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Dad's Army

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Summary: Giles travels through time to retrieve a missing artifact. Warning: B/G romance.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Miscellaneous > Radio DramasSweetdoggieFR15212,363051,89610 Jul 0810 Jul 08Yes

Chapter One

Disclaimer
Title: Dad’s Army

Author: Sweetdoggie (stirling_summer@yahoo.com)

Pairing: B/G

Rating: FRT

Summary: Crossover BtVS and Dad’s Army.

Spoilers: None

Note: I did some research on the British Home Guard for this story and would like to say that I have nothing but admiration for those brave souls. Men over 42 and boys under 17 trained and were prepared to repel the Nazi invaders at the cost of their own lives, sometimes armed only with kitchen knives and sticks. That the invasion never happened doesn’t lessen their courage one jot.
While this is not a new story, it is new to TtH. Hope you enjoy it.

Disclaimer: No permission has been granted to use the characters. They are owned by their creator, Joss Whedon, Twentieth Century Fox, UPN, WB, and Mutant Enemy. This story is non-profit and is intended solely as entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.

WARNING:Buffy/Giles romance--if that bothers you, don't complain because you've been warned.


Giles paced furiously around the Magic Box. The information he had found in an obscure tome had revealed the existence of an amulet that would stop Glory if only they could find it in time. The problem was the amulet had last been seen in 1941 in a tiny town near Eastbourne called Walmington-on-Sea, England. He was nearly beside himself with worry about Buffy and the battle that was coming. He meant to save his Slayer, but to do so would need that amulet. The bell on the shop door rang and he watched the rest of the gang walk in, Buffy trailing Willow and Xander.

“Have you found anything, Giles?” she asked him, desperately hoping he could reach into his font of knowledge and pull out a magic rabbit.

“I may have.” He spent the next twenty minutes detailing what he had found out about the amulet and then told them its last known location.

“And nobody knows what happened to it after that?” Willow wondered. “What are we going to do?”

“I’ve been researching this for days,” he told them. “I believe that there is a way to retrieve the amulet. One of us must journey back through time to 1941 and find it. Once it’s in our hands, the spell will bring us forward automatically.”

“Risky,” Xander offered. “I’ll go.”

Giles shook his head. “No. You would stand out in war-torn England like a sore thumb. I’ll go.”

When they all protested saying he was too weak from his injury from the Knight’s lance, he simply shook his head. “Buffy can’t go. She wouldn’t fit in any better than Xander, the same for Willow. Also, if Buffy disappeared, Glory would destroy Sunnydale to find her. All of you would be at the top of her list. It must be me. At least, I have a decent chance of fitting in long enough to find the amulet.”

Buffy paced around the room, unknowingly echoing his earlier actions. “I don’t suppose we could possibly be lucky enough for there to have been a Watcher in this Walmington place in 1941?”

“I contacted Travers. He’s researching the possibility.” Even as Giles finished speaking the phone began to ring.

“Giles here.”

“Rupert? It’s Quentin. I have that information you wanted. Unfortunately, it’s not good. There was a former Watcher-candidate living in Walmington-on-Sea in 1941, but he washed out of the program as a young man. Too much of a wine, women and song sort of chap, apparently.”

“What was his name?” Giles asked tersely. Anyone was better than nobody at all.

“Arthur Wilson. He was a sergeant in the Home Guard. In 1941 he was too old for active service.”

Giles raked his hand through his hair. “Thank you, Quentin. Hopefully, this will give us a bit of an edge.”

“Good luck, Rupert. I know we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but I do wish you the best of luck.”

“Thank you.” Giles returned the receiver to the phone, sighed and reported what he had learned.

Buffy shrugged. “Better than nothing. Better than somebody who doesn’t know anything about how the world really is. Will he help us, do you think?”

“Probably. If I present my case in a sufficiently interesting light.” The Watcher paced around the room following Buffy’s footsteps.

“How long will it take?” she asked him.

“It shouldn’t take more than a couple of days…if all goes well.”

She took his hand in hers. “I hate to ask this of you, but I can’t think of any other way.”

