One Year Later
“She’s poisoned him against us Giles!” Buffy told her surrogate father with tears in her eyes. “He doesn’t even want to come home anymore.” Her voice dropped to below a whisper as she sunk into an oversized chair.
Giles sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. Xander had severely disappointed him over this past year. First he neglected his duties as Watcher now he was treating them all, Buffy most of all, like strangers. He had no doubt in his mind that Samantha Carter was to blame for the young mans change in personality. “I am so sorry Buffy.” He moved out from behind his desk and knelt down beside her.
Buffy nodded and bit her bottom lip. “So am I Giles.” She whispered then made a decision she had been putting off for weeks now. “I’m pregnant.”
“Pregnant?” Giles stood up and began to clean his glasses on the edge of his shirt. “Are you certain?” He questioned after a moment.
“Doc Callaway confirmed it a couple weeks ago. What am I gonna do? I saw how much mom struggled with being a single parent and swore I’d never put a child through that. But what choice do I have when its father won’t even return my calls?” Buffy felt her heart break all over again.
Giles sat down in the chair beside her. “You are not
alone.” He stressed. “We’re a family and families take care of their own” He took a breath gathering his thoughts. “I never thought Xander of all people would turn into a right tosser but he is proving me wrong on a lot of things these days. I want you to go and stay with Willow. Can you do that for me?” He knew the red head would take good care of her best friend.
Buffy continued to chew on her bottom lip but nodded. “Yeah, I can do that. What are you gonna do?” She knew the look in his eyes.
“I’m going to find out why Xander is being a wanker. I’ll go through the President of the United States if I have to. And if that doesn’t work I’ll let Faith handle him. There will be no place in heaven or hell he’ll be able to hide from a pissed off Faith.” Giles gave her an encouraging smile.
“Am I so repulsive that Xander can’t even stand to be around me?” Buffy asked in a small voice as a fresh wave of tears ran down her cheeks.
Giles pulled the heartbroken Buffy into a hug. “No my dear, you are as beautiful as ever. Go pack your things and I’ll have Willow book you on the next flight out.” He stood and lead her to the door. “Things will get better. I promise.” Once she had disappeared up the stairs he closed his office door and took a deep breath. Calmly he moved over to his phone and dialed Xander’s cell number.
Xander laughed at the joke his father just got done telling. “Gotta remember that one.” He wiped his eyes. For the first time in his life he felt content and the feeling surprised him. Looking around he smiled at his brother Mark playing on the floor with his daughter. Sam was in the kitchen and he and his father were occupying two chairs in the living room. The sound of his cell chirping interrupted his peace and with a grunt flipped it open. “G-Man how’s it hanging?!” He greeted.
“You idiot! Do you realize what you have done?” Giles couldn’t contain his anger at hearing the younger mans voice.
“Huh?” The feeling of peace left him in a hurry and he sat up straighter in the chair. “What are you talking about?” Xander knew Giles was only snippy when something was wrong. “Is there something wrong with Buffy?!” He asked panicked. He hadn’t heard from her for a while but he assumed if something was wrong she would have called.
Giles snorted into the phone. “Like you bloody well care!” He spit out.
Xander stood and began to pace around the living room drawing the attention of not only his brother but his father as well. “Of course I care! What’s wrong?”
“Do you honestly take me for a fool? Or Buffy for that matter? If you cared about her at all you wouldn’t be ignoring her! She’s given us a second chance but I don’t see her doing that again you bloody little fool!” Giles ranted.
Stopping Xander frowned at the phone in his hand before placing it back to his ear. “I still don’t know what you are talking about! Just tell me! Please?” He all but begged.
Giles began pacing around his office. “When you requested time off to reconnect with your family I gladly signed the papers. When you asked for your girls to be assigned temporary Watchers I didn’t question you. But now I’m thinking I should have. You were the one that begged me to train you in the ways of the Watcher. That wasn’t forced on you. You chose to have this life and you just can’t toss it aside because you’ve found something better!”
Xander felt a cold dread settle in the pit of his stomach. Something was very very wrong. “I’m confused Giles.”
