Universe In Her Eyes
***Spoilers for LXG movie***
***Spoilers for S7 Finale***
Title: Universe In Her Eyes
Disclaimer: Don’t own one of them.
Spoilers: S7 finale and LXG movie.
Summary: The path back to the Council is full of more danger than Willow ever imagined . . .
Notes: For LXG-Dorian obviously did not die. He works for the real ‘M’-who isn’t all that nice anyway.
For BTVS-no Willow/Kennedy relationship.
Dedicated to Jinni, who so desperately wanted a Willow/Dorian fic. I hope this story is to your liking.
It was so hard trying to find a moment to himself nowadays.
Rupert Giles ventured slowly down the staircase to his own manor in England, eyes alert for any sign of life. His eyes went back and forth, travelling across the dark corners of his entrance hall. Not one creature stirred, not one sound was heard. There was not even a breeze existed in the halls this evening. Everything was still, everything was silent. And that meant one thing:
Buffy and Faith had taken everyone on a joint patrol again.
Giles heaved a sigh of relief, straightening and heading down the staircase with a full smile on his face. His eyes travelled over the empty hallways, smile growing bigger with each and every second. There truly wasn’t another soul in the manor at the moment.
And he couldn’t be happier about it.
Nothing against the children, or even those adults that filtered in and out of his house at all hours of the day. He had nothing but love and pride for all those that lived inside his house. They were treasures, each and every last one of them. From each newly activated Slayer to both veterans to retired Scoobies and finally to up and coming Watchers. Every single person who lived underneath this house was extraordinary.
They just tended to get on his nerves every now and then.
Giles wasn’t used to living with so many people. It was like being back in the high school, only now on a more permanent basis. There were children of all ages running through the halls of his house, playing with the odd knickknacks that his family had accumulated over the years. There were also adults chasing after those children, trying to rein them in with very little success. There were constant squabbles, over such things as bathroom privileges and what to put on the grocery list. It never seemed to end with these kids.
And he needed a break from them.
Perhaps his Slayers had sensed this. That had to be the explanation for the massive patrol they had planned for the night. Buffy and Faith had done so under the guise of a new training method they just had to try out on the new Slayers, but he had seen much more into it than that. Bless those girls; they were trying to save his sanity.
Giles shook his head, a skip in his step as he headed for his library. Finally, a night alone after so many nights of trying to referee impromptu pillow fights and the occasional apocalypse. Of course, there hadn’t been much in the way of apocalypses since the defeat of the First all those months ago. It seemed the destruction of the Hellmouth had cowed the society of evil into a bit of silence. They seemed almost afraid to try anything too treacherous nowadays. The news of the existence of an army of highly trained Slayers was scaring even the scariest creatures. And for good reason. Being trained by Buffy and Faith themselves, these new Slayers were a force to be reckoned with. The fight between good and evil had taken a drastic twist.
And one that was finally in their favour. Giles felt that it was about time that good got a break.
The door to his library eased open with the slightest creak, shattering the silence that had persisted so far. Giles smiled, looking at the door in amazement. A door that creaked, in his house of all places. He thought creaking doors were a thing of the past in the Giles manor now that Xander had his days free. The man had been repairing and renovating the house for months now, almost since the day they all had settled in. Giles had to admit, the house never looked better. But he was surprised that this particular door had escaped the Carpenter on a Mission.
Oh well, the man would discover it sooner or later. And then this creak would be a thing of the past. Giles was almost sad at the prospect. His library had been the same for many generations now. It disheartened him to see even the slightest change in the structure of it. It was the one thing from his childhood that he remembered with pure joy. He loved this library.
And he was finally getting some time alone in it now. Giles sighed, snapping on the lights and moving into the room. He pushed the door until it was almost closed. This way he would be able to hear when the others returned from their patrol. He might even treat them all to ice cream for this lovely solitude they bestowed on him tonight. He just hoped that the downstairs freezer was well stocked so that he could that.
Giles moved to his bookcase, scanning the various titles of the books before finding the one he had been looking for. His grin was almost luminous as he pulled it from the case, moving to his favourite armchair and settling down with great relish.
“They say that it is not as good as the first four.”
Giles yelped, scrambling up from his chair and dropping his copy of The Order of the Phoenix on the ground. The Watcher was on his guard immediately, scanning the room for the person that had interrupted his night of solitude.
“Really Mr. Giles, calm yourself. You act as if you’re expecting some sort of attack.”
“It’s not that much of a stretch,” Giles muttered defensively, turning around and fixing his gaze on the man in the corner of the library. How had he missed him when he had first come in? Giles narrowed his eyes as the man stepped out into the light. Recognition dawned on him immediately.
“And I fear that an attack seems even more likely at this moment,” Giles continued, his feet dropping into a defensive stature. The man laughed at his movements, dismissing his concerns with a wave of his hand.
“Really Mr. Giles,” the man drawled. “You should know by now, I don’t attack unless I’m provoked.”