“You aren’t asking, love. I’m offering.” He smiled down at her. He knew that she could never love him like he wanted, but that didn’t prevent him from loving her. He would do anything for her and if that meant a highly dangerous trip through time and space, then he would do it, no questions asked.

“How soon?”

“Tonight. I have all the ingredients for the spell.”

They looked at each other as if they were alone in the room, love shining from both their faces.

“You’ll be careful?”

“As careful as I can be. You’ll try to avoid Glory?”

“As much as she’ll let me.”

“Guys?” They broke their locked gazes and turned to the red-haired witch.

“Willow?” Giles asked. “What is it?”

“By my calculations, we only have 48 hours before Glory performs the spell to open the portal and kill Dawn. You’re going to have to hurry.”

He nodded and began assembling the ingredients he would need to travel back in time. The final ingredient was a map of England with Walmington-on-Sea circled in red. Giles scratched a few arcane symbols around the dot signifying the town before looking up at his Slayer and his love. “This is it, then.”

Turning to the Scoobies, Buffy signaled with her eyes that she wanted to be alone with Giles. “Give us five minutes, guys.” As soon as they left the room, she threw herself into his arms and hugged him tightly. “I know this probably isn’t the time to say this, but I don’t want to lose the opportunity. I love you, Giles. Be very careful. I want you to come home to me and be mine.”

“I love you too, Buffy. I would love to be yours.” Raising his hand to her cheek, he caressed it softly before dropping a kiss on her lips. He looked deeply into her eyes, reading a promise there before he stepped back and began to recite the invocation.

As he shouted the final words, a strange light seemed to seep into the shop. It grew brighter and brighter, yet illuminated nothing. In a moment, it flared and they all heard a pop. When the light returned to normal, Giles was gone.

~*~

He felt himself spinning in a mist so opaque he couldn’t see his hands. Experiencing a bout of intense nausea, Giles spread his arms and legs hoping to slow the violence of his descent through time. He felt his clothing being ripped from his body as wave after wave of energy pulsed over him and suddenly, he realized that it really was waves and he was in a large body of water. In the twilight, he could see a beach not too far away from him and struck out towards it, the wound in his side pulsing angrily at the continued abuse. He felt his feet touch ground and nearly wept with relief. Stumbling and swimming, he neared the beach, not seeing the half-submerged log that swung out of the darkness to smash ruthlessly into his temple. He dropped into the cold ocean unconscious, not feeling the waves finally take mercy on him and wash him onto the shore.

~*~

George Mainwaring, Captain of the Walmington-on-Sea division of the Home Guard, had decided that his unit would patrol the sea wall this evening. He had all his regular men, Sergeant Wilson, Lance Corporal Jones, privates Frazer, Godfrey, Walker and the boy, Pike. They weren’t a large operation, but he tried to make them the best he could. It would never be said that England fell under his watch. He made Wilson line the men up for inspection. Yes, they were old, but they were ready to give their all for England.

After a few minutes delay while Godfrey used the lavatory, they marched off, more or less in step down to the beach.

“Captain Mainwaring? Captain Mainwaring, sir?”

“Yes, Pike, what do you want?”

“What’s that on the beach, sir?”

“What are you talking about, you stupid boy?”

“Down there sir. See, near the water line? It looks like a man.”

“Good Heavens!”

The little troop made good time and hit the beach nearly running. Since Pike was by far the youngest, he easily outdistanced the rest of the platoon and was the first to arrive next to the fallen man.

“He doesn’t look too good, Uncle Arthur,” the boy pointed out, rather needlessly. They could all see the slowly seeping wound in his side and the deep gash at his temple. What was more surprising and disturbing were the marks of torture the poor abused body showed. The fallen man’s shoulders were laced with scars from a flogging and several deep cuts, burn marks, and assorted lacerations decorated his torso.

Mainwaring shuddered. Whoever this poor soul was, he had suffered greatly. He wondered if he were an escaped German prisoner, but quickly realized that no Englishman would employ torture and clearly, this fellow had been tortured. Therefore, he must be a British soldier or perhaps even a spy who had fallen into enemy hands and valiantly forged an escape. He knelt down and felt for a pulse. The fellow was still alive!

