Endings and Beginnings
Title: The Road Not Taken
Author: V. Mures
Summary: After Buffy's death, Dr. Rupert Giles finds his life taking an entirely unexpected path.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Okay, most of my Stargate knowledge comes from fandom rather than first hand experience of the show. I have seen episodes (and the movie), but in sort of a hit and miss way. I watched it when I got a chance (and when I had a tv), but haven't seen the entirety of any one season. So please just think of this as AU, it will make it easier for us all. This takes place roughly in Season 10 of SG-1, and after S5 in Buffy. This story will be written in limited third person for p.o.v. focusing on Giles, and I seriously doubt that Giles calls himself that in his own head. So for most of the story he will be referred to as Rupert. Also please note that I am American, and while I will do my best to channel my inner-Brit (with the aid of the web in finding the proper lexicon) it is likely that I will make mistakes. Feel free to point them out so that I may correct them. Thanks.
The lovely title bar graphics are both by the fabulous Methos
. Thank you for the inspiration. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this story. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
--Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken," lines 18-20
It was sometimes hard to believe that nearly a year had passed since Buffy had sacrificed herself for the world. It often still felt very surreal to Rupert Giles. His slayer, one of his children, had died. He sighed as he entered his Seattle flat. He set his mail on the table by the foyer, placed his umbrella in its stand by the door, and hung his jacket on its hook finding comfort in the routine.
Clicking on his stereo, he headed into the kitchen to put the kettle on. He puttered around his kitchen. Tea bags went into the pot, and a box of biscuits was found. Meanwhile his thoughts were more focused on what he was going to do with his life now. While he occasionally helped Anya run her occult shop, "Midsummer's Knight," he was beginning to feel a need to find something else to do with himself. He refused to ever work with the council again; they had cost him too much as it was. He also despised them for their callousness and their heavy handed tactics.
Shortly after Buffy's death the council had moved back into Sunnydale with new slayer in tow. They had hired an assassin to eliminate Faith in prison, and then made sure that they
controlled the next slayer. It was also made abundantly clear that if Rupert and the remaining Scoobies tried to assist or interfere with the Slayers duties they would be dealt with accordingly.
So Rupert, with surprising assistance from Spike, had managed to convince his young friends that perhaps it would be better if they relocated. He managed to contact an old friend with legal resources to ensure that Dawn would be placed in Willow and Tara's custody permanently. When the time came he helped the group relocate to Seattle. A coven there had offered to assist Tara and Willow with their magical studies; they were also able to transfer their credits to the University of Washington. Xander had been hired by a local construction firm, while Anya, with Rupert's help, had found a suitable place to open a magic shop. They had managed to find a three bed-room house (Rupert slept on a pull out bed in the living room for a while) to settle into, and Dawn had been enrolled in a good school. Spike, who had somehow become a part of his strange family, had a comfortable basement bedroom complete with telly for when he was in town.
Currently Spike was off working with some of Rupert's old friends and contacts working on a way to deal with the council. They had overstepped their bounds long ago and it was long past time that something was done. Rupert had assisted with some of the planning, but his main priority right now was his children. Of course Rupert knew that Dawn (and, as much as he would never admit it, the rest of the Scooby Gang) was one of Spike's main priorities as well. It was just that Spike saw dealing with the council as a way of protecting his Niblet and the Niblet's family. So Rupert knew that Spike didn't have any problems with his current mission, especially as it often gave him a nice spot of violence.
Perhaps it was a little Ripperish, but Rupert had no problems sending Spike after the council, especially the bastards who had been responsible for Faith's murder. They didn't even have to worry about the chip preventing Spike from achieving his violent objectives, since the chip was deactivated by a technomage that Rupert had met through Jenny. In the aftermath of Buffy's death, Spike had managed to earn their trust and even become a part of their family. After much discussion, it was decided that they find a way to remove Spike's chip, and Spike would work to protect his new family. That didn't mean that Spike and Xander didn't still bicker like children, but there was no malice in it anymore.
Things had not necessarily been easy, but after awhile they settled into a nice routine. It was about eight months into their new lives that Rupert realized that his children were growing up and no longer really needed him. It really was time for him to find a new direction for his life.
Pouring his tea, he headed back into his living room. He noticed that his answering machine showed three messages. Hitting play he moved over to a table to start a crossword and relax a bit.
"Giles, I got an A on my Latin final! Not that it's a big surprise or anything. But still it is mega-cool and I so wanted to share the fact that I rock at ancient languages. Thanks to your superb help of course. Anyway, just wanted to spread the joy. Later, Giles!"
He chuckled as Dawn's voice faded from the machine. Her enthusiasm was certainly uplifting. He would have to call her later and congratulate her. The second message was a hang-up, but it was the voice on the third message that startled him. Why on earth would Wesley be calling him?
"Giles, I'm sorry to bother you, but I had a rather interesting job offer today and while I was not interested I though perhaps you might be. I know that you are a bit at loose ends at the moment and well…anyway, an old acquaintance from Oxford called me earlier today, one Dr. Daniel Jackson. You might have heard of him. He is an astonishing linguist and an astute archaeologist, though his unusual theories were not appreciated by mainstream academia. At any rate he is apparently now working for the US Military on a rather hush-hush sort of project that for some reason is in desperate need of linguists, particularly those whose specialties lie in the more ancient or unusual languages. While I know that you have no love of the American military, and I don't blame you one bit for that, Dr. Jackson was, when I knew him, a good man. I can not imagine him working with a program like the one you and the others dealt with back in Sunnydale. He also managed to insinuate that whatever it is they do, it is very important and not just for the Yanks. I told him that while I was not looking to leave the position I was currently in, I did know of someone else who fit the criteria he was looking for and who might be interested. I hope you don't mind that I gave him your contact information. I simply feel that you might benefit from hearing what he has to say. If you have any questions please feel free to call me."
Rupert blinked and took a sip of his cooling tea. He wasn't quite sure what to think of the message, or the fact that Wesley had apparently given his name to some gent who worked for the US military. Finally he decided he would simply wait to see how it played out.