Chapter Four – Surprising Giles
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, or any of the Norse Mythology that I am about to mangle to suit my own twisted purposes. Frankly, if you recognize, I don’t own it. This work may not be sold or used for profit in any way shape or form for that very reason. Please don’t sue me because I don’t have anything worth taking…
-== Chapter Four – Surprising Giles ==-
It was nearly noon on a bright and sunny Saturday as Xander’s skateboard rolled down the street towards the apartment of Rupert Giles. Finding out where Giles lived had been a bit of inspiration on his part, but hadn’t been particularly difficult thanks to the phone book. He could only hope that Buffy’s watcher would be willing, and able, to help him. After all, he desperately needed to know what was going on and whether or not he could trust Eve. Despite his knowledge of Norse mythology, it wasn’t like he actually knew much about Valkyries… Giles on the other hand, well if it was supernatural, the Englishman either knew about it or could find it in one of his books. That was what he did.
Xander ground the skateboard to a halt in front of the Watcher’s door and flipped it up, grabbing it by the front axle before knocking on the door.
“Coming,” he heard Giles call from inside the apartment. A moment later the door was opened by a surprised looking Watcher. “Oh Xander! Hello…” he said kindly. “This is quite a surprise. I didn’t expect to see you again until after school started.” He stepped aside and waved the young man into his home.
“Hi Giles,” he said self-consciously as he entered the man’s apartment.
“So, what brings you to see me?” Giles inquired politely.
“I…uh, I kind of need your help actually,” Xander began hesitantly. “Something really weird happened to me last night, and I didn’t know who else to talk to about it…”
“Please, sit down,” the Watcher said with a smile and a nod, gesturing toward the couch in what passed for his living room. “I was just about to make some tea, would you like a cup?”
“Uh, sure, I guess,” the teenager answered awkwardly.
An uncomfortable silence fell as Giles bustled around in his kitchen for the next few minutes preparing tea while Xander fidgeted on his couch. As the Englishman emerged carrying a small tray, he spoke again, “So what is it that’s happened and how may I be of assistance?”
“Well, uh, how much do you know about Valkyries and the Norse god of thunder?” Xander asked slowly.
Giles looked thoughtful as he handed the younger man a cup of tea and considered the question. “Some,” he said finally. “I read translations of the most common Norse sagas as a boy, both of the Eddas actually, but beyond that…” he shrugged. “Why do you ask?”
“It kind of ties in with what happened to me last night,” Xander said with a wry grin.
“Perhaps it would be best if you started at the beginning?” the Watcher suggested mildly.
With a nod and a swallow of his tea, Xander began to tell Giles everything that had happened to him since last night. He surprised himself with the detail he was able to relate about the fight with the vampires on the beach and the conversations with the self-proclaimed Valkyrie, Eve. Giles seemed understandable skeptical throughout the entire tale.
“Fascinating as this is, Xander, could I perhaps see the hammer? It might clear up a number of things.” There was an oddly critical tone to Giles’ voice as he asked and he seemed somewhat surprised when the teenager took the necklace from around his neck and handed it to him.
“Well, this is certainly a very old Thor’s hammer medallion,” he said after several long minutes studying it. “Thor was one of the most popular of the Viking gods and as such, medallions like this one are hardly uncommon, though I can’t recall having ever seen the hammer’s head rendered quite like this before…”
“So do they all turn into full-size war hammers when the bearer wants them to, or is that unique?” Xander asked snarkily.
“That would certainly be unique,” Giles answered, ignoring the sarcastic tone of the youth’s question, save to shoot him an apologetic look. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, Xander… it’s just that it’s rather a fantastic story…”
“You just have to want it to go back to full-size, Giles,” Xander said with a sigh, “and, poof, it should just happen.”
“Ah,” the Watcher said before spending another long moment staring intently at the necklace, “be that as it may, it doesn’t appear to be working…”
“Lemme see it,” he said, holding out his had to the older man, who promptly dropped the necklace into his palm. Xander took careful hold of the chain, letting the hammer dangle toward the floor, before willing it back to normal size.
“Oh dear Lord,” Giles exclaimed as the massive war hammer suddenly hung lightly from the teen’s grasp.
“Satisfied,” the young man asked with a smirk, “or maybe we’re both hallucinating now?”
“I’m sorry, Xander,” the Englishman said sincerely. “It’s just that magical hammers and Viking Gods are a bit… extraordinary. Even by the Hellmouth’s standard.”
“It’s okay, Giles,” Xander replied. “I’m just a little touchy… the last day or so has been a bit much even without doubts about my sanity.” The teen grasped Mjolnir’s handle and smiled as the weapon grew warm in his hand and small lightning bolts began to dance over its surface.
“Apparently, the hammer’s magic only responds to you, Xander,” Giles said, his eyes never wavering from the weapon, “which would be consistent with what I can recall of the legends of Thor’s hammer…as would the lightning.”
“Yeah, it only seems to do the sparky thing when I grasp the haft,” he offered in explanation. “Well, that and when I throw it…”
“It appears to be much lighter than it looks, judging by the ease with which you are holding it,” the Watcher ventured.
“Feels almost weightless to me,” Xander confirmed with a nod. “Here, see what you think.” Releasing the handle, he switched back to only holding the hammer by the chain loop and held it out to Giles.
The older man grasped the hammer firmly and smiled. “Thank you,” he offered in response.
Xander smiled back and let go of the chain. When he did the full weight of Mjolnir came crashing down, wrenching the weapon from Giles’ grip and smashing it forcefully into the floor. The resulting impact shattered the hardwood planks of the apartment’s floors and smashed a wide spider’s web of cracks into the concrete under-floor.
Both men’s eyes went wide and the Watcher paled visibly at the amount of damage the falling hammer had inflicted. “Uh, oops…” Xander said a moment later. “I did mention that I felt really, really strong after the hammer appeared, right?”
“Yes,” Giles admitted sheepishly. “In retrospect, I suppose you did.” Stepping up to where the hammer now sat, he bent and grasped the chain with both hands before experimentally trying to lift the hammer. Try as he might, the weapon would not budge. “Good Lord, Xander, this must weight several hundred pounds…”
“Or the hammer can only be lifted by me…” the teen said in response. “I meant, the size changing thing only worked for me, same as the sparky thing.” Xander bent and picked the hammer up one-handed without any effort at all. “Or maybe I’m strong enough to bench-press a bus…”
“Ah yes, well, at this point I’m not sure I’d rule out either possibility,” Giles said, turning slightly gray at the admission before shaking his head. “I’ll need to go to the library and do some research on this and see what I can find out.”
“What should I do in the meantime?”
“I’m not sure, Xander,” the Watcher answered after a moment. “The only person that seems to know what is going on is your mysterious ‘Valkyrie’, Eve, and until we know more I’m not certain she can be trusted.”
“Should I go to the scrap-yard like she told me to and see what else she has to say?” the teenager asked as the Englishman turned and walked to his desk, retrieving a set of keys.
Giles turned back toward Xander in time to see him placing a necklace-sized hammer back around his neck. “I don’t think that would be entirely wise. Why don’t you return home, and I’ll get in touch with you as soon as I know anything?”
“Giles… I really need to know what’s going on here. If Eve is telling the truth…” Xander trailed off his thought and swallowed hard.
The Watcher nodded, acknowledging what the young man had left unsaid. The idea of any man, even one as noble as Xander seemed to be, wielding the powers of a God terrified Giles beyond words. They needed answers and needed them quickly.