“We need to get help right away—also blankets and something to keep him warm. No telling how long he was in the ocean.”

“He’s no dead? He dinnae look sae good, does he?” Private James Frazer observed.

“Pike, you, Godfrey, and Jones head up to town. Call the Doctor and get him down to headquarters right away. Fetch blankets and something hot to drink. Wilson, Frazer, Walker and I will move him back to my office.” He directed Wilson and Walker to get the man’s shoulders and throw his arms over theirs. They got him up on his feet, but he was still out like a light.

“He’s a big one, isn’t he?” Wilson commented. The chap’s feet were going to drag on the ground, he was so tall.

Luckily, it wasn’t that far from the beach to the vicarage where the platoon had established their headquarters. They laid the man on a cot and covered him with blankets. Godfrey had managed to scrape up a hot water bottle from who knew where and it was tucked carefully against the shivering body.

The doctor, roused from his supper, wasn’t in the best mood. He followed the boy, Pike, vowing that if this was some sort of wild goose chase, the lad would soon regret it. His professionalism took over the minute he arrived at the vicarage and saw the state of the patient.

He looked at the gash in the unknown man’s skull and began cleaning it, eventually putting ten stitches in the cut. He pressed the bone surrounding the wound and found it firm. “At least he hasn’t cracked his skull too badly.”

“What about his side? He has a terrible hole there,” Private Jones commented.

The doctor studied the puncture. “It’s a few days old and it’s been treated. Look here. He’s torn out stitches, probably from trying to swim.”

“Better torn stitches than dead,” Captain Mainwaring snapped. “Can you tell us anything else about him?”

“He’s been through the wars, I’d say. Look at these marks on his shoulders and back. That’s from a good, old-fashioned flogging. I’d say it happened within the last year, certainly no longer ago that two years. He’s also been burned,” pointing to the small circular scars on his chest and stomach. “These look like knife cuts to me,” he indicated white slashes against the pale skin. Examining the man’s hands, he found that the left one had been badly broken and while it had been expertly set, you could always tell. He was surprised that the man could use it, but from the calluses on the palm and fingers, he was fully capable. Everyone noted the tattoo but didn’t know what to make of it. The doctor looked up at Captain Mainwaring with a dawning horror in his eyes. “I don’t know who your mystery man is, but he’s been to Hell and back, no mistake.”

The man on the cot groaned and thrashed around a bit and the doctor looked down at him. “Good, he’s coming ‘round. Now we can find out a bit more.”

~*~

He opened his eyes to see a ring of deeply concerned faces staring down at him. “I feel beastly,” he informed them. “Where am I?”

Mainwaring stood forth. “You’re at Walmington-on-Sea, sir.”

“Oh.” He was silent for a long moment, his eyes drifting closed. They saw a frown appear on his face. “Who am I, then?”

There was a startled murmur from the huddled group of men. “You mean, you don’t know?” the Captain asked him.

The man frowned and tried to sit up, but the sharp stab of pain he felt convinced him that his body was more comfortable in recline. “I can’t think. I feel like I have a purpose…something I must do, somewhere I must be, but I can’t remember…”

The doctor put a hand on his shoulder. “There, there, my dear fellow. No need to fret. You’ve had a rather nasty blow to the head. I’m sure your memories will come back in a few days. All you need be concerned with now is resting and recuperating.”

The injured man lay back and closed his eyes. They could see him drift off to sleep in a matter of seconds. The doctor gestured for everyone to evacuate the room. “What are we to do with him?”

Mainwaring paced up and down the confines of the outer room. “Fingerprints! We should obtain his fingerprints and send them off to HQ. The army will sort this out.”

“Oooo, Uncle Arthur! It’s just like in the movies where that fellow had escaped from a mad house but couldn’t remember it. We don’t know anything about him. We don’t even know his name. What if he’s a German spy?”