“Yes well maybe I can enlighten you. Buffy is fine physically but mentally and emotionally she’s a wreck. She’s going away for awhile; to get away from you. I suggest you make a decision soon because as I see it you’ve already chosen your new family over this one.” Giles told him bluntly.
“I haven’t chosen anyone! Why would you think that?” Xander really was trying to understand but when Giles was pissed off he rarely made sense to anyone but himself. “And why does she need to get away from me?”
Giles frowned. “Perhaps because you’ve not only been ignoring calls from your girls but from Buffy as well. I thought you different Xander but I am saddened to see that I was wrong. So very wrong.”
Xander shook his head. “No one has called me Giles. Buffy and I had a fight before I left this last time and I assumed she just needed some space as for the girls….I assumed their temps were handling things just fine.” Now that he thought about it it did seem odd that he hadn’t gotten one phone call from his friends or his charges. “I swear I haven’t gotten any calls from anybody!”
“Excuses Xander.” Giles told him simply too angry to believe him. “Starting now you’re on suspension pending review.” He hesitated upon telling him anything about Buffy. “I suggest you get your act together or your child will grow up hating you as you grew up hating the man you thought to be your father.” With that said he hung up and called Willow to make arrangements for Buffy to stay with her and Jethro.
“My child?” Xander whispered numbly into the dial tone. He looked up into the concerned eyes of his father. “I’m going to be a daddy.” He told the older man. “I’m going to be a daddy and Buffy thinks I want nothing to do with her and by extension the baby.” How could this have happened? Looking down at his phone he wondered why he hadn’t gotten any of the calls Giles spoke of.
“I’m going to be a grandfather?” Jacob asked with a small smile which faded when Xander continued to stare at his phone. “Son?”
Xander swallowed hard trying to dislodge the lump that had formed in his throat. “I think someone tampered with my phone.” He told his father quietly. “I haven’t been getting any phone calls from my family.”
“What’s wrong?” Sam asked as she entered the living room. “What happened?” She asked her father.
Jacob felt his heart break for his son. He knew what it was like to lose a child. “He hasn’t been getting phone calls from home. Apparently Buffy’s been trying to call and tell him she’s pregnant but none of the calls are getting though.” Seeing the look on his daughters face he knew she had done something incredibly stupid. “Sam?”
“I left my phone at your house.” Xander focused angry eyes onto his sister. “You said it took you two days to find it. What did you do? WHAT DID YOU DO?!” He was on his feet and in her face in a flash.
Sam was an Air Force Officer and wasn’t about to let her little brother intimidate her. “Those people are bad. They brained washed you Xander and I couldn’t sit back and let it continue!” She defended her now ill conceived plan to protect him.
Xander’s eyes went cold. “Brain washed me? They saved me! Why can’t you see that? Willow and Jesse were my only friends growing up. And when I met Buffy….I felt like I was seeing the world for the first time. Being friends with her gave me the courage to stand up to my abusive father and neglectful mother. I became the man I am today because of those people
. You’re no better than Travers!”
“And the fact that you think nothing was wrong with what happened that
night proves me right! You just stood by and let that girl be burned alive!” Sam angrily told him.
“And I told you that you had no business there! This is my life and my world. We have our own rules and for good reason. Prisons and trials don’t work for what we deal with! But our own brand of justice does. We aren’t vigilantes. The counties, including the US, that we operate in knows what we do and they give us diplomatic immunity so we can do our jobs. You have no right to interfere. None! Now you may have cost me the chance at a family. May have cost me my child because you think you know what is right. Well I got a news flash for you Samantha Carter, you’re not always right. You don’t always know what is best. And you need keep your nose out of my business before you get it cut off!” He stormed to the door and yanked it open. “I didn’t even want to find you, did you know that?” He asked turning to face them. “It was Buffy that talked me into it. Said she didn’t want me to have any regrets down the road. Knew how badly I wanted a family. I got my family all right but I do regret it because I’ve loved Buffy since the moment I laid eyes on her in High School. Now because of you I may have lost her for good.” He slammed the door shut behind him when he left.
“He’s a grown man Sammy. What made you think you could decide his life for him?” Mark asked from his place on the floor.
