This is a blanket statement for this series of drabbles: I don’t own Buffy, Stargate: Atlantis, or Stargate: SG-1. Buffy was created by Joss Whedon and the Stargate Universe is owned by MGM.Author’s Note:
This is set after Child Heroes.
Vala liked to watch them. For her, the first rule to being a good thief is to know the people you were conning. She’d found that knowing a person could help with other things besides conning. Like parenting. It took her a lot of watching, but she had finally picked up the basics of what made her children tick. And they were hers. She may have to share them but they were hers.
Now, she just liked to watch them. To watch Oz fall so deep into his music he seemed to be in a trance. To watch Willow babble in excitement. To watch Angel hover over the younger ones and to watch Spike mock him, even when he was doing the same thing.
Watching them gave her a little hope. They went through tragedies and horrors and came out the other side golden. They trust and hope and have faith. Mostly just in one another, but sometimes for the future and in their guardians.
And that’s not to say they couldn’t be petty or spiteful or get angry over the insignificant. They could and they did. And that just made them more human, more real. She loved them more for it.
Watching them be and do and love had become her favorite things, better than priceless jewels or precious metals. Because, after awhile, they’d want her to be and do and love with them. Dana wanted her to read her stories. Angel would draw, pictures of who the kids were and who they would be, and show them to her. They sought her attention and gave her theirs. They helped fill in the cracks that being in exile had left in her. She was cut off from her world, her people, anything of familiarity. But so were they and they never let it stop them.
Because she watched them, she knew things about them. The other guardians probably knew them, too, but that didn’t matter. She knew that sometimes, they all just wanted to be normal. No superpowers, no sprawling family made up of the weird and weirder, nothing to truly set them apart. It made them snappish when people noticed they were just a little different, surly when people moved away because they didn’t fit into any mold.
She knew that the month of May was a time of reverence. They were quieter and they laughed less. And the dreams got worse. They weren’t prophetic dreams, just dreams of how a life could
She knew there were two types of happy for Xander, the one where he was truly happy, bright and babbling, and the one where he was pretending, where his smiled and smiled and his eyes were flat. She doesn’t know why he has two ways to be happy; she just knows the kids would rather he be sad or angry than pretending to be happy.
She watched them at first because they were an anchor and something she needed to understand. No one could make her leave while the kids were being raised, they needed her. After a while, she stopped watching to learn and watched them because she loved them, because they were hers and she could. That they were bright and funny and entertaining, stimulating in a way no adventure could compete with, made it that much easier.
She liked to watch them. It made her feel a little more whole.