Spreading the News
Title: Run Buffy Run
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the recognizable characters. I receive no profits from this. It is just for fun.
Archiving: Please ask.
Feedback: Constructive Criticism desired.
Summary: Faith doesn’t join the Mayor.
AN: Thoughts are between slashes (//Thought.//)
Giles went to see Joyce first. She was at home, not being able to concentrate on working at her gallery.
When she opened the door, he could tell that she’d been crying again. He hoped his news would at least give her hope for Buffy’s future.
Once they were safely in her living room, he performed a silencing spell that would prevent any eavesdropping by either the Council or the authorities should either be trying to listen in.
“Joyce,” he started. “You should expect a visit from the authorities sometime this evening. They will want to know where Buffy is.”
Surprised by his statement, she interjected, “Why? What’s happened to her?”
“Please try not to get upset by what I’m going to tell you but there is a reason that this had to happen,” he said soothingly. “Buffy has escaped from custody.”
When he saw she was about to speak again, he raised his hand to signal for her to let him explain. She nodded for him to continue.
“The Council,” he began, saying the word with obvious distaste, “as you know, decided that it would draw too much attention to their activities for them to intervene in Buffy’s trial. I was able to persuade them to forgo any action against Buffy while there was a chance of her being acquitted. Since her conviction, the hard-liners have been able to push forward their desire to call a new Slayer. Since they can’t find Faith, Buffy was their only option for arranging that. If she hadn’t escaped there would have been ‘an accident’ resulting in her death.”
The gamut of expressions on Joyce’s face was pretty much the ones he was expecting. However, while he guessed what her final expression would be, he totally underestimated the intensity of the anger, no, hatred that he saw there.
Trying to head off the imminent explosion, he quickly and with a strong voice said, “Joyce! Buffy is alright and she has a mission to accomplish that should get The Council to back off, but she can only do that if she knows you are alright. Therefore, as hard as it might be, you should not act on your current impulses; no matter how justified I believe you would be to do so.”
“How long have you known?” came her decidedly angry question.
Knowing the question would be asked sooner or later, he would have preferred later, Giles replied, “I suspected that the hard-liners would advocate such action when Buffy was arrested and contacted some friends immediately to forestall such a decision. However, once she was convicted and Faith still had not been found, there were not enough of them to prevent the vote going against her. I didn’t tell you about this before because I prayed that it would never come to this and you would never have to know.”
He saw that while his explanation didn’t totally placate her she at least understood his reasoning.
“There is another reason for you not to do anything you may be contemplating towards members of the Council and that is because it would negate the protection spell that I cast to keep you safe from them,” he continued.
He saw that this revelation surprised her.
“I knew that the Council might threaten your safety to force Buffy to surrender herself to their decision and took steps to prevent that,” he said. “As long as you do not directly interfere with them they cannot harm you or threaten you to force Buffy to do anything. So you need to curb your instincts for her sake.”
“That is the reason I’m telling you this even before the authorities know it has happened,” he continued. “I was concerned that you’d do something to negate that protection otherwise. For hers and your own safety I can’t tell you anything else as I’m certain that the authorities and the Council will have you under surveillance to see if Buffy contacts you which she won’t until her mission is complete and she can come home safely. As I said earlier, the authorities will probably come by to talk to you later this evening. The less you know the less you have to lie to them.”
The last forestalled any further questions from Joyce, but he saw the promise of future conversations in her face where she expected him to fill in ALL the blanks.
He bade her good-bye and made his way to Xander’s house. Granted, he knew Xander wasn’t there but the Council didn’t and the longer they didn’t know about his involvement the better. Of course he didn’t tell Xander’s parents what he’d told Joyce since they weren’t ‘in the know’, so he told them he’d stopped by about a supposed project that Xander was involved with. When he left, he felt that Xander was better off on the run than continuing to live with the people who were his parents.
He managed to talk to Willow and Oz together. Again, he didn’t mention Xander’s involvement to them, but he got the feeling that Oz somehow knew.
Cordelia was another matter. She guessed that Xander was involved though he neither confirmed nor denied her claim. He could tell she was upset about that but she was pretending to not care since they had broken up weeks before. He could see she still had feelings for Xander as she could not completely hide the hurt she still felt from finding Xander and Willow the way she had or the thought of him being with Buffy either, even if it was not because something romantically was going on between them.
He did hope that Buffy and Xander would be able to avoid any major complications that could result from their enforced closeness for the near future. From past experiences with roommates, he knew it was possible that they could either become lovers or end up killing each other, as well as all the other possibilities in between. Hopefully, being away from the Hellmouth would allow one of the more mundane results to occur.
Buffy and Xander spent most of the first night of their stay at the Sunnydale Ramada Inn in their room. This allowed them to limit using the glamours, thus cutting down on the chances of the Council being able to detect even that miniscule mystic signature should they be trying to locate them.
On the male clothing front, Buffy was grateful that Xander had at least gotten her Yummi Sushi pajamas to wear even though the buttons were on the right versus the left like she was used to. On the other hand, they had to pick up some baby powder at the convenience shop in the hotel lobby because the briefs chafed her.
Other than watching TV and ordering room service for dinner and later a late night snack, they spent the rest of that first evening with Xander filling Buffy in on their cover identities and the plans for the next few days in Sunnydale. This included getting used to calling each other by their new names.
Just before they called it a night Buffy gave Xander a strong, though less than full Slayer strength, hug and said, “Thank you for the rescue. And not just for my sake but also the Marshalls and for Mom, Willow, Giles, Oz, yourself, and even Cordelia.”
Buffy saw Xander gave her a quizzical look.
“You know that you guys would never have bought my ‘accidental death’ being accidental and would set out to get revenge,” said Buffy, stating the obvious. “Even if you guys could get at the ones truly responsible, the rest Council would not stand for letting you get away with it if only because it would set a poor example for safeguarding their own lives. They’d come after you and because of their resources, eventually succeed at smacking you all down because Maahes’ Curse wouldn’t be in effect to protect you.”
“So thank you for keeping them alive,” she told him sincerely.
The satisfied grin on Xander’s face lasted until she thumped him upside his head with her palm and knocked him onto his bed.
“And that’s for not explaining about the underwear before hand.”
He lay there a bit stunned as she got into her own bed and turned her back on him.
//Definitely need to research rehab possibilities to stop ticking off strong, powerful females,// he thought as he rubbed where she’d hit him. //At least she didn’t use her Slayer strength or my head would be mounted on the wall instead of still to my shoulders.//
His musings were interrupted when Buffy said with a slight giggle, “Goodnight, Hiroshi. Pleasant dreams.”
“Goodnight Hikaru,” he replied with a laugh of his own as he got under the covers of his bed.
She really hadn’t hit him that hard and he had deliberately not told her about the reason behind the clothes she would have to wear before hand. So he figured he’d gotten off lucky. Plus he knew she’d been sincere in her thanks for keeping her Mom and their friends from going after the Council and thus keeping them safe.
He was resolved that those on the Council who chose to discard rather than support a successful Slayer would be made to pay. He wasn’t sure where, when or how it would happen but payment would be collected in full. And while he might try to dissuade the others from getting involved in order to protect them, he wouldn’t be able to deny their right to choose to help. However, that was a worry for another day.
For now he had to curb his desire to start out after Faith immediately and play the waiting game to ensure the hounds wouldn’t pick up their trail. After all, Buffy wasn’t the only Slayer needing protection, so possibly leading the hunters to Faith was not something he wanted to do.