Sam glared at her big brother. “You weren’t there!” She threw her hands in the air and sat down on her couch. “You didn’t see how accepting
they all were of what was going on. They even went out and had coffee afterward like they hadn’t just watched a girl burn alive! Do you honestly want Xander around those kind of people? Dad?”
“Like your brother said Xander is a grown man. Those kind of people, as you put it, have been his family far longer than us. Is it far that we demand he change his whole life just to be included in ours? And you can’t be apart of his if you keep judging him. From what he told me about that night that girl wasn’t innocent. She acted with malice and in doing so got a young girl killed. A death that could have been totally avoided. And their punishment might seem harsh to us but they wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t necessary. I don’t believe they are cold blooded killers.” Jacob rationally told his only daughter. When Xander first told about his life and job he hadn’t completely believed him. Vampires? Really? But then his youngest son had shown him the proof he needed and he was still trying to wrap his mind around the world his son was involved in. The very world that his wife had kept hidden from him for years.
Mark stood and picked up his dozing daughter. “I’m gonna head home and put Libby to bed. I’ll talk to you later.” Grabbed his coat and maneuvered it on then did the same for Libby. “Stop pushing Xander so hard sis because I get the feeling if he has to choose between us and them….he’s going to pick them especially with a child involved; his child. And we’ll lose not only our baby brother, all over again, but our niece or nephew as well.” With that said he left.
Jacob ignored Selmak’s comments. “I know you like having all the information but you need to stop treating his friends like the enemy because I’m certain if they were the governments of the world wouldn’t let them do what they do. All I’m asking is that you be a little more tolerate of his world. And for heavens sake don’t mess around with his phone again. I don’t want to lose my son again Sam. I’m not on Earth much but when I am I enjoy spending time with him and getting to know him. And I’d like to have that chance with my grandchild.”
“It was just so brutal dad. There were little girls there, watching, and I could see the pleasure in their eyes when Kinsey’s daughter started to burn, started to scream. I could see it
in Xander’s eye. And when it was over and she stopped screaming….it was like nothing ever happened. There was no body, no ash, no nothing. And then they went and got coffee and I watched them joking and laughing over their caramel mocha lattes and cappuccinos as if they hadn’t just watched the horrific event. I wanted to throw up and they were bickering over what type of scones to get. It was all so….senseless.” Sam leaned back on the couch and closed her eyes.
“Senseless to you maybe but not to them. The loss of a child, even if the child is only your ward, is a difficult thing. And each and every young person that Xander considers family has seen more than their fair share of death. But the death of a child….it’s not something you get over. Those people are doing an amazing thing. Some of them didn’t really have a choice in the matter but yet they are still fighting and teaching others to fight so that no more children, no more innocents, have to die. You help keep the galaxy safe and in turn Earth but their sole duty had been and always will be this planet and her people. Just try to put yourself in their shoes okay?” Jacob pushed himself to his feet. “I better get back to the base I’m needed at a council meeting in the morning.”
Sam stood and embraced her once estranged father. “Love you.” She released him and stepped back. “Be safe.”
Jacob gave his daughter a lopsided smile as he hugged her back then left go. “Love you too.” He grabbed his coat on his way to the door. “I’ll see you next time I visit. I should be able to get away at the end of the month.” He then pulled open the door and stepped out into the chilly Colorado air.
“I can’t wait.” Sam gave him a small smile and shut the door behind him. Sighing she sat back on her couch and ran a hand through her hair. She really was only trying to do what was best for her little brother but maybe she did go a little far by tampering with his phone. As she sat there she began to wonder if she’d ever see Xander again or if she had irreparably damaged their newly formed relationship.
Meanwhile Xander was rushing through the airport trying to catch the last flight, of the night, heading for London. He had to catch Buffy before she disappeared because with their means and connections he’d never find her unless she wanted found. “Come on!” He huffed to himself as he sprinted towards the open hatch and squeezed in just as the Flight Attendant was closing it. “Thanks!” He called as he quickly searched for his seat, sat down, and buckled up. Taking a deep breath he prayed to whatever Gods were listening on that particular day that he’d make it in time to explain what had happened.