“Be quiet, you stupid boy! Anyone can see he’s British and a gentleman at that! Still, we mustn’t take any chances with him. We’ll guard him till he recovers and can tell us about himself or till the results of that fingerprint search give us his name.” He nodded to himself and began doling out guard assignments.

“Do you know how to take fingerprints, sir?” Wilson inquired lightly. He knew very well that the Captain was totally ignorant of the correct procedure.

“Of course I do!” snapped Mainwaring. “Er, that is, perhaps HQ has a preferred method. We should contact them.”

“Very good, sir.” Arthur raised an inquiring brow. “How are you going to call? The phone is in there with him.”

Mainwaring frowned. “I shall call from my office at the bank, Wilson. Really, you’d think you could use a bit of foresight.”

“Ah, yes, of course, sir.”

“Come with me, Wilson.”

“You men stay here and guard the… the… that person. We shall return shortly with more information.”

Frazer turned to Jones with a raised eyebrow. “Yon laddie dinnae need guardin’. He won’t be wakin’ till tomorrow, if then.”

“Perchance you’re right Mr. Frazer. Still, the Captain gave us an order.”

“Aye, that he did.” Frazer pulled up a chair, sat down and crossed his arms staring at the door.

Soon, Jones did the same and they both watched, hoping that the man would suddenly be well and remember himself.

“I saw marks like that when I was in the Sudan, you know. One of the lads was captured by the enemy and they beat him something fierce. He never broke, though.” Jones reminisced about his younger days in the service of the Crown.

“Do ye suppose he’s a spy like the laddie said?” Frazer asked the other man.

“Who’s to say?”

Two hours later, the Captain and the Sergeant returned. “The army is sending an expert down in the morning. We are to keep a guard on this man till we know for certain that he isn’t a German spy.”

The fellow in the cot barely moved all night but as morning rolled slowly around, he grew restless. The doctor was summoned again when it was ascertained that he had developed a fever.

It took four of them to hold him down despite his wounds. At one point he simply sat up and threw them off of him, shouting for somebody named Buffy. After that, they secured him to the cot with ropes, making sure that he wasn’t desperately uncomfortable, but was restrained.

“Uncle Arthur? Who do you suppose Buffy is? Isn’t that a funny name?”

“I have no idea, Frank. Perhaps it’s his wife or sweetheart, maybe his daughter.”

“He’s not wearing a wedding ring, though he does have that funny looking ring on his left hand. Did you see that, Uncle?”

“No, I hadn’t noticed it, Frank.” The older man bent down and studied the ring with great interest. Suddenly, he frowned. “I recognize that symbol from somewhere.”

“What is it, Uncle Arthur?”

“I don’t know. I shall have to think about it.”

“Is he going to get well, Uncle Arthur?”

“We shall have to wait and see, Frank.”

“What do you think that mark on his arm means?”

“I really couldn’t say.”

“Do you think the army will take him away?”

“I don’t know.”

“He’ll need some clothes. I wonder where we could get some for him. He’s such a big man.”

Arthur Wilson nodded. “He is large. I wonder if your mother would have any ideas?”

“I can ask her in the morning, Uncle.”

“Yes. That might be a good idea.”

Frank preened at the thought of actually having an idea that could be deemed ‘good’. He liked Arthur Wilson and frequently wished the man were his real father. Except that would mean he would be married to Frank’s mum and Frank wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to share. What Frank didn’t know was that Arthur Wilson and his mum were already an item and had been for years. It suited the older man just fine to have a warm, loving woman who didn’t particularly want to marry. It didn’t hurt that he was genuinely fond of Mavis Pike and her son.

Arthur looked again at the big man lying on the cot and contemplated his ring. He knew that symbol, but had thought that it was something he had put behind him thirty-five years earlier and had never revisited. The stranger was a Watcher and the symbols cut into the ring marked him as one who had an active Slayer. What was he doing here in Walmington-on-Sea? Where was his Slayer? Was she even still alive? He hoped the man woke soon possessed of all his faculties. Arthur had a few questions for him.

“Maybe he really is a spy. Maybe that’s why the army is coming. Maybe he’s an escaped lunatic and will try to kill us all in our beds. Maybe…”

“Maybe he’s just an ordinary man who fell on hard times, Frank. Don’t let your imagination get the best of you.”

“No, Uncle. Sorry.”

“You’re a good boy, Frank. But we live in strange times.”

“Yes, Uncle.”

The platoon had gathered by the time the man stirred again. He was thrashing around on the cot, screaming that he’d never tell and calling for Buffy and occasionally for someone named Jenny. Once he even thought he was talking to somebody named Ethan. The men found it disturbing and felt tremendously sorry for the fellow. He was still fighting when suddenly his eyes snapped open and he looked at them.

“Who are you? Why am I tied up? Release me at once, do you hear?”

Jones stepped up and patted him on the shoulder. “There, there. You’ll be all right. You’re with the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard. We tied you up to keep you from doing yourself a mischief. We can’t release you till the Captain gets here.”

Arthur leaned over him. “Do you remember your name?”

“I’m Giles.”

“Very good, Giles. I’m Arthur Wilson. I couldn’t help but notice your ring. I used to have one similar to that when I was quite a young man.”

Giles looked down at his ring. ‘Watcher. I’m a Watcher. What does that mean?’ He knew the words but the meaning behind them escaped his battered understanding.

They looked up when there was a stir in the doorway. Captain Mainwaring and several uniformed strangers stepped into the room.

“These men are from GHQ. They are going to question…our visitor.” Mainwaring clearly wanted to call the man named Giles their prisoner, but knew that wasn’t quite right.

“I’m Captain Wentworth and this is my aide, Lieutenant Cumberland.”

The man called Giles nodded. “I’m Giles. Do you know where Buffy is?”

“Mr. Giles, perhaps we should start by laying our known facts on the table. At approximately eight o’clock last night, the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard found you unconscious and badly injured, washed up on the beach. You had no clothes and no identification beyond that mark on your arm and your ring. You spent most of last night delirious, calling for various people named Buffy, Jenny, and Ethan. We aren’t even sure if Giles is your first name or your last. This is the sum total of information available to us at this time. Could you, perhaps, elaborate on some of these details for us?”

Giles frowned. “I don’t know.” He looked down on the tattoo on his arm. “I have a feeling this stands for something, marks me in some way beyond the obvious, but I can’t remember what. The ring, it has some meaning as well, but I don’t know what. I can’t even tell you if Giles is my first or last name. It’s what Buffy calls me.”

“Who is Buffy?” the Captain asked.

The man closed his eyes. “She’s just slightly over five feet tall, blonde hair, twenty years old and as beautiful as the sun. I don’t remember how we met, but we belong together.” He nodded his head, wincing at the pain in his skull.

“And Jenny?”

“Dark hair, maybe thirty or so, pretty. Teased me a great deal. She’s…” his eyes opened wide. “I think she’s dead.”

“What about this Ethan chappie?”

“Ethan…” Giles frowned. “We were friends once. Now, he’s an enemy. Tried to kill Buffy, hurt Jenny, hurt me… God’s, why can’t I remember?”

“Easy, old chap. You’re doing very well. Now, do you remember what you do?”

“Do? I’m a Watcher.” He said it as if that were self-evident.

“A Watcher? What is that?” The Captain leaned forward betraying his interest.

“I don’t remember. I just know that is what I do.”

The two Army men exchanged glances. “If I may, sir?” the lieutenant asked.

Captain Wentworth waved his hands expressively. “Be my guest, Lieutenant.”

“Do you happen to speak any foreign languages? French perhaps, or maybe German?”

“Yes,” Giles said. “I remember that much. Buffy always teases me about it. I speak five languages fluently and read a great many more. I know that I have been, and perhaps still am, a scholar of sorts. I seem to remember spending a great deal of time around young people…I’m sorry but my head hurts dreadfully and I just can’t seem to think.”

“Just one more question, Mr. Giles. You have a great many scars on your body. Can you tell us anything about how you obtained them?”

They watched him shudder. “He tortured me for hours. Angelus. Wanted the secret from me, but I wouldn’t tell him. That’s all. I can still see his face, smiling as he beat me…No. No! I won’t tell you! No!” As quickly as that, he slipped back into delirium.