“That’s not what I’ve heard,” Giles returned, but relaxing his position just a bit. “What are you doing here Dorian?”
The handsome, seemingly young man laughed once more, though his chuckle was far more menacing this time around. Giles took in the man, noting that not a thing had changed in the fifteen odd years since he had seen him last. The same dark brown locks framing an entirely too handsome face. The goatee and the moustache all the same as before. Nothing had changed about Dorian Grey in over fifteen years.
Not that Giles had expected any change. He had found out long ago what Dorian truly was. And it never ceased to put a tiny tremor of fear in him.
“Did you really think that you wouldn’t see one of us sooner or later?” Dorian asked in response, stalking around the room gracefully. He turned to face Giles, a cold smile curving his lips.
“The rumour is that you’re trying to rebuild the Council, or something very similar to it,” Dorian continued, settling down in behind Giles’s desk and folding his hands across his lap. “Now tell me Mr. Giles, is there any truth to that rumour?”
“That is none of your concern,” Giles growled back at him. “What I am doing is none of your concern-”
“The recreation of the Watchers’ Council in any shape or form is very much OUR concern,” Dorian snapped back. “You know this very well Mr. Giles. The Council in the beginning was all our doing anyhow.”
“It will be different now,” Giles retorted. “It won’t have a thing to do with you lot and your definitions of expendability. This time the Council will be made by Slayers for Slayers. You can’t stop it.”
“You would be amazed at what we can do, Mr. Giles,” Dorian replied, his tone almost bored. “You seem to forget that you are not only dealing with me here. You are dealing with the whole of Her Majesty’s Government-”
“And they can all go to hell!” Giles roared. “I won’t have it be like it was before. These girls will be given a chance, and I won’t have any of you trying to change that.”
“You make it sound like we want the Slayers to die,” Dorian wrinkled his nose in distaste. “You are quite wrong Mr. Giles. We all have the same goals here.”
“But the agendas are very different,” Giles interjected. “I will not allow the Council to be as it was before.”
“Your opinion has been duly noted Mr. Giles,” Dorian replied, his tone bored once more. “But that won’t stop us from doing what we must. If the Council is to be rebuilt, we will be there.”
“Over my dead body,” Giles declared. Dorian arched an eyebrow, his head tilting to the left as he grinned at the man.
“Listen here you-”
“Giles! We found this really weird demon in the cemetery three blocks over and thought you should take a look at it. However, before you do, I want it to be noted that I did not support the bringing home of a dead demon carcass in any shape or form-Oh! Sorry, I didn’t know you had a guest.”
Giles looked towards the door to his library, seeing Willow standing there with a bright smile on her face. The redheaded witch looked a bit flushed, probably from her patrol, and her hair was slightly askew. But she still looked quite beautiful; it could probably even be she that she looked-
Giles felt his heart stop. He swore that it stopped. Horrified, his eyes went back to Dorian, finding the man utterly transfixed by the redhead at his doorway. Giles felt his stomach begin to churn. He had seen that look on Dorian’s face before, had heard plenty of stories about the man through very reliable sources. Dorian Grey was a man of vice.
And right now his eyes were trained on Willow.
“Willow, go join the Slayers!” Giles commanded, briskly walking over to the doorway. The flustered redhead watched him in shock, muttering words of confusion and disbelief as Giles all but shoved her out of the library.
The word was stately so firmly that the redhead immediately stopped in her protests. She gave him another concerned look before turning to go. Giles didn’t wait to see her reach her destination. He slammed the door shut then and there, whirling around to face the amused Dorian.
“You will stay away from my house and my charges,” Giles warned the man. “And you can tell M, whoever he or she is at the moment, that the Council is not their concern. I will handle it. You are not welcome in the process.”
Dorian merely smirked, pushing away from Giles’s desk and rising to his feet. He stalked closer to the Watcher, a dangerous glint to his eyes.
“You are not in much of a position to be handing out orders Mr. Giles,” Dorian informed him. “Should you persist in this unnecessary resistance, I must warn you, it is likely that the League would be called to interfere.”
“The League?” Giles repeated, his voice betraying a faint tone. “You can’t be serious-”
“You have been warned,” Dorian cut him off. “Good day Mr. Giles. I will be seeing you, and that lovely redhead, very soon.”
Giles stood shocked, unable to stop the man as he returned to the dark corner he came from and faded into the shadows of the house. Giles wobbled to his armchair and collapsed into it. He was breathing heavily, his face and palms were sweating, and his heart was pumping wildly.
The League? Could it even be possible?
“I must talk to the others,” he declared to the empty room. “We must be ready. We have to be ready.”
Giles climbed to his feet, suddenly feeling his age right down into his bones. Fear was washing over him rapidly but he stood firmly on his feet. Whether or not Dorian told the truth, it was beside the point. Their mission just became even more complicated than before.
He needed to get them ready. There were tough times ahead.