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Taking the Initiative

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This story is No. 4 in the series "What If?". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The Initiative shows up in Season 2. (Response to a challenge from an author in a BtVS Yahoo Group)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > DramacmdruhuraFR183144,133112278,3409 Feb 0812 Dec 14No

Day 6 Part II

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.
Beta: None.
Summary: The Initiative makes an appearance in Season 2.

AN: Thoughts = \\This is a thought.//

AN: Written text = ::This is written.::

Giles answered the door and found Willow and Oz standing there. He resisted the urge to move forward and hug both of them and instead just stepped aside to let them enter.

“It’s really good to see you both,” he said as they came in. “You’re looking well.”

“We’ve been doing fine,” said Willow. “Learning to control the wolf in me and just taking it one day at a time. Though Master Kang thinks I’m making great progress.”

“It’s because of Master Kang that we’re her,” she added.

“Well before we begin with that, is there anything I can get you? Food? Drink? I should have tea available soon,” said Giles.

“Tea will be fine when it’s ready,” said Willow.

Oz just nodded.

“Very well, I’ll just be a moment, so make yourselves comfortable,” said Giles heading towards the kitchen.

Willow and Oz took up positions on the couch while waiting for Giles to return.

“Should we wait for Buffy?” asked Willow when Giles returned with the tea service and some chocolate chip cookies.

“Buffy is otherwise indisposed right now and I’ll brief her later,” said Giles without hesitation, having expected the question. He would bring them up to date on the happenings in Sunnydale once they got through their own story, as telling them now would only side track them and he needed to know what their problem was in order to prioritize everything that appeared to be occurring at the same time.

“Very well,” said Willow even though she was certain that Buffy was involved somehow with the dream/prophecy that Master Kang had.

“The head monk of the monastery where I was studying to control my wolf, had a prophetic dream,” stated Willow. “A couple of the aspects of the dream seemed to indicate that Oz and I return here before the New Moon to help avoid dire consequences.”

“That sounds very ominous,” said Giles. “What exactly happened in this dream?”

Willow handed Giles a piece of paper from her messenger bag.

::‘The lost Heart has returned, signaling that the Wild Spirit and her consort need to return to Hades’ Portal before the waning of the moon to face the danger posed by the Pretentious One who delves into mysteries best handled by others. The Pack must join together to revive the fallen Hand and make all greater than before. United against the foe they may triumph, but separately they will surely fall and then the new day shall not come into existence allowing the barriers to fall for the Ruler of the Inferno. The Chained Souls and the Augur will be rewarded for assisting the Pack when victory is won.::

Giles read the prophecy, for it could be nothing else since he was able to relate several passages to the current situation with Buffy and Xander, three times before heaving a sigh.

He resisted the urge to clean his glasses as he finally said, “The Fallen Hand is Buffy. She was injured the night of the Full Moon and was paralyzed from the chest down.”

Willow gasped out at Giles’ statement, but he continued before she or Oz could give voice to any questions.

“She was rushed to the hospital and they were able to get her on a ventilator to help with her breathing and the doctors there put us in contact with a research group specializing in coming up with devices that help people who are paralyzed. As we didn’t know for certain whether her Slayer healing would allow her to make a full recovery, we opted to take advantage of one of their experimental devices. Buffy was successfully fitted with a device that will shunt her motor control impulses around the damage to her spinal cord and with therapy potentially allow her to walk on her own. The device can be removed if she does indeed recover, but until then, she will not be mobile enough to continue slaying safely. I have arranged for Kendra to come to Sunnydale but have not yet informed The Council of Buffy’s condition.”

The two teens sat there with stunned looks on their faces. At least Willow’s face showed that she was stunned. Oz’s face didn’t seem to have changed at all, though Giles did get the impression that something was different about it.

“There’s more,” he stated.

Giles then went on to explain what happened to Angel, Miss Calendar, and Joyce after Willow and Oz had left town. He left out the recent news about Cordelia.

Oz lifted an eyebrow over what happened with Mrs. Summers, while Willow expressed disbelief, and some anger, at what had been done, even though she eventually said she understood why it happened.

\\Now comes the hard part,// he thought to himself.

“I believe that I can also tell you who the Lost Heart is and who The Pretentious One might be,” said Giles. “The Pretentious One is a Dr. Margaret Walsh who is heading up what appears to be a government run operation looking into the Supernatural. They are into capturing and experimenting on demons, though she is also experimenting on humans as well.”

“You mean like Dr. Mengele?” interrupted Willow in horror, despite not being a big fan of demons.

“Er . . eh . .” stuttered Giles before swallowing the lump in his throat and continuing. “I believe that would be an apt comparison based on the information I’ve read.”

Giles pushed on with his explanation despite Willow’s outraged face, “It was an experiment of Dr. Walsh that injured Buffy. Dr. Walsh is also the reason the Heart was lost.”

Oz, who had been his usual quiet up till then, said, “Xander.”

Though a bit surprised, Giles answered, “Yes.”

Willow was struck dumb by both males’ statements.

Giles waited for some reaction from Willow.

Finally, she squeaked out, “Xander’s alive?”

“Yes. One of the experiments Walsh conducted on him allowed him to escape and once he determined he wouldn’t lead them to us, he came to see me,” said Giles. “I sent him to Angel down in L.A. because we are going to need all the help we can get if this monster posing as a woman really does have government backing.”

“You think she’s a demon in disguise?” asked Willow.

“No,” said Giles. “Unfortunately, she’s just a scientist who believes the ends justifies the means. Which makes her even more of a monster than those we normally fight. Your prophecy would seem to point to our needing to stop her before she sets things in motion that could end the world. The part about ‘The Pack must join together to revive the fallen Hand’ would seem to indicate that the core Scoobies, as I believe Xander has referred to us, must unite to help Buffy face this danger.”

Willow broke in, “Giles, from the description given by Master Kang of the woman who spoke to him in his dream, Oz and I think it might be Cordelia, and she would be the Augur who is rewarded for her role in helping the Pack win. We need to contact her as the Prophecy seems to indicate we will need her help.”

\\Oh, dear lord. How do I tell them that Cordelia is in no shape to help anyone?// he mused as he pinched the bridge of his nose.

He took a long cleansing breath and said, “Cordelia tried to commit suicide over her guilt for stabbing Buffy. She survived but suffered brain damage and now has the intellect of a five year old. She’s currently confined to a sanitarium in Switzerland. I don’t see how she could help even if we could arrange for her release.”

All conversation stopped as the door bell rang.

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