you without a word for three months while I pulled my self and my sanity back into place. You forgave me. That meant a lot to me.”
He tightened the fingers of the hand she still held around her own. “How could I do less for you, my dear? You are an extraordinary person. I’ve known you less than an hour and even I can see it.”
“You forgive a lot more over the next few years, Giles. I was as stupid as the stupidest teen ever and was pretty headstrong in my pursuit of a so-called ‘normal’ life.”
“But you say the Powers that Be want us together?”
“Yes. Together you and I fight some coming Evil and defeat it. Apparently, it’s a big deal.” She shrugged. “Whatever; you fought one massive evil, you fought them all.”
“Well, I suppose in a way, that is true. All evil in this world is a by-product of The First.” He nodded solemnly.
“Uh, huh. Did I mention that I’m not really big on research? That’s your job and you do it really well. I can’t begin to tell you how many times over the years that your knowledge has pulled our collective butts out of the fire.”
He grinned at her turn of phrase. “Really? That’s comforting.”
“That’s how I always found it.”
They talked for another three hours. Giles was fascinated with her story. He still wasn’t entirely sure when he switched over from thinking it was all some gigantic hoax perpetuated by the Council to the honest-to-God truth, but in the course of the afternoon, she made a believer out of him.
“How long are you here for?” he asked her.
She shrugged. “You know the Powers. It could be days, but more likely it’s hours.”
“Then you must have someplace to stay, until…until…”
“Until they take me back?”
“Yes. Exactly. You can come to my flat. It isn’t much, but you are welcome.”
“Thanks, I appreciate it.”
They got up and left the pub. Giles hailed a cab and gave it his address. Soon, they were deposited in front of a row of modest houses. He paid the driver and escorted her up the sidewalk.
“So, this is your place,” she said, more to make conversation than because she was interested.
“One of them. I have a family estate in Devonshire.”
“Cool.” She walked in and sat on his couch.
“Would you care for a cup of tea?”
She grinned. “I love it that you offered me tea. It’s like a thing for us, you know. Whenever we don’t know what to say, we have tea.”
He returned her grin. “Then I shall most certainly put the kettle on as I haven’t the slightest idea of what to say to you.”
Despite that, they sat on his couch and talked for hours. Giles didn’t at first realize what was happening, but by the time the clock struck midnight, he had fallen in love. She was so vibrant, so bloody marvelous that he was drawn to her almost against his will and certainly without any volition. As their conversation hit a dry patch, their eyes met and again without realizing what he was doing, he leaned forward and caught her lips with his.
She melted against him like warm butter. He pushed her back against the couch and deepened his kiss. He had never felt like this before. She was made for him and he belonged to her utterly. They progressed from kissing to petting and he let his lips trail down her throat. He noticed that she had been savagely bitten by a vampire, perhaps more than one, but he didn’t let it deter him from loving her. There would be time later, he thought, for questions and answers.
“Will you let me love you?” he asked her, his voice an octave lower than normal.
“Yes, Rupert. I want that very much.”
He pulled her into his arms and carried her into his bedroom. He swept back the covers and laid her upon the cool, crisp sheets. She watched him with passion-darkened eyes as he slipped out of his clothing, her gaze appreciative. She actually let her soft pink tongue slip between her lips and give them a soft lick in anticipation.
Rupert reached for her and slowly pulled the T-shirt over her body. She wasn’t wearing a bra. Her breasts were the most marvelous things he had ever seen, soft and pink, yet firm and just the right size. He couldn’t resist them and caught one between his lips, tugging lightly at the nipple till she moaned.
Her jeans and panties joined the T-shirt on the floor in short order. His gaze raked her body and she reveled in the desire his eyes revealed. Tracing her body with his hands, he vowed to follow their path with his lips and tongue. She writhed against him, her own hands stroking his body and glorying in his ardent response.
When he finally slid home into her welcoming warmth, he gasped with the rightness of it. She came to him as if she were an extension of his own body. Looking into her eyes was like staring into his own soul. He didn’t know if he could survive this experience. His body shook as they reached their peak together and he slipped down beside her, arms trembling and head hanging in the aftermath. “I love you. I love you so much.” His words took him by surprise because he certainly hadn’t meant to say it out loud.
“As I love you, Rupert. It won’t be long, beloved, till we are together forever. I promise you. You mustn’t give up—and when the time comes, don’t leave Sunnydale, no matter what.”
“I promise I won’t.”
They fell asleep in each other’s arms, the promise of true love fulfilled lulling them both to rest.
Rupert woke in the morning and reached for her. He opened his eyes when his hand met a cool sheet. She wasn’t there! He leaped up, calling her name, searching the small flat to no avail. She was gone.
He pulled on a pair of trousers and shuffled into the kitchen to make himself tea. “Bloody hell! That was the weirdest dream I’ve ever had!” He chuckled. “As if the Council would ever condone me long enough to give me a Slayer. Ludicrous. Must have been induced by my depression and a rather great deal of ale.” He walked back into his bedroom and made up his bed, not noticing the single long blonde hair on his pillow.
Willow and Tara, Xander and Anya gathered around the lonely grave holding hands and chanting the words Willow had made them memorize. None of them noticed the man on the motorbike till he was upon them.
Giles leaped off the bike and kicked the magic urn into shards, stomping on the circle the young Wicca had drawn. “How dare you! How dare you!” He didn’t discriminate in his anger but yanked them up and threw them away from the grave. “You call yourself her friends! Get out and don’t let me see your stupid faces again!” He threw himself on top of the earthen mound of Buffy’s grave.
Laying there for a few minutes, he could have sworn he heard something from deep beneath the soil. She was alive! Buffy was alive! He knelt on the grave and dug with his bare hands until he had cleared more than a cubic yard of earth. His heart stuttered as a slim white hand poked through the earth. He grasped it and using all his strength, pulled her from the ground.
She was gasping and shaking in terror but through it all, she gazed into his face as if seeing light for the first time. “You came for me. You came for me.”
“Hush, my darling, hush.” He pulled her trembling body against his own before carrying her back to his motorbike. “Put your arms around me,” he commanded.
She did and he drove them back to his flat. He drew her a hot bath and carefully stripped the burial clothing from her before helping her into the tub. The warmth of the water helped sooth her trembling and shock, but so too did his presence.
He took her hand in his and raised it to his lips. “I remembered.”
“I still love you.”
“And I you, beloved. Now and forever.”
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