Captain Mainwaring stepped forward looking grave. “Is he mad, poor fellow?”

The doctor, who had been standing by, shook his head. “No. Not at all. He’s been very badly traumatized and I believe he’s developed a fever from his dunking in the ocean and the shock of his wounds. I would recommend not questioning him again till he’s somewhat stronger.”

Captain Wentworth nodded. “Yes, of course, sir. I believe we have ascertained that he is not a German spy.” He emphasized German.”

The Lieutenant looked up. “Do you think he’s one of ours, then, sir?”

“The possibility had crossed my mind. At any rate, he’s too weak to travel, even if we had someplace to take him to.” He thought for a moment and turned to Captain Mainwaring. “I’d like to leave him in your care, Captain. Is there someplace that he could be boarded? I’ll see that he’s sent a ration card immediately, so that he won’t be a burden on anyone.”

Arthur Wilson didn’t know what persuaded him to speak. “He can stay with me. I have a small flat that I don’t use a great deal.” He flushed slightly at the look Mainwaring turned on him.

“Of course. That would be a splendid arrangement. You can keep an eye on him and if he regains any more memories, you would be in an excellent position to contact us,” Wentworth smiled. “I’ll send someone down tomorrow with a ration book and some clothes. No need for you to be put to any additional expense.”

“That would be most appreciated. Thank you.”

~*~

Buffy paced back and forth in the Magic Box. “Where could he be, Will? We don’t have time to wait any longer. We’re going to have to go with Plan B.”

“Buffy…”

“We can’t wait, Will. Dawn doesn’t have any more time.” She took the Witch’s hand. “If I don’t make it, try to get Giles back, OK? Tell him to take care of Dawn and that I love him. I love all you guys and I think it’s time to say it.”

“I love you too, Buffy. Don’t talk crazy. You’re going to go in there and kick Glory’s ass for her, save Dawn and then we’ll all get Giles back.”

Buffy smiled knowing the likelihood of that was slim. “Thanks, Will. That’s what we’re gonna do, alright.”

Xander hugged her and then Willow and they all shared a group hug before Buffy pulled away grabbing the troll hammer on the way out of the store.

“Let rock and roll.”

The battle was fierce but they looked like they were winning. Buffy had knocked Glory into a paste with the magic hammer and when she reverted to her mortal form of Ben, Buffy had done what had previously been unthinkable for her. She kicked him in the head, breaking his neck and ending the threat of Glory’s ascension once and for all. She raced up the tower in time to see the creature called Doc start the invocation by cutting her sister with a knife.

Rage engulfed her and she rushed the demonic humanoid. He tried to block her path but she simply swept him off the tower as if he were a twig that had gotten in her way. She untied Dawn but saw that the ceremony had been successful and the portal was opening. Things hovered on the other side, barely visible, waiting only for the portal to finish opening before pouring their filth onto the Earth. Knowing what she had to do, Buffy turned to Dawn, told her that she loved her and leaped to her death, falling through the alien gate.

Her drained body hit the ground, empty of life and light while the portal closed above them with a snap. The small group of friends gathered around the corpse of their beloved friend, unbelieving at first, then with shocked grief as the truth of her sacrifice hit home.

~*~

Giles found living in Walmington-on-Sea an interesting proposition. He joined the Home Guard under the command of Captain Mainwaring and said nothing when the man gave himself airs of superiority. He somehow remembered taking orders from another short, chubby old man who thought he knew everything, but couldn’t quite put his finger on the memory. Arthur Wilson had taken him aside when he began to feel better and explained what he knew about Watchers and Slayers and the ways of the world. Giles had been somewhat skeptical, but realized he didn’t find it all that improbable and eventually dismissed it as something he would think about later. He also felt that he was missing important clues as to his identity. Why was everything so difficult and primitive here? He wondered why nobody had a microwave and why people still used iceboxes instead of refrigerators. Then he wondered how he knew about such things. He resolved to say nothing and hoped it would all became clear in time.

Three months passed rather quickly. He amused himself by tutoring the young Frank Pike and wondered why he had memories of other young people. He had found a job at the local library and offered French classes in his spare time to earn a bit of extra money. He knew he had worked in another library, somewhere far from this place but like all his memories, it was elusive. Every night he dreamed of the beautiful blonde girl named Buffy. He knew he needed to find her, to be with her, but couldn’t remember why.

~*~

The Scoobies sat around the grave and began the ceremony. Soon, they would have their Slayer back from the Hell dimension into which she had fallen. They had nearly finished when a gang of motorcycle-riding demons interrupted. They were forced to abandon Buffy’s burial site. Thus, none of them saw the thin white hand poke through the earth minutes later.

Events played out as if upon a movie screen. Buffy dug herself from her own grave and traumatized by that experience, was forced to fight and kill the demons terrorizing her town. She barely understood she was alive again, but she threw herself into battle as instinctively as breathing. When she had vanquished the demons, she made her way to the place of her death and climbed up the rickety steps. Built to last only for a night, the months of weathering had been particularly harsh and the metal and wood structure groaned with even her slight weight. She would have stayed till the tower collapsed had not her sister, hardly daring to believe her own eyes at the sight of one long-dead now arisen, rescued her.

Buffy sat in the living room of the house she had shared with her mother and then her mother and sister and tried to understand what had befallen her. Willow smugly told her how she had found the spell to revive her and waited to be thanked.

Looking at her, it was all Buffy could do to restrain herself from ripping the witch’s head right off. “I need Giles,” was all she said.

“Buffy…we never got him back from the other time. Somebody needs to go back and retrieve him. None of us felt competent to go.”

“I’ll go.”

“You need to rest up,” Willow protested.

Buffy turned her nearly lifeless eyes on her former friend. “I said I’d go. Get ready to do the spell.”

“It will take me at least twenty-four hours to get the ingredients together. Those demons made a mess of everything.”

“Fine. I’ll be in my room. Call me when it’s time.” She stood up and moved slowly upstairs, laying herself down upon her bed wondering why she was back, why she had been ripped so ruthlessly from Heaven, knowing only that Giles could save her.

Dawn fixed her sandwiches and brought them to her room. Buffy ate them because she needed the strength to travel through time.

“What happened to your hands, Buffy?”

The Slayer looked down at the badly scratched and damaged body parts as if they didn’t belong to her. “I dug myself out of my own grave, Dawn.”

The younger girl’s breath caught in her throat. “They didn’t even dig you up first?”

“No.”

“I’m so sorry, sis. I missed you so much and I wanted you back, but not, not like this. I wanted you to be happy.”

“I’ll be all right when we get Giles back. I need him.”

“Yes. When we get him back, everything will be OK again.”

Eventually, Buffy showered and threw away the clothes she had been buried in. They smelled of death and the grave to her. She put on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, laced up a pair of heavy hiking boots, and waited for Willow’s call.

At last the witch was ready. “You’ll have as much time as you need to find him, Buffy. But, just in case, I’ve adjusted the spell so that you’ll be drawn to him. When you’re ready to come home, all you need to do is think of home and say ‘Return’. You and Giles will be pulled back. Everything will be all right then.”

Buffy nodded and got into the circle at the witch’s direction. She felt the spell catch her and pull at her like a whirlwind, but she had faced the winds of Death itself and this was nothing to her. She turned her back on it and concentrated on finding her Watcher. The ground approached: a beach unlike the white sand beaches of her native land. This beach was rough and covered with chunks of white rock. In fact the whiteness of the cliffs surrounding the beach was offset by the brilliant green of the vegetation that grew in lush profusion on top of them.

She landed with a solid thud in a crouch. It was early evening; she could smell the sunset in the air. Feeling inside her, she located Giles with her heart. Though her face was stern, her eyes showed a glimmer of hope as she set off at a jog to find him. Soon, she arrived at the outskirts of a small town. He was here, she could feel him. Taking a few minutes, she oriented herself using the bond that they shared. There! That building near the church. He was inside